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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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Bellator

Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes

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Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.

Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).

In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.

Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”

In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.

This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.

 

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Bellator

Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video

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Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.

The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.

Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)

Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.

RN: 265 lb.

MM: 255 lb.

Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.

PF: 155 lb.

DC: 154 lb.

Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.

HH: 126.25 lb*

AJ: 125 lb.

Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.

LM: 203.75 lb.

VN: 205 lb.

Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.

TW: 145 lb.

JS: 142.25 lb.

Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)

Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

RS: 155.5 lb.

RL: 156 lb.

Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout. 

MK: 135.75 lb.

GT: 135 lb.

Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.

RC: 145 lb.

TE: 146 lb.

Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.

JT: 205.5 lb.

WH: 203 lb.

Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.

MS: 156 lb.

DH: 155.25 lb.

Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.

PN: 163.5 lb.

KX 164.5 lb.

Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

TH: 154 lb.

PC: 155.5 lb.

*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.

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Events

UFC 221 Rockhold vs. Romero Live Results

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UFC 221 marks the first event hosted by the promotion in Western Australia. UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena. The co-main event features Australian star, Mark Hunt against Curtis Blaydes. In the main event, Luke Rockhold looks to earn the Middleweight interim title when he takes on Yoel Romero. Romero is not eligible to earn the interim Middleweight title due to the fact that the Cuban missed weight. Yoel Romero replaced the original headliner of the card, Robert Whittaker. Whittaker, current Middleweight champion, withdrew from the event due to a serious case of mistreated staph infection.

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:

Fight of the night: Li Jianliang vs. Jake Matthews

Performance of the night: Jussier Formiga, Israel Adesanya

MAIN CARD – PPV – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • Yoel Romero (12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (13-3) – Catchweight (187.7) bout
    • Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punch) 1:48 round 3
  • Mark Hunt (13-11, 1 NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Tai Tuivasa (8-0) vs. Cyril Asker (9-3) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (punches and elbows) 2:18 round 1
  • Jake Matthews (12-3) vs. Li Jianliang (14-4) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jianliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Tyson Pedro (6-1) vs Saparbek Safarov (8-1) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) 3:54 round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Damien Brown (17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Kim, 29-28 Brown)
  • Rob Wilkinson (11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (11-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) 3:37 round 2
  • Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) vs Alexander Volkovski (16-1) – Featherweight bout
    • Result: Alexander Volkovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (punches) 4:57 round 2
  • Jussier Formiga (20-5) vs Ben Nguyen (17-6) – Flyweight bout
    • Result: Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (RNC) 1:43 round 3

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT

  • Ross Pearson (21-12, 1 NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Teruto Ishihara (10-4) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez (7-2) – Bantamweight bout
    • Result: José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Luke Jumeau (12-4) vs. Daichi Abe (6-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
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