Once upon a time, here were about five UFCs a year, and they’d air on satellite pay-per-view so you’d have to travel via bus to the only sports bar in New York City just to watch the damn thing. If you wanted more than that, then maybe, if you knew a guy who knew a guy, you could get your hands on a VHS copy of PRIDE or one of the old Extreme Challenges that had a production value of about negative ten dollars. And that was it. That was all you got. Now, however, you have MMA coming out the ying-yang. Take this weekend for example. On Friday, there’s UFC Fight Night 33, which is taking place in Australia on Saturday, but through the magic of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity we get to watch it a day early. Then on Saturday there’s Invicta FC on Internet pay-per-view, and also the World Series of Fighting on the Home Shopping Network (or something like that). That’s a lot of mixed martial arts.
So what’s a true fan like you supposed to do to keep track of all this impending violence? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Friday – UFC Fight Night 33
- Mark Hunt vs. Bigfoot Silva - There’s something to be said about watching two big, heavy-hitting dudes who will never, ever be champion go at it, and that something is “Bellator prelims”. But since this event is the UFC throwing a bone to the emerging market known as Australia, and Hunt is a New Zealander (a country that, if my knowledge of geography is up to snuff, is near Australia), why not make homeboy one half of the main event? The great thing about this bout is that it doesn’t matter who wins or loses – the result will have zero impact on the rest of the division. But it will be fun.
- Shogun vs. James Te Huna - The mileage on Shogun (born: Mauricio Alberto Gonzalez Rodriguez Goldstein Rua) is such that at any time an opponent could land the one punch that will make the Brazilian legend and former PRIDE and UFC champ fall complete apart into a heap of bones on the floor. Could Te Huna, who’s a big puncher, be the one to literally destroy Shogun in the cage? I hope not, but like a car crash, I just can’t look away.
- Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh - As TUF winners go, Bader has crashed and burned in pretty spectacular fashion – which is especially amusing because he’s a TUF winner and it’s fun to watch them fail. However, the UFC is once again tossing him a real softball with Perosh, who’s a solid jiu-jitsu guy but is way past his physical prime. Look for Bader to fail or Perosh to fail. Possibly even both.
Saturday – Invicta FC 7
- Felice Herrig vs. Tecia Torres - Since the UFC is going to start up a 115-pound weight class for females, and Herrig is exceedingly easy on the eyes, there’s a good chance that she could end up in the Octagon in the near future. Of course, if Torres beats her silly and makes her look bad, that whole Octagon thing goes down the toilet, so yeah, that’s the drama around this fight.
- Vanessa Porto vs. Zoila Frausto Gurgel - Porto had a lot of momentum behind her a couple years ago, but that all dissipated when she came up short against Sarah D’Alelio and Barb Honchak at Invicta’s 2 and 5. *Cue sad trombone* Frausto Gurgel was Bellator’s female champ, but Bellator got out of the women’s MMA business, so now we get to see where she truly fits in with the rest of the female general population. My guess is she’ll fit in somewhere right above Porto, like in the mount, probably dropping elbows or something.
Saturday – WSOF 7
- Nick Newell vs. Sabah Fadai - Newell is undefeated, has about one and a half arms, and has been flat-out denied entrance to the UFC by Dana White because of his disability. How far can Newell go in the sport with one and a half arms? Is there a certain amount of ass he could kick that would eventually convince the powers that be that he’s worthy of the Octagon? I don’t know. But the dude is exciting, and his storyline is compelling.