This weekend is jam packed with MMA action. Fans will be treated to a Friday night full of fights as both the UFC and Bellator put on cards that feature Heavyweight fighters. This article will preview the UFC on FX 5 and a future article will cover Bellator as well as the smaller promotions tomorrow.
The UFC on FX 5 card in Minnesota will feature three matches with major title implications as Heavyweight Travis Browne puts his perfect record on the line against Antonio "Big Foot" Silva in the main event. Browne hails from Hawaii and follows in that island's proud tradition of hard nosed, scrappy fighters. He trains with Greg Jackson in New Mexico and is a surprisingly well rounded and athletic fighter.
Silva is a cross over from Strikeforce and trains in Florida at American Top Team. In Strikeforce, he famously dominated the great Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, defeating him by doctor's stoppage. However, Silva was unable to account for the speed and wrestling of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez in his first UFC bout. Browne is an opponent the towering Silva will have an easier time getting a hold of as Browne is actually larger than Silva. This promises to be a clash of the titans as both men are some of the more massive heavyweights in MMA.
In the co-main event UFC Welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger looks to get revenge on Jay Hieron, who defeated Ellenberger back in 2006. At that time Ellenberger was a relatively unknown prospect in the International Fight League, while Hieron was already a UFC veteran. Now Ellenberger is in his prime as a fighter, coming off a #1 contenders match loss, while is Hieron in his first match back in the UFC after a long tour in local circuits and Bellator. If Ellenberger wins he will likely jump right back into contention while a Hieron victory would lead both fighters to matches in the middle of the division.
Finally a very exciting match is taking place in the Flyweight division. One of the very best Flyweights in the world. Jussier da Silva, is making his UFC debut against The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner John Dodson in a number one contenders. The winner of this match will get a shot at the Flyweight title. The Brazilian is an expert grappler, while Dodson is a ball of personality and energy who sets a very high work rate in fights. This looks very much like the Fight of the Night.
The undercard features two Florida area fighters. Yves Edwards from American Top Team takes on Jeremy Stephens. Edwards is a long time MMA veteran, he has been fighting since 1997 and has over 50 fights on his record. The other fighter is Michael Johnson, a finalist on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter, who is currently training out of the Blackzilians and is facing Danny Castillo.
The prelims for this card will be split between Facebook and Fuel TV, with the final four fights taking place on FX starting at 8pm ET, expect on the West Coast were the fights will be tape delayed to be the lead in show to The Ultimate Fighter.
Full Fight Card
On FX 8pm ET
Travis Browne (13 - 0 - 1) vs Antonio Silva (16 - 4)
Jake Ellenberger (27 - 6) vs Jay Hieron (23 - 5)
Jussier da Silva (14 - 1) vs John Dodson (13 - 5)
Josh Neer (33 - 11 - 1) vs Justin Edwards (7 - 2)
Fuel TV Prelims
Jeremy Stephens (20 - 8) vs Yves Edwards (41 - 18 - 1)
Danny Castillo (14 - 4) vs Michael Johnson (11 - 6)
Thiago Tavares (17 - 4 - 1) vs Dennis Hallman (51 - 14 - 2)
Jacob Volkmann (14 - 3) vs Shane Roller (11 - 6)
Diego Nunes (17 - 3) vs Bart Palaszewski (36 - 15)
Darren Uyenoyama (7 - 3) vs Phil Harris (21 - 9)
Carlo Prater (30 - 11 - 1) vs Marcus LeVesseur (21 - 6)
Mike Pierce (14 - 5) vs Aaron Simpson (12 - 3)