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By: Chris Park, MMATorch UK Specialist
UFC on versus 2 went off with a bang last Sunday as Jonny “Bones” Jones was once again the star of the show. Jones joined Rogerio Nogueira and Andrei Arlovski in becoming only the third man to stop veteran Belarusian Vladimir Matyushenko in the main event of the evening.
Takanori Gomi won "Knockout of the Night" by handing Tyson Griffin the first stoppage loss of his career. "Submission of the Night" went to newcomer Charles Oliveira, who put on an outstanding display in defeating Darren Elkins with a triangle-choke-turned-arm-bar just 41 seconds into the fight. "Fight of the Night" honours were awarded to Brian Stann and Mike Massenzio.
It wasn’t such a good night for British lightweight Paul Kelly, who was dominated on the ground by wrestling standout Jacob Volkmann. The Minnesotan won all three rounds and controlled the fight throughout.
There was a moment in the third where Kelly escaped a full mount before pouncing and catching his opponent with a flying knee. Volkmann’s legs gave out, but as Kelly tried to follow up he found himself on his back again with Volkmann quickly recovering and seeing the round out to secure a unanimous decision victory.
English fans will now turn their hopes to East London’s Brad “One Punch” Pickett, who faces Scott Jorgensen at WEC 50 on August 18. This 135 lb. clash has been touted as a number one contender fight, with the winner getting a shot at either Dominick Cruz or Joseph Benavidez for the Bantamweight title towards the end of 2010.
Following his post-fight attack on Josh Koscheck in May; Paul “Semtex” Daley was told he would never compete in the UFC again.
Daley made a successful return to action last month when he stopped Daniel Accacio at the Impact FC event in Australia. Daley was next linked with a longer term move to the fledgling Bellator Fighting Championship before the Brit rebuffed any such connections via his official website.
Following his dismissal of Bellator, Daley confirmed that he had agreed terms on a one-fight contract with Texas based fight promotion, Shark Fights. Daley will join a host of other former UFC fighters, such as Keith Jardine, Houston Alexander and Drew McFedries for the September 11 event.
Reports then surfaced last weekend suggesting that Paul Daley had inked a six-fight deal with Strikeforce to commence as soon as his Shark Fights contract has been honoured. While Daley’s camp admitted talks had been held with Strikeforce, they denied any deal had been signed off at this point in time, stating the Brit is "weighing up multiple options."
As this all begins to play out the Paul Daley picture is beginning to appear a little clearer. While Strikeforce were clearly reluctant to make an instant swoop for Daley, there was obviously a desire to bring the Brit back to America once the dust had settled around the Montreal debacle.
By agreeing such one-fight contracts Paul Daley has been able to stay active while remaining available to negotiate his long-term future. Only time will tell, but this could prove to be a masterstroke by his management team as the second biggest promotion in America look set to sign their man.
Dan “the Outlaw” Hardy will face Carlos “the Natural Born Killer” Condit at UFC 120 at the London O2 Arena on October 16. The matchup itself, which will see two men from opposite sides of the pond that share the same "never say die" attitude, has fight of the year written all over it.
It would appear that the victor may already have his next fight lined up for him, as UFC UK President Marshall Zelaznik suggested to ESPN’s Ben Blackmore that Hardy, or Condit for that matter, could face the winner of next weekend’s UFC 117 clash between Thiago Alves and John Fitch.
“Thiago Alves is a bit tied up with Jon Fitch right now, but as I fan I can definitely see it happening and Alves could be in line for Hardy in his next couple of fights,” Zelaznik told ESPN.co.uk.
“Right now Hardy fights Carlos Condit, and I think if you look at Carlos' wins, he ends things by stoppage. These are guys vying for a shot at the title, as are Alves and Fitch, so I can definitely see it playing out in the future.”
UFC 117 is live on ESPN UK. Subscription details can be found byclicking here.
OTHER NEWS IN BRIEF:
-The UFC will make their long awaited return to Dublin, Ireland on March 17, with the O2 Arena likely to stage the event. This will be just the second time the organisation have hit Dublin and the first since UFC 93 in January 2009.
-UCMMA will return to Troxy this Saturday for “Invincible.” For ticket options visit www.ucmma.com and remember to tune into “Cage Fighter” every Wednesday on Sky Sports.
-Almost 18 months after their clash at UFC 99, welterweight Marcus Davis has said his feud with Britain’s Dan Hardy is finally over. While Davis has stated that he has let go of the bad feeling he harboured, he would relish a second showdown with the Team Rough House leader in the future.
-Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his co-stars were in London this week for the UK Premiere of the A-Team. Rampage hit the red carpet in London’s Leicester Square and then appeared later in the week on T4 sporting the Tapout: Wolfslair t-shirt.
UFC 120 UPDATE: The UFC this week confirmed that the event from London will air for free to viewers in America on Spike TV. There was also official confirmation for the first ever UK fan expo which will take place on Friday October 15 and Saturday October 16 at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Lightweight sensation Paul Sass looks set for his UFC debut with Mark Holst being lined up for the Team Kaobon star.
AND FINALLY: THQ and the UFC have organised a nationwide tour to celebrate the release of Undisputed 2010. The event kicks off in Newcastle tomorrow with Dan Hardy and Ross Pearson and will continue until Michael Bisping, Paul Kelly and Terry Etim hit Liverpool on August 20. Tickets for UFC 120 will be given away at every city visited.
The full tour dates are as follows:
4 August - Newcastle
Gamestation, Metrocentre, Gateshead, NE11 9YZ
From: 5pm -7pm with Ross Pearson & Dan Hardy
5 August - Glasgow
Gamestation, 83 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3DD
From: 5pm -7pm with Ross Pearson & Michael Bisping
6 August - London
GAME London, 100 Oxford Street, London, W1D 9LL
From: 5pm -7pm with John Hathaway & Dan Hardy
11 August - Sunderland
Gamestation, 27 Blandford Street, Sunderland, SR1 3JH
From: 5pm -7pm with Ross Pearson
12 August - Sheffield
Gamestation, Meadowhall Shopping Centre, Sheffield, S9 1ER
From: 5pm -7pm with Dan Hardy & Michael Bisping
13 August - Birmingham
Gamestation, 138 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4NS
From: 5pm -7pm with Dan Hardy & Paul Taylor
19 August - Nottingham
GAME, Listergate, Nottingham, NG1 7DE
From: 5pm -7pm with Dan Hardy & Michael Bisping
20 August - Liverpool
Gamestation, 72 Lord Street, Liverpool, L2 1TL
From: 5pm -7pm with Michael Bisping, Paul Kelly & Terry Etim
Chris Park is the MMATorch UK Specialist and guest columnist at ESPN.co.uk. Please email any comments or questions to Chris at; firstname.lastname@example.org or look us up at http://www.facebook.com/mmatorchuk2 our new MMATorch Facebook home for UK Fans!
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