James Head makes weight at the UFC 131 weigh-ins on Friday, June 10, 2011 in Vancouver. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Finally, the UFC is back. After a non-stop flurry of action in the beginning of 2012, the UFC went mostly silent in the past month, with no live cards outside of The Ultimate Fighter. Now, they return with the UFC on Fuel TV 2. For the show, we'll be breaking down the complete fight card, starting with the prelims. Check back later for the main card, and the Thiago Silva vs. Alexander Gustafsson main event. Coming from Stockholm, Sweden, this show will be airing at a slightly odd time. Prelim action airs this Saturday, April 14 on Facebook, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT. The main card follows at 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT.
As is often the case with these international cards, particularly those in new markets, this card features a lot of new talent. Many of the fighters on the prelims are new to the UFC and have so far made their names mainly in the growing European MMA scene. While that can lead to a prelim full of fighters who aren't well known, it also can often lead to a lot of fun fights, as these more raw and hungry talents try to prove they belong in the UFC.
This Welterweight fight is the main event of the Facebook portion of the card. It features two men who, despite both being 0-1 in the UFC, have potential to make an impact. Abedi made his UFC debut last fall at UFC 138, losing to Thiago Alves. Despite the loss, Abedi made an impression in that fight, coming out with a lot of charisma and taking the fight to Alves before getting outstruck. Prior to that loss, he was undefeated and a hot prospect ranked #1 in the 2011 World MMA Scouting Report. He's now training at Alliance MMA.
Head also made his UFC debut last year, losing to Nick Ring at UFC 131. Before that loss, Head scored a big win over former UFC fighter Gerald Harris that gave him a lot of momentum. Some injuries have stalled his progress and this will be his first fight since last June. This is a must-win for each man, as neither wants to fall to 0-2 and risk being cut.
This Light Heavyweight fight is probably my most anticipated of the Facebook prelims. Diabate is an experienced pro. At 38 years of age, he's been all over the world, competing in Pride (where he lost to Shogun Rua) and K-1 among others. He made a great UFC debut at UFC 114, defeating Luiz Cane, but has gone 1-2 since. He's a masterful striker who can be a blast to watch, but he's always struggled on the mat. Which is a shame, because DeBlass is a Ricardo Almeida trainee with excellent ground skills. Ranked #3 on this year's Scouting Report, DeBlass is only a 2 year pro, but has already turned heads. He's an extremely dedicated and tough fighter who has the potential to be a new player in the UFC.
More prelim fights after the jump.
Carmont is the bigger story here and the more known name to UFC fans. The Middleweight fighter comes out of Canada's Tristar Gym, famous for being the home to Georges St. Pierre, and reports are that GSP will be in Carmont's corner on Saturday. He made his UFC debut at UFC 137, defeating Chris Camozzi via unanimous decision. At 30 years old, Carmont is an 8 year veteran with experience all over Europe. Cedenblad is also 30, though has only 5 years pro experience. The Swedish fighter is on an impressive 7 fight winning streak, with 6 of those wins coming via stoppage. For more on Cedenblad, check out this nice FanPost: Let me introduce you to Magnus Cedenblad.
Two Lightweight fighters make their UFC debuts here. For Madadi, this debut has been some time in the making. He was originally set to fight on the first UFC on FX card, but had to pull out due to injury. Born in Iran, Madadi now fights out of Sweden where he trains at Hilti Team with Abedi. He's on a 6 fight win streak with the last 3 wins all coming against former UFC competitors - Junie Browning, Carlo Prater, and Rich Clementi. The undefeated Izquierdo fights out of Florida, and all 6 of his pro fights have taken place there. He's a Cuban fighter whose background is in karate and still brings that karate style into his MMA fights.
Another fight between UFC debutants, this time at Welterweight. Thoreson is an experienced Norwegian fighter who trains at Team Hellboy under the great Joachim Hansen. Most of his experience comes in the UK, though he has also competed for DEEP in Japan. Hansen is very high on Thoreson's prospects. He's a big Welterweight who has used his time training with Hansen and Jon Olav Einemo to become a serious force on the ground. Yousef is undefeated, with 5 of his fights ending via stoppage, often in the opening minutes. He's fought his entire career in Sweden's Zone FC promotion, where he is the reigning Welterweight champion.
These two Featherwight fighters open the show, with both men looking for their first UFC win. Young fights out of the UK where he trains at Team Titan. The striker made his UFC debut last summer and has lost to Dustin Poirier and Michihiro Omigawa inside the Octagon. While he's an entertaining fighter, at 0-2, he's likely fighting for his job here. Wisely is best known for being on the receiving end of the Charles Oliveira calf-slicer submission at UFC 142. That was Wisely's first time competing at Featherweight. Previously, he fought at Lightweight, where he earned wins against former UFC fighters Hermes Franca (twice) and Matt Veach. He's replacing the injured Akira Corassani here.
Bloody Elbow UFC on Fuel TV 2 coverage: