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It’s All Over! – UFC Fight Night 75 Japan Finish Analysis



Saturdays UFC event at the historic Saitama Super Arena may not have been a card packed of finishes, but the few we had harked back to the Pride era of MMA that the arena is famous for hosting. Here is a look at all of UFC Fight Night 75 Japan : Barnett vs. Nelson finishes.

Uriah Hall def. Gegard Mousasi via KO round 2

The biggest surprise of the night was the resurgence of The Ultimate Fighter version of Uriah Hall as he picked up by far the biggest win of his becoming the first man to ever KO the 45 fight veteran and number 6 ranked Gegard Mousasi.

this fight ending started with a sensational spinning back kick to the head of Mousasi set up brilliantly by Hall. Uriah baited Gegard into a trap byu showing the startings of a spin with every stand-up exchange both men had. Hall showed incredible fighter IQ by biding his time to unleash the spinning technique with full effect and when he threw the kick, it was simply devastating.

As Hall threw the spinning kick Mousasi attempted to evade well by lowering his body and looking for an easy takedown as Uriah was on one leg and off balance due to the spin. however, this fell directly into Hall’s trap as instead of throwing a full spinning hook kick, he instead landed a much shorter kick directly to the face of the crouching Mousasi.

Mousasi showed great resolve and an unbelievable chin to absorb the strike that set him staggering backwards, but unfortunately when you’re dealing with a striker of Uriah Hall’s calibre, you know he isn’t going to let that opportunity go to waste, as he followed up with a flying knee again landing flush on Gegard’s chin as the rocked Mousasi looked for a takedown.

the knee put Mousasi on the mat and a few well-placed punches later and the referee was forced to step in and stop what was a sensational KO victory. Hall showed just what mixing a high-level striker and insanely physically talented athlete can do showed perfect timing, technique and killer instinct to catch Mousasi off guard and then follow up with the kill shot. This win should propel Hall into the top 10 and be a bedrock of his highlight reel for years to come.

Diego Brandao def. Katsunori Kikuno via KO round 1

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Kikuno’s stance is costing him his consciousness, we first saw it against Ferguson, secondly against Souza and now against Brandao. The fact is that when you take on the elite fighters in the world, keeping your hands by your hips for the entirety of the fight is always a bad idea and Kikuno learnt this lesson hard once again against Brandao.

in this 28 second long contest, Kikuno was caught early by a huge overhand right from Brandao right on the chin putting him on the canvas. Due to Kikuno having his hands down by his hips, there was no way he was going to get his guard up to deflect the speedy strike of Brandao and this cost him the contest. the overhand put Kikuno down who, to his merit, was able to partially recover and scramble to his feet, but the ferocious Brandao never let up with the strikes and soon overwhelmed Kikuno forcing the referee to step in.

There isn’t much to say about this stoppage that anyone who has ever seen any fight, ever shouldn’t already know and that’s to keep your hands up and your chin tucked, otherwise a man like Diego Brandao will take your head clean off your shoulders every single time.

Keita Nakamura def. Li Jingliang via submission (rear naked choke) round 3

This fight finish showed a beautiful mix of basic ground techniques,blending technical wrestling and a textbook rear naked choke, leading to a spine-tingling faceplant technical submission victory.

the end of this fight came off a JingLiang sprawl, where he was attempting to stuff Nakamura’s head down to completely stuff the takedown. From here, Nakamura slid out to the side and underneath Jingliang’s unsuspecting left arm that offered no defence. This allowed Nakamura to take Li’s back and sink in his leg hooks and the all important arm underneath JingLiang’s chin as Li tried to stand up. This spelt the end for Jingliang who was now in a fully locked rear naked choke courtesy of Nakamura who already had 13 rear naked choke victories. Keita showed his choking prowess once again by putting Jingliang to sleep in seven seconds causing him to faceplant the floor in dramatic fashion.

This finish showed how one simple mistake can cost you the contest. JingLiang was so preoccupied with stuffing Nakamura’s head that he didn’t realise that all that downward force caused Nakamura to slip his head out to the side and escape to take Li’s back. From here Jingliang should have known Nakamura would go to his bread and butter rear naked and defended accordingly, but instead by standing up he wasn’t able to focus on hand fighting and stopping Keita’s choking arm and left himself open to the submission. This is a mistake you simply cannot afford to make in the UFC, especially against a guy known for his rear naked chokes. Every fighter should learn from this and do your research before the fight.

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Fight Announcements

Aldo vs. Lamas 2 and Ponzinibbio vs. Perry Added to UFC Winnipeg

Harry Davies



The UFC has added Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas 2, and Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Mike Perry to their UFC Winnipeg card on December 16th.

The two fights were announced as official today on the UFC’s Twitter account.

Aldo (26-3) last fought at UFC 212 in June, where he lost by third round TKO to Max Holloway. After being promoted to the undisputed 145-pound champion last November, he was looking to make the first defence of the title against Holloway.

Lamas first faced Aldo back in 2014 at UFC 169. Aldo, who was again featherweight champion at the time, defeated Lamas with ease winning by unanimous decision (49-46) on all scorecards. Lamas is on a two-fight winning streak after defeating both Charles Oliveira and Jason Knight with impressive finishes.

Since his last UFC loss to Lorenz Larkin back in 2015, Ponzinnibio (25-3) has won five consecutive fights. His most recent victory was a upset win over Gunnar Nelson in July at UFC Glasgow. There was some controversy after the fight, as replays seemed to show a short grab and several eyes pokes from Ponzinnibio before knocking out Nelson in the first round.

Mike Perry has taken the UFC by storm since making his debut for the promotion last August. Picking up four wins all by knockout, the only loss ‘Platinum’ suffered was too Alan Jouban by decision. Ranked at #9 in the welterweight division, a win over Ponzinnibio could definitely propel Perry into the top ten at 170-pounds.

With the additon of these two fantastic fights, the lineup for UFC Winnipeg is as follows:

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos – Welterweight bout
  • Glover Teixeira vs. Misha Cirkunov – Light heavyweight bout
  • Antônio Rogério Nogueira vs. Jared Cannonier – Light heavyweight bout
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins – Flyweight bout
  • Chad Laprise vs. Galore Bafondo – Welterweight bout
  • Alessio Di Chirico vs. Oluwale Bamgbose – Middleweight bout
  • Vitor Miranda vs. Julian Marquez – Middleweight bout
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo – Lightweight bout
  • Nordine Taleb vs. Sultan Aliev – Welterweight bout
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Why the UFC Needs to Introduce 165 and 175-pound Weight Divisions



  • The debacle that were the UFC 216 weigh-in last Friday further highlighted current weight cutting problems in mixed martial arts.

More specifically in this case it was in the UFC’s lightweight division. A fight between Nik Lentz and Will Brooks was pulled due to Lentz having ‘medical issues’ according to a UFC statement, hours before he was due to weigh-in.

Title challenger Kevin Lee then took to the scale seconds before the deadline and was over the limit by a pound. Fortunately he made weight after being given an extra hour. But these are not isolated cases, especially at 155-pounds.

There isn’t necessarily a solution to this problem but there may be a short term fix in the form of new weight classes approved by the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports) in July 2017. These include 165 and 175-pound divisions.

While not specific to the lightweight division, the problems with weight commonly occur there. In March this year, Khabib Nurmagomedov was rushed to hospital during fight week when cutting down for his title contest with Tony Ferguson. Subsequently the UFC 209 main event was cancelled. Khabib has been regularly discussed as a title challenger but he’s often struggled to make weight and failed on numerous occasions.

With drastic dehydration it is still unknown what health implications may effect him and other mixed martial artists in the future.

Some top ranked fighters such as Donald Cerrone, Jorge Masvidal and Rafael Dos Anjos have moved up to the welterweight division to preserve their health from these strenuous cuts, and have all been relatively successful.

Former UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone has looked spectacular since making the move up to 170-pounds.

However, many fighters are still reluctant and insist on dropping 10-20% of their bodyweight in the hours and days leading up to a bout. For example, Kevin Lee was rumoured to be 19 pounds over the day before he stepped on the scales.

At 170 pounds, welterweight is fifteen pounds more than lightweight which is a noticeable difference between relatively low weight classes. Especially when you consider that the divisions increase ten pounds from as low as 115 up to 155. There are many fighters who find themselves too big to be a lightweight, yet too small to compete at welterweight.

The incidents last Friday should hopefully be a wakeup call to the UFC, who can also set an example for other organisations such as Bellator, One FC, and Cage Warriors.

So far in 2017 the UFC has lost 14 fights in 48 hours or less before they were due to take place. That is one fight every two cards. While weight cutting is not always to blame, more often than not it plays a big role. These situations leave the UFC at a loss, fighters without opponents and a pay check, and fans disgruntled. Not to mention the health implications for the athlete involved.

The UFC must recognise these common patterns, remove the 170 pound welterweight division and create 165 and 175 pound rosters instead. Some may see an additional weight class as devaluing UFC titles even further but this would not be the case.

The UFC’s official website only lists four fighters in the women’s featherweight division.

Recently the women’s featherweight title was created without having a roster of women to fill it. However, the difference with lightweight and welterweight is that they are comfortably the two deepest, most talent stacked divisions in the organisation.

Admittedly, there is a lot of history attached to the welterweight title since Pat Miletich first won it back in 1998. The likes of Matt Hughes and Georges St Pierre have also added prestige to the belt over the years.

Even so, the sport has changed since then and it’s in a transitional phase. We are in the era of USADA, the era of banned IV drips and certain commissions tightening their regulations on how much they allow fighters to safely cut. Everyone is accountable and aware of the dangers, yet steps still need to be taken.

The athletic commissions and the UFC in particular must act by introducing super lightweight (165lbs) and super welterweight (175lbs) divisions. Perhaps from a fighter’s perspective it seems like a no-brainer that their health should be the main priority.

From a fans point of view there is plenty of talent that could be used in those two divisions. The novelty of fighters blending into these classes would also have the feeling of a superfight. The likes of Nurmagomedov, Lee, Masvidal, Cerrone and Dos Anjos would certainly fit well into a 165 pound division.

Similarly, at 175 pounds, Tyron Woodley could transition from welterweight champion to super welterweight champion. Top talents such as Robert Whittaker, Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia and Robbie Lawler would be perfect matches for this weight.

Could we see the current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley compete at 175-pounds in the future?

If this was a success then super middleweight (195lbs) and cruiserweight (225lbs) divisions could be an option in future too.

As previously mentioned this won’t necessarily fix the issues of weight cutting but it gives martial artists another option and is a positive step towards fighter’s safety. Currently there has been no mention by the UFC about introducing these new divisions.

However, with fighter safety being of upmost importance these new divisions must be given serious consideration.

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James Gallagher out of Bellator 187 in Dublin due to injury



Irish fans will have to wait a little longer to see James Gallagher fighting on home soil after Gallagher suffered a knee injury in preparation for his main event fight with Jeremiah Labiano in Dublin next month. This bad news was first reported by

The 20-year-old from Strabane co. Tyrone who trains in the famous SBG gym with Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson among others has set the featherweight division alight since joining Bellator in 2016.  James “The Strabanimal” Gallagher has gone 3-0 with all three of his wins coming by rear naked choke.

After submitting Chinzo Machida, the brother of former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida in Madison Square Garden Gallagher has become a budding star for Bellator.

Due to the youngster’s attitude and potential, many comparisons between Gallagher and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor have been made by the fans and media which has made Gallagher one of Bellator’s most recognizable names. This notoriety has ultimately led to the young Irishman getting a chance to headline in Dublin this November but this injury has delayed his rise for the time being.

Gallagher on social media Thursday stated that he has suffered an injury to his PCL and LCL in his knee and would be out for the remainder of the year. He has assured fans we would return next year and carry on where he started with “The Jimmy show.”

His longtime rival AJ McKee, who has engaged in a Twitter war with Gallagher after his last fight, will now headline Bellator 187 in the 3 Arena in Dublin on November 10th against Gallagher’s SBG teammate Brian Moore. Moore will be making his third appearance for Bellator in this featherweight clash.



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