My return this week from Japan has seen me hit the ground running. “No rest for the wicked” they say, so let’s take a look at the many stories making headlines this week.

First off, if you missed this week’s episode of UFC Central, here’s Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our coverage from “The Land of The Rising Sun”.

During next week’s show, I will have two minutes to break down the controversial decision in the main event, where I scored it 48-47 for Frankie Edgar, while the judges octagon side scored the bout for new lightweight champion Benson “Smooth” Henderson. I’ve now watched the fight a total of eight times, and to be honest, if you scored it for Bendo, I have no qualms whatsoever. It was a very close fight, especially in rounds three and five. Make sure you check it out and give me your thoughts via my twitter @ShowdownJoe.

The medical suspensions for UFC 144 have been released and with the big ones being handed down to Bendo and Quinton Jackson, who could be out for a maximum of six months.

On a side note, Rampage publicly stated he used TRT ( Testostrone Replacement Therapy ) prior to his bout with Ryan Bader. This has caused quite the storm in the industry, with former founder and President of Balco, Victor Conte piping up. He believes the UFC should hire V.A.D.A (The Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) to address this issue.

UFC on Sportsnet One

Six days from hosting an event in Japan, the UFC is already set up shop in Sydney, Australia, where UFC: Alves vs Kampmann will go down, featuring a welterweight main event between Martin “The Hitman” Kampman and Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves. This should make for an outstanding stand up battle, but my eyes will be fixated on the organization debut of the Flyweight division, as the four man tournament kicks off to eventually crown the organization’s first champion at 125 lbs. The “semi-final” bouts will see Joseph “Joe-B-Wan-Kanobi” Benavidez take on Shooto Flyweight Champion, Yasohiro Urishitani, while Demetrious “DJ” Johnson welcomes world consensus number one, Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall.

This event will also mark the debut of Blumenort, Manitoba light heavyweight Nick “The Quiet Assasin” Penner (11-1), who takes on hometown hero Anthony Perosh. You can see the full fight card here.

As for my picks, I’m taking Alves, Benavidez, McCall, Philippou, Te Huna, Penner, Miller, Noke, Waldburger, Pineda and Thompson.

Don’t forget, Sportsnet will be airing five straight hours of live action from Sydney, starting at 6pm EST, 3 pm PST.

Misc News and Notes

  • Strikeforce: Tate vs Rousey also goes down this weekend. My picks are Tate, Thomson, Daley, Souza, Smith, Kaufman, Fodor, Huen and Bowling
  • The UFC continues to look at expansion in Asia, with China, The Phillipines or South Korea in 2012, while UFC President Dana White stated the next international versions of The Ultimate Fighter will take place in the aformentioned Phillipines, as well as Australia and India
  • Here’s a video of “The Natural Born Killer”, celebrating “Carlos Condit Day” in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Congrats to the UFC Interim Welterweight Champion.
  • Congrats to former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes, who was recently inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Wrestling Hall of Fame.
  • Upcoming matchups include TJ Grant vs Kamal Shalorus, Carlo Prater vs Rafael dos Anjos, Alex Soto vs Azamat Gashimov, Jeremy Stephens (steps in for the injured Yves Edwards) vs Donald Cerrone, Jeff Curran vs Johnny Eduardo, Eddie Alvarez vs Shinya Aoki, Mike Corey (replaces Wagnney Fabiano) vs Ronnie Mann, Cory MacDonald vs Brendan Seguin.
  • The awesome MMA/Life documentary that is “Fightville” staring Dustin Poirier and Tim Credeur, opens in theaters on April 20th. I believe that is just for the U.S., but hopefully it also makes it’s way into Canadian locations.
  • Things are getting crazy in the State of Michigan. The A.B.C. (Association of Boxing Commissions) has sent a letter to all of it’s member commissions to NOT license any Mixed Martial Artists from Michigan, citing the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission is not adhering to what the ABC recommends as the proper format for governing MMA.
  • If you don’t know the name Dakota Cochrane (11-2), you will soon. He is a cast member for this upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, who was recently outed for his past performances in Gay Pornography when he was younger. He says he regrets it, wants to move forward but the facts are the facts. This guy has serious MMA skills, as is evidenced by his record, with a notable decision victory over former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner.