It is the general consensus that the UFC heavyweight division in need of new talent. The top 15 of the division has been largely filled with the same mainstays that were in and around the top 15 for the last number of years, with very few prospects coming through. In 2016, MMA saw the rise of an undoubted prospect in the 265 pound weight class in French behemoth Francis Ngannou.
Coming off a spectacular knockout to start his UFC career in 2015, Ngannou was matched with highly rated Curtis Blaydes in April. While Blaydes, himself, is a talented prospect in his own right, Ngannou had little trouble with the American, showcasing his crisp striking and landing almost at will. By the end of the second round, Blaydes face was swollen to the extent that one of his eyes had closed. The doctor stepped in to check on Blaydes, who was unable to see and thus deemed not fit to continue, giving Ngannou an impressive win on his record.
The Frenchman next faced Bojan Mihaljovic at UFC on Fox 20, with the UFC continuing to allow Ngannou to naturally progress in the division, rather than throwing him to the wolves early. Ngannou simply outclassed Mihaljovic from the very beginning, knocking out his opponent less than two minutes into the fight. By now, people were starting to take notice of a potential new star at heavyweight.
His next test was a step up in competition, facing heavy handed wrestler Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton at UFC Fight Night 102 in December. Ngannou once again showed his striking abilities, until Hamilton rushed him to the cage. What followed was as unexpected as it was ruthless. Ngannou took hold of the arm of Hamilton with his back still on the cage. Securing a kimura grip, “The Predator” wrenched Hamilton to the ground as if he was half his weight, locking in the submission and forcing Hamilton to tap out. It was an example of the brutal strength the Frenchman has, as he simply manhandled the 260 pound American.
The first test for Ngannou this year will be a true legend of the division, and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. It is without doubt the biggest test of his young career thus far, and a win could set up a big 2017 for him. In a division that was threatening to become stagnant and repetitive, the emergence of Ngannou is a breath of fresh air and has earned him the title of Prospect of the Year.
Other fighters to receive votes: Ilima Lei MacFarlane, Derrick Lewis, Brandon Moreno, Mickey Gall, Lando Vannata, Mairbek Taisumov
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut
Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.
Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) December 9, 2017
The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar. While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.
Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.
Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.
- Opinion2 months ago
A list of fighters who fought Michael Bisping – while on steroids
- Interviews2 months ago
Sage Northcutt on Moving to Sacramento and Life at Team Alpha Male
- BAMMA1 month ago
BAMMA 32: Official Results and Live Stream
- Interviews1 month ago
Tim Means on Lawsuit Against Supplement Companies “I’m Going to Shut Them Down”
- Cage Warriors2 months ago
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Inman Talks Cage Warriors 87, His Love For Fighting And Craig White Possibly Tiring Himself Out.
- Bellator1 month ago
Exclusive: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane- from beating ‘Soccer Mom’ to potentially making history
- Bellator2 months ago
Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut
- Interviews2 months ago
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”