Randy Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Here are our predictions (after the jump, winners in bold) for UFC 102.
The event will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between former UFC heavyweight champion Randy “The Natural” Couture and former PRIDE heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Also on the card will be a light heavyweight attraction featuring Keith Jardine and Thiago Silva.
Feel free to leave your predictions as well in our comments section.
Chris Tuchscherer. Photo courtesy of SNMMA.
Rising heavyweight prospect Chris Tuchscherer garnered his third straight victory in as many fights, swiftly earning a first-round stoppage of Jamie Klair less than two minutes into their featured attraction at Sovereign Nations MMA “Extreme Beatdown” on Saturday night.
After a brief exchange on the feet, Tuchscherer (17-1), who had the services of UFC heavyweight champion and training partner Brock Lesnar in his corner, quickly brought Klair (7-1) down to the mat and proceeded to unleash a barrage of unanswered shots that forced the referee to wave off the bout. The loss was the first of Klair’s professional career.
The win is the third for Tuchscherer after he suffered his only career loss to date at the hands of experienced veteran Travis Wiuff at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s infamous one-night heavyweight tournament back in April of last year.
Travis Wiuff weighs-in for UFC 52: Couture vs Liddell II. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Revolutionary? The jury’s still out. However YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show went off without much of a hitch at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where veteran Travis Wiuff (52-11) won three consecutive fights to win the promotion’s first-ever heavyweight tournament last night.
Wiuff’s road to victory contradicted what Bob Meyrowitz and company predicted that YAMMA’s cage, which sported an incline close to the fence all the way around, would prevent. Wiuff used the leverage of the incline to continuously take his opponent down to the mat. YAMMA’s attempt to keep fights on the feet backfired in a big way.
The quarterfinals of the tournament saw former UFC heavyweight champion and tournament-favorite Ricco Rodriguez (28-9) use well-timed takedowns to score a unanimous decision over George Bush (5-1). Chris Tuscherer (13-1) and Wiuff both used the same strategy to earn first-round wins over Tony Sylvester (10-2) and Marcelo Pereira (0-1) respectively.
The first fight of the night saw Alexey Oleinik (7-4) have a point deducted after he continued to punch Sherman Pendergarst (10-9) while referee Kevin Mulhall was bringing the fight back up to the feet. However Olenik quickly scored a takedown and secured a fight-ending front choke with less than a minute left in the first round.
In the semifinals, Minnesota natives Wiuff and Tuscherer dodged submission attempts and scored takedowns against Rodriguez and Olenik to move to the three-round final that saw Wiuff use superior wrestling to earn a unanimous decision and the tournament crown.
Don Frye connects with a right hand against Min Soo Kim in October 2006. Photo courtesy of Fight Entertainment Group.
YAMMA Pit Fighting, a new mixed martial arts organization created by Ultimate Fighting Championship founder Bob Meyrowitz, has announced the complete card for it’s upcoming inaugural event in April.
The event is scheduled to take place on April 11th at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ. It will be highlighted by two “masters division” fights and an eight-man heavyweight tournament.
Longtime veterans Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will fight for the first time in the night’s main event. A bout between kickboxing veteran Gary Goodridge and infamous professional boxer Eric “Butterbean” Esch will also take place. An eight-man heavyweight tournament featuring Travis Wiuff and Sherman Pendergarst will proceed the fights.
The complete lineup for the event is below:
Masters Division Fights
Don Frye vs. Oleg Taktarov
Gary Goodridge vs. Eric Esch
Eight-Man Heavyweight Tournament