UFC on Fox 25 has been in the books for nearly a week now. The Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, N.Y., finally got the MMA event it deserved. Four Big Apple natives had their hands raised last Saturday night, and none bigger than the evening’s headliner, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
Despite early reports of underwhelming TV ratings, the Fox main card featured four entertaining bouts and an exciting finishing sequence in the main event. But now that the dust has settled, who are the biggest winners to come out of Saturday’s fights?
You can make a case for several fighters. There is Shane Burgos, who looked every bit the part of a future star in the featherweight division. Perhaps it’s Marlon Vera, who silenced the capacity crowd with a first-round submission of hometown favorite Brian Kelleher. Or maybe it’s Alex Oliveira, who reminded everyone that he can end a fight in the blink of an eye when he knocked out Ryan LaFlare with an uppercut.
Let’s not forget about the main-card winners, either. Jimmie Rivera ran his unbeaten streak to 20 straight with his win over Thomas Almeida. Patrick Cummins upset betting favorite Gian Villante and took a split decision. Darren Elkins continued to defy the odds when he edged Dennis Bermudez via a split verdict to run his winning streak to five in a row. Then there’s the aforementioned headliner, Weidman, who needed this victory more than anyone and got it when he tapped Kelvin Gastelum in the third round.
You can make a case for all of these athletes as the biggest winner from UFC on Fox 25. You wouldn’t be wrong. However, Saturday was a coming-out party for an MMA gym that has flown under the radar for far too long.
Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts has long been a staple in the New York/New Jersey MMA scene, but for whatever reason has never been given its due. That is, until now.
The UFC on Fox 25 lineup featured three of Tiger Schulmann’s best fighters, two of whom walked away with a W. Regardless of the outcome, the aforementioned Rivera and Burgos, along with Lyman Good, helped put Tiger Schulmann’s on the map.
TSMMA is headquartered in Elmwood Park, N.J., but with over 50 schools in five different states, it’s far from just a northeastern outfit. As a matter of fact, UFC vets Louis “Goodnight” Gaudinot and Uriah “Prime Time” Hall have been under the tutelage of the brothers Schulmann for some time. Just last week, it was revealed that exciting TSMMA featherweight standout Julio Arce will fight on Aug. 8 as part of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
To be a truly elite MMA gym nowadays, the camp has to have champions training there and consistent top contenders in multiple weight classes competing for gold. Rivera will be the guy who gets the job done and brings UFC gold to the Tiger Schulmann’s camp. He should be next in line for a bantamweight title shot. However, if “El Terror” has to run through Dominick Cruz before he gets a crack at champion Cody Garbrandt, then so be it.
Before last Saturday, writers, die-hard MMA fans and MMA professionals all knew of Tiger Schulmann’s. Now, following the biggest night in TSMMA history, everyone knows.