The Garden State hosts mixed martial arts action Saturday night as East Rutherford, New Jersey’s IZOD Center is the battleground for UFC on FOX 3. Submission specialist “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (14-3) takes on stand-up extraordinaire “The Talent” Alan Belcher (17-6) in the opening bout of the main card. Expect heads to fly as the heavyweights take to the cage when “HD” Pat Barry (7-4) collides with fellow striker “Big” Lavar Johnson (16-5). In the main event “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (21-3) gets the homefield advantage when he challenges Nate Diaz (15-7) in a pivotal match-up in the lightweight division. “Kos” Josh Koscheck (17-5) and “Big Rig” Johny Hendricks (12-1) will meet before the night’s end in the co-main event. Koscheck has always been held high in the welterweight picture and looks to re-establish himself as a viable contender. Hendricks, on the other hand, is finally coming into his own and will look to keep the “Big Rig” moving on all gears.
The UFC returns to Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday with perhaps the most hyped title fight of the year featuring training-partners-turned-bitter-rivals, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Bones” Jon Jones (15-1) and “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1). Young prospect “Ares” Rory MacDonald (12-1) takes on English striker “Beautiful” Che Mills (14-4) in the UFC 145 co-main event. Returning to the Octagon searching for victory is IFL veteran “Big” Ben Rothwell (31-8) versus confident knockout artist “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (8-2) in a heavyweight scrap. Former UFC featherweight title challenger “The Machine” Mark Hominick (20-10) steps into the cage against “The Filipino Phenom” Eddie Yagin (15-5) with both men in a must-win situation. Starting up the Pay-Per-View action is Canadian submission expert Mark Bocek (10-5) welcoming fellow countryman and WEC, UFC, and MFC veteran “The Natural” John Alessio (34-14) back to the Octagon. Alessio, a long-time welterweight, has found a new home at lightweight and will look to show the fans, Dana White, and all of the 155lbs. division that he is here to stay, while Bocek looks to prove that his name belongs in the mix of top lightweight contenders. With both men having a lot to gain and a lot to lose from this fight, the main card opener is sure to entertain.
“Pitbull” Thiago Alves (19-9) has had mixed success inside the Octagon over the past two years, going 2-2 in his last four bouts. His March 2 pairing at UFC on FX 2 in Sydney, Australia against “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (19-5) went from being a certain victory to an embarrassing failure with one poor decision. With only 48 seconds left in the third round of a bout Alves was dominating, Kampmann took advantage of a takedown and locked on a Guillotine Choke just moments after being rocked on the feet. Now Alves has only two wins in his past five fights, though in those losses he remained aggressive and competitive. The questions surrounding the former title challenger to the welterweight title do not involve his fire to compete or his personal life. They focus on his abilities to control his impulses and the decisions he must now make in his career. The answers to those questions may be hard pills to swallow.
Friday night the UFC kicked off a weekend of high caliber MMA action with yet another top flight free card on FX. UFC on FX 2: Alves vs. Kampmann was the whole of MMA in a nutshell, with which a first-timer could get a little taste of everything that prevails in the sport from that one card. Constantinos Philippou (10-2) opened the card with a brief introduction to the concept of the sport as he displayed the gamut of skill sets in his decision win over “The Crusher” Court McGee (12-2). From there the newcomer would be exposed to the fans’ ability to cry foul at the slightest provocation from the judges as well as the general ineptitude of the athletic commissions when “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (12-2-1 ) and “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall (10-2-1) fought to a Majority Draw that was originally reported incorrectly as a Majority Decision for Johnson. Joseph Benavidez (13-2) showed how things can end violently and unexpectedly when he blasted Yasuhiro Urushitani (16-5-5) into unconsciousness just 11 seconds into round two after a competitive first period. Finally, main event “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (19-5) showed the MMA virgin how, as Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over till it’s over with his stunning come-from-behind Guillotine Choke victory over “The Pitbull” Thiago Alves (18-9) late in the third.
—MAIN CARD (on FX)—
Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann: Kampmann via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 3, 4:12
Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani: Benavidez via TKO (Punch), Round 2, 0:11
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall: Bout ruled a Majority Draw (29-28, 29-29, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Court McGee vs. Constantinos Philippou: Philippou via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
The world’s premier mixed martial arts organization reloads and fires again on Friday as the UFC returns to FX for UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann. TUF winner “The Crusher” Court McGee (12-1) will start the show against Constantinos Philippou (9-2) in a sluggers’ duel. “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (12-2) will make UFC history in both the first flyweight UFC bout and the first UFC bout to potentially utilize a “sudden death” round as he squares off with “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall (10-2). Former bantamweight title contender Joseph Benavidez (12-2) will face off with Shooto champion Yasuhiro Urushitani (16-4-5) and, in the main event, one-time welterweight title hopeful “The Pitbull” Thiago Alves (18-8) will do battle with the always dangerous “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (18-5). The card is loaded with exciting strikers and every bout has first-round KO potential.
MMA Gospel Radio is back and reborn as a podcast with snarky Twitter “celebrity” Spilled Bag of Ice at the helm and MMA Gospel staff writer Patrick Guera by his side. The new show promises more in-depth discussions, more expert panels, and more fighter interviews than ever before from a fan’s viewpoint and with an insider’s perspective. First up on the slate, SBoI and Director Patrick look back at UFC 144 – the controversy, the KO’s, the comebacks, and the “Sexyama”. They also look ahead to UFC on FX’s main event and flyweight tournament.
The 170lbs. division is gearing up for another season-long Bellator tournament set to kick off in March. With a wealth of returning talent, two towering giants, a UFC veteran, and a wrecking machine all set to meet inside the Bellator cage, the fireworks are sure to fly. Eight hungry contenders will enter but only one will earn a title shot.
Returning to the cage after his tournament finale loss to eventual champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (19-4) is “Killa B” Ben Saunders (12-3). A Bruce Lee-inspired approach to fighting has lead the man who owns some of the deadliest knees and elbows in MMA to the finals before, and this time Saunders will make the needed adjustments to rectify the mistake. Saunders has the talent, the range, and the aggression to beat anyone at any time but in Season 6 he will have even more motivation to prove it.
The UFC followed up its monumental FOX debut with one of the best cards of the year, UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson. It was a one-sided affair when former The Ultimate Fighter alumni met in the card’s opener. It was a battle of attrition between two of the welterweight’s most demanding forces. The bantamweight division saw its next title contender break out of the pack in flying colors. The co-main event was a matter of “do-or-die” between the hometown hero and a legend still proving to show he is a threat to be taken seriously. The main event was an instant classic when PRIDE veterans met for the very first time and did not leave a single seat in San Jose’s HP Pavilion disappointed. Now that all has been said and done, here’s a recap of each of the main card’s bouts as well as potential fights that could be put together later on down the road for the victors.
The UFC’s most recent trip across the pond has concluded and UFC 138 is in the books following solid performances from several veterans and a few newcomers to the organization. The main event saw TUF Season One mainstay “The Crippler” Chris Leben (22-9) fell to “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (10-2), WEC veteran “One Punch” Brad Pickett (19-6) was put away quickly by the red hot Renan Barão (9-1) who has won 27 straight bouts since 2005 when his many unregulated bouts in Brazil are considered, and perennial welterweight top talent “Pitbull” Thiago Alves (18-8) handed Papy Abedi (5-1) his first loss. The main card as a whole went rather quickly; in fact, after the opening bouts saw Terry Etim (15-3) submit “Falo” Edward Faaloloto (5-2) in under 20 seconds and “The Hippo” Anthony Perosh (12-6) choke out “The Snake” Cyrille Diabate (17-8-1), only 22 minutes and 41 seconds of action took place in the cage.
Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz: Munoz via TKO (Corner Stoppage), Round 2, 5:00
Brad Pickett vs. Renan Barão: Barão via Submission (Neck Crank), Round 1, 4:09
Thiago Alves vs. Papy Abedi: Alves via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 1, 3:32
Cyrille Diabaté vs. Anthony Perosh: Perosh via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 3:09
Terry Etim vs. Edward Faaloloto: Etim via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 1, 0:17
This Saturday night the LG Arena in Birmingham, England will welcome the UFC back to the UK for the first time since UFC 120 in October of last year. After several planned events failed to materialize, UFC 138 came through for the British fans with not only the city’s second helping of action from the always exciting “The Crippler” Chris Leben (22-8), but the UFC’s first ever five-round non-title bout, a practice that is to become the norm for all main events. Squaring off with Leben is powerhouse middleweight ground-and-pounder “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (9-2) who is riding high on three straight wins. Kicking things off is a match between “The Snake” Cyrille Diabate (17-7-1) and “The Hippo” Anthony Perosh (11-6) and other bouts include “Pitbull” Thiago Alves (17-8) vs. Papy Abedi (5-0), Terry Etim (14-3) vs. “Falo” Edward Faaloloto (5-2) and “One Punch” Brad Pickett (19-5) vs. Renan Barao (8-1). The card has gone through many renovations as multiple injuries have cost the UFC at least three main card fights, however, the card should still shine through as an excellent night of MMA action.
Despite a laundry list of substitutions and injuries, UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz still made good on their delivery of entertaining fights. Philadelphia saw “age” meet “experience” in the card’s opener. An upcoming middleweight stepped up to the main card to face a veteran in his quest to establish himself in the UFC. Two seasoned fighters in the welterweight division added another notch in their combined 100+ fight career. The co-main event truly played into the phrase, “don’t blink” as two 185lbs. contenders collided. In the main event, two former light heavyweight champions met again after their first fight in 2007, only this time with serious title implications for the victor. Now that all has been said and done, here is a recap of UFC 133’s main card and possible match-ups that could be seen for those who had their hand raised.
Hello, Icemigos. How was your blah, blah, blah? Yeah and how’s that thing that you do going? Really? That’s interesting. You know how I feel about that. I mean it should go without saying, right?
So with the niceties out of the way let’s get right to the awards! What awards? The first ever SBoI Awards for the week of MMA fights that I saw! “The Iceys®” as they’re called – as of now.