UFC 203 from Cleveland, Ohio had it’s fair share of weird and sometimes wonderful moments. Ranging from faulty elevators to a fighter throwing a strike at a coach, it was a night that was far from dull. In truth, it was never going to be a ‘normal’ card with the debut of a certain former professional wrestler booked on it.
With MMA, it seems you can never be 100% confident that a fight is going to take place until both combatants have made the walk to the octagon. This was particularly the case with this card. On Monday, just 6 short days away from fight day, the card was 13-strong. However, a someone must have angered the MMA gods, because, by fight night, the fight numbers had diminished to 10. First, Damir Hadzovic was unable to secure a visa, so his proposed fight with Yusuke Kasuya had to be moved to a later card. Then, 2 days later, Ray Borg was taken ill, leading to his fight with Ian McCall being scrapped from the card also. Finally, just this morning, on the day of the event, CB Dollaway was forced out of his bout against Francimar Barroso due to injury; an injury that leads us nicely on to our next topic.
It can be confidently stated that his is a new misfortune to befall a UFC event. It appears as if an elevator in the fighter hotel had some technical issues on the day of weigh-ins. Several fighters, including Urijah Faber and Fabricio Werdum, ended up trapped in said elevator after getting in, only for the cord to snap, resulting in the elevator dropping one floor to the basement. It took around 10 minutes to free those trapped, but it came at a cost to the card. CB Dollaway was injured during the incident which is what ultimately caused his fight to be cancelled. In addition, the elevator issue also contributed to Alistair Overeem arriving late for weigh-ins and being fined $500.
Correia Plays the Heel
Truth be told, whether Bethe Correia wanted to be or not, she was always going to be the villain of the piece in facing Jessica Eye in the latter’s home state. After a close, and frankly, fairly ugly, fight, Correia was declared the winner by split decision and promptly celebrated with an enthusiastic Bethe Correia-style dance. Some deemed it over-celebration of a scrappy win, others that it was merely Correia up to her oold tricks and attempting to rile the crowd. If that was her intention, it certainly worked, as a barrage of boos rained down upon her from all sides.
CM Punk’s Debut
Honestly, everyone had a pretty good idea of roughly how former WWE star CM Punk’s debut would go. It does seem fitting, however, that the man with zero prior fighting experience, be it as a professional or an amateur, would take place on this card. This fight was the third to last on the main card, and featured two fighters in CM Punk and Mickey Gall who had a combined 2 pro bouts between them, with Gall, of course, accounting for both of those. After easily disposing of Punk by submission in the first round, Gall would call out Sage Northcutt and fans were treated to some motivating words from CM Punk.
Werdum vs Browne…….. And Coach Edmund?
The very start of this heavyweight clash continued UFC 203’s strange trend, as Fabricio Werdum flew (almost literally) straight out at Travis Browne with a leaping kick to the face. Had it connected fully, it could have been the fastest knockout in UFC history. Later in the round, Werdum landed a strike that had Browne calling for a timeout and holding his hand, in clear discomfort with what we now know was a dislocated finger. After allowing the doctor to come in and examine Browne, referee Gary Copeland mysteriously restarted the fight, despite the fact that the bout should have been ruled a TKO win for Werdum. The rest of the fight itself was relatively uneventful, which drew the ire of the Cleveland fans.Werdum reacted to the crowd’s disapproval with gestures that Browne’s coach, Edmund Tarverdyan, seemed to react badly too, approaching Werdum while shouting in his direction. The Brazilian responded by throwing a front kcick at Tarverdyan, which caused a mini scuffe that was quickly defused.
Miocic Wins, But Where’s the Tap?
A back and forward encounter between UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem headlined the card. Overeem would drop Miocic early and attempt to finish with a guillotine that Miocic subsequently battled out of. Miocic roared back, hurting Overeem himself before taking his opponent down and knocking him out cold with brutal ground and pound, setting the Cleveland crowd wild. However, in Overeem’s post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, “The Reem” was convinced that Miocic had tapped while in the guillotine. Several replays showed that was not the case, however, desptie Overeem’s insistance, leading to an awkeard-incage moment with the crowd jeering. Rogan would say afterwards that maybe fighters who have just been knocked out should not be subjected to post-fight interviews – something that does not sound like a bad idea at all.
UFC 203 will be remembered for a variety of reasons; for the good, the bad, and largely, the very strange.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
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:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
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.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
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:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
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.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
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.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
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)
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)
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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