This past month was an amazing time to be a fight fan. Arguably the two biggest stars in the sport both appeared in the Octagon (Rousey and McGregor) and we witnessed one of the greatest fights in recent memory (Lawler-MacDonald).
July was also an extremely busy month for mixed martial art’s fans. The UFC alone put on six events since our last rankings. Sprinkle in some Bellator, WSOF, and ONE Championship and you get a lot of interesting changes in the newest addition of the MMA Latest fighter rankings
As always like MMA Latest on Facebook and follow @MMALatestNws and my personal account @BriceJSchroeder on twitter and let us know who made the cut for your rankings.
*6 writers (including myself) submitted ballots this month*
*All bouts up to August 6th were considered in these rankings*
01 Joanna Jędrzejczyk (10-0) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Cláudia Gadelha (13-1) – UFC
03 Carla Esparza (10-3) – UFC
04 Jessica Aguilar (19-5) – UFC
05 Tecia Torres (6-0) – UFC
06 Karolina Kowalkiewicz (7-0) – KSW/Invicta FC
07 Rose Namajunas (2-2) – UFC
08 Maryna Moroz (6-0) – UFC
09 Joanne Calderwood (10-1) – UFC
10 Jessica Penne (12-2) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Livia Souza, Paige VanZant, Alexa Grasso
01 Ronda Rousey (12-0) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Miesha Tate (17-5) – UFC
03 Cat Zingano (9-1) – UFC
04 Alexis Davis (17-6) – UFC
05 Sara McMann (8-2) – UFC
06 Sarah Kaufman (17-3 1 NC) – UFC
07 Jessica Eye (11-3 1 NC) – UFC
08 Holly Holm (9-0) – UFC
09 Amanda Nunes (10-4) – UFC
10 Tonya Evinger (15-6) – Invicta FC
Honorable Mentions – Bethe Correia, Liz Carmouche, Julianna Peña
01 Demetrious Johnson (22-2-1) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 John Dodson (17-6) – UFC
03 Joseph Benavidez (22-4) – UFC
04 Jussier Formiga (18-3) – UFC
05 Ian McCall (13-5) – UFC
06 John Moraga (16-4) – UFC
07 Kyoji Horiguchi (15-2) – UFC
08 Henry Cejudo (9-0) – UFC
09 Ali Bagautinov (13-3) – UFC
10 Zach Makovsky (19-6) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Chris Cariaso, Dustin Ortiz, Wilson Reis,
01 T.J. Dillashaw (12-2) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Dominick Cruz (20-1) – UFC
03 Raphael Assunção (23-4) – UFC
04 Renan Barão (33-3 1 NC) – UFC
05 Urijah Faber (32-8) – UFC
06 Marlon Moraes (15-4-1) – WSOF
07 Aljamain Sterling (11-0) – UFC
08 Michael McDonald (16-3) – UFC
09 Bibiano Fernandes (18-3) – ONE Championship
10 Thomas Almeida (20-0) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Takeya Mizugaki, Bryan Caraway, Johnny Eduardo, Eduardo Dantas,
01 José Aldo (25-1) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Frankie Edgar (19-4-1) – UFC
03 Conor McGregor (18-2) – UFC
04 Chad Mendes (17-3) – UFC
05 Ricardo Lamas (15-4) – UFC
06 Max Holloway (13-3) – UFC
07 Charles Oliveira (20-4-1) – UFC
08 Patrício Freire (24-2) – Bellator
09 Dennis Bermudez (14-4) – UFC
10 Cub Swanson (21-7) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Jeremy Stephens, Nik Lentz
01 Rafael dos Anjos (24-7) – UFC – 5 of 6 1st place votes
02 Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0) – UFC – 1 of 6 1st place votes
03 Donald Cerrone (28-6 1 NC) – UFC
04 Anthony Pettis (18-3) – UFC
05 Benson Henderson (22-5) – UFC
06 Eddie Alvarez (26-4) – UFC
07 Michael Johnson (16-8) – UFC
08 Gilbert Melendez (22-5) – UFC
09 Will Brooks (15-1) – Bellator
10 Tony Ferguson (19-3) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Edson Barboza, Myles Jury, Al Iaquinta, Beneil Dariush
01 Robbie Lawler (26-10 1 NC) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Johny Hendricks (17-3) – UFC
03 Rory MacDonald (18-3) – UFC
04 Tyron Woodley (15-3) – UFC
05 Carlos Condit (30-8) – UFC
06 Matt Brown (20-13) – UFC
07 Demian Maia (21-6) – UFC
08 Ben Askren (14-0 1 NC) – ONE Championship
09 Hector Lombard (34-4-1 2 NC) – UFC
10 Rousimar Palhares (18-6) – WSOF
Honorable Mentions – Dong Hyun Kim, Gunner Nelson, Tarec Saffiedine
01 Chris Weidman (13-0) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Luke Rockhold (14-2) – UFC
03 Jacaré Souza (22-3 1 NC) – UFC
04 Yoel Romero (10-1) – UFC
05 Anderson Silva (34-6) – UFC
06 Lyoto Machida (22-7) – UFC
07 Vitor Belfort (24-11) – UFC
08 Gegard Mousasi (37-5-2) – UFC
09 Michael Bisping (27-7) – UFC
10 Tim Kennedy (18-5) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Thales Leites, Dan Henderson
01 Jon Jones (21-1) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Daniel Cormier (16-1) – UFC
03 Anthony Johnson (19-5) – UFC
04 Alexander Gustafsson (16-3) – UFC
05 Ryan Bader (19-4) – UFC
06 Rashad Evans (19-3-1) – UFC
07 Phil Davis (13-3 1 NC) – Bellator
08 Glover Teixeira (22-4) – UFC
09 Ovince Saint Preux (18-6) – UFC
10 Liam McGeary (10-0) – Bellator
Honorable Mentions – Jimi Manuwa, Rampage Jackson, Patrick Cummins
01 Fabrício Werdum (20-5-1) – UFC – 6 of 6 1st place votes
02 Cain Velasquez (13-2) – UFC
03 Junior dos Santos (17-3) – UFC
04 Stipe Miocic (13-2) – UFC
05 Andrei Arlovski (24-10 1 NC) – UFC
06 Travis Browne (17-3-1) – UFC
07 Ben Rothwell (35-9) – UFC
08 Mark Hunt (10-10-1) – UFC
09 Alistair Overeem (39-14 1 NC) – UFC
10 Frank Mir (18-9) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Josh Barnett, Aleksey Oilynik
01 Jon Jones (21-1) – UFC – 5 of 6 1st place votes
02 José Aldo (25-1) – UFC
03 Demetrious Johnson (22-2-1) – UFC – 1 of 6 1st place votes
04 Ronda Rousey (12-0) – UFC
05 Chris Weidman (13-0) – UFC
06 T.J. Dillashaw (12-2) – UFC
07 Robbie Lawler (26-10 1 NC) – UFC
08 Fabrício Werdum (20-5-1) – UFC
09 Rafael dos Anjos (24-7) – UFC
10 Joanna Jędrzejczyk (10-1) – UFC
Honorable Mentions – Daniel Cormier, Dominick Cruz, Frankie Edgar, Conor McGregor
Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes
Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.
Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).
In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.
Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”
In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.
This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.
Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video
Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.
The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.
Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)
Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.
RN: 265 lb.
MM: 255 lb.
Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.
PF: 155 lb.
DC: 154 lb.
Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.
HH: 126.25 lb*
AJ: 125 lb.
Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.
LM: 203.75 lb.
VN: 205 lb.
Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.
TW: 145 lb.
JS: 142.25 lb.
Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)
Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.
RS: 155.5 lb.
RL: 156 lb.
Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout.
MK: 135.75 lb.
GT: 135 lb.
Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.
RC: 145 lb.
TE: 146 lb.
Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.
JT: 205.5 lb.
WH: 203 lb.
Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.
MS: 156 lb.
DH: 155.25 lb.
Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.
PN: 163.5 lb.
KX 164.5 lb.
Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.
TH: 154 lb.
PC: 155.5 lb.
*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.
Exclusive: Saad Awad looking for the quick knockout at Bellator 193
Saad Awad makes his return to the Bellator cage Friday as he takes on JJ Ambrose.
The veteran Awad has been with Bellator since 2013, amassing a 9-5 record in the process, with five of those wins coming via knockout. Impressive wins against Will Brooks and Evangelista Santos feature on his 21-9 record.
The heavy-handed striker gets to fight in his backyard of California for the first time in over a year. A native of San Bernardino, Awad is fighting only forty-five minutes from his home, in the co-main event no less.
“It’s great,” Awad told MMA Latest about co-main eventing in California. “I’m about forty-five minutes from my house, the arena sold out the week they released the tickets. So I know a lot of people are going to be here and the energy’s going to be really good, it’s going to be great, and it’s going to help me mentally.”
Meeting Awad in the co-main is a fellow California native himself, JJ Ambrose. Ambrose has been fighting since 2005 and has amassed 26 wins in his 13-year career.
“He’s a veteran, he kind of flew under the radar,” Awad said. “He’s fought all over the place. I think he brings a lot of experience, a good solid stand-up, and ground game, and wrestling.”
Although Awad highlighted Ambrose’s quality, make no mistake, the “Assassin” believes he holds all the advantages.
“I match-up with him great, to be honest, I think my striking is a little bit better, I think I hit a lot harder and my jiu-jitsu’s going to be a bit better, and I’m going to be able to outwrestle him,” Awad explained. “So I think stylistically it’s a bad matchup for him.”
Awad is coming off of a quick KO, one minute, seven seconds, over Zach Freeman. The quick win didn’t come as a surprise to Awad as he always expects to finish his opponents quickly.
“I mean, not be cocky, but I expect to get a quick KO against everybody,” Awad said. “When I don’t get a quick KO then I’m like ‘okay something’s wrong’ so then I have to change my gameplan up. So nothing against Zach Freeman, I mean, every fight I go in there looking for the quick knockout.”
Currently, on a solid two-fight winning streak, Awad highlights what exactly the key’s been for him to get this far.
“Honestly, I’ve just been training a lot,” Awad said. “I’ve just been training and focusing a lot on little details that I knew were my flaws, and every fight I’ll keep something new. If I see something go wrong in one of my fights, I’ll tweak that out and train it and get a little bit better and then just try and keep improving.”
With a win taking Awad to three victories in a row, it would make sense to offer the veteran a big fight. But Awad doesn’t have a name in mind next, although he doesn’t believe it would matter anyway.
“Whoever they give me,” Awad said. “I can ask for fights but they won’t give them to me. “My only thing is trying to get a title fight, I’m not even going to ask for that anymore. I’m going to ask them to keep me busy. I just want to stay busy. I get paid the same no matter who I fight so as long as they keep me busy, that’s what I’m happy for.”
As for 2018, Awad’s goals remain simple.
“Keep winning,” Awad said. “Stay busy and keep winning.”
If things go the way Awad expects, fans are in for a treat. As for Ambrose? Not so much.
“I’m going to go in there and leave with a knockout, a violent knockout,” Awad said. “Get my hand raised, talk some shit, and leave.”
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