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The Morning After UFC Fight Night Chicago

Matthew Wells

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What was once an iron clad trio of Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Holly Holm perched on top of the women’s bantamweight division, after Valentina Shevchenko’s performance in Chicago, and of course the new Champ in Amanda Nunes, we have parity.

Holly Holm has been the fighter who stays tight with quick in and out combinations, comes in with a solid game plan, and utilizes efficient movement. While she was largely these things on Saturday evening, something was off.

Perhaps facing an opponent in Valentina who refused to over-commit on anything exposed something about Holly’s game. The fight against Ronda was a textbook example of how to handle a fighter who did exactly what Shevchenko didn’t do. Credit that to Valentina’s extensive kickboxing and Muay Thai background. She forced Holm to go first over the course of five rounds while staying compact in her movements and blasted Holm with counter strikes time and time again.

With Holm’s loss, what happens with the division now that all three of the aforementioned trio are out of the immediate title picture?

Allow me to play UFC matchmaker for a moment, and step into Joe Silva and Sean Shelby’s shoes. The division sets up perfectly for a winner vs winner, winner vs loser, and loser vs loser matchups at the top. The next title shot should go to Julianna Pena. She’s undefeated in the UFC and after winning at UFC 200 deserves a crack at the belt against the newly crowned champ who fought on the same night. To truly establish her place at the top of the division, Valentina Shevchenko taking on the former champion, Miesha Tate is a cracking matchup. Lastly, the “get back on track” fight would be a matchup between Holly Holm and Cat Zingano. The only issue with this matchup is the loser would walk away with three losses in a row…yikes. Of course, there is the wild card in Ronda Rousey, who, if and when she decides to say “I back,” throws a wrench into all of the previous matchups as she has been promised a title shot upon her return.

Moving on, the co-main event of the evening featured two of the most exciting fighters in the sport.

No, I was not on the receiving end of Edson Barboza’s insanely vicious leg kicks like Gilbert Melendez was last night, but I know that pain. Certainly not on the same level, as Barboza is clearly the best in the world at the technique, but having trained for this sport in the not-too-distant past, receiving leg kicks is a very memorable experience. If someone offered you a large sum of money to take a full power leg kick from Edson, I’d strongly advise against accepting that challenge. You don’t need that in your life.

Plain and simple, Edson Barboza will chop your legs out from under you. If you’re building the prototype of the perfect MMA fighter, Barboza’s leg kicks are a must. He literally kicked Melendez off of his feet multiple times during the fight. Midway through the second round, Gilbert Melendez was praying to make it out of the fight on two legs. The bout started off with Fight of the Night written all over it, but as combination after combination culminated with a hard leg kick to the left lead leg of Melendez, the furiously contested battle from the first round morphed into a story of survival in the third round. With his best poker face still on display, Melendez favored his left leg while attempting to find a hail-Mary knockout blow in the final frame to avoid a loss by way of the judges. One thing is for certain, you can’t question the toughness of Gilbert Melendez.

After two 30-27s and a 29-28 variety on the score cards, Edson Barboza finds himself at the top of the crowded lightweight division, potentially setting up a matchup against now-former Champion, Rafael dos Anjos. That’s the perfect matchup to make at this point. Let’s see how Barboza deals with Dos Anjos’ relentless pressure. If he passes that test, a shot at gold has to be the next step. Insert something, something, Tony Ferguson.

UFC Fight Night Chicago set up some interesting storylines for the near future in a couple of divisions. Fighters like Eddie Wineland and Felice Herrig getting their hands raised after solid performances also give us something to think about. But more importantly, can we please find an opponent for Francis Ngannou who will throw counter strikes? One of the scariest looking human beings to ever enter the Octagon also leaves us with the biggest question mark. Is this truly a guy who can make a run to the top of the division, or is he a guy who is simply can-crushing the lower-tier of the UFC Heavyweight division? A potential matchup against Roy Nelson is intriguing, as we know Big Country will bring a solid mix of wrestling and striking. There has also been a lot of chatter about a fight against Derrick Lewis, which is a great clash of freakish power, and a fight that would surely end violently.

Looking ahead to the next UFC event, Tyron Woodley gets his highly criticised title shot against Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 in Atlanta, Georgia. A man who hasn’t competed inside the Octagon since January 2015 is stepping in against one of the most frightening fighters in the sport for the right to be called Champion in one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC. Whether you are for or against this matchup,  be prepared for fireworks because both men certainly look to be on their A-game leading up to this one. Save your judgements until after this one is over and simply enjoy the brutality.

 

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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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Bellator

Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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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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