(“No you didn’t.” “Yeah, I did.” “Nuh-uh.” “Yeah-huh.”)
UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans is still a week away but there are three noteworthy MMA events taking place tonight and tomorrow. First up is Bellator XIX in San Antonio, where Ben Askren, Ryan Thomas, Dan Hornbuckle and Steve Carl will duke it out to determine who is in the final and Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Soto squares off with UFC vet Diego Saraiva in a non-title fight.
Thomas, who re-entered the tournament after Jim Wallhead’s flight from England was canceled due to a light volcanic dusting of Europe, gets a chance to avenge what he thinks was a bogus referee stoppage loss to Askren in the first round. Both fighters are looking for a decisive finish but frankly I’d love to see another controversial loss on Thomas’ record. Then if Hornbuckle or Carl is injured and can’t fight in the final, Bellator can bring “The Tank Engine” back again, and Askren can attempt to become the first fighter to win an eight-man fighter by beating the same guy three times.
(Pics or it didn’t happen.)
Tomorrow night Woostah, Mass. will play host to Moosin: God of Martial Arts< http://www.moosinusa.com/>, which as far as we can tell is a South Korean company promoting a show in North America through some Polish guys and Butterbean. It’s earily reminiscent of M-1 Global, only Moosin has Mariusz Pudzianowski, not Fedor. There are some compelling match-ups on this card, namely the bout between Tara “I Can’t Get A Fight To Save My Life” LaRosa and Roxanne “Tougher Than I Look” Modaferri. The card is littered with UFC vets and FIGHT! contributor Jeff Harder will be on the scene to see how it all goes down, and hopefully to get to the bottom of how undercard competitor Fred Belleton earned the nickname, “French Foot Fighter.”
Tickets – including floor seats – are still available through Ticketmaster and the PPV is available through all major outlets for $29.99, which is a fair price considering the fact that you’re going to get several hours of Bas Rutten’s color commentary in exchange.
Also tomorrow night is Strikeforce Challengers 8 in Portland, Ore. Anchored by Matt Lindland, the card features some of Strikeforce’s best young talent, guys like Tyron Woodley, Roger Bowling, and Tarec Saffediene. Given Lindland’s success with Sportfight, this Challengers show may turn out to be the most successful installment of the problematic series. Considering how badly the promotion needs to start building it’s next wave of stars, let’s hope it is.
Loretta Hunt is reporting that KJ Noons will ride the “Krazy Horse” one more time. Strikeforce has signed Charles Bennett to face Noons in a lightweight bout on June 26, the same card that will feature Fedor vs. Werdum and Cris Cyborg vs. Jan Finney. Bennett vs. Noons I resulted in a KO win for Krazy Horse and the rematch should be a barn burner if Bennett can avoid kidnapping anyone between now and then.
In other fight booking news, MMAJunkie reports that freak fight favorite Ikuhisa Minowa will face Imani Lee at Dream.14. Lee, who tips the scales at three bills-plus, will face the natual middleweight in the “White Cage.”
According to Tatame, Andre Pederneiras and Alex Davis will protest Lyle Beerbohm’s unanimous decision win over Vitor Ribeiro last Saturday night at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery. Beerbohm is a great story and a good fighter, but I watched that bout from press row and thought, along with everyone else I spoke to, that it was at least a split decision victory for Shaolin. Hopefully Strikeforce will re-book this fight, possibly as the headliner on a Challengers card?
Maximum Fighting Championship’s In Drag
Drag racing, that is. Ragged Glory Racing will run an MFC-sponsored Top Eliminator-class dragster at the Rocky Mountain Nationals and other events at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta. According to MFC, the racer features a 274-inch Spitzer chassis on a carbon-fibre body with a 1,360-horsepower engine and 1,200 foot-torque.
Miguel Angel Torres Day
East Chicago, Ind. has declared Fri., June 4 to be “Miguel Angel Torres Day.” The former WEC Bantamweight Champion will be honored for his work with kids at a mid-day proclamation, after which he will multiply the fishes and loaves and teach Ninja invisibility techniques to the kids of East Chicago. “The city is full of hardworking people and I have done my best to represent East Chicago in a positive way,” Torres said. For a full dose of Miguel’s positivity, read my Sept. 2009 cover story about him.
Game (Nearly) On
GamePro has already given UFC Undisputed 2010 a perfect 5/5 rating and word is that Official Playstation Magazine slapped a 9/10 on that bad boy. GameStop is staying open late to release the game next week – find out where you can get it here.