Last night some of the most prominent names in mixed martial arts convened at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada to honor nominees in 22 categories at the 2011 World MMA Awards. The categories, which are selected by a nominations panel then voted on by fans, honor all things MMA, from fighters, to referees, to equipment, apparel, ring girls, and much more. The annual awards show, now in its fourth year, once again saw the UFC taking the majority of the honors. And the winners are…
The fifth installment of UFC on Versus has come to a close and with it, a night filled with “Fight of the Night”-worthy match-ups. The main card’s opening bout showcased a striking clinic when world-class level Muay Thai boxer met a hungry up-and-comer. One of the biggest stars of the WEC stepped in on short notice to take on one of the sport’s fastest rising stars. The co-main event saw a battle where one fighter fought to prove his place within the organization’s ranks and the other sought his long awaited shot at a title. A true ambassador of the sport made his final appearance in the Octagon when he was pitted against a former contender longing to return to his winning ways. Now that all is said and done, here is a recap of the main card from this past Sunday night along with possible match-ups that could be seen for each winner sooner rather than later.
So, I’m moving this week. It sucks. I don’t own a lot of stuff but when you have to pack it up, you suddenly wish you were a monk…. Okay, maybe a monk with a really kick ass laptop but still. Anyway, I’m still writing my column just for you guys. I hope you appreciate it. I also won’t be able to attend to my normal MMA Gospel Radio show co-hosting duties this Wednesday but before you start weeping, relax – your buddy, your hero, yours truly has arranged for a very special treat for you in my absence. Filling in for me will be none other than the man who saved us from communism at WEC 53 and is so witty that he has been featured in UFC’s Tweets of the Week column for over four months running, UFC lightweight bad ass “Dannyboy” Downes! You’re welcome. I give and I give and I’m still as poor as a monk but with a lot more shit – as I believe I mentioned. So, enough of my whining… there are a lot of fights to get to. UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis, Bellator 38, Titan Fighting Championship 17, and M-1 Global’s debut Challenge show on Showtime.
Last night MMA fans were treated to a host of spectacular fights thanks to offerings by both Bellator and the UFC. The two separate events, broadcast on MTV2 and Spike TV respectively, each featured a single victory via exceptionally rare by equally impressive submissions. At UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (11-3) finished off WEC transplant “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-7) via a modified Guillotine dubbed “The Twister” in the closing seconds of Round 2. And at Bellator 38, Season 4 Light Heavyweight Tournament semi-finalist Richard Hale (11-3-1) summoned the spirit of fellow Bellator competitor and decorated veteran Toby Imada (28-15) by defeating Nik Fekete (3-1) with an Inverted Triangle Choke. Here’s the video:
(Video courtesy of Bellator)
The Key Arena of Seattle, Washington got its dose of mixed martial arts action when the UFC came roaring through with last night’s UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis. With a heavy prelim card, the four main card bouts had tough acts to follow. The fans saw a “Fight of the Year” rematch with an added twist when former WEC acquisitions stepped in the cage. Although the fight was in trouble with fighters dropping out due to injury, two Ultimate Fighter alumni showed they are beyond the reality television stigma in a thrilling war. The welterweight division got shaken up when two fighters seeking redemption over their past performances met with the hopes of getting back onto the road for a title shot. In the main event, the world saw a promising, young fighter take on a dangerous veteran of the game. While much can be said about the undercard, here’s a quick recap over the main card shown on Spike TV along with possible match-ups those victorious might see themselves in later in 2011.
—MAIN CARD (on Spike TV)—
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis: Davis via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson: Johnson via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Amir Sadollah vs. Damarques Johnson: Sadollah via Submission (Strikes), Round 2, 3:27
Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung: Jung via Submission (Twister), Round 2, 4:59
In just over 24 hours from now, UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis comes to Seattle’s Key Arena for the organization’s first foray into the Pacific Northwest. For the Washington fans’ viewing pleasure, UFC President Dana White and matchmaker extraordinaire Joe Silva have slated four stellar main card bouts to be aired free on Spike TV. The night opens with a “Fight of the Year” rematch between the wild brawling “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-6-1) and the featherweight “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-8) clone “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (10-3) then continues with an Ultimate Fighter showdown between “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-8) and Amir Sadollah (4-2). The co-main event of the evening features a hard hitting battle between welterweight top contenders “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-8) and “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (8-3). However, with the recent emergence of “Bones” Jon Jones (13-1) as a dominant force in the light heavyweight division, all eyes are on “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (7-0), the undefeated prospect who has drawn parallels with Jones from many pundits in the past, as he takes on PRIDE superstar “Lil’ Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-4). While perhaps on a smaller scale, the bout mimics the title fight that preceded it by only a week. A blue chip prospect who is largely untested at the higher levels takes on a PRIDE old guard stalwart who has seen it all in the main event of a UFC card. The thought of it is surreal, but the fight will certainly be an entertaining affair nonetheless.
Yet another installment of UFC Fight Night slams the Pacific Northwest and hits hard in the Key Arena of Seattle, Washington this Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis. The main event has veteran of the game “Lil’ Nog” Antônio Rogério Nogueira (18-4) taking on uprising star, “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (7-0). “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (8-3) steps back in the cage after a lengthy lay-off with the hopes of making former top welterweight contender “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-8) another victim of his knockout power. In a welterweight showcase, fan favorites and The Ultimate Fighter alumni meet when “Darkness” Damarques Johnson (15-8) and Amir Sadollah (4-2) step into the Octagon. In a repeat of 2010’s “Fight of the Year”, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (10-3) steps up on short notice, replacing Nam Phan (18-9), to challenge WEC transplant “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-6-1) in a featherweight match-up. With Garcia getting the Split Decision victory in the first duel, will the “Zombie” rise from the dead to even the score or will Garcia prove he has Jung figured out? Come March 26, any doubts of their first fight will be answered only to have new questions asked. With the card free on Spike TV, there is no excuse to not tune in.
Looks like “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) will be getting another shot in the UFC after all. Ortiz made his next and perhaps final bout in the promotion official by signing a contract to face “Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-4) as the main event at UFC Fight Night 24 on March 26 in Seattle, Washington.