Mixed martial arts notes

MMA NOTEBOOK: Nowacyzk headlines HFC 20 vs. Steele in June

2014-03-21T18:00:00Z 2014-03-21T22:22:05Z MMA NOTEBOOK: Nowacyzk headlines HFC 20 vs. Steele in JuneMatt Erickson Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 21, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

Hoosier Fight Club is set to return to Valparaiso in June, and the main event could have some high stakes.

Kevin Nowaczyk is set to meet Dominique Steele in a welterweight bout at HFC 20. Both fighters have given verbal agreements for the fight, a promotion source on Friday confirmed to The Times.

With solid recent runs for each fighter over good competition, the fight is one that could propel the winner back to a bigger promotion, such as the UFC or Bellator.

Nowacyzk (15-3) has won three straight fights and six of his past seven. The lone loss came by decision at HFC 14 to Nathan Coy, who last week advanced to Bellator's welterweight tournament semifinals with a win at Bellator 112 in Hammond.

But the recent wins for "Give Me Your Lunch Money" have put him on the radar, and he's looking to get another shot at the UFC after making the cut for Season 16 of "The Ultimate Fighter," but getting bounced in the elimination round. In February, he topped UFC veteran Shamar Bailey at HFC 19 and also has wins over "TUF" veterans Chuck O'Neil and Daniel Head on his resume.

Steele has won five straight since a three-fight skid that included losses to UFC vet David Branch and Bellator standout Brian Rogers. With victories over Purdue wrestling product Nate Moore, an Xtreme Fighting Championships win over Ryan Thomas on national TV and a win earlier this month over Bellator vet Dan Hornbuckle, the Cincinnati-based fighter finds himself back in the running for a return to a major promotion.

HFC 20 will take place at Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso. No ticket on-sale date has been announced.

Curran reclaims featherweight belt at Bellator 112: Pat Curran had the advantage of a friendly crowd at Bellator 112 last week, and he helped give fans their money's worth.

Curran recaptured the featherweight title against Daniel Straus in the main event at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, the same place he first won the title against Joe Warren two years prior.

The fight came down to the fifth and final round. The fighters traded momentum throughout the first four rounds, and it appeared to be neck and neck going to the fifth. But late in the fight, Curran was able to move to Straus' back and sank in a rear-naked choke. Straus was forced to tap with just 14 seconds left.

The scorecards later showed that one judge had the fight even going to the fifth, one had Curran up three rounds to one, and one had Straus up 3-1. But Curran took care of that with the stoppage.

After the fight, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said Curran will next defend his title against Patricio Freire, but regardless of the outcome of that fight, Straus will get the next shot after that. If it's against Curran, that would be the pair's fourth meeting, with Curran currently up 2-1.

Magny returns in May in Cincinnati: After getting back on track last month in New Jersey, Neil Magny will return in May in Cincinnati.

The welterweight, an HFC veteran and former student of Miguel Torres now training at Colorado's Grudge Training Center, will meet Brazil's William Macario at UFC Fight Night 41. That card is set for May 10 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati and also features the return of Westville bantamweight Eddie Wineland.

Magny likely saved his UFC job with a decision win over Gasan Umalatov at UFC 169. The product of Season 16 of "The Ultimate Fighter," now 2-2 in the UFC, goes after his first winning streak in the promotion.

Hoosier Fight Club is set to return to Valparaiso in June, and the main event could have some high stakes.

Kevin Nowaczyk is set to meet Dominique Steele in a welterweight bout at HFC 20. Both fighters have given verbal agreements for the fight, a promotion source on Friday confirmed to The Times.

With solid recent runs for each fighter over good competition, the fight is one that could propel the winner back to a bigger promotion, such as the UFC or Bellator.

Nowacyzk (15-3) has won three straight fights and six of his past seven. The lone loss came by decision at HFC 14 to Nathan Coy, who last week advanced to Bellator's welterweight tournament semifinals with a win at Bellator 112 in Hammond.

But the recent wins for "Give Me Your Lunch Money" have put him on the radar, and he's looking to get another shot at the UFC after making the cut for Season 16 of "The Ultimate Fighter," but getting bounced in the elimination round. In February, he topped UFC veteran Shamar Bailey at HFC 19 and also has wins over "TUF" veterans Chuck O'Neil and Daniel Head on his resume.

Steele has won five straight since a three-fight skid that included losses to UFC vet David Branch and Bellator standout Brian Rogers. With victories over Purdue wrestling product Nate Moore, an Xtreme Fighting Championships win over Ryan Thomas on national TV and a win earlier this month over Bellator vet Dan Hornbuckle, the Cincinnati-based fighter finds himself back in the running for a return to a major promotion.

HFC 20 will take place at Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso. No ticket on-sale date has been announced.

Curran reclaims featherweight belt at Bellator 112: Pat Curran had the advantage of a friendly crowd at Bellator 112 last week, and he helped give fans their money's worth.

Curran recaptured the featherweight title against Daniel Straus in the main event at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, the same place he first won the title against Joe Warren two years prior.

The fight came down to the fifth and final round. The fighters traded momentum throughout the first four rounds, and it appeared to be neck and neck going to the fifth. But late in the fight, Curran was able to move to Straus' back and sank in a rear-naked choke. Straus was forced to tap with just 14 seconds left.

The scorecards later showed that one judge had the fight even going to the fifth, one had Curran up three rounds to one, and one had Straus up 3-1. But Curran took care of that with the stoppage.

After the fight, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said Curran will next defend his title against Patricio Freire, but regardless of the outcome of that fight, Straus will get the next shot after that. If it's against Curran, that would be the pair's fourth meeting, with Curran currently up 2-1.

Magny returns in May in Cincinnati: After getting back on track last month in New Jersey, Neil Magny will return in May in Cincinnati.

The welterweight, an HFC veteran and former student of Miguel Torres now training at Colorado's Grudge Training Center, will meet Brazil's William Macario at UFC Fight Night 41. That card is set for May 10 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati and also features the return of Westville bantamweight Eddie Wineland.

Magny likely saved his UFC job with a decision win over Gasan Umalatov at UFC 169. The product of Season 16 of "The Ultimate Fighter," now 2-2 in the UFC, goes after his first winning streak in the promotion.

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