Respect the Champ

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I really don’t like Jon Jones (I’ll state exactly why later in the article) but after his measured demolition of Glover Teixeira, the most anti-Bones observer of MMA must admit that he is the Man, definitely in the 205lb division, probably in the UFC as a whole and well on his way to wresting the GOAT title from Anderson Silva unless his stars change in dramatic fashion.

Currently on an 11 fight win streak (could easily be 21 with a different referee in his fight against Matt Hamill) and a record extending seventh defence of the Light Heavyweight belt (now chasing down Silva’s 11 successful title defences in any division) Jones has been the picture of calm as he’s almost casually disposed of all comers.

Whether it’s keeping opponents on the end of his reach and winning comfortable decisions, to stunning them with elbows and choking them out or just plain bullying them to the mat and taking a TKO, Jones has displayed well rounded skills combined with a maturity, versatility and creativity which has stymied.

When taken into deep waters against Alexander Gustafsson, he displayed heart to come back and win the latter rounds and earn the (only partially contentious) decision, while last night against Glover Teixeira, he refused to play it safe and engaged Glover on his own terms up against the cage and took little damage in the process while leaving his opponent a bloodied mess as his 20 fight win streak fell away.

Looking at those achievements, who can deny his quality or fail to get behind him?

Well…

Reasons I Don’t Like Jon Jones

Luck: I can’t get past the idea that Jones record breaking title reign has been facilitated by a generational gap in the Light Heavyweight division. He won the belt from a past-his-peak Shogun Rua who had a year’s worth of rung rust and defended against former champions who were either not elite anymore (Quinton Jackson), effectively Middleweights (Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen) or just didn’t turn up on fight night (Rashad Evans) and then didn’t look at all dominant against the first true contemporary that he faced for the belt.

Reach: While Jones excellent grappling and varied striking are huge parts of his arsenal, the real difference seems to be his reach. His freakish natural physique makes it so that it’s very difficult for a regularly proportioned Light Heavyweight (never mind the natural Middleweight’s he’s been facing as often as not) to damage him. Now, I know that holding a fighter’s natural physique against him is pithy, the way Jones paws out with his lead hand, earning a wearing for eye pokes in almost every single fight (should have been docked a point last night IMHO) doesn’t scan well with me.

Attitude: Lastly and by far most importantly (if I’m honest, the others are based on the fact that I don’t like his attitude and looking for more reasons to hate) Jones’ persona just rubs me up the wrong way.

From dropping an unconscious Lyoto Machida like a sack of potatoes after the referee had ended their fight to claiming he only went 80% in his closest fight to date against Alex Gustafsson, to just seeming like a complete prick in most interviews Jones just seems like an arrogant, cold, unlikeable kind of guy to me.

It’s not that he’s a heel – I’ve got a soft spot for folks who play the bad guy – it’s just that he seems so damn superior. It’s the kind of bad guy heat that makes me want to see him knocked out in the most brutal fashion possible.

On balance…

… it’s clear that my dislike stems from his persona, not his fighting skills and my other reasons are reaching more than a bit.

When I attempt to be objective, I cannot deny that Jones has impressed beyond measure, is a worthy and dominant champion and should be a clear favourite against almost any conceivable future opponent (apart from maybe Cain Velasquez should that super fight ever materialise.)

While that isn’t enough to override my dislike for his persona (which seems to be broadly shared as Jones has not exactly set the PPV buy rates aflame) and my innate tendency to back an underdog (it’s a Scottish thing) I have to say that Jones has my respect and he is quite simply the fighter at the top of the mountain in all of mixed martial arts right now.

You don’t have to like the champion, but you do have to respect him.

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KUMITE European MMA Rankings, April 2014

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Sorry I’m a bit late with the rankings this month, been busy. Anyways it’s been an active month with movement in every division and a few big changes based on fighters being removed due to inactivity or bans. Check it out…

Heavyweight

1- Alistair Overeem (Holland) 37-13 UFC
2- Vitaly Minakov (Russia) 14-0, Bellator def. Cheick Kongo 4/4
3- Andrei Arlovski (Belarus) 21-10, UFC
4- Stefan Struve (Netherlands) 25-6 UFC
5- Cheick Kongo (France) 20-8-2 Bellator lost to Vitaly MInakiv 4/4
6- Alexander Volkov (Russia) 21-4 Bellator def. Siala-Mo Siliga 11/4 UP 1
7- Damian Grabowski (Poland) 19-1 M-1 DOWN 1
8- Sergei Kharitonov (Russia) 22-6 IND
9- Alexey Oleinik (Ukraine) 53-9-1 IND
10- Marcin Tybura (Poland) 10-0 M-1 def. Maro Perak 4/4 UNRANKED

Light Heavyweight

1- Alexander Gustafsson (Sweden) 15-2, UFC
2- Jimi Manuwa (England) 14-1, UFC
3- Attila Vegh (Slovakia) 29-5-2, Bellator
4- Mikhail Zayats (Russia) 22-8, Bellator
5- Ilir Latifi (Sweden) 7-3 UFC
6- Jan Blachowicz (Poland) 17-3, KSW
7- Linton Vassell (England) 12-3, Bellator
8- Stephan Puetz (Germany) 9-1 M-1
9- Maxim Grishin (Russia) 17-6 IND
10- Mikkel Parlo (Denmark) 12-2 def. Johnny Cisneros 4/4 UNRANKED

Middleweight

1- Alexander Shlemenko (Russia) 50-7 Bellator UP 1
2- Michael Bisping (England) 24-5, UFC lost to Tim Kennedy 16/4 DOWN 1
3- Mamed Khalidov (Poland) 28-4-2, KSW
4- Gegard Mousasi (Armenia) 34-4-2 UFC
5- Frances Carmont (France) 22-8, UFC
6– Luke Barnatt (England) 7-0 UFC
7- Michal Materla (Poland) 20-4 KSW
8– Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (Russia) 23-2 M-1
9- Tom Watson (England) 16-6 UFC
10- Sultan Aliev (Russia) 11-2 IND NR

Welterweight

1- Tarec Saffiedine (Belgium) 15-3, UFC
2- Gunnar Nelson (Iceland) 11-0-1, UFC
3- Cathal Pendred (Ireland) 13-2-1, Cage Warriors
4- Nicholas Musoke (Sweden) 12-2 UFC
5- Adlan Amagov (Russia) 13-2-1, UFC
6- Gael Grimaud (France) 19-6, Cage Warriors
7- Nicolas Dalby (Denmark) 12-0 Cage Warriors
8– Paul Daley (England) 34-12-2 BAMMA
9– Andrey Koreshokov (Russia) 15-1 Bellator
10- Karl Amoussou (France) 17-6-2 Bellator def. David Gomez 18/4 UNRANKED

Lightweight

1- Khabib Nurmagomedov (Russia) 22-0, UFC def. Rafael dos Anjos 19/4
2- Rustam Khabilov (Russia) 17-1, UFC
3- Alexander Sarnavskiy (Russia) 26-2 IND
4- Ross Pearson (England) 15-6, UFC
5 – Marcin Held (Poland) 18-3 Bellator def. Derek Anderson 18/4 UP 5 
6- Ivan Buchinger (Slovakia) 26-4 M-1 def. Sergey Golyaev 4/4 UP 2
7- Musa Khamanaev (Russia) 13-3, M-1 DOWN 2
8- Norman Parke (Northern Ireland) 19-2-1 UFC DOWN 2
9- Piotr Hallmann (Poland) 14-2 UFC DOWN 1
10- Mansour Barnaoui (France) 11-2 BAMMA DOWN 1

Featherweight

1- Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (Russia) 21-5, Bellator def. Mike Richman 4/4 UP 2
2- Conor McGregor (Ireland) 14-2, 10-1 UFC
3- Tom Niinimaki (Finland) 21-5-1 UFC
4- Marat Gafurov (Ukraine) 9-0 M-1 NR def. Lee Morrison 4/4 UNRANKED
5- Shabulat Shamhalaev (Russia) 12-2-1, Bellator
6- Daniel Weichel (Germany) 33-8, Bellator
7- Joni Salovaara (Finland) 14-7 IND
8- Sergei Greicho (Lithuania) 15-5-1 OC
9- Niklas Backstrom (Sweden) 7-0 IND
10- Robert Whiteford (Scotland) 11-2 UFC

* Dennis Siver removed from rankings due to PED ban.

Bantamweight

1- Vaughan Lee (England) 14-9-1 UFC
2- Brett Johns (Wales) 10-0, Cage Warriors © def. James Brum 12/4
3- Ronnie Mann (England) 23-6-1 Cage Warriors UP 1
4- Cory Tait (England) 8-2 Cage Warriors UP 1
5- Timo-Juhan Hirvikangas (Finland) 8-2 Cage FC def. Tymoteusz Swiatek 5/4 UP 1
6- James Brum (England) 14-2, Cage Warriors lost to Brett Johns 12/4 DOWN 3
7- Sirwan Kakai (sweden) 9-2, IND UP 1
8- David Haggstrom (Sweden) 7-2-1 IND UP 1
9- Toni Tauru (Finland) 9-1-1 Cage Warriors UP 1
10- Magomed Biboulatov (France) 5-0 IND UNRANKED

* Martin McDonough now a Flyweight

Flyweight

1- Ali Bagautinov (Russia) 13-2 UFC
2- Brad Pickett (England) 24-8 UFC
3- Pietro Menga (England) 11-0 FCC ©
4- Marcin Lasota (Poland) 8-0 Cage Warriors
5- Neil Seery (Ireland) 13-10 UFC
6- Shaj Haque (England) 4-1 Cage Warriors def. Martin McDonough 12/4 UP 1
6- Mikael Silander (Finland) 10-3 The Cage def. Daniel Barez 5/4
7- Rany Saadeh (Germany) 6-1 BAMMA def. Mahmood Besharate 5/4 UNRANKED
8- Kairat Akhmetov (Kazakhstan) IND UNRANKED
9- Kevin Petshi (France) 5-0 IND def. Victor Balica 4/4
10- Phil Harris (England) 22-12 Cage Warriors DOWN 2

Women’s P4P

(Due to the less developed state of Women’s MMA we’re ranking our top ten female fighters from across the weight classes – we hope to expand this section in future.)

1- Joanne Calderwood (Scotland) 8-0 Invicta FC
2 – Marloes Coenen (Netherlands) 21-6 Invicta FC
3 – Katja Kankaanpaa (Finland) 8-1-1 Invicta FC
4- Rosi Sexton (England) 13-4 IND
5- Aisling Daly (Ireland) 12-5 Cage Warriors
6- Milana Dudieva (Russia) 8-3 ProFC
7- Maria Hoegaard Djursa (Denmark) 5-4 IND
8- Shiela Gaff (Germany) 10-6-1 UFC
9- Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (Poland) 6-0 Cage Warriors def. Gemma Hewitt 12/4 UNRANKED
10- Pannie Kianzad (Sweden) 4-0 IND DOWN 1

 

 

The Good, The Bad & the Ugly: UFC on FOX 11 Edition

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Im gradually coming to realise that I might be too old to reliably sit up and watch the fights. I only managed until Thiago Alves’ fight before passing out. Thanks be for sites like -redacted- which allow me to catch up in the morning…

The Good:

First of all, it was awesome to see one of our favourite fighters, Thiago Alves return to the cage after more than two years. Even better, he put in a good performance like he’d never been away and we hope for more ‘Pitbull’ based goodness in the near future.

The card provided consistently good action despite a few less compelling fights, with particular mention going to the awesome flyweight scrap between Dustin Ortiz and Ray Borg, Mirsad Bektic vs. Chas Skelly, Alves vs. Baczynski, the gunfight between Donald Cerrone and Edson Barboza and Fabricio Werdum‘s fine performance in the main event to win a title shot.

The Bad:

Aside from some screwy judging – one split decision that shouldn’t have been and one that went the wrong way IMHO – the worst thing was Chas Skelly’s illegal knees to Mirsad Bektic.

Interesting to see the referee give Bektic time, as if it had been a groin shot and take a point before allowing the match to continue. Bektic also deserves warrior points for continuing and giving as good as he got in the remainder of the fight to take the majority decision.

It produced a compelling fight and a new fighter for me to be a big fan of, but was it the right call with fighter safety and the letter of the law in mind?

The Ugly:

For a night that saw it’s fair share of blood, there was nothing especially gory or egregiously uncool from a fighting or officiating point of view. Good work folks.

If We Had The Chequebook…

Fight of the Night:

Easily Dustin Ortiz vs. Ray Borg for a back and forth bout which saw some high impact strikes and some awesome grappling exchanges. For me, this was an advert for all that is good in MMA and it’s lack of acknowledgement in the UFC’s post fight dissection is a travesty.

Performance of the Night:

Mirsad Bektic for being aggressive and entertaining before the illegal knees and having the sheer stones to see the fight out afterwards. Such performances are what makes you a fan favourite.

Finish of the Night:

Donald Cerrone for his quick reactions in hopping onto Edson Barboza’s back and slapping on a tight rear naked choke after rocking him with a nice jab. Even more impressive considering that Barboza had the best of the early exchanges.

Full Results:

MAIN CARD
Fabricio Werdum def. Travis Browne via unanimous decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45) – Round 5, 25:00
Miesha Tate def. Liz Carmouche via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3
Donald Cerrone def. Edson Barboza via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:15
Yoel Romero def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3

PRELIMINARY CARD
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3
Thiago Alves def. Seth Baczynski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3
Jorge Masvidal def. Pat Healy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) – Round 3
Alex White def. Estevan Payan via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:28
Caio Magalhaes def. Luke Zachrich via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:44
Jordan Mein def. Hernani Perpetuo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3

FIGHT PASS PRELIMINARY CARD
Dustin Ortiz def. Ray Borg via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – Round 3
Mirsad Bektic def. Chas Skelly via majority decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28) – Round 3, 5:00
Derrick Lewis def. Jack May via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:23

 

 

UFC on FOX 11: Werdum vs. Browne Preview

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Sat, 19 Apr 2014 – Anway Center – Orlando, Florida

The UFC are billing the eleventh edition of UFC on FOX as the most exciting card yet aired in the network and that hyperbole could well be proven true on fight night.

Headlining the card, we have a heavyweight title eliminator between Travis Browne (16-1-1) and Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1) to decide a fresh challenger for Cain Velasquez (who’s last five fights have been against the same two fighters.)

Werdum had been a fixture near the top of the heavyweight rankings for over a decade and all of his losses have come to elite fighters who were at the peak of their powers at the time. Now riding a perfect 3-0 streak since his return to the UFC he has added an accomplished Muay Thai game to his always dangerous jiujitsu and is a clear and present threat to anyone in the division.

Oh, and he’s the guy who gave Fedor his first clean defeat. That was kind of a big deal.

Across the cage, Browne has been steadily climbing the ladder in the UFC, overcoming some huge names and galling setbacks (such as his only loss which was more down to a freak leg injury than Antonio Silva beating him up) and coming off three first round knockouts over super-tough veterans, he couldn’t have better momentum.

Browne has youth, reach and an edge in the striking game on his side, while Werdum has experience and a superior ground game in his corner.

However it works out, it should be a top notch bout between two supremely talented fighters.

The co-main event sees former title contenders Miesha Tate (13-5) and Liz Carmouche (9-4) face off with both looking to reinsert themselves into the title picture.

Tate is just coming off her second defeat to Ronda Rousey but the vehemence of their rivalry and her (perplexing, to me at least) popularity means she’ll always be just a win or two from another shot.

Carmouche has gone 1-1 since her loss to Rousey, handily defeating Jessica Andrade before dropping a tight decision to Alexis Davis back in November.

Both women are well rounded with good wrestling, submission and striking skills and while Tate will be the favourite, Carmouche is not to be discounted.

The rest of the main card looks plenty fun as entertaining strikers Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone look set to engage in a gunfight while accomplished wrestler/boxers Yoel Romero and Brad Tavares meet with the top ten of the middleweight division in wait for the winner.

Even the undercard is stacked, with Rafael dos Anjos vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov both bringing significant win streaks into their match, this is a clear indication of the preliminary headliner being a bigger match than half the main card bouts.  The winner could well be in line for a title shot, or an eliminator bout at least.

We’ve also got the long awaited return of Thiago Alves facing Seth Baczynski alongside veterans Pat Healy and Jorge Masvidal facing off.

It’s a great card. We’ll be staying up to watch (you don’t need to get up early on Easter Sunday, do you?) and we’d advise you to do the same.

MAIN – BT Sport – midnight GMT
• Travis Browne vs. Fabricio Werdum
• Liz Carmouche vs. Miesha Tate
• Edson Barboza vs. Donald Cerrone
• Yoel Romero vs. Brad Tavares

PRELIMINARY – BT Sport – 10pm GMT
• Rafael dos Anjos vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
• Thiago Alves vs. Seth Baczynski
• Pat Healy vs. Jorge Masvidal
• Estevan Payan vs. Alex White
• Caio Magalhaes vs. Luke Zachrich
• Jordan Mein vs. Hernani Perpetuo

PRELIMINARY – UFC Fight Pass, 8:30pm GMT
• Ray Borg vs. Dustin Ortiz
• Mirsad Bektic vs. Chas Skelly
• Derrick Lewis vs. Jack May

Cage Warriors Fight Night 11 Preview

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April 18, 2014 | King Hussein Youth City Boxing Arena | Amman, Jordan

Didn’t we do this just a few weeks ago? I’m not complying, I love the CWFC events from the Middle East…

Despite sadly losing the original main event of Phil Harris vs. Kurban Gadzhiev to injury, this is a tidy card which promises some awesome action.

Stepping up to headline the card, Cage Warriors mainstay Jack ‘the Stone’ Mason (26-13) looks to put his March loss to Ben Alloway behind him and recover some of the form that saw him go 9-2 between March 2012-14.

In the way stands France’s Patrick Vallee (10-5-1) who has tangled with some of the best and has amassed an impressive collection of submission victories along the way.

It’s an interesting clash of styles, with Mason’s offensive ground & pound and Vallee’s canny eye for a submission implying we are in for a competitive and explosive encounter.

The other match that jumps out to me sees Norway’s Jack Hermansson (6-2) make a quick return following his entertaining win over Enoc Solves Torres in March to face the heavy handed Ion Pascu (8-4).

With the pair boasting 10 knockout victories in a combined sixteen professional wins, my only advise would be…don’t blink.

Elsewhere we have a tasty bout between Marat Pekov and Brian Moore, Arnold Allen looking to continue his excellent form against Tobias Huber and a lot more.

As usual, it looks like well worth checking out to wind down from your work week.

Broadcast Details

Internet Streams
MMAjunkie.com | USA and Canada only
http://www.IrishMMA.tv | Ireland only
Viaplay | Scandinavia only
CageWarriors.tv | Rest of the world (excluding UK)

TV
Premier Sports | United Kingdom
Setanta Sports 1 | Ireland
TV 10 | Sweden
Viasat | Norway
The Fight Network | Canada, Portugal, Belgium, Turkey, Middle East
Fight Klub | Poland
Setanta Action | Africa
ESPN | Caribbean, Latin America, Pacific Rim

Main Card 9pm local time (7pm GMT, 2pm ET, 11am PT)

Jack Mason vs. Patrick Vallee
Brian Moore vs. Marat Pekov
Jack Hermansson vs. Ion Pascu
Tahar Hadbi vs. Mike Johnson
Arnold Allen vs. Tobias Huber
John Redmond vs. Craig White

Unaired Prelims
Steve Aimable vs. Waek Korked
Ihab Janeb vs. Michael Ravenscroft

Brett Johns: The Once & Future King

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On Saturday night, Brett Johns might not have walked out with the CWFC bantamweight belt, but he earned at least one new fan.

Prior to his match against James Brum, Johns had been a fighter who’s skills I respected but that I remained unsure of, edging to the opinion that the more experienced Brum might prove too much, too soon for the young Welshman.

This feeling was only exacerbated when Johns proceeded to miss weight, which is so often a sign of a poor performance to come, combined with a sense that something was wrong in camp, be it physical or mental that caused the lapse in weight management and who knows what other shortcoming.

It would have been so easy for Johns to fold under the pressure, already knowing he’s not leaving as champion, facing one of the best in Europe and in front of an expectant hometown crowd, a mere mortal might give up inside – not necessarily consciously – and phone in a lacklustre performance.

That path was not for Brett, who proceeded to put in a sterling and above all, mature performance against Brum en route to becoming the first man to outpoint the (now former) master of the close-decision-victory.

Sticking with a tried & true formula, Johns kept the fight on his terms, grinding Brum against the cage and taking him down at will (although admittedly, rarely keeping him there for long) throughout the fight en route to a comfortable decision victory.

As Brum felt the decision slipping away he increasingly tried to push Johns to deviate from his game-plan, engaging in some plays from the Nick Diaz playbook in an attempt to incense the young Welshman.

To his massive credit, Johns barely even blinked and rounded out a championship calibre performance with a classy post-fight interview. He might not have the belt, but he’s still the Man in the Cage Warriors Bantamweight division.

Despite missing weight, which tends to irk the most understanding of promoters and matchmakers, I can’t see him being shitlisted by Cage Warriors and a return title shot at the soonest possibility has to be in the offing.

The list of potential opponents is impressive with the likes Ronnie Mann, Cory Tait and Toni Tauru heading up an exciting roster the future of the Cage Warriors Bantamweight division is very bright indeed and I expect Johns to be front & centre in that.

(photo from http://www.cagewarriors.com)

UFC Bisping vs. Kennedy / TUF Nations Finale Preview

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April 16, 2014 | Colisee Pepsi | Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Despite being for a lesser TUF series and being held midweek (which really sucks for those of us who are not in the Americas and are working on Thursday…) this card is damn fantastic, to the point where I’m going to break my rule of talking about one match other than the main event and have a wee chat about two of them.

Headlining the show are middleweight contenders Michael Bisping (24-5) and Tim Kennedy (17-4) who face off in what must count as neutral territory with Bisping being your archetypal ‘mouthy Brit’ in many Americans eyes, while Kennedy’s ‘Ranger Up’ persona is well established I guess that French-speaking Canada is as appropriate a venue as any.

Bisping is the perennial ‘one win away from a title shot’ guy, while Kennedy is riding a 3-0 streak that showcases his well rounded skills and his KO of Rafael Natal was exactly the kind of thing that boosts you closer to a title shot than a mundane win, so whoever gets their hand raised is right in line for a crack at the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida for the Middleweight gold.

Both guys are well rounded, with quality striking and grappling skills, so in many ways this fight is a really tough one to predict. That said, Bisping has the clear edge in experience, both in terms of number of fights and the calibre of opponents he’s faced, which could prove decisive

Basically, this is a match worthy of co-main eventing a pay per view, which is pretty good going for a midweek TUF finale…

… which is just as well seeing as I don’t think many folks paid much, if any attention to TUF Nations at least outside of Canada & Australia. I know I didn’t.

With that in mind, I’ve got pretty much nothing to say about the tourney finals or even the coaches bout except that Patrick Cote & Kyle Noke are both fun fighters and should produce an entertaining matchup.

Much more interesting to me are some of the supporting fights, with Akira Corassani (12-3) getting his biggest matchup to date against perennial contender & top ten fixture Dustin Poirer (15-3).

Corassani is undefeated in the UFC with wins over Andy Ogle, Robbie Peralta and Maximo Blanco, while Poirer is currently on a 2-0 streak with wins over former #1 contender Erik Koch and TUF winner Diego Brandao.

Both fighters are well rounded and experienced and a bump in terms of rankings, paydays and quality of opponents is the prize for both of them. This should be a cracking fight.

The last fight I really want to concentrate on features Canada’s Sarah Kaufman (16-2, 1NC) taking on late replacement Leslie Smith (6-4-1).

Kaufman remains one of the top bantamweights in the world, despite her (overturned) decision loss to Jessica Eye and fast loss to Ronda Rousey. Across the cage, Smith’s record does not reflect her skills and entertainment value and with an eye to redress a prior loss to Kaufman

This is sure to be a competitive, action packed fight between two ladies who deserve more acclaim than they have received.

Throw in some potentially very fun matches between Sam Stout and KJ Noons as well as George Roop and Dustin Kimura and this is one of the most solid and overlooked cards the UFC has put together in a while.

The only question that remains is ‘dare I risk falling asleep at work on Thursday to stay up and watch the fights?’

I just might.

Main CARD – BT Sport 12 midnight
Michael Bisping vs. Tim Kennedy
Patrick Cote vs. Kyle Noke
Elias Theodorou vs. Sheldon Westcott – “TUF Nations” middleweight final
Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Chad Laprise – “TUF Nations” welterweight final
Akira Corassani vs. Dustin Poirier

Preliminary CARD – BT Sport 10 p.m.
K.J. Noons vs. Sam Stout
Sarah Kaufman vs. Leslie Smith
Ryan Jimmo vs. Sean O’Connell
Dustin Kimura vs. George Roop

Preliminary CARD – UFC Fight Pass, 8:15 p.m.
Mark Bocek vs. Mike De La Torre
Vik Grujic vs. Nordine Taleb
Chris Indich vs. Richard Walsh
Mitch Gagnon vs. Tim Gorman