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Matt Pellino earned bragging rights as he defeated long time rival Nik Harris on Mixed Martial Arr

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Malaysian Telco Tune Talk made history, having the first ever MMA event on a cruise ship this week.  The event, titled Mixed Martial Arr was held on Star Cruise Libra in the middle of Andaman Sea In Thailand.

The event started with a women’s strawweight bout between Rachael Short and Adek Omar. It was a close fight in the first round as Adek was landing clean shots during the trade while Rachael was dominating the clinch against the cage.  The second round was all Rachael as she controls Adek in the clinch, landing powerful knees to the body.  Rachael had a headlock from the clinch and used the opportunity to transition to a standing guillotine gaining a finish. Adek however, complained at the end of the fight that she didn’t tap.

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Rachael Short lands a straight right on Adek Omar

Next up was a flyweight bout between Adam Cacay and Mohd Fouzein. A fast paced bout was stopped temporarily in the 1st round as Fouzein received an illegal strike to the groin. Adam charged furiously on the restart and quickly reversed a takedown by Fouzein.  Adam was clearly winning the fight until Fouzein rallied back at the end of round 1.

Adam Cacay attacking the arm of Mohd Fouzein

Adam Cacay attacking the arm of Mohd Fouzein

Fouzein successfully landed a takedown early in round 2 and cut Adam with elbows. However, his full-fledged wrestling gameplan failed him twice after, ending on his back against a much bigger and stronger Adam. Fouzein once again stuck to his gameplan and quickly pushed Adam against the cage in the third, but the main theme of the fight was the strength of Adam out-muscling Fouzein, winning the split decision.

A highlight of the night features a women’s flyweight battle between causeway rivals, Malaysian Zhen Wei and Singaporean former Olympic swimmer, May Ooi.  May was winning in the stand up early on and reversed a takedown landing a couple of clean strikes. Zhen  started attacking May’s leg while on the back and May proceeded to do the same as both battled each other in the 50-50 guard. May then ended up

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May Ooi jabs her way to victory over Zhen Wei

May then ended up in side mount and finished the round strongly with elbows and punches to the head. It was all May in the second round as she dominated the center of the cage, controlled the distance well and landed multiple strikes in stand-up.  Zhen tried rallying back in the third attempting a Judo throw but May proved the stronger fighter dominating Zhen both in the clinch and in the stand-up. The ref was forced to stop the fight with 1:12 left in third round as Zhen covered up, eating multiple punches against the cage.

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Allen Chong receiving strikes from Chamlong Chanream

Despite dominating the first two rounds, TUF China alumni, Allen Chong eats vicious soccer kicks in the third round in an upset loss to Chamlong Chamream. Being the closest to finish the fight in round 1, confidence got the better of Allen as he continuously taunt his opponent in the third. The mistake cost Allen dearly in a fight where he was the sure favourite to win.

The main event featured the long drawn rivalry between One Championship fighter Nik Harris and Matt Pellino at 82kg. Though there were no official weigh-ins report, the graphic on the Livestream cited that Matt came in over 10kg at 92.3kg.  Nik only managed a punch in stand-up and was taken down quickly and received a couple of elbows on the ground. Nik managed to sweep Matt off his back but was caught in a heel hook and tapped in the first round.

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Nik Harris and Matt Pellino during the face off

Full results below, Pictures courtesy of MIMMA Facebook page.

  • Middleweight, 82Kg
    “Babycat” Matt Pellino defeated Nik “The Hound” Harris via heel hook in the first round
  • Lightweight, 70Kg
    Michell Adelina defeated Dylan “The Muscle” Fussel via unanimous decision
  • Bantamweight, 61.2Kg
    Chamlong Chanream defeated Allen Solomon Chong via TKO(soccer kicks) in the 3rd round
  • Catchweight, 60Kg
    Kaiwhare “Kai” Kara France defeated Dindo Camansa via KO in the first round.
  • Catchweight, 73Kg
    Pedro “Vinagre” Paulino defeated Trestle Tan “Jun The Minion” via Arm Triangle in the first round.
  • Women’s Flyweight, 56.7Kg
    “Mighty” May Ooi  defeated “Iron Rose” Foo Zhen Wei via TKO(strikes) in the third round.
  • Flyweight, 56.7Kg
    Caleb Lally defeated Reysaldo Biagtan via doctor stoppage in the first round.
  • Catchweight,68Kg
    *Liam “Mad Truck” Mcgowan defeated Andy “The Bullet” Teh Kim Huat via Americana in the first round
  • Flyweight, 56.7Kg
    Adam “Kimat Sparrow” Cacay defeated Mohd Fouzein Mohd Fozi “Hang Tuah” via split decision
  • Women’s Strawweight, 52Kg
    “The Revolution” Rachael Short defeated  Adek “Wildcat” Omar via Standing Guillotine in the second round
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Aldo vs. Lamas 2 and Ponzinibbio vs. Perry Added to UFC Winnipeg

Harry Davies

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The UFC has added Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas 2, and Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Mike Perry to their UFC Winnipeg card on December 16th.

The two fights were announced as official today on the UFC’s Twitter account.

Aldo (26-3) last fought at UFC 212 in June, where he lost by third round TKO to Max Holloway. After being promoted to the undisputed 145-pound champion last November, he was looking to make the first defence of the title against Holloway.

Lamas first faced Aldo back in 2014 at UFC 169. Aldo, who was again featherweight champion at the time, defeated Lamas with ease winning by unanimous decision (49-46) on all scorecards. Lamas is on a two-fight winning streak after defeating both Charles Oliveira and Jason Knight with impressive finishes.

Since his last UFC loss to Lorenz Larkin back in 2015, Ponzinnibio (25-3) has won five consecutive fights. His most recent victory was a upset win over Gunnar Nelson in July at UFC Glasgow. There was some controversy after the fight, as replays seemed to show a short grab and several eyes pokes from Ponzinnibio before knocking out Nelson in the first round.

Mike Perry has taken the UFC by storm since making his debut for the promotion last August. Picking up four wins all by knockout, the only loss ‘Platinum’ suffered was too Alan Jouban by decision. Ranked at #9 in the welterweight division, a win over Ponzinnibio could definitely propel Perry into the top ten at 170-pounds.

With the additon of these two fantastic fights, the lineup for UFC Winnipeg is as follows:

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos – Welterweight bout
  • Glover Teixeira vs. Misha Cirkunov – Light heavyweight bout
  • Antônio Rogério Nogueira vs. Jared Cannonier – Light heavyweight bout
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins – Flyweight bout
  • Chad Laprise vs. Galore Bafondo – Welterweight bout
  • Alessio Di Chirico vs. Oluwale Bamgbose – Middleweight bout
  • Vitor Miranda vs. Julian Marquez – Middleweight bout
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo – Lightweight bout
  • Nordine Taleb vs. Sultan Aliev – Welterweight bout
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Why the UFC Needs to Introduce 165 and 175-pound Weight Divisions

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  • The debacle that were the UFC 216 weigh-in last Friday further highlighted current weight cutting problems in mixed martial arts.

More specifically in this case it was in the UFC’s lightweight division. A fight between Nik Lentz and Will Brooks was pulled due to Lentz having ‘medical issues’ according to a UFC statement, hours before he was due to weigh-in.

Title challenger Kevin Lee then took to the scale seconds before the deadline and was over the limit by a pound. Fortunately he made weight after being given an extra hour. But these are not isolated cases, especially at 155-pounds.

There isn’t necessarily a solution to this problem but there may be a short term fix in the form of new weight classes approved by the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports) in July 2017. These include 165 and 175-pound divisions.

While not specific to the lightweight division, the problems with weight commonly occur there. In March this year, Khabib Nurmagomedov was rushed to hospital during fight week when cutting down for his title contest with Tony Ferguson. Subsequently the UFC 209 main event was cancelled. Khabib has been regularly discussed as a title challenger but he’s often struggled to make weight and failed on numerous occasions.

With drastic dehydration it is still unknown what health implications may effect him and other mixed martial artists in the future.

Some top ranked fighters such as Donald Cerrone, Jorge Masvidal and Rafael Dos Anjos have moved up to the welterweight division to preserve their health from these strenuous cuts, and have all been relatively successful.

Former UFC lightweight Donald Cerrone has looked spectacular since making the move up to 170-pounds.

However, many fighters are still reluctant and insist on dropping 10-20% of their bodyweight in the hours and days leading up to a bout. For example, Kevin Lee was rumoured to be 19 pounds over the day before he stepped on the scales.

At 170 pounds, welterweight is fifteen pounds more than lightweight which is a noticeable difference between relatively low weight classes. Especially when you consider that the divisions increase ten pounds from as low as 115 up to 155. There are many fighters who find themselves too big to be a lightweight, yet too small to compete at welterweight.

The incidents last Friday should hopefully be a wakeup call to the UFC, who can also set an example for other organisations such as Bellator, One FC, and Cage Warriors.

So far in 2017 the UFC has lost 14 fights in 48 hours or less before they were due to take place. That is one fight every two cards. While weight cutting is not always to blame, more often than not it plays a big role. These situations leave the UFC at a loss, fighters without opponents and a pay check, and fans disgruntled. Not to mention the health implications for the athlete involved.

The UFC must recognise these common patterns, remove the 170 pound welterweight division and create 165 and 175 pound rosters instead. Some may see an additional weight class as devaluing UFC titles even further but this would not be the case.

The UFC’s official website only lists four fighters in the women’s featherweight division.

Recently the women’s featherweight title was created without having a roster of women to fill it. However, the difference with lightweight and welterweight is that they are comfortably the two deepest, most talent stacked divisions in the organisation.

Admittedly, there is a lot of history attached to the welterweight title since Pat Miletich first won it back in 1998. The likes of Matt Hughes and Georges St Pierre have also added prestige to the belt over the years.

Even so, the sport has changed since then and it’s in a transitional phase. We are in the era of USADA, the era of banned IV drips and certain commissions tightening their regulations on how much they allow fighters to safely cut. Everyone is accountable and aware of the dangers, yet steps still need to be taken.

The athletic commissions and the UFC in particular must act by introducing super lightweight (165lbs) and super welterweight (175lbs) divisions. Perhaps from a fighter’s perspective it seems like a no-brainer that their health should be the main priority.

From a fans point of view there is plenty of talent that could be used in those two divisions. The novelty of fighters blending into these classes would also have the feeling of a superfight. The likes of Nurmagomedov, Lee, Masvidal, Cerrone and Dos Anjos would certainly fit well into a 165 pound division.

Similarly, at 175 pounds, Tyron Woodley could transition from welterweight champion to super welterweight champion. Top talents such as Robert Whittaker, Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia and Robbie Lawler would be perfect matches for this weight.

Could we see the current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley compete at 175-pounds in the future?

If this was a success then super middleweight (195lbs) and cruiserweight (225lbs) divisions could be an option in future too.

As previously mentioned this won’t necessarily fix the issues of weight cutting but it gives martial artists another option and is a positive step towards fighter’s safety. Currently there has been no mention by the UFC about introducing these new divisions.

However, with fighter safety being of upmost importance these new divisions must be given serious consideration.

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Bellator

James Gallagher out of Bellator 187 in Dublin due to injury

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Irish fans will have to wait a little longer to see James Gallagher fighting on home soil after Gallagher suffered a knee injury in preparation for his main event fight with Jeremiah Labiano in Dublin next month. This bad news was first reported by MMAFighting.com.

The 20-year-old from Strabane co. Tyrone who trains in the famous SBG gym with Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson among others has set the featherweight division alight since joining Bellator in 2016.  James “The Strabanimal” Gallagher has gone 3-0 with all three of his wins coming by rear naked choke.

After submitting Chinzo Machida, the brother of former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida in Madison Square Garden Gallagher has become a budding star for Bellator.

Due to the youngster’s attitude and potential, many comparisons between Gallagher and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor have been made by the fans and media which has made Gallagher one of Bellator’s most recognizable names. This notoriety has ultimately led to the young Irishman getting a chance to headline in Dublin this November but this injury has delayed his rise for the time being.

Gallagher on social media Thursday stated that he has suffered an injury to his PCL and LCL in his knee and would be out for the remainder of the year. He has assured fans we would return next year and carry on where he started with “The Jimmy show.”

His longtime rival AJ McKee, who has engaged in a Twitter war with Gallagher after his last fight, will now headline Bellator 187 in the 3 Arena in Dublin on November 10th against Gallagher’s SBG teammate Brian Moore. Moore will be making his third appearance for Bellator in this featherweight clash.

 

 

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