On Saturday April 18th top middleweight contenders Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida will meet in hopes to gain the next crack at the UFC title. Both fighters are coming off dominating wins over fellow top middleweights. This fight will be the cherry on top of a great card that will be shown for free on Fox. Luke Rockhold is on a 3 fight winning streak and hoping to dispatch Machida to gain his first UFC title shot, while Machida is looking to beat a top contender to get another chance at becoming the middleweight champion.
In his most recent bout, Luke Rockhold backed up his words by beating Michael Bisping with relative ease in the second round by a one-handed guillotine. Rockhold has seen great success since his debut lost in the UFC to Vitor Belfort, by finishing all 3 opponents within two rounds. Rockhold has a very well-rounded game that is backed by a great counter lead right hand and a devastating left kick. Rockhold has used his striking game coupled with his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to have finishes in all but two of his wins. He has shown a very high fight IQ in many of his bouts, this is evident in two of his most recent bouts against Boetsch and Bisping as he was able to snatch up submissions out of nowhere.
Lyoto Machida has won 14 fights within the UFC. During those 7+ years of fighting he has amassed the UFC light heavyweight title as well as many highlight reel finishes over some of the best that have ever fought within the Octagon. In his most recent fight he easily picked apart CB Dollaway within the first two minutes of the fight. Previous to that he fought for the title against Chris Weidman in a fight of the night performance. Machida came up short, losing by unanimous decision, but at times had the champion on the ropes, especially in the later rounds. Machida fights best when he is the one in the centre of the cage, if he is not being pressured he will use his unique style that consists of straight punches and kicks to land at will. He is similar to Rockhold in that a large part of his offense comes from kicks, mainly from his back leg. Both Rockhold and Machida like to start their fights by kicking low and then eventually looking to go high to exploit their opponents defense.
Luke Rockhold and his coaches will be smart to look at Lyoto Machida’s most recent loss to Chris Weidman, as I feel it lays down a clear path to victory for Rockhold. From the second the bell rang Weidman plodded forward and made sure that Machida didn’t have space for him to work his magic. The battle for the centre of the cage will be where this fight is either won or loss for both fighters. Rockhold, who will be the much bigger fighter come Saturday, will want to stay in his face and be active, he doesn’t always need to be landing, but he does need to be using feints and footwork to keep Machida back peddling. Both Rockhold and Machida are black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but I would still give Rockhold the advantage on the ground as he has submitted over 60% of his opponents. I expect this fight to be mostly spent on the feet as Machida’s takedown defense is spectacular, I wouldn’t expect a submission finish unless it was off a knock down ala the Bisping fight.
Lyoto Machida has been a top contender in both the Light Heavyweight and Middleweight division, his unique karate hybrid style has been a mainstay within in the UFC for years now. He is currently looking to join Randy Couture and BJ Penn as the only fighters to hold titles within two different weight divisions. He was unsuccessful last year in his fight with Chris Weidman, but the fight was close and a win over Luke Rockhold will put his name back on the top of the contender list. Machida does not have as much of clear-cut path to victory as Rockhold does, Rockhold has won three in a row and hasn’t had much of a challenge in those fights. Rockholds lone loss in the UFC to Vitor Belfort does let Machida know that he can be knocked down and finished via strikes. Machida’s key to victory will be to stop Rockhold from coming forward as it will allow him to set up his own strikes. I expect Rockhold to be very aggressive similar to Weidman, the problem I can see arising from that is Machida’s countering capability. In his last few fights Rockhold has been getting caught while trying to land his own shots, if Machida can counter early on he can look to take the centre of the cage and start landing shots of his own to set up a finish.
As mentioned earlier, the fight will be won or lost battling for the centre of the cage, both Machida and Rockhold do their best work while being the aggressor. This fight will be extremely close but ultimately I see Rockhold winning the fight by decision, his quickness and fight IQ will allow him to land the shots he needs to all the while keeping Machida backing up and unable to land the shots he needs to finish the fight.
*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
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.
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