International Fight Week kicked off with a bang on Thursday evening with UFC Fight Night 90 headlined by Rafael dos Anjos versus Eddie Alvarez. Still reeling from the earth-shattering news of Jon Jones’ removal from UFC 200 due to a potential USADA anti-doping violation late Wednesday evening, it was nice to witness fights after a few days of media activities. Perhaps crowning a new champion would take our minds off the news of the previous 24 hours? Maybe the UFC finding a replacement for Jon Jones on incredibly short notice, with none other than the man considered to be the greatest of all time, Anderson Silva would put out the fire of burning questions?
The twelve-fight UFC Fight Pass card started off fast with five consecutive submissions, setting the tone for what could very well be the most historic weekend in the history of the sport of mixed martial arts.
The co-main event of the evening proved an there is an evolution in judging of the sport. Roy Nelson consistently secured takedowns on his opponent Derrick Lewis, however not much offense was generated after the fight went to the mat. Lewis would get up time and time again, answering Rampage Jackson’ question, “How you gonna get the moon off you?” Lewis out-struck Roy Nelson with a surprising variety of strikes when the fight was standing. Head kicks, body kicks, and even a flying knee or two were unleashed from Lewis’ repertoire throughout the bout. The two of the judges rendered their decision in favor of Lewis, a somewhat surprising turn, considering judging of the past that would favor the fighter who would complete takedowns at will. Perhaps more interesting than the decision itself, was Lewis’ request for a rematch against Nelson during his post-fight interview, and during the post-fight press conference.
Heading into the main event of the evening, the fight card would already be considered a successful night of entertaining fights before the title fight in the toughest division in the UFC. Eddie Alvarez’ mindset was laser-focused on the goal of winning the title on the evening, as his confidence radiated through the open workout and pre-fight interviews. The same man that confidently approached microphones after his open workout yelling “and new!” would carry that same confidence over into the cage as Alvarez patiently found his range against the aggressive Dos Anjos, who had success in the striking game early in the opening round. After weathering a few exchanges, Alvarez found home for a hard right hand that would rock the former champion, spelling the beginning of the end. Eddie Alvarez is now the first person to become a champion of Bellator and the UFC.
Shortly after crowning the new champion, the focus quickly shifted to the news of Anderson Silva replacing Jon Jones to face Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. Dana White and Silva took the podium to confirm the bout, as well as confirm Miesha Tate versus Amanda Nunes would now become the main event on Saturday. Gegard Mousasi and Dan Henderson were in the running for the fight against Cormier as well, but ultimately it was decided by the UFC that this was a fight for The Spider to take.
One of the lasting memories of the weekend will be Daniel Cormier’s reaction to Dana White telling him Jon Jones tested positive, resulting in his removal from UFC 200. The gripping emotion was captured on Episode 5 of UFC 200 Embedded. *Watch the reaction here* For Daniel Cormier to work so hard for so long for that second crack at Jon Jones, the only man to put a loss on his record, the reaction was candid and completely comprehensible.
While emotions were high among fighters, press, and UFC officials, along with news and rumors bursting from the seams, everything was sewn up nicely shortly after the conclusion of UFC Fight Night 90. The incredible scenes on the night of seeing a new champion being crowned and the unexpected joy of seeing Anderson Silva announced as Daniel Cormier’s new opponent, almost makes us forget Jon Jones’ latest transgression, or at least puts our criticisms on the back burner for now.
The day began with an early morning press conference featuring Jon Jones who couldn’t contain tears and ended with a smiling Anderson Silva fighting on two days notice as well as a new champion. What a crazy series of events to occur during one day.
With two more fight cards to go at International Fight Week 2016, the bar has been set high by the competitors on the opening evening. If the next 48 hours can produce the same level of excitement and drama, we’re all in for a very special treat this weekend.
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.
Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”
Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”
Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”
Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”
With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”
Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”
Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.
Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:
Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)
By Ieuan Thomas.
Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219
Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.
Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.
Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.
After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 23, 2017
Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.
With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:
Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout
*Live Updates* UFC 216 Official Results
Live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the UFC hosted their eighth PPV card of this year as fans were treated to UFC 216.
The card was headlined by a Interim Lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (23-3) and Kevin Lee (16-2). Ferguson entered the octagon holding the record for the longest winning streak in UFC lightweight division history (9). Beating top names such as Rafael Dos Anjos and Edson Barboza in the process.
#7 ranked Lee last fought in June of this year, earning the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Michael Cheisa by first round submission (rear-naked choke).
In the co-main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) was hoping to break the record for most consecutive title defenses as he faced Ray Borg (11-2). The record (10) was held by both Johnson and former middlweight champion, Anderson Silva.
Johnson and Borg were originally scheduled to fight in the main event of UFC 215 last month, but the title fight was cancelled a day before the event was supposed to take place, as Borg pulled out of the fight due to illness.
UFC 216 Official Results:
MAIN CARD – PAY PER VIEW – 10PM/7PM ETPT
- #2 Tony Ferguson (24-3) vs. #7 Kevin Lee (16-3) – For UFC Interim Lightweight Championship
- Result: Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee via SUB (triangle choke) Round 3 – 4:02
- (C) Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) vs. #3 Ray Borg (11-3) – For UFC Flyweight Championship
- Result: Demetrious Johnson def. Ray Borg via SUB (armbar) Round 5 – 3:15
- #2 Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1) vs. Walt Harris (10-6)
- Result: Fabricio Werdum def. Walt Harris via SUB (armbar) Round 1 – 1:05
- Mara Romero Borella (12-4) vs. Kalinda Faria (16-6-1)
- Result: Mara Romero Barella def. Kalindra Faria via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 1 – 2:54
- #12 Beneil Dariush (14-3-1) vs. #14 Evan Dunham (17-6-1)
- Result: Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham declared a Majority Draw (29-29, 28-28, 28-28)
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) vs Cody Stamman (15-1)
- Result: Cody Stamann def. Tom Duquesnoy via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Bobby Green (23-8-1) vs. Lando Vannata (9-2-1)
- Result: Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata declared a Draw (split) (29-27, 27-29, 28-28)
- Marco Beltran (8-6) vs. Matt Schnell (10-4)
- Result: Matt Schnell def. Marco Beltrán via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 7PM/4PM ETPT
- #15 Magomed Bibulatov (14-1) vs. #11 John Moraga (18-6)
- Result: John Moraga def. Magomed Bibulatov via KO (punch) – Round 1 – 1:38
- #13 Thales Leites (27-8) vs. Brad Tavares (16-4)
- Result: Brad Tavares def. Thales Leites via Unanimous (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
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