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Tag: UFC Fight Night 50

Is MMA About to Enter a New Golden Age?


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

“It’s always darkest before it’s totally black.”-Mao Zedong (supposedly).

This quote aptly described MMA’s immediate future, or at least it seemed to until very recently. Card quality, fan interest, and–most importantly–numbers were all declining; 2014′s PPV buy ceiling of 350,000 was 2009′s floor. MMA was headed for a perplexing time when it was simultaneously bigger than ever but smaller than ever, when the fighters were more talented than ever but less popular than ever.

A series of fortunate events and new found circumstances can change all that. To make a Back to the Future reference, the horrific, Biff Tannen-owned Hill Valley that represented MMA’s future may well become the nice, stable Hill Valley in which George McFly is a successful fiction author and Marty McFly bangs his girlfriend in the back of a pickup truck. That is to say, MMA might be approaching a level of popularity, constancy and quality that many (including myself) didn’t think it was capable of reaching in the current climate.

What’s the reason for this cautious optimism?

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UFC Booking Roundup: Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell, Andrei Arlovski vs. Bigfoot Silva 2 Added to September Cards


(You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”)

Dana White might insist that he’s not trying to compete with Bellator on September 5th — but the UFC is making damn well sure that its Connecticut card will be worth watching. In addition to Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza 2 being confirmed as UFC Fight Night 50′s main event, the following matches have also been added to the FOX Sports 1 card…

- Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell: Coming off a redemptive win against Frank Mir in February and a layoff for elbow surgery, Overeem will take on fellow heavyweight Ben Rothwell, who will be competing for the first time since his August 2013 TKO of Brandon Vera and subsequent nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone. (Again, UFC Fight Night 50 is taking place on an Indian reservation, so Overeem and Rothwell probably won’t have to deal with any inconvenient random drug tests before the match.)

- Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis: Mitrione was supposed to compete at last weekend’s UFC 175 event until his opponent Stefan Struve collapsed in the locker room and was pulled at the last minute. “Meathead” has now been re-scheduled against Derrick Lewis — better known as “The Black Beast” — who has gone 2-0 in the Octagon so far, with both wins by first-round TKO. Lewis most recently finished Guto Inocente at the TUF 19 Finale. I smell a slugfest.

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Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza 2 Moved to UFC Fight Night 50 in Connecticut


(Jacare Souza, smiling like a man who clearly doesn’t remember getting upkicked in the face six years ago. Photo via Combate/Globo)

In the wake of UFC 176′s cancellation, scheduled co-main event fighter Gegard Mousasi posted the following on Facebook:

 

Mousasi later erased the post, but it was too late — the UFC responded to his sarcasm by reassigning his rematch with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to Fight Night 50, the September 5th card being held on an Indian reservation in Connecticut, ten miles away from a Bellator show.

To be honest, we doubt the UFC brass had any malicious intent with this booking, but it’s still a kick in the nuts to go from a pay-per-view event at the Staples Center to a Friday night FS1 card in Ledyard, CT. Mousasi vs. Souza hasn’t officially been named as the UFC Fight Night 50 main event, although that’s certainly a possibility, considering that the only other notable fight on the lineup right now is Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa. We’ll keep you posted.

Fun fact: UFC Fight Night 50 comes smack in the middle of an eight-week stretch that will feature 10 UFC events. So yeah. The eyes of the world will be watching.

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