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Daniel Tom’s Talking Points – UFC 193 Rousey vs Holm

Dan Tom

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Ronda4

Ronda Rousey (12-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 28 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 66″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Bethe Correia (8-1-15)
  • Camp: Glendale Fight Club (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: A+

Supplemental info:
+   UFC Bantamweight Champion
+   Olympic Bronze Medal 2008 (Judo)
+   Judo Black Belt
+   Multiple Judo World Titles
+   100% Finish Rate
+   9 Armbar Submissions
+   3 KO victories
+   KO power / Heavy hands
+   Strong in clinch
^   Effective trips & TD’s
+   Strong on top
^   Favors scarf position(Judo side-control)
+   Excellent scrambler
^   Hits submissions in transition
–    Straight punch susceptibilities
+   Sets fast & aggressive pace

Holly1

Holly Holm (9-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 34 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Marion Reneau (7-15-15)
  • Camp:Jackson-Wink MMA (New Mexico)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Excellent
  • Overall Fight Grade: B+

Supplemental info:
+   Pro Boxing Experience (33-2-3)
+   Regional Boxing Titles
+   Amateur Kickboxing Titles
+   67% Finish Rate
+   6 KO’s MMA – 9 KO’s Boxing
+   Active footwork & movement
^   Good distance management
+   Powerful body kick
+   Distancing side-kicks
+   Dangerous body & head kicks
^   Set up with punches
+   Improved clinch & TD defense
–    Subject to shallow punches
^   Opens up counter vulnerabilities
–    Limited ground footage/experience
?   Questionable overall ground game

Summary:

In Melbourne’s main event, Holly Holm will finally get her chance at Ronda Rousey and the Bantamweight Title. With this fights popularity and promotion, It can be hard to see the forrest through the trees. In this analysis I’ll attempt an overhead view as I try to trim the fat for you. From Holly’s arguably inflated accolades, to her conservative footwork based approach, many pundits & fans alike have already drawn forgone conclusions. Though 20 to 1 odds don’t help the argument, I still find this very amusing given the general hypothetical hypothesis on beating Rousey. In the wake of Rousey’s often single round storms, it’s left many people wondering how she would fair against a superior striker who can stay away from her game.

Whether you think Holm can beat Ronda or not, She certainly has the distance management & discipline to present said challenge. To quote Robyn Black, Holly is more of a “Play-runner” as she shows a machine-like consistency in her attack and approach. Her key to distance control and attack angles come off her circling style. Holly will circle to her left defensively or to reset, and will circle right to set up attack angles that force opponents to their weak side(being that she’s a southpaw primarily facing orthodox opposition). Off this movement, Holly shows a myriad of combinations in which she’ll use to set up hard body or head kicks.

It should however be noted that Holm’s faced largely lower level competition who played this distance game, a luxury I’m not sure she’ll have with Ronda’s renown pressure fighting. Though disciplined with her movement, Holly will need to lean on her lead leg side-kick to aid her distancing. Where as Holly’s best offensive tool will be her left liver kick. Ronda’s shown a solid chin to go along with her mental toughness, but liver shots supersede all that as we’ve seen body work be a strength in Holm’s past. The predicament I see in Holly’s kicking game is that she’ll often set them up with short/shallow punches which open her up to counters(particularly right hands as seen in the Pennington fight).

Considering Ronda wields a deadly right hand over the top, this should be the strike/opening Ronda needs to enter and sway momentum. Though Holm doesn’t posses traditional KO power in her hands, Rousey will still need to be mindful on her entries as she is hittable. I know it’s a small sample size, but Ronda has been consistently hit(although not hurt) by 2-3 straight punches in the first 30 seconds of 5 out of 6 UFC bouts. That said, Holly’s chances of stopping her entries are low, as an aggressive Rousey entry is near certain. Though Holly has shown an improved clinch awareness, her grappling experience suggests she lacks the competitive tools to defend.

Should Holly find herself on bottom, it will be the first time in her career which is a scary proposition in it’s own right. With said lacking ground experience, I can’t in honesty tell you what she will or won’t do under such pressure. I’d imagine at that point Holly will begin to feel like the Biker Gang from “A Bronx Tale”, when Chazz Palminteri locks them in the bar and says,”Now you can’t leave.” If Holm can cease Rousey’s progress before the fight even gets there, then she may be able to build her own momentum. But to me, this match isn’t about the “if” as much as it’s about the “when”.

Official Pick: Rousey – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: To be determined

Joanna3

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (10-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 28 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 65.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Jessica Penne (6-20-15)
  • Camp: Berkut (Poland)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: A

Supplemental info:
+   UFC Strawweight Champion
+   5x IMFA Muay Thai World Champ
+   4x IMFA Muay Thai European Champ
+   Multiple Pro Muay Thai Titles
+   4 KO/TKO victories
+   Heavy hands/stopping power
+   Active & aggressive volume
+   Various R. hand set ups
^   Always mixing attacks
+   Improved TD defense
^   Gets to/uses cage well
+   Excellent forearm framing
^   Creates space/short elbows
?   Questionable overall ground game

Valarie3

Valerie Letourneau (8-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 32 Weight: 115 lbs Reach: 68.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Maryna Moroz (8-23-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   Experienced MMA Veteran
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   4 KO/TKO victories
+   2 first round finishes
+   Seasoned & solid striker
+   Good combinations & volume
+   Accurate left hand/hook
+   Powerful counter right
+   Excellent L. switch kick
–    Lacks head movement
–    Traditionally takes damage
+   Favors over-hooks in clinch
+   Improved TD defense
+   Competent submission game

Summary:

The Co-Main Event of the evening comes baring fireworks, as Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends her Strawweight Title against Valarie Letourneau. With both women coming from striking bases and showing little offensive wrestling, I expect this match to stay standing. Valerie holds less striking accolades but brings in more MMA experience as she’s competed against some of the sports best(at multiple weight classes) since 2007. Moving to American Top Team and down to Strawweight, Valerie’s worked hard to shore up ground deficiencies and rejuvenate her career. Preferring to stand, Letourneau shows an aggressive countering style.

Not afraid to engage range or exchange, Letourneau will slip just outside of punches and fire back in volume & variety. Favoring an accurate left hook and right uppercut, she also possesses a nice left switch kick. Against Jedrzejczyk however, I feel Valerie’s counter right hand will serve her best.  As we saw in her last bout with Moroz, Letourneau showed the timing & power to counter aggression and sway the fight momentum. Joanna, who primarily set up strikes from the jab, will often show a body jab(usually setting up a R. hand over the top). In doing this  she tends to lean her head more forward as apposed to angling off toward her power side.

This has opened her up to counter right hands(seen the Carneiro & Gadelha fights) and she’ll need to mind this against Letrourneau. Joanna has however showed massive fight to fight improvements in her last two fights. Showing excellent ring generalship, Joanna uses footwork & striking pressure to dictate opposition against the fence. This is her most effective operating space as she displays dangerous fight ending volumes. Jedrzejczyk also does an excellent job of mixing up her angles of attack. Depending how her opposition defends, she’ll adjust from overhands, uppercuts, to straight punches down the middle.

Giving Joanna the speed and overall striking advantage, It’s easy to say that Valerie should test the Champion on the ground. But with a lack of shown offensive wrestling, I’m not sure what new tricks the French-Canadian can pull out on a short notice fight in this stage of her career. On the flip side of that coin, Joanna shows much improved counter grappling/TD defense and an underrated ground IQ. Though we’ve barely seen Joanna on the floor, it’s for good reason as she’s shown superb cage awareness in her second nature to get to/up from the fence. Even from the bottom she shows more IQ than a lot of female and male ground fighters, as she consistently uses under-hooks from half guard to get up to a single-leg(one of the safest, simplest, and most effective reversal/get up approaches in MMA that surprisingly not a lot employ).

If Valerie fails on take down attempts, she may find herself in a clinch battle. Favoring a hard over-hook she’ll look to land knees, but with Joanna’s “Fore-arm framing” style, I doubt she’ll find her desired leverage. Instead of a traditional Thai clinch or over-under approach, Joanna violently frames her fore-arms into opponents faces only to break off devastating short elbows. I see this not only out doing Valerie, but eating up most girls in the division. I’m not counting out Letourneau completely by any means, but her willingness to brawl & exchange will make for a violent affair that may not go well for her. Between Valerie’s durability to Joanna’s output & aggression, the Champion could be worth a Fantasy spot but I’d avoid any straight plays either way.

Official Pick: Jedrzejczyk – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: To be determined

Hunt1

Mark Hunt (10-10-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 41 Weight: 265 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Stipe Miocic (5-10-15)
  • Camp: AKA Thailand (Australia/Thailand)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   K-1 Grand Prix Champion
+   Region Kickboxing Titles
+   7 KO’s MMA – 13 KO’s Kickboxing
+   70% Overall finish rate
+   KO Power/Heavy hands
+   Deceptive speed & movement
^   Changes timing/tempo well
+   Accurate shot selection
+   Excellent L. Hook/Check Hook
+   Thudding leg kicks
–    Struggles with volume
–    Ineffective from bottom
+/-Relies heavily on head movement
^   Will take damage
?    Weathering from wars?

Bigfoot8

Antonio Silva (19-7-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’4″ Age: 36 Weight: 265 lbs Reach: 82″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Soa Paleilei (8-1-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+   Regional Heavyweight Championships
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   15 KO vitories
+   12 first round finishes
+   KO power./heavy hands
+   Powerful R. leg & body kicks
+   Deceptively agile on feet
+   Good striking variety
+   Puts combos together well
+   Dangerous/aggressive against fence
–    Head vulnerable off strikes
–    Inconsistent performances & durability
–    Control susceptibility on bottom
^   Favors deep half guard
+   Strong top game/ground & pound

Summary:

Two years ago we were treated to a fantastic contest that was ultimately deemed winner-less leaving us wanting more. Picking up where they left off in Brisbane, Mark Hunt and “Bigfoot” Silva will look to sort things out in Melbourne. There are more than the usual Heavyweight intangibles here as you look at each man’s career since their first meeting. In the last two years we’ve seen suspect preparation from Mark as he’s came in heavier than usual while also taking more damage than usual(which is a lot). On the flip side of the intangible coin, is Bigfoot’s positive test & health issues post their original encounter. Since then, there’s been much speculation on Silva as we’ve seen head scratching inconsistencies in his performances and durability.

That all said, both men look to be in amazing shape & spirits as they rightfully are taking this rematch very serious. Mark Hunt has moved shop to AKA Thailand, and after an 8 week camp  the “Super Samoan” looks to be as slim & trim as ever in his career. He’s also had a wider range of training partners including Silva’s last opponent, Soa Paleilei. Where as Bigfoot has been working hard at American Top Team, where he’s also had the company of Junior Dos Santos these past 8 weeks. With an assumption of both men healthy and the intangibles out of the way, let’s jump into the technical action.

As their first fight(and most fights in each man’s career) I expect the majority of this one to be contested on the feet. Despite Bigfoot’s plotting demeanor, he has an underrated striking variety & volume. Being able to string together heavy punch combinations, Silva also possesses heavy right leg & body kicks. Leg kicks in particular could be a big key standing for Silva should he choose. In their last fight he sent Hunt hobbling to his corner to end round 2, but mysteriously abandoned it thereafter. Bigfoot’s most effective space standing is when he has opponents backed into the cage, as we’ve seen Silva show a second nature aggression here.

However, in his first bout with Hunt we saw his style consistently countered in said space. Though landing blows of his own, it appeared that Mark’s shots were more effective given Silva’s counter susceptibility. Though keeping his hands up and showing improved head movement, Silva will bring his head back in range and protected off strikes as he shows a slight delay in hand retraction. It’s in these exchanges where an experienced counter striker like Hunt thrives. Employing a rather basic Boxing arsenal, it’s Hunt’s deceptive speed changes that set him apart from the pack. Showing blatant lackadaisical movement & punches, Hunt will bait opposition toward him or lull them into a false sense of security. From here, he’ll explode into range with deadly counters.

Whether he’s rolling with his left hook or slipping to his right uppercut, Mark’s style relies heavily on reaction speed & durability. That can be a troubling proposition considering the wars he’s been through, but I still feel the Super Samoan should have enough left to edge this particular match up standing. Bigfoot’s best chance in this fight is to take it to the floor. When on top we’ve seen the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt display aggressive passing and ground & pound. The problem is that most of his career ground time has been initiated through knock downs or scrambles(unless of course his opposition took him down). That coupled with the fact he has no official UFC take down attempts, makes this path to victory less of a reality for me.

Bigfoot is also a traditionally slow starter and given this is 3 rounds apposed to 5, he may find himself in a pressure cooker. It will be interesting to see if Silva makes the said adjustments as he’s more than capable of winning. As a Heavyweight bout this should be tempered as so, but that said I feel Mark Hunt could be decent spot on your Fantasy Team. As Hunt started his career in Melbourne, I can see him walking away with the win here, and if we’re lucky..  another walk away KO.

Official Pick: Hunt – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: To be determined

Hall5

Uriah Hall (12-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 31 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 79.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Gegard Mousasi (9-26-15)
  • Camp: Team Tiger Schulmann (NY)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 17 Finalist
+   2x Ring of Combat Champion
+   Regional Muay Thai Titles
+   6 first round finishes
+   8 KO victories
+   KO power(punches & kicks)
+   Switches stances well
+   Good head movement
+   Fast kick/kick counters
+   This camp at Kings MMA
–    Low hands/head upright
^   Uses to bait counters
+   Fast/intercepting straight right
–    Subject to inactivity
–    Struggles when pressure fought

Reaper4

Robert Whitaker (14-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 24 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 73.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Brad Tavares (5-10-15)
  • Camp: PMA Martial Arts (Australia)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   TUF Smashes Winner
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Black Belt Karate/Hapkido
+   86% overall finish rate
+   7 KO victories
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Accurate left jab & hook
^   Will off-tempo timing
–    Left hand/guard low
^   Right hand availabilities
+   Well placed/used R. kicks
+   Good head movement
^   Favors R. Uppercut off slips
+   Quick & deceptive blitzes

Summary:

In an obvious choice for potential Fight of the Night, Uriah “Primetime” Hall steps in against Robert “The Reaper” Whitaker. With both men coming from traditional martial arts backgrounds, they keep a noticeably low standing guard. As each fighter relies heavily on their head movement & countering ability, this may very well be decided upon early mistakes. Coming out of the gate, Whitaker shows little hesitation in starting quickly looking to get his left hand established. Welding an accurate jab-hook, it’s his off-tempo counter timing that’s most impressive.

Often seen with Karate based strikers, Robert will show/set one speed to draw his opposition into a “general rhythm” only to disrupt the perceived timing with deceptive counters. We saw an example of this in his last fight, as he caught Tavares with a check hook coming forward as apposed to traditionally fading back. It’s this type of speed changes that he’ll need to utilize to beat Hall. Though Hall has shown mental lulls of inactivity, he’s silenced much of his doubters with his gutsy performances against Santos & Mousasi.

Also showing low defensive hand positioning, Uriah will use this to bait counter opportunities. Though opponents & fans alike will focus on Hall’s kicking variety, I believe his right hand will play the biggest factor. Effective from both stances, Uriah will use an accurate straight right to measure & stifle oncoming attacks. This could be especially useful given Whitaker’s low left guard and shown right hand availability(Hit cleanly in 4 of last 6).  Hall will be carrying more interesting intangibles than usual heading into this fight.

From taking another short-notice fight overseas, to his first fight prep with KingsMMA(self admittedly his first time training at that high level), this tends to produce sinking or soaring results. With Whitaker showing improved durability & confidence at Middleweight(not to mention stadium behind him) I expect a more than honest showing from Robert. Truthfully, you’re better off rolling dice then picking a sure winner as even “the under” scares me on this one.

With a fight as close as this, I look to their commonalities & vulnerabilites for the edge in this one. Both men traditionally struggle when pressure fought(even in the striking realm) as we’ve seen each men outdone by lesser on paper talents. Though both men are still effective counter strikers, it’s Robert Whitaker who has shown he’s got an equally effective pressure game. Even when clearly or potentially down on the cards, Hall often shows little adjustments as he’s happy to counter(except for the Santos fight where his toe was fractured, that was an amazing performance).

As we all saw Uriah Hall’s coming out party in Japan, I have a sneaky suspicion that it will be Whitaker’s turn this time around. Though I’m slightly leaning toward to the Australian to get it done, I caution any plays as either man is worth looking at for Fantasy picks. Should Hall find his hand raised, I can almost guarantee it will be his right hand that kicks off the party. That said I see Robert Whitaker’s style and fight-to-fight improvements edging it out. You’re best bet here is to crack open a beer and enjoy what may be the most fun match up on the card.

Official Pick: Whitaker – Decision

Official Outcome: To be determined

Struve2

Stefan Struve (26-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 7’0″ Age: 27 Weight: 265 lbs Reach: 84.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Minatauro Nogueira (8-1-15)
  • Camp: Blackzilians (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair/li>
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   Cage Gladiators HW Champion
+   16 Submission wins
+   7 KO victories
+   16 first round finishes
–    6/7 loses in 1st round
+   Strong front teeps
+   Accurate right hand
+   Improved TD defense
–    Overhand right availability
–    Traditionally takes damage
+   Excellent ground movement
+   Dangerous guard game
^   Favors Triangle Chokes(8 wins)

Rolsholt2

Jared Rosholt (13-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 29 Weight: 240 lbs Reach: 76.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Timothy Johnson (8-8-15)
  • Camp: Team Take Down (Texas)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: C

Supplemental info:
+   4x NCAA Div.1 Wrestler
+   3x All-American Wrestler
+   6 KO victories
+   5 first round finishes
+   Very strong in clinch
^   Taxing pressure
+   Good dirty boxing
+   Strong ride positions
^   Favors front head lock
–    Hands low in exchanges
^   Left hand/hooks especially
–    Hurt/dropped in last 5/6
+   Solid TD’s against cage

Summary:

To kick off the UFC 193 main card we’re treated to a clash of Heavyweights, as Stefan Struve and Jared Rosholt do battle. Though having a couple shaky outings since returning from health issues, Stefan shows a rejuvenation since joining the Blackzilians, and I suspect he’ll be in good form for this one. Rosholt on the other hand, will be the more consistent fighter with his grinding wrestling style. In the striking department, I believe Struve is more well-rounded as I give him an edge here. Though widely criticized for his lack of jabs and propensity for damage, he should match up well here stylistically regardless of this.

Weilding an effective variety of kicking attacks, it’s Struve’s accurate right hand that should serve him best. Jared shows to get a tad sloppy in entries & exchanges, especially when throwing his left hook as he retracts it low. This has shown to open up Rosholt to right hands as he’s been hurt or dropped in 5 of his last 6 fights. Rosholt does however show good movement off his right hand, as he’ll usually change his level to get in on a clinch. This will be his most effective route to get this fight in his preferred space.

Once in the clinch(especially against the cage), Rosholt applies a solid pressure and dirty boxing game(dangerous uppercuts). But with the clear height discrepancy, he’ll have a limited availability of his tool kit. With the clear wrestling advantage, I suspect Jared will be able to use his patent “against the cage” take-downs to ground Struve. It’s on the ground however where I feel that not only Struve has an advantage, but is also his highest probability to close the show. Don’t get me wrong, Rosholt has shown a solid top game thus far in his career.

Jared will also have the great Marc Laimon for game plans & in-corner adjustments to further aide his effort. That said, he’s yet to face anything close to the level of Struve’s ground game(much less anyone that can imitate his size & style). Struve has also been working extensively with Neil Melanson(widely considered one of the best Grappling for MMA coaches in the game), who at 6’7″ 270 lbs. also provides the physicality & hands-on training that Stefan’s needed in the past.

Not to mention Neil is one of the best Triangle-Choke technicians out there(Author of “Mastering the Triangle”), As I suspect he’ll be able to help Struve with his favorite submission(8 wins via Triangle). I hope I don’t come off as discounting or disrespecting Rosholt, as I’m a fan of him and his team(Even touting him as a prospect early in his career). But with that said, this match broken down on paper will be very difficult for him.

With all but one of Struve’s losses coming in the first round, the facts suggest Rosholt will have to get it done early. That not being Jared’s strong suit, most see his best path to victory in grinding this one out. However, Struve has never dropped a decision in his career as he shows a knack for recovering, sweeping, and swaying himself back into fights. I don’t know if Rosholt makes it out of the kitchen without being burned in this one.

Official Pick: Struve – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: To be determined

Preliminary Match Predictions

  • Jake Mathews def. Akbarh Arreola
  • Peter Sobotta def. Kyle Noke
  • Gian Viallante def. Anthony Perosh
  • Danny Martinez def. Richie Vaculik
  • James Moontasri def. Anton Zafir
  • Steve Montgomery def. Daniel Kelly
  • Richard Walsh def. Steve Kennedy
  • Ben Nguyen def. Ryan Benoit

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Ronda Rousey
-Joanna Jedrzejczyk
-Gian Villiante

Low Tier Picks:

-Robert Whitaker
-Ryan Benoit

Pieces for your parlay:

-James Moontasri
-Steve Montgomery
-Stefan Struve

Props worth looking at:

-Stefan Struve by submission
-Gian Villiante inside the distance
-Robert Whitaker by decision

Fights to avoid:

-Ryan Benoit vs. Ben Nguyen
-Danny Martinez vs. Richie Vaculik
-Uriah Hall vs. Robert Whitaker

For the complete undercard analysis & past UFC events visit MixedMartialAnalyst.com and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow MMALatestNews.com

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Announcement

Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223

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UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.

 

Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

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Bellator

Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet

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Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April

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MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.

 

The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.

Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.

An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.

His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).

Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.

PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.

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