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Paige VanZant: “I’ve Always Known I was Meant for the Spotlight”

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During UFC 192 this past weekend, rapidly rising UFC strawweight star, Paige VanZant took part in a media scrum, which was attended by MMA Latest’s own Matthew Wells. She talked about a range of topics, including her next opponent at UFC Fight Night 80, Joanne Calderwood.

“Yeah she’s a great fighter.” VanZant answered, when asked about the Scot. “I saw her on The Ultimate Fighter and was impressed with the way she fought and how she composed herself. She’s definitely a great athlete and a formidable opponent so I’m very much looking forward to this fight.”

At just 21-years-old, VanZant is headlining her first UFC event in December and the magnitude of the moment is not lost on her. “It’s huge. The opportunity to get a main event, obviously I wasn’t going to turn that down.” VanZant said. “Even though it’s on Fight Pass it’s huge to be headlining my own event. It’s unreal to me and it still hasn’t set in. I’ve talked to a few of my team mates who’ve been in main events before and they said it’s a completely different feeling and I can’t wait to feel that.”

“Even when I started MMA I never knew this is where it would take me and having all of these amazing opportunities unfold has been just nothing but a blessing so I’m really excited to see where my career takes me and I’m very happy with the way my career has been so far.”

With her Reebok deal, soaring up the rankings and earning a lot of attention and spotlight, it’s been a whirlwind year for the Team Alpha Male fighter. With all of those things comes a certain amount of pressure, but VanZant claimed it does not faze her. “I haven’t necessarily felt a lot of pressure from the media or anything the UFC has put on me; everything I can handle and I absolutely love it. I can handle more if they wanted to throw it at me. I love every second of it and I’ve always known from a young age I was meant for the spotlight, I just didn’t know on what platform that would be and it just happened to be MMA.”

On her most recent performance, a win over Alex Chambers at UFC 191, VanZant had some self-criticisms. “I definitely think I did well in that fight and came out with the win. Looking at my performance, I wasn’t really impressed with how I performed. I think I was a little bit too confident going into that fight. There were a lot of areas where I made mistakes because I was so confident: I didn’t move my head, I was letting her hit me a few too many times without making a conscious decision to change position, I was able to come out with the win, it was a great win for me and I was able to watch the tape and correct myself for my next fight.”

In the scrum, VanZant also talks about how her dancing past helped her development, talks about Sage Northcutt and the advice she would give to him, as well what she thought of Rose Namajunas’ winning performance at UFC 192 and more. You can watch it all in the video below.

 

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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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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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