Next month makes it 5 years since Thiago Tavares and Nik Lentz fought to a majority draw at UFN 20 in January of 2010. Does anyone remember where we were back in early 2010? For starters, Brock Lesnar was still the Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones wasn’t even considered a contender yet, and Kenny Florian was still a fighter. Lentz and Tavares had a back-and-forth brawl marred by controversy. The UFC landscape has continually evolved over the past 5 years and these fighters have had to adapt to a new breed of technical martial artists. On Saturday, February 14th, 2015, fans get to witness rounds 4, 5 & 6 in a rematch, when Thiago Tavares and Nik Lentz square off in their new home at 145lbs.
Following their first bout, Nik Lentz went on to compete 7 more times as a Lightweight, going 4-2-1 before dropping to the Featherweight division. Since his cut down, he has gone 4-1 with his only loss coming by way of unanimous decision to a surging Chad Mendes almost 1 year ago. Lentz publicly credits famed MMA nutritionist, Mike Dolce with his successful drop to Featherweight. Since the drop, his cardio is visibly stronger and he doesn’t get muscled around like he used to at 155. He also attributes a great deal of his recent improvement to his newfound home at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL. Things appear to be looking up for our friend, “The Carny”.
Thiago Tavares finds himself in a similar, yet strikingly different position than his foe. After his January 2010 bout with Lentz, Tavares continued to fight in the Lightweight division, going 4-2. He would eventually join Lentz in the Featherweight division, but not before getting popped for Drostanolone after suffering a devastating KO loss at the hands of undefeated, Khabib Nurmagomedov. His most recent win came in his Featherweight debut against Robbie Peralta: a first round rear-naked choke that earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. Tavares looked thoroughly dominant in the fight, particularly on the ground – but let’s not forget it didn’t even make it to the 10-second clapper.
We know that both fighters can make the cut to 145 and perform well on fight night. We know both fighters have improved their skills since their first meeting and will both be looking to prove that they are the better fighter. The facts are Lentz has 5 times more experience than Tavares in fighting at Featherweight and has proven he can go a full 15 minutes by going to a decision in his last 4 fights. Thiago Tavares should not be counted out by any means but he still has questions to answer in his new division. Luckily UFN 60 provides the perfect opportunity for Thiago Tavares to show us what he’s got, and he knows it. There will be no love lost between these two come Valentine’s Day.
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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