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Dominick Cruz vs. TJ Dillashaw: Round by Round Breakdown

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The main event of the evening for UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston was arguably the biggest fight in UFC Bantamweight history as former champion Dominick Cruz looked to regain the title that he never officially lost in a face off against current champion TJ Dillashaw. Regarded as 2 of the best pound for pound fighters in the world, this fight was one that UFC fans had been looking forward to for years. Would Cruz complete his incredible comeback story by regaining his title? Or would Dillashaw prove that there is truly a new king in the 135 lb weight class?

Round 1

Both fighters come out quick and are showing a lot of movement. Cruz immediately throws a high kick that misses. They circle and Dillashaw connects with a kick to the body but Cruz grabs the leg and uses it to take Dillashaw down. They’re back to the feet almost immediately and Cruz lands a leg kick. They circle some more and then exchange strikes but nothing really seems to connect. Dillashaw lands an inside leg kick but Cruz responds with two quick right hands. Both fighters moving really well and they exchange again but nothing connects as both fighters dodge effectively. Cruz lands a right hand to the body. Dillashaw throws a head kick but slips and falls and Cruz immediately jumps on him. Dillashaw scrambles back to the feet and attempts a takedown of his own but Cruz stuffs it. Both fighters return to circling each other, looking for an opening. They again exchange strikes but nothing seems to connect. A left hand connects by Cruz is followed by a rich and then a leg kick. Dillashaw responds with a right hand and a body kick. Dillashaw blocks a head kick from Cruz and lands a body kick of his own. He lands another body kick and then stuffs a takedown attempt by Cruz, they exchange punches as they separate. Cruz stuffs a takedown attempt by Dillashaw and they’re back to circling as the round ends.

Round 2

Both fighters come out swinging to start the round but nothing connects. Dillashaw is applying pressure and landing leg kicks but Cruz responds with several jabs and then a right hand. Cruz is moving and dodging very well, Dillashaw is having a hard time landing anything solid. Cruz lands two quick right hands to the body and then starts throwing jabs. Dillashaw slips and falls after another head kick attempt, eats a jab by Cruz as he stands up. Cruz stuffs a takedown attempt by Dillashaw and slips away from several strikes before he gets caught by a left high kick followed by a right hand. Dillashaw connects with some solid leg kicks on the lead leg of Cruz. Cruz lands a left hand but eats a right high kick and a left hand by Dillashaw. Cruz gets a takedown, Dillashaw is immediately back to his feet only to be taken down again by Cruz. Dillashaw scrambles back to his feet and throws a flurry of strikes but doesn’t connect with any of them. He manages to land a left hand but takes a leg kick from Cruz at the end of the round.

Round 3

The round starts and Dillashaw is the aggressor. Both fighters exchange but don’t really connect with anything. Dillashaw lands a big leg kick on Cruz but Cruz counters with a 1-2 punch combination. Dillashaw connects with a right hand and follows it up with a body kick. Cruz lands several jabs and barely avoids a head kick from Dillashaw. Dillashaw lands a left jab but eats a right hook from Cruz on his way out. Dillashaw lands a right hand, body kick, uppercut combination that looked like all three strikes connected solidly. Dillashaw does appear to be telegraphing his shots however which is causing him to miss quite a bit. Dillashaw lands two solid leg kicks but gets taken down by Cruz again. They scramble back to the feet and exchange jabs. Dillashaw lands a high kick and Cruz responds with a body kick followed by a three-punch combination. Dillashaw shoots for the takedown but Cruz stuffs it and lands a right hand as they separate. Both fighters start to circle at the end of the round.

Round 4

Cruz lands a right hook right out of the gate in round four. Dillashaw responds by connecting with a body kick, a leg kick and then a right hand of his own. Cruz lands a combination but nothing really solid. Both fighters begin to circle and throw lots of feints at the other. Dillashaw lands another leg kick and it seems to be affecting Cruz now. Cruz gets a takedown but they’re back to the feet almost immediately and Dillashaw lands a good combination that ends with a body kick. Dillashaw connects with a solid right hand and Cruz responds with a combination, a jab and then a 1-2 punch combination only to be taken down by Dillashaw. Dillashaw takes his back as they scramble to the feet against the cage. Dillashaw lands several knees to the same leg he’s been targeting with leg kicks. Cruz throws several small, quick hammer fist strikes and they separate. Dillashaw slips and falls while going for a high kick again. Cruz tries to take advantage with another takedown attempt but gets stuffed and eats a right hand from Dillashaw. Cruz responds with a right hand of his own just before the buzzer sounds to end the round.

Round 5

The round begins and Dillashaw comes out swinging. He lands a leg kick and a body kick. Dillashaw follows that up with a big right hand and a big head kick as well. Cruz throws a combination and eats a leg kick from Dillashaw and Cruz has started to noticeably favor the lead leg. Cruz lands a big left hand followed by a left jab. Dillashaw hits him with several body kicks but gets hit with a right hand from Cruz. Cruz throws a spinning back fist but Dillashaw blocks it, Dillashaw also blocks a head kick by Cruz before landing another leg kick, and another. The leg kicks appear to be adding up and Cruz isn’t moving quite the same way that he was earlier in the fight. Cruz throws a high kick and punch but Dillashaw blocks or evades them all. Dillashaw throws a head kick of his own, which Cruz blocks and the two exchange strikes. Cruz lands a left hand and a small combination before getting hit with another leg kick. They exchange punches and Dillashaw attempts a takedown but gets stuffed by Cruz. They exchange punches as the final round ends.

Result

Winner via Split Decision AND NEW UFC Bantamweight Champion: Dominick Cruz
48-47, 49-46, 46-49

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

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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Invicta

Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 

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Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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