(Props: Esther Lin)
With a full 13 bouts scheduled for UFC 103, fight fans are going to get their money’s worth tomorrow night in Dallas. Six fighters will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time, most of them trying to make the transition from hometown hero to big-time player. Read on to get acquainted with all the new faces, from Semtex to Tractor to Carny...
PAUL DALEY (WW)
Experience: 21-8-2 record, with 16 wins by KO/TKO. Was the former welterweight champion of Cage Rage. Holds stoppage victories over Duane Ludwig, John Alessio, Jess Liaudin, and Xavier Foupa-Pokam.
Will be facing: Martin Kampmann (15-2, 6-1 UFC)
Lowdown: You should already know about this guy. He knocks dudes out, and has never been knocked out himself. Still, if Kampmann can get this one to the ground, it’s a wrap. UFC.com tries to put a positive spin on the reality of the situation: "Chances are, when Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley is around, you’ll either witness a Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night."
STEVE LOPEZ (LW)
Experience: 12-1 record, primarily in Midwestern regional leagues. Holds a submission-via-strikes victory over The Gooch. Last competed in October 2008, when he scored a decision win over Alejandro Villalobos.
Will be facing: Jim Miller (13-2, 3-1 UFC)
?Lowdown: A South Bend native and member of the Bulldog Fight Team, Lopez comes to this fight as a replacement for Thiago Tavares. The UFC first noticed Lopez when he tried out for TUF 9 — and injured his shoulder in the process. The former wrestler was inspired to try MMA when he saw The Smashing Machine, and made his pro debut in February 2007 at a four-man tournament, which he won via two consecutive knockouts. He just wants to get in there and scrap: “Win or lose, I hope the fans say ‘man, this kid’s tough – he’s got heart and he don’t back down.’ And this fight is the type of fight I’m looking for – Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Tyson Griffin – I’m looking for grinders. Those just have Fight of The Night written all over them. I’m not afraid to stand and bang, and I can take a whuppin’. We throw down hard in practice, I’ve never been knocked down, and these are the fights that interest me.”