The Juggernaut MMA News Report 03.21.13: 20 Facts About WSOF 2
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 03.21.2013
News and thoughts on the status of Johny Hendricks' hand injury, Cyborg Santos getting a new opponent for Invicta FC 5 and more, plus a look at twenty facts about Saturday's WSOF 2 on NBC Sports!
20 Facts About World Series of Fighting 2
World Series of Fighting returns for their second show this Saturday night on the NBC Sports Network live from Atlantic City. If you didn't catch their premiere offering in November, just know it was a fun card with good production and if you won't be around to catch this weekend's show live, at least set your DVR because FREE MMA is always a good thing.
I'll run down the card and feature quick facts for the five main card fights which will air live on television so you're rapidly caught up on what to expect in 48 hours.
Andrei Arlovski vs. Anthony Johnson
1. Yes, this marks "Rumble" Johnson's debut at heavyweight. Remember for just a moment how he would routinely miss weight earlier in his career. Missing the 170-pound limit twice in the UFC, the 185-pound limit twice (once in the UFC, once in Titan Fighting Championship), he weighed in at 197-pounds and 195-pounds for his last attempts at middleweight. However, he's been 3-for-3 since moving up to light heavyweight.
2. Andrei Arlovski turned 34-years-old last month and has NOT lost a fight in over two years. Unfortunately, he does have a no contest on his record thanks to soccer kicks thrown at Tim Sylvia last summer. Regardless, he's beaten Ray Lopez, Travis Fulton, Devin Cole and Mike Hayes (finishing the former three).
3. At WSOF 1, both scored knockout wins. Arlovski dropped Cole in over 2:30 while Johnson blasted D.J. Linderman in about four minutes.
4. Rumble has never been knocked out in his career, but he has been submitted on three occasions. Thankfully for him, Andrei has not submitted anyone since he beat Tim Sylvia with an achilles lock at UFC 51 eight years ago (I promise, no more Tim Sylvia).
Marlon Moraes vs. Tyson Nam
5. One of the most anticipated bantamweight bouts of the year, someone's going to be looking outstanding coming out of this fight. Why?
6. When we last saw Tyson Nam in a cage/ring, he scored arguably the biggest upset of 2012 when he knocked out Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas in Brazil last summer. Meanwhile, Marlon Moraes had a strong showing in a decision win against Miguel Torres at WSOF 1.
7. Why the long layoff for Nam? Well, blame Bellator. After the upset, they attempted to hassle Nam over a contractual issue because despite the fact they released him previously (he never even fought for them), they believed they still retained the right to match an offer he received. In the end, it was World Series of Fighting and not the UFC who were able to pick up Tyson.
8. Moraes has worked with Frankie Edgar in the past and has studied under Ricardo Almeida since moving to the United States several years back. The 24-year-old has won his last three fights and perhaps may cement his spot as a top ten bantamweight with a win over the much hyped Nam.
Paulo Filho vs. Dave Branch
9. It's PAULO FILHO! It may seem like ages ago but at one point, he was considered one of the best middleweights in the world. He was 16-0 with wins over Ninja Rua, Kazuo Misaki and Chael Sonnen, until the bizarre episode in his rematch with Chael. He didn't make weight and ended up talking to air in the fight in one of the oddest fights I've ever seen (WEC 36 for those not fortunate enough to remember). He still reeled off four wins afterwards, but it's been a mixed bag ever since (3-3-2 since the summer of 2010).
10. Branch is a representative of Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in New York City who was successful in his WSOF debut by beating Dustin Jacoby. He went 2-2 in the UFC years ago, before he knocked out the infamous JEREMY MAY on a Shark Fights show.
11. It's impossible to know whether Filho will be in great shape or not but for those counting, he last fought in September and finished Ninja Rua (in a rematch) in 47-seconds. To this day, he has never been stopped in his career of 29 professional fights.
12. Dave Branch will have a 10-inch reach advantage in the cage Saturday but if he's to win, look for him to utilize his ground game while trying to wear Filho down in a longer fight.
Aaron Simpson vs. Josh Burkman
13. Josh Burkman is on a hell of a run at the moment with a 6-1 record since 2009. The one loss was a decision to Jordan Mein two years back. At WSOF 1, he defeated Gerald Harris.
14. Aaron Simpson is here in his first fight since being knocked out by Mike Pierce at UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot in the fall. His UFC run (7-4) was good and he'll look to establish himself at welterweight since dropping down last summer.
15. A win for Burkman and he'll have matched his last longest streak of four consecutive wins (2004-2005).
16. The winner here is expected to challenge Jon Fitch at WSOF 3 later this year. I gather many of you will now refer to this fight as the 'Winner Gets to Lose to Jon Fitch.'
Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante vs. Justin Gaethje
17. GESIAS! The one-time elite lightweight is only 29-years-old and while injuries have cost him throughout his career, he's looking to earn his first winning streak since 2007 (Shaolin Ribeiro and Andre Amade). He submitted T.J. O'Brien at WSOF 1 with an achilles lock to secure his first finish since the armbar he put Amade down with.
18. Gaethje is a prospect out of Colorado and Arizona, known for his wrestling. His biggest win to date was a 12-second KO over Drew Fickett in October. He heads into this weekend with a 7-0 professional record.
19. Cavalcante is one of the many fighters who make up the Blackzilians in South Florida (along with Rumble Johnson), but the camp has not had an outstanding 2013 so far. They have come under criticism from media circles following losses suffered by Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem last month in the UFC. Not that Gesias' performance will be entered into the discussion if he looks great (selective, the media can be), but this has all the makings of an upset.
20. A Grudge Training Center representative, Gaethje earned a spot in WSOF after winning (and finishing) three fights in less than three months between September and November. The break between then and this weekend is his longest time between fights since December 2011-June 2012.
Bellator 93 on Spike Preview
Season 7 Lightweight Tournament Championship
Dave Jansen vs. Marcin Held
The postponed tournament final should take place incident-free tonight compared to the originally planned date in December. The problem them was the fact Held was under 21-years-old and the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana refused to allow the bout.
In any event, now 21, the Polish leg lock machine is prepared for his first attempt at a Bellator tournament championship. He has won his past five fights, three of which ended via submission involving his opponents' feet. His persistence against Rich Clementi in the semi's last November was like that of a pit bull, finishing him in the second round with a nasty toe hold.
However, he'll have a tough night because his opponent is a strong wrestler. Dave Jansen is also on a five fight win streak although three of those came by chokeholds. He defeated Ricardo Tirloni by split decision to earn this spot in the finals.
The problem for Held is the fact that his takedown defense leaves much to be desired. Still, that may not be the worst thing in the world since his best bet to win is with sweeps and jiu-jitsu on the ground. Jansen will have to be careful depending on how he looks to implement his game plan. Will he indeed shoot for takedowns and want to display dominant top control, while defending attempts for heel hooks for three rounds?
Ideally, Jansen probably wants to keep the fight standing because of the two, his boxing is most effective.
The winner earns $100,000 and a guaranteed title shot against Michael Chandler, which would mark a rematch for Held who lost to him in the season four quarterfinals. However, for him to stop Dave Jansen, he'll have to jump on mistakes and make them too costly for the Oregon native to survive.
Travis Wiuff vs. Ryan Martinez
Heavyweights return to television with the ridiculously experienced Travis Wiuff (68-16, 1 NC) taking on Ryan Martinez (8-2).
The winner will be expected to earn one of the eight spots in the upcoming summer series tournament.
Wiuff has lost his past two fights, when he was knocked out by Attila Vegh in last summer's light heavyweight tournament finals. In November, he fought in the Middle East and lost a split decision to Croatia's Maro Perak. This will technically be his first heavyweight fight in Bellator although he did compete at a 215-pound catchweight last year (a decision win against Anthony Gomez).
Martinez was on a five fight winning streak before he lost to Mike Wessel last summer. He rebounded in the fall with a win over Manny Lara and will have his first opportunity at a Bellator tournament with a win.
Honestly, this fight will either end quickly with a lot of action or it will be a lackluster three-round decision. It doesn't seem like there's an in between with Bellator heavyweight bouts.
Marcus Davis vs. Waachiim Spiritwolf
There's an MMA show in Maine? Of course, that means Marcus Davis is in the house. The 39-year-old was a staple of the UFC from 2006 through 2011 and he's still putting in the work. Last year, he fought once in Sweden where he defeated David Bielkheden by decision.
His opponent is another MMA veteran known for his fair share of brawls, the 37-year-old Waachiim Spiritwolf. Last year, he fought twice in Bellator, losing both times to Marius Zaromskis (the first was stopped by a doctor because of a cut and the rematch ended in a split decision).
Davis is the better technical boxer while you give the edge to Spiritwolf for being able to take punches better. This has the potential to be the best fight of the broadcast and it's safe to say both men will not leave anything behind in the cage.
JUGGERNAUT NEWS BRIEFS
- Top UFC welterweight contender Johny Hendricks apparently does not have a broken left hand after all. Back home, swelling has subsided and he's confident there's no fracture (a pending x-ray will confirm). He hopes to challenge Georges St. Pierre this summer, although odds are it will be pushed back into the fall because of the champ's desire to take a vacation and heal from an achilles injury suffered in training.
- Cris Cyborg will now fight Fiona Muxlow on the April 5 Invicta card (available on PPV via their website for under $10) after Ediane Gomes injured her ribs in training.
- Paul Daley remains unable to return to Bellator due to visa problems but he has signed for his second fight since this year. He will fight Rodrigo Ribeiro at Dubai Fighting Championship on May 10 in the United Arab Emirates. Ribeiro is 9-9 as a pro MMA competitor and was last seen being knocked out by Phil Baroni last summer. "Semtex" last fought a month ago when he knocked out Patrick Vallee in Ireland.
- Tryouts for season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter will be held on Monday, April 15 in Las Vegas. Male and female bantamweights may participate and the necessary application can be found at UFC.com/TUF18.
Ronda Rousey will be one of the coaches opposite either Miesha Tate or Cat Zingano and the season is not expected to conclude until December.
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER QUICK REVIEW
The wild card fight to earn the final spot in the quarterfinals aired this week with Bubba McDaniels overcoming a weak first round to defeat Kevin Casey and gain a second life in the tournament.
Casey, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, scored success early with takedowns and top position although he did nearly no damage with the position. There was some talk about whether McDaniels was quitting that early in the fight, but he seemingly fed off the vocal doubters and made it a fight in the second round. Kevin looked to have gassed then because Bubba scored a takedown and was landing plenty of strikes as the BJJ specialist didn't do a whole lot to defend.
With the fight guaranteed for a third round, Casey did not come out of his corner to fight and the match was stopped. As explained later, he felt his body shut down during the second round and it was reminiscent of a fight in 2010 when one of his kidneys shut down. Not knowing this at the time, McDaniels proceeded to shout about how he didn't quit and came off looking like a jackass because of it.
To close the episode, Dana White announced the four quarterfinal fights after taking input from Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen and the fighters themselves. Not so ironically, the four guys you would consider the top seeds are not fighting one another. Below is how I would rank the eight:
Uriah Hall (1) vs. (8) Bubba McDaniels
Josh Samman (2) vs. (5) Jimmy Quinlan
Luke Barnatt (3) vs. (6) Dylan Andrews
Collin Hart (4) vs. (7) Kelvin Gastellum