April 6 the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Fuel TV when it touches down live in Stockholm, Sweden. As explored in Part I of MMA Gospel’s UFC on Fuel TV 9 pre-fight breakdown, the first half of the main card kicks off with Akira Corassani (10-3) taking on Robbie Peralta (16-3), “The Scarecrow” Pablo Garza (12-3) battling “Ceara” Diego Brandao (16-8) in a featherweight showcase, and “The Hulk” Mike Easton (13-2) taking on fellow striker “One Punch” Brad Pickett (22-7). In this latter half of the main card breakdown, a quick look begins with the heavyweight battle between “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-2) and Philip DeFries (9-2). The co-main event sees “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (14-6) welcoming Strikeforce transplant Ryan Couture (6-1). Two new faces grace the light heavyweight division in the main event as Ilir Latifi (9-2) steps in on less than a week’s notice for his injured teammate, perennial contender “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (15-1), to meet “The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2). Both men grace the eight-sided cage for the first time and with each getting top-billing for their debut, a win at this stage can open many doors for them at 205 pounds.
The UFC returns after a wildly successful sojourn to Montreal at UFC 158 to offer its fifth free card of 2013, UFC on Fuel TV 9 from Stockholm, Sweden. Headlining the event is newcomer “The Sledgehammer” Ilir Latifi (7-2) as he debuts beside Dream and Strikeforce standout “The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2). “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (14-6) looks to continue his recent success following TUF: The Smashes at the expense of second-generation prodigy Ryan Couture (6-1). “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-2) will struggle to find his winning way again as he meets Philip De Fries (9-2) in a bout that will likely leave one of the two jobless. The lower half of the main card also shows promise with “The Hulk” Mike Easton (13-2) looking to right the ship after a disappointing decision loss at the expense of “One Punch” Brad Pickett (22-7) in the anchor slot. Deadly finisher “Ceara” Diego Brandao (16-8) will meet “The Scarecrow” Pablo Garza (12-3) in the second match of the evening, and kicking things off is a pairing of featherweights looking to come out from under the radar, Akira Corassani (10-3) and “Problems” Robbie Peralta (16-3). Here in Part I of the UFC on Fuel TV 9 pre-fight breakdown, MMA Gospel examines the first three of the night’s match-ups.
—MAIN CARD (on FOX @ 8:00pm ET)—
Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz: Henderson via Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-45, 50-45), Round 5, 5:00
Mauricio Rua vs. Alexander Gustafsson: Gustafsson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26), Round 3, 5:00
BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald: MacDonald via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Mike Swick vs. Matt Brown: Brown via KO (Punches), Round 2, 2:31
UFC 148 was the most successful live event in UFC history. Though the Pay-Per-View numbers for the second meeting of “The Spider” Anderson Silva (32-4) and Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) have yet to be released, the live gate was over 6.5 million dollars, eclipsing the previous UFC record of 5.3 million and setting a record for MMA in the state of Nevada. ”The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-11-1) went out with a “Fight of the Night” earning bang but saw his retirement party crashed by Forrest Griffin (19-7) in a narrow decision loss. Cung Le (8-2) defeated “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-8) in his first UFC victory. Demian Maia (16-4) was the beneficiary of “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim’s (15-2-1) bad luck when the Korean Judoka’s self-inflicted rib injury brought an early halt to the match. “AK Kid” Cody McKenzie (13-3) found out the hard way that a move to 145 wasn’t going to make his life any easier when “Money” Chad Mendes (12-1) finished him in just 31 seconds. Opening the card, “The Hulk” Mike Easton (13-1) came out on top against “The Pride of El Salvator” Ivan Menjivar (24-9). The UFC and its fans were the clear winners of the night, but the fighters themselves may not have fared so well. To explore this is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen: Silva via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 1:55
Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz: Griffin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote: Le via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia: Maia via TKO (Rib Injury), Round 1, 0:47
Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie: Mendes via TKO (Body Punch), Round 1, 0:31
Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton: Easton via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Tonight the UFC is back in action at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with a star-studded card that features one of the most highly anticipated rematches in MMA history. As made even more evident by the reported 10,000+ in attendance for Friday night’s UFC 148 weigh-ins, Zuffa can certainly look forward to having some of their highest Pay-Per-View numbers to date with a card headlined by current UFC Middleweight Champion and arguably one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon, “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4), and polarizing figure Chael Sonnen (27-11), who is looking to score revenge for the loss he suffered the last time he and the champ met nearly two years ago. But that’s not the only great rematch on the PPV portion of UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, as fans will also get to see the long awaited rubber match between former light heavyweight champions Forrest Griffin (18-7) and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10). Win, lose, or draw, Ortiz plans on hanging up his gloves and flamed shorts and walking off into the sunset. Shoring up the main card are the likes of former Strikeforce champ Cung Le (7-2), returning UFC veteran “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7), JMMA star “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1) and BJJ expert Demian Maia (15-4), WEC veteran “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) and TUF alum “AK Kid” Cody McKenzie (13-2), and Tristar Gym fighter “Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar (24-8) and “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) in the opening slot. The UFC is also supplying tremendous action in the undercard match-ups, with perhaps the most promising contender for becoming a main card mainstay being “The Eagle” Khabib Nurmagomedov (17-0).
The phrase “most anticipated fight of the year” is thrown around very liberally in the landscape of mixed martial arts, and has long since become overstated in respect to both frequency and descriptiveness. Saturday night’s UFC 148, however, boasts a match-up that truly is the most anticipated fight of the year, if not of the past two years since the headlining combatants first met in August 2010. In just over 24 hours, one of the biggest scores in recent MMA history will be settled when long-reigning UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4) comes face to face with boisterous, professional wrestling-esque smack talker Chael Sonnen (27-11-1), who in their first meeting came all too close to handing Silva his first loss in over four years before being submitted late in the fifth round. Directly supporting the ultimate grudge match of a main event is a rubber match between former champions and staples of the UFC, Forrest Griffin (18-7) and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10-1). Revered 185lbs. striker Cung Le (7-2) welcomes fellow heavy-hitter “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7) back to the Octagon after a two-year-long UFC hiatus. Welterweights “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1) and Demian Maia (15-4) will compete in what is sure to be a battle on the mat. Former top 145lbs. contender “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) will square off with TUF alum “AK Kid” Cody McKenzie (13-2), preceded by a bantamweight affair between “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) and “The Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar (24-8). The winners and losers of UFC 148 have yet to be determined, but here are the MMA Gospel staff’s picks of who is likely to come out on top.
The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will once again host the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization as Zuffa presents UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II on Saturday night. Opening the card is a bantamweight match between “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) and “The Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar (24-8), proceeded by former top 145lbs. contender “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) versus TUF alum “AK Kid” Cody McKenzie (13-2). Welterweights “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1) and Jiu-Jitsu expert Demian Maia (15-4) will follow the 135ers with Cung Le (7-2) and “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7) holding the anchor position. The co-main will see Forrest Griffin (18-7) face “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10-1) for the third time in each man’s storied career and headlining the Pay-Per-View card will be a rematch that nearly everyone in the MMA world has been eagerly awaiting for nearly two years: “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4) against Chael Sonnen (27-11-1).
The Fourth of July might have the fireworks but the seventh is where the real show is as UFC 148 takes place in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) and Ivan Menjivar (24-8) meet in the main card’s opener. “AK Kid” Cody McKenzie (13-2) challenges “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) in the featherweight division. A grappling clinic is bound to take place as “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (15-1-1) pits his Judo against Demian Maia’s (15-4) Jiu-Jitsu. Afterwards, the night might very well see a striking clinic as knockout artists Cung Le (7-2) and “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7) meet in the card’s anchor. After their first fight in 2010, many have wanted a rematch and will finally get it when Chael Sonnen (27-11-1) battles UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4) in the main event. Before they meet, the co-main event sees former light heavyweight champions across the cage from one another for the third and final time as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10-1) squares off against Forrest Griffin (18-7). With each man holding one win over the other, the rubber match is set to see who is the more dominant between the two.