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.
- Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz 2: According to Fox Sports’ Damon Martin, the two featherweights have been booked for a rematch of their UFC on Versus 4 fight from June 2011, which was chuggin’ along pretty well until Oliveira KO’d Lentz with an illegal knee. The fight was declared a no contest, but still won Fight of the Night. Oliveira remains one of the most exciting young talents at 145 pounds, and won Performance of the Night bonuses in his last two appearances, for his submissions of Andy Ogle and Hatsu Hioki. Lentz is coming off a decision win against Manny Gamburyan at UFC Fight Night 40: Brown vs. Silva in May.
In a related story, a heavyweight rematch between Andrei Arlovski and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva has been booked as the main event of UFC Fight Night 51, September 13th at the Ginásio Nilson Nelson in Brasília, Brazil. It’ll be Silva’s first appearance since his Fight of the Year candidate against Mark Hunt last December, and subsequent nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone. (Damn, is there an echo in here?)
Arlovski, of course, last stunk up the joint against Brendan Schaub at UFC 174, winning a split-decision in a fight that nobody really won. When asked why he would book Arlovski for a main event after such a flat performance, Dana White explained:
“I was disappointed in both of their performances. It doesn’t mean the guys are never going to fight again. I just let them know how I felt. The fight sucked. I’ve got Schaub hitting me up telling me that he got robbed. I’m like, ‘No, we got robbed’…Guys have bad nights. It’s not like I hate Brendan Schaub or Andrei Arlovski because of it. I just hated that fight.”
To put it another way: It’s a Fight Pass card in Brazil, against a Brazilian — so let’s not pretend that Arlovski is being rewarded for his efforts.
Arlovski and Silva previously met at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery in May 2010, with Bigfoot winning a unanimous decision.