UFC week in review: Fighters cut and new matches made

March 31, 2013


UFC week in review: Fighters cut and new matches made

John Boldrick – It was a relatively quite week in the UFC, at least compared to the last two.  No announcement about debuts in new markets was made and no drug test results were returned. Still, the machine kept turning, as there were a few announcements made over the past week. While nothing will shake one to the very core, a number of solid matchups were made as well as some interesting personal moves. With that in mind, on to the week that was.

Post UFC 157 cuts

As it turns out, Lavar Johnson won’t be the only fighter to receive his pink slip in connection with the event. Josh Neer (33-13-1 MMA, 6-9 UFC), Caros Fodor (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Jon Manley (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Brock Jardine(9-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC)  have all been released from the promotion.

The release brings Neer’s fourth octagon stint to a close. While the veteran fighter may not have won all of his fights, he certainly made them entertaining. Neer returned to the UFC in October of 2011 and put together a streak with finishes over Keith Wisniewski and Duane Ludwig. Things went south for Neer though, as he has now lost three in a row, being finished in two of the bouts. At UFC 157, he lost a unanimous decision to much bigger opponent Court McGee.

Strikeforce import Fodor also received his walking papers. Despite compiling a five fight win streak at one time in the sister promotion, Fodor entered the UFC on a loss to Pat Healy. AT 157, he dropped a split decision to Sam Stout. While many though he won the fight, it didn’t help The Future keep his job.

Manley recently competed on the Ultimate Fighter, making it to the semi finals before losing to Colton Smith. He was one of four fighters from the season to receive an official UFC fight, being matched up with fellow semi finalist Neil Magny at 157. Magny dominated that bout, effectively ending Manley’s run.

The UFC also released Jardine. The Tri-Star product made his UFC debut in 2012, dropping a decision to former contender Rick Story. At 157 he faced off with Kenny Robertson in a fight that many saw as do or die. Jardine was submitted in the first round.

Out with the old, in with the new

Those aren’t the only fighters who will no longer be fighting in the octagon. UFC heavyweight Christian Morecraft (7-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) has retired from the sport. Morecraft, who may be best remembered for his giant stomach tattoo, made his debut back at UFC 117. While he beat up Stefan Struve in the first round of their fight, he couldn’t hold on and was finished in the second round. Morecraft then posted a win over Sean McCorkle before being KO’ed by Matt Mitrione and Pat Berry. Morecraft retires at only 27 years old, so a return to the sport can’t be ruled out.

Looking to continue expansion into Asian markets, the UFC has signed Chinese fighter Jumabieke Tuerxun (14-0 MMA). The Wild Wolf is a former Legend FC champion and enters the UFC with a perfect 14-0 record (although some databases have it as high as 25-0). The 25 year-old Tuerxun is a bantamweight fighter, standing 5’6. He last fought in November of 2012, gaining the submission with a shoulder choke in less than two minutes.

UFC 162 continues to add up

A couple of fights have been announced for the upcoming 162 event that may have title implications.

In a bout that was originally booked for Britain, Cub Swanson (19-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will take on dangerous German striker Dennis Saver (21-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC). Siver was injured prior to their first meeting, and was replaced by Dustin Poirier. Swanson went on to beat the new opponent by decision, giving him a three fight win streak in the octagon. Siver is 2-0 since dropping to featherweight with wins over Diego Nunes and Nam Phan.

Frankie Edgar (15-4-1 MAM, 9-4-1 UFC) returns to action and will look to find an answer for his three fight losing streak. He returns to the cage to take on fellow former lightweight Charles Oliveira (16-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC). The 23 year-old Do Bronx is 2-0 at the new weight class, although last time out he missed weight (weighed in at 146.4 pounds) and was KO’ed by Swanson.

UFC 160 fills out

A few additions to UFC 160 have been made, as it looks like the card is nearing completion.

After a 16 month layoff, former WEC champion Brian Bowles (10-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) finally has a fight booked. He faces fellow WEC alumni George Roop (13-9-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC). Bowles hasn’t been seen in the octagon since a UFC 139 loss to Urijah Faber. Here, Bowles looks to get back to his winning ways and avoid any hand injuries which have plagued him throughout his career. It’s a quick turnaround for Roop, who recently beat Reuben Duran at UFC 158. The drop in weigh was a good one for Roop, who showed no ill effects from the cut.

Two rising stars have been tapped for a UFC return. Ultimate Fighter finalist Dennis Bermudez (10-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will look to build on his UFC 157 fight of the night bonus as he takes on 21 year-old Max Holloway (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC).  Bermudez has won three in a row since losing to Diego Brandao at their finale with wins over Matt Grice, Tommy Hayden and Pablo Garza. Holloway has a three fight streak of his own going, having beaten the likes of Justin Lawrence and Leonard Garcia.

Odds and Ends

The injury bug has once again bitten Manny Gamburyan. The former WEC title challenger has been forced out of an upcoming bout with Hacran Dias (21-1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC). In steps Nik Lentz (23-5-2 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) to take his place. Lentz is fresh off a win over Nunes last time out while Dias won his promotional debut against Yuri Alcantara. The fight takes place on the undercard of UFC on FX 8, which features a main event of Vitor Belfort versus Luke Rockhold.

The UFC will kill two birds with one stone, finalizing a return and a debut. The UFC returns to Boston this summer, as the promotions debut on FOX Sports 1 has been announced for August 17. No word on the official name of the cards for the network. Last time in Boston, Randy Couture dispatched of James Toney and Frankie Edgar ended his series with BJ Penn.


Follow John Boldrick on Twitter @JohnBJournalism



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