Fighting for the TroopsPosted on January 20, 2011, 07:00 AM by Milt
UFC Fight Night 23 Fight for the Troops 2 will take place this Saturday January 22nd at Fort Hood, Texas. It will be the third UFC event to take place at a military post. Although UFC Fight Nights are considered minor events, the occasions held in aid of the US army tend to be adrenaline fuelled and action packed with the cards stacked with predominantly American fighters eager to put on a show for their military, many of whom risk their lives in combat for their country on a daily basis.
The first UFC event to take place on a US army base was UFC Fight Night 7 Sanchez vs Riggs. This took place at MCAS Miramar in California in December 2006 and the main event saw Diego Sanchez viciously knock out Joe Riggs with a knee early in the first round. The second – UFC fight Night 16: Fight for the Troops - took place two years later in December 2008. All but two of the fighters who took part in this event were from the United States and all but three of the fights ended in a knockout or a submission in the first 2 rounds. No less than six fighters on this card sustained injuries requiring hospitalization, most notably Corey Hill who suffered a horrific break to his right shin when he threw a lowkick that was checked by Dale Hartt. (The injury left him out of the game for over a year and he hasn’t appeared in the UFC since.) As with Sanchez vs Riggs, the main event on this card also ended in a brutal knockout when Josh Koscheck landed two colossal overhand rights on the chin of Yoshiyuki Yoshida. The first had the Japanese judoka out on his feet, the second rendering him completely unconscious for several minutes. Yoshida was eventually removed from the octagon on a stretcher.
At Fight for the Troops 2 there will again be a disproportionately high number of US fighters putting it on the line at Fort Hood with just two of the ten fighters on the main card hailing from outside of the States. The main event will see Evan Dunham face off against Melvin Guillard in what should be an interesting showdown. Dunham was initially slated to face Kenny Florian but “Kenflo” was forced to pull out in early December due to a knee injury leaving Dunham to face off against the somewhat lower profile Guillard. Dunham will be eager to get back in the win column after being handed the first loss of his career via a controversial split decision at the hands of Sean Sherk at UFC 119. Guillard on the other hand will be confident entering the fight on a three fight win streak.
Other interesting match-ups on the card include a lightweight showdown between Cole Miller and Matt Wiman, a featherweight bout between Xtreme Couture product Mark Hominick and the always game George Roop and at the opposite end of the scale, two heavyweight clashes between Matt Mitrione and Tim Hague and Pat Barry vs Joey Beltran.
Will Fight for the troops 2 provide us with savage knockouts and submissions aplenty? We will have to wait until Saturday night to find out. What is certain however, is that altough the athletes on the cards may not be household names, previous events in aid of the troops have generally elicited passionate performances from the fighters and delivered plenty of excitement. Let’s hope Fight for the Troops 2 is no different. And in the words of RCV: "Don't judge the card by it's cover!"
Image Source: Fight! Magazine