By Daniel Galvan
Long gone are the weekends of no MMA for hardcore fans to check out because of the lack of a UFC event. Despite the promotion’s absence over the week-end, there were plenty of fights that were streamed and archived online for the viewing pleasure of MMA fans everywhere.
Even though it’s become easier to watch fight cards from around the world, it’s still just as hard to keep up with all of the results because there are seemingly more events each and every week. So, in effort to save your sanity and relationships with other human beings I’ve got you covered with my weekly update of all the happenings on the independent and international MMA scene during the weekend.
- Zoila Gurgel’s (12-1) long-awaited return to the Bellator cage was a bit anticlimactic. Gurgel, who suffered an ACL injury that put her on shelf for over a year, beat Casey Noland (4-6) with a unanimous decision in the top undercard bout of Bellator 78. Gurgel was able to out-strike Noland and even take her down, but she didn’t dominate like she was expected to. It will be interesting to see if this fight will be a precedent for future fighters returning from ACL injuries like George St. Pierre and Dominick Cruz.
Another notable fight on the undercard saw top Danish middleweight prospect Mikkel Parlo (9-0) knocked out Jared Combs (8-3) in the first round. Parlo faced adversity in this fight as he was rocked early by Combs, but he was able to come back and get the knock out.
- The upset of the weekend had to have been TUF 11 Finalist Kris McCray’s (8-4) tough split decision loss to Mike Wade (4-2) at CFFC 18. It was a close contest that could have been scored several ways, but it was Wade who got the win his home state. After being cut by the UFC, McCray had beaten his first three opponents, but this loss will set him back.
- Super Fight League returned with another installment of “Friday Night Fights”. In the main event of SFL 6, surging Brazilian middleweight Claudio Henrique da Silva (9-1) beat Xavier Foupa “Professor X” Pokam (22-18) on the judge’s scorecards. Pokam, best known for his unsuccessful two fight stint in the UFC, was taken down repeatedly by Henrique. The best round for Professor X was the second where he rocked and cut open da Silva with a pair of hard-hitting knees, but that offense wasn’t enough to win him the fight.
Colleen Schneider (3-4) won for the second time under the SFL banner in a flyweight contest against Aya Saber (0-1). Schneider completely outclassed Saber with her technical striking and wrestling ability. The fight ended in the first round after referee Bhupinder Singh saw enough of Schneider landing elbows on Saber who was helplessly trapped in side control.
The commentary team for SFL is still fairly rough around the edges, but they do provide some unintentional comedy so I don’t mind them. Here’s a sampling of comments during the broadcast though I found funny.
“I think he should take him down to the ground and beat his face in”
“You can’t get a better rounded fighter than Colleen Schneider”
“He looks aggressive, his style is aggressive, and he’s probably looking to aggressively finish the fight”
- Former Elite XC and Bellator Bantamweight Wilson Reis (15-4) secured his third straight win at Matrix Fights 7 where he submitted Billy Vaughan (11-14) with an arm triangle choke in the first round. It was a dominant win by Reis that may put in further consideration for inclusion in the next Bellator bantamweight tournament.
- At Jungle Fight 44, Ildemar Alcantara (16-5), the middleweight brother of UFC fighter Yuri Alcantara, submitted Ederson Macedo (1-1) with a first round arm-bar. Alcantara took down Maceda and attempted submission after submission, until he was able to lock on the fight-ending arm-bar. Alcantara, who is currently riding a six fight win streak, will next compete in December for the JF Middleweight Title.
Featherweight Fabiano Nogueira (6-1) also will be competing for Jungle Fight gold in December thanks to his decision win over Marcos Almeida (11-4). Giving up some serious size, Nogueira fought a close first round, but he was able to turn it on in the latter rounds by out-striking and even cutting up Almeida.
- Fresh off being cut by the UFC, Daniel Roberts (13-4) was able to submit Nuri Shakir (17-20) with a rear-naked choke in the second round. Roberts scored with takedowns easily in the first and second. This was the tenth submission win for Roberts. The contest was refereed by Big John McCarthy and it took place in Sudbury, Ontario under the Freedom Fight banner.
- It took King of the Cage Welterweight Champion David Gomez (14-4) only 28 seconds to put away Brad Burrick (12-12) with his heavy hands at KOTC – Gun Show. Gomez has now finished his last three opponents with strikes.
Also on the card, 38 year-old light heavyweight veteran Tony Lopez (32-9) got his hand raised against Nick Rossborough (20-16) after three rounds. Receiving a couple of hard shots from Rossborough on the feet, Lopez decided that trading with him wasn’t the best plan, so he fought Rossborough in the clinch and outpointed him in a fight that dissatisfied the crowd.
- The country of Australia played host to BFW 17, an all-women MMA card. In the main event, Alex Chambers (3-1) finished Mika Nagano (10-8) in under a minute with a barrage of knees and punches. The strawweight contest was an impressive one for Chambers who will in all likelihood get a call from Invicta FC.
By Daniel Galvan