MMA Monday – 11 February 2013

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It’s Valentines week, some might say a time for making love, not war but at Kumite we’re more about the gogoplatas than gooey sentiments of affection, so we’re gonna do our best to ignore folks who are being sickeningly romantic and instead concentrate on some of the awesome MMA action going on.

Matchups and Signings

The biggest news for us has to be the signing of Ireland’s two-weight class Cage Warriors champion Conor McGregor to the UFC. Conor is easily one of the most exciting talents to come out of Europe in, well… ever and we fully expect him to take some names on the biggest stage.

We won’t make the mistake that some sites have of claiming him for Britain, but as in all things bar the once a year contest for the Century Quaich (Scotland vs. Ireland in the Six Nations rugby union tournament for the uninitiated) we’ll always treat an Irish sportsperson as a favoured cousin.

McGregor is set to make his debut at April’s UFC on Fuel event in Sweden against TUF alum Marcus Brimage who would do well to pay heed to this performance from Conor’s last Cage Warriors fight against Ivan Buchinger.

That UFC Stockholm (as we’re going to call it) card is filling up with awesome matches as Ross Pearson welcomes Ryan Couture to the Octagon and Phil DeFries finally gets his match against Matt Mitrione. Add them to a Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton, Michael Kuiper vs. Michael Johnson and its a pretty good card…

Oh yeah, and if Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi isn’t a SICK main event, then I don’t know what satisfies you people…

In other news, the UFC have confirmed that Anthony Pettis will drop to Featherweight to challenge Jose Aldo for that title rather than wait around for the winner of Ben Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez with the bout pencilled in for August, although no event or location has been specified as yet.

Predictably, this hasn’t sat too well with some of the tenured 145lbers who have been stacking up for a title shot for a while, with Ricardo Lamas – fresh off a brace of victories over two guys (Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch) who all but had title shots in the bag – being the most vehement. Still it throws the division wide open, with Dustin Poirer and Cub Swanson facing off on Saturday and Chang Sung Jung yet to return.

On Top 7 Cancelled

Less pleasant was the news that On Top 7 has been cancelled less than a fortnight before the event was due to take place thanks to what seems like blatant interference from the police. On Top released the following statement on their web page and social media…

“Its with our sincerest apologies that we have had to cancel “On Top 7″ due to an objection of the event licence by Strathclyde Police. The venue has no choice other than to cancel the event. We have tried everything within our power to try and make the event happen but as we have to seek legal advice then there is no way the event can go ahead in 2 weeks time. We are unable to re-arrange or change the venue and have looked at every available possibility.

We feel very let down that this has happened as alot of time and money has been put in behind the scenes.

Refunds will be made within the week for people that have already purchased tickets and we will make every attempt to try and either make the scheduled fights happen on other shows around the same time or match up individuals. Negotiations have already started behind the scenes with other Promoters/Matchmakers in this regard.

At this point our main concern is to ensure that fighters are matched as they put alot of time and training into fight camps and we wouldn’t want to see that to go to waste especially Pro fighters as they normally rely on this money to support their families or fund their training/supplements etc

If there are any queries/questions relating to refunds or you require further clarification please can they be directed to:tcollins@ontoppromotions.co.uk and they will be answered as soon as possible.

Once our legal team have advised us on how to proceed then more information will be furnished to everyone and please note there were no other factors attributed to the event being cancelled.

Regards
On Top Promotions”

We’re pretty upset as the card was set to be our first live MMA experience of 2013 and the card was arguably On Top’s best to date, with two promotion champion Graham Turner defending his Featherweight title and fellow Dinky Ninjas Paul McVeigh (fresh from his appearance in Fighter’s Wives, complete with new catchphrase) and Alan Johnston also set to feature.

We hope that On Top recover swiftly from this setback and continue to go from strength to strength as they’ve done fantastic work in building Scottish MMA up. Furthermore, here’s hoping that all the fighters now at a loose end get matched quickly.

Results

Bellator 88: Shlemenko vs. Falcao
Thu, 07 Feb 2013
Duluth, Georgia

It was a relatively quiet weekend, with only Bellator’s weekly effort to really remark on. This card saw Alexander Shlemenko really cement his status as the world’s best 185lb fighter outside of the UFC (perhaps Mahmed Khalidov could dispute that, but he’d have to take a fight outside Poland for anyone to find out) with an impressive TKO win over Maiquel Falcao to win the Bellator Middleweight belt. We’d still really like to see his rematch with Hector Lombard though…

Elsewhere on the card, Marlon Sando needed a decision to proceed into the semi finals of the Featherweight tournament while Mike Richman, Alexandre Bezerra and Magomedrasul Khasbulaev stamped their passes with more decisive stoppage wins.

MAIN (Spike TV, 10 p.m. ET)
• Alexander Shlemenko def. Maiquel Falcao via KO (punches) – Round 2, 2:18 – to win vacant middleweight title
• Marlon Sandro def. Akop Stepanyan via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27) – featherweight tournament opening round
• Mike Richman def. Mitch Jackson via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:57 – featherweight tournament opening round
• Alexandre Bezerra def. Genair da Silva via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 1:40 – featherweight tournament opening round

PRELIMINARY (Spike.com, 8 p.m. ET)
• Magomedrasul Khasbulaev def. Fabricio Guerreiro via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:15 – featherweight tournament opening round
• Joe Elmore def. Jerrid Burke via KO (punch) – Round 2, 4:11
• Ronnie Rogers def. Shane Crenshaw via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Clay Harvison def. Ururahy Rodrigues via TKO (knee) – Round 3, 3:34
• George Hickman def. Stephen Upchurch via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:19

Incoming

This week, we’ve got full coverage of the weekend’s UFC Wembley card, in addition to our already posted interview with Andy Ogle previews of Thursday’s Bellator 89 event, headlined by the Bantamweight title match between Eduardo Dantas and Marcos Galvao.

We’re also working on some other themed articles that may or may not see the light of day, depending how they turn out.

Hope you have a cracking week.

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