This week will see the start of Bellator’s 2012 Summer Series, as well as the first UFC double header in history. UFC will bring its fourth FX card to the masses with Maynard vs. Guida on Friday night. Then Saturday the world’s premier organization returns to PPV with UFC 147: Wanderlei vs. Franklin 2.
Believe it or not, UFC, Bellator and Strikeforce are not the only games in town. There are other MMA promotions too. I know. Crazy right? Aside from the big boys, St. Petersburg hosts M-1 Global, XFC 18: Music City Mayhem will air live on HD-Net, and One FC 4 streams on Youtube for North American fans.
M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo
M-1 Global cards are hard to verify due to rumors and drastic last minute changes, but as it stands, as reported by m-1global.com, their June 21st card will feature two championship bouts and what is rumored to be Fedor Emelianenko’s swan song.
The tertiary fight of the evening will see interim heavyweight champion Kenny Garner finally get his rematch with reigning world titlist Guram Gugenishvili. The two first met for the vacant belt in 2010 and Gugenishvili walked away the winner after choking Garner unconscious early in the second.
Since then he has had one defense and numerous injuries to deal with which have put him out of competition for over a year. Garner meanwhile has rebounded from the defeat by winning five straight, which includes capturing and defending the interim crown.
The secondary contest has 28-7 lightweight champion from Germany, Daniel Weichel making his first title defense against native Russian Musa Khamanaev who is coming off a win over former champion Artiom Damkovsky.
And of course the primary attraction of the night will be Fedor Enelianenko fighting three-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Pedro Rizzo.
In Rizzo’s last three fights he defeated Jeff Monson, Gary Goodridge and Ken Shamrock, but he has been missing in action since knocking out Shamrock two years ago.
These are two former greats far past their prime, who want to chalk up one more victory over a fellow legend before their careers come to an end. This is not a fight for championships or revenge or money. This is a fight for legacy and nothing more.
One Fighting Championship 4: Destiny of Warriors
One FC’s fourth show will be headlined by former UFC top contender and former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral taking on former Dream Grand Prix finalist Tatsuya Mizuno.
In the co-main event “Zorro” Moreira replaces Phil Baroni to take on UFC and Bellator veteran Roger Huerta. “Zorro” is a 6-1 mixed martial artist with 5 finishes and holds a black belt in Brazilian jui jitsu under the great Carlos Gracie Jr. He might not be as big of a name as Baroni but he is a much tougher opponent for Huerta.
The card also features Gregor Gracie, one of the greatest of the clan in the modern era, vs. a man who is a BJJ, Taekwondo, and Karate black belt as well as a Muay Thai world titlist, Adam Kayoom.
In keeping with the One FC order of things the rest of the card is populated with decorated martial artists of every combat sport.
Masakazu Imanari – Former Deep and Cage Rage champion
Eric Kelly – URCC featherweight champion
Mitch Chilson – Martial Combat featherweight champion
Peter Davis – UKMMAC lightweight champion
Allamurad Karayev – Malaysian FC bantamweight champion
AJ Lias Mansor – Malaysian national Silat champion
Marcos Escobar – ADCC Brazilian jiu jitsu world champion
Kim Hock Quek – Singapore national boxing champion
Today’s article was written by Norman Harrison. Follow him on twitter @NormanLHarrison.