My apologies for being gone for so long. I know you've missed me.
Quick and painful version: I had to get a real job, and it starts at five o'clock in the morning, so coming home and writing went on the back burner for a couple days.
Now that I'm in the groove, it's back to business, starting with the first fights on Saturday's Ultimate Fighter Season 10 Finale Show on Spike TV.
Tomorrow we'll tackle the co-main events, and Friday's focus will be the finals of the season long tournament, but today, we'll break down Bocek—Brammer, Howard—Hallman and Brian Stann—Rodney Wallace.
Mark Bocek (7-2-0) vs. Joe Brammer (7-0-1)
Bocek is a fellow Canadian who trains with American Top Team, and while this will be his first fight since April, he enters the Octagon riding a two-fight winning streak.
Brammer makes his debut after last beating former WEC competitor Chris Mickle via unanimous decision in September.
The only interesting point about this fight is that Brammer will be wearing a shirt courtesy of the Hoelzer Reich company and adorned with numerous Nazi-ish iconography.
A statement from the company says their interest in German imagery is strictly from a historical standpoint. My assumption is that it's similar to the way some folks in the South were very interested in ghost costumes with badges and nicknames for one another... the UFC needs to step in here.
Wow—that's far more than I ever thought I could write about this fight.
John Howard (12-4-0) vs. Dennis Hallman (41-12-2)
I absolutely love this fight, simply because I'm able to watch one of my all-time favorite comic book battles take place inside a cage, as this fight could rightfully be billed as "Doomsday vs. Superman."
The 26-year-old Howard (Doomsday) has been impressive while collecting split decision wins over Chris Wilson and Tamdan McCrory, pushing his winning streak to five fights.
Hallman (Superman) returns to the UFC after an MMA odyssey that saw him fight in Strikeforce, the now-defunct IFL, the "March Badness" show Roy Jones put on, and Valor Fighting.
While Superman has a serious edge in experience, Doomsday will be working hard to discover some form of kryptonite inside the cage and perhaps once again leave The Man of Steel in a lifeless heap.
Brian Stann (7-2-0) vs. Rodney Wallace (9-0-0)
I'm officially over everyone who came from the WEC divisional shrinkage that isn't named Carlos Condit.
Brock Larsen poo'ed the bed, watching a Chael Sonnen fight is the equivalent of drinking 12 bottles of NyQuil, and Steve Cantwell fights like, well, a robot.
Which brings us to Brian Stann, thrice Cantwell's opponent and twice the better man. Between those wins, Stann collected a win over Doug Marshall, a title-losing loss to "The Robot," and quickly tapped to a Kryzsztof Soszynski kimura.
Rodney Wallace earns high praise from my man TJ over at Bleacher Report and will prove a challenge for Bruce Buffer thanks to his insanely long nickname. Honestly, "Sho Nuff the Master" is more like a response from a friend than a handle if you ask me.
Both fighters have wins over Aaron Stark, but Wallace did so on the same night he stopped Strikeforce signee Antwain Britt and Gregory Millard to win the Vendetta Fighting Championship eight-man light heavyweight tournament in September.
Tune in tomorrow when we break down Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Veach and Matt Hamill vs. Jon "Bones" Jones...
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