International Roster Grows (UFC on FX 6 Review)

Photo Credit: UFC.com

Photo Credit: UFC.com

The UFC is mainly made up of American and Brazilian fighters as the sport has become a major part of the American, North and South, culture. The same cannot be said for many other places as areas outside of the Americas have not seen the same growth. The overseas fight scene is not small though as there are plenty of great fighters from countries in Europe and beyond. Many have not been able to crack the UFC and that is simply because it is hard to catch the attention of the UFC without going through the North or South American fighting series. The UFC is beginning to make it easier for these fighters to make it into the UFC and one step towards that was the expansion of The Ultimate Fighter Reality Show to places other than the USA. The first one was The Ultimate Fighter Brazil as a chance to see how well an international TUF series would fair. This year the UFC went further out of their radius as they held The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes between British and Australian fighters. The hope was to find the next superstars from both countries and grow the stable of international fighters. There would be two contracts up for grabs in the Lightweight and Welterweight Divisions. In the lightweight division two members of Team UK would face off for the six-figure UFC contract. In one corner would be the controlled and concentrated Normin Parke while in the other would be the crazy jokester in Colin Fletcher. Both fighters spent most of the time in the house together and had become close friends after training together on the same team. Now they would face off as opponents to become the first TUF The Smashes champion. The fight was not what it was built to be as one fighter dominated the action. Colin Fletcher did not seem to have the fighting spirit throughout all three rounds. The first two rounds would see Parke easily control the fight on the mat with Fletcher unable to get any advantage. In the third round Fletcher would finally begin pressing as he was clearly losing the fight. It would not be enough though as the lack of pressure from Fletcher would be his undoing as Normin Parke would win the fight and the six-figure UFC contract as the first TUF The Smashes Champion. He would not be the only one to win a spot among the UFC fighter stable though as the welterweight title would be decided later. In the welterweight finale it would be a matchup between the two teams as the Brit Brad Scott would take on the hometown favorite and lone representation of the Aussies, Brandon Whittaker. Whittaker would be the only fighter representing the home team making the fight that much more important for him as he would not only fight for a contract but fight for his country. With that in the back of his mind Whittaker would come out strong in the fight. He would exchange with Scott in a very close round that would see Whittaker take the win thanks to a few good combos. He would be ahead going into round two but Scott would begin to take control of the fight. The fight would go to the ground where Scott would take the second round tying both fighters up at one round a piece. It would come to the third and final round where both fighters would come out swinging looking to win that UFC contract. The round would feature plenty of exchanges between the two fighters in a very close end to the fight. In the end it would be the Aussie Brandon Whittaker who would take the final round and the fight. After a Unanimous Decision win Whittaker would take home the UFC contract in front of his home country capping off the first The Smashes season with a home-grown winner. It was a great night that would see yet another international reality show produce two new fighters as the fight roster continues to grow with international talent.

After two new fighters entered the UFC roster two fighters with some experience in the path from the reality show would face off. Not only did Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos come into the UFC through The ultimate Fighter but they would also be the coaches for the latest season. As the heads of Team UK and Team Australia both fighters would grow to dislike each other throughout the show and would take this into their main event fight. Both fighters were in much of the same situation as they had both had some good wins but have been unable to find that next level. They would face off looking to get back on track in their climb up the ladder of the lightweight division. Pearson would be looking to get a win after a bad loss to Cub Swanson where he would be knocked out in the third round of the fight. Meanwhile George Sotiropoulos was looking to come back from a two fight losing streak to start building towards a run at the title. The fight would start with Pearson coming out strong and hitting Sotiropoulos with a big left hand that sent the Aussie back one wobbly legs. Pearson seemed to have the fight finished but Sotiropoulos would keep fighting through it. At the end of the round Sotiropoulos would get back into the fight as he took Pearson down and looked to finish the fight with a submission. It wouldn’t end though as the fight would go to the second round where the fight would seem more even. That was until Pearson landed another big punch to send Sotiropoulos down near the end of the round. The both fighters once again would survive the round to go to the third. The fight would finally break though as Pearson would come with big pressure on Sotiropoulos to open the round and immediately hurt his opponent. It wouldn’t be long before Sotiropoulos would go down for good and Pearson would take the win with a third round KO putting him back in the win column. Pearson will continue his climb while Sotiropoulos will need to do some work to get back out of the three fight losing streak.

After all was set and done and the coaches fought it out the Fight Night bonuses were handed out for the best performances. Every fighter involved would get $40,000 for their efforts although one category would see no winner. There would be no Submissions on the night leaving that category empty but that didn’t make decisions easy. The “Fight of the Night” would be the toughest decision as there were plenty of amazing fights that could be the winner. The winner would be the first fight of the night though as Cody Donovan and Nick Penner would slug it out for one round before Donovan would take the win with a TKO. The “Knockout of the Night” was not much easier though with plenty of KOs to choose from. It would be another undercard fight that would take it though as Ben Alloway unleashed a big front kick to KO Manuel Rodriguez. It was a great night of fights that saw plenty of knockouts and a bunch of new international stars begin their careers while also showing some great rising talent. The TUF series continues to grow and with another season down the big question is whether or not the next great fighter will rise out of the show which promises to run for much longer.

 

Fight Results:

Main Event:
Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson def. George Sotiropoulos
(TKO; Rd. 3)

 

Main Card:
Robert Whittaker def. Bradley “Bear” Scott [TUF Smashes Welterweight Title]
(Unanimous Decision)

“Stormin” Normin Parke def. Colin “The Freakshow” Fletcher [TUF Smashes Lightweight Title]
(Unanimous Decision)

Hector “Lightning” Lombard def. Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares
(KO; Rd. 1)

 

Undercard:
Chad “Money” Mendes def. Yaotzin Meza
(KO; Rd. 1)

Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran def. Igor Pokrajac
(Unanimous Decision)

Mike Pierce def. Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski
(Unanimous Decision)

Ben “Benny Blanco” Alloway def. Manuel “Chalate” Rodriguez
(KO; Rd. 1)

Mike “The Warrior” Wilkinson def. Brendan Loghnane
(Unanimous Decision)

Cody “Donnybrook” Donovan def. Nick “The Quiet Assassin” Penner
(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

Upcoming Events:

TUF 16 Finale: Nelson vs. Mitrione (Saturday December 15th; 9:00 pm EST)
– Free Live on FX/Sportsnet
– Las Vegas, Nevada (The Joint- The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino)
Main Event: Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione
Notable: Mike “The Martian” Ricci vs. Colton Smith [TUF 16 Title/UFC Contract]

UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez (Saturday December 29th; 10:00 pm EST)
-Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez [Heavyweight Title]
Notable: Forrest Griffin vs. Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis
Notable: Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch vs. Constantinos “Costa” Philippou

UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping (Saturday January 19th; 9:00 pm EST)
– Live Free on FX/Sportsnet
– Sao Paulo, Brazil (Ibirapuera Arena)
Main Event: Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping
Notable: Daniel Sarafian vs. CB “The Doberman” Dolloway

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