The Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden hosts the UFC’s second installment of UFC on Fuel TV this Saturday with UFC on Fuel 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva. The bantamweights start off the main card as “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (15-6) clashes with “One Punch” Brad Pickett (20-6). Ultimate Fighter alumni “The Darkness” DaMarques Johnson (15-9) takes on fellow welterweight “The One” John Maguire (17-3). Paulo Thiago (14-3) is charged with the task of welcoming long awaited prospect “The Killer” Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4-1) in his UFC debut in the welterweight division. In the co-main event, “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) and “The All-American” Brian Stann (11-4) are set to engage in a middleweight match-up. Thiago Silva (14-2) makes his return to action after a year long lay-off to take on the hometown hero, “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) in the main event. In the middle of all this action, two featherweights are set to meet when “The Gun” Diego Nunes (17-2) welcomes Dennis Siver (19-8) from the lightweight division. With both men being strikers at heart who refuse to back down, it is a fight that all will be dying to watch.
The UFC returns from over a month-long hiatus this Saturday to stake its claim in the city of Stockholm, Sweden for its second event to be broadcast on Fuel TV. Headlining the event is a light heavyweight match-up between Sweden’s own “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (13-1) and wrecking machine Thiago Silva (14-2-1). Former USMC and war hero “All-American” Brian Stann (11-4) returns to battle against another warrior in Rome, Italy’s “Legionarius” Alessio Sakara (15-8) in a middleweight bout. United Glory, Sengoku, and Shooto veteran “The Great” Siyar Bahadurzada (20-4) makes his UFC debut against Brazilian bad boy Paulo Thiago (14-3). Top featherweight “The Gun” Diego Nunes (17-2) welcomes powerful kickboxer Dennis Siver (19-8) to the 145lbs. division. TUF 7 alum “The Darkness” DaMarques Johnson (15-9) faces England’s “The One” John Maguire (17-3). Bantamweights “The Angel of Death” Damacio Page (15-6) and “One Punch” Brad Pickett (20-6) have the honor of starting off the stacked main card to showcase one of the UFC’s newest divisions in what will likely be a fight not only for a victory, but also to maintain employment with the Zuffa promotion.
The welterweights went to war last night at the popular Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut in front of a welcoming crowd. Eight men entered the Bellator circle as part of the Season 6 Welterweight Tournament Quarter-Finals, but only four were allowed to move up the ladder to the semi-finals. “Killa B” Ben Saunders (13-4) took on “Smash Mode” Raul Amaya (9-1) in the opening tournament match-up. “The Caveman” David Rickels (10-0) put his undefeated record on the line against veteran “Mata Ele” Jordan Smith (17-3). Former 185lbs. tourney contender “The Beast” Bryan Baker (17-3) faced Brazilian fight ciruit journeyman and Bellator newcomer “Indio” Carlos Alexandre Pereira (33-10) in a battle of the strongmen of the 170 lbs. division. In the main event MMA Gospel Young Gun and Bellator gladiator “The Cleveland Assassin” Chris Lozano (9-3) took on M-1 veteran “Pyscho” Karl Amoussou (14-4) in a bad blood fight that finally came to a head when they faced off in the cage.
It was an amazing weekend for MMA. The UFC kicked off its flyweight division with an entertaining, non-stop, action-packed scrap between Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson on Friday night. And Saturday night saw women’s MMA reinvigorated by two great fights between Sarah Kaufman and Alexis Davis and the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Title bout between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey. However, it wasn’t all good…
Here on MMA Gospel, we do a column after fights called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and I’m going to use that format with my own spin: The Epic and the WTF?! It was originally going to be “The Epic, the Shitty and the WTF?” but I found it hard to separate the shitty from the WTF.
Form sponsored Urijah Faber, Jon Jones, and many other WEC and UFC champions.
After ten long years the UFC is returning to the Land of the Rising Sun and the former stage of the legendary PRIDE FC with a record-setting seven-fight main card on Pay-Per-View. Former WEC 155lbs. champion “Showtime” Anthony Pettis (14-2) and “J-Lau” Joe Lauzon (21-6) are slated for battle in the opening bout of UFC 144. Former Sengoku featherweight king Hatsu Hioki (23-4) will face IFL and WEC veteran “Bartimus” Bart Palaszewski (35-14). Former middlweight title contender “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-6) will fight for the first time in Japan since 2006, his opponent the rough and tough “Barbarian” Time Boetsch (14-4) who seems to have reformed his career at 185lbs. Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion and former 170lbs. title contender Jake Shields (26-6) looks to avoid three straight losses when he faces Japanese superstar “Sexyama” Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-5). PRIDE and K-1 powerhouse “Super Samoan” Mark Hunt (7-7) will bring his granite chin and bone breaking kickboxing against fellow striker Cheick Kongo (17-6). Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (31-9), also of PRIDE fame, returns to the stage that started his career when he faces TUF 8 winner “Darth” Ryan Bader (13-2). The main event of the night pits the UFC’s 155lbs. king – “The Comeback Kid”, “The Ironhorse of New Jersey”, “The Answer” Frankie Edgar (14-1) – against the former WEC lightweight title holder “Smooth” Benson Henderson (14-2) with the winner earning the title of the best 155lbs. fighter in the world.
The night of fights at UFC 143 has come to an end and its time again to examine which fighters furthered their careers, which fighters hurt their careers, and which fighters need to make a serious change in order to reverse the damage they caused themselves with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. “Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (28-5) led Nick Diaz (26-9) around the Octagon as if he had him on a string, punishing him the entire time for a clear cut Unanimous Decision win for the newly minted Interim UFC Welterweight Championship belt. “Via Cavalo” Fabricio Werdum (15-5-1) made a successful return to the UFC by battering “Big Country” Roy Nelson (16-7) on the feet for three solid rounds. “Kos” Josh Koscheck (17-5) managed to squeeze out an uneventful Split Decision over Mike Pierce (10-4). Renan Barao (28-1) extended his total MMA win streak to 28 with a third UFC victory, this time over “Young Guns” Scott Jorgensen (12-4), and “Short Fuse” Ed Herman (18-8) recorded the main card’s only finish by submitting Clifford Starks (5-1).
It started in April of 2011 at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley. “Mak” Mike Kyle (15-8) was set to face former DREAM middleweight king and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi (32-3). However, a broken hand that Kyle suffered in his near upset loss to heavyweight “Big Foot” Antonio Silva (15-3) sidelined him from the fight. Again the two were set to face each other in September 2011 at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals, but this time it was Mousasi who withdrew from the fight. Now, after a year of trying to come to the same crossroads, the two veterans will finally face each other in the Strikeforce cage.
The UFC returns to the States after a phenomenal showing last weekend in Rio De Janiero, Brazil to present its inaugural “UFC on FX” card tonight from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The card kicks off with Mike Easton (8-0) welcoming Jared Papazian (13-6-1) to the Octagon in the bantamweight division. Hard-hitting heavyweights are set to collide when “HD” Pat Barry (5-5) meets Christian Morecraft (7-2). It is a battle of veterans in the co-main event when“Bang” Duane Ludwig (21-11) will hope to showcase his stand-up skills against the well-rounded “The Dentist” Josh Neer (32-10-1). The main event is one to remember as top lightweights “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (27-9-1) and “The Mongoose” Jim Miller (20-3) prepare to engage with one another. Guillard and Miller were once on the verge of challenging for “The Answer” Frankie Edgar’s championship belt but after facing major setbacks, they will like nothing more to get back into the runnings even at the other’s expense.
The 170lbs. division is gearing up for another season-long Bellator tournament set to kick off in March. With a wealth of returning talent, two towering giants, a UFC veteran, and a wrecking machine all set to meet inside the Bellator cage, the fireworks are sure to fly. Eight hungry contenders will enter but only one will earn a title shot.
Returning to the cage after his tournament finale loss to eventual champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (19-4) is “Killa B” Ben Saunders (12-3). A Bruce Lee-inspired approach to fighting has lead the man who owns some of the deadliest knees and elbows in MMA to the finals before, and this time Saunders will make the needed adjustments to rectify the mistake. Saunders has the talent, the range, and the aggression to beat anyone at any time but in Season 6 he will have even more motivation to prove it.
The last UFC of the year will step back from its traditional date, the closest Saturday to New Year’s Day, as the world’s premier MMA organization presents UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem on Friday, December 30. Opening what is always one of the biggest events of the year is a featherweight competition between TUF alum Nam Phan (19-10) and undefeated Jiu-Jitsu ace “The Kid” Jimy Hettes (9-0). “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) will look to continue his 4-1 UFC career renaissance against the hard hitting Swede “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (12-1). Anchoring the card is long-time welterweight title hopeful Jon Fitch (22-3-1) who will face rising talent Johny Hendricks (11-1), and red hot former WEC lightweight “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (16-4) will take on Cesar Gracie stand-out Nate Diaz (13-8). Serving as the lynch-pin for the entire card is a main event heavyweight bout that old school and new wave fans of the sport have debated since 2008: former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar (5-2) against former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (32-12). One thing is certain, the only thing bigger than the spectacle in the cage Friday night, will be the pair of men who will provide the main show.
The world’s premiere MMA organization finishes off the year with a bang this Friday night with UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem. Undefeated featherweight prospect “The Kid” Jimy Hettes (9-0) takes on Nam Phan (19-10) in the main card’s opening bout. “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) collides with the fast rising “The Mauler” Alexander Gustafsson (12-1) to see whose stock gets a lift in the light heavyweight division. Johny Hendricks (11-1) is looking to get into the higher echelon of the welterweight class but will first have to grind it out against former title challenger Jon Fitch (22-3). The main event is seen as the classic “grappler versus striker” formula as former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar (5-2) and current K-1, DREAM, and Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (34-11) fill the roles, respectively. The co-main event is receiving just as much acclaim as the marquee feature as Nate Diaz (13-8) and “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (16-4) butt heads in a lightweight match-up. Diaz and Cerrone are two of the sport’s most enigmatic personalities but once the cage door seals, this clash of personalities will turn into a battle truly worthy of remembering.
The old classic Friday Night Fights aura surrounds the December 30 date for UFC 141 and rounds out the promotion’s year rather nicely. Perhaps the most dangerous heavyweight striker in all of MMA, former Strikeforce, DREAM, and K-1 Heavyweight Champion “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem (34-11), steps into the Octagon tp begin his long awaited UFC career. In his way of a shot at UFC gold though is the villainous former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar (5-2). Red hot former WEC title contender “The Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (16-4) and Nate Diaz (13-8) of Cesar Gracie tutelage will bring their heated encounter from months before to the surface as they face off in the co-main event. Top-ranked welterweight Jon Fitch (22-3) returns since his lackluster Draw against former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn (16-8) to face heavy-handed WEC veteran Johny Hendricks (11-1). Exciting young fighter Alexander Gustafsson (12-1) has yet to go past the second round in his UFC career but his toughest test to date will tower in front of him in the form of long-time UFC veteran “The Janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) who has looked better than ever with two knockout wins supporting him going into this match-up. Starting off the UFC 141 main card is undefeated “The Kid” Jimy Hettis (9-0) who has submitted all of his opponents – six in the first round and three in the second, teeing off against the tough and relentless Nam Phan (19-10), who recently made UFC history for his rock ‘em sock ‘em battle with “Bad Boy” Leonard Garcia (15-8). Both men are guaranteed a tough fight in each other, and it is one that surely will serve as an entertaining opener to the Pay-Per-View card.
With the bantamweight roster close to completion for the upcoming Bellator Season 6 tournament starting in March on an all new Friday night schedule, the Bellator brass is now compiling a stacked list of 145lbs. competitors to go to battle for a shot at championship gold. Eight men will enter the Bellator Season 6 Featherweight Tournament but only one will be declared tournament champion. With current champion Joe Warren (7-2) scheduled to face Summer Series winner Pat Curran (15-4) in the first defense of the 145lbs. division championship and “Pitbull” Patricio Freire (9-1) awaiting the winner of that bout, it seems the featherweight belt will be up in the air for the time.