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Throwback Thursday: 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 February 16 to February 22.

 

UFC 8: David vs. Goliath

For the first time outside the continental United States, the UFC put on a show. In the event, they pitted bigger fighters against smaller fighters; hence the name of David vs. Goliath. Don Frye went on to win the tournament with victories over Thomas Ramirez, Sam Adkins, and Gary Goodridge. In the main event, Superfight Champion Ken Shamrock defended his title by defeating Kimo Leopoldo by kneebar within the first 5 minutes.

 

UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson

In London, the UFC put on a memorable card as it was headlined by the first two winners of The Ultimate Fighter. The event drew an average of 2.4 million viewers on Spike TV, with a tape delay being played in the US. The card was headlined by Diego Sanchez and Joe Stevenson and the co-main event of Nate Marquardt and Wilson Gouveia.

The card saw a Heavyweight bout between Junior dos Santos and Stefan Struve. JDS only needed 54 seconds to put the ‘Skyscraper’ away with a TKO victory. Other fighters to pick up victories on the card were Terry Etim, Paulo Thiago, Dan Hardy, and Damien Maia. In the co-main, Marquardt got a TKO victory over Gouveia, and Sanchez with a UD victory over Stevenson.

 

UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velazquez

In the UFC’s first trip to Australia, they put together a number one contender fight for the Heavyweight division. The event would see 240,000 PPV buyers and a total attendance of 17, 431. Fans would see Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira and Cain Velazquez fight for the chance to go for Brock Lesnars Heavyweight title.

To start off the PPV, Mirko Cro Crop and Ryan Bader would each get finishes as Cro Cop beat got a TKO victory over Anthony Perosh, and Bader knocked out Keith Jardine. Former Pride Middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva was supposed to face judoka specialist Yoshahiro Akiyama. Akiyama had to pull out, and Michael Bisping would step in for him. Silva would pick up a UD win taking the 29-28 win over all the judge’s scorecards.

In the Main Event, future Heavyweight champion Cain Velazquez would knockout ‘Big Nog’ in just over two minutes. This would earn Velazquez a title-shot at champion Brock Lesnar.

UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald

In the seventh installment in the UFC on Fuel TV, Interim-Bantamweight Champion Renan Barao would look to defend his title for the first time against 22 year-old Michael McDonald. The card would also see Featherweights Cub Swanson and Dustin Poirier. It took place at Wembley Arena in in London.

To start off the card, Matthew Riddle got a Split-Decision win over Che Mills. It was later changed to a No-Contest due to a failed drug test. Others to pick up victories are Gunnar Nelson, Jimi Manuwa, and Cub Swanson by UD over Poirier. In the main event, Barao submitted the youngster McDonald in the fourth round by arm-triangle choke.

UFC 170: Rousey vs. McMann

Everyone was surprised when after UFC 168, the UFC immediately announced Ronda Rouseys next fight against Sara McMann… which would happen in two months. Briefly linked to the event was a Lightweight bout between Gilbert Melendez and Khabib Nurmagomedov. That bout was later scrapped and replaced with a bout between Rashad Evans and Daniel Cormier. That bout would also be scratched due to an injury to Evans. The bout would be changed with Daniel Cormier and promotional newcomer Patrick Cummins.

Future Welterweight title-challenger Rory MacDonald would beat former Middleweight title-challenger Damien Maia with a three-round decision. Cormier would pick up a TKO victory over Cummins in just 79 seconds. Rousey continued her manhandling of her division with a TKO victory over McMann in just 69 seconds, her first victory not by armbar

Pride The Best Vol. 1

On Friday night February 22nd in 2002, Pride put on a big show that could only be called The Best. Victors would include Daiju Takase, Takayuki Okada got a TKO victory over Soichi Nishida, and in the main-event would see Yusuke Imamura submit Joe Son with an elbow lock.

Pride 29

Just under three years later, Pride would put on another great show for the Japanese fans. It saw future stars such as Fabricio Werdum, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira pick up victories. In the co-main event, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson picked up a Split-Decision win over Murilo Rua. The main-event saw Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Flipovic knockout the ‘Father of Ground and Pound’ Mark Coleman in the first round.

Bellator XC

At Bellator 90, we saw the tournament final in the Featherweight division and the Light Heavyweight and Welterweight semi-final. The undercard saw three finishes to start the card, and then two decisions. The undercard saw Ben Saunders beat Raul Amaya by knockout in the Welterweight semi-final. For the other Welterweight semi-final, future champion Douglas Lima beat Bryan Baker by first round knockout.

In the Light Heavyweight semi-final, favorite Muhammed Lawal was knocked out by spinning back fist to future Emanuel Newton in the first round. In the main-event and the final for the Featherweight tournament, Shahbulat Shamhalaev kept the streak of knockouts on the card going in the first round over Rad Martinez. This gave Shamhalaev a chance at the Featherweight title against Pat Curran.

Strikeforce Challengers: Beerbohm vs. Healy

Strikeforce produced a ton of future stars, and kept some old ones around. Their Challengers series would get contenders against each other to get their next title challengers. At the Beerbohm vs. Healy, it was just the same. The card saw Ryan Larson, Ryan Couture and future title-challenger Carlo Prater submit over their opponents. In the main-event, Pat Healy got a UD over Lyle Beerbohm.

Future: UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Mir

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Watch: Bellator 185 Prelims

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Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Complete Bellator 185: Mousasi vs. Shlemenko Fight Card:

Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)

Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)

Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)

Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card:

Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)

Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)

Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)

Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)

150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)

Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)

Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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