The world’s premiere mixed martial arts organization returns from a month-long hiatus as the UFC presents UFC on FUEL TV 2 live from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden this Saturday. “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (15-6) and “One Punch” Brad Pickett (20-6) open up the main card with bantamweight action. ”The One” John Maguire (17-3) takes on “The Darkness” DaMarques Johnson (15-9) in a welterweight exhibition. “The Killer” Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1) makes his long awaited UFC debut when he takes on the very dangerous Brazilian submission specialist Paulo Thiago (14-3). Featherweights collide when “The Gun” Diego Nunes (17-2) takes on Dennis Siver (19-8) in a “Fight of the Night” frontrunner. Before Thiago Silva (14-2) and “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) battle it out in the card’s headliner, they will have to try to surpass the bar set by “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) and “The All-American” Brian Stann (11-4) in the co-main event. Stann and Sakara are two of the middleweight’s top names with the damage to show. However, only one of them can climb higher up the division’s ladder after their showdown in Stockholm.
Last night, Strikeforce graced the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX with the second installment of its World Heavyweight Grand Prix quarter-finals. The event was perhaps one of the ugliest events in recent MMA history with a fight-ending accidental eye poke and what appeared to be a dislocated elbow or possibly a seriously broken arm in the prelims and a main card that featured one extremely bloody fight and several one-sided beatdowns. To make matters worse, the main event saw “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (32-12) channel his inner “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4) against Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1) who felt a need to emulate Thales Leites (16-4). The main card itself was lopsided to the point that the match-making would be called into question had the fighters not have stacked so well on paper with “The Snowman” Jeff Monson (37-12), “The Python” Valentijn Overeem (27-22), “The Grim” Brett Rogers (11-3), and KJ Noons (9-4) suffering complete domination at the hands of Daniel Cormier (7-0), “The Grave Digger” Chad Griggs (10-1), “The Babyfaced Assassin” Josh Barnett (22-5), and “Gamebred” Jorge Masvidal (19-6) respectively. MMA Gospel is here with the post-fight shakedown.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the Versus network tonight for another compilation of free fights, this time rocking out the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The main event features “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-4) butting heads with the fighter previously known as “The Nightmare” and now known as “The Dream” Diego Sanchez (22-4) for one of the welterweights to take a big step closer to putting his name in the hat for a top contender spot. Wrestling fans are in for a treat with the co-main event, a match-up between “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (11-2) and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2) that is likely to turn into a clinic on MMA wrestling between the two Div. I NCAA competitors. Kicking off the main card is the return of former WEC Bantamweight Champion Brain Bowles (8-1) looking to climb back to the top ranks following his March 2010 loss to Dominick Cruz (16-1) by taking on Jackson’s Submission Fighting graduate “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (10-6), preceded by former UFC top lightweight contender “Daddy” Joe Stevenson (31-11) taking on WEC transplant “Last Call” Danny Castillo (9-3). A bout that is sure to be a contender for “Fight of the Night” honors pits heavy-hitting Italian striker “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-7) against UFC newcomer “The All-American” Chris Weidman (4-0) in a brawl that undoubtedly will end in spectacular fashion. Let’s have a closer look at this highly-anticipated bout.
What will become of the legacy of “The Spider” Anderson Silva (27-4), who fights tonight at UFC 126? When his career has faded into the grainy memory of mixed martial arts, what will be remembered? Will it be his vicious, calculated striking? Will fans talk of the daunting 12 consecutive wins that he currently holds within the toughest promotion on the planet? How will the MMA community remember his demolition of “Ace” Rich Franklin (28-5) not once, but twice in a shocking symphony of punches and kicks that left “Ace” crumpled on the floor, humbled and broken? Or will we remember the indifferent, stand-offish Silva? The one who danced around “The Predator” Patrick Cote (13-7) at UFC 90. When the fighter who toyed with Thales Leites (18-4) and Demian Maia (14-2), the latter of which was so painful to watch that even Silva’s biggest supporters shook their heads, puzzled as to why one of the most gifted fighters the sport has ever seen would act in such a pathetic and classless manner.
Much of the mystique of UFC Middleweight Champion and pound-for-pound best fighter in the world “The Spider” Anderson Silva (27-4) comes from the fact that many fighters have tried to figure him out but few have been able to survive long enough to do so. Tonight at UFC 126, “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-8) hopes to finish what Chael Sonnen (24-11-1) started at UFC 117 by exploiting the vulnerabilities of the champion and making him pay for his egotistical toying with his opponents. Vitor has been billed as the man with the striking to match Anderson Silva and with the humbling beatdown Silva took from Sonnen still fresh on the minds of many fans, it is certainly easy to believe that Belfort could be the man to beat the champ at his own game. The real questions, however, regard Silva and Belfort’s respective mental states coming into this middleweight championship bout. How did Sonnen affect Silva’s colossal ego? Has his God complex grown even more with the last-second submission win, or has the champ returned to reality? What about Vitor? Will he crack under the pressure of the title fight like he did so many times before? Will he arrive focused and ready to fight or will he show up looking as if he wishes he were somewhere else? As the main event to cap off a spectacular evening of fights, this will be one of the more intriguing battles taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center tomorrow night.