I almost completely forgot about my column today. Was up until 4.30am with Matt, Jordan and Chris doing a hangout video, actually that only took an hour. It was chewing the fat afterwards that took 3 hours. Soon as I got up it was off to go choose the suit I’m wearing for my wedding, in 7 weeks. That took longer than expected, then I had a nap and it’s almost bedtime and I just realised I hadn’t done my column!
Pretty easy to forget when there’s been no major MMA this weekend. So what am I gonna do this week? Well I’ll tell you I’m looking forward to next weekend, big time, and I’ll explain a little bit about who we, as MMA Latest, are.
We started this site around early October last year. Was actually last day of September, if I remember rightly, and I did my first bit of recruitment on the Joe Rogan message board. Six month later we’re in attendance at UFC 185 after having just been accepted for press credentials. We’re now credentialed by all three major MMA organisations, have attended around a dozen live events, gotten interviews with legends, World Champions and have started to create some really cool tutorials on our YouTube channel. I’m delighted with how we’re doing to date, but I think the next six months will be really something. One of those who joined in those early days, in fact, day one, is a gent named Matt Wells. Matt is attending UFC 185 in Texas for MMA Latest this weekend and introducing something that doesn’t currently exist in MMA.
Fan cams. We can attend fights and give you the press conferences and the same media trained hogwash from fighters and managers (and we will!) but the interesting, original and sometimes downright hilarious content comes from fans and MMA fans in particular are some of the most knowledgable and interesting fans a sport can have. How many other sports have fans who’s participation in at least one aspect of the game in the way MMA does? None. So I think that gives MMA fans a unique perspective when analysing a fight.
So starting this weekend, in Texas, that’s what we’re bringing. MMA fan cams. We’ll be at the arena, or rather Matt will be, with a mic and a camera and if you are there he’ll be asking YOU a series of questions and giving our awesome MMA community a platform to be heard. We’re very excited. We know you’re going to love it. We’ll talk to the educated, the inebriated, the mad, bad, excited and sad. The teammates and super fans. All are welcome. So keep an eye on our twitter page for info on where Matt and the crew are and go get yourself on camera.
Which brings me on to Patreon, kinda. Patreon is a crowdfunding platform but instead of funding a single, large project in the style of Kickstarter, Patreon enables a community to find smaller, frequent amounts that enable an artist or a project to be supported over a longer term basis. As a brand new, independent website we’re turning to Patreon to help us fund the goals we’ve got for the website and the channel. We want to cover fan cams at every major MMA event, regardless of where it is. We’d like to film short documentaries about MMA in far flung and obscure places. We’re not UFC latest. We represent and follow the whole sport. We’ve 70 writers currently writing or doing videos for MMA Latest and we’re in UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Holland, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Singapore. We’re set up to cover the whole world of Mixed Martial Arts and that’s what we will bring to you guys. We’ve soft launched our Patreon page and are working on what we can bring in terms of rewards to our supporters. Please take a look at our profile, have a look at our goals and our rewards and get back to us with some feedback. You can pledge to us from $1, and if we get enough, then $1 pledges can make it happen for us. Hit us up with feedback whether you intend to pledge or not. Any help or advice is valuable to us!
That’s that for this week, we’ll see you out in Texas for what will be an awesome UFC PPV and I’m sure there will be loads of fallout from that, as there always is. Thanks for reading, check out Patreon and check out our tutorials on YouTube too!
Seeya next week!
Stephen (@MrStephenHowson on Twitter)
Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223
UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.
Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.
After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.
A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.
Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.
Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.
A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.
Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet
Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.
“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”
Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.
“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”
Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.
“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”
Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April
MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.
The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.
Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.
An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.
His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).
Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.
PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.
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