I don’t know about you, but UFC 134 got me all hot to trot about MMA. Now what events do we have coming up so we see more man grappling crack?
September 10th: The Strikeforce Heavyweight Not So Grand Prix
Sure, there’s no Alistair Overeem any more. But aren’t you excited about Daniel Cormier stepping in to face Antonio Silva? *fart noises* Josh Barnett vs Sergei Kharitonov should be awesome … it’s the kind of fight you’d expect out of a PRIDE heavyweight tournament in 2005. Add in a Jacare title defense and King Mo vs Roger Gracie and you’ve got yourself a pretty sweet card from top to bottom.
September 17th: The Battle on the Bayou
The UFC smartly branded this one with a nifty name to hide the fact that no one knows the headliners. But that says more about the fans than the fighters … we all know and hate Shields from his time fighting extra cautious in Strikeforce and then that non-attempt to beat GSP, and Ellenberger is that rare wrestler who can also whump people with his fists.
Alan Belcher returns from a nasty eye injury to face the always entertaining Jason Macdonald, and those of us who watch Facebook prelims will be happy to know we’re getting 8 – count em, 8 – prelim fights with guys like Cody McKenzie and Evan Dunham. Well, there’s more like Demarques Johnson, but fights are fights.
More events after the jump!
September 23rd: Strikeforce Challengers
If you happen to be in Vegas on this date, put on a leisure suite, deck yourself out in gold chains, and hang out in the Palms. Chances are you could be one of the 1500 people getting complimentary Challengers tickets with your gambling losses. What you will witness: impressive striker Lorenz Larkin, Ryan Couture, and Jason High. Yes, I’m doing the Strikeforce thing where I don’t bother to tell you who they’re fighting. Don’t worry ’bout it, it’s not important.
September 24th: DREAM.17
A quick note on numbering: DREAM Fight For Japan was not a numbered DREAM event, so this event goes down as DREAM.17. A lot of the same old same old DREAM mainstays are here, with Sakuraba returning from his ear falling off to face Yan Cabral, a submission fighter who’s 9-0 record is less impressive when you take a look at all the journeymen he’s beat.
In the sick fights department we got Lion Takashi facing Caol Uno (the only Japan vs Japan fight on the card) and Crusher Kawajiri vs Hellboy Hansen. Razor Rob McCullough will be the latest gaijin to test Shinya Aoki, Gerald Harris gives up on waiting for the UFC to bring him back and will face Kazuhiro Nakamura, and the always entertaining Antonio Banuelos will bring his epic mustache and wanging style of fight to bear against Hideo Tokoro.
September 24th: UFC 135
Ahhh, the big boy event for September. Jon Jones vs Rampage Jackson is all you really need to know about. Most fights, if Rampage ain’t on it’s going to be a boring night. In this case if he doesn’t bring it from the opening bell we’re liable to see an ass whupping of monumental proportions. As strange as Diego Sanchez vs Matt Hughes feels from a contender’s ladder point of view, it’s getting more intriguing by the day. Provided he doesn’t get blitzkrieged in under 30 seconds, Hughes has shown he deserves the ‘crafty veteran’ crown now that Randy Couture is retired. Diego Sanchez … well, he’s wild and passionate, but crafty wouldn’t be the word I’d use.
It’s been 4 years since Nick Diaz gogo’d Takanori Gomi, and while we’re probably never going to see a rematch we’re going to get the next best thing: his little brother Nate getting a shot at the Fireball Kid. Both guys are coming off pretty brutal wrestlefuckings, and the nice thing about this fight is they aren’t liable to pull that kind of strategy on each other.