June 8, 2011 –There are several storylines for Saturday’s UFC 131 event that could be interest to MMA fans in Texas and our sister states this weekend.
As many people know, the main event between top heavyweight contenders Junior Dos Santos and Shane Carwin should decide the next contender for the heavyweight belt currently around the waist of popular Mexican wrestler Cain Velasquez. Should the victor of this Saturday’s fight escape relatively unscathed, he should be placed in a title bout opposite Velasquez at UFC 136, which is largely expected to take place on October 8th in conjunction with the previously-announced UFC Fan Expo announced for Houston.
Also of interest for the UFC 131 is the presence of three fighters with Texas connections in Austin’s Yves Edwards along with James Head of Oklahoma City and Dustin Poirer of Lafayette, Louisiana. While none of the three are on the main PPV draw, the good news is that each of their fights will still be televised with Edwards fighting on the SPIKE prelims and the other two getting their chance to shine during the undercard set to air on Facebook.
We’ll go through the entire card in all its glory with TXMMA.com’s Previews and Predictions of UFC 131 tomorrow but for now, let’s take a closer look at these three fighters.
Needing almost no introduction in Texas, Yves Edwards has been fighting professionally since 1997 and is the founder and originator of “Thug-Jitsu.” Based in Houston for many years, Edwards ran his Revolution Dojo in North Houston for many years prior to relocating to Austin, where he now lives.
A former UFC lightweight champion, Edwards is known the world over as a strong striker and is most famously-known for his devastating knockout of Josh Thompson back at UFC 49. Despite his many years in the sport, Yves is still hanging around and looking to climb back to contender status. Currently a three-fight win streak, he most-recently scored both ‘Fight of the Night’ and ‘Submission of the Night’ honors in choking out TUF-finalist Cody McKenzie at UFC Fight for the Troops 2. As winner in six of his last seven bouts and nine out of twelve overall, Yves will look tocontinue his resurgence against the always-dangerous Sam Stout.
Also on the card making his UFC debut is James Head of Oklahoma City’s Lovato’s Mixed Martial Arts. Head earned his shot at the UFC this past February when he defeated former Ultimate Fighter Gerald Harris at Extreme Fight Night in Tulsa. A former boxer, James was a Southwest Regional Amateur Champion in Texas prior to joining Lovato’s gym to round out his BJJ, where he currently holds the rank of purple belt. Currently 7-1 in MMA, James will be debuting against Nick Ring, another Ultimate Fighter who remains undefeated at 11-0.
Last but not least making his sophomore appearance in the UFC is Dustin Poirier. A protégé of long-time Texas fight veteran ‘Crazy’ Time Credeur, the WEC-veteran was largely seen as a ‘Diamond’ in the rough prior to open eyes with a dominating decision win over Josh Grispi in his UFC debut back in January. With Grispi previously set to take on Jose Aldo prior to his upset loss to Poirier, all eyes are on the Fightville star to see if he can continue his momentum against British fighter Jason Young.
UFC 131 – Full Card Set for June 11, 2011 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia
- Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin
- Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes
- Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman
- Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz
- Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
- Yves Edwards vs. Sam Stout
- Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
- Mike Massenzio vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
- James Head vs. Nick Ring
- Dustin Poirier vs. Jason Young
- Joey Beltran vs. Aaron Rosa
- Darren Elkins vs. Michihiro Omigawa
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