(image via Zuffa LLC/article by Adam LeBarr)
It feels like months since the last UFC event took place (for us at least). Friday, April 11th, we the fans are treated to a Heavyweight main-event that couple possibly give the loser a one way ticket out of the organization. Nothing is for sure, but before we go in-depth with the main-event, lets take you over to the Featherweight division for Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri --
In your co-main event of the evening, Clay Guida, ranked #9 in the Featherweight division will take on former Pride, ONE FC, Dream, Strikeforce and now current UFC competitor, Tatsuya Kawajiri.
With some previous poor performances by Guida, this Friday (2pm EST), he'll look to make a statement in taking on Kawajiri. Though Guida is an insane ball of energy and a difficult opponent for anyone to keep up with, Kawajiri isn't going to let up or give the "W' that easily.
Kawajiri has great wrestling, as well as submission and if anyone's going to take control of Guida and pose a huge threat, it just might be the newcomer, Tatsuya.
Clay Guida's currently 1-4 in his last 5 fights, 1-1 in the Featherweight division. His last 5 bout don't look very impressive, but with a win this Friday, it's certainly putting him (Clay Guida) on the right path.
For your main-event of the evening, we have heavy hitter, Roy Nelson taking on MMA legend and jiu-jitsu specialist, 'Minotauro' Nogueira.
This could be the fight that makes or breaks either of these Heavyweight veterans. With Roy Nelson coming off of two consecutive loses and 'Big Nog' on a rocky road for the past few years, another loss wouldn't be doing any favors.
Fans love him, but no matter the love you show, Dana White on numerous occasions has shown his dislike towards 'Big Country' Nelson. With another loss on his record (that making 3 in a row), it wouldn't be shocking to see him let go. Roy Nelson does have something on his side that could save all this "chance of release" talk and that's his heavy, one punch knockout hands. In order to land with with a devastating punch, he'll have to keep the fight standing.
'Minotauro' Nogueira has already stated he'll be looking to not only finish Nelson, but do it by way of submission. That leads me to believe 'Big Nog' is looking to take this fight to the mat (your classic submissions vs. strikes type match up).
A win, however sends both these Heavyweights back onto the road to gold. Nogueira has also stated that after this fight with Nelson, he plans on making another run for the title.
Main Card (UFC Fight Pass):
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Roy Nelson
Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
John Howard vs. Ryan LaFlare
Ramsey Nijem vs. Beneil Dariush
Preliminary card (UFC Fight Pass):
Jared Rosholt vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
Rani Yahya vs. Johnny Bedford
Thales Leites vs. Trevor Smith
Chris Camozzi vs. Andrew Craig
Alan Omer vs. Jim Alers
(video courtesy of WWE)
We know it’s not MMA related, but before all of this MMA stuff was around, the closest thing a lot of us had growing up to live combat was the WWF (now known as the WWE). Of those childhood memories The Ultimate Warrior was one of the most dynamic and unforgettable characters created and this writer spent much of his parents hard earned money watching pay per views as a child to see him “wrestle” some of the biggest names in the sport like Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage. More comic book character than athlete, the guy was all hair and muscles and earned quite a fanatical following, myself included, who thought he was the baddest man on the planet. I eventually moved on from watching pro wrestling and started getting involved in martial arts and eventually MMA. It never captured my interest again. When news came of The Ultimate Warrior’s passing it stuck a nostalgic chord from days long past. Seeing his last speech being accepted in the WWE Hall of Fame what struck me is how much time flew by. Gone was the crazy haired guy that ran into the ring, lifted even larger men over his head and raged his way to victory. In his place stood an older silver haired man in a goatee wearing a mask addressing a crowd of kids who more than likely have only seen him wrestle on highlight reels.
A bittersweet reminder that time waits for no one.
The Ultimate Warrior had the “IT” factor regardless of whether his fights were scripted or not. In a way it’s the same stuff that made me get into MMA so eagerly. A personality that made you want to see him compete. He delivered intense performances that made the kid in you get out of your seat and cheer. Win or lose, he helped his sport grow into what it is now. Same can be said of the Chuck Liddels or Randy Coutures who in turn inspired so many young athletes to compete in mixed martial arts today. It’s a bygone era as we see more and more athletes come and go through so many different promotions. It’s harder and harder to become a household name if you get into a ring or cage.
But thanks to guys like the Ultimate Warrior and the memories they leave behind, it can inspire all of us to keep trying.
RIP James “Ultimate Warrior” Hellwig (June 16, 1959 - April 8, 2014)
Not to be out done by GSP, Ronda Rousey and Randy Couture seem ready to kick some Hollywood bad guy ass, all decked out in military/leather/Call of Duty style outifts in these teaser posters for The Expendables 3. This is the movie Rousey was filming while training for her fight with Meisha Tate (which she later won) proving she could still train for a title fight WHILE filming a big budget motion picture, like a boss! We're thinking being on the set with the likes of Couture and Chuck Norris had to help. Either way we would still let her armbar us as much as she wanted. Catch the Expendables 3 in theaters in August.
Flashy kicks? Check. Superman punch? Check. Irresitable French Accent? Double Check. GSP makes his long awaited big screen debut in Captain America: Winter Soldier this weekend, and here is a teaser for his showdown with the good captain played by Chris Evans. Still not clear whether the fight will be contested under the unified rules but we're definitely checking this one out!