Thirty two fighters fought last night in Las Vegas for a chance to enter the TUF House on this season's The Ultimate Fighter.  In a format depature, the fighters only had a single five minute round to make the statement that they deserved inclusion on the show.  Al Iaquinta, from Wantagh, Long Island, a talented up and coming fighter who we've profiled here in the past, shined in his bout against Jon Tuck, winning by unanimous decision and moving into the Sweet Sixteen.

There are a lot of very talented fighters on this season's show, but I think that Iaquinta, out of the Serra-Longo camp, has a very good shot at winning it all.  We'll track his progress right here as he advances throughout the season.

After his win, Iaquinta said:

"I worked really hard to get here and I'm happy and relieved to get the victory."

Here are the complete results of the fights last night.

Ryan LaFlare is a UFC champion waiting to happen.  He is currently under contract to fight for the UFC-owned Strikeforce organization, and I guarantee you, you will know his name well in the near future.  I've been following Ryan's career for awhile now, throughout his first pro fight at Ring of Combat back in 2008, which he won by submission in the first round.  Since then, LaFlare has rattled off five more wins, all by KO or submission, and he's ready to get it on at Strikeforce.

As LaFlare's record shows, he is just as dangerous on the ground as he is on his feet.  He's a well rounded fighter with exceptional talent, and I expect big things from him at Strikeforce and eventually the UFC.

Here's a video interview (along with a bit of training footage) that I did with Ryan last week at Long Island MMA, where he trains.

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Asylum Fight League XXXVII -- Saturday, March 10, 2012 The Golden Nugget Casino Hotel Atlantic City, New Jersey

The Asylum Fight League is back with its 2012 season opener this Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the Golden Nugget Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  This is the first time the promotion is having an event take place at the Golden Nugget, and promoter Carl Mascarenhas couldn't be happier with the venue.  This one may make some people want to look into sports management colleges.

"We were formerly at the Trump Marina," Carl explained. “Then the guys from Las Vegas bought the Golden Nugget, and I'll tell you what, it's definitely taking another step in totally different direction.  I never expected it.  The Golden Nugget has been fantastic to work with and I'm glad we're partnered up on this show."

The feeling is mutual, with the Golden Nugget being thrilled to have the Asylum on board.  "They're more excited about having us than us having them," Carl said. "They're real aggressive and real excited about the event itself."

The Asylum has always used top notch venues for its shows, from the aptly named Asylum Arena in South Philly, to the Trump Marina, and now to the Golden Nugget.  But it's the fights themselves which really separates the Asylum from the competition.  And Saturday's card promises to be one of the best ones yet.

"It's a killer card," Mascarenhas said.  "We're at 14 fights right now, and I'm just finalizing the paperwork with the fighters now.  It's going to be a typical Asylum show where there's going to be excitement and non-stop action."

That recipe has served Carl and the Asylum well.  Saturday's event will be its 37th show, a remarkable feat in itself, and MMA fans know that at every Asylum show, they will get their money's worth.

Doors open at 7PM, and the show starts at 8PM.  For fan who can’t make it to the venue, the event will be broadcast live on PPV via MSXN.

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Please don't miss tonight's great charity event at the Plattduetsche Part resturant in Franklin Square Long Island.  There will be an action packed night of boxing and kickboxing, as well as raffles and many other fun ways to raise money for a kids in need.  I am hosting the show, and I am pumped for this event.  If you love combat sports and want to help the kids who need your help, here is a golden opportunity.  There will be VIPs in the crowd, including former UFC champion Matt Serra.  Come on down to Franklin Square and enjoy a great night with a great mission!

Click the link for ticket info and check out the website: JackFightsforKids.eventbrite.com.

Here are the details.  Let's all support this very worthy cause, and show up in big numbers for this exciting and important event.

Join A Cause for Kids (J.A.C.K.). presents Friday Night Fights for the Kids

An evening of amateur fighting for charity

Location: Plattdeutsch Park Restaurant 1132 Hempstead Tpke Franklin Square, NY 11010

General Admission Tickets Cost $40.00 plus processing fees and includes:

  • An evening of ametuer fighting with general admission doors opening at 7:30pm.
  • Raffles, auctions and other activities will take place during the evening.
  • Drinks will be available for purchase.

VIP Tickets Cost $150 plus processing fees and includes:

  • Access to the private VIP Cocktail Hour and Hors d'œuvre starting at 6:30pm.
  • VIP seating for Friday Night Fights for the Kids including Dinner and Drinks
  • Meet and Greet with Pro Fighting Celebrities
  • Participation in Exclusive VIP Prize Raffles and Auctions
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What a difference a week makes.  Ben Henderson won the UFC LW championship by decisioning Frankie Edgar on February 26, then a week later he entered a grappling tournament in Arizona, and lost by armbar.  Still, pretty amazing to see Bendo compete just a week after a grueling five round war.  This guy is badass!

Long Island MMA is one of the East Coast's premier MMA schools, and it's home to UFC fighter Dennis Bermudez, Strikeforce fighter Ryan LaFlare, and other rising stars.  Run by Gregg DePasquale, who is the BJJ coach for the school, Long Island MMA is doing great things for the sport of mixed martial arts.  I was at the school the other, and in this video I talk with Gregg, as well as NCAA wrestling champion Gregor Gillespie, who will be making his MMA debut in May in the Pro-Elite promotion.

(Thiago Silva)

Swedish fight Alexander Gustafsson has been tearing up the UFC LHW division recently, and he is often mentioned as a contender for Jon Jones's title. Gustafsson is scheduled to fight next month, and originally his opponent was supposed to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, aka Lil Nog.  However, Nogueira suffered a knee injury in training, and will be replaced by Thiago Silva.

This was first reported by the Swedish MMA site StudioMMA.com.

For Silva, this is a tough comeback fight.  If you recall, Silva was suspended after beating Brandon Vera in January, 2011, due to providing a false urine sample for the post-fight drug test.  His win was changed to a no-contest, and he sat out the rest of the year.  He was supposed to rematch Vera, but that fight was scratched when Vera got hurt, so now he'll replace Lil Nog against Gustafsson.

This is a great test for the Gustafsson, and if he looks impressive against Silva, he will definitely be in line for a title shot against Jones.  I think Gustafsson has all the tools to succeed in the UFC, and he is one of the very few fighters to tall enough to present some problems for Jones reach-wise.  The Swede is developing very well in the UFC, and it's going to be a great fight next month.

(Alexander Gustafsson)

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During the NYC press conference announcing the Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz card, on which Josh Koscheck will be fighting Johny Hendricks, the man who knocked out Josh's good friend Jon Fitch, Koscheck was asked about avenging Fitch's loss.  Before he could answer, a NY fight fan decided to let his feelings about Fitch be known...twice.  Here's the video.

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Who knew that Chael Sonnen had a soft side?  The UFC's top trash-talker dropped the tough guy act and nearly cried during his heartfelt apology to Anderson Silva.  This will stir your heartstrings.  Check out the video.

 

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