UFC 164 has come and gone, with four of the five main card fights ending in spectacular knockouts and submissions.  Any concerns that the last two UFC on FOX Sports 1 events were going to take away attention from this PPV were put to rest from the word go. All the fighters delivered  excitement for the fans in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The PPV card kicked off in the featherweight division with hometown fighter, Erik Koch against Dustin Poirier. And what a fight it was! Early in round one Koch catches Poirier in a triangle choke and looks very close to submitting Poirier, but he escapes. Poirier then catches Koch with a right hook and looks to almost finish Koch. He locks in a d’arce choke but Koch escapes. End of round one. Poirier immediately pressures Koch and takes it to the ground, after attempting multiple submissions and ground & pound the very tough Koch survives. Round three shows Poirier is very tired and Koch takes it to the ground. He survives all submission attempts from Poirier and he spends the last one and a half minutes of the round looking for a rear naked choke but is unable to sink it in. So Poirier takes a big step in the featherweight division, after dominating the former number one contender. Dustin Poirier defeats Erik Koch by unanimous decision!

Then it’s time for the big boys with “Big” Ben Rothwell against Brandon “The Truth” Vera. Vera smartly uses his movement to stay away from the cage and Big Ben’s powerful punches. Rothwell chases Vera around the cage, utilizing good foot movement himself. The first two rounds are fairly even. Then midway through round three Rothwell tries some unusual showboating, by rolling his head and dropping his hands. Maybe this got in Vera’s head, as he chose not to move away from the cage and Rothwell hammered him with uppercuts and right hands, until a turtled up Vera could not fight back. Rothwell evens out his UFC record with three wins, two by knockout and then calls out number five ranked heavyweight in the world, Travis “Hapa” Browne. What a fight that would be! Ben Rothwell TKO’s Brandon Vera at 1.54 in round 3!

Next up is number two ranked featherweight, Chad “Money” Mendes and the always energetic, Clay “The Carpenter” Guida. The first two rounds show Guida pushing the pace early, mixing up his takedowns with his fast combinations. Mendes deals with the pressure well, securing Guida’s back a few times and landing his own punches. Then in round three a massive overhand right from Mendes lands flush on Guida’s chin as he comes forward, Mendes turns Guida towards the cage and with another flush right hand Guida goes down. It’s the first time in his career Guida is stopped due to strikes. WOW! Mendes’ fourth consecutive knockout in a row, since losing to Jose Aldo shows once again that he is deserving of another shot at the champion. That rematch would be very highly anticipated. Chad Mendes TKO’s Clay Guida at 0.30 of round 3!

Then it’s time for the Co-Main event of the evening, between former UFC heavyweight champions, Josh Barnett and Frank Mir. Immediately Barnett pushes forward and gets Mir to the cage and leans on him. He lands some big punches on Mir while Mir is able to fire back with his own uppercuts and hooks, catching Barnett as well. Barnett then uses his right forearm to push Mir’s face in line for a knee that lands flush. Mir goes limp and before any punches are thrown the fight is stopped. An incredible return to the UFC for the “War Master.” It is very disappointing for Mir who feels the fight was stopped too early and argues with the referee. It is a shame to see such a long anticipated fight end prematurely, but a perfect result for Barnett as he hands Mir his third straight loss. Josh Barnett TKO’s Frank Mir at 1.56 of round 1.

Now it is time for the main event of the evening! UFC lightweight champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson against the last man to defeat him, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Henderson immediately pushes forward and tries to take Pettis down and is unsuccessful. Pettis pushes him off but Benson gets close to another takedown and can’t finish it. Benson pushes away and as he starts to back off he is hit with four nasty liver kicks like the ones Pettis finished Donald Cerrone with in February. As Pettis goes for a flashy cartwheel knee to the liver he is taken down by Henderson. As Henderson tries to get good position Pettis locks in an armbar, Henderson tries to roll his body towards the direction Pettis is pulling in so Pettis cranks it the other way. With Benson face down on the canvas he verbally submits after his arm is already snapped. AAAAND NEW Lightweight champion of the world, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Anthony Pettis becomes the new UFC Lightweight Champion by breaking Benson Henderson’s right arm at 4.31 of round 1.

An incredible night with incredible finishes! With the two main fights expected to go deeper than round one it shows once again that MMA is unpredictable and anything can happen. For the second time this year we have a new UFC champion, who after the fight called out UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo. Champion vs Champion would be amazing!

Christopher McMillan

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

No preliminary card fighter in the history of the sport has received the kind of attention that Dublin’s own Conor McGregor has enjoyed during the past month.  From cruising the Vegas Strip in Dana White’s soft top Ferrari, to his own prefight television segment.  The bearded Irishman has captivated our imaginations with his charisma and sheer likability.

Going into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 26 card, McGregor carried a respectable record of 13-2 with only one win coming inside the UFC.  Yet when the lights dimmed, and the walk-out sequence began, you would have sworn Anderson Silva or George St. Pierre were about to enter.  The crowd went into a frenzy, transferring their energy and excitement through TVs into sports bars and living rooms around the country.

And there he was.  Looking less like 5’8’’ and more like 7’0’’ Conor McGregor meandered towards the cage, draped in a tri-color Irish flag, as the sea of green fans swarmed and writhed around him.

McGregor came out in the first round throwing unorthodox switch kicks, front leg hook kicks, and lead hand uppercuts.  His style bewildered opponent Max Holloway, who spent most of the round backing up and circling away from the offensive onslaught.

The fight took a turn late in the second round when McGregor injured his knee during a transition attempt from half guard.  Showing adaptability, Conor took the fight to the ground implementing strong position control as Holloway showcased his defensive guard work.

The verdict came in a one-sided decision victory, the first of McGregor’s career.  Following the fight, McGregor continually insisted the victory felt more like loss.  With extra “Fight of the Night” bonuses being handed out left and right, it was clear the Irishman was upset after stating, “I hype myself of big, yeah.  I hype myself up so big, that everyone else hypes me up.  But nobody criticizes/critiques me more than I critique myself.  I plan on stealing the show every time.  I plan on finishing everyone.”

Though the bonus didn’t come for McGregor, he gained further admiration from President Dana White and also the fans.  As we wait for news of the knee injury, many fun potential match-ups lay in wait for the 25 year old.  TUF vets Steven Siler, Diego Brandao, and Akira Corassani are all on win streaks, and would provide McGregor with appropriate competition for his growing stature.

With the money the UFC is pouring into marketing young McGregor, we’ll likely see him fast tracked towards a title shot in only two or three more victories.  He’s the charismatic figure Ireland has been waiting for ever since the days of Steve Collins.  The young phenom has the killer instinct and boyish charm to become a superstar.  Stay tuned folks.

Mica Koefod

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Bruce Buffer said it best:  “ANNNNND NOOOOOW the Main Event of the evening!”  The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung challenges Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship of the World.  Unfortunately fight fans, announcing the fighters was probably the most exciting part of this match up.

Uncharacteristically, this fight started off slow.  It wasn’t until 3:14 of Round 1 that we saw the ONE AND ONLY trademark leg kick of the Champion.  Both of these men displayed tremendous respect for their opponent as Round 1 was predominantly a feeling out period…that is until Jose Aldo exploded with a spinning wheel kick followed by a flying knee attempt.  Amazingly, it was Aldo who then attempted to take The Zombie down as if to say he could control the fight wherever it went.

Both men were more relaxed at the beginning of Round 2, throwing more strikes to get the round started.  However, the pace of the round was more of a sparring match then a Championship fight, highlighted only by a few sharply placed strikes by the Champion.  Both men appeared to be pacing themselves for a 5 round fight.  The moment Chan attempted to press the action, Jose took him down and immediately jumped into side control.  A brief ground scramble ensued and the round ended with Aldo in top position.

Shortly after the opening of Round 3, Chan looked to excite the fans with a flying knee.  Instantaneously, Aldo turned into a wide receiver, caught Jung in mid-air, and converts what would have been a highlight reel strike to a double leg takedown.  In contrast to what everyone expected to see, Jose chose to ground his opponent with wrestling instead of his dynamic striking.  After an uneventful stretch on the mat, Herb Dean stood the gladiators up and Jung vented his frustration by swinging wildly at the Champion.  The action again slowed until The Zombie ended the round with another flying knee attempt.

Round 4 began and put my prediction of an early finish (and an interesting fight) to bed.  The Zombie abandoned the style that earned him his nickname and became…human.  In a freak accident, The Zombie tried to re-earn his nickname by separating his own shoulder after throwing an overhand right at the Champion.  Valiantly, Jung tried to pop his shoulder back into his socket but the blood was already in the water.  Aldo relentlessly attacked the shoulder with high kicks and then sent the challenger to the mat with a double leg takedown.  Writhing in pain, Jung could no longer withstand the onslaught by Jose Aldo.

Mercifully, Herb Dean stopped the fight in the fourth round.  Jose Aldo retained his belt via a TKO win over the Korean Zombie.

Aarion Browne

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

In a night that was full of finishes, it was finally time for the Co-Main Event of the evening as “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis challenged “The Dragon” Lyoto Machida at UFC 163 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  It takes a bold and brave individual to challenge a Brazilian on their home turf, let alone a local hero like Machida.  But amidst all of the flags, cheers, and chanting in the crowd, there Phil Davis stood attempting to advance his stock in the Light Heavyweight division and possibly replace Lyoto Machida as the #1 Contender for the Light Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Phil Davis had 7 years of youth and 5 inches of reach on his side however The Dragon had the will of an entire country on his.  Although Phil weighed in at 205lbs, he looked a little leaner tonight, seemingly anticipating the difficulty he may have in dealing with Lyoto’s speed inside the cage.  Finally, it was time to get in on!

Immediately Lyoto took the center of the cage in Round 1.  Surprisingly, Phil met him there trading shots early.  Aside from one or two well-placed strikes, Round 1 was largely a feeling out period.  As soon as it began to look like the round would end without much action, The Dragon exploded toward Mr. Wonderful with a flurry of punches, kicks, and a flying knee that just missed its mark.  Unshaken, Phil answered by aggressively putting Lyoto on his back with a double leg takedown and feeding him a few strong shots.  The fight was on.

Round 2 started with both combatants once again trading with each other.  Phil, contrary to conventional wisdom, continued to keep the fight standing.  If Lyoto threw a kick, Phil answered with the same as if to say that he was not afraid to be in there with the former champion.  Toward the latter part of the round, Machida stuffed two takedown attempts by Phil Davis and fed him a straight right hand for his troubles.  Another right hand to Phil Davis’ jaw provided the opening that Phil needed to again end the round by putting The Dragon on his back.  A number of knees to a downed Lyoto’s mid-section provided another strong finish by Phil, but would it be enough to take the round away from the judges’ score cards?

At this point, it could’ve been anyone’s fight.  But they were in Brazil.  Neither fighter could afford to leave it in the hands of the judges.

Round 3 opened with Phil Davis picking up the pace.  It was apparent that there was a huge amount of respect possessed by both fighters.  Another period of both men feeling each other out and Phil Davis shot in only to be met by a well-timed knee from Machida.  The momentum of the round seemed to move more and more to the corner of The Dragon as he stuffed takedown after takedown and answered with precise right hands.  After a few more exchanges between these two, the final horn sounded.

If there were any takeaways from this fight, it had to be both the impressive takedown defense of the former champion and the courage and skill of Phil Davis to stand with one of the most feared strikers in the world.  But when it was all said and done, and much to the dismay of the crowd, all three judges scored it 29-28 for the winner…..MR. WONDERFUL PHIL DAVIS!!!!

Aarion Browne

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Three Stars: UFC on FOX 8

I must apologize to Demetrious Johnson.  Heading into his UFC on FOX 8 main event bout with John Moraga, I continuously questioned whether or not he could finish fights, or if he was just another champion trying to win rounds.  However, after Saturday night I feel like a fool.  Not only did Johnson look for a finish, he did so late in the fight when he was clearly ahead on the scorecards.  It was the type of performance we expect from a champion.  “Mighty Mouse” wasn’t the only fighter who showed up to fight at UFC on FOX 8.  It was a great night of free fights and there were many worthy contenders, but there can only be three stars.

Third Star: Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith

I had never heard of Trevor Smith before his bout with Ed Herman on Saturday night.  Now I’ll never forget him.  If you like wild brawls, this was the fight for you.  Both men came out swinging for the fences, especially Herman, who had been less than spectacular in his last couple of fights.  It was on the preliminary card, yet when it finished there was no doubt in my mind that it was going to be the fight of the night.  It could have easily ended in the first round, as each of them was rocked on multiple occasions.  And the way they were able to take big shots and keep going was quite impressive.  It goes to show that a fight doesn’t have to be on the main card to earn a star, what a war!

Second Star: Robbie Lawler

He’s back!!!  If you weren’t sold on Robbie Lawler after he defeated Josh Koshceck, then you should be after his brutal knockout of Bobby Voelker.  He’s not quite a title contender just yet, but if he keeps winning the way he has in his last two bouts, he’s not far off.  Lawler looked slick and polished on Saturday night.  It was a far cry from the young kid who made his UFC debut way back in 2002; that Robbie Lawler wasn’t nearly as technical as the one who showed up in Seattle.  It’s no secret Dana White has always had a soft spot for Lawler and now I have a spot for him too, my second star.

First Star: Demetrious Johnson

Quite often UFC title fights leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.  Watching champions do just enough to win fights is not my idea of a marquee matchup.  However, on Saturday night Demetrious Johnson proved he is the type of champ who isn’t always content with winning rounds.  He tried for a kimura about a hundred times against John Moraga, and for most guys that would have been frustrating to the point where they would have coasted the rest of the fight.  Not Johnson, it was late in the 5th round and he was still looking to finish the fight.  And finish the fight he did, that armbar transition was a thing of beauty, and it looked pretty painful as well.  My hat also goes off to John Moraga.  Despite the fact that he had little success against the champion; he never gassed out, something I expected him to do when facing a much faster opponent like Johnson.    But it wouldn’t be fair to Johnson to have to share the first star with Moraga, that’s an honor that belongs to the flyweight king, and no one else.

Keep your hands up fight fans!

Brent Haugh

Profighitngfans.com Staff Writer

If the name of this column was ‘fallen stars’, we’d have a lot to write about after UFC 162, seeing as the biggest star of them all fell on Saturday night in Las Vegas.  I’m of course referring to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.  Despite being the end of an era, UFC 162 was an overall success.  There were some great fights and choosing three stars was difficult, it always is.  So, lean back in your chair, get comfortable and enjoy the first edition of Three Stars in the Chris Weidman era.

Third Star: Frankie Edgar

Holy cow!  Frankie Edgar finally won a fight.  I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen again, but it did on Saturday night.  It wasn’t the definitive stoppage some Edgar fans have been waiting for.  However, it was a very impressive performance from the former UFC lightweight champion.

We can’t forget about his opponent, Charles Oliveira, at the young age of 23 Oliveira proved that he may have what it takes to be a champion in the future.  The Brazilian looked good at UFC 162, and although he lost, Oliveira has nothing to be ashamed of.

I bet Frankie Edgar took a very deep breath once he got backstage.  His last win had come against Gray Maynard in 2011.  Then Edgar lost three straight title fights, two against Benson Henderson and the most recent loss came at the hands of Jose Aldo.  When it comes down to it, Frankie really needed a win at UFC 162.  It didn’t come easy either, Charles Oliveira game him all he could handle.  Edgar showed the heart and courage we all love, because of that “The Answer” earned my third star for UFC 162.

Second Star: Cub Swanson 

Featherweight Cub Swanson is a man on a mission.  He wants another fight with Jose Aldo and is taking out everyone the UFC puts in front of him.  Swanson and Aldo met when they both fought in the WEC, Aldo won that matchup with a flying knee, eight seconds into the first round.

Fast forward to 2013, Cub Swanson has now won five straight fights.  There aren’t too many guys ahead of him in the 145lb rankings.  He took out Dennis Siver in the third round of their UFC 162 battle.  Now that the fight is out of the way, Swanson will wait to see what happens when featherweight champion Jose Aldo meets Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 in August.  Swanson, who is trained by Greg Jackson, could face the winner of Aldo vs. Jung or rematches with fellow contenders Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas are also intriguing possibilities.  Regardless of what happens, Cub Swanson is on a tear and it will be hard for anyone to stop him.  Plus, he is my 2nd star from UFC 162.

First Star: Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman did it, he beat the unbeatable.  He dethroned UFC middleweight champion and
the pound for pound greatest fighter on the planet, Anderson Silva.  Yes, he definitely got some help from Silva’s foolishness.  Showboating never wins fights, but we can’t let that take anything away from Weidman’s performance, which was the stuff of legend.

Silva has been silly in past fights.  However, Weidman is the only opponent who didn’t allow Silva’s actions to mess with his head.  Weidman had a gameplan and stayed committed to it.  That is the main reason he was able to come away from UFC 162 as the new middleweight champion of the world.

Before the fight, I figured the only way Silva could lose was if he was outwrestled.  I never thought I’d see Anderson Silva get knocked unconscious, but that is exactly what happened.  He has been able to get away with showboating before and he obviously tempted fate one too many times.  He paid for it with a right hand to the chin along with some brutal ground and pound from Weidman.

The Chris Weidman era has officially begun in the UFC’s middleweight division.  Only time will tell whether or not Weidman has what it takes to hold on to the belt for any extended period of time.  The MMA world must wait to find out the answer to that question.  Hopefully the time spent waiting will heal the wounds of Anderson Silva and his many fans.

For now, we should all take Dana White’s advice, and just calm down.  It had been 7 years since Silva last tasted defeat; everything is going to be fine.  There are still many things to celebrate, including new middleweight champ Chris Weidman, and of course a new edition of Three Stars.  Keep your hands up fight fans, it could save your dignity, just ask Anderson Silva.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Maybe UFC 161 wasn’t the most memorable event in the company’s history.  Maybe it was only slightly interesting.  Regardless, it was a night of fights and for that I am grateful.  So I’ve watched all of the coverage and compiled my three stars for UFC 161, it is better late than never.  I dare you to read this, it might be better than the event itself.

Third Star: Rashad Evans

Evans wasn’t super impressive at UFC 161. Heck, I’m not even sure if he was impressive at all.  But, he did earn a split decision victory against Dan Henderson.  The fact he was able to get a win in such a high pressure situation is the reason he earned my third star. He survived an early scare and used his footwork to stay out of range of Henderson’s huge right hand.  If the judges hadn’t scored the fight in his favor, it would have been the third straight loss for Rashad.  Losing three in a row in the UFC can sometimes be devastating to a fighter’s career.  Evans will avoid the ax for the time being, he just needs to keep winning for his job to be secure.

Second Star: Sam Stout vs. James Krause

This was the ‘fight of the night at UFC 161, and for good reason.  Krause was making his UFC debut on short notice.  Meanwhile, it was Stout’s 16th octagon appearance.  The first time jitters weren’t evident for Krause as he used his superior length perfectly, never letting Stout get comfortable.  It was a good lesson for a young fighter, some guys are extremely difficult to put away.  James Krause remained patient and was eventually able to submit Stout in the third round.  It was a classic Sam Stout fight, where he took all kinds of punishment and kept coming.  It was also an excellent start to Krause’s UFC career. However, I am sure that Sam Stout will continue to be a tough fight for anyone at 155lbs.  Despite being on the UFC 161 preliminary card, Krause vs. Stout gets my second star.

First Star: Stipe Miocic vs. Roy Nelson

I was tempted to not include Nelson in my first star selection.  But that wouldn’t have been fair to “Big Country”.  If it weren’t for Nelson’s ridiculous chin his UFC 161 fight with Stipe Miocic would have been over in the first round.  There aren’t many guys who can take the type of shots Nelson can and still be standing at the end of three rounds.  Although he was standing, Roy did look like a guy trying his best not to throw up and pass out when the bell rang.  It was by far Miocic’s best performance in the UFC.  In the short amount of time leading up to the fight, he was able to come up with a gameplan and he executed it perfectly.  The fight, which served as the co-main event for UFC 161, turned out to be a highly entertaining scrap.  If Miocic vs. Nel.son had been announced as the ‘fight of the night’, you wouldn’t have heard any complaints from me.

It was no secret that UFC 161 was ruined by injuries.  Now that the event has come and gone, MMA fans can erase it from their memories.  Let’s hope we don’t have to hear about fighter injuries of the rest of 2013, but that is highly unlikely, we are talking about the fight game.  For more post fight coverage of UFC 161, continue visiting Pro Fighting Fans.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Rashad Evans may not have been at his best, and was certainly not at his worst, in his UFC 161 main event bout with Dan Henderson.  Evans was rocked early in the fight and then played it safe for two rounds to get the split decision victory. It wasn’t the Rashad of old, but a win is a win at this point in his career.

The two fighters came out in the first round looking for opportunities to attack. Henderson landed the most significant strike of the round when he hit Evans with a straight left hand that hurt “Suga” and had him in trouble. Evans admitted after the fight that he was legitimately worried about being finished.

Thankfully for Evans, he was able to bounce back in the last two rounds.  Although he didn’t take too many risks, he used his quickness to avoid Henderson’s right hand.  And, whenever the fighters engaged Rashad was able to land the better strikes in rounds two and three.

Dan Henderson looked extremely one dimensional on Saturday night. He was focused on hitting Evans with his big right hand, when that didn’t happen he failed to adjust his game plan. When you watch Henderson nowadays you almost forget he was an Olympic wrestler.  He rarely ever uses takedowns and his opponents are able to predict what’s coming next.  He’ll need to take some time off and look at his options, and retirement is not off the table.

Evans halted his two fight losing skid with the split decision victory over Henderson at UFC 161. He may not have regained his swagger, but he was effective and did just enough to get a win.  Now Evans finds himself in a tough position, as no one wants to see a rematch with Jon Jones, yet there aren’t a lot of intriguing fights for him at light heavyweight.  So he too will need to go home and take a look at his career.

UFC 161 took place at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg Manitoba on Saturday, June 15, 2013. The event was headlined by Evans vs. Henderson.  UFC 161 had taken a lot of criticism for a weak fight card that was riddled by injuries and it ended up being mediocre at best.  Continue checking back with Profightingfans.com for more post fight coverage from UFC 161.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Roy “Big Country” Nelson (19-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) took on Stipe Miocic (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) in the co-main event at UFC 161.  Going into the fight many people expected Roy Nelson to get another knockout win.  Unfortunately for Nelson, the MMA gods were not on his side Saturday night.  For three rounds Miocic was able to dodge punches, run at times, and use accurate striking to pick Nelson apart.

It was evident early on that Nelson had no gas in the tank.  He tired before the first round was over.  It could have been due to the short notice fight.  Or, did Nelson take the fight lightly?  He did land a few shots, but for every shot Nelson landed, Miocic landed three or four of his own.  It was the best performance of Miocic’s young UFC career.

There was a lot of talk about Stipe Miocic’s speed heading into the fight, and he used that speed to perfection.  Roy Nelson couldn’t keep up with his opponent.  Miocic continuously used a fake takedown to storm in and fire punches; Nelson had no answer for it.  It was surprising that Nelson didn’t take the fight to the mat.  Instead, he chose to try for the knockout, but it just wasn’t working out for him.

The loss puts an end to any talk of Roy Nelson getting a title shot, at least for the time being.  It will also make Nelson’s contract discussions with the UFC very interesting.  It was made known before the fight that Nelson had turned down a contract extension on at least one occasion. He was hoping a big win would give him an upper hand in negotiations. The loss could have the opposite effect.  Nelson also had his 3 fight knockout win streak ended by Miocic and he’s now 4-2 in his last 6 fights.

Miocic was able to bounce back from his first professional loss against Stefan Struve with a stellar performance in the octagon.  The victory over Nelson should earn him another big fight.  Stipe improved to 4-1 in the UFC.  The sky is the limit for the 30-year-old Ohio native who was once sponsored by Intimidation Clothing. Miocic’s stock is on the rise and the UFC heavyweight division may have a new contender.

Miocic vs. Nelson served as the co-main event for UFC 161, which took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Saturday night.  The event was headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson.  Continue to check back with Profightingfans.com for further post fight coverage of UFC 161.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Jon Fitch wanted to prove his critics wrong. He felt the UFC had no reason to release him earlier this year. Well if it had anything to do with his performance in the cage, UFC president Dana White must feel pretty good about his decision after Friday night.

Fitch returned to action at the World Series of Fighting 3, when he faced Josh Burkman in the main event. The two had met in 2005 when they were still on the UFC roster. Fitch won that fight by submitting Burkman in the 2nd round.  So, his fans expected this to be a winnable fight. Most people probably expected him to win.

Apparently Josh Burkman didn’t get the memo, because at the opening bell he immediately baited Fitch into trading punches. He rocked him with a left-right combination and Fitch dropped to his knees. Instead of punching his opponent, Burkman seized an opportunity and grabbed ahold of the neck. They got to their feet and Burkman pulled guard. Seconds later he released an unconscious Jon Fitch from the guillotine choke.

Josh Burkman actually showed great awareness by releasing the choke, as referee Steve Mazzagatti seemed to not realize that Fitch had gone limp. It was a brutal finish to a fast paced fight that only lasted 41 seconds.

It really is a sad turn of events for a guy who fought for the UFC welterweight title only 5 years ago.  Since 2011 he’s gone 1-3-1 and two of those losses came less than a minute into the fights. Where does Jon Fitch go from here? Obviously there could be a rubber match with Burkman. But it is unlikely that fans will want to see that fight anytime soon. Fitch will probably get a matchup with a lesser known opponent.  Or, he could always retire; I wouldn’t be upset with that decision at all.  He had a good run, and there’s no shame in calling it quits. No matter what he decides, let’s hope he can pick himself up and dust off like the true warrior he is.

As for Josh Burkman, he has now won all three of his fights under the WSOF banner and five in a row overall. If he keeps winning he may find himself back in the UFC one day. But for right now Burkman should be happy with being the best 170lb fighter on the World Series of Fighting roster. It doesn’t hurt that he also avenged a loss that had probably haunted him for the last 5 years.

WSOF 3 took place Friday June 14th in Las Vegas, Nevada.  There were nine fights on the card and Jon Fitch vs. Josh Burkman served as the evening’s main event.  WSOF 4 is scheduled to take place August 10th, a light heavyweight bout between Tyrone Spong and Angel DeAnda will headline the event.  For more news on the World Series of Fighting continue checking back with Profightingfans.com.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer