by MMAWeekly.com Staff
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Monday night announced the remaining undercard bouts for UFC 101, which takes place on Aug. 8 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. The co-main events at UFC 101 feature the highly-anticipated UFC lightweight title bout between champion B.J. Penn and challenger Kenny Florian, and the light heavyweight showdown pitting current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva against former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.
The bouts confirmed on Monday for UFC 101 are: Amir Sadollah vs. Johny Hendricks, Kendall Grove vs. Ricardo Almeida, Josh Neer vs. Kurt Pellegrino, Shane Nelson vs. Aaron Riley, Tamdan McCrory vs. John Howard, Thales Leites vs. Alessio Sakara, Matt Riddle vs. Dan Cramer, George Sotiropoulos vs. Robert Emerson and Jesse Lennox vs. Danillo Villefort.
Winner of the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, Amir Sadollah has already impressed many in his young mixed martial arts career. The Brooklyn born Sadollah is a perfect 2-0 in MMA and secured the title of The Ultimate Fighter in 2008 with a slick armbar against C.B. Dollaway. Now at welterweight, he faces former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler and former World Extreme Cagefighting standout Johny Hendricks. The Oklahoma State graduate carries a 5-0 record into the Octagon for his UFC debut.
Always looking for the big finish, 6-foot-6-inch Kendall Grove has used his size and aggressive style to score five wins in the UFC. At UFC 96, the 26-year-old middleweight took out Jason Day via first-round TKO, but he will need to bring his best submission defense when he faces Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Ricardo Almeida. The four-time Brazilian national champion and 1999 Pan-American champion has two UFC wins via submission and he earned a unanimous decision victory against Matt Horwich in April. Now the New Jersey veteran will look to stop the rise of Grove.
With 25 professional mixed martial arts wins already on his resume, it’s tough to believe Josh Neer is only 26 years old. The experienced lightweight submitted Mac Danzig in the second round of their February fight and now he focuses his attention on New Jersey’s own Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Kurt Pellegrino. Winner of two straight UFC matches, Pellegrino improved his record to 19-4 with an impressive submission victory against Rob Emerson in February.
Because of a controversial referee stoppage at UFC 96 in March, Shane Nelson and Aaron Riley are going to do it again. Nelson, a B.J. Penn-trained lightweight fighter, is looking to go 3-0 in the UFC when he faces the Tell City, Ind., native, whose first win in the UFC came against Jorge Gurgel at UFC 91 last November.
Looking to make an impression in the welterweight division, Tamdan McCrory used a TKO victory against Ryan Madigan at UFC 96 to improve his pro MMA record to 12-2. The Ithaca, N.Y., native now faces up-and-coming 26-year-old John Howard. The 11-4 fighter secured a split decision win in his UFC debut against Chris Wilson at UFC 94 in January, a bout that earned Fight of the Night honors.
On a five-fight win streak before taking UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva five rounds in their title bout at UFC 97 in April, Thales Leites has three submission victories already in the UFC, but will need to show off his complete game when he faces former pro boxer Alessio Sakara. The Rome, Italy, native knocked out Joe Vedepo in his last UFC match in 2008 for his third UFC victory via KO/TKO and fourth overall.
It’s been two pro matches and two UFC wins for 23-year-old Matt Riddle. The Allentown, Pa., native has two unanimous decision victories, against Dante Rivera and Steve Bruno, and he will put his perfect record on the line against fellow unbeaten Dan Cramer. The 23-year-old Danbury, Connecticut-born welterweight earned a split decision win against Matt Arroyo in his UFC debut in January.
A tough test for anyone in the lightweight division, Australia’s George Sotiropoulos is a perfect 2-0 in the UFC with a submission victory and a TKO win. The 32-year-old with the 9-2 record will need all his skills when he stares across the Octagon at fellow Ultimate Fighter alum Rob Emerson. The 27-year-old from Irvine, Calif., will go for his third UFC win when he faces Sotiropoulos.
When the WEC discontinued its welterweight division, the UFC picked up two dynamic welterweights in Jesse Lennox and Danillo Villefort. With a 14-1 record and a TKO victory against Blas Avena in his sole WEC match, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-born Lennox will have to be at his best when he takes on the skilled Brazilian. Holding a devastating TKO victory against Mike Campbell in his one and only WEC match in January, Villefort is a decorated competitor with black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and judo.