The UFC 137 main card has survived a series of blows to its line-up to finally come to fruition tonight at the promotion’s primary stomping grounds, the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. To kick off the Pay-Per-View festivities, perpetual underdog and TUF 8 alum George Roop (12-6-1) welcomes Japanese sensation Hatsu Hioki to the Octagon for his stateside debut. Two former WEC stand-outs go to battle as multiple-time “Fight of the Night” winner “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (11-3) is pitted against fellow bantamweight and seasoned submission guru “Big Frog” Jeff Curran (35-13-1). The famed head kicks of ”Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-10-2) will likely make an appearance when the former PRIDE superstar takes on inaugural IFL Heavyweight Champion and TUF 10 winner “Big Country” Roy Nelson (15-6). The co-main event sees another heavyweight clash, this time between renowned French kickboxer Cheick Kongo (16-6-2) and the man who “pisses excellence” each time he steps foot in the Octagon, “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (5-0). Former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-7-2) goes head to head with Stockton native “Diablo” Nick Diaz (24-8) of Cesar Gracie tutelage in the evening’s marquis event – a pairing that already showed fireworks at last night’s weigh-ins. Despite its rocky start, the UFC once again has managed to string together an event chock full of promising match-ups that are nearly certain to render the full gamut of results.
Tomorrow night Zuffa reloads and fires again with another top flight card that displays just how deep their talent pool is. This time it’s UFC on Versus 4: Kongo vs. Barry and this time it’s free. As far as free on TV cards go, this line-up is definitely one of the more loaded, despite the loss of long-time middleweight title contender “The Great” Nate Marquardt (31-10-2). The main event was originally slated to be his first bout in the welterweight division, but an undisclosed issue saw Nate “The Great” fail to pass his pre-fight medical screening, resulting in his removal from both the card and the UFC roster. Never missing a step, the UFC has pushed heavyweight kickboxing juggernauts Cheick Kongo (15-6-2) and “Hype or Die” Pat Barry (5-3) up to the main event slot while Charlie Brenneman (13-2) has agreed to face blue chip nightmare “The Horror” Rick Story (11-2). Ailing welterweights “Doomsday” John Howard (14-6) and “The Immortal” Matt Brown (11-10) will also climb in the cage and opening up the night of fan favored fights are a pair of bouts that scream excitement as TUF 10 pariah turned heavyweight wrecking machine “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (4-0) goes against Christian Morecraft (7-1) and lightweight gatekeeper Tyson Griffin (14-5) cuts to 145 to face “The Anvil” Manny Gamburyan (11-6). The card is free, the match-ups are great, and the organization is proving once again that it is the best.
The highly coveted UFC Light Heavyweight Championship title is up for grabs yet against this Saturday night, as young gun “Bones” Jon Jones (12-1), still on a high from dominating and submitting then-undefeated top 205lbs. prospect “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-1) at UFC 126 last month, takes on PRIDE hero and reigning UFC light heavyweight champ “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (19-4) in the main event at UFC 128. The supporting acts feature an impressive gamut of old guard monarchs of MMA, former champions, and up-and-coming prospects with “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (24-4) taking on premier WEC Bantamweight Champion Eddie Wineland (17-6-1), “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (19-2) squaring off with “The Prince of Persia” Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2), New Jersey native Dan Miller (13-4) stepping in as a late replacement for “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4) and facing “The Great” Nate Marquardt (30-10-2), and last but certainly not least, famed kickboxer “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-9-2) vs. The Ultimate Fighter 10 alumni “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (6-1).
UFC 128 already ensures that it is an event not soon to be forgotten. Below are the MMA Gospel staff’s picks for UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones – share your predictions with us, and come Saturday night, the MMA world will see who reigned supreme inside the Octagon at the UFC’s most recent effort.
Three months into 2011 and the UFC is still bringing the fans another stacked card of fights with UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones. PRIDE veteran “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-9-2) challenges former NFL player and The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 finalist “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (6-1). “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (19-2) greets former WEC lightweight “The Prince of Persia” Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2) with the intentions of showing that he should be granted the next shot at the lightweight title. WEC bantamweights and crowd favorites collide when “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (24-4) and Eddie Wineland (17-6-1) meet for the first time inside the UFC Octagon. And in the main event, challenger “Bones” Jon Jones (12-1) steps in on month’s notice in attempt to seize the UFC light heavyweight crown from Pride FC veteran “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (19-4). In an originally unplanned match-up, New Jersey’s own Dan Miller (13-4) answers the call to replace “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-4) on short notice when he tests himself against top ten middleweight “The Great” Nate Marquardt (30-10-2). With Marquardt still pushing for a title shot, Miller seeks to derail “The Great” one and pull off one of the largest upsets in his career.
It seems that the UFC has outdone itself again with another solid night of fights planned out at UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones. In the main event, “Bones” Jon Jones (12-1) hopes to add the UFC light heavyweight title to his resume when he faces the champion “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (19-4). WEC bantamweights light up at the co-main event when both “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (24-4) and Eddie Wineland (17-6-1) make their UFC debuts. “The Great” Nate Marquardt (30-10-2) takes on a very game late replacement Dan Miller (13-4) in a middleweight showcase. One of New Jersey’s favorite sons, and also the younger brother of Dan Miller, “The Mongoose” Jim Miller is set to engage with former WEC lightweight “The Prince of Persia” Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2). If this card were not stacked enough, kicking the main card off: rising heavyweight “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (6-1) hopes to add lethal kickboxer and PRIDE Grand Prix winner “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipović (27-9-2) to his trophy case of victims. Between the veteran who still has plenty of fight left in him and the upcoming star who seeks to advance towards glory at his expense, this match-up promises fireworks. Duck out of work early, fake sick from the family outing, make any excuse needed. “The Hybrid” and “Cro Cop” is a fight that is not one to miss.
For the fifth time in “Semtex” Paul Daley’s (23-10-2) past 11 fights, the British slugger has missed weight. And this time, not even an extra hour made a difference.
Daley was slated to take on DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8) in the main event tomorrow night for the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts’ (BAMMA) currently vacant welterweight title at BAMMA 5 in Manchester, England. But during today’s event weigh-ins, Daley came in at 172lbs. – two pounds over the limit – reportedly due to his hotel’s malfunctioning sauna. He was given an hour to drop the additional weight, during which he reportedly traveled to another location in attempt to shed the extra pounds in a working sauna. His second attempt on the scale rendered a reading of 170.4lbs., which still exceeds the limit for a title fight. Consequently what was scheduled to be a five-round title fight is now reduced to a non-title three-round affair. Shirai on the other hand made weight, coming in at 169.6lbs.
The British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) steps away from its usual stomping grounds of London and Birmingham in the United Kingdom to bring MMA fans in the City of Manchester a blistering card with BAMMA 5: Daley vs. Shirai this Saturday night.
BAMMA 5 is highlighted with bouts between some of the UK’s well known top prospects and local fan favorites, while its main event and co-main event feature names the American audience may find more familiar. Recent UFC castaway and The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum “The Hammer” James McSweeney (4-6) takes on a seasoned veteran and former UFC Heavyweight Champion in “Suave” Ricco Rodriguez (44-11) in the evening’s co-main event heavyweight tilt. The main event pits UFC veteran and heavy-handed British slugger “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2) against Pancrase and M-1 veteran and DEEP Welterweight Champion Yuya Shirai (13-8), where the winner will earn the title of BAMMA’s very first welterweight king. The stakes of Saturday night’s championship bout are particularly high for Daley, who was recently dubbed the top contender to challenge Strikeforce Welterweight Champion “Diablo” Nick Diaz (23-8) for the UFC-rival promotion’s 170lbs. belt. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has stated that should Daley come out on the winning end of his BAMMA 5 bout, he gets the title shot – if not, “the deck gets reshuffled”, according to MMA Junkie.
Superbowl Sunday is undoubtedly one of the biggest sports day of the year, and to conclude the NFL 2010-2011 season the Pittsburgh Steelers will meet the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, February 6 in Dallas, Texas. However, on the eve of the big game, the UFC will be hosting one of the biggest mixed martial arts shows of the year live from its hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada in the form of UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort. The event is considered to boast the most stacked card since UFC 100, with former WEC bad boy “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (12-4) facing Wolfslair Academy graduate Paul Kelly (11-3), fan favorite Miguel Torres (37-3) making his UFC debut against fellow former WEC bantamweight Antonio Banuelos (18-6), a collision between former champions with Forrest Griffin (17-6) facing “Ace” Rich Franklin (27-5), and in the main event, top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world and current UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (27-4) defending his belt for a record eighth time against dangerous striker “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-8). Another bout on this star studded fight card features a match-up between arguably two of the premier young light heavyweights in the world, when Jackson’s Submission Fighting trained “Bones” Jon Jones (11-1) meets undefeated The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-0). The lone blemish on Jones’ record came via disqualification due to some illegal elbows in a fight he was dominating against “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (9-2). The winner of this fight will most certainly be considered a top five light heavyweight in the UFC, if not the world.
This Saturday night the Ultimate Fighting Championship holds another mixed martial arts spectacle with UFC 126 at the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the most stacked fight cards in recent UFC history, the event will showcase Jackson’s Submission Fighting trained “Bones” Jon Jones (11-1) facing The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum “Darth” Ryan Bader (12-0), former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin (17-6) versus former UFC 185lbs. champ “Ace” Rich Franklin (27-5), and in the main event, top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world and current UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (27-4) against dangerous striker “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (19-8) for the middleweight belt. Though not on the main card, one of the most talked about fights offered at UFC 126 is the UFC debut of “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (12-4) against UFC veteran and former Wolfslair fighter Paul Kelly (11-3). Both of these men are well on their way to becoming truly well rounded fighters, but each comes from a different background. Cerrone is deadly on the ground with ten of his 12 victories coming by submission. On the other side, Kelly has proven a solid striker with five TKO’s in his 11 wins. The result is a meeting in the middle as the classic Striker vs. Grappler match is met with the kickboxer who can grapple and the submission fighter who can box.
Kansas-based mixed martial arts promotion Titan Fighting Championship (TFC or Titan FC) makes its nationwide HDNet debut tonight at 10pm ET with its un-aired local undercard starting at 8pm ET. Titan Fighting Championship 16: Sylvia vs. Wagner brings its fans at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas an impressive card stacked with former champions, UFC alumni, and local circuit stars. Headlining the event is a super heavyweight clash between UFC veteran and two-time champion “The Maine-iac” Tim Sylvia (28-6) and The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 alum “Abe” Abraham Wagner (7-2).
For all the men and women in uniform serving and fighting each day to protect Americans’ lives and freedom, it seems fitting at the very least that the UFC presents a second installment of Fight for the Troops as a way of saying “thank you”. This Saturday night from Fort Hood, Texas, UFC Fight for the Troops 2 aims to do just that and show both American and worldwide audiences just how grateful citizens are for the troops’ service. Before the card’s main event featuring the explosive “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (25-8-2) versus Jiu-Jitsu wizard Evan Dunham (10-1), undefeated The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum Matt Mitrione (3-0) competes against “The Thrashing Machine” Tim Hague (10-4) in the co-main event, former WEC featherweights George Roop (11-5) and “The Machine” Mark Hominick (18-7) battle it out as a supporting event, and proceeding American Top Team stand-out “Magrinho” Cole Miller (17-4) taking on “Handsome” Matt Wiman (12-5), two of the heavyweight division’s heavy-limbed strikers are set to take the stage at Fort Hood for a stand-up war. On one end of the Octagon will stand the energetically animated yet equally lethal kickboxer in “Hype or Die” Pat Barry (4-3). The opposite side will bear a former King of the Cage contender and concrete-handed “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (10-3). With a majority of both fighters’ bouts ending in a (T)KO, the troops returning back home are promised a fight nothing short of memorable.
This Saturday night The Ultimate Fighter 8 alum and WEC veteran George Roop (11-5-1) will face “The Machine” Mark Hominick (18-7) in a main card featherweight clash at UFC Fight for the Troops 2. The event also features “Handsome” Matt Wiman (12-5) taking on American Top Team stand-out “Magrinho” Cole Miller (17-4), a heavyweight tilt between fan favorite “Hype or Die” Pat Barry (4-3) and “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (10-3), TUF 10 alum “Meathead” Matt Mitrione (3-0) facing “The Thrashing Machine” Tim Hague (10-4), and top lightweight Evan Dunham (10-1) versus “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (25-8-2). Mark Hominick originally was slated to challenge WEC Featherweight Champion turned UFC featherweight champ “Junior” Jose Aldo (18-1) in his first UFC title defense at UFC 125 on New Year’s Day but an injury forced Aldo from the card. Now, Roop steps in for a fight Hominick can’t afford to lose. Following his stint on The Ultimate Fighter, Roop went 1-2 in the UFC and was consequently dropped by the organization. He went on to earn a win in a regional promotion then signed with the WEC 15 months after receiving his UFC pink slip. There, Roop found himself down a weight class, at featherweight, where he’s gone 1-1-1 including a second round head kick KO victory of “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (10-3). Mark Hominick has also had a run in the UFC previously, going 2-0 before dropping down from lightweight to featherweight and currently rides a four fight winning streak coming into his main card tilt with George Roop. The match has serious implications for both fighters, as a loss could easily result in being dropped from Zuffa’s roster once again.
This Saturday night the UFC presents their second edition of Fight for the Troops out of Fort Hood, Texas. The card may lack the typical plethora of mainstream contenders, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because names such as “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (29-8) or “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (21-2) are not on the card that this is a lackluster event. UFC Fight for the Troops 2 presents a who’s who of fighters ready to take their game to the next level. In the main event the Greg Jackson protege “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (25-8-2) takes on the rising star of Evan Dunham (10-1). Former NFL star and The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 stand-out Matt Mitrione (3-0) will encounter King of the Cage veteran “The Thrashing Machine” Tim Hague (10-4) and the newly acquired WEC featherweights will make their UFC debut with Mark Hominick (18-7), currently riding a four fight win streak, against another TUF alum in George Roop (11-5) who is returning to the Octagon after a second round head kick knockout of “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (10-3). Two of the UFC’s heavyweight colossuses will encounter in a fan-friendly stand-up war when “Hype or Die” Pat Barry (4-3) meets with “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (10-3), but the honors of kicking the main card go to three-time Submission of the Night winner “Magrinho” Cole Miller (17-4) and three-time Fight of the Night winner “Handsome” Matt Wiman (12-5). These two not only will be given the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of America’s servicemen and women at Fort Hood, Texas, they will set the bar for the night to follow.
In another of its events centered around the support for the U.S. Military, the UFC brings the men and women in uniform at Fort Hood Military Base its most recent effort with UFC Fight for the Troops 2. The card features several rising stars including “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (25-8-2) who is on a quest to continue his rebirth as a UFC standout, top prospect Evan Dunham (10-1) who looks to improve on his 4-1 UFC record, The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 contestant Matt Mitrione (3-0) who continues to build his name as a heavyweight, and another TUF alum in “The Deadliest Catch” Cody McKenzie (12-0) who looks to remain undefeated at the expense of yet another UFC lightweight. All of these men are talents that the UFC seems to have a vested interest in cultivating; win, lose, or draw chances are, they aren’t going anywhere. However, for several fighters on this card, Fight for the Troops could be more aptly named Fight for Your Job. The UFC has been leaving pink slips in the lockers of the most unexpected fighters for several months now to make room for the influx of new talent from the WEC which has many fighters wondering if they’re next.
Strikeforce made its first trip to the state of Mississippi on Friday night, settling in the city of Jackson to host Challengers 12. The card housed a roster of talented fighters – including locals as well those who hailed from other countries – and did not disappoint fans. There were some long-fought battles, some that ended more quickly and in a glorious fashion, and one that ended abruptly in a rather tragic No Contest. Here, MMA Gospel recaps Strikeforce’s twelfth effort in their Challengers series.