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Diego Sanchez Chases Featherweight Dream

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Diego “The Dream” — formerly “The Nightmare” — Sanchez is no stranger to making history in the UFC as he was the first competitor to win “The Ultimate Fighter” tournament back in 2005.

Now Sanchez is chasing a different dream, one at the featherweight division. A territory that will be new to him and present some opportunities, as well as challenges.

In an interview on the MMA Road Show, Sanchez announced he would now compete in the featherweight division, a first-time foray for the “TUF” winner who has fought at lightweight, welterweight and middleweight. He would be the second fighter to compete in four weight classes, Kenny Florian being the first. Unlike Florian, Sanchez hopes to get a win at 145 pounds and be the first fighter to have a victory in four different UFC weight classes. While Florian has wins in lightweight, welterweight and featherweight, he lost his 185 debut to Sanchez in the finals of the “TUF” tournament.

The UFC’s featherweight division has always been competitive. When the weight class was first brought to the UFC you had stars like Cub Swanson, Chad Mendes and titleholder Jose Aldo. Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has found some success. With the addition of Irish superstar Conor McGregor, the featherweight division is generating a lot of buzz.

But is this a wise decision for Sanchez? What factors will come into play before his 145 debut?

One factor is the initial weight cut. Other than coming in overweight for his fight against former Pride champion Takanori Gomi, Sanchez hasn’t really had an issue with cutting weight. In the interview, Sanchez said he recently acquired Instant Knockout Fat Burner as a sponsor and has been using the product, which has helped him drop from 190 to 170. Hopefully, it can help him make a healthy 145-pound cut.

If anyone benefits from Sanchez’s drop to featherweight, it’s the fans. The Dream is a seven-time “Fight of the Night” winner and can put on a show with any opponent. He’s already targeting Clay Guida and Ricardo Lamas as potential foes in his featherweight run. I also think he could have good fights with Edgar and Urijah Faber if the former WEC champion decides to stick to 145.

Some folks wonder how much gas The Dream has left in the tank. He’s won four of his last seven fights – two of those being close, controversial split-decision wins. Despite the record, Sanchez continues to perform well in the octagon.

Will Sanchez capture the UFC featherweight title like he hopes? Fans and critics will have to wait and see. The logical answer is “no” but like Joe Rogan says,”Anything can happen in MMA.”

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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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*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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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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