Friday night The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the fifth annual Fighters Only MMA Awards. The awards focused on the best the world of mixed martial arts had to offer during the entire 2012 calendar year, with the 21 categories honoring fighters, media organizations, apparel companies, technical equipment, and much more. The winners though were determined by fan votes. Check out the full list of 2012 World MMA Awards below, and tune in to Fox Sports Net on January 20 to catch the ceremony broadcast.
The UFC closes out the mixed martial arts action for 2012 on a high note with UFC 155, as heavyweight king “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (15-1) and Cain Velasquez (10-1) face off one more time to claim the heavyweight title as their own. Co-main event duties are handed to “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (22-7) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (21-4) in a possible “Fight of the Night” candidate. “The Talent” Alan Belcher (18-7) will try to keep his rise in the middleweight division alive as he takes on “Thunder” Yushin Okami (27-7) in a rematch from their organizational debut. Derek Brunson (9-2) makes the jump from Strikeforce to the UFC 185lbs. division with “The Crippler” Chris Leben (22-8) waiting to greet him. In the middle of all the action, “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (16-4) takes on short notice Constantinos Philippou (11-2). Each are riding a wave of success so far in the division but once they’re locked in the cage together, only one is guaranteed to see themselves take a step up in the middleweight food chain.
Zuffa fired the second round of its three-event week of MMA last night as UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman hit the airwaves. Rafael dos Anjos (17-6) and The Assassin” Anthony Njokuani (15-7) opened the night with a light paced striking match. The card continued with a fast and furious affair between TJ Dillashaw (6-1) and Vaughan Lee (12-8) that ended with the Ultimate Fighter finalist locking in a nasty neck crank. Next out Tri-Star Gym stand-out “Limitless” Francis Carmont (19-7) out-grappled “The Terminator” Karlos Vemola (9-3). The middleweights came in next as “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (12-3) out-wrestled Kenny Robertson (11-2) in a three-round decision. The co-main event saw James Te Huna (15-5) win what began as a one-sided striking clinic and ended as an all out war over “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (14-8), and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (12-3) saw his middleweight title dreams put on hold once again as “All American” Chris Weidman (9-0) remained undefeated with a stunning second-round TKO.
The following fight bonuses were awarded for UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman
Submission of the Night:
Alex Caceras (over Damacio Page) wins $40,000
Knockout of the Night:
Chris Weidman (over Mark Munoz) receives $40,000
Fight of the Night:
James Te Huna and Joey Beltran each receive $40,000
Click here for the full list of UFC on Fuel TV 4 results.
—MAIN CARD (on Fuel TV)—
Mark Munoz vs. Chris Weidman: Weidman via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 1:37
James Te Huna vs. Joey Beltran: Te Huna via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Aaron Simpson vs. Kenny Robertson: Simpson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Karlos Vemola vs. Francis Carmont: Carmont via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 1:39
TJ Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee: Dillashaw via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 2:33
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Anthony Njokuani: Dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Just a few days following the epic rematches of UFC 148, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization reloads and fires again, this time on the cable network Fuel TV with UFC on Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman. Opening Wednesday night’s televised card is NCAA Div. I wrestler TJ Dillashaw (5-1) who will battle BJJ black belt Vaughan Lee (12-7-1) as each man seeks to break the .500 mark in the UFC. Middleweights “The Terminator” Karlos Vemola (9-2) and “Limitless” Francis Carmont (18-7) will each hunt their third UFC victory followed by an anchoring bout between “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (11-3) in his 170lbs. debut and Kenny Robertson (11-1). Holding up the co-main slot is the always entertaining brawler “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (14-7) pitting his iron jaw and fists of steel against hard-hitting Australian James Te Huna (14-5). The marquis bout of the evening will see two middleweight title hopefuls teeing off in a clash of ground fighting styles. Wrestling powerhouse “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (12-2) will face undefeated Jiu-Jitsu expert “All-American” Chris Weidman (8-0) with a potential shot at the middleweight crown on the line.
Hot days and long summer nights could not have gotten any livelier as UFC 148 comes live and direct from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Saturday night’s Pay-Per-View card kicks off with bantamweight action as “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) squares off against Ivan Menjivar (24-8). “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) returns to action when he meets Cody McKenzie (13-2) in the featherweight division. In a guaranteed spectacle, Cung Le (7-2) will look to get his first win in the organization when he welcomes back a fellow knockout artist in “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7). Former light heavyweight champions meet in the co-main event as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10-1) graces the Octagon one last time against rival Forrest Griffin (18-7) with each man looking to come out on top of this rubber match. The main event is a rematch of 2010’s “Fight of the Year” as Chael Sonnen (27-11-1) and champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4) meet once again with the belt on the line. Among all the action though, welterweight grapplers will engage as Judoka “Stun Gun” (15-1-1) Dong Hyun Kim meets Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Demian Maia (15-4). Each man saw the road to gold once before and if they wish to travel that road again, they have to make their stand here and now on one of the biggest cards of the year.
The world’s premiere mixed martial arts organization returns from a month-long hiatus as the UFC presents UFC on FUEL TV 2 live from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden this Saturday. “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (15-6) and “One Punch” Brad Pickett (20-6) open up the main card with bantamweight action. ”The One” John Maguire (17-3) takes on “The Darkness” DaMarques Johnson (15-9) in a welterweight exhibition. “The Killer” Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1) makes his long awaited UFC debut when he takes on the very dangerous Brazilian submission specialist Paulo Thiago (14-3). Featherweights collide when “The Gun” Diego Nunes (17-2) takes on Dennis Siver (19-8) in a “Fight of the Night” frontrunner. Before Thiago Silva (14-2) and “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) battle it out in the card’s headliner, they will have to try to surpass the bar set by “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) and “The All-American” Brian Stann (11-4) in the co-main event. Stann and Sakara are two of the middleweight’s top names with the damage to show. However, only one of them can climb higher up the division’s ladder after their showdown in Stockholm.
Is Joey Beltran’s mustache good for the sport? Does it make him look too Mexican? Does it alienate the non-Hispanic MMA fans? In case you haven’t picked up on it, I’m being sarcastic.
Back before I became an MMA journalist pundit …whatever the fuck it is I do, things were different. 98% of my Twitter followers didn’t know what MMA was or weren’t fans. Now, my Twitter feed is nothing but MMA fans. At first I enjoyed discussing upcoming fights and being in the loop on the latest news but coming up on two years since the birth of SBoI, I have to deal with the other side of it. The dark side… (cue over-dramatic music) A lot of MMA fans tend to over-analyze everything and make mountains out of molehills. Especially when it comes to what is or isn’t “good for the sport”. If some MMA fans obsessed over their children’s every action the way they do everything that happens in MMA, their kids would grow up to be neurotic freaks; possibly serial killers. MMA is gonna be fine. It’s time to cut the apron strings and let your baby grow up and you know, just try and enjoy it. Chael doing a Superstar Billy Graham isn’t going to ruin the sport. Relax. You have to realize that the so-called “casual” fans or potential future fans aren’t paying attention to all this minutia the way we sick bastards are. Anyway, feel free to continue being obsessed just try to do it with a sense of joy, passion, and humor rather than neurotic angst. If you can’t do that, try to keep it off my Twitter timeline. I’d appreciate it, you doughy wankers! (courtesy of @sonnench)
The UFC on FOX 2 card went down at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and the fans of MMA around the world were treated to a night of solid mixed martial arts on Fuel TV and FOX. Unfortunately for the UFC, all of the fight bonus winners and the most casual fan friendly bouts aired as part of the prelims on the much smaller Fuel TV network and the FOX network showed three technical but less than entertaining fights that went the distance. “All American” Chris Weidman (8-0) used superior wrestling and solid stand-up to edge out Demian Maia (14-4) with a Unanimous Decision. The consensus number one contender Chael Sonnen (26-11-1) stamped his ticket to another showdown with middleweight king “The Spider” Anderson Silva (29-4) by earning a Unanimous Decision over top British middleweight “The Count” Michael Bisping (22-4). In the main event, “Sugar” Rashad Evans (17-1-1) put on a dominant five-round performance against “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (8-1) to earn himself a unanimous nod from the three judges cageside. The card may have fallen short of the UFC’s expectations, but the story may be different for the fighters themselves.
—MAIN CARD (on FOX)—
Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis: Evans via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45), Round 5, 5:00
Chael Sonnen vs. Michael Bisping: Sonnen via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Demian Maia vs. Chris Weidman: Weidman via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00*