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5 MMA Fights Not to Miss in September

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Cris Cyborg vs Leslie Smith

The final quarter of 2016 is upon us as September has arrived. MMA in August threw up a potential Fight of the Year contender as well as spectacular knockouts and submissions. Here’s to more of the same this month. Here are 5 fights during the month of September that every MMA fan should have marked on their diaries.

1.)   September 10th, BAMMA 26 – Ben Forsyth vs Pelu Adetola

BAMMA makes their long-awaited return to Dublin, Ireland on the 10th of September. The card has had more than its fair share of problems, with injuries and numerous withdrawals, but will still showcase some of the finest talent in European MMA. One name to look out for on the card is that of Ben “Spyder Monkey” Forsyth. Forsyth is one of the brightest prospects in a highly promising group of young Irish talent that looks set to follow in the footsteps of the original wave of talent from the Emerald Isle. After winning the IMMAF European Championship gold medal in 2015, Forsyth turned professional and scored a debut stoppage win by standing guillotine choke against Luke Taylor at ICE FC 11. The light heavyweight will be looking to make a statement in front of his home crowd in the Three Arena in Dublin. His opponent, Pelu Adetola, is certainly not coming to Ireland just to make up the numbers. While his 3-4 record may not look impressive, “The Nigerian Diamond” is a powerful striker, with 2 first round KO’s to his name. Adetola has every intention of spoiling the party for one of the next generation of Irish MMA stars.

2.)   September 10th, UFC 203 – CM Punk vs Mickey Gall

Never in the history of the sport has an MMA debut garnered as much interest than that of former WWE superstar, CM Punk. Punk, or Phil Brooks to give him his real name, signed for the UFC back in December 2014 amid widespread scepticism. The delay in his octagon debut only served to further such cynics, with many believing that Punk would never be seen between the 8 cage walls. However, that day will finally arrive on September 10th when Punk tackles a serious prospect in Mickey Gall. Unlike Punk, Gall has MMA and UFC experience, with two submission wins out of two professional fights, one of which came against Mike Jackson at UFC Fight Night 82. Gall has been champing at the bit for this fight with Punk, ever since he made a very public call-out of Punk on an episode of “Lookin’ for a Fight”. Punk divides opinion like no other athlete who has ever tried his hand at MMA, but the very fact that he is stepping in there at the age of 37, with little background in martial arts and no financial need to do so either deserves more respect than he is getting from many. This is a fight that, whether you believe Punk can pull off an unlikely upset, that Gall is going to embarrass the former pro-wrestler or anything in between the two, this is a fight that MMA fans across the world will certainly be tuning into.

3.)   September 17th, UFC Fight Night 94 – Uriah Hall vs Derek Brunson

The UFC’s middleweight division has been shaken up this year; not least of all with the crowning of a new champion in Michael Bisping, who spectacularly knocked out Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Two fighters looking to work their way up the 185 pound ladder towards Bisping meet in Hidalgo, Texas when Uriah Hall takes on Derek Brunson. Hall is known for his vicious striking, which he showcased in the biggest win of his MMA career to date in becoming the first man to stop Gegard Mousasi with a spinning back kick, followed by a flying knee. The man who owns the most brutal knockout in TUF history is always entertaining to watch, and in Derek Brunson, he has an opponent who shares that trait. The #10 ranked Brunson is 6-1 since signing for the UFC, with his only loss coming by third round TKO to Yoel Romero in a fight that Brunson was up on the scorecards prior to the finish. Riding a streak of 3 consecutive first round knockouts, Brunson will be looking to add Uriah Hall’s name to that streak on September 17th.

4.)   September 23rd, Invicta FC 19 – Tiffany van Soest vs Kalyn Schwartz

When it was announced in April that Muay Thai sensation Tiffany “Time Bomb” van Soest had signed with Invicta FC and would make the transition to MMA, it got fans excited, and for good reason. Van Soest is one of the world’s elite in Muay Thai and, at just 27, she is young enough to forge a strong career in MMA. Few strawweights can boast the striking credentials of van Soest, and that makes her a nightmare opponent for most in the division. While Invicta FC 19 will be headlined by a flyweight title fight, for many, van Soest will be the main reason they tune in on September 23rd. Her opponent will be Kalyn Schwartz, who will also be making her professional MMA debut. While not as well-known as van Soest, Schwartz has forged an amateur MMA record of 6-0, with three titles in three different promotions to her name. “.50 Kal” is a U.S Marine Corps veteran who will see this fight as a massive opportunity for her to get a big name win in her first ever professional bout. Should she manage to do so, Schwartz will have immediately made a name for herself in the Invicta FC strawweight division.

5.)   September 24th, UFC Fight Night 95 – Cris Cyborg vs Lina Lansberg

Cris Cyborg is another fighter who is always on the list of “must watch” individuals. The Brazilian has finished each and every one of her opponents by knockout or TKO since 2009, including a first round knockout of Leslie Smith in her UFC debut at UFC 198 in May. The Invicta FC featherweight champion will once again be competing in the UFC at a catchweight of 140 pounds when she faces Lina Lansberg in Brazil and is the heavy favourite going into the fight. However, in Lansberg, she faces an opponent who is a more than accomplished Muay Thai practitioner who is extremely confident in her ability to out strike Cyborg. Holding a 6-1 professional record with her only loss coming in her professional debut to Pannie Kianzad, Lansberg has earned the nickname “Elbow Princess” due to her fondness for, and prowess in using, elbows in the clinch to hurt and cut up her opponents. Should she defeat the most dominant force women’s MMA has ever seen in Cris Cyborg, it would be one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history. However, especially in recent MMA history, we have seen that these huge upsets happen. Whatever way the fight goes, it promises to be an entertaining affair for the main event of UFC Fight Night 95.

So there we have it, five MMA fights not to miss in August. Do you agree with the list? Is there any other fight in particular you are looking forward to this month? Get in touch and let us know on Twitter @MMALatestNws.

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Rany Saadeh pleased with the opportunities ACB brings, promises a finish in his debut on Saturday

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The BAMMA Flyweight belt was ruled for years by none other than Rany Saadeh, During his reign as champion he successfully defended the belt on two occasions. His dominance over the division saw him go undefeated in BAMMA and without a loss since 2012. Following the expiration of his contract, Rany vacated his BAMMA belt to explore new challenges.

He has now signed with ACB and is set to make his debut in only a matter of days at ACB 74 in Austria where he will take on Darren Mima. In a recent catch up with Rany, he explained his reasoning behind joining ACB and his goals in the promotion.

“ACB is the fastest growing organization in MMA. They’ve promised me an active career with events all over the world and a tempting bonus structure. It was just what I was looking for. I’ve looked into the competition and I can honestly say that the competition at flyweight is just as good, if not even better than in the UFC. Being the ACB title holder would make me a legit world champion.”

Ahead of his bout with Mima, we are set to see some new stuff from Saadeh as he claims to have changed up his style after a solid camp for this fight, guaranteeing us a surprise.

“I didn’t need to change anything for him but my style changed in general since my last fight. I’ve had an excellent camp with high-level training partners and coaches. I’m very grateful for my coaches who have put hours of private work into me this year. Especially with my new boxing coach Luciano Robledo, I can guarantee a surprise.”

The confidence is evident as he tells me how he sees the fight going. Promising his well-rounded arsenal of both strikes and grappling are worthy of bonuses, something he’d be very keen on considering the set-up in ACB.

“I will not just completely dominate but also finish.” He began, “I can imagine this fight being a wild brawl and dropping my opponent. Also on the ground, I have some slick submissions that are bonus-worthy.”

Having been successful in BAMMA, Rany is striving for more glory as plans on taking home the ACB title becoming the first Western European to do so.

“Of course!” he says with determination in his voice, “I’m coming into ACB as a world champion and the #1 ranked flyweight in Western Europe. After winning this fight, the title fight is right there”

It’s now been over a year since we’ve seen, “Prince” enter the cage. A decision voluntarily made by the German as he adjusted his game.

“It was mid last year when I had started to adjust my game. These changes take time and as the wished competition wasn’t there, I decided to take some time off fighting to prepare for a bigger challenge.”

Now having departed ways with BAMMA, the British promotion now has a new champion in Daniel Barez. Unfortunately for Rany, his reasons for leaving was the lack of competition has beaten everyone put in front of him with money being an issue that stepped in the way too. Despite any negativity derived from his departure, he does not rule out a return to the promotion where he was once Flyweight king.

“The competition in Europe just got very thin. With five fights in BAMMA, I somehow wasn’t very impressed with the opportunities left. Neither I got the fights, nor the purse that I needed to take my career further. After two title defenses, it felt like I was standing still which isn’t just BAMMA’s fault. Altogether, they are a great promotion and I wouldn’t exclude a return.”

When the UFC announced they would have the best flyweights from around the world enter the TUF house with a shot at the belt going to the winner. Many would have thought Rany Saadeh would have been up there. The season had champions from all over the world but no one from BAMMA, something strange considering the number of champions they signed in the past year from the promotion.

In an unfortunate circumstance for Saadeh, it was not his fault he wasn’t in the house as the UFC did come knocking but BAMMA just weren’t letting their champ go. Despite this situation, there is no bad blood anymore as Saadeh has moved on with things now.

“The UFC was definitely interested in putting me on the show and it is not true that BAMMA wasn’t asked. They were asked but didn’t want to be part of it. Without their permission, I wasn’t able to take part in the TUF. But I’m not mad at that anymore, I feel like it will make better opportunities possible.”

Having missed out on a possible UFC opportunity before, it isn’t on his mind anymore as he remains pleased with his life and is mainly looking to support his family in the future.

“I really don’t care, I’m set for the next few fights. All I want now is a decent living from fighting and provide for my family in the near future. ACB is not just giving me the chance to reach that goal but also giving me the challenges that I need. So far, I’m a very happy person”

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Today’s MMA news round-up

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Today has been a pretty busy day when it comes to MMA news. We’ve had it all today from new champions to commissioners being slapped to fighters being flagged by USADA. It’s been hectic to say the least so here are the highlights of today’s news.

1. Conor McGregor causes havoc at Bellator 187

Yes, that’s correct, Conor McGregor at Bellator. Following the win of his teammate and friend Charlie Ward at Bellator 187 the UFC Lightweight Champion entered the cage to celebrate with Ward, however, their celebrations did not go to plan. Referee Marc Goddard wasn’t pleased with this in the slightest and tried get McGregor out. This didn’t go down too well as McGregor confronted the referee who initially pushed him. See the video here:

This unfortunately was not the only incident as Conor appeared to slap an official who tried to get him off the top of the cage.
Credit to @BryanLaceyMMA for this one

2. Bellator to hold 8 Man Grand Prix for Vacant Heavyweight Championship

Earlier today it was confirmed by MMA Fighting that Bellator would crown a new Heavyweight champions following a report from MMA Junkie. There is no official dates yet, however, they do hope to start on January 20th and crown a new champion by the end of the year. There are some big names bidding to become the new champion, they are:

Fedor Emleianenko
Frank Mir
Matt Mitrione
Roy Nelson
Ryan Bader
Rampage Jackson
King Mo Lawal
Chael Sonnen

3. Anderson Silva flagged by USADA for potential doping violation, out of UFC Shanghai Main Event

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva failed a USADA doping test and was pulled from the UFC Shanghai Main Event. The sample was collected from an out of competition test on October 26th. This is now his second time failing a doping test. Last time he was hit with a one year suspension and a heavy fine. No more information on the matter has been made available yet in relation to suspension.

4. UFC newcomer Grant Dawson also flagged by USADA for potential doping violation

USADA had a field day today in terms of fighters testing positive for doping. Grant Dawson, who has yet to even get a date for his debut was flagged for a sample collected on October 18th. The 23 year old was signed after impressing on Dana White’s contender series where he scored a second round submission on Adrian Diaz.

5. Martin Nguyen becomes ONE Championship’s first ever two division champion

Featherweight Champion Martin Nguyen stepped up to Lightweight to clash with title holder Eduard Folayang in effort of making history. Many ruled Nguyen out but he silenced all critics when viciously knocked out Folayang to take home another title. See the knockout here:
Credit to @Jolassanda for the video.

 6. All but one fighter make-weight for UFC Norfolk

Things were running smoothly today at the UFC Norfolk weigh ins until Matthew Lopez stepped up to the scales for his bout with Rafael Assuncao. He weighed in 2.5lbs over for his bout. The fight will go ahead, however, Lopez will lose 20% of his purse. Both Pettis and Poirier successfully made weight for their Main Event fight tomorrow night.

7. One new BAMMA champion while Lahore defends his belt in style

Despite some streaming troubles for the first two fights, BAMMA finally got one up in time for fans to see the final 3 fights. In the World Flyweight Title fight, Andy “Taz” Young fell lost his belt to Spaniard Daniel Barez via Majority Decision, After being docked a point in the opening round Barez came back strong to take home the World Title.

In the Main Event of the evening then, the anticipated match up between Alex Lahore and Richard Kiely went down. There was a lot of hype surrounding this one in the build up to the fight but it went as planned for Lahore. The champion pressured for a takedown in the first until finally succeeding, following some work on the mat it looked as if Kiely was about to gain some advantage on top. Only for Lahore to lock in a Kneebar and finish off the fight retaining his belt.

8. Cage Warriors 89 gets a shake up

The Cage Warriors Belgium card had an incredible addition today as they announced via newsletter that Karl Amoussou will defend his belt against Dominique Steele in the Main Event. The fight for the Vacant Heavyweight Championship was then demoted to co-main with a change in opponents for Mauro Cerilli. Dutchman Nills van Noord stepped up to face the Italian after Light Heavyweight Champion Karl Moore was forced off the card due to injury. This dampened his hopes of becoming the first Cage Warriors two division champion since Conor McGregor.

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BAMMA 32: Official Results and Live Stream

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BAMMA and Bellator returned to the Irish capital of Dublin to host BAMMA 32: Lohore vs Kiely, and Bellator 187: McKee vs Moore.

The BAMMA card will be shown live on UNILAD’s Facebook page, MMA Latest will share the live stream when the link is available. Unfortunately for UK fans, the Bellator 187 card, which takes place prior to BAMMA 32, is not being televised.

BAMMA 32 Official Results:

MAIN CARD:

  • Alex Lohore (13-1) vs. Richard Kiely (2-0) – For BAMMA Welterweight Title
    • Result: Alex Lahore def. Richard Kiely via 1st-round Submission(Kneebar)
  • Andy Young (11-8) vs. Daniel Barez (8-4) – For BAMMA Flyweight Title
    • Result: Daniel Barez def. Andy Young via Majority Decision
  • David Khalsa (2-0) vs. Dylan Tuke (3-1) –  Featherweight Bout
    • Result: Dylan Tuke def. David Khalsa via second-round TKO (1:09)  
  • Blaine O’Driscoll (5-1) vs. Dominique Wooding (3-1) – Bantamweight Bout
    • Result: Dominic Wooding def. Blaine O’Driscoll via Third-round KO(1:47)
  • Ion Pascu (16-7) vs. Omar Santana (13-4) – Welterweight Bout
    • Result: Ion Pascu def. Omar Santana via Unanimous Decision

Bellator 187 Official Results:

MAIN CARD:

  • A.J. McKee (9-0) vs. Brian Moore (10-5) – Featherweight Bout
    • Result: A.J. McKee def. Brian Moore via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 3 – 4:14
  • Sinead Kavanagh (4-2) vs. Maria Casanova (2-4-1) – Catchweight Bout (140lbs)
    • Result: Sinead Kavanagh def. Maria Casanova via TKO (strikes) Round One
  • Kevin Ferguson Jr. (1-1) vs. Fred Freeman (1-0) – Catchweight Bout (165lbs)
    • Result: Kevin Ferguson Jr. def. Fred Freeman via SUB  (rear-naked choke) Round One – 1:57
  • Charlie Ward (3-3) vs. John Redmond (7-12) – Middleweight Bout
    • Result: Charlie Ward def. John Redmond via KO Round One – 4:59

PRELIMINARY CARD:

  • Sergio de Jesus Santos (4-6) vs. Paul Redmond (13-7) – Lightweight Bout
    • Result: Paul Redmond def. Sergio de Jesus Santos via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
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