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Category Archives: What or Who's Next?

UFC 127 News & Notes / Who or What’s Next

News & Notes

  • Fight of the Night: Brian Ebersole vs Chris Lytle ($75k Bonus)
  • Knockout of the Night: Mark Hunt ($75k Bonus)
  • Submission of the Night: Kyle Noke ($75k Bonus)
  • Attendance: 18, 186  (Australian Attendance Record)
  • $3.5 Million Live Gate
  • Following his victory, Michael Bisping spit on a member of Jorge Rivera’s camp
  • Rivera’s camp also believes Bisping should be suspended following the blatant illegal knee, spitting incident, and the taunting after the victory.
  • BJ Penn hinted at retirement if would have lost the fight against Fitch
  • Dana White is paying Riki Fukuda a win bonus and will treat the fight as a win for him, despite the judges seeing the fight for Nick Ring.
  • James Te Huna is donating his entire purse to the New Zealand Earthquake Relief Fund; The UFC is matching the donation

Possible Fights to Make after UFC 127

  • Jon Fitch vs BJ Penn II (Possibly for Welterweight Title)
  • Michael Bisping vs Chael Sonnen (Pending Sonnen’s Suspension)
  • Jorge Rivera vs Kyle Noke
  • Dennis Siver vs Melvin Guillard
  • George Sotiropoulos vs Evan Dunham
  • Brian Ebersole vs Matt Riddle
  • Chris Lytle vs Paulo Thiago
  • Chris Camozzi vs Maiquel Falco
  • Ross Pearson vs Jacob Volkmann
  • Alexander Gustafsson vs Rich Franklin
  • James Te Huna vs Stanislav Nedkov
  • Nick Ring vs Rich Attonito
  • Riki Fukuda vs Tom Lawlor
  • Anthony Perosh vs Jared Hamman
  • Tiequan Zhang vs Javier Vazquez
  • Mark Hunt vs Pat Barry
  • Curt Warburton vs Cody McKenzie
  • Maciej Jewtuszko vs Paul Taylor

Likely Cut Following Losses at UFC 127

  • Chris Tuchscherer
  • Jason Reinhardt
  • Spencer Fisher
  • Tom Blackledge
 
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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in News and Notes, UFC, What or Who's Next?

 

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UFC 126: News & Notes/ Who or What’s Next

News & Notes

  • Fight of the Night: Donald Cerrone vs Paul Kelly ($75k Bonus)
  • Submission of the Night: Jon Jones ($75k Bonus)
  • Knockout of the Night: Anderson Silva ($75k Bonus)
  • Anderson Silva credits Steven Segal for the kick used to knockout Vitor Belfort
  • If Georges St. Pierre beats Jake Shields, Anderson Silva vs GSP is next… Likely to take place in Dallas, Texas or Montreal, Canada
  • Dana White says Yushin Okami is deserving of title shot, but may have to wait for it
  • Rashad Evans has a sprained knee ligament and is forced out of fight against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 128
  • After victory over Ryan Bader, Jon Jones earns the right to fill-in for Evans against Rua
  • Donald Cerrone recieved news that his grandfather passed away, shortly after his win over Paul Kelly
  • Chad Mendes feels he’s ready to face the winner of Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick
  • Announced Attendance: 10,893 – With live gate of $3.6 Million
  • UFC likely headed to Japan and Sweden in 2011
  • Despite rumors of a cancellation… Brian Stann vs Wanderlei Silva still a go for UFC 130

Possible Next Fights for UFC 126 Fighters

  • Anderson Silva vs Georges St. Pierre
  • Vitor Belfort vs Nate Marquardt
  • Forrest Griffin vs Phil Davis
  • Rich Franklin vs Ryan Bader
  • Jon Jones vs Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua
  • Jake Ellenberger vs Mike Pierce
  • Carlos Eduardo Rocha vs DaMarques Johnson
  • Miguel Torres vs Brad Pickett
  • Antonio Banuelos vs Norifumi ‘Kid’ Yamamoto
  • Donald Cerrone vs Joe Lauzon
  • Chad Mendes vs Diego Nunes
  • Demetrious Johnson vs Scott Jorgenson
  • Paul Taylor vs Yuri Alcantara
  • Kyle Kingsbury vs Krzystof Soszynski
  • Ricardo Romero vs Tim Boestch
  • Kenny Robertson vs Mark Scanlon

Likely to Get Cut

  • Gabe Ruediger
  • Paul Kelly
 
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Posted by on February 6, 2011 in News and Notes, UFC, What or Who's Next?

 

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Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg News and Notes/ Who or What’s Next?

News and Notes

– It was two rowdy fans that threw a water bottle and beer at Nick Diaz following his victory over Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos. Supposedly some Nick Diaz fans “took care” of the problem.

– Nick Diaz isn’t impressed with either potential next challenger – Paul Daley or Tyron Woodley

– ‘Jacare’ ready for all challengers, except Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller

– ‘Jacare’ also would like to return to the cage as soon as possible

– Herschel Walker isn’t promising a third fight yet, but if he does fight again, he wants a tougher opponent

– Walker has no desire to be an alternate in the heavyweight GP

– Coker announced the attendance at 9,059

– Jeff Monson has already been rumored to be Roger Gracie’s next opponent

– Darren Uyenoyama was in attendance Saturday night, and mentioned on Twitter that he could be fighting for Strikeforce and U.S. soil soon.

Matches to Make after Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg

  • Nick Diaz vs Paul Daley
  • Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos vs Jorge Masvidal
  • Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza vs Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller
  • Robbie Lawler vs Luke Rockhold
  • Herschel Walker vs Abe Wagner
  • Roger Gracie vs Jeff Monson
  • Trevor Prangley vs Antwain Britt
  • Nate Moore vs Bobby Voelker
  • James Terry vs Roger Bowling
 

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UFC Fight Night 23: Fight for the Troops 2 News & Notes/ Who or What’s Next

News and Notes

Awards

  • Fight of the Night: Yves Edwards vs Cody McKenzie ($30k Bonus)
  • Knockout of the Night: Melvin Guillard ($30k Bonus)
  • Submission of the Night: Yves Edwards ($30 K Bonus)

Melvin Guillard believes he should be the next in line for the UFC lightweight title after TKO win over Evan Dunham

– Mark Hominick earns a shot at the UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo at UFC 129 in Toronto after his TKO win over George Roop

– The Fight for the Troops 2 show made over $6ook on the phone lines alone, millions more expected from online donations.

– You can still make donations to help fund the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Funds at fightforthetroops.com

– The UFC expects to do have Fight for the Troops 3 sometime in 2012

– Matt Mitrione mentioned he’d “like to be tested” in his next fight after beating Tim Hague

Fights to Make After UFC Fight Night 23

  • Melvin Guillard vs Kenny Florian
  • Evan Dunham vs Matt Wiman
  • Matt Mitrione vs Ben Rothwell
  • Mark Hominick vs Jose Aldo
  • George Roop vs Fredson Paixao
  • Pat Barry vs Cheick Kongo
  • Joey Beltran vs Rob Broughton
  • Yves Edwards vs Danny Castillo
  • Cody McKenzie vs Danny Downes
  • DeMarques Johnson vs Pascal Krauss
  • Rani Yahya vs Javier Vasquez
  • Mike Thomas Brown vs Josh Grispi
  • Waylon Lowe vs Ricardo Lamas
  • William Freire vs Mike Lullo Jr.
  • Charlie Brenneman vs John Howard
  • Chris Cariaso vs Clint Godfrey

Fighters Likely to Be Cut

  • Tim Hague
  • Amilcar Alves
  • Will Campuzano
  • Mike Guymon
 
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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in News and Notes, UFC, What or Who's Next?

 

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UFC 125 News & Notes / Who or What’s Next?

UFC 125 News & Notes

  • Fight of the Night: Frank Edgar vs Gray Maynard ($60k bonus checks awarded to both fighters)
  • Knockout of the Night: Jeremey Stephens over Marcus Davis ($60k bonus check awarded to Stephens)
  • Submission of the Night: Clay Guida over Takanori Gomi ($60k bonus check awarded to Guida)
  • Dana White said Anthony Pettis would get the next title shot, but had a change of heart and awarded Gray Maynard an immediate rematch
  • Dong Hyun-Kim called out Georges St. Pierre after his victory over Nate Diaz
  • Brian Stann called out Wanderlei Silva at the post fight press conference
  • UFC 125 draws an attendance of 12,688 people with a live gate of $2.17 million
  • Jon Jones calls out Thiago Silva on Twitter for the disrespect Silva showed Brandon Vera in the cage with the open-palm slaps

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Fights to Make After UFC 125

  1. Frank Edgar vs Gray Maynard III
  2. Brian Stann vs Alan Belcher
  3. Chris Leben vs Court McGee
  4. Thiago Silva vs Matt Hamill
  5. Dong Hyun-Kim vs Josh Koscheck
  6. Nate Diaz vs John Hathaway
  7. Clay Guida vs Ben Henderson
  8. Jeremy Stephens vs Takanori Gomi
  9. Dustin Poirier vs Javier Vasquez
  10. Josh Grispi vs Mike Brown
  11. Brad Tavares vs Tom Lawlor
  12. Diego Nunes vs Manny Gamburyan
  13. Daniel Roberts vs TJ Grant
  14. Jacob Volkmann vs Nik Lentz
  15. Antonio McKee vs Mac Danzig

Fighters Likely to Be Cut Following Their Loss at UFC 125

  • Phil Baroni
  • Greg Soto
  • Brandon Vera
  • Marcus Davis
 
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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in News and Notes, UFC, What or Who's Next?

 

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Strikeforce: San Jose News and Notes/Who or What’s next?

Main Card

Fedor Emelianenko vs Fabricio Werdum

News Flash: Fedor Emelianenko is a human after all. For seven years now, MMA fans have watched in awe as Fedor Emelianenko has dispatched every heavyweight put in front of him. We all new his reign would end sometime, just not last night, not against Werdum. Everything started the way everyone expected. Early in the fight, Fedor dropped Werdum with a solid right hand and everyone knew the fight would soon be over. Fedor then charged right into Werdum’s guard to finish off his opponent, but Werdum quickly worked in an armbar. Long time fans of Fedor have seen this before, we knew Fedor would power out of it, and he did.  But then to our amazement, Fedor jumped right back into Werdum’s extremely dangerous guard once more. This time the Brazilian locked on a tight triangle choke with an armbar, and that’s when everyone knew the “The Last Emperor” was in serious trouble. Then, with one single tap to Werdum’s leg, Fedor Emelianenko became human. No one could believe what they just saw. The arena went completely silent, even the announcers couldn’t figure out what to say for nearly a minute.

Fedor Emelianenko is still the #1 heavyweight in the world. Losing for the first time in seven years, doesn’t drop you from that top stop. If they fought nine more times, I truly believe Fedor wins everyone of those next nine fights. This loss only proves that Fedor is in fact human, and capable of making mistakes. A trait no one believed he had before Saturday night.

Fabricio Werdum – In the post fight interview after his biggest win of his career, Werdum said he wanted a rematch with Fedor instead of fighting Alistair Overeem for the Strikeforce heavyweight title. Strikeforce would be insane to grant Werdum his wish. Very little buzz surrounded this fight in the first place, and even though the underdog won the bout, a second bout between the two doesn’t sound any better for the time being. Werdum defeated the #1 heavyweight in the world, he deserves the title shot, and we deserve a different fight. Even though a Werdum/Overeem title fight doesn’t have the same excitement as a Fedor/Overeem scrap, it needs to happen.

Fedor Emelianenko – The plan for Strikeforce was to make a move to PPV, headlined by the highly anticipated Fedor/Overeem fight. Now that Werdum has changed those plans, Fedor just needs to get back in the cage as soon as possible. His loss actually opens the door to a possible huge draw fight with former WWE star Bobby Lashley. I still don’t feel Lashley is ready for that kind of fight, but the fans want to see it. Antonio Silva seems like the best option available at this time, where the winner would get a title shot at the eventual winner of Werdum and Overeem.

Scott Smith vs Cung Le

– This is exactly why Scott Smith didn’t want to have an immediate rematch with Cung Le. In the first fight, Cung Le beat down Smith for two and half rounds. Then Smith, with all the energy he had remaining, threw a left hand that connected and dropped Le for the comeback KO victory. In the second go around, Le wasn’t going to allow that to happen. Scott Smith put the pressure on early, but Le used effective counter punches to slow down the charge. Once the pace slowed, Cung Le worked his unique San Shou kicks, including a well placed spinning heel kick to the liver of Smith. The kick crumpled Smith to the canvas, where Le landed a couple good shots before the ref stepped in to stop the fight. It’s a shame Cung Le doesn’t take MMA more seriously, because no matter what, he always puts on a show.

Cung Le – As noted above, Scott Smith did not want the rematch with Cung Le, but finally agreed to the bout after Strikeforce guaranteed a rubber match if Smith should lose the bout. Well Smith lost the fight, so expect a third match between the two in the future. Hopefully Strikeforce, Scott Smith, and Cung Le come to their senses and realize a third fight is not necessary at all. Cung Le is 37 years old and clearly MMA is not his top priority. No one knows how many fights he will have left, and there are clearly many more exciting match-ups for Le than a third fight with Scott Smith. I’d like to see Le go up against Robbie Lawler, Dan Henderson, or Melvin Manhoef.

Scott Smith – If we don’t see another rematch with Le, I’d like to see Smith paired up with Luke Rockhold, Yancey Medeiros, or Kevin Casey.

Christiane “Cyborg” Santos vs Jan Finney

– Cyborg bashed the face of Jan Finney for the entire first round, dropping her with big power punches on three different occasions. Jan Finney showed incredible heart by quickly grabbing a hold of Cyborg’s leg after every knockdown. Finally in the second round, the fight was stopped after Cyborg landed a vicious knee to the sternum of Finney dropping her to the mat for the final time. Strikeforce really needs to go to work and find Cyborg someone who is going to give her a true challenge. Jake Rossen of Sherdog.com made a great point in a live chat saying, “I get the feeling Strikeforce is going to be happy with Santos as the late-’80s Tyson, hiring warm bodies as opposed to challengers.” I really hope this isn’t the case.

– Alot of the talk from MMA fans after Strikeforce’s event on Saturday was aimed towards Kim Winslow’s ability as a referee. Many people thought the Cyborg/Finney fight should have been stopped in the first round sometime, due to the damage Finney was taking. I honestly think Winslow did a great job by not stopping the fight. Finney was constantly moving while protecting herself as best as she could at the moment. She was coherent, and looking for her next move to get back to the feet. I’ve seen plenty of fighters take a beating like that, but keep fighting, and eventually pulling out a dramatic victory. So I give my props to Winslow for that.

However, Winslow was far from perfect in that fight either. She immediately took a point away from Cyborg in the first round for shots to the back of the head. She really didn’t give Cyborg much of a warning before deducting the point. Also, I didn’t like the fact she kept asking Cyborg, “Do you want me to stand her back up?”, almost instantly after Finney was knocked down. It should be up to the fighter to ask the ref to stand the fight back up. There were times it looked like Cyborg was going to join Finney on the ground, but Winslow would back Cyborg up and let Finney get back to her feet.

Christiane “Cyborg” Santos – Erin Toughill should be next. By far the truest test Cyborg can get at the moment. This fight needs to happen.

Jan Finney – Back to the local Circuit.

Josh Thomson vs Pat Healy

– Thomson and Healy got the night started of in a big way. In the first round, Healy had some takedowns but Thomson was very active off his back going for numerous submission attempts. Healy stayed patient and fought all of them off, but it was clearly Thomson’s round. In the second round, it was all Pat Healy. This time after the takedowns, Healy was able to control Thomson from top position, earning him the round. The fight was cleary going to come down to the next round if it went to the judges. The third round started off with Healy back in control. Healy took Thomson down and eventually took control of his back. While trying to improve his position, Healy slipped off, and after a scramble it ended up with Thomson in back control. From there, Thomson locked in a body triangle, then eventually the rear naked choke. Healy tried to fight it off to no avail and was forced to tap with just 30 seconds left in the round. Sometimes even in defeat, you earn the respect of your peers. Pat Healy showed the rest of the division, that he will not be an easy fight for anyone in the Strikeforce lightweight divison

Josh Thomson – Josh Thomson is in no rush for a 3rd war with Gilbert Melendez right away, which is a good thing. There are still plenty of quality title eliminator fights for him. None greater than Lyle Beerbohm, who are both close to the top of their division and have had a battle of words going on between the two.

Pat Healy – I’d like to see Healy in another tough fight at 155 lbs. Jorge Gurgel or Billy Evangelista would be great fights.

Preliminary Card

It’s a shame that Strikeforce has no idea how to bring up or showcase their young talent. Middleweight prospect, Yancy Medeiros, was placed on the undercard. For other organizations that wouldn’t be a problem, because other organizations actually tape their undercard fights. Showtime/Strikeforce still hasn’t realized it’s a great idea to tape every fight. On Saturday, they gave Frank Shamrock a microphone and 15 minutes to narrate his own highlight video and announce his retirement. It was absolutely terrible, and quite akward for everyone as well. If Showtime had any idea how to run a sporting event, this would have been the perfect time to showcase young, Yancy Medeiros KOing Gareth Joseph.

– Lightweight prospect Bobby Stack won a hard fought, close decision to Derrick Burnsed. Stack is another guy that needs to be off Strikeforce undercards and on to the main cards of their challenger series events.

– Welterweight prospect Vagner Rocha was upset by Bret Bergmark by unanimous decision.

 

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News and Notes/Who or What’s Next? – Strikeforce:Los Angeles, Bellator 23, TUF 11 Finale, Sengoku 13, WEC 49

Strikeforce: Los Angeles

– Renato “Babalu” Sobral’s striking looked much improved in his fight with Robbie Lawler on Wednesday. For nearly two and half rounds, Babalu did a great job mixing up his leg kicks with a solid 1-2 punch combo to frustrate Lawler. Babalu earned the unanimous decision victory earning him a title shot. Since Babalu and current Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal are friends and training partners, Babalu turned down a shot at the belt and instead asked for a fight with Dan Henderson.

Renato “Babalu” Sobral – As mentioned above, Sobral called out Dan Henderson, so he is the heavy favorite to be his next match-up. If they don’t grant Sobral’s wish, Rafael Cavalcante, Antwain Britt, or Matt Lindland are other possible match-ups.

Robbie Lawler – Lawler has now lost two of his last three fights, and it’s looking like his time at being a top 10 middleweight are over. Luckily for Lawler, the middleweight division is by far the most talented division Strikeforce has to offer, so many interesting matches are still out there. The biggest question still remains to be the future plans of the champion, Jake Shields. If Shields bolts for the UFC, a middleweight tournament is expected to be made to crown the next champion. Due to Lawler’s exciting style, he would most likely be placed in the tournament. If Jake Shields decides to stay, Lawler will most likely be put in a title contender elimination fight against someone like Jason “Mayhem Miller, or rising stars Tim Kennedy or Luke Rockhold.

– DREAM welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis has taken a large step back from being the “next big thing” in the welterweight division. His time at Strikeforce has been a nightmare, getting beaten badly twice in a row inside the cage. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos smashed Zaromskis’ suspect chin numerous times in route to his 1st round TKO victory. This was Cyborg’s first fight at welterweight, and it couldn’t have gone any better. Santos was the much larger fighter in this fight and he used his advantage to his its full potential.

Marius Zaromskis – Zaromskis will probably head back to Japan, where he will feast on the much smaller Japanese welterweights.

Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos – There are plenty of entertaining fights for Cyborg in the division like Tyron Woodley, Karl Amoussou, or Andre Galvao, just to name a few.

– Tim Kennedy burst into title contention after running through an incredibly tough fighter in Trevor Prangley on Wednesday night. Kennedy showed great fighting reflexes after Prangley hip-tossed him twice, but immediately was able role through the throw and get right back up to his feet. He eventually would take Prangley’s back, and sink a standing rear naked choke that forced the tap at 3:35 in the first round.

Tim Kennedy – If there is a tournament to crown a new welterweight champion, you’d have to assume Kennedy would be in it. If there isn’t, I want to see him against one of the top level guys in the weight class like Jason Miller, Scott Smith, or Joey Villasenor.

Trevor Prangley – I still really want to see the Amoussou fight, that was prematurely stopped due to an accidental eye poke.

– Conor Heun and KJ Noons put on a show with a three round stand up war. Heun was surprisingly landing the more effective strikes in the first round, but Noons settled in and showed us why he is truly one of the best pure boxers in all of mixed martial arts. The fight ended up being a split decision due to one judge’s ridiculous scorecard of 30-27 in favor of Heun.

KJ Noons – Scott Coker came out in the post-fight press conference and said theat KJ Noons – Nick Diaz II is “highly likely” in the near future. Diaz’s only loss since May of 2006 came at the hands of KJ Noons, and there still bad blood between the two fighters. Another classic between the two is more than likely headed our way.

Conor Heun – Heun is now 0-2 under the Strikeforce banner, but in both losing efforts he’s managed to put on a great fight. He’s likely earned another fight in the promotion, and will likely be used as a gatekeeper role for another up-and-coming lightweight. Possible match ups include Billy Evangelista, Justin Wilcox, or Lee Gibson.

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Bellator 23

– Ben Askren shocked the world on Thursday night when he completely dominated the heavy favorite, Dan Hornbuckle for three rounds to earn himself a unanimous decision victory in front of his hometown fans. The win earned him a $100,000 paycheck and a shot at the Bellator welterweight champion, Lyman Good sometime later this year.

– Jose Vega became an instant star after his highlight reel KO of Jarrod Card. The win likely earned Vega a spot in next season’s bantamweight tournament.

– Raphael Davis (9-1-0) looks like a solid prospect in the light heavyweight division.

– Heavyweight prospect Cole Konrad stays undefeated after his unanimous decision victory over John Orr.

– Lisa Ward was awarded entry into next season’s 115 lb women’s tournament after defeating Stephanie Frausto in the 1st round by rear naked choke.

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UFC: The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 Finale

– Fight of Night Award: Matt Hamill vs Keith Jardine (Both fighters earn a $25k bonus)

– Knockout of the Night: Chris Leben (Earned a $25k bonus)

– Submission of the Night: Court McGee (Earned a $25k bonus)

– Court McGee defeated Kris McCray by rear naked choke in the 2nd round to become The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 Champion and earned the “six figured contract”

– Somehow, Matt Hamill was cleared to fight on Saturday night by the Nevada State Commission,even though he had a visable rash from a staph infection on his lower back. It amazes me how the commission, ringside doctors, Dana White, Hamill or Jardine’s trading partners, or anyone else closely related to this fight did not get this fight stopped. I know fighters need to actually fight to make their money, and it’s troubling for the promotions to scratch a fight so close to the day of the fight. But fighters health should always be #1 priority, and Hamill clearly had a contagious bacterial infection and should have been no where near the cage that night.

– Chris Leben looked quite impressive for the 2nd time in a row, earning a TKO victory over highly touted prospect, Aaron Simpson. Leben has really cleaned up his act outside the cage and it’s paying large divedens inside. I don’t think Leben will ever get close to a title shot, but a level headed Chris Leben makes for a difficult night for any middleweight in the division that may be standing across the cage from him.

– UFC New-Comer Travis Browne defeated James McSweeney by TKO in the 1st round due to strikes, but McSweeney’s camp is challenging the decision saying Browne used illegal strikes to the back of the head which lead to the outcome of the fight. A ruling should be made on Monday if the fight will be changed to a no contest.

– TUF 11 cast members: Rich Attonio, Brad Tavares, Kyle Noke, and Chris Camozzi likely earned another fight inside the UFC after winning their respected match-ups.

– Matt Hamill broke his hand sometime during his fight with Keith Jardine.

– Chris Camozzi seperated his shoulder sometime in his fight with James Hamortree.

Matt Hamill – Hamill will likely spend sometime away from the cage after suffering a broken hand, but can expect a solid opponent when he returns. Someone like Brandon Vera, Jason Brilz, or Luis Arthur Cane could be possible options.

Keith Jardine – Jardine has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights, dating back to 2008. It’s really tough to see him getting another shot in the UFC for now, but he’s a guy that would be brought back soon if he can put a couple wins together in the local circuit.

Chris Leben – Leben’s stlye always creates great match-ups against really anyone. Possible next opponents include Dan Miller, Nate Quarry, or a rematch with Patrick Cote.

Aaron Simpson – Simpson’s hype trained slowed down quite a bit after his beatdown from Leben. More than anything, Aaron Simpson just needs more cage time. Joe Doerksen, Ryan Jensen, or Nick Catone would be viable options.

Dennis Siver – Mark Bocek, Efrain Escudero, or Sam Stout would be a nice jump up the ladder for the German.

Spencer Fisher – The UFC lightweight division is absolutely stacked and there are a number of quality fighters that are stuck in limbo in the division. Fighters like Spencer Fisher, Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida are quality fighters that just can’t really cut it against the top 15 guys. These guys should be sent to the WEC. Imagine the drawing power a Henderson/Guida fight or a Stevenson/Cerrone fight could bring.

John Gunderson – Gunderson keeps his UFC career alive after getting a victory over Mark Holst at the TUF 11 Finale. Aaron Riley, Waylon Lowe, or new-comer Paul Sass would be a nice next opponent for him.

Mark Holst – I’m not sure if Holst will get another shot inside the octagon for now. It was only his first lost in the UFC, but if you can’t beat John Gunderson, you’re not quite ready to be on the big stage.

Travis Browne – Antoni Hardonk, Pat Barry, or Todd Duffee might be possible next opponents for Browne.

James McSweeney – It’s hard to see the UFC keeping McSweeney around with just a 4-5 overall MMA record. Back to the English local circuit for McSweeney is likely.

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Sengoku Raiden Championship 13

Marlon Sandro has sent 3 of his last 4 opponents out in stretchers. His last 4 wins have lasted a total of 3 minutes and 39 seconds with two and a half of those minutes being against Yuji Hoshino. This is a scary, scary man. You’ll probably see a lot of featherweights heading to the WEC just to avoid this guy.

– Maximo Blanco is a serious prospect in the lightweight division. His combination of athleticism and explosiveness makes him an incredibly exciting, violent human being.

– Japanesse, silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics, judoka Hiroshi Izumi won his 2nd consecutive MMA fight by defeating Chang Seob Lee by TKO in the 1st round.

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WEC 49

– Fight of the Night Award: Mark Hominick vs Yves Jabouin (Both fighters earned a $10k bonus)

– Knockout of the Night Award: Eddie Wineland (Earned $10k Bonus)

– Submission of the Night Award: Josh Grispi (Earned $10k Bonus)

– This card is my favorite choice so far this year for “Fight Card of the Year” at the MMA Awards next year. Every fight kept you on the edge of your seat.

– Another odd judges scoring, left fans with a bad taste in their mouth on what was otherwise a spectacular night of fights. The main event ended in a draw in a fight that seemed to be clearly won by Jamie Varner. The first round was mainly controlled by the crisp boxing of the former champ,Varner. Kamal Shalorus was rocked by a straight right hand, but when Varner went in for the kill, Shalorus returned fire which turned the fight into a slugfest. In the second, the fight was briefly stopped due to a low blow landed by Shalorus. He recieved a warning and the fight continued. Minutes later, another low blow dropped Jamie Varner to the mat, and referee Josh Rosenthal deducted a point from Shalorus. Varner eventually recovered and continued the fight, and eventually rocked Shalrous again with another straight right hand. Shalorus came back strong again, but the round still seemed to be clearly in Varner’s favor. A couple minutes into the 3rd round, poor Jamie Varner was on the wrong side of another accidental low blow, but for some reason another point was never taken away. The rest of the round was controlled by Shalorus, who finally used his elite wrestling ability to control Varner on the ground and earn him the final frame. When the fight was over, everyone was expecting the easy decision call in favor for Varner with the help of the point deduction in the second round. We were all wrong. Judges scores came back 29-27 Shalorus, 29-27 Varner, and 28-28 Draw, which lead to the official split draw ruling. Terrible scoring by the judges again…. which has added to the streak of awful decisions the past few months in MMA judging.

– Jamie Varner and Kamal Shalorus each broke a hand and a foot in their fight.

– Mark Hominick and Yves Jabouin put on a classic fight in the co-main event, that was full of high paced offense and momentem shifts. In the second round alone, each fighter was knocked down from big shots, just seconds apart from each other. Mark Hominick eventually got the TKO stoppage, inching him closer to a title shot against the featherweight champ.

– Josh Grispi may have leap-frogged Manvel Gamburyan as the next in line to face featherweight champion Jose Aldo, after he dispatched of LC Davis in just two in a half minutes with a guillotine choke that rendered him unconcious.

– Chris Horodecki dominated late replacement Danny Downes to earn his first win inside the WEC.

– Before the Hominick – Jabouin fight, it seemed like Eddie Wineland and Will Campuzano were going to win the “Fight of the Night” award easily after these two traded strikes heavily. Campuzano favored low kicks early, but Wineland flashed the head movement and footwork that are quickly becoming his hallmark while avoiding any real damage. The former WEC champ, Wineland, dropped Campuzano on two occasions in the opening round after catching mid-level kicks, but the end came in the second. A beautiful three-punch combo that targeted the head and the body dropped Campuzano, and Wineland pounced. Campuzano showed great resilience in battling back to his feet, but Wineland kept the pressure on. Another massive right to the body dropped Campuzano again, and a standing Wineland delivered a right hand to his opponent’s head that forced the stoppage with 16 seconds left in the round.

– Will Kerr earned his first WEC victory with an upset win over Karen Darabedyan.

– Eric Koch earned his first WEC victory with a submission victory over Bendy Casimir.

– Diego Nunes adds his name to title contention consideration with his split decision victory over Rafael Assuncao.

– WEC new-comer Chris Cariaso won his debut against Rafael Rebello by an easy unanimous decision.

– Highly touted Brazilian prospect Renan Barao won his first fight inside the WEC with a 3rd submission of Anthony Leone.

 

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UFC 115 News & Notes – Who or What’s Next

News & Notes

– Fight of the Night Bonus: Carlos Condit vs Rory MacDonald. Both fighters received an $85k bonus for their effort

– Submission of the Night: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. He received an $85k bonus.

– Knockout of the Night: Rich Franklin. Also received an $85k bonus.

– Rich Franklin broke his arm blocking a kick from Chuck Liddell early in the fight, yet continued until he was awarded to KO victory. Man’s Game.

– In an interview after the fights, Dana White guaranteed that UFC 115 was the last time we see Chuck Liddell fight.

– Pat Barry broke his hand in the first round, and a bone in his foot sometime in the second round in his loss to Mirko “Cro Crop” Filipovic.

– UFC 115 was Mirko “Cro Crop” Filipovic’s last fight on his contract, a new one is expected to be worked out shortly.

Who or What’s Next

Rich Franklin – Rich may be on the shelf for a while mending his broken arm, but likely opponents on his return are Forrest Griffin or Lyoto Machida

Chuck Liddell – I’m 90% sure this is the last time we see Chuck Liddell in the cage. He is a legend of the sport, and has nothing left to prove. Thank you for the memories.

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic – Likely upcoming opponents for Cro Cop are Ben Rothwell, Micheal Russow, or a rematch with Cheick Kongo.

Pat Barry – Honestly, I think some time in the local circuit could do Barry a lot of good. Until he gets some sort of ground game in his skill set, he will never be a true threat in the UFC. He needs to have a gut check, and see if fighting is what he really wants to do for a living. In multiple interviews, he’s openly admitted about his awful diet and it shows when he fights. He completely gassed after the first round, which led to Cro Cop busting him up.

Ben Rothwell – I think a fight with Cro Cop, which was in the works a while ago is still a fantastic match-up for both fighters. If not Mirko, I’d love to see a rematch with Roy Nelson. Their fight in the IFL was really close and highly entertaining.

Gilbert Yvel – Gilbert Yvel should return to K-1 kick boxing. After 2 straight losses in the UFC, he’s likely to get his walking papers this week.

Martin Kampmann – Kampmann exploded in to title contention after his dismantling of Paulo Thiago at UFC 115. With the title on hold for a while, with George St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck off filming the 12th season of The Ultimate Fighter, one or two title eliminator fights are in his future. Dan Hardy or Dong-Hyun Kim are likely choices for his next bout.

Paulo Thiago – Since Paulo Thiago has debuted in the UFC, he’s been matched up against top 10 welterweights for every fight with the exception of Jacob Volkmann. I really think a step down in competition could really do him some good. Possibly someone like Diego Sanchez, Anthony Johnson, or Matt Serra would be fights with big name recognition and still be a step back.

Carlos Condit – Likely future opponent options for Condit may be Dong-Hyun Kim, John Hathaway, or Mike Swick.

Rory MacDonald – Even though I predicted MacDonald to beat Condit at UFC 115, I still thought it was way too high of a jump in competition for such a young prospect. MacDonald will most likely be on a medical suspension for a while, but when he returns I’d like to see him fight a couple guys closer to his experience level. James Wilks, Amir Sadollah, or Jesse Lennox would be viable options.

Evan Dunham – Even Dunham will likely sky rocket into most people’s top ten lightweight lists, after he completely controlled Tyson Griffin for all three rounds. It’s top level guys from here on out for Dunham. I could see Dunham getting the winner of the George Sotiropoulos/Kurt Pellegrino fight, which takes place in July.

Tyson Griffin – With most of the upper-level lightweights already in bout agreements. Griffin will most likely get the loser of the Sotiropoulos/Pellegrino fight.

Mac Danzig – Danzig may not know this, but that fluke stoppage maybe the best thing to ever happen to him. It earns him at least one more nice payday in the UFC, because a rematch with Wiman is likely.

Matt Wiman – Rematch with Mac Danzig is likely.

Mario Miranda – Unfortunately for Miranda, his dominant victory over David Loiseau was not shown due to time constraints. Miranda has a lot of potential, and I hope they continue to give him a few more “warm-up” fights before he takes a big jump in competition. Tom Lawlor, Ryan Jensen, or Nick Catone would be perfect.

David Loiseau – It’s back to the Canadian local circuit for “The Crow”.

James Wilks – Mike Guymon seems like the perfect fit for James Wilks’ next opponet. It’s a fight Wilks is very capable of winning, but Guymon will give him a tough test to see where Wilks is on the welterweight ladder.

Peter Sobotta – It’s back to the European local circuit for Peter Sobotta after going 0-2 in the UFC.

Claude Patrick – In an interview with MMA Fanhouse after his UFC 115 victory, Claude Patrick called out Dong-Hyun Kim. As intriguing and exciting that fight would be, I feel Patrick could benefit from more showcase fights. Claude Patrick very well may be a future top ten welterweight, but a slow rise to the top will be better in the long run. I’d like to see Patrick against someone like James Wilks, Mike Pyle, or TJ Grant for now.

Ricardo Funch – It’s back to the Brazilian local circuit for Ricardo Funch.

Mike Pyle – Pyle had his most impressive showing of his career at UFC 115 with his win over Jesse Lennox. Another B level fighter is likely in the future for Pyle. TJ Grant, Brian Foster, or Matt Serra would be solid options.

Jesse Lennox – Lennox is a fighter that may be getting his pink slip from the UFC, but I hope that isn’t the case. His fight with Pyle was non-stop action, and I believe it earned him another fight inside the UFC. If he does stay, a fight with Renzo Gracie, Mike Guymon, or UFC-newcomer Curt Warburton would work.

 
 

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UFC 111: News and Notes/Who or What’s Next

Matthew Riddle vs Greg Soto

Matt Riddle got back to his winning ways after suffering  his first professional loss against Nick Osipczak last August. Using his relentless take down ability and smothering top control, Riddle frustrated Soto for two and a half rounds. Soto never really was able to offer anything offensively, while spending most of the fight on his back. Even on the feet, Riddle was able to get the better of the exchanges using the clinch to deliver big knees to the legs and body. The fight came to an end in the third round after Soto landed an illegal up kick to the jaw of Riddle. The ringside doctor stopped the fight even though Riddle wanted to continue. Matthew Riddle was awarded the disqualification victory, but he was well on his way to earning the unanimous decision victory anyway.

Matthew Riddle – A young talented fighter like Riddle just needs more experience in the cage more than anything. Another low-level to mid-range welterweight is in store for Riddle. Somebody like Jake Ellenberger, Matt Brown, or Brian Foster would be formidable next opponent.

Greg Soto – Usually UFC-newcomer’s get two chances inside the octagon to get a win, but I’m not sure if Soto will be given that second look. He was dominated for the length of the fight, and then had the disqualification to top it off. If he is brought back for another bout, he will most likely be put up against somebody fighting for their UFC career as well. Examples include Daniel Roberts, Julio Paulino, or Ricardo Funch.

Jared Hamman vs Rodney Wallace

Jared Hamman and Rodney Wallace put on a crowd pleasing show from the first bell to the last on Saturday night. The two light heavyweights battled back and forth in all areas. In the first round, Wallace was able to get frequent take downs and throw some vicious ground and pound from the top position. Just when it looked like Wallace was cruising to earn the round, Hamman landed a head kick that sent Wallace to the mat. Wallace recovered and was able to get back to the feet only to be knocked down again with a flurry of punches right before the end of the round. The second round began in Wallace’s favor again with more take downs, but when Hamman escaped a triangle choke attempt, he dropped more devastating punches to earn him the round again. In the third round, it was Hamman with the take down and better positioning. Wallace again attempted a triangle choke and kimura from the bottom, but Hamman was able to stay out of any real danger to secure him the victory. Each fighter earned the $65K “Fight of the Night” bonus for their troubles.

Jared Hamman – Hamman earned another fight in the UFC with his victory in New Jersey. Most likely he’ll get another up and coming light heavyweight to see where his place in the division stands. Kyle Kingsbury, Brian Stann, or James Te Huna are possibilities.

Rodney Wallace – Wallace now falls to 0-2 inside the UFC. He is definitely a possibility to be cut from the roster, but the exciting nature of his fight with Hamman may have earned him another shot. If Wallace does receive a 3rd chance inside the octagon, Igor Pokrajac or Stephan Bonnar would be possible match-ups.

Tomasz Drwal vs Rousimar Palhares

Drwal made a crucial mistake early that cost him the fight against the elite jiu-jitsu artist, Rousimar Palhares. Drwal attempted a head kick that was off the mark, causing him to slip and fall to the mat. Palhares quickly dove in, locked in a heel hook and forced the tap. Controversy ensued after Palhares was late on releasing the hold, even after the ref had stepped in to pull him off. Drwal was left screaming in agony on the mat, but eventually walked off on his own accord. X-ray’s since have shown there are no fractures and an MRI is scheduled soon. Palhares was suspended 90 days for disciplinary reasons.

Rousimar Palhares – I expect Palhares to get a big name fight next after the quick victory at UFC 111. Nate Marquardt, Vitor Belfort, and Chael Sonnen are all without scheduled fights at the moment, and Palhares could offer a solid match-up.

Tomasz Drwal – Hopefully this injury doesn’t keep him out too long. When he does come back, I see Drwal going up against a rising welterweight, ready to make a jump up the ladder. Possible options include: CB Dollaway, Goran Reljic, or Alessio Sakara.

Ricardo Almeida vs Matt Brown

Ricardo Almeida’s first fight at 170 lbs was a successful one. Almeida completely mauled the dangerous Matt Brown by pressing him up against the cage, then dropping him with single leg take downs. Brown never had a chance to release his lethal strikes or knees due to the relentless wrestling aggression of Almeida. In the second round, Almeida opened up a large gash over the left eye of Brown. Soon after another Almeida take down and a transition to mount, Brown tried to scramble to his feet but Almeida took his back and locked in the rear naked choke for the finish.

Ricardo Almeida – Almeida looked impressive in his first fight at welterweight. He showed no signs of fatigue that can be caused by the weight loss, and seemed to be just as strong. I think he can really excel in this division, due to the power and size advantage he will have over most of his opponents. He’ll be able to get smaller fighters down with sheer power, to make up for his lack of wrestling technique. I’d really like to see Almeida against one of the top guys in the division. Perhaps Dan Hardy, Mike Swick, or John Howard.

Matt Brown – This wasn’t a good match-up for Brown at all. As long as he keeps putting on exciting fights, he will probably have a gatekeeper job with the UFC as long as he wants. I’d like to see a fight with Anthony Johnson next for Brown. Two exciting strikers going at it, with the winner most likely getting a large jump in competition.

Nate Diaz vs Rory Markham

Nate Diaz’s first fight at welterweight was a successful one. On Saturday night, Diaz was visibly the smaller fighter but that wasn’t an issue. Diaz flustered Markham early with a flurry of punches, sending him into a retreat. Diaz then landed a knee in the clinch against the cage, dropping Markham to the floor. Diaz quickly surged in on Markham and finished the fight shortly after with another array of punches.

Nate Diaz – Even though Diaz looked really good during his first bout at 170 lbs, I still believe the move up in weight is the wrong decision. Diaz struggled against the top wrestlers in the lightweight division, and they’re only going to be bigger and stronger in the welterweight division. Possible exciting fights for Diaz right now include: Chris Lytle, Dustin Hazelett, or Matt Brown.

Rory Markham – I really don’t see the UFC keeping Markham after this loss. This is his second loss in a row, and he didn’t look good in either one. He came in 7 pounds heavy for his fight with Diaz, which isn’t going to help him make any friends either.

Jim Miller vs Mark Bocek

Two of the best grapplers in the lightweight division, put on a clinic for the UFC fans of New Jersey. Bocek looked like the stronger fighter for most of the first round with his wrestling keeping Miller on his back for a good portion of the round. But then from the bottom, Miller locked in a deep kimura. Bocek gave up top position and Miller torqued the arm even further. Somehow Bocek survived, but the submission attempt stole the round for Miller. Bocek returned to dominating form in the second, ended up on Miller’s back with a body triangle while pinning his right arm inside the lock. Amazingly, Miller fought off any rear naked chokes attempted by Bocek with just one arm available. There was little action in the third round, but Miller ended up on the back of Bocek in the closing seconds of the fight, earning Miller the slight advantage. The judges awarded Miller with the unanimous victory, but the fight was extremely close and could have easily gone the other way.

Jim Miller – With the victory, Miller is now 6-1 in the UFC and ready to face the top of the division. I’d love to see Miller take on someone like Sean Sherk, Spencer Fisher, or a rematch with Gray Maynard.

Mark Bocek – Bocek, even in defeat, showed that he is still one of the top prospects in the lightweight division. A fight with Joe Lauzon or Dennis Hallman would be a solid next step in his career.

Jon Fitch vs Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders was brave to take a fight with Fitch on short notice, but he showed he’s not quite ready to be apart of the top echelon of the division. For three rounds Fitch dominated Saunders with unrelenting take downs, then peppered his face with brutal ground and pound. The only offense Saunders really had was an up-kick that connected flush on Fitch’s jaw late in the first round. Fitch won the one-sided unanimous decision for his 12th win inside the octagon.

Jon Fitch – Fitch is now an unbelievable 12-1 in his UFC career, with his only loss to current UFC champion, Georges St. Pierre. His loss to St. Pierre was almost 2 years ago now, and Fitch is a much better fighter than he was back then. I believe Fitch is by far and large the true #1 contender for the belt, but the UFC seems completely disinterested in a Fitch/St. Pierre rematch. If the UFC doesn’t want to give Fitch another title shot, Thiago Alves seems like the only worthy match-up.

Ben Saunders – Back to the real world for Saunders. He needs more fights against people around his experience level. Matt Brown, Matt Riddle, or Brian Foster would be suitable opponents.

Kurt Pellegrino vs Fabricio Camoes

Pellegrino and Camoes put on probably the most exciting fight on the televised card. After an early scramble, Camoes took the back of a standing Pellegrino. Camoes locked in a rear naked choke, but Pellegrino remained calm. Pellegrino ended up spiking Camoes face first into the mat, which clearly dazed him. From there on out, the fight was completely controlled by Pellegrino. In the second round, Pellegrino was able to get in mount, and in a scramble took Camoes back. He sunk in the rear naked choke deep, and Camoes was forced the tap.

Kurt Pellegrino – Pellegrino has now rattled off 4 wins in a row, and should get a big jump in competition. Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, or George Sotiropolous would be interesting fights.

Fabricio Camoes – Camoes is now winless in his first two fights in the UFC and usually that means an instant cut from the promotion. But due to the excitement of the fight with Pellegrino, it may have earned him a 3rd chance.

Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin

The two fighters started off very tentative, but Carwin ended up getting the better positioning in the clinch game. Still there was little offense between the two until Carwin landed a left uppercut that stunned Mir. Carwin then followed that up with about 10 uncontested uppercuts that landed to the jaw of Mir before he dropped to the canvas. Mir grabbed an arm for a last minute desperation submission attempt, but Carwin kept on with the attack. After Mir was no longer protecting himself, referee Dan Miragliotta called off the fight awarding Shane Carwin the interim heavyweight title.

Shane Carwin – Well, there’s no doubt on who Carwin will be getting next. Brock Lesnar @ UFC 116

Frank Mir – Frank Mir will probably have to wait awhile to get the chance to avenge his loss to Brock Lesnar. I’ve read Dana White isn’t very interested in a Velasquez/Dos Santos for the time being, so Mir against either one of those guys is enticing.

Georges St Pierre vs Dan Hardy

For five rounds, Georges St Pierre put on a wrestling clinic against Hardy. St Pierre made it very clear early on that he wasn’t going to take a chance striking with Hardy at all. Most of the fight St Pierre was in side control or half mount, looking for opportunities to finish the fight. Midway through the first round, St Pierre sunk in a deep armbar that was fully extended, but somehow Hardy was able to escape right before everyone thought his arm would snap. The other big moment in the fight was in the fourth round, when St. Pierre locked in a kimura that had Hardy’s arm completely trapped behind him. Once again, the British welterweight would not tap, and eventually escape again. For 25 minutes, St. Pierre never allowed Hardy to amount any of his offensive firepower. When it was all over, St Pierre earned the unanimous decision victory, but Dan Hardy won the respect of the entire MMA community for never giving up.

Georges St. Pierre – Like I said earlier, I believe Jon Fitch should get a rematch with GSP. The UFC has other plans though… the winner of the Koscheck/Daley fight is likely to be the next opponent for the champ.

Dan Hardy – Plenty of quality fights await Dan Hardy after he proved he belongs at the top of the division. Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, and Ricardo Almeida all make for intriguing match-ups.

 
 

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UFC on Versus 1: News and Notes/Who or What’s Next?

Jason Brilz vs Eric Schafer

On paper, no one expected a very exciting fight between these two light heavyweights. But the two, surprisingly put on a rather entertaining show. Brilz and Schafer traded punches wildly while on the feet with Brilz getting the better of most of the exchanges. Jason Brilz was able to control most of the fight inside the clinch, pushing Schafer up against the cage. Occasionally, Brilz was able to get a single-leg take down but wasn’t able to keep Schafer down for very long. Schafer sent the crowd in a frenzy in the first round, when he landed a flying knee that wobbled Brilz, but wasn’t able to capitalize. Other than that, Brilz wasn’t in any other real danger for the rest of the fight. Schafer tried to work a few guillotine chokes when Brilz would attempt take downs but to no avail. Brilz earned the unanimous decision victory to earn himself his 3rd win inside the octagon.

Jason Brilz – I’d like to see Brilz get a small step up in competition. Possibly against Matt Hamill, Keith Jardine, or Brian Stann.

Eric Schafer – Most likely this is the last time we’ll see Schafer on a UFC card for some time. Back to the local circuit for “Red”.

Mike Pierce vs Julio Paulino

It was a rough night for the Brazilian UFC new-comer, Julio Paulino. Pierce used his superior wrestling and top control to completely maul Paulino from the opening bell to the final one. On the feet, Paulino had the large reach advantage but Pierce was able to duck under his punches, grab his legs, and send him on a ride with powerful slams. Once on the mat, Paulino did a good job of not allowing Pierce to move to better positions but couldn’t manage to escape back to the feet. For all three rounds, Pierce peppered the face and body of Paulino from top position earning him the lopsided unanimous decision victory. Paulino never gave up throughout the fight, which will most likely earn him another shot inside the octagon.

Mike Pierce – Another dominant performance for Mike Pierce puts his name on the fast track to the top of the division. I’d like to see Pierce go up against someone who could possibly stop a couple of his takedowns or maybe someone who is great on his back. Maybe Dustin Hazelett, Chris Lytle, or against the giant Anthony Johnson.

Julio Paulino – Paulino’s next fight, he will likely be fighting somebody for his UFC career. I’d like to see him go up against somebody in the same boat. Possibly Ricardo Funch, Phil Baroni, or Rob Kimmons.

Brendan Schaub vs Chase Gormley

As predicted in an earlier blog of mine, Schaub had a short night of work in Colorado. It took all of 47 seconds for Schaub to get the TKO victory over Chase Gormley in front of his hometown fans. Gormley moved in early, but was knocked down with a right hand from Schaub. Gormley recovered quickly but only to recieve more punishment from the former NFL player. Schaub would knock Gormley down two more times before the referee would call the fight and save him from any more punishment. Great showing for TUF Season 10’s runner-up.

Brendan Schaub – Schaub needs more tune up fights before he steps into the higher ranks of the UFC heavyweight division. Possibly Anthony Perosh, Marcus Jones, or Paul Buentello.

Chase Gormley – After two losses in a row to start his UFC career, it’s likely back to smaller shows for Gormley.

John Howard vs Daniel Roberts

John Howard came in to Colorado 3-0 inside the UFC, but very well could have been 0-3. Howard eked out two split decision victories against Tamden McCrory and Chris Wilson, who many people believe he lost those fights. In his 3rd fight inside the cage, he was being completely dominated by Dennis Hallman before KOing the veteran with just 5 seconds left to go in the fight. For his fourth fight against Roberts, he left no doubt inside the cage. Early in the fight, Roberts used a couple submission attempts to get himself in top position. Howard scrambled to his feet, then used his superior strength to throw Roberts down to the mat. From the bottom, Roberts attempted an omoplata but Howard escaped. Howard stood over Roberts then leaped in with a looping left hand that knocks Roberts out cold. Howard then landed another shot for good meausure before referee Tom Johnson throws him off his downed opponent. An exciting fight with a great finish.

John Howard – After 4 straight wins, Howard will get a step up in competition. I know he still probably wants his grudge match with Anthony Johnson.

Daniel Roberts – Roberts was incredibly exciting in his loss to Howard. I hope they give him somebody at the bottom of division to increase his confidence. Possibly Ricardo Funch, Julio Paulino, or Rob Kimmons.

Duane “Bang” Ludwig vs Darren Elkins

Another Denver native, Duane Ludwig, didn’t have a sucessful night in front of his hometown crowd like Brendan Schaub did. UFC new-comer went in for an early shoot and Ludwig stuffed it initially. Elkins stayed persistant and eventually earned the take down. Suddenly, Elkins backs off Ludwig and referee Tim Mills waves off the fight. Replay shows that Ludwig’s leg doubled under him and twists his ankle badly. Darren Elkins earns the TKO victory in his first UFC fight, but surely not the way he wanted it to go. Ludwig was helped out of the cage by his corner.

Duane Ludwig – Hopefully it’s just a sprain, and nothing is too badly hurt. If he can comeback quickly, i’d like to see a rematch with Elkins. I don’t think Elkins would mind.

Darren Elkins – See Above.

Eliot Marshall vs Vladimir Matyushenko

Eliot Marshall, another Denver native, came into the cage with a 3-0 UFC record. I my predictions blog for this fight, i said Marshall would use his speed advantage to earn a decision victory. On Sunday night, Matyushenko was a step ahead of Marshall for all three rounds. Matyushenko used solid counter-punching techniques to frustrate his opponent all fight. Marshall never seemed to find his range against the much more experienced Matyushenko. The two engaged in a kick boxing match for most of the fight with Matyushenko landing the heavier shots. Matyushenko also succeded on a couple single-leg take downs, but wasn’t able to amount any real offense while on the mat. Two of the judges scored the fight 30-27 for Matyushenko, while one judge saw it 29-28 for Marshall (obviously fell asleep during the slow paced contest).

Vladimir Matyushenko – Matyushenko may not be the most exciting fighter in the world, but right now he’s getting the job done. I’d like to see him go up against Ryan Bader, Jon Jones, or Thiago Silva to see if he really has something left in the tank.

Eliot Marshall – Marshall needs more fights with people around his experience level. Possibly James Te Huna, Brain Stann, or Kyle Kingsbury would be solid next fights.

Clay Guida vs Shannon Gugerty

The always energetic Clay Guida has the entire arena in his corner as the chants of “Guida” erupt as the first bell rang. Clay Guida shot in early for a take down, but Gugerty slapped on a guillotine as he came in. The submission attempt didn’t last long as Guida slammed his way out the hold. Gugerty quickly transitioned to triangle choke but Guida stacked up and gained top position. There wasn’t much action in the first after that, until Guida landed a small flurry of punches. In the second, Guida started out with another slam take down, and again Gugerty tried to lock in the guillotine choke. Once again Guida popped out, but this time in a scramble, Guida locked in an arm triangle choke to force the tap from Gugerty.

Clay Guida – A great performance against Gugerty has probably earned Guida one more run against the top guys in the division. Another loss to a top 15 guy may keep him in that gatekeeper role for good. The perfect match-up seems to be Joe Stevenson. One, they are both fan favorites that have struggled against the top of the division. And two, they have never fought each other which is quite impressive for how long they have both been in the UFC.

Shannon Gugerty – After 3 losses in 4 fights, Gugerty should be cut from the promotion.

James Irvin vs Alessio Sakara

Before the real fight, i heard that James Irvin was already in a fight with personal demons. So bad, that a reporter thought he might want to be on suicide watch. I’m not sure if that is true, but it sure looked like it in the cage against Alessio Sakara. Usually Irvin is very energetic before the fight, but tonight he looked like a ghost. There was no expression on his face at all, when Bruce Buffer was announcing his name. Once the fight started, they exchanged punches and leg kicks with Sakara getting the better of the exchanges. Sakara then landed a left hook and Irvin backed up, then fell to the ground holding his eye. Irvin tried to say he was poked, but the replay clearly showed Sakara’s fist was closed. Irvin was looking for a way out the fight, and he got it. Luckily for Sakara, referee Josh Rosenthal was on top of the action and saw that it wasn’t a poke, and was awarded the TKO victory. Very strange ending for UFC’s first fight on Versus.

Alessio Sakara – After winning 3 fights in a row, Alessio Sakara is due for a small step up in competition. Possibly Goran Reljic, CB Dollaway, or UFC new-comer Claude Patrick.

James Irvin – If the depression thing is true, Irvin should take a while off from fighting. I hope he finds the help he needs.

Paul Buentello vs Cheick Kongo

The craziness continues on UFC’s first night on Versus. Cheick Kongo was not going to take a chance of getting knocked out Paul Buentello tonight. Everyone thought these to large heavweights were going to bang it out from start to finish, but Kongo had other plans. Kongo showed he was going to take Buentello down and pound him out from the beginning bell. Half way through the first, Paul Buentello dislocated his pinky finger on a scramble to the feet and the fight was stopped. He first tried to pop it back himself, but later had the doctor do it. They got it popped back in and the fight continued. Kongo proved to be a horrible match-up for Buentello as the fight wore on, the take downs become unstoppable. It all lead to Paul Buentello tapping out due to elbow strikes to the body. Impressive preformance for Kongo again, but they only ever seem to occur against mid-level opponents.

Cheick Kongo – Another guy that’s trying to stay out of that gatekeeper role. He looks amazing against lesser talent, and awful against top talent. What do you do with a guy like this? A fight with Gabriel Gonzaga would leave the winner with one more shot at a title run, and the other on undercards from here on out.

Paul Buentello – I love Paul Buentello, but the game has just passed him by. It’s hard to see the UFC dropping him after his second consecutive loss, due to the fact they don’t want to give any heavyweights to Strikeforce that has any name recognition. If he stays, he could be a solid test for up and comers like Brendan Schaub, Chris Tuchscherer, or Marcus Jones.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs Junior dos Santos

So close! We almost got to see Junior dos Santos’ ground game. Gonzaga caught a kick from Dos Santos and got the sweep to the ground, but in an instant he was able to get back to his feet. Then Dos Santos did what Dos Santos does…. Gonzaga came in with a leg kick, Dos Santos countered with a left that dropped Gonzaga and followed it up with a few more shots that put his fellow Brazillian to sleep. Another dominating performance for the rising superstar heavyweight.

Junior Dos Santos – Cain Velasquez. There is no other fight i’d rather see.

Gabriel Gonzaga – Cheick Kongo.

Jon Jones vs Brandon Vera

So that just happened. Jon Jones didn’t disappoint in his toughest test to date. From the opening bell, he tossed Brandon Vera around like a rag doll. Most of the fight took place inside Brandon Vera’s closed gaurd. Jones left his arm out there dangerously as he worked to break distance and drop bombs, but Vera never even attempted an armbar. Vera seemed satisfied to try and keep Jones close and earn a stand up, but that never happened. At one point, Jon Jones postured up and Vera landed an up-kick to the jaw of Jones while his knee was still on the ground. Herb Dean stopped the fight, and deducted a point from Vera for the illegal blow. Jones opted to return to the same position, and it proved to be the right move. Shortly after the fight was restarted, Jones swung a looping left elbow that struck Vera right in the eye. Instantly, you could see Vera was hurt badly as he covered his face, rolled over, and turtled up. Jones landed a few more shots before Herb Dean stopped the fight and Jones was awarded the TKO victory. Jon Jones looked unstopable again. The sky is the limit for this future superstar.

Jon Jones – Man, my brain says to keep giving Jones mid-level guys, so he can continue honing his skills. But i can’t help but want to see him against people like Forrest Griffin or the loser or Rampage/Rashad Evans. Ok, one more skill building fight…. Vladimir Matyushenko. If he dismantles Matyushenko, you can’t stop him from the top guys.

Brandon Vera – Like i said earlier, Vera is probably very lucky the UFC doesn’t want to give Strikeforce any big named fighters. Most likely Vera’s UFC career will have him stuck on the undercards unless he goes on a big run. Possible next opponents could be: Jason Brilz, Matt Hamill, or a rematch with Keith Jardine.

 
 

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