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.
It may amount to nothing but the next two weeks could be the opening shots in a ratings battle between NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network. CBS Sports Network broadcast Fight Time Promotions and CFFC but both promotions are aired tape-delayed. Titan FC used to be broadcast by CBSSN however the Kansas-based promotion moves to UFC Fight Pass starting with this weekend’s event. That is interesting considering both Fight Time and CFFC hold events this weekend with Fight Time on the 17th, CFFC on the 18th. At this time there is no confirmation if both will be taped and if so when they will run. NBCSN has WSOF on August 1st which is expected to air live. It will be interesting to see if CBSSN schedules either or both of their events to run on the same weekend as WSOF, if not they run into the UFC’s schedule.
That isn’t the only schedule conflict as Bellator on Spike and LFC on AXS TV go head-to-head on the 17th. This is less of a conflict as Bellator are by far the number two promotion behind the UFC while Legacy is a great show but exist to pass fighters on. Bellator seem to be trying to reach too far too fast with no word on their August 28th show while details are emerging on the September event. AXS TV in general meanwhile are adhering to their tried-and-tested business model with LFC, RFA, and CES MMA alternating through the summer.
Here is a list of confirmed MMA events on TV and the internet for the next six weeks:
July 15th UFC Fight Night – Mir vs. Duffee
July 17th Fight Time Promotions (CBS Sports Network delayed)
July 17th Bellator 138 (Spike)
July 17th LFC 43 (AXS TV)
July 18th One Championship (iPPV)
July 18th TFC 34 (UFC Fight Pass)
July 18th CFFC 50 (CBS Sports Network delayed)
July 18th UFC Fight Night – Bisping vs. Leites (Fox Sports 1)
July 25th UFC on Fox 16 (Fox)
August 1st UFC 190 (PPV)
August 1st WSOF 22 (NBC Sports Network)
August 5th M-1 Challenge 60 (iPPV)
August 6th TPF 24 (Sherdog.com)
August 7th RFA 28 (AXS TV)
August 8th UFC Fight Night – Teixeira vs. St. Preux (UFC Fight Pass)
August 23rd UFC Fight Night – Holloway vs. Oliveira (UFC Fight Pass)
August 29th UFC Fight Night (TBA)
AXS TV Fights – The inaugural “supercard” featuring promotions LFC vs. RFA went in favor of RFA with Alexandre Pantoja taking the AXS TV flyweight belt. At this time there is no word on a second card but both RFA and LFC promoted this event as the “first” such show.
BAMMA – On June 13th Cheick Kone defeated Andy DeVent for the middleweight belt and Mark Godbeer took the heavyweight title with a defeat of Paul Taylor, both titles being vacant at the time. Now the UK’s biggest event is off until September 19th when Tom Duquesnoy faces Brendan Loughnane in Dublin.
Bellator MMA (Bellator) – After eight shows so far this year the second-largest promotion has one more before taking at least a month off. Bellator 140 on July 17th sees Douglas Lima make the first defense of the welterweight belt as he takes on Season 10 tournament winner Andrey Koreshkov. “At least” is used here because there is supposed to be an event August 28th at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, CA however at this time there is no word on that card, just teasers for the September 19th event in San Jose.
Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) – CFFC’s July 18th event is confirmed as being taped by the CBS Sports Network but no word is available on when the show will be broadcast on that network. In the main event Anthony Smith defends the middleweight title against Tim Williams while Azunna Anyanwu gets a chance to recapture the heavyweight title from current champion Plinio Cruz.
Classic Entertainment and Sports MMA (CES MMA) – On June 12th Dominique Steele took the welterweight belt from defending champion Chuck O’Neil in a grinding unanimous decision. At this time there is no word on the next event for New England’s top promotion.
Fight Time Promotions – Fight Time’s May 29th event where Rafael da Silva Alves defeated Frank Carrillo was a bit of changing gears as the Florida-based promotion now has three more events scheduled for 2015 with July 17th followed by September 18th and November 13th. Surprisingly the event date of July 17th is confirmed through Ticketmaster but still no card is available.
Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC) – The June 26th event saw Ryan Spann defeat Larry Crowe and Josh Quayhagen defeat Anthony Njokuani. Next up LFC return to AXS TV this weekend with the welterweight title on the line between Derrick Krantz and Brock Larson.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) – No titles were on the line at the July 3rd event where Jesse Brock defeated Joe Murphy, now no titles are on the line at RFA 28 on August 7th. This is partly due to RFA’s success as yet another RFA fighter has been called up to the UFC with Geane Herrera now off the August event as he is Octagon bound. The main event of the August 7th card is Andrew Sanchez vs. John Poppie.
Titan FC (TFC) – The major development is Titan FC has left the CBS Sports Network for UFC Fight Pass starting with TFC 34 this weekend. On that show the lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight titles are on the line, Pat Healy vs. Mike Ricci for the lightweight belt headline.
World Series of Fighting (WSOF) – Bantamweight and welterweight titles are on the schedule for August 1st at WSOF returns to Las Vegas. In the main event middleweight champion Rousimar Palhares defends against Jake Shields, in the co-main event bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes fights Sheymon da Silva Moraes. This is a pretty good follow-up to the June 5th WSOF event in Canada where Lance Palmer defended the featherweight belt and Blagoy Ivanov took the heavyweight title.
Hard Knocks Fighting – Calgary’s webcast up-and-comers held an event June 26th with Cory Devela defeating Nick Ring in the main event. No word is available at this time on the next show.
Invicta FC – On July 9th Cristiane Justino defended the featherweight belt against Faith Van Duin while Tonya Evinger earned the vacant bantamweight title and Ayaka Hamasaki took the atomweight belt. Not to be outdone Livia Renata Souza makes the first defense of the strawweight title on September 12th as she puts her undefeated record on the line against Alexa Grasso.
M-1 Challenge – Sergei Kharitonov defeated former M-1 Global heavyweight champion Kenny Garner for the second time on July 3rd. Now six more M-1 Global shows are scheduled for this year with the next one being August 5th, Maro Perak vs. Viktor Nemkov headlines.
ONE Championship –On June 20th Timofey Nastyukhin defeated Yusuke Kawanago to extend his win streak to twelve in a row in the main event of One Championship 28. Next up on July 11th reigning bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes defends the belt against 10-1-1 Toni Tauru as One Championship make their debut in Myanmar.
Ring of Combat (ROC) – The schedule for New Jersey’s longest-running independent is slowing with only two shows so far this year, one in January and one in June, and no live events scheduled at this time. The June event was headlined by Julio Arce defending the bantamweight belt while Oluwale Bamgbose defended the middleweight title and Randall Brown took the welterweight strap.
Shooto Brazil –Shooto Brazil followed up their UFC Fight Pass debut with another event June 26th where Fabio Ventura vs. Joel Soares was declared a draw while Leonardo Limberger defeated Jamil Silveira Da Conceicao. At this time there is no word on the next event.
Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) – Such a legendary promotion can be forgiven for holding their annual Cinco de Mayhem card on May 7th instead of Cinco de Mayo May 5th especially when Chidi Njokuani made the first defense of the welterweight title. Next up TPF return on August 6th wit Poppies Martinez vs. Tony Llamas in the main event.
Rebel FC – It is difficult to know what to make of Rebel FC, an upstart out of Singapore. Last August Rebel FC 2 looked like it would break new ground with an iPPV featuring the quarterfinals of a featherweight tournament with former WEC champion Miguel Torres and UFC vet Will Chope among others. Ten months went by before the next Rebel event where Wenbo Liu defeated Adil Boranbayev in the main event, Kleber Koike Erbst defeated Torres in the co-main event. No word is available on what happens next for this Asia upstart promotion.