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5 Things We Learned from UFC Fight Night Melbourne

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The hangover that is lingering following the drama at UFC 205, showed no sign of abating as once again the UFC’s globe-trotting continued to Melbourne, Australia. Despite being a lackluster card from top to bottom, with the exception of a few fights, the night of fighting consisted of a high number of decision victories – ten to be exact. The drama all unfolded in the first round of a wild main event between Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson. Although there was a lack of exciting finishes, there were certainly some memorable performances in Melbourne.

 

1. Nguyen reminds us of the hype

Fighters tend to be judged, in a large part, on their ability to bounce back from a defeat. Following his initial loss to Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor received resounding praise for his grace in defeat and his ability to return unfazed by it. Ben Nguyen, came up short in his last bout against fellow rising prospect Louis Smolka. Nguyen put up a valiant showing in that scrap, a performance that merited widespread praise. “Ben 10” followed up that brave showing on his return in Melbourne. Taking on the always tough, Geane Herrera, Ben started smoothly and picked up speed as the rounds went on. Moving forward, while throwing strikes comfortably from either stance, Nguyen outworked, outfought and outclassed Herrera. “Ben 10” gave everyone a subtle reminder tonight, exactly why he is highly touted in the flyweight division.

2. Kelly shows no signs of slowing down

Daniel Kelly showcased a granite chin and a huge heart in his clash with Chris Camozzi. Wearing a gruesome mask of crimson for the majority of their war due to a slicing elbow from Camozzi in the first round, Kelly waded forward through countless strikes, pressuring Camozzi from bell to bell. Kelly, the Australian native ended the fight on top landing big elbows, and the 39-year-old judo standout received a huge standing ovation from the Melbourne crowd. A massive win for Dan Kelly, and a feel-good moment for those in attendance in Melbourne.

Bizarre calls

One rule is very clear in mixed martial arts, and that is, a fighter cannot call their own timeouts. Gesturing to the referee during his clash with Anderson Silva, nearly cost Michael Bisping the fight, and it certainly cost him a sore head. The main card curtain opener saw Seo Hee Ham, twice stop without the referee’s consent. Two eye pokes went unnoticed by referee John Sharpe, causing Ham to briefly stutter twice. In the third round, it led to Danielle Taylor, leaping in with a flurry of hard shots to the head that dazed Ham. This strong finish to the fight likely enabled Taylor to steal a close decision over Ham who is now on a two-fight losing skid. It seems each week there is a strange call from referees and this was prevalent once again in Melbourne.

Pedro shines bright in home debut

Dan Kelly, received a hero’s reception as he took the decision win early on in the night, however, the response for his fellow Australian Tyson Pedro may have taken the cake. Pedro submitted Khalil Rountree inside one minute of the first round with a rear naked choke. That doesn’t tell the whole story of the fight, though. After being dropped by a vicious Rountree left, in the opening exchange, the UFC debutant had to weather the early storm. After surviving the knockdown, the momentum swung Pedro’s way after he landed a takedown immediately progressing to the back mount. Utilizing both hooks, Pedro flattened Rountree out and sunk in the choke. A wonderful moment for the debutant, who incredibly managed the first finish of the evening.

Robert Whittaker is ready for the top 5

After a fairly anticlimactic card, the main event did not disappoint. Right from the opening bell Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson went at it hammer and tong, with neither giving ground. Both men were shaken early in the rushed striking exchanges, and Whittaker eventually took advantage of Brunson’s recklessness. The New Zealander, showed the diversity in his striking, landing a short counter in the pocket. A beautifully measured high kick, followed by a barrage of ground strikes sealed the deal for Whittaker. It’s the biggest win of Robert’s young career and he deserves an opponent in the top 5 of the division in his next outing.

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EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity

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Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.

Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”

Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”

Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”

Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”

With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”

Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”

Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.

Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:

Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)

By Ieuan Thomas.

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Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219

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Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.

Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.

Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.

After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.

With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:

Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout

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*Live Updates* UFC 216 Official Results

Harry Davies

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Live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the UFC hosted their eighth PPV card of this year as fans were treated to UFC 216.

The card was headlined by a Interim Lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (23-3) and Kevin Lee (16-2). Ferguson entered the octagon holding the record for the longest winning streak in UFC lightweight division history (9). Beating top names such as Rafael Dos Anjos and Edson Barboza in the process.

#7 ranked Lee last fought in June of this year, earning the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Michael Cheisa by first round submission (rear-naked choke).

In the co-main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) was hoping to break the record for most consecutive title defenses as he faced Ray Borg (11-2). The record (10) was held by both Johnson and former middlweight champion, Anderson Silva.

Johnson and Borg were originally scheduled to fight in the main event of UFC 215 last month, but the title fight was cancelled a day before the event was supposed to take place, as Borg pulled out of the fight due to illness.


UFC 216 Official Results:

MAIN CARD – PAY PER VIEW – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • #2 Tony Ferguson (24-3) vs. #7 Kevin Lee (16-3) – For UFC Interim Lightweight Championship
    • Result: Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee via SUB (triangle choke) Round 3 – 4:02
  • (C) Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) vs. #3 Ray Borg (11-3) – For UFC Flyweight Championship 
    • Result: Demetrious Johnson def. Ray Borg via SUB (armbar) Round 5 – 3:15 
  • #2 Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1) vs. Walt Harris (10-6)
    • Result: Fabricio Werdum def. Walt Harris via SUB (armbar) Round 1 – 1:05
  • Mara Romero Borella (12-4) vs. Kalinda Faria (16-6-1)
    • Result: Mara Romero Barella def. Kalindra Faria via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 1 – 2:54
  • #12 Beneil Dariush (14-3-1) vs. #14 Evan Dunham (17-6-1)
    • Result: Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham declared a Majority Draw (29-29, 28-28, 28-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) vs Cody Stamman (15-1)
    • Result: Cody Stamann def. Tom Duquesnoy via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Bobby Green (23-8-1) vs. Lando Vannata (9-2-1)
    • Result: Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata declared a Draw (split) (29-27, 27-29, 28-28)
  • Marco Beltran (8-6) vs. Matt Schnell (10-4)
    • Result:  Matt Schnell def. Marco Beltrán via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 7PM/4PM ETPT

  • #15 Magomed Bibulatov (14-1) vs. #11 John Moraga (18-6)
    • Result:  John Moraga def. Magomed Bibulatov via KO (punch) – Round 1 – 1:38
  • #13 Thales Leites (27-8) vs. Brad Tavares (16-4)
    • Result: Brad Tavares def. Thales Leites via Unanimous (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
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