Preview: UFC 60 “Hughes vs. Gracie” Pt I

Spencer Fisher vs. Matt Wiman

May 23, 2006
FISHER: Miletich Fighting Systems athlete Spencer Fisher (Pictures) is 17-2 in MMA and trains with Tim Sylvia (Pictures), Jason Black (Pictures), Tony Fryklund (Pictures), Robbie Lawler (Pictures), Matt Hughes (Pictures) and, of course, Pat Miletich (Pictures).

The North Carolina native left everything he had and moved to Iowa to train with Miletich and crew. He excelled at boxing and traditional martial arts and felt MMA was his calling. His wife supported him but the rest of his family thought he was nuts. Over the past four years, Fisher has shown he has what it takes to compete at the top level.

He began fighting MMA in 2002 at the Victory Fighting Championships events in Iowa and he won the VFC 3 eight-man tournament that year. He continued to stockpile victories in small shows, including the Extreme Challenge and the IFC, and returned to the VFC to face UFC Josh Neer (Pictures). It was then that Fisher suffered his first and only loss, a decision versus Carlos Prater.

The loss didn’t faze Fisher and he continued to fight in the IFC, Super Brawl and other small shows before making his UFC debut in 2005. He competed in Ultimate Fight Night 2, derailing rising star Thiago Alves (Pictures) and stopped talented submission fighter Aaron Riley (Pictures) at UFN 3 in January.

A month later Fisher was at the Battle on the Boardwalk show, submitting WEF veteran Randy Hauer (Pictures) via triangle choke in just over four minutes. And in March he made his PPV debut at UFC 58 in a split decision loss to Canadian Sam Stout (Pictures).

WIMAN: Kickboxer and wrestler Matt Wiman (Pictures), representing the Tulsa Top Team, trains with Jeff Faberman and Jason Brazeal. Matt is also a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and trains his stand-up at Sam Adams Muay Thai. “Handsome” carries a professional record of 6-2 in MMA. Wiman is the Mid-America Extreme Fighting Champion in the 170-pound category but he’ll fight in the UFC as a lightweight (155 lbs.).

Like many athletes coming up in MMA, Wiman first saw the UFC on television and was immediately hooked. He wrestled and boxed with his friends but when he learned that UFC veteran Mikey Burnett had a school just 10 miles away, he knew it was an opportunity to begin serious training.

Matt began fighting professionally in 2004 and won the Extreme Fighting League (EK) 13 eight-man tournament. He finished the year by scoring a win at EK 14 and won a bout in the Oklahoma Extreme Fighting event. Last September he sustained his first loss in the biggest fight of his short career versus Roger Huerta (Pictures) at the Freestyle Fighting Championships in Las Vegas.

Matt had secured an armbar and a rear-choke during the three-round bout, but he was not able to put away the accomplished Super Brawl veteran.

Wiman picked up a win back at the EK last November and then made his MFC in debut in March. There he lost a decision to UFC vet Nick Agallar (Pictures) in the Boardwalk Blitz show, but Zuffa management still took notice of his effort.

MY PICK: Fisher. From what I’ve read, Wiman seems to be a very respectful fighter with some ability but I think his UFC debut is coming at least a year early. Fisher’s original opponent, Leonard Garcia (9-1 in MMA), broke his leg in training and hopefully we’ll see the “Bad Boy” in a future show. Wiman was man enough to take the bout on short notice and should be respected for that. I just think a guy like Fisher is too much too soon for the “Handsome” one. Fisher by submission (possibly a triangle choke) in the second round.
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