(Video courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships)
—MAIN CARD (on Spike TV)—
Season 8 Lightweight Tournament Final Fight
Marcin Held vs. Dave Jansen: Jansen via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Heavyweight Feature Fight
Ryan Martinez vs. Travis Wiuff: Martinez via KO (Punches), Round 1, 0:18
Welterweight Feature Fight
Waachiim Spiritwolf vs. Marcus Davis: No Contest (Inadvertent Groin Strike)
Douglas Lima vs. Terry Martin: Lima via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:14
Ryan Jimmo vs. Zak Cummings: Jimmo via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Marcus Davis vs. Curtis Demarce: Davis via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Hermes Franca vs. Robert Washington: Franca via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 0:26
Pete Spratt vs. Demi Deeds: Spratt via Submission (Armbar), Round 2, 4:19
Andreas Spang vs. Ali Mokdad: Mokdad via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 1:35
This afternoon, Chicago-based MMA promotion Bellator Fighting Championship (BFC or Bellator) announced that it signed seven-time UFC veteran and The Ultimate Fighter 6 alum “Killa B” Ben Saunders (9-3-2) to its already shark infested welterweight roster. Saunders will not take part in the upcoming Bellator Welterweight Tournament, but he will make his debut with the promotion sometime during Season 4, which begins March 4. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said of the acquisition, “Ben Saunders is an exciting, powerful welterweight with explosive knockout power. Ben’s dangerous and always shows up to fight. I’m excited to see his first fight under the Bellator banner…”
Happy New Year, kids. And here we are with the very first column of the new year. The pressure, man… the goddamn pressure! So, back last year we had the DREAM: Dynamite!! 2010 card that had about thirty-eight fights. Holy shit, just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap. Granted, most things make me want to take a nap and it may also be the fact that the card started at like 1am and was almost three days long. Luckily, the place I was staying in Vegas had Direct TV and HDNet so, I didn’t have to watch it hunched over a laptop for three days. I didn’t make it through the whole card in one sitting but I did make it to daybreak and I didn’t have to kill anything for food or drink my own urine but it did test my dedication to MMA.
UFC 125: Resolution kicked off 2011 with everything that makes MMA exciting to be a part of. The fights were top class and exciting on pretty much every level for fans of all types – a war was waged for one of the most prestigious and hotly contested titles in the sport, underdogs proved the masses wrong, and controversy was in the air, whether it was warranted or not. As with every card, there were some winners, some losers, and some parties who suffered more serious damage than just a loss. Luckily for all involved, there were very few people who fell into the latter of those three on New Year’s Day at the MGM Grand Garden.
Jacob Volkmann vs. Antonio McKee: Volkmann via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Daniel Roberts vs. Greg Soto: Roberts via Submission (Kimura), Round 1, 3:45
Mike Brown vs. Diego Nunes: Nunes via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares: Tavares via TKO (Knees and Punches), Round 1, 4:20
Josh Grispi vs. Dustin Poirier: Poirier via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Marcus Davis vs. Jeremy Stephens: Stephens via KO (Punch), Round 3, 2:33
Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi: Guida via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 4:27
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim: Kim via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva: Silva via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann: Stann via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 3:37
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard: N/A, the contest is ruled a Draw (48-46 Maynard, 48-46 Edgar, and a 47-47), Round 5, 5:00*
Submission of the Night: Clay Guida awarded $60,000
Knockout of the Night: Jeremy Stephens awarded $60,000
Fight of the Night: Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard each awarded $60,000
*Frankie Edgar retains his UFC Lightweight Championship belt
Jacob Volkmann: 156lbs.
Antonio McKee: 156lbs.
Daniel Roberts: 171lbs.
Greg Soto: 171lbs.
Mike Brown: 146lbs.
Diego Nunes: 146lbs.
Phil Baroni: 186lbs.
Brad Tavares: 185lbs.
—LIVE on ION TV—
Josh Grispi: 146lbs.
Dustin Poirier: 145lbs.
Marcus Davis: 156lbs.
Jeremy Stephens: 156lbs.
Brandon Vera: 205lbs.
Thiago Silva: 206lbs.
Clay Guida: 156lbs.
Takanori Gomi: 155lbs.
Nate Diaz: 170lbs.
Dong Hyun Kim: 171lbs.
Chris Leben: 186lbs.
Brian Stann: 186lbs.
Frankie Edgar: 155lbs.
Gray Maynard: 155lbs.
The MGM Grand Garden will host the UFC’s annual New Year’s card, UFC 125: Resolution. The marquis bout between “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0) and “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1) is the fight perhaps most prominent on the fans’ minds but there are several rather notable matches on the card as well. Thiago Silva (15-2), “The Truth” Brandon Vera (11-5), “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi (29-7), “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (27-11), “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-7), and Brian Stann (9-3) help round out the card, but one of the more interesting Pay-Per-View bouts features welterweight warriors Nate Diaz (12-6) and “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (10-4). The Stockton, California native and brother of Strikeforce champion “El Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-7) takes on the tough and well rounded Korean-born Hyun Kim, who is unbeaten in the UFC, in a race for a chance at welterweight king “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (21-2). Both men are dynamic ground fighters with contrasting clinch fighting styles that will make for a very interesting battle to the mat.
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.
Any show would have had trouble following the incredible card that was UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen. It was an action packed event that played right into the interests of almost every breed of fan; in short, it was the people’s card. At UFC 118, Dana White and the Zuffa crew followed the same elephant in the living room theme they did at UFC 117. The card was filled with loose ends that needed to be tied up. Unfortunately for Dana and the boys, UFC 118, while a solid and entertaining card, has a lame duck follow up to the bonanza that was UFC 117. The night started on Spike TV with a fight that functioned very well as a sedative between Andre Winner (12-4-1) and “The Canary” Nik Lentz (16-3-2). Lentz took lay and pray to a whole new level in his decision victory over Winner and served to set a less that enthusiastic outlook for the rest of the night. The main card started with the one sided drumming that earned Nate Diaz (12-6) and “The Irish Hand Grenade” Marcus Davis (17-7) fight of the night honors, followed by another of “The Bully” Gray Maynard’s (10-0) classic lead blanket NCAA wrestling matches against “KenFlo” Kenny Florian (13-5) and an active but uneventful ground battle between Demian Maia (12-2) and Mario Miranda (10-2). The co-main event resulted in the expected “I told you so” first round obliteration of “Lights Out” James Toney (0-1) by “The Natural” Randy Couture (19-10) and provided a brief moment of entertainment before “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1) defended his belt in a relatively dull five round tilt with “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1). Like all cards, several fighters came out ahead, some came out behind, and some came out looking like they didn’t belong in the cage.