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.
A relatively calm August and early September are giving way to a deluge of September and October fights with eight significant independent events this weeked alone. AXS TV hosts RFA, Fight Time will be tape delayed on CBS Sports Network, Spike has the “tent pole” Bellator event co-promoted with Glory, WSOF is broadcast on NBC Sports Network, and both M-1 Challenge and Titan FC are webcast. Throw in NBC Universo’s broadcast of Combat Americas and it is most likely but unconfirmed to be a record-breaking weekend.
The month isn’t all about this one weekend though. The delayed One Championship card happens later this month while ROC returns on September 25th and supposedly Shooto Brazil hold a webcast on UFC Fight Pass next weekend. Bellator remain active with the “Challenger” events, two of which happen in the next six weeks. All in all its catching up time for the scene as fall is finally here.
Here is a list of confirmed MMA events on TV and the internet for the next six weeks:
September 17th Combat Americas (NBC Universo)
September 18th RFA 30 (AXS TV)
September 18th Fight Time (CBS Sports Network tape delayed)
September 18th WSOF 23 (NBC Sports Network)
September 19th Bellator MMA – Dynamite (Spike)
September 19th BAMMA (Spike TV UK)
September 19th Titan FC 35 (UFC Fight Pass)
September 20th M-1 Challenge 61 (webcast PPV)
September 25th Bellator 143 (Spike)
September 25th ROC 52 (GoFightLive)
September 26th UFC Fight Night – Barnett vs. Nelson (Fox Sports 1)
September 27th One Championship (webcast PPV)
September 27th Shooto Brazil 57 (UFC Fight Pass)
October 2nd LFC 46 (AXS TV)
October 3rd UFC 192 (PPV)
October 9th One Championship (webcast PPV)
October 10th M-1 Challenge 62 (webcast PPV)
October 23rd Bellator 144 (Spike TV)
October 24th UFC Fight Night 76 – Poirier vs. Duffy (UFC Fight Pass)
October 30th CES MMA 31 (AXS TV)
October 31st CFFC 52 (GoFightLive)
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) – The “tent pole” event for Bellator this quarter is Bellator 142 on September 19th, the event co-promoted by Glory. One week later Bellator return to the “challengers” cards with Bellator 143 on September 25th then Bellator 144 on October 23rd. The “Dynamite” event this weekend features Liam McGeary defending the light heavyweight belt against former UFC champion Tito Ortiz.
Classic Entertainment and Sports MMA (CES MMA) – On August 14th Luis Felix defeated Julian Lane for the lightweight title. Next up New England’s most important event returns to Twin River Casino October 30th where Gil De Freitas takes on Chip Moraza-Pollard.
Combat Americas – Looking very similar to Bellator’s firs season on ESPN Deportes is the all-Hispanic promotion on NBC Universo. So far two shows are scheduled this year while word is next year the events will be monthly. The first event takes place September 17th in Las Vegas with the new main event being Ozzie Alvarez vs. Justin Patterson.
Fight Time Promotions – ATT and the Blackzilians continue their rivalry in the main event of Florida’s current top promotion as Rafael Da Silva Alves faces Alexandre Pimentel with Alves hailing from ATT, Pimentel representing the Blackzilians. Once again the event will air tape-delayed on the CBS Sports Network, once again there is no word on when it will be broadcast.
Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC) – Like RFA also broadcast on AXS TV LFC are keeping a busy schedule. On October 2nd LFC return to AXS TV with Steven Peterson vs. Irwin Rivera headlining.
Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) – The August 21st event had a theme of USA vs. Brazil with Raoni Barcelos defeating Ricky Musgrave for the vacant featherweight title as the Brazilians went 3-1. Now RFA return to “normal” as this weekend’s event is headlined by Anthony Smith vs. Brock Jardine is a title eliminator bout.
Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) – On September 12th Louis Gaudinot made a successful CFFC debut with a unanimous decision over Claudio Ledesma. Next up is October 31st with Darrell Horcher vs. Stephen Regman headlining.
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 – Due to both fighters missing weight on the first try Tonya Evinger’s defeat of Pannie Kianzad was a non-title bout at Invicta FC 14 on September 12th. No word is currently available on the next event.
M-1 Global – The show originally scheduled for September 5th is rescheduled for September 20th with heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura defending the belt for the second time as he faces Ante Delija. The delay in this event does not affect the future schedule with M-1 Challenge 63 on November 11th, M-1 Challenge 64 on November 26th, and M-1 Challenge 65 on December 18th.
ONE Championship – Due to the September 1st event being postponed to September 27th there are two events coming up relatively close as October 9th also holds a One Championship card. Up first is “Odyssey of Champions” in Jakarta with Narantungalag Jadambaa vs. Marat Gafurov for the featherweight title.
Ring of Combat (ROC) – The card is out for ROC 52 on September 25th and once again a whopping six title fights fill the card. Headlining the night is UFC vet Pete Sell vs. Elijah Harshbarger for the welterweight title.
Shooto Brazil – The next scheduled event to be webcast at UFC Fight Pass takes place September 27th. Surprisingly at this time no card is available.
Tachi Palace Fights (TPF) – On August 6th Rolando Velasco defeated Josh San Diego for the vacant bantamweight title. At this time there is no word on the next event.
Titan FC (TFC) – For their UFC Fight Pass debut Titan FC held titles in four weight classes. For their second event webcast Titan FC 35 features Pat Healy defending the lightweight title against Bellator vet Rick Hawn.
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.