Why Are U.K. Fans Upset With UFC 95?

If you look at UFC 95 on paper it is quick to see that it is not the best UFC card by a mile.  I have heard it said that U.K. fans are less than pleased with the card so far.  I understand their feelings.  However, I am not too upset because it airs free on SPIKE TV.  I would be hesitant to spend $44.00 on this card.  However, let me say this: UFC 95 is one fight away from being a dynamic card.  The problem with UFC 95 is a lack of a main event.  Also, for many in the U.K. it may be the absent Michael Bisping.  Diego Sanchez’s lightweight debut against Joe Stevenson may be interesting, but it is not main event interesting.  Both guys are super talented, but not main event talented.  Co-main event? Maybe.  So, my theory is that UFC 95 is a main event short of being a great card.  Imagine with me for a second that UFC 95 featured a main event with a big name fighter that is main event worthy.  Then the televised portion would follow with…

2. Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson

3. Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen

4. Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia

5. Junior Dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve or Dan Hardy vs. Rory Markham

If they find a solid main event UFC 95 would stack up against any other card.  Here is the importance of this:  The UFC has openly seeking to go international.  Their largest fan bases outside the U.S. are in Canada and the U.K.  They do not want to disappoint those fans.  Reward them for their loyalty.  Find a good main event.  See if you cannot bribe Rashad Evans to fight Quinton Jackson here.  See if you cannot get a Randy Couture vs. Nogueira fight chalked up.  Bump Liddell up from UFC 96.  Whatever it takes.  Dana White and Joe Silva must realize that the U.K. is the gateway to the European market.  Give them a better main event that Sanchez vs. Stevenson.  This is a better card than some will credit it for being, but it does lack a main event.  You can breeze by with a solid main event and a less than solid rest of the card, but a solid rest of the card without a solid main event may be tough to sell.

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UFC News: Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson at UFC 95

UFC 95 has been slow to develop, however it looks like at least a part of the main event is finalized.  It is being rpeorted from various outlets that former weltweight contender, Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez (19-2, 8-2 UFC) will be welcomed into UFC lightweight division by Joe “Daddy” Stevenson.  I like this match up.  It pits two great grapplers against one another.  Both guys are high paced fighters.  Not to mention this will be the second bout in a 2 month span pitting the Ultimate Fighter 1 winner vs. the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner.  December 27th will feature the first in a light heavyweight bout between Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans.

     Sanchez has officially dropped to 155 lbs.  It should be an interesting fight.  Hopefully some more fire power will be added to the card, which will be London, England on February 21st.

UFC News: Diego Sanchez to Fight at Lightweight

Following a couple of losses Diego Sanchez mentioned the possibility of a move to the UFC’s lightweight division.  However, Sanchez rebounded at 170 with wins over David Bielkheden and Luigi Fiorvanti.  However, Sanchez reportedly said on his myspace that he still planned to drop to 155 lbs.

I’m training hard and will be dropping down to fight at 155. I will keep you all posted on the info of the fight! But I promise you all that I will do my best to win.

Yesterday, at a question and answer forum Dana White was asked about Sanchez’s possible move.  Here is what the UFC president had to say:

Diego moved down to 155 pounds. Diego’s a 155-pounder

Well, it will be interesting to see who he fights first.  The truth is Sanchez is a instant contender and instant top 5.  He already boasts a win over number one contender Kenny Florian.  I have to think either Joe Stevenson or Sean Sherk or even Tyson Griffin would be good fights.  However, I look for him to get a warm up first.  It won’t be long and we will see him in action, perhaps headlining the UFC Fight Night 17 in February.

Breaking Down the UFC Welterweight Division

The Champion: Georges St. Pierre

The Top Contender:  B.J. Penn & Thiago Alves

The Next Tier:

·         Jon Fitch

·         Josh Koscheck

·         Diego Sanchez

·         Karo Parisyan

·         Martin Kampmann

·         Mike Swick

·         Matt Hughes

·         Matt Serra

 

On the Rise: 

·         Yoshiyuki Yoshida

·         Dong Hyun Kim

·         Dan Hardy

·         Dustin Hazelett

 

Other Notables:

·         Marcus Davis

·         Chris Lytle

·         Yoshiyuki Yoshida

·         Chris Wilson

·         Dustin Hazelett

·         Ryo Chonan

·         Dong Hyun Kim

·         Akihiro Gono

·         Luigi Fiorvanti

·         Dan Hardy

·         Jonathan Goulet

·         Tamdan McCrory

·         Kevin Burns

·         Anthony Johnson

·         Rory Markham

·         Paul Taylor

·         Roan Carneiro

·         Brad Blackburn

·         Pete Sell

 

Scheduled Fights:

·         Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Luigi Fiorvanti vs. Brodie Farber at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Steven Bruno vs. Johnny Rees at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns at TUF 8 Finale on December 13

·         Brad Blackburn vs. Ryo Chonan at UFC 92 on December 27

·         Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle at UFC 93 on January 17

·         B.J. Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 on January 31 (For Title)

·         Jon Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono at UFC 94 on January 31

·         Karo Parisyan vs. Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94 on January 31

·         Matt Arroyo vs. Dan Cramer at UFC 94 on January 31

·         Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra April 2009

 

Match Ups I’d Like to See:

·         Dustin Hazelett vs. Chris Wilson

·         Martin Kampmann vs. Pete Sell

·         Thiago Alves vs. Georges St. Pierre/B.J. Penn

 

Other Thoughts:

·         When people talk about staked divisions they think of the UFC welterweight division.  The best welterweights are here.  There may be a handful of decent welterweights outside the UFC including Jake Shields, WEC’s Carlos Condit, Hayato Sakurai, Jay Hieron and Nick Thompson.

·         Jake Shields will likely land in the UFC.  That is what he wants and where he wants to be.  There are a lot of potential match ups here for him.

·         Thiago Alves will get a title shot in 2009 against the winner of Penn vs. St. Pierre.

·         Martin Kampmann signed a new contract and should fight at 170

·         B.J. Penn very well could become a fixture at 170 as he could vacate his lightweight title win or lose against St. Pierre.

UFC News: Diego Sanchez Out, Josh Koscheck in vs. Thiago Alves

The news has been reported that welterweight contender Diego Sanchez has sustained an injury that has forced him to withdraw from his upcoming bout with top contender Thiago Alves at UFC 90.  Diego suffered a rib injury that will force him out.  The problem with that is that this fight is being billed as one of the top fights of UFC 90, with the winner getting a title shot.  I am assuiming that has changed slightly now.  Poor Diego will be forced not only out of this fight, but also to wait for another chance to become a number one contender. 

Josh Koscheck was scheduled to headline the December, Fight for the Troops event against Yoshiyuki Yoshida.  As of now, that bout has not been called off, but it is very likely that fight will not happen.   I would imagine the UFC will look for another guy to fight Yoshida.  Perhaps the fight with Parisyan or even a guy like Jon Fitch.  Nevertheless, give Josh Koscheck credit for coming in on short notice and taking on a very tough fighter in Thiago Alves.  This fight is just as interesting and should be just as competitive, however, I did think Diego’s aggressive, in your face style was a problem for Thiago, but Koscheck can do that as well.  I only wonder what facrot cardio will play for Josh with little time to prepare.

UFC News: Diego Sanchez vs. Thiago Alves at UFC 90

It was first reported that Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves would fight at UFC 89 on October 19th in Birmingham, England.  That is the free SPIKE fight and will feature a main event of Chris Leben vs. Michael Bisping. However, it was never made official.  Then we learned of a pay per view event the next week on October 25, possibly in Chicago.  It looks like the welterweight clash between Sanchez and Alves will take place at UFC 90, certainly not as a main event, but probably as a second or third fight.  The fight is not yet offficial, but is in the works and should be made official soon.

Mid Year MMA Awards

Best Knockout

Honorable Mention: Luis Arthur Cane KO Jason Lambert, Shane Carwin KO Christian Wellish, Murilio Rua TKO Tony Bonello, Matt Wiman KO Thiago Tavares

5. Anthony Johnson KO Tommy Speer

4. Wilson Gouveia KO Jason Lambert

3. Brian Stann KO Doug Marshall

2. James Irvin KO Houston Alexander

1. Wanderlei Silva KO Keith Jardine

Best Submission

Honorable Mention: Antonio Nogueira submits Tim Sylvia by Guillotine, Yoshiyuki Yoshida submits Jon Koppenhaver by Anaconda choke, Nate Diaz submits Kurt Pellegrino, Cole Miller Submits Jorge Gurgel by Triangle Choke

5. Demian Mia Submits Ed Herman by Triangle Choke

4. Frank Mir Submits Brock Lesnar by Kneebar

3. Rousimar Palhares Submits Ivan Salaverry by Armbar

2. Dustin Hazelett Submits Josh Burkman by Armbar

1. Shinya Aoki Submits Katsuhiko Nagata by Aokiplata

Best Fight

Honorable Mention: Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante, Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia

4. Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

3. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

2. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

1. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

Best Fight Card

5. WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver

4. UFC 80: Rapid Fire

3. UFC 81: Breaking Point

2. DREAM 4

1. UFC 84: Ill Will

Upset of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Jason Day over Alan Belcher,

5. Thiago Alves over Karo Parisyan

4. Kevin Burns over Roan Carneiro

3. Fabricio Werdum over Gabriel Gonzaga

2. Josh Thomson over Gilbert Melendez

1. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson

Fighter Of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez

5. Miguel Torres

4. Forrest Griffin

3. Thiago Alves

2. Shinya Aoki

1. B.J. Penn (2 Impressive wins over Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson)

Best UFC Newcomer:

Honorable Mention: Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar

5. Rousimar Palhares

4. Dong Hyun Kim

3. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

2. Goran Reljic

1. Cain Velasquez

Worst Calls By A Ref. or Judges

5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson –  Not just that Forrest got the win, but that it was unanimous.  Many, including me scored the fight either a draw or to Jackson

4. Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum- Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in round 1 when Werdum was mounted on Vera throwing down punches.  There was just 10 seconds remaining and Vera seemed to be defending himself well. 

3. Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites — Leites got the win, but lost the fight.  He lost the fight due to two points taken away from Marquardt.  One point was justified, but the other was due to elbow to the back of the ehad that wasn’t to the back of the head.  I will confess, that another point could have fairly been deducted for an illegal slam, but I hated to see Marquardt get a loss on his record that I feel he won

2. Phantom split decisions — How was Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove a split deicsion?  How was Heath Herring vs Cheick Kongo a split decision?  The right person got the decision, but how was it split?

1. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson – Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in the 3rd round while Thompson was still standing and failed to stop it when Thompson was mounted on Kimbo raining down elbows