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Armchair Matchmaker: Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale Edition

(Dude. Yikes. Photos courtesy of

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just received word that Cody "The French Revolution" McKenzie has agreed to take on Yves Edwards at UFC Fight for the Troops 2 on January 22nd, after Edwards’s original opponent was drafted for the main event. (It should be noted that Edwards has never lost by guillotine choke in 56 career fights.) McKenzie’s big return made us wonder — what does the future hold for the other winners of last Saturday’s UFC event? Well gather around, kids, and we’ll tell you what should happen…

Jonathan Brookins: You know how this works. In his first post-TUF outing, Brookins needs to be built up against a relatively established vet who happens to be vulnerable against his skill-set. So, who’s a chokable, lateral-droppable lightweight who you’ve heard of, but who doesn’t have the kind of striking skills that will make Brookins look foolish? Huh. That actually doesn’t leave a lot of options among the UFC’s current roster.

This is going to sound random as hell, but I think the UFC needs to bring back Matt Veach. Though the H.I.T. Squad fighter was released by the UFC earlier this year after consecutive losses to Frankie Edgar and Paul Kelly (both by submission), he’s gone on to win three straight in smaller promotions; he was also undefeated before he came to the UFC, scoring stoppages in nine out of ten fights. I think we all want to see Brookins developed slowly in winnable matchups; still, Veach is far from a pushover.


‘The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck’ — Live Results and Commentary

Cody McKenzie TUF 12 finale UFC
(Above: "Remember, remember, the fourth of December, the Gunpowder Treason and plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot, brah." 
Below: You know what to do, honey. / Photos courtesy of

Welcome, fight fans, to the first leg of a liveblog double-header on The TUF 12 Finale gets rolling on Spike at 9 p.m. ET, with Team GSP lightweight finalists Jonathan Brookins and Michael Johnson battling for the highly coveted glassware, Stephan Bonnar trying to build a winning streak against Igor Pokrajac, and Demian Maia tangling with rangy TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. Plus, five other TUF 12 vets will do their best to hang on to their UFC contracts, including Nam Phan, who clashes with hardy slugger Leonard Garcia in the UFC’s first-ever televised 145-pound feature. (Yes, the UFC has featherweights now!)

Round-by-round results await you after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes to get all the latest. Please toss in your two cents in the comments section, and don’t forget to check in at our viewing party at for a chance to win a UFC: Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights DVD set. 


Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club

(Sakuraba vs. Mayhem at DREAM.16: A fight so amazing, it can only be described as ‘Fantasista’. Props:

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

– Todd Duffee Released By The UFC; Manager Calls Him an "Ass" (MMA Convert)

– Ariel Helwani goes backstage with MMA broadcast icon Mauro Ranallo. (MMA Fighting)

– Want a pair of tickets to UFC 119: Mir vs. Cro Cop? All you need is a name and an e-mail address… (

– Kendall Grove confirms fight with Demian Maia at TUF 12 Finale in December (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Ring Girls Round-Up: Shark Fights Angels (LowKick)

– After Defeating James Toney, Does Randy Couture Have One Last Title Run Left? (Versus MMA Beat)

– Brock Lesnar’s Most Unintentionally Hilarious TV Spots (Watch Kalib Run)

– Exclusive Bellator 27 Photo Gallery (Fight! Magazine)

– After escaping from a mental institution last month, MMA cult hero Viacheslav Datsik is still at large, and preparing for his comeback. (MiddleEasy)

– 10 MMA Photos That Will Scare Your Children and Make You Cry Yourself to Sleep (MMA Scraps)


Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 118 Edition

Frank Edgar BJ Penn UFC 118 photos MMA
(There he goes again, trying to steal the victory. Photo courtesy of CageWriter)

Here’s what we know: Frank Edgar will make his next title defense against Gray Maynard, who routed Kenny Florian on Saturday night. Dana White is done with James Toney, even though James Toney might not be done with MMA. Nick Osipczak, John Salter, and Gabe Ruediger could very well be receiving "Dear John" letters from the UFC as we speak. As for UFC 118‘s other winners and losers, their fates are yet to be decided. But as usual, we have a few opinions on the subject…

BJ Penn: The Prodigy spent 2007-2009 destroying all the top talent in the UFC’s lightweight division, then looked completely uninspired in two consecutive fights against Frankie Edgar. Either Penn has fallen off his game dramatically or Edgar is just a terrible style matchup for him — and we won’t really know the answer until Penn’s next fight. What’s obvious is that lightweight has been Penn’s most effective weight class in general, and going back up to 170 would be a terrible idea, especially while Georges St. Pierre still rules the roost. The UFC should give Penn a rebound fight against a name opponent who’s a little further down the ladder, but will test BJ’s desire to fight. That’s right, folks, it’s time for BJ Penn vs. Takanori Gomi II. Gomi is born-again after starching Tyson Griffin; add in Gomi’s history with Penn, and you have a co-headliner that any pay-per-view card would be lucky to have.


Alan Belcher May Never Fight Again

(Video courtesy PureFight)

When it was announced that Alan Belcher was forced to pull out of his headlining September 15 UFC Fight Night bout with Demian Maia due to a detached retina he suffered in training, the news was met with a collective, "That sucks. Hopefully when he heals up, the UFC will match them up again."

According to Belcher, he may never get the opportunity to fight Maia again, or anyone else for that matter.

In an interview he did with  PureFight this week, the 26-year-old Biloxi, Mississippi fighter who revealed that he suffered irreparable vision loss as a result of the freak injury said that there is a chance he may never fight again.

Belcher says that he won’t know the extent of the injury or the success of the surgery for at least a couple of months and only then will he be able to assess whether or not continuing to fight will be an option for him or if he will have to walk away from the sport he loves.


Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club

(Got a half-hour to spare? Then watch this Bloodsport-themed tribute to Georges St. Pierre’s UFC career, courtesy of lookoutawhale. Too nasty.)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

– The Anderson Silva flowchart everyone should print and hang on their wall (MiddleEasy)

– Options: What’s next for the winners of "Jones vs. Matyushenko"? (

– Demian Maia bumped to UFC 118, will face Mario Miranda (Five Ounces of Pain)

– Dana White Talks Jones’ Future, Japanese MMA Revival, Anderson Silva’s Job Security (Versus MMA Beat)

– Roy Nelson More Impressed with dos Santos Than Carwin or Lesnar (MMA Fighting)

– Inside the Fights: The Face Melting Power of Marlon Sandro (MMA Scraps)

– UFC marketing team striking out this coming Saturday at UFC 117 (Watch Kalib Run)

– Roy Jones Jr.’s Square Ring Sues Zuffa & Roy Nelson Over Alleged Contractual Interference (MMA Convert)

– Vadim Finkelstein: Fedor Emelianenko is still the best Pound for Pound fighter in the World (LowKick)

– Brian Stann discusses his successful middleweight debut, and fighting in front of "thousands of our heroes." (FIGHT! Magazine)


Marquardt vs. Palhares Taken Off UFC 118, Will Now Serve as UFN 22′s Main Event

Rousimar Palhares Lucio Linhares
(Rousimar Palhares finishes Lucio Linhares at UFC 107 last December. Five of Palhares’s last seven wins have come via heel-hook submission. Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly)

With Alan Belcher‘s main event fight against Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 22 (September 15, Austin) nixed due to an eye injury, it’s now being reported that the Nate Marquardt vs. Rousimar Palhares feature scheduled for UFC 118 (August 28, Boston) will be pushed back two and a half weeks to serve as the Austin card’s headliner. Maia hasn’t been officially dropped from the UFN 22 lineup yet, though it seems likely that he’ll get a replacement opponent on a future event.

As for UFC 118, some shifting will need to be done to fill the empty main card slot, and potentially fill the hole that the replacement could create in the Spike TV Prelim broadcast. The lineup currently looks like this…


Alan Belcher Out of ‘UFC Fight Night 22′ Main Event Due to Detached Retina

Alan Belcher Patrick Cote Johnny Cash UFC 113
("That’s it, go to sleeeeeeep." Alan Belcher and his little friend Johnny gang up on Patrick Cote at UFC 113. Photo courtesy of ESPN.)

UFC middleweight contender (and unapologetic baby-choker) Alan Belcher confirmed yesterday that he won’t be able to headline UFC Fight Night 22 against Demian Maia, due to a detached retina. As he wrote:

While I was in brazil I started losing my vision in my right eye. I saw a dr that told me to go back to u.s. immediately. My friend/surgeon from biloxi got me an emergency surgery scheduled in alabama now just trying to recover. No contact for 6 weeks. Sorry to my trainers. Sorry to ufc & demian Maia, I know he has been training specifically for me. Sorry to my fans as well. As long as I get released from dr I will try to make ufn 22 to see my fans and watch the fights

In response, Demian Maia tweeted: "I dont know who will be my oponent. I think I still in the UFN 22 main event, but Im not sure. Ill let you guys know…"

In other words, Chris Leben should probably start warming up. The current lineup of UFN 22 (September 15th, Austin) is after the jump.


Three Reasons Why Silva vs. Sonnen Will Suck (And Three Reasons Why It Might Not)

In hyping UFC 117′s main event, the UFC is doing their best to convince fans that Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen won’t be as painful to watch as Silva’s last three middleweight title defenses against Demian Maia, Thales Leites, and Patrick Cote. Sonnen has the perfect style to beat Silva (so the story goes) and Chael’s outlandish trash talk might even inspire the champion to actually handle his business in the cage for a change. Do you buy it? I’m not quite convinced yet — personally, I think all the factors that made Silva’s fight against Maia so awful are also present in the Sonnen matchup — but in the interest of fairness, I figured I’d lay out both sides of the argument. First, why Silva vs. Sonnen will be another infuriating bust…

1. Silva Will Want to Avoid the Mat at All Costs
From a technical perspective, what made Silva’s fights against Demian Maia and Thales Leites so dull? Silva understood that those fighters posed their only threats on the ground, and he simply refused to allow the fights to go in that direction, which is something you can get away with when you’re a genius on your feet. Silva can’t be baited into going to the mat if he doesn’t want to, and he won’t full-out brawl with a grappler, and run the risk of getting grabbed and taken down. So he keeps his distance, landing a punch to the knee once in a while just to keep himself entertained. As a wrestler, Chael Sonnen’s attack is a little different — he wants to be on top and grind you down — but winning fights still means landing a takedown and turning the action horizontal, and Silva knows that. So if you’re expecting a firefight between these two, keep dreaming. It’ll be another stick-and-move-and-move-and-move-and-move-and-move exhibition from the champ.


Demian Maia vs. Alan Belcher to Headline UFC Fight Night 22 in Austin

Demian Maia Alan Belcher UFC Fight Night 22 poster

Spike TV announced earlier today that their next UFC Fight Night event will go down September 15th at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. The broadcast is expected to serve as the lead-in to the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck. Headlining the fight card will be Demian Maia — returning from his unsuccessful (and bizarre) five-rounder against Anderson Silva in Abu Dhabi — against fellow middleweight contender Alan Belcher, who is coming off back-to-back stoppages of Wilson Gouveia and Patrick Cote. As the press release tells us, "A victory over Maia will elevate Belcher’s chances for a shot at Anderson’s coveted middleweight crown." Uh, I think you mean Sonnen’s middleweight crown, bro. The current lineup of "UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Belcher" is below. If you have any early predictions, let’s hear ‘em…

MAIN CARD (officially confirmed)
– Demian Maia vs. Alan Belcher (MW)
– Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig (LW; rematch of controversial UFC 115 fight)
– Jim Miller vs. Gleison Tibau* (LW)
– Ross Pearson vs. Cole Miller (LW)

PRELIMINARY CARD (reported but not yet confirmed)
Efrain Escudero vs. John Gunderson
Nick Catone vs. Tomasz Drwal
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Jared Hamman

* Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, Gleison Tibau’s birth name is Janigleison Herculano Alves. Weird.