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Newbies of the Night – Part 1.

Ethan Mudford

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This weekend, the UFC travels to Poland for the first time ever. As they tend to do when they hold an inaugural event, this card is stacked with fighters making their debuts – 10 fighters to be exact. This weeks edition of Newbie of the Night will come in 2 parts, each part featuring 5 fighters.

Fighter: Damian Stasiak

Division: Featherweight

Nationality: Polish

Age: 25

Record: 8-2

Previous Organisation: BAMMA

Notable Victories: N/A

Damian Stasiak enters the UFC on an 8-2 record with victories in his last 5 fights. With a decorated background in Karate, the 2014 European Cup Champion should look to strike from the outside in a similar fashion to that of a Lyoto Machida or Stephen Thompson.

As his previous bouts have shown, Stasiak’s striking is not necessarily his most potent form of attack. 5 of his 8 victories have come via submission whilst only 1, his first win was finished due to strikes. This shows that despite his Karate history, he is very adept at pulling of submissions both from the top and the bottom.

Damian Stasiak will be fighting sometimes Featherweight/sometimes Bantamweight Yaotzin Meza – an American mixed martial artist who has just 1 win in his 4-fight UFC career. Meza hasn’t shown much to indicate that he possesses skills in any one particular area which goes to show that he is equally average at best, despite his somewhat of a wrestling background. I expect to see Stasiak having success on the feet and if the fight goes to the ground, I expect him to have success there too. A fight that the local prospect should win.

Here is a fight of Stasiak’s from January this year. Stasiak is in the white trunks.


Fighter: Taylor Lapilus

Division: Featherweight

Nationality: French

Age: 22

Record: 8-1

Previous Organisation: 100% Fight

Notable Victories: N/A

Taylor Lapilus is a young French prospect who the UFC signed to fight for the promotion last year at UFC Fight Night 53 in Stockholm, Sweden. The man they call “Double Impact” was meant to fight UFC veteran Dennis Siver that night but was pulled from the bout with a week to go and replaced by the eventual loser, Charles Rosa. The reasoning for the replacement was given by the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation President Johan Halldin;

Mr. Taylor Lapilus After having reviewed the information submitted as well as having viewed footage of Mr. Lapilus, the Board of SMMAF must regrettably declare that the request regarding Mr Lapilus as a contender to Mr. Siver has been denied. The grounds for the denial is the inexperience of the athlete in question as based on his age, his technical skill, his record and his overall short background in MMA. This gives reason to believe that he has limited, if any, sparring and competition experience outside of the official record. It is therefore our judgement that a full-contact, professional MMA match between Mr. Lapilus and Mr. Siver would be an uneven match-up to the point where we Mr. Lapilus’ safety can not be guaranteed.

Mr. Charles Rosa The Board of SMMAF hereby declares that the request for Mr. Rose as contender to Mr. Siver has been approved, and the match is authorized for the event on October 4th in Stockholm, Sweden.

Hopefully Lapilus has put this ordeal behind him and will put on a performance that will be worth the wait. His ground game has been especially dangerous in his fights and I expect him to employ it in his upcoming bout against fellow debutante Rocky Lee.

Below is a fight between Lapilus and Osman Minbatirov from May 17 2014.


Fighter: Rocky Lee

Division: Featherweight

Nationality: Taiwanese

Age: 27

Record: 3-0

Previous Organisation: PRO Fighting

Notable Victories: N/A

The man Taylor Lapilus will be fighting this weekend is the undefeated Taiwanese prospect who audiences will know from his time on The Ultimate Fighter: China, where he won his first fight via first round armbar before losing to the eventual winner, Ning Guangyou in the semi-finals.

Training at AKA Thailand with UFC veteran Mike “Quick” Swick, expect to see a vastly improved stand up style to compliment the ground game of Lee. It’s always tough to pick between 2 guys who’s fights haven’t really been seen but if this goes to the ground, both Lapilus and Lee know how to go for the finish. If the fight remains standing, it’s also anyone’s game.

Below is footage of Lee’s first fight against Florian Garel.


Fighter: Steven Ray

Division: Lightweight

Nationality: Scottish

Age: 25

Record: 16-5

Previous Organisation: Cage Warriors Fighting Championship

Notable Victories: Curt Warburton

Following in the footsteps of Robert Whiteford and Joanne Calderwood, Steven “Braveheart” Ray is the latest Scottish fighter to be signed to the UFC. At a time in the sport where Englishmen and women have made it to the big show and now with the huge influx of Irish fighters making the next step up as well, could Scotland be the next nation to unearth some potential in the European market?

Steven Ray could be that guy. Coming off back to back victories over former UFC fighter Curt Warburton and graduating to the UFC from the same organisation that brought us fighters such as Dan Hardy, Paul Daley, Martin Kampmann, Michael Bisping, Joseph Duffy and Conor McGregor; Ray has every opportunity to leave his mark this coming weekend.

Quite experienced at the age of only 25, Ray has shown his abilities in all aspects of MMA. With 8 wins via submission and 4 via TKO/KO, he has shown fitness and stamina in his 4 decision wins including one of his fights against Warburton which went 5-5 minute rounds, not very common for UFC newcomers.

“Braveheart” will be fighting lacal lad Marcin Bandel, a submission specialist who trains under BJJ legend Robert Drysdale and who has 12 of his 13 wins via submission. IF Ray can play it somewhat cautious and defend well, he could pull off a victory here.

There were numerous fights to show you so I thought a highlight package would be better suited.


Fighter: Izabela Badurek

Division: Women’s Strawweight

Nationality: Polish

Age: 23

Record: 5-2

Previous Organisation: ACB – Absolute Championship Berkut

Notable Victories: N/A

As unfortunate as it was that newly crowned UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk could not compete in her native Poland, at least the depth in Polish MMA is strong enough to put forward another potential threat to the division. Enter Izabela Badurek, the 23 year old coming off 3 submission finishes will be looking to continue that wave of success as she meets fellow debutante, undefeated Russian standout Aleksandra Albu.

All of Badurek’s wins are via submission so I expect her to want to get the fight to the ground as quickly as possible. She has trained, on occasion with Jedrzejczyk so her striking could very well have improved but there’s no doubting that she is most dangerous in the grappling exchanges. In a division that is still very new within the UFC, a win here, especially in her home country and in an impressive fashion, could skyrocket Badurek up the rankings. Who knows, we might get to see an all-Polish title bout one day soon.

Here is Izabela’s last fight from January this year. Izabela is in the black and yellow.

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FURY FC 17 Preview: UFC Veteran Roger Narvaez Set to Fight For Gold

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Deep in the Hill Country of Texas, there is a storm of MMA action brewing on the horizon in the historic city of San Antonio.

In 1836 the most iconic siege ever to take place in the American West was waged between Santa Anna’s Mexican forces and a small band of Texans fighting for their independence at the Battle of the Alamo. On June 10th that tradition of never backing down continues as Fury Fighting Championships 17 takes place at the Shrine Auditorium with a card that was originally slated to have 20 bouts of MMA action. At the top of the bill, there will be a familiar face as former UFC fighter, Roger “The Silverback” Narvaez, looks to capture his first championship in the sport when he faces Antonio “Doomsday” Jones for the vacant middleweight title. The event will also feature a hot prospect, a kickboxing champion, and a grudge match.

Fury FC 17 will be broadcast live on FloCombat.com.

While the 33-year-old Narvaez (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has already realized his ultimate goal of getting to the highest level of MMA, fighting for a title has always eluded him. The 6’3″ fighter nicknamed “The Silverback” due to his abnormal 79.5″ wingspan, or monkey arms as he calls them was twice scheduled to fight for the Legacy Fighting Championship Middleweight Title against then champion Bubba Bush who now fights in the UFC. An injury caused the first fight to be canceled. Then a call up to the UFC to fight an unknown opponent on short notice put an end to plans for the another scheduled title fight.

Theodorou vs. Narvaez at UFC 185 (photo: Matthew Wells – MMA Latest)

 

To Roger, the secret to grabbing the attention of the world’s biggest MMA promotion is fighting for several different promotions. He fought for six different organizations winning all of his fights before getting a call from the UFC’s former matchmaker Joe Silva to ask if he was ready to make the move. Narvaez feels that fighting for multiple shows tells the UFC that a fighter is ready to fight whoever and whenever. His first fight for the promotion was a loss to Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque where he fought at an altitude of over 5300 feet sea level, something he says will not do again unless he is training at altitude. To put it bluntly, he plainly states “the altitude in Albuquerque sucks.” After a win against Luke Barnett, he faced Elias Theodorou. In that fight, he broke his arm before ultimately losing, and was then cut by the UFC.


At this point in Narvaez’s career, his goals now are different:

“The next goal for me, to be realistic, is to make as much money as I can. I love fighting, but at the same time, I have a family that I am trying to support. That is always first and foremost now…[and] Fury is doing a pretty good job of taking care of me…This is a really big deal for me. I am probably training harder for this fight than I have ever trained before. Part of that is with age comes knowledge and experience and I am doing everything I need to do the right way to get ready to come home with that strap, but that strap means ever thing…I didn’t quit fighting with a broken arm, it is going to take something pretty drastic to get me stop. I don’t think the guy I am fighting is going to be able to break my will or test my heart to where I am not going to be able to pull through…coming home with that title is a big deal.”

That home is one of a fighting family. Narvaez’s wife Brandi is also a fighter who recently made her professional debut at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7. His stepson is a gray belt who competes in Jui-Jitsu year round, his daughter also trains in the sport. They understand the hard work that their dad puts in more so than the average fighter’s family. As he puts “it’s not normal, but it is normal to us.”


The prospect to keep an eye on is Two-time Alabama state wrestling champion turned lightweight MMA fighter, Alec Williams (5-1 MMA) from Birmingham. Williams will be looking to rebound from his first professional loss as he takes on Travonne “Prince Scorpion” Hobbs. In his last fight, Alec relied on his wrestling and got it in his head that he did not want to stand and trade with his opponent. That mentality ultimately not only cost him his undefeated record but also to sustain four broken bones in the right side of his face.

“I didn’t get knocked out, I still got the takedown after I broke those four bones. I know it is going to be pretty difficult to knock me out…Honestly, the loss kind of took any pressure off. Before I was undefeated, that loss was going to be a big change and now a loss is just another loss.”

For this fight, Williams says he has been working with MMA legend and former UFC fighter Pete Spratt on his stand up and will not make the same mistake twice.


Also featured on the card is the first Brazilan World Cup Kickboxing Champion, welterweight Washington “Washingthai” Luiz. Originally slated to fight Nickolay Veretennikov, “Washingthai” Luiz will now take on lesser known Danny Ageday. With a new opponent on just four days notice, the man who has aspirations to become a champion in GLORY Kickboxing is not fazed.

“I did my whole camp studying my first opponent who is a striker like me, but I do not feel harmed by the change. I’m ready for this war…The main reason for my change to the USA is the opportunity to be in the biggest events in the world I have already fought the biggest events in Brazil in kickboxing and MMA. I have fought in big events in Europe and now my challenge is the biggest event of kickboxing, GLORY. But I also love MMA and when a fight appears for me, I do not refuse.”


The grudge match at Fury FC 17 comes to us from the flyweights division’s Mark “The Sparrow” Plata and David “Gallito” Miramontes. These two men were scheduled to fight previously but Plata had to pull out due to his wife giving birth to twins. According to Plata, that is where the beef began.

“The day my twins were born he was messaging me talking about how this was not a good reason not fight and that I just did not want to fight him. My kids were in ICU at the time and he just keeps messaging me over and over…it upset me at the time because they were dying, they were trying to survive, but it just added more fuel to the fire. Then he kept asking promoters to fight me. He asked two or three different promoters to set it up. I got tired of him asking for me. So then I was like, alright cool if you want it that bad, let’s do it…His fighting style matches his personality. He tries to be a bully, and that’s cool, I don’t mind shutting bullies down.”

Titles, champions, prospects, legitimate bad blood…what more you could ask for in a local card?

This is an event not to miss and thanks to Fury FC having a deal with FloSports, you do not have to.

Tune in for all the action live at 6:00 PM CST on FloCombat.com this Saturday.

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*VIDEO* Francis Ngannou has his eyes on the UFC Heavyweight Title

Matthew Wells

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UFC Heavyweight Francis “The Predator” Ngannou has taken the heavyweight division by storm.

Currently 5-0 in the UFC and riding a 9 fight win streak, the native of Cameroon possesses vicious power and has shown improvements each time he steps inside the cage.

Hear Ngannou talk about his journey and plans for the future:

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The humble beginnings of the Korean Zombie

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Korean Zombie UFC

The featherweight division has become one of the most exciting in the UFC in the last few years. With the arrival of Conor McGregor, and an influx of exciting talent, new life has been breathed into a division that was suffering due to Jose Aldo’s dominance.

A notable absentee during this rise has been “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, who returns for the first time in three years against Dennis Bermudez on Saturday. The fight features as the main event of UFC Fight Night 104, and Jung is making his long awaited return after serving his mandatory military service duty for the South Korean Army.

With the fight with Bermudez fast approaching, the buzz for Jung’s return is noticeable throughout the MMA community. With a return of this magnitude, it is always fun to look back at the career of the fighter and relive the moments in his career that make the fan in all of us excited for his return.

The humble beginnings of the Korean Zombie

Chan Sung Jung was widely considered to be one of the best prospects to emerge from the far east when he was signed by WEC to face Cub Swanson in 2010. An injury forced Swanson out of the contest and Leonard Garcia stepped in as a replacement.

The fight between the two would take place on the preliminary card of Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight championship. The event was the first and only WEC pay-per-view card and with Zuffa on board, the event was treated as such with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan on commentary.

That night, MMA fans were treated to one of the greatest fights in mixed martial arts history and widely regarded as the best fight ever in the lighter weight classes. Many fans call a fight “a war” in an exciting contest between two fighters, but the fight between the Zombie and Garcia was more like a demolition derby.

Both men threw their strikes with wreckless intent and dropped each other on numerous occasions. The fight went to a split decision with Garcia getting the nod from the judges. Many considered Jung the winner, but the fight received praise from every media outlet in the days following the card. Dana White would wear a shirt with the now famous “Korean Zombie” logo at the following UFC PPV weigh ins in support of the epic fight.

Jung returned to the cage to face George Roop in his next outing in the WEC and lost the fight by a vicious head kick. This would be his final fight in WEC as the UFC went on to absorb the WEC’s featherweight and bantamweight divisions and bring both into the UFC.

Jung was scheduled to make his promotional debut for the UFC against Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night 23, but was forced out of the fight with an injury. Ironically Leonard Garcia’s opponent Nam Phan would suffer an injury before their scheduled fight. It seemed like fate that Jung and Garcia would do battle once more. The Korean Zombie came in as a late replacement for the injured Phan. The rematch between the two was highly anticipated and the UFC was promoting the fight as the rematch to the greatest fight ever.

The fight was set as the opener to the main card for UFC Fight Night 24. What came next was history in the making. Both fighters were tentative in the early exchanges in the fight and didn’t have the same enthusiasm to brawl as the previous encounter, but in the final few minutes of the opening round, Jung took the back of Garcia.

In an unorthodox position on the ground, Rogan said on the desk, “Looks like he is setting up for a twister”. The twister was not seen in the UFC at this point and with the clock ticking, Jung stretched Garcia in a position where his spine was turned into a pretzel and Garcia tapped. Jung stated in the post-fight interview with Rogan that he had learned how to do the submission watching videos of Eddie Bravo doing the move. The win won multiple awards for submission of the year.

After that win, Chan Sung Jung was set to face Mark Hominick at UFC 140 in Toronto. Hominick, who fought Aldo for the title at UFC 129 in his hometown, came into the fight as the underdog, but in seven seconds that all changed. Jung cracked Hominick, tying the record for the second fastest knockout in UFC history. A win over a former title challenger launched the South Korean into title contention.

Following another historic win, Chan Sung Jung was now set to take part in his first ever main event against rising star Dustin Poirier with the winner receiving a title shot against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at a later date.

Jung went on to put on another fight of the year that night. The one-man zombie horde overwhelmed Poirier in the early rounds with his aggressive style. Numerous submission attempts and transitions by Jung frustrated Poirier. As Poirier became more aggressive and careless in the fight, Jung launched a flying knee in the third round and rocked his opponent. Poirier attempted to take Jung down, but the Zombie caught Poirier in a D’Arce choke in the third round to get the win.

Multiple injuries, and scheduled title fights between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar; and Aldo and Anthony Pettis, delayed Jung’s title shot. After Pettis was forced out of the title fight with Aldo because of an injury, Jung was called up as a late replacement and finally get the title shot he earned by defeating Poirier a year earlier.

The fight would take place in Brazil and was surprisingly lacklustre. Both fighters were sizing each other up for the majority of the contest. Jung suffered an injury during the fight when he dislocated his shoulder and in typical zombie fashion, Jung attempted to put his own shoulder back in place. Aldo used this time to attack, winning the title fight by TKO.

This would be the last time we saw the zombie in the cage as he would be drafted by the South Korean Army to do his two-year mandatory military service. Jung has not fought in three and a half years.

Now the burning question is how will the Korean zombie look after such a long absence. One thing is sure though, fans are extremely excited to see his return and on Saturday, The Zombie Apocalypse could be on the cards if the South Korean comes out of the cage with a win.

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