Everyone’s favorite brand of Octagon-flavored combat touches down in Seattle on Saturday night, with UFC Fight Night 24: “Nogueira vs. Davis” – featuring Antonio Rogerio Nogueira against Phil Davis in the eponymous marquee bout – airing live on SpikeTV for the main card and Facebook for most of the prelims. So what’s in store for fans who tune in? MMAConvert has got you covered with a preview.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis – Originally, grizzled veteran Tito Ortiz was supposed to face “Little Nog” in the main event, but Ortiz’s string of bad luck and pre-fight injuries struck once again, leaving the UFC scrambling for a replacement for the “Huntington Beach Pornstar Dater”. Who’d they come up with to face the smaller Nogueira twin? Davis, who may be green, but if you listen to the speculation around the Internet’s grand office water cooler, could very well be the next Jon Jones (i.e., unbeatable natural talent). Despite a lengthy career rich with accomplishments of both the striking and jiu-jitsu variety, the Brazilian does have a weakness – wrestling – and maybe, just maybe, four-time All-American collegiate wrestler Davis knows a little something about that stuff.
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson – One of these guys hasn’t seen a normal hairstyle in years and the other typically cuts about 50 pounds to make welterweight (and he’s not always successful at it). But what both Hardy and Johnson have going for them is they’ve turned “stand and bang” into a way of life. As the Brit and the American are coming off losses, expect them to do what they do best and serve up an awful lot of fist salad once the referee says “go!”
Amir Sadollah vs. DaMarques Johnson – It’s been a rocky road for TUF 7 winner Sadollah since he won that sleek Lucite with the words “The Ultimate Fighter” imprinted on it, but you have to give him credit, as the man is still plugging away. Also plugging away: TUF 9 runner-up Johnson, who steps in as a replacement for James Wilks (who was stepping in for Duane “Bang” Ludwig). These guys are about equal in terms of skill and ability, so don’t be surprised to see some stalemated hugging against the cage.
Chan Sung Jung vs. Leonard Garcia – Both Jung (a.k.a. the “Korean Zombie”) and Garcia’s idea of “stalling” involves standing in front of an opponent throwing everything they’ve got, so this rematch (Garcia took the controversial decision the first time around) should, in theory, be exciting as all hell. Who knows how it will go, though, as lessons learned from their WEC 48 meeting might include “Ouch, trading strikes with guy hurts; let’s just grapple next time”.
Alex Caceres vs. Mackens Semerzier – Caceres, better known as “Bruce Leroy”, brought some decent skills and one heck of an afro into the TUF House for the show’s last season. Unfortunately, he fell short when it came to winning. Now he gets his first venture into the “real world”, and greeting him in the cage is WEC refugee Semerzier, a man riding a three-fight skid. Before you saying anything, the answer is “Yes. The UFC does purposely take it easier on their TUFers right out of the gate.”
John Madsen vs. Mike Russow – Russow’s shining moment in the Octagon thus far was his incredible come-from-behind knockout over Todd Duffee at UFC 114. In fact, when you go to Russow’s Wikipedia entry, the method of that win is listed as an “Explosive Hammerfist of Doom”. Seriously, it is. Madsen, meanwhile, is a TUF 10 vet and is good at wrestling. Draw your own conclusions.
Michael McDonald vs. Edwin Figueroa – McDonald fought once in the WEC, and this is Figueroa’s making his UFC debut. They’re bantamweights. Yeah, that’s all I got.
John Hathaway vs. Kris McCray – Up until UFC 120, Hathaway was the next big British breakout star, boasting wins over Diego Sanchez and Paul Taylor. But at UFC 120 Mike Pyle derailed that train, grappling Hathaway into oblivion for all three rounds. TUF 11 runner-up McCray has no where near Pyle’s experience or pedigree, but you can’t say he’s not a solid positional wrestler with all sorts of guts. If Hathaway can’t keep his foe at bay, it’s going to be a long night for him.
Sean McCorkle vs. Christian Morecraft – Morecraft’s debut in the Octagon saw him batter Stefan Struve from pillar to post for all of Round 1 only to get knocked out 21 seconds into Round 2. McCorkle, a big submission grappler with an even bigger verbal game, lasted less than a round against Struve. According to MMA Math™, both of these men would lose to Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos, who defeated Struve in the past.