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Fight Night 67 Fight Analysis

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KO’s, chokes and even a broken nose, Fight Night 67 had violence to spare, but the one lesson to take away from all the evening’s finishes is one of control and patience. Despite there being some vicious finishes throughout the card, the one thing they all had in common was the victor keeping his position and composure and looking for the finish when the time was right. Here is a recap of this essential MMA skill in action. 

Tom Breese def. Luiz Dutra via KO round 1

This fight ended with just a few seconds left in the round courtesy of some text book technique from Breese who took advantage of Dutra’s low hanging hands, stepping in with a huge straight left hand when Dutra’s arms were by his waist. The left hand landed flush knocking down Dutra and rocking him severely. Breese followed up well, taking side control and then spinning to take Dutra’s back as he tried to get up off the bottom. Throughout this scramble, Breese was hammering Dutra with short and rapid left hands, while controlling his opponent with his right arm. This prompted the referee to step in and call off the fight in favour of Breese.

Mirsad Bektic def. Lucas Martins via KO round 2

Early in round 2 Bektic used his jab to measure distance then came over with a picture perfect right hand to drop Martins. Bektic followed Martins to the mat and unloaded with a barrage of punches. What was really impressive about this ground and pound was its relentlessness and accuracy. Bektic did not do the usual attack of winging hooks and hammer fists at the grounded opponent, but rather he threw alternating straight hands right in between the guarding arms of Martins and although some of these were blocked, the sheer volume of strikes still wore down Martins, and opened up his guard allowing strikes to his head.

Bektic kept a wide base with his legs and leant his weight onto the guard of Martins, minimalizing any chance of Lucas scurrying out of position. Soon enough, Martins turtled up and the referee stepped in.

Rony Jason def. Damon Jackson via submission triangle choke round 1

this fight finish started with Jackson in Jason’s guard after a great level change takedown. Jackson showed his impatience here and postured up straight away looking for some ground and pound, but forgot to control the busy legs of Jason. Jason threw his legs up, managing to get his right leg over the arm and onto the shoulder of Jackson. From here Jason used Jacksons forward momentum from the ground and pound to sweep him over onto his back, simultaneously grabbing one of Damon’s arms.

Jason now was in a mounted triangle position, but his legs were more in a leg scissor shape, applying pressure to Jackson’s head, but not as much squeeze as a full triangle choke. Being a BJJ blackbelt, Jason knew this and transitioned into a fully locked in mounted triangle with an armbar. Jackson scrambled well and didn’t allo Joason to get a secure base on top. Jackson defended the submission properly, at one pont scrambling to top position and stepping over the body of Jason, but Jason showed excellent patience and held the triangle lock, waiting until Jackson tired himself out attempting escapes and then Jason grabbed Jackson’s head forcing the tap.

This finish showed the importance of taking the finish when the time is right. Jason locked in the triangle but didn’t try to force the submission too hard and give his opponent a chance to escape, instead relying on his experience on the mat and trust in his ability to recognise the correct time to sink in the submission fully.

Darren Till def. Wendell Oliveira via KO round 2

The finish of this contest started with Oliveira taking a risk. Oliveira was on the bottom in half guard position, looking for an under hook on Till’s leg to attempt a sweep. The problem with this move is it kept  one of Oliveira’s arms busy and therefore unable to be used in defense. This allowed Till to open up his ground and pound with vicious elbows that went relatively undefended.

After a few elbows, Oliveira began defending with both hands, but Till kept working his attacks well, moving one of Oliveira’s arms out of the way with his own hand and the coming over with an elbow on the other side. A few more of these put separated Oliveira from his senses and gave Till the KO win.

Alex Oliveira def. KJ Noons via submission rear naked choke round 1

Oliveira was able to take Noons down, albeit with a very technique-lacking body lock takedown. Oliveira took Noons’ back and immediately sunk in one hook, as Noons intelligently moved towards the cage, putting Oliveira’s back against the fence, minimalizing his opponent’s movement opportunities.

This is where Noons made a rooky mistake and raised his chin to look up at the clock instead of fighting Oliveira’s hands. This allowed Alex to sink his arm underneath Noons’ chin and secure the rear naked choke win. This finish was totally preventable if Noons simply defended the choke with day one jiu-jitsu defense. If there is a rear naked choke threat keep your chin low and go 2 on 1 with your hands to fend off your opponents choking arm. Terrible mistake by Noons and a hefty price to pay for it.

Charles Oliveira def. Nik Lentz via submission guillotine choke round 3

This submission finish was set up by Oliveira’s constant and brutal knees in the clinch for the first two rounds that forced Lentz to react once too often opening up his neck for the choke finish.

The final moments of the fight saw a short scramble off a snap-down attempt from Lentz, that ended in Oliveira grabbing a Muay Thai plum clinch on Lentz. From here, Lentz realised that Oliveira would throw knees to the body as he had constantly in the first two rounds, so Lentz curled his body up to try and minimalize the impact of the knees from Oliveira that had already dropped Lentz in the first round. However, Oliveira was one step ahead of Lentz, and after throwing the knee immediately snapped up Lentz’s head in a guillotine choke.

Lentz was so worried about the knees he kept his chin high so Oliveira couldn’t land  the strike to his face, but unfortunately for him, while doing this defense, Lentz gave the long and thin arms of Oliveira the chance to get underneath his chin and lock in the submission and when you let a man as skilled as Oliveira get underneath your chin it nearly always spells disaster and this was no different.

Carlos Condit def. Thiago Alves via KO round 2

The end of this fight stated with a beautiful step in elbow by Condit early in the round, dropping Alves. Condit followed him to the mat and ground and pounded Alves, but kept an eye on his and his opponents positioning while continually striking. This is an aspect of ground and pound a lot of fighters forget, but is essential for success on the ground. Condit kept control of Alves by rolling with him whenever he moved and kept his hips heavy on Alves, making him carry his weight. Condit’s wide leg base minimalized Alves’ movement and whenever Alves moved, Condit would stop striking, reposition himself or his opponent and then continue hammering Alves’ face.

Condit mixed up his strikes effectively, utilizing elbows and punches and a knee at one point to exhaust Alves. After a short break on the feet, Condit was able to take Alves down again with a beautiful body lock trip. What followed was much of the same, with Condit controlling Alves first and attacking him when it was safe to do so. Alves was able to move position a few times, but Condit never let up with his game plan of resetting his position every time Alves moved, then attacking when he was in control.

The fight eventually made it back to its feet with only a few seconds left in the round. Condit threw some flashy strikes here while the exhausted Alves defended until the end of the round. The doctor intervened in between the round and called off the contest due to Alves’ broken nose giving Condit the KO victory.

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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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