Welterweight contenders Karo Parisyan and Thiago Alves are expected to fight in the UFC’s inaugural venture into Canada on April 19th according to a report from MMA Junkie.
Although nothing is official as of yet, the fight has been discussed among both camps and bout agreements are expected to be signed once they are sent out.
Parisyan is currently recovering from a broken left hand that he suffered in his recent win over Ryo Chonan at UFC 78: Validation in November. “The Heat” is still continuing his quest for a title shot since originally receiving one prior to UFC 56 where he was to challenge Matt Hughes for the UFC’s welterweight belt.
Parisyan was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an injury during training and then lost his number-one contender status when he dropped a decision to Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 6. Since then Parisyan has knocked off three straight opponents and a win over Alves would continue to improve his chances of gaining another title shot.
After splitting his first four bouts in the UFC, Alves is now riding a four-fight winning streak that includes knockouts of Tony DeSouza and Kuniyoshi Hironaka. Alves put on a show in his last fight against veteran Chris Lytle. The two battled for two rounds until the fight was halted due to a cut Lytle had suffered. The fight was deemed the most exciting of the night by UFC President Dana White at the UFC 78 post-fight press conference.
After watching UFC 79 and hearing all of the discussion about how Matt Hughes and Matt Serra were originally supposed to fight but Serra pulled out with an injury, I got to thinking. It wasn’t the first time that a situation like that occurred.
So I sat down and did some research. There were actually a good number of fights in the UFC that were signed and slated to happen but ended up not taking place for one reason or another. The final number was a lot higher than I expected so I went ahead and narrowed the list down to the fights that would have been the best if they were to happen at the time.
So here they are. I’ve sorted them starting with the most recent and excluding Hughes-Serra. Each instance is pretty interesting.
Evan Tanner vs Jeremy Horn (UFC 59): The two long-time MMA veterans were set to clash at UFC 59 in what was unofficially an “elimination” bout for the two of them. Horn had split his two return bouts in the UFC while Tanner had lost two straight, including his middleweight title. The bout would have been an interesting chess match between two slick grapplers but Horn ended up pulling out after injuring his back during training. Justin Levens replaced Horn and Tanner went on to submit Levens in the first round of their bout. Horn was released shortly after defeating Chael Sonnen at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes vs Karo Parisyan (UFC 56): After losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 46, Parisyan went ahead and racked up three straight wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra to earn a title shot against then-champion Matt Hughes. The anticipated welterweight showdown was set to headline the event until Parisyan was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an elbow injury during training. Joe Riggs stepped in for Parisyan and ended up failing to make weight, costing him his shot at the title. Hughes would go on to submit Riggs in a non-title bout and wouldn’t defend his belt again until UFC 63, making it over a full year since the welterweight title was contested. To this day, Parisyan is still yearning for another shot at the title.
This thing is a mess…
Well as I’m sure everyone already knows, UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra has been forced to pull out of his scheduled title defense against Matt Hughes at UFC 79 next month after suffering a pair of herniated discs in his lower back.
So what happens now?
Well one thing we know for certain - Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva are going to headline UFC 79.
Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports leaked some information about what UFC officials are considering in terms of possibly finding Hughes another opponent:
According to a UFC official, if Serra is out for a long period of time and Hughes agrees to fight on Dec. 29, the two most likely candidates for an opponent would be Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves.
Fitch I can agree with, Alves I can not. In fact I think that Hughes and Fitch would be a great matchup. However we can throw it out the window according to MMA Mania because not only can Fitch not make it to the event, he won’t even be in his country:
MMA Mania can confirm that Fitch is not available to fight that weekend. In fact, he told us today, “I’m not even going to be in the country. I’ll be in Vietnam tending to some personal matters.”
Hughes will most likely only be fighting next month if Serra is going to be out of action for a long period of time. So if Serra is going to miss more than a couple months, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the UFC bust out the infamous interim title. But if Serra is only going to be out until February or March, Hughes would be wasting his time in taking a fight next month.
Alves should not be getting a shot at any kind of title in my opinion, not yet. He’s lost to Fitch and Spencer Fisher and needs to at least defeat a top 5-6 welterweight in the UFC before he gets a chance at the big dogs. The same goes for Marcus Davis in my opinion.
Josh Koscheck is coming off of a loss so that’s not going to happen. Diego Sanchez is coming off of two losses and probably won’t be fighting at 170 lbs for much longer. Karo Parisyan may have missed yet another title opportunity due to injury once again after revealing that he fought Ryo Chonan with a broken left hand last weekend.
So who does that leave? How about Georges St. Pierre?
If St. Pierre isn’t being considered to replace Serra, he’s going to be waiting a hell of a long time for a title shot, quite possibly almost an entire year. I think the idea of an interim title would be enough to get St. Pierre to agree to the fight on short notice. That and if he’s been active in the gym and not just sitting around waiting until a couple months before his next fight to get back into shape.
On top of that, it would finally settle the series between Hughes and St. Pierre. It would also make the welterweight title picture a lot more clearer. The winner of Hughes-St. Pierre would fight Serra in the spring if he is able to come back. If Parisyan and Fitch are matched up in March as rumored, that creates yet another number one contender.
The UFC will probably have a better idea on what have to decide after Serra meets with doctors this weekend. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.
Tonight we will be going live at 8 PM EST, covering UFC 78: Validation with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the day and night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC 78: Validation Weigh-In Results
Tap Selections: UFC 78
Goldberg and Rogan Preview UFC 78
Herman Wants Revenge Against Doerksen
Bisping and Evans Ready to Battle at UFC 78
Alexander Plans to be Quick and Exciting
UFC 78 Conference Call Notes
Terrell Replaced by Doerksen at UFC 78
Parisyan-Chonan; Alves-Lytle Now Set for UFC 78
Lombard Unable to Compete at UFC 78
Aurelio-Caudillo Agree to Terms
UFC Announces Bisping-Evans, Alexander-Silva
Rashad Evans vs Michael Bisping
Houston Alexander vs Thiago Silva
Karo Parisyan vs Ryo Chonan
Spencer Fisher vs Frankie Edgar
Joe Doerksen vs Ed Herman
Chris Lytle vs Thiago Alves
Joe Lauzon vs Jason Reinhardt
Marcus Aurelio vs Luke Caudillo
Akihiro Gono vs Tamdan McCrory
Here are the official weigh-in results for UFC 78: Validation which is set to take place tomorrow night at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. All 18 fighters scheduled to compete successfully made weight.
Rashad Evans (206 lbs) vs Michael Bisping (205 lbs)
Houston Alexander (203 lbs) vs Thiago Silva (204 lbs)
Karo Parisyan (170 lbs) vs Ryo Chonan (169.5 lbs)
Spencer Fisher (154.5 lbs) vs Frankie Edgar (154 lbs)
Joe Doerksen (185.5 lbs) vs Ed Herman (186 lbs)
Chris Lytle (170.5 lbs) vs Thiago Alves (171 lbs)
Joe Lauzon (155 lbs) vs Jason Reinhardt (155 lbs)
Marcus Aurelio (156 lbs) vs Luke Caudillo (155.5lbs)
Akihiro Gono (169 lbs) vs Tamdan McCrory (170 lbs)
It seems that Hector Lombard will be unable to gain entry into the United States after all, forcing a change of plans for the UFC reports Dave Meltzer:
UFC failed in a renewed attempt to get Hector Lombard a working visa so the Karo Parisyan vs. Lombard match for Newark, NJ is officially off. Parisyan now faces Ryo Chonan and Thiago Alves, who was to face Chono, will face Chris Lytle.
Assuming these are the matchups that the UFC has actually decided to go with, Chonan is a much tougher opponent for Parisyan then Lombard and may very well make it easier for him to get back into the title picture with a win.
The addition of Chris Lytle gives the much criticized card a bit more star power. Lytle will also make a good test for Alves, who has been inconsistent in the type of opponents he is able to defeat inside the Octagon.
News and Notes
- Tony Loiseleur of Sherdog sat down for an awesome three-page interview with PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi. Be sure to check it out.
- Sherdog is also reporting that Hector Lombard may still have a chance to fight at UFC 78 after all:
On Monday, the fighter’s American representatives told Sherdog.com that in spite of Lombard’s difficulties they remain hopeful he will be granted a P1 visa, which is available to athletes and entertainers coming to the U.S. to participate in internationally recognized events for a U.S. employer.
- The Fight Network is reporting that the IFL has signed Jay Hieron to a contract extension:
Welterweight contender Jay Hieron confirmed today he has re-signed with the International Fight League through the completion of its 2008 campaign. A product of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Hieron holds four victories in six fights with the promotion.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer fame has left FOX Sports for Yahoo! Sports...
- I hate to force publicity out there but a few members of the gym I train out of as well as other members of Team Balance will be competing in grappling matches at the 40th Anniversary of Sports at the Spectrum. The event will be held on October 19th at 7:00 PM at the Wachovia Spectrum of course. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski is set to be a guest at the event.
MMA News has more on the event...
- Adam Morgan looks back on Chris Horodecki’s fall through the ropes during his fight with Bart Palaszewski earlier this year.
Hector Lombard isn’t going to be able to take on Karo Parisyan at UFC 78 according to Sherdog. Why? He can’t gain entry into the United States:
“I’m not going to get my visa,” said Lombard, who was set to fight welterweight Karo Parisyan. “I only have a Cuban passport, so I’ve been told it’s impossible for me to migrate. I went to the American embassy twice and they said no to me both times.”
So now what? There are a lot of welterweights out there that could step in on short notice to take on Parisyan - Roan Carneiro, Rich Clementi, Paul Taylor, Dustin Hazelett, and Jess Liaudin to name a few. Hazelett is probably the best one out of that bunch to step up and face Parisyan but what would I like to see? Josh Koscheck
Koscheck has apparently been itching to get back into the Octagon as soon as possible following his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 74. He was rumored to be fighting at UFC 79 and now may be moved to early next year. However I’m sure he’d be wiling to take this fight on short notice.
The fight would help make the welterweight division a little clearer as well. A Parisyan win would most likely set up a showdown with Jon Fitch and the winner would be line for a title shot against the winner of Hughes/Serra vs St. Pierre early next year. However if Koscheck wins… well we already know he’s not going to fight Fitch.
News and Notes
- MMAWeekly is reporting that Rich Clementi vs. Anthony Johnson has been added to UFC 76: Knockout.
- In a recent interview with Tatame, WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho stated that he’d like to fight at both light heavyweight and heavyweight.
I have to do three more fights on my contract, so I want to all being for the title. I met the WEC 93kg title holder and I find him very sassy, cocky, very stupid, so I want to challenge him. After that I want to fight against a heavyweight too. In fact, with we’re going to play, let’s play nicely. I always was against advertising, against marketing, but I know what I can do. Let’s play a little and have some fun.
- UFC light heavyweight champion Randy “The Natural” Couture will be featured on an upcoming installement of A&E’s Biography.
- Today at 6 PM MMA legend Royce Gracie will be up front on TSN’s Off The Record.
- The Fight Network is reporting that the UFC is currently in negotiations with both Hayato Sakurai and Hector Lombard as possible opponents for Karo “The Heat” Parisyan at UFC 77: Hostile Territory.
CBS Sports: Extreme Q&A with EliteXC’s Nick Diaz
Q: Is fighting Gomi again something that has appeal to you?
ND: Sure, why not, dude? I’ll fight anybody. If they want to pay me a lot of money we can pump that fight up and that fight will be bigger than other fights. I want a big fight. You know, I’m getting older. I’m not as young as I used to be. I was like 17, 18, or 19 the first time I fought in the UFC. And they won’t let me fight and make the money I want to make. I put out the effort and my bank account looks like s—- right now. And what if I want to start a family one day or something like that? I’m not looking at that now, but I’ve made it into that safe area where I’m not like getting chicks pregnant and I don’t have that kind of thing to worry about now. But now it’s kind of like what if I want to do something like that (start a family) one day?
Damon Martin of MMA Weekly made an interesting statement earlier today in his “Top Five Topics” column. He states that Karo Parisyan will most likely be part of the card for UFC 78 in November and that PRIDE veteran Hayato Sakurai has been mentioned as one of Parisyan’s possible opponents:
UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan has been quiet since his win in May over Josh Burkman, but he will most likely fight on the upcoming UFC taking place in New Jersey on November 17th.
One name that has been mentioned amongst possible opponents is Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, who would be making his return to the UFC at 170lbs. A few other names have been mentioned including Hector Lombard.
There has never been an official announcement concerning Sakurai signing a deal with the UFC. The promotion did however show him sitting in the stands at UFC 73 and his on-screen description read “UFC Welterweight”. Sakurai was heavily rumored to have been signed to fight Diego Sanchez at this weekend’s UFC 74 but that rumor was shot down by Frank Trigg in June.