The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the States after last weekend’s showing in Sweden with the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia hosting UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans this Saturday night. Journeyman “The Natural” John Alessio (34-10) returns to the UFC for the fourth time to challenge Jiu-Jitsu artist Mark Bocek (10-4). “The Filipino Phenom” Eddie Yagin (15-5-1) will match up against fellow featherweight “The Machine” Mark Hominick (20-10). Heavyweight action graces Atlanta when “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (8-2) stands opposite IFL veteran “Big” Ben Rothwell (31-8). The welterweight division is bound for a change in scenery when “Ares” Rory MacDonald (12-1) meets British sensation “Beautiful” Che Mills (14-4) in the co-main event. Closing out the night is a long-awaited fight as friends-turned-foes collide as current light heavyweight champion “Bones” Jon Jones (15-1) takes on another former champ in “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1). Bantamweight action anchors the main card with “Mayday” Michael McDonald (14-1) battling former WEC 135lbs. king “Angel” Miguel Torres (40-4). McDonald has been making serious waves in what is considered a young career while the tested Torres has always been a big dog in the bantamweight division’s yard. McDonald has the weapons needed to get the job done but Saturday night will be presented his stiffest challenge to date.
The UFC returns from over a month-long hiatus this Saturday to stake its claim in the city of Stockholm, Sweden for its second event to be broadcast on Fuel TV. Headlining the event is a light heavyweight match-up between Sweden’s own “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) and wrecking machine Thiago Silva (14-2-1). Former USMC and war hero “All-American” Brian Stann (11-4) returns to battle against another warrior in Rome, Italy’s “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) in a middleweight bout. United Glory, Sengoku, and Shooto veteran “The Great” Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4) makes his UFC debut against Brazilian bad boy Paulo Thiago (14-3). Top featherweight “The Gun” Diego Nunes (17-2) welcomes powerful kickboxer Dennis Siver (19-8) to the 145lbs. division. TUF 7 alum “The Darkness” DaMarques Johnson (15-9) faces England’s “The One” John Maguire (17-3). Bantamweights “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (15-6) and “One Punch” Brad Pickett (20-6) have the honor of starting off the stacked main card to showcase one of the UFC’s newest divisions in what will likely be a fight not only for a victory, but also to maintain employment with the Zuffa promotion.
UFC 139 was not only a solid offering in the box office, it was one of the best overall MMA cards in recent memory headlined by a fight that is at the front of the running for greatest UFC fight of all time. In a five-round war that left both fighters unable to stand for several moments after the final bell, the victorious “Hendo” Dan Henderson (29-8) was carried from the Octagon on the arms of his corner men, much as “The Russian Bear” Oleg Taktarov (14-5-2) was after winning UFC 6, and “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-6) was bloodied, swollen, and barely able to speak in his post-fight interview he was so exhausted. “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (35-11-1) overcame a very rough first round to knock out three-time world kickboxing champion Cung Le (7-2) in the co-main. “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (26-5) put on a stunning performance in his domination of Brian Bowles (10-2), earning a rubber match against “The Dominator” Dominick Cruz (18-1). Welterweights “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (18-5) and “The Horror” Rick Story (11-4) clashed in a mostly stand-up war to restore their place in the divisional rankings and “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (14-7) ran the show against light heavyweight hopeful “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-3). While it is difficult to truly find fault with any fighter involved in such a stellar card, not everyone can come out a winner in the big picture.
The UFC followed up its monumental FOX debut with one of the best cards of the year, UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson. It was a one-sided affair when former The Ultimate Fighter alumni met in the card’s opener. It was a battle of attrition between two of the welterweight’s most demanding forces. The bantamweight division saw its next title contender break out of the pack in flying colors. The co-main event was a matter of “do-or-die” between the hometown hero and a legend still proving to show he is a threat to be taken seriously. The main event was an instant classic when PRIDE veterans met for the very first time and did not leave a single seat in San Jose’s HP Pavilion disappointed. Now that all has been said and done, here’s a recap of each of the main card’s bouts as well as potential fights that could be put together later on down the road for the victors.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Dan Henderson: Henderson via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47), Round 5, 5:00
Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le: Silva via KO (Strikes), Round 2, 4:49
Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles: Faber via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 2, 1:27
Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story: Kampmann via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury: Bonnar via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25), Round 3, 5:00
The Ultimate Fighting Championship blasts into San Jose, California tomorrow night, bringing with it perhaps one of the most rousing cards of the year, much to the delight of fans both in the HP Pavilion stands and watching via Pay-Per-View from even the furthest reaches of the world. Kicking off the UFC 139 main card at 9pm ET is a light heavyweight affair between two TUF alum, seasoned gatekeeper “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (13-7) and hometown fighter “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-2). Next up, top-ranked Danish welterweight “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-5) pits his renowned Muay Thai against the ground game of collegiate wrestler “The Horror” Rick Story (11-3). Two former WEC champions collide when oversized bantamweight “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-5) takes on American Top Team’s Brian Bowles (10-1) in what will mark both men’s third bout in their new home promotion. The co-main event sees former PRIDE superstar and mauler “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) act as former IKF Light Heavyweight San Shou World Champion and Strikeforce veteran Cung Le’s (7-1) rather tough welcome to the UFC. Closing out the night is a match that MMA fans have salivated over for the better part of a decade: Chute Boxe fighter and former UFC light heavyweight champ “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-5) versus fellow former PRIDE star and current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion “Hendo” Dan Henderson (28-8).
This Saturday night the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California plays host to UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson much to the delight of fans both in the crowd and around the world via Pay-Per-View. Light heavyweight funnyman “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (13-7) takes on “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (11-2). Welterweight stand-outs “Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-5) and “The Horror” Rick Story (13-4) duke it out to regain relevance. UFC newcomer and former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le (7-1) takes on legendary slugger “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (33-11-1) in what is a guaranteed firefight. “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-5) and Brian Bowles (10-1) look to claim their shot at bantamweight gold in a #1 contendership fight. The main event is a hardcore MMA fan’s dream as PRIDE legend and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-5) takes on the only man to hold the PRIDE welterweight and middleweight belts, “Hendo” Dan Henderson (28-8). The winner will regain traction in the 205lbs. division and given both fighters penchant for slugging, this fight could go down in history as one of the all-time greats.
After a momentous showing in their FOX network debut, the UFC’s latest installment takes back to Pay-Per-View with UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson. Light heavyweight action is set to take place when “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (13-7) and “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-2) prepare to engage in a promising back-and-forth battle. “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-5) tries to break back into the winner’s circle but fellow welterweight “The Horror” Rick Story (11-3) will pit his own skill set against the Dane to send him to the back of the line. The pace quickens when the bantamweights are present, especially when former champions “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-5) and Brian Bowles (10-1) are pitted against one another. In the main event, it is a PRIDE FC dream match when former UFC light heavyweight champ “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-5) welcomes former PRIDE middleweight and Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion “Hendo” Dan Henderson (28-8) back to the Octagon. The co-main event though has all the potential to steal the show when the latest Strikeforce transplant Cung Le (7-1) makes his organizational debut against the legend of the sport “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1). Le has been a force in Strikeforce’s middleweight division but when he enters against Silva, he will face a different level of aggression that he has yet to face.
San Jose, California’s HP Pavilion Center is known as Strikeforce territory but come Saturday night, the UFC holds the keys when it presents UFC 139. “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-5) welcomes a familiar face from PRIDE, “Hendo” Dan Henderson (28-8), back to the UFC when the two square off in the main event. Cung Le (7-1) makes the jump over from Strikeforce when he battles the always dangerous “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) in the co-main event. Welterweight action is set when “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-5) takes on “The Horror” Rick Story (11-3). The main card is guaranteed to start off with a bang when the dogs of war “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-2) and “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (13-7) duke it out in a light heavyweight exhibition. In the midst of all the action, a bantamweight title shot is on the line when “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-5) takes on Brian Bowles (10-1). Faber and Bowles have held gold before and with the promise of another chance to hold it again, both will go to all lengths to secure their spot as number one contender.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-5) and current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion “Hendo” Dan Henderson (28-8) will square off this Saturday to the delight of PRIDE fans everywhere as they headline UFC 139. Co-main duties for the solid Pay-Per-View event will fall squarely on the shoulders of the extremely exciting “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) and fellow vaunted striker Cung Le (7-1). The UFC continues to bring the excitement as fans move down the card and find a bantamweight showdown between former WEC champions “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-5) and Brian Bowles (10-1) and an opening contest featuring the streaking “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-2) and the UFC’s ultimate gatekeeper “American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (13-7). Bolstering up the middle of the event is a welterweight contest between struggling former title hopefuls. “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-5) and “The Horror” Rick Story (11-3) have hit stumbling blocks in their climbs towards“Rush” Georges St.Pierre’s (22-2) welterweight title and will be eager to get things back on track with a dominant win at UFC 139.
The UFC returns to its bread and butter high profile Pay-Per-View events following its one-fight teaser on FOX for UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson. The card has drawn a little heat from a small percentage of fans who have already begun to feel entitled to free MMA, despite the two months between now and the official UFC on FOX launch, but it is nevertheless an outstanding card of champions, former champions, and top talents. Headlining the event is a pair of bouts that offer something for everyone as former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-5) takes on current Strikeforce 205lbs. king “Hendo” Dan Henderson (28-8) in a PRIDE dream match, and “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) faces Cung Le (7-1) in a bout that pits raw aggression against the purest of technical stand-up. Also on the card are two bouts with serious title implications as bantamweight top contenders “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (25-5) and Brian Bowles (10-1) meet for another crack at the top and fallen welterweight warriors “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-5) and “The Horror” Rick Story (11-3) seek to salvage their championship dreams at the other’s expense. Opening the card and setting the stage for the entire evening is a fight between two extremely exciting TUF alums in “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (13-7) and “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-2).
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber: Cruz via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben: Leben via KO (Punches), Round 1, 0:27
Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman: Siver via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader: Ortiz via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 1:56
Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Condit via TKO (Flying Knee and Punches), Round 1, 2:58
Feast or Famine. Such is life. Such is MMA. I think over the last week there were about 738 fights. UFC on Versus: Kampmann vs. Sanchez, Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson, Bellator 35 aka The Welterweight Tournament, Chicago Cagefighting Championship with lovable Twitter Smartass/Badass Felice Herrig and the venerable legend and fan favorite Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver headlining. GASP! That’s too much, Billy!! ( From Buffalo 66 http://twitpic.com/4784p3 ) See, now you’re all in on my references. And yes, for the record, I shot that from my TV & uploaded it, just so you would get the reference. I love you that much… Well, either that or I was just procrastinating. Tomato – Tomahto.
So what do I do? Do I focus on a few key fights and ignore everything else or do quick thoughts on everything? Decisions, decisions. Damn, the new season of The Ultimate Fighter is coming up soon and I’ll have that to add to everything else to write about. I need a nap.