New Jersey’s Prudential Center hosts a highly anticipated light heavyweight showdown April 27 as “Bones” Jon Jones (17-1) lays his title on the line against the always brash Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) in the headliner for UFC 159. Co-main event duties lie between two middleweights trying to get back in the win column as “The Talent” Alan Belcher (18-7) meets “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-5). Cheick Kongo (18-7-2) will look to make a comeback of his own as he takes on fan-favorite heavyweight “Big Country” Roy Nelson (18-7). A dogfight in the lightweight ranks are promised as “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (22-4) welcomes Strikeforce transplant “Bam Bam” Pat Healy (29-16) in the card’s opener. Amongst the action, “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (10-1) looks to keep his status as top 10 light heavyweight when he’s charged with facing “Pezao” Vinny Magalhaes (10-5). The tension is still thickening as words have been exchanged, but words alone can only get each fighter so far once they stand across from each other fight night.
The UFC heads back to the Pay-Per-View airwaves on April 27 for UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen. Before “Bones” Jon Jones (17-1) defends his title against Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) to officially close the 17th season of TUF, the UFC has lined up several bouts with strong career implications for the athletes involved. In the co-main, “The Talent” Alan Belcher (18-7) hopes to rebound against “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-5) who is also struggling to keep his place in line for the middleweight crown. “Big Country” Roy Nelson (18-7) looks to continue his streak at the expense of heavyweight measuring stick Cheick Kongo (18-7-2). “Mr.Wonderful” Phil Davis (10-1) aims to right the ship after a rough 2012 by ending the six-fight win streak of “Pezao” Vinny Magalhaes (10-5). First out, “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (22-4) will continue his quest to re-establish himself as a dominant force in the lightweight division after going 2-2 in his last four. Across from him will be Strikeforce standout “Bam Bam” Pat Healy (29-16), who enters the UFC on the heels of a half-dozen consecutive victories.
The UFC on FOX 7 event delivered one of the best cards of the year thus far with exciting bouts packed from prelim to main event and a record-tying eight KO/TKOs. In main card action, “The Immortal” Matt Brown (17-11) came out on the winning side of a second-round stoppage in a “Fight of the Night” winning performance against “Young Gun” Jordan Mein (27-9). Following the welterweights, former Strikeforce Lightweight Champion “The Punk” Josh Thomson (20-5) shocked the odds makers by earning “Knockout of the Night” honors at the expense of Nate Diaz (16-9). The action slowed down a bit when Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier (12-0) bullied two-time former heavyweight king Frank Mir (16-7) to a lopsided Unanimous Decision, and “Smooth” Benson Henderson (19-2) won a Split Decision over “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (21-3) that was controversial in more ways than one to retain his belt. MMA Gospel takes a quick look at the night’s action.
The UFC continues its growth in the mainstream sports market with another showing on free network television Saturday night as UFC on FOX 7 takes center stage from California. As explored in Part I, opening duties will fall on the shoulders of “Young Gun” Jordan Mein (27-8) and “The Immortal” Matt Brown (16-11) before Nate Diaz (16-8) welcomes his teammate’s long-time rival “The Punk” Josh Thomson (19-5) back to the Octagon. In this second look at the main card, MMA Gospel will explore Daniel Cormier’s (11-0) Octagon debut against one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the world, Frank Mir (16-6), and the main event title affair between the last king of the Strikeforce lightweights, “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (21-2) and reigning UFC champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson (18-2).
The UFC will air its seventh live event on network television Saturday as the last Strikeforce Lightweight Champion “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (21-2) challenges reigning UFC Lightweight Champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson (18-2). Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier (11-0) will get his first taste of UFC-level competition when he steps in to face 20-bout UFC vet and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir (16-6) in the co-main. “The Immortal” Matt Brown (16-11) will open the evening’s main card against “Young Gun” Jordan Mein (27-8), followed by a sophomore offering featuring Nate Diaz (16-8) and “The Punk” Josh Thomson (19-5). All four fights have potential to shake things up in their respective divisions and offer “Fight of the Night” potential for the millions of FOX viewers. Here, MMA Gospel takes an in-depth look at the bottom half of UFC on FOX 7′s main card offerings.
While it was not a spectacular night of fights, the TUF 17 Finale was a solid night of bouts that went over without any real controversy or other disappointments. What did provide a fair amount of excitement was the fact that three of the night’s five-main-card bouts ended in major upsets. “The Menace” Bubba McDaniel (21-6) opened the card with a third-round submission of Gilbert Smith (5-2) that was not unexpected, but then “Hapa” Travis Browne (14-1-1) shut down the red hot submission expert “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (14-7) with a barrage of elbows from the sprawl against the cage. The ladies then stepped into the Octagon for the second time in UFC history and blue chipper “Alpha” Cat Zingano (8-0) overcame early struggles to demolish the heavily favored “Cupcake” Miesha Tate (13-4) with a “Fight of the Night” winning third-round stoppage. The upsets continued into the championship bout of The Ultimate Fighter 17 tournament as ultra-hyped number one seed Uriah Hall (7-3) came out flat and dropped a Split Decision to last-picked wrestler Kelvin Gastelum (6-0). In the main event, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (28-6) showed the world why he is the eternal top contender at 135lbs. when he finished off fellow top bantamweight “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (14-7) in the fourth round.
The curtain has been called on the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter and all that’s left is for the UFC to crown the winner on Saturday night at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Opening duties for the main card on FX will fall on quarter-finalist “Bubba” Robert McDaniel (20-6) as he debuts against teammate Gilbert Smith (5-1). Next out, “Hapa” Travis Browne (13-1-1) will look to rebound against former heavyweight title challenger “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6). “Cupcake” Miesha Tate (13-3) will battle undefeated “Alpha” Cat Zingano (7-0) for a coaching position on TUF 18 to anchor the card. Filling the traditional co-main slot is the TUF Season 17 finale between Team Sonnen teammates Uriah Hall (7-2) and Kelvin Gastelum (5-0), and pulling headlining duties is a battle between former WEC Featherweight Champion “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (27-6) and “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (14-6).
The following fight bonuses were awarded for UFC on Fuel TV 9: Mousasi vs. Latifi
Submission of the Night:
Reza Madadi (over Michael Johnson) receives $60,000
Knockout of the Night:
Conor McGregor (over Marcus Brimage) receives $60,000
Fight of the Night:
Brad Pickett and Mike Easton each receive $60,000
Click here for the full list of UFC on Fuel TV 9 results.
—MAIN CARD (on Fuel TV)—
Gegard Mousasi vs. Ilir Latifi: Mousasi via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Ryan Couture vs. Ross Pearson: Pearson via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 3:45
Phil De Fries vs. Matt Mitrione: Mitrione via Knockout (Elbows and Punches), Round 1, 0:19
Mike Easton vs. Brad Pickett: Pickett via Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Pablo Garza vs. Diego Brandao: Brandao via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke), Round 1, 3:27
Robbie Peralta vs. Akira Corassani: Corassani via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
April 6 the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Fuel TV when it touches down live in Stockholm, Sweden. As explored in Part I of MMA Gospel’s UFC on Fuel TV 9 pre-fight breakdown, the first half of the main card kicks off with Akira Corassani (10-3) taking on Robbie Peralta (16-3), “The Scarecrow” Pablo Garza (12-3) battling “Ceara” Diego Brandao (16-8) in a featherweight showcase, and “The Hulk” Mike Easton (13-2) taking on fellow striker “One Punch” Brad Pickett (22-7). In this latter half of the main card breakdown, a quick look begins with the heavyweight battle between “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-2) and Philip DeFries (9-2). The co-main event sees “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (14-6) welcoming Strikeforce transplant Ryan Couture (6-1). Two new faces grace the light heavyweight division in the main event as Ilir Latifi (9-2) steps in on less than a week’s notice for his injured teammate, perennial contender “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (15-1), to meet “The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2). Both men grace the eight-sided cage for the first time and with each getting top-billing for their debut, a win at this stage can open many doors for them at 205 pounds.
The UFC returns after a wildly successful sojourn to Montreal at UFC 158 to offer its fifth free card of 2013, UFC on Fuel TV 9 from Stockholm, Sweden. Headlining the event is newcomer “The Sledgehammer” Ilir Latifi (7-2) as he debuts beside Dream and Strikeforce standout “The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2). “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (14-6) looks to continue his recent success following TUF: The Smashes at the expense of second-generation prodigy Ryan Couture (6-1). “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-2) will struggle to find his winning way again as he meets Philip De Fries (9-2) in a bout that will likely leave one of the two jobless. The lower half of the main card also shows promise with “The Hulk” Mike Easton (13-2) looking to right the ship after a disappointing decision loss at the expense of “One Punch” Brad Pickett (22-7) in the anchor slot. Deadly finisher “Ceara” Diego Brandao (16-8) will meet “The Scarecrow” Pablo Garza (12-3) in the second match of the evening, and kicking things off is a pairing of featherweights looking to come out from under the radar, Akira Corassani (10-3) and “Problems” Robbie Peralta (16-3). Here in Part I of the UFC on Fuel TV 9 pre-fight breakdown, MMA Gospel examines the first three of the night’s match-ups.