On paper, UFC 198 was one of the most highly anticipated fight cards of 2016, and to many mixed martial arts fans, more than the upcoming feature event of the summer, UFC 200. A record attendance was set on Friday afternoon in Curitiba as 15,000 fans piled in to watch the fighters step on the scales, setting the stage for what would be an incredible atmosphere on fight night. The following evening, the Brazilian crowd certainly made their presence felt in more ways than one on Saturday evening, from loudly cheering on their country’s legends to striking an American fighter as he made he way to the Octagon. Aside from ensuring fighters are protected properly as they make their way into the cage, there are many other lessons to be learned from UFC 198.
While some divisions have long-reigning champions such as Demetrious Johnson (the only Champion of the flyweight division), the UFC’s heavyweight title is consistently changing hands. On Saturday night, it would once again migrate to a new owner in Stipe Miocic, breaking the Championship drought of Cleveland, Ohio, a city that has not had a major sports champion since 1964. One stiff counter right hand put an end to the championship curse of Miocic’s hometown as he flattened Fabricio Werdum in the first round, silencing the 45,000 plus fans in attendance. While the moment sparked elation in Miocic and his corner, Brazil fell silent in the final bout of the evening which was otherwise dominated by its countrymen. While Werdum tried to state his claim for a rematch during the post-fight press conference, it’s extremely hard to justify as he’s never defended the title, was knocked out cold in the first round, and there is a surging contender waiting for his shot at the belt in Alistair Overeem. Immediate title rematches should be reserved for long-tenured title holders in closely fought battles when there is no clear number one contender – none of these pieces fall into place for Werdum.
While there were a lot of experts on the fence about how the main event would play out, UFC 198 had its fair share of “we all saw that coming” moments. Invicta’s featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg finally made her UFC debut in a special catchweight fight against Leslie Smith. Credit is certainly due to Smith who signed the line on a fight that seemingly nobody else wanted, however, her chances of emerging victorious were extremely slim. Las Vegas noticed this as well, placing Cyborg as an overwhelming favorite at the sports betting windows hitting -2100, one of the largest favorites ever for the sport. Less than a minute and a half into the fight, Cyborg was celebrating along with the roars of the crowd as she earned a quick and violent TKO stoppage. Smith would protest the stoppage, but don’t forget, Smith also protested the stoppage when Jessica Eye caused her ear to explode, leaving it dangling off the side of her head. She’s tough as nails, but perhaps the referee saved her from suffering extensive damage from the fists of Cyborg.
Thiago Santos surprised very few people as he knocked out Nate Marquardt in the first round of their fight on the prelims. Marquardt, with over 50 fights on his professional record, has his best days in the cage behind him as he has lost six of his last eight fights, four of which were ended by knockout. In the wake of this loss, cries for Marquardt to hang it up were flooding social media as many would rather not see one of the most well-liked fighters in the history of the sport take any more damage. Having shared space with some of the best fighters to ever do it, earning titles under various promotions, what else is there for Marquardt to prove at this point? If this was the last time Marquardt gets taped up, hopefully, the next move Nate “The Great” makes is the best one for his health and a decision he makes with caring advice from those closest to him.
To the delight of the Brazilian fans, many of their legends put on masterful performances throughout the fight card. From Antonio Rogerio Nogueira earning a standing TKO stoppage of Pat Cummins on the featured bout on Fight Pass, to Demian Maia becoming Matt Brown’s backpack for three rounds before tapping him out, the fans certainly got their money’s worth out of the event. Combine that with the absolute war that occurred on the prelims between Francisco Trinaldo and Yancy Medeiros, this was certainly one of the most memorable events for the UFC. Don’t forget that Anderson Silva versus Uriah Hall was scratched just days before this event. That was a fight that could have elevated this event to a whole different level of greatness, or given both men’s history of underwhelming performances at times, been a complete dud.
Nevertheless, UFC 198 goes down in the books as an incredible trip to Curitiba, Brazil, and certainly one that Stipe Miocic and Cleveland will remember forever. Now that the curse has been busted for the Ohio city, could this open up the doors for championships to begin flooding into the city? The Cleveland Cavaliers are cruising through the NBA Playoffs at the moment, looking better than they ever have with Lebron James leading the way. Could this be the year for Cleveland to completely turn the tides of its championship barren history? Only time will tell.
For now, Stipe Miocic wears the crown as the king of Cleveland as the rightful owner of the UFC Heavyweight Championship belt. Oh, and that firefighting gig he holds when he’s not turning the lights out on opponents in the Octagon? He plans on keeping it. So, if you find yourself caught in a burning building in the Cleveland area, don’t be surprised to see the Champ come to your rescue.
*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results
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
- Result: Oskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
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)
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)
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)
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.
This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.
Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK
- Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
- Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
- Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK
- 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
- Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
- Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
- Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
- Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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