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A Casual Fan’s Guide to UFC 205

Brice Schroeder

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UFC 205 McGregor Alvarez

UFC 200 was dubbed the greatest fight card ever assembled.

It was only able to hold onto that moniker for four short months when UFC 205 started to come together.

Amazing fight lineups like UFC 205 always bring casual fans out of the woodwork and to their television sets.  Whether they are drawn in by their fight-loving friend, the Conor McGregor show, or even just plain curiosity spurred by the extra media coverage, there will be millions of people watching on November 12th.

This article is for the new fans who are not the typical “watch every fight” MMA fan.  This will help you understand what is truly on the line in Madison Square Garden and the back stories of the fighters competing.  Hopefully, this will make your viewing experience that much more enjoyable.

If you are a fellow diehard MMA fan, share this with your friends who are watching this awesome sport for the first time.  It will save you the time explaining everything to your friends at your watch party or at the bar.  Who knows, maybe they will become hardcore fans like yourself.

This guide will break down the main card (pay-per-view) fights in depth with a quick glance at the preliminary fights.  I hope this makes UFC 205 that much more awesome for you.

 

The first two fights of the night will be streamed on the UFC’s digital service, UFC Fight Pass, at 6:30PM ET

  • Fight #1 – #9 Liz Carmouche (9-5) vs. #14 Katlyn Chookagian (8-0) – 135lbs
  • Fight #2 – Jim Miller (27-8, 1NC) vs. Thiago Alves (26-10) – 155lbs

Most casual fans will not be watching these fights, as they are only available on the UFC’s online subscription service.  If you are lucky enough to have access to Fight Pass, make sure you watch the Thiago Alves vs. Jim Miller fight!  Both guys have been around for a long time and are rarely in boring fights.  They are a perfect way to kick off the night.

Fox Sports 1 Prelims – 8:00PM ET

  • Fight #3 – Vicente Luque (10-5-1) vs. Belal Muhammad (10-1) – 170lbs
  • Fight #4 – #14 Rafael Natal (21-7-1) vs. Tim Boetsch (19-10) – 185lbs
  • Fight #5 – #2 Khabib Nurmagomedov (23-0) vs. #6 Michael Johnson (18-10) – 155lbs
  • Fight #6 – #2 Frankie Edgar (19-5-1) vs. #7 Jeremy Stephens (25-12) – 145lbs

Usually, the prelims are occupied by good, but not spectacular fighters.  That is certainly not the case on this night.  Most of these fights could be main events on other UFC cards, but the UFC is giving them to us free of charge (provided you have Fox Sports 1).  Just to highlight just how awesome these fights will be, Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely considered the best lightweight in the world and wrestled bears as a young kid and he couldn’t even make the prelim main event!

An awesome fight between Rashad Evans and Tim Kennedy was scrapped at the last minute.  It’s a real bummer that this fight was canceled as Evans is a former UFC champion about to try out a new weight class and Kennedy is an Army Ranger who is featured on ISIS kill lists. There is a chance they could keep Kennedy on the card and we will pass along any updates as they become available.

 

Main Card – 10:00PM ET – Pay-per-view (These are the fights most of you will be watching)

  • Fight #7 – #1 Miesha Tate (18-6) vs. #8 Raquel Pennington (8-6) – 135lbs

Miesha is arguably the most famous female fighter not named Ronda in the UFC.  She is the most recent former champion of the 135lb women’s weight class and this is her first fight since losing her championship belt.  Tate is super well rounded as she is just as comfortable taking you down and using her grappling as she is punching you in the face.  Miesha is currently dating top 10 bantamweight fighter, Bryan Caraway.  Miesha is the favorite to beat Pennington in this fight as she is currently listed as nearly a 2-1 favorite by most odds makers.

Raquel Pennington is best known for her gritty close fights.   She is as tough as they come and is currently riding a 3 fight winning streak.  She is currently dating UFC strawweight fighter Tecia Torres.

 

  • Fight #8 – #5 Kelvin Gastelum (13-2) vs. #6 Donald Cerrone (31-7, 1NC) – 170lbs

Kelvin Gastelum has had a complicated career in the UFC.  When he makes it to the cage healthy and on weight he has the ability to beat some of the best fighters in the world.  The problem is he has missed weight multiple times.  His weight cutting has forced him to move back and forth between 170 and 185lbs during his run with the UFC.  A win over a fan favorite like Donald Cerrone would go a long way in putting his out of the cage issues behind him and inch himself that much closer to a title shot

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is literally what one would assume a modern day cowboy to be.  The guy lives on a giant ranch where some of his hobbies include riding bulls.  UFC president Dana White has had to have several sit-downs with Cerrone regarding his wakeboarding or skydiving the week of his fights.  Also you best believe Donald will be downing Budweisers with a mouth full of dip at the post-fight press conference.  After a successful stint as a 155lb fighter, Donald has made a new home at 170lbs where he has reeled off 3 impressive finishes.  Kelvin will be his toughest test since entering the welterweight division, but cowboy is still listed as a slight favorite at most Vegas sports books.

 

  • Fight #9 – #2 Chris Weidman (13-1) vs. #4 Yoel Romero (11-1) – 185lbs

Chris Weidman has been waiting for this moment his entire career.  MMA was illegal in his home state of New York until legislation finally passed this year.  No one pushed harder for the sports legalization than Weidman, who has been lobbying for a chance to fight in NY for several years now.  Weidman is a former champion who is best known as knocking out the seemingly invincible Anderson Silva to win the belt before defeating Silva again in the rematch when Anderson’s leg shattered while kicking Weidman.  During this fight try to listen to Chris’s coaches who are two of the most entertaining corner men in all of MMA.  Chris is a slight favorite against Romero.

Yoel Romero is a former Cuban Olympic silver medalist wrestler who may be the most terrifying looking fighter in MMA.  The dude is jacked beyond belief and uses his ridiculous strength to drag his opponents to the ground or knock them out cold.  He is coming off of a six-month suspension for PED’s but was able to prove he took his supplements without knowing there were in fact banned substances in them.  That suspension derailed what looked to be a no doubt title shot after he won a razor thin decision against top 5 middleweight Jacare Souza.  An impressive win by either of these men will put them in a title fight against Michael Bisping.

  • Fight #10 – (C) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (12-0) vs. #2 Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-0) – 115lb TITLE FIGHT

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Yo-on-ah Young-jay-check) may not look like much, but she is a stone cold killer.  She has the best stand up in women’s MMA and has used it to perfection in her UFC career as she is currently undefeated with 3 title defenses.  She is a fan favorite for her awesome fight style and trash talk.  Joanna is a 4-1 favorite over her opponent in this historic fight which features two Polish fighters vying for a championship.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz (Co-wal-kay-vich) was a relative unknown in the sport until her 3 wins in the UFC.  Her most recent triumph over Rose Namajunas left little doubt as to her validity as a championship contender.  Karolina is a decorated striker in her own right and has trained in Muay Thai and Krav Maga since she was 16 years old.  One of these fighters will suffer their first career loss on Saturday night.

  • Fight #11 – (C) Tyron Woodley (16-3) vs. #2 Stephen Thompson (13-1) – 170lb TITLE FIGHT

Tyron (don’t call him Tyrone) is defending his championship belt for the first time at UFC 205.  His win over former champion, Robbie Lawler, spoiled what many fans thought to be a dream fight between Lawler and Thompson.  Those dreams were shattered when Woodley leveled Lawler with a devastating knockout and will be looking to do the same to Thompson.  Woodley was an All-American wrestler at Missouri and pairs those elite grappling skills with scary power in his punches.  Woodley is actually a 2-1 underdog despite being the reigning champion.  He has a chance to prove he is truly the best in the world on Saturday night.

Stephen Thompson has been on an absolute terror using a fighting style many of you probably practiced as kids.  Thompson is a Karate based fighter and is currently on a 7 fight win streak that is littered with fantastic knockouts.  Outside of the cage, you would never guess he knocks other men unconscious for a living as he is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet.  He is 20-0 as a professional kickboxer outside of MMA.

  • Fight #12 – (C – Lightweight) Eddie Alvarez (28-4) vs. (C – Featherweight) Conor McGregor (20-3) – 155 TITLE FIGHT

Let’s be honest, this is the reason most of you are watching these fights.  Conor is without a doubt the biggest star this sport has ever seen.  He continually shatters pay-per-view records and is cashing checks no one had ever thought possible in this sport.  He is essentially the Floyd Mayweather of MMA (minus the domestic violence).  McGregor will be looking to become the first fighter to ever hold two championship belts at the same time.  He is currently the 145lb champion and is looking to add lightweight champion to his resume.  His trash talk outside the cage gets people to tune in, but his actual fighting skills are what have made this meteoric rise sustainable.  The man hits people and they go to sleep, it is what he does.  He knocked out one of the greatest fighters of all time, Jose Aldo, in just 13 seconds to claim his first championship.  He has yet to defend that championship, instead, he has fought two fights with UFC 155 pounder Nate Diaz.  After losing the first bout with Diaz he was able to exact his revenge in a close win to set up this historic fight.

Eddie Alvarez is the anti-McGregor outside the cage.  He is as blue collar as they come, hailing from a poor neighborhood in Philadelphia, Alvarez brings that same mindset in the cage.  Alvarez was widely considered the best fighter outside of the UFC for a long stint in his career.  His UFC debut came much later than expected after a long legal battle over his contract status with number two MMA promotion, Bellator where he reigned as their lightweight champion.  After losing his UFC debut to Cowboy Cerrone, Alvarez went on a 3 fight winning streak that culminated in a shocking knockout over former champion, Rafael dos Anjos.  Alvarez will most likely look to take McGregor down to the mat where Conor is at his weakest.  This will no doubt be Conor’s toughest test after struggling in his two fights against a traditionally good, but not great fighter in Nate Diaz.  The odds reflect this close fight as Conor is a slight favorite over Alvarez.

 

Thank you for reading this guide to UFC 205.  I hope it makes Saturday night that much more awesome for you.  If you would like a more in-depth X’s and O’s technical breakdown of the fights, please look for Dan Tom’s (@TheMMAnalyst on Twitter) fight breakdown which will be published by MMA Latest in the next few days.  As always please check in with MMA Latest (@MMALatestnws) for all of your MMA needs.

Enjoy the fights!

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Bellator

Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes

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Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.

Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).

In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.

Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”

In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.

This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.

 

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Bellator

Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video

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Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.

The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.

Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)

Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.

RN: 265 lb.

MM: 255 lb.

Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.

PF: 155 lb.

DC: 154 lb.

Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.

HH: 126.25 lb*

AJ: 125 lb.

Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.

LM: 203.75 lb.

VN: 205 lb.

Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.

TW: 145 lb.

JS: 142.25 lb.

Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)

Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

RS: 155.5 lb.

RL: 156 lb.

Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout. 

MK: 135.75 lb.

GT: 135 lb.

Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.

RC: 145 lb.

TE: 146 lb.

Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.

JT: 205.5 lb.

WH: 203 lb.

Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.

MS: 156 lb.

DH: 155.25 lb.

Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.

PN: 163.5 lb.

KX 164.5 lb.

Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

TH: 154 lb.

PC: 155.5 lb.

*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.

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UFC 221 Rockhold vs. Romero Live Results

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UFC 221 marks the first event hosted by the promotion in Western Australia. UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena. The co-main event features Australian star, Mark Hunt against Curtis Blaydes. In the main event, Luke Rockhold looks to earn the Middleweight interim title when he takes on Yoel Romero. Romero is not eligible to earn the interim Middleweight title due to the fact that the Cuban missed weight. Yoel Romero replaced the original headliner of the card, Robert Whittaker. Whittaker, current Middleweight champion, withdrew from the event due to a serious case of mistreated staph infection.

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:

Fight of the night: Li Jianliang vs. Jake Matthews

Performance of the night: Jussier Formiga, Israel Adesanya

MAIN CARD – PPV – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • Yoel Romero (12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (13-3) – Catchweight (187.7) bout
    • Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punch) 1:48 round 3
  • Mark Hunt (13-11, 1 NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Tai Tuivasa (8-0) vs. Cyril Asker (9-3) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (punches and elbows) 2:18 round 1
  • Jake Matthews (12-3) vs. Li Jianliang (14-4) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jianliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Tyson Pedro (6-1) vs Saparbek Safarov (8-1) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) 3:54 round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Damien Brown (17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Kim, 29-28 Brown)
  • Rob Wilkinson (11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (11-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) 3:37 round 2
  • Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) vs Alexander Volkovski (16-1) – Featherweight bout
    • Result: Alexander Volkovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (punches) 4:57 round 2
  • Jussier Formiga (20-5) vs Ben Nguyen (17-6) – Flyweight bout
    • Result: Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (RNC) 1:43 round 3

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT

  • Ross Pearson (21-12, 1 NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Teruto Ishihara (10-4) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez (7-2) – Bantamweight bout
    • Result: José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Luke Jumeau (12-4) vs. Daichi Abe (6-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
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