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.
The following fight bonuses were awarded for UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping
Submission of the Night:
Ildemar Alcantara (over Wagner Prado) receives $50,000
Knockout of the Night:
Vitor Belfort (over Michael Bisping) receives $50,000
Fight of the Night:
CB Dollaway and Daniel Sarafian each receive $50,000
Click here for the full list of UFC on FX 7 results.
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.
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”.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Junior Dos Santos vs. Frank Mir: Dos Santos via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 3:04
Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva: Velasquez via TKO (Elbows), Round 1, 3:36
Roy Nelson vs. Dave Herman: Nelson via KO (Punch), Round 1, 0:51
Shane Del Rosario vs. Stipe Miocic: Miocic via TKO (Strikes), Round 2, 3:14
Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve: Struve via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 1:05
Weigh-ins start at about 19:30 mark. (Video courtesy of Zuffa, LLC.)
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Junior Dos Santos: 239lbs.
Frank Mir: 261lbs.
Cain Velasquez: 240lbs.
Antonio Silva: 264lbs.
Roy Nelson: 254lbs.
Dave Herman: 233lbs.
Shane Del Rosario: 246lbs.
Stipe Miocic: 245lbs.
Lavar Johnson: 248lbs.
Stefan Struve: 255lbs.
So, here it is. Monday. I sit down to write a “Spilled Bag of Fights”. Black coffee, Black Sabbath and my pup by my side. Deep breath. Man, what a roller coaster of a weekend for MMA… for me at least.
First off, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay condolences to coach Shawn Tompkins. I didn’t know him personally but he’s obviously had a great impact on his students and the sport and his death comes way too young. Sad for his friends, family, and MMA.
Let’s start with Friday when I was unexpectedly given a ticket to Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs. Duarte. When I showed up I was surprised to be sitting next to MMA Valor’s own Dylan Horner. I also went to UFC 125: Edgar vs. Maynard with him. For some reason whenever I sit next to Dylan there’s a drunken moron yelling really dumb shit. Last time it was the guy who was yelling “Flip ‘em over!”, “Don’t take that bullshit!” and insisting that Asians can fly and that Clay Guida looks like Dog the Bounty Hunter. This time it was a guy who looked like John Denver with a mustache. He looked like he stepped out of his time machine from 1978 and sat down in front of us. Some of his gems included: “Kick ‘em in the balls!”, “You hit like a girl!” and as soon as the fight went to the ground, “C’mon ref, Stand ‘em up!” and “Kick ‘em in the head!”. Clearly, this gentleman that people in our section dubbed “Shaggy” had a less-than-educated understanding of the rules of mixed martial arts.
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle: Lytle via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 3, 4:16
Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson: Henderson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26), Round 3, 5:00
Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone: Cerrone via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:01
Amir Sadollah vs. Duane Ludwig: Ludwig via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
The UFC looks to follow its action packed UFC 133 card with a second dose of high octane MMA action just seven days later as TUF 7 alum Amir Sadollah (5-2) and “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11) open the festivities for UFC on Versus 5 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following the pair will be another pair of bouts that feature some of the UFC’s most exciting fighters in “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4), Charles Oliveira (14-1), “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-2). All of these potentially “Fight of the Night”-quality pairings lead up to one headlining fight that promises more fireworks than Fourth of July at an amusement park between hard hitting and outspoken “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) and Indiana fire fighter turned fight bonus winning machine “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5). Both men have fallen on recent hard times with Lytle losing a match where victory would have landed him in title contention for the welterweight crown and Hardy losing three straight since earning his own crack at UFC gold. For Lytle, time is short at 36-years-old and he can’t afford to have another loss undo all the hard work he has done reinventing himself. For Hardy, the specter of the Zuffa headsman looms in the shadows and a failure here will likely bring the executioner of careers into the daylight for the crowd pleasing Brit.
Just one week following the stellar UFC 133 card, the boys at Zuffa reload and fire again with UFC on Versus 5 tomorrow night from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Headlining the affair are hard hitting fan favorites “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) and “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5), both of whom are looking to battle their way back from recent shortcomings. Also taking the cage are Amir Sadollah (5-2) and “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11) who are looking to build on their recent successes at the other’s expense. Taking the anchor position in the center of the card are exciting lightweight fighters “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4) and Charles Oliveira (14-1) aim to get the crowd amped up for the co-main and main events. The co-main itself will feature two lightweights who are on the warpath with UFC gold, and revenge, in their sights. “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-2) have both kissed UFC title contention on the mouth only to be ripped away by an untimely loss and each man has an axe to grind with the responsible party. For Henderson, he had the WEC lightweight belt and a guaranteed title shot in hand before the high flying young super stud striker “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (13-2) tore it from his grasp. Miller was hot on an eight-fight win streak that included six finishes and two one-sided UFC wins before “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1) derailed him and has since won seven straight with only two making it to the judges’ cards. Needless to say, if a title shot is out of the picture, either man has at least one name on their list as a substitute should they emerge victorious.
This Sunday night the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will be packing the house to bring its hometown MMA fans as well as those around the world the UFC’s latest effort in UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle. Move aside, headhunter Clay Matthews, for two other all-out brawlers will take the center stage as former title contender “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) and “Fight of the Night” king “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5) duke it out in the main event. Former WEC Lightweight Champion and highly regarded submission artist “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2) will meet the dangerous Jim Miller (20-2) in a match-up that will perhaps determine the next title challenger to the winner of “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) and “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1). WEC alum and kickboxing veteran “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4) is looking to stay undefeated at 3-0 in the UFC by gaining a win over slick submission ace Charles Oliveira (14-1), while Oliveira seeks a win of his own to boost his stock in the 155lbs. division. Two UFC welterweight warriors will meet in a barn burner match-up for the right to move into the higher ranks as TUF 7 winner and textbook striker Amir Sadollah (5-2) will go against the Strikeforce, King of the Cage, and UFC veteran “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11). Especially in the UFC’s highly competitive 170lbs. division, a win is vital not only to stay in the running for title contention, but also in many cases, to avoid being demoted to undercard status.
June 11, nearly a year after their first taste, Vancouver, British Columbia will get a second dose of world class MMA as the UFC returns with a star studded card that will not disappoint the Canadian fans. Number one contender of the heavyweight title “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1) will defend his right to a title shot with his lethal hands against the big man from Colorado and former title challenger “The Engineer” Shane Carwin (11-1) in the main event. Dos Santos was scheduled to meet former champion Brock Lesnar (5-2) but recent and serious health issues have prevented Lesnar from competing, and Carwin answered the call. Former two-time lightweight title challenger “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (13-5) will make his debut in his fourth weight class at featherweight against WEC veteran “The Gun” Diego Nunes (15-3) and both men know a victory could very well lead them to a featherweight title shot. Norway’s own BJJ black belt Jon Olav Einemo (6-1) takes on “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (18-2) in a heavyweight tilt, while a battle in the lightweight division between “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (13-4) and Vagner Rocha (5-1) kicks off the main card. A middleweight bout ties up two tacticians as former title contender and top level Jiu-Jitsu fighter Demian Maia (13-2) steps in across the cage from heavy handed brawler “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (8-2). Both men are on two fight win streaks but only one will extend to three in their quest to capture UFC gold.
The Key Arena of Seattle, Washington got its dose of mixed martial arts action when the UFC came roaring through with last night’s UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis. With a heavy prelim card, the four main card bouts had tough acts to follow. The fans saw a “Fight of the Year” rematch with an added twist when former WEC acquisitions stepped in the cage. Although the fight was in trouble with fighters dropping out due to injury, two Ultimate Fighter alumni showed they are beyond the reality television stigma in a thrilling war. The welterweight division got shaken up when two fighters seeking redemption over their past performances met with the hopes of getting back onto the road for a title shot. In the main event, the world saw a promising, young fighter take on a dangerous veteran of the game. While much can be said about the undercard, here’s a quick recap over the main card shown on Spike TV along with possible match-ups those victorious might see themselves in later in 2011.