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Dominick Cruz outclasses Faber in a dominant display

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Two championship belts were on the line at the Forum in Los Angeles California. UFC199 suffered a major reshuffling in terms of the main event two weeks ago as Michael Bisping stepped up on two weeks notice to replace Chris Weidman who was due to face champion Luke Rockhold on Saturday night.

Bisping had the odds stacked against him this weekend. Rockhold has looked untouchable in his past five fights blasting through all opposition in his path including the aforementioned Weidman at UFC194. However, the Brit had made it clear that he was perfectly fine with the betting lines which had counted him out. He has stated all week long that he was coming into the contest loose, relaxed and intent on shocking the world.

That is precisely what happened as Bisping knocked the champion out cold with a wonderful combination in the first round. Two hard lefts shattered the aura of invincibility beginning to form around Rockhold. A fairytale night for Michael who ended a ten year wait for a UFC title on a historic night for the promotion.

In the co-main event, a trilogy fight a decade in the making took place between bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and long time rival Urijah Faber. The animosity between the two men has intensified throughout fight week as both looked to gain a mental advantage prior to the contest. At one fight apiece both men were well aware of the stakes at hand, championship gold as well as legacy.

In the end, Dominick Cruz did what Dominick Cruz has done to all comers since dropping to bantamweight. The Alliance MMA product put on a masterclass and was almost always one step ahead of Urijah, out striking the California Kid at every turn. The champion also managed to out grapple the challenger taking Faber down more than one occasion.

Gracious in defeat Urijah gave props to the champion for his excellent performance. The long time top contender cast some doubt on his future in the cage when speaking with Joe Rogan afterward and it remains to be seen whether Urijah will return in the future.

Round 1

As expected neither Cruz nor Faber initiated a touch when instructed to by referee Herb Dean. As the bell sounded Cruz worked quickly to get ahead on the scorecards. Moving laterally Dominick stayed light on his feet and opened up with a front snap kick that whistled by Faber. Urijah rushes in with his right hand cocked and ready to explode however Cruz read the situation and used the aggression against Faber. A double leg takedown allows Cruz to end up on top on the mat and he immediately looks to pass the guard. A fantastic scramble from Urijah allows him to return to his feet. Cruz lands a well-timed strike on the break from the clinch. Once again Dominick attempted to time Urijah rushing in. A knee up the middle looked to deter the forward motion of Faber. The challenger showed his wrestling prowess scooping the leg and throwing Cruz to the mat with a huge slam. Astonishingly Cruz rolled as he came down and used the momentum to roll on top. As the two stand up Urijah attacked with a guillotine choke. Cruz works his way out defending intelligently and after the break resets and begins to move again. Cruz pressed the action until the bell looking to land with mixed combinations varying his attack.

Round 2

In the corner between rounds, Eric Del Fierro asked his fighter to attack with more than four strikes per combination. Cruz responded to the instruction and came out fast looking to set up shots off of his jab. Employing his trademark rapid footwork and head movement Cruz’ traps soon paid off as he drew Faber into lunging forward and countered hard with a huge left hook. The punch stunned Urijah who stumbled to the floor. He quickly returned to the feet only to take another shot followed by a strong leg kick. Attacking the legs repeatedly Cruz gradually pulled away in the second round. Drawing big misses out of the leaping Faber-Cruz was happy to counter and he repeatedly got the better of the exchanges. A nice one two and a long straight the body capped off a fine round for the champion.

Round 3

Urijah opened the round with a body kick as he desperately looked to gather momentum following a tough first round. Another strong kick to the legs took the steam out of the California Kid briefly. Switching between orthodox and southpaw Cruz began to land the straight cross from either stance. Using the same tactic that Jose Aldo used to such great effect against Faber Dominick targeted the legs ending his punching combination with strikes to the trailing leg of Faber. Moving forward behind the jab Cruz looked for a long right hook to the body that glanced off Faber’s midsection. The combination drew a good counter from Urijah. The right hand was one of the few that the challenger was managing to find a home for. Dominick was extremely comfortable pressing the action or moving backward and picking shots off the back foot. Urijah grew increasingly hesitant due to Cruz erratic movement and ability to land strikes from odd angles. Another solid display from the champion who threatened to pull away further with hurtful blows before the horn.

Round 4

As the fourth was about to get underway Justin Bucholz of Team Alpha Male imploring Urijah to counter any Cruz strikes with three punch counters. Adding variety to his attack Dominick landed a head kick and faked the uppercut setting traps for Urijah as he walked him down. A long jab backed Faber up who tried to respond with a teep that fired past the guard. Each time Cruz moved forward his head movement in the pocket staved off any potential counters and he used these split seconds to score. A roll and counter from Cruz duly knocks Urijah down once more. The follow up from Cruz missed the mark and as Urijah used the cage to stand a high kick skipped off his gloves. Moving forward Urijah hung in there searching valiantly for a way back into the fight but ultimately it was another round in the books for Cruz.

Round 5

Dominick opened the last round with a round kick to the body and a jab forcing Faber backwards. Urijah fired back with all he had through the right hand but the lack of combinations thrown prevented much joy as Cruz skipped away and out of range once more. An uppercut off each hand started another classic Cruz combo and he ended it with a left hook to the temple. Capitalising off of the momentum Cruz landed a takedown. Controlling top position Cruz briefly had the back and concentrated his efforts on getting the hooks into fully control Urijah’s frame. Faber made his way back to the feet and was welcomed with a kick. Another takedown from Cruz drained any fight from the challenger left and he passed immediately to side control looking for ground and pound. Urijah attempted a late guillotine but it never looked like threatening although a hard elbow landed on Cruz’ brow on the exit. An uppercut landed for Cruz and the pair begrudgingly embrace at the end of another gruelling battle.

Result

Dominick Cruz defeats Urijah Faber by unanimous decision (50-45,49-46, 50-45)

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Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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The Wake-Up Report-UFC 218

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The Wake-Up Report is a way for you to get all the important info about the fights the night before. After letting it all sink in and letting all the carnage seep deep into your soul, we get to go back and take a second look at all the madness of the night. Last night the UFC pulled off one of the best PPV cards a true fight fan could imagine. Waking up after a night of fights like we had last night is like waking up from a dream that was also a bit scary. There was two ‘Fight of the Night’ in UFC president Dana White’s eyes but in the eyes of the millions of fans watching all over the world, there could have been so many more.

UFC 218 kicked off at 6:15 ET with the UFC Fight Pass Prelims, by 6:20 we already had the first knockout of the night. Justin Willis welcomed ‘Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series’ fighter, Allen Crowder to the UFC with a massive left hand to the chin.

Official Result: Willis def. Crowder by KO in round 1

The prelims continued with a submission win for Dominick Reyes over Jeremy Kimball.

Official Result: Reyes def. Kimball by Submission in round 1

Proceeding that fight was a strange one between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi. An early stoppage by veteran UFC ref Herb Dean led to the KO win by Homasi. Immediately, the stoppage was contested by Alhassan. Dana White agreed that the fight was ended too soon and announced in the post-fight media scrum that this fight will be run back on the UFC 219 card on December 30th.

Official Result: Homasi def. Alhassan by KO in round 1

The early prelims ended with a great win by Amanda Bobby Cooper over Angela Magana.

Official Result: Cooper def. Magana by TKO in round 2

We followed that strawweight fight up with another strawweight battle when Felice Herrig squeaked out the split decision victory over Courtney Casey.

Official Result: Herrig def. Casey by Split Decision 

David Teymur was on the winning side of a unanimous decision over his opponent Drakkar Klose. Teymur has now won four in a row since coming to the UFC and should be setting himself up for a ranked opponent in his next time out.

Official Result: Teymur def. Klose by Unanimous Decision

Right smack in the middle of this massive fight card was one fight that you can tell your grandkids about one day. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros is the reason we all love MMA. That fight had everything you could want in a fight. Both men gave their all and pushed themselves to the brink in over to get the win. On this cold December night in Detriot, MI, Yancy Medeiros was the better man and he was able to stop Oliveira in the third round by TKO. Earning themselves a well deserved ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, these two fighters have put the rest of the welterweight division on notice.

Official Result: Medeiros def. Oliveira by TKO in round 3

The next fight featured another Oliveira, Charles Oliveira. He took on ‘The Irish Dragon’ Paul Felder. Felder put on a dominant performance and took out Oliveira in the second round with a big TKO victory.

Official Result: Felder def. Oliveira by TKO in round 2

As if the FS1 free prelims didn’t already satisfy your fight needs for the night we happily moved right along to the PPV portion of the evening. The main card kicked off in the strawweight division with a pair of title contenders looking to be the first title defense for the newly crowned champ Rose Namajumas.  Both women started off strong, but it was Tecia Torres who shortly emerged as the stronger physical fighter. She was able to get Michelle Waterson up against the cage several times and eventually worked out the unanimous decision victory and perhaps a third date with Namajunas.

Official Result: Torres def. Waterson by Unanimous Decision

Following the strawweights were the coaches of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, Eddie Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. This fight was one of the focal points for fans in the weeks leading up to the fight. These two men had a great deal of respect for one another and showed that inside the octagon as well. A back and forth of heavy hands and vicious leg kicks ended in the TKO victory for Alvarez and he handed Gaethje the first loss of his career. This fight also earned a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus from the bossman, Dana White.

Official Result: Alvarez def. Gaethje by TKO in round 3

Next came a bout in the flyweight division. Perhaps not as exciting as the rest of the card, but, former gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo did what he had to do to get the nod over young talent Sergio Pettis.

Official Result: Cejudo def. Pettis by Unanimous Decision

From some of the smallest guys on the roster to the monsters of the heavyweight division, in walked rising star Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem. We all knew coming into this fight that we would see carnage, but nothing prepared us of the ginormous KO that was about to ensue. Francis Ngannou was able to squash Overeems plan of wrapping him up in the clinch and immediately put his massive left fist right to Overeem’s chin. The world record holder for punching power used all of his might and unleashed on his opponent. With this win, Ngannou has solidified his title shot against champion Stipe Miocic. Dana White has plans for that bout in the first quarter of 2018.

Official Result: Ngannou def. Overeem by KO in round 1

As if things couldn’t get better than that, we still had a main event featuring one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon. Jose Aldo was looking to regain his title, and for a good portion of the first round it looked like that would be the case. Max Holloway saw it another way. Holloway absorbed all the shots from Aldo and imposed his strength on the exhausted Aldo. The fight, that went on in very similar fashion from the first meeting between these two fighters, ended in the third round when the ref stepped in and called the fight.

Official Result: Holloway def. Aldo by TKO in round 3

Max Holloway has secured a place in the history books as one of the greatest to fight in the UFC at 145 pounds. It would seem that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at the champ. As for Aldo, only time will tell where the former champ goes from here. Perhaps there will be a change of weight classes as he looks for another shot at the man who robbed him of his title initially, Conor McGregor.

The fight fans of Detroit, MI received an early holiday present in the form of violence and mayhem. UFC 218 was a successful fight card and one for the record books. Like true fans of fighting we take a brief moment to reflect before quickly turning our attention to next week where we begin the madness all over again. The nest card will take place in Fresco, CA on December 8th. That card will be headlined by Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega.

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2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app

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This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.

The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=bh.iaa.bahraintv&hl=en

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/bahrain-tv/id992105518?mt=8

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