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State of the Middleweight Division

Vinny Craig

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Champion

Luke Rockhold

UFC 194 proved to be the new champion day as Luke Rockhold joined Conor McGregor as being crowned a new champion. Despite cellulitis in his leg, Rockhold was able to go three and a half hard rounds with Chris Weidman and ultimately finish the champion in the fourth. Rockhold has a target on his back now as the champion and everyone is training for him. It only gets more difficult for the champion here as talent after talent is on its way for his title.

Next In Line

Yoel Romero

We’ve heard it a thousand times on broadcasts, embedded, etc. ‘Never leave it in the hands of the judges’ is what we hear. My scorecards had ‘Jacare’ winning the fight with Romero, but the people who get paid to do it did not see it that way. Romero will most likely get a title shot off that win with ‘Jacare’ not far behind with his performance. It has come out that the Cuban was sick during the fight and we should expect a better Yoel next time around. I would say the fight happens around May or June.

The Present

Chris Weidman

The now former champion was beaten by a worthy opponent who just outworked him. Weidman will be back and will be in title talks for awhile, but for now should focus on getting better and picking up some wins to add to his resume. I will pick him against almost anyone in the division, including the champion at this point.

‘Jacare’ Souza

Jacare impressed me with his performance at UFC 194, but apparently did not impress the judges. The very close decision loss leaves him exactly where he started in my book and could lead him to a title sooner rather than later. Before then, good fights loom for him with guys like Weidman, Machida, Whitaker and even Uriah Hall.

Robert Whitaker

Speaking of Robert Whitaker, the Australian native is showing up on the presents list now. His win over Uriah Hall was dominant and seems to be poised to make a run. It helps that Middleweight is deep in a weird way in that most guys can’t make title runs right now, but are rather past those points or not there yet.

The Future

Derek Brunson

Brunson has set himself up very well to be a threat in this division with his win over Sam Alvey in Nashville. His next matchup with a fellow top 15 guy will prove to be pivotal in his next step towards the title or even his next step towards more prominent fights with bigger names.

Sam Alvey

Alvey had three straight KO/TKO wins before losing to Derek Brunson, but still is someone guys shouldn’t want to mess with in the division. He could put anyone down at anytime, and I see big things in his future. ‘Smile’ N’ has flaws and will definitely need some work, but he’s on his way to getting there.

Uriah Hall

I feel bad for having to put Uriah Hall here with all the talent he has, but he just seems to come up short when it counts. His highlight reel KO’s can only amount to so much before he’s not relevant to the title picture anymore. He’s flirting with that line, and is every so close as to going over to the dark side.

Long Shot

Way too many guys are hanging on in this division with their past accomplishments leading them forward. I enjoy the likes of Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, but I don’t see these guys near title shots anytime soon. With their age, I could see these next years being their last hoorahs inside the octagon for these guys. The guard has changed to a much younger crowd of Middleweights and the talent pool is filling with young, vibrant and exciting fighters on the horizon.

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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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