All the fans know the UFC and all the press report on that promotion but where do their fighters come from? What else is going on now? Perhaps most importantly what shows should fans watch to see tomorrow’s stars develop? The Declaration of Independents is a monthly snapshot of what is going on in the non-UFC or “independent” scene.
December still holds a couple notable shows outside the UFC as One FC and TFC both hold shows next weekend. Details of the annual New Year’s Eve events are starting to roll out with DEEP and the legendary Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye both taking place in Japan but CWFC seemingly off. January is always a slow month for independent events and 2015 looks like no exception. Surprisingly MFC are one of the few as Canada’s biggest promotion has only held one show in the past six months. Also on AXS TV LFC hold an event but it is a kickboxing one while RFA kick off their year on the 9th. The only other significant independent show confirmed for January at this time in ROC in Atlantic City.
Here is a list of confirmed MMA events on TV and the internet for the next six weeks:
December 19th One FC 24 (webcast PPV)
December 19th TFC 32 (CBS Sports Network)
December 20th UFC Fight Night-Machida vs. Dollaway
January 3rd UFC 182 (PPV)
January 9th RFA 22 (AXS TV)
January 16th LFC kickboxing (AXS)
January 17th WSOF 17 (NBC Sports Network)
January 18th UFC Fight Night-McGregor vs. Siver (Fox Sports 1)
January 23rd ROC 50 (GFL)
January 23rd MFC 42 (AXS TV)
January 24th UFC on Fox 14 (Fox)
January 31st UFC 183 (PPV)
Bellator Fighting Championships (BFC) – The second-largest promotion kick off 2015 with Bellator 132 on January 16th followed by two shows in February and one in March. Bellator 132 is headlined by a featherweight title fight between defending champion Patricio Freire and former champion Daniel Straus, a rematch of their May 2011 bout Freire won by unanimous decision.
Fight Time – Howard Davis Jr. has been holding events in Florida for a couple years now under the Fight Time name but next year marks the debut on CBS Sports Network, interesting considering CSN already broadcasts Titan FC. At this time there is no word on the card for Fight Time 23 which takes place February 6th in Miami.
Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC) – The LFC 38 show originally thought to be December 16th in Houston has been postponed until February 13th. LFC do have a show on January 16th however that is a kickboxing event, at this time there is no card or word on if there will be any MMA fights on it.
Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) – After a break of five months off Canada’s biggest event had a bit of a rocky return October 3rd (see archives). Now after three more months off MFC finally return January 23rd for MFC 42. Tom Gallicchio is supposed to fight Andrew McInnes in defense of the lightweight title assuming Gallicchio stays healthy.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) – In the archives is a report on RFA 21 from December 5th. On January 9th RFA return with Gilbert Smith vs. Chidi Njokuani for the welterweight title.
Titan FC (TFC) – In the US anyway it’s a gamble to put on a show one week before Christmas but that is exactly what TFC are doing, in Massachusetts no less. Jack May replaces Dave Herman against Jon Madsen in the main event while Carlo Prater vs. Rick Hawn is a recent addition, especially interesting considering Hawn’s history with Bellator.
World Series of Fighting (WSOF) – At WSOF 16 Saturday night Rousimar Palhares defended the welterweight title while Lance Palmer took the featherweight belt from Rick Glenn. Next up is WSOF 17 on January 17th where Jake Shields faces Brian Foster in the main event.
British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) – Surprisingly BAMMA have announced their schedule into March of next year. BAMMA 18 takes place February 18th and BAMMA 19 on March 28th, the February event headlined by Tom Duquesnoy vs. Krzystof Klaczek.
Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) – The Mid-Atlantic’s most important promotion ended their year Friday with Levan Makashvili recapturing the featherweight title while Sidemar Honorio won the flyweight belt. At this time there is no word on the next event.
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship (CWFC) – In the archives is a report on both CWFC 73 from November 1st and CWFC 74 November 15th. At this time there is no word on the next event, even a rumored New Year’s Eve show like they held last year.
Invicta FC – In the wake of TUF 20 the emphasis in back on the women’s divisions, good for the only all-women’s event in MMA right now but bad in the sense Invicta FC are cycling through fighters almost as fast as they can be signed. In the archives are reports from Invicta events on November 1st and December 5th however at this time there is now word on a next show.
ONE FC – Asia’s largest promotion held one event already in December with One FC 23 on December 5th (see archives). Next up is One FC 24 on December 19th then a break in January before two more events in February. The 19th is headlined by Xian Ji vs. Yadong Song while in the co-main event Adrian Pang fights Vincent Latoel.
Ring of Combat (ROC) – Off since September 19th the legendary New Jersey promotion return January 23rd. Headlining the show is Frankie Perez vs. George Sheppard but most interesting so far is former ROC and CFFC champion Sean Santella who takes on Matt Rizzo.
Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) – In the archives is a report on TPF 21 November 6th. At this time no information is available on the next event however PFC are notorious for not giving much notice, shows are usually finalized a week or two out.
Absolute Fighting Championship (AFC) – after an eight-year hiatus AFC returned in 2014 with three events in Florida. At this point there is no word on if the legendary promotion historically put on by American Top Team will continue into 2015 but chances are high.
BattleGrounds MMA – In the archives is a report from the Battlegrounds MMA tournament won by Roan Carneiro and broadcast as a pay-per-view. No further information is available regarding a follow-up event but given the history of non-Zuffa pay-per-views it is unlikely there will be a second such event.
Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye – this year’s New Year’s Eve extravaganza in Japan is headlined by Mirko Filipovic vs. Satoshi Ishii, Shinya Aoki vs. Yuki Yamamoto takes co-headline status. Look for more on this card in the days to come.