UFC 135 pound champion Dominick Cruz was stripped of his title on Monday December 6, 2014. Dana White made the announcement during a live segment of sports center. Dominick Cruz hasn’t defended the title since October 1, 2011. This sets up an opportunity for the interim champion Renan Barão to finally become the actual champion but standing in his way is Urijah Faber. These two men fought the first time July 2, 2012 in a fight where Renan got the decision in route to winning the interim title. This rematch set for February 1, 2014 which happens to be the Saturday before the Super Bowl looks to be an interesting matchup. Can Urijah correct what went wrong in the first fight? How much better has Barão gotten between the last fight.
This past Saturday UFC presented the eighth installment of fights for the Fox network. Demetrious Johnson showed why he is a champion getting an armbar finish in the 5th round at 3:43 seconds which set a record as the latest finish in a UFC fight ever. John Moraga delivered one strike that seemed to break the champion’s nose but the two fighters were seemingly on different levels the whole fight. The 125 pound weight class doesn’t have a ton of contenders ready so the landscape is open. Demetrious Johnson brought up the idea of a super fight against the 135 pound champion, I like the champs swagger but we saw that fight and the champion Dominick Cruz always seemed one step ahead. I like seeing Demetrious at 125 and I look forward to his next defense.
This Saturday UFC presents its eight special on FOX television. The main event is John Moraga vs Demetrious Johnson for the 125 pound championship. John Moraga may be an unknown to most of the crowd as he hasn’t had a televised fight as of yet with the company. He faces Johnson who was a top contender at 135 though when he had his opportunity at the champion Dominick Cruz he fell short. He found himself then competing in the newly created 125 pound weight class and becoming its first champion.
This Thursday January 24, 2013 Bellator Fighting Championship Presents Bellator 86 from Thackerville, Oklahoma. This will be the debut what is being called this generation’s first two sport athlete Muhammed Lawal or King Mo. We saw King already debut on Spike TV but it was for Impact Wrestling.
King Mo had a very interesting 2012: he failed a drug test, dealt with staph he contracted after knee surgery, and he began to learn professional wrestling while training at Ohio Valley Wrestling. Mo’s knees seemingly are an issue going into this fight but as he told me, “I went to Holland to test myself against top fighters and I left there with no injuries.”
We also have big title fight between Karl Amoussou and Ben Askren. These guys are not fans of each other in the slightest. Askren’s eighty seven wins in college wrestling ranks in the top-10 all time in NCAA history. Ben uses his wrestling very effectively and controls his opponent on the mat for most of his matches.
Ben has been accused of using a boring “lay and pray” style in his fights to which he responds:
“People just try to get under my skin. In one of my interviews after the Lima fight, people want to see me lose for whatever reason whether it’s my attitude or anything. When I get on top and I do it quickly, they know that I won’t get knocked out and they won’t submit me. It sucks for them because they know what’s going to happen which is 25 minutes of me winning. Come next Thursday, the fans will be disappointed again because there’s no way that belt isn’t leaving with me.”
I was able to ask Karl if the fans begin to boo in reaction to Ben Askren’s controlling style will this affect his game plan at all he said, “My nerves are good. I’m calm and cool. I’m ready to fight standing up, I’m ready to wrestle and I’m ready to grapple. If fans are ready to boo as often happens in Askren fights if it goes to the ground, but that’s not my biggest concern. I’m coming to win the belt.”
Bellator 86 will have 4 big fights Thursday night but the title fight and King Mo’s debut will be defiantly worth checking out.
— Alex Goff @AlexGoff84
At Bellator 85 which happens to be Bellator Fighting Championship’s debut in front of a possible 100 million homes on Spike TV we will see three title fights two of which are title fights and one is a matchup in the first round of the light heavyweight tournament. Renato Sobral a veteran of MMA since 1997 has a record of 37-9 though recently he only fought once in 2012 and before that hadn’t fought since December 2010. Sobral says, “Training for this fight and for me to fight in this tournament format has to be smart. You have to train with a vision to fight again in a short period.”