With three solid showings already, the FOX network broadcasts a card deserving a spot on the Pay-Per-View rotation as the UFC presents UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera. “Quick” Mike Swick (14-4) returns after a two-year hiatus to battle with “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-10) in the main card opener. “C-4″ Jamie Varner (20-6-1) hopes to continue his resurgence in the lightweight division when he meets submission specialist “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (21-7). In the co-main event, “Darth” Ryan Bader (14-2) returns after an impressive victory at UFC 144 to take on the unorthodox “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (17-3). The landscape of the light heavyweight division is bound for drastic change as a title shot is up for grabs in the main event. Former champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-6) will try to make his way to the top of the mountain, but he will have to challenge a fellow Muay Thai wrecking machine, “The Truth” Brandon Vera (12-5). Each has dawdled in the light heavyweight division rankings but now that the path to gold is set in stone for them, it’s crucial for both men to make the best out of this opportunity.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz: Diaz via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione: Kongo via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Mirko Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson: Nelson via TKO (Punches), Round 3, 1:30
Scott Jorgensen vs. Jeff Curran: Jorgensen via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop: Hioki via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
—MAIN CARD (Pay-Per-View)—
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Jon “Bones” Jones: Jones via TKO (Strikes), Round 3, 2:37
Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland: Faber via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00 (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Nate Marquardt vs. Dan Miller: Marquardt via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00 (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Brendan Schaub: Schaub via TKO (Punches), Round 3, 3:44
Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus: Miller via TKO (Strikes), Round 3, 2:15
—MAIN CARD (Pay-Per-View)—
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua: 205lbs.
Title challenger Jon “Bones” Jones: 205lbs.
Urijah Faber: 135.5lbs.
Eddie Wineland: 135.5lbs.
Nate Marquardt: 186lbs.
Dan Miller: 185lbs.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic: 229lbs.
Brendan Schaub: 245lbs.
Jim Miller: 155.5lbs.
Kamal Shalorus: 155lbs.
MMA Gospel concludes the Bellator: The Draft series by covering a few much needed additions to the promotion’s heavier weight divisions. The Bellator Fighting Championship (BFC) roster thins a bit at the top and new talent is severely needed to maintain the interest of the promotion’s divisional champions. The middleweight division relies almost solely on champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (25-2-1) to bring in viewers, the promotion currently has no light heavyweight division to speak of, and its heavyweight roster consists of “The Polar Bear” Cole Konrad (7-0), “Goliath” Neil Grove (10-3), and the one-and-done fighters who essentially utilize the organization to pad their records. These heavier classes are the divisions where Bellator needs the most work. Here are a few key players that could help bulk up the heavier weight classes to help Bellator more closely compete with rival MMA organizations.
The year 2010 showcased a wealth of fights and events for the mixed martial arts world to marvel over. “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1) defeated one of the greatest lightweights of all time in “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-7-1). Boxing great “Lights Out” James Toney (0-1) stepped into the the cage to face UFC Hall of Famer “The Natural” Randy Couture (19-10) in what was intended to determine the superior combat sport, MMA or boxing. Couture pummeled Toney for nearly three minutes of pure fan delight before submitting him via Arm Triangle Choke. The MMA world was shaken and the heavyweight rankings sent into a state of disarray when the top ranked “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-2) was handed his first legitimate loss via first round submission to Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1).
To follow up with the 2009 roster exchange agreement between the Strikeforce, DREAM, and M-1 Global MMA promotions, the UFC ended 2010 with the intake of the WEC organization. With all the memorable fights and events that have taken place in the last 12 months, 2011 is the year where prospects can become contenders, fighters inflicted with injury or tribulations return to fight their way to a title, and champions become legends.
Here are some of the top fighters to look out for in 2011.
Nearly every fighter has been in, or at least heard of, one of “those shows” – the kind of show where the promoter’s check bounces, or where they learn the cage is actually a spray painted dog pen, or where the ringside “doctor” is actually a local boxing trainer with a first aid badge. They happen all the time and have earned monikers like “bush league”, “back alley”, or “bar room” promotions. One such promotion took this lack of ethics a step further on Saturday, December 11.
Nemesis Fighting had all the trappings of a new regional player. They used their inaugural event MMA Global Invasion to lure big name fighters such as former UFC stars “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine (14-9-1), “Fire” Eliot Marshall (9-2), Terry Martin (20-8), and “The Headhunter” Paul Buentello (28-13) with promises of big paydays and premium fighter accommodations. The promotion even held the event at a popular resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with full “MMA Vacation Packages” available. Nemesis thus far was on point and focused on taking care of its fighters and putting on a solid event. Or so it seemed.
Nemesis Fighting’s inaugural event “MMA Global Invasion” has had its fair share of problems. Originally slated for November 13 in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, the show was postponed a full month due to an impending tropical storm. After yet another rescheduling as well as a venue change, the card finally took place this past weekend and was slated to air last night on Pay-Per-View. That didn’t happen, either. According to the promotion’s website, the event has been “rescheduled” with the “date to be announced soon”. If only this were what all the current fuss is about.
MMAWeekly.com confirmed with at least eight of the fighters on the card that they were not paid by Nemesis Fighting – or rather, the checks were distributed but bounced due to insufficient funds in promotion’s bank account. Every single one of them bounced.