MMA Weekend Preview 3/7/2014

| March 6, 2014 | 4 Comments

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Friday afternoon in the Czech Republic, UFC veteran Karlos Vemola continues his climb back to the big show. The former Heavyweight turned Light Heavyweight turned Middleweight takes on Piotr Strus in his home country. Vemola (13-4-0) started his career 7-0-0 before being invited to the UFC. He went 2-4-0 defeated Mike Massenzio & Seth Petruzulli, but back to back losses to Francis Carmont & Caio Magalhaes cost him his release. Since then he has gone 3-0-0 fighting locally in Europe. Strus (9-2-0) is coming off his most notable fight, a victory over former IFL Middleweight Champion Matt Horwich back in December.

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Friday night, in Oklahoma, Bombsquard fighter Anthony Leone gets his shot at Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Duantas. Duantas (15-3-0) has been the champion since defeating Zach Makovsky in the spring of 2012. He got the chance at the belt by winning a tournament after defeating Wilson Reis, Ed West, & Alexis Vila in 2011. After an upset knockout loss to Tyson Nam outside Bellator, Duantas rebounded by finishing off Marcos Galvao in December. Leone (13-6-0) defeated Makovsky & Frank Baca to advance to the finals of a Bellator tournament last year, but was defeated by Rafael Silva in the finals. An injury to Silva, opened the door for this title shot for Leone. Leone previously holds victory of top ranked regional favorite Paul Gorman, Bill Jones, & Tateki Matsuda. He stumbled a bit in his first shot on the national level with losses to Renan Barao, current WSOF Champion Georgi Karakhanyan & Josh LaBerge for WEC, Bellator, & Strikeforce respectively. The Heavyweight tournament begins on Friday as UFC/Strikeforce/WEC veteran Lavar Johnson faces Ryan Martinez, former Champion Alexander Volkov takes on Mark Holata, K-1 veteran battle it out when Peter Graham faces Mighty Mo, & Blagoi Ivanov vs. Richard Hale rounds out the tournament. Keep an eye out on Bulgarian Ivanov. The undefeated fighter suffered life threatening injuries from a stabbing after his win over former UFC Champion Ricco Rodriguez in 2011. He came back in the fall of 2013 and has since gone 2-0-0 in Bellator.

RFA13

Over on AXS TV, RFA presents their 13th event live from Lincoln, NE. The main event features UFC TUF 8 Champion Efrain Escudero taking on Dakota Cochrane. Escudero 21-7-0 is on a 3 fight win streak, last defeating Luis Palomino in October. Before that he suffered a four fight losing streak over Jorge Patino, Tyson Griffin, Mac Danzig, & Jacob Volkmann. Escudero is most known for defeating Phillipe Nover in the TUF finals, and went on to defeat Cole Miller & Dan Lauzon in the UFC. Cochrane (15-5-0) has had an up and down career so far. He failed to follow up with wins over Marcus LeVesseur & Jamie Varner after losing a chance to appear on TUF 15. He submitted Joe Stevenson in 2012, but lost two of his last three to rising stars Chris Heatherly & MFC fighter Marcus Edwards. Heatherly (7-1-0) will be in action also, as he is the hometown fighter. His lone loss is to the UFC’s Alex Garcia, and will face Chidi Njokuani. Jokai (10-4-0) the younger brother of UFC’s Anthony, has gone 5-2-0 recently with his losses to UFC’s Brandon Thatch, & recent Bellator tournament fighter Jeremy Kimball. He’d need a win over Heatherly to be considered to join his brother over in the UFC.

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Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm, UFC presents a Fight Night event live on Fight Pass. The main event features Alexander Gustafsson taking on Jimi Manuwa. Also on the main card former teammates Melvin Guillard faces Michael Johnson, Brad Pickett debuts at Flyweight against Ireland’s Neil Seery, & top prospect Gunnar Nelson returns from injury. On the undercard check out England’s Luke Barnatt, as he may be the next UK star for the UFC.

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Category: 3Col, Event Preview, News

About the Author ()

Boxing/MMA event correspondent. ABC licensed MMA judge. Went to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT for Sports Management. Trained in Kickboxing from 2002-2004 & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from 2003-2006.

Comments (4)

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  1. Mark Hoxie says:

    You forgot about Glory 14 and CroCop! Though it’s not MMA…

  2. Nick Mahmood says:

    You’re right! Can’t believe I missed that!

  3. Tony Best says:

    How is Chris Heatherly following injury with Chidi?

  4. Nick Mahmood says:

    He was up and walking around. Possibly a broken rib, but no new updates

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