Some people watch The Ultimate Fighter purely for the fights and don’t like the reality TV element. These people tend to be party-pooping wet blankets who think that they’re too good for a little mindless voyeuristic entertainment. Either way, the stuffy “purists” were treated to almost two hours of nothing but fights on the Season 14 premiere of TUF on Wednesday. The fights were pretty solid – as to be expected from bantamweight and featherweight fighters.
So, my Twitter homeboy and friend of the site, Dan “Dannyboy” Downes fought a tune-up fight outside the UFC this Friday. Regarding his opponent, I’m not gonna give this chump any more press by mentioning his name but he has a name that sounds like a supplement you’d get at GNC. Anyway, before this fight I was curious if this dude had a Twitter account. We all know Dannyboy is the tweet zen master so I was curious if this guy had a Twitter and would mention anything about the fight. Well, he did mention it… he also seemed to have no idea how to use Twitter. Seems he had some sort of weird beef with Jens Pulver and kept calling Jens out -but not by using the @Jens_Pulver that would allow Jens to see it but rather just tweeting and, I guess, hoping that one of his dozen or so followers would pass it on. What a goof!
The third installment of UFC: Live on Versus gave the fans of Louisville, Kentucky and viewers at home all the bang without the buck this past Thursday night. More acquisitions from the WEC/UFC merger made their UFC debut and put their divisions on high alert, a newcomer made his UFC debut within weeks of taking a fight on short notice, two middleweights pleaded their case on their ascension to the top of the 185lbs. division mountain, and two welterweights battled in a possible “Fight of the Year” candidate. Though the undercard also had its share of the action, here are some possible match-ups that should happen for the victors off the UFC: Live on Versus 3 main card.
“Last Call” Danny Castillo (10-3) defeats “Daddy” Joe Stevenson (31-12) via Unanimous Decision
Able to survive Stevenson’s takedown attempts and patented Guillotine Chokes, “Last Call” Castillo passed his first UFC test with flying colors. The Facebook-featured match showcased Castillo besting Stevenson with wildfire striking and staggering the former lightweight challenger during the 15-minute contest. If approaching the closing bell there were any doubt beset as to who the fight would have gone to, the final takedown of the match was executed by the former WEC standout “Last Call” and accompanied by Stevenson receiving an unwelcome rain of fists from above, further aiding in handing him his third loss in a row.
This past month rounding out the 2010 MMA calendar and transitioning into the New Year has been thrilling. UFC 124: St. Pierre vs. Koscheck II was for all intents and purposes an exciting affair. “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (21-2) put on another picture perfect fight against perennial contender “Kos” Josh Koscheck (15-5) and “Pitbull” Thiago Alves (18-7) showed he could stay relevant at welterweight by testing the iron chin of “Doomsday” John Howard (14-6), Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu 2 was quite literally a knockout, WEC 53: Henderson vs. Pettis was an explosive send-off for the exciting organization, and the main event at UFC 125: Resolution featured lightweight champ “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) and his challenger, NCAA Div. I wrestler “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1), partaking in a five round war dominated by stand-up that rather surprisingly resulted in a Draw. However a disturbing realization has come to light. It is likely that given the growth of MMA, especially the UFC, this beloved sport one day will begin to emulate the stale monotony of professional boxing. As the UFC and MMA continue to grow into the meganaut of combat sports, mainstream growth’s effect on the sport, its entertainment value, and its fighters will only become progressively more apparent.
A tumultuous week for Strikeforce has finally come to an end…hopefully. The “Henderson vs. Babalu” event this Saturday was in serious jeopardy when over the past six days three of its bouts, including two from the main card, were scrapped due to fighter injuries. The promotion scrambled to find last-minute replacements to fulfill the ten-fight card Strikeforce promised its fans. Fill-ins “Semtex” Paul Daley (22-10-2) and “MAK” Mike Kyle (14-7-1) stepped up to the plate to take on “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-7) and “Bigfoot” Antonio Silva (13-2), respectively. Today it was announced that Strikeforce has filled its tenth and final slot with a match between “The Razor” Benji Radach (19-5) and Ovince St. Preux (8-4). The two fighters will meet in a welterweight match-up as the premier bout on the main card, which was originally intended for Herschel Walker (1-0) vs. Scott Carson (4-1).
While most UFC 123 spectators will agree that “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-3) had an unexpectedly disappointing and lackluster performance against UFC newcomer “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (8-1), many were still shocked when it was announced today that Harris had been released from the UFC. To say the cut seems unwarranted is a vast understatement. Prior to his loss at UFC 123, Harris was coasting along on a ten-fight winning streak and boasted an undefeated 3-0 record in the UFC, with two of those victories earning “Knockout of the Night” honors. In his professional MMA career, “Hurricane” finished 15 of his 17 defeated opponents via TKO, KO, or submission, respectively. Clearly, Harris is no chump.
Back when I was a little boy, I dreamed that one day I’d make jokes on the Internet that would make many hundreds of people somewhat amused. Of course, the Internet didn’t exist then so that just proves what a visionary I was. Needless to say, I have made that dream come true. First it was the KOS’d phenomenon. Which you can read up on here if you somehow missed it. Now, I invented TEAM MEATBERRY. I remember it like it was only a couple of days ago…
Last night’s UFC123 event was a night of surprises and excitement with an anti-climactic ending. Former champions “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-2) and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (29-8) and “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-7-1) and Matt Hughes (43-7) squared off to put their careers back on the path to glory. TUF big shots George Sotiropoulos (14-2) and “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-6) faced off for a crack at lightweight contendership consideration, and UFC newcomer “Big Rig” Maiquel Jose Falcao (8-1) came in to strut his stuff against “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (6-1). Like every card, there were fighters who made the most of their opportunity and there are those who would have done better having not fought at all. MMA Gospel explores these consequences with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
UFC 123 is in the books. The evening of stellar matches answered a lot of questions, but also rendered some less-than-clear implications. Former top lightweight contender Tyson Griffin (14-5) fell to Nik Lentz (17-3-2) via Split Decision, extending his record to include a consecutive trio of defeats. Armenian Judoka “The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-6) was TKO’d by “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13-2) less than halfway through the first round. “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-2) was derailed by “The Phillipine Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2) via Unanimous Decision after a hard-fought battle from both men. TUF Season 7 alum “The Immortal” Matt Brown’s (11-10) record drops down to just over .500 after being submitted via Guillotine Choke by his opponent Brian Foster (15-5) in the second round, leaving his future with the UFC in question. Australia’s George Sotiropoulos (14-2) won Fight of the Night honors by tapping out submission specialist “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-6) via Kimura in the second stanza. Submission of the Night winner “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (7-0) remained undefeated and submitted “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-4) with a hybrid Hammer Lock/Kimura halfway through Round 2. The common misconception that “unknown” fighters aren’t UFC-worthy was disproved when UFC newcomer and Chute Box aficionado “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (8-1) dismantled “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-3) for nearly three whole rounds, earning the Unanimous Decision nod from the judges. Former two-division champion “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-7-1) shocked the MMA world when he knocked out UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes (43-8) only 21 seconds after the first bell. Penn very deservedly was awarded the Knockout of the Night bonus for his spectacular KO. In his post-fight interview Hughes said he “isn’t sure” about the next step in his MMA career, leaving onlookers to question whether or not the welterweight is considering retirement. In the main event, PRIDE veteran and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Rampage” Quinton Jackson won a surprising and already highly contested Split Decision victory over fellow former champion “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida. There, folks, is the evening in a nutshell. Below are some images of the night’s highlights.
Tyson Griffin (14-4) vs. “The Carnie” Nik Lentz (16-3-2): Lentz via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
TJ O’Brien (16-3) vs. Paul Kelly (10-3): Kelly via TKO (Elbows), Round 2, 3:16
Edson Barboza (6-0) vs. Mike Lullo (8-1): Barboza via TKO (Leg Kicks), Round 3, 0:26
“The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-5) vs. “Superman” Dennis Hallman (44-13-2): Hallman via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:47
SPIKE TV PRELIMS
“A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-1) vs. “The Phillipine Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (6-2): Munoz via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
“The Immortal” Matt Brown (11-9) vs. Brian Foster (14-5): Foster via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 2, 2:11
PAY-PER-VIEW MAIN CARD
George Sotiropoulos (13-2) vs. “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5): Sotiropoulos via Submission (Kimura), Round 2, 2:43
“Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (6-0) vs. “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-3): Davis via Submission (Kimura), Round 2, 2:55
“Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-2) vs. “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1): Falcao via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Matt Hughes (43-7) vs. “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1): Penn via KO, Round 1, 0:21
“Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8) vs. “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1): Jackson via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Submission of the Night: Phil Davis – $80,000
Knockout of the Night: BJ Penn – $80,000
Fight of the Night: Joe Lauzon and George Sotiropoulos – $80,000 each
Tyson Griffin (14-4): 155lbs.
“The Carnie” Nik Lentz (16-3-2): 155lbs.
TJ O’Brien (16-3): 155lbs.
Paul Kelly (10-3): 155lbs.
Edson Barboza (6-0): 155lbs.
Mike Lullo (8-1): 155lbs.
“The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-5): 170lbs.
“Superman” Dennis Hallman (44-13-2): 170lbs.
SPIKE TV PRELIMS
“A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-1): 185.5lbs.
“The Phillipine Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (6-2): 185lbs.
“The Immortal” Matt Brown (11-9): 170lbs.
Brian Foster (14-5): 170lbs.
PAY-PER-VIEW MAIN CARD
“Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-2): 185lbs.
“Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1): 185lbs.
George Sotiropoulos (13-2): 155lbs.
“J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5): 155lbs.
“Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (6-0): 205lbs.
“The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-3): 205lbs.
Matt Hughes (43-7): 169lbs.
“The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1): 169lbs.
“Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8): 205lbs.
“The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1): 205lbs.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1) and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8) will face each other in the main event at Saturday night’s UFC 123 in Auburn Hills, Michigan in a battle of discipline against passion on a card that is supported by the likes of TUF superstars “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5) and George Sotiropoulos (13-2), “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-3), “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (8-0), “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-2) and “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1). However, one of the most criticized and least important bouts slated for November 20 is a rubber match between long time rivals “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1) and UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes (43-7). Most of the discussion surrounding this fight has been various MMA journalists and forum warriors flaming about how the fight makes no sense and is completely irrelevant. What the critics fail to see is how this bout makes perfect sense in the most basic way. No, there won’t be a welterweight title shot or even status as a legitimate contender on the line in this fight. Yes, the bout will do absolutely nothing to further either man’s career. However, both of the previous fights between these two former welterweight kings have been action packed fan pleasers from first to final bell. That is how this fight makes sense. True MMA fans wouldn’t miss a fight between Hughes and Penn for the world.
Auburn Hills, Michigan will set the stage for former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1) and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8) as they face each other in their quest for redemption in UFC 123′s main event on Saturday. On a card that also features “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1), UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes (43-7), TUF superstars “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5) and George Sotiropoulos (13-2), “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-3), and “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (8-0), the UFC also brings the fans a bout between “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-2) and “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1). The match between Harris and Falcao is one where research into the two fighters, or more specifically the Chute Box product “Big Rig”, raises more questions than answers. The fact Harris lost out of the TUF house in Season 7 before putting together a winning streak worthy of a chance in the Octagon is well known, but Falcao’s history is far murkier. There is however one thing that MMA fans can bet the house on – if Falcao is anywhere near as aggressive as fighters from his camp usually are, this fight will be a brutal slugfest of epic proportions.
Just one week after the UFC’s free offering with UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami, the NFL of MMA is back again this Saturday with what promises to be an exceptional showcase of the promotion’s deep roster. UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida is chock full of some of the current biggest stars in mixed martial arts, including Xtreme Couture’s Tyson Griffin (14-4) taking on NCAA Div. I wrestler “The Carnie” Nik Lentz (16-3-2), England’s heavy hitter Paul Kelly (10-3) facing UFC newcomer TJ O’Brien (16-3), Armenian Judoka “The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-5) against IFL veteran “Superman” Dennis Hallman (44-13-2), ground-and-pounder “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-1) taking on BJJ purple belt “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (6-2), a TUF alumni face-off between Season 6′s Australian wrestling stand-out and boxer George Sotiropoulos (13-2) and Season 5′s submission specialist “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5), undefeated NCAA Div. I wrestler “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (6-0) teeing off against brawler “The Barbarian” Tim Boestsch (12-3), TUF Season 7′s “Hurricane” Gerald Harris taking on UFC newcomer and Chute Box enthusiast “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1), a co-main event pitting revered former champions Matt Hughes (43-7) and “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1) against one another in a rubber match, and the main event featuring a comeback bout for contendership of the UFC’s most hotly contested title, the light heavyweight belt, between former champions “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1) and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8).
Needless to say, it promises to be an exciting evening filled with more top notch brawls that the UFC has become known for. While what exactly will happen remains to be seen, MMA Gospel has a few guesses. And here they are.
UFC 123 in Auburn Hills, Michigan is a card that features fighters on the list of the UFC’s biggest names from past and present, as well as several names destined to join that list. Former light heavyweight champions “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1) and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8) square off in a quest to regain what they so recently lost and “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1) and UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes (43-7) seek to settle the score in a feud that started in 2004 when Penn challenged Hughes for his welterweight title. TUF superstars “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-2), “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5) and George Sotiropoulos (13-2) help to fill out the card alongside debuting Chute Box fighter “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1). A solid light heavyweight bout featured on the card stacks the sprawl and brawl wrestling of “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-3) against the undefeated four time All-American “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (8-0). Boetsch fought hard and won three straight fights to get a second chance in the UFC after being cut following UFC 96 and will have the do-or-die drive associated with a fighter who knows the pain of being cut from the UFC. Davis has yet to taste defeat which instills a sense of invincibility in a fighter that shows through as an unwavering confidence in his abilities.