There may not be an event this weekend, but that doesn’t mean the boys behind the scenes at Zuffa aren’t working hard. Fights have been announced this weekend at a furious pace, and there seems to be no end in sight. Let’s hope Joe Silva’s getting some of that “Anderson Silva money”. Without further ado:
The UFC Fight Night 25 card is starting to flesh out. Lightweight Evan Dunham will take on recent TUF graduate Shamar Bailey. Dunham was last seen being picked up off the canvas following a brutal TKO loss to Melvin Guillard at Fight for the Troops 2. His prior controversial split decision loss to Sean Sherk was tallied as a victory by the only person that really matters, so his back isn’t exactly against the wall here. As for Bailey, he failed to make it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 13 despite being a hands on favorite to take the trophy, but he did win a plodding, uninspiring decision over Ryan McGillivray at the finale. Bailey needs to show that he’s got more in his arsenal than world-class smothering.
A featherweight bout between Mackens Semerzier and Mike Lullo has also been signed for the New Orleans card. Semerzier saved himself from a Zuffa pinkslip at Fight Night 24, following up three consecutive losses in the WEC with a submission victory over Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceras. Lullo had a different path to the UFC, entering the organization on short notice riding an eight fight win streak. No amount of time can prepare you for the abusive leg kicks Edson Barboza was throwing, and he threw plenty. The fight ended with a rare TKO from leg kicks, but now he’s got a chance to redeem himself with a full training camp behind him. The card is headlined by Jake vs. Jake.
UFC 138 got some love this weekend as well. Still months away, the November 19th event is unofficially penciled in for San Jose, California and will likely feature Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez taking on challenger Junior dos Santos. Middleweights Tom Lawlor and Chris Weidman have been added to the supporting cast. Lawlor recently pulled out of a fight with Kyle Noke on the upcoming “UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle” card, and will walk into the cage with more than a year’s worth of ring rust to his name. Chris Weidman on the other hand already has two victories this year. The D1 All American is 6-0, submitting Jesse Bongfeldt in one round and decisioning Alessio Sakara in the UFC. He’ll have wrestling on his side, but how will that stack up against the epic entrance that Lawlor’s developed over the past twelve months?