PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

August 24, 2013

David Estrada column: Brian Melancon to get TV exposure Wednesday night

PORT ARTHUR —  Port Neches-Groves alum Brian Melancon continues his run in the big show with a special Wednesday night UFC Fight Night. Melancon is guaranteed a live nationally televised bout, after being slated for the main card of the Fox Sports1 event.

 Melancon was tabbed for this bout against high-profile "The Ultimate Fighter 17" champion Kelvin Gastelum, after accomplished fighter Paulo Thiago withdrew from the scheduled bout due to injury.

 Gastelum was perhaps the biggest underdog to ever win The Ultimate Fighter championship and one could arguably put Melancon in that category as he's ascended through the ranks from small city Texas.

 The main card of UFC Fight Night 27 from Indianapolis will be starting at 7 p.m. CSTon Fox Sports 1 (TWC 97, DISH 150, DIRECTV 219). FS1 is positioned to become the flagship sports network for Fox with a format and programing set to rival current world leader ESPN. It's investing its focus on popular sports such as the NFL and the UFC to propel it to success.

 Needless to say, folks in the Golden Triangler, MMA fans or not, will be tuning in on Wednesday night to root on our hometown hero.

 The rest of of the card is solid as well which should create high national viewership. The headlining bout features two stalwarts, Carlos Condit vs. Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann. Fighting at welterweight, the same weight class as Melancon and Gastelum, Condit and Kampmann have more UFC wins and represent the upper echelon of that division.

 The co-main event pits Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone against Rafael dos Anjos. Everyone knows the former WEC lightweight champion, Cowboy Cerrone, aways brings in an exciting fight so it's worth the cost of admission (which is actually free on Fox Sports 1).

 Just preceding the Cerrone-dos Anjos bout is Brian Melancon's.

 Some Southeast Texas fans were hoping Melancon would get on the UFC 166 Houston card in October. But this non-pay-per-view bout on Wednesday is a blessing, allowing fans to view more easily.

 UFC 166 is shaping up to be a phenomenal event. Already headlined by the rubber matched between heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos, it's starting to fill up with other bouts making fans salivate.

 Gilbert Melendez vs. Diego Sanchez was recently added to the card as well as Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard. Couple this with a co-main event featuring Daniel Cormier vs. Roy "Big Country" Nelson and it's a card that's going to draw many local fans to Houston for the event.

 David Estrada Jr. is a Mixed Martial Arts columnist for the Port Arthur News. he can be e-mailed at DavidEstrada@DavidEstrada.com

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