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From UFC Fighter to UFC Writer in Less Than a Minute

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To anyone who still wondered what happens when a pro boxer makes a professional MMA debut in the UFC, a scenario reminiscent of 2010’s James Toney vs Randy Couture answered the question again last night at UFC Fight Night 82 in Las Vegas. The style matchup was largely another striker versus grappler match like the aforementioned, albeit on a much smaller scale, as Mickey Gall and Mike Jackson are far less tenured than Toney or Couture.

Nonetheless, the end result was the same: a one-sided affair that favored the grappler, which saw Gall finish Jackson with a rear naked choke in just 45 seconds. Although Gall’s status a high-level grappler had him favored to win, it was actually a right hand that dropped the boxer to set up the finish and Jackson’s UFC run ended as quickly as it began.

His next move was as unprecedented as the fight itself and it may actually be the beginning of a different type of run in the UFC. Immediately following a wardrobe change and a short media scrum backstage, Jackson joined the cage side reporters decked out with media credentials and a three-piece suit. Unphased by the devastating loss, he showed his resilience and outgoing personality by live tweeting commentary and photos from press row of the Octagon, apparently not missing a beat in the transition from a fighter back to a reporter.

The UFC welcomed the arrangement. Vice President of Public Relations Dave Sholler tweeted, “Love this. @TheTruthJackson asked to cover the rest of the fights from press row after making UFC debut. Happy to welcome him out here.”

After Wonderboy Thompson’s stunning TKO victory over former champ Johny Hendricks, Mike Jackson even attended the post-fight press conference and actually fielded questions to his opponent. He may as well as parlay the experience into something memorable and have some fun with it, right?

“Going into the fight, the stipulation was that you would be the one to fight CM Punk (with a win). Was there any added pressure knowing that I had nothing to lose?”, Jackson asked Gall. Shaking his head, Mickey responded in kind, “No…no,” he said flatly. “Just win. Win a fight.”

When MMA Latest News interviewed Mike “The Truth” Jackson leading up to the fight, the self-taught, self-made photographer and journalist said, “this is a win-win situation for me, all of the pressure is on Gall.” He went on to say “This is a great opportunity for me to expose the Mike “The Truth” brand and I plan to make the most of this opportunity.”

He certainly accomplished that and it really was a win-win for all involved. Mickey Gall got what he wanted and now faces CM Punk later this year. Mike Jackson elevated his brand exposure and a made a big impression on the UFC media community, telling backstage reporters, “I talked to Dana White earlier this evening, and y’all are going to be seeing a lot more of me.”

MMA Latest caught up with “The Truth” this morning, the 7th of February and got clarification on the Dana White comment. He said that White told him, “I’ll be (a media contributor) at a lot of upcoming shows in Texas.”

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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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Sensor Equipped Tracking Gloves to be Used at UFC 219

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From implementing the likes of USADA, the UFC Performance Instiute and the introduction of the instant replay. The UFC has always prioritized being at the top of the sport science game. 

Now, at UFC 219 on December 30th, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has approved a test run for sensor equipped tracking gloves to be worn by a selection of fighters on the card.

The technology behind the gloves comes from AGI International (an analytics company) along with HEED (a consumer platform company). A collaboration founded by the UFC.

After a sparring exhibition between top lightweights, Edson Barbosa (19-4-0) and Mark Diakiese (12-1-0), HEED co-founder Mati Kochavi had this to say regarding how “70 insights” collected from sensors on the gloves, the corner-men, the octagon itself can depict a clearer image of a fight.

“Those insights are covering entire aspects  of the fight between Diakiese and Barbose. Their passion, power of the fight, resiliency and strategy. All happen in the octagon.“

Shouldn’t sport be told in real-time, with real data, information and emotions?”

He finally promises “We are a company which is trying to revolutionize the way we (broadcast) sports and live events”

As for now there is little to zero information into the technical aspects of the gloves, however products like a Fit Bit have similar abilities to give data on speed,  force, motion, elevation, heart rate etc.

The UFC 219 card takes place on Decemebr 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between current champion Cris Cyborg (18-1) and former UFC bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (11-3).

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