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Beating Down Barriers: Amanda Nunes Becomes UFC’s First Openly Gay Champion

Brice Schroeder

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UFC 200 was an historic night that experienced a late notice change of plans as the scheduled main-event was scrapped due to a failed drug test by Jon Jones. This paved the way for the women to take top billing, as Miesha Tate took on Amanda Nunes in the headline slot of UFC 200. Nunes shocked many by defeating Miesha Tate in dominant fashion in the very first round.

With that upset win, Amanda Nunes became the fourth such fighter to earn the moniker of champion in the UFC’s 135lb women’s division. She also earned a title that no other fighter has earned before her; the first openly gay UFC champion.

The newly crowned champ was asked about being the first gay UFC champion at the UFC 200 post-fight press conference; “It’s amazing! The most important thing is I’m happy with my life. That’s the most important thing.”

UFC vice president of public relations Dave Sholler had this to say on Nunes; “To have our very first openly gay champion shows you how far this sport has come. Amanda is an incredible ambassador. When you talk about all the great moments, having Amanda carry the flag literally and figuratively for the gay community is a seminal moment for our sport.

Amanda has been in a relationship with Nina Ansaroff for a little over four years. Ansaroff is herself a mixed martial arts fighter, currently competing in the UFC’s strawweight division.

When asked about her girlfriend, Nunes had this to say; “Nina is the best training partner I’ve ever had in my life. This girl is going to be the next UFC champion. I’m telling you. This girl has so many talents. She means everything to me. This girl, she helps me with everything. I love her.”

Nunes winning a UFC belt is just the latest evidence of the UFC being one of the leaders of inclusion in the world of sports. It can be hard to believe that a sport like MMA, which is looked at as the ultimate show of machismo and fueled by pure testosterone, can be on the forefront of such matters. They have always been an organization that looked past nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and political views, making it a melting pot of athletes competing under its banner. When long time ruler of the bantamweight division, Ronda Rousey, made her UFC debut it came against openly gay fighter Liz Carmouche. Carmouche almost made history that night by narrowly missing out on a submission of Rousey before being submitted herself. In the lead up to the fight, the UFC made fans aware of Carmouche’s sexual orientation without making it the defining characteristic of who she was. This is something the UFC should take great pride in. Fighters like Nunes and Carmouche have never been branded as gay fighters, but rather as fighters with great skill who happen to be gay.

Amanda Nunes’ championship win coincidentally coincided with the UFC’s partnership with the LGBTQ Center in Las Vegas. Together they have launched the “We Are All Fighters” campaign to raise money for the LGBTQ Center. The UFC sold shirts at the UFC Fan Expo, which took place in conjunction with UFC International Fight Week, with the phrase “We Are All Fighters” in rainbow text, with all proceeds going directly to the LGBTQ Center.

Just as it takes courage to step into the Octagon, it takes courage to stand for what you believe in – and we’re proud to stand with members of the LGBTQ community in their fight for equality,” said Ike Lawrence Epstein, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, UFC. “As friends and allies of the LGBTQ community, our hope is to raise awareness and help support community groups like the LGBTQ Center that directly impact LGBTQ individuals.

With her win, Nunes has positioned herself nicely for possible big fights against longtime queen of the sport, Ronda Rousey, or the queen slayer herself, Holly Holm.
Congratulations to Amanda Nunes for being a pioneer for the sport. A pioneer who can kick some serious ass.

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Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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The Wake-Up Report-UFC 218

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The Wake-Up Report is a way for you to get all the important info about the fights the night before. After letting it all sink in and letting all the carnage seep deep into your soul, we get to go back and take a second look at all the madness of the night. Last night the UFC pulled off one of the best PPV cards a true fight fan could imagine. Waking up after a night of fights like we had last night is like waking up from a dream that was also a bit scary. There was two ‘Fight of the Night’ in UFC president Dana White’s eyes but in the eyes of the millions of fans watching all over the world, there could have been so many more.

UFC 218 kicked off at 6:15 ET with the UFC Fight Pass Prelims, by 6:20 we already had the first knockout of the night. Justin Willis welcomed ‘Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series’ fighter, Allen Crowder to the UFC with a massive left hand to the chin.

Official Result: Willis def. Crowder by KO in round 1

The prelims continued with a submission win for Dominick Reyes over Jeremy Kimball.

Official Result: Reyes def. Kimball by Submission in round 1

Proceeding that fight was a strange one between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi. An early stoppage by veteran UFC ref Herb Dean led to the KO win by Homasi. Immediately, the stoppage was contested by Alhassan. Dana White agreed that the fight was ended too soon and announced in the post-fight media scrum that this fight will be run back on the UFC 219 card on December 30th.

Official Result: Homasi def. Alhassan by KO in round 1

The early prelims ended with a great win by Amanda Bobby Cooper over Angela Magana.

Official Result: Cooper def. Magana by TKO in round 2

We followed that strawweight fight up with another strawweight battle when Felice Herrig squeaked out the split decision victory over Courtney Casey.

Official Result: Herrig def. Casey by Split Decision 

David Teymur was on the winning side of a unanimous decision over his opponent Drakkar Klose. Teymur has now won four in a row since coming to the UFC and should be setting himself up for a ranked opponent in his next time out.

Official Result: Teymur def. Klose by Unanimous Decision

Right smack in the middle of this massive fight card was one fight that you can tell your grandkids about one day. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros is the reason we all love MMA. That fight had everything you could want in a fight. Both men gave their all and pushed themselves to the brink in over to get the win. On this cold December night in Detriot, MI, Yancy Medeiros was the better man and he was able to stop Oliveira in the third round by TKO. Earning themselves a well deserved ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, these two fighters have put the rest of the welterweight division on notice.

Official Result: Medeiros def. Oliveira by TKO in round 3

The next fight featured another Oliveira, Charles Oliveira. He took on ‘The Irish Dragon’ Paul Felder. Felder put on a dominant performance and took out Oliveira in the second round with a big TKO victory.

Official Result: Felder def. Oliveira by TKO in round 2

As if the FS1 free prelims didn’t already satisfy your fight needs for the night we happily moved right along to the PPV portion of the evening. The main card kicked off in the strawweight division with a pair of title contenders looking to be the first title defense for the newly crowned champ Rose Namajumas.  Both women started off strong, but it was Tecia Torres who shortly emerged as the stronger physical fighter. She was able to get Michelle Waterson up against the cage several times and eventually worked out the unanimous decision victory and perhaps a third date with Namajunas.

Official Result: Torres def. Waterson by Unanimous Decision

Following the strawweights were the coaches of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, Eddie Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. This fight was one of the focal points for fans in the weeks leading up to the fight. These two men had a great deal of respect for one another and showed that inside the octagon as well. A back and forth of heavy hands and vicious leg kicks ended in the TKO victory for Alvarez and he handed Gaethje the first loss of his career. This fight also earned a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus from the bossman, Dana White.

Official Result: Alvarez def. Gaethje by TKO in round 3

Next came a bout in the flyweight division. Perhaps not as exciting as the rest of the card, but, former gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo did what he had to do to get the nod over young talent Sergio Pettis.

Official Result: Cejudo def. Pettis by Unanimous Decision

From some of the smallest guys on the roster to the monsters of the heavyweight division, in walked rising star Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem. We all knew coming into this fight that we would see carnage, but nothing prepared us of the ginormous KO that was about to ensue. Francis Ngannou was able to squash Overeems plan of wrapping him up in the clinch and immediately put his massive left fist right to Overeem’s chin. The world record holder for punching power used all of his might and unleashed on his opponent. With this win, Ngannou has solidified his title shot against champion Stipe Miocic. Dana White has plans for that bout in the first quarter of 2018.

Official Result: Ngannou def. Overeem by KO in round 1

As if things couldn’t get better than that, we still had a main event featuring one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon. Jose Aldo was looking to regain his title, and for a good portion of the first round it looked like that would be the case. Max Holloway saw it another way. Holloway absorbed all the shots from Aldo and imposed his strength on the exhausted Aldo. The fight, that went on in very similar fashion from the first meeting between these two fighters, ended in the third round when the ref stepped in and called the fight.

Official Result: Holloway def. Aldo by TKO in round 3

Max Holloway has secured a place in the history books as one of the greatest to fight in the UFC at 145 pounds. It would seem that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at the champ. As for Aldo, only time will tell where the former champ goes from here. Perhaps there will be a change of weight classes as he looks for another shot at the man who robbed him of his title initially, Conor McGregor.

The fight fans of Detroit, MI received an early holiday present in the form of violence and mayhem. UFC 218 was a successful fight card and one for the record books. Like true fans of fighting we take a brief moment to reflect before quickly turning our attention to next week where we begin the madness all over again. The nest card will take place in Fresco, CA on December 8th. That card will be headlined by Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega.

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2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app

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This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.

The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=bh.iaa.bahraintv&hl=en

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/bahrain-tv/id992105518?mt=8

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