UFC Friday Five: King Mo to Bellator, UFC 148 Injury Woes, TUF Goes Worldwide
Welcome to our newest Friday feature here at Caged In: A single, solitary look back at the five biggest news stories of the last five days. We'll put a bow on the work week and, for the most part, lead you into fight night more knowledgeable than you were when you crashed into your bed on Thursday night.
Welcome to the Friday Five.
King Mo Lawal Heads to Bellator and TNA Wrestling
I'll be honest and say that I fully expected Mo to return to the UFC, not Strikeforce, when his PED failure suspended ended. I knew there was a chance he could end up with the WWE, because Mo always wanted to be a professional wrestler and WWE sources told me they were interested.
But I also knew that the WWE wanted him to spend at least a year in their Florida developmental program, and I knew that timeline was not going to work for Mo.
The deal is a great one for Spike TV. Network sources have indicated to me that they're looking for someone to tie their brand to, a guy who can become the first true Spike TV superstar. They'll use Mo on TNA and Bellator, as you already know, but you may not know that he'll also end up as the face of reality shows, award shows and more.
You can expect to see a lot more of Mo Lawal, and that's a good thing.
Dominick Cruz Injured, out of UFC 148 Title Fight with Urijah Faber
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We still don't know who will replace Cruz against Urijah Faber; I expect to find that out on tonight's edition of The Ultimate Fighter.
What we do know is this: One of the UFC's biggest fights was lost to injury. We should be numb to the feeling of seeing big fights go down the drain, but I'd be lying if I told you I'm used to it. It still sucks.
Cruz will be on the shelf for at least another 12 months and possibly more. Faber will have an interim title fight against a replacement opponent and then one more title defense. I'd love to see Faber emerge unscathed from the other side after facing Renan Barao and Michael McDonald, to finally get that third fight with Cruz.
But that's a tall order.
TUF Goes International with UK vs. Australia: The Smashes
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Dana White always tells us that he's taking The Ultimate Fighter international. It's finally happening. We're more than halfway through the debut season of the product-placement-heavy Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.
Next up on the docket? The long-awaited TUF UK vs. Australia: The Smashes. Yes, it's named after a long-standing cricket rivalry, but this one should actually be exciting.
It's also a perfect chance to venture outside of the Michael Bisping and George Sotiropoulous bubble and make new homegrown stars in each of those countries.
Henderson/Edgar Headlines UFC 150, Jones/Henderson at UFC 151
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UFC 150 and 151 may have two of the best consecutive main events in UFC program history.
150 hails from Denver and will see the rematch between lightweight champion Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar. A rumored facial injury to Edgar didn't pan out, and we're finally going to put this rematch nonsense behind us. That is, unless Edgar wins a closely-contested fight. Trilogy, anyone? God, I hope not.
Jon Jones returns at UFC 151 in Las Vegas to defend his belt against the guy I like to call "The Last Man Standing," Dan Henderson. He's not the last man standing because he's an old man, because Henderson is defying age every time he steps in the cage to whip the ass of a much younger man.
He's the last man standing because he's the final dude remaining in the light heavyweight division who the public believes can pose any kind of threat to Jones. And let's be real, if only for a second: I like Henderson a whole lot, but he has no chance of beating Jon Jones if he sticks to his "look for the right hand" game plan of the last few years.
Some oddsmakers have Jones installed as a 10 to 1 favorite. That sounds about right.
Chris Lytle Loses Indiana Senate Bid
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Lytle, the beloved former UFC welterweight, came up short in his Indiana Senate bid. Lytle scored 30% of the vote while eventual winner Mike Crider pulled 41%.
There's a chance he'll return to the UFC now that he's taken a year off to spend at home and try his hand at politics; he did go out on a winning note, after all, and could be a semi-drawing card for the hardcore fans if he comes back to the Octagon.