After a poor start to the year which saw UFC Fight Night: Yair Rodríguez vs. B.J. Penn equal the record for the lowest Dwyer Score in UFC history, UFC on FOX: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Peña responds well, carding a respectable score of +14. That beats the average score for all events over the last 12 months (+12.4) as well as the average for UFC on FOX events in that same timeframe (+9.5).
It’s a three-way tie for the highest score on the card, with Julianna Peña, Donald Cerrone, and Francis Ngannou all on +4. Sam Alvey lies just behind with +3, an impressive feat considering Alvey last lost as recently as June 2016. The lowest scorer on the card is Andrei Arlovski, currently on a streak of -3.
The Big Contributors
Julianna Peña +4: Peña’s 4-fight winning streak stretches over more than 3 years and includes victories over Jessica Rakoczy, Milana Dudieva, Jessica Eye and Cat Zingano. Before embarking on this winning streak, the TUF 18 champion also won 3 exhibition fights on her season of the show. A win here, in ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’s’ first UFC main event, would all but guarantee her a title shot.
Donald Cerrone +4: This streak has been put together entirely at welterweight, with stoppage victories over Alex Oliveira, Patrick Côté, Rick Story and Matt Brown (1 SUB, 3 TKO/KOs). This is the third time ‘Cowboy’ has put together a 4 fight winning streak with the UFC. On the first occasion, that streak ended at 4, on the second occasion that streak made it to 8. A win on Saturday would see Cerrone equal Michael Bisping’s record for most wins in UFC history (20), overtaking UFC legend Georges St-Pierre in the process and also closing in on the record for most UFC fights.
Francis Ngannou +4: Ngannou’s first 4 UFC bouts have all ended by either TKO/KO or submission, and the Frenchman has never seen the third round of a fight in his career. His opponent, Andrei Arlovski, is entering the fight after 3 consecutive stoppage losses, but nevertheless represents the sternest test of Ngannou’s career.
Last 5 Dwyer Scores
UFC on FOX- Shevchenko vs. Peña: +14
UFC FN- Rodríguez vs. Penn: -13
UFC 207- Nunes vs. Rousey: +17
UFC on FOX- VanZant vs. Waterson: +9
UFC 206- Holloway vs. Pettis: +23
Top 5 Dwyer Scores (all-time)
UFC 194 Aldo vs. McGregor: +62
UFC 165 Jones vs. Gustafsson: +47
UFC 205 Alvarez vs. McGregor: +46
UFC 178 Johnson vs. Cariaso: +44
UFC 198 Werdum vs. Miocic: +43
The Dwyer Score is a simple way of assigning a numeric value to the momentum of any one event. We can do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak. A fighter on a three fight win-streak contributes +3 to an event’s score. A fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. No Contests, Draws or bouts with other promotions reset your streak to 0. If you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card (only counting UFC fights) you get a total which gives you an idea of the combined momentum of fighters heading into a specific event.
As you may imagine, pay-per-view events tend to have higher scores than Fight Nights, as fighters on longer winning streaks tend to be placed on bigger cards. For example, UFC Fight Night: Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos was a +4, whilst UFC 194: José Aldo vs. Conor McGregor was a +62.
So what does this tell us? It cannot definitively measure the quality or excitement of any one specific event, however, it does give a value for a card’s momentum that is immune to the business side of MMA promotion. Events pitting fighters at the top of their game against each other will score well, events that fast-track fighters into main card slots or push too many immediate rematches will not.
2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures
After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.
Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.
Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.
At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.
For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.
Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.
Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:
- Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan 125 lbs
- Anna Astvik vs. Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
- Chamia Chabbi vs. Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
- C. McCrudden vs. Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
- Gase Sanita vs. Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
- Yernaz Mussabek vs. Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
- Gamzat Magomedov vs. O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
- Joel Arolainen vs. Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
- V. Andruhovich vs. Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
- Sola Axel vs. Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
- B. Haraldsson vs. Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
- Pavel Pahomenko vs. Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
- Irman Smajic vs. Lev Vins 265 lbs
- Atanas Krastanov vs. Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate
Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.
But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.
After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.
The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.
Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.
He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.
In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.
Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.
It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.
Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.
The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.
Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.
Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.
Could Cynthia Calvillo set herself up for a shot at the title in 2018 with a win later this year?
The end of 2017 is fast approaching and we’ve experienced some upsets in some of the recent cards. Not only did we witness three title changes at UFC 217 but we are also missing out on Frankie Edgar’s title shot at UFC 218 and Dominick Cruz being out of UFC 219. This bodes the question, who can finish the year with a triumphant win?
Maybe we’ll leave it to the ladies. Highly touted strawweight prospect Cynthia Calvillo is making waves throughout her division. Calvillo made her pro debut with “Global Knockout” August 27th, 2016 against Jessica Sanchez and got the win with a TKO in round two. She had two more fights in 2016, both of them she came out on top with an undefeated record of 3-0.
Calvillo made her UFC debut March 4th, 2017 just a month after signing her contract to UFC. She won her bout against Amanda “ABC” Cooper in round one with a rear naked choke showing everyone why she deserved to be in the octagon. Calvillo’s pro record now stood at 4-0. Her second UFC bout had her jump straight onto the main card fighting Pearl Gonzalez in which Calvillo dominated the fight and ended Gonzalez with another rear naked choke in round three. Displaying her strong submission game once again.
Not even halfway through 2017 and this prospect has certainly made herself known within the division. Originally from San Jose and fighting out of Sacramento, CA with the renowned Team Alpha Male, it’s no surprise she’s stacking the wins up already. She’s training under some of the best instructors in the business including Urijah Faber and Justin Buchholz, as well as training amongst some of the elite UFC fighters of the moment such as Cody Garbrandt, Darren Elkins, and Teruto Ishihara to name a few. Team Alpha Male is predominantly a male fight team and Calvillo says this has helped her on her way to success, fighting with the guys at Team Alpha Male has made her one tough cookie that’s not to be messed with.
In July 2017 Calvillo fought one of Scotland’s finest, Joanne Calderwood in Calderwood’s home city, Glasgow. Calvillo did not get the finish she wanted, however, did get the decision which put her record at 6-0. Not only did she snap up another win she now ranks at number 7 in her division and this is all within five months which is unheard of. This lady has clearly made herself right at home in the octagon.
While everyone was focusing on the title belt between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Cynthia has been creeping up those ranking and knocking fighters off their pedestals on her way. December 30th sees her fourth fight of the year against Carla Esparza who is currently ranked at number 8 in the division. If Calvillo defeats Esparza and gains another win she will hold a record of 7-0 and the only woman in the top ten of the Strawweight division to stay undefeated.
A win to top off her so far successful 2017 campaign could mean 2018 will be an even bigger year for this fearless fighter. Will anyone be able to stop he in tracks or could we see Calvillo go to the top in 2018?
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