(Jeff Monson returns to M-1 March 16th)
All the fans know the UFC and all the press report on that promotion but wheredo their fighters come from? What else is going on now? Perhaps mostimportantly what shows should fans watch to see tomorrow’s stars develop? TheDeclaration of Independents is a monthly snapshot of what is going on in thenon-UFC or “independent” scene.
Although not exactly springtime weather-wise the MMA scene is thawing in March. Bellator season 6 starts in just a coupleweeks while HDNet are still slugging away with LFC this weekend and Fight NowTV is growing with the addition of international shows like UCMMA. The spring should be interesting withProElite finishing their HW tournament but expect some fallouts from last yearsuch as rumors of Shark Fights’ demise now that UFC is on Fuel TV.
Here is a list of confirmed MMA events on TV and the internet for the next fiveweeks:
February 24th LFC (HDNet)
February 26th UFC 144
March 2nd TFC (HDNet)
March 3rd UFC on FX 2 (FX)
March 3rd Strikeforce (Showtime)
March 9th BFC 60 (MTV 2)
March 16th BFC 61 (MTV 2)
March 16th Score Fighting Series (Score)
March 23rd BFC 62 (MTV 2)
March 30th BFC 63 (MTV 2)
April 6th BFC 64 (MTV 2)
April 13th BFC 65 (MTV 2)
April 14th UFC on Fuel TV 2 (Fuel TV)
April 21st UFC 145 (PPV)
British Association of Mixed MartialArts (BAMMA)-March 24th is now the date for the next BAMMA show but thereis no word on the card. Nate Marquardthad been signed for several months. Inthe archives is a report on the December 10th show which was broadcast livefrom Nottingham on HDNet.
Bellator Fighting Championship (BFC)-Arguablythe number 2 show kicks off season 6 March 9th in Hammond, IN (Chicago suburbs)and now the live event info is coming in fast. March 9th Joe Warren faces Pat Curran, March 16thEric Prindle rematchesThiago Santos for the finals of last season’s HW tournament, March 23rd LloydWoodard headlines against Patricky Freire, March 30th sees Ben Saunders vs.Raul Amaya, April 6th is Ben Askren vs. Douglas Lima, and April 13th is ZachMakovsky vs. Eduardo Dantas.
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship(CWFC)-A new entry due to Fight Now TV CWFC (as well as MMAjunkie.com)finished the quarterfinals of the MW tournament February 18th as Chris Fieldsdefeated Jack Mason. The semifinals takeplace April 15th and the finals in July. What is interesting from an independent point of view is BAMMA is alsorunning in the same market while Bellator have been talking expansion into theUK.
DREAM-The New Year’s Eve DREAM showhad plenty of stars but not many surprises (see archives). No word is available on the next show however Bellator have beentalking about exchanging fighters like DREAM used to do with Strikeforce.
King of the Cage (KOTC)-The pay-per-viewfor Greatest KO’s 6 airs now while #7 starts February 24th. On the live front KOTC hit Las Vegas March3rd, Tulsa March 10th, and both Norman, OK and Walker, MN on March 17th.
Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC)-theshow most tailor-made for HDNet return February 24th with Eric Davila vs. MikeBronzoulis. Look for more on this showin the days to come.
M-1 Global/Challenge/Selection (M1C)-Witheighteen shows in 2011 M-1 Global (including M-1 Challenge) were one of thebusiest events. All that is confirmed atthis time for 2012 is M-1 Challenge 31 on March 16th in St. Petersburg withJeff Monson headlining against Alexey Oleinik.
Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) –Followingthe January 27th show MFC cut the contracts for both Antonio McKee and BrianCobb, the main event fighters who both came in over the contract weight for thelightweight title, McKee was over by seven pounds but Cobb by only .5pounds. McKee won the fight by unanimousdecision. Next up Nathan Coy and RyanMcGillivray face off for the welterweight title at MFC 33 May 4th.
ProElite-Rumors of ProElite 4 takingplace in San Jose have not been confirmed. Whenever it does take place it is assumed to air on HDNet and assumed tohold the finals of the HW tournament.
Score Fighting Series (SFS)-March16th The Score Fighting Series hold their fourth show, this time headlined byUFC vet Forrest Petz vs. Sergej Juskevic. Also on the card Shane Campbell faces Derek Boyle and Ryan Dickson takeson Chris St. Jean.
Shark Fights-Yes, still at this timethere is no word on the next live Shark Fights event, just “coming in 2012”.
Titan FC-Leonardo Pecanha takes onJorge Santiago for the start of TFC’s 2012 season, more information will beposted next week.
Ultimate Challenge MMA-the newest addition to Fight Now TV UCMMA is basicallythe remnants of Cage Rage, actually the predecessors (along with Cage Warriors)of the current wave of UK shows including BAMMA. The first UCMMA show to air live from London onFight Now TV will be April 7th, no card is yet available.
Aggression MMA-In the archives is areport on AMMA 9 February 11th. Noinformation is available on the next show.
Cage Fury Fighting Championships-Hoton the heels of the February 4th show CFFC make the move to Borgata Hotel andCasino in Atlantic City April 16th for CFFC 14. Aljamain Sterling headlines against Casey Johnson.
Ring of Combat (ROC)-No word isavailable on the fight card for ROC 40 April 27th but expect it to webstream onGoFightLive. In the archives is a reportfrom ROC 39 February 10th.
Tachi Palace Fights (TPF)-Noconfirmation is available regarding if TPF 12 on March 9th will webstream onSherdog but on the card Casey Olson fights Cody Gibson while Georgi Karakhanyantakes on Micah Miller.
Invicta MMA-No news is available onhow this new company’s first show April 28th will be distributed but it isalready getting a lot of attention due to the all-women card. Former Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenenfights Romy Ruyssen in the main event.
North American Allied Fight Series (NAAFS)-Slowingdown this year from the 20 NAAFS shows of 2011 the Ohio-based promotion has“only” had three shows so far in 2012, two of which were webstreamed onGoFightLive (see archives for Jan. 28th and Feb. 18th). March 24th NAAFS hit Akron then return toMorgantown, WV April 27th.
Superior Cage Combat (SCC)-Withtheir fourth event SCC continued to grow in importance if not distribution withJay Silva defeating Kendall Grove in the main event. Since this show just happened February 16ththere is no word on the fifth event.