Only 70-days away from the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to Montreal on March 16th, 2013 for UFC 158: GSP vs. Diaz. After the December 16th announcement of the main event of UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (23-2 MMA, 17-2 UFC) defending his title for the eighth time versus former STRIKEFORCE Welterweight champion Nick Diaz (26-8-1 MMA, 7-5 UFC, 6-0 SF) was made official, the UFC has continued to stack this card.
Already announced, Rory MacDonald will receive a UFC 115 rematch against Carlos Condit, the title hungry Johny Hendricks will square off against Jake Ellenberger, and Patrick Cote will make his first drop to Welterweight to face STRIKEFORCE import Bobby Voelker.
The UFC has just added three more Canadian talent heavy bouts to the card with John Makdessi versus Daron Cruickshank, Chris Camozzi versus Nick Ring, and Jordan Mein versus Dan Miller.
After destroying the Canadian local scene, John “The Bull” Makdessi (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) jumped into the UFC with two highlight reel performances going the distance with Pat Audinwood where he displayed his superb striking ability at UFC 124, and the famous spinning back fist knockout of Kyle Watson at UFC 129. Makdessi then suffered his first ever loss to Dennis Hallman at UFC 140 in an unfair bout as Hallman who was normally a Welterweight fighter dropped to Lightweight, but missed weight and came into the bout much larger than Makdessi. Clearly affected by his first loss, Makdessi loss his next bout to Anthony Njokuani at UFC 145. The Laval native then snapped his two-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision over Sam Stout at UFC 154. Since losing in the first episode of the Ultimate Fighter Live to James Vick via knockout, Daron Cruickshank (12-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has gone undefeated in the UFC with a unanimous decision over Chris Tickle at The Ultimate Fighter Live Finale, and a highlight reel knockout of Henry Martinez at UFC on FOX 5. Prior to joining the UFC, Cruickshank defeated Makdessi’s training partner Mike Ricci for the Ringside MMA Lightweight championship at Ringside 12 in October of 2011. The two will square off in a strikers dream match in a “Tristar’s revenge” bout.
A Middleweight showcase between Chris Camozzi (18-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Nick Ring has been added to the card. During his stint of the Ultimate Fighter season 11, Camozzi was forced to withdraw from the competition after suffering a broken jaw in his preliminary bout victory against Victor O’Donnell to get into the house. Camozzi was granted to opportunity to fight on the finale where he picked up a unanimous decision over James Hammortree, then a split decision over Dongi Yang at UFC 121. He was then submitted by Kyle Noke at UFC 127 and subsequently released from the promotion. Camozzi picked a split decision victory outside of the UFC against Joey Villasenor at Shark Fights 15, which granted him another shot in the UFC. Upon his return Camozzi lost a unanimous decision to Francis Carmont at UFC 137, losing two of three rounds, as Camozzi had Carmont in danger late in the third round with a kimura submission. Camozzi bounced back from the loss as he is currently riding a three fight win streak with a guillotine submission over Dustin Jacoby at UFC on FOX 2, a TKO victory over Nick Cantone at UFC on FX 4, and a unanimous decision over Luiz Cane at UFC 153. His opponent Nick Ring (13-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) also an alumni of season 11 of the Ultimate Fighter and also forced to withdraw due to ACL injury after defeating the winner of season Court McGee in the quarterfinals by majority decision. Ring officially made his UFC debut at UFC 127 in February of 2011 with a controversial unanimous decision victory over DEEP Middleweight champion Riki Fukuda. Ring “won” the first two rounds granting him the judges nod, but the MMA community, including UFC President Dana White were baffled by the decision. Ring then ensured that there was no controversy in his next UFC victory, as he submitted at UFC 131. Ring was then handed his first career loss to Tim Boetsch at UFC 135. Ring bounced back from his loss, defeating Court McGee by unanimous decision in a TUF 11 rematch at UFC 149. Undefeated on Canadian soil with 11 victories the Calgary native will attempt to remain that way and derail Camozzi’s win streak.
STRIKEFORCE import Jordan Mein (26-8 MMA, 2-1 SF) will be making his UFC debut at UFC 158. Mein lost his MMA debut in 2006 to Rory MacDonald at the age of 16. Now 23-years-old, Mein has fought 34 times, racking up victories over notable fighters such as, Evangelista Santos, Marius Zaromskis, Joe Riggs, Josh Burkman, and Forest Petz. Mein made his STRIKEFORCE debut in September of 2011 with a TKO victory over Evangelista Santos. Mein then squared off against the much larger Tyron Woodley in a title eliminator bout, where Woodley spent three rounds sitting on Mein, who worked diligently off his back, but would lose a split decision. Mein then won a unanimous decision over Tyler Stinson in January of 2012. With two STRIKEFORCE events being cancelled in a the later part of 2012, Mein returned to the local scene to remain active on November 23rd for the Score Fighting Series 7. He destroyed Forrest Petz in 99-seconds with elbows and knees. His opponent, Brother of Top 10 ranked Lightweight Jim Miller, Dan Miller (14-6-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC) won his first three UFC bouts against Rob Kimmons at UFC Fight Night 15, Matt Horwich at UFC 90, and Jake Rosholt at UFC Fight Night 17. Miller would then go on to lose three consecutive decision bouts against Chael Sonnen at UFC 98, Damian Maia at UFC 109, and Michael Bisping at UFC 114. Miller snapped the losing streak with a ninja choke submission of John Salter at UFC 118, and a split decision over Joe Doerksen at UFC 124. Miller stepped back up in competition losing decisions to Nate Marquardt at UFC 128, and Rousimar Palhares at UFC 134. With the losses Miller made the decision to drop to 170lbs and submitted Ricardo Funch with a guillotine choke at UFC on FX 4 in his Welterweight debut to earn the submission of the night honors. Miller will attempt to remain undefeated at Welterweight and spoil Mein’s UFC debut.
Sarah Kaufman (15-2 MMA, 6-2 SF) will appear on Wednesday’s (Jan. 9th) episode of Ringside Report Radio on TSN 690 with Dave Simon and Kevin McKough to discuss her potential involvement of UFC 158. The former STRIKEFORCE Women’s Bantamweight champion Kaufman has expressed to RingsideReportDOTNET that she would be interested in a rematch against Miesha Tate (13-3 MMA, 6-2 SF). The two fought at the first STRIKEFORCE Challengers card in May of 2009, where Kaufman won a unanimous decision. Both fighters lost first round submissions to UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Tate losing the STRIKEFORCE title, and Kaufman attempting to regain it. Tate recently defeated Kaufman’s teammate Julie Kedzie with an armbar submission after being beat up for two rounds by Kedzie. Kaufman would like to avenge the loss by her teammate, and face Tate in a bout that has been brewing for some time now, as Kaufman and Tate both felt that Kaufman deserved the title shot over Rousey, when Tate was champion. With the UFC adding a Women’s Bantamweight division to the company, we at Ringside Report Radio/www.ringsidereport.net believe that Kaufman would make a great addition to the roster and should be added to the UFC 158 lineup. If you are interested in seeing Sarah Kaufman versus Miesha Tate at UFC 158 tweet “@mmasarah vs. @MieshaTate for #UFC158 #MakeItHappen” to @danawhite and @ufc.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz – for welterweight title
Jake Ellenberger vs. Johny Hendricks
Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Chris Camozzi vs. Nick Ring
Jordan Mein vs. Dan Miller
Daron Cruickshank vs. John Makdessi
Patrick Cote vs. Bobby Voelkerby