It’s hilarious how conditioned we have become to the constant presence of UFC events. A mere six weeks was the gap between UFC 152 and the last event from ZUFFA, yet it felt like an eternity for most MMA fans. To no surprise, the card received the majority of the spotlight from the MMA world.
Despite the lack of attention, there were several notable fights occurring across the world featuring veteran fighters, prospects, and everything in-between. It’s an impossible task to keep up with everything as it regards to Mixed Martial Arts, but don’t sweat it, I’ve got you covered with notes of all the newsworthy happenings across the regional and international MMA scene for the weekend.
- Less than month after his last fight, Anthony Johnson (13-4) continued his quest to get back in the UFC with a 2nd Round TKO victory over fellow UFC has-been Jake Rosholt (12-5, 1 NC) at XFL 9. Johnson dominated Rosholt in the second round with powerful combinations on the feet and a couple of takedowns. The finish came with a head kick by Johnson that made Rosholt loopy.
On a side-note, this fight exemplified why MMA shouldn’t be held in a boxing ring. In the fight, both fighters did their best Ryuta Sakurai impression as there were a couple of occasions were both fighters nearly toppled out of the ring.
- In a battle of Ultimate Fighter alumni (who hasn’t competed on TUF at this point?), 40 year-old Shonie Carter (50-29-7, 1 NC) took on Josh Bryant (14-1) on extremely short notice in the main event of KOTC – Heavy Duty in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The age of Carter showed as the younger Bryant dominated him with takedowns, submission attempts, and ground and pound until the fight was called in the second round due to Bryant’s punishing punches. This is the fourth consecutive win for Bryant after his release from the UFC in mid-2010.
- The gimmick of country against country was used at the Brasil Fight 6 card with fighters from the United States being pitted against Brazilians. Overall, the Americans came out on top by beating the Brazilians 3-2 in a five fight series between both countries. After being knocked out by Mamed Khalidov (25-4-2), former UFC fighter Rodney Wallace (13-5) returned to the win column after his opponent, Cristiano Lazzarini (7-3), suffered a rib injury in the second round of their Light Heavyweight bout.
Also on the card, Joaquim Ferreira (13-7), who is best known as being the lone blemish on Junior Dos Santos’ (15-1) record, finished Aaron Mays (2-2) with punches early in the first round. Thiago Michel Pereira Silva (11-3), a semifinalist in Bellator’s season 6 lightweight tournament, also won his fight with strikes as he beat David Gardner (18-19) in the second round.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly implore you to seek out David Gardner’s fight with Shinya Aoki (30-6, 1 NC) at DREAM 7. During the fight with Aoki on his back, Gardner screams to the camera “Hello Japan!”, and then is immediately choked out with an RNC from the man of many pants.
- Japan played host to a pair of notable cards from the RINGS and Shooto promotions. In the main event of Rings – Vol. 2, Kazuyuki Miyata (12-9), one of Japan’s top featherweights, defeated Ersan Estanov (3-2) on the judges’ scorecards. Tough losses against Tatsuya Kawajiri (31-7-2) and Hiroyuki Takaya (17-9-1) in 2011 derailed the momentum of Miyata’s six fight win streak that began in 2009. Based on talent alone, Kazuyuki Miyata can certainly piece together another series of victories with the only caveat being that he is already past his prime at the age of 36.
As time goes on, it appears as though Nam Jin Jo’s (6-6) upset victory over former top flyweight in the world Shinichi Kojima (12-5-5) in March will be remembered as nothing more than a fluke. The South Korean suffered his second straight loss at the hands of Kentaro Watanabe (8-3) at Shooto’s Border Season 4. Watanabe scored his fifth consecutive victory with his sixth career decision victory.
By Daniel Galvan