The Ultimate Fighting Championship sets up shop at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Revel Casino on Friday night to present UFC on FX 4. “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-5) battles Cub Swanson (16-5) in the main card’s opening bout. The highly eccentric veteran “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) will take on submission ace TJ Waldburger (15-6) in the welterweight division. The co-main event sees the final battle of an epic rivalry as “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (17-7-1) and “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-8) battle it out once again with each man hoping to break the tie in this famous trilogy. Rounding off the card though sees another pivotal match-up in the 155lbs. division as “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-11) takes on his fellow contender “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1). Each man has stumbled in their past endeavors but with the lightweight division as competitive as ever, it’s crucial at this point for each fighter to come out on top.
The UFC took broadcast network airwaves for the third time last night as UFC on FOX 3 delivered another excellent showing for hardcore and casual fans alike. In the main event, Nate Diaz (16-7) further asserted his place as a top lightweight with a dominant submission win over “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (21-4). The co-main saw “Big Rig” Johny Hendricks (13-1) emerge as a title contender with a hard-fought win over his second perennial top 10 opponent, “Kos” Josh Koscheck (17-6). Submission ace “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (14-4) saw his hype train definitively derailed by “The Talent” Alan Belcher (18-6), and Strikeforce transplant “Big” Lavar Johnson (17-5) made his presence known with a brutal TKO of “HD” Pat Barry (7-5). As in every show, there were winners and there were losers. To sort them out, MMA Gospel has The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden hosts the UFC’s second installment of UFC on Fuel TV this Saturday with UFC on Fuel 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva. The bantamweights start off the main card as “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (15-6) clashes with “One Punch” Brad Pickett (20-6). Ultimate Fighter alumni “The Darkness” DaMarques Johnson (15-9) takes on fellow welterweight “The One” John Maguire (17-3). Paulo Thiago (14-3) is charged with the task of welcoming long awaited prospect “The Killer” Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1) in his UFC debut in the welterweight division. In the co-main event, “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) and “The All-American” Brian Stann (11-4) are set to engage in a middleweight match-up. Thiago Silva (14-2) makes his return to action after a year long lay-off to take on the hometown hero, “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) in the main event. In the middle of all this action, two featherweights are set to meet when “The Gun” Diego Nunes (17-2) welcomes Dennis Siver (19-8) from the lightweight division. With both men being strikers at heart who refuse to back down, it is a fight that all will be dying to watch.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship ushered in the UFC on FOX era with its first free offering of the year as UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller hit the airwaves following live prelims on FUEL TV. The card was memorable in several ways. Aside from being the inaugural event in MMA’s first long-term network TV deal, it also featured a host of entertaining and fast paced bouts with everything from title contention to jobs on the line. “HD” Pat Barry (6-5) opened the night with a career-saving KO victory over Christian Morecraft (7-3). “The Hulk” Mike Easton (9-0) continued to impress with a Majority Decision win over newcomer Jared Papazian (13-7-1). UFC mainstays “Bang” Duane Ludwig (21-12) and “The Dentist” Josh Neer (33-10-1) met in a slugfest that saw Ludwig land several solid blows only to fall victim to a Guillotine Choke. In the main event, “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-10-2) fell short yet again with potential title contention on the line as “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (21-3) weathered an early storm to end the bout with a Rear Naked Choke. Every fight impressed both the fans and the UFC brass, but for some fighters, the night did end as well as they would have liked and for others, it ended in utter disaster.
The UFC makes its return to Brazil this Saturday with UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes. After a sell-out night in August at UFC 134, the Zuffa brass move to strike again as undefeated Edson Barboza (9-0) looks to add another tic to his win column as he takes on Terry Etim (15-3), an Englishman with intentions of stringing together his own winning streak. Welterweight “Indio” Erick Silva (8-2) is making his second appearance in the UFC, this time against MMA journeyman and Strikeforce, WEC, Legacy FC, and Shine Fights veteran “Neo” Carlo Prater (27-11). Brazil’s submission hulk “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (15-5) is looking to make it three in a row against the tough and determined Mike Massenzio (13-5). Devastating striker and former champion “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (20-9) steps into the Octagon in front of his hometown crowd for the first time in well over a decade to face middleweight debutee “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (10-3). The main event of the evening sees top ranked pound-for-pound fighter and UFC featherweight king “Junior” Jose Aldo (19-1) defend his title against undefeated Team Alpha Male fighter “Money” Chad Mendes (11-0). Aldo is known for his explosive stand-up including crippling kicks and devastating knees, but will it be enough to overcome the wrestling pedigree of Mendes?
There’s been a lot of fights since my last Spilled Bag of Fights but I’m going to mainly focus on UFC 136 which was really one of the most impressive and stacked cards in recent memory. It featured two title fights as well as the return of the entertaining albeit polarizing Chael Sonnen. So, let’s just dive right in.
UFC 136 burst into Houston, Texas with all the fan fare of a UFC Fan Expo and all the hype of the rematches between “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-1-1) and “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1), who fought to a hotly contested draw at UFC 125, and “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-8-1) and Nam Phan (19-10), who first met in one of the worst judging decisions in MMA history. The card was stacked to the ceiling with a co-main event title bout between “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (14-6) and “Junior” Jose Aldo (19-2), a middleweight contest between top contenders Chael Sonnen (25-11-1) and “All-American” Brian Stann (11-4), and a lightweight tilt between ailing submission ace “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (21-6) and red hot striker “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-9-2). While the fans certainly were not disappointed and the card was controversy free, something rare indeed in this era of mixed martial arts. There were more than a few fighters on the card who suffered bitter defeat at UFC 136, and to explore this, MMA Gospel has The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: Edgar via TKO (Punches), Round 4, 3:54
Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian: Aldo via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46), Round 5, 5:00
Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann: Sonnen via Submission (Arm-Triangle), Round 2, 3:51
Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon: Lauzon via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 0:47
Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan: Phan via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas gets its second serving of UFC action when UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III storms in this Saturday night. Nam Phan (18-10) takes on “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-7-1) again in order to avenge his controversial loss in 2010. ”J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (20-6) and “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-8-2) hope to collect another bonus check when they battle in a lightweight showdown. “All-American” Brian Stann (11-3) welcomes Chael Sonnen (24-11-1) back to the cage in what could be considered the most patriotic middleweight fight known to man, with Stann playing the part of decorated war hero and Sonnen the part of staunch Republican and aspiring politician. ”Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (14-5) puts another weight class under his belt as he drops down to 145lbs. to challenge “Junior” Jose Aldo (18-1) for his featherweight title in the co-main event. UFC 136 marks the third fight between current lightweight champion “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) and a challenger he knows too well, “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1). UFC 125 saw both men go tooth and nail trying to take the belt home and while Edgar was successful, it was only because the judges saw the match as a Draw. With the history between these two made in the Octagon, no fan should count any man out when the cage door seal shut behind them.
Houston, Texas plays host to one of the biggest cards the UFC has presented to date when the Toyota Center houses the Octagon this Saturday for UFC 136. The featherweights kick off the main card off Ultimate Fighter veteran Nam Phan (18-10) faces “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-7-1) in a long awaited rematch. A knockout artist takes on a submission specialist when “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-8-2) battles fellow lightweight “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (20-6). In the middleweight division, trash-talk extraordinaire Chael Sonnen (24-11-1) returns to action when he faces “All-American” Brian Stann (11-3). In the main event, the lightweight title is up for grabs as the champion “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) battles “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1) in a follow-up of their highly entertaining fight in January where the match was ultimately ruled a Draw. The co-main event though has another title up for grabs with “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (14-5) challenging one freight train of a featherweight in “Junior” Jose Aldo (18-1) for his featherweight title. Both men are coming off impressive performances. Aldo has been successful keeping his place on top of the 145lb. division ranks but with Florian dropping down a weight class to come after him, he has bigger challenges than what he had fought before.