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Preview – ONE Championship: Warrior’s Quest (Part 2)

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In part 2 of the preview, we will break down the second half of the singapore fight card:

Robert Lisita (15-7) vs Timofey Nastyukhin (8-1)
Apart from the loss on his debut, Nastyukhin have finished all of his opponents either by submission or KO/TKO. The most impressive part of his game, however, lies on the accuracy and explosiveness of his standup game. Timofey displayed  this on his ONE Championship debut, where he systematically dismantled a decorated striker in Folayang before knocking him out cold with a flying knee and soccer kick.

After winning his rematch against Yusuke Kawanago in less than 30 seconds, Lisita have been on a two-fight losing streak against Eric Kelly and Marat Gafurov. The Australian is known to be an aggressive fighter. He is much more dangerous on the ground, and while “Ruthless” packs a lot of power in his hands, he tends to throw technique out the window leaving him prone to counters, as we have seen in his loss against Gafurov.

Moving down from lightweight to featherweight for this fight, Nastyukhin will have a size advantage over Lisita, which will make it even harder for “Ruthless” to take the Russian down. This looked like a bad  matchup for Lisita stylistically,

Prediction: Nastyukhin by R2 KO

Lowen Tynanes (6-0) vs Kuat Khamitov (18-3-1)

Tynanes made an impressive start in ONE in 2013, scoring 2 finishes against Vuyisile Colossa and Felipe Enomoto with his wrestling-based game. A contract dispute with King of The Cage then forced him out of competition, finally returning to ONE after nearly 2 years. While Tynanes is away from ONE, Khamitov have been on a tear, winning 6 straight, including 3 finishes in 2014.

This is an interesting matchup between 2 fighters with similar styles. Both are wrestlers with strong top control who likes to punish their opponents with ground and pound while looking for a finish. On the flip side, both fighters have shown superb takedown defense, which should be an interesting matchup on how one will negate the other’s strength.

The undefeated Tynanes had the edge on the higher finishing rate, but with the Kazakh veteran only been finished once in his 22-fight career and no significant advantage against their opponent on either facet of their MMA game, a closely contested 3-round fight is within sights.

Prediction: Kuat Khamitov by a close Decision

Marat Gafurov (10-0) vs Ev Ting (9-2)

Ting has been on a 3-fight winning streak and is now paired up with the M-1 featherweight Champion for the featherweight title eliminator.

Ting has been most dangerous with his strikes. He gradually picks apart his opponents, slipping in power punches and kicks for the finish. Ting, however, has shown to be most vulnerable when taken down against an opponent with strong top control.

The bread and butter of Gafurov’s attack revolve around the ground game. The BJJ purple belt finished 6 of this fights through submission and have shown to be equally dangerous on his feet during his last outing, where he finished Rob Lisita in slightly more than one minute.

Gafurov have shown that he can push the pace for 5 rounds. While Ting’s takedown defense may have improved considerably since his last loss, Gafurov is favourite to overwhelm Ting with his wrestling and strong top control for a dominant decision win.

Prediction: Gafurov by UD

Roy Doliguez (6-1) vs Dedjadamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (4-0)

Amnuaysirichoke, or DSA, began his Pro MMA Career in ONE and the Muay Thai veteran has transition well into MMA. As 3x Lumpinee champion, there is no question about how dangerous DSA’s striking and clinch games are, but DSA have managed to adapt it well to MMA. In addition, he have sufficient takedown defense and ground game to be confident enough in committing to his striking but he is yet to be tested against elite grapplers.

Doliguez is marketed as a veteran of more than 40 pro boxing fights (18-19-9, to be exact). He last fought pro boxing in 2009 before making a transition to MMA in 2011. As a former pro boxer, Deliquez is most dangerous on his feet. While his takedown defense is a little on the weak side on past performances, he has enough confidence on his ground game to shoot for takedown and switch to ground and pound.

Doliguez have shown to be more of an “adapter”, being comfortable in adapting to any kind of situation in the cage while DSA have shown to be the “dictator”. DSA will be expected to dictate the fight and wear Doliguez down early and finish the fight in later rounds.

Prediction: Dedjadamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke by R3 KO

Shinya Aoki (37-6) vs Koji Ando (11-3-2)
Aoki is on a tear, acheiving 7 consecutive wins completely with his superior grappling ability. His striking game is still questionable despite recently stating on mmamania.com that he will test out his Muay Thai skills. Apart from few, most of his opponents were unable to avoid his ground game.

Ando’s striking was able to dismantle former lightweight title contender Zorobabel Moreira but “The Commander”‘s striking is a far cry from those who defeated Aoki such as Melendez or Alvarez. Aoki should be able to finish the fight before the championship rounds.

Prediction: Aoki by R3 Sub

 

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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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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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