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Canadian TUF: Nations winners look to take their divisions by storm

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With a few seasons now the UFC’s show The Ultimate Fighter has been criticised by some for not producing the same breed of talent as it did in it’s earlier days. However, the TUF: Nations Canada vs Australia series has produced some top class contenders for the Lightweight and Middleweight divisions in winners, Chad Laprise and Elias Theodorou. Both Canadians are the only Canadian winners of TUF in history and both did it on the same night (Laprise fighting first that night therefore first Canadian TUF winner).They are both undefeated fighters and are thriving in the UFC as of late. Both men are threats to their division and are ones to watch in the future.

Laprise(10-0) was originally in the UFC Welterweight division after winning TUF: Nations at the weight although he moved down a weight class in his next fight. He also previously fought in Bellator for a 1 fight spell.Now 3-0 in the UFC Laprise is looking to move up in the rankings. He won a hard earned victory against Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the TUF final before moving down to Lightweight taking on Yosdenis Cedeno picking up his 2nd victory in the UFC. At UFC 186 he impressed even more defeating Bryan Braberena in an entertaining fight which earned Fight of the Night. Laprise holds an impressive stand-up game and is a hardworking fighter, with all of his fights in the octagon going the distance he outdid his opponent every time and is a proven menace to his division. With such a broad range of abilities backed up by an outstanding record could he be a fight or two away from a ranked opponent? Maybe Masvidal would be an interesting opponent for the future, who knows? Supposing he continues to be a success, I believe this would be a great match as both men like to grind down their opponents. Laprise is on the rise being a prospect for future greatness.

Theodorou(11-0) is a highly anticipated fighter that won the TUF: Nations Middleweight tournament. Similarly to Laprise he holds a 3-0 record in the UFC and has also previously fought for Bellator. Since beating Sheldon Westcott in the finale via TKO, he has gone on to fight on two more occasions. He beat Bruno Santos in his next fight winning by way of a unanimous decision and no recently gone on to fight at UFC 185. His bout at UFC 185 earned him some criticism from the media, but it did not stop him breaking Roger Narvaez down to pick up a 2nd round TKO. With a bad boy personality, he shrugs off all his boo boys (Unlike Iaquinta, sorry I couldn’t resist) remaining as confident as could be. Theodorou has some good kickboxing skills obtaining a 12-0 record in his career with wrestling to back it up, which he utilizes when possible. A personality and a good record can bring you a long way in the fight game if you continue to back up your talk, Theodorou may look to use this to push into the rankings in his coming fights. Maybe about with Roan Carneiro who is 2-3 in his last 5 could be in order, well I would certainly be intrigued to see this happen anyway, logically why doesn’t he deserve the chance? Alike his fellow Canadian he is a promising athlete for the future and certainly one not let go under the radar, that goes for Laprise too.

Both men are certainly great fighters with huge potential moving forward in their careers. Previously there has been only 2 Canadian UFC champions, both in the Welterweight division, GSP and Carlos Newton. They have both created history in the UFC for Canada, also have Laprise and Theodorou. Both TUF: Nations winners may look to advance further in the UFC and take the title one day. It will be fascinating to see them develop in the coming years, Both previous title holders could certainly be inspirations to these to men and they could look to accomplish more with their guidance in the future, if they seek it. These guys could be going places and from what we’ve seen from Canadian MMA in the past we could see in these in the future, watch them closely in their coming fights they are forecasted for great things.

See also the article: http://www.mmalatestnews.com/the-canadian-mma-scene-views-from-an-outsider/ by James Edwards, who gives a broader display of Canadians in the UFC at the moment as well as giving his view as an outsider.

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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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Sensor Equipped Tracking Gloves to be Used at UFC 219

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From implementing the likes of USADA, the UFC Performance Instiute and the introduction of the instant replay. The UFC has always prioritized being at the top of the sport science game. 

Now, at UFC 219 on December 30th, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has approved a test run for sensor equipped tracking gloves to be worn by a selection of fighters on the card.

The technology behind the gloves comes from AGI International (an analytics company) along with HEED (a consumer platform company). A collaboration founded by the UFC.

After a sparring exhibition between top lightweights, Edson Barbosa (19-4-0) and Mark Diakiese (12-1-0), HEED co-founder Mati Kochavi had this to say regarding how “70 insights” collected from sensors on the gloves, the corner-men, the octagon itself can depict a clearer image of a fight.

“Those insights are covering entire aspects  of the fight between Diakiese and Barbose. Their passion, power of the fight, resiliency and strategy. All happen in the octagon.“

Shouldn’t sport be told in real-time, with real data, information and emotions?”

He finally promises “We are a company which is trying to revolutionize the way we (broadcast) sports and live events”

As for now there is little to zero information into the technical aspects of the gloves, however products like a Fit Bit have similar abilities to give data on speed,  force, motion, elevation, heart rate etc.

The UFC 219 card takes place on Decemebr 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between current champion Cris Cyborg (18-1) and former UFC bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (11-3).

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