The UFC and the Quebec athletic commission have finally worked out their differences and life can go back to normal, as UFC 97 is to go ahead as scheduled. Good news for MMA fans that plan to make the trip north to one of the greatest cities in the world for a great UFC weekend.
The full UFC 97 card was announced by the UFC last week and while the main card is strong 1 through 5, it’s fair to say that this undercard is one of the greatest the UFC has ever assembled.
Before the Pay Per View kicks off fans will get to see Denis Kang taking on French striker Xavier Foupa Pokam. Kang has slipped from the middleweight top 10 in the last year, but it was just over 12 months ago that he was regarded as the fighter who could legitimately challenge Anderson Silva for his belt. 4 losses in his last 7 hasn’t helped his cause, but if Kang can get his fire back anywhere, it should be in his home country of Canada. Look for Kang to put on an impressive performance and show why he has been known as one of the best in the sport at 185 for a long time.
Jason Macdonald will step back into the cage against a former title contender Nate Quarry in what is a classic grappler vs. striker match. When Quarry (16-3) is on, he can be deadly and Macdonald proved in his fight with Damian Maia last August that he has some of the best BJJ in the entire division.
Fans will get to see another former title contender with David Loiseau back in action. The Crow has been out of the UFC for two and a half years after suffering back to back loses to Rich Franklin and Mike Swick, but when Loiseau is on, he’s very tough to beat. He will look for his 4th win in a row when he takes on a very game Team Quest fighter Ed Herman. This fight will bring the hometown Montreal fans to their feet, as Loiseau will look to embrace the pressure and feed off his home crowd to take the win.
Then there’s Sam Stout who will take on Matt Wiman in an exciting lightweight battle. Stout is coming off a very close decision lose to rising star Terry Etim, while Wiman is coming off a loss to Jim Miller. Stout is a fan favorite wherever he goes, but no more so than in Montreal, where he made his home with the TKO organization to begin his MMA career. Early prediction. Fight of the night right here.
Let’s not forget about the return of Toronto’s Mark Bocek who will step in with an always improving David Bielkheden. Bocek was impressive in his submission win over Alvin Robinson at UFC 91 and with camps like Xtreme Couture Toronto and American top Team behind him he’s going to be tough to beat. Especially if this fight goes to the ground.
And finally, remember the name TJ Grant. You may not have heard of him at this point, but you should know him after UFC 97. He’s a young fighter from the Canadian East Coast that possesses some slick BJJ and has submitted UFC vets Chad Reiner and Forrest Petz. He’s 13-2 and incredibly 12 of those wins have come via submission. All of this at 24. Watch out for Grant as he takes on Ryo Chonan. Chonan has wins over Anderson Silva and Carlos Newton and has only been submitted once in 24 professional fights. Another gem of a fight.
Over the last 3 months the UFC has spoiled us with GSP vs. Penn, Lesnar vs. Couture, and Rampage vs. Wanderlei. This time the UFC will go one step further and give us one of the greatest undercard assembles ever to grace the cage and for those of you able to attend I have one message: You are getting your monies worth.
For those of you who want to see UFC 97 live please Contact Us or visit www.crashmma.com They will take care of travel, hotel, tickets and meeting some UFC stars all for the price of one. All you have to do is show up and enjoy the weekend.