Knuckle Down: Oktoberfest
Feast or famine, all or nothing. Luckily for mixed martial arts
fans, the world of combat sports does not apply.
While the blockbuster fights of summer have come and gone, the
early fall season offers reprieve to those who wait in earnest for
the traditional mega year-end cards, sans PRIDE.
At the top of the list for fall's offerings is UFC 77, which takes
place on the banks of the muddy Ohio River at Cincinnati's U.S.
Bank Arena on Oct. 20.
Headlining the bill will be the hotly-anticipated rematch between
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Queen City
native Rich Franklin
In their first go-around, the Brazilian dismantled the former
high-school teacher en route to a shocking first-round technical
knockout that left "Ace" with a horrifyingly disfigured nose that
required months of rehab.
Despite fighting in front of his hometown fans and bouncing back
from the defeat with quality wins over Jason MacDonald (Pictures) and Yushin Okami (Pictures), Franklin will enter the rematch
-- 370 days after the first contest -- a heavy betting
The card also sees the return of undefeated prospect Brandon Vera (Pictures), who will battle former UFC
heavyweight champion Tim
Vera, whose widely reported managerial dispute left him out of
action for nearly a year, is sure to face the toughest test of his
career in the 6-foot-8-inch Miletich-trained slugger.
The bout will be the first for Sylvia since dropping a lopsided
five-round title fight against Randy Couture (Pictures) in Columbus on March 3.
UFC 77 "Hostile Territory" Fight Card:
Anderson Silva vs.
Rich Franklin (Pictures)
Tim Sylvia (Pictures) vs. Brandon Vera (Pictures)
Eric Schafer (Pictures) vs. Stephan Bonnar (Pictures)
Alan Belcher (Pictures) vs. Kalib Starnes (Pictures)
(Pictures) vs. Yushin Okami (Pictures)
Jorge Gurgel (Pictures) vs. Alvin Robinson (Pictures)
Josh Burkman (Pictures) vs. Forrest Petz (Pictures)
Matt Grice vs. Jason Black
Billionaire Mark Cuban is a busy man these days.
Besides justifying the stereotype that white men can't dance on
ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," the owner of the NBA's Dallas
Mavericks has a new project:
Mixed martial arts.
Debuting Oct. 13 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Cuban's
television network, HDNet, will offer a main event pitting former
Shooto light heavyweight champion Erik Paulson against Jeff Ford.
Paulson, 40, has not competed since besting Ronald Jhun (Pictures) at Super Brawl 17 in April 2000.
Later that year, the Minnesotan vacated his Shooto crown and
retired, where he was successful in training fighters such as King
of Pancrase and former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett (Pictures).
Also on the card, Octagon veteran Drew Fickett (Pictures) will take on upstart Anthony Lapsley.
Chris Bowles vs. David Roberts
Jason House (Pictures) vs. Freddie Espiricueta
Pete Spratt (Pictures) vs. TJ Waldburger
(Pictures) vs. Matt Thompson (Pictures)
Jay McCown vs. Justin Howard
vs. Joel Traves
Liam McCarty vs. David
Hans Marrero vs. CB Dollaway (Pictures)
Flying mostly under the radar, No Limits Fighting is promoting a
bill that includes names such as Jeff Monson (Pictures), Nick Diaz (Pictures), Charles Bennett (Pictures) and Leland Chapman.
Yes, that Leland Chapman: the co-star on A&E's mullet
festival "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and the son of Duane "Dog"
The Texas-born, Hawaii-based bail bondsmen will make his MMA debut
against fellow newcomer Eric
Diaz, fresh off his razor-close decision victory over Mike Aina (Pictures), will confront Mark Moreno (Pictures). Monson, only a month removed
from a disappointing TKO loss to Pedro Rizzo (Pictures), will square off with Chris Marez.
Not to be forgotten, former professional boxer and Playboy cover
girl Mia St. John will
make her cage debut against a yet-to-be-decided opponent.
The pay-per-view televised card takes place Oct. 20 at the Cow
Palace in San Francisco, Calif.
(Pictures) vs. Brad Imes (Pictures)
(Pictures) vs. Jake Hattan
Matt Major vs. Marcus Gaines
Gabe Rivas (Pictures) vs. Gabe Ruediger (Pictures)
Bo Cantrell (Pictures) vs. Bryan Pardoe (Pictures)
Damacio Page (Pictures) vs. Javier Vazquez (Pictures)
Aaron Carvalho vs.
Zane Frazier vs. Vince Lucero (Pictures)
(Pictures) vs. TBA
EliteXC's ShoXC challenger series will return to subscription-based
network Showtime on Oct. 26.
Rumored for the card are participants J.C. Pennington, Aaron Rosa (Pictures), Muhsin Corbbrey (Pictures) and Shayna Baszler (Pictures).
UFC and Pancrase vet Chael
Sonnen (Pictures) will headline the 20th edition of
Matt Lindland (Pictures) and Randy Couture (Pictures)'s SportFight promotion against
(Pictures) on Oct. 27 at the Rose
Garden in Portland, Ore. Sonnen recently rebounded from a
disappointing tenure in the UFC with four consecutive victories in
BodogFight, including an impressive stoppage of Team Red Devil
middleweight Amar Suloev
(Pictures) in July.
SportFight XX "Home Coming" Fight Card:
Chael Sonnen (Pictures) vs. Kyacey Uscola (Pictures)
Chris Wilson vs. Derrick Noble (Pictures)
Enoch Wilson (Pictures) vs. Gerald Strebendt (Pictures)
Mike Dolce (Pictures) vs. Michael Pierce
Jon Krohn vs. Cory
Ian Loveland (Pictures) vs. Andy Lukesh
Josh Bennett vs. George
Will Shutt vs. Eddie
Dave Jansen vs. Dennis Parks
Andy Eiccholz vs. Travis Bell
Nathan Coy vs. Aron Emerson
Din Thomas (Pictures), who crumbled to the canvas with
a knee injury before being submitted by Kenny Florian (Pictures) in the opening frame at UFC Fight
Night 11, suffered a torn meniscus and a "stretched" anterior
cruciate ligament, Thomas' manager Dean Albrecht informed
"When that injury happens it's normal for the bones in the leg to
collide and get small fractures and bruises," lamented Albrecht in
an e-mail. "He will need to be scoped and then do a few weeks of
rehab unless the ACL is worse than they think."
With a bevy of MMA action in the state of California comes a deluge
of drug test results.
Nakamura (Pictures) was the only fighter of the 18 to
compete on Sept. 22's UFC card in Anaheim to test positive for a
banned substance. The judoka offered a post-fight urinalysis that
turned up marijuana. The PRIDE veteran will appeal the $500 fine
and three-month suspension.
One week later in at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Adam Smith (Pictures) failed a drug test when marijuana
and cocaine were found in his system. The 28-year-old Canadian was
the only fighter of the 24 on the card to fail a drugs-of-abuse
test. Smith was fined $500 -- the same amount as his purse for
fighting Dewey Cooper
(Pictures) -- and suspended until June
GRRRR!!!More on Sherdog.com Mobile