This Weekend in MMA June 21-23

Fedor Emelianenko

Courtesy Click for Source

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, 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.


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Bellator’s 2012 Summer Series Preview

Travis Wiuff (black trunks) vs. Christian M'Pumbu

Courtesy of Click for Source

For the second year in a row, Bellator Fighting Championship will present a three month, three event summer series; a sort of appetizer between full course seasons. This time it will be the light-heavyweights competing for the tournament crown and a world title shot. Bellator’s reigning 205-pound champ is Christian M’Pumbu, who won the crown in the company’s inaugural light-heavyweight tilt in season four.

The quarterfinals will kick off with former MFC titleholder Emanuel Newton taking on Cesar Gracie trained Roy Boughton. In 2009, Newton went on a three fight skid, losing his belt to Trevor Prangley, being submitted by Raphael Davis and dropping a decision to recent UFC signee Ryan Jimmo. Since then however, “The Hardcore Kid” has won five straight and is ready to add another championship to his trophy case. The 23-year-old Boughton has yet to be given many opportunities to prove himself. Bellator’s 8-man summer series could be exactly what he needs to make his name.

In the second matchup, season 4 finalist Richard Hale will square off with promotional newcomer Beau Tribolet. “Rare Breed” has put together two wins since his failed attempt to grab the title a year ago. In impressive form, Hale knocked out Carlos Flores and Josh Burns in a combined 56 seconds. Tribolet has been undefeated since losing his professional debut, racking up seven victories including a first round knockout of former UFC heavyweight Chase Gormley in his last outing.

The monstrous Travis Wuiff meets Chris Davis in the secondary fight of the night. “Diesel” Wuiff is one of the most experienced fighters in the game, with 81 professional fights. In his 11-year career he has met face-to-face with some of the best at 205 and heavyweight, but the biggest feather in his cap regarding this tournament is a victory over M’Pumbu in a non-title affair last October. Davis might as well be chump meat for Wuiff. He comes in after a year layoff following a knockout loss to the aforementioned M’Pumbu.

Lastly, in the main event and final tournament bout of the night, Attila Vegh will lock horns with Dream and Pride vet Zelg Galesic. Vegh comes into this contest with a 25-4 record, which includes 19 finishes. A native of Slovakia, the man called “Pumukli” hopes to make his country proud as the first Slovakian fighter to compete on a major stage. The Croatian Galesic has stared down tough competitors from all over the world and regularly fights at both 185 and 205 pounds. In his last appearance in Bellator, he competed in their season 5 middleweight trials, but was submitted in the quarterfinals by eventual tourney winner Alexander Shlemenko.

Today’s article was written by Norman Harrison. Follow him on twitter @NormanLHarrison.

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UFC 147: Mike Russow Pre-fight Interview

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MMA Burner Rankings – Bantamweight Top 10

Urijah Faber

Courtesy of – Click for Source

With Urijah Faber and Renan “Barao” Pegado now set to headline UFC 149 in an interim bantamweight championship clash, the little guys will get the chance to shine instead of playing second fiddle to heavier titlists.

Faber was originally scheduled in a rubber match with his nemesis and current champion Dominick Cruz, to take place at UFC 148. Pegado was also set to fight at 148, against Ivan Menjivar in a number one contender’s bout.

When Cruz joined the ever-growing injured list, “Barao” was promoted from prospect to contender and was placed in UFC 148’s co-main event. Then 149 headliner and featherweight king Jose Aldo was also put out of commission, so Faber/Pegado was moved back a few weeks to fill the vacant main event slot.

Boy, if Dana White had hair, he’d probably be pulling it out.

10. Eddie Wineland
9. Louis Alberto Nogueira
8. Miguel Torres
7. Brian Bowles
6. Michael McDonald
5. Eduardo Dantas
4. Bibiano Fernandes
3. Renan Barao
2. Urijah Faber
1. Dominick Cruz

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Legend FC 9 – AfterBurner

Koji Ando

Koji Ando - Courtesy of - Click for Source

One Mean Guillotine
Xian Ji earned his name “The Executioner” due to his proficiency with the guillotine choke, and at Legend Fighting Championship 9 he pulled off his favorite submission for the third time in his young professional career.

It took Ji only 34 seconds to put the previously unbeaten Aussie, Jack Gooderham into unconsciousness. The quick strangulation keeps the Chinaman’s submission finishing rate at a perfect 6 for 6, and earned him a sub of the night bonus.

Bantamweight Bonanza
When their 61-kilogram titlist, Tuerxun “The Wild Wolf” Jumabieke vacated his crown, Legend assembled a 4-man tournament to decide the new champion.

In match one of the semifinals Taiyo Nakamura took on fan favorite Nam Jin Jo. Nakamura earned his reputation by making it to the finals of Sengoku’s Asian bantamweight grand prix. He was suppose to fight Shunichi Shimizu for the tournament crown but the company went under before the fight could materialize.

Jo was a finalist of Legend’s inaugural bantamweight tilt but lost a unanimous decision to Honnggang Yao in the championship match.

Jo vs. Nakamura was a spirited affair that was contested predominantly on the feet. Even though the Japan native was deducted a point for kidney shots, he was favored on two of the three judges scorecards and walked away with the split decision victory.

The second semifinal fight saw Young Pilipino prospect Agustin Delarmino Jr. take on former Legend bantamweight champ Honggang Yao.

Initially Yao’s dominant 98 second submission win looked clean and concise, but controversy quickly reared its ugly head.

“The Master” jumped on the rear naked like a fat kid on a cupcake. Delarmino struggled to defend and his last ditch effort was to try and roll over into Yao’s guard. Unfortunately he managed to only twist his body half way around and the ref stopped the fight when he stopped defending.

Delarmino was not in fact choked out, he popped right up after the referee stepped in, but if you are in a choke and you stop moving, don’t blame the ref for waving it off.

Who’s Next?
The main event of the evening was a lightweight title eliminator between Koji Ando and Rob Hill.

Hill has the record for post fight bonuses in the promotion, but he couldn’t hamper the Japanese standout in any way. Koji got the better of him in the stand up and out grappled him with ease.

When all three rounds were finished, Hill looked as tired as if he had run a marathon. The much more energetic Koji racked up his second straight victory under the Legend banner and will now meet reigning and terrorizing champion Jadamba Narantungalag.

Today’s article was written by Norman Harrison. Follow him on twitter @NormanLHarrison.

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UFC 147: Silva vs Franklin II Extended Preview

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Tommy ToeHold Show – R.I.P. Boxing

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This Weekend in MMA

Satoru Kitaoka

Satoru Kitaoka - Courtesy of - Click for Source

Deep – 58 Impact
Deep has been a mainstay of Japanese MMA for more than a decade and has hosted some of the greatest fighters from the land of the rising Sun. The co-main event for the Tokyo set card, will be a clash between two of the nation’s best lightweights. Former Sengoku titlist, Satoru Kitaoka will do battle with former Deep champion Katsunori Kikuno. Neither man has fought since Dream’s New Year’s Eve show, when Kitaoka took a 5-round beating from champ Shinya Aoki, and Kikuno conquered the cross-dressing kick-boxer Yuichiro Nagashima in a mixed rules affair.

The headliner is also a lightweight contest, and presumed (but not confirmed) to be for the vacant Deep title. 10-year veteran Daisuke Nakamura, who triumphed over legend Akihiro Gono in his last outing at Deep – 57 Impact, squares of with Yasuaki Kishimoto, who is unbeaten in his last nine.

Battle Xtreme Championship – The Rise
BXC’s inaugural event will air live and free on and features former UFC competitors Rory Markham and Drew McFedries as well as Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann. Markham returns to action after a two-year layoff to take on Bellator vet Jon “El Jaguar” Kirk. McFedries is looking to get his third straight KO victory since being cut from the big show and hopes to end Brad Johnson’s 8-fight winning streak all at the same time. Where as McMann will use her bout with 5-3 Anita Rodriguez as a warm up for her July show down with savvy submission artist Shayna Baszler.

Legend FC – 9
Legend has become one of the leading MMA promotions in Southeast Asia and brings in fighters from all over the orient. The main event will be Japan vs. Australia as Koji Ando faces Rob Hill in a number one contenders bout. The winner will be rewarded (or punished, depending on how you look at it) with a fight against reigning lightweight champion Jadumba Narantungalag.

The card also features an interesting matchup of young prospects as 24-year-old Jingliang Li hopes to bounce back from a failed bid for the welterweight title when he faces 8-1, 19-year-old Australian Dan Pauling. If you’re going through MMA withdrawals, Legacy 9 is available for a cheap 20 bucks on PPV.

Shofight 20
After 19 amateur only events, the Branson, Missouri based organization has decided to try its hand in the professional market. They are certainly starting things hard and fast, an approach that has doomed many, but hopefully their experience as an amateur league will serve them well. Shofight 20 is stacked with many alumni of major promotions. Shonie Carter, Lyle Beerbohm, Marcus Aurelio, and Drew Fickett (among others) have all been signed to this card.

Leading this motley lot is a pair of championship bouts. TUF season 3 winner Kendall Grove will scrap with fellow UFC vet Terry Martin for the middleweight crown, and former top contender Karo Parisyan will meet 3-time UFC competitor John Gunderson for the welterweight title. If you want to see it live, you will have to venture to Springfield, Missouri, but if you don’t mind waiting, Shofight 20 will replay on PPV starting July 1st.

Today’s article was written by Norman Harrison. Follow him on twitter @NormanLHarrison.

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BJ Penn Interview – His Un-Retirement Party

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