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.
This Saturday the UFC makes its triumphant return to Brazil, 13 years after ‘The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (20-9) KO’d “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) in 44 seconds and “The Legend” Frank Shamrock (23-10-2) defended his Middleweight title at UFC 17.5: Ultimate Brazil. This time the card is headlined by today’s Brazilian striking quasi-deity, “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4), as he attempts to avenge his most recent loss against “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-5) who had his hand raised in 2006 due to a DQ. Opening the card will be “Banha” Luiz Cane (9-3) and Stanislav Nedkov (5-0) who will open the gates for the likes of “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (17-6-1), Edson Barboza (8-0), “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (7-1), and “Minotauro” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1). Pulling co-main event duties for the UFC’s second trip to Brazil are Forrest Griffin (18-6) and “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (19-5) in a rematch of Rua’s UFC debut loss. Both men have won, and lost, the hotly contested UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the time since their last meeting and are in virtually the same position as they were in their first bout. “Shogun” has a load of hype and a few questions about him and needs a decisive win to show why he is so highly regarded and Griffin is on the cusp of a title shot-earning win streak with two straight victories over respected veterans.
First off I want to congratulate Sergio aka @iTzPrimo on Twitter who won the #1 Icemigo award. What’s the #1 Icemigo award? It’s some shit I invented just for Primo because that mofo RTs all my shit and comments on this column all the time. What did Primo win? Well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise for him but it’s either totally awesome or he’s totally getting KOS’d!! Or Maybe a little of both. Ha ha! See, I reward my loyal Icemigos. I’ve spent *$40,000 out of my own pocket giving away shit to people since I started the Spilled Bag of Ice Twitter account way back in February of 2010. As for my enemies, *I’ve smashed their faces and crushed their souls. I’ve kidnapped their pets, made them love me and trained them to attack their former owners on sight…their children, too.
(*claims may be somewhat exaggerated for dramatic effect)
Paul “Semtex” Daley is arguably the hardest hitting Welterweight in MMA. Nick Diaz began his fight with “Semtex” Saturday night by walking towards him, taunting him with his hands down at his side. That’s some crazy shit. Crazy like a fox? I think so. Diaz showed the cocky Brit how cocky is done – 209 style. But there’s definitely a method to Diaz’s madness. The conventional wisdom was that Diaz should try to get the fight to the ground where Daley is weakest and the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu master has a huge advantage… but Nick Diaz ain’t no bitch. He’s said as much on many occasions. Nick doesn’t change the way he fights based on his opponent. He comes out, starts trash talking, looks for his openings and begins picking his opponent apart with his unorthodox but accurate and effective striking and if the fight happens to go to the ground, well, he’s certainly okay with that too.
UFC President Dana White announced today that its parent company Zuffa, LLC. purchased the California-based rival MMA promotion Strikeforce. The reactions of the MMA community were immediately evident as the questions about the implications of the purchase began to pour out of every media outlet and Twitter feed in the MMA world. However, many of the concerns and speculations on everything from potential fight match-ups, to the future of certain Strikeforce fighters, to the continuation of Strikeforce’s Women’s MMA (WMMA) divisions are based largely on the general public’s lack of knowledge into how a business deal of this nature truly works.
The purchase was not a corporate raid or hostile takeover. Zuffa simply purchased a company and while they could change things in the future, it is Scott Coker, not Dana White, who is in charge of the operation of Strikeforce which is still a completely separate company from the UFC. As White said in his MMAFighting.com interview, “It’s business as usual…That’s a separate business that has their own income. They have their own budgets and everything else that they do. They have their own television deals. If they’re that interested in acquiring [a fighter], it’s no different than it was before.”