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November 15, 2011

My UFC wish list for 2012

With the success of UFC of Fox and the heavyweight matchup between Cain Velasquez and the new champion Junior dos Santos, we should see even more top contenders battling in the octagon in 2012.

Here’s my list of fights I would love to see in 2012:

 

Anderson “The Spider” Silva against Chael Sonnen

If I could only see one fight next year, this would be it. One scenario that would work is if the UFC could have both guys as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter reality TV series. Silva could coach a Brazilian team and Sonnen a America team, with all of the fighters living in a beach home in Brazil.

 

Clay “The Carpenter” Guida against Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard

This would be an awesome main event on Fox. Both guys have excellent cardio, and they enjoy to stand and bang. The winner could get a shot at the lightweight title.

 

Cheick Kongo against Cain Velasquez

This would be a rematch of their fight from 2009. Among the differences this time is a much more improved Kongo, who has more confident in his standup, a sharper jab and better takedown defense. This could be a main event or co-main event on any card. It might go just 25 seconds or five rounds, but it would be exciting.

 

Matt “Meathead” Mitrione against Roy “Big Country” Nelson

Two fighters that would keep the action going for 3 to 5 rounds, and both are headhunters. I could see this as a “Fight of the night” and co-main event.

 

Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz against Jose “Scarface” Aldo

Cruz is tall enough to carry the extra pounds to fight at featherweight. Both guys have fought and beaten Urijah Faber, and both have only one loss on their records. This could be the first Superfight “Champion vs. Champion” in the UFC.

 

Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez against Anthony “Showtime” Pettis

Welcome Melendez to the UFC with a bout against the human highlight reel, Anthony Pettis. Pettis would need to stay away from Melendez's overhand right and take him down a couple of times per round to win. This would be a great five-round fight and an excellent bout for FOX.

 

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone against Jorge Masvidal

These are two of my favorite fighters in all of mixed martial arts. They are both good on their feet, and they both put on action-packed fights whenever they’re in the octagon. Masvidal would have to be signed by the UFC for this fight to happen.

 

Junior dos Santos against Alistair Overeem

Overeem has fought 47 fights (35-11-1) and is one of the most well-rounded heavyweight fighters in all of MMA. He is a kickboxing and Muay Thai specialist that has fought some of the biggest names in MMA. Junior dos Santos is the best boxing heavyweight in the UFC and he also has great take down defense. I don’t see this fight going to the ground, but I see this as a stand up war with both fighters swinging for a knockout.  

 

Jon “Bones” Jones against Cheick Kongo

If and when Jones decides to move up in weight, this would be a good first match. Kongo happens to be 12 years older, but as UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg would say, “everything else is virtually identical.”  Both guys are 6-foot-4 and both have some of the longest arms in MMA (Jones' reach is 84 ½ inches & Kongo is 82 inches).  It would be good to see if Jones could stand and fight with someone that has the reach and strength of Kongo.

 

What are some of the fights you would like to see in 2012?

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 4:25 PM | | Comments (1)
        

November 13, 2011

In a minute, Dos Santos is new UFC heavyweight champ

Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first live event on network television from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday night. The main event was a heavyweight title match between champion Cain Velasquez and No.1 contender Junior dos Santos.

Before the fight UFC president Dana White said about Velasquez “I believe he is the best heavyweight world.” And former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, working as a color commentator, said he believed Velasquez would win the fight.  

But fights aren’t won or lost with words. They are settled in the cage. And in the cage it took dos Santos (14-1) just 64 seconds to become the new UFC heavyweight champion.  

Ringside announcer Bruce Buffer took longer to introduce the fighters before the fight, than the entire fight itself.

The first 40-seconds had Velasquez coming forward with both fighters connecting on punches. At the 55-second mark, the challenger dos Santos hit Velasquez with an overhand right to the side of Velasquez's head. The punch wobbled the champion. “He kind of messed up my equilibrium and it was a good shot and he has a lot of power,” Velasquez said. 

After Velasquez fell to the canvas, dos Santos stood over the former champion and pounded out a TKO (punches) win at 1:04 of the first round. "It's amazing, my life. I have a lot of good people around me," dos Santos said. “Cain Velasquez was for sure my toughest opponent. I was scared to fight him because he is tough.”

In the end it was a bad game plan by Velasquez, who decided to box with a boxer. Velasquez's strength is his wresting and his incredible stamina and he didn’t get a chance to display either.

The Brazilian dos Santos walked out to the cage to the theme song from Rocky.  

Getting strong now

Won't be long now

Getting strong now

He walked out to the cage the underdog, but left the top dog. 

It was announced that 60 million people watched the fight in his native Brazil.

Below are the full undercard results.  

Aaron Rosa won by majority decision over Matt Lucas. 

Mike Pierce won by split decision over Paul Bradley.

Alex Caceres won by unanimous decision over Cole Escovedo. 

Robert Peralta won by TKO (Accidental Head-Butt and Punches) over Mackens Semerzier.

Darren Uyenoyama won by unanimous decision over Norifumi Yamamoto.

DaMarques Johnson won by TKO (Punches) over Clay Harvison at 1:34 of the first round. 

Ricardo Lamas won by submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) over Cub Swanson at 2:16 of the second round.

Dustin Poirier won by submission (Brabo Choke) over Pablo Garza at 1:32 of the second round.

Ben Henderson won by unanimous decision over Clay Guida.  

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 12:04 AM | | Comments (3)
        

November 9, 2011

UFC president Dana White on witnessing history

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White wrote this editorial for The Baltimore Sun to express the significance of the UFC showing a live sporting event on network television and how this would elevate mixed martial arts like never before.

danawhiteblog.gif One of the great things about being a sports fan is remembering exactly where you where when a moment in history was created. For baseball fans, that day might be Oct. 15, 1988, when an injured Kirk Gibson hit a stunning walk-off home run off Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the World Series.
 
For football fans, maybe you recall where you were on Jan. 3, 1993, when the Buffalo Bills pulled off “The Comeback” against the Houston Oilers, erasing a 32-point deficit to win the now legendary playoff game. And for boxing fans, maybe it was Feb. 11, 1990, when heavyweight champion Mike Tyson suffered a dramatic upset at the hands of Buster Douglas in Tokyo, Japan.
 
Regardless of the year, the teams or the outcome, sports give us an outlet and an opportunity to be a part of history. It’s something we can tell our kids about decades later, something we relive with our buddies over beers as we recount where we were and how our lives have changed since.
 
In just a few days, we at the Ultimate Fighting Championship are presenting fans across the world with another opportunity to be a part of sports history. This Saturday, live and free on FOX from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., the UFC heavyweight championship of the world will be decided when undefeated Cain Velasquez defends his crown against knockout artist and number one contender Junior dos Santos.
 
Not only does this mark our first event on FOX since we announced a multi-year broadcast agreement with the network this past summer, but it marks a return to the glory days for many sports fans. It signals a return to the days when sports’ biggest prize – the world heavyweight title – is decided live and free on network television.
 
If you’re interested in watching an epic heavyweight title fight, we hope you’ll tune in this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. You don’t have to choose between UFC and the Pacquiao fight, either. We’re on before the Filipino sensation even hits the ring, so feel free to check out both events. It will be a great night for sports fans.
 
We’re bringing live sporting events on network television to the next level. We wouldn’t want you to miss out.

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 9:31 AM | | Comments (1)
        
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Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

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