By Jason Nawara
In 2013 there is more MMA than ever on our airwaves, so how do we separate the grain from the chaff? Well, for one, by reading this. You can’t be bothered with watching a boring event, you have a life, you need to get out there and explore the world. You may be addicted too MMA, but even the most hardcore addict can overdose. Let us break down the week in MMA for you, and guide you in the direction the MMA Gods would want. This is the MMANuts Guide to Your Week in MMA: Alright, first up on the order of business for our now busy week in MMA: Tuesday night. AKA TUF night.
Tuesday, February 19th: The Ultimate Fighter
Team Jones finally nabbed a win last week, and it couldn’t have made Bones any happier. After dominating the majority of the season, Chael Sonnen’s team is finally reeling and not in control of their destiny after Kevin ‘King’ Casey was decisioned by Collin Hart. Now, Jackson/Winklejohn fighter and teammate of Bones Jones, Bubba McDaniel, will get his opportunity to fight Kelvin Gastelum.
WATCH or SKIP? This has been one of the best seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in a long, long time. The talent is stacked, the coaches are fresh and the overall production quality is a step up from TUF’s old home of Spike. WATCH.
Thursday, February 21st: Bellator 90
Damn, 90 events already for Bjorn Rebney and company. That’s quite the accomplishment, and somehow, every event seems to get bigger and better. After a few years of practice, it seems like the tournament format is finally moving along without a hitch, and every card on Spike TV thus far has been stacked and extremely fun to watch – this week is no different.
We get to see the next opponent of Pat Curran as the featherweight tournament comes to a close. King Mo is back after his awesome knockout in the opening round of the light heavyweight tournament, and we get to see who will be going to the finals of the season 8 welterweight tournament. So much is on the line!
WATCH or SKIP? If you want to stay current on all of the tournaments, King Mo, and the state of the welterweight and featherweight crowns, yeah you better WATCH.
MAIN CARD (10 p.m. ET, Spike TV)
Rad Martinez vs. Shahbulat Shamhalaev – Season 7 featherweight-tournament final – This will be a barn-burner guaranteed.
Muhammed Lawal vs. Emanuel Newton – Season 8 light heavyweight tournament semifinal – Elite wrestler and talent in King Mo vs damn good MMA wrestler. Interesting matchup.
Bryan Baker vs. Douglas Lima – Season 8 welterweight tournament semifinal – both perennial badasses in the Bellator welterweight division. As close to a guaranteed great fight as it gets.
Raul Amaya vs. Ben Saunders – Season 8 welterweight tournament semifinal – Ben Saunders continues his long journey to the top.
Jacob Noe vs. Mikhail Zayats – Season 8 light heavyweight tournament semifinal – The most likely fight that will leave someone laying on the mat looking up at the arena lights.
PRELIMINARY CARD (8 p.m. ET, Spike.com)
Lionel Lanham vs. Joe Rodriguez
Trevor Carlson vs. Terry Davinney
Dave Allred vs. Sean Powers
Jesse Juarez vs. Jordan Smith
Chase Beebe vs. Travis Marx
Shanon Slack vs. Josh Tyler
Friday, February 22nd. AXS TV Fights: XFC 22: Crossing The Line.
Besides the return of the always entertaining Corey Hill, there isn’t much to write home about for this one. Unless you absolutely love MMA and you have nothing to do on Friday – SKIP IT.
Scott Holtzman vs. Jason Hicks – Both undefeated with a combined total of eight fights between them. Meh.
Saturday, February 23rd. UFC 157: Rousey vs Carmouche
The first female fight in the history of the UFC goes down this Saturday. I could go on and on about the history in the making at the Honda Center in Aneheim, California, but I won’t. You understand how big this show is with Ronda Rousey stepping in the cage and Dan Henderson and Machida fighting for the right to face Jon Jones.
C’mon son… WATCH!
Women’s Bantamweight Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Liz Carmouche – Will Carmouche do the seemingly impossible and defeat Ronda, or will Liz have her arm snapped like so many of Ronda’s opponents before?
Light Heavyweight Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson – Is this fight for the number one contender spot or what? Maybe not, as Alexander Gustaffson supposedly will get the shot if he defeats Gegard Mousasi next month. Confusing… But a legendary matchup regardless.
Bantamweight Urijah Faber vs. Ivan Menjivar – A rematch years in the making, and everyone loves bantamweights. This will be a good time.
Welterweight Court McGee vs. Josh Neer – Josh Neer is on a two-fight losing skid, if he doesn’t defeat the TUF winner, Court McGee, he could lose his job.
Welterweight Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler goes down to welterweight for the first time in years to face a man with the skillset to drive him bonkers. This is the prototypical ‘styles make fights’ matchup – wrestler vs. striker. It should be good.
Preliminary Card (FX)
Heavyweight Brendan Schaub vs. Lavar Johnson – You will see a knockout in this fight, we promise.
Lightweight Michael Chiesa vs. Anton Kuivanen
Featherweight Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice
Lightweight Sam Stout vs. Caros Fodor