Lets face it, keeping up with MMA in it's entirety is difficult for even the most hardcore fan of sport due to the sheer amount of promotions and events that are taking place. The purpose of the Weekend Wrap-up is to keep you, the MMA fan, updated with all of the happenings in the MMA world.
Whether it be promising prospects climbing up the proverbial MMA ladder or former UFC fighters trying to make it back to the big stage, I'll let you know about it in this column. Granted, there is no way I will be able to cover everything. Even the most high-tech supercomputer would fry its motherboard if it tried to sort through the myriad of MMA events that occur each weekend.
The biggest MMA show of the weekend wasn't a UFC, Strikeforce, or even a Bellator event. It was actually Invicta FC's, an all-women MMA promotion, second event.
In the main event Sara McMann edged out Shayna Baszler on the judges scorecards in what was a close fight. Personally, I scored the fight 30-29 for Baszler, but the fight was so razor-thin that the decision could be argued for either combatant.
The victory earned McMann an opportunity to compete for the Invicta FC Bantamweight Championship at the third Invicta FC event. Hopefully Baszler receives another fighter as she is an exciting fighter to watch with top talent.
The most impressive performance of the night had to have been Alexis Davis' submission victory over Hitomi Akano. Davis was able to win the majority of the stand-up in the first period, and then in the second round she was able to take down and submit Akano for the first time in Akano's 28 fight career.
Also on the card, Liz Carmouche submitted stand-up specialist, Kaitlin Young, in the second round. Carmouche utilized her superior wrestling to take Young out of her comfort zone. Megumi Fujii protege, Ayaka Hamasaki, kept her undefeated record in tact by sinking in arm-bar in the third round against late-replacement Lacey Schuckman. Hamasaki dominated the fight from the get-go with her superior grappling.
If I had to recommend one fight from the Invicta FC 2 card to check out for entertainment's sake, I would have to recommend the bantamweight bout between Sarah D'Alelio and Vanessa Porto. After a wild striking brawl in the opening moments of the first round, the fight hit the ground which eventually lead to D'Alelio submitting Porto with an awesome reverse triangle arm-bar.
Believe it or not Invicta FC 2 wasn't the only notable MMA show that took place over the weekend. Here's a recap of everything else that happened during the weekend.
Chas Skelly, a featherweight from Team Takedown, extended his unblemished record to 9-0 by ending Luis Vega's 7 fight win streak on the judge's score-cards at the Premier Fight Series in Forth Worth, Texas. Skelly has an awesome wrestling game that is ready for UFC-level competition.
Ranked No. 9 on BE's 2012 Bantamweight Scouting Report, 23 year-old Brazilian Leandro Higo submitted Jamailson Lima, a 44 fight veteran, in the second round at the Fort MMA 2 event. It was only a matter of time until Higo submitted Lima as actually tapped out a second after the first period ended. Higo rebounded nicely after a tough loss to Iliarde Santos at Jungle Fight 38.
The BJJ coach of Vitor Belfort, Gilbert Burns, looked impressive at WOCS 20 where he sunk in a rear-naked choke in the first round to tap out Vinicius Bohrer. Burns has yet to lose in his young MMA career. A 3-time BJJ World Champion, "Durinho", has one of the best BJJ games in the entire lightweight class.
A lightweight to watch out for is Zach Freeman. He beat Aaron Derrow, a Titan Fighting vet. who was a win over Rich Clementi, in a scrappy hard-fought three-round bout. Freeman showcased his dangerous bottom-grappling game as well as his powerful striking in the first fight in his young career that went the distance.
To say Ronaldo Lima Jr. was distracted prior to his fight against Michell Santos at Fort MMA 2 would be an understatement. Lima Jr. was a victim in a lightning kidnapping two days before his MMA fight. Nonetheless, Lima Jr. showed no signs of that terrible experience in the cage as he submitted Michell Santos in the first round with a keylock.
The first EFC Africa Light Heavyweight Champion was crowned as J.P. Joubert finished Norman Wessels with strikes in the second round. Joubert showed incredible heart as he was dominated in the first round by Wessels' wrestling game, but he was able to persevere in the second round by throwing heavy bombs on the feet until he put away his opponent. EFC Africa is one of the biggest and most well-run MMA organizations in South Africa.
The rest of the weekend wrap-up after the break.
Ildemar Alcantara, the younger brother of UFC fighter Yuri Alcantara, beat Eder Jones in the main event of Jungle Fight 41 in split decision fashion. It was a close fight, but the big difference was Alcantara's take-downs and position control. Alcantara, a middleweight, improves his record to 14-5 with the win.
Alexandre Barros may be best known as that guy lost to Martin Kampmann at UFC 93, but he is trying to change that. Barros, a solid welterweight, extended his five fight win streak by TKO'ing Ederson Moreira in the second round at WOCS 20.
An alumn of both Season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter and Season 6 of Bellator's Lightweight Tournament, JJ Ambrose knocked out Dong Sun Choi at the Pro FC 7 event in Taiwan. After the bout, Ambrose tried to showcase his dancing ability by doing the rack city dance post-fight. I'll just say that his dancing skills weren't quite up to par with his fighting skills.
Five Fights I Want To See
I'll end the column by going back to the big show of the weekend, Invicta FC 2. Here are five fights I would thoroughly enjoy watching at Invicta FC 3.
Sara McMann vs Alexis Davis - This is a no-brainer. Both are the top fighters at in the weight class in the promotion.
Liz Carmouche vs Shayna Baszler - Baszler would be an excellent test to see if Carmouche is truly a top female bantamweight.
Kaitlin Young vs Sarah D'Alelio - Two of the most exciting fighters in the weight class. This fight would be awesome in every sense of the word.
Carla Esparza vs Ayaka Hamasaki - Esparza would be a step up in competition for Hamasaki and vice-versa.