When Lando Vannata entered the octagon on July 13 in Sioux Falls, Dakota, little was expected from those outside his camp. Opponent Tony Ferguson represented more than a step up in competition. On top of that, Vannata was taking the fight on only two weeks notice after Michael Chiesa had pulled out injured.
Nobody predicted what was to come when the octagon door closed, as Vannata gave the top lightweight contender all he could handle for a round and a half. It was an enthralling performance that put the previously undefeated rookie on the map even in defeat. Ferguson won their fight of the night by submission midway through the second round.
You would be hard pushed to find any MMA fan who was not impressed by Vannata’s fearless performance, but the fighter sees it a very different way. In fact, he hates it.
“Just didn’t perform to the level I believe I can perform to.” Vannata told MMA Latest at the UFC 206 media day this week.
“It was just, ya know, going back and watching the fight a few times, the more you watch it the more things you see you did wrong. The more things you gotta work on, the more critical you get on yourself. The more I watched it the more I hated it.”
Vannata’s willingness to stand and trade with arguably the most creative offensive fighter in the division, won him a horde of new fans. It almost earned him the win too. Late in the first round Vannata connected with a headkick that led to an outpour of offense. Ferguson was clearly hurt as he tumbled around the cage, but it was Vannata’s decision making in that moment which he hated most about his own performance.
“Well for one, the fact that I followed him to the ground and he threw me in a f#?@ing kneebar. That one sucked, that kinda stopped the finish right there. But yeah, there’s a few things man. Been a while since I watched it so I couldn’t tell you specifically at the moment.”
On Saturday night Vannata makes his sophomore UFC outing against John Makdessi. It promises to be another exciting scrap between two gutsy fighters, and it’s one that Vannata feels confident of winning. After proving he could hang with one of the best in the division in his UFC debut, Vannata feels UFC 206 provides a far greater opportunity for him to pick up his first promotional win.
“I think it’s a great matchup, I think it’s a much easier matchup than Tony Ferguson. Tony Ferguson’s probably one of my worst stylistic matchups I can think of. John’s shorter than me, he’s a striker, he likes to wait, he’s easily pressured, so I’m excited about the matchup, I think it fits my style very well.”
As for how it goes down on Saturday night, that part is simple.
“Any way I want it to man.”
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
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:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
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.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
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.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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