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Michael Johnson wastes little time against Dustin Poirier, scores 1st round KO

Peyton Wesner



HILDAGO, TEXAS — All across the lightweight division, sharks swim in bloody waters, looking for their next victim and the opportunity to wear UFC gold.

And, for Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier and Michael “The Menace” Johnson, the opportunity to become a resident in the upper echelon of the 155-pound ranks rested on the result of this evening’s main event.

Since making the move from featherweight, Dustin Poirier had been unstoppable. His success, starting with a pair of “Performance of the Night” victories over Carlos Diego Ferreira and Yancy Medeiros, did not evaporate in 2016 as the Louisiana native entered 2-0 in the current calendar year. Moreover, his style of fighting, which is not only physical but verbal and mental, is a promoter’s dream and entertaining to watch. But, would it be enough to get a win versus “The Menace?”

Michael Johnson, unlike his opponent, had seen better days. Despite stringing together four straight wins between August 2013 and February 2015, the Missouri native hit a skid in the form of Beneil Dariush and Nate Diaz to end last year. Nevertheless, The Menace is a seasoned veteran who has big wins over current contenders Edson Barboza and Tony Ferguson. Thus, he was no stranger to stepping into the octagon against the world’s best lightweights.

Another one bites the dust.

By initiating the action early and timing combinations, Michael Johnson reminded all within the UFC of the power and talent he possesses by knocking out Poirier 95 seconds into the first round.

“I’m just coming in here and just showing people I am serious in this division,” said Johnson. “Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz getting paid that money and they’re out here scrapping and having a sparring match. I come to finish fights! I go for the kill! Pay me baby!”

The fireworks in this one began many moments before the official start. As Poirier entered the octagon and took his lap, the two men exchanged a final set of words. Yet, the remarks of The Diamond only added more fuel to his opponent’s fire, for Johnson began aggressively with a very even distribution of strikes. Furthermore, he landed a flush combination within the first minute. Following the wake-up call and a fresh cut under his right eye, Poirier began to open up and appear to find a groove. Nevertheless, another combination, this time, a right hook and left straight, dropped The Diamond to the canvas. Johnson proceeded to attack his opponent with a sharp ground and pound, which ended the bout.

“I want on that New York card!” shouted Michael Johnson to close the show. “Anybody! Let’s go!”

Result: Michael Johnson def. Dustin Poirier via KO (Punch), Round 1 – 1:35

For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.

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UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event



Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.

GDANSK, POLAND – OCTOBER 21: (R-L) Darren Till of England punches Donald Cerrone in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Ergo Arena on October 21, 2017 in Gdansk, Poland. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.

He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.

In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.

UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.

The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.

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Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation



Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.

Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.

Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.

From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.

The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
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Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198



Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.

Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).

Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.

In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.

The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.

Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.

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