“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.
—MAIN CARD (on MTV2 and Bellator.com)—
Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Final Fight
Bryan Baker vs. Karl Amoussou: Amoussou via Submission (Inverted Heel Hook), Round 1, 0:56
Welterweight Feature Fight
Paul Daley vs. Rudy Bears: Daley via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 2:45
2012 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
Emanuel Newton vs. Attila Vegh: Vegh via Split Decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
2012 Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Semi-Final Fight
Tim Carpenter vs. Travis Wiuff: Wiuff via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Welterweight Feature Fight
Waachiim Spiritwolf vs. Marius Zaromskis: Zaromskis via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Bellator will drop anchor at the USF Sun Dome, in Tampa, Florida for Bellator 72 presenting a stacked card that features the Season 6 Welterweight Tournament finale between “Psycho” Karl Amoussou (15-4) and “The Beast” Bryan Baker (18-3). Former Strikeforce title contender and UFC veteran “Semtex” Paul Daley (29-12) bowed out from Strikeforce to sign with Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his debut against Bellator veteran Rudy Bears (14-10). The 2012 Summer Series light heavyweight semi-finals kick off as “The Hardcore Kid” Emanuel Newton (18-6) faces “Pumukli” Attila Vegh (26-4) and Tim Carpenter (9-1) takes on “Diesel” Travis Wiuff (67-14). A special feature fight and rubber match between bitter rivals opens the card as former DREAM Welterweight Champion “The Whitemare” Marius Zaromskis (17-6) and Waachiim Spiritwolf (9-10) look to settle the score after the past two bouts ended less than definitively.
Strikeforce comes back in a big way for its second offering of 2012 as the ladies took center stage for only the second time in promotional history. Just like the first time when “Cyborg” Cristiane Santos (10-1) took the women’s 145lbs. title from “Conviction” Gina Carano (7-1), the headlining bout was an ultra-hyped, fast paced affair in which the challenger dominated completely. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (5-0) took just over four minutes to severely damage “Takedown” Miesha Tate’s (12-3) arm en route to a championship victory. Lightweight title contenders met as KJ Noons (11-5) dropped a lackluster decision to “The Punk” Josh Thomson (19-4). British bomber “Semtex” Paul Daley (29-12) continued his downward slide as “Hitman” Kazuo Misaki (25-11) took control of their fight. Journeyman Lumumba Sayers (6-2) made certain that “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (17-10) had a very disappointing welcome back to the middleweight division and former champ “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (15-3) returned to his winning ways against Strikeforce newcomer Bristol Marunde (12-7). The main event delivered on its hype and the card was solid, but not everyone can be a winner. To assess the damage, MMA Gospel has “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”.
—MAIN CARD (on Showtime)—
Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey: Rousey via Submission (Armbar), Round 1, 4:27
Josh Thomson vs. KJ Noons: Thomson via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Paul Daley vs. Kazuo Misaki: Misaki via Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29), Round 3, 5:00
Scott Smith vs. Lumumba Sayers: Smith via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 1:34
Ronaldo Souza vs. Brisol Marunde: Souza via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke), Round 3, 2:43
The second installment of Strikeforce action in 2012 takes place this Saturday in the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (17-9) returns from a timely lay-off to take on one of the middleweight division’s rising new stars, Lumumba Sayers (5-2). “The Punk” Josh Thomson (18-4) is back from injury and will be greeted by KJ Noons (11-4) in his return. Midway through the main card, two dynamos of the sport meet as knockout artist “Semtex” Paul Daley (29-11-2) battles a fellow veteran in “Hitman” Kazuo Misaki (24-11-2). Bristol Marunde (12-6) makes his Strikeforce debut in the co-main event but has a steep mountain to climb in the form of submission ace, “Jacare” Ronaldo Souza (14-3). The main event has been turning heads for some time and now it finally comes to fruition when “Takedown” Miesha Tate (12-2) puts her women’s welterweight title on the line against “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (4-0). With all the action already placed on the main card, here’s a glance of what to look out for when the combatants take to the cage.
On February 4, a UFC Interim Welterweight Champion will be crowned as Strikeforce welterweight king and MMA bad boy Nick Diaz (26-8) faces off with former WEC Welterweight Champion “Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (27-5) in the UFC 143 main event. Supporting the potential slug fest of a title fight is the return of UFC and Strikeforce veteran “Vai Cavalo” Fabricio Werdum (14-5) against “Big Country” Roy Nelson (16-6) of IFL fame in a heavyweight tilt. A battle between two WEC 135lbs. veterans will take place as Renan Barao (27-1) looks to become a title contender by defeating former top contender “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (12-3). The reborn “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (17-8) is looking not only for his third straight victory but his third straight finish as he takes on Clifford Starks (5-0) in the main card opening fight on Pay-Per-View. Anchoring the card is former welterweight title contender and TUF Season 1 veteran “Kos” Josh Koscheck (16-5) returning after his TKO win over UFC legend and former 170lbs. champion Matt Hughes (43-9) to tee off with heavy-handed Team Quest fighter Mike Pierce (10-3) in match-up that pits two NCAA Div. I wrestlers against one another with a chance to move up the ranks in arguably the UFC’s most competitive division on the line.
Last night some of the most prominent names in mixed martial arts convened at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada to honor nominees in 22 categories at the 2011 World MMA Awards. The categories, which are selected by a nominations panel then voted on by fans, honor all things MMA, from fighters, to referees, to equipment, apparel, ring girls, and much more. The annual awards show, now in its fourth year, once again saw the UFC taking the majority of the honors. And the winners are…
Did you miss me? Well, dry your tears icemigos. I have returned. There was a rough few weeks with no MMA events – at least none that I was able to see. And now… now… I have three events to draw from. Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson, Strikeforce Challengers: Voelker vs. Bowling III, and Bellator 47.
Let’s start from the top. What’s up with Fedor? Sure, anyone can get knocked out by Dan Henderson but before that Fedor was swinging wildly. Yes, Fedor is known to try and finish a fight when he has someone hurt but there was an almost desperate recklessness in Fedor’s attempt to finish – not the precision timing that KO’d Andrei Arlovski in mid-air.
Strikeforce has come and gone from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, leaving empty seats and the occasional snack wrapper or beer bottle where thousands of screaming fans once stood watching “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-4) fight for the second time in the Windy City. The world’s second most powerful force in MMA presented one of its most stacked cards to date last night and while some of the bouts went pretty much as expected, big things still went down. From the first bell of the prelims to the last punch of Fedor’s main event brawl against “Hendo” Dan Henderson (28-8), MMA Gospel was there, looking for the lasting effects a card with this much name recognition would have on the MMA world.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson: Henderson via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 4:12
Marloes Coenen vs. Miesha Tate: Tate via Submission (Arm Triangle), Round 4, 3:03
Robbie Lawler vs. Tim Kennedy: Kennedy via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Paul Daley vs. Tyron Woodley: Woodley via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Scott Smith vs. Tarec Saffiedine: Saffiedine via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
After the smoke clears from “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-8) and Tarec Saffiedine’s (10-2) card-opening bout and “Semtex” Paul Daley (24-11-2) and “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (10-0) square off, Strikeforce will deliver a trio of bouts that have captured the attention of MMA fans worldwide. First, 185ers “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-7-1) and Tim Kennedy (14-3) will face each other in a slugger’s duel to climb one step higher on the middleweight ladder. Then, in the co-main event, incumbent champion Marloes Coenen (17-4) will pit her Golden Glory kickboxing and renowned submission skills against “Takedown” Miesha Tate (11-2). Finally, in the evening’s featured attraction, current Strikeforce and former PRIDE 205lbs. champion “Hendo” Dan Henderson (27-8) will face one of the most respected and controversial figures in MMA history, “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-3). After suffering back-to-back one-sided losses, Fedor Emelianenko flirted with retirement and faces falling out of the top ten for the first time in his career should he fail against “Hendo”. Henderson himself is riding a pair of KO wins and is looking at a triumphant and profitable return to the UFC with a win over the Russian Sambo master under his belt.
Before “The Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko (31-3) steps into the cage to face the dangerous for all the same reasons “Hendo” Dan Henderson (27-8), Strikeforce will treat the Windy City to a dose of mixed martial arts action featuring “Hands of Steel” Scott Smith (16-8), Tarec Saffiedine (10-2), “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (18-7-1), Tim Kennedy (14-3), “Semtex” Paul Daley (24-11-2), and “T-Wood” Tyron Woodley (10-0). Joining this stellar cast of warriors are the ladies who make up the co-main event, Women’s Welterweight Champion Marloes Coenen (17-4) and her challenger “Takedown” Miesha Tate (11-2). Coenen failed in her run at 145lbs. but dropped to the welterweight division and submitted two previously undefeated fighters in former champion Sarah Kaufman (14-1) and “Girl-Rilla” Liz Carmouche (3-1). Tate, for her part, won her way into title contention by returning to the Challengers Series with a three-fight win streak that saw her defeat two top opponents in one night. The match means the world to WMMA, as the womens’ place on the primary Zuffa roster rests squarely on the sustainability of the women’s welterweight division. After the performance Kaufman put on last Friday, these ladies will have to bring their A-game to prove that there is more than one 135er with the skills to interest the MMA world at large and, more importantly, the Zuffa brass that decides whether the ladies stay on the Strikeforce main card or find themselves sent back to a niche market appeal on the Challengers Series.