Happy belated Mutherfukers Day. I spent a good part of brunch trying to explain to my family what it means to be "butt hurt." I hope your holiday was equally thoughtful and productive.
At MFC 40, in support of a pair of title fights--Sam Alvey def. Wes Swofford by TKO in Round 4, and Tom Gallicchio def. Kurt Southern by RNC in Round 1--Victor Valimaki (18-8-0, 0-2 UFC) returned to competition against Bill Widler (7-6-0) after more than two years away. Valimaki made up for lost time, slipping in a rather brutal looking rear-naked choke (with bonus forearm on throat action!) in the fight's opening minutes.
A highlight of MFC's main card, including Valimaki's win and the dulcet tones of Michael Schiavello, can be found here.
Also in Canada this weekend, headlining Hard Knocks 36, Rodney Wallace (21-8-0, 0-3 UFC) took a unanimous decision win over former WEC title contender Ariel Gandulla (7-8-0). Having entered the UFC as an undefeated prospect, Wallace has since settled into the role of a very reliable journeyman competitor. That may not be the sexiest-sounding thing, but it's a bigger accomplishment than it seems, and I get a particular kind of satisfaction out of seeing someone like Wallace compete with such diligence and consistency of focus. 12-5-0 since the end of his UFC career, Wallace has had a steady schedule, no weird upset losses or lengthy slumps, and defeats only to champions or prospects. Not all of Wallace's peers can claim the same. Case in point: Ariel Gandulla.
Gandulla was undefeated heading into his WEC title fight with Doug Marshall. A first-round submission loss and accompanying suspension for steroids, however, would be the start of a six-fight skid. Following a DQ loss and a year away from competition, Gandulla's career has improved, albeit slightly--he's 2-2 since 2011, with losses to Wallace and Kendall Grove.
And at Brazil's Fighten 1, Joao Zeferino (15-6-0) continues to make the most of things following his release from the UFC last September. Zeferino submitted Jackson Miranda (5-3-0) in Round 1, making it two-straight that the "Brazilian Samurai" has finished in the first. Footage of his win over Miranda doesn't seem to be available yet, but his post-UFC rebound against Edson Mosca, from March, can be seen here.
And finally, at Pancrase 258, former WEC fighter Akitoshi Tamura (18-14-2) fought to a unanimous decision victory against Motoshi Miyaji (9-8-0). Tamura's underwhelming record belies his time as an elite featherweight--from 2006 to 2008, Tamura scored a series of upset victories against Akiyo Nishiura, "Lion" Takeshi Inoue, and JMMA pioneer Rumina Sato, which saw him climb into the Top 10 and get contracted by the WEC, where he would go 1-2. As of this weekend, Tamura has won two in a row. It's the first time he's done so in seven years.