Is MMA Completely Taking Over My Life?
With the busy month of June right around the corner, I have fully prepared myself to watch as many of these great matchups from all promotions as possible. With five premier fight cards on tap for the month, the action should be fast and furious.
Leading off is the Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields card, featuring some exciting catch-weight pairings, including the main event with Robbie Lawler squaring off against Jake Shields on June 6th. The televised undercard is one of the most exciting that Strikeforce has ever assembled, and there are no title fights!
The undercard: Andrei Arlovski vs. Brett Rogers, Nick Diaz vs. Scott Smith, Kevin Randleman vs. Mike Whitehead, Phil Baroni vs. Joe Riggs, and a possible matchup of Rafael Cavalcante vs. Mike Kyle (most likely not on the televised show).
Since this is a Showtime aired event, I just upgraded my Comcast package (at a special price of $6.99 per month!) specifically for this card. Now that's a good deal!
The very next night, on June 7th, the WEC brings us one of their most hyped rematches in a long time, as Mike Brown will defend his Featherweight title against Urijah Faber which will figure to be an awesome fight.
Also on the card is a contender setting featherweight tilt between Jose Aldo and Cub Swanson, with Aldo looking to continue his run up to the divisions elite.
In more Featherweight action Jens Pulver squares off against Josh Grispi, as one of these fighters looks to hold onto relevance and the other looks to break into the contender ranks.
There is also a great Lightweight matchup on the undercard, with Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone looking to fend off WEC newcomer James Krause for his hold on the No. 1 contender spot. Some solid performers will be on the non-televised undercard—Manny Gamburyan, Scott Jorgensen, Eddie Wineland, and Charlie Valencia.
The WEC and Versus made the commitment to keep this event on the cable network, so this one is included in my digital cable package, and that's an even better deal!
Less than one week later the UFC returns with UFC 99: The Comeback. Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva meet in a catchweight fight that really is a risky fight for Franklin to take. If Franklin can get past Wanderlei, it doesn't necessarily advance him in the 205 pound division since Silva has lost four of his last five fights and some of them badly. If Silva wins, it immediately establishes him in the contender ranks at the Middleweight division.
The undercard is much more intriguing, in my opinion, as we get a great heavy pairing in Cheick Kongo vs. Cain Velasquez. The reports out of the UFC are that Kongo gets a title shot if he wins this fight, while Cain would jump into the mix, just behind Shane Carwin, if he gets the win.
Also on the card are two very good welterweight pairings in Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders, a matchup that Swick hopes gets him closer to the top contender spot, while Dan Hardy vs. Marcus Davis promises to be an explosive battle for respect in this stacked division.
Rounding out the televised card is a Lightweight fight between Spencer Fisher and Caol Uno, which could be considered the "Gatekeeper Titlefight". No disrespect to these fighters, but the winner of this fight basically locks down his place as where the "contenders" rank and the non-contenders don't.
Not scheduled for the televised portion, but one quick left kick away from being highlighted, is the fight between Mustapha al Turk and Mirko "Cro Cop". Another fighter to keep an eye on is lightweight Terry Etim, who doesn't have a huge test against Justin Buchholz but is gaining some momentum.
The UFC 99 Pay-per-view charge is usually $49.99 or so, and without the Kongo-Velasquez fight I'm not sure I would pay for this one, but the welterweight matchups are good and the intrigue of "Cro Cop" on the card will be hard to resist.
After only another short six days, Strikeforce returns to Showtime with their "Challenger Series 2" on the 19th. Fights scheduled include Joey Villasenor vs. Evangelista Santos, Jorge Gurgel vs. Conor Heun, Dennis Hallman vs. Duane Ludwig, Nick Thompson vs. Tim Kennedy, and Cory Devela vs. Luke Rockhold. This card lacks a top-flight draw, but Villasenor-Santos should be an entertaining matchup and Gurgel, Hallman, Ludwig, and Nick "The Goat" are all top-notch fighters that are worth watching.
Since I've already got my Showtime package for the month, this one is basically free!
The very next night (the 20th) we get treated to the Ultimate Fighter finale on Spike TV with an exciting main event: Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida. This is a great lightweight pairing that will be like watching Rocky vs. Apollo Creed. These two relentless fighters will not leave anything in the octagon by the time the fight ends, and the winner will find himself in prime position to be the new No. 1 contender in the division.
Then, of course, we get to see the two Ultimate Fighter finale fights, and hopefully these turn out to be more entertaining than some of the "lay and pray" affairs we have seen in the past.
Judging by the remaining fighters at this point, that is distinctly possible. Also on the card will be Joe Stevenson vs. Nate Diaz as this will be a battle of two very talented but struggling fighters trying to remain relevant in the UFC's thin lightweight division.
This event will be aired on Spike TV, and will therefore be no charge as well!
So, to recap, I will be able to watch five great MMA events during the month of June for approximately $57!
Now, my only problem is that the June 6-7 weekend is our sixth wedding anniversary and my wife is expecting us to go out of town for a couple of days! My sister has just planned a family trip to Denver to watch the Rockies game on the 20th, which is a day game, but will take three hours to travel back home from and that will overlap with the fights.
So, my plan is going to be to give my brother my house key so he can come over and watch the Showtime fight while we are gone and record it for me (no DVR yet, just old school tape). Then on our actual anniversary night, plan a "special" surprise for my wife—getting an in-room massage in the evening—so that I can hop down to a nearby sportsbar and catch WEC 41, since it will be on Versus.
Then on the 20th, I'll have to spring for a hotel room in Denver so that we can hang out and watch the Ultimate Fighter on Spike, at aforementioned sportsbar hopefully.
Damn it, now all this is adding up to be around a $500 month of watching fights!
Are there any MMA support groups in Colorado, because I think I have a problem!
My name is Scott Wilson and I am a Mixed Martial Arts addict...