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Matt Brown: “I can be a champion”

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Down but never out, if there was ever a statement that epitomised the character and resolve of Matt “The Immortal” Brown, it’s this one. As a former drug addict and alcoholic, this Welterweight stand out knows almost everything there is to know about overcoming fear and triumphing in the face of adversity, it’s the fire in which his career was forged. Therefore the Ohio born fighter is no stranger to dealing with bad situations by dusting himself off and coming again, in fact more often than not he does so stronger.

Last weekend at UFC 185, Brown suffered his second straight loss as he was outwrestled and soundly beaten by a resurgent Johny Hendricks in a fight many believed would decide the next challenger for the Welterweight title currently held by Robbie Lawler. Incidentally it was Lawler that began that two fight losing streak when he defeated “The Immortal” in San Jose in July last year, ending Brown’s seven fight unbeaten streak that stretched back to February the 4th of 2012.

Despite this skid, the losses to a former champion and the current one show Brown that he belongs at the top of the sport and it is his belief that he has what it takes to win UFC gold. In a recent interview on The Great MMA Debate Podcast he said, “I lost, but I’m not defeated. I’m only disappointed in myself. I know in my heart, with every ounce of energy in me, I can be a champion. I just fought the two previous champions and I know where I’m at.” This level of honesty in recognising that he isn’t far away from his final goal will undoubtedly sustain Brown and help him process his recent losses to Hendricks and Lawler. Indeed it is this honesty combined with the strength of Brown’s belief that he will one day have his hand raised as a UFC champion, which will prove integral to getting back in the win column and on track for a shot at the UFC’s 170 pound belt.

When Hendricks beat Brown this past weekend it was through the utilisation of his superior wrestling and top control when on the ground, this is likely to be where Brown will look to improve as he goes back to the drawing board. From his point of view it was all too easy for Johny Hendricks to take him down and keep him there whilst neutralising the danger that Brown poses off his back. A long time Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt with 5 submission wins in his career, “The Immortal” offered very little off his back against Hendricks’ heavy top game and ground and pound, this will have annoyed Brown. But the ease with which he ended up on his back will be more of a cause for concern, Hendricks timed his takedowns exceptionally well to nullify Brown’s striking and did not allow him to initiate the clinch which the Ohio native uses to effectively. Furthermore this stopped Brown imposing his will and relentless pace on the fight, but what Brown must not do is over criticise his performance because Hendricks executed a stringently designed game plan and looked in the best shape he’s ever been in whilst fighting in the UFC. However I would say that “The Immortal” could do with a clearer game plan himself when fighting the upper echelon of the Welterweight division, as against both Lawler and Hendricks he looked somewhat lost for an answer to an opponent that gets his number early.

Matt Brown’s resolve has certainly been tested by the results of his last two contests but he remains positive in his pursuit of UFC gold, he has seemingly taken the losses on the chin and is prepared to grind towards his goal. The way in which he has allowed these set-backs to motivate him is a scary prospect for his next opponent, though we don’t know yet who this will be, many are looking at the winner of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 62’s main event between Damien Maia and Ryan LaFlare as a potential match up for Brown in his next UFC outing. Whether it is Maia, LaFlare or anyone else, Brown’s next opponent will know that they face a motivated man looking for redemption and that Matt Brown, with his back to the wall, is surely one of the most intimidating sights to see standing across the octagon.

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*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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