“The House that Jordan Built” is sold out for the UFC’s return to Fox, which features three times as many televised fights as its Fox debut. Can Chris Weidman make a name for himself against Demian Maia? Will Chael Sonnen challenge Anderson Silva to a casket match after tonight’s fight? Does Phil Davis establish himself as a contender at light-heavyweight, or does Rashad Evans set himself up to get overlooked for yet another title shot? We’ll answer all this and more as it unfolds.
Handling liveblogging duties tonight is Seth Falvo, who will be watching the event with some oldfriends. Please direct all complaints about spelling and grammar, comments about the liveblogger’s sexual preference and unrelated conspiracy theories directly at him. Spoilers after the jump.
The UFC returns to FOX this Saturday with a three-fight main card that could produce the next title contenders in two different divisions. It’s also packed with betting opportunities that will generously reward the risk-takers. And you’re not a chicken, are you? Huh? Bawk bawk bawwwwwk?? Yeah, that’s what we thought. So consider our UFC on FOX 2: Evans vs. Davis gambling advice after the jump, and be sure to come back for our liveblog, which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. But first, the complete odds lineup, via BestFightOdds.com:
“This Sunday marks the ten-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The way America looked at itself was altered immensely on that date, and a decade later the world is a very different place. Memories of panic and uncertainty are still present, but the urge to keep moving forward is even stronger. In remembrance of this anniversary, TheFightNerd.com, has released an exclusive short-film that commemorates this event alongside the New York MMA community. ‘A Fighting Spirit’ is a video memoir that interviews members of the NY martial arts community and discusses where they were when the Towers collapsed, how they have coped, and how New York and America have grown stronger.
Directed by Kahleem Poole-Tejada (director of the full-length documentary ‘New York MMA’) and produced by Matthew Kaplowitz (Editor-in-Chief of TheFightNerd.com) in association with Ranger Up, the film takes viewers around a tour of downtown Manhattan and provides a glimpse inside several of New York City’s top MMA gyms. It features many NY-based fighters, such as Renzo Gracie, Chris Weidman, Pete ‘Drago’ Sell, and Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro, as well as Stephen Koepfer of NY Combat Sambo, Mark Yehia of ‘Elite Plus MMA,’ Rob Constance of ‘The Renzo Gracie Academy’ and President of the ‘Ultimate Absolute’ grappling tournament, and Emilio Novoa, President of ADCC North America. Also appearing is UFC middleweight fighter Jorge Rivera, as well as Strikeforce middleweight Tim Kennedy, who adds the voices of members of the U.S. Armed Forces to this emotional piece.”
As a New York resident since August 2002, the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 has put me in a reflective mood all week. Maybe you feel the same. If you have any recollections or tributes to share from that day, please leave them in the comments section. Here, I’ll start…
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:
(Since this sculpture seemed to be a major talking point…)
Minoru Suzuki was born 43 years ago.
Why he matters: One of the co-founders of Pancrase — the pre-cursor to the UFC — Suzuki was of the best Japanese submission specialists of his era. He holds wins over Ken Shamrock, Vernon White, Matt Hume and Guy Mezger and Maurice Smith. A former Olympic alternate freestyle wrestler for Japan and former Japanese freestyle wrestling national champion, Suzuki retired from MMA competition in 2002 with a record of 27-20 to focus on professional wrestling, in which he is still active today.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/MrDartzero)
Many MMA luminaries from Bas Rutten and Ken Shamrock to Josh Barnett count Suzuki as one of THE best catch wrestlers the sport has ever known.
“Hands of Stone”? Yup, that sounds about right. (Pic: UFC.com)
There is so much to love about the UFC’s Fight Night Bonuses. Often times one of these rewards can double, triple, or even quadruple a fighter’s take home pay for the evening. They also serve as bounties for action, encouraging the knockouts, submissions, and exciting fights that we all enjoy. But I love them best for another reason altogether. They give Dana White the opportunity to do what he does best: wield his godlike power with impunity. That sword has two edges of course, one of which has cut us frequently, but when dolling out these bonuses we get to see the best of Dana White. There’s Dana the Vindictive, who snubbed Mir’s poor performance against Cro Cop by denying the night’s only KO a bonus; Dana the Fight Fan, who loves action packed bouts so much that sometimes he can’t bring himself to award only one “Fight of the Night” bonus; and Dana the Merciful, who sets right the grave injustices cast down from the judges table. It was this last Dana who reared his head last night, giving an “unofficial” bonus to Michihiro Omigawa, who lost a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins in the prelims. White felt that Omigawa clearly deserved the victory and awarded him his win bonus for his performance. This fight, particularly one judge scoring it 30-27 for Elkins, is sure to add more fuel to the firestorm that is MMA judging. And now, on to the $70k bonuses…
According to reports, McGee injured his knee while training with the Cesar Gracie team, helping Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, and Gilbert Melendez prepare for their upcoming fights. (Damn it, why couldn’t it have been Chael?) So remember kids, EFX Performance bracelets may improve your balance and stamina, but they don’t make you impervious to knee injury…