Wisconsin's Combat Sports Buzz List - The 12 Hottest Issues in Wisconsin
Wisconsin's combative sports scene is firing on all cylinders right now. From the upper echelon of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to its blossoming stable of amateurs, the state is currently witnessing the emergence of talented fighters like never before.
In a monthly series that takes a look at the hottest items involving Wisconsin's combat sports scene, find out what fighter, promotion, coach, gym, or event has people around the state buzzing. Sit back and enjoy Wisconsin's Combat Sports Buzz List.
12. Madtown Throwdown 28
In just over a month one of the state's most consistent promotions returns to its Madison home with another night of notable fights. Known for putting on fights the local fans want to see, the next edition is rumored to feature a number of talented competitors such as Rick Glenn, Tyler Hellenbrand, Josh Kasee as well as an anticipated welterweight main event between Lenny Nelson and Andrew Trace.
11. Combat Corner Professional
It's hard to find any aspect of Wisconsin's combative sports scene that doesn't have the Combat Corner logo firmly attached to it. Dan LaSavage and crew have emerged as the most recognizable provider of gloves and equipment for all types of training and competition within the state. Recently, Combat Corner celebrated their five-year anniversary as a company – no small feat for any business.
10. Chico Camus
The "King" is UFC bound and it's only a matter of time before we know who his first opponent will be. Following victories over Alptekin Ozkilic and Daniel Aguire in the opening rounds of the Tachi Tourney, the Roufusport bantamweight was called up to the big show before suffering a foot injury during training. Here's to hoping that he is matched with a fellow striker allowing Camus to showcase his heavy hands.
9. Mike Biddle
The Unified Martial Arts head instructor picked up a new gig over the past week after becoming the new head coach at Combat Training Center in Green Bay as well. With a number of his UMA students continuing to thrive, 2012 could prove to be Biddle's strongest year as a coach to date.
8. Anthony Pettis
"Showtime" has been waiting patiently for his title fight seemingly forever. After being overlooked during the Gray Maynard-Frankie Edgar trilogy, Pettis now is forced to wait on a rematch between familiar foe Benson Henderson and Maynard as well. The MTV-star has openly pined for a chance to battle Nate Diaz for the number one contender spot as of late, but no news has yet broke about a possible opponent.
7. Amateur Fighters
A year ago Wisconsin's amateur mixed martial arts scene looked all but dead. With a record low in events – and most of them only featuring professionals – the state's non-professional fighters looked to be in trouble. But with a rise in the number of events and the reemergence of amateur-only shows like the Wisconsin Fighting Championship, the amateurs are riding high once again. Charles Hanson, J.R. Briones, Elias Garcia, Jake Frias, Nate Jennerman, Erik Flannigan, Luis Garcia, and Jordan Winski are just a few of the bright prospects improving their skill sets before making the leap to pro.
6. Heather Bassett
One of those amateurs making major strides is Unified Martial Arts' top female prospect Heather Bassett. "Hand Guns" has come out firing in her first year of competition impressing in her losses as much as wins. With a record of 3-2 under her belt – nearly all earning Fight of the Night honors – the young fighter looks to stay busy after agreeing to a September bout for the "Triad Fight League" in Atlanta.
5. Ben Rothwell
The biggest opportunity of an already storied career is now less than a month away for Kenosha's Rothwell. After stealing the show and earning Knockout of the Night honors over Brendan Schaub back at UFC 145, "Big Ben" is set to square off against undefeated Travis Browne on the televised portion of UFC on Fox 4 in August. This could be Rothwell's chance to prove to fans, fighters, and UFC brass just how dangerous he truly is.
4. Sam Alvey
Following a decisive first-round finish over Lucas Lopes at ShoFight 20 last month, the Ultimate Fighting Championship now seems very realistic for the Manitowoc native. Despite tough decision defeats to Brandon Ropati and Vitor Vianna, Alvey has excelled as of late earning victories over proven opponents such as Lopes, Daniel Almeida, Karl Amoussou, Jason Guida and more. News of a UFC contract could be the next breaking report concerning the Team Quest middleweight.
3. Erik Koch
See Anthony Pettis. Much like his Roufusport teammate, "New Breed" expected to battle for a UFC title before circumstances put the bout on hold. The Iowa import was supposed to battle featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo at UFC 149 before Aldo was forced out due to injury. With his stock still sky high, Koch is making sure to let Dana White and company know that he still expects the next shot at Aldo's title.
2. Sergio Pettis
The hype surrounding "The Phenom" continues to grow each and every time out. Still only 18, Pettis has already amassed a professional record of 5-0, including his first round submission victory over Tom McKenna last month in the Tachi Tourney finale. With his next bout taking place under the Tachi banner, the Roufusport bantamweight remains firmly supplanted atop many lists as the sport's next big thing.
1. Andrew Trace vs. Lenny Nelson
From all reports, the welterweight showdown between Nelson and Trace at Madtown Throwdown 28 looks to be a go. With both guys at a dead-heat atop Wisconsin's welterweight food chain, the upcoming matchup should be one to remember. Stay tuned to US Combat Sports in the weeks leading up to the fight for interviews, breakdowns, and full coverage of the anticipated battle between Nelson and Trace.