Estrada column: MMA action starting to heat up

Published 4:16 pm Saturday, April 21, 2012

Things are starting to heat up in April and it’s not just the weather. After a

down period of action in MMA last month, major events are starting to sprout up

this spring and into the summer. The first of these events was held in the icy

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city of Stockholm, Sweden last weekend as the UFC continued its global tour.

    UFC on Fuel TV 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva showcased global fighters to a live

European audience and to Americans provided a free live Saturday matinee as part

of the Fox television deal.

    Home-country fighter Alexander Gustafson faced Thiago Silva in front of a Swedish

sellout crowd and he didn’t disappoint them. The young light heavyweight took

the three round decision victory from the Brazilian and cemented himself as a

solid fighter.

    After the victory, the press quickly labeled Gustafson as the

next challenger for a light heavyweight title fight. This is a preposterous

label at this point. Gustafson needs at least one more victory before facing

the likes of Bones Jones or Rashad Evans.

    There are other big news stories concerning the mercury-rising period of MMA

events in the coming months.

    UFC on Fox 3 being held on May 5 will be headlined by the Nate Diaz vs. Jim

Miller bout. It will determine the challenger for the the lightweight title.

The thing is, the winner will have to wait. Frankie Edgar will be getting an

instant rematch against Ben “Smooth” Henderson who won the belt from Edgar in a

razor-sharp decision in February.

    The UFC 146 slated for May 26 has been marred by controversy. All fighters on

the main card were given a surprise drug test by the Nevada State Athletic

Commission. Alistair Overeem’s testosterone ratio came up twelves times more

than normal thresholds and he is expected to be suspended.

    After retiring Brock

Lesnar in December, Overeem was to take on heavyweight champion Junior Dos

Santos for the title at the event.

    UFC president Dana White announced on Twitter Friday night that Frank Mir will

step in to fight Dos Santos for the title. This new Dos Santos vs. Mir pairing

is captivating as well.

    Dos Santos is very close friends and training partners

with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who had is arm broken by a Frank Mir via arm bar

submission at UFC 140 last December. The champion will surely be looking to

avenge his good friend’s loss on Mir.

    Lastly, the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen rematch in Brazil is in danger

because the United Nations is stepping in. No, it’s not what you think. The

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is going to be held the

same June 23rd weekend as the UFC 147 event.

    Hotels will be at capacity which

is not feasible for the UFC to hold a stadium show. The UFC is going to look

for other venues or even hold the Silva-Sonnen rematch in the States.

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