The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be making its triumphant return to Louisiana to host UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 17. The main card will be shown live on network cable TV and the preliminary card will be shown in its entirety on www.facebook.com/UFC.
The UFC brought six events to Louisiana in its first 10 years. Since then, the Bayou State has sent quite a few notable mixed martial artists into the Octagon. These fighters include: Dustin Poirier, Tim Credeur, Kyle Bradley, Pat Barry, Rich Clementi and Melvin Guillard, who is possibly next in line for a lightweight title shot. With such quality competitors coming from the Gulf Coast, look for more events by the UFC in the coming years.
Jake Shields vs. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger
Jake Shields – Mountain Ranch, Cali., 6-0, 170 pounds, 26-5-1
Jake Ellenberger – Omaha, Neb., 6-0, 170 pounds, 25-5-0
Jake Shields will be looking to get back on the title track with a win over top contender Jake Ellenberger. With a loss, however, Shields may find himself pondering whether to stay in the welterweight division or move up to middleweight, a division in which he won the Strikeforce title.
With a win over Shields, Ellenberger will be on the short list for a title shot. Ellenberger has lost only once in the UFC by split decision, and that was to the No. 1 contender, Carlos Condit.
This fight will be a war worthy of the main event.
Shields by TKO (Strikes)
Court “The Crusher” McGee vs. Dongi “The Ox” Yang
Court McGee – Ogden, Utah, 5-11, 185 pounds, 12-1-0
Dongi Yang – Seoul, Korea, 5-11,185 pounds, 10-1-0
Court McGee, “The Ultimate Fighter” season 11 winner, takes on Korean sensation Dongi Yang. Yang has finished 11 out of his 12 opponents—10 of which have come by the way of knockout. On paper, this looks like it will be an old-fashioned brawl with technique going out the window. McGee should be able to control Yang with his wrestling, then wear him down and pound him out.
McGee by TKO (Strikes)
Jonathan Brookins vs. Erik “New Breed” Koch
Jonathan Brookins -- Portland, Ore., 6-0, 145 pounds, 13-3-0
Erik Koch – Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 5-9, 145 pounds, 12-1-0
Jonathan Brookins, the season 12 “Ultimate Fighter” winner, will be facing Eric Koch, a newcomer to the UFC. Even though this is Koch’s sophomore fight, he is coming off of a huge first round knockout. These two up-and-comers could one day be the stars of the featherweight division making this the most underrated bout on the card.
Favorite for “Fight of the Night”
Brookins by Unanimous Decision
Alan “The Talent” Belcher vs. Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald
Alan Belcher – Biloxi, Miss., 6-0, 185 pounds, 15-5-0
Jason MacDonald – Nova Scotia, Canada, 6-3, 185 pounds, 26-14-0
Local fan favorite Alan Belcher will continue his climb to the top with a bout with long time UFC journeyman Jason MacDonald. Belcher has won four out of his last five fights. Look for Belcher to finish this fight early and possibly retire MacDonald from the UFC.
Belcher by TKO (Strikes)
Cody McKenzie vs. Vagner “Ceara” Rocha
Rocha by Submission (Armbar)
Evan Dunham vs. Shamar Bailey
Dunham by Submission (Guillotine)
Matthew Riddle vs. Lance Benoist
Riddle by Knockout
Ken Stone vs. Donny “Eagle Eye” Walker
Walker by Unanimous Decision
Clay “Heavy Metal” Harvison vs. Seth “Polish Pistola” Baczynski
Harvison by Unanimous Decision
Daniel “Ninja” Roberts vs. TJ Waldburger
Roberts by Unanimous Decision
Mike Lullo vs. Robert Peralta
Peralta by TKO (Strikes)
Justin Edwards vs. Jorge Lopez
Edwards by Submission (Guillotine)