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Kevin Lee in for Stevie Ray, faces Jake Matthews at TUF 23 Finale

Matthew Wells

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Scotland native Stevie Ray has been forced out of his showdown with Jake Matthews at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale on July 8 in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Stevie Ray has encountered visa issues, which has resulted in being pulled from the fight card. This slot on the card has seen its share of shake-ups, as Jake Matthews was an injury replacement of Tae Hyun Bang, and now with Ray’s removal, makes for a completely new and exciting matchup in the lightweight division.

Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee (12-2, 4-2 UFC) will step in for Ray, creating a fight between two of the brightest young stars at 155 pounds. Lee’s most recent outing in the Octagon saw him emerge victorious by way of a unanimous decision over Efrain Escudero at UFC 197. Prior to his shocking upset to Leo Santos at UFC 194, Lee was on a four-fight win streak in arguably the toughest division in the entire sport. A win over Matthews will give Lee a push up the ladder at 155, the division of which he hopes to find himself the champion in the near future.

Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews (10-1, 4-1 UFC) will carry a two-fight win streak to the Octagon on July 8, ending fights early against  Johnny Case and Akbarh Arreola. The 21-year-old Australian’s only blemish during his five-fight UFC tenure came by way of submission to the surging James Vick. All four of Matthews’ wins in the UFC have come by early stoppage, in fact, only one of his 11 professional fights have required a decision from the judges. The styles of fighting that Matthews and Lee bring to the cage should result in an exciting clash during International Fight Week.

The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale takes place July 8, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, featuring a fight between TUF 23 coaches for the UFC Strawweight Championship, as the Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk takes on her rival Claudia Gadelha. The event is the second of the three-event weekend that is International Fight Week.

As of now, TUF 23 Finale’s fight card includes:

  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Claudia Gadelha *UFC Strawweight Championship*
  • Thiago Tavares vs. Doo Ho Choi
  • Ross Pearson vs. James Krause
  • Jake Matthews vs. Kevin Lee
  • John Moraga vs. Matheus Nicolau Pereira
  • Gray Maynard vs. Fernando Bruno
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Anthony Smith
  • Jingliang Li vs. Anton Zafir

For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.

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Announcement

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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Fight Announcements

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

Harry Davies

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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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Announcement

Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219

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Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.

Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.

Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.

After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.

With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:

Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout

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