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Celebrating the Fighters with Military Backgrounds on Veterans Day

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To so many people around the world, November 11 is a day for honor, a day for remembrance, and a day for gratitude.

In the United States of America, November 11 is Veterans Day. A public holiday reserved for honoring each and every person who has served in the United States Armed Forces.

In the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations, November 11 is Remembrance Day. A time to pause and pay tribute to all those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

The link between the military and the world of mixed martial arts has always been strong. The UFC has run events to help support the forces on many occasions, with the inaugural Fight for the Troops taking place back in 2008 to help raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Anytime you see fighters given the opportunity to give something back to those that serve their country it makes for an emotional night, not least because invariably some of the fighters performing have spent time in the military themselves.

At MMA Latest News we wanted to take a moment to celebrate some of the men and women who have done an incredible double-duty job entertaining us as fighters, but more importantly serving their great nations as well. There are many, and no doubt a whole bunch more that we have not included. Our gratitude is extended not only throughout the MMA world but to every man and woman who has served in the armed forces.

In the United Kingdom, Welsh middleweight and former Lonsdale champion Jack Marshman is proudly serving as a paratrooper in the British Armed Forces. Martin Stapleton, who headlines BAMMA 23 on Saturday night, takes his “50 Cal” nickname from his time spent in the armed forces.

Invicta FC strawweight and US Open wrestling champion Sharon Jacobson is the only MMA fighter who is part of the US Army World Class Athlete Program. Jacobson serves as an active-duty Sergeant in the United States Army. Liz Carmouche, one-half of the first-ever women’s fight in the UFC, is also well-known for her five years serving as a Marine from 2004 to 2009.

Carmouche is not the only Marine to compete inside the octagon, as UFC middleweight turned commentator Brian Stann, was the 2nd Mobile Assault Platoon Commander in the United States Marine Corps. Stann led his men into battle in Iraq in 2005.

Tim Kennedy completed tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during his time as an Army Ranger. The Ultimate Fighter season 16 winner Colton Smith is also an Army Ranger, and like Kennedy, competed as a fighter alongside his army service. Bellator MMA’s Bobby Lashley was also an Army Ranger.

Brandon Vera, Dan Barrera and Clinton Williams were all a part of the United States Air Force. Vera’s military career was cut short when he was medically discharged in 1999. Barrera worked as a firefighter in the Air Force and was a skilled boxer in the military, once fighting future world champion Andre Ward.

Tim Credeur, who competed on The Ultimate Fighter Seven, was a Sonar Technician on the Destroyer, USS Milius in the United States Navy. Another TUF alumni, season four’s Jorge Rivera, was a 19K Armored Cavalry Scout at For Polk, Louisiana. Neil Magny, who competed on season 16 of the show, was a light-wheeled mechanic with the 708th Medical Company in North Riverside.

But perhaps the most famous of all the fighters who has served in the Army is Randy “the Natural” Couture. A three-time heavyweight, and two-time light heavyweight UFC champion, Couture served six years in the Army as an air traffic controller. During his time, he worked his way up to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

To “Captain America” himself, to all of the fighters who we have mentioned and those we have missed, and to each and every man and woman who has served their country, we extend our thanks to you for everything you have done for us.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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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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