The first females of the UFC have already made history and now just one week later, the UFC returns to Saitama, Japan with UFC on Fuel TV 8. Opening duties are bestowed upon the welterweights as “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (16-2-1) locks up with “The Great” Siyar Bahadurzada (21-4-1). Brazilian Rani Yahya (17-7) will look to prove homefield advantage means nothing when he takes on Japan’s own “Pugnus” Mizuto Hirota (14-5-1). A move up into middleweight contention could be in order for the victor between fourth-ranked “Thunder” Yushin Okami (28-7) and eighth-ranked “Lightning” Hector Lombard (32-3-1). “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi (34-8) will greet “The Dream” Diego Sanchez (23-5) when he makes his return to the lightweight division. In the co-main event, one heavyweight’s rise to glory will come to a screeching halt as “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve (25-5) takes on K-1 veteran “Super Samoan” Mark Hunt (8-7). Closing the night off is a light heavyweight battle between “The All-American” Brian Stann (12-5) and the always popular “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-12-1). The first half of the main card was given a look in UFC on Fuel TV 8 Main Card Pre-Fight Breakdown: Part I. MMA Gospel will round the card off here with Part II, providing what to look for in each match-up leading up to the main event.
The UFC presented its third offering of the new year to fans on the FX network Saturday night as they returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil to pit former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (22-10) against elite middleweight title hopeful “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-5). The night was loaded with named talent facing hometown heroes. Fast rising Russian blue-chipper “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (19-0) backed up the comments printed on his weigh-in shirt when the Sambo International Master of Sports dominated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Thiago Tavares (17-5-1) of Santa Catarina, Brazil. “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6) sent “Big” Ben Rothwell’s (32-9) UFC record back into the sub .500s with a devastating Arm-in Guillotine Choke submission. In the “Fight of the Night”, TUF: Brazil stand-out Daniel Sarafian (7-3) came up short in his UFC debut when “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (13-4) used his wrestling to edge out the Brazilian in the final frame.
Back in Brazil for the fifth time in the Zuffa era, the UFC has set its seventh offering on the FX cable network for January 19. This time Thiago Tavares (17-4-1) will start the show against “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0) followed by a heavyweight showdown between “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6) and “Big” Ben Rothwell (32-8). Following the Brazil vs. the world theme of the evening, the de facto co-main will see TUF: Brazil standout Daniel Sarafian (7-2) face TUF 7 alumni “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (12-4). Capping off the event is a marquee feature with major title implications as “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-10) looks to blast his way into another shot at the middleweight crown by handing “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4) his second KO loss. The wily Brit of course has other ideas as he is certain that destiny will one day award him the 185lbs. crown.
The UFC hits the airwaves again just seven days following its final consumption of former rival promotion Strikeforce to bring the fans of Sao Paulo, Brazil a night of bouts headlined by brutal KO artist “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-10) and savvy British striker “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4). UFC on FX 7 offers fight fans an additional trio of quality MMA pairings on the main card starting with Thiago Tavares (17-4-1) against “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0). Next out, “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6) looks to continue rebuilding his stock in the UFC, this time at the expense of struggling heavyweight “Big” Ben Rothwell (32-8). The de facto co-main event of the evening features “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (12-4) against UFC newcomer Daniel Sarafian (7-2). While Sarafian appears a rather easy mark for the far more accomplished TUF 7 finalist, Dollaway is hardly in a position to take any opponent for granted, especially a hungry young blood eager to spit in the odds makers’ faces.
January 19 the UFC returns to Sao Paulo, Brazil to invade the Geraldo Jose de Almeida State Gymnasium for a battle of the nations. The UFC on FX 7 main event is slated to be a title contention bout for the seemingly unattainable middleweight belt as Old Guard fighter and former UFC light heavyweight king “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (21-10) puts on a show for his native fans as he takes on England’s trash-talking top contender “The Count” Michael Bisping (23-4). Preceding the marquee match-up is TUF 7 alumni “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (12-4) battling fellow submission expert Daniel Sarafian (7-2) in front of the latter’s hometown crowd. Former heavyweight title contender and long-time UFC veteran “Napao” Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6) and aptly-nicknamed IFL veteran “Big” Ben Rothwell (32-8) will go to war in the evening’s anchor bout, while opening honors go to UFC veteran Thiago Tavares (17-4) and the well-versed, undefeated “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (18-0) to start off the night with a likely barn burner for the international audience.
The UFC returns to network television on Saturday with a card headlined by PRIDE veteran “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-6) and Muay Thai specialist “The Truth” Brandon Vera (12-5). The card also features a pair of bouts between fighters struggling to redefine themselves within their divisions. “Quick” Mike Swick (14-4) returns after a long battle with various injuries to make his long-awaited welterweight title run. In his way is “The Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-10), a TUF alum who is now desperate not to have his career defined as the launching pad for 170lbs. prospects. Lightweight gatekeeping submission prodigy “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (21-7) seeks to get back on the winning horse again after falling off at UFC 144 and to do it, he must defeat Jamie Varner (20-6-1), a former WEC champ who has recently emerged from one of the worst periods in his career. However, it isn’t just the two main event fighters who are hunting a title shot and it isn’t just the opening bout participants looking to redefine their careers. Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (17-3) went from 16-0 to 17-3 in his last four fights culminating in a loss to the current champion, “Bones” Jon Jones (16-1), however, Dana White has said that an impressive win could get him right back in front of the champ. Across from “The Dragon” is a man whose first loss was to Jones, TUF winner “Darth” Ryan Bader (14-2). Bader also eyes revenge and a shot at the belt, and he knows he must beat “The Dragon” in impressive fashion to get that chance.
The UFC is back on the big network as it hits FOX airwaves for the fourth time this Saturday. UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera comes on the heels of a bitterly disappointing UFC 149 card and has a list of fighters that should be able to right the ship. Headlining the bout is former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-6) as he pits his high octane offense against fellow Thai Boxing specialist “The Truth” Brandon Vera (12-5). Ultra traditional Shotokan KO artist “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (17-3) will look to regain his place in the hunt for the 205 title he once held as he faces recovering TUF alum “Darth” Ryan Bader (14-2). Welterweights “Quick” Mike Swick (14-4) and “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-10) stepped up to the main card as openers when “Big” Ben Rothwell’s (32-8) bout against “Hapa” Travis Browne (13-0) was scrapped due to injury, and now filling the second slot, former WEC champ Jamie Varner (20-6-1) will look to shut down the talented submission game of “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (21-7).
The Ultimate Fighting Championship comes live and direct with UFC 146 out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena this Saturday night. The first ever all-heavyweight main card is stacked with some of the biggest names and hardest hitters that the division has to offer. “Big” Lavar Johnson (17-5) and “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve start up the heavyweight-ridden main card. Then, undefeated prospects Stipe Miocic (8-0) and Shane Del Rosario (11-0) are set to collide. “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (21-3) takes on crowd favorite “Big Country” Roy Nelson (16-7). Before “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (9-1) sets out to defend his title against Frank Mir (16-5) in the card’s main event, the co-main will see former champion Cain Velasquez (9-1) take on a modern day Goliath in “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (16-3). With all the division being represented and paying attention to how the night ends, Velasquez and Silva have the perfect medium to re-establish their ground in the division as one of the most dangerous men among the heavyweights.
Spilled Bag of Ice and Patrick Guera are back to talk about UFC 145, Jon Jones, and also touch on the Alistair Overeem and PEDs in MMA issue. Throughout, be sure they make sure to complain about how much MMA fans complain about MMA. Hypocrisy or just straight up truth? You be the judge… but enjoy it either way!
The MMA fans of Atlanta, Georgia were treated to a top-flight night of UFC action capped off by the third defense of “Bones” Jon Jones’ (16-1) UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in which he ended his rivalry against “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-2-1). Both “Ares” Rory MacDonald (13-1) and “Mayday” Michael McDonald (15-1) proved that they deserve the respect they have been given by defeating “Beautiful” Che Mills (14-5) and “Angel” Miguel Torres (40-5), respectively. “Big Ben” Ben Rothwell (32-8) and “The Filipino Phenom” Eddie Yagin (16-5) each saved their UFC careers from an almost certain end with their victories over “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (8-3) and “The Machine” Mark Hominick (20-11). Canadian submission master Mark Bocek (11-4) continued his rebuild against “The Natural” John Alessio (34-15) to open the evening. The UFC had a $2.3 million gate and clearly came out a winner with the Georgia fans, but to find out which fighters came out ahead, we have The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The following fight bonuses were awarded for UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans
Submission of the Night:
Travis Browne (over Chad Griggs) receives $65,000
Knockout of the Night:
Ben Rothwell (over Brendan Schaub) receives $65,000
Fight of the Night:
Eddie Yagin and Mark Hominick each receive $65,000
Click here for the full list of UFC 145 results.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans: Jones via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45), Round 5, 5:00
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills: MacDonald via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 2:20
Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell: Rothwell via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:10
Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald: McDonald via KO (Punch), Round 1, 3:18
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin: Yagin via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio: Bocek via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
One of the most hyped fights in UFC history will finally take place after what seems like years of snowballing animosity between training-partners-turned-foes “Bones” Jon Jones (15-1) and “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1) as the two face off in the UFC 145 main event Saturday night. The prelude to the evening’s marquee bout is a welterweight affair between rising young prospect “Ares” Rory MacDonald (12-1) and fight-finishing Brit “Beautiful” Che Mills (14-4). The heavyweights take to cage with TUF alum “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (8-2) slugging it out against IFL veteran “Big” Ben Rothwell (31-8). Former WEC Bantamweight Champion “Angel” Miguel Torres (40-4) looks to earn his third UFC win at the expense of 21-year-old “Mayday” Michael McDonald (14-1), who currently enjoys a seven-fight win streak. A pair of lightweight match-ups start off the night in Atlanta with former top contender and WEC vet “The Machine” Mark Hominick (20-10) facing well-rounded Hawaii native “The Filipino Phenom” Eddie Yagin (15-5) and Tristar MMA fighter Mark Bocek (10-4) pushing the pace against seasoned veteran “The Natural” John Alessio (34-14).
In an event filled with such intriguing match-ups, the possibilities are endless. Here are those that the MMA Gospel staff find most likely.