The UFC is Set for Serious Action in 2014
By Mike Nixon
For diehard UFC fans, 2014 is quickly shaping up to be a spectacular season. If you can’t wait to watch the lightning-fast action and want to know when and where your favorite fighters are squaring up, read on:
What’s in Store
UFC kicked off the 2014 season with the UFC on FOX event at Chicago’s United Center on Jan. 25, with Josh Thomson’s controversial split decision loss to former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Then it was UFC Fight Night that featured plenty of fierce action (not counting the preliminary card) as fourth-ranked Lyoto Machida defeated Gegard Mousasi, while Jacare Souza cemented his place in the division with a win over Francis Carmont on the main card.
According to UFC President Dana White, the next UFC Pay-Per-View event, scheduled for this Saturday night, February 22 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, which will bring the sport home to Las Vegas, with main card contenders for this event including late addition Patrick Cummins against David Cormier and the battle between two former Olympians as Sara McMann looks to take the title from Ronda Rousey. You don’t have to miss any of the action if you’re away from home; tablets can stream Pay-Per-View fights through their providing cable service. Make sure you have enough data—T-mobile offers 200 MB free when you sign up for their mobile Internet plan—so you can make it through the entire card.
UFC’s Current Schedule
In total, the UFC’s current schedule includes 13 Pay-Per-View events and four fights on FOX. Viewers can also expect 14 live events to be shown on FOX Sports 1 throughout the year, including two TUF finales as well as the preliminary events for the pay-per-view shows. Four live events will also be shown on FOX Sports 2 and expect more events to be added throughout 2014.
Fans can expect an action-packed season as the sport’s most prominent superstars and the newest additions to MMA battle it out in the octagon for the UFC top titles. Top women’s MMA veteran Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler finally makes her UFC debut as she is set to square off against fifth-ranked Sarah Kaufman on April 16 in Quebec City. Expect to see lots of new names in the Octagon this year as the UFC is going to need them to fill out all of these fight cards.
Fans can also expect the return of Anderson Silva to the Octagon as he restarts his training. The former middleweight champion has spent the past six weeks recuperating after breaking his leg during his bout against current champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168. According to White, it is possible for “The Spider” to make his return before the 2014 season is over.
There’s also plenty of speculation surrounding Brock Lesnar’s return to UFC, while White says no now, Lesnar’s jiu-jitsu coach Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros is still considering it a possibility. Lesnar has been out of the UFC limelight since his bout with diverticulitis and his subsequent retirement in 2011, but his return to MMA fighting has been one of the hot rumors since late 2013.
According to Medeiros, Lesnar has had a difficult road to recovery after the surgery and considered a bout with Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 as “too soon,” in his words. Nevertheless, Medeiros looks forward to Lesnar’s eventual return to MMA.
*photos courtesy of Lee Brimelow and Wikimedia Commons
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