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Tussle Time

Ten Tussles Worth Watching

Some people have asked me about the criteria I use to select the fights for my monthly “10 Tussles Worth Watching” series on Sherdog. There are several factors I look for when picking these fights for you. Of course I’m looking for the biggest names possible that are currently fighting outside of the big leagues, but other points I look for are for example: Is the fight contested at a high level? Is it likely going to be competitive? Are the fighters in their prime? On top of that, I try to be as diverse as possible when it comes to the different circuits. I always try to include equally as many fights from the North American independent scene, from Asia and from Europe. Featuring a bout from Brazil, the cradle of the MMA sport, is also a must. Whenever I can, I also include bouts from Australia and Africa.

After a full day of research, I usually end up with around thirty fights worthy of featuring, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. I then proceed to narrow the list down to ten using the above criteria. More often than not, my heart is bleeding, because I have to scratch at least five fights that would have been almost equally deserving to make the list, but just barely didn’t. Sometimes I also have to revise the final top ten once or twice in case the publishing date of the article gets pushed back in a way that the fights would have already happened once the article is posted.

Since removing UFC and Strikeforce fights from the list in January of 2010, many fighters have been featured on the “Tussles” that have eventually gone on to bigger and better things. Among others, I’ve been championing the likes of Edson Barboza, Paul Sass, Hatsu Hioki, Siyar Bahadurzada, Ryan Jimmo and Ian McCall many times, months, often years before they were finally signed with the UFC. I’ve had the best track record in Brazil, where readers of the “Tussles” series found out about Ronny Markes, Hacran Dias, Glover Teixeira, Francisco Massaranduba, Jussier Formiga and Sergio Moraes well ahead before they hit the big stage. Naturally, I also did well in the UK and Scandinavia where I predicted the success of Paul Sass, John Maguire, Jimi Manuwa and Tom Watson as well as Simeon Thoresen, Akira Corassani, Anton Kuivanen and Gunnar Nelson.

I’ll close this little blog entry with the twenty bouts that didn’t make this month’s list for you to check out:

Jeff Lentz vs. Anthony Morrison
New Breed Fighters XXXVIII “Fighting Back” | Sept. 8 — Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Jeff Monson vs. Todd Duffee – CANCELLED
Super Fight League 4 | Sept. 29 — Bangalore, India

Sean Strickland vs. Josh Bryant
King of the Cage “Heavy Duty” | Sept. 21 — Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ruben Crawford vs. Duane van Helvoirt
Respect 8 | Sept. 22 — Wuppertal, Germany

Nordin Asrih vs. Philipp Schranz
Superior FC Tournament 2012 Part IV | Sept. 15 — Düren, Germany

Yuta Numakura vs. Shunichi Shimizu
Pancrase Progress Tour 10 | Sept. 1 — Tokyo, Japan

Yusuke Sakashita vs. Young Choi
Deep Osaka Impact 2012 | Sept. 29 — Osaka, Japan

Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Konstantin Gluhov
M-1 Challenge 34 “Emelianenko vs. Gluhov” | Sept. 30 — Moscow, Russia

Jevgeniy Mahteenko vs. Peter Sobotta
MMAA Arena | Sept. 30 — Prague, Czech Republic

Mike Massenzio vs. Ronald Stallings
Ring of Combat 42 | Sept. 14 — Atlantic City, New Jersey

Carson Beebe vs. James Porter
Colosseum Combat XXII | Sept. 29 — Kokomo, Indiana

Alexandre Pulga vs. Felipe Alves
Watch Out Combat Show 21 | Sept. 28 — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Martin Svensson vs. Robert Whiteford
Vision FC 4 “Evolution” | Sept. 1 — Glasgow, Scotland

Alexandre Pantoja vs. Dileno Lopes
Shooto Brazil 34 | Sept. 21 — Brasilia, Brazil

Roy Babcock vs. John Cottrell
King of the Cage “Surgical Strike” | Sept. 15 — Norman, Oklahoma

Kenneth Rosfort vs. Hyram Rodriguez
European MMA “Casino Fight Night 2” | Sept. 15 — Copenhagen, Denmark

Jarkko Latomaki vs. Piotr Hallmann
Botnia Punishment XII | Sept. 14 — Seinäjoki, Finland

Gerald Meerschaert Vs. Jason Louck
Rogue Warrior Championships | Sept. 6 — Green Bay, Wisconsin

Shinji Sasaki vs. Kota Shimoishi
Shooto Border: Season 4 – Second | Sept. 23 — Osaka, Japan

Eric Reynolds vs. Danny Salinas
XFC 20 “High Octane” | Sept. 28 — Knoxville, Tennessee

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