The UFC presented fans with its sixth offering on the NBC-affiliated Versus network last night and the response was better than anyone could have hoped. In addition to the highest attendance (9,380) and largest live gate ($706,755), the card was also the very first time the UFC on Versus series offered up a championship bout. “Dominator” Dominick Cruz (18-1) made a second successful title defense in a fast-paced war with “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (12-2). “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve (20-5) made headway in his career after surviving an early deficit to come back and submit “Hype or Die” Pat Barry (5-5). “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (10-3) turned out Charlie Brenneman’s (14-3) lights in a “Knockout of the Night” performance, and Mac Danzig (20-9-1) fell short for a second time against “Handsome” Matt Wiman (14-6). Overall, the card was an entertaining affair that shakes up the lower levels of each fighter’s division and sets up several interesting propositions for Cruz’s next defense.
The UFC’s maiden voyage into the Badger State may have been its most exciting card of the year as “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (31-18-5) ended his career on a high note by winning both “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” honors against “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-10). The card was certainly the best free offering the organization has put forth in quite some time and rivaled many of its Pay-Per-View events with two hard hitting wars between “Smooth” Ben Henderson (13-2) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-3) and Amir Sadollah (5-3) and “Bang” Duane Ludwig (21-11) as well as a brutal TKO for the more blood thirsty of fans, courtesy of “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (15-4) in his win over Charles Oliveira (14-2). While the fans clearly came out as the big winners in Milwaukee, not everyone came out ahead and here with the stock report at the market’s close is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle: Lytle via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 3, 4:16
Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson: Henderson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26), Round 3, 5:00
Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone: Cerrone via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:01
Amir Sadollah vs. Duane Ludwig: Ludwig via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
“Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5) is reportedly set to step into the Octagon for the very last time in tonight’s UFC on Versus 5 main event.
The 36-year-old MMA veteran’s professional career spans over a decade including a total of 19 fights in the UFC, where he has gone 9-10. Lytle is a five-time “Fight of the Night,” two-time “Submission of the Night”, and one-time “Knockout of the Night” winner and is presently tied with UFC Middleweight Champion “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4) for the most fight performance bonuses in the history of the UFC. Tonight he will face British slugger “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Bradley Center in what promises to be a barn burner that has all the makings of another Award of the Night honor.
Though a veteran of multiple mixed martial arts organizations, Lytle is most known for his fights within the UFC’s Octagon. He made his promotional debut at UFC 28 in November 2000 then bounced around a few regional promotions as well as took five more fights in the UFC before joining the cast of The Ultimate Fighter 4. “Lights Out” defeated “Secret Weapon” Pete Spratt (22-19) and “The Dominator” Din Thomas (25-8) in exhibition bouts on the Spike TV reality show but lost via Split Decision to “The Terror” Matt Serra at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Live Finale in November 2006.
The UFC looks to follow its action packed UFC 133 card with a second dose of high octane MMA action just seven days later as TUF 7 alum Amir Sadollah (5-2) and “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11) open the festivities for UFC on Versus 5 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following the pair will be another pair of bouts that feature some of the UFC’s most exciting fighters in “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4), Charles Oliveira (14-1), “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-2). All of these potentially “Fight of the Night”-quality pairings lead up to one headlining fight that promises more fireworks than Fourth of July at an amusement park between hard hitting and outspoken “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) and Indiana fire fighter turned fight bonus winning machine “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5). Both men have fallen on recent hard times with Lytle losing a match where victory would have landed him in title contention for the welterweight crown and Hardy losing three straight since earning his own crack at UFC gold. For Lytle, time is short at 36-years-old and he can’t afford to have another loss undo all the hard work he has done reinventing himself. For Hardy, the specter of the Zuffa headsman looms in the shadows and a failure here will likely bring the executioner of careers into the daylight for the crowd pleasing Brit.
Tomorrow night the UFC barrels into the storied city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, toting along with it another highly anticipated fight card courtesy of UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle. Opening up the eight-man main card is a welterweight match-up between satirical UFC record-holding leg kick aficionado Amir Sadollah (5-2) and heavy-handed MMA veteran “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11). Then, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Charles Oliveira (14-1) looks to bounce back after consecutively receiving both his first loss and No Contest ruling to flaw his otherwise perfect career. Standing across the cage from Oliveira is the unpredictable former WEC top lightweight contender and multiple-time “Fight of the Night” winner “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4), who will be more than happy to hand the Brazilian another loss en route to making his own claim for title contention in the UFC. The co-main event is set to display the ground game at its best, with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-2) taking on famed WEC veteran and Div. II wrestler “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2). The marquis fight of the evening pits British bad ass “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) against the man tied with “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4) for most Award of the Night honors, “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5) – don’t expect to take a bathroom break during this one, as both men are guaranteed to come out guns blazing.
With a night full of possibilities ahead, here the staff of MMA Gospel determines what may be in the cards for UFC on Versus 5.
One week after the UFC storms the fighting city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with UFC 133, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization visits the home of Roufusport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle. The card is headlined by struggling welterweight fan favorites “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) and “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5) and will feature several solid match-ups between, Amir Sadollah (5-2), “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11), “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2), and Jim Miller (20-2). The night prefaces the featured bouts of the evening with a lightweight showdown between two men looking to set themselves apart from their talent rich contemporaries, “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4) and Charles Oliveira (14-1). Cerrone is looking to continue a four-bout winning streak that includes a 2-0 run in the UFC. Oliveira, for his part, hit a stumbling block when he lost for the first time against Jim Miller and then inadvertently smashed Nik Lentz (19-3-2) with an illegal knee, turning what would have been a decisive KO victory into a No Contest. Both men have put together performances that warrant a place among the top fighters of the 155lbs. division and a win in Milwaukee would solidify that.
This Sunday night the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will be packing the house to bring its hometown MMA fans as well as those around the world the UFC’s latest effort in UFC on Versus 5: Hardy vs. Lytle. Move aside, headhunter Clay Matthews, for two other all-out brawlers will take the center stage as former title contender “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (23-9) and “Fight of the Night” king “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-18-5) duke it out in the main event. Former WEC Lightweight Champion and highly regarded submission artist “Smooth” Ben Henderson (12-2) will meet the dangerous Jim Miller (20-2) in a match-up that will perhaps determine the next title challenger to the winner of “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) and “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-0-1). WEC alum and kickboxing veteran “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (14-4) is looking to stay undefeated at 3-0 in the UFC by gaining a win over slick submission ace Charles Oliveira (14-1), while Oliveira seeks a win of his own to boost his stock in the 155lbs. division. Two UFC welterweight warriors will meet in a barn burner match-up for the right to move into the higher ranks as TUF 7 winner and textbook striker Amir Sadollah (5-2) will go against the Strikeforce, King of the Cage, and UFC veteran “Bang” Duane Ludwig (20-11). Especially in the UFC’s highly competitive 170lbs. division, a win is vital not only to stay in the running for title contention, but also in many cases, to avoid being demoted to undercard status.
The third installment of UFC: Live on Versus gave the fans of Louisville, Kentucky and viewers at home all the bang without the buck this past Thursday night. More acquisitions from the WEC/UFC merger made their UFC debut and put their divisions on high alert, a newcomer made his UFC debut within weeks of taking a fight on short notice, two middleweights pleaded their case on their ascension to the top of the 185lbs. division mountain, and two welterweights battled in a possible “Fight of the Year” candidate. Though the undercard also had its share of the action, here are some possible match-ups that should happen for the victors off the UFC: Live on Versus 3 main card.
“Last Call” Danny Castillo (10-3) defeats “Daddy” Joe Stevenson (31-12) via Unanimous Decision
Able to survive Stevenson’s takedown attempts and patented Guillotine Chokes, “Last Call” Castillo passed his first UFC test with flying colors. The Facebook-featured match showcased Castillo besting Stevenson with wildfire striking and staggering the former lightweight challenger during the 15-minute contest. If approaching the closing bell there were any doubt beset as to who the fight would have gone to, the final takedown of the match was executed by the former WEC standout “Last Call” and accompanied by Stevenson receiving an unwelcome rain of fists from above, further aiding in handing him his third loss in a row.
Tonight the UFC comes to the hometown of boxing legend “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali to host its third installment of UFC on Versus at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, bringing with it a main card full of heavy hitters and wrestling stand-outs. Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Brian Bowles (8-1) makes his long awaited return as he takes on WEC veteran “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (10-6), Italian striker “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-7) squares off with UFC newcomer Chris Weidman (4-0), The Ultimate Fighter 7 finalist “The Doberman” CB Dollaway (11-2) looks to gain revenge for teammate “A-Train” Aaron Simpson (6-2) as he takes on “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (7-2) in a bout that will most likely be a wrestling barn burner, and the main event pits “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (17-4) against “The Dream” Diego Sanchez (22-4) in search for redemption in the welterweight division. The two marquis fighters, Diego and Martin, have a need to reassert their position in the division and a return to form at UFC on Versus 3 is the perfect stage to do so.
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.
On August 1, 2010 the UFC visited San Diego, California for the second installment of UFC on Versus. Headlined by grizzly veteran “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (24-6) and top light heavyweight prospect “Bones” Jon Jones (12-1), the UFC certainly didn’t disappoint. UFC on Versus 2 delivered a night of exciting bouts for the fans that answered a number of questions about Japanese fighters “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi (30-7) and “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-5) and provided a glimpse into the future. Like every card, UFC on Versus 2 had its winners, its losers, and its unfortunate collection of athletes who somehow managed to make a bad night worse for themselves. From Tyson Griffin’s (14-5) second straight loss and the derailment of the “Doomsday” John Howard (14-5) hype train to the return to dominance of Yushin Okami and the realization that Jon Jones more than ready to break into the upper echelon of Dana White and company’s Light Heavyweight title hunt, we have it all in this edition of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
The main event of the evening for UFC on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko on August 1, 2010 in San Diego will be an old guard vs. new guard affair between the functionally undefeated light heavyweight monster “Bones” Jon Jones (10-1) and dark ages UFC title challenger “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko. The first of these two men is well known even to the casual fan for his blistering athleticism, brutal wrestling, and abusive use of high risk spinning strikes, and has stopped all but two of his opponents with notable stoppages of “Irish” Jake O’Brien (13-3) and “The Truth” Brandon Vera (11-5). Jones also has a controversial disqualification loss to “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (8-2) who he dominated with a brutal wrestling and ground-n-pound assault that lasted over two minutes before the referee called the fight with no warning due to 12-6 elbows that were thrown well after most observers agree the believe the fight should have been stopped and drew criticism even from Hamill. The second man, Vladimir, is a world class Belarusian wrestler who amassed a 10-1 record of his own before facing then UFC light heavyweight champion “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz (15-7-1) in what is now a fight the UFC would like everyone to forget and has since become the only IFL light heavyweight champ and quietly built a 4-1 UFC record since the debacle. This is another bizarre Twilight Zone bout on the card where one fighter is facing a distorted version of himself. The difference here is that Mark Munoz (6-1) is fighting a more experienced version of himself in “Thunder” Yushin Okami (24-5), thus the less experienced man is facing his future, and Jones is facing the flip side of his own coin in Vladimir, thus we have an aggressive, evolved Greco-roman wrestler facing the old world Greco-roman prototype built around turning every fight into a wrestling match.
UFC on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko has promised to bring us a ton of action back in the pack of the UFC’s light, welter, and light heavyweight divisions. Joining a stellar card of mid-tier UFC warriors are middleweights “Thunder” Yushin Okami (24-5) and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz (6-1). Both of these men are fighters who have proven themselves worthy of any middleweight athlete’s respect. Munoz has won three straight since his loss to “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (8-2) over a year ago, finishing two of his three opponents in a combined time of just over 10 minutes. Okami has gone 8-2 in the UFC with his only loses in the promotion coming at the hands of former champ “Ace” Rich Franklin (27-5) and current middleweight number one contender Chael Sonnen (24-10-1). Okami and Hamill both are strong wrestlers with powerful ground attacks, more than enough gas to keep up a hard pace from bell to bell, and a tendency to always seek the finish. This bout promises to be a wrestling fans dream come true, no lay and pray affair but an exciting ground fight with enough action to satisfy even the most KO hungry of the casual fans.
UFC on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko will take place August 1, 2010 at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, CA. In addition to quality bouts between “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi (27-8) and “Daddy” Joe Stevenson (31-10) and “Bones” Jon Jones (10-1) and “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (24-4), the UFC has given us an excellent welterweight pairing between up and coming bruiser “Doomsday” John Howard (14-4) and NCAA wrestling coach Jake Ellenberger (21-5). Howard enters UFC on Versus on the heels of a one punch KO of “Ninja” Daniel Roberts (10-1) with a perfect 4-0 record with the promotion. His opponent brings a 1-1 UFC record to the cage following a second round stoppage of Mike Pyle (19-6-1). This fight is interesting because it is a step beyond a classical striker vs. grappler pairing; these two men are complete athletic opposites. On one side is Ellenberger, a wrestler turned MMA fighter who battled his way into the UFC over the course of four and a half years and 24 fights and went straight to the deep end of the talent pool against “Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (25-5). On the other when have “Doomsday”, a solid submission guy with a brutal Thai-boxing game who made the UFC in just over three years at a much more casual pace, fighting only 14 times and has struggled to get a fight against a true competitor despite notching off four wins in a row with a Fight of the Night bonus on just his second appearance. This is definitely a much more even fight than it looks like on paper and the reward for the winner: a match against “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (8-3) or a member of the AKA roadblock trio.