The last two weeks, MMA fans have been spoiled with a plethora of events promoted by the UFC and Bellator. The main promotions are now taking a break, leaving an MMA void in a short week mixed with turkey, football, and people getting trampled at Wal-Mart at the crack of dawn.
Luckily for everyone, Score Fighting Series is around to fill the void with a show this Friday night in Hamilton, Ontario that will be broadcast on AXS TV. And, luckily for me, I just realized that AXS TV is HD Net, and my recently-upgraded cable package has this channel, along with no less than four channels that seem to show the Property Brothers on a 24-hour continuous loop. Like those guys, Score Fighting Series comes to us from the great white north, Canada. Unlike those docile twins, Score Fighting Series provides a lot of action and really exciting television.
The upcoming event, named Score Fighting Series 7, features a main event between UFC veteran Forrest Petz and Strikeforce fighter Jordan Mein. Petz has won four fights in a row (and eight out of ten), while Mein is 11-2 since the beginning of 2010, with one of those losses coming in a split decision against recent Strikeforce title challenger Tyron Woodley.
This is exactly the kind of fight that excites me and proves that the people behind Score Fighting Series know (1) what they are doing and (2) their place in the greater MMA universe.
First, this is probably going to be a fun fight to watch. Mein has proven that he can put on exciting fights with his high-level striking game. In his career he has finished veterans Cyborg Santos (the male one) and Joe Riggs. Petz, on the other hand, has finished his past three opponents via the hand-strike and will not be afraid to turn his fight this weekend into a scrap.
At the same time, this fight has the potential to help us figure out where Mein falls within the greater scheme of things in MMA. Although he has had 33 fights, he is only 23 years old and his record is full of many names that no one has heard of. While he has defeated UFC veterans Riggs and Josh Burkman, he has struggled to this point to take the next step, losing to the more well known Woodley and Jason High.
Petz is a 37-year-old veteran of the sport who has 25 career wins and seven fights in the UFC. However, he has struggled at times against better competition, with losses to T.J. Grant, Daniel Roberts, and Brian Foster. I am not going to say that Petz is a “gatekeeper” or a “stepping stone,” but he is a good barometer for a young fighter like Mein.
The fight takes on added importance when you consider the changing face of MMA heading into 2013. Reports have guessed that Strikeforce will finally be put to rest by Zuffa, leaving open whether fighters such as Mein will be absorbed into the UFC. A win over an octagon veteran like Petz will do wonders when it comes to him getting that call. Similarly, if Petz is able to defeat the Strikeforce fighter, it will be his fifth straight victory, which would make him an attractive option for Zuffa when in need of a late replacement or undercard fighter.
And, for us looking for our gratification sooner, the fight plans on being a barn-burner and great television. So make sure Score Fighting Series is on your list of things to do this weekend, right after eating yourself into a turkey coma and buying a lot of cheap stuff that you really didn’t want or need.
More on the card as the week goes on!