All the UFC is mixed martial arts, but not all mixed martial arts is the UFC. There are a number of great promotions that fly under the radar of the average fight fan. This weekend’s line up emphasizes this fact with six events from all over the world that will showcase dozens of big names, rising stars and MMA legends.
Century Fighting Championship in Salem, New Hampshire
Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis has been traversing the rocky road back to the UFC for the past year. He’s gone 3-1 since his release following his UFC 125 loss to Jeremy Stephens. He will look to bounce back from a split decision set back to Chuck O’Neil by defeating Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Matt Lee as he headlines Century’s inaugural event.
Also notable is fellow UFC vet Dan Lauzon who looks for his fifth straight win since his UFC release, when he faces Don Carlo-Clauss in the co-main event.
After fifty-four professional bouts as a heavyweight, Gilbert Yvel will compete for just the second time at 205 when he faces off against Nebraska native Houston Alexander. With forty knockouts between them, it is a safe bet that this one will not make it to the judge’s scorecards.
The secondary feature will see the greatest female mixed martial artist you’ve never heard of, Tara LaRosa, go to war with Kelly Warren.
Assembling talent from China, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Asia , Legend has become one of the premier organizations in Hong Kong and the surrounding area. This weekend’s card is lead by two title fights. Undefeated Chinese fighter Ji Xian will do battle with 11-3 Japanese martial artist Yusuke Kawanago, to determine the company’s first ever featherweight champion. That match will be followed by Mongolian phenom and lightweight champion Jadamba Nurantungalag, defending against former title challenger Yui Chul Nam.
Featuring seven former UFC competitors (including former #1 contenders Paul Buentello and Karo Parisyan) as well as long time journeyman Thomas Denny and former Strikeforce talent Lyle Beerbohm, there are more than enough notable names for WMMA to put butts in seats for their first event.
Having aligned itself with virtually every major gym and MMA organization in Pacific Asia, One FC has dotted its third event with many accomplished fighters. The card will include former WBA champion Yodsanan “3K Battery” Sityodtong, making his sophomore outing as a mixed martial artist; Deep welterweight champ Yuya Shirai; kickboxing great Melvin Manhoef; and undefeated URCC bantamweight champ Kevin Belingon — facing leglock specialist Masakazu Imanari.
Possibly the most star-studded card on this list, AFC 2 will feature the fighter with the longest career of any active fighter, George Clay, and a man looking to make it back to the UFC, Ronys Torres in miscellaneous undercard fights. While the main card will see:
- Judo black belt, Sokoudjou vs. judo Olympian Satoshi Ishii
- Josh Burkman vs. Pride alumni Daniel Acacio
- Patrick Cote vs. twelve-year veteran Gustavo Machado
- Thales Leites vs. Matt Horwich 2
- Lastly, in the main event, Murilo Bustamante will face Dane Menne in a rematch of a 2002 UFC middleweight championship fight in which Menne stopped Bustamante with strikes to take the title from him.
If you are not fortunate enough to attend one of these great events, do not worry. There is still Bellator 63 on MTV 2 followed by The Ultimate Fighter Live on FX.
Today’s article written by guest blogger Norman Harrison. @NormanLHarrison