Less than 24 hours after the winners of TUF: The Smashes are determined, the final offering from The Ultimate Fighter 16 will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada. As has become the trend of late, coach “The Engineer” Shane Carwin (12-2) injured his knee and thus the coaches will not be facing one another. Instead, “Big Country” Roy Nelson (17-7) will face fellow TUF 10 alum “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-1). The co-main will feature the two finalists of the TUF series’ latest installment with ”The Martian” Mike Ricci (7-2) of Team Carwin taking on Colton Smith (3-1) of Team Nelson. Anchoring the card is a clash of heavyweight kickboxers as “HD” Pat Barry (7-5) steps in the Octagon across from Shane del Rosario (11-1). The opening match will see “The Diamond” Dustin Poirier (12-2) against Jonathan Brookins (13-5) followed by a lightweight tilt between “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (30-11-2) and “C-4″ Jamie Varner (20-7-1).
Thirty-two of the world’s most talented unsigned mixed martial artists are primed and ready to compete on The Ultimate Fighter 16. Today officials announced the names of those comprising the 32-man welterweight roster, which includes 29 Americans, two Canadians, and one Brazilian as well as several major promotion veterans, all to be under the tutelage of either former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin (12-2) or TUF Season 10 winner and former IFL champ “Big Country” Roy Nelson (17-7).
It was an amazing weekend for MMA. The UFC kicked off its flyweight division with an entertaining, non-stop, action-packed scrap between Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson on Friday night. And Saturday night saw women’s MMA reinvigorated by two great fights between Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis and the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Title bout between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey. However, it wasn’t all good…
Here on MMA Gospel, we do a column after fights called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and I’m going to use that format with my own spin: The Epic and the WTF?! It was originally going to be “The Epic, the Shitty and the WTF?” but I found it hard to separate the shitty from the WTF.
In just one of the many recent efforts put forth by the world’s top mixed martial arts promotion, UFC on Versus 4: Kongo vs. Barry barreled through Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania leaving no fan disappointed. The main card was opened by two Goliaths of the heavyweight division clawing at each other as they advance up the mountain. A fighter whose strikes are known to end all who stand in his way would meet against a man who does not accept defeat without a fight. The co-main event was saved when a hometown hero stepped up to face one of the fastest rising stars in the welterweight division. Finally in the main event, two of the biggest and most dangerous strikers collide in a highly anticipated heavyweight match-up. In the wake of a significant win for a top contender, the question most often posed for him is “What’s next?” Here is a brief recap of the events that took place in what turned out to be arguably one of the most unforgettable cards in recent memory, and the matches those respective winners could very well themselves undertaking in the future.
UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin
Michihiro Omigawa vs. Darren Elkins really, what can you say? Not only did the judges rob Omigawa with a Unanimous Decision nod for Elkins. One of these crackheads scored it 30-27. That’s like scoring the first round of Edgar/Maynard II 10-9 for Frankie Edgar. How do people that fuck up that bad still have jobs?
UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin has come and gone to the delight of the people of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and MMA fans around the world. The night was a long one with only a single Pay-Per-View bout ending short of the decision, but the fights were exciting and every fighter handled himself with class and dignity. As a whole, the card was a good one giving very little to complain about and leaving fans with a good taste in their mouths for the next offering from Zuffa’s flagship promotion. However, there were a few fighters that managed to come out on the short end of the stick and to cover that, MMA Gospel brings The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin: Dos Santos via Unanimous Decision, (30-27, 30-27, 30-26), Round 3, 5:00
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes: Florian via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman: Herman via TKO (Punches), Round 2, 3:19
Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz: Munoz via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha: Cerrone via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26), Round 3, 5:00
The day has arrived! Tonight the UFC barrels into Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to rock fans with UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin. Starring in the main event are heavy-hitting behemoth knockout artists “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1) and former top contender “The Engineer” Shane Carwin (11-1), supported by submission specialist “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (13-5) making his featherweight debut against “The Gun” Diego Nunes (15-3), a heavyweight clash between UFC newcomers Jon Olav Einemo (6-1) and “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (18-2), a battle in the 185lbs. division between tacticians Demian Maia (13-2) and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (8-2), and WEC transplant “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (13-4) taking on BJJ champion Vagner Rocha (5-1). Don’t miss it!
Find out how to watch the entire UFC 131 fight card and watch the “Countdown to UFC 131″ video after the page break.
Another evening of fights is set to take place when Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada hosts UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin tomorrow evening. Promotional newcomer Vagner Rocha (5-1) makes his Octagon debut against “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (13-4) in a lightweight contest. “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (8-2) hopes to move further up in contention while fellow middleweight Demian Maia (13-2) tries to make a convincing argument for another chance at the belt. Two long-awaited heavyweight prospects finally makes their debuts within the promotion when Jon Olav Einemo (6-1) battles “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (18-2). “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (13-5) drops down from the lightweight bracket to featherweight when he takes on “The Gun” Diego Nunes (15-3). In the main event, power meets power when “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1) and “The Engineer” Shane Carwin (11-1) engage for the chance to challenge current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (9-0) for his belt. When a majority of wins for both competitors end within the first round through knockout or technical knockout, this fight has that same potential at any time. Do not blink.
The third UFC event in as many weeks returns to Vancouver, British Columbia tomorrow night to rock Canadian fans a la UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin. “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (13-4) hopes to extend his three-fight win streak against UFC newcomer Vagner Rocha (5-1). In a middleweight battle, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz and Demian Maia (13-2) will test one another’s limit where a win can launch one up into the 185lbs. title picture. Wrestling powerhouse “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (18-2) and Jiu-Jitsu black belt Jon Olav Einemo (6-1) make their debuts within the heavyweight division. But before the title elimination bout between “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1) and Shane Carwin (11-1) closes out the night, a featherweight match is set when Muay Thai master “The Gun” Diego Nunes (15-3) prepares to rudely welcome former lightweight contender “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (13-5) down to the 145lbs. bracket. Although Florian tasted defeat in his last lightweight showing, a win over Nunes would promise an instant title shot at WEC transplant and reigning champ “Junior” Jose Aldo (18-1). Florian’s last hopes to make a convincing drive all comes at this fight but the controlled chaos of Nunes’ stand-up is going to do whatever it takes to make sure the engine crashes and burns.
The UFC returns to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for the second time as UFC 131 rolls into town with a heavyweight main event between “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1) and “The Engineer” Shane Carwin (11-1). The two heavy-handed KO artists will bring with them a host of high profile bouts including long-time lightweight contender “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian’s (13-5) move to the featherweight class against “The Gun” Diego Nunes (15-3) and championship title hopefuls “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (8-2) and Demian Maia (13-2) who will meet in a tilt at 185lbs. Also slated for action, veteran WEC stand-out “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (13-4) will welcome BJJ champion Vagner Rocha (5-1) to the UFC and Jon Olav Einemo (6-1) and “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (18-2) will collide in a match between UFC newcomers. The Herman/Einemo fight is an especially interesting clash between two completely contrasting styles of MMA as a whole and will certainly offer fans an insight into what the global expansion of the UFC is bringing to the table for them.
Just one week after the close of The Ultimate Fighter’s thirteenth season, the UFC fires off its third card in as many weeks as heavyweight championship contenders “Cigano” Junior Dos Santos (12-1) and “The Engineer” Shane Carwin (11-1) square off for the main event at UFC 131. With appearances from fighters like “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (8-2), Demian Maia (13-2), “Ken-Flo” Kenny Florian (13-5), “The Gun” Diego Nunes (15-3), Jon Olav Einemo (6-1), and “Pee Wee” Dave Herman (18-2), the card is sure to be a submission grappling fan’s dream come true. Continuing with the theme of submission fighting excellence, the evening kicks off with a bout between a pair of respected ground fighters in “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (13-4) and Vagner Rocha (5-1). The match will be a strong test for both men as each represents something they haven’t truly overcome in their careers. On the line is a chance to establish a name for themselves as a main card performer with a place among the 155ers fighting for a shot at the lightweight belt. The result is a fight fans won’t want to miss to start the night off right.