Both of these guys are mired in long losing streaks in the UFC and someone will more than likely be released if they lose this fight. One is making his middleweight debut, while the other is returning to middleweight after jumping in as a last-minute replacement at 205. It's do or die when Steve Cantwell (7-4, 1-3 UFC) squares off with Mike Massenzio (12-5, 1-3 UFC).
Neither fighter is currently ranked at middleweight on the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, mostly because they've both lost their last three bouts in the UFC. A win would be a good turnaround so they can start to climb back into consideration for the list. This middleweight UFC 136 fight will be on the preliminary card, which will be streamed live on Facebook. The Facebook stream begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Cantwell: 24 years old | 6'2" | 75" reach Massenzio: 28 years old | 6'2" | 73.5" reach
Steve "The Robot" Cantwell was one one of the most promising prospects in the light heavyweight division. After defeating Brian Stann at WEC 35 to avenge his only loss and pick up the WEC light heavyweight title, he was moved over to the UFC and picked up a solid win over Razak Al-Hassan in his first bout. He actually ended up breaking Al-Hassan's arm in that fight after Razak refused to tap to an armbar. His luck would soon change though, as he dropped two decisions in a row to Luiz Cane and Stann in 2009, and was then out for a while with an undisclosed but apparently serious injury. He returned at UFC on Versus 3, but looked lackluster in dropping a decision to Cyrille Diabate. He'll now drop to middleweight and hope to match the success of his nemesis Brian Stann at 185 pounds.
Mike "The Master of Disaster" Massenzio was a Juco national champion wrestler in 2004 before entering MMA. He went 10-1 in regional New Jersey fights (including a split-decision win over Dan Miller) before getting an IFL fight, which he lost to Danilo Villefort. Nonetheles, he was brought into the UFC and quickly submitted Drew McFedries in his debut. His next outing was not as successful, as he was TKO'd by CB Dollaway. He sat out almost two years due to a knee injury and bad staph infection, and finally made his return against Brian Stann at UFC on Versus 2. Despite being submitted late in the third round, Massenzio took home a fight of the night bonus. He was released and picked up a regional win, and got a last minute call to fill in at light heavyweight at UFC 131. He dropped that bout, and will return to his natural weight class for one last shot against Cantwell.
Why should you care?
Loser leaves town matches usually have an extra air of desperation around them, and it'll be interesting to see how Cantwell can perform as a middleweight.
You can catch more UFC 136 preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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