This weekend theoretically offers a respite from a schedule that has featured title fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Strikeforce, World Extreme Cagefighting or Dream almost every week since late March. But it’s only a breather in a narrow sense, given the offerings:
- Carnival atmosphere meets mixed martial arts when a two-time ex-UFC champion takes on a five-time World’s Strongest Man winner from Poland.
- The most significant U.S. fight in recent memory involving two American women.
- Another comeback attempt by a man who was a top-10 middleweight for years. He’s fighting one of the legendary Rickson Gracie’s proteges in MMA.
- One of the better American flyweights back in action after losing his title belt in October.
- The return of the Green Power Ranger to MMA action
MMA viewers outside the Pacific time zone and without the ability to record two shows simultaneously will have to choose tonight between the Moosin: God of Martial Arts on pay-per-view (9 p.m. ET) and the latest Strikeforce Challenger event on Showtime (11 p.m. ET).
Moosin’s super-heavyweight main event in Worcester, Mass. features 578 pounds of fighters in Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia vs. Marius Pudzianowski. During a bout earlier this month in his native Poland, Pudzianowski looked every bit as inexperienced as might be expected from someone in his second MMA fight, but Sylvia seems to be in less than optimal shape — he officially weighed at 305 pounds, significantly above the weight of his UFC days, when he had to make the 265-pound cut for heavyweight.
The real, if unheralded, reason to watch Moosin comes in the form of Tara LaRosa and Roxanne Modafferi. They’re fighting at a catchweight of 130 pounds to accommodate the difference between LaRosa, who normally competes at 125, and Modafferi, usually a 135-pounder. The Unified Women’s MMA Rankings peg Modafferi and LaRosa as No. 2 and No. 3 in their customary divisions.
Across the country in Portland, Ore., Matt "The Law" Lindland hopes to snap a losing streak by beating Rickson Gracie protege Kevin Casey in the headline bout of the Strikeforce Challenger show. It’s a clash of styles that pits wrestling against jiu-jitsu, and a clash of personalities between Lindland’s blue-collar grit and Casey’s brash, outsized persona — the man is so self-confident that he left the Gracie umbrella and awarded himself a black belt for awhile, although he says he has since returned to the fold and gone back to wearing a brown belt.
At the other end of the career scale from the 39-year-old Lindland sits fast-rising welterweight Tyron Woodley. He has yet to lose in five MMA bouts — including three for Strikeforce — and returns to action on the Strikeforce undercard. All of his opponents have tapped out before the third round.
By the time the dust clears from Moosin and Strikeforce, actor Jason David Frank will be entering the Ultimate Warrior Challenge’s cage on Saturday night for his fourth MMA fight as an amateur. He has a martial arts background, but he’s better known as the guy who played the Green Ranger on the Power Rangers TV show.
The UWC Judgement Day show (online pay-per-view, 7 p.m. ET) in Fairfax, Va. also brings back flyweight John "The Magician" Dodson. The Greg Jackson-trained fighter in October lost the UWC title in a hard-fought split decision with Pat Runez that Sherdog.com calls "the most significant 125-pound bout to date outside of Japan." Dodson faces veteran Jesse Riggleman.
(Posted by Sergio Non)