There will be no shortage of MMA for hardcore fans of the sport in the next seven days with cards from Tachi Palace, Bellator, KSW, Legacy Fighting, and UFC upcoming in the next week. Not to mention some of the other independent MMA shows that have quality fights like Din Thomas vs Cody Bollinger (Pure MMA). The seven days of MMA craziness kicks off this Thursday with Tachi Palace Fights 13 – Unfinished Business which will be broadcasted live at sherdog.com.
A battle between two veteran featherweights that are looking to make a splash in the bantamweight division will be the main event as Bellator’s first featherweight champion Joe Soto (10-2) will take on WEC veteran Chad George(14-6).
Starting his career with nine dominant victories, it seemed as though nothing could go wrong for Joe Soto. Unfortunately for Joe, they did. In his first defense of the Bellator Featherweight Championship Joe Soto detached his retina against Joe Warren. It gets worse. After winning the first round of the fight against Warren, Soto was on a receiving end of a barrage of knees and punches that led to the loss of his title that he had worked so hard to attain.
At the time it wasn’t all bad for Joe Soto. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney promised Soto a bid in the bantamweight tournament of Bellator’s fifth season as long as he defeated Eddie Yagin under the Tachi Palace banner in his next fight. At the time it appeared as though Joe Soto would run through Yagin who had lost one of his last two fights prior to their meeting. At the time it looked like nothing could go wrong. At the time.
It took Soto nine fights before he encountered his first professional defeat, and it only took one more before his second. Joe Soto was supposed to run through Eddie Yagin and then compete as one of the stars in Bellator’s Season Five Tournament. Eddie Yagin didn’t get the memo. Yagin beat Soto in the first round with a guillotine choke.
At one point, Joe Soto looked like one of the top prospects at 145, but now he was unemployed from the promotion that he made his name in. Now he had to start back from the ground up.
Back on the indepedent MMA scene, Joe Soto snapped his losing skid by submitting Chris David in second round with a rear-naked choke in January.
There is still plenty of time in the career of the 25 year-old Soto as he looks to become relevant once again in the sport of MMA. He’s looking right now, but this Thursday he make that happen. What stands in front Joe Soto’s attempt to garner relevancy in the 135 pound weight class is the 5ft 6in WEC veteran, Chad George.
Looking for a way back into the big stage after being released by the WEC following two consecutive losses against Scott Jorgensen and Antonio Banuelos, Chad George has compiled three wins after he hit the independent MMA scene, and a fourth win over Joe Soto would put him in consideration for another shot to showcase his talents on the grandest stage in MMA, the UFC.
Both men are aggressive fighters that are skilled in the wrestling and grappling department. It should be a war between them, but it likely won’t go the distance. In their combined 24 victories, both fighters have only gone the distance 16% of the time.
The co-main event of the Tachi card was supposed to be between the heavy-handed Francisco Rivera and the grappling-based Alexander Crispim, but Rivera had to be replaced after being called up to fight on the UFC on FUEL card this Tuesday. As a soon-to-be UFC fighter leaves the Tachi, a fighter on his way out from the UFC will take his place. UFC veteran Ian Loveland will replace Rivera to face Crispim.
Loveland’s seven fight win streak was snapped by a decision loss to Team Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez. Following the loss to Benavidez, Loveland was on the receiving end of another loss this time a close split decision defeat from Yves Jabouin. Loveland is a scrappy, durable fighter that will provide a great test for Alexander Crispim who is looking to rebound after losing to Andre Fili in his last fight.
Aside from being known for action-packed fight cards, Tachi Palace has also made it’s name as the breeding ground of future UFC fighters. Two fighters come to mind when discussing potential fighters that can fight on the next level.
The first is Chidi Njokuani, the brother of UFC Lightweight Anthony Njokuani, who is a carbon copy of his brother. Like his brother, Njokuani combines great speed with power along with a spectacular clinch game to defeat his opponents. Njokuani blitzed Jonathan Harris at Legacy Fighting 10 with knees and punches in his last bout in February, and if he is confident in his striking attack then a similar result could occur against 10-4 John Reedy.
The other is Darrell Montague who is one of the top American flyweights. Montague is a skilled fighter that can jump in the UFC right away and compete at the highest level. Montague has won seven of his last eight fights with his only loss being against Ian McCall. Montague should have little trouble in dispatching Taylor McCorriston who has potential but just isn’t on Montague’s level at this stage in his career.
Be sure to catch the eight fight Tachi Palace Fights card this Thursday at Sherdog.com. It’s an action packed card that has potential to be the most entertaining one of the next seven days.
Full Card for Tachi Palace Fights 13 – Unfinished Business
Joe Soto (10-2) vs Chad George (14-6)
Ian Loveland (14-9) vs Alexander Crispim (7-3)
Poppies Martinez (19-7) vs Tony Llamas (10-13)
Sergio Cortez (7-7) vs Art Arciniega (10-4)
Chidi Njokuani (6-3) vs John Reedy (10-4)
Darrell Montague (10-2) vs Taylor McCorriston (6-2)
Paul Ruiz (2-1) vs Ruben Trujillo (1-1)
Andrew Valladerez (3-4) vs Martin Sandoval (8-3)