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UFC 147 fight card: Fabricio Werdum gets his showcase against Mike Russow

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.

Tonight’s (Sat., June 23, 2012) UFC 147: “Silva vs. Franklin 2″ event going down at the Estádio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will feature a showcase fight for Fabricio Werdum.

Indeed, when discussions of potential title challengers to Junior dos Santos arise, “Vai Cavalo” isn’t a name that comes up often. Perhaps that’s because of how badly the UFC heavyweight champion knocked him out back at UFC 90 in Oct. 2008.

But should that really count against him when considering his resume since then?

Werdum rebounded from that loss by submitting Mike Kyle, winning a decision over Antonio Silva, and becoming the first man to (legitimately) defeat Fedor Emelianenko. And he did so in just over one minute.

A bizarre outing against Alistair Overeem followed and perhaps that’s also the culprit for his lack of respect at present time. We all know he’s good, sure, but putting in stinker performances against some of the world’s best doesn’t inspire confidence that he should be given another shot at them.

That’s why tonight is so important.

Mike Russow isn’t an altogether impressive opponent, despite his 11 fight winning streak, including victories in all four of his Octagon sojourns.

But he’s largely unheralded because he has yet to test his mettle against the upper echelon of his division. Everything before tonight, while significant, hardly matters in comparison. If he loses to Werdum, he’ll drop like a stone all the way back down to the lowest rung of the divisional ladder.

And that’s why tonight is so hugely important to him.

Really, though, this feels like a showcase for Werdum. He’s fighting with a sort of home field advantage and he’s eager to show he deserves to move back up the ranks at 265-pounds. His path is clear and it starts with an impressive performance against Russow, an opponent who is seemingly tailor made to bring out the best in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert.

Werdum has his showcase tonight. Can he take advantage? Or will Russow continue his improbable run and score yet another huge upset?

We’re just hours away from finding out.


Mike Russow Ready to Become Unlikely Contender With UFC 147 Win

Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

Given the relatively shallow talent pool among the world’s MMA heavyweight division, it’s hard to be good and also under the radar, yet that’s where Mike Russow is despite a four-fight UFC win streak and only one career loss.

That could all change on Saturday. That night at UFC 147, the American fighter gets his highest-profile matchup, a date against top five opponent Fabricio Werdum. To be frank, it’s a fight that the Brazilian is expected to win. He’s a massive favorite, at around 5-to-1, in a bout that will take place on his home soil. But for Russow, that only means that if he wins, no longer can he be taken lightly. No longer can he be ignored. A win over Werdum will erase any lingering doubts about the abilities of the full-time police officer and full-time fighter.

“I believe I’m right up there with the top,” he said. “You know, since i signed with the UFC, I’ve had some injuries and just been averaging one fight a year. I’m excited this year to have two fights already. So, I just want to keep going, and hopefully this will be a good sign.”

Finding anyone picking Russow (15-1, 1 no contest) to win may be a challenge, but he certainly has a style that could cause Werdum problems. Russow is a grinder, a former collegiate wrestler at Eastern Illinois and three-time national qualifier who can take opponents out of their offensive rhythm by limiting their options to fighting from their back. That wrestling acumen will certainly factor into this fight, as Werdum has only stopped 33 percent of takedowns against him, according to FightMetric numbers.

Part of the reason Werdum’s numbers are so low is because he doesn’t mind fighting off of his back. A decorated international grappler who has twice won gold medals at the ADCC Submission world championships, Werdum is believed by many to be the top submission artist among MMA’s big men.

So it’s certainly possible that the scheduled three-rounder could come down to a fight where Werdum is forced to tap Russow; it might come down to submission or else.

If that’s the way it goes, that’s just fine with Russow, who noted this week that he has been training with respected jiu-jitsu trainer Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros for over five years. Comprido was the same coach who helped guide Brock Lesnar to the UFC heavyweight title with precious little MMA experience, and prepped him for his rematch with submission artist Frank Mir. His instruction kept Lesnar out of dangerous situations, leading to a second-round TKO win.

“So I feel really confident in my jiu-jitsu,” Russow said. “I just want to stick to our game plan and go out there and put on a great fight.

For this bout, Russow says the biggest leap he’s made in his training is to his conditioning, knowing that Werdum will challenge him in ways he’s never been pushed.

In addition, he has the very recent experience of facing Jon Olav Einemo in his last fight. Like Werdum, Einemo is a decorated grappler and a former ADCC champion, yet he found no success against Russow, who scored six takedowns and passed Einemo’s guard twice in earning a unanimous decision at January’s UFC on FOX 2.

“I think it really boosted my confidence going against such a good guy like John Einemo in January,” he said. “He’s a world champion, a very good submission guy himself. I know Fabricio is a lot more active and he’s very good, but I definitely think it helped my confidence.”

Werdum has shown improved striking ability in his recent bouts, making Russow’s ground success even more crucial than it otherwise might have been. Given the Brazilian’s well-rounded skill set, Russow has much to be concerned with. Yet given what he’s accomplished himself, he acknowledged that he’s sometimes allowed himself to ponder his place in the UFC heavyweight title picture.

The thought of a moonlighting, active policeman reaching those heights might seem improbable, but Russow has the opportunity to change that perception in just 15 minutes of work on Saturday night.

“It’s been kind of a real slow [career] pace, but I’m really just focused on this fight,” he said. “I don’t want to look past anything. I just want to get through Saturday and shock everybody.”

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Fight Prediction: Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow

Fabricio “Via Cavalo” Werdum (15-5-1) vs. Mike Russow (15-1-1) This fight has a lot riding on it as the winner could be the next one to get a crack at the heavyweight title. With all the speculation and uncertainty about Alistair Overeem, the winner of this fight could be proposed as a viable contender. Fabricio …

The post Fight Prediction: Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Russow appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Rafael Cavalcante vs Mike Kyle result changed to ‘no contest’ after ‘Feijao’ returns positive for stanozolol

May 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Rafael Cavalcante (left) defeats Mike Kyle (right) during the light heavyweight bout of the Strikeforce World Grand Prix at HP Pavilion.  Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The results are in … and they don’t look very promising.

Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Rafael Cavalcante, who was recently suspended for one year and fined $ 2500 for failing a post-fight drug test, will also have his recent win over Mike Kyle changed to a “no contest,” according to MMA Weekly.

“Feijao,” who submitted “MAK” last month on the main card of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Final event on Showtime, tested positive for stanozolol metabolites according to commissioner George Dodd of the California State Athletic Commisssion (CSAC).

It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for ex-Strikeforce champions.

Newly-signed Bellator attraction Muhammed Lawal was taken offline following his failed pee exam last January, not long after Cristiane Santos burned a hole through the bottom of her cup after slamming the lid on Hiroko Yamanaka’s six-sided coffin.

Strikeforce hat trick.

Cavalcante is expected to appeal the finding and you can bet your bottom dollar we here at MMAmania.com will keep you abreast of all the future updates to this still-developing story. See how it all got started right here.


After Knocking Out Josh Neer, Mike Pyle Believes He’s a Contender

It’s hard enough to finish Josh Neer, much less knock him out. That’s what Mike Pyle did at UFC on FX 3, however, scoring the KO 4:56 into the first round.
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Rafael ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante Tests Positive for Banned Substance Following Mike Kyle Win

Forza LLC via Getty Images

Strikeforce light heavyweight Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante tested positive for a banned substance following his win over Mike Kyle last month in San Jose, Calif. The California State Athletic Commission executive officer George Dodd confirmed the news with MMAFighting.com on Friday. Boxing reporter Gabriel Montoya first reported the news on Twitter.

As a result, Cavalcante has been suspended for one year and fined $ 2,500 by the CSAC.

Dodd refused to disclose which banned substance Cavalcante tested positive for because he was not at his office when contacted by MMAFighting.com. He said the CSAC sent Cavalcante a letter earlier this week informing him of the failed test but they have yet to hear back from him.

Ed Soares, Cavalcante’s manager, told MMAFighting.com that they have replied to the CSAC’s letter and will be appealing the suspension.

“I believe in his innocence, and we’re fighting it,” Soares said. “We stand behind him. There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t make sense.”

Strikeforce officials were not immediately available for comment when contacted by MMAFighting.com.

Cavalcante submitted Kyle at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson III in just 33 seconds last month. He was rumored to be in line for a title shot against Gegard Mousasi later this year.

This marks the third high-profile Strikeforce fighter to be accused of testing positive for a banned substance this year after Cris “Cyborg” Santos and Muhammed Lawal were both suspended by the CSAC and Nevada State Athletic Commission, respectively.

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UFC on FX 3 – Mike Pierce Wins By Unanimous Decision, Not Split After Judging Gaff

Mike Pierce punches Carlos Eduardo Rocha in a Welterweight bout during the UFC on FX 3 event at Bank Atlantic Center on June 8, 2012 in Sunrise, Florida – Photo by Josh Hedges via UFC.com

Last Friday night, you were probably left scratching your head when the judges awarded UFC welterweight Mike Pierce a split decision win over Carlos Eduardo Rocha by scores of 30-27, 27-30 and 30-27 as part of the main card for UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall.

I myself, admittedly wasn’t paying that close attention to the fight, so I thought maybe one judge was really into Jiu-Jitsu and scored it for Rocha for his submission attempts. Or maybe that one judge had just screwed it up.

It should have been obvious that it would have been the latter after all the refereeing and judging gaffs at the Sunrise, Florida event.

Pierce had in fact won the match by scores of 30-27 across the board with judge Ric Bays, of the Florida Boxing Commission, scoring the fight incorrectly for Rocha.

On Wednesday, Pierce sent an email to MMAjunkie.com about the scoring mistake.

“When they read 30-27 for Rocha, I was like, ‘What the (expletive)? Great, here we go again.’”

“So he scored it for the wrong corner – is that supposed to make me feel better?” Pierce said. “Look, these guys are supposed to be professionals like me. Maybe I hold myself to a higher standard, but if all I had to do was keep track of who’s winning a round every five minutes, it would be an easy day at the office. I don’t know what’s worse: Scoring it for Rocha 30-27, or saying he accidentally put the scores down wrong on the card. Come on, pal – you only have two options: red or blue. Bruce Buffer even starts out by introducing us from the red or blue corners. I’m pretty sure my girlfriend’s 12-year-old couldn’t even (expletive) that up. It seriously makes you wonder where the hell they get these people.”

If the split decision had stood versus Rocha, it would have marked the fourth straight result for Pierce who has gone 2-2 in those matches. The win over Rocha allowed Pierce to bounce back from a loss to Josh Koscheck last February at UFC 143.


Ultimate Insider video profiles UFC 147 heavyweight and Chicago cop Mike Russow

“I’ve always wanted to be a police officer, pretty much since I was in seventh, eighth grade. When we put on our uniform, we’re supposed to represent the best in our city and be professionals. Yeah, there’s always that chance that you’re not coming home. It’s not something I like to think about but it is in the back of your head. It’s a rush, just like stepping inside that cage. That’s a rush. There’s definitely some similarities between the two. If I keep winning big fights, who knows what can happen someday.”

If you’re one of those mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who likes to read the headline and shoot on over to the comments section to sound off, I implore you to make a pit-stop on your way there and actually watch this video, as it’s well worth your time. UFC “Ultimate Insider” takes a closer look at Chicago cop Mike Russow, who butts heads with grappling master Fabricio Werdum on the main card of the UFC 147 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which emanates live from the Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on June 23, 2012. Anyone think Russow, who is 4-0 inside the Octagon and 15-1 overall, can continue his unlikely climb to the top of the heavyweight ranks?


UFC on FX 3 Prelims: Mike Pierce Dominates Carlos Eduardo Rocha

Mike Pierce introduced Carlos Eduardo Rocha to a perfectly executed game plan, and it was not a pleasant experience for the 30-year-old Brazilian.
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UFC on FX 3 Live Blog: Mike Pyle vs. Josh Neer

Mike Pyle will try to end Josh Neer's two-fight win streak Friday night at UFC on FX 3 at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. (Esther Lin, MMA Fighting).

This is the UFC on FX 3 live blog for Mike Pyle vs. Josh Neer, a welterweight bout on Friday night’s UFC event from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Pyle, who has won three of his last four fights, will face Neer, who has won his last two UFC fights, on the main card.

Check out the live blog below.

More Coverage: UFC on FX 3 Results | UFC News

Round 1: Pyle scores a takedown in the opening minute, ans quickly passes to side control. He tries to mount but Neer shuts it down. Back to guard. Pyle isn’t able to do much on top, landing an occasional punch. Neer’s back to his feet with about a minute to go. Neer lands an uppercut. Pyle stumbles backward awkwardly but it’s hard to tell if he lost his balance or was hurt. Neer seems to be finding his range, but during an exchange, everything changes in a flash when Pyle lands a right cross. Neer goes down face-first and it’s over.

Winner: Mike Pyle via KO, Rd. 1

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