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Herrig: [VanZant] just doesn’t understand what it takes to be elite at something

Griffin Tobey

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“[VanZant] just doesn’t understand what it takes to be elite at something”. This is the statement used by Felice Herrig in an interview taken from Fox Sports. This was in response to VanZant saying that due to the fact that she trained at Team Alpha Male, once she got to a title fight against current UFC champion Carla Esparza, she would be as good at wrestling as Esparza, who is a two time All American wrestler. Herrig thinks that VanZant is “starting to believe her own hype”. The two will face off at UFC on Fox 15 in Newark, New Jersey. The card is headlined by a Middleweight bout between Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida. There has been a lot of talk between VanZant and Herrig leading up to the fight, which is still more than 2 months away. It all began when VanZant stated that she knew the two would fight because they are the “pretty girls in MMA”.

Paige VanZant (4-1, 1-0 UFC) is currently the youngest female on the UFC roster at 20 years old. She will turn 21 around the time she fights Herrig. VanZant was originally announced to be a part of The Ultimate Fighter but was then not allowed to be because the rules state that fighters have to be 21. VanZant is coming off of a Fight of the Night performance against Kailin Curran at UFC Fight Night Edgar vs. Swanson. She defeated Curran via TKO in the third round. Her only loss is to fellow UFC contender Tecia Torres, who defeated her by Unanimous Decision in 2013 at Invicta FC 4. Since then she has won 2 fights in a row, including the win over Curran in her UFC debut. She will be looking to show that Herrig is truly a “stepping stone” for her and that experience isn’t always an advantage.

Felice Herrig (10-5, 1-0 UFC) is one of the most popular straw weights on the UFC roster. A talented kickboxer, who won the International Kickboxing Federation Pro Women’s Muay Thai Bantamweight title. Herrig defeated Lisa Ellis in her UFC debut via submission in the second round. She was on The Ultimate Fighter on Team Pettis and got to the quarterfinals. She defeated rival Heather Jo Clark in the preliminary round and defeated her by Unanimous Decision. She then was defeated by Randa Markos in the quarterfinals. She thinks that VanZant did indeed dodge a bullet by not competing in TUF because she “wouldn’t have done very well”.

This will be a very interesting matchup when the talk stops and the cage locks on April 18. The winner will be thrust into the title picture, and the loser will have to battle their way back from the middle of the pack.

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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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