There are two high-profile fight cards tonight, both involving former champions of the sport whose careers have certainly seen better days. Matt Lindland will face off again Spencer Pratt’s BFF Kevin Casey on the latest televised installment of “Strikeforce: Challengers” series on Showtime emanating from Portland. All the way on the other side of the country, Polish strongman Marius Pudzianowski makes his North American MMA debut against former UFC Champion Tim Sylvia. The event, being put on by the South Korean promotion Moosin, has garnered most of its attention due to Sylvia’s dramatic fall from grace, going from being near or at the top of the rankings to headlining a local show weighing in at nearly 45 pounds heavier than he ever has for a fight and facing a man with only two fights under his belt.
The fight itself is sure to be a car wreck. Sylvia, even when he wasn’t in terrible shape, was hardly the most technically proficient fighter. His opponent is new to the sport, and his own striking coach told the media that his striking and footwork was “terrible.”
While the Moosin card demonstrates what many would consider some of the lowest depths of MMA, it also features a fight that is probably the most competitive fight you’re likely to see all weekend and exemplifies everything that’s great about the sport as well as the continued growth of women’s MMA.
Tara LaRosa – considered by many to be one of the best pound for pound women fighters – will take on scrappy internet favorite Roxanne Modafferi in a 125 pound fight. And what makes this fight so refreshing isn’t just the guarantee of a highly competitive and exciting bout, but also the attitude both fighters bring with them into the cage.
As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, I live in New York State. We still face an uphill battle in getting the sport regulated, with opponents such as State Assemblyman Bob Reilly painting the sport as a merciless, bloodless, gladiatorial combat that appeals to the very worst in human nature.
To opponents of MMA, I present to you the vicious and bloodthirsty Roxanne Modafferi and Tara LaRosa:
How can two women who are going to engage in what some still actually think is a literal life or death struggle be so jovial towards each other, and even give the impression that they actually enjoy each other’s company? Simple: because it’s a sport.
It is my hope that we can continue to highlight fighters like Roxy and Tara, who represent the very best of the sport both in terms of their prowess in the cage and their demeanor outside of it. I’m personally looking forward to seeing how this fight plays out, since Tara’s an elite athlete and Roxy is fighting at a much better weight than she did against Marlos Coenen (with whom she was at a great disadvantage in terms of size).
“Moosin: God of Martial Arts” airs live tonight on pay-per-view.