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PREVIEW: Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series Week 7

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UFC Fight Pass is a God-send for the most loyal fans of mixed martial arts. Whether one’s viewing preference is The Ultimate Fighter, Invicta, Titan FC or the archive of hundreds of fights throughout WEC, Pride, Strikeforce and UFC there is no shortage of choices. Fight Pass does an excellent job of not only providing a seemingly endless catalog, but has also consistently developed Zuffa’s digital imprint by providing fresh, original content.

One such is example is “Dana White’s: Lookin’ For a Fight” which chronicles the world’s best combat sports promoter in his travels with UFC-veterans-turned-world-class-MMA-coaches, Din Thomas and Matt Serra. The show documents the trio as they tour the country, scouting up and coming MMA talent on the regional level; which is a return to Dana White’s roots in the sport.

The latest original programming features a similar concept, only on this particular show White leaves the scouting to his matchmakers and the traveling to the fighters. “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” is filmed each week, when fighters from around the world converge in the UFC’s backyard to throw down at the Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas.

Here is a quick user’s guide to Week 7 of the show (#DWTNCS):

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT: Anton Berzin (5-1) vs Kennedy Nzechukwu (2-0)

A pair of Light Heavyweights with less than 10 pro mma fights combined between them will collide in the main event of week 7. The promotion does not typically showcase individuals with less than 10 pro fights (each) but the perpetually shallow 205lb division is always hiring.

There are plenty of young, up and coming prospects at Light Heavyweight, but the UFC always needs more. Berzin had a stint on TUF 19 but lost a decision in his first fight in the tournament. He spent the next 2 and a half years on the shelf, returning to the cage in last April earning a submission win.

A May 2017 knockout victory brings his win streak to 2-0 since returning to competition. Kennedy’s  2-0 represents the totality of his professional fight record. Despite limited experience, he comes in highly touted as the #8 Light Heavyweight from the state of Texas. An interesting fact about Nzechukwu: he made his pro debut at Heavyweight (where he also fought his only amateur fight) against a fighter with 18 professional fights (9-9) and put his opponent away in the 2nd round. Expect fireworks, as Berzin is no slouch at striking either.

BANTAMWEIGHT: Benito Lopez (7-0) vs Steven Peterson (15-5)

The UFC’s Bantamweight division has more attention on it than ever with stars like Cody Garbrandt, TJ Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz at the top of the division. The rest of the top-10 boasts a handful of fan favorites as well, but none of them are truly household names. This division is deeper than it has ever been, but still desperate for stars to fill its ranks. Either one of these men would make a welcome edition to the Bantamweight roster.

MMA Latest News caught up with Steven Peterson, who said he does not anticipate the phenomenon known as “Octagon Shock.” In fact, Peterson told MMA Latest News he prefers the challenge of the bigger stage, “I tend to thrive in the high pressure situations, I enjoy it. The more pressure, the better.” Winning big is the name of the game. A contract is not guaranteed to all the winners, so at the conclusion of the show, UFC President Dana White signs each of the fighters with the best wins.

When prompted, Peterson quickly named his poison, “I prefer a TKO. I like to break my opponent. That’s what I forsee on Tuesday night. I’m going to push the pace. By the second round, he’ll be broken and I’ll finish him.”

Benito Lopez is an undefeated Team Alpha Male prospect. Though he has considerably less experience in the cage, there is something to be said for the company he keeps. The UFC Bantamweight Champion, Cody Garbrandt and UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber are certainly two of the best mentors and training partners that an up and coming Bantamweight can surround themselves with.

FLYWEIGHT: Joby Sanchez (10-2) VS JP Buys (4-1)

Jackson-Winklejohn prospect Joby Sanchez gets a second chance to fight in the UFC after posting a 1-2 record across three fights in the promotion. Sanchez suffered his 1st professional loss at the hands of Wilson Reis back in 2014, but currently rides a 3-fight win streak since being cut from the UFC roster in 2015. He is opponent, JP Buys, comes all the way from South Africa for his chance at a spot on the coveted roster. With minimal experience as pro, at 4-1, he is currently riding a 3 fight win streak, including a submission victory that avenged the only loss on his record.

LIGHTWEIGHT: Mike Santiago (20-9) VS Mark Cherico (11-1)

This Lightweight fight is not to be missed! Santiago has won 10 in a row (7 submissions, 2 KO’s and 1 Unanimous Decision) and is ranked as the #1 Lightweight AND Featherweight in both Indiana and New Jersey. Cherico is ranked #1 at Lightweight in the state of Pennsylvania and has only one loss in his pro career, adding to an impressive amateur record of 9-0 (all by finish – 8 submissions and 1 KO).

FLYWEIGHT: Nick Urso (10-3) vs Jordan Espinosa (10-5)

Urso is another product of New Mexico’s Jackson-Winklejohn and he is ranked as the #1 Flyweight in his home state, as well as in Colorado. Espinosa also fights out of Albuquerque, but trains with a different camp – of course. This fight is actually a rematch from a 2016 bout that resulted in a no contest.

Urso appeared to be in control of the fight and revealed in a post-fight interview with Combat Sports Weekly  that he thought the ref stoppage was the result of a TKO; believing he had won the fight until the ref ended the action for illegal blows to the back of the head.

This is by far the only true grudge match on the lineup for the evening. With both men still verbally sparring in interviews they are looking to settle the score once and for all, with a possible UFC contract at stake. Follow the action on @MMALatestNws via Twitter or watch with a Fight Pass subscription, the event will be streamed live on Tuesday evening.

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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Invicta

Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 

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Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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