Connect with us

New York MMA

Khabib Nurmagomedov stays unbeaten, showcases grappling in finish of Michael Johnson

Peyton Wesner



NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK — Leading up to this evening’s UFC 205 bout, Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov was adamant about what should have been: a title shot with Eddie Alvarez.

Instead of fighting Alvarez, the undefeated Russian had to prove his talent, once again, versus Michael “The Menace” Johnson.

Now his 23-fight win streak is now 24.

Despite the heart and unbreakable chin of Johnson (18-11, 9-7 in UFC), Nurmagomedov (24-0, 8-0 in UFC) had arguably the best performance of his career, displaying his prowess of grappling before ending the fight via 3rd round kimura.

“I want to say something,” said Nurmagomedov. “Your guy [Conor McGregor], beginning over there, he talks like a chicken and he fights for the title. Crazy!

“This is his first fight in lightweight division,” said the victorious 2nd ranked 155-pound fighter. “Everything God has given me.”

The matchup lived up to fan expectations as both exhibited lively feet and the willingness to exchange in the pocket. In stand-up, Johnson, as against Dustin Poirier in September, connected with hooks. The Eagle was wobbled because of the strikes, leading to a crowd explosion. Johnson began his hunt for a finish with three minutes remaining. Then the fight changed terrains. Nurmagomedov shot for a takedown, and although Johnson had his back to the fence, the undefeated fighter successful took the battle to the canvas. Immediately, The Eagle flew to a mounted crucifix and started to unload elbows and hammer fists. These strikes became punches and the position transitioned to top mount. In top mount, Nurmagomedov mauled Johnson with temple shots, which bounced the head of his opponent, during the final minute. Regardless, The Menace survived.

“Guys, [I have] ten years amateur fighting,” said Nurmagomedov on his first-round absorbed abuse. “I’m the more prominent fighter, nobody touch me.”

Despite a reset position and a clinch escape by Johnson, Nurmagomedov landed a takedown shortly after a minute of action. Johnson tried a crafty guillotine submission of the Russian, but could not finish. Thus, The Eagle picked up right where he left off and transitioned with ease from mounted crucifix to top mount. Towards the end of the second round, Nurmagomedov surpassed 70 ground strikes for the bout and had referee John McCarthy looking very closely at the defense capability of The Menace. Nevertheless, Johnson endured, forcing a third round.

Nurmagomedov then ended the bout. By first landing strikes in standup and then achieving full mount, Nurmagomedov inflicted more pain via ground and pound. The Eagle ultimately finished by kimura once realizing his arm triangle would not induce a stoppage. Johnson never tapped out, instead, McCarthy stopped the bout once the kimura was in deep position.

“Let’s go with your chicken!” concluded Nurmagomedov.

Onnit Primal Bells


UFC 210: Takeaways from Buffalo



Conor McGregor Daniel Cormier

The UFC octagon rolled into Buffalo, New York for the first time since 1995, way back at UFC 7 when Ken Shamrock and Oleg Takarov fought out a draw after thirty-three minutes of action.

NYSAC continued to make themselves the least popular commission in MMA following a controversial end to the co-main event with questions continuing to be raised over the fight.

Rumble tried to take down DC, Rumble lost, Rumble retired.

What else did we learn in Buffalo?

Gillespie is more than just a fisherman

Gregor Gillespie improved his record to 9-0 with a stunning stoppage of Andrew Holbrook for the New York born fighter.

After his UFC debut ended in decision, Gregor wasted no time in making his stamp on the lightweight division with a twenty-one second finish of the relatively more experienced fighter.


Gillespie proclaimed to the world that he is the best fisherman in the UFC, I think he could continue that potential to becoming a top lightweight rather than a career catching fish!

What’s next for Ill Will?

The former Bellator lightweight king was expected to make big waves in the UFC following his switch from their promotional rivals, but finds himself sliding to 1-2 after back-to-back losses to two Brazilians.

Brooks was signed by the UFC with a view to becoming a legitimate contender at 155lbs, taking home fifty thousand dollars to fight and fifty thousand dollars which is by no means a contract that the promotion would offer to someone they don’t believe will be on their way to being a huge star.


A disappointing loss for “Ill Will” against someone who wouldn’t be seen as a contender at lightweight but clearly work needs to be done on the American’s ground game. What’s next for him?

Thiago Alves looked fantastic

Over fourty fights in the octagon between perennial welterweight contenders Thiago Alves and Patrick Cote and they didn’t disappoint.


It was always going to be a brawl and Alves put on a striking clinic, following up his kicks with strikes and dominating Cote, who suffered that devastating knock out loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC 202 nearly ten months ago.

Alves retired the Canadian in Buffalo with a huge performance that could put him right back in the mix at 170lbs!

Calvillo has an insane ground game

A fight that left people scratching their heads as to how it made the pay-per-view portion of the card didn’t disappoint with Calvillo putting on a show on the ground over Pearl Gonzalez.


The match up nearly didn’t happen with disputes over breast implants with NYSAC but after Gonzalez was saved by the bell in the first, Calvillo continued to tire out the UFC newcomer before eventually submitting her by rear-naked choke in the third round.

Huge performance from Cynthia Calvillo who goes 2-0 in the octagon with back-to-back PPV victories, both by submission. She’s one to watch at 115lbs!

The NYSAC circus continues

After enough drama around the weigh ins, the New York State Athletic Commission continued to make themselves the centre of attention on fight night.

An interesting match up between highly ranked middleweight contenders Gegard Mousasi and Chris Weidman was controversially stopped in the second round following two legal knees. Dan Miragliotta stopped the bout believing those knees were illegal before watching a replay whilst doctors were in the cage attending to the American.


Weidman tried to put both hands down on the ground to manipulate the new rules of what is deemed to be a grounded opponent. It was such a sour end to the fight which was well poised with the American in front. It was also a shame to see Gegard’s fiftieth professional MMA bout end in such a manner.

A rematch is needed… and not in New York.

Rumble got his game plan wrong

Did his decision to retire after this fight affect his performance? Maybe, but Anthony Johnson should not try to out wrestle a champion like Cormier who has outwrestled people thirty pounds heavier than him.

His game plan played right into Cormier’s strengths and Johnson failed to go after the champion’s broken nose in the second round and eventually succumbed to exactly the same fate as the first bout.

Mentally to know you’re going to quit after the fight has got to affect your mindset. Not wanting to take damage I wonder? The Anthony Johnson that we’ve grown to love didn’t show up in Buffalo.


Cormier must be counting his lucky stars that he didn’t have a storm to weather and he comes away still the light-heavyweight king.

We can’t wait for UFC 211! Can you?

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading


Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva to headline Bellator 180 at MSG



Chael Sonnen Bellator

Bellator is making it’s first trip to New York this coming June.  Set to headline the event is a huge matchup between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.  The news broke today via the Associated Press.  The event will be held at the historic Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The event is scheduled to take place on June 24th and will be available for purchase on Pay-Per-View per Bellator president Scott Coker.

This will be the first trip to the Big Apple since the sport was legalized last year.   Coker told the AP “We always said that when we come to New York, we’ll bring the biggest and the best fight card we’ve ever had in the history of this company, we’re putting it together, and our roster is robust enough that we feel like it’s time to get into the pay-per-view business, so here we go.”

Sonnen (29-15-1) decided to come to Bellator in September of 2016 following serving a two-year suspension for a positive drug test.  Upon signing the contract with Bellator, Sonnen announced that he had chosen to make the move to Bellator in part because of the desire to fight Wanderlei Silva, who had signed with the company just months earlier.   Sonnen is coming off his first fight under the Bellator banner.  He recently lost to Tito Ortiz at Bellator 170 in January.

Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1-1) has not had a fight since March of 2013 when he beat Brian Stann at UFC on Fuel TV 8.  In 2014 Silva was suspended for three years after refusing to submit to a random drug test.  Silva and Sonnen were scheduled to fight back in 2014 when they were coaches on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3.  There was bad blood between the two fighters, that ultimately ended in a physical altercation while filming the show.  On June 24th they will finally be able to settle the score.

This could be the biggest card in Bellator history according to Scott Coker, “I think (Bellator 180) will be the most exciting fight card in MMA this year so far,” he told AP, “I mean, who knows what’s going to happen before the end of the year, but I think this is going to be the biggest fight card put together by any company so far in the pay-per-view business, and we feel really good about it.”

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading

Fight Announcements

Chris Weidman vs Gegard Mousasi set for UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York



For the third time since the bill was passed legalizing MMA in the state of New York, The UFC will return for a Pay-Per-View. This time emanating from the KeyBank Arena in Buffalo, New York on April 8th for UFC 210.

Today, the promotion announced the first confirmed fight for the event, as top 5 ranked middleweights are set for action, with #5 Gegard Mousasi (41-6) set to take on New York state’s own #4 Chris ‘The All-American’ Weidman (13-2).

2016 was not a year to remember for the former middleweight champion, as Weidman was due for a rematch against Luke Rockhold, the same person he lost his title to the previous November, but had to pull out of the rematch scheduled for June, due to a Cervical Disc Herniation, which allowed Brit Michael Bisping to step in and claim the gold.

The loss to Rockhold was his first in his career, but the All-American looked to redeem himself as the UFC was due to have its first show in New York since the bill passed. Weidman in his home state was up against Middleweight powerhouse Yoel Romero, but a home win wasn’t written in the stars for Weidman, as Romero would land a flying knee to the head, which gave Romero the KO victory.

With his first two losses of his career coming in quick succession, and both hard pills to lose, as one loss gave his title to another competitor, and one in his home state. But the #4 ranked middleweight will look to get 2017 off to a good start, again in his home state as he goes up against #5 Gegard Mousasi.

In contrast, Mousasi’s 2016 was full of positives, not only did the Iranian fight four times during the year, he also won each of those four fights.

The Dreamcatcher would start the year in London, where he went to a Unanimous decision victory over Thales Leites, he would then go on to finish each of his next three, without seeing the third round.

He would continue the year at UFC 200, earning a performance of the night victory over Thiago Santos, then would follow that with two more KO/TKO victories over Vitor Belfort, and then getting a win over Urijah Hall, who he had lost to the previous year.

This fight is a perfect opportunity for each fighter to put their name in the hat to face Bisping for a UFC Title shot, with both placing so high in the rankings, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was indeed an elimination fight for a future title shot.

With it being in Buffalo, it will definitely be a fight both would want to win for differing reasons, with Weidman back in front of a home crowd, and looking to get back into winning ways, and for a Mousasi a chance to go up against a former champion and continue his excellent form from 2016.

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading