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State of the Light Heavyweight Division

Vinny Craig

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The Light Heavyweight belt was defended by a man not named Jon Jones for the first time in four years. With Jones’ legal troubles behind him for the most part, the division is in a weird situation. In a Fight of the Night, Daniel Cormier successfully defended his Light Heavyweight belt for the first time. He beat former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson by a Split-Decision, and he looked impressive while doing it. The division is exciting with more chances than ever, and we’re going to take a look ahead as we always do after a title fight.

Champion:

Daniel Cormier

‘DC’ looked pretty good in his first title defense. Cormier utilized the clinch well, throwing uppercuts from the plum. He got hit a ton, and was close to being finished, which is very uncharacteristic of him. His only career loss could very well be avanged in the near future. In the Post-Fight Press Conference, Cormier said he would fight Jones next, just not in New York. “Why should I let him fight where he’s comfortable? He needs to hear the anger for what he did”.

Next In-Line:

Jon Jones

The former champ was stripped of his belt after legal issues rendered him unable to defend his belt. Those legal matters have, for the most part, been cleared up. Jones has been training while suspended, and will likely get a chance to fight for the title he never lost immediately. Cormier took a beating from Gustafsson, it’s likely he’ll need some time off to recover. Off the grid a little is the chance that we might get this match up on UFC 200. The event is 10 months away, but the ensuing pay day for both men is a once in a life time opportunity.

Ryan Bader

If for some reason the UFC decides to not give Jones an immediate title shot or the timing doesn’t work out, Ryan Bader is the next step. He won his fifth straight on Saturday at UFC 192, beating former champion Rashad Evans. With all of that, Bader and Cormier were scheduled to fight before Cormier was pulled for his title fight at UFC 187. They got into an argument at the Post Fight Press Conference, which sells the fight. If Bader is passed over again, it would be wise for him to take a low risk fight to stay right in the title talks.

The Present:

Anthony Johnson

I often do these lists months in advance and just update as these guys fight. The present section started with 5 two months ago, and is down to just two. ‘Rumble’ is a winner of 4 of his last 5 in the division, with the lone loss coming to the champ for the vacant belt. His return fight was a solid showing over fellow top ten fighter Jimi Manuwa, in which he won by TKO. Johnson is the guy know if everybody else fails, and another match up with the champion is inevitable.

Glover Teixeira

Another former title challenger, Teixeira is still right there for some big fights. He was a winner of 21 straight fights at one point before losing in a title fight to then champ Jones. He would also lose the ensuing fight to Phil Davis at UFC 179. The Brazilian native is always a threat, and with this division in the state it is now, he could jump ahead and be in another title shot. He should get big time match ups like his fight with Patrick Cummins in order to stay relevant.

The Future:

Patrick Cummins

The former barista turned ranked Light Heavyweight, Patrick Cummins is a good fighter. While his career started with a loss to the champ in a fill-in role, Cummins has turned into a good pickup for the UFC. He is 4-1 since his debut loss to Cormier and has impressed people with his wrestling. A few more good wins and the right PR could land Cummins a title shot sooner rather later.

Ovince St. Preux

The fromer D1 college football player is making waves as a mixed martial artist. His athleticism and range is what makes him a great fighter, and a couple of big wins is what he needs. He is 6-2 in the UFC with the losses coming to Ryan Bader and Glover Teixeira. I would say two top ten wins and a top 5 win is what it will take for the Tennessee born and bred.

Jimi Manuwa

The former BAMMA champion is a top ten guy in the UFC. Despite losing his last fight to the number one contender in Anthony Johnson, Manuwa has lost two of his last 3, but he won his first 14 career fights. We know he can win big fights with big power, but it’s about putting all his skills together. It will take at least 3 big wins to be considered as a title contender.

Long Shot:

Shogun Rua and Quinton Jackson

Two true legends of the sport are almost completely out of title talks for good. Rua has lost 5 of his last 8, and Rampage has lost 4 of his last 7 in the Octagon. The fights to make for both of them are fun, nostalgic fights that will get viewers. The match up is to have these two fight again, and let the craziness ensue. Jackson said on The MMA Hour Ep. 300 that his legal troubles with Bellator could prevent him from ever fighting in the cage again. 

The Lowdown

The division is still Jon Jones’s when he returns. He has some match ups waiting for it, including sellable rematches. Cormier is a formitable champion, and holding down the division well. Besides the Gus, Rumble, Teixiera, Bader, Jones, Cormier bunch, the division is still looking for its next star. Just for fun ,in the case of a Light Heavyweight tournamenrt, here is my rankings; (1)Jon Jones vs. (8)Jimi Manuwa, (2)Anthony Johnson vs. (7)Patrick Cummins, (3)Ryan Bader vs. (6)Ovince St. Preux, (4)Alexander Gustafsson vs. (5)Glover Teixieria

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*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath

Harry Davies

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In this video, MMA Latest’s Dave Noseworthy shares his thoughts on Marlon Moraes’ brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling that took place this past weekend at UFC Fresno.

Check out Dave’s thoughts below:

 

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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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