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Cris Cyborg makes UFC debut at UFC 198 vs. Leslie Smith

Matthew Wells

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Cris “Cyborg” Justino (15-1, 0-0 UFC) is now officially a UFC fighter according to a release by the promotion today. The Invicta Featherweight Champion will face Leslie Smith (8-6, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil on May 14.

 

Justino’s Octagon debut will be a catchweight bout at 140 pounds on the incredibly stacked card of UFC 198 that takes place in her hometown of Curitiba.

Cyborg is one of the most feared fighters on the planet, possessing incredible striking power that has produced 13 KO/TKO’s on her professional record. Her last three fights with Invicta FC have ended by way of knockout in the first round over Daria Ibragimova, Faith Van Duin, and Charmaine Tweet. Her two decision wins came earlier in her career but has since been on a path of destruction. Having not lost a fight since 2005, her professional debut, Cyborg will be looking to add another victory to her record, not only in her hometown but under the UFC banner.

The dream fight of Cyborg vs. Rousey that was longed for by fans of the sport for so many years has gone by the wayside since Ronda’s fall by way of Holly Holm at UFC 193. The fight never came to fruition due to Cyborg’s inability to make the 135 pound limit of Bantamweight, since Rousey refused to move up to 140 pounds.

Leslie Smith will move up five pounds and take the on the challenge of fighting Cris Cyborg in May, off the heels of her decision win over Rin Nakai at UFC Fight Night 85 – Hunt vs. Mir. Smith has alternated wins and losses in the UFC over her four fights, dropping to Jessica Eye and Sarah Kaufman while defeating Jessamyn Duke and the aforementioned Nakai.

UFC 198’s card is jam-packed with huge names throughout the card. The event is headlined by a championship bout that will see Fabricio Werdum defend his title against Stipe Miocic. The co-main event of the evening is a potential title eliminator in the middleweight division between Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Another huge matchup on the card is between one of the greatest of all time, Anderson Silva, taking on Uriah Hall. Light heavyweight legend Mauricio “Shogun” Rua takes on Corey Anderson among other exciting matchups.

Stay tuned to MMA Latest for more news and notes about this incredible event.


For the latest MMA news, live event coverage, and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.

 

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UFC looks for undefeated fighters for the next season of TUF

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As the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close in a few weeks, UFC has set tryouts for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on December 12th but there is a catch, participates must hold an undefeated record.

Titled The Ultimate Fighter 27: Battle of the Undefeated, the next installment of TUF will be looking for male fighters with an undefeated record with a minimum of 3-0 to apply for the show. The casting call asks for featherweights and welterweights but in the early stages of tryouts, a weight class will be decided later in the process.

Fighters must be aged between 21 – 34 and will grapple and light spar in front of UFC matchmakers and must be prepared to stay in Vegas until December 16th.

It is unknown what the future of TUF will be after the TV deal with FOX ends next year but the show has been a success for the company and many fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter have become champion including current interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas coming from past seasons of the show.

This will be the third time in a row that a gimmick will be added to the show that has been on the decline in the ratings in recent years but yet to use only undefeated fighters. An undefeated streak can be one of the most prestigious records to keep in mixed martial arts with the wins and losses being so vital in a fighters career.

Who will keep their zero? Who will be the next Ultimate Fighter? Who will be the coaches?

These questions will be answered when the new season of TUF begins shooting in January and the show premiering later in the year.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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Darren Till vs Stephen Thompson set for February 24th in England

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Stephen Thompson

Wow! Nobody could have expected this news this morning. Dana White has stated he is moving the UFC Fight Night card in Orlando, Florida to the UK so rising star Darren Till (16-0-1) can face Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (14-2-1) in his backyard.

According to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, Dana White revealed the news during a Q&A in Santa Monica, California.

Logistically this fight has its problems. White didn’t state that the fight was scheduled to take place in Liverpool, I assume that is plan A for the UFC though. However, on the 24th the Echo Arena in Liverpool is booked by the UK MMA promotion, Cage Warriors.

Although White may be able to throw some money at the promotion, it is unlikely they’ll budge. Another possibility is to co-promote an event with Cage Warriors, but that’s even more unlikely, even though the concept is a great one.

The fight would not make sense in another UK city like Glasgow, Birmingham or Newcastle. Making the fight is strange if it’s unable to be in Liverpool, or at the top of the UFC London card.

🦍 #UFCLiverpool

A post shared by Till (@darrentill2) on

The event would be three weeks before UFC London, which is unheard of for events over in Europe. Normally England would be lucky to get two events in a year, let alone a month. Which makes you think it will either be one or the other. European cards are never typically stacked and having two in the space of three weeks in one country would eat into the quality on show in each card.

Could this be another case of Dana White talking too soon, or are we set for two mega UFC fights in the space of three weeks in the UK. We’ll find out soon enough.

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