Now that the WEC has officially become a part of the ufc, the only Zuffa-owned outings on the Versus network will be the “UFC On Versus” series of live events. In order to battle the negativity that goes alongside a drastically reduced live event schedule, the UFC is looking to give back to Versus fans with a stellar “UFC on Versus 3” card. To further that goal, four new fights have been announced for the event, featuring several notableÂ former WEC stars as well as some of the UFC’s emerging talent. Here are all the details.
According to MMA Junkie, yesterday the UFC officially announced the following four match-ups for the event: Brian Bowles vs. Damacio Page, Alessio Sakara vs. Maiquel Falcao, Shane Roller vs. Thiago Tavares, and Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera.
With the official confirmation of these four bouts, in addition to some bouts currently in-the-works that have yet to be officially confirmed, the “UFC on Versus 3” card is shaping up as follows: Martin Kampmann vs. Diego Sanchez, C.B. Dollaway vs. Mark Munoz, Maiquel Falcao vs. Alessio Sakara, Brian Bowles vs. Damacio Page, Shane Roller vs. Thiago Tavares, Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera, Alexandre Ferreira vs. Rousimar Palhares, Cyrille Diabate vs. Steve Cantwell, and Matt Brown vs. Mark Scanlon
The UFC is putting a lot of effort into this event, and I think it’s really beginning to show since a lot of these matches look like can’t-miss encounters. Brian Bowles is a former WEC Bantamweight Champion most famous for ending the incredible championship reign of Miguel Torres, who had dominated the WEC Bantamweight division for quite some time. Takeya Mizugaki was a noted foe that Torres beat, and their epic five-round encounter is remembered as one of Torres’ finest moments, while Mizugaki is now remembered as an always-tough opponent that won’t stop fighting unless he is fully and wholly separated from consciousness.
In regards to the event overall, I think Sanchez vs. Kampmann is easily the biggest and most important bout on the card, and I’m glad that it’s getting top billing. This sounds like a fantastic match on paper, with both men hungry for a victory and willing to leave it all on the line in order to get one. Both men are once again fighting for relevancy in the UFC’s crowded Welterweight division, and a big win could put either man right back “in the mix” and on the shortlist of possible championship contenders. With both men possessing impressive cardio and near-granite chins, it should be a fantastic multi-round encounter.
In general, I think “UFC on Versus 3” will be a great card, a fun night of fights, and a good start to 2011 for UFC on the Versus network. I won’t pretend that it wholly makes up for the loss of the WEC and its multiple shows per year, but I also won’t hold that against this card since it’s really not fair for me to do so. If they live up to their various potentials, this card should give us several good encounters and a lot of noteworthy moments.
And what about you, fans and friends? As it continues to become more concrete, what do you think about the “UFC on Versus 3” card?