When Dana White welcomes contestants onto The Ultimate Fighter he says that the fight, the next day, will be the most important fight of their life. However, the truth is that in Mixed Martial Arts the most important fight of a fighter’s life is always the next one. For Jessamyn Duke, the next fight is all about breathing life into a dying UFC career.
Duke faces Elizabeth Phillips this Saturday in Chicago. This fight is a rematch of an amateur bout the two had at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 2 back in 2012. Duke won the fight via submission and is looking to have a repeat victory over Phillips. If she does not win this fight, then there is a very good chance that this would be the end of a once promising UFC career.
Jessamyn Duke was one of the contestants on TUF 18. She defeated Laura Howarth via Submission in the first round in order to get into the house. She was the second female pick by Team Rousey and the fourth female pick overall. She fought Raquel Pennington in the Quarterfinals of TUF and lost via Unanimous Decision in an incredible fight that was later marked as “Fight of the Season”.
She made her UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale against Peggy Morgan and defeated Morgan via Unanimous Decision. She was then put into a fight against rising star Bethe Correia at UFC 172. Duke’s reach advantage, that had helped her in so many of her prior fights, was completely negated by Correia’s dirty boxing and her ability to clinch up and push Duke to the cage. Duke lost by Unanimous Decision and Correia went on to beat Shayna Baszler moving forward to fight for the Women’s Bantamweight title at UFC 190.
Duke looked to bounce back from the loss by taking a fight against Leslie Smith in New Jersey. She lost by TKO in the first round and found herself in the position no fighter wants to be in, holding a losing record in the UFC. It is common knowledge that a 3 fight losing streak in the world’s top MMA promotion can result in a pink slip. If Duke wants to avoid losing her title as a UFC fighter, she needs to pick up a win this Saturday. This next fight for her is the most important of her career, but in MMA that is always true.
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
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.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
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.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
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.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
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.
Sensor Equipped Tracking Gloves to be Used at UFC 219
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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