The first females of the UFC have already made history and now just one week later, the UFC returns to Saitama, Japan with UFC on Fuel TV 8. Opening duties are bestowed upon the welterweights as “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (16-2-1) locks up with “The Great” Siyar Bahadurzada (21-4-1). Brazilian Rani Yahya (17-7) will look to prove homefield advantage means nothing when he takes on Japan’s own “Pugnus” Mizuto Hirota (14-5-1). A move up into middleweight contention could be in order for the victor between fourth-ranked “Thunder” Yushin Okami (28-7) and eighth-ranked “Lightning” Hector Lombard (32-3-1). “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi (34-8) will greet “The Dream” Diego Sanchez (23-5) when he makes his return to the lightweight division. In the co-main event, one heavyweight’s rise to glory will come to a screeching halt as “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve (25-5) takes on K-1 veteran “Super Samoan” Mark Hunt (8-7). Closing the night off is a light heavyweight battle between “The All-American” Brian Stann (12-5) and the always popular “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-12-1). The first half of the main card was given a look in UFC on Fuel TV 8 Main Card Pre-Fight Breakdown: Part I. MMA Gospel will round the card off here with Part II, providing what to look for in each match-up leading up to the main event.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz: Diaz via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione: Kongo via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Mirko Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson: Nelson via TKO (Punches), Round 3, 1:30
Scott Jorgensen vs. Jeff Curran: Jorgensen via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Hatsu Hioki vs. George Roop: Hioki via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
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.
—MAIN CARD (on Versus)—
Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry: Kongo via KO, Round 1, 2:39
Rick Story vs. Charlie Brenneman: Brenneman via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Matt Brown vs. John Howard: Brown via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft: Mitrione via KO (Punches), Round 2, 4:28
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.
UFC 125: Resolution kicked off 2011 with everything that makes MMA exciting to be a part of. The fights were top class and exciting on pretty much every level for fans of all types – a war was waged for one of the most prestigious and hotly contested titles in the sport, underdogs proved the masses wrong, and controversy was in the air, whether it was warranted or not. As with every card, there were some winners, some losers, and some parties who suffered more serious damage than just a loss. Luckily for all involved, there were very few people who fell into the latter of those three on New Year’s Day at the MGM Grand Garden.
UFC 123 is in the books. The evening of stellar matches answered a lot of questions, but also rendered some less-than-clear implications. Former top lightweight contender Tyson Griffin (14-5) fell to Nik Lentz (17-3-2) via Split Decision, extending his record to include a consecutive trio of defeats. Armenian Judoka “The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-6) was TKO’d by “Superman” Dennis Hallman (45-13-2) less than halfway through the first round. “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-2) was derailed by “The Phillipine Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2) via Unanimous Decision after a hard-fought battle from both men. TUF Season 7 alum “The Immortal” Matt Brown’s (11-10) record drops down to just over .500 after being submitted via Guillotine Choke by his opponent Brian Foster (15-5) in the second round, leaving his future with the UFC in question. Australia’s George Sotiropoulos (14-2) won Fight of the Night honors by tapping out submission specialist “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-6) via Kimura in the second stanza. Submission of the Night winner “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (7-0) remained undefeated and submitted “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-4) with a hybrid Hammer Lock/Kimura halfway through Round 2. The common misconception that “unknown” fighters aren’t UFC-worthy was disproved when UFC newcomer and Chute Box aficionado “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (8-1) dismantled “Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-3) for nearly three whole rounds, earning the Unanimous Decision nod from the judges. Former two-division champion “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (16-7-1) shocked the MMA world when he knocked out UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes (43-8) only 21 seconds after the first bell. Penn very deservedly was awarded the Knockout of the Night bonus for his spectacular KO. In his post-fight interview Hughes said he “isn’t sure” about the next step in his MMA career, leaving onlookers to question whether or not the welterweight is considering retirement. In the main event, PRIDE veteran and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Rampage” Quinton Jackson won a surprising and already highly contested Split Decision victory over fellow former champion “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida. There, folks, is the evening in a nutshell. Below are some images of the night’s highlights.
Tyson Griffin (14-4) vs. “The Carnie” Nik Lentz (16-3-2): Lentz via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
TJ O’Brien (16-3) vs. Paul Kelly (10-3): Kelly via TKO (Elbows), Round 2, 3:16
Edson Barboza (6-0) vs. Mike Lullo (8-1): Barboza via TKO (Leg Kicks), Round 3, 0:26
“The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-5) vs. “Superman” Dennis Hallman (44-13-2): Hallman via TKO (Punches), Round 1, 1:47
SPIKE TV PRELIMS
“A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-1) vs. “The Phillipine Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (6-2): Munoz via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
“The Immortal” Matt Brown (11-9) vs. Brian Foster (14-5): Foster via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 2, 2:11
PAY-PER-VIEW MAIN CARD
George Sotiropoulos (13-2) vs. “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5): Sotiropoulos via Submission (Kimura), Round 2, 2:43
“Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (6-0) vs. “The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-3): Davis via Submission (Kimura), Round 2, 2:55
“Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-2) vs. “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1): Falcao via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Matt Hughes (43-7) vs. “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1): Penn via KO, Round 1, 0:21
“Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8) vs. “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1): Jackson via Split Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Submission of the Night: Phil Davis – $80,000
Knockout of the Night: BJ Penn – $80,000
Fight of the Night: Joe Lauzon and George Sotiropoulos – $80,000 each
Tyson Griffin (14-4): 155lbs.
“The Carnie” Nik Lentz (16-3-2): 155lbs.
TJ O’Brien (16-3): 155lbs.
Paul Kelly (10-3): 155lbs.
Edson Barboza (6-0): 155lbs.
Mike Lullo (8-1): 155lbs.
“The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-5): 170lbs.
“Superman” Dennis Hallman (44-13-2): 170lbs.
SPIKE TV PRELIMS
“A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-1): 185.5lbs.
“The Phillipine Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (6-2): 185lbs.
“The Immortal” Matt Brown (11-9): 170lbs.
Brian Foster (14-5): 170lbs.
PAY-PER-VIEW MAIN CARD
“Hurricane” Gerald Harris (17-2): 185lbs.
“Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1): 185lbs.
George Sotiropoulos (13-2): 155lbs.
“J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5): 155lbs.
“Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (6-0): 205lbs.
“The Barbarian” Tim Boetsch (12-3): 205lbs.
Matt Hughes (43-7): 169lbs.
“The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1): 169lbs.
“Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8): 205lbs.
“The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1): 205lbs.
Just one week after the UFC’s free offering with UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami, the NFL of MMA is back again this Saturday with what promises to be an exceptional showcase of the promotion’s deep roster. UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida is chock full of some of the current biggest stars in mixed martial arts, including Xtreme Couture’s Tyson Griffin (14-4) taking on NCAA Div. I wrestler “The Carnie” Nik Lentz (16-3-2), England’s heavy hitter Paul Kelly (10-3) facing UFC newcomer TJ O’Brien (16-3), Armenian Judoka “The Heat” Karo Parisyan (18-5) against IFL veteran “Superman” Dennis Hallman (44-13-2), ground-and-pounder “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-1) taking on BJJ purple belt “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (6-2), a TUF alumni face-off between Season 6′s Australian wrestling stand-out and boxer George Sotiropoulos (13-2) and Season 5′s submission specialist “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (19-5), undefeated NCAA Div. I wrestler “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (6-0) teeing off against brawler “The Barbarian” Tim Boestsch (12-3), TUF Season 7′s “Hurricane” Gerald Harris taking on UFC newcomer and Chute Box enthusiast “Big Rig” Maiquel Falcao (7-1), a co-main event pitting revered former champions Matt Hughes (43-7) and “The Prodigy” BJ Penn (15-7-1) against one another in a rubber match, and the main event featuring a comeback bout for contendership of the UFC’s most hotly contested title, the light heavyweight belt, between former champions “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida (16-1) and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (28-8).
Needless to say, it promises to be an exciting evening filled with more top notch brawls that the UFC has become known for. While what exactly will happen remains to be seen, MMA Gospel has a few guesses. And here they are.
On September 25, the UFC again proves the depth of its roster. UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop brings the thousands of Indianapolis, Indiana fans a card packed with interesting match-ups between elite competitors with no title or number one contendership bouts on the card, proving that the UFC has more than just the top three or four fighters in every division. In addition to the marquee fight between former heavyweight kingpin Frank Mir (13-5) and 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix champion “Cro Cop” Mirko Filipovic (27-8-2), UFC 119 brings us intriguing match-ups between “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueria (18-3) and “Darth” Ryan Bader (11-0), “The Terror” Matt Serra (10-6) and “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (29-17-5), and a lightweight tilt between undefeated Evan Dunham (10-0) and the former lightweight champ “The Muscle Shark” Sean Sherk (33-4-1). Sherk brings a wealth of experience and powerful wrestling into the cage after a sixteen month lay-off following his defeat at the hands of current champion “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1). Dunham continues his escalation in competition by pitting the submission skills and crisp striking against Sherk’s experienced top control. While this bout has no title, or even contention implications, it is as solid a match up as anyone could ask for as Sherk struggles regain relevance in the UFC and Dunham looks to prove that he deserves his spot as a top ten ranked lightweight.
August 1, 2010 the UFC returns after a month long hiatus to bring us UFC on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko from the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA. Dana White and crew have put together a card that pits yesterdays top tier against today’s new up and comers in a collection of mid-tier wars that will separate who moves on to the top and who gets penciled in to face their divisions resident gatekeeper. The first of these trimming the fat style fights will take place in the UFC lightweight division as “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi (28-7) attempts to prove that he belongs in the UFC against Tyson Griffin (14-3), a man who appears to be permanently on the cusp of title contention. This is a truly interesting fight between two fighters in desperate need of a win. Tyson Griffin has to win to avoid back to back losses landing him in a roll as gatekeeper, a fate he has managed to avoid thus far. The former PRIDE lightweight champion, Gomi, hasn’t won a fight in almost two years and is coming off a very lopsided beating at the hands of “KenFlo” Kenny Florian (13-4). These two men have to win to move forward in the UFC. For Gomi, a loss means he will almost certainly be cut from the roster, for Griffin, a loss means his title dreams are shattered as he becomes that guy you have to beat to fight on the PPV card.