The Ultimate Writer MMA News Report 07.30.12: UFC on FOX 4 Preview, Top 5 MMA Fights Left In 2012, Silva vs. Diaz, More
Posted by Dustin James on 07.30.2012
News and thoughts on Nick Diaz calling out Anderson Silva, the announcement of Alan Belcher vs. Vitor Belfort, the top 5 MMA fights remaining this year, a preview of UFC on FOX 4 and more!
Welcome back to "THE ULTIMATE WRITER"! As you should be accustomed to by now, I'm your host Dustin James aka "The Ultimate Writer" and it finally officially feels like summer. I attended the Washington County Fair in Hillsboro, Oregon this weekend and just like every year, I reminded myself why I love these things. There's nothing like walking around looking at livestock, stepping in poop, eating deep-fried "whatever the hell we can find", getting sun burned, watching my girlfriend ride all the insane rides that I refuse to go on because they look like they were built in 1943, and playing the stupid carnival games that I just absolutely love. I also loved all the gorgeous women walking around in their tight tops and short dresses and the camera on my iPhone loved them as well. I already can't wait for next year's fair as I already have my eyes on trying some more deep fried apple slices and elephant ears. MMMMMMMM!!!!!
Anyway, August is almost here and everyone knows what that means. FOOTBALL SEASON IS OFFICIALLY STARTING! Training camps are officially in gear and we are just days away from the first NFL pre-season game of the year. People everywhere are already starting their fantasy football leagues (myself included) and it seems like there is a special feel to this season already. I went ahead and made a bet with fellow 411mania writer Jeremy Lambert regarding which one of our favorite NFL teams will finish with a better record. He's a Carolina Panthers fan and I'm a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs. Obviously both teams had some struggles last year, but both look to be on the rise this year. The Chiefs were one win away from winning their division last year, and they didn't have Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, or Tony Moeaki all year and Matt Cassel missed a huge chunk of the season as well. As long as Cassel can play decent (he's done it before....), the Chiefs should finish with around 10-11 wins and will indeed be a threat for the division title. Anything less would just be a big time disappointment. SUCK IT LAMBERT!!!!
Without any further adieu.........
Like every week.............
UFC on FOX 4 Preview
WARNING: Brandon Vera is in the main event of this show. You've been warned....
UFC on FOX 4 is right around the corner, but you would know that if you've been watching any of the FOX stations and seen the insane amount of ads that they've been playing to hype the show. Oh wait....FOX used to play ads to hype the UFC on FOX shows back when they actually had, you know, good cards. Unfortunately, a lot has changed over the course of the past year in the UFC and while the UFC was once content on throwing big-time UFC title fights like Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos on the FOX cards, it seems like they have changed their stance over time and instead now treat the UFC on FOX shows like glorified "UFC on FUEL TV" shows. Somehow we went from main events featuring Velasquez vs. Dos Santos and Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis to main events featuring Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller and now Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Brandon Vera. So, sometime over the last twelve months, the UFC went back to putting all the major fights on PPV, while filling the FOX shows with main events featuring bland stars.
Look, I'm a huge fan of both Nate Diaz and Jim Miller, but neither guy belonged in the main event of a FOX show. And what happened when Diaz and Miller did actually face off in the main event? They easily earned the lowest rating for a "UFC on FOX" show in the show's short history. UFC on FOX 1 featuring Velasquez and Dos Santos had roughly 4.64 million viewers. UFC on FOX 2 featuring Evans and Davis had roughly 4.57 million fans. Well, UFC on FOX 3 featuring Diaz and Miller had about half that number watching them when they pulled in a horrendous 2.25 million viewers for their fight. And if you think that number is bad, just wait. I honestly don't know what was going through the UFC's head when they decided to throw Brandon F'N Vera in the main event of a FOX show, but hopefully FOX doesn't come down too bad on the UFC once this show pulls in 2.12 million viewers or less. Seriously though, how many people are REALLY dying to see "Shogun" vs. Vera? I think it may have been a better idea to throw "Shogun" vs. Lyoto Machida III in the main event and have Vera face Ryan Bader in the co-main event, but what do I know? Apparently the UFC thinks Brandon Vera is going to put some "asses in the seats" this weekend, so I guess all we can do is wait and see what happens. Either way, here's the full preview for this weekend's card, so maybe by the time you get done reading it....you'll actually be excited for this thing? I know....it's a stretch, but it could happen!
UFC on FOX 4 Preview:
-DaMarques Johnson (15-10) vs. Mike Swick (14-4)
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
From: San Jose, California
WOO HOO! I honestly can't think of a better fight to get the night started other than having two horrible "TUF" alums do battle in a fight that no one cares about! Fortunately, Mike Swick hasn't always been horrible. Following his run on the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter", Swick went 9-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming at the hands of Yushin Okami. After the loss to Okami, Swick jumped down to the welterweight division and seemed to find the perfect weight class for him as he went on a four-fight win streak. Then he faced off against Dan Hardy at UFC 105 and ended up losing via decision. He followed that up with a loss to Paulo Thiago at UFC 109 and we haven't seen Swick since. The guy has been consistently injured the past two years and if you're a Swick fan.....that has to worry you. It also has to worry you that Swick currently has ZERO victories against anyone currently employed by the UFC. To sum it all up, Swick was an average fighter who has been injured the past two years and hasn't beaten anyone currently in the UFC. Well, it's a damn good thing he's facing a guy like DaMarques Johnson here.
I seriously don't know how Johnson is still employed by the UFC, but he is. With a mediocre record of 4-4 and no wins against any one that's considered "good", Johnson has managed to avoid being cut by the UFC, but something tells me this weekend could be the last time we see his face in the Octagon. Even though I think Mike Swick is far from being as good as he once was, he could come out and surprise us by wiping the floor with Johnson in dominating fashion. Swick's a pretty well-rounded fighter with a decent striking game. As long as he can keep the fight standing, he may have no problem knocking Johnson out. However, that still won't get me to care about this fight at all. NEXT......
Mike Swick, TKO, Round 2
-Joe Lauzon (21-7) vs. Jamie Varner (20-6-1)
From: Bridgewater, Massachusetts
From: Phoenix, Arizona
I'm actually excited for this fight. For some reason, I've always been a fan of Joe Lauzon's. There's just something about an odd-looking nerd coming into the cage and beating people's asses that appeals to me I guess. Lauzon is one of those guys who you just don't know what you are going to get from him when he steps into the cage. No one predicted that Lauzon would go on to beat Jens Pulver back at UFC 63, but that's exactly what Lauzon did....and in forty-eight seconds to boot! Since that win over Pulver, Lauzon has gone 7-4 inside the Octagon and like I mentioned earlier, you just never know what you are going to get from this guy. Everyone thought that Lauzon would have difficulty against Melvin Guillard when the two fought at UFC 136. You know how Lauzon responded? By choking Guillard out in just forty-seven seconds! Even though a lot of MMA pundits thought the win over Guillard could potentially lead Lauzon straight to a title shot, that all hit the back burner when he got beat by Anthony Pettis via KO in a little over a minute at UFC 144. That's basically the story of Lauzon's fighting career. Just when it looks like the guy is headed toward a title shot, he suffers a setback and has to start from square one all over again. This weekend, he faces a guy who also is starting from square one.
Jamie Varner is easily coming off the biggest victory of his MMA career. The former WEC lightweight champion actually retired for awhile because he thought his MMA career was over. Much like everyone else who retires in MMA though, Varner ended up coming back and he's probably thanking his lucky stars that he made that decision. After being released by Zuffa in 2010 following a three-fight losing streak, Varner ended up fighting in some smaller MMA promotions where he went 3-1 in the span of a year. Varner's goal was to ultimately return to the UFC and he got that shot when Evan Dunham was forced out of his bout with Edson Barboza at UFC 146. Even though Varner would be a huge underdog against Barboza, he quickly took the fight as the "WELCOME" mat to the UFC isn't always thrown out on the front door. What happened next was pure magic. Varner ended up coming out and absolutely smoking Barboza in what was easily one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Barboza went from being one of the top prospects in the UFC's lightweight division back down to the bottom of the ladder and Varner is now staring down a potential title shot in the future. Can you imagine what would happen if Varner picks up the win here against Lauzon? Varner would be on a four-fight win streak with two wins against big-named opponents. Will Jamie Varner become the ULTIMATE comeback story in the UFC? A win over someone like Joe Lauzon this weekend will definitely up those odds. Either way, I can't wait to see this fight as it easily has the potential to be the "Fight of the Night"....
Joe Lauzon, Submission, Round 1
Light Heavyweight Bout :
-Lyoto Machida (17-3) vs. Ryan Bader (14-2)
From: Belem, Para, Brazil
From: Tempe, Arizona
This is the fight where former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida starts to get his career back on track. Once regarded as one of the best fighters in the world, Machida has suffered more than a few setbacks lately which has caused many experts to believe that his elusive fighting style has been "figured out" and no longer works. Really? Besides losing a bullshit split-decision to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 123, Machida doesn't have a bad loss on his record. Sure, he got caught by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 113, but I've always considered Rua to be a better fighter than Machida so that didn't shock me. Machida's last fight was a loss to Jon Jones at UFC 140, but was anyone really shocked that Machida lost that fight? "Bones" has been dominating everyone in his path lately and I don't know if there's a soul alive who can beat that man. Machida has a great opportunity this weekend to get his career back on track when he faces Bader, and in my eyes....he'll do it.
Ryan Bader's a good fighter, but if he's unable to take Machida to the ground, it could be a long night for the wrestler from Arizona. Machida has had success against wrestlers in the past and it's going to take everything Bader has and more to be able to defeat "The Dragon". One thing's for sure, a win over Machida would be huge for Bader's career. It would be his third-consecutive win inside the Octagon and a potential rematch with "Bones" Jones would become a realistic option for the UFC in the near-future (ummm yay???). He only has to do one thing....defeat Lyoto Machida this Saturday night in Los Angeles. Good luck with that one Bader.
Lyoto Machida, Decision
Light Heavyweight Bout:
-Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6) vs. Brandon Vera (12-5)
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua:
From: Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
From: San Diego, California
Oh boy. What else can I honestly say about this fight? To this day, I'm still shocked to see Brandon Vera in the main event slot of a UFC on FOX show. Seriously guys, think about it for a second. We've somehow gone from the likes of Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos, Rashad Evans, and Nate Diaz to.....Brandon Vera. What has this guy done to earn the right to fight in a main event slot? Wasn't Vera unemployed after being released from the UFC just a year ago? And now we're just supposed to buy that he's a threat in the light heavyweight division and is good enough to be main eventing what should be an important card? Not only that, but why he's facing a guy that will likely destroy him? First off, I must say, I lost a little bit of respect for "Shogun" Rua when he turned down a chance to fight Glover Teixeira and instead opted to fight Vera here. A Rua/Teixeira fight would have been insanely awesome and definitely would have impacted the UFC light heavyweight title picture. Instead, "Shogun" wants what looks like an easy win on paper against Vera to help up his chances of potentially re-matching Jon "Bones" Jones in a division that is starving for new challengers to the title. All I know is, the UFC had better hope that Rua's name value is worth something because other wise this show could end up being a ratings disaster. I'm calling for a "Shogun" TKO in the first-round, so we will likely end up with a boring ass decision much like every fight at UFC 149....
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, TKO, Round 1
Well, there we are. I'm still pretty hot and cold on this show following the preview. If "Shogun" can come out and destroy Vera in impressive fashion, that will somewhat make up for the UFC putting Vera in the main event slot and forcing us to care about a guy who hasn't beat a good opponent since 2006. I also think that Machida and Bader as well as Lauzon and Varner have the potential to be really good fights, so I guess this card doesn't look that bad. Either way, it's free on FOX so we can't bitch too much although Vera being in the main event is just another example of why throwing too many shows is a bad thing. Prepare yourselves for some drama once the ratings for this show are announced. I'm sure Dana White will find someone on the Internet to call out once he has to come out and defend the record-low ratings. And that's just another one of the reasons I love this sport.....
All The Other Stuff:
Middleweight Alan Belcher (18-6) is on a mission to earn himself a shot at the UFC middleweight title and he's willing to do anything for it. That includes traveling to Brazil and attempting to put a beatdown on hometown boy Vitor Belfort (21-9) at UFC 153 on October 13. Belcher is currently riding a four-fight win streak in the UFC which includes some nice wins over the likes of Rousimar Palhares, Patrick Cote, and Wilson Gouveia. A win over Belfort would definitely be the win that Belcher needs to help his cause of attempting to earn a shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (32-4). Belfort won't be an easy win for Belcher though. Not only does Vitor have the bonus of fighting in front of his hometown crowd, but he's also one of the most explosive fighters in the middleweight division and would easily be the toughest test of Belcher's career. If you are a fan of MMAth, then you would love to know that both Belcher and Belfort have faced a common opponent in Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5-2). Belfort defeated Akiyama via KO in just under two minutes at UFC 133 in 2011 while Belcher lost to Akiyama via split-decision at UFC 100 back in 2009. I'm personally not a fan of MMath, especially considering I think Belcher is a much better fighter now than he was back then...but I'm still leaning towards Vitor on this one. I also think the odds of someone pulling out of this fight with an injury are extremely high so I'll actually be surprised if it does end up going down....
What had to have easily been the funniest news of the year came out last week when Cesar Gracie announced that Nick Diaz (26-8) not only plans on returning to the UFC once his suspension is up, but he wants a shot at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva immediately. I would have sworn that this news was made up, but Gracie actually posted the following on his blog over at GracieFighter.com:
"As far as future opponents, Nick has stated that he would like to take fights 'that matter. Since GSP will be fighting Condit, he has to look elsewhere. He will respectfully ask for a fight with Anderson Silva, a fighter he respects and would like to challenge.
Silva's camp has been speaking of a fight with GSP, possibly even at a catchweight. Nick will take that fight in a minute but has told me that should Silva decide not to drop at all, he will move up to 185 [pounds] to face the champ."
Can you imagine what would actually happen if Silva took this bait and accepted a fight with Diaz? Sure, the build-up to the fight would be extremely awesome because Diaz's mouth would be running at a pace we have never seen before, but the fight itself would not be good. Diaz is excellent on his feet because he uses his range and his timing to pick apart his opponents. Well, there's no one better at doing just that than Anderson "The Spider" Silva. This whole thing just reeks of Diaz wanting some publicity. Since the guy is forced to sit out due to a suspension, he needs to keep his name relevant somehow, so what better way than to make outlandish challenges? There's no way the UFC books a fight between Diaz and Silva no matter how bad we would want to see Silva destroy Diaz. Silva's made it known that he doesn't have that many fights left in him and I can't see the UFC wasting one of the few he has left on someone like Diaz. Sorry Nick, but I don't think this is one trick that's going to work...
UFC heavyweight Travis Browne (13-0-1) doesn't get a lot of respect when it comes to people talking about the top heavyweights in the UFC and I'm not exactly sure why. Since making his debut with the UFC in 2010, Browne is 4-0-1 with his only slip up coming against Cheick Kongo (18-7-2) at UFC 120 when the two fought to a draw in one of the worst fights I've ever seen. Browne has redeemed himself since that fight though, going 3-0 with wins over Stefan Struve, Rob Broughton, and Chad Griggs and finishing both Struve and Griggs in the first-round. Browne will now get the biggest challenge of his career when he takes on Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (16-4) in the main event at UFC on FX 5 on October 5. Silva just got murdered by Cain Velasquez (10-1) at UFC 146 and is still looking to prove that he belongs in the UFC. I've long said that "Bigfoot" is highly overrated which makes this fight extremely interesting for me. A lot of people consider Silva to be a top heavyweight, but I don't buy that stock at all. This is the perfect chance for Browne to not only prove that he belongs among the elite in the UFC heavyweight division, but it's also the perfect chance to once again show everyone how overrated Silva is. I'm just saying, you can't win every fight based on size alone. Sometimes you have to use something called "skills".....
Speaking of heavyweight fights I can't wait to see, it looks like former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (16-6) is heading over to Strikeforce where he plans on welcoming Daniel Cormier (10-0) to the UFC a little early. This is big news for fight fans as Mir making the jump over to Strikeforce to take on Cormier not only prevents us from having to see Tim Sylvia (31-7) do exactly that, but it also gives us a chance to see how Cormier will perform against UFC-level competition. The rumor is that Cormier could get an instant shot at the UFC heavyweight title once he enters the UFC, so giving him a challenge like Mir is actually a good thing when you think about it. Mir just fought for the UFC heavyweight title and even though his time at the top is likely over, he's the perfect opponent for Cormier for that exact reason. Cormier is coming off the biggest win of his career against former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett (31-6) in the finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix and he's ready to prove to everyone that he is indeed a top 5 heavyweight in MMA. A dominating win over Mir would not only confirm that, but it would also help Cormier's cause of getting an immediate title shot once he enters the UFC in 2013....
Other Upcoming Fights Announced:
-Ulysses Gomez (9-2) vs. John Moraga (10-1): UFC on FOX 4 on August 4, 2012
-Seth Baczynski (17-8) vs. Simeon Thoresen (17-2-1): UFC 152 on September 22, 2012
-Shane Roller (11-6) vs. Jacob Volkmann (14-3): UFC 151 on September 1, 2012
-Sergio Moraes (6-2) vs. Renee Forte (7-1): UFC 153 on October 13, 2012
-Gilbert Melendez (21-2) vs. Pat Healy (28-16): Strikeforce "Melendez vs. Healy" on September 29, 2012
-Sam Sicilia (11-1) vs. Rony Mariano Bezerra (11-3): UFC 153 on October 13, 2012
Invicta FC 2 Results
It's about time I jumped into the Invicta FC game......
Here at "The Ultimate Writer", I tend to only focus on the three big-time MMA promotions. I usually like to devote most of my attention to Bellator, the UFC, and Strikeforce. There's just so many MMA promotions around the world that it's just impossible to cover EVERY one of them. I usually leave that job to someone with no life, like our own Jeremy Lambert. However, there's just something about the Invicta Fighting Championship promotion that's appealing to me. Maybe it's because it's an all-female MMA promotion and I just so happen to be a huge fan of females? Maybe it's because they actually held a card this last weekend and no one else did so I was forced to pay attention? I don't know, but they definitely caught my attention and unless you are a shiny object...that's usually hard to do. All I know is, Invicta needs to get on television as soon as possible. As badly as I wanted to see this card, I just have a hard time watching anything on a computer that isn't X-rated.
Anyway, this card actually featured some pretty good fighters in the female MMA world headlined by an interesting main event featuring the undefeated Sara McMann vs. Shayna Baszler in what I heard was a pretty good fight. I actually heard tons of good things about this show which is pretty much the main reason I decided to give it some press this week. Who knows....maybe this will help the promotion get a few more viewers for their next show so they can land a television deal? MTV2 could be looking for a new MMA show when Bellator hightails it over to Spike TV next year, so maybe Invicta will be on television quicker than we think? Either way, here's a look at the card and do yourselves a favor and track Invicta down the next time they hold a card. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor.
Invicta FC 2 Results:
-Liz McCarthy (1-0) def. Jessica Philippus (0-1) via TKO in Round 1
-Jocelyn Lybarger (1-0) def. Cheryl Chan (0-1) via unanimous-decision
-Jessamyn Duke (1-0) def. Suzie Montero (1-1) via TKO in Round 3
-Raquel Pennington (2-1) def. Sarah Moras (2-1) via unanimous-decision
-Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (8-6) def. Angelica Chavez (4-2) via unanimous-decision
-Carla Esparza (7-2) def. Sarah Schneider (6-6) via TKO in Round 2
-Julia Budd (3-2) def. Elina Nilsson (2-3) via TKO in Round 1
-Barb Honchak (6-2) def. Bethany Marshall (4-1) via TKO in Round 2
-Sarah D'Alelio (6-2) def. Vanessa Porto (14-5) via submission (reverse triangle armbar) in Round 1
-Amanda Nunes (7-2) def. Raquel Pa'aluhi (2-3) via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 1
-Ayaka Hamasaki (8-0) def. Lacey Schuckman (7-5) via submission (armbar) in Round 3
-Liz Carmouche (7-2) def. Kaitlin Young (7-6-1) via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 2
-Alexis Davis (12-5) def. Hitomi Akano (18-10) via submission (rear-naked choke) in Round 2
-Sara McMann (6-0) def. Shayna Baszler (14-7) via unanimous-decision
This feature looks at some of the best tweets posted on Twitter by MMA fighters or anyone else connected to the world of MMA.
Courtesy of @KennyFlorian - "Call me crazy but I think I'd rather compensate by driving a Ferrari than by hanging those dangling testicles on the back of my car."
Courtesy of @DanaWhite - "I'm going on a blocking spree today. Who's first fuckers?"
Courtesy of @RondaRousey - "Woah awesome fight congrats to all the ladies bringing it tonight for @InvictaFights"
Courtesy of @JoshKoscheck - "No matter how long you work out or what you do, you're still lapping the lazy ass that's sitting on the couch."
Courtesy of @SonnenCH - "@jasonvoorheess: @sonnench would you really throw a boot at lesnar and tell him to shine it?" Shouldn't you be on a ledge somewhere?"
Won the title from Miesha Tate back on March 3, 2012 at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey
Cole Konrad - Bellator Heavyweight Champion
Won the title from Neil Grove back on October 14, 2010 at Bellator 29
Christian M'Pumbu - Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion
Won the title from Richard Hale back on May 21, 2011 at Bellator 45
Ben Askren - Bellator Welterweight Champion
Won the title from Lyman Good back on October 21, 2010 at Bellator 33
Michael Chandler - Bellator Lightweight Champion
Won the title from Eddie Alvarez back on November 19, 2011 at Bellator 58
Pat Curran - Bellator Featherweight Champion
Won the title from Joe Warren back on March 9, 2012 at Bellator 60
Eduardo Dantas - Bellator Bantamweight Champion
Won the title from Zach Makovsky on April 13, 2012 at Bellator 65
Zoila Gurgel - Bellator 115lb Women's Champion
Won the title from Megumi Fujii back on October 28, 2010 at Bellator 34
Here are a few of the upcoming events in the wonderful world of MMA:
UFC 150 "Henderson vs. Edgar II" - August 11 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado
-Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar (for the UFC lightweight title)
-Ed Herman vs. Jake Shields
-Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts
-Donald Cerrone vs. Melvin Guillard
-Chris Camozzi vs. Buddy Roberts
-Dennis Bermudez vs. Tom Hayden
-Jared Hamman vs. Michael Kuiper
-Eiji Mitsuoka vs. Nik Lentz
-Justin Lawrence vs. Max Holloway
-Ken Stone vs. Erik Perez
-Dustin Pague vs. Chico Camus
Strikeforce "Rousey vs. Kaufman" - August 18 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California
-Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufman (for the Strikeforce women's bantamweight title)
-Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Derek Brunson
-Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie
-Tarec Saffiedine vs. Roger Bowling
-Ovince St. Preux vs. T.J. Cook
-Adlan Amagov vs. Keith Berry
-Hiroko Yamanaka vs. Germaine de Randamie
-Lumumba Sayers vs. Anthony Smith
Bellator 73 - August 24 at the Harrah's Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica, Mississippi
-Pat Curran vs. Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (for the Bellator featherweight title)
-Luis Nogueira vs. Marcos Galvao (2012 Bellator bantamweight tournament final)
-Travis Wiuff vs. Attila Vegh (2012 Bellator light heavyweight tournament final)
-Ryan Martinez vs. To Be Announced
-Marcus Aurelio vs. To Be Announced
UFC 151 "Jones vs. Hendo" - September 1 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
-Jon "Bones" Jones vs. Dan Henderson (for the UFC light heavyweight title)
-Josh Koscheck vs. Jake Ellenberger
-Michael Johnson vs. Danny Castillo
-Thiago Tavares vs. Dennis Hallman
-Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Hougland
-Dennis Siver vs. Eddie Yagin
-Yasuhiro Urushitani vs. John Lineker
-Daron Cruickshank vs. Henry Martinez
-Shane Roller vs. Jacob Volkmann
UFC 152 "Benavidez vs. Johnson" - September 22 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
-Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson (for the UFC flyweight title)
-Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann
-B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald
-Evan Dunham vs. T.J. Grant
-Vinny Magalhaes vs. Igor Pokrajac
-Marcus Brimage vs. Jim Hettes
-Seth Baczynski vs. Simeon Thoresen
Random Top 5 List Time!
Here you will see a random top 5 list put together by yours truly. It may be Top 5 submission fighters, Top 5 stand-up fighters or hell, even the Top 5 ways that Anderson Silva could kill you. Seriously, don't mess with that man. He's dangerous.
Top 5 Most Anticipated MMA Fights Left In 2012: We are more than halfway done with 2012 and with only five months left in the year, I decided it would be the perfect time to rank my top 5 most anticipated fights left in 2012. The next few months actually don't have a whole lot of interesting fights on the horizon in my opinion, so it was rather tough to find five fights worthy of mention here. For one, I didn't rank fights like Jon "Bones" Jones vs. Dan Henderson mainly because I think Jones is going to murder Hendo, so where's the fun in that? I also didn't rank Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez II, because the fight doesn't have a set date yet. However, if that fight finally does get confirmed and it is happening in 2012, we can go ahead and just shoot that fight straight to #1 on this list. We also have yet to get main events announced for either the UFC on FOX 5 show in December or the always-big UFC year-end show, so if Anderson Silva gets put in the main event of either card...that fight will also shoot to the top of this list. With all that out of the way, here's my top 5 most anticipated fights left in 2012 (that have actually been confirmed).....
5. Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar II - UFC 150: The first fight between these two lightweights was pretty damn good and as we all know....Frankie Edgar only gets better the more he fights a certain opponent. When Henderson defeated Edgar back in February, everyone immediately started the "EDGAR TO FEATHERWEIGHT" rumors. The only person who didn't seem to be a fan of those rumors was Frankie Edgar himself. Edgar has sworn up and down that the lightweight division is his and that Henderson got lucky when he won the title from Edgar via decision at UFC 144. Well, he gets the chance to redeem himself at UFC 150 in a few weeks and if he isn't successful, we could potentially see Edgar make the drop to featherweight for what could end up being a "dream fight" with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Henderson also gets the chance to prove that his victory over Edgar was no fluke and that he's just a better fighter than Edgar is. How could you NOT be excited for this fight? Especially with all the lackluster UFC cards we've seen lately......
4. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira - UFC 153: I'm interested in this fight for multiple reasons. The biggest reason is that it's potentially Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's last fight in the UFC. The UFC and "Rampage" have been feuding for some time now and "Rampage" has sworn up and down that this will be his last fight with the promotion. We'll see exactly how good Jackson's word is after he faces Teixeira at UFC 153 in a few months. Even though he's lost his last two fights and isn't really that much of an exciting fighter anymore, "Rampage" still has a huge fan base and can help sell some PPV's. Does anyone really think he's going to fight for Bellator or that Bellator can even offer him the money he wants? No. So, now you can see why I'm excited to see the outcome of this fight and how it affects the future UFC career of "Rampage". On the other hand, I'm also excited to see how Glover Teixeira handles himself against a former UFC light heavyweight champion. Teixiera is coming off an absolute mauling of Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146 and is so dangerous that Mauricio "Shogun" Rua turned down the chance to fight him. Teixeira is currently on a 16-fight win streak and a win over "Rampage" could be exactly what he needs to finally start making Jon "Bones" Jones sweat.....
3. Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious Johnson - UFC 152: The UFC flyweight tournament has been exciting so far and something tells me when Demetrious Johnson faces Joseph Benavidez to finally name the first-ever UFC flyweight champion at UFC 152...the house is officially going to be torn down. When this tournament first started, the one fight I wanted to see the most was Benavidez vs. Johnson and I really can't complain now that we are getting that fight in the finals. You really have to feel for Benavidez. The guy has been fighting professionaly since 2006 and has only lost twice in his career, to current UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. Something tells me though that now that Benavidez has found a more comfortable weight division for him, it's going to be awfully hard for anyone to take the title from him if he defeats "Mighty Mouse" in September. Anyway, I expect this fight to be a war and it would be a huge disappointment if it was anything less. Hopefully Benavidez has taken a look back at the last few Urijah Faber fights and studied tape on what NOT to do in a fight. That may be the only way "Team Alpha Male" gets a UFC title back to their camp....
2. B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald - UFC 152: Why am I excited for this fight? Five words. THE RETURN OF B.J. PENN! It's been almost a year since we last saw "The Prodigy" lose to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 and then retire from the sport, but if B.J. Penn is returning, he's returning for a reason. The rumors of Penn's return started almost immediately after he retired. Everyone knew that deep down inside, we would see Penn back in the Octagon someday and it sure didn't take much to get him to come out of retirement. Rory MacDonald has been one of the top up-and-comers in the UFC's welterweight division for sometime now. All it took to get Penn to come out of retirement was for Rory to challenge Penn and Penn's ego must have been hurt that a twenty-three year old kid was calling him out, because he quickly called up Dana and said that he wanted the fight pronto. These two have gone back-and-forth with each other on Twitter for sometime now and I'm just ready for the talking to stop and the hitting to start. It's going to be interesting to see how Penn does against a young guy like MacDonald, especially after taking a year off. MacDonald is a tough dude and a win against someone like Penn could ultimately help get him to the top of the welterweight division. On the other hand, a win over MacDonald would make Penn 2-1-1 in his last 4 fights in the welterweight division and he's said multiple times that he wants a rematch with GSP in the worst way (YUCK!). Defeating MacDonald in September could be exactly what Penn needs to make that happen.....
1. Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit - UFC 154: Anyone who reads this column on a regular basis knows that I'm not exactly the biggest GSP fan in the world. I think the guy is an excellent fighter and he's definitely one of the best three fighters on the planet. However, the guy's style bores the ever-loving crap out of me and it also doesn't help that people tell me all the time that I look like GSP. The guy's trying to cramp my style with the shaved head and perfect jaw line and that just grinds my gears. Anyway, even though I'm not the biggest GSP fan in the world....I kind of miss the guy. Do you realize that it's now been over fifteen months since we last saw one of the top fighters in the world actually compete? That's just insane! GSP has been gone so long that I'm actually interested in seeing him fight because I want to see how the long layoff from actively competing affects someone of his caliber. For awhile there, GSP was the most active UFC champion, fighting every 3-4 months and just wiping out the welterweight division. Now that he's been out of action for so long, we have a whole new slew of contenders ready to try and take the title away from him and it all starts with Carlos Condit. Condit has snuck up like a fart in church since arriving in the UFC and if anyone can pull off the "miracle win" against GSP....it's Condit. It seems like anytime we count him out, Condit defeats the odds and comes out on top. If it wasn't for a close split-decision loss to Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18 in 2009, Condit would be 6-0 in the UFC with wins over Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger and more. I really hope people aren't sleeping on Condit when it comes time for him to face GSP in November. He could be the man to finally stop GSP's streak.....
Video of the Week!
If I have to explain to you what "video of the week" is, than please grab a pencil and stick it in your neck for the benefit of society....
Holy crap, a UFC on FOX 4 promo actually exists!........
And that's it for me this week. Make sure you follow me on Twitter for all sorts of good MMA, NBA, NFL, and other random crap talk. Trust me, I won't let you down.
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