Hello again! Hope you forgive me, between getting my sea legs and starting a new blog/podcast, I'm still a little rusty at this.
And That's the Way it Was: Twenty fighters that after the last week who are shining, not fading.
1. Stefan Struve: Started out very Struve-like, but rebounded, used his absurd frame, and finally finished off Stipe Miocic in the main event of the Fuel card from Nottingham. Struve has now won four straight, all by finish, and think he deserves a visit to the upper-echelon. I suggested Frank Mir. I'm tired of the same names at the top. New blood. Make Struve elevate his game even more. That fight headlines every single FX/Fuel card, makes a great PPV co-main, and a fantastic 3rd on a loaded card.
2. Lyman Good: Battered and bruised Judo Jim Wallhead that even a last-second point-deduction couldn't stop on way to a unanimous decision and advancement to the semifinals of Bellator's Season 7 Welterweight tournament final and a rematch against the man that took his belt, Ben Askren.
3. Edwin Rodriguez: Eee gads. I said on Twitter that I almost never get cringe-y or squeamish watching fights. Maybe I'm desensitized or nod my head at the unspoken contract between carnage and glory and riches, but man, this was a tough one to watch. Rodriguez absolutely demolished Jason Escalera in HBO's main event. Moutpieces flying like a "Rocky" movie, bleeding out of the ears, balance issues, getting low-blowed. Escalera just got brutalized. Except for the low-blow, Rodriguez fought a good fight, but man, better matchmaking next time, please. After the fight, Rodriguez called out Jean Pascal and Kelly Pavlik. Hm.
4. Matt Wiman: Submitted a submission monster in front of his home crowd. Beating someone at their own game is the most satisfying of wins. Wiman belongs in the upper-echelon of Lightweights and deserves a shot at the big names. But the UFC will probably forget about that and try to give Melvin Guillard his 27th chance to fast-track him to a title shot.
8. Vic Darchinyan: I said last week that Darchinyan was past championship-level, but could sure as hell put on a fight. That's exactly what he did here, using his gatekeeper status to slam the door on Luis Del Valle by a dominating unanimous decision in HBO's co-main event.
9. Marius Zaromskis: Whitemare's performance wasn't stunning, there were no head-kick KOs or somersaults being landed, but he did enough to defeat Nordine Taleb and advance to Bellator's welterweight semis.
10. Eric Reynolds: In the main event of XFC 20 on AXS, Reynolds guillotined Lorenzo Borgomeo in the main event. Now at 16-5, Reynolds should be ready for a step up, but every step up for him has resulted in a loss. But since XFC is going to bigger than the UFC in a few years, maybe he should stay in his role.
11. Aleksander Emelianenko: Defeated the well-traveled Konstatin Gluhov by unanimous decision in the main event of M-1 Challenge 34 to improve his record to 21-5.
12. Shintaro Ishiwatari: Got the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Caol Uno at Shooto 10th Round at the legendary Korakuen Hall.
13. Dan Hardy: It wasn't WARRRRRR, but it was enough for Hardy to outstrike Amir Sadollah to get the ever-necessary win for Dan Hardy. Now please feed him to someone who could use the rub.
14. Kubrat Pulev: In a legitimate heavyweight fight that main-evented over Povetkin-Rahman, Pulev KO'd undefeated Alexander Ustinov in the 11th round to cement his place as a legitimate heavyweight contender.
15. Jimi Manuwa: This man hits hard. Very hard. Oftentimes people say a man will "re-arrange" another man's face, but it couldn't have been more literal this time.
16. Antonin Decarie: Also on the undercard of Rodriguez-Escalera was another prospect spoiling, as Decaire gave Alex Perez his first professional loss, and by 6th round TKO at that to claim the NABF Welterweight Title.
17. Robert Peralta: Established himself early and violently, knockout out striker Jason Young in 21 seconds on the undercard.
18. Julio Diaz: The veteran fan-favorite disposed of Hector Sanchez in five rounds.
19. Alexander Povetkin: If you can even call this a win, dispatched of an anged and tired Hasim Rahman in two rounds to retain his WBA Heavyweight Championship.
20. Yasubey Enomoto: I'm really high on this kid. He's just waiting to be liberated from M-1, a la, Vinny Magalhaes. He won again at M-1 Challenge 34 and retained their Welterweight Championship.
Friday October 5
12:00am The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel)
1:00am Carlos Ramirez vs. Miguel Cotto (ESPN Classic)
1:00am UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
1:30am UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
1:30am MMA Uncensored (Spike)
2:00am Hector Camacho vs. Ken Sigurani (ESPN Classic)
2:00am Best of Pride Fighting Championships (Fuel)
3:00am Hector Camacho vs. Patrick Goossen (ESPN Classic)
3:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic (Fuel)
5:25am Assault in the Ring (HBO Zone)
9:00am Chris Martin vs. Teon Kennedy (ESPN 3D)
9:00am Bellator 74 (MTV2)
10:00am UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller (Fuel)
1:00pm UFC 137 (Fuel)
4:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Weigh-Ins (Fuel)
4:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Prelims (Facebook) 5:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Prelims (Fuel)
7:00pm Delvin Rodriguez vs. Pawel Wolak (ESPN Classic)
8:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot (FX) 8:00pm Bellator 75 (MTV2)
9:00pm Inside MMA w/King Mo, Antonio Silva, Brett Rogers (AXS)
10:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (FX)
10:00pm MFC 34 (AXS)
10:30pm Luis Ramos Jr. vs. Noe Bolanos (FSN)
11:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Postfight Show (Fuel)
11:00pm Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier (Showtime Extreme)
Saturday October 6
12:00am UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Postfight Show (Fuel)
1:00am UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Prelims (Fuel)
1:00am The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (FX)
1:00am Inside MMA w/King Mo, Antonio Silva, Brett Rogers (AXS)
2:00am UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot (FX)
2:00am MFC 34 (AXS)
4:00am UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Postfight Show (Fuel)
5:00am UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Postfight Show (Fuel)
6:00am UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann Prelims (Fuel)
9:00am Dana White One-on-One Part II (Fuel)
9:30am UFC Special: Mark Munoz & Jake Ellenberger (Fuel)
11:45am The Fight Game with Jim Lampley (HBO)
3:00pm UFC Special: Rashad Evans (Fuel)
3:30pm Dana White One-on-One Part II (Fuel)
4:00pm UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
4:30pm UFC Ultimate Insider (Fuel)
5:00pm Deonte Wilder vs. Kertson Manswell (Fuel)
6:30pm UFC Roundtable: Legends II (Fuel)
7:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel)
7:00pm Invicta Fighting Championships 3 (InvictaFC.com)
8:00pm Best of Pride Fighting Championships (Fuel)
9:00pm UFC Unleashed (Fuel)
9:30pm Rumble in the Cage 46 (GFL $9.99)
10:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Prelims (Fuel)
10:00pm Cosme Rivera vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai/Hector Velazquez vs. Jorge Linares (FSN)
Sunday October 7
12:00am Mark Jason Melligen vs. Sebastian Lufan (ESPN 3D)
1:00am UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic (Fuel)
4:00am Deonte Wilder vs. Kertson Manswell (Fuel)
7:30am OneFC: Rise Of Kings (OneFC.com $9.99)
12:00pm Nate Campbell vs. Victor Ortiz (Fuel)
1:00pm Best of Pride Fighting Championships (Fuel)
2:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot Prelims (Fuel)
5:00pm Dana White One-on-One Part II (Fuel)
5:30pm UFC Roundtable: Legends (Fuel)
9:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel)
10:00pm The Ultimate Fighter: Carwin vs. Nelson (Fuel)
11:00pm UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot (Fuel)
Under the Radar: Names that aren't on American broadcasted shows this week.
Vivian Harris vs. Brian Rose: October 5, Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England
Aaron Pryor Jr. vs. Blake Caparello: October 5, Croatian Club, Ardeer, Australia
Kompayak Porpramook vs. Adrian Hernandez: October 6, Centro de Convenciones, Toluca, Mexico
DJ Linderman vs. Ilir Latifi: October 6, Superior Challenge 8, Malmo Arena, Malmo, Sweden
David Bielkheden vs. Marcus Davis: October 6, Superior Challenge 8, Malmo Arena, Malmo, Sweden
James McSweeney vs. Matti Makela: October 6, Superior Challenge 8, Malmo Arena, Malmo, Sweden
Marcus Aurelio vs. Valdir Araujo: October 6, Championship Fighting Alliance 8, BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida
Paul Bradley vs. Marcelo Alfaya: October 6, Championship Fighting Alliance 8, BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida
Devin Cole vs. David Yost: October 6, Championship Fighting Alliance 8, BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida
Fabio Mello vs. Ralph Acosta: October 6, Championship Fighting Alliance 8, BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida
Dave Bautista vs. Rashid Evans: Classic Entertainment and Sports: Real Pain: October 6, Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
David Loiseau vs. Chris McNally: Classic Entertainment and Sports: Real Pain: October 6, Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
John Howard vs. Brett Chism: Classic Entertainment and Sports: Real Pain: October 6, Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
Best Viewing Options: Streaming is your buddy this week. Invicta and OneFC, both MMA-community darlings (and for damned good reason) are broadcasting on their sites and other mediums. They're both offering absurdly good free cards. Even Browne vs. Bigfoot's Facebook card is awesome; Simpson vs. Pierce could be horrendous, or it could be a beautiful strategic gem.
1. UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot: I certainly feel that the UFC booked this as Travis's coming-out party. Hence why he's facing "Bigfoot", and not Antonio Silva. If that's the case, I salute them. The UFC can do much right, but creating new stars isn't one of them. Hapa should be a dynamic addition to the HW division, as should Struve and Cormier as they need new names in there desperately.
2. InvictaFC 3: Even without Sarah Kaufman (aw, nuts...), this card is absurdly loaded. It's an absolute "Who's Who" of WMMA, and it's presented free and live. I was half-kidding but making an argument a few weeks ago about how Invicta should be in the running, if not the leader, for Promotion of the Year. I stand by that. UFC and Strikeforce are cancelling events and have been a mess this year, Bellator are losing champions, Japan isn't doing anything on the U.S.-eyeball market, why the fuck NOT Invicta??
3. OneFC: Rise of Kings: There's really nothing here that you won't like. There's something for every one. Thankfully they didn't give Pulver Masakatsu Ueda, so he stands a chance of advancing. This is really an absolutely splendid card, even from the opening bout, as Mitch Chilson is a very entertaining fighter.
4. Bellator 75: No idea why Bellator chose to run a show on a Friday against the UFC to the minute with a wide-open Saturday, but it was a poor decision, and they chose their Heavyweights. Prindle-Santos is dipping into Sakara-Rivera territory and it'll be nice to (hopefully) get a final conclusion. I like their heavyweight tourney much more than their welterweight tourney, but this scheduling is rough.
5. Assault In The Ring: A very, very interesting documentary about a 1983 fight between Billy Collins and Luis Resto. Resto had padding removed from his gloves for the big fight, and this documentary follows the before, the during, and the after. Just fantastic work. 30-for-30 should be jealous.
6. Inside MMA: With those three, you'll at least learn a few things about them and gain a new respect/hatred of Mo and Rogers, at least.
7. Cosme Rivera vs. Yoshihiro Kamegai/Hector Velazquez vs. Jorge Linares: Hey now! Our biggest boxing card of the weekend and it happens to be on free TV! Woot! Linares is a vet that has been in some battles, but is on the downside. He can still throw some hands, though. Kamegai is an undefeated welterweight prospect fighting a rare bout in the States against Rivera, a veteran of over 50 fights. This is a classic prospect vs. gatekeeper fight and I'm interested in seeing if Kanegai can bring some Asian flair to the welterweight division.
8. Delvin Rodriguez vs. Pawel Wolak: I had the pleasure of watching this fight live and commenting on it on Bad Left Hook when it aired on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights. It was my boxing FOTY and deserves your eyeballs. I haven't been this giddy watching a fight since Gatti-Ward.
9. The Ultimate Fighter: You know, if you're into that. WAR SAM ALVEY! Yes, I knew about it before TUF, as he cracked last year's Top-235 a couple times.
10. Carlos Ramirez vs. Miguel Cotto: ESPN is cashing in on Cotto before his bout against Trout, so why not bone up on free-TV of him?
Fight of the Week: Pssst....hey you...yes you with the face...you want a sneak preview of BV's Top-300 Fights of 2012?? Here's one that will end up in the Top-50 at least and is from the ZST promotion in Japan. Just a preview into the work I've been doing for months into getting the Top-300 and my site off the ground. Fumitaka Iizuka vs. Yusuke Uehara from ZST 31. Enjoy!
ZST.31 - Yusuke Uehara vs. Fumitaka Iizuka (via uwfiforever)
Bold, yet Laughable Predictions: Well at least my life was spared due to my "Life Depended On" pick. Strikeforce threw all my other predictions into chaos. Oh Strikeforce, how I loved you when you were beautiful...
Card that Will Deliver the Best Pound-for-Pound Action: OneFC: Rise Of Kings
BV Loses You Money: Strikeforce being canceled put a kink in many areas of this column, but luckily I was still able to turn a profit. STRUUUUUUUVE!!
Last Weekend's Hangover:
If you put down $100 on each of my predictions last YWICS, you'd have today:
BV WON You: $217
Travis Browne -220 Antonio Silva
Jake Ellenberger -400 Jay Hieron Thiago Tavares -260 Dennis Hallman
Lines courtesy of BetUS
The Non-Profit Black Velvet Sponsored Bloody Elbow Combat Sports Fantasy League Challenge For All Ages: (NPBVSBECSFLCFAA) Last Weekend Lineup: 4-1 (Bezerra, Darchinyan, Pickett, Povetkin, Enomoto)
My Lineup This Week:
Take a Knee: Even the biggest combat sports fan needs to recharge their batteries before diving back in. Here are five games that are nationally broadcasted this weekend that deserve your eyes as well on Friday and Saturday. To avoid suspected homerism, I won't be including my favorite teams.
AL/NL Wild Card Game (Friday, 7:05, TBS): I'm not even going to discuss a certain National League Central organization that, after two decades of losing, appeared to be turning a corner and taking the Central as their own. If not the Central, at least a playoff spot. If not a playoff spot, at least a winning record. Nope, not going to do it.
AL/NL Wild Card Game (Friday, 10:35, TBS): FUCK YOU, PIRATES!
LSU @ Florida (Saturday, 3:30, CBS): A nice SEC-appetizer before the main course later.
Georgia @ South Carolina (Saturday, 7:00, ESPN): Hooo boy! The first major SEC game of the year! Either Mark Richt gets over his "underachieving" label despite George being a perennial force, or Steve Spurrier finally takes the Gamecocks to the next level. For those of us tired of Bama-LSU ruling the SEC, this is a fantastic game.
West Virginia @ Texas (Saturday, 7:00, FOX): Holy shit is it weird seeing West Virginia in the Big 12. Alas, FOX is throwing a mighty counterpunch to UGA-SC. Geno Smith just threw for eight (8!) touchdowns against a RG3-less Baylor team and barely squeaked one out. I doubt Texas will be as giving on defense.
Your YouTube Finale: Yeah, you're getting two. Firstly, my favorite show incorporating one of my favorite fighters? Yes, yes, and another yes on top.
All New Cast | Season 8 Trailer (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) (via ALLNEWSUNNY)
So with my own personal preference out of the way, here's another: What up, X-Games?? Think you're hot shit? You ain't got NOTHING on Extreme Downhill Chilean Urban Mountain Biking!