Bradley of MMA Mount looks ahead to an exciting Autumn-Winter period in the world of MMA.
2013 has been a highly important year for MMA. Highlights including a very successful Ultimate Fighter season between team Chael Sonnen and team Jon Jones, women making their debut in the UFC with Ronda Rousey headlining a main card, and longtime middleweight championAnderson Silva losing his belt. The landscape of the sport has changed dramatically. It will take a lot for the industry to continue this momentum through to the end of the year, but all of the main promotions have an explosive schedule from now until the new year.
The UFC have a monster 10 events in just 84 days, starting October 9th. Starting with Demian Maia, on a hot run through the 170lb division, against fellow Jiu Jitsu stand out and former middleweight Jake Shields. Exactly one month later, Brazil also sees the rematch of the Pride 32 contest between Dan Henderson and Vitor Belfort headlining in the city of Goiânia. On October the 26th, The Octagon returns to Manchester, where the UK’s highest ranked martial artist Michael Bisping fights in front of his home fans for the first time since 2010. The card also sees an intriguing battle at 155, where Ross Pearson looks to make it three in a row at lightweight against Melvin Guillard. A visit to Brisbane occurs on December 7th, with a card headlined by Mark Hunt against Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. Fight For The Troops returns on November 6th, where Lyoto Machida makes his middleweight debut in a mouth-watering contest with US Serviceman Tim Kennedy. The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale is also looking unmissable, with two exciting rematches between 125lb champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson against Joseph Benavidez, and a repeat of the TUF 5 finale between Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard. And this is before we even think about the Pay Per Views.
UFC 166 sees the third fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos, both fighters holding a dominant win over the other so far. The co-main event could have implications at both Heavy and Light Heavy, with Daniel Cormier, repeatedly trading verbal blows with Jon Jones, taking on Roy Nelson. November 16th will see Georges St. Pierre fight in Las Vegas for the first time since UFC 100. Taking on Johny Hendricks on a heavily stacked card featuringChael Sonnen v Rashad Evans, Frank Mir v Alistair Overeem and GSP teammate Rory MacDonald against Robbie Lawler. The UFC also makes its return to network television, making its ninth appearance on Fox, with Anthony Pettis v Josh Thomson headlining a card also featuring Carlos Condit, Urijah Faber and Joe Lauzon.
All of this comes before the New Years card, a show Dana White recently said he believed would be more successful than current yardstick UFC 100. Headlining is the rematch the whole world wants to see, Chris Weidman defending his middleweight title against UFC record breakerAnderson Silva. With support coming from former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett, and the coaches from the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate having their own rematch.
Bellator will be putting on their own large shows, with tournament finals coming in the middleweight, welterweight, lightweight and featherweight divisions. The debut of Cheick Kongo and the return of Kurt Pellegrino will also be selling points for Bjorn Rebney. Bellator also put on their largest show of all time, making their PPV debut with King Mo, Pat Curran, the Alvarez – Chandler rematch and the much publicised light heavyweight contest between legends Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Tito Ortiz.
World Series of Fighting and ONE FC are also putting on some intriguing shows, with ONE FC unifying their bantamweight title with Bibiano Fernandes taking on Soo Chul Kim. And WSOF fielding Jon Fitch, and having their first ever title fight at Welterweight with Josh Burkman taking on Steve Carl.
With some of the most famous names in Kickboxing also turning out for Glory’s three remaining shows this year, fight fans have a number of things to get excited about.
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