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

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UFC 168 Results & Thoughts

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The big year end card is in the books and I’m left thoroughly dazed by an incredible night of fights that delivered in all areas yet still leaves me feeling a bit hollow.

The undercard delivered in spades as Robbie Peralta came back from two rounds down to knock out Esteven Payan, as William Patolino put on a clinic of technique while Bobby Voelker showed the meaning of heart by wearing most of his blood on the outside without appearing to care.

We had back and forth wars, knockouts, submissions, the great career of Chris Leben being ended by Uriah Hall and third from the top, Travis Browne underlined his status as the next big thing at heavyweight with a first round knockout of Josh Barnett.

With Cain Velasquez injured and putative no.1 contender Fabricio Werdum in the wind, I’d say we have to see Browne-Werdum in Spring to see who welcomes the champ back.

All of this was so much stage setting for our self-hyping pair of title bouts – I’ve never recalled a UFC event which boasted two bouts of such gravitas.

First up, we had Ronda Rousey defending her belt against old rival Miesha Tate with the full promotional weight of a TUF season and their extant feud behind them.

For the first time ever, Rousey was taken into the second round, but she also showed improved striking and proved she had a bit of a chin as she bloodied Tate and took a few solid blows herself, while continuing to display the stunning judo throws that have become her trademark.

Tate reversed a whole lot on the ground as Ronda showed more variety, at one point going for a triangle towards the end of the second round. Tate’s plan was clearly to drag Ronda into deep water and that was exactly what happened, even if she wasn’t managing to dominate.

Into the third and Ronda was up 20-18 on my scorecard but was in ever more unfamiliar territory… until the third frame played out almost exactly like the first round of most of her other fights. From the bell, she rushed Tate, threw her and worked for an armbar, earning the tap at 58 seconds… of the third round.

Rousey retains, doesn’t shake Tate’s hand, earning the boos of all the easily led folk who drank the TUF kool-aid (since when did honesty and being true to yourself become a heel gesture) but did complement her opponent.

Great main event, right there…

…Except the night wasn’t over.

Anderson Silva entered first, looking to reclaim his belt (weird) before stopping twice on the way to the cage, seemingly to collect his thoughts. Was it nerves, mind games or did he suddenly remember he left the gas on?

Chris Weidman didn’t seem overawed and promptly took the first round, even managing to rock Anderson and swarm before being dragged into guard.

In the second, Anderson seemed to open up, started firing off his leg kicks – always a terrifying weapon – which had seen his greatest success in their first fight. Then it happened… Anderson threw a stinging left leg kick which Weidman checked with his knee and Anderson’s shin broke in truly gruesome fashion.

Anderson fell back, the ref stepped in and it was indisputably over, yet strangely unresolved.

Sadly, the lasting image of UFC 168 will not be Weidman holding the belt aloft in glorious and validating victory but Anderson Silva lying on his back, reaching for his ruined leg and screaming in abject agony.

It wasn’t meant to end this way, and I’ll expand upon that another time. For now, suffice to say that UFC 168 was one of the best UFC cards in recent memory, delivering from the start to the second from last kick.

Feuds were settled, ladders were climbed and we enter 2014 with the UFC short their two long time banner guys and with a new and undisputed sheriff in the Middleweight division. Interesting times.

Full Results

Chris Weidman def. Anderson Silva to retain middleweight title viaTKO (injury) – Round 2, 1:16
Ronda Rousey def. Miesha Tate to retain women’s bantamweight title via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 0:58
Travis Browne def. Josh Barnett via knockout (knee and elbows) – Round 1, 1:00
Jim Miller def. Fabricio Camoes via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:42
Dustin Poirier def. Diego Brandao via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:54

Uriah Hall def. Chris Leben via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
Michael Johnson def. Gleison Tibau via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 1:32
Dennis Siver def. Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) – Round 3, 5:00
John Howard def. Siyar Bahadurzada via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00

William Macario def. Bobby Voelker via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) – Round 3, 5:00
Robert Peralta def. Estevan Payan via knockout (punches) – Round 3, 0:12

Bonus Winners – £75k

Fight of the Night – Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate
Knockout of the Night – Travis Browne
Submission of the Night – Ronda Rousey

MMA Monday – 19th August 2013

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In which Chris picks five things from this last week’s MMA to talk about…

– Matt Brown

On Saturday night, Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown advanced his record to 18-11 and increased his live streak to 5-0 with an awesome first minute KO of veteran Mike Pyle.

To put that in context, Pyle has an 8-4 UFC record (25-9-1 in total) with the losses coming in his debut to then-promising Brock Larson and top level fighters Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger and now Matt Brown.

Beating Mike Pyle is a big deal. He’s slammed the door to the top ten in the face of John Hathaway, Ricardo Almedia and Rick Story and before he was in the UFC he scored wins over legit guys like Dan Hornbuckle and Jon Fitch.

So Brown now has the most impressive win streak at 170lbs by anyone not named GSP or Johny Hendricks. That makes him next, right?

Not yet. He’s not yet beaten a bona fine top ten guy and I’d like to see him face the winner of next week’s Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann fight.

C’mon, don’t tell me you don’t wanna see that fight?

The winner of that bout would join Rory MacDonald and the winners of the upcoming Demian Maia vs. Jake Shields and Dong Hyun Kim vs. Erick Silva bouts in genuine title contention.

Tasty times at 170lbs.

– Conor McGregor

Also on Saturday, ‘the Notorious’ Conor McGregor had his sophomore outing in the UFC and I can safely say, I’ve never felt such a surge of justified hype for a fighter. As those of us who enjoy being Cage Warriors fans have known for a while – he’s gonna be a big star.

His opponent, Max Holloway fought gamely, but Conor stylishly out struck him in the first round and then spent the remainder of the bout in near total top control, earning a dominant 30-26 win on my scorecard.

Conor has now fought twice in the UFC, with a first round knockout and solid all round performance against opposition that cannot be discounted as ‘cans.’ Add in his charisma and the sheer weight of public affection for him and he’s on a fast track to the top of the featherweight division.

Depending on timescales, I’d love to see him face someone like Charles Oliveira or Darren Elkins or maybe even Akira Corassani on the next Sweden card (assuming his potential knee injury keeps him out until early 2014).

I have no doubt that Conor will fight for a UFC title before the end of 2015 but there’s no need to rush the boy. He’ll be ready.

– Pedro Munhoz

At RFA9 on Friday, Pedro Munhoz took a split decision win over veteran Jeff Curran, lifting the RFA Bantamweight belt and retiring Curran at the same time.

Still undefeated at 9-0 and now with a win over a well known and much respected fighter as well as holding gold in a promotion which prides itself on developing talent by challenging them, Munhoz can legitimately be seen as one of the top 135lb fighters outside of the UFC.

It seems like a matter of time till he’s on the big show, but he won’t be rushed or have his record spoon fed to him by RFA in the meantime. I’d love to see him on a Cage Warriors card at some point too…

You have to expect that the next stop for him is a defence against his originally scheduled opponent this weekend, Keoni Koch (5-0) in a much anticipated fight, now twice postponed. I wanna see that.

– Heavyweight Stoppage

The heavyweight co main event of UFC Boston on Saturday featured an all action first round where Alistair Overeem first had Travis Browne on the back foot, knocking him down and landing over a dozen shots before Browne lurched to his feet. Overeem kept up the pressure and landed something like another 30+ unanswered shots before Browne managed to bully his way free of the cage.

Should the fight have been stopped?

Given that Browne then managed to knock Overeem down with a sweet front kick and followed up with two HEAVY shots on the ground that drew the stoppage.

Some folks have said the fight should have been stopped when Overeem was winning and some say Overeem should have been given more time to recover, as Browne took three hits to win the fight, while Overeem landed dozens.

For my money, the stoppage was good. Browne took a lot of shots at the start of the fight, but kept moving, working his way to his feet and at no point did he look glazed or did his legs tremble. He also ate an illegal knee from Overeem that the referee let slide, possibly giving Travis a little longer than he otherwise would to improve his position on account of that.

When Browne levelled Overeem with the kick, his first follow up blow snapped the Dutchman’s head off the canvas and his arms came up in what looks (to me at least) like an involuntary spasm, such as you’d make when you were knocked out, however briefly.

So, good reffing – apart from the fact that the match should have been stopped when Browne took the illegal knee and restarted in the middle of the cage. Browne managed to get there himself in the end, so no harm done.

– Chael Sonnen

Lastly, Chael Sonnen put in a great performance, subbing Shogun Rua in the first round. It was classic Sonnen, going for the takedown from the start and sticking with that plan, even when Shogun initially got back to his feet.

Rua’s ground game is much underrated and Sonnen controlled him excellently. The eventual guillotine submission was indisputable and unexpected – if anyone bet on a Sonnen victory via submission in the first round, I would have expected the odds to be rather good.

Sonnen breaks his losing streak and has already called out Wanderlei Silva – I’d pay good money to see that fight, and it fits nicely into my concept of the UFC Masters Division where well established fighters who shouldn’t really be anywhere near a title shot at this point face off for their ego gratification and our entertainment. I’m sure there’s money involved the somewhere too.

Shogun loses back to back fights for the first time in his UFC tenure, and while his popularity and legend remain undimmed, he’s a long way from a return shot at his title at this time. I’d love to see him fight someone like James Te Huna or Fabio Maldonado, that would be fun to watch but also give Shogun a chance at someone who is behind him in the rankings, as much as behind him in name power.

UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen Preview

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Sat, 17 Aug 2013
Boston, Massachusetts

The first time I wrote a preview for this, it ran to over 3000 words and I ran out of positive adjectives long before I’d finished covering the main card. It lost all impact, so I’m trying again.

Let me put it simply. This is one of the most stacked MMA cards ever put together, never mind limiting it to free TV or the UFC.

All it lacks is a title match (or two) and when it features five legitimate former world champions, a further two fighters who have competed for UFC gold, a clutch of TUF winners and finalists and is composed almost entirely of fighters known for their entertaining fighting style, that seems like a small thing to be missing.

Five of these fights could easily produce the next no.1 contenders in their respective divisions, three fighters here can already account themselves as legends in the sport with half a dozen more either well on the way or certainly with the potential to do so.

I don’t even have the will to break the matches down individually. It’s more than my tiny heart can bear. We have fighters who are notionally strikers and grapplers, but what EVERYONE on this card is, is a damn warrior.

If anyone here embarks on a lay n pray game plan, it will be DEEPLY out of character.

Look at the names below. Shogun Rua. Chael Sonnen. Alistair Overeem. Urijah Faber. Matt Brown. Joe Lauzon. I’m sold already. The real competition is gonna be which one of these studs takes home the most hotly contested Fight of the Night award in living memory…

Let’s not forget that John Howard, Mike Pyle, Uriah Hall and Travis Browne are all well known for bringing it, even if casual fans might struggle to mark the names.

Hell, even the PRELIMINARY card features the best Bantamweight in Europe, Brad Pickett against the last no.1 contender for that division’s title, Michael McDonald.

There’s also the small matter of Connor McGregor’s sophomore UFC box against the impressive Max Holloway, with awesome matches featuring former WEC champ Mike Brown against Steven Siler and TUF winner Diego Brandao facing Daniel Pineda.

It’s even starting a bit earlier than usual, which means there’s a fair chance that a UK fan like me might not pass out midway through the co-main event.

You want stats, background all that usual stuff? Nope. Check on Sherdog if you must but for this card, I just want to sit back and let the sheer joy of being a fan wash over me.

If you ever have a UFC party at your house, if you ever want to nudge a pal or family member to get into this sport – get them in front of the TV for this card.

It is going to be biblical. I guarantee it.

MAIN
• Mauricio Rua vs. Chael Sonnen
• Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem
• Yuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber
• Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle
• Uriah Hall vs. John Howard
• Michael Johnson vs. Joe Lauzon

PRELIMINARY
• Michael McDonald vs. Brad Pickett
• Max Holloway vs. Conor McGregor
• Mike Brown vs. Steven Siler
• Diego Brandao vs. Daniel Pineda

PRELIMINARY (Facebook)
• Manny Gamburyan vs. Cole Miller
• Cody Donovan vs. Ovince St. Preux
• Ramsey Nijem vs. James Vick

The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale Results / Reaction

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The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale Results
Sat, 13 Apr 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada

On of the more stacked TUF finale cards promised quality action and delivered in spades, with nine finishes from the twelves matches on the card and a few notable upsets.

Kelvin Gastelum took Uriah Hall the distance and earned the nod from two out of three judges to win the tournament and the paperweight trophy. With an unbeaten pro record and taking four underdog victories en route to the title while being the youngest competitor in the show’s history, the future looks bright for Gastelum.

Urijah Faber beat longtime friend Scott Jorgensen in the main event with his patented takedown and submission in the fourth round, after using his quickness to earn the first three stanzas on the judges scorecard. Faber continues his run of never having lost a non-title match in his MMA career.

With the winner of the upcoming Barao-Wineland interim title match expecting a unification bout with Dominick Cruz next, Faber probably needs one more win in the mean time to keep his aim of facing Cruz in a rubber match. I think Brad Pickett is available… just saying.

The UFC’s second ever women’s bout had plenty riding on it, with the promise of a title shot and essentially a series of prime time promotional opportunities as a coach in the next season of the Ultimate Fighter up for grabs.

Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano showed why the girls are in the UFC to stay with a deserved fight of the night winner which went back and forth. Tate had the advantage in the opening frames, coming close with some submission attempts and leading the scorecards going into the third round. Zingano had to put a great round in, and she did seeming to gain strength as Tate faded and scoring a truly memorable TKO win with a series of brutal knees.

Seriously, if you didn’t see it you need to check the finish of this fight out as the very concept that ‘girls can’t fight’ is blown away like chaff in hot air by this match.

Travis Browne erased the memories of his leg injury assisted loss to Antonio Silva with an all business first round stoppage of Gabriel Gonzaga. Given Silva is now the no.1 contender, where does that leave Browne in the division?

Full Results

MAIN (FX, 9 p.m. ET)
• Urijah Faber def. Scott Jorgensen via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 4, 3:16
• Kelvin Gastelum def. Uriah Hall via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – wins “TUF 17” tournament
• Cat Zingano def. Miesha Tate via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:55
• Travis Browne def. Gabriel Gonzaga via knockout (elbows) – Round 1, 1:11
• Robert McDaniel def. Gilbert Smith via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 2:49

PRELIMINARY (FUEL TV, 7 p.m. ET)
• Josh Samman def. Kevin Casey via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:17
• Luke Barnatt def. Collin Hart via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
• Dylan Andrews def. Jimmy Quinlan via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:22
• Clint Hester def. Bristol Marunde via TKO (elbow) – Round 3, 3:53

PRELIMINARY (Facebook, 5:30 p.m. ET)
• Cole Miller def. Bart Palaszewski via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:23
• Maximo Blanco def. Sam Sicilia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Daniel Pineda def. Justin Lawrence via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 1:35

The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale: Faber vs. Jorgensen Preview

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The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale: Faber vs. Jorgensen
Sat, 13 Apr 2013

Arguably the ginger stepchild of the UFC’s stacked April offerings, somewhat overshadowed by their FUEL, FOX and PPV cards, not to mention the Invicta and Cage Warriors events the week before and the same night respectively and with only SIX matches confirmed four days out from the show… this is still an interesting card.

The main event sees reliably entertaining Bantamweights, Urijah Faber (27-6) and Scott Jorgensen (14-6) in a bout which is as much about giving Faber something to do as anything else.

Much has been made (not least by myself) that Faber has lost his last five World title fights, dating back to November 2008 but it has to be remembered that he’s won his six other fights over the same period, five of them by stoppage, while he hasn’t been stopped since his first bout with Mike Brown back in 2008.

Faber remains one of the most marketable stars in the lighter weight classes and the fact that he’s taken the likes of Aldo, Cruz and Barao to relatively tight decisions indicates he’s a bit better than his win-loss-win tendencies might indicate.

Ideally, the UFC would have Faber facing Dominick Cruz in heir trilogy rubber fight as the biggest fight possible at Bantamweight, but in order for that to happen, Cruz needs to come back from injury, defeat Barao (or Eddie Wineland) to unify the 135 belts and Faber needs to keep winning.

That said, Scott Jorgensen is far from a can. With a 3-2 record in the UFC off the back of a very successful WEC career where he snapped a five fight win streak in a title challenge against Cruz, Jorgensen has shown his quality in first round stoppages of Ken Stone and John Albert.

Jorgensen has won three ‘of the night’ awards in his last two fights and up against an ever popular and exciting fighter like Faber, this fight should be a lot of fun.

Faber is the favourite, as he’s only lost ONCE when a world title wasn’t on the line but Jorgensen has the wrestling to frustrate Faber’s preferred wrestling and submission game and having only been stopped twice, he’s got all the tools to take ‘the California Kid’ all the way.

Either way, the winner here advances to 2-0 with their last loss being to one of the guys next set to face off for the Interim title. I’m not saying that they’d be next in line, but depending on the schedule for Cruz’s return, they’d be close…

As is traditional for the finale show, the co-main event features the Ultimate Fighter tournament final, with two Team Darkside teammates facing off as arguably the scariest man in TUF history Uriah Hall (7-2), enters opposite underdog Kelvin Gastelum (5-0).

Hall is the favourite on account of his three KO stoppages en route to the final, including some truly highlight reel worthy moments in disposing of Adam Cella and Bubba McDaniel. Hall impressed even more in the way that he seemed genuinely distressed that he had possibly caused serious harm to his opponents. Class act.

Also, if you are wondering about those losses on his pro record, they’re to Chris Weidman and Costa Phillipou so not exactly anything to be ashamed of.

Gastelum flew under the radar for most of the show, but earned his way into the final with a very well received (by us at least) first round submission of Josh Samman in the semifinal.

While having the more impressive performances on the show, more experience and having faced a higher quality of opposition in the past makes Hall the favourite, the fact that Gastelum has finished all of his five pro bouts and managed to put a good streak together through a competitive field means he’s not to be overlooked. Either man would make a worthy tournament champion.

One of the most compelling matches on the card is the second ever female bout in UFC history with the heady prize for the winner of becoming the #1 contender to Ronda Rousey’s Bantamweight title and getting the considerable exposure bump that comes from being coach opposite “Rowdy” on the next season of TUF.

Facing off for these career making opportunities are former Strikeforce Bantamweight champion, Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (13-3) and the undefeated “Alpha” Cat Zingano (7-0).

Tate is of course the girl who relinquished the 135b belt to Rousey back when it was a Strikeforce title, taking her further into deep water than anyone (indeed everyone put together) before her (but not quite as much as Liz Carmouche did in February) before succumbing to the ubiquitous first round armbar.

Throw in the heated feud that preceded their bout, with a deal of trash talk between Tate, her boyfriend Bryan Carraway and the ever-mouthy Rousey, you can bet Miesha is keen for a rematch.

Zingano on the other hand is a relatively fresh name, rising to prominence with six stoppage wins from seven victorious fights culminating in a second round submission of Racquel Pennington at Invicta FC3.

Noted wrestler Tate is one of the top female talents in the world, boasting wins over the likes of Marloes Coenen, Julie Kedzie and Zoila Frausto-Gurgel with the active, submission hunting game trademarked by Team Alpha Male fighters.

Zingano, despite being the less familiar name (for now) is a well rounded finisher who’s shown her quality against some of the best, notably becoming the first woman to stop Carina Damm with strikes.

Tate will be the favourite but I honestly can’t pick a winner here, aside from the fact that as the viewing fan, were gonna be in for a fast paced, technical treat.

Our next fight is in stark contrast to the Bantamweight action higher up the bill with a heavyweight clash between Travis Browne (13-1-1) and fan favourite Gabriel Gonzaga (14-6).

Browne can feel rightfully aggrieved with the loss on his record, as while it shows as a first round TKO loss, it had more to do with a freak leg injury than a dominant standup performance from ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.

Clearly looking to bounce back to his usual winning ways, where his reach, relative mobility and power had earned him a hatful of KO wins, Browne will face a fighter who has played spoiler in the past…

Aside from his one decision loss to Brendan Schaub which saw him briefly cut from the UFC, Gonzaga has only lost to genuine top ten opposition (Fabricio Werdum twice, Junior dos Santos, Randy Couture, Shane Carwin) although he has shown a tendency to be knocked out by that opposition. However, an underrated striking game memorably derailed Mirko Filipovic’s run towards a UFC title shot and Gonzaga has finished everyone else he’s fought, either with his enthusiastic striking or almost surprisingly cultured jujitsu.

Basically, Gonzaga is the archetypical gatekeeper, the kind of guy Browne has to beat if he’s going to be considered a top contender in the UFC. Both of these guys are finishers and aren’t known to hold back. This match is as close to a guaranteed finish as you’re likely to get…

Rounding off the main card is a bout between the most experienced TUF 17 alumnus, Team Jones’ Robert ‘Bubba’ McDaniel (20-6) who, despite being knocked out in devastating fashion AND submitted on the show (albeit by the two finalists) and generally seeming to lack confidence in his own abilities at times, has been selected as the only member of the red team to make the main card.

Opposite him in the cage will be Team Darkside’s Gilbert Smith (5-1) who’s pro record has been eaned entirely in the Colorado regional circuit and fell pray to Luke Barnatt’s flying knee in the second episode of the series.

Interesting choice of match…

The preliminary is, as usual very TUF themed with the rest if the housemates (less Tor Troeng and Adam Cella who faced off last week in Sweden) getting at least one UFC bow and alums from previous seasons Justin Lawrence and Sam Sicilia featuring on the Facebook portion.

We are especially looking forward to seeing Kevin Casey (5-2) beat up big mouth Josh Samman (9-2) who was indisputably our villain of the season and hoping that “Big Slow” Luke Barnatt (5-0) represents for the UK with a winning UFC debut over Collin Hart (4-1-1). No offence, Collin.

For once, the UFC isn’t the centrepiece of our week’s MMA (because that honour goes to Cage Warriors 53 which we will be attending) but this is a pretty cool show with some very tasty, and meaningful fights, especially if you’re a fan of Bantamweights…

MAIN CARD (FX, 9 p.m. ET)
• Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen
• Kelvin Gastelum vs. Uriah Hall – “TUF 17” tournament final
• Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano
• Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga
Robert “Bubba” McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith

PRELIMINARY CARD (FUEL TV, 7 p.m. ET)
• Kevin Casey vs. Josh Samman
• Luke Barnatt vs. Collin Hart
• Dylan Andrews vs. Jimmy Quinlan
Clint Hester vs. Bristol Marunde

PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 5:30 p.m. ET)
• Cole Miller vs. Bart Palaszewski
• Justin Lawrence vs. Daniel Pineda
• Maximo Blanco vs. Sam Sicilia