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McGregor vs. Siver: Main Card Preview

Lewis McLellan

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On Saturday, January 18th, Conor McGregor (16-2) makes his return to Ireland’s lost city and some short, german dude who looks like a beat-up Daniel Craig (Dennis Siver is 22-9-1NC) will be joining him in the octagon for 25 minutes. UFC Fight Night 59 will take place in Boston’s TD Garden and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 at 10PM ET and 7PM PT. Be sure to follow our blow-by-blow write-up of the main event and our post-fight coverage of all the fights.This is your main-card preview!

Norman Parke vs. Gleison Tibau
Stormin’ Norman Parke (20-2-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) has looked better and better since winning the lightweight tournament on TUF: Smashes. The irishman picked up his first knockout in the UFC against Naoyuki Kotani in his last fight. Gleison Tibau has one of the longest UFC tenures in history . His 15-8 UFC record means he is unmatched at lightweight for experience. If he wins, he’ll extend his winning streak to three for the first time since 2011 and crack the top 15. Parke’s counter-wrestling has looked good but his judo background will be put to the test against the enormous Tibau who averages 4.39 takedowns a fight. Parke might be wise to use his improving striking and movement and attempt to emulate Michael Johnson’s success.

Uriah Hall vs Ron Stallings
Ron Stallings (12-6) makes his UFC debut on a week’s notice as an injury replacement for an injury replacement. He may also be the first fighter in history to debut coming off a loss. He is, unsurprisingly, a large underdog (see our betting preview to see if he’s worth a punt [link]) but his record of 6 knockouts and 6 submissions suggest a well-rounded fighter who may make the most of his opportunity.
Uriah Hall (9-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is undoubtedly possessed of a lot of talent and tremendous physical gifts but has shown some troubling defensive flaws and some psychological issues in his game. His destruction of the ghost of Chris Leben and his hard-fought win over Thiago Santos have not removed the question mark over whether his career will come to the fruition his talent deserves. Against a fighter of significantly lower calibre like Stallings, look for Uriah to put on a striking clinic on the way to a knockout. Unless, of course, he decides to drop his hands, back straight up, and chill out against the fence as sometimes is his wont…

Benson Henderson #5 vs. Donald Cerrone #3
Was there ever a professional like Cerrone? Agreeing to fight the former lightweight champ, against whom he is 0-2 a scant two weeks after his win over upstart Myles Jury. Cerrone (26-6) has been on an incredible tear, dismantling 6 opponents in 13 months including Jim Miller and Eddie Alvarez. Technically, he looks better than ever, adding a vicious counter-knee thrown with beautiful timing to his excellent striking arsenal and his ground game looks as swift and deadly as ever. Bendo (21-4), by contrast, is coming off a tough loss to Rafael dos Anjos and has slipped to 5th in the rankings. A win over Cerrone is crucial if he wishes to retain his status as a potential title challenger. Both fighters could leapfrog the passed-over and constantly injured Khabib Nurmagomedov to face the winner of Dos Anjos vs Anthony Pettis. Both fighters kick dynamically but have shown vulnerability to kicks themselves making for a very interesting contest. The ground game could be even more exciting since their first bout featured some unbelievable escapes by Henderson who managed to submit Cerrone with a guillotine in their second fight. Don’t miss this one!

Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver
McGregor (16-2) is just four fights into his UFC career but is already a colossal star.With a win over Dennis Siver, McGregor will receive a title shot against Jose Aldo which promises to be a hotly anticipated fight. If #10 featherweight Siver can pull off the upset, he will gather heat of a sort his career has never seen, perhaps also receiving a title shot. Siver is 3-1 1NC since moving to featherweight. The lone loss was a destruction at the hands of Cub Swanson who used speed and dynamic striking to put Siver down in the 3rd. This bodes ill for the German striker whose muscular frame is unlikely to keep up with McGregor over five rounds. McGregor has yet to be tested against a wrestler and has shown no inclination to check leg kicks. Siver, since dropping to featherweight, has made use of his size and strength with a smothering top game and might be wise to attempt something similar against McGregor. Given the trash talk and the degree to which the veteran has been overlooked in the lead-up to this fight, perhaps he will elect to trade with the brash and dynamic Irishman. Both heavily employ kicks with Siver possessing one of the most feared spinning back kicks in the sport. McGregor has claimed Siver will not last two minutes but Siver might just surprise us!

 

Check out our 10 minute preview below;

 

 

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Announcement

Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223

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UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.

 

Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

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Bellator

Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet

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Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Fight Announcements

Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April

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MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.

 

The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.

Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.

An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.

His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).

Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.

PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.

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