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.
Fall is winding down and most independents are either finishing their seasons before the holidays begin or plan one last big event to wrap up 2013 during the holidays. Standouts during the holidays are WSOF and Invicta, both of which have packed cards. CWFC stand out for having three shows in December, the final one being their annual New Year’s Eve event. LFC, RFA, and XFC keep AXS TV full but still there are no plans for those individual champions to face one another leaving in question the true skills of those fighters. With all this going on ROC and MFC sit out the holidays while TPF is done for the year.
Here is a list of confirmed MMA events on TV and the internet for the next six weeks:
November 22nd Bellator MMA 109 (Spike TV)
November 22nd RFA 11 (AXS TV)
November 30th TUF 18 Finale (Fox Sports 1)
December 7th WSOF (NBS Sports Network)
December 7th CWFC (webcast)
December 12th LFC (AXS TV)
December 13th XFC 27 (AXS TV)
December 14th BAMMA (Sports Direct)
December 14th CWFC (webcast)
December 14th UFC on Fox 9 (Fox)
December 28th UFC 168 (PPV)
December 31st CWFC (webcast)
Bellator MMA – The rollercoaster known as Season 9 has one more event, Bellator 109 this weekend. So far this month alone the inaugural pay-per-view was changed to a free event, Eddie Alvarez returned to the fold and regained the lightweight title, undefeated welterweight champion Ben Askren was let go, and former UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson broke the mold in his non-tournament Bellator debut. For the final event of the year Alexander Shlemenko defends the MW title for the second time this season as he takes on Doug Marshall.
British Association of Mixed Martial Arts (BAMMA) – Defending MW champion Scott Askham had to withdraw from his December 14th fight against Ion Pascu but Askham’s replacement is almost as interesting as Max Nunes drops from LHW to fight Pascu. Also on the card Paul Daley and Jim Wallhead appear in separate bouts leading to rumors of a superfight between the winners set for early next year.
Championship Fighting Alliance (CFA) – “Fight Night 1” was rather underwhelming while CFA 12 concluded the women’s featherweight tournament and settled the flyweight title. Since October 12th there has been no word on a next event for Florida’s standout promotion.
Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC) – The biggest event in TX concludes their 2013 run with an event December 12th, odd considering that is a Thursday. No information is available on the card at this time.
Maximum Fighting Championship (MFC) – January 17th is the next MFC event. Kurt Southern is supposed to get a LW title fight against a currently unnamed opponent.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) – Former Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky faces Matt Manzanares in his RFA debut, especially interesting considering Makovsky’s drop to flyweight and the lack of competition. The rest of the card is a typical AXS TV show, up-and-comers worth watching but for the most part not known outside the region….yet.
World Series of Fighting (WSOF) – Quickly catching up to Bellator in terms of relevance and arguably surpassing that promotion in terms of “names” on the cards WSOF wrap up their 2013 season December 7th. The event is headlined by Anthony Johnson vs. Mike Kyle but it also features former TPF champion Georgi Karakhanyan, former XFC champion Nick Newell, MFC champion Elvis Mutapcic, and CWFC champion Jesse Taylor. What AXS TV events and even Bellator couldn’t do in terms of champions vs. champions WSOF is pulling off, a great idea if the pattern continues.
Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC) – December 13th XFC close out their year with a card headlined by Junior Assuncao vs. Daniel Swain. Also on the show Eric Reynolds faces Joe Elmore and Farkhad Sharipov takes on Deivison Francisco Ribeiro.
Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) – Following the two-event weekend earlier this month CFFC have no event confirmed. The November 2nd show was highlighted by the return of Aljamain Sterling as he successfully recovered from shoulder surgery to defend the bantamweight title.
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship (CWFC) – A whopping three events are still to come this year from the workaholic European promotion with events on December 7th, 14th, and 31st. Look for more on those cards in the weeks to come.
Invicta MMA -.TUF isn’t having a tremendous effect on the only all-women’s promotion as the December 7th event holds three title fights. In the main event Barb Honchak defends the flyweight title against Leslie Smith while also on the card Carla Esparza defends the strawweight title Claudia Gadelha and the bantamweight title is up for grabs.
North American Allied Fight Series (NAAFS) – The annual amateur tournament finals take place December 7th but at this time no pro events are announced.
ONE FC – In the archives is a report on the November 15th event where Yusup Saadulaev defeated Adriano Moraes by split decision. Asia’s biggest promotion still has one more event this year, a December 6th show featuring a rematch between Koji Oishi and Honorio Banario for the featherweight title.
Ring of Combat (ROC) – Off since September 20th Atlantic City’s legendary promotion next hits AXS TV January 24th. At this time no fight card is available for that event.
Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) – Following the November 14th event all but one TPF title are claimed now that Nate Loughran won the welterweight title and Russell Doane the bantamweight title, both of which were vacant since TPF’s return in the fall. At this time there is no word on a next event.