I’ve recently picked up coin magic and the techniques to turn a half-dollar into a quarter aren’t that difficult. The really difficult part about magic is the misdirection. Making everyone look one way while you work in the other direction is the real skill in magic. You also have to remember that what you see as magic has probably happened a lot earlier than you realize. The UFC often takes a page out of magic’s book by playing with misdirection and putting things in place way in advance of the fact, so that the real magic blows everyone’s faces off.
Case in point? UFC 138 in Birmingham, England. It’s still three months away, yet UFC has gone a little bit under the radar and signed a slew of great UKers to fight on the show. Yourmma.tv announced that the UFC grabbed welterweight Che Mills (13-4) from a match-up at BAMMA 7 with Joey Villasenor and put him straight into a bout with former TUFer Chris Cope. The well traveled Mills narrowly missed out on a spot opposite MiddleEasy’s own D-Zilla on TUF 9 but did beat DREAM welterweight tournament winner Marius Zaromskis in 2008. While the Cope bout has not been formally announced due to potential BAMMA contractual issues, Mills’ camp are claiming he is now officially a UFC fighter.
Versatile bantamweight Vaughan Lee also recently signed to the UFC and will also make his promotional debut at UFC 138, taking on Chris Cariaso who has mixed success since joining the WEC in 2010. Lee (11-6-1) has not lost since a 2010 draw with James Doolan and has notched up three wins in 2011, winning his last fight by TKO in the first round. Finally, heavyweights Oli Thompson (9-2) and 25-year-old submission specialist Phil Defries (7-0, all submissions) have both been signed by the UFC and will face each other at UFC 138 which bring the number of UK fighters on the UFC 138 card to ten, with more bouts still to be announced.
While these announcements will keep Woah! TV busy for the rest of the year, I have to say I am genuinely perplexed that Lee has been picked up yet Doolan, a former domestic muay thai champion and purple belt in BJJ has not. Then again, neither has honorary Scot Paul McVeigh, widely accepted as the best bantamweight in Europe. Hopefully those two fighters won’t be too far off. That would be magic.