Joe Benavidez

UFC 156 predictions

Alistair Overeem. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.

The UFC returns for its third event in consecutive weeks and it's a big one - the promotion's annual Super Bowl weekend event in Las Vegas.

This year's edition features a "superfight" of sorts as UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his title, welcoming former UFC lightweight king Frankie Edgar to the division. Alistair Overeem will also return to action for the first time after a year-long layoff. He will face fellow Strikeforce import Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva for a shot at Cain Velasquez and the UFC heavyweight belt.

My predictions are after the jump.

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Five things to watch for: UFC 156

Frankie Edgar. Photo courtesy of Gaspari Nutrition.

The UFC returns for its third event in consecutive weeks and it's a big one - the promotion's annual Super Bowl weekend event in Las Vegas.

This year's edition features a "superfight" of sorts as UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his title, welcoming former UFC lightweight king Frankie Edgar to the division. Alistair Overeem will also return to action for the first time after a year-long layoff due to suspension. He will face fellow Strikeforce import Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva for a shot at Cain Velasquez and the UFC heavyweight belt.

After the jump, check out five things that you should watch for during Saturday night's festivities.

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Benavidez vs. McCall Set For UFC 156

Ian McCall. Photo by Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com.

It is being reporting that UFC flyweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall will lock horns at UFC 156 on February 2, 2013.

MMAWeekly.com is reporting that verbal agreements are in place for the Superbowl weekend showdown. UFC 156 will be headlined by a featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.

While the event will be held in Las Vegas, Fox officials made news last week when they said they'd like to "own" Superbowl weekend in 2014 with a free card on Fox. For that to happen, mixed martial arts has to get regulated in New York.

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The Daily Recap: Warren-Pitbull II Booked for July, Mendes to Meet Yahya in Philly & More

Joe Warren. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.

The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.

— Bellator season four featherweight tourney winner Patricio "Pitbull" Friere will reportedly challenge Joe Warren for Bellator's featherweight title in rematch on July 23 at Bellator 47. Friere knocked off Georgi Karakhanyan, Wilson Reis and Daniel Straus to earn another shot at Warren, who earned a tight split decision over Friere in their originial meeting in June of last year. [MMA Weekly]

— Chad Mendes has agreed to put his top contender status on the line and face slick submission specialist Rani Yahya in a featherweight bout at UFC 133 on August 6. Mendes, who has started a perfect 10-0 as a pro, has won five straight fights under the WEC and UFC banner. Meanwhile his opponent, Yahya, is coming off of an unanimous decision win over former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown in January. [UFC.com]

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WEC 37 Results

WEC Bantamweight contender Brian Bowles

The WEC rebounded from a lackluster show on November 5th with a solid effort.  Only four fights were shown in the allotted time which was somewhat of a disappointment.  Miguel Torres once again looked impressive in defeating challenger Manny Tapia to retain his bantamweight title.  In a battle of fellow bantamweight contenders, Brian Bowles and Will Ribeiro fought the best fight of the night that was televised, with Bowles finally sinking in a deep guillotine for the victory.  Wagnney Fabiano also notched another solid win in a very technical grappling affair that saw minimal action on the feet. 

Results courtesy of MMA Junkie

Miguel Torres def. Manny Tapia via TKO (strikes)—Round 2, 3:04
Wagnney Fabiano def. Akitoshi Tamura via submission (head-arm choke)—Round 3, 4:48
Brian Bowles def. Will Ribeiro via submission (guillotine choke)—Round 3, 1:11
Joseph Benavidez def. Danny Martinez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Johny Hendricks def. Justin Haskins via TKO (strikes)—Round 2, 0:52
Mark Munoz def. Blas Avena via TKO (strikes)—Round 1, 2:26
Diego Nunes def. Cole Province via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
Bart Palaszewski def. Alex Karalexis via TKO (strikes)—Round 2, 1:11
Cub Swanson def. Hirouki Takaya via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Shane Roller def. Mike Budnik via submission (guillotine choke)—Round 1, 1:01

WEC 37 Final Card and Lineup

The WEC is set to promote their latest event, this time emanating from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  The featured fight will be for the bantamweight championship, as title holder Miguel Torres looks to tangle with the dangerous and undefeated Manny Tapia.  Four of the world’s top 10 ranked bantamweights will be competing as well as an extremely intriguing matchup between top 10 ranked featherwights in Akitoshi Tamura and Wagnney Fabiano.  The WEC continues to put on solid cards featuring many of the world’s best in the lighter weight classes.

The broadcast on the Versus network begins at 8pm EST.  Here’s the card as it stands now before weigh ins.

Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia
Brian Bowles vs. Will Ribeiro
Akitoshi Tamura vs. Wagnney Fabiano
Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez

Preliminary Fights:
Johny Hendricks vs. Justin Haskins
Mark Munoz vs. Ricardo Barros
Bias Avena vs. Kevin Knabjian
Diego Nunes vs. Cole Province
Bart Palaszewski vs. Alex Karalexis
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Cub Swanson
Shane Roller vs. Mike Budnik

 

WEC 37 Fight Card Is Finalized

Barring any last minute injuries or weight issues, the fight card is set for December 3rd’s WEC 37 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  The card will feature MMAonTap’s #1 ranked bantamweight, WEC Champion Miguel Torres, taking on undefeated challenger Manny Tapia.  This fight has been a long time coming as Tapia has made it no secret that he’s wanted the challenge of taking on Torres.  Unfortunately, injuries have slowed Tapia in the past.

Main Card Live on Versus:
Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia for WEC Bantamweight Championship
Brian Bowles vs. Will Ribeiro
Wagnney Fabiano vs. Akitoshi Tamura
Joseph Benavidez vs. Danny Martinez
Justin Haskins vs. Johny Hendricks

Undercard:
Ricardo Barros vs. Mark Munoz
Blas Avena vs. Kevin Knabjian
Diego Nunes vs. Cole Province
Alex Karalexis vs. Bart Palaszewski
Cub Swanson vs. Hirouki Takaya
Shane Roller vs. Mike Budnik

 

Hansen Claims DREAM’s Lightweight GP


Joachim Hansen. Photo courtesy of DREAM.

Joachim Hansen was the surprise winner of DREAM’s inaugural lightweight grand prix this morning, avenging a past loss to Shinya Aoki by knocking out the skilled grappler in the tournament finals despite starting the night as a reserve.

In a dramatic turn of events, Hansen was pushed into the lightweight title main event after Eddie Alvarez was unable to compete due to injury. During the first few minutes of his battle against Aoki, it looked as if Hansen was about to fall victim to another submission loss once again, just as he did against Aoki at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 a few years back.

However the tide turned once Hansen landed a strong left hand while falling back to Aoki’s guard. The punch hurt Aoki, allowing Hansen to bomb away with unanswered right hands until Aoki stopped responding and referee Yuji Shimada was forced to stop the bout. An elated Hansen jumped into the arms of his corner. After composing himself, Hansen was quick to push for a rematch of his war against Alvarez earlier this year as his first official title defense.

“This still has to sink in a little,” Hansen said after the fight. “I am the sort of person who takes one thing at a time, so I concentrated on Kultar Gill (whom Hansen defeated via TKO earlier in the night) and felt a little strange going into the final match, so I took my time and looked for the right chance to strike. I had a great night, thanks to my team and everybody who helped me, and next time I hope to defend my title against Eddie Alvarez.”

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DREAM.5 Live Results

We will be going live at 2:00 AM ET with live results of tomorrow morning’s DREAM.5 event, which will take place at the Osaka Castle Hall in Japan. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet tomorrow morning at 2 AM ET. It will air again via tape delay at 10 PM ET as well.

The show features the final round of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix - Eddie Alvarez, Caol Uno, Shinya Aoki, and Tatsuya Kawajiri will battle it out in a four-man tournament with the winners facing off for the GP title in the night’s main event. Additional featured bouts include a slugfest between Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem as well as a lightweight tourney reserve bout between Joachim Hansen and “Black Mamba” Kultar Gill.

Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning. Detailed live results are after the jump.

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Two Bouts Finalize Monday’s DREAM.5 Card


Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. Photo courtesy of FEG.

Two additional bouts have been added to Monday’s DREAM.5 event in Japan, finalizing a card which will feature the finals of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix. Those in North America will be able to watch the event live on HDNet tomorrow morning at 2 AM ET. It will air again via tape delay at 10 PM ET as well.

Urijah-Faber trained Joe Benavidez, who was originally slated to take on pound-for-pound phenom Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, will go up against Shooto veteran Junya “Kodo” Kudo. Bendavidez is undefeated in seven professional fights, last submitting Maurice Eazel at a Palace Fighting Championship event in May. Kudo suffered his first career loss in June, dropping an unanimous decision to So Tazawa.

Yamamoto was forced to withdraw from the show after suffering a knee injury during a recent training session. A failed flying knee attempt caused an awkward landing and the sound of a pop inside of Kid’s right leg. An MRI shows that Yamamoto suffered a partial tear of his right anterior cruciate ligament, however it won’t be determined whether surgery is necessary or not until sometime next week.

“It’s unfortunate that Kid got injured and I want to thank my opponent for taking the fight on short notice,” Benavidez at the pre-fight press conference yesterday in Japan. “I am focused on the opponent I have now, and I just want to go in and get the win.”

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