The Strike Exchange
The MMA Market Fluctuates More Than the Dow Jones. Whose stock is on the rise? These are the four fighters we’re “buying” right now.
Everyone loves exciting fighters,but usually those spinning back kick guys are exposed in the cage. Not Pettis, who understands the “arts” in MMA and managed to choke out Shane Roller at WEC 50. Not only did Pettis beat a true wrestling stud in Roller, he looked good doing it. The lightweight has shown a bit of everything in the past and now can add beating a wrestler at his own game. Next up for Pettis maybe WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson.
The former Olympic wrestler had a busy four weeks, winning three times in less than 30 days. Cormier claimed the XMMA Heavyweight Title with a TKO victory over Lucas Browne on July 31. He won the King of the Cage Heavyweight Title by securing a rear naked choke on Tony Johnson on August 13. Eight days later, Cormier submitted Jason Riley via strikes at Strikeforce: Houston. Cormier (5-0) has finished his last four opponents in the first round.
Tate won the Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Tournament by defeating both Maiju Kujala and Hitomi Akano via unanimous decision on August 13. Tate’s five-fight winning streak and 11-2 record make her a force to be reckoned with in the 135-pound division. It’s only a matter of time until Tate tangles with Marloes Coenen or Sarah Kaufman for a shot at the Strikeforce Welterweight Title.
The Bellator Middleweight Champion continues to pile up wins. Lombard needed just 38 seconds to KO Herbert Goodman at Bellator 24 on August 12. That must have seemed like a lifetime in the cage after his previous 6-second KO of Jay Silva in May. The Cuban judo champion puts his 27-2 record and 20-fight unbeaten streak on the line when he faces Alexander Shlemenko on October 28 for the Bellator title.
BLACK HOUSE GYM
The Brazilian-American gym proved it was the best in the world during a 14-day stretch in August. First, Anderson Silva defended his UFC Middleweight Title at UFC 117 by subbing Chael Sonnen. Then, Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza won the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight and Middleweight Championships by beating Mohammed Lawal and Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce: Houston. Teammate Jose Aldo is the WEC Featherweight Champ, and the titles could keep coming. Junior Dos Santos’ win at UFC 117 over Roy Nelson puts him next in line for a title shot against the winner of Lesnar/Velasquez.