Bleacher Report will be live blogging from the event starting at 7 pm EST. The undercard kicks off at 8 pm with the PPV portion set for 9 pm.
In case you missed it, here's all the info from Thursday's weigh-ins.
Tim Sylvia vs. Mariusz Pudzianowski
For all the negatives that are associated with the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Tim Sylvia has stayed active. It’s just the quality of those fights that can be called into question.
Since losing in short order to Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Banned in July 2008, Sylvia has taken on former boxer Ray Mercer (Mercer won in nine seconds last June) and TKO’d Jason Riley in the first round of a regional show last September.
Win, lose or draw against MMA newcomer Mariusz Pudzianowski, he’s already got his next battle lined up: a much-maligned bout vs. Wes Sims in just a few weeks in Halifax, Canada.
But for now, Sylvia (25-6) focuses on Pudz, a former five-time World’s Strongest Man who began his MMA career less than six months ago. Pudz is 2-0 with a first round submission win in December and a two-round unanimous decision victory just two weeks ago.
Sanctioning-wise, it’s surprising this fight is happening, but so goes the evolution of MMA promoting in organizations not called the UFC, Strikeforce or Bellator and in states that are relatively new to the game.
Experience alone should tip the scales (pun fully intended) toward the 305-pound Sylvia, but his motivation at this stage of the career could tip it back toward Pudz.
At 33-years-old, the Polish-born tough guy is nothing more than a special attraction; hence his main event status Friday night.
This is a flip the coin situation Friday night. If Sylvia is focused, he should be able to take apart Pudz based on who he’s been in with. But he’s lost three of his last four and if he wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do just that in Worcester.
If Pudz can land a powerful fist on his jaw a la Mercer, it will be just another paycheck and day at the office for big Tim, a fighter who once was on top of the world and might end up flat on his back.
Travis Wiuff vs. Josh Barnes
To say that Wiuff is one of the more experienced free agents in MMA is an understatement. Since turning pro in 2001, the Minnesota native has 74 pro fights and is a stellar 60-14 heading into his Friday tilt with Barnes.
The 32-year-old Wiuff has UFC experience, having competed twice in the Octagon—last losing via submission to Renato Sobral back at UFC 52.
Since then, he’s competed all over the world and last was seen earning a split decision over Jeff Monson at a regional show in April—already his fourth fight of 2010.
Wiuff was originally slated to fight Mu Bae Choi who had to withdraw due to undisclosed reasons.
Barnes (5-3) will replace him, a guy who last was seen earning a first-round TKO win over Iggy Zambrano in January.
Barnes comes into Friday as the underdog, but never underestimate a guy brought in on short notice.
Travis Lutter vs. Rafael Natal
Lutter is best known for winning the 185-pound class of season four of The Ultimate Fighter , but then missed weight for his title shot against Anderson Silva.
The fight was changed to a three-round, non-title affair which he lost via 2nd round submission due to elbow strikes.
Since then, the 37-year-old Lutter (13-5) has been in relative obscurity, getting cut from the UFC after an April 2008 loss to Rich Franklin. He last competed in October and picked up a unanimous decision win over Jason McDonald.
For Natal, this is an opportunity to rack up a win over a former UFC fighter and TUF winner.
He loves submissions, as three of his last four victories have come via tap. He last was in action in September when he submitted Allan Weickert in the first round.
Natal doesn’t go deep into fights, so look for him to finish early.
Yves Edwards vs. Mike Campbell
Another veteran, Edwards (37-15-1) has been staying active post-UFC by competing for defunct groups Bodog and EliteXC, Strikeforce and Shine Fights. Since losing a unanimous decision to Duane Ludwig in November 2008, Edwards has won three fights in a row—the last two by TKO.
Campbell is still young in the game (5-2), but fought four times in 2009, including twice in the WEC.
A local fighter, Campbell has some upside and will be looking to make a name for himself with a win over Edwards. He has been off since last September however, so ring rust could be a factor.
Tara LaRosa vs. Roxy Modafferi
This bout has a lot of intrigue as LaRosa (18-1) is arguably the best women’s fighter in the world without a permanent home since Strikeforce doesn’t have a weight class for her.
A regular atop the top of the women’s pound-for-pound rankings, she’ll have another shot to win over some fans Friday.
She will fight Modafferi (14-5) for the second time in her career, the first time having won by decision back in March 2006. She is under contract to Strikeforce (she lost to Marloes Coenen in the first round back in November,) but got permission to compete.
15 straight have gone to LaRosa since a defeat way back in May 2003 and she’ll look to make Modafferi tap Friday night.
Ho Jin Kim vs. Lukasz Jurkowski
Kim has lost three in a row, while Jurkowski hasn’t competed in a year. And there was an 18-lb difference at the weigh-ins. Alright then.
Ralph Johnson vs. Forrest Petz
Petz (17-7) has a huge experience edge over Johnson (4-0).
Matt Lee vs. Brett Oteri
This is a battle of locals with Lee (11-9-1) and Oteri (5-0).
Fred Belleton vs. Anthony Lapsley
Lapsley (17-4) has won two of his last three, while Belleton (6-2) brings an interesting nickname to the cage: “French Foot Fighter.”
Paul Barry vs. Stipe Miocic
The combined experience here is four pro fights. Let’s hope for a big KO.
—The show will be held at the 11,000 seat DCU Center in Worcester, MA. No idea on ticket sales, but there are definitely seats available. I live about 90 minutes away and have seen no ads for the show at all. Ticket prices range from $250 down to $35.
—Local shows draw extremely well so I’m expecting 3500 or so in attendance. For a promotion running for the first time here, those prices seem high especially if you’re airing a PPV where you want to show a packed house. I’m not sure if they’re running a full house setup or halving the arena with curtains.
The event will be on PPV ($30) and also available on the internet. Bas Rutten, Jeff Gorman and Tom Megalis will handle the announcing.
Bleacher Report Senior Analyst Josh Nason has been a contributor to FIGHT! Magazine, Australian men's magazine Apollo and appears regularly on The Fight Show and Fight Network Radio. Follow him on Twitter.
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