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Flashback Friday: This Week in MMA History

Vinny Craig

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This Week in MMA History

Throwback Thursday is a weekly article written about the events and news that have happened in the world of MMA during this week. The twist, we’ll be going back in time to show you the events that already happened and are forever stitched into our minds. This week we take a look at March 23 to March 29.

 

UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy

At the Prudential Center in New Jersey, we saw two title fights take place on March 27, 2010. The co-main event was a Heavyweight Interim-title fight between Shane Carwin and Frank Mir. The main event was a Welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy. The fight sold 770,000 PPV, a number that was about average for a St. Pierre title fight. In the prelims on Spike TV, Rousimar Palhares did what he does best and got a heel hook win. We also saw Nate Diaz fight for the first time at 170 where his opponent, Rory Markham, would miss weight by 7 pounds. It wouldn’t faze Diaz as he got the first round TKO win.

The main card would be started by a decision win by Jim Miller over Mark Bocek. The second fight was much of the same, as Jon Fitch ‘Fitched’ Ben Saunders over three rounds. Back in the Lightweight division, Kurt Pellegrino beat Francisco Camoes by rear-naked choke late in the second round. The co-main event saw a Heavyweight Interim-title fight. To this point, Carwin had never lost and had finished every opponent in the first round. Mir was a former champion who was always in the title-contention at any point in his career. Mir had almost weathered the storm of what is a Shane Carwin first round until he was hit with undercuts and heavy ground shots that ended the fight. Carwin would get a chance at title holder Brock Lesnar

The main event saw longtime Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre try and defend his belt against the number one contender in Dan Hardy. Hardy had won his first four UFC fights before this and his last seven fights in general. His Taekwondo style was a different look for GSP, who had never faced the caliber of striker Hardy was thought to be. Hardy was never in the fight, as he narrowly able to even get 10-9 rounds against St. Pierre.

 

UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis

Almost one year later, Seattle’s Key Arena saw a Fight Night card headlined by a Light Heavyweight bout between Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Phil Davis. The co-main event was a Welterweight bout between now Light Heavyweight title-challenger Anthony Johnson and former Welterweight title-challenger Dan Hardy. The preliminary card saw Johny Hendricks get the TKO win over TJ Waldburger. We saw young Bantamweight Michael McDonald beat Edwin Figeuroa by decision. In the featured prelim bout, Mike Russow got the doctors stoppage win over Jon Madsen.

The main card started off with The Korean Zombie Chan Sung Jung get the first and only Twister in UFC history over Leonard Garcia. In the second bout, former TUF winner Amir Sadollah got a submission due to elbows win over DeMarques Johnson in the second round. The co-main event saw ‘Rumble’ Johnson hold off Hardy for a full 15 minutes to the tune of a decision victory. The main event saw ‘Mr. Wonderful’ dominate the fight for 15 minutes and get the decision victory,

 

UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson II

Fight Night 38 was a rematch of one of the greatest fights in UFC history as Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua fought Dan Henderson. A six fight main card would cap off an event started by 5 preliminary fights. The co-main event was a Middleweight bout between CB Dolloway and Cezar Ferreira. To start off the night, we saw Godofredo Pepey get a flying knee KO over Noad Lahat. We also saw title-contender Jussier Formiga get a rear-naked choke win over Scott Jorgensen. To start off the main card, we saw TUF: Brazil winner Rony Jason pick up a KO win over Steven Siler. In the fourth bout of the main card, we saw Norman Parke get deducted a point for grabbing the shorts of Leonardo Santos. This made the fight a majority draw for both fighters.

In the co-main event, we saw what makes Dolloway one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. He knocked out Ferreira in just 39 seconds with a barrage of punches. In the main event, we saw former champ Rua get going early and almost finish the former Pride dual division champion Henderson. The ref let the fight keep going and ‘Hendo’ was able to survive the round. The second round was all Rua as he continued his pressure style and kept it on Henderson. The third round was about the same, and ‘Hendo’ was almost finished yet again. Then Henderson put together a string of punches that twisted Shoguns nose 90 degrees. Henderson won the fight by third round TKO.

 

WEC 6: Return of a Legend

At the Tachi Palace in California, the WEC put on their sixth event. We would see two title fights as the Light Heavyweight and Welterweight titles were claimed here. Nick Diaz beat Joe Hurley by a first round kimura to get the Welterweight title. Frank Shamrock also got a submission win for his title, as he picked up an armbar win over Brian Pardoe. Stars such as Gilbert Melendez and Mick Swick also picked up wins on this card.

 

WEC 26: Condit vs. Alessio

In Paradise, that’s where you get three title fights at for an MMA event. When the WEC put a card in Paradise, Nevada, you had to know it would be a good one. The card would see the Bantamweight, Featherweight, and Welterweight straps all be contested for. Future WEC Light Heavyweight champion Brian Stann started off the card right with a TKO just 41 seconds into the fight. We also saw future UFC Featherweight Cub Swanson on the preliminary card, as he picked up a guillotine win over Tommy Lee.

Starting off the main card was Brock Larson and Erik Apple. Larson would get the better of the exchange as he won by kimura in the first round. The first of three title fights was for the Bantamweight belt. Chase Beebe out pointed the champion Eddie Wineland to be the new champion by unanimous decision. For the Featherweight title, we saw the first of three matches between Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz. The first one would go to Faber as he submitted the fellow Californian by first round guillotine. The main event was for the vacant Welterweight belt between Carlos Condit and former UFC title-challenger John Alessio. Condit would get the technical submission, as he sank in the rear-naked choke with just one second to spare in the 2nd round.

 

WEC 33: Marshall vs. Stann

Just over two years after WEC 26, we would see another card in Paradise. The event was scheduled to have two title fights before Paul Filho had to drop out due to personal reasons. The cards headlining bout was a Light Heavyweight title fight between Doug Marshall and Brain Stann. On the undercard, we saw Logan Clark start us off with a TKO win over Scott Harper. Brock Larson picked up a DQ win over former WEC and UFC title-challenger John Alessio.

We would see two submission wins to start off the main card as Steve Cantwell got the RNC win over Tim McKenzie and Marcus Hicks the Guillotine win over Ed Ratcliff. In the co-main event, we saw loud and brash Chael Sonnen beat Bryan Baker by decision. In the main event fight, we would see former Marine Captain Brian Stann beat Doug Marshall by KO in the first round to take the Light Heavyweight title.

 

Pride 13: Collision Course

In Saitama, Japan, Pride put on an event destined for a collision. Starting off the card was legend Vitor Belfort picking up the RNC win over Bobby Southworth. In the next bout, Guy Mezger beat Egan Inoue by KO and then Heath Herring beat Denis Sobolev by Keylock. The next two bouts were stopped due to strikes as Dan Henderson beat Renzo Gracie and Mark Coleman kneed Allan Goes to a TKO win. In the main event, we saw Wanderlei Silva continue his dominance as he beat a worthy competitor in Kazushi Sakuraba by 1st round TKO.

 

Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le

In their home in San Jose, Strikeforce put on a dual title fight event as the Middleweight and Lightweight titles would be fought for on that night. In the main card, Joey Villasenor started us off with a KO win over Ryan Jensen. The next bout saw Wayne Cole beat veteran Mike Kyle by armbar just 45 seconds into the fight. The co-main event would see Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez defend his title against Gabe Lemley by 2nd round TKO. In the main event, we would see the Middleweight title change hands. Cung Le would pick up the TKO win over champ Frank Shamrock to take the title.

 

Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs. Mahe

In Fresno, California, we saw a Heavyweight main event as Lavar Johnson fought Lolohea Mahe. On the card, we saw Ricky Jackson beat Trinidad Valdez by KO. Future UFC title-challenger knocked out John Devine just 69 seconds into the fight. In the Women’s Bantamweight division, we saw Miesha Tate submit Zoila Frausto by armbar in the second round. In the main event, Johnson got the TKO win in the second round over Mahe.

Future: Bellator 134, WSOF 20: Gaethje vs. Palomino

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Announcement

Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223

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UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.

 

Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

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Bellator

Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet

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Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Fight Announcements

Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April

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MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.

 

The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.

Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.

An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.

His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).

Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.

PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.

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