Former UFC Middleweight Champion #3 Chris Weidman (14-3) ended his three-fight losing skid on Saturday night in spectacular fashion.
The main even of UFC Fight Night Long Island pitted the former champ against #8 Kelvin Gastelum (14-3) in front of a raucous New York crowd that went wild for their hometown hero in Weidman.
Weidman’s rapid ascent to the top of the division crashed equally as fast by dropping his previous three fights in a row. On Saturday evening, he found himself at a fork in the road. Would it be four losses in a row, continuing the downward spiral – or – could Weidman right the ship and propel his name back into the mix at 185 pounds?
While Weidman was on a downslide, his opponent Gastelum was tearing through the middleweight division. This fight also marked a fork in the road for the California native as well. Could he contend with the elite at 185 pounds – or – would the top tier be too large to overcome for the former welterweight, prompting a move back to 170 pounds?
The size difference was certainly apparent when the two faced off at weigh-ins on Friday night. That difference would play a huge factor during the fight as well.
The first round of the fight was largely dominated by Weidman who approached Gastelum with patience while utilizing strikes and well-timed takedown attempts. Once getting Gastelum to the mat, the smothering wresting ability and constant threat of submissions seemed too much for the former welterweight. That was, until the final seconds of the opening round…
— UFC (@ufc) July 23, 2017
Gastelum landed a huge two-punch combination ending with a left hand that dropped Weidman to the canvas. While Weidman was in serious danger of being finished, the timer on the opening round expired, saving him from another heartbreaking moment.
In the early moments of the second round, Gastelum came out aggressively looking to test the chin of Weidman, but was unable to land anything of significance. Weidman would return to his wrestling game and control the fight on the mat for the majority of the second round.
The third round started off with fireworks as both men came out of their corners swinging hard with a quick pace. Weidman pressed forward with a flurry of punches that seemed to rock Gastelum for a brief moment. After settling in, Weidman was once again able to get the fight to the mat, where he would eventually transition to an arm-triangle choke. Gastelum would defend the choke to the best of his ability, but the size and grip strength of Weidman was too much and was forced to tap out.
WHAT A NIGHT!
— UFC (@ufc) July 23, 2017
In front of a hometown crowd, Weidman returned to the win column in a moment that he said felt like winning the championship again.
During his post fight interview with Brian Stann, Weidman took shots at Bisping, stating he knows he’s the real champion of the division.
— UFC (@ufc) July 23, 2017
- Official Result: Chris Weidman def. Kelvin Gastelum via Submission (Arm triangle), Round 3 – 3:45
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
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:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
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.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
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:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
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.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
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.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
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)
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)
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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