(Dan Miller kneebars the crap out of Ryan McGivern to win the IFL’s middleweight title in May. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)
Like other Fight Night shows in the past, tomorrow’s “Diaz vs. Neer” joint features an undercard packed with fresh faces (though there’s no guarantee those faces will be too fresh by the end of the night). Let’s take a look at some of the guys who will be trying to prove themselves in the Octagon for the first time — and who you might get to see in action if they’re on the giving or receiving end of a quick finish.
JOE VEDEPO (MW)
Experience: 7-1 record (3 TKOs, 3 subs), primarily in small, Iowa-based promotions. Last fight was a submission victory over Brian Green in June.
Will be facing: Alessio Sakara (12-7, 3-4 w/1 no-contest in the UFC)
Lowdown: The two questions that come to mind are “who?” and “why?”. We can’t really answer that last question, but we do know that Vedepo is a former standout high school wrestler who (for unknown reasons) turned down a spot on The Ultimate Fighter 7. The 25-year-old trains in Cedar Rapids with Team Hardrive MMA. The dude finishes fights, but may not be ready for the competitive leap into the UFC — even against the struggling Alessio Sakara.
JASON BRILZ (LHW)
Experience: 15-1-1 record (9 wins by submission), fighting all over the Midwest, including five appearances in the Iowa-based Victory Fighting Championships. Notable wins over Jason MacDonald and Alex Schoenauer; hasn’t lost a fight since September 2001. Last fight was a first-round submission win over Erik Jenks in May.
Will be facing: Brad Morris (9-3, 0-1 UFC)
Lowdown: Repping Omaha like Houston Alexander, Brilz was a state wrestling champ in high school who went on to be a four-year letterman at the University of Nebraska. The 33-year-old pays the bills as a firefighter and an assistant wrestling coach for U of N.