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Three Fights Changed for UFC Fight Night Boston

Vinny Craig

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Exactly one week before the event, UFC Fight Night 81 saw three fight changes in the past 24 hours. Lightweight Mairbek Taisumov was forced out of his bout with Chris Wade due to visa issues and was replaced by TUF 22 Europe contestant Mehdi Baghdad. In the Light Heavyweight division, Elvis Mutapcic will make his UFC debut against Francimar Barroso after Abdul-Kerim Edilov was forced to withdraw as well.

In the Featherweight division, Jimy Hettes pulled out his scheduled bout with Charles Rosa and has been replaced by Augusto Mendes. Mendes was going to fight for the Legacy FC Bantamweight title next after starting his MMA career with five straight finishes.

Originally, Taisumov was expected to face surging Lightweight Beneil Dariush at this event before an injury forced Dariush out. He was replaced by Chris Wade with the original matchup being completely scrapped with Taisumov out.

Wade is facing a tough opponent in Mehdi Baghdad who fought on season 22 of TUF. Baghdad was unable to make it past the elimination round to eventual semi-finalist Julian Erosa.

Baghdad is currently on a seven-fight win streak with all finishes since 2012. He trains with Black House and previously at Team Quest with Dan Henderson and Sam Alvey.

Mutapcic is a natural Middleweight stepping up on short notice in the Light Heavyweight division. He is a winner of seven of eight coming in with big name wins over such guys as Cezar Ferreira and Sam Alvey. He has an 80% finish rate in his fights with all three decision on his resume in his last four fights.

With these changes, the card sits as:

Early Preliminary Card

Francimar Barroso vs. Elvis Mutapcic

Rob Font vs. Joey Gomez

Sean O’Connell vs. Ilir Latifi

Paul Felder vs. Daron Cruickshank

Preliminary Card

Maximo Blanco vs. Luke Sanders

Chris Wade vs. Mehdi Baghdad

Charles Rosa vs. Augusto Mendes

Tim Boetsch vs. Ed Herman

Patrick Cote vs. Ben Saunders

Main Card

Ross Pearson vs. Francisco Trinaldo

Travis Browne vs. Matt Mitrione

Anthony Pettis vs. Eddie Alvarez

(C) TJ Dillashaw vs. Dominick Cruz- for the UFC Bantamweight Championship

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Darren Till vs Stephen Thompson set for February 24th in England

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Stephen Thompson

Wow! Nobody could have expected this news this morning. Dana White has stated he is moving the UFC Fight Night card in Orlando, Florida to the UK so rising star Darren Till (16-0-1) can face Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (14-2-1) in his backyard.

According to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, Dana White revealed the news during a Q&A in Santa Monica, California.

Logistically this fight has its problems. White didn’t state that the fight was scheduled to take place in Liverpool, I assume that is plan A for the UFC though. However, on the 24th the Echo Arena in Liverpool is booked by the UK MMA promotion, Cage Warriors.

Although White may be able to throw some money at the promotion, it is unlikely they’ll budge. Another possibility is to co-promote an event with Cage Warriors, but that’s even more unlikely, even though the concept is a great one.

The fight would not make sense in another UK city like Glasgow, Birmingham or Newcastle. Making the fight is strange if it’s unable to be in Liverpool, or at the top of the UFC London card.

🦍 #UFCLiverpool

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The event would be three weeks before UFC London, which is unheard of for events over in Europe. Normally England would be lucky to get two events in a year, let alone a month. Which makes you think it will either be one or the other. European cards are never typically stacked and having two in the space of three weeks in one country would eat into the quality on show in each card.

Could this be another case of Dana White talking too soon, or are we set for two mega UFC fights in the space of three weeks in the UK. We’ll find out soon enough.

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Khabib vs Barboza UFC 219 breakdown

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All Credit to https://article.wn.com for the image

Khabib vs Barboza has been made official for UFC 219 and it promises to be an absolute cracker, so in this article, I’m going to give a full breakdown of this fantastic fight.

UFC 219 just got a whole lot better with the addition of Khabib vs Barboza to the main card, Khabib will be hungry to grab a victory in his first fight since his submission win over Michael Johnson at UFC 205.

However, UFC fans will be crossing their fingers and hoping that the fight does happen as Khabib has been scheduled to fight in the main event, back in April 2016, but his opponent Ferguson had to pull out of their scheduled main event because doctors had found fluid and blood in his lungs. Khabib also pulled out of there fight at UFC 209 because he was hospitalized trying to cut weight for there highly anticipated bout, which played down his chances at him getting a title shot against McGregor. This fight is a chance for him to once again prove himself to get that title shot. Hopefully, we do not see a repeat of these past scheduled fights for Khabib and hopefully, we can see him back in the octagon for UFC 219.

I take no credit for this image

Now onto Barboza, who is an explosive and aggressive fighter, his last three fights have resulted in three wins for the Brazilian who won his last fight by TKO/KO with his latest loss coming from Ferguson by way of submission at the Ultimate Fighter Finale, back in 2015.

This Brazilian fighter prefers to stand and trade with his opponents and usually outclasses his opponents on the feet, however, most of Barboza’s losses have come by submission, one of those opponents being Michael Johnson (who Khabib beat by submission) so Barboza may want to work on his submission defence and ground game altogether because Khabib is a very dominant fighter who can control the fight and has a strong ground game so he will be looking to take Barboza to the ground.

Barboza needs to try to take control of the fight away from Khabib and keep it stood up to try and outclass Khabib, which will make for a very Interesting bout on December the 30th and many will be tuning in to see how it turns out.

I believe Khabib will walk with the victory over Barboza at UFC 219 in a fight which promises to be exciting and aggressive throughout.

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Fight Announcements

Dan Hooker vs. Marc Diakiese set for UFC 219

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Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker will make his 8th UFC appearance when he squares off against Englishman Marc ‘Bonecrusher’ Diakiese at UFC 219 in December. The lightweight bout will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on a card where the main event has yet to be announced.

New Zealand born Hooker has alternated between wins and losses thus far in his UFC career. However, he is coming off a notable TKO victory over Ross Pearson on home soil, earlier this year in Auckland. The fight was Hooker’s first in the lightweight division as all his previous bouts in the UFC had been at featherweight. Hooker looked flawless in his performance against the seasoned veteran Pearson, where he landed a vicious knee to win by KO in round two. It’s no surprise to see the Kiwi stick around 155 pounds and as he goes for back-to-back wins for the first time in the Octagon.

While Hooker looks for a second consecutive victory, Marc Diakiese aims to avoid two straight losses. The 24-year-old had his momentum derailed on his last visit to ‘Sin City’ in July, losing a split decision to Drakkar Klose. He started in the UFC with three consecutive wins that included a 30 second 1st round KO, and a TKO win on his debut in his hometown of Manchester, this time last year. Diakiese tends not to waste too much time in the cage with six career wins coming within the first round.

Both fighters are notable up-and-coming prospects in their respective countries and the contest has the potential to be stand-out on the card. Dan Hooker has great versatility and has a proven record of finishing fights by submission or knock-out. While arguably not as well rounded as Hooker, Diakiese will be the more powerful and aggressive of the two and will likely attempt to dictate the pace of the fight.

A win for either man will mean a significant step towards the elite top 15 at lightweight, especially on a big stage – that being the UFC’s marquee final pay-per-view of the year.

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