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The Morning After UFC 197

Matthew Wells

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A week filled with strange events ultimately culminated in fantastic fashion with UFC 197. What was supposed to be the welcome back party for Jon Jones, the party was almost spoiled early in the week when a certain brash Irishman sent out a single Tweet that turned the mixed martial arts world on its head when he suggested he would be retiring seemingly out of nowhere. While UFC President Dana White addressed the situation a few hours afterward by saying Conor McGregor refused to fulfill media obligations to promote UFC 200, thus he would be removed from the card, the news sent shockwaves across newswires across the planet. If there was any doubt of McGregor’s reach, the situation all but consumed any pre-fight hype of UFC 197.

When we entered the MGM Grand Garden Arena to prepare for the UFC 200 press conference which took place just prior to the UFC 197 weigh-ins, a quick glimpse at the stage would show you there were no nameplates on the two most prominent seats on the stage, either side of Dana White’s podium, hinting there would be a huge announcement about the main event of UFC 200. What happened was quite strange, as Nate Diaz was called up last to fill a seat to the right of Dana White, with no opponent named to face him at the time. This sent the journalists in a frenzy to dig into Dana White for an explanation as to why there was no new opponent for Nate, even more so, almost imploring Dana White to make an exception for Conor McGregor to be added back onto the card due to the overwhelming reaction to the news. Dana would say after the main event on Saturday night that journalists were acting weird with their questions during the press conference. Could you blame the questions, especially considering that McGregor said he was not retiring?

Shifting the spotlight back on the event at hand, the UFC 197’s fight week activities were highlighted by the return of the extremely jubilant former UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. His positive attitude radiated through UFC Embedded episodes, open workouts, media day, all the way up to soaking in every moment of his walkout and embracing his family cage side before entering the Octagon on fight night. He wanted this fight to be for the fans, which he proved by simply accepting the fight against Ovince Saint Preux on short notice when Daniel Cormier suffered an injury just weeks before the fight. Cormier, although injured, strangely was the third man in the booth for the main event, commentating and giving praise to Jones throughout the fight. The move was seen as very professional, yet it felt very strange considering the beef between the two.

For Jones, the night was to serve as an opportunity to make up for UFC 151, when he refused to fight Chael Sonnen on short notice, ultimately causing the entire event to be scrapped, resulting in plenty of upset fans who made travel arrangements. When speaking to Jones during media day, he made it very clear this was a one-time thing, and not to get used to the idea of him being turing into a guy who will fight anyone at the drop of a dime. It’s a completely understandable stance to take considering the formula for success has not failed Jones or his camp to this date.

As for the fight against Ovince Saint Preux, Jones was timid and gun-shy, yet still dominant nonetheless over the course of five rounds en route to claiming interim gold. Jones looked a bit rusty, which sounds a little crazy when you consider he pitched a complete shutout against Saint Preux, even earning a 10-8 from one judge on the scorecards. Jon said he heard the boos and wanted to appease the fans by turning up the intensity, yet his corner implored him to stick to the gameplan and secure a victory on the night, with much bigger things looming in the near future. It was announced early on Saturday evening that if Jones emerged with his hand raised, and both fighters could be cleared by doctors, UFC 200 would be headlined by the rematch between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Normally, that would be a very exciting fight to top off the biggest card of the year, yet knowing the series of events that lead to McGregor versus Diaz being scrapped, makes it lose some of its luster.

How about Demetrious Johnson? He may have settled any argument there was about who is the better pound for pound fighter between himself and Jon Jones. Johnson completely dismantled Henry Cejudo in the first round, unleashing attacks from every angle to the head and body in the clinch, dropping the Olympic Gold Medalist midway through the opening frame. It was just business as usual for Mighty Mouse, who makes it look way too easy every time he steps in the cage. As he said all week long, this was just another fight, just another opponent, and just another step closer to breaking Anderson Silva’s record. Aside from the normal “oohs and ahhs” of other big moments during the card, Demetrious Johnson’s performance was the only one that earned an immediate round of applause from the journalists watching on closed circuit in Studios A & B at the MGM Grand.

The stories from this card run deep, yet aside from the two big stories of Jones and Johnson, the other prominent concern is Anthony Pettis. After losing two fights in a row heading into UFC 197, the former champion was searching for answers by spending time at Jackson-Wink MMA to prepare for Edson Barboza. When speaking with Pettis on media day, he felt the time spent there was incredibly beneficial to his game, which gave him a much-needed boost to his confidence. Even with the changes and the positive outlook on the fight, Pettis would walk away suffering his third loss in a row. There is no doubt that the UFC lightweight division is still the most stacked division in all of MMA, but for a former champion to drop three in a row has to wear heavy on the psyche of Pettis, who now needs to find a win in the worst way next time he steps inside the Octagon. If you are one of the people that suggessted Pettis should be cut after this loss (yes, that actually happened in the knee-jerk reaction of the Twitter MMA fan), you should be ashamed of yourself.

At the end of it all, the two most dominant fighters on the planet walked away with their hands raised and gold around their waist, as many expected. Perhaps unexpected, however, was to be left with the argument that Demetrious Johnson may have overtaken Jon Jones on the pound for pound rankings due to his exceptional performance. It’s a good argument to think about as we carry on to the next UFC event: UFC Rotterdam.

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2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app

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This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.

The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=bh.iaa.bahraintv&hl=en

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/bahrain-tv/id992105518?mt=8

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*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results

Harry Davies

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The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.

Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.

Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.


MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST

  • Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) Round 1 – 4:20
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-3) – Women’s strawweight bout
    • Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jan Blachowicz (20-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-2) – Light heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Błachowicz def. Devin Clark via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 2 – 3:02
  • Oskar Piechota (10-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-3) – Middleweight bout
    • ResultOskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

(more…)

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*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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