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State of the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division

Vinny Craig

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Champion

Joanna Jedrzejczyk

The champion put together one of the best striking performances ever, but was also met with some very good defense by her counterpart. ‘Joanna Champion’ had 220 Significant Strikes landed, the second most ever by a fighter behind Nate Diaz at UFC 141. She states several times after her fight that she most likely broke her hand, which could mean a lengthy layoff. Expect the champ to be available for another title defense second quarter next year.

Next In-Line

Claudia Gadelha

She was considered the number one contender after her victory over Jessica Aguilar at UFC 190. Unfortunately a hand injury kept her out of the next title shot and was passed over by Letourneau. She fought the champ at UFC on Fox 13 and took it to a Split-Decision where many thought she won. Her grappling is some of the best in the division and could put the champion on her back and in trouble. Expect the fight between her and Jedrzejczyk to happen around March or April of next year.

 

The Present

Tecia Torres

She has a big fight with former Invicta Atomweight champion Michelle Waterson at UFC 194. A winner of both of her UFC fights and all six professional fights, ‘The Tiny Tornado’ is in a good spot to be in a title fight soon. With the division wide open, Torres could see herself in front of the champ sometime next year. Her fight with Waterson will determine a lot in the divison.

Randa Markos

The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 dark horse has impressed in her two UFC fights. After beating the more known and experienced Torres in the season, Markos found herself in the semi-finals against Rose Namajunas where she was submitted. She would lose a close fight to future title challenger Jessica Penne by Split-Decision. Her follow up fight with fellow show mate Aisling Daly was a decision win where she looked good. ‘Quiet Storm’ moved camps from Michigan Top Team to Tri Star which should be step up in training and coaching. She has a fight with newly signed Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC on Fox 17 on December 19.

Rose Namajunas

‘Thug’ Rose has made headlines lately for shaving her head to a buzz cut, but that doesn’t changer her talent level. Namajunas has only fought once since losing on the finale for TUF 20 and the chance for the title. She fought now released Angela Hill at UFC 192 and picked up a Rear-Naked Choke win. She took a short notice fight with Paige VanZant in a headliner for UFC Fight Night 80 in December.

Valerie Letourneau

I didn’t think it was possible for someone who lost so decisively to gain so much respect, but that’s exactly what Valerie Letourneau did. She took everything the champ had in the co-main event of UFC 193, absorbing 220 Significant Strikes, but was never finished and never quit. If she can continue to make the weight, Letourneau will be given some big fights in this division and I think we’ll see her in another title fight at some point.

Paige VanZant

Many have wondered if she’ll get the fast track to a title shot because of her popularity. Paige is not skating by right now with three straight wins, all in dominating fashion. VanZant was given a headliner role at UFC Fight Night 80 against Joanna Calderwood, who was injured and replaced by Rose Namajunas. A fight with a true top 10 will give us a better sense of where she is at, and we could expect her in a top contender fight early next year with a win over Namajunas.

The Future

Michelle Waterson

The recently signed Waterson looked good in her first fight with the organization with a submission win over Angela Magana. Just like the rest of the top division, Waterson has a fight lined up with former Invicta co –star Tecia Torres. It’s another fight with possible immediate title implications as one of those two could be in a title fight as early as next year.

Maryna Moroz

Moroz burst onto the scene at UFC Fight Night 64 when she submitted Joanne Calderwood with an Armbar. That fight set Moroz up for success with a big name, but she was reset with a loss to title challenger Valerie Letourneau. Moroz is still just 24 years old and has a ton of time to groom her game. Look for the UFC to slowly build a resume for the Ukrainian sensation.

Joanne Calderwood

The UFC wanted so badly to get a Jedrzejczyk-Calderwood fight in Scotland for the title. They gave her a seemingly easy opponent in Maryna Moroz, but ‘JoJo’ couldn’t get it done. With the loss on TUF and the loss to Moroz, Calderwood has escaped the immediate presence of being a champion.  Her win over Cortney Casey but her back in the picture for now, but her lack of presence has made it difficult for the UFC to build her up.

Carla Esparza

After 8 months of no activity while recovering from injury, the former Invicta and UFC champion may be ready to go next year. As long as Jedrzejczyk is champion, Esparza’s chances for another title shot are slim with how she lost. The only thing Esparza can do is get back in there and rack up the wins.

Long Shot

Jessica Penne

The same thing for Esparza goes for Penne. Her loss to the current champion makes it hard for the UFC to put her in there again. She has yet to get back into the octagon, but could easily jump into the present category. A second fight between her and Michelle Waterson could be in the works if Waterson can’t get past Torres at UFC 194.

Aisling Daly

The Irish woman has three fights in the division, more than most. She last fought, and won, in front of her home country crowd at UFC Fight Night Dublin. She is 2-1 with the lone loss coming to Markos in a fight where she wasn’t finished. Her next two fights are crucial in who her opponents are and how she fares against them.

 

 

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

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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Announcement

*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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