Has it settled in yet? Did the thirteen-second knockout of Jose Aldo register in your senses? Can Frankie Edgar do anything more to impress you? Is Sage ready for the next level of competition? We’re still in the aftermath of the record-breaking UFC 194 card that capped off an incredible three-card-week of fights in Las Vegas, and there are plenty of questions to be answered.
How does a fighter stand out in such a congested week? What can you do to ensure your name stays on the mind of fans and analysts alike in the wake of the Conor McGregor show? The obvious answer: Win your fight and win in an impressive fashion. However, even in defeat, your stock can rise as a fighter. It usually takes a dynamic performance to do so, but it’s not necessarily always the case as you’ll read below. With 68 fighters squaring off over the course of three nights, half of those competitors left the cage with a loss on their record, but some left a lasting image in our thoughts.
Rose Namajunas gave Paige VanZant a proverbial wake-up call on Thursday evening. From opening bell to tap-out, Rose completely outworked Paige in all aspects of mixed martial arts. From getting the better of exchanges on the feet, to takedowns, to slick BJJ and multiple deep submission attempts, Rose established her place on the shortlist of strawweight title contenders with a very impressive performance in the headlining bout on Thursday night.
Though, not to completely discredit Paige’s performance as she showed an incredible ability to stay calm and escape multiple deep chokes and armbar attempts from Namajunas. She also showed an incredible will to stay in the fight and keep coming back for more, while looking for that opportunity to shift the fight in her direction. While her heart in the cage wasn’t enough to get her hand raised on the night, it’s what Paige did after the fight that has her stock rising.
In sharp contrast to Ronda Rousey, who went into a brief hiding period after her knockout loss by way of Holly Holm, Paige showed up at the post-fight press conference ready to face her detractors head-on. Like Ronda, some MMA pundits believed she was limited in her skill set and a benefactor of a hype train that would be derailed as she reached the upper echelon of the division.
It happened, and Paige VanZant completely owned it.
She immediately acknowledged the opportunities she has to improve as a fighter and let everyone see her scars and emotions on full display. It was refreshing to see someone with so much hype behind her show up and take it on the chin from the press afterward. “I got outclassed in every way. So, just get back with my team, game plan, and work on my technique,” said Paige at the post-fight press conference. Accepting and acknowledging there are holes in your game are the keys to improving as a fighter.
Undefeated in his first three bouts in the UFC, Frankie Saenz found himself in a hell of a fight to cap off the prelims of UFC 194 against perennial title-contender, Uriah Faber. Not just any Faber, the most dangerous superlative version of Faber: Non-title shot Faber.
All but one of Faber’s 8 losses on his professional record were in bouts for a championship belt (the one being the other Frankie).
This was a fight that would have (and maybe still should have) been Fight of the Night, if it were not on the most stacked card of 2015. Saenz stood in the pocket and traded with Faber, hit him with brutal leg kicks, and popped the California Kid with some nasty uppercuts. Even in the second round after getting rocked with a knee to the head, Saenz stayed composed, weathered the storm of Faber’s hopeful fight-ending flurries, and found himself taking the back of Faber and controlling him to close out the round. While Frankie couldn’t seal the deal in the third round, he impressed the crowd and earned a lot of respect from the fans in attendance as he went the distance with the leader of Team Alpha Male in a hotly contested battle. Want to impress people? Don’t get finished in a tough fight against one of the most popular fighters in the sport, in the last free prelim slot on the biggest card of the year.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
In one of the most interesting fights of the uber-stacked UFC 194 card, Jacare vs. Romero was one of the matchups many people couldn’t get off the fence about who they were picking to win. Jacare came into the fight on an 8-fight win streak, not tasting defeat since he lost the Strikeforce title to the man who would go on later that night to win the UFC Middleweight strap, Luke Rockhold. Yoel Romero’s last loss also came under the Strikeforce banner, but since that defeat had rattled off six-straight wins in the UFC, albeit not completely free from controversy (Google: Stoolgate).
The fight looked as if it were going to be over in the first round as Romero landed a vicious spinning backfist that dropped Jacare, leading to heavy ground and pound for what was the better part of the final minute in what scored as a 10-8 round in the eyes of some. Not to mention as the horn sounded, while Romero went back to his corner, Jacare was very slow to get up from the mat in the center of the Octagon. When he finally made it to his feet, he was very wobbly which garnered a lot of concerned rumblings from the crowd and prompted the cage-side doctor to come in for a closer look while being tended to by his corner. The fight went on to a second round that was relatively uneventful. However, the third round was when Jacare looked fully recovered from the first-round beating and unleashed heavy offense on the fading Romero by landing hard strikes on the feet and heavy elbows from top position after taking down the Olympic silver medalist.
This was a fight in which the first and third rounds were clearly decided, meaning the fight hinged on the second round. If you scored the second round for Jacare, was the first round a 10-8 for Romero? If so, that would mean the bout would result in a draw. What about that cage-grab from Romero that referee Marc Goddard could have taken a point away for? (See also: Is Using Your Warning “Dirty”?) Regardless of how the split decision was read by Bruce Buffer, the heart and determination shown by Jacare as the fight wore on, proved to be very impressive even though two of the judges’ scorecards saw it for Romero.
Even in defeat, your stock can rise as a fighter. Sometimes the performance outside the cage, after the fight is equally as important as the battle in the Octagon. Owning up to your shortcomings and working hard to overcome them is not only a lesson to be learned in mixed martial arts, but in everyday life. Heart, grit, and determination will get you through a lot of adversity throughout your journey in this life.
To quote Carlos Gracie Jr., “You either win, or you learn.”
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
The Wake-Up Report-UFC 218
The Wake-Up Report is a way for you to get all the important info about the fights the night before. After letting it all sink in and letting all the carnage seep deep into your soul, we get to go back and take a second look at all the madness of the night. Last night the UFC pulled off one of the best PPV cards a true fight fan could imagine. Waking up after a night of fights like we had last night is like waking up from a dream that was also a bit scary. There was two ‘Fight of the Night’ in UFC president Dana White’s eyes but in the eyes of the millions of fans watching all over the world, there could have been so many more.
UFC 218 kicked off at 6:15 ET with the UFC Fight Pass Prelims, by 6:20 we already had the first knockout of the night. Justin Willis welcomed ‘Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series’ fighter, Allen Crowder to the UFC with a massive left hand to the chin.
Official Result: Willis def. Crowder by KO in round 1
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 3, 2017
The prelims continued with a submission win for Dominick Reyes over Jeremy Kimball.
Official Result: Reyes def. Kimball by Submission in round 1
Proceeding that fight was a strange one between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Sabah Homasi. An early stoppage by veteran UFC ref Herb Dean led to the KO win by Homasi. Immediately, the stoppage was contested by Alhassan. Dana White agreed that the fight was ended too soon and announced in the post-fight media scrum that this fight will be run back on the UFC 219 card on December 30th.
Official Result: Homasi def. Alhassan by KO in round 1
The early prelims ended with a great win by Amanda Bobby Cooper over Angela Magana.
Official Result: Cooper def. Magana by TKO in round 2
We followed that strawweight fight up with another strawweight battle when Felice Herrig squeaked out the split decision victory over Courtney Casey.
Official Result: Herrig def. Casey by Split Decision
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 3, 2017
David Teymur was on the winning side of a unanimous decision over his opponent Drakkar Klose. Teymur has now won four in a row since coming to the UFC and should be setting himself up for a ranked opponent in his next time out.
Official Result: Teymur def. Klose by Unanimous Decision
Right smack in the middle of this massive fight card was one fight that you can tell your grandkids about one day. Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros is the reason we all love MMA. That fight had everything you could want in a fight. Both men gave their all and pushed themselves to the brink in over to get the win. On this cold December night in Detriot, MI, Yancy Medeiros was the better man and he was able to stop Oliveira in the third round by TKO. Earning themselves a well deserved ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, these two fighters have put the rest of the welterweight division on notice.
Official Result: Medeiros def. Oliveira by TKO in round 3
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) December 3, 2017
The next fight featured another Oliveira, Charles Oliveira. He took on ‘The Irish Dragon’ Paul Felder. Felder put on a dominant performance and took out Oliveira in the second round with a big TKO victory.
Official Result: Felder def. Oliveira by TKO in round 2
As if the FS1 free prelims didn’t already satisfy your fight needs for the night we happily moved right along to the PPV portion of the evening. The main card kicked off in the strawweight division with a pair of title contenders looking to be the first title defense for the newly crowned champ Rose Namajumas. Both women started off strong, but it was Tecia Torres who shortly emerged as the stronger physical fighter. She was able to get Michelle Waterson up against the cage several times and eventually worked out the unanimous decision victory and perhaps a third date with Namajunas.
Official Result: Torres def. Waterson by Unanimous Decision
🌪 🌪 🌪
— UFC (@ufc) December 3, 2017
Following the strawweights were the coaches of this season of The Ultimate Fighter, Eddie Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. This fight was one of the focal points for fans in the weeks leading up to the fight. These two men had a great deal of respect for one another and showed that inside the octagon as well. A back and forth of heavy hands and vicious leg kicks ended in the TKO victory for Alvarez and he handed Gaethje the first loss of his career. This fight also earned a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus from the bossman, Dana White.
Official Result: Alvarez def. Gaethje by TKO in round 3
— Ride The Pine Sports (@RideThePine_) December 3, 2017
Next came a bout in the flyweight division. Perhaps not as exciting as the rest of the card, but, former gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo did what he had to do to get the nod over young talent Sergio Pettis.
Official Result: Cejudo def. Pettis by Unanimous Decision
From some of the smallest guys on the roster to the monsters of the heavyweight division, in walked rising star Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem. We all knew coming into this fight that we would see carnage, but nothing prepared us of the ginormous KO that was about to ensue. Francis Ngannou was able to squash Overeems plan of wrapping him up in the clinch and immediately put his massive left fist right to Overeem’s chin. The world record holder for punching power used all of his might and unleashed on his opponent. With this win, Ngannou has solidified his title shot against champion Stipe Miocic. Dana White has plans for that bout in the first quarter of 2018.
Official Result: Ngannou def. Overeem by KO in round 1
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) December 3, 2017
As if things couldn’t get better than that, we still had a main event featuring one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon. Jose Aldo was looking to regain his title, and for a good portion of the first round it looked like that would be the case. Max Holloway saw it another way. Holloway absorbed all the shots from Aldo and imposed his strength on the exhausted Aldo. The fight, that went on in very similar fashion from the first meeting between these two fighters, ended in the third round when the ref stepped in and called the fight.
Official Result: Holloway def. Aldo by TKO in round 3
All Holloway, all the time.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 3, 2017
Max Holloway has secured a place in the history books as one of the greatest to fight in the UFC at 145 pounds. It would seem that Frankie Edgar will get the next shot at the champ. As for Aldo, only time will tell where the former champ goes from here. Perhaps there will be a change of weight classes as he looks for another shot at the man who robbed him of his title initially, Conor McGregor.
The fight fans of Detroit, MI received an early holiday present in the form of violence and mayhem. UFC 218 was a successful fight card and one for the record books. Like true fans of fighting we take a brief moment to reflect before quickly turning our attention to next week where we begin the madness all over again. The nest card will take place in Fresco, CA on December 8th. That card will be headlined by Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega.
2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app
This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.
The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:
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