UFC 136 Fight Card Primer: Steve Cantwell vs. Mike Massenzio

UFC 136 weigh-in at the Toyota Center on October 7, 2011 in Houston, Texas. via UFC.com

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

What have these two done recently?

Cantwell: L - Cyrille Diabate (UD) | L - Brian Stann (UD) | L - Luiz Cane (UD)
Massenzio: L - Krzysztof Soszynski (UD) | W - Nate Kittredge (TKO) | L - Brian Stann (SUB) 

How did these two get here?

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.

UFC 136 Judo Chop: The Striking of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 136 Preview - Melvin Guillard Gunning for Knockout Bonus - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136 Video - Bruce Buffer: 'You Can't Announce the Way I Announce If You're Not Into It' - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III - Live Weigh-In Video and Results - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136 Video: Frankie Edgar Says Belt Proves He Belongs at Lightweight - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III - Bloody Elbow Staff Predictions

UFC 136 Preview: Melvin Guillard Says Joe Lauzon Folds Under Pressure - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Chael Sonnen Denies Gameplanning for Brian Stann - Mike Fagan

UFC 136: Frankie Edgar Talks Gray Maynard, Jose Aldo - Mike Fagan

UFC 136: Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon Dissection - Dallas Winston

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 87: UFC 136 Preview

UFC 136: Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136: Time Aplenty for Chael Sonnen Despite Competition for Contention - Leland Roling

UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 136: Spike TV Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136: Did Promotion Need More Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann? - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Jose Aldo's Second Chance to Destroy Foolish Assumptions - Leland Roling

UFC 136: A Running Diary of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II - Mike Fagan

UFC 136 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video and Updates - Tim Burke

UFC State of the Union: UFC 136 and the Lightweight Division - Fraser Coffeen

Countdown to UFC 136 Video

UFC 136: Melvin Guillard's Continuing Quest for a Title Shot - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136 Preview: Looking Back at Edgar vs. Maynard 2 Highlights and Reaction - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Facebook Undercard Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136: Dana White Video Blog, Day 1

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