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Sean Strickland closes strong in 29-28 split decision victory over previously undefeated Tom Breese

Peyton Wesner

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Although tonight’s UFC Fight Pass headliner didn’t feature two ranked opponents looking for a title shot in 2016, Sean “Tarzan” Strickland versus Tom Breese pitted a pair of future welterweight contenders against each other. Both unranked, well-rounded, and under the spry age of 25, Strickland and Breese have experienced great success in their UFC careers, for they entered with a combined record of 7-1. As a matter of fact, the octagon defeat, which was to Strickland, was the only blemish on either’s record entering this evening. Thus, this bout was perfect to get the UFC 199 excitement flowing through the veins of MMA fans everywhere.

Round 1
Despite the mutual respect for one another, no glove touch started this welterweight showdown, and rather it was a kick to the body by Breese. Tarzan tried to counter with a punch, but it caught only air before the Brit persisted to push forward with kicks, both high and inside leg. Breese continued his early success with a very nice combination, which included a left straight to the head and a strong leg kick. Nevertheless, the crowd was not amused by the fight as the boo birds began their flight around the 3:35 mark. Breese never swayed from his evident game plan and offered another body kick. But, the next was blocked by Strickland, leading to a sharp right jab landed by the American. The two commenced mirroring each other soon after the jab, considering a punch exchange broke out (Strickland caused more damage) prior to the trading soon becoming of kicks. As the 1st wound on, Breese seemed to have less and less connects to the opposition, for a stand-up combination, counter punch, and a left superman punch all fell short in the final two. Yet, the aforementioned did not stop the undefeated fighter from being aggressive in the final moments. Tarzan would finally match Breese’s intensity and have something to show for it, for he landed a left leg kick and a right body kick. Breese also had a left body kick to close the segment.

Round 2
Building on the last minute of Round 1, Strickland kept his movement fast and landed a right body kick as well as a punch combination to temporarily stun Breese. The Brit proved to ultimately be unfazed by the strikes and countered with kicks. Though, Tarzan won the exchange with punches. Soon after, a caught Breese kick brought the men together for the first clinch of the evening at the four-minute mark. Even though a damage-less break happened less than 10 seconds later, this would not be the last close quarters exchange. Carrying on, Strickland, now very relaxed, offered and landed a very nice right-left straight combination. Another two-piece strike was instantaneously thrown by the previous, but Breese made sure to counter with one of his own. Right around the halfway point in the fight, the two fighters slowed down the tempo and re-evaluated each other with another feel out process. Or, that was until the Brit landed a solid left hand that Strickland countered with a stingy jab. Now under two minutes, a left-right straight combination miss by the American opened the door for beautiful left elbows by Breese. Furthermore, a left hook to the body also landed flush to Strickland. Almost a replication of the round before, Tarzan ramped up his aggressiveness to a new height by throwing and landing with a left straight to the body as well as a left hand over the top. We were headed to a 3rd round.

Round 3
In the deciding five minutes, Strickland came out with guns blazing and experienced a kick blocked in addition to a Breese right straight to the head and left straight to the body. The slow final round then transitioned to an induced clinch by the American that once again proved worthless. Out of the clinch, Breese landed a solid right hand before a Strickland left straight hit him under two minutes. The fighters both took their time and displayed great patience in crunch time as soon the clock would hold under 90 seconds. While Tarzan was coming towards Breese, he hurled a left-hand punch. Following the strike by Strickland, the Brit shot the gap for a huge scored takedown with under a minute remaining. Unfortunately for Breese, his opponent quickly scrambled to his feet and put together a terrific final half minute. The American’s attack began with a heavy left-right combination. Next, he actually utilized Breese’s aggressiveness to stuff a takedown attempt and acquire top position for himself. In the closing seconds, Strickland dropped right forearm bombs in a judge-swaying ground and pound.

Result:

Sean Strickland defeats Tom Breese via Split Decision – (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

He Said It (Part I)

Honestly, I didn’t think he would back up so much,” said Strickland of whether or not the fight itself was what he expected. “We are both strikers. I was expecting a Lawler-type fight. Every time I would get close, he would step out. It kind of threw me off a bit.


He Said It (Part II)

The only thing he really landed was a couple kicks and body shots,” Strickland commented on the fight itself. “My face feels fine. I knew I landed more strikes, had more control.

He Said It (Part III)

I felt great this fight. I felt confident; I felt composed. I saw a lot of holes in my game tonight. I am sure a lot of other guys did. I just want to take it one fight at a time and keep getting better,” responded Strickland when asked what is next for him in the welterweight division.

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UFC looks for undefeated fighters for the next season of TUF

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As the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close in a few weeks, UFC has set tryouts for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on December 12th but there is a catch, participates must hold an undefeated record.

Titled The Ultimate Fighter 27: Battle of the Undefeated, the next installment of TUF will be looking for male fighters with an undefeated record with a minimum of 3-0 to apply for the show. The casting call asks for featherweights and welterweights but in the early stages of tryouts, a weight class will be decided later in the process.

Fighters must be aged between 21 – 34 and will grapple and light spar in front of UFC matchmakers and must be prepared to stay in Vegas until December 16th.

It is unknown what the future of TUF will be after the TV deal with FOX ends next year but the show has been a success for the company and many fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter have become champion including current interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas coming from past seasons of the show.

This will be the third time in a row that a gimmick will be added to the show that has been on the decline in the ratings in recent years but yet to use only undefeated fighters. An undefeated streak can be one of the most prestigious records to keep in mixed martial arts with the wins and losses being so vital in a fighters career.

Who will keep their zero? Who will be the next Ultimate Fighter? Who will be the coaches?

These questions will be answered when the new season of TUF begins shooting in January and the show premiering later in the year.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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