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Key Fights – Week of November 28

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Okay, so this post is coming up a bit earlier than usual on account of my schedule for this week.  I likely won’t be able to post anything for the rest of November due to travel and various celebrations, so you’re blessed with the key fights today!  However, I’ll still be around on Twitter so be sure to follow me and check out what I’m up to!

As for this week, it’s certainly a different group of fights.  We have a UFC event but only two fights are scheduled at the moment!  We can add the bantamweight and featherweight Ultimate Fighter tournament finals to a card which also features what should be a fun Mayhem vs. Bisping fight.  The remaining undercard will likely include fights with other TUF cast members from this season.

The rest?  Well, meh.  Bellator is done for the year, but we do get a Tachi Palace fights card – one that somehow features no flyweights!  What the fuck!?  Champion Ian McCall was injured and forced to back out of his Flyweight Title defense, while former flyweight Ulysses Gomez is moving up to try for the promotion’s Bantamweight Title.  We’ll also see NCAA wrestling standout Bubba Jenkins make his MMA debut.

We’ll see the week’s only notable women’s fight at XFC when Felice Herrig takes on Carla Esparza, Pancrase has a stacked Impressive Tour 13 event featuring a couple of their own ranked flyweights, and John Alessio takes on Ryan Healy for Canada’s Score Fighting Series.  Check out the upcoming fights tab for more information about this week in MMA and much more!

Tachi Palace Fights 11 (12/2/2011)

  • Bantamweight Title: Ulysses Gomez (8-2, No. 18 FLW) vs. Cody Gibson (5-1)

XFC 15 (12/2/2011)

  • Women’s Featherweight: Carla Esparza (5-2, No. 15 WFW, No. 10 WLW) vs. Felice Herrig (5-3)

Pancrase Impressive Tour 13 (12/3/2011)

  • 125 lbs. Title: Mitsuhisa Sunabe (14-7-4, No. 10 FLW) vs. Hiroyuki Abe (8-3)
  • Flyweight: Hiroyuki Nakajima (6-1-1, No. 19 FLW) vs. Yuki Yasunaga (6-5)

UFC Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale (12/3/2011)

  • Middleweight: Michael Bisping (21-3, No. 6 MW) vs. Jason Miller (24-7, 1 NC)
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Categories: Weekly Fights

Bellator 59 Results

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Heavyweight Tournament Finals: Thiago Santos NC Eric Prindle (Unintentional Illegal Strike)

Santos seemed to capture an early advantage and was able to bring Prindle to the mat.  Santos stood up over his opponent and contemplated his next move as Prindle lay prone on his back.  From there, Thiago Santos decided that the best approach was to kick his opponent.

In the asshole.

You can find all the particulars in the link above, but basically, Santos’ asshole kick ended up knocking Prindle in the balls something fierce.  Prindle was unable to recover from the blow and the fight was ruled a no contest, as Santos’ strike was deemed unintentional.  Perhaps they thought he was aiming for the perineum or posterior of Prindle and just ended up hitting his balls.

The aftermath of this fight is just as ridiculous of the fight itself.  Season five is technically not over despite having no events remaining on Bellator’s 2011 schedule.  This fight will take place early in season six and will conclude season five, so Cole Konrad is currently without a challenger.

Also, Eric Prindle saw fit to take a picture of his sack and post it on Twitter just to let fans know that yes, he does have male parts and he was indeed kicked in said male parts.  You can also find that picture in the link I included above since I can’t in good conscious show you Eric Prindle’s balls.

Bantamweight Tournament Finals: Eduardo Dantas d. Alexis Vila (Unanimous Decision)

This was the only fight of the night that was relatively normal.  Dantas used his length to control Vila in the second and third rounds in a fight that ended up being not as competitive as I would have imagined.  Vila was unable to do pretty much anything and even seemed to tire a bit as the fight went on.  Nonetheless, Eduardo Dantas pulled off what was a big upset in my eyes.

Dantas will now challenge Zach Makovsky and I wonder if that fight will be similar to the one we saw last night.  Dantas will hold a clear size advantage, something Makovsky referenced when he jokingly stood on a foot stool to face off with his next challenger.  Vila and Makovsky are both skilled wrestlers.  Vila is a bit more of a striker while Makovsky has a bit more in his gas tank.  I’m initially thinking Dantas will have the advantage in this title fight, but we’ll have to wait until next year to find out.

Lightweight: Patricky Freire d. Kurt Pellegrino (TKO – Round 1, 0:50)

Freire attacked Pellegrino early and seemed to hurt the former UFC lightweight.  Before letting Freire finish the fight, the referee made the ridiculous decision that he had seen enough and called a stop to the action.  While things weren’t looking up for Pellegrino, he was still working to defend himself from Freire’s onslaught.

After the fight, Pellegrino surprised few by retiring once again.  What was surprising was how quickly he embraced Patricky, saying that he’d be working with the Pitbull in the future and that he’d even invite Freire over for a slumber party.  This, just one day removed from a heated stand-off during weigh ins and mere moments after being defeated

Lightweight: Marcin Held d. Phillipe Nover (Split Decision)

Held opened up with some incredible BJJ, working for crazy submissions and almost finishing Nover early in the fight.  Nover settled and seemed to control the later two rounds, while some also made a case for him winning the first round.  In the end, the judges called a bogus split decision in Held’s favor.  Nover was pretty clearly the winner here, spending most of the last ten minutes on top of Held.  But hey, it wouldn’t be Bellator without a bad decision or two from the judges.

Catchweight (175 lbs.): Karl Amoussou d. Jesus Martinez (TKO – Round 1, 2:20)

Welterweight: LeVon Maynard d. Christopher Wing (Unanimous Decision)

Featherweight: Scott Heckman d. Brylan Van Artsdalen (Submission – Round 1, 1:38)

Middleweight: Gregory Milliard d. Brandon Saling (Unanimous Decision)

Catchweight (175 lbs.): Lucas Pimenta d. Doug Gordon (KO – Round 1, 0:40)

Categories: Fight Results

Bellator 59 Preview

November 26, 2011 2 comments

Bellator wraps up their fifth season tonight with what will be their final event of 2011.  And while they’ll have a hard time topping last week’s amazing event, it looks like we’ll see a really good card to end the season.

We’ll see two tournament final contests where the next contenders at heavyweight and bantamweight will be determined.  Thiago Santos vs. Eric Prindle will compete for a shot at Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad, while we’ll see an exciting bout between Alexis Vila and Eduardo Dantas for a chance to take on Bantamweight Champion Zach Makovsky.

The remaining televised card looks pretty interesting with two lightweight contests.  Kurt Pellegrino makes his debut with Bellator when he takes on Patricky Freire.  The two men had to be pulled apart at the weigh ins yesterday, so this could be a heated contest.  We’ll also see former UFC prospect Phillipe Nover take on Marcin Held.  The winner of both of these fights will likely get spots in next season’s lightweight tournament.

Bellator 59 will air live on MTV2 at 9:00 PM EST/8:00 PM CST with a replay shown at 11:30 PM EST/10:30 PM CST.  The Spike.com preliminary fights will also begin at 7:00 PM EST/6:00 PM CST.  MTV2 also has a block scheduled between the replays to show some kind of Bellator highlights and I’m not sure what that will consist of.  It might just be 30 minutes of sweet submissions presented as soft porn, who knows?

Heavyweight Tournament Finals: Thiago Santos (10-1) vs. Eric Prindle (9-1)

The winner of this contest will be the number one contender to Cole Konrad’s “King of the Fat Boys” title.  I’m kinda coming around on this group.  They put on generally exciting fights and I’m even being followed on Twitter by Ron Sparks.  I almost hate calling Bellator heavyweights “fat boys”, but…well, they are pretty fat.

So here we have Eric Prindle, who loves knocking people out, against a good submission artist in Thiago Santos.  I don’t see this fight going a full three rounds, so the question is what is more likely: a Prindle knockout or a Santos submission?

I’m of the opinion that Santos will be victorious in this one.  I think he’ll be able to bring Prindle down early and tap him out.  That he defeated Neil Grove in the tournament semifinals is impressive, since Grove is a very good fighter.  Prindle is extremely one dimensional and I have a hard time seeing him taking out Santos in this one.

Bantamweight Tournament Finals: Alexis Vila (11-0, No. 8 BW, No. 8 FLW) Eduardo Dantas (12-2)

I’ve been on the Alexis Vila bandwagon since day one.  I’m a huge flyweight supporter and I expected big things from one of the top fighters at 125 pounds in this tournament.  Vila has lived up to the hype, notably by taking a brutal KO win over Featherweight Champion Joe Warren.

But Eduardo Dantas has come into this tournament and has been impressive himself.  He defeated Ed West and Wilson Reis, two Bellator mainstays, in order to advance to this point.  His only real loss came against Masakatsu Ueda in July 2009 and Dantas has quickly emerged as a top fighter at 135 pounds.

Vila has been my favorite since day one and I’m going to stick with that, but I think Dantas can push this fight to a close decision.  Alexis Vila has the skills to end a fight in a split second, but he has more than enough wrestling to control and grind out fights.  We’ll probably see a little bit of both here, Dantas being a capable striker and ground fighter as well.  Vila should take a decision and will be a huge challenge to reigning champion Zach Makovsky.

Lightweight: Kurt Pellegrino (16-6, No. 19 LW) vs. Patricky Freire (9-2)

I see this fight a lot like I see the heavyweight tournament finals, except these guys weigh 110 pounds less than either of the heavyweight contenders.  Pellegrino is one of the better grapplers at 155 pounds, while Patricky Freire has some great power.

We know that Pellegrino can hang with some of the better fighters at lightweight based on his time in the UFC.  Patricky “Pitbull” has only lost twice in his career: to another Freire in Willamy and the new Bellator Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler.  Freire’s knockout wins over Toby Imada and “Razor” Rob McCullough were absolutely fantastic and showed that this kid can knockout some of the best.

But Pellegrino is a veteran who has never been knocked out.  While he’s lost to more of the big name fighters at 155 pounds, he does hold victories over Rob Emerson, Josh Neer, and Junior Assuncao amongst many other good fighters.  He’s a two time Submission of the Night winner and one time Fight of the Night winner in the UFC so this is another guy who can put on exciting fights.

I think Pellegrino will ultimately come out on top here.  I see him controlling the majority of the fight and taking a decision win over Patricky, but the Pitbull can end this fight at any time.  I think Pellegrino has the pedigree to be victorious here, but expect anything in what should be a heated affair.

Lightweight: Phillipe Nover (6-3-1) vs. Marcin Held (11-2)

Dana White held former UFC prospect Phillipe Nover in high regard, calling him the next George St-Pierre or Anderson Silva.  Then Nover lost to Efrain Escudero, Kyle Bradley, and Rob Emerson before being cut from the promotion.  Maybe he’ll be the next Jon Koppenhaver instead!

As for Marcin Held, you might remember him from a prompt submission loss to Michael Chandler in the opening round of Bellator’s last lightweight tournament.  Held will look to be successful in his first Bellator fight since that loss.

I think we’ll see most of this fight contested on the ground and going in Nover’s favor.  Held is a very good fighter, but I’m hopeful that Nover is getting back on track after a rough UFC run.  The guy was way over-hyped, but he’s still a talented prospect with a lot of upside.  I think he’ll take a surprising win in this contest.

Catchweight (175 lbs.): Karl Amoussou (12-4-2) vs. Jesus Martinez (6-1)

Welterweight: LeVon Maynard (11-8) vs. Christopher Wing (3-1)

Featherweight: Brylan Van Artsdalen (5-2) vs. Scott Heckman (8-3)

Middleweight: Gregory Milliard (1-2) vs. Brandon Saling (6-4)

Catchweight (175 lbs.): Lucas Pimenta (4-0) vs. Doug Gordon (11-10)

Categories: Event Preview

Key Fights – Week of November 21

November 21, 2011 2 comments

Well a happy early Thanksgiving to all of my American readers!  See, I was schooled earlier in the week by a friend who knew much more about American Thanksgiving than I did – an English friend!  I certainly did a nice job of embarrassing myself, but it will all be forgotten when I’m eating my turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes.  Mmmm, I can’t wait!

Because of the American holiday, there’s a little bit of extra MMA this week.  We have the normal Bellator event, which is the season five finale featuring the finals of the heavyweight and bantamweight tournaments and the Bellator debut of Kurt Pellegrino.  We get a great event from Polish promotion KSW featuring top middleweight Mamed Khalidov, a Light Heavyweight Title defense by Sokoudjou, and a crazy heavyweight fight between James Thompson and Mariusz Pudzianowski.  And we’ll see the twelfth installment of Pancrase’s Impressive Tour series.

But we’ll have some Wednesday night pre-Thankgiving MMA in America, along with a Wednesday show from Japanese promotion Zst.  NAAFS will put on a show with some reliably strong women’s MMA action.  Aisling Daly and Jessica Eye are the big fighters in action, but you can check out the details about their fights and much more in my This Week in Women’s MMA feature over at Gals Guide to MMA!  You can also see information on last week’s WMMA fight and find out who the big winners were for the week.

Also make sure to check the upcoming fights tab for information on the biggest fights of this week!

NAAFS Night of Champions (11/23/2011)

  • Women’s 125 lbs. Title: (c) Aisling Daly (12-2, No. 9 WLW) vs. Kelly Warren (3-0)

Bellator 59 (11/26/2011)

  • Bantamweight Tournament Finals: Alexis Vila (11-0, No. 8 BW, No. 8 FLW) Eduardo Dantas (12-2)
  • Lightweight: Kurt Pellegrino (16-6, No. 19 LW) vs. Patricky Freire (9-2)

KSW 17 (11/26/2011)

  • Middleweight: Mamed Khalidov (23-4-2, No. 16 MW) vs. Jesse Taylor (20-7)

Pancrase Impressive Tour 12 (11/27/2011)

  • Women’s Bantamweight: Fukuko Hamada (7-6, No. 15 WBW) vs. Kayo Nagayasu (7-6-3, No. 12 WBW)
Categories: Weekly Fights

UFC 139 Results

November 20, 2011 6 comments

Light Heavyweight: Dan Henderson d. Mauricio Rua (Unanimous Decision)

Okay, so words for this fight.  How do I do this?  I don’t even know where to begin.  Well first, this fight was fucking amazing.  I would have been thrilled with this card even if this fight was just average.  Faber’s awesome performance and the very fun Silva vs. Cung Le fight were great, but then we get to this?

My God, are these two men warriors.  Dan Henderson brutalized Shogun early in the fight and came close to stopping Rua in the third, but Shogun pushed forward and stunned an exhausted Hendo, who somehow managed to survive Shogun’s onslaught in the last two rounds.  This is the first non-title fight in the UFC to extend into the fourth and fifth rounds and Shogun took advantage of that, but it wasn’t quite enough to win.

The decision was almost an afterthought of that great fight, but all three judges somehow scored the contest 48-47 in Dan Henderson’s favor.  The last round was absolutely dominant enough to have been a 10-8 round in Shogun’s favor and I’m surprised we didn’t see that decision on at least one scorecard.

This might be a loss on Shogun’s record, but few will think of it in that context.  People will remember Shogun and Hendo for putting on one of the best fights in MMA history.  This 25 minute war will only help these men in the immediate future, though I certainly worry that the fight took months or years off of the lives of these two fighters.

I have no clue where we go from here just because there are so many fighters at 205 pounds without fights.  Rumors have placed a Rampage Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin fight at the UFC’s second Fox show, so let’s eliminate those two.  We still have Rashad Evans, Phil Davis, and potentially the returning Thiago Silva without fights.  And frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rashad waited for his title shot this time around.  After his initial fight with Phil Davis fell through, there isn’t a ton of reason to take another fight when Jon Jones is fighting in a matter of months.

So fuck, I don’t know.  Maybe Henderson vs. Evans could happen, but that would be a big chance for Rashad to take.  Henderson could fight Rampage if that Griffin fight isn’t official, or maybe he could fight Phil Davis?  And Rua could fight just about any of these men himself.  I just…whatever, I only want the UFC to make awesome fights for the Chicago show.  That’s my only worry right now.

Middleweight: Wanderlei Silva d. Cung Le (TKO – Round 2, 4:49)

I did pick against Wanderlei Silva, but I could not have been more happy to see him defeat Cung Le.  Silva had some trouble early and Le was doing a decent job changing up his strikes and landing cleanly.  When the second round came around, we saw a glimpse of the old Wanderlei Silva and it was glorious.  He pounded Cung Le with some brutal knees and punches and, frankly, fucked Cung Le up.  The stoppage may have been a bit premature, but Le was just about done and the stoppage saved unnecessary pain for the Strikeforce star.

I’m not sure that we’ll see Cung Le in the UFC again after that fight.  As for Wandy, I’m having trouble thinking of a good opponent for him.  I would suggest Jorge Santiago if he was still in the UFC.  Maybe the loser of Jason Miller vs. Michael Bisping?  Chris Weidman is another possibility, though I worry for Wandy if that fight takes place.

Bantamweight: Urijah Faber d. Brian Bowles (Submission – Round 2, 1:27)

First, Urijah Faber punched Brian Bowles very hard.  Then Urijah Faber choked Brian Bowles out.  Then the fight was over!  Faber looked extremely impressive in this victory and will now get a second title shot against Dominick Cruz.  I’m anxious to see how Faber approaches a fight with Cruz this time around, but I don’t see any reason why Cruz won’t win that fight again.

Welterweight: Martin Kampmann d. Rick Story (Split Decision)

Martin Kampmann put on his typical strong performance and came back from two controversial losses to take a big win over Rick Story.  Story was having some success early, but Kampmann was getting the easy takedowns and holding Story down with little issue.  From what I understand, the scores were read incorrectly and that Kampmann actually won via unanimous decision.

Light Heavyweight: Stephan Bonnar d. Kyle Kingsbury (Unanimous Decision)

Ugh, Stephan Bonnar.  He’s very lucky that the referee for this fight wasn’t aware he could restart the action.  Bonnar spent most of this fight on top of Kingsbury, doing nothing except advance position without doing much by way of harm.  After the fight, Bonnar mumbled about Josh Koscheck and T-shirts, I don’t know.  I kind of tuned out.

Light Heavyweight: Ryan Bader d. Jason Brilz (KO – Round 1, 1:17)

Bantamweight: Michael McDonald d. Alex Soto (KO – Round 1, 0:56)

Middleweight: Chris Weidman d. Tom Lawlor (Submission – Round 1, 2:07)

Lightweight: Gleison Tibau d. Rafael dos Anjos (Split Decision)

Catchweight (141 lbs.): Miguel Torres d. Nick Pace (Unanimous Decision)

Welterweight: Seth Baczynski d. Matt Brown (Submission – Round 2, 0:42)

Catchweight (158 lbs.): Danny Castillo d. Shamar Bailey (TKO – Round 1, 4:52)

Categories: Fight Results

Bellator 58 Results

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Lightweight Title: Michael Chandler d. (c) Eddie Alvarez (Submission – Round 4, 3:06)

At the end of this fight, I was confident that we had seen the fight of the year.  Granted, that feeling only lasted a few hours, but this was still an absolutely spectacular fight.

I was wonderfully surprised by Michael Chandler, who came out firing right out of the gates.  He was nearly able to finish Alvarez in the very first round, but the champ survived and started to take control as the fight went on.  By the time the third round came, I was convinced that Chandler had completely run out of steam.

Then the fourth round came and Chandler turned it up once again, assaulting and downing Alvarez who quickly gave up his back.  Chandler sunk in the rear naked choke and pulled off the surprising victory to become Bellator’s new Lightweight Champion.

This was an absolutely outstanding fight and Michael Chandler proved that he’s a force to be reckoned with at lightweight.  Beating Eddie Alvarez is a fantastic first step for this young champion, but he’ll have to keep this up against the rest of fighters that Bellator has to offer.  Kurt Pellegrino looks like an eventual challenger, but that’s looking pretty far down the line.

Catchweight (195 lbs.): Hector Lombard d. Trevor Prangley (TKO – Round 2, 1:06)

No real surprise in this one.  Prangley stood in the center of the cage and allowed Hector Lombard to beat the crap out of him for nearly ten minutes.  Lombard will move on to battle Alexander Shlemenko once again, while I’m sure Shark Fights would love to welcome Prangley back to the fold.

Featherweight: Marlon Sandro d. Rafael Dias (Submission – Round 1, 3:56)

Sandro looked to be in trouble early as Dias rocked him with some big punches.  Sandro recovered and managed to submit Dias with an arm triangle choke.  Dias’ defense of the submission was pretty embarrassing since Sandro was able to apply the hold from a standing position and then easily brought it to the mat.

Women’s Featherweight: Jessica Aguilar d. Lisa Ellis-Ward (Unanimous Decision)

Aguilar and Ellis-Ward beat the hell out of each other last night, but it was Aguilar who was clearly in control.  These two put on a pretty exciting fight and Aguilar called out Megumi Fujii, who she said was the number one fighter at 115 pounds.  Perhaps she was forgetting about Zoila Frausto-Gurgel, Bellator’s current champion of the division, though her claim to the title is slightly tenuous.

Middleweight: Brett Cooper d. Jared Hess (Unanimous Decision)

Middleweight: Herbert Goodman d. Jonas Billstein (Disqualification – Round 2, 3:21)

Welterweight: Valdir Araujo d. Ailton Barbosa (Unanimous Decision)

Bantamweight: Fabio Mello d. Farkhad Sharipov(Unanimous Decision)

Lightweight: Cosmo Alexandre d. Avery McPhatter (KO – Round 1, 0:20)

Categories: Fight Results

UFC 139 Preview

November 19, 2011 2 comments

This card is crazy deep and crazy awesome.  Seriously, UFC 139 is going to be a fucking fantastic event.  Just look at these fights!  The preliminary card is pretty great, we’ll see two interesting fights on Spike TV, and an incredible main card with some title relevant fights and some crazy battles that should leave the fans very happy.

Shogun Rua will fight the returning Dan Henderson in the main event in a very important and what should likely be a very exciting fight.  It’s amazing that these two never fought in PRIDE, but we’ll be seeing it live tonight.  The winner of this contest is at most one fight away from title contention, while timing might dictate that the winner gets an immediate title shot.

Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le will not go to a decision, I just have no clue who will win this contest.  The winner of Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles will also be getting a title shot at reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz.  Martin Kampmann vs. Rick Story should be a fun contest between two top welterweights, while Stephan Bonnar faces Kyle Kingsbury in a fight that’s only on the main card because of Bonnar’s name.  Tom Lawlor vs. Chris Weidman is perhaps my favorite fight on the preliminary card, though Gleison Tibau vs. Rafael dos Anjos could be a very good contest.

UFC 139 airs live on pay-per-view tonight at 9:00 PM EST/8:00 PM CST with the Spike TV prelims starting at 8:00 PM EST/7:00 PM CST.  The Facebook prelims begin at 6:00 PM EST/5:00 PM CST.  As always, you can view my picks for the event over at Tapology!

Light Heavyweight: Mauricio Rua (20-5, No. 4 LHW) vs. Dan Henderson (28-8, No. 6 LHW)

Middleweight: Wanderlei Silva (33-11-1, 1 NC, No. 18 MW) vs. Cung Le (7-1)

Bantamweight: Brian Bowles (9-1, No. 3 BW) vs. Urijah Faber (25-4, No. 5 BW)

Welterweight: Martin Kampmann (17-5, No. 9 WW) vs. Rick Story (13-4, No. 14 WW)

Light Heavyweight: Stephan Bonnar (13-7) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (11-2, 1 NC)

Light Heavyweight: Ryan Bader (12-2, No. 25 LHW) vs. Jason Brilz (18-4-1, No. 20 LHW)

Bantamweight: Michael McDonald (13-1, No. 21 BW) vs. Alex Soto (6-0-1)

Middleweight: Tom Lawlor (7-3, 1 NC, No. 22 MW) vs. Chris Weidman (6-0, No. 25 MW)

Lightweight: Gleison Tibau (23-7, No. 22 LW) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (15-5)

Catchweight (141 lbs.): Miguel Torres (39-4, No. 9 BW) vs. Nick Pace (6-2)

Welterweight: Matt Brown (12-10) vs. Seth Baczynski (14-6)

Catchweight (158 lbs.): Danny Castillo (11-4) vs. Shamar Bailey (12-4)

Categories: Event Preview