Hot days and long summer nights could not have gotten any livelier as UFC 148 comes live and direct from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Saturday night’s Pay-Per-View card kicks off with bantamweight action as “The Hulk” Mike Easton (12-1) squares off against Ivan Menjivar (24-8). “Money” Chad Mendes (11-1) returns to action when he meets Cody McKenzie (13-2) in the featherweight division. In a guaranteed spectacle, Cung Le (7-2) will look to get his first win in the organization when he welcomes back a fellow knockout artist in “The Predator” Patrick Cote (17-7). Former light heavyweight champions meet in the co-main event as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (16-10-1) graces the Octagon one last time against rival Forrest Griffin (18-7) with each man looking to come out on top of this rubber match. The main event is a rematch of 2010’s “Fight of the Year” as Chael Sonnen (27-11-1) and champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (31-4) meet once again with the belt on the line. Among all the action though, welterweight grapplers will engage as Judoka “Stun Gun” (15-1-1) Dong Hyun Kim meets Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Demian Maia (15-4). Each man saw the road to gold once before and if they wish to travel that road again, they have to make their stand here and now on one of the biggest cards of the year.
Tonight the UFC rocks Acer Arena in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia with UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch. The evening promises to be electrifying with a main card studded with potential for brutal knockouts, breathtaking submissions, and “Fight of the Night” honors with former lightweight and welterweight champion “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-7-1) again moving up to the welterweight division to take on American Kickboxing Academy phenom and Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu black belt Jon Fitch (22-3). Also on the roster is The Ultimate Fighter 6 alum and Australian native George Sotiropoulos (14-2) facing German kickboxing champion Dennis Siver (17-7) in a lightweight bout of the classic striker vs. grappler match-up, and “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-17-5) welcomes UFC newcomer but seasoned veteran Brian Ebersole (39-13-1) to the Octagon after an offering from “KO” Kyle Noke (18-4-1) and Chris Camozzi (14-3) kicks off the evening. The co-main event, however, offers perhaps the best chance to see “Knockout of the Night” with two famed strikers going head-to-head with British slugger “The Count” Michael Bisping (20-3) teeing off against “El Conquistador” Jorge Rivera (18-7). With long-time UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4) systematically picking off his challengers one-by-one, both Bisping and Rivera look to take one step closer to earning a shot at the UFC’s coveted 185lbs. title.
Iron-jawed power puncher and former UFC middleweight title challenger “The Predator” Patrick Cote (13-7) has a new promotion to call home, and it’s in his own backyard. After weeks of speculation as to where the Canadian heavy hitter would go next, the word is out and the ink is dry, as Montreal-based promotion Ringside MMA welcomes Cote not only back to the world of mixed martial arts but back to his home turf where he is most dangerous.
Cote’s one-man welcoming party is fellow Canadian and The Ultimate Fighter 3 alum Kalib Starnes (12-4-1) who is probably best remembered for his three round back pedaling fight against “The Rock” Nate Quarry (12-4) at UFC 83, which shortly after led to his release from the promotion. Currently Starnes is on a two fight win streak while Cote is coming off consecutive losses to “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4) in 2008, and “The Talent” Alan Belcher (16-6) and “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (7-3) in 2010. Cote was on a year-and-a-half long lay-off following his title challenge bout against “The Spider” in August 2008, during which he sustained a knee injury that required surgery and rehab.