The 15 Hottest Issues Facing Wisconsin's Combat Sports Scene Throughout Fall
By Paul Fladten of US Combat Sports
For two glorious months of the year people in Wisconsin are actually able to take off their shirts and utilize locations like Bradford Beach, Redgranite Quarry, and other bodies of water that rich Illinois people try to take over.
But every year – or at least until this global warming thing comes to fruition – September comes along and the days grow shorter, the temperature drops, and water turns back into something you splash into your whiskey.
However, along with the return of the Packers and Bucks (just kidding), the fall season brings with it a heavy dosage of combative sports that was severely missed. Check out the top autumn storylines that fans of #WIMMA should pay attention to over the next few months.
15. King Of The Cage
In years past an upcoming King Of The Cage card at Lac du Flambeau would be higher on the list. But ever since the departure of Michael Broderick the lineups have strayed away from Wisconsin's top talent and more towards amateurs and out-of-state competitors. Nevertheless, KOTC "Survival" hits Lake of the Torches Resort on October 6.
14. Mike Rhodes
It's been a quick rise for the welterweight standout representing the Roufusport Academy. Wins over Zak Ottow, Torrey Berendes, and Matt Gauthier have suggested that the Iowa-native is poised for big things in the future. The next opportunity for "Biggie" will likely come at next month's Madtown Throwdown card and he could possibly serve as one of the card's headliners.
13. Chico Camus
Heading into his UFC debut against Dustin Pague at UFC 150 the talk surrounding "King" Camus centered upon his striking ability. But after earning a decisive unanimous decision the proud Milwaukeean showed that his ground game was equally as dangerous. Hoping to fight "once or twice more before the end of the year" Camus looks to continue his ascent up the UFC's bantamweight charts.
12. Ben Rothwell
Following the "highlight of his career" – a brutal first round comeback knockout over Brendan Schaub at UFC 145 – "Big Ben" was pegged to fight Travis Browne in August on a nationally televised UFC on Fox event. However, an ankle injury forced a cancellation to the bout and Rothwell is still waiting on his next fight. In the meantime he has focused his attention on growing his gym and trying to make Rothwell MMA/LCCT the top gym in Kenosha.
11. 3 River Throwdown
Western Wisconsin's burgeoning promotion returns with its second installment on October 27th with "Halloween Havoc". Featuring fighters from Wisconsin and Minnesota the Iron Works Training Center-sponsored event looks to make a bigger splash this time around and supplant itself as one of the area's top events.
10. Rick Glenn
Over the past year you'll be hard-pressed to find a featherweight that's made a bigger splash than "The Gladiator". Impressive victories over Tristan Johnson, Charon Spain, Gustavo Rodriguez, and Jose Pacheco have put Glenn directly on the cusp of stardom. He'll have a chance to prove it again at The Score Fighting Series in October when he faces Lyndon Whitlock in Ontario, Canada. Another win could earn him a trip into the UFC.
9. Madtown Throwdown
In less than a month the Madison-based promotion is set to make its anticipated return. Known for putting on some of the best fights in the Midwest the event has developed into a can't-miss event for any midwestern fight fan. Rumored participants for MTTD 29 include Rhodes, Jordan Winski, Jake Frias, Morgan Sickinger, and more.
8. NAFC "Armageddon"
A few weeks after MTTD 29 Milwaukee's top promotion makes its return to the Wisconsin State Fair. While participants have yet to be announced the events primarily feature some of the top up-and-coming talent out of the Roufusport camp. When news breaks about the card USCS will be sure to deliver it.
7. Justin Hutter
Congrats are in order to the Waukesha MMA instructor who just received his Brazilian Jiu-Jistsu black belt from Pedro Sauer. It's hard to find anyone in the area more dedicated to the sport and "Bacon" was well deserved of the accomplishment. His promotion adds yet another black belt to the area and proves that Wisconsin BJJ is still growing strong.
6. Sergio Pettis
Hailed as one of the most complete prospects to ever hit the cage "The Phenom" has a true test in front of him come November. Set to square off against Xtreme Couture prospect Jimmy Jones at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 4, Pettis has another opportunity to showcase his scary talent and undeniable ability.
5. Anthony Pettis
There's never been a more exciting or complete fighter to come out of Wisconsin than "Showtime". Coming off of another highlight reel knockout at UFC 144, Pettis was hoping to receive a rematch against UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson. However, Nate Diaz is next in line and Donald Cerrone has spent the summer trying to goad Anthony into a title-eliminator bout. While nothing is yet confirmed many believe Pettis-Cerrone may be announced very shortly with the winner earning the next shot at the UFC 155-pound strap.
4. Gerald Meerschaert
"The Machine" is finally back and ready to stake his claim as the next big thing to come out of Wisconsin. Now training at Roufusport – a gym with no shortage of connections – Meerschaert has the opportunity to reach his UFC dream with a few more victories. Up next for GM3 is a telling welterweight showdown against Sergej Juskevic at The Score Fightin Series in October.
3. Combat Corner Grappling Championship 10
Wisconsin's strongest and most respected grappling tournament returns to Milwaukee in just over a month. Set to feature some of the area's top competitors like Red Schafer, Andy Acker, Jon Tutaj, Joao Bosco, Jake Klipp, Rob Couillard, Jon Gutta and more, Combat Corner 10 should be even more exciting than its predecessors.
2. Duke Roufus
If you didn't notice a ton of the aforementioned stories have a direct association with Wisconsin's top coach. Along with having a number of his pupils just inches away from national fame, the world-renowned kickboxer is also set on furthering the area's youngsters by instituting a new Pankration division. Most importantly he just entered the most fulfilling portion of life - fatherhood. Congrats Duke.
1. Sam Alvey
This sentence is so fun to write: Sam Alvey was chosen to participate on the current edition of The Ultimate Fighter, became the number one pick following a brutal knockout in the opening round, and looks poised to showcase his stardom on a national stage. Over the years Alvey has proven to be one of the nicest and hardest working fighters on the planet and is now in line to reap the benefits. Way to go "Smile'N Sam" – you've earned it.