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MMA Latest’s Fighter to Watch: UFC 190’s Jessica Aguilar is A Queen Without a Crown

Steven Cavagnino

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The UFC’s women’s strawweight division is the newest perhaps most ferocious weight class the UFC has to offer the fans. Who would have thought the lightest division in the UFC would hold such an array of skilled and dangerous fighters who, time after time, put on incredible fights for the fans. It’s not often that the UFC finds themselves behind the trends, but it wasn’t too long ago that they didn’t have a women’s strawweight division. During this time, many other organizations, including the World Series of Fighting and Invicta FC, did include a women’s strawweight divison; and it didn’t take long for the UFC to recognize the potential the weight class had.

It’s in this division where things get interesting at UFC 190. Although headlined by the most popular female fighter in the world, Ronda Rousey, the first fight on the main card has a much more interesting narrative, a narrative that goes all the way back to before the UFC ever had a strawweight division. Opening the PPV portion of UFC 190 is a fight between two of the top female strawweights in the world, one of whom was ranked #1 in the world well before current UFC champ, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, took the MMA world by storm. When that woman, former WSOF champ, Jessica Aguilar and Claudia Gadelha meet each other in the Octagon this weekend, it will be a clash of two fighters who could very well be fighting for the belt sooner rather than later.

Jessica Aguilar, the former #1 strawweight in the world, is finally making her UFC debut. After reigning as the WSOF champ for a year, going 3-0 in the organization, and winning her last 10 fights, she will finally be able to test her mettle against a tried and tested fighter in Claudia Gadelha. With victories over 3 of the UFC’s current flyweights, including former champ Carla Esparza, Aguilar has set herself up to make a huge impact in the young division. Even more impressive, Aguilar was ranked #1 in the world even while the majority of the UFC’s strawweights were competing for the belt. It’s well known that the UFC is at the top of the sport, so to see a fighter who isn’t a UFC champion still ranked #1 in the world is truly a testament to the skill and respect Aguilar has within the MMA world. It might even be the only time that has ever happened. Jessica Aguilar is truly an uncrowned king, or should I say queen.

Of course, as with any ruler, you don’t keep your crown, or in this case get it back, without challengers along the way. This is Aguilar’s first big test, this is the fight that will serve to prove her legitimacy. In reality, Aguilar only lost her #1 spot when Jedrzejczyk began her current hot streak. It’s an odd thing when a fighter drops in the rankings not due to a loss, but to the success of another. It’s even more strange to think that these fighters, at the time, were competing in separate organizations.

With Rousey headlining and Aguilar and Gadelha mixing it up, there is no doubt UFC 190 belongs to the female fighters. Despite Aguilar’s fight being lost in the madness that comes with promoting a Rousey-headlined event, be sure to know that Rousey isn’t the only woman on this card that has held a #1 spot. This is a closely matched fight, and it isn’t a coincidence that it will be opening the Pay Per View main card. Aguilar is one fight away from getting a chance to reclaim what was once hers, she has the UFC belt in her crosshairs, but she has to get through Gadelha first.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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