Why You Should Be Watching World Series of Fighting 4

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is so spread out, that for a novice fan, it’s hard to see the smaller promotions responsible for developing talent in their shadows.  These promotions are also the same who carry the task of cutting paychecks to veterans who’ve been cut by the UFC on the down slope of their careers.  Pretty much giving them a home while the bug to fight slowly starts to dissipate.

World Series of Fighting is putting on their fourth installment August 10, 2013 at the Citizen’s Bank Arena in Ontario, California.  With WSOF 4, you’re served up a dish of Tyrone Spong (1-0) vs. Angel Deanda (11-2) as the Main Event.  Wait a sec…What?!! How does a guy with one MMA fight headline a card?

It’s simple!! Did you not see his last fight? At WSOF 1, Spong dispatched Travis Barlett in 3:15 of the 1st Round in his MMA debut.  Not to mention, he holds a stunning kickboxing record of 72-6-1-1 with 45 of those victories by way of knockout.  Knowing this, I think this makes Spong one of the most feared strikers in MMA by default.

Spong’s opponent, Angel Deanda, is a heavy handed fighter in his own right.  Out of the 11 victories that Deanda holds, 10 of them come via knockout.   So, he’s no stranger to slinging the leather.   One of the blemishes on Deanda’s record is a 1st Round knockout loss to UFC veteran James Irvin.  Either way, Spong vs. Deanda will not disappoint the MMA audience who so often thirst for teeth grinding finishes.

Ok, that’s the main event. So, why else should I watch this card?  You’re kidding, right?  Veterans Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante vs. Tyson Griffin, Gerald Harris back to action, a rising Marlon Moraes set to impress after a landmark debut, and Ray Sefo (2-1) vs. David Huckaba (20-5).

Wait!! What?  Yes the organizational President Ray Sefo is set to make his promotional debut inside his own organization.  How often to you see an organizational president compete in his own promotion? No, I mean legit promotion.  Not some garage born promotion who  you could find constantly hitting up National Guard Armories for venues.  Sefo much like Spong isn’t to be underestimated.  An extensive career in kickboxing with 56 victories and 38 of them by knockout should be something novice fans shouldn’t take lightly.

Huckaba, 16 knockouts in 20 wins, is 9-1 in his last 10 fights.  Knockout power Huckaba has, but don’t let that overshadow that he has 3 submissions to his credit including in his last bout over Carter Williams in another promotion.

Also, a highlight on this card will be Nick Newell. Newell suffers from congenital amputation.  Basically he was born with just barely half of his left arm.  Psht!! Like that stops him!! Newell is undefeated in his career at 9-0, with 6 submissions to his credit along with, get this……2 knockouts!!  No way!!  Yes, it’s true!!  Newell comes from a regional organization where he recently vacated their title.  He will make his debut for WSOF live on the main card.  Keep your eyes out for him!!

World Series of Fighting 4 Prelims can be viewed at http://wsof.com/ . WSOF 4 Main Card can be viewed immediately after on NBC Sports Network. Check your local cable or satellite provider for times.  DON’T FORGET…AUGUST 10!!

WSOF 4 CARD:

Main Card (NBC Sports Network)

Main Event: Tyrone Spong (1-0) vs. Angel Deanda (11-2)
Marlon Moraes (10-4-1) vs. Brandon Hempleman (9-1)
Ray Sefo (2-1) vs. Dave Huckaba (20-5)
Nick Newell (9-0) vs. Keon Caldwell (9-1)
Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante (17-7-1) vs. Tyson Griffin (16-6)

Preliminary Card (WSOF Website)

Gerald Harris (21-5) vs. Jorge Santiago (25-11)
Lewis Gonzales (8-0) vs. Antonio McKee (28-5-2)
Lew Polley (10-4) vs. Hans Stringer (21-5-2)
Joe Murphy (6-1) vs. John Robles (7-1)
Isaac Gutierrez (5-3) vs. Victor Valenzuela (12-6-2)

Roy Nelson vs. Daniel Cormier is ON!!!

The UFC just confirmed it! The heavyweight matchup we all wanted to see. Big Country will take on Daniel Cormier as the co-main event of UFC 166 in Houston. Roy Nelson has signed a new deal with the UFC. Nelson and Cormier will take their twitter battle to the Octagon.

UFC 166 will be a heavyweight extravaganza as the event will be headlined by fellow heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. That’s four top 10 heavyweights on one card!

October 19th is the date and the venue is the Toyota Center.

UFC 166 fight card:

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos
Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson
Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard
Diego Sanchez vs. Gilbert Melendez
Tony Ferguson vs. Mike Rio

Shattered Dreams: A Battle For The G.O.A.T.

The following piece was written two days after Jon Jones dismantled Chael Sonnen. I was convinced there’d be a superfight and I was convinced it would be epic. Silva’s recent loss most likely buries this fight for good. Because of this, I vote to change Weidman’s nickname from “The All-American” to “The Dream Smasher”.

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The waters surrounding Jon Jones’s future turned cloudy after the champion suffered a gruesome toe injury at UFC 159. How long would the injury keep him out? Who might be his next opponent? Could the inactivity force a move up to Heavyweight? Regardless of 159’s aftermath, one question still reigns supreme: Will Jonny “Bones” Jones ever fight Anderson “The Spider” Silva? I used to be a skeptic, but now more than ever I am seeing the light…

“A Battle For The G.O.A.T.”

Anderson Silva…
Jonny Bones Jones…
This matchup of Titans
Is full of unknowns

Let’s first take a look
At the Spider’s sixth sense—
Could Jon’s injury
Nudge him over the fence?

The Spider might figure
His very best chance
For catching this threat
Is an atrophied stance

No matter how quickly
The toe of Bones of heals
It’s highly unlikely
He’ll roll on smooth wheels

And Silva is weakest
When flat off his back
So forcing a takedown
Is Jon’s best attack

But even if standing,
A win’s not secure—
The wingspan of Jones
Measures eight inches more

And Jon is a master
Of using his frame
While Jackson’s a master
Of planning his game

The speed goes to Silva,
The weight goes to Jones,
In boxing, speed kills
But in wrestling, weight owns

And both men are artists,
Their genius is pure,
Though Silva’s past fights
Leave me somewhat unsure

If Sonnen could take
Spider down at his will
Envision Bones throwing
Those elbows to kill

His knowledge keeps growing
With each passing day—
At some point in time
Silva’s prime will decay…

The Spider must strike
While the iron is hot,
Before any skills
Start to wither or rot

Two Pound-4-Pounds spirits
Will strengthen, not break
They both will transcend
Beyond all that’s at stake

There’s never a loser
When legends collide
The fans will respect
Fighters fighting for pride

I pray they lay ink
On what boxing can’t sign—
The Best vs. The Best
With the world on the line

And if White can somehow
Corral this ashore
I’ll bate every breath
For the epic in store

UFC Announces World Tour

Hi sports fans. The UFC has just issued a press release announcing what they’re calling a World Tour where 4 champions and 4 title challengers will traverse the globe in order to promote the UFC and the fight schedule coming up. The press release, for your reading enjoyment, is below:

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FOUR WORLD CHAMPIONS AND FOUR TITLE CHALLENGERS HIT 11 CITIES IN SIX DAYS

Las Vegas, Nevada – World championship headliners: UFC(r) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alex Gustafsson, UFC(r) heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, UFC(r) welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC(r) women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, will hit 11 cities in five countries while promoting the final four Championship Pay-Per-View events of a historic year punctuated by some of the biggest fights of all-time.

The World Tour Schedule

* July 29 – California Bay Area: Press tour with UFC(r) heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.

* July 29 – Las Vegas, Nevada – Main Lobby, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, 12 PM PT: Ultimate Media Day with UFC(r) welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public.

* July 30 – Los Angeles, California -Club Nokia at Nokia Live, 11 AM PT: UFC president Dana White hosts a press conference live with UFC(r) heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, UFC(r) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, UFC(r) welterweight champion George St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC(r) women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.

* July 31 – New York, New York -Beacon Theatre, 1 PM ET: UFC president Dana White hosts a press conference live with UFC(r) heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, UFC(r) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, UFC(r) welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, UFC(r) women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.

* August 1 – Montreal, Canada – Complexe Desjardins, 12:30 PM ET: UFC Director of Canadian Operations Tom Wright hosts a press conference with UFC(r) welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public; streamed live on UFC.com.

* August 1 – Houston, Texas -Toyota Center, 1 PM CT: Open workouts and interviews with UFC(r) heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. Free and open to the public.

* August 1 – Stockholm, Sweden: Press tour with UFC(r) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.

* August 2 – Dallas, Texas – Cowboys Stadium, 1 PM CT: Open workouts and interviews on the field UFC(r) welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Free and open to the public.

* August 2 – Chicago, Illinois: Press tour with UFC(r) women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

* August 2 – London, England: Press tour with UFC(r) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.

* August 2 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – HSBC Arena, 3 PM BRT: UFC(r) heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos to participate in joint Q & A session prior to weigh-ins for UFC 163. Free and open to the public.

About The Upcoming Championship Pay-Per-View Events

UFC(r) 165: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON takes place Saturday, September 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, as reigning pound-for-pound king Jon Jones defends his light heavyweight title against a top-ranked challenger who can match him in speed, size and youth in Alexander Gustafsson. Both men have been calling for the showdown and, finally, the biggest 205lbs clash of the year is on. Tickets are available now at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.

UFC(r) 166: VELASQUEZ vs. DOS SANTOS 3 takes place Saturday, October 19, from Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The fate of the world heavyweight championship will be decided when perhaps the two baddest men on the planet – UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and rival former heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos – collide for the third and perhaps final time in their blistering series. Mexican-American Velasquez regained the championship from Brazil-born dos Santos last December, pounding out a five round decision which tied the series 1-1 after dos Santo’s crushing 64-second KO win in their first fight in 2011. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 2 at www.houstontoyotacenter.com or by calling (866) 4-HOU-TIX.

UFC(r) 167: ST-PIERRE vs. HENDRICKS takes place Saturday, November 16 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where the longest-reigning champion in the UFC, welterweight king Georges St-Pierre, returns to the Octagon(r) to face No.1 contender Johny Hendricks. “GSP” will be fighting in the United States for the first time in three-and-a-half years, taking on his most dangerous challenger to date in the sledge-hammer handed “Big Rigg”. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 2 at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.

UFC(r) 168: WEIDMAN vs. SILVA 2 closes out 2013 on December 28 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena with the most hotly anticipated rematch in UFC history with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman’s defending his title against the dethroned king Anderson Silva. UFC 168 also features UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey who takes on bitter rival Miesha Tate in a rematch of one the biggest female fight of all time. Rousey ripped the championship from Tate in a breathtaking March 2012 war, however, nothing was settled in Tate’s eyes and now she gets her chance to avenge the most painful defeat of her career at UFC 168. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 27 at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.

UFC Mid-Year Review: Championship Edition

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2013 has been pretty exciting thus far for UFC championship matchups.  First we started the year in January with Johnson v. Dodson.  Very close fight there, and pretty darn exciting too, with Dodson putting up a good start, but Johnson dominating in the later rounds. 

Then we had Aldo v. Edgar, in February, which was another extremely nail-bitingly close fight for Edgar, resulting in his third loss in a row.  I think everyone probably breathed a collective sigh of relief when Edgar finally got back to his winning ways this month at UFC 162 against Charles Oliveira (we’ll get to the headlining fight shortly).

Barao v. McDonald was the next one in February, with Barao subbing McDonald in the 4th via arm triangle.  Next was the first ever female fight in the UFC with Rousey defeating Carmouche via, obviously, arm bar in the 1st (I didn’t have to look that one up) to win the inaugural women’s bantamweight title. 

St. Pierre faced the elder Diaz brother in March, claiming a decisive decision against the clearly outmatched Diaz.
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We saw the UFC debut of El Nino at UFC on Fox 7: Henderson v. Melendez, with the challenger putting up a largely nullifying if not mostly passive performance that was not enough to sway the judges his way.  Also, after defending the belt for the third time, Henderson got engaged in front of a wall of unhappy and booing fight fans (Julie Kedzie tweeted “Very, very sweet. But just a note to future suitors: Never ever propose to me in the Octagon. I will hit you.”).

Jones v. Sonnen and Velasquez v. Bigfoot 2 were the next two championship match-ups, and I don’t think they really need more than an “oh, yeah, right, that happened” mention, as Sonnen and Bigfoot survived exactly as long as everyone thought they would.  And then this month we saw Silva v. Weidman.  I personally believe that Silva lost NOT because his hands were down, but because he was uncharacteristically off balance when retreating from Weidman’s sloppy but aggressive striking onslaught.  Sorry, I had to give my two cents like everyone else.

The most notable of the title fights mentioned above is without a doubt the most recent.  It goes without saying that Silva being dethroned from the world middleweight and pound-for-pound top spot after being undefeated since 2006 is a big deal.  Much has been said about the fight and implications for the division, so I won’t go into more similar speculations here.  I will say, however, that Silva’s loss was the only title belt changing of hands that took place this year so far, with most of the other fights on the whole being dominating shows of skill by the reigning kings and queen.

Now on to the championship fights for the rest of the year.

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We’ve got one coming up very soon on July 27.  That’ll be UFC on Fox 8: Johnson v. Moraga.  Moraga is currently ranked the #4 flyweight on the UFC’s own ranking list, and #8 on Sherdog’s.  Many UFC fans are likely unfamiliar with him, as the flyweights haven’t been around very long in the UFC, and this will be only his third fight in the organization, but he’s been on something of a tear since his professional debut in 2009, having won bantamweight titles in the local-to-Arizona promotions Rage in the Cage, and Trilogy Championship Fighting.  Interestingly, his one loss, back in 2010, was against John Dodson, who fought, as I mentioned previously, for the title back in January.

If Moraga manages to get himself the belt, the next obvious fight to make for the new champ would be against Dodson, who is currently ranked #2 by the UFC and #4 by Sherdog.  If the world were fair, Dodson would have to fight someone else first before getting another title shot, as his last fight was his loss to Johnson, but as we’ve all been shown on multiple occasions, Sean Shelby, Joe Silva, and Dana White don’t often think the world is fair (Edgar got a title shot against Aldo after two consecutive losses, Sonnen got a title shot against Jones after his crushing defeat at the hands of The Spider, Nick Diaz fought GSP post loss to Condit, and the list goes on), so who knows what could happen?  That’s a big IF, though, as Johnson is definitely no slouch, and looked great against Dodson back in January.

When talking about Johnson, the word of the day is always “speed” as he has shown time and time again that you can’t hit what you can’t see.  Even Dodson, who was a shoe-in for the title of the Octagon’s fastest, couldn’t keep the pace pushed by Johnson.  That will be a big hurdle for Moraga, as he’s not particularly quick on his feet.  He is, however, going to be bigger than Johnson by 3 inches, with a 1 inch reach advantage.  That’s not saying a whole lot when you’re talking about Johnson, though, as he’s faced taller fighters when he had his run at the bantamweight division, where he did remarkably well for being a little guy always having to punch above his head.  So basically what I’m saying is, it will be interesting to see what happens!

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The next championship fight on the list is Adlo v. the Korean Zombie in August.  After losing both his WEC bouts to Leonard Garcia and George Roop, Chan Sung Jung has been a surprising prospect in the UFC featherweight division, avenging his loss to Garcia with a twister of all things, knocking out Hominick in 7 seconds, and subbing Poirer in the 4th.  After those wins, Jung earned his way to the #4 spot in the division according to the UFC’s list (he’s at #5 now after Cub Swanson’s impressive win against Siver in June), and #10 according to Sherdog.  It’s not hard to see why the matchmakers thought this was a good idea after Pettis had to pull out of his match against Aldo due to knee injury.  The only problem with this for Jung, however, is that he’s coming off of a very long layoff, having been out of action since May of 2012.

Actually, there’s another problem: Aldo is a bit of a monster, and is often thought to be in the top 4 of the p4p best in the world.  That’s no joke, and Aldo definitely deserves the praise.  If Jung can somehow pull out a victory, probably by submission, that’ll for sure be the second biggest upset of the year.  Realistically, the good money is on Aldo for this one, as ring rust is sure to strike and leave Jung’s lead leg open for some debilitating monster leg kicks.  Because, I don’t know if I made this clear, Aldo is a monster.  If Jung does pull out a victory, I could see potential in a rematch with Roop to avenge his last loss.  Of course, Roop might not want to take the chance now that he’s moved down in weight to bantam and is doing fairly well for himself with victories over Reuben Duran and Brian Bowles.  A fight that makes a bit more sense would of course be Cub Swanson, who is on a 5 fight winning streak, has looked better than he ever has, and is the #4 featherweight according to both the UFC and Sherdog.

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Next on the list is Pettis v. Henderson 2.  Showtime Kick.  Need I say more?  If you for some reason missed one of the best fights of 2010, and the WEC’s final show, here’s a quick recap: Anthony Pettis (Sherdog’s #3 and UFC’s #2 lightweight) fought for the WEC lightweight title against Benson Henderson, who had defended the strap once against Donald Cerrone, in the WEC’s final show before being consumed entirely by the UFC.  Pettis appeared to edge out Henderson in the first 4 rounds, but sealed the deal with an off-the-cage jumping roundhouse kick to Henderson’s face, dubbed afterward the Showtime Kick (recent inductee to the UFC hall of fame Stephen Bonnar, who was providing color commentary that night, famously exclaimed, “It’s just like the Matrix!”).

After the UFC took on the WEC roster, Pettis entered the fray with promises of a title fight if he could secure a victory first against Clay Guida.  Guidawelcomed Pettis to the big show by executing a wrestling clinic at the expense of the talented striker, securing himself a victory, and forcing Pettis to re-earn his way back to title contention.  And re-earn his way back up he has, with very impressive 1st round wins against Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone.  The chances for a title fight seemed far off to Pettis, however, as he felt the organization was overlooking him with fighters he, wrongly or rightly, felt didn’t deserve shots, so he decided to step down to featherweight to face Jose Aldo (not that he deserved that shot himself).

Then the injury fairy decided to pay Pettis a visit, forcing him to pull out of the Aldo fight, giving the Korean Zombie a turn instead.  Poor Pettis was stuck in limbo yet again, with all but a promise to face the winner of TJ Grant v. Bendo.  Then the injury fairy struck again, but this time in Showtime’s favor, knocking out Grant, and allowing Pettis to step in.  Henderson v. Pettis 2 is the most anticipated rematch in UFC history since Silva v. Sonnen 2.  Very few fight fans were excited about Aldo v. Pettis, and even fewer were excited about Henderson v. Grant, but Henderson v. Pettis 2 is what dreams are made of.  Hyperbole aside, Pettis has a very strong chance to come away with a victory this time again, as Henderson hasn’t looked particularly impressive in his tenure as top dog, winning nail-biting split decisions against top tier talent like Gilbert Melendez and Frankie Edgar.

If Pettis can manage to keep the fight standing and be a more dynamic striker than the champ, then it’s a safe bet that Pettis will pull away with a late-round stoppage.  Or they could both neutralize each other completely with their similar skill sets and stylistic backgrounds resulting in another close decision for Bendo.

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September presents us with Jones v. Gustafsson, an intriguing matchup if not merely for the fact that Jones won’t have any height advantage this time around, as The Mauler is a whopping 1 inch taller.  Jones of course still has the freakishly long reach of 84.5 inches as compared to Gustafsson’s 76.5.  Gustafsson is currently ranked #6 by Sherdog and #2 by the UFC, and has looked reasonably good in his octagon performances, with wins over fighters that used to be rather good at one point or another in their respective careers.  His one loss comes at the hands of Phil Davis by way of anaconda choke back in 2010.  It should be noted that Phil Davis is a very good wrestler, but probably not on par with Jones, so if Davis could outwrestle Gustafsson, it stands to reason that Jones will have little difficulty in doing the same.  It is likely to end with Bones as the victor via submission in the 2nd round.  Earlier in the month we’ll be seeing Glover Teixeria take on Ryan Bader on Fox Sports 1 3, or whatever we’re supposed to be calling it.  It would not be entirely far-fetched to think that the winner of that fight will get the next shot at the belt.

Also on the September card, as the co-main event, is Barao v. Wineland for the interim bantamweight belt.  Barao has looked exceptionally well throughout his 7-year career, with only one loss to speak of, and has been very convincing as the interim champ while Dominick Cruz is out of commission.  This match-up was supposed to happen earlier in June at UFC 161, but Barao had to pull out due to a foot injury.  Wineland, who is a former WEC champion, was victorious in his last two outings against Scott Jorgenson and Brad Picket, but is still only 2-2 in his last 4 fights.  Wineland, even with a lingering Barao foot injury, will have a very difficult time coming away with a win.  It deserves a mention that the non-interim bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, is supposed to be done with rehab 9 months after his second surgery back in December.  That puts him around August for his return to full-time training.  Perhaps we might be able to see the return of the Dominator 6 months after the Barao v. Wineland fight in a title unification match.  This is all just speculation of course…

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And then we have the rubber match for the heavyweight crown with Velasquez v. dos Santos 3 in October.  It will be interesting to see if The Gypsy can upset the champ again, but if the Junior of JDS v. Velasquez 2 shows up, it’ll be a long and difficult night for him.  Likewise, though, if the Cain of Velasquez v. JDS 1 shows up, then it’ll probably be a short night for him!  This is a very tough one to predict, but the odds makers are giving the champ the slight edge, but that is likely to change as the fight approaches.   Whoever ends up losing the match will likely want to consider stepping down to light heavyweight, as a 3rd rematch (I call that a plastic match.  Like a rubber match.  Get it?  Funny, right?  Hello?) is not realistically in the cards, as not many people are even that exited for this one.

The most logical candidate for next heavyweight contender is FabricioWerdum (#3 for the UFC and Sherdog), who has looked very convincing in the 3 fights he’s had since his return to the octagon, but apparently Werdum wants to face Daniel Cormier to stay active and avoid a long layoff like the one he had due to his stint as coach on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2.  If that fight ends up happening this year, you can be sure that the winner will fight for the heavyweight title near the middle of next year.

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In November, we’ll be seeing GSP v. Hendricks.  Hendricks (#1 for the UFC and #2 for Sherdog, which means the same thing) was slated to face GSP after annihilating Martin Kampmann via a 46 second KO, but Rush wanted to fight Nick Diaz instead, so Hendricks had to earn title contention once more, but against Carlos Condit, which he did in a very closely contested battle.  This, on paper, looks to be a tough match-up for the reigning welterweight king and #2 p4p fighter in the world.  Hendricks is a decorated wrestler with a very solid straight left that he uses to great effect (like in the 46 second KO I mentioned a bit ago), and he manages to close long distances almost instantaneously.  By golly, he sounds like GSP, who is widely considered one of the best wrestlers in the sport and has a debilitating lunging jab.  Hendricks isn’t likely to try and take GSP down, instead favoring a stand-up approach, but it has yet to be seen if he has the skill necessary to put the champ in real danger.

Obviously the power and accuracy are there, but he wasn’t able to pull out a flashy KO of Condit, so maybe the story will be the same this time around with a decision win for St-Pierre.  Speaking of Condit, he’s facing off against Kampmann at Fox Sports 1 2 in August, so perhaps we might see the winner of that fight take on the winner of Rory McDonald v. Jake Ellenberger happening later this month to determine the next contender.

And then finally we have UFC 168 which will have two title fights as co-mains: Weidman v. Silva 2 and Rousey v. Tate 2.  Can Weidman pull off another upset and put a stamp on his middleweight title?  Sure, anything’s possible, but no one is really predicting that to happen.  Like, at all.  The consensus seems to be that Silva will go out there and put Weidman to sleep, probably in round 2 because in round 1 Weidman will take Silva down and mount him for 3 minutes.  Wait, I feel like I’ve seen this somewhere before…  I don’t expect Weidman to throw a silly spinning back fist at the once and likely future king, and fall to the matt in order to be manhandled like a child, but I do expect vintage Anderson Silva to step into the octagon to avenge his embarrassing loss.  If Silva somehow manages to lose this one, the middle weight division will be a very interesting place indeed.

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As for Rousey v. Tate, Rousey will win by armbar in the 1st, but not before being put in an awkward position on the verge of being finished herself.  Such is the nature of things.  The obvious choice for the next title fight for Rousey would be Cat Zingano, who had to pull out of the fight that Tate will be enjoying due to injury to her ACL.  But who knows when Zingano will be back in fighting shape again.  What also makes sense but provides for a less interesting fight would be the winner of Kaufman v. McMann set for UFC on Fox Sports 1 2.  I say this is less interesting because McMann didn’t look particularly impressive in her UFC debut against Sheila Gaff, especially considering she’s possibly the most decorated wrestler in the UFC today, and Kaufman lost to Rousey in Strikeforce not that long ago.

Whew!  So we’ve got a great list of fights for the coming months from the UFC.  This year hasn’t been too bad in terms of injuries so far, so let’s all hope that it continues that way.

The Flyweights are HERE

To the casual MMA fan with a list of “Pound 4 Pound Best Fighters” or UFC Champions, names such as Anderson Silva, GSP, Cain Velasquez, and Jon Jones are synonymous with them. When asked where Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson should be ranked, more often than not the response would be “Who?” or “What the heck is a Flyweight?” Even as top 125 pounders in the sport, vying for the position as one of the elite fighters seems to be no easy task while wedged in a group of who’s who of mixed martial arts.

Johnson has won 6 out his last 7 fights via decision with victories over Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez(to become the inaugural UFC Flyweight Champion), and outlasted a barrage of haymakers from The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner Jon Dodson in his first title defense. Currently ranked #7 in the UFC Pound for Pound Rankings, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson brings home field advantage as he defends his Flyweight Title for the second time headlining UFC on FOX 8, Saturday July 27, live from The Key Arena in Seattle. He’ll be taking on the unorthodox John Moraga in a 5 round championship tilt.

The challenger burst on to the UFC flyweight scene with an impressive TKO victory over Ulysses Gomez and a “Submission of the Night” finish over Chris Cariaso to bring his win streak to 7. Morgana will get his opportunity to dethrone the current champ in a fight originally set for April of this year, but was unfortunately cancelled after a shoulder injury forced Johnson to pull out.

Not one to be taken out the title picture, the brash newcomer has been vocal of his disagreement with those who hail Mighty Mouse as “The fastest man in Mix Martial Arts”:

“He runs around too much. He doesn’t fight. He doesn’t put on exciting fights. He’s got a lot of technique and a lot of skill, but he doesn’t finish people, I don’t feel. I think he’s boring.” Moraga recently told MMAWeekly. “He has very good timing with his takedowns. I don’t think he’s the greatest wrestler, but he just has good timing, and good timing is key in MMA wrestling.”

“He’s just not that fast.” The two-time All American wrestler at Arizona State Moraga added.

As The UFC readies itself for a stacked month of August they have targeted this 5 round title bout as the kick off to what is sure to be an exciting summer of fights. In an obvious clash of styles, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (17-2-1) who looks to use his defiant champion prowess, lighting quick speed, and excellent take down defense to stop the relentless wrestling attacks and one punch knockout power of No. 1 contender John Moraga (13-1-0). With a win at UFC on FOX 8, Johnson would solidify his place in the upper echelon of the sport and finally get that name recognition. Or would the man that not just 2 years ago was fighting in the independent circuit (Moraga), and has made a slash since arriving, be the one to put the UFC’s smallest division on the map? One thing can be assured after all the dust has cleared on July 27th, there will be no doubt to even the casual that the UFC Flyweights are HERE.

UFC Fight Night 27: Condit vs Kampmann 2 Preview (Updated)

Indianapolis, IN – IT’S BACK!!! The Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) is making it’s way  back to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse after nearly 3 years of bouncing around the world skipping over us.  UFC Fight Night 27 will take place at the Pacers’s venue, August 28. The 13 bout card will be headlined by former UFC Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit (28-7 MMA 5-3 UFC) vs. Martin Kampmann (20-6 MMA 11-5 UFC) in a rematch UFC fans have been eagerly awaiting.

UFC President Dana White was quite anxious upon announcing the rematch. “Two of the top-ranked welterweights in the division will collide when former interim UFC champion Carlos Condit meets Martin Kampmann in Indianapolis,” White told UFC.com. “Both of these guys love finishing fights, so this is gonna be a war!”  Condit and Kampmann are clashing in a 5-round non title bout.

#2 Carlos Condit (aka The Natural Born Killer) comes to the Circle City having finished 26 of his 28 victories and only 2 decisions.  With 13 knockouts and 13 submission victories to his credit, expect to train a full and complete camp for the Jackson/Winkeljohn MMA fighter.  Condit also is notorious for his conditioning, experience in 5-round championship bouts, is expected to go the distance.  Even took the #2 Pound for Pound and reigning UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre the distance, nearly knocking him out in the 3rd round.  Condit looking to get back on the winning track as he’s riding a 2-fight skid having dropped decisions to the UFC Welterweight Champion, GSP, and then again to #1 contender Johnny Hendricks.

#3 Martin Kampmann (aka The Hitman) is the Leonardo da Vinci of the UFC’s heavily talented welterweight division.  Not often does his opponents leave the historical octagon recognizable.  Kampmann’s fists and 72 inch reach are primed each time he touches the canvas of your face.  Not just with 8 knockouts, the Denmark native also nearly even with 7 submission victories in his 26 fight career.  Kampmann has the added pressure in this bout as he’s not seen a 5-round bout.  Kampmann also is coming off of a loss to the #1 contender, Hendricks.

Condit and Kampmann are no stranger to each other.  Their last meeting was in Nashville, TN, April 1, 2009, at UFC Fight Night 18.  Kampmann edged out “the Natural Born Killer” in a split decision, that soured Condit’s UFC (a Zuffa owned company) debut.  Condit had been crossed over from another Zuffa owned company, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), where he ended as the promotion’s last welterweight champion.

Condit, much like today’s Indianapolis Colts, started off the bout a bit on the slow side.  Half way through the bout, Condit turned up the heat and kept it on high throughout the remainder of the bout.  The Hitman ended up walking away with a split decision victory, with 2 judges scoring the bout 29-28 and the other judge scoring for Condit 29-28.

Condit vs. Kampmann isn’t the only bout that’s bringing heat to Indiana. The agricultural state can also be expecting UFC Lightweights #6 Donald “the Cowboy” Cerrone (20-5, 1 NC MMA 7-2 UFC) vs. #10 Rafael dos Anjos (19-6 MMA 8-4 UFC), which will most likely be the co-main event of the card.  Cerrone just coming off of a highly technical striking clinic victory over Strikeforce crossover KJ Noons. Dos Anjos is currently surfing the waves of a 4-fight winning streak.

Indianapolis will also welcome it’s first major Women’s Mix Martial Arts bout.  UFC bantamweight, #4 Sara McMann (7-0 MMA 0-0 UFC) was expected to face former Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion #2 Sarah Kaufman (16-2 MMA 0-0 UFC).  However, McMann had to pull out of the bout due to an undisclosed reason.  Kaufman now awaits the word of a new opponent.

McMann, 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist in Freestyle Wrestling, is undefeated and at one point had much trouble finding other women to even fight her. Since becoming a professional mixed martial artist in 2011, many have become eager to become her first blemish on her flawless record.

Kaufman, a proud Canadian, is a 2-time Strikeforce women’s champion and has fought amongst the best in the world.  She’s gone toe to toe with fighters of the likes of Marloes Coenen, Liz Carmouche, Roxanne Modafferi, and current undefeated UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey.  Both Kaufman and McMann are coming off victories.

UFC Fight Night 27 will also bring The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner (an MMA based reality show), 21 year old Kevin Gastelum (6-0 MMA 1-0 UFC) was slated to fight UFC veteran Paulo Thiago (15-5 MMA 5-5 UFC), however Thiago had to pull out of the fight due to an  injury to his left knee.   Now it’s come to my attention that Brian Melancon (7-2 MMA 1-0 UFC) will step up to replace Thiago.  Melancon came into the UFC in fashion as he scored a 1st round knockout victory over seasoned veteran Seth Baczynski at UFC 162.  Melancon out of the Paradigm Training Center in Houston, Texas where he lives and trains.  He’ll be looking to slow the momentum of the TUF winner.  Gastelum won the reality show tournament over universally favored middleweight Uriah Hall and will now be making his welterweight debut.

UFC is coming back to Indianapolis looking to best their numbers from UFC 119, which was held September 25, 2010.  A card that was great until it was ended by an embarrassing main event bout; Frank Mir vs. Mirco “Cro Cop”.  A bout that UFC President Dana White and the rest of the brass would like to forget.  That’s when Banker’s Life Fieldhouse was known as Conseco Fieldhouse.  UFC 119 brought the venue 15,811 in attendance, $1.6 million in Live Gate, and brought in 295,000 Pay Per View buys. UFC 119 also studded 4 Indiana fighters on the card with Chris Lytle, Matt Mitrione, Sean McCorkle, and Steve Lopez. The Hoosier fighters went 3-1 on the night as Lopez was the only fighter who dropped a decision. A razor close split decision, but a loss nonetheless.

UFC won’t have to worry about PPV revenue as they’re airing the event on LIVE and FREE TV.  The 6 bout Main Card will be viewed on Fox Sports 1, which is currently known as SPEED Channel.  A 4-bout Preliminary Card will be aired on Fox Sports 2, which is currently known to you as Fuel TV.  A 3-bout Preliminary Card can also be viewed on Facebook prior to the televised events. Unlike UFC 119, UFC Fight Night 27 will feature only 1 Indiana fighter. UFC Featherweight Darren Elkins (16-3 MMA 6-2 UFC) of Hobart, Indiana will be facing Japan’s Hatsu Hioki (26-6-2 MMA 2-2 UFC).  Both fighters are coming off of losses.  However, Elkins has had the more success between the 2 fighters, having played spoiler to many fighters on a run.

Main Card (Fox Sports 1)
Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann
Donald Cerrone vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Sarah Kaufman vs. Sara McMann
Kevin Gastelum vs. TBA
Court McGee vs. Robert Whittaker
Robert McDaniel vs. Brad Tavares

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 2)
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Erik Perez
Justin Edwards vs. Brandon Thatch
Darren Elkins vs. Hatsu Hioki
Dylan Andrews vs. Papi Abedi

Preliminary Card (Facebook)
James Head vs. Jason High
Ben Alloway vs. Zak Cummings
Roger Bowling vs. Abel Trujillo

Banner and Fighter Rankings courtesy of ufc.com

(Video) Dana White Gets Angry on TV

Yesterday, Dana White appeared on Highly Questionable on ESPN. The hosts instantly hit him with allegations of fight fixing. Dana, who is never one to back down to the media, was not subtle with his response:

“Anderson Silva has broke every record in UFC history. He’s the pound-for-pound best of all time. Why would you throw a fight? It’s just ridiculous… Who is going to throw a fight by getting viciously knocked out?! Do you know how stupid you have to be to even think that? You are an absolute moron!”

Check out the above video for the full rant. They also talk about UFC 168 and Justin Beiber.

Bisping’s KO Rumor Not Likely

Bisping
Michael “The Count” Bisping has been in the MMA news lately, with rumors surfacing to claim he was knocked out while sparring at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood. The Wild Card gym is synonymous with the legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach of course. Bisping responded on Twitter to dispute the claim, including a video response.

 

 

Middle Easy originally reported the story from a section called Sunday Morning Rumor Mill, which they have now taken down. Their rebuttal to Bisping’s response? They’re starting to make fun of Bisping’s floral shirt he wore in the video. I mean really? Some of the Fans from Sherdog are already questioning the credibility of the site, with such comments as:

“Middle Easy is a terrible site. The only reason they are so popular is because they get inside scoops on fighters like Diaz and Ronda because middle easy is just a bunch of groupies lol.”

“Middle easy has this section on their website called the “rumor mill” where basically they can make up any story and get some fans to believe it.”

Reports are coming out that UFC fighter Tim Kennedy is the one to have started the rumor. One fan even brings up the question, “Any chance we are simply seeing a Bisping / Kennedy fabricated story to setup a fight?

Whatever the case may be, I feel for Michael Bisping because if he stays quiet about the situation people will assume it’s true. But if he adamantly denies such rumor, people think he’s being too defensive. At the end of the day, Bisping is still a top 5 UFC middle-weight, and I look forward to seeing him kicking arse in the octagon.