(image via Zuffa LLC, article by Adam LeBarr)
The man who we knew as the Welterweight champion; who dominated the division for so long is no more...
After UFC 171 a man other than Georges St Pierre will be known as the new undisputed king of the welterweight division. The rest of the card will also determine the pecking order of the next challengers in line for a shot at the title.
First, lets take a look into the Lightweight division for Diego Sanchez vs. Myles Jury --
Diego, now the "Dream" Sanchez is stepping back into the octagon after his war with Gilbert Melendez to take on undefeated up-and-comer, Myles Jury. Though to some, Jury isn't that well known, he's not someone Sanchez wants to underestimate or look past.
For Sanchez, a win over Jury is a must if he wants to step back into the win column and work his way up the Lightweight ladder for a shot at the gold. Jury already looks to be a step head, presenting an impressive undefeated record, and with a win over Sanchez, it only puts him that much closer to the top.
Your co-main event; Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley is huge for the Welterweight division in the fact that winner of this fight could possibly be fighting the new crowned champion of the main-event.
Condit vs. Woodley is looking a lot like Gustafsson vs. Manuwa. You've got a top ranked guy in the division taking on a tough competitor, but also someone who's ranked outside of the top 10. Don't let these rankings fool you, though.
After Condit was victorious over Kampmann and Woodley, in devastating fashion knocked out Koscheck, Woodley made it known and his mission that he wants to fight Condit. Dana White said: "If Woodley texts me one more time... He texts me 15 times a day asking for this fight". His persistence in poking at the President of the UFC for the fight worked in his favor.
Does the co-main event victor fight the winner of the main-event for the title? It's unknown. Carlos Condit with a victory seems possible, Woodley may need a couple more fights in order to get his shot.
UFC 167, post-win over Hendricks, George St-Pierre announced he needed a break, some time away from the UFC. The decision wasn't final at that time, but a few short days later he and the UFC had an announcement to make.
St-Pierre stated he needed a rest. A break away from competing in MMA. With a date unknown on his return, he vacated the Welterweight championship. A date on his return (if one) is still yet to be known.
Hendricks in his fight with St-Pierre feels he won. To many, it looked like it, too. It was only right that the UFC gives Hendricks a call to fight for the vacant title, but who would his opponent be?
Robbie Lawler debuted in the UFC back in 2002 at UFC 37. With some great wins and tough loses, his paths would change only a couple years later. Outside of the UFC, and in Strikeforce, also other organizations, Lawler looked to be improving. His win/loss ratio still up-and-down, it was his return to the UFC 10 years later (after Zuffa, LLC bought out Strikeforce) that he would truly shine.
UFC 157, Lawler knocks out Josh Koscheck in his return to the #1 MMA operation. UFC on FOX 8, Lawler knocks out Bobby Voelker and at UFC 167 (the night GSP beat Hendricks) he defeated Rory MacDonald. It only made sense for Lawler to take on Hendricks for the vacant championship.
George St-Pierre is gone from the division, a fight for the championship is set and if GSP looks to return to the octagon, do we see him fight the winner of Hendricks/Lawler? Only time will tell.
Until then, the sport continues to move forward and the welterweight belt will have a new owner.
(image via Getty Images/Zuffa, LLC/ article by Adam LeBarr)
UFC Fight Pass has delivered to the fans... The UFC implementing this new network (Fight Pass), has brought with it more fights and fans. With Gustafsson and Manuwa headlining this free card, it was almost already guaranteed to be nothing short of greatness.
Before we get more into the main-event; we must not forget about the awesome fights the led to the finale. With high energy preliminaries, the boys on the main-card needed to display top preference in order to outshine the previous fights. Though most did (Brad Pickett vs. Neil Seery (FightersBlog's vote for Fight of the Night)), it was the co-main event that would disappoint --
Leading up to the co-main event, it was thought that this was the fight to steal the show. Thoughts don't always turn into actions, though. Normally, Guillard is all action and in your face. At UFC Fight Night 37, it was the complete opposite. Michael Johnson was the one looking for the fight, Guillard more or less running away. The fans at the O2 arena in London weren't to fond of the fight, but in the end, happy Johnson was the one victorious.
Alexander Gustafsson (#1) was going into this fight with Jimi Manuwa (#11) coming off of a loss to champion, Jon Jones. Though Jones was successful in defending his championship when they first met, many thought it was 'The Mauler' who was victorious. Despite who won, it ended up being 2013's Fight of the Year.
This fight with Gustafsson was a huge opportunity for Manuwa. Manuwa not even being ranked in the top 10 was set to take on the #1 contender? Sounds a little off, but a win would have put him right into the Light Heavyweight title chase. Gustafsson didn't seem to mind fighting someone ranked that off from himself. No matter who it was, he was looking to make a statement to be granted another shot at the title --
Gustafsson would do just that.
Early in the fight, Manuwa looked to have been getting the better of Gustafsson. As 'The Mauler' would shoot in, Manuwa had an answer. Going into round #2, the Sweden wasn't looking to take anymore shots, only deliver. Just 1 minutes into the 2nd, Gustafsson rocked and put Manuwa to the ground; moments later finishing the fight by way of TKO (technical knockout).
Post-fight, Dana White stated: "If Jon Jones beats Glover Teixeira, we've got a a nasty rematch". At the press conference, it was also said that Gustafsson will fight the winner of Jones/Teixeira.
Alexander Gustafsson def. Jimi Manuwa via: TKO
Michael Johnson def. Melvin Guillard via: Unanimous decision
Brad Pickett def. Neil Seery via: Unanimous decision
Gunnar Nelson def. Omari Akhmedov via: Submission
Ilir Latifi def. Cyrille Diabate via: Submission
Luke Barnatt def. Mats Nilsson via: TKO
Claudio Henrique da Silva def. Brad Scott via: Unanimous decision.
Igor Araujo def. Danny Mitchell via: Unanimous decision
Louis Gaudinot def. Phil Harris via: Submission
Fight of the Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa
Preferences of the Night: Alexander Gustafsson & Gunnar Nelson
The UFC in recent months has implemented in UFC Fight Pass; something you’ll need in order to watch certain live events (also TUF, originals and a fight library). Fight Pass has put on some already great fight cards, but this weekend (Mar. 8, 2014) is by far the most stacked fight card to be broadcasted on the UFC’s new network.
(poster via: Zuffa, LLC)
Michael Johnson, an up-and-coming Lightweight contender recently has been pushing the pace on the division. Coming off of two incredible performances over Joe Lauzon and Gleison Tibau, he’s now set to face one of the most dangerous in the 155lbs division — Melvin Guillard.
Melvin Guillard, you could consider as the Lightweight division gatekeeper. If you’re looking to make a name, he’s the man to beat and that’s exactly what Johnson’s looking to do.
This is a huge fight for both Guillard and Johnson. An impressive victory this weekend in London at UFC Fight Night 37 is going to further push one of these two closer to the top ten rankings — Then the hunt for Lightweight gold is on.
UFC 165, Toronto… “AND STILL!”
Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 fell short in a main-event battle for the Light Heavyweight championship against current champ, Jon Jones. It was a devastating loss for Gustafsson, especially due to the fact most fans, UFC fighters and even higher-ups thought Jones had lost the fight and the title.
Looking to bounce back and earn another title shot, Gustafsson is now set to take on rising LHW contender, Jimi Manuwa.
Most fans are a little confused on this match up because it’s a ranked #1 (Gustafsson) taking on a ranked #11 (Manuwa). Though it may seem a little off, Gustafsson’s just looking to prove he’s worthy of another title shot. However, Manuwa doesn’t plan on making it an easy victory for ‘The Mauler’.
Despite the ranking of 11 in the LHW division, Manuwa’s no joke. He’s currently undefeated, and coming off of big wins over Kyle Kingsbury, Cyrille Diabate and Ryan Jimmo. He no doubt has made his statement to the other weight-division competitors, but he now looks to prove he’s top 10 worthy.
Feb. 27, 2014, the day news broke that the NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission) had unanimously voted to ban TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) statewide.
Less then 12 hours later, UFC 173 now has a new headliner.
(photo via: Zuffa, LLC)
On May. 24, 2014, UFC 173 will be in Las Vegas, Nevada. With TRT now banned in Nevada, it was only a matter of time before we saw Vitor Belfort (current TRT user) drop out of the main-event against current UFC Middleweight champion, Chris Weidman.
Early Feb. 28, 2014 news hit that Vitor Belfort was in fact out of UFC 173, paving the way for rising Middleweight contender, Lyoto Machida.
Though Belfort has stated he will continue fighting without the use of TRT, due to time constraints between now and the date of the fight (May. 24, 2014), Belfort has decided not to apply for license in Nevada.
Moving past the fallout of Vitor 'The Phenom' Belfort, it only makes sense for Lyoto Machida to step up and take on Chris Weidman for the Middleweight gold.
Machida, a new comer to the Middleweight division has proven that he can not only hang with the 185ers, but is also a huge threat to the division.
Mark Munoz welcomed Machida to Middleweight, and I'm sure he wished it had been someone else. 'The Dragon' Machida knocked Munoz out in devastating fashion with a head kick. Machida's second fight at Middleweight would be against Gegard Mousasi. Despite Machida being unable to finish Mousasi, he put on a fast pace performance and was victorious via: Unanimous decision.
Before his win over Mousasi, Dana White said: "with a win over Mousasi, Machida could be next in line for a title shot". Vitor Belfort is out, and the opportunity for Lyoto Machida presents itself.
- NSAC Puts Statewide Ban On TRT Use In Nevada
- Anthony Pettis Will Coach TUF 20, Opposite Of Gilbert Melendez
- UFC 170 Recap: Rousey Leaves With Title, But No Arm?
- UFC 170 Preview: Medalist vs. Madalist & Cormier at LHW Welcomes Former Friend/Training Partner to the UFC
- Patrick Cummins steps in to fight Daniel Cormier at UFC 170