UFC 149 Fight Card Primer: Mitch Clarke Vs. Anton Kuivanen

Mitch Clarke and Anton Kuivanen face off during the UFC 149 weigh-ins at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Friday, July, 20, 2012. Photo Credit: Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com

UFC 149 commences with a potential "loser goes home" fight in the lightweight division, as Alberta's own Mitch Clarke (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Finland's Anton Kuivanen (16-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) face off in the curtain raiser at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Neither man is ranked in the USA Today/MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings. This fight is scheduled to air on the Facebook portion of the preliminary card, which starts at approximately 6:40 PM ET/3:40 PM PT.

This is expected to be a predominantly grappling contest, with Clarke posting 6 of his 9 victories via submission, and Kuivanen winning 8 of his 16 the same way. They were both signed as prospects who rattled off long winning streaks in the regional circuit, but found little success in their UFC debuts. Now Clarke and Kuivanen are desperate for their first UFC win.

How do these two stack up?

Clarke: 26 years old | 5'10" | 73' reach
Kuivanen: 28 years old | 5'9" | 72' reach

What have these two done recently?

Clarke: L - John Cholish (TKO) | W - Eddie Rincon (UD) | W - Josh Machan (SUB)
Kuivanen: L - Justin Salas (UD) | W - Thiago Meller (UD) | W - Ivan Buchinger (UD)

How did these two get here?

Mitch Clarke started his MMA career in May 2007, submitting Jase Nibourg in Saskatchewan (he would later TKO Nibourg months later in his 2nd fight). Clarke won his first 9 professional bouts, with his last 8 all taking place in Alberta. He was signed by the UFC in August, and fought John Cholish on the preliminary card of UFC 140 in Toronto, but had his back taken late in the 2nd round and was pounded out for the TKO stoppage. Clarke trains out of Edmonton's Hayabusa Training Centre, where UFC light-heavyweight Ryan Jimmo also trains.

Anton Kuivanen is just the 2nd Finnish fighter in UFC history (the other is the late Tony Halme). His MMA career spans six years, fighting primarily in Finland and the Baltic region. At the end of 2008 his record stood a so-so 7-4, with a submission loss to former WEC lightweight Bendy Casimir. Kuivanen then went on a 9 fight winning streak, winning a Finnish regional championship. He was added to the UFC roster in January 2012, and fought fellow debutant Justin Salas at UFC on FUEL 1 in February, where he lost in a fairly uneventful unanimous decision. Kuivanen trains in Helsinki's GB Gym, but he's also held training camps Stateside with American Top Team.

Why should you care?

Honestly, neither man looked impressive or exciting in their debuts, but it's common for fighters with their jobs on the line to bring some excitement to at least earn a 3rd chance if they lose. This could be one of those fights.

More UFC 149 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Urijah Faber and the Guillotine Choke - T.P. Grant

UFC 149 Weigh-In Results: Faber 135, Barao 135 - Tim Burke

UFC 149 Staff Picks And Predictions - Tim Burke

UFC 149: Hector Lombard Vs. Tim Boetsch Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Renan Barao Uses A Muay Thai Knee Against Brad Pickett - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 149: Faber Vs. Barao Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 149: Cheick Kongo Vs. Shawn Jordan Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 149 Fight Science: Can Fighters Benefit From Training Their Sense Of Smell? - David Castillo

UFC 149: Brian Ebersole Vs. James Head Dissection - Dallas Winston

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 189: UFC 149, Bellator 72 Previews - Matt Bishop

UFC 149 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video And Coverage - Tim Burke

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Urijah Faber's Weaknesses - Jack Slack

UFC 149: Matt Riddle Vs. Chris Clements Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC Posts Free Urijah Faber And Renan Barao Fights On Youtube - Mookie Alexander

Video: Countdown To UFC 149 - Faber Vs. Barao And Kongo Vs. Jordan - Tim Burke

Video: Countdown To UFC 149 Lombard Vs. Boetsch - ZProphet

UFC 149: Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 149: Introducing Hector Lombard - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 149 Judo Chop: Renan Barao Is NOT The Bantamweight Jose Aldo - Jack Slack

UFC 149 Conference Call: Renan Barao Wants to Wait For Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber Doesn't - Chris Hall

FREE $100 UFC 149 Kountermove Fantasy Cash Tourney - Steph Daniels


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