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One Defining Moment: UFC Fight Night 90

Peyton Wesner

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Unlike many popular professional sports associations, the UFC has no off-season. 365 days a year, from January to December, the best mixed martial artists are training and honing their craft to climb up the rankings and experience their “One Shining Moment.” However, for most, before enjoying his or her “One Shining Moment,” a fighter must establish and prove he or she belongs among the best. This is called the “One Defining Moment.” So without further ado, let’s check out the One Defining Moments of those stepping into the octagon at UFC Fight Night 90.
#10 Roy Nelson (22-12, 8-8 in UFC) vs. #12 Derrick Lewis (15-4, 6-2 in UFC)***Co-Main Event – Heavyweight Bout

Roy “Big Country” Nelson

Not everyone’s “One Defining Moment” comes in victory. Back-tracking almost six years, Roy “Big Country” Nelson was faced with the biggest obstacle of his MMA career, for he was due to face future two-time heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 117. In the beginning, Big Country seemed to find his groove early. More specifically, his movement was smooth and rapid, his strikes were landing, and a quick clinch supplied him with an opportunity to let go of all of his weight and administer it to his opponent. Dos Santos, avoiding a takedown, blasted Nelson with a huge right knee when breaking the clinch and followed it up with his famous uppercut. From the uppercut, the well-known bearded mixed martial artist went flying to the side of the cage before absorbing more abuse in the center of the octagon. Dos Santos proceeded to start teeing off with hook after hook. But, Big Country stayed strong despite then being battered by a flurry of right uppercuts and right hooks. The bout looked capable of being finished quickly. Though, Roy Nelson would not allow it. Continuing to push forward and keep Dos Santos honest with his one punch power, Big Country refused to go down. Even when another right uppercut sent him to the canvas, Nelson kept his wits about him and eyed a single leg takedown. Although the attempt proved futile, Big Country got back to his feet and offered a flush hook of his own. With the 1st round easily won in terms of the judges’ scorecards, Dos Santos chewed up Nelson’s chin with jabs and uppercuts prior to the horn sounding. Over the next two rounds, Nelson showed he was too legit to quit. From landing a heavy right hook and right straight that temporarily slowed the future champion to cutting the opposition’s eye a little over halfway through the 2nd, Big Country’s offense started to find holes. However, Dos Santos was truly too much and continued to put Nelson on unsure legs, especially at the end of rounds. Granted, the decision was unanimous in favor of Dos Santos (30-26, 30-27, 30-27); however, Nelson withstood finish opportunity after finish opportunity in a grit showcasing 15 minute performance, which taught all future opponents that Big Country is one of the toughest fighters to get out of the cage in all of the UFC.

Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis

The biggest fight of his career met Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis earlier this year at the Zagreb Arena in Croatia as he was set to battle long-time UFC veteran, Gabriel Gonzaga. Lewis, seasoned with experience himself, was eying to move his winning streak to three, which would be his longest in the promotion. Right out of the gates, The Black Beast looked to be aggressive and partially landed a high right head kick that sent his opponent backward towards the cage. Gonzaga, an expert of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, flipped position with Lewis and took him down in a masterful takedown. On the ground, Lewis was tested by submissions, for Gonzaga took his back while desiring a rear naked choke. But, the choke was never on the chin, ultimately allowing the American to escape to his feet. Following a clinch break shortly under two minutes, The Black Beast attempted to utilize his boxing range to land strikes. Yet, he found no such luck and was again wrapped up against the side of the Octagon in a clinch. Lewis fought off a leg trip takedown attempt before another break, this time at the 30 second mark. The 1st round was likely to go in favor of Gonzaga, but it would never get that far. The Black Beast, displaying patience in finding the right time to unleash a barrage of punches, discovered such opportunity with under a half minute to go. It all started with a right hand straight that slipped through the defense and was followed up by two hooks, one from each side. Lewis proceeded to add appropriate hammer fists for the biggest win of his career to date.

#C Rafael dos Anjos (25-7, 14-5 in UFC) vs #2 Eddie Alvarez (27-4, 2-1 in UFC)

***Main Event – Lightweight Championship

Rafael dos Anjos

One’s first headliner, in itself, is recognition that a fighter is one of the best in the UFC. Yet, how he or she performs, can solidify the hype and talent. For Rafael dos Anjos, August 23, 2014, is this date. The Brazilian ranked 5th at the time, was faced with his first big named opponent in former UFC lightweight champion and top contender Benson “Smooth” Henderson. All odds and betting lines listed dos Anjos as a huge underdog. And, if you made a big bet on the favorite, you lost a lot of money. While the two traded kicks and landed combinations early, Henderson started to execute very filthy, effective strikes. The only problem for the former belt holder was dos Anjos responded and countered with his own offerings. Although Smooth knocked dos Anjos to the canvas with a strong push kick, which exhilarated the American crowd, the “visitor” quickly got back to his feet and started to exhibit great control of the octagon. Moreover, dos Anjos’ left straight, which led to other combinations, started to land flush in addition to pushing Henderson against the cage. The former champion, attempting to turn the tides, moved forward to avoid being trapped but was smacked with a pair of flying knees. Smelling victory, RDA forced Henderson to his feet after a sprawl and dropped him with a left hook. Once referee “Big” John McCarthy knew Benson Henderson was out cold, he quickly stepped in, meaning Rafael dos Anjos had just made his first giant statement in the UFC.

Eddie Alvarez

Before Philadelphia’s own Eddie Alvarez made his UFC debut in 2014, he was a two-time lightweight Bellator champion who was famous for finishing opponents, either with strikes or submissions. One of his most violent and impressive victories transpired on October 12, 2012, when facing Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. Early in the 1st round, Alvarez dropped Pitbull with a heavy left hand straight and proceeded to try to finish the fight on the ground. Yet, the tables soon turned as he found himself eating a right-hand hook and wobbling away from trouble. The hard-nosed champion, unlike others who would have been finished on the spot, found the side of the cage and induced a clinch to stay alive. Following two more minutes of back and forth, fast paced action, Alvarez started to land jabs through Pitbull’s stand-up defense. As the fight progressed, everyone in attendance believed a 2nd round was imminent. Or, everyone besides Alvarez. The fighter filled with Brotherly Love controlled the center of the octagon and drilled Pitbull with a right leg kick that turned his lights out. The fight was over and Eddie Alvarez became the first man to finish Patricky “Pitbull” Freire via a TKO/KO. And who would have thought, a few minutes earlier, the end result could have been flipped.

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EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity

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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.

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Announcement

Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219

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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.

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

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*Live Updates* UFC 216 Official Results

Harry Davies

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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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