The Tito Ortiz – Stephan Bonnar feud continues to simmer. After Bonnar made an appearance on AXS TV and made some comments about the former UFC light-heavyweight champion, Ortiz appeared on AXS TV’s Inside MMA to make his own.
Mark Hunt with a crushing right uppercut knocked out Roy Nelson in the second round, staking his claim to the UFC heavyweight title shot conversation at UFC Fight Night 52 in the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Nelson was knocked out for the first time in his UFC career.
After 49 fights, Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) is calling it quits from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Brazilian mixed martial arts laid his decision squarely at the feet of the UFC and its treatment of its fighters in a rambling YouTube video.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Here it is:
With Andrei Arlovski’s massive upset of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, and Ben Rothwell’s win over Alistair Overeem, the mid-section of the UFC heavyweight division in a state of flux.
Now, it’s Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson’s turn to get in on the action. Nelson has been a gatekeeper, while Hunt was a Junior dos Santos heel kick knockout loss away from a shot.
Who will prevail and take the next step?
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
MMA Crossfire Expert Cassie Wiseman shares her picks on the main event matchups:
In case you missed the weigh-ins:
#14 KYOJI HORIGUCHI (13-1-0) vs “THE HEAT” JON DELOS REYES (7-3-0)
Wiseman: This is a bad match-up for Horiguchi due to submission game and his poor takedown defence. He has power, but Reyes waits, throws in flurries to rush forward, then scores the takedown. Horiguchi’s movement on angles will assist with making Reyes work a little, but not it’s not enough. Horiguchi started to rely solely on his KO power and, yes, it helped him thus far in his career, but becoming a one sided fighter isn’t what he wants.
Wiseman prediction: “The Heat” Jon Dolos Reyes via submission.
KIICHI “STRASSER” KUNIOTO (17-5-2, 1 NC) VS “FILTHY” RICHARD WALSH (8-1-0)
Wiseman: Walsh will want to stand-and-bang, so his 2-inch reach advantage will help. However, Kunimoto has kicks which flush the reach advantage out the window. Between the kicks and the ground game of Kunimoto, the skill setting is just going to be too much for Walsh. It will teach him to develop more, as he often swings wild. It will be an entertaining fight because Walsh isn’t a quitter.
Wiseman Prediction: Kiichi “Strasser” Kunimoto via submission.
#2 MIESHA “CUPCAKE” TATE (14-5-0) VS RIN NAKAI (16-0-1)
Wiseman: Is this really happening? While Nakai is a talented fighter and has beat the likes of Sarah D’Alello and
Tara LaRosa, she isn’t to Tate’s level. Her record is impressive, 16-0-1, but she hasn’t gone against the level of fighters that Tate has. Tate is a better wrestler and better with her submissions, really just a more well-rounded fighter. The only advantage Nakai has over Tate is her power and videotaping skills.
Wiseman Prediction: Miesha “Cupcake” Tate via TKO.
YOSHISHIRO “SEXYAMA” AKIYAMA (13-5-0, 2 NC) VS AMIR SADOLLAH (7-4-0)
Wiseman: Akiyama has striking with decent kicks, plus his judo throws. Sadollah is able to hold his own in the standup department, so I don’t see this going to the mat. Sadollah has a slight reach advantage and a cardio advantage which will be key in this match. He will want to pressure Akiyama and use side-to-side movement to stay away from his kicks.
Wiseman Prediction: Amir Sadollah via decision.
#9 MYLES “FURY” JURY (14-0-0) VS TAKANORI “THE FIREBALL KID” GOMI (35-9-0, 1 NC)
Wiseman: You can’t finish Gomi, so this fight will go the distance. However, Jury is on the rise and undefeated. Gomi’s inconsistent cardio and lack of technique prevented him from rising like this experience should signify. Jury has stamina, moves well around the pocket, and just too technical for Gomi. I see Jury getting frustrated with the fact that Gomi will just keep coming, but he went the distance before and has better cardio than Gomi, which will cement the victory.
Wiseman Prediction: Myles “Fury” Jury via unanimous decision.
#6 MARK “SUPER SAMOAN” HUNT (9-8-1) VS #8 ROY “BIG COUNTRY” NELSON (21-9-0)
Wiseman: Nelson has a chin of steel, Hunt does not. Hunt has no ground game, Nelson is a black belt. See where I’m going with this? Hunt is the more technical kick boxer, but Nelson can knock anyone out while getting slugged with a baseball bat. Things stay standing or things go to the mat, Nelson has an incredible advantage anywhere this fight goes.
Wiseman Prediction: Roy “Big Country” Nelson via TKO.
AXS TV CEO Andrew Simon announced today it signed an exclusive multi-year broadcast deal with US east-coast based CES MMA.
Season Two featured a battle of former Invicta FC veterans. Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood, (8-0-0), coached by Team Pettis, and Emily Kagan (3-1-0) coached by Team Melendez.
Undefeated Team Pettis #2 fighter Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (8-0-0) takes on Team Melendez’s #15 Emily Kagan (3-1-0) on the second episode of TUF: A champion will be crowned.