Last night some of the most prominent names in mixed martial arts convened at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada to honor nominees in 22 categories at the 2011 World MMA Awards. The categories, which are selected by a nominations panel then voted on by fans, honor all things MMA, from fighters, to referees, to equipment, apparel, ring girls, and much more. The annual awards show, now in its fourth year, once again saw the UFC taking the majority of the honors. And the winners are…
British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) officials announced today that UFC veteran and former King of Pancrase “The Great” Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) has signed a multi-fight contract with BAMMA, one of the UK’s premier mixed martial arts promotions.
Having a very respectable 10-4 run in the UFC, Nate was well on his way to another title shot and a rematch with either “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-5) or current 185lb. kingpin “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4) after recent wins over Dan Miller (13-5) and “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (14-5) and a first-round knockout over Demian Maia (13-3).
Strikeforce is set to take over Showtime this Saturday night with another full card of promising fights. Kicking off the main card, the master of flying submissions Shinya Aoki (19-5) returns to take on Lyle Beerbohm (15-1) who seeks to get back in the winner’s circle after tasting defeat for the first time back in February. UFC veteran “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (15-9-1) steps in on a week’s notice to take on current DREAM Light Heavyweight Champion “The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi (24-3-1). The lightweight title is up for grabs when “El Nino” Gilbert Melendez (18-2) faces beloved Japanese grappler “Crusher” Tatsuya Kawajiri (26-5-2). With San Diego saturated with already main-event worthy fights, British slugger “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2) hopes to get his hands on another professional title when welterweight champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) greets him in the headlining match. Capturing the title will prove Daley to be truly one of the top players of the game but with the recent tear Diaz is on, winning is easier said than done. Will it be a successful sophomore effort in Strikeforce for the lethal British brawler or will the native of “the 209” add another win to his growing streak? Let’s have a closer look at this match-up.
Paul Daley vs. Yuya Shirai: Daley via KO (Punches), Round 1, 1:46 *
James McSweeney vs. Ricco Rodriguez: Rodriguez via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Alex Makhonin: Makhonin via TKO (Punches and Elbows), Round 2, 4:48
Claudio Henrique Da Silva vs. Jean-Francois Lenogue: Da Silva via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 2:51
Leeroy Barnes vs. Mohsen Bahari: Bahari via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 0:40
Rob Mills vs. Leigh Cohoon: Cohoon via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 4:16
Jason Ball vs. Peter Duncan: Ball via KO (Knees), Round 2, 2:00
Paul Cook vs. Michael Johnson: Johnson via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Tim Newman vs. Diego Vital: Newton via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Costas Doru vs. Liam James: Doru via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 2:47
Franky Slater vs. Jeremy Petley: Petley via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 0:36
* Paul Daley vs. Yuya Shirai was originally slated to be a five-round title fight to determine the new BAMMA Welterweight Champion, but was changed to a three-round non-title affair due to Daley missing weight.
For the fifth time in “Semtex” Paul Daley’s (23-10-2) past 11 fights, the British slugger has missed weight. And this time, not even an extra hour made a difference.
Daley was slated to take on DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8) in the main event tomorrow night for the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts’ (BAMMA) currently vacant welterweight title at BAMMA 5 in Manchester, England. But during today’s event weigh-ins, Daley came in at 172lbs. – two pounds over the limit – reportedly due to his hotel’s malfunctioning sauna. He was given an hour to drop the additional weight, during which he reportedly traveled to another location in attempt to shed the extra pounds in a working sauna. His second attempt on the scale rendered a reading of 170.4lbs., which still exceeds the limit for a title fight. Consequently what was scheduled to be a five-round title fight is now reduced to a non-title three-round affair. Shirai on the other hand made weight, coming in at 169.6lbs.
The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) steps away from its usual stomping grounds of London and Birmingham in the United Kingdom to bring MMA fans in the City of Manchester a blistering card with BAMMA 5: Daley vs. Shirai this Saturday night.
BAMMA 5 is highlighted with bouts between some of the UK’s well known top prospects and local fan favorites, while its main event and co-main event feature names the American audience may find more familiar. Recent UFC castaway and The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum “The Hammer” James McSweeney (4-6) takes on a seasoned veteran and former UFC Heavyweight Champion in “Suave” Ricco Rodriguez (44-11) in the evening’s co-main event heavyweight tilt. The main event pits UFC veteran and heavy-handed British slugger “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2) against Pancrase and M-1 veteran and DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8), where the winner will earn the title of BAMMA’s very first welterweight king. The stakes of Saturday night’s championship bout are particularly high for Daley, who was recently dubbed the top contender to challenge Strikeforce Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) for the UFC-rival promotion’s 170lbs. belt. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has stated that should Daley come out on the winning end of his BAMMA 5 bout, he gets the title shot – if not, “the deck gets reshuffled”, according to MMA Junkie.