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 February 2 to February 8. With so many events around this time, we’ll be focusing on a few of the major ones.
UFC 12: Judgment Day
At UFC 12, Mark Coleman and Dan Severn fought to see who would be the inaugural Heavyweight champion. Coleman won by neck crank 2:57 into the fight. Other fighters to fight on this card were Vitor Belfort (UFC debut), Jerry Bohlander, Scott Ferrozzo, and Yoshiki Takahashi. This also marked the first event in which commentator Joe Rogan was on the air.
UFC 57: Liddell vs. Couture III
The trilogy of a famous rivalry came to a close on February 4, 2006. Champion Chuck Liddell knocked out the legend Randy Couture and sent him into retirement (for now). Liddell retained his title and would defend multiple times. The card also saw Keith Jardine beat Mike Whitehead, Alessio Sakara beat Elvis Sinosic, and Brandon Vera knock out Justin Eilers.
UFC 81: Breaking Point
The main event of this event would pit former Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the Interim title after champion Randy Couture denied a bout with Nogueira. Nogueira would use that fuel to submit Sylvia by Guillotine Choke in the third round. The peoples main event was current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar taking on former Heavyweight champion Frank Mir. The bout was highly anticipated as this was Lesnar’s first bought in the UFC. Mir got Lesnar into a kneebar in the first round and won the fight. Other winners on the card were Nate Marquardt, Ricardo Almeida, Tim Boetsch, and Marvin Eastman.
UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort
Fourteen years after his UFC debut, Vitor Belfort was challenging for the Middleweight title. He would face longtime kingpin Anderson Silva who was in search for his eighth consecutive title defense and thirteenth consecutive victory. We all know what happened in the middle of the first round as Silva knocked down Belfort with a front kick to the face and then hit him with two more punches to finish it off. Other popular fighters who picked up victories are Demetrius Johnson, Chad Mendes, Donald Cerrone, Jon Jones, and Forrest Griffin.
UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit
With Welterweight title holder Georges St. Pierre having ACL surgery, the UFC put together an interim title fight place against beloved Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. Condit would take the UD over five hard-fought rounds to face the champ after injury. Every body’s favorite fighter Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson fought future Interim Heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. Werdum took all three rounds to take the victory. Other victors include Matt Brown, Dustin Poirier, Renan Barao, and Josh Koscheck.
Bellator put on card a little earlier in Season 8 than usual. It slated Alexander Schlemenko and Maiquel Falcao for the vacant Middleweight title. Schlemenko would take the bout in the second round by knockout. Marlon Sandro would take home a majority decision against Akop Stepanyan in the Featherweight division. Other winners include Mike Richman, Alexandre Bezerra and Magomedrasul Khasbulaev.
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
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