The dreaded “injury bug” in MMA is nothing new, but recently the problem seems to have come to a head. UFC 151 was a card that had already been plagued with injuries when one half of its headliner, “Hendo” Dan Henderson (29-8), pulled out with a very late injury. After much scrambling and some controversial decisions by a few parties, the event was canceled. UFC 153 was saved from one injury when “New Breed” Erik Koch (13-1) was replaced by featherweight-come-lately “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-3) to face 145lbs. kingpin Jose Aldo (21-1). UFC 153 would not avoid further injuries, however. Both co-main events were marred when “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (32-10) and Jose Aldo pulled out within hours of each other with respective ailments. It has left the UFC, fans, and the media in an absolute stupor, with everyone voicing any number of opinions and solutions for this problem. Some point to over-training as the root of the problem. They suggest the idea of shorter notice fights that will in turn, lead to shorter training camps and less likelihood of injuries. Others go to the extreme of suggesting PRIDE-style late fight announcements to prevent the debacle of constantly switching out injured opponents – not exactly feasible for a juggernaut like the UFC. Others suggest scaling back the ever-growing number of cards the UFC puts on every year, allowing more opportunities for better stacked cards where undercard fights can take center stage when emergencies arise. But there is a much broader opportunity that can benefit both fighters and promotions. A fighter’s walking weight could be the solution to the injury bug problem.
The Zuffa brass must be very pleased with the showings at UFC 150. Following an electrifying UFC on FOX card and featuring a rematch of one of the most exciting title fights in UFC history, UFC 150 had a lot to live up to and it seems to have done so with ease. The card opened with a striking war between “Blessed” Max Holloway (6-1) and “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-1). The TUF alum started strong but much like in his losing effort in the reality show, his stamina became an issue and Holloway put him away late in the bout. “Thunder” Yushin Okami (27-7) returned to his roots by dragging hot prospect Buddy Roberts (12-3) to the mat and pummeling him with ground-and-pound until the referee saved him. Jake Shields (28-6-1) fought his fight against an over-matched “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-9) in a grueling ground battle. The Shields/Herman fight may have slowed things down, but it may have been good for fans to have a reprieve in their excitement prior to the 76-second affair between “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (19-4) and “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-11-2). The fight was brief, but it delivered in a huge way as is evidenced by Cerrone’s matching $60,000 “Fight of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night” checks. The main event was every bit as even as “Smooth” Ben Henderson (17-2) and “The Answer” Frankie Edgar’s (14-3-1) first bout. The champion and former champion went toe-to-toe for five rounds with Henderson retaining the title. The fans and the UFC came out as big winners at UFC 150, but the just like the bouts in the cage, there are always losers too.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View @ 10:00pm ET)—
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar: Henderson via Split Decision (46-49, 48-47, 48-47), Round 5, 5:00
Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard: Cerrone via KO (Head Kick and Punch), Round 1, 1:16
Jake Shields vs. Ed Herman: Shields via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts: Okami via TKO (Strikes), Round 2, 3:05
Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway: Holloway via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 4:49
This evening the UFC will return to the city where the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion was born, the city where Royce Gracie (14-2) won the very first Ultimate Fighting Championship in November of 1993, Denver, Colorado. The Mile High City will host UFC 150 and 214 fight cards later they continue to bring some of the best fights to their birth city, with the highly anticipated rematch between current UFC Lightweight Champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson (15 -2) and “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2) as Henderson looks to defend his title for the first time against the man he took the belt from. The co-main event of the evening sees dangerous striker “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4) go to war with another man who is known for his knockout power, “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (47-11) in a lightweight fight that is already a frontrunner for “Fight of the Night”. In the 185lbs. division, former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields (27-6) will battle it out with “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-7) where spectators will most likely see Shields’ Jiu-jitsu going against Herman’s wrestling skills. Also in the middleweight division, “Thunder” Yushin Okami (27-7) will take on Buddy Roberts (12-2) as both look to move their way up the middleweight ladder. Former 155er “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) of The Ultimate Fighter: Live will make his featherweight debut against “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1) in the card’s opening bout. Before the main card takes the stage, FOX network FX once again boasts a stellar UFC preliminary card, including a fighter making his promotional debut in Denver, much like Royce Gracie did 19 years ago, “King” Chico Camus (11-3).
Tomorrow night the UFC returns to the place where it all began, Denver, Colorado, to present UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II to the 20,000-plus capacity Pepsi Center and millions viewing worldwide via Pay-Per-View. The first of five main card fights sees IKF National and Pan-American Kickboxing Champion “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) pitted against fellow 145lbs. striker “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1). Former top middleweight contender “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-7) squares off with Jackson’s MMA fighter Buddy Roberts (12-2) in the sophomore slot, followed by a card-anchoring bout between former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields (27-6-1) and resurging TUF alum “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-8). Co-main event honors go to a pair of lightweight title contention hopefuls, WEC veteran “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4) and heavy-hitting “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-10-2), in what is certain to be a fight to the finish. If the MMA community isn’t already on the edge of their proverbial seats after the first four action packed match-ups of UFC 150. that is sure to change once the arena lights snap off, signaling the start of the evening’s marquee match-up. UFC Lightweight Champion “Smooth” Ben Henderson (16-2) is primed to face the man whom he stripped of the 155lbs. title, “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2-1), in a highly anticipated rematch with UFC gold on the line. Who will come out on top? Only time will tell, but for now the staff of MMA Gospel takes a stab at predicting who will reign victorious and who will be sent packing.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to its birthplace this Saturday when it storms the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado for UFC 150. Opening the card is a featherweight affair between two youngblood prospects as “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) goes head-to-head with “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1). Next out, former 185lbs. title challenger “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-7) battles Buddy Roberts (12-2), and former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields (27-6-1) anchors the card in a bout against “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-8). The co-main will prove a face paced lightweight war as Thai boxing specialist “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4) meets powerhouse slugger “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-10-2). The featured attraction is, as usual, what has the MMA media world abuzz. “Smooth” Benson Henderson (16-2) captured the lightweight crown from “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2-1) at UFC 144 in a bout that the judges scored as a one-sided decision. The pundits and fans, however, felt the bout was much closer with many respected outlets scoring the bout in favor of Edgar. Now the pair rematch to settle their business and determine the rightful owner of the UFC Lightweight Championship belt.
The UFC follows up on its best FOX card to date with a highly anticipated Pay-Per-View as UFC 150 comes out of Denver, Colorado’s Pepsi Center this Saturday night. Featherweights set the pace when “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1) and the undefeated “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) kick off the five-fight main card. “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-7) will try to return to the winner’s circle when he takes on Buddy Roberts(12-2). It’s a battle of submission specialists when “Short Fuse” Ed Herman faces former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields (26-7). Before “Smooth” Ben Henderson (16-2) makes his first title defense against the man he took the title from, “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2-1), the co-main event sees teammates-turned-foes when “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-10-2) steps across the cage from “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4). Both used to stand side-by-side at the world-renowned Jackson’s MMA but now that the camaraderie has ceased, each is looking to use the other as a stepping stone to elevate in rank.
“Smooth” Benson Henderson (16-2) meets “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2-1) once again when he puts his lightweight title on the line in the main event for UFC 150 this Saturday. Denver, Colorado’s Pepsi Center will also see “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1) take on “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) in the card’s opener. Buddy Roberts (12-2) replaces an injured “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (14-4) to take on former middleweight challenger “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-7). Lightweight killers are set to engage in the co-main event when “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-10-2) and “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4) collide. Among the action, “Short Fuse” Ed Herman(20-8) will gain a step up in competition when he meets former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Jake Shields (26-7-1). Both men are savvy with the submission skills but when pitted against one another, it will be a grappler’s clinic that is bound to entertain even the fair-weather fan.
“Smooth” Ben Henderson (16-2) will make the first defense of his UFC Lightweight Championship against the man he took it from, “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2-1), in the main event of UFC 150. Also taking to the cage is Henderson’s old WEC rival “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4) as he faces “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-10-2). “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) will tee off against “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1) to open the evening and Jake Shields (27-6-1) will anchor the card in a return to middleweight against “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-8). The second bout on the card will test the mettle of Jackson Submission Fighting prospect Buddy Roberts (12-2) who will pit his well-rounded striking game against former middleweight title challenger “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-7).
The UFC returns to Pay-Per-View just one week after a spectacular UFC on FOX 4 card to bring fans a lightweight title rematch between reigning kingpin “Smooth” Ben Henderson (16-2) and the man he just took the title from, “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-2-1). Taking the co-main slot is WEC stand-out “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (18-4) as he faces off against “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-10-2). Jake Shields (27-6-1) will anchor the card as he returns once again to 185lbs. to face “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (20-8). The middleweights will also take on the duties of filling the card’s sophomore slot as “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-7) meets Buddy Roberts (12-2). The opening bout of the night features a pair of burgeoning young strikers who are sure to light up the airwaves. IKF National and Pan-American Kickboxing Champion “The American Kid” Justin Lawrence (4-0) looks for a second UFC win as he makes his featherweight debut against “Blessed” Max Holloway (5-1).
For those who don’t watch the UFC’s undercard fights, you don’t know what you’re missing. And for those that do, we often find that the prelims can be just as if not more entertaining bouts than those on the main card, and can provide valuable insight as to which fighters to keep an eye on in regards to potential future wave-makers in his respective weight division. “Panzer” Pascal Krauss (10-0) is one such fighter.
“Panzer”, a nickname meaning “tank” in his native German language, exemplifies exactly what Krauss has shown in his career – that he is a force to be reckoned with. The undefeated 25-year-old welterweight made his UFC debut at UFC 122 where he not only picked up his first win in the Zuffa promotion, he also earned “Fight of the Night” honors for his three-round war with fellow UFC newcomer “Scanno” Mark Scanlon (7-2). Krauss came into his UFC debut fight as the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship welterweight king toting an undefeated record with ten consecutive first- or second-round finishes, and looking to prove that he belonged in the world’s most prestigious MMA organization. Having shown a variety of skills against Scanlon and earning a fight bonus in his first effort, “Panzer” did not disappoint.
“Pitbull” Thiago Alves (19-9) has had mixed success inside the Octagon over the past two years, going 2-2 in his last four bouts. His March 2 pairing at UFC on FX 2 in Sydney, Australia against “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (19-5) went from being a certain victory to an embarrassing failure with one poor decision. With only 48 seconds left in the third round of a bout Alves was dominating, Kampmann took advantage of a takedown and locked on a Guillotine Choke just moments after being rocked on the feet. Now Alves has only two wins in his past five fights, though in those losses he remained aggressive and competitive. The questions surrounding the former title challenger to the welterweight title do not involve his fire to compete or his personal life. They focus on his abilities to control his impulses and the decisions he must now make in his career. The answers to those questions may be hard pills to swallow.
MMA Gospel Radio is back and reborn as a podcast with snarky Twitter “celebrity” Spilled Bag of Ice at the helm and MMA Gospel staff writer Patrick Guera by his side. The new show promises more in-depth discussions, more expert panels, and more fighter interviews than ever before from a fan’s viewpoint and with an insider’s perspective. First up on the slate, SBoI and Director Patrick look back at UFC 144 – the controversy, the KO’s, the comebacks, and the “Sexyama”. They also look ahead to UFC on FX’s main event and flyweight tournament.