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A Casual Fan’s Guide to UFC 200

Brice Schroeder

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Way back on July 11th, 2009, me and my friends fresh off of graduating high school decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch some “crazy cage fighting” that they showed for free.  We had no idea what it was, but one of my buddies heard on our local sports radio station that it was the biggest event in this strange sports history so we decided to give it a try.  That event turned out to be the most famous event in this sports history, UFC 100.  I watched in awe as guys stripped to the waist were fighting each other inside a metal cage, governed by rules I was trying to comprehend as the night went along.  I was immediately hooked.

Seven years and 100 pay-per-view events later and I have not missed a fight since that massive fight card back in 2009.  MMA is my favorite sport and I still get excited whenever a big time fight card comes around.  There is one big problem with MMA, none of my friends are diehard fans like myself.  Some of the guys who went to Buffalo Wild Wings for UFC 100 have never watched a MMA fight since.  I believe if they had more information and back story on the fighters, my friends would have had rooting interests in the fights and possibly may be watching the fight cards with me today.

UFC 200 is one of the best fight cards ever assembled.  Every fight has real implications that will shake up the sport in their wake.  This will bring droves of new and curious fans who may not know anything about the fighters competing.  That is what I will be attempting to fix in this article.  Hopefully you can show this to your friends who will be accompanying you in watching UFC 200 and they will become life long fight fans as well.

 

We will be focusing on the main card (the last five fights of the night, broadcasted on pay-per-view), but that does not mean there aren’t great fights and story lines to follow earlier in the night.

Fight Pass Prelims – 6:30PM ET – on UFC’s digital streaming service

Fight #1 – Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller – 155lb weight class

Fight #2 – Gegard Mousasi vs. Thiago Santos  – 185lb weight class

Fight #3 – Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez – 155lb weight class

Most of you will not get the opportunity to watch the first three fights of the night since they are on the UFC’s online subscription service.  If you are lucky enough to be watching with a friend who does have Fight Pass all three of these fights look to be extremely exciting and fun to watch.  If you can only watch one of them make sure to catch the Lauzon vs. Sanchez fight.  Neither fighter knows the meaning of the word boring and are consistently on the short list fight of the night candidates.

 

Fox Sports 1 Prelims – 8:00PM ET

Fight #4 Enrique Marin vs. Sage Northcutt – 155lb weight class

Fight #5 Raphael Assuncao vs. T.J. Dillashaw – 135lb weight class

Fight #6 Kelvin Gastelum vs. Johny Hendericks – 170lb weight class

Fight #7 Juliana Pena vs. Cat Zingano – women’s 135lb weight class

All four of these fights should provide something exciting to the casual viewer.  Whether it is the makings of a spectacular finish or a back and forth war each of these bouts delivers something to watch for.

If you have to choose just one of these fights to watch, I would label Pena vs. Zingano as the can’t miss fight of the prelims.  Pena was tabbed as one of the future contenders of the 135lb women’s division when she steamrolled through the UFC’s reality show The Ultimate Fighter in 2013.  Her ascension was delayed however when she completely blew out her right knee which kept her from competition from November 2013 until April 2015.  Since returning she won both of her fights in the octagon in fairly convincing fashion.  She is an athletic specimen who likes to use her overwhelming strength to get her opponents on the ground where she is just as likely to catch you with a submission or beat you until the ref is forced to stop the fight.

Cat Zingano has the type of story that makes it literally impossible for anyone to root against her.  Back in 2013 she defeated the current champion Miesha Tate by knockout to earn a shot against then champion and one of the most famous fighters of all time, Ronda Rousey.  She ended up tearing her ACL in training camp forcing her to put her title shot on hold.  While still recovering from her knee injury, her husband (who also doubled as one of her coaches) committed suicide leaving her alone with her young son.  Several months after overcoming these tragedies she was able to take a fight in the octagon against Amanda Nunes which she won by knockout.  That win gave her the chance at the title shot against Ronda that was stolen from her by her knee injury.  Ronda defeated her in just 14 seconds after Zingano decided to throw her game plan out the window and bum rushed Ronda at the very start of the fight.  Cat will be looking to put all of this pain and heartache behind her and climb the ladder back to the top of the division. The next championship bout in Cat’s weight class will also be on UFC 200 and she has defeated both fighters by knockout.

 

Main Card – 10:00PM ET – Pay-per-view

Fight #8 Travis Browne vs. Cain Velasquez – between 206lb-265lb weight class

Travis Browne is a great athlete for the heavyweight division.  He played power forward at Palomar College.  His basketball career may not have taken him to the pros, but his 6’7 frame has translated well into the UFC.  Since entering the UFC Travis has been known as a knockout artist.  If you get the chance watch his fights against Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski to see just how exciting he can be.  While Travis is a very accomplished fighter, he may be better known as the current boyfriend to long reigning queen of the sport Ronda Rousey.

The UFC heavyweight championship has long said to be cursed (there has never been more than two title defenses) and no one presents better evidence of this than Cain Velasquez.  Cain steamrolled his way to the UFC heavyweight title which he took from WWE superstar Brock Lesnar via first round destruction.  Cain would lose the belt in his next fight against Junior dos Santos.  That fight would set up two more fights between Cain and the Brazilian which Velasquez took with relative ease which once again earned him the UFC heavyweight title.  Seriously he turned dos Santos’ face into a slightly uglier version of Sloth from The Goonies.  Cain lost his belt to Fabricio Werdum in Mexico City in his last fight and will be looking to get back on track to earn another shot at the championship.  Cain was a two-time all-american wrestler at Arizona State after winning a junior college national title as a freshman.  Velasquez is known for his cardio and wrestling since entering the UFC and will look to use these skills to beat Browne at UFC 200

Fight #9 Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar – interim championship fight in 145lb weight class

With current featherweight champion Conor McGregor taking fights outside his weight class the UFC decided to make an interim belt.  Interim belts are used when a champion is unable to defend his title for an extended period of time.  The winner of the interim championship acts as the current champion until the real champion can return and the two will fight.

Jose Aldo was an absolute killer for over 10 years.  Since 2006 he has defeated everybody put in front of him (including Frankie Edgar) usually in spectacular fashion.  He was the first and only featherweight champion the UFC had ever known until Conor McGregor came along.  When Aldo and McGregor were matched up, there was trash talk unlike anything Aldo had ever heard before.  This lead to Aldo fighting on pure emotion and getting knocked out in merely 13 seconds marking the first time he was without his belt since entering the UFC.  With McGregor taking his sabbatical from the 145lb division Aldo will be settling for the next best thing in fighting for an interim belt.  Aldo was a semi-professional soccer player before turning to MMA.

Frankie Edgar is one of those guys that are just universally liked.  He always comes off as even keeled and just seems like a guy you want to have a beer with.  Add that to being the underdog for much of his career and you get one likeable dude.  Although he was very undersized Edgar started his career in the 155lb weight division.  He eventually won the championship and successfully defended it two times.  After losing his belt he moved down to fight Aldo at featherweight which he lost a very close decision to.  Since losing to Aldo, Edgar has won five straight fights against some of the best fighters in the UFC.

Fight #10 Miesha Tate (Champ) vs. Amanda Nunes – women’s 135lb championship

Miesha looked to be at a standstill in her career.  She consistently beat everyone except then champion Ronda Rousey.  After losing twice to Ronda it was unclear what the UFC could offer Tate and she was even quoted as contemplating retirement.  Cue Holly Holm upsetting the unstoppable Rousey and new life was given to Miesha.  Tate got her title shot against Holly Holm and was able to pull out a come from behind submission choke in the last round of a fight she would have lost had it lasted a few minutes longer.  Tate has always been known for her determination and never had it been on display more than in that title fight.  Miesha also happens to be one of the most beautiful women in the sport.  Go ahead and do a Google image search, I’ll wait.  Just be careful what you say, she is dating current top ten bantamweight fighter Bryan Caraway.

Amanda Nunes is not as widely known as the three women at the top of the division, (Tate, Holm, Rousey) but she will be looking to crack into that hierarchy with a huge win at UFC 200.  Nunes has been doing martial arts since she was 16 years old in her home country of Brazil.  She is extremely well rounded with a black belt in jujitsu and a brown belt in Judo.  Even with these impressive credentials she prefers to keep the fight standing and has nine knockouts to prove it.

Fight #11 Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt – between 206lb-265lb weight division

Let’s be honest, Brock is the reason a lot of you are going to be watching this fight card.  I have never watched a second of pro wrestling, but even I cannot wait to see how he looks in this fight.  For everyone who thinks Brock is coming into this fight with no real skill set apart from pretending to hit people with chairs, you are dead wrong.  Brock is one of the biggest athletic freaks to ever enter the sport.  He has legit wrestling credentials as he was a national champion at Minnesota.  Many expected Lesnar’s first foray into MMA to be a quick cash grab, but it was anything but.  Brock captured the heavyweight title and successfully defended it two times.  He had a nasty intestinal disease called diverticulitis which forced doctors to remove a large portion of his intestines.  His last two fights ended in brutal knockouts, but some would point to his illness as a large factor in those losses.  He will look to run at Mark Hunt and drag him to the ground if he wants to get the win in his return fight.

New Zealand native, Mark Hunt is without a doubt the hardest puncher in the UFC.  He has made a habit of leveling his competition with a massive punch and walking away before the ref has a chance to declare the fight over.  He rocks a pretty large gut on him which might trick you into thinking that Brock Lesnar (who is jacked) should make mince meat of him.  On the contrary, most experts are giving Hunt the advantage due to his ungodly punching power and Brock’s propensity for not liking to get hit.  Mark Hunt entered the UFC after the company purchased the now defunct fight promotion, Pride.  The UFC planned to cut Hunt since he had a very poor record, but Mark was able to talk his way into a fight for the UFC.  He lost his UFC debut and looked to be on his way out the door, but was able to get a victory in his second fight.  He ran up a four fight winning streak cementing himself as a fan favorite and effectively saving his job with the UFC due to his fan friendly fighting style.

Fight #12 Daniel Cormier (Champ) vs. Jon Jones (Interim Champ) – 205lb weight division

Daniel Cormier is easily one of the most likeable figures in the UFC.  From his stints as an analyst to his ability to make fun of his dad bod, many fans gravitate to the current champion.  Cormier is a former USA Olympic wrestler who has very well dominated the majority of the competition he has faced since entering the UFC.  That is until he fought arguably the greatest fighter of all time, Jon Jones.  Cormier lost their first bout in pretty convincing fashion after one of the most heated feuds leading up to a fight which included a fist fight at a press conference and one of the best moments in MMA trash talking history (“you still there pussy?”).  Cormier won his current belt after Jon Jones was stripped of the championship after a run in with the law.  Cormier is a good friend and training partner of Cain Velasquez.  In Fact Cormier started as a heavyweight fighter, but dropped to light-heavyweight to avoid fighting Cain.

Jon Jones is simply the most gifted fighter in UFC history.  He uses his 84.5 inch wingspan to simply hit others where they can’t hit back.  Not only is he extremely gifted striking, but he is an outstanding wrestler and jujitsu practitioner.  Jon’s biggest opposition has yet to be an opponent in the cage, rather his propensity to get into trouble.  Jon lost his title after hitting a woman in a traffic accident and then fleeing the scene of the crime.  He narrowly avoided jail time after coping a plea deal.  This came off the heels of failing a drug test for cocaine.  The test was improperly administered as he was out of competition at the time and cocaine was not supposed to be tested for at that time.  He will be looking for redemption in the form of a victory over his hated rival Daniel Cormier.  He has sense claimed to be 100% sober and focused.  There were always whispers of Jon not taking training seriously and partying during training camp and he was still destroying his opponents.  It is scary to think he is now drug free and 100% committed to his fighting career.

 

Thanks for reading my breakdown of UFC 200.  Please follow @MMALatestNws for all of your MMA needs.  If you are hungry for a much more detailed technical breakdown focusing on the fighters skills please be sure to check out Dan Tom (@TheMMAnalyst) as he is one of the best in the business!

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results

Harry Davies

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The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.

Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.

Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.


MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST

  • Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) Round 1 – 4:20
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-3) – Women’s strawweight bout
    • Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jan Blachowicz (20-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-2) – Light heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Błachowicz def. Devin Clark via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 2 – 3:02
  • Oskar Piechota (10-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-3) – Middleweight bout
    • ResultOskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

(more…)

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator

Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.

This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.

Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK

  • Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
  • Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
  • Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK

  • 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
  • Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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