Tonight the UFC returns to the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and this time brings a highly anticipated match-up to unify the promotion’s esteemed welterweight title. Back after a long lay-off due to knee surgery is UFC Welterweight Champion “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (22-2), who puts his belt on the line against the man who claimed the interim title in Pierre’s 18-month-long absence, “Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (28-5). Another pair of 170lb-ers are featured in the co-main event with Danish kickboxer “Hitman” Martin Kampmann (20-5) and heavy-handed “Big Rigg” Johny Hendricks (13-1) squaring off for a potential title shot. Anchoring the UFC 154 main card is a middleweight match-up between “Limitless” Francis Carmont (19-7) and “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (8-4). The sophomore bout of the evening highlights TUF alums Constantinos Philippou (11-2) and “The Promise” Nick Ring (13-1), preceded by a featherweight affair between WEC veteran “The Machine” Mark Hominick (20-11) and “The Scarecrow” Pablo Garza (11-3). Before the main card on Pay-Per-View, however, the UFC 154 prelims on FX and Facebook have plenty of action to offer themselves, with one man in particular to be on the lookout for being The Ultimate Fighter Season 7 alumni “Deep Waters” Matt Riddle (6-3-1).
The UFC returns to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for UFC 153 this Saturday night and looks to yet again showcase some of the country’s premier MMA talent. Top Brazilian fighter and UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (30-4) is the pinnacle focus of the main card as he moves up to light heavyweight to take on Season One Ultimate Fighter veteran “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (17-7) in the headlining bout of the evening. Bonnar proves time and time again to be a tough feat for anyone in the 205lbs. weight class so it will make for an interesting bout as he comes in as a 13-1 underdog against the man largely known as the greatest fighter of all time. In the co-main event, “Minotauro” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7) squares off against “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (21-4) in a match-up that will more than likely be a battle between Nogueira’s Jiu-Jitsu and Herman’s striking ability. Glover Teixeira (18-2) will trade leather with fellow Brazilian Fabio Maldonado (18-5) as both look to advance a rung of the 205lbs. division ladder. Former top welterweight contender Jon Fitch (26-4) looks to battle it out with prospect Erick Silva (14-2) in a classic match-up of wrestler versus striker. “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (9-1) will once again stand across from the undefeated “Caldeirao” Wagner Prado (8-0), now on the heels of their August meeting that ended in a No Contest after an inadvertent eye poke. Revving up the main card is a welterweight affair between dangerous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Demian Maia (16-4) and “The Horror” Rick Story (14-5) as both fighters try to establish their place in the UFC’s stacked 170lbs. division. Before Pay-Per-View takes over for the night, FX and Facebook will present the preliminary card which can and often does boast at least one of the three performance bonuses doled out and reveals some of the promotion’s future top prospects. No stranger to the UFC undercards, Chris Camozzi (17-5) is a particularly promising candidate for main card status.
With the UFC being plagued by the injury bug as of late, many fights have been either postponed or canceled entirely, leaving fans of the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization starving for action. Much to the pleasure of MMA enthusiasts across the globe, Saturday night the UFC is back in full swing and looks to bring what could be one of the most exciting cards of the year including two title fights. The main event looks to showcase “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1) defending his 205lbs. division championship belt against a late replacement for the injured “Hendo” Dan Henderson (29-8): “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-9). In the co-main event fans will see the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion be crowned as Joseph Benavidez (16-2) takes on “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (15-2). Both these fights look to be high paced and the highlight of the main card, which also has a middle weight match-up that could possibly decide number one contender status as “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4) takes on the heavy-handed “All-American” Brian Stann(12-4). Fans will also see the return of “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (11-4) as he looks to make a comeback, taking on UFC newcomer “The Hulk” Roger Hollet (13-3). Kicking off the main card, the always exciting Cub Swanson (17-5) takes on the dangerous “Do Bronx” Charles Oliveira (16-2). FX and Facebook will share the duties of bringing the undercard to viewers, however on the FX prelims look out for “The Kid” Jimy Hettes to be the one that makes a name for himself at UFC 152.
This evening the UFC will return to the city where the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion was born, the city where Royce Gracie (14-2) won the very first Ultimate Fighting Championship in November of 1993, Denver, Colorado. The Mile High City will host UFC 150 and 214 fight cards later they continue to bring some of the best fights to their birth city, with the highly anticipated rematch between current UFC Lightweight Champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson (15 -2) and “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2) as Henderson looks to defend his title for the first time against the man he took the belt from. The co-main event of the evening sees dangerous striker “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4) go to war with another man who is known for his knockout power, “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (47-11) in a lightweight fight that is already a frontrunner for “Fight of the Night”. In the 185lbs. division, former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (27-6) will battle it out with “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-7) where spectators will most likely see Shields’ Jiu-jitsu going against Herman’s wrestling skills. Also in the middleweight division, “Thunder” Yushin Okami (27-7) will take on Buddy Roberts (12-2) as both look to move their way up the middleweight ladder. Former 155er “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) of The Ultimate Fighter: Live will make his featherweight debut against “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1) in the card’s opening bout. Before the main card takes the stage, FOX network FX once again boasts a stellar UFC preliminary card, including a fighter making his promotional debut in Denver, much like Royce Gracie did 19 years ago, “King” Chico Camus (11-3).
UFC 149 has been one of the most injury-riddled cards in Zuffa history. The event’s marquee bout was originally scheduled between opposing The Ultimate Fighter: Live coaches “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (26-5) and UFC 135lbs. champion “The Dominator” Dominick Cruz (19-1) to settle the score both from the show and their two previous meetings, where each competitor took one victory apiece. A knee injury sustained during TUF put Cruz and the grudge match on the back burner, and now Faber is slated to face Nova Uniao fighter Renan Barao (30-1) for the newly minted Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship. The co-main event featuring top featherweight contender “New Breed” Erik Koch (13-1) challenging “Scarface” Jose Aldo (21-1) for the 145lbs. division title was postponed due to the champion being injured, and was replaced by the UFC debut of “Lightning” Hector Lombard (31-2) as he takes on “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (15-4). Despite approximately another dozen changes to the line-up, the UFC has still managed to put together a promising event for MMA fans across the globe. French kickboxer Cheick Kongo (27-7) and “The Savage” Shawn Jordan (13-3) will slug it out in a heavyweight battle, preceded by “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (50-14) colliding with James Head (8-2) in a welterweight tilt. Opening slot honors go to “The Menace” Chris Clements (11-4) as he squares off against “Deep Waters” Matthew Riddle (6-3). But before shelling out the big bucks to watch the main card on Pay-Per-View, be sure to catch the preliminary fight excitement on FX and Facebook, which features some of MMA’s top up-and-comers, perhaps most notably “Big Deal” Ryan Jimmo (16-1).
Tonight the UFC is back in action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with a star-studded card that features one of the most highly anticipated rematches in MMA history. As made even more evident by the reported 10,000+ in attendance for Friday night’s UFC 148 weigh-ins, Zuffa can certainly look forward to having some of their highest Pay-Per-View numbers to date with a card headlined by current UFC Middleweight Champion and arguably one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon, “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4), and polarizing figure Chael Sonnen (27-11), who is looking to score revenge for the loss he suffered the last time he and the champ met nearly two years ago. But that’s not the only great rematch on the PPV portion of UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, as fans will also get to see the long awaited rubber match between former light heavyweight champions Forrest Griffin (18-7) and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10). Win, lose, or draw, Ortiz plans on hanging up his gloves and flamed shorts and walking off into the sunset. Shoring up the main card are the likes of former Strikeforce champ Cung Le (7-2), returning UFC veteran “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7), JMMA star “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1) and BJJ expert Demian Maia (15-4), WEC veteran “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) and TUF alum “AK Kid” Cody McKenzie (13-2), and Tristar Gym fighter “Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar (24-8) and “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) in the opening slot. The UFC is also supplying tremendous action in the undercard match-ups, with perhaps the most promising contender for becoming a main card mainstay being “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (17-0).
The UFC once again brings its roster of top mixed martial arts talent to the FX network Friday night with UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida. The marquee attraction sees a lightweight affair between “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1) and “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-11) as they battle it out for potential title contention in the UFC’s 155lbs. division. Supporting the main event are the likes of “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (17-7-1) and “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-8) duking it out for the third time in a lightweight tilt, 170ers “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) and TJ Waldburger (15-6) facing off in what will likely be a brawl on the canvas, and British TUF alum “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-5) and WEC veteran Cub Swanson (16-5) fighting to ascend the 145lbs. division ladder. Though much of the MMA fan base will have their eyes glued to the main card on FX, as always, the prelims on Facebook and Fuel TV offer some entertaining match-ups as well, featuring some of the best up-and-comers in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Among the long list of promising undercard fighters to keep an eye on is “Super” Steven Siler (20-9).
This Friday the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida will host the highly anticipated rematch between two of the UFC’s top flyweights “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall (11-2-1) and “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (14-2-1). The last time these 125ers met it ended in a Majority Draw; now, they will duke it out once again to determine who will face Joseph Benavidez (16-2) for a shot at the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship title. But before the UFC on FX 3 main card kicks off, fans across the nation will be treated to a stellar line-up in the prelims aired live on Fuel TV and streamed on Facebook. Among those promising undercard fights is a welterweight match-up between undefeated Lance Benoist (6-0) and a potential future star, “The Polish Pistola” Seth Baczynski (15-6). The six-foot-four Baczynski, who was a member of Team Ortiz on Season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter, has grown into a well-rounded mixed martial artist since his professional debut in 2006, as his ten wins by submission, five by KO/TKO, and eight first-round finishes can attest. Despite having mixed success in his earlier career, “The Polish Pistola” currently enjoys a three-fight win streak and is MMA Gospel’s pick for the UFC on FX 3 “Undercard Sleeper”.
With the stacked UFC 146 heavyweight card on the horizon for this Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas being possibly the best card in recent memory, MMA Gospel once again looks to the preliminary card in search of the most promising prospects. Typically it isn’t a difficult task to find a fighter on the undercard that offers something special and is lesser known among MMA fans, however, when an undercard offers the high caliber talents usually reserved for Pay-Per-Views, including a bout destined to be a war between “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-10) and “Bang” Duane Ludwig (29-12), it was no easy feat. While the world is focused on the main event between “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (14-1) and Frank Mir (16-5) for the UFC Heavyweight Title, many may miss out on the undefeated British submission artist “Sassangle” Paul Sass (12-0). The Liverpool, England native does offer something special, and it’s more than just an undefeated record.
At 39 years of age, “Hollywood” John Harris (4-4) looks to show that he still has a lot of fight left in him. This Friday, May 25, Harris aims to climb over the .500 mark for the first time in his career by picking up a win over his toughest opponent yet, former UFC vet Kyle Bradley (16-9), at Bellator 70 live at The Orleans Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Just a week prior to his fight, “Hollywood” sat down with MMA Gospel writer Matt Homeyer to talk about his upcoming bout, the ups and downs of his career, and why he feels he is ready to turn his MMA career around.
Can you tell us about your martial arts background? What got you started in MMA, and how old were you when you first took interest in the sport?
I really don’t have a background in terms of doing karate since I was six or being involved in the sport like that. I attended the Air Force Academy and boxed while I was there. That’s pretty much it. I started taking interest in [MMA] during the early UFC days. I went to the video store and found the no holds barred fights and I grabbed a video and checked it out. I thought it was pretty cool and ever since then I’ve been following it. I got involved in it locally but because I am in Biloxi, Mississippi, I really didn’t know of any gym or any place that offered classes or any way of being involved in something like that. I always wanted to stay competitive after I stopped playing college ball so I met up with my coach and had known him for a couple years and never even knew that he fought. We were just talking over a couple of beers and he mentioned that he was going to China for a bout and it just took off from there. I took up a class and the rest is history.
UFC on Fuel TV: Zombie vs. Poirier is set to take place Tuesday night with a card that looks to bring a lot of exciting free fights to the masses yet again. Headlining the third installment of mixed martial arts action on Fuel TV courtesy of the UFC is a featherweight match-up between “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (12-3) and “The Diamond” Dustin Poirier (12-1). Rounding out the main card are the likes of TUF alum Amir Sadollah (5-3), Tachi Palace Fights vet “Lil’ Monster” Jorge Lopez (11-2), lightweight mainstay and multiple-time fight bonus winner “Lil’ Heathen” Jeremy Stephens (20-7), Muay Thai aficionado “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (17-4), 145lbs. submission artist “Hellbound” Jeff Hougland (10-4), heavy-handed Croatian “The Duke” Igor Pokrajac (24-8), Team Nogueira fighter Fabio Maldonado (18-4), seasoned veteran “The Athlete” Jason MacDonald (25-15), and middleweight jokester “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (7-4). While there certainly will be plenty of entertainment afforded by the main card on Fuel TV, the prelims streamed on Facebook certainly should not be overlooked, as once again they are chock full of young hungry fighters ready to showcase their skills on the big stage.
Last night’s NAFC: Colosseum card showed a lot of excitement, from the first bout of the four-fight undercard till the finale of the main event. There was a packed house with the onlookers flowing in early to the Potawatomie Bingo and Casino Hall in Milwaukee so as not to miss any of the action being offered, including the full gamut of fighters, from those young and hungry and with something to prove as they try to make their way to MMA stardom, to veteran fighters that have the skills to compete in any organization. It was a night full of slick submission attempts and stellar strikes. From the moment the card kicked off the seats were filled with fans expressing their approval of the non-stop action. Fans were even fortunate enough to have several UFC and Bellator stars in attendance, including former WEC Lightweight Champion “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (15-2), UFC top featherweight contender “New Breed” Erik Koch (13-1), newcomer to the UFC “King” Chico Camus (11-3), and Bellator welterweight champ “Funky” Ben Askren (10-0), all of whom interacted with the audience and at one point addressed them from within the cage to talk about what’s next in their own exciting careers.
For those who don’t watch the UFC’s undercard fights, you don’t know what you’re missing. And for those that do, we often find that the prelims can be just as if not more entertaining bouts than those on the main card, and can provide valuable insight as to which fighters to keep an eye on in regards to potential future wave-makers in his respective weight division. “Panzer” Pascal Krauss (10-0) is one such fighter.
“Panzer”, a nickname meaning “tank” in his native German language, exemplifies exactly what Krauss has shown in his career – that he is a force to be reckoned with. The undefeated 25-year-old welterweight made his UFC debut at UFC 122 where he not only picked up his first win in the Zuffa promotion, he also earned “Fight of the Night” honors for his three-round war with fellow UFC newcomer “Scanno” Mark Scanlon (7-2). Krauss came into his UFC debut fight as the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship welterweight king toting an undefeated record with ten consecutive first- or second-round finishes, and looking to prove that he belonged in the world’s most prestigious MMA organization. Having shown a variety of skills against Scanlon and earning a fight bonus in his first effort, “Panzer” did not disappoint.
The Pettis name is one that has infiltrated the MMA media and fan forums for the past several years, largely due to former WEC Lightweight Champion “Showtime” Anthony Pettis’ (15-2) numerous highlight reel knockouts, overall dominance of the 155lbs. division, and high-flying kicks, including an off-the-cage kick, dubbed “The Showtime Kick”, over now UFC lightweight champ “Smooth” Ben Henderson (16-2). However, a new family member is making the value of the Pettis last name soar even higher – “The Phenom” Sergio Pettis (3-0), another Roufusport prodigy and Anthony’s younger brother, is making his own name in the sport. Eighteen-year-old Sergio has gone 3-0 as a professional fighter and 4-0 as an amateur and now looks to make the cut from his usual bantamweight class to flyweight for his May 4 match-up against “Bad Boy” Chris Haney (3-2) at NAFC: Colosseum in Sergio’s hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. MMA Gospel staff writer Matt Homeyer sat down with Sergio just hours before his brother’s main card fight at UFC 144 to discuss training with one of the top camps in the sport, sparring with one of the most eccentric strikers in the UFC, “stealing” nicknames, and how he feels about taking on the 125lbs. division.
Over his seven-year professional career, “The Talent” Alan Belcher (16-6) has steadily climbed the ranks of MMA’s middleweight division. The Mississippi native initially burst on to the scene in 2004 at just 20 years old, making a name for himself in several local circuits and even competing in Korean promotion X-Impact World Championships. In 2006 Belcher signed with the UFC, where he has since amassed a 7-4 record within the premier organization. “The Talent” is well known for his slick submissions, as evident by his pair of “Submission of the Night” awards, but is perhaps even more renowned for his purist Muay Thai style and do-or-die approach to fighting. He has gone four for five since September 2008, taking out “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (17-8), Denis Kang (35-13-1), Wilson Gouveia (12-8), and “The Predator” Patrick Cote (15-7) in the process and earning four consecutive performance-based fight bonuses. Belcher was slated to take on former top contender Demian Maia (13-3) at UFC Fight Night 22 as the marquis fight, but just six weeks before the event, the unthinkable happened - “The Talent” was forced to withdraw from the bout after sustaining a detached retina and undergoing emergency eye surgery. For many, such an injury would have been career-ending. But for Belcher, he’s healed up and ready to stake his claim in the UFC’s middleweight division once again. Just a few days shy of his long awaited return at UFC Fight Night 25 this Saturday, Belcher spoke with MMA Gospel staff writer Matt Homeyer about his injury, his road to recovery, and his determination to move forward.