UFC on FX 7 fighter Gabriel Gonzaga - Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC on FX 7 fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping. Here, we look at the main card including Gonzaga vs. Rothwell, the UFC debut of Daniel Sarafian, and more.
The UFC kicks off 2013 this weekend with UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping, live from Brazil. The card includes Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping in an intriguing Middleweight main event, plus a very Brazil-heavy prelim and main card. In this fight card primer, we look at the three main card fights that will precede Belfort vs. Bisping. Be sure to check back later for the main event. The UFC on FX 7 main card airs live this Saturday night, January 19, starting at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Daniel Sarafian (7-2 MMA; UFC Debut) vs. C.B. Dollaway (12-4 MMA; 6-4 UFC) - Middleweight
This fight is mainly here to serve as the official UFC debut of Sarafian. The 30 year old was on TUF: Brazil, making it to the finals of the Middleweight division. Unfortunately, an injury forced him out of the finals, and has kept him on the shelf since the show filmed. He brought a decent record into the house, but looked very impressive in his wins there, culminating in a great knee KO of Sergio Moraes. Dollaway is a fellow TUF alum, as he was a finalist back on season 7. He's had a very mixed career since, with strong wins and big loses. A wrestler, Dollaway comes in off the biggest win of his career, a decision victory over Mayhem Miller at UFC 146.
Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6 MMA; 8-5 UFC) vs. Ben Rothwell (32-8 MMA; 2-2 UFC) - Heavyweight
Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga will likely always be remembered for his stunning 2007 KO of Mirko Cro Cop. But ever since that fight, he's been hot and cold, going 5-5 since. He was released from the UFC in 2010, but bounced back with a win in Brazil, and made a succesful UFC return at UFC 142
last year. This is his first fight in a year. Rothwell is an old school Miletich Fighting Systems Fighter who has competed everywhere, most notably in an impressive, undefeated IFL run. He's 2-2 in the UFC and coming in off of a brilliant, soul-stealing comeback victory over Brendan Schaub. At 31 years old and 12 years into his pro career, Big Ben seems like he may be winding down, but he remains a tough fighter.
Tavares is a 6 year UFC veteran, having faced a who's who of the Lightweight division. While he has not always found success against that high level of opponent, he's looked very strong lately, and comes in on a solid 2 fight win streak over Spencer Fisher
and Sam Stout. The undefeated Nurmagomedov has turned some heads in his brief UFC run. A combat sambo specialist, Nurmagomedov has defeated two tough opponents in Kamal Shalorus
and Gleison Tibau. He's getting another tough one in Tavares, but he's risen to the occasion every time so far.