Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow previews all 12 fights from today's UFC on Fuel 7 fight card in London, England, including these 6 preliminary card matchups scheduled to air live on Facebook from 12 PM ET/9 AM PT to 3 PM ET/12 PM PT.
The preliminary card of UFC on Fuel 7 in London is a bit of an odd one. It's frequent to see fighters coming off losses planted on the prelims, but as pointed out by Mike Bohn on Twitter, ALL 12 of the preliminary card fighters lost their previous fight. So it's safe to say that 3-4 of these fights are very much potential "win or face the pink slip" matchups.
You can catch all of these fights starting from 12 PM ET/9 AM PT on the UFC's Facebook page. If you're lucky, the UFC generally airs the prelims on Youtube as well in crystal-clear quality.
For Etim, this is his first fight since Edson Barboza famously knocked him out with a spinning heel kick. His last fight in England lasted not even 20 seconds, as he instantly choked out Edward Faaloloto at UFC 138. In fact, he hasn't won outside of England since choking out Justin Buchholz at UFC 99 in Germany. Injury has forced him to fight only once per year from 2009-2012. TUF Brazil alum Renee Forte is dropping from welterweight to lightweight following a 3rd round submission loss to Sergio Moraes in his UFC debut. Overall he's lost 2 of his last 3 and is one of the many fighters on this card facing a possible release with another defeat.
Would you believe Josh Grispi was due to fight Jose Aldo at UFC 125? Well Aldo's injury squashed that title fight, and in hindsight it prevented a surefire loss for "The Fluke". He's lost all 3 of his UFC fights, and the latest of those defeats came via north-south choke against Rani Yahya. Grispi was one of the WEC's brighter talents at 145, but he's completely fallen off the wagon. Andy Ogle, a TUF 15 alum, is perhaps a tad unlucky to be 0-1 in his UFC career, losing a split decision to Akira Corassani. He has yet to fight professionally outside of the UK, and this fight will be no different.
The Bulgarian is making the drop from 205 lbs to middleweight for this one. He TKOed Luiz Cane in his UFC debut in 2011, then last November fought Thiago Silva in Macau, losing by 3rd round submission. Nedkov had his loss overturned after Silva failed his drug test. Technically, he's still undefeated. Watson dropped a decision to Brad Tavares in September, ending his three-fight win streak. His most notable win was a KO victory for Murilo Rua.
Team Alpha Male's Danny Castillo had a three-fight win streak snapped when Michael Johnson knocked him out in the 2nd round of their October showdown. He generally uses his wrestling and top-control to win fights, but that will be a challenge against submission specialist Paul Sass. The Brit was submitted himself by armbar by Matt Wiman in September, but that shouldn't take away from his savvy submission skills. He prefers the triangle-choke (dubbed the "Sassangle") but also possesses as nasty heel-hook. Castillo has been submitted twice in his career by fellow WEC vets Shane Roller and Donald Cerrone.
This is almost assuredly "loser leaves town". Lee is 1-2 in the UFC and his last fight was a lopsided submission defeat against T.J. Dillashaw. Reports of Lee fighting Urijah Faber at UFC 156 were indeed false, and he's got a more winnable matchup here. His only UFC win came against another Japanese fighter in Kid Yamamoto at UFC 144. Tezuka was a last-minute replacement for Kyung Ho Kang at UFC on Fuel 6, and fought Alex Caceres in November. Ultimately, Tezuka lost by split decision to Caceres.
Gomez made his UFC entrance against fellow first-timer John Moraga, but it was Moraga who came out on top with a first round KO. That dropped his overall flyweight record to 1-2, with the other defeat coming against Darrell Montague. He's best known for his high-level grappling, having won multiple Grappler's Quest competitions. Phil Harris competed at featherweight (including a TKO loss to Jose Aldo at a regional show in 2005), but his last 3 fights have taken place at flyweight. The Englishman was submitted in his UFC debut against Darren Uyenoyama. Expect a ground battle, as Harris has won 13 of his 21 fights by submission, and I've already detailed Gomez's past.