**Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez attended this past Wednesday’s NXT television tapings at Full Sail University. Velasquez was in Florida and worked out of the Performance Center this week and participated in a DDP Yoga session. Velasquez was interviewed by the WWE website and stated that he had been a fan since childhood. While it may not involve much beyond a guest spot at the Performance Center, there is a great storyline idea on the main roster involving Velasquez. If you went with Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley for SummerSlam (and it could work with Roman Reigns as well but works better for Lashley’s character) with a serious sport-oriented build up, with Lashley bringing Velasquez on to train him as the man that defeated Lesnar for his UFC heavyweight title. The vignettes would be strictly training style videos and would emphasize Lashley and Velasquez’s strengths, their athleticism and not rely on Lashley and Paul Heyman cutting promos on each other.
**The UFC has a Fight Night card from Hamburg, Germany this Sunday morning from the Barclaycard Arena. The card is headlined by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua taking on Anthony Smith, who replaced Volkan Oezdemir, who was moved from the card. The main event received a bit more attention when Daniel Cormier randomly threw out Rua’s name as a potential challenger for his light heavyweight title. Rua has won three fights in a row but has been terribly inactive and I don’t favor him in this fight with Smith. Even with a victory, the idea of Daniel Cormier fighting Rua in his next fight seems improbable, although Cormier’s biggest fights with Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones are hardly guarantees. Below is the full card for Hamburg on Sunday:
MAIN CARD (2 pm Eastern, FS 1)
*Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Anthony Smith
*Corey Anderson vs. Glover Teixeira
*Vitor Miranda vs. Abu Azaitar
*Stefan Struve vs. Marcin Tybura
*Marc Diakiese vs. Nasrat Haqparast
*Danny Roberts vs. David Zawada
PRELIMINARY CARD (Noon, FS 1)
*Nick Hein vs. Damir Hadzovic
*Emil Meek vs. Bartosz Fabinski
*Nad Narimani vs. Khalif Taha
*Aleksander Rakic vs. Justin Ledet
FIGHT PASS CARD (10:30 am)
*Davey Grant vs. Manny Bermudez
*Darko Stosic vs. Jeremy Kimball
*Damian Stasiak vs. Pingyuan Liu
**The UFC 227 pay-per-view card has lost Volkan Oezdemir, who suffered a broken nose and has been removed from his fight with Alexander Gustafsson. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported on the injury and stated that the UFC is seeking a replacement on the card. Gustafsson has not fought since May 2017 and is coming off victories over Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira. Oezdemir was originally slated to fight Texeira this weekend in Germany but was taken off that card to fight Gustafsson next month.
**Former UFC fighter Erick Silva will have his first fight since leaving the promotion at tonight’s LFA 45 card on AXS TV. Silva will be meeting 12-3 fighter Nick Barnes. Silva has fought for the UFC since 2011 and went 7-8 during his tenure. He is coming off losses to Yancy Medeiros and Jordan Mein in his last two outings.
**Newsday was the first to report that Bellator is planning to hold an event at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, October 13th and will feature one of the two semi-final bouts of the ongoing Heavyweight Grand Prix. Bellator is set to run back-to-back nights with a card at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, October 12th featuring the semi-final fight between Ryan Bader and Matt Mitrione, and then Chael Sonnen will fight Fedor Emelianenko the next night at the Nassau Coliseum.
**UFC flyweight Paige VanZant underwent surgery on Thursday to correct issues with her arm that date back to a break of the arm earlier this year. VanZant broke her right arm in January during her last fight with Jessica Rose-Clark and the initial procedure did not correct the issues and she had to undergo a second operation this week. Prior to her surgery, she was in Las Vegas on Tuesday to watch her fiancé Austin Vanderford compete on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and defeated Angelo Trevino.
**ESPN’s Ariel Helwani is reporting that Cortney Casey will replace Alexa Grasso on next month’s UFC Fight Night card from Lincoln, Nebraska. Grasso was forced to withdraw from her fight with Angela Hill, due to undisclosed reasons. Casey is coming off two split decision losses to Felice Herrig and Michelle Waterson. Hill last fought in February where she defeated Maryna Moroz by unanimous decision.
**The PFL held a card on Thursday night from the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island and below are the results from their ongoing season:
*Valdrin Istrefi def. Daniel Gallemore by TKO at 1:42 of Round 2
*Josh Copeland def. Shawn Jordan by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Max Coga def. Marcos Galvao by TKO at 2:19 of Round 3
*Timur Valiev def. Bekbulat Magomedov by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Kelvin Tiller def. Jared Rosholt by guillotine choke at 0:54 of Round 2
*Philipe Lins def. Alex Nicholson by TKO at 3:39 of Round 2
*Steven Siler def. Alexandre Almeida by guillotine choke at 0:34 of Round 1
*Francimar Barroso def. Jack May by arm triangle at 1:36 of Round 1
*Andre Harrison def. Nazareno Malegarie by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Lance Palmer def. Jumabieke Tuerzun by rear-naked choke at 4:34 of Round 3
**I caught this week’s edition of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and it featured a strange pause in the action. During a dull fight between Chibwiken Onyenegecha and Anthony Adams, the lights went out during the third round and there were several minutes of darkness. While you hear about instances of lights going out on smaller MMA shows, and it’s also happened in the WWE and even at the Super Bowl, it was still strange during a UFC fight. Referee Herb Dean was incredibly calm and quickly stopped the action and could not have handled it better. Below are the results from the card:
*Edmen Shahbazyan def. Antonio Jones by TKO at 0:40 of Round 1 – Shahbazyan is managed by Ronda Rousey and has trained under Edmond Tarverdyan since he was a kid. He landed two right uppercuts and dropped him with a left before following up with strikes for the win.
*Austin Vanderford def. Angelo Trevino by rear-naked choke at 2:42 of Round 2 – There was a backstory to this fight as Vanderford is the fiancé of Paige VanZant (who was in the crowd), who used to train at Team Alpha Male, which is where Trevino trains. Trevino nearly stopped him in the first round and I scored it 10-8. Vanderford was tough and escaped the mount and was survived the round. In the second, it was Vandeford landing two big shots and he got the mount and then secured the back and fight-ending rear-naked choke. This was an entertaining fight.
*Chibwikem Onynegecha def. Anthony Adams by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – This was not an entertaining fight and it was obvious neither was getting a contract by the end. I don’t always agree with the criteria on this show that quick stoppages typically land a contract even though you can have very talented fighters go the distance, but this was not an example of a great fight going the distance.
*Domingo Pilarte def. Vince Morales by rear-naked choke at 1:52 of Round 2 – This fight was all action and went back-and-forth. In the first round, Pilarte wobbled Morales with his left hands connecting, Morales came back with a counter and dropped Pilarte and steals the round with strikes against the cage. Pilarte rebounded in the second round and got the back of Morales, once he applied his hook, he had a deep choke applied and Morales refused to tap and passed out.
*Maycee Barber def. Jamie Colleen by TKO at 4:15 of Round 3 – Barber is 20 years old and her goal is to become the youngest champion in UFC history to the point she has a timer set on her phone. Barber controlled the fight with strong clinch work and takedowns. In the third round, took her down and landed elbows from half-guard, cut Colleen and got the stoppage.
The contracts were awarded to Maycee Barber, Domingo Pilarte, and Edmen Shahbazyan.
**Next week’s edition of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series will feature the biggest star to fight on the series with Nick Newell having his fight. Newell is a congenital amputee, who went on to wrestle in high school and college before a career in mixed martial arts that began in 2009. Newell has a record of 14-1 with his only loss to current UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje in 2014. After fighting for the XFC, he was signed by World Series of Fighting and debuted for the promotion in August 2013 defeating Keon Caldwell by rear-naked choke. He retired after a win over Tom Marcellino in October 2015 but returned earlier this year for the LFA organization and defeated Sonny Luque in the first round. He personally met with UFC president Dana White and his management to convince White to give him a chance and resulted in a spot on the Contender Series.
**Below are the fights scheduled for next Tuesday’s DWTNCS card in Las Vegas:
*Nick Newell vs. Alex Munoz – Lightweight
*Chris Birchler vs. Jim Crute – Light Heavyweight
*Sodiq Yusuff vs. Mike Davis – Lightweight
*Jeff Hughes vs. Josh Appelt – Heavyweight
*Canaan Kawaihae vs. Chase Hooper – Featherweight