When the former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion “The Rhino” Doug Marshall (16-6) joined the Bellator ranks last year, he was largely regarded as an old dog on his last hunt. This did not sit well with the 37-year-old Visalia, California-based fighter going into his middleweight bout against “Kolohe” Kala Hose (7-6) at Bellator 82, and he responded in kind by finishing the fight via brutal knockout just 22 seconds after the opening bell. The rousing performance set up Marshall’s place in the Bellator Season 8 Middleweight Tournament Quarter-Finals where he again played the role of underdog against “Sweet Swede” Andreas Spang (8-3). The former WEC king prevailed once more, taking out the Season 6 tourney finalist with a one-punch knockout that left him crumbled on the canvas.
The United Center in Chicago, Illinois sets the stage for UFC on FOX 6 Saturday night. “New Breed” Erik Koch (13-1) and “The Bully” Ricardo Lamas (12-2) will kick off the main card in a featherweight showdown. In a promising candidate for “Fight of the Night”, “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (15-2) takes on “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (19-4) in a 155lbs. grudge match some time in the making. Heavy-handed Brazilian Glover Teixeira (19-2) will face his biggest competition to date when he battles former light heavyweight champion “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (32-10) in the latter’s reported final fight in the UFC. In the card’s closer, the flyweight title is on the line when champion “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) takes on The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner, “The Magician” John Dodson (14-5).
The UFC on FOX 6 card set to take place Saturday in Chicago presents some of the most interesting story lines in recent memory. What’s more interesting is that three out of the four main card bouts may not come completely out of left field, but they certainly aren’t anything that the pundits could have predicted. The flyweight title fight between “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) and “The Magician” John Dodson (14-5) makes great sense considering the latter’s highly successful return to flyweight, but very few even saw his return to 125lbs. in the cards after his success on TUF. The light heavyweight showdown between Glover Teixeira (19-2) and “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (32-10) is old news at this point following an injury delay, but the match itself makes little sense. “Rampage” is 3-2 in his last five on a two-fight skid and a dangerous opponent like Teixeira is not the kind of fighter a guy on the outs looks for. The opening fight between “New Breed” Erik Koch (13-1) and “The Bully” Ricardo Lamas (12-2) is a fight that is happening solely because the UFC decided that a title fight 145lbs. debut for “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (15-3-1) was better for the company than making good on their offer to Koch who patiently waited for the champ to recover from injury. The only fight on this card that everyone saw coming from a mile away was the pairing of WEC stand-out strikers and bitter rivals “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (19-4) and “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (15-2).
The UFC will waste no time in reloading and firing again as just a week after a stellar UFC on FX 7 card, the world’s premier MMA organization returns to FOX for a flyweight title affair between “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) and “The Magician” John Dodson (14-5). Setting the stage for “Mighty Mouse’s” first title defense is the return of mercurial PRIDE superstar “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (32-10) as he attempts to derail the hype train of feared blue chip wrecking machine Glover Teixeira (19-2) and a lightweight tilt between WEC kickboxing stand-outs “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (19-4) and “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (15-2). Opening the festivities will be another pairing of former WEC elites. “New Breed” Erik Koch (13-1) has easily won both of his UFC bouts and has eyes set firmly on the 145lbs. belt. In a similar position is “The Bully” Ricardo Lamas (12-2) who may have failed to achieve victory on the final WEC card but tore into the UFC with three straight impressive wins.
It is another tour of destruction when the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to follow up UFC 152 with its latest installment of UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic live from Nottingham, England. Welterweight bangers set the main card’s pace with “Beautiful” Che Mills (14-5) taking on “Bang” Duane Ludwig (21-13). It all goes bedlam when native countrymen “The Hitman” John Hathaway (15-1) and “The One” John Maguire (18-3) collide. Paul Sass (13-0) will look to lock his signature triangle offensive when he tangles with the ever-grinding pressure of “Handsome” Matt Wiman (14-6). For all the WEC aficionados, fight promoters heard their cries and lined up “One Punch” Brad Pickett (21-6) and “Tiger” Yves Jabouin (18-7) in the card’s anchor. “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy (24-10) will look to prove England belongs to him when he stands across fellow striker Amir Sadollah (6-3). “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve (24-5) and Stipe Miocic (9-0) are two heavyweight freight trains and will look to derail one another in the card’s main event. Here in the second segment of the Fuel TV breakdown, we’ll take a deeper look into the latter half of the night’s proceedings: Struve versus Miocic, Hardy against Sadollah, and Pickett with Jabouin. Anything can happen once that cage door closes, but here a few keys to victory are brought to light and give better insight on who could come out on top.
The UFC once again brings its roster of top mixed martial arts talent to the FX network Friday night with UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida. The marquee attraction sees a lightweight affair between “The Bully” Gray Maynard (10-1-1) and “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-11) as they battle it out for potential title contention in the UFC’s 155lbs. division. Supporting the main event are the likes of “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (17-7-1) and “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-8) duking it out for the third time in a lightweight tilt, 170ers “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) and TJ Waldburger (15-6) facing off in what will likely be a brawl on the canvas, and British TUF alum “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-5) and WEC veteran Cub Swanson (16-5) fighting to ascend the 145lbs. division ladder. Though much of the MMA fan base will have their eyes glued to the main card on FX, as always, the prelims on Facebook and Fuel TV offer some entertaining match-ups as well, featuring some of the best up-and-comers in the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Among the long list of promising undercard fighters to keep an eye on is “Super” Steven Siler (20-9).
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the States after last weekend’s showing in Sweden with the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia hosting UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans this Saturday night. Journeyman “The Natural” John Alessio (34-10) returns to the UFC for the fourth time to challenge Jiu-Jitsu artist Mark Bocek (10-4). “The Filipino Phenom” Eddie Yagin (15-5-1) will match up against fellow featherweight “The Machine” Mark Hominick (20-10). Heavyweight action graces Atlanta when “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (8-2) stands opposite IFL veteran “Big” Ben Rothwell (31-8). The welterweight division is bound for a change in scenery when “Ares” Rory MacDonald (12-1) meets British sensation “Beautiful” Che Mills (14-4) in the co-main event. Closing out the night is a long-awaited fight as friends-turned-foes collide as current light heavyweight champion “Bones” Jon Jones (15-1) takes on another former champ in “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1). Bantamweight action anchors the main card with “Mayday” Michael McDonald (14-1) battling former WEC 135lbs. king “Angel” Miguel Torres (40-4). McDonald has been making serious waves in what is considered a young career while the tested Torres has always been a big dog in the bantamweight division’s yard. McDonald has the weapons needed to get the job done but Saturday night will be presented his stiffest challenge to date.
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.
Bellator hits the Jersey Shore again this Friday night with a four-fight main card and a golden belt on the line at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The Bellator 65 main event sees bantamweight champ “Fun Size” Zach Makovsky (14-2) take on Season 5 tournament winner, 22-year-old “Dudu” Eduardo Dantas (13-2), in Makovsky’s first ever title defense. “The Polar Bear” Cole Konrad (8-0) was scheduled to put his heavyweight strap on the line against “The American Soldier” Eric Prindle (7-1), but Prindle was struck by a last-minute injury and the title bout has been rescheduled for Bellator 70. The second 145lbs. tournament semi-final match-up will take place as well when Daniel Straus (18-4) faces the underdog and upset artist Mike Corey (12-2) with the winner to face former Sengoku champion Marlon Sandro (22-3) in the finale. WEC veteran and Bellator tough man “Loro” Marcos Galvao (10-5) takes on the colorful wrestler “Wild” Ed West (17-6) in a Season 6 Bantamweight Tournament Quarter-Finals match-up while the opposing bracket sees returning Season Five 135lbs. finalist “The Exorcist” Alexis Vila (11-1) face Bellator veteran “Betao” Luis Alberto Nogueira (12-2).
The world’s premiere mixed martial arts organization returns from a month-long hiatus as the UFC presents UFC on FUEL TV 2 live from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden this Saturday. “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (15-6) and “One Punch” Brad Pickett (20-6) open up the main card with bantamweight action. ”The One” John Maguire (17-3) takes on “The Darkness” DaMarques Johnson (15-9) in a welterweight exhibition. “The Killer” Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1) makes his long awaited UFC debut when he takes on the very dangerous Brazilian submission specialist Paulo Thiago (14-3). Featherweights collide when “The Gun” Diego Nunes (17-2) takes on Dennis Siver (19-8) in a “Fight of the Night” frontrunner. Before Thiago Silva (14-2) and “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) battle it out in the card’s headliner, they will have to try to surpass the bar set by “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) and “The All-American” Brian Stann (11-4) in the co-main event. Stann and Sakara are two of the middleweight’s top names with the damage to show. However, only one of them can climb higher up the division’s ladder after their showdown in Stockholm.