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The Morning After UFC 202

Matthew Wells



Move over UFC 200. The king is back and his ability to put on an incredible show is unparalleled. UFC 202 was everything we hoped UFC 200 would be as the feel of a blockbuster event was very apparent.

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz put on an all-time classic fight on Saturday evening at the T-Mobile Arena in front of a packed house of Team Diaz supporters and a large contingent of Irish fans who made the trip across the globe to represent for their country’s hero. McGregor walked out of the cage bruised, battered, and limping heavily due to a damaged shin, but most importantly, walked out with his hand raised in victory. The back and forth war took its toll on both men. Nate Diaz’ face transformed into a crimson mask due to multiple cuts over the course of the bout, but largely escaped with only cosmetic damage.

Coming into fight week, the momentum was clearly in favor of the Stockton native. Not only did Nate win the first bout, it appeared he found a way to crack McGregor mentally. For the first time during in his UFC run, Conor was not in the driver’s seat when it came to mind games during fight week. The antics began on Wednesday afternoon at the press conference when water bottles made front page headlines. Go back to Nate’s post-fight interview after his win over Michael Johnson; he wasn’t going to be one of those clowns that was punked at a press conference.

Conor showed up late as usual, which prompted Diaz to show he wasn’t a fan of the Irishman’s timekeeping. Middle fingers, expletives, water bottles and Monster cans began flying around the theater creating an epic what-the-hell-just-happened moment. What was otherwise a dull press conference, quickly escalated into an infamous event. Sh*t just got real.

The UFC would never want to promote an event in such a manner for many reasons, yet due to that press conference, the world became engrossed in the fight. Borrowing lines from Tupac the next day, Conor made it very clear after his open workout the following day that the battle lines were drawn: “F*** Team Diaz! And if you’re down with Team Diaz, then f*** you too!” He seemed a bit too emotional. Perhaps Diaz was indeed in Conor’s head.

Coming into the week, it was believed Conor would come out with a much more calculated gameplan. Realizing he couldn’t KO Diaz with his best shot in their first encounter, another approach was necessary. But after Thursday, the tides changed. If Nate truly got under Conor’s skin, that gameplan may have very well been thrown by the wayside. When fighters get emotional, bad things can happen. See UFC 194 after thirteen seconds.

Ultimately, Conor proved he could not be cracked. Making the walk to the cage with a laser-focused glare, he was all business on the night it all mattered. What transpired will go down as one of the best fights in the history of the sport, yet since the judges were needed to officially declare a winner, the majority decision was controversial.

It all comes down to how you score the second round of the fight. Conor dropped Nate from punches twice in the first half of the round, winning four of the five minutes. Then Diaz rallied back hard. As the bell sounded, Conor’s back was against the cage, having just absorbed a vicious flurry of strikes could have led to a stoppage if more time was remaining in the round. Four out of the five minutes plus two knockdowns outweighs a one-minute blitz in this instance, and the round should have been scored in the favor of McGregor, despite being worse for wear at the end of the frame.

Rounds one, two and four were McGregor’s, your winner of the rematch, setting up a trilogy that both fighters would be keen on during their post-fight scrums. Both stated they would want the fight at 155 pounds though, because they both complained about not having six-pack abs. Who knew those warriors could be so vain?

The fireworks on Saturday evening began way before the main event. If you’re not a fan of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson after his thirteen-second scorching of Glover Teixeira in the co-main event, you must hate incredibly vicious and powerful strikers who are extremely humble in victory or defeat. “Humble Rumble” as coined by Ariel Helwani during the post-fight scrum is accurate. Give us Daniel Cormier versus Rumble for the title in New York at UFC 205.

Going back a fight prior, the legend of Donald Cerrone at 170 pounds continues. Cowboy unleashed a ridiculous combo that was reminiscent of something out of Killer Instinct to finish Rick Story in the first round. While Cerrone looks like a different beast at the higher weight class, it seems he will be searching for another crack at the title back in the lightweight division against Eddie Alvarez, a man he already holds a victory over on his record.

UFC 202 didn’t have the individual name power as UFC 200, but it made up for that with incredible finishes throughout the card. A fantastic job was done by the production team to immediately hype Cody Garbrandt versus Dominick Cruz on the spot. The same goes for instantly building steam for Anthony Johnson’s rematch against Daniel Cormier. Those are two title fights that will be absolutely nuts. Before we get to those, the next strap on the line is in the big boy divison at UFC 203. Big fight after big fight keeps this sport growing at an incredible rate. What a time to be a part of it.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies



MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.

Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!


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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures



After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate



Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.

But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.

After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.

The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.

Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.

He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.

In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.

Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 17: Michael Bisping of England steps on the scale during the UFC weigh-in inside the SSE Hydro on July 17, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.

Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.

This is me and Anderson exchanging respect while being attended to by the doctors.

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on

The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.

Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.

Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.

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