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MMA Latest Female Fighter of the Year: Amanda Nunes

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At the turn of the year Amanda Nunes had been identified as the most dangerous fighter in the women’s bantamweight division.

Wins over Shayna Baszler and Sara McMann were emphatic. Still, it would take more to convince the masses that Nunes was the legitimate threat some had labelled her previously. 2016 was the year that the one-woman wrecking crew put an end to any doubt. That is why our writers voted her the female fighter of the year for 2016.

Nunes’ year began with a win over technically gifted contender Valentina Shevchenko. Nunes thrashed Shevchenko for two rounds, taking her down twice and landing 63 strikes to Shevchenko’s 15. Yet the doubters remained. ‘But she lost the third round’ they said.

With Ronda Rousey out of the picture, and Miesha Tate dethroning Holly Holm as bantamweight Queen, Nunes would challenge for the title at UFC 200. At one point Nunes was as big as a +275 betting underdog. Nunes would obliterate Tate in little more than three minutes, landing powerful strikes from the onset, before choking Tate out.

That should have been enough to silence the critics, but it wasn’t. Tate made a quick return to the cage, losing to Raquel Pennington in November before announcing her retirement. Tate had approached her bout with Nunes as a UFC champion, riding a five-fight win streak and fresh from producing the best performance of her career against Holly Holm to win the belt. That Tate would go on to retire later in the year had a lot more to do with what Nunes did to her at UFC 200, than it did Pennington in Tate’s final fight.

Still people remained unconvinced. Ronda Rousey was coming back. Rousey wanted her belt back, we were told. Nothing mattered more, and in the eyes of many, that meant Nunes’ reign was about to end. The bout was set for UFC 207, December 30, with industry insiders still maintaining that Nunes wasn’t the best fighter in the division.

It took only 48 seconds for the Brazilian to batter Rousey into defeat. Herb Dean’s leaping stoppage, throwing himself between the two fighters as Nunes repeatedly punched the hapless challenger, was merciful. Rousey may decide to fight again, as Tate did after being demolished by Nunes, but this felt like she was being retired by a better, hungrier, more confident fighter.

While other fighters in 2016 absolutely deserve mention, none can compete with Nunes’ level of performance, or achievement in 2016. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino hasn’t faced the right level of competition, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk fought only twice. Nunes’ 3-0 was achieved against three of the best fighters in her division; the top two female bantamweights on the division’s all-time list; and one of the biggest stars the sport has ever seen.

Amanda Nunes, MMA Latest’s Female Fighter of the Year for 2016.

Other fighters to receive votes – Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, Joanna Jedrzejczyk

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

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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Announcement

*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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