MMA Judging suffers from constant scrutiny and criticism. At Legacy Fighting Alliance’s March 10th event, LFA 6, the need for clear guidance and adequate training for those entrusted with scoring fights has never been more evident.
Ray “The Judge” Rodriguez took on Rivaldo Junior at Cowboy’s Dance Hall in a war for territory among two San Antonio natives. The fight was very close and resulted in a split decision in favour of Rodriguez, improving his record to 12-4 overall, and adding a 7th win to his current unbeaten streak.
Out of the gate, it was abundantly clear “The Judge” was the better striker as he landed most of his attempted strikes, for which Junior had no answer. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt responded to the stand-up affair by either circling away, attempting a clinch or a takedown, initially finding success with the latter near the end of round one.
Rivaldo Junior was not able to gain much momentum with the takedown, a theme that would reoccur throughout the entire fight, nearly until the final bell. Ray continuously thwarted the Black Belt’s submission attempts and even swept Junior on more than one occasion.
Each time Ray got the fight back to the feet Junior repeated the same strategy of avoiding all exchanges. He had success with a few takedowns, but was visibly too tired to capitalize, perhaps due to the exertion of the earlier submission attempts.
The fight was exciting and well-received by the San Antonio crowd. As everyone awaited the decision, there was not one person in the arena that would have bet the change in their pocket on who would be declared winner; it was that close.
In what was probably the most bizarre split decision thus far in 2017, one judge saw the fight 30-27 for Junior, and another saw it the same….but for Ray. Finally, the last score to be read was 29-28 in favor of Rodriguez; which was how MMA Latest scored it as well, mere moments before Ray “The Judge” Rodriguez was declared the winner.
Andrea Lee on USADA Drug Test Failure “You can get Suspended for Anything”
MMA Latest spoke to recently signed UFC flyweight Andrea “KGB” Lee about her delayed UFC debut, and potential opponents on this season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Lee (8-2) signed with the UFC in September, and was set to make her promotional debut just a few weeks after at UFC 216. However, “KGB” was quickly pulled from her scheduled fight with Kalindra Faria, due to fighters with previous USADA violations having to serve a six-month period in the testing pool before fighting.
Q: I’m interested to get your thoughts on how things are going on The Ultimate Fighter: Season 26, have you been watching closely?
I have! I’m still glad I didn’t sign up for TUF, I’m happy I stayed home so I could watch from afar and continue to get my own training in. I’ve been keeping up with it, trying to study my future opponents I’ve already got my eye on some I would like to compete against.
Q: You decided to fight Liz Tracey instead of committing to the tryouts for TUF 26, but you said you don’t regret that, why?
I had already injured my back, so going into the house at that time with an injury wouldn’t have been smart. Secondly, I felt like I was already established enough as a fighter, most fighters on the show need help to be seen, but I already feel like I have a good following. I was comfortable fighting with Invicta and LFA until I got the call-up for the UFC.
Q: Can you please clear up why you failed a USADA test back in 2016, I believe it was revealed you took a diuretic, but you were unaware it was on the banned list?
Firstly, I’ve never taken steroids, I didn’t fail the test because of steroids and I was not aware that fluid pills (diuretics) were used as a masking agent.
People need to be aware that you can get suspended for anything.
I used the fluid pills because I swell and bloat a lot, it’s very uncomfortable. I didn’t realise people use them for masking steroids. If in competition you can get suspended for like ibuprofen and sleep aids, they’re always changing the banned substance list.
Q: You tested positive for the diuretic after you loss to Sarah D’Alelio, was the weight cut for this fight rough and did it hinder your performance on the night?
I took it for the weight cut for that fight yes, but I don’t think it hindered my performance. I was paranoid and thinking that I needed it in that moment, because I was bloating and retaining water. I didn’t think twice about it and took it thinking it would help my period and the fact that I was bloated.
Q: When will your six month suspension be over, and are you eyeing any specific dates/opponents for your UFC debut?
I’ll be done at the end of March next year, I joined the USADA testing pool right as I signed my UFC contract in September. I think April is when I may fight, we don’t have an opponent in mind yet, we’re waiting to see how TUF 26 plays out.
Who would you like to see Andrea Lee face in her UFC debut? Let us know below!
Exclusive: Gilbert Smith issues statement after retirement fight
On Friday, September 8th, Gilbert Smith competed for the last time in his professional mixed martial arts career. Smith ended his career by beating, his last minute opponent, Benjamin Smith by guillotine choke in the second round. The fight was Smith’s 19th professional fight and marked his 13th career win and 8th win by submission.
Gilbert had previously competed on TUF 17, the season was coached by Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen back in 2012 (although the show aired in 2013) and TUF 25. After losing to Dhiego Lima he announced on the show that he would be retiring. “Chocolate Thunder” later came back on his decision to retire. Ending his career on a high note at LFA on Friday.
Speaking with MMA Latest, Smith had this to say about the fight and his retirement:
“My retirement was, my last fight, was the perfect situation. It was the perfect fight, the perfect outcome, now I have the opportunity to go out the way I wanted to go out. With my team, my coaches, my friends, and my family around me. It was just a really beautiful moment and I’m glad that it’s done, I’m glad that I won, and now I get to move on with my life.”
The powerful wrestler ends his career having fought in some of the biggest organizations in MMA, and facing some of the biggest names in the sport. Smith’s retirement will be spent focusing on his gym and helping out some of the younger fighters.
“Just focus on my gym, be focused on building the next champion, and enjoy life a little bit without having to get punched in the face.”
The MMA world will remember Smith as a passionate, intelligent, and powerful fighter who competed twice on TUF, fought at Bellator and ended his career with a win against arch rival Benjamin Smith at LFA 22.
MMA Latest would like to thank Gilbert Smith for time, following his retirement.
LFA 20: Bobby ‘The Wolfman’ Moffett to face ‘Nasty’ Nate Jennerman in Featherweight Co-Main
By: Thomas Vickers (MMA – Journalist)
(Prior Lake, Minnesota) Legacy Fighting Alliance 20 (LFA 20) comes to Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota August 25, 2017 for an action packed pro-MMA card. The main event looks to be an entertaining welterweight match up between Chad Curry (9 – 1) and Nick Barnes (11 – 2). Curry is a veteran of LFA and Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA). Barnes has fight experience with Bellator and RFA.
The main event has all the ingredients needed for a fireworks show. however it is the co-main event that seems to have gained the attention of the loyal LFA fans.
The co-main event features Bobby ‘The Wolfman’ Moffett squaring off against ‘Nasty’ Nate Jennerman in a critical featherweight contest. Moffett and Jennerman are considered to be two of LFA’s top featherweight contenders. These two featherweight standouts will be battling for the top position in the division, with the winner most likely landing an opportunity to fight for the LFA’s featherweight title. Moffett trains at the MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona. He is coming off a December 2016 split decision victory over T.J. Brown at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 46 (RFA 46). ‘The Wolfman’ is hungry and hunting for his tenth win as a professional.
“We are shooting for a title fight with Aguilar,” explains Rick Guerrero of Mata Leon Management. Rick clearly understands the high risk and importance of the fight. As Moffett’s manager Guerrero assures MMA Latest News, “The Wolfman will be bringing it.”
A win over Jennerman would move Moffett closer to a shot at the current reigning LFA featherweight champion, Kevin ‘The Angel of Death’ Aguilar. Moffett hosts a (9 – 2) professional MMA record. He is a determined featherweight who brings to the cage a quality grappling game and top level jiu jitsu skills.
Nate Jennerman is on a four fight win streak. Nate trains out of Roufusport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has a pro-record of (9 – 2). He is said to be a 145 pound competitor who has proven himself to be one of the most exciting up and coming fighters in the Midwest. The Sheboygen, Wisconsin native has won six of his nine victories by way of submission. Jennerman’s last fight was a May 2017 win over Damien Hill. Jennerman finished Hill by way of submission via guillotine choke in the first round.
Legacy Fighting Alliance is an American mixed martial arts promotion that continues to expand in popularity. LFA is the outcome of a merger between Legacy Fighting Championship and Resurrection Fighting Alliance in 2017. Notable fighters that have fought for the promotion include UFC’s Sage Northcutt and Holly Holm.
LFA 20’s fight card is as follows:
- Main Event / Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
- Chad ‘Blitz’ Curry (9 – 1) vs Nick ‘The Phoenix’ Barnes (11 – 2)
- Co-Main Event / Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
- Bobby ‘The Wolfman’ Moffett (9 – 2) vs ‘Nasty’ Nate Jennerman (9 – 2)
- Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
- Travis Perzynski (21 – 9) vs Carl Wittstock (9 – 1)
- Women’s Flyweight Bout (125 lb)
- Kelly ‘Blood Red’ Kobold (18 – 3 – 1) vs Christine ‘Knuckles’ Stanley (5 – 3)
- Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
- Jeff Peterson (7 – 4) vs Brandon Jenkins (10 – 4)
- Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
- Mitch White (3 – 1) vs Jesse Wannemacher (3 – 1)
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