Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) took a rare, albeit much needed, rest from promoting an event this past weekend to gear up for its upcoming blitz.
And it will do it again next weekend, too, before UFC 137: St. PIerre vs. Condit blows the doors off the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 29, 2011. Three events will then follow in succession, as well as a Strikeforce "Challengers" show, ending with UFC 139: Henderson vs. Rua on Nov. 19, 2011.
Despite the absence of a Zuffa-promoted event this weekend and next, the mixed martial arts (MMA) world did (and will) not stop churning. In fact, several notable events took place this weekend throughout the nation, featuring a few names that might ring a bell.
Let's take a quick look at the weekend that was in MMA:
Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Oct. 15, 2011
Bellator was at it again, delivering another exciting event that featured the semifinals of its middleweight tournament. Alexander Shlemenko survived a first round scare to storm back and stop Brian Rogers, while Vitor Vianna clipped Bryan Baker with an overhand right to punch their tickets to the final on Nov. 19, 2011. In other action, Bellator Bantamweight Champion Zach Makovsky made quick work of Ryan Roberts in their non-title fight, locking in a fight-ending submission (North-South Choke) in the opening frame. If you missed any or all of it, or just want to keep the discussion alive, check out complete Bellator 54 results coverage and more right here.
M-1 GLOBAL Challenge XXVII
Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona
Oct. 14, 2011
Fresh off winning gold at the 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, M-1 Global Light Heavyweight Champion Vinny Magalhaes defended his 205-pound title against Mikhail Zayats. It wasn't easy, but The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 8 alum recovered from a slow start to score a technical knockout finish in round three that was set up by a nice head kick. In the co-featured fight of the night, Kenny Garner, the promotion's interim heavyweight champion, needed nearly all 25 minutes to finally stop Maxim Grishin in the final 60 seconds in what was described as "a knock-down, drag-out brawl." The bout had a heavy dose of officiating controversy, as well as a healthy helping of BenGay. Whistles, too, also wreaked havoc on the action, nearly affecting the outcome of at least one fight on the card. To find out what happened and to check out the latest M-1 GLOBAL Challenge XXVII result coverage click here.
Score Fighting Series 2: "Doerksen vs. Cooper"
Ronald V. Joyce Centre for Performing Arts in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Oct. 14, 2011
The upstart Canadian promotion pulled the trigger on its encore event with seven-fight card from the Great White North. UFC veteran and MMA journey man, Joe Doerksen, participated in his 63rd professional bout this weekend, taking on Brett Cooper in the headliner. Cooper, who admittedly "got caught with some good ones" from "El Dirte," hung on to register a very impressive technical knockout in round two. To watch the full fight, and the finish, click here. Cooper wasn't the only fighter to score a nice finish. Bellator veteran William Romero came from behind to stop Stephane Bernadel in the opening round of their co main event fight. For more on Score Fighting Series 2, including complete results, click here.
United Bank Center in Miami, Florida
Oct. 15, 2011
Riding a three-fight win streak into the "Sunshine State," Marcus Davis was on a mission to make it four straight and hope it was good enough to be invited back to the UFC. (TUF) alum Chuck O'Neil had a different plan. The pair split the first two rounds of the main event, but then in the final frame the "Irish Hand Grenade" absorbed a wig-splitting elbow that had him bleeding profusely. O'Neil continued to pour on the punishment en route to surprising split decision victory. In the co-main event, former XFC Featherweight Champion and South Florida favorite, Luis Palomino, edged Edson Berto via decision in a bout that was originally scheduled to be fought under the Bellator Fighting Championships umbrella earlier this year. For complete W-1 results and coverage click here and here.
Bellator will be back in business this upcoming weekend with the semifinals of its bantamweight tournament, highlighted with a light heavyweight "super fight" between Travis Wiuff vs. Christian M'Pumbu. Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) will also be in play with its "Resurrection" card from the University of Central Florida campus in Orlando, Florida.
Be sure to check in with MMA Nation for all the UFC/MMA news and results from around globe. Just because UFC takes breaks, doesn't mean that we let up on our non-stop coverage of the sport.