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Tony Ferguson stretches winning streak to nine, bloodies Rafael dos Anjos in unanimous decision

Peyton Wesner

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MEXICO CITY — In July, Rafael dos Anjos entered his second title defense with a five-fight win streak and speculation of being the best lightweight in UFC history.

Eddie Alvarez erased both.

Now, almost four months later, dos Anjos turned his sights on ending a run of eight straight victories by Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson.

2016 continues to be a nightmare for dos Anjos.

“Tony was the better fighter tonight,” said dos Anjos. “I was seeing double [during the fight]. But, that’s not an excuse. Tony did a great job. He was the better fighter today.”

Ferguson, despite eating a multitude of counter strikes, used his length and 200 landed strikes to bloody and batter the former champion in a unanimous decision victory.

El Cucuy offered an equal distribution of kicks and punches to set the tone early. Ferguson proceeded to stuff a dos Anjos takedown, which was a common theme throughout. Aside from the fact, the Brazilian was the aggressor in round one, starting with a counter left straight which whipped his opponent’s head back. dos Anjos continued with more head strikes before tripping Ferguson and taking top position. Ferguson, staying in full guard, absorbed only a few elbows prior to getting back to his feet.

In a change of momentum, the American increased his activity following the round break. From straights to hooks, no counters could deter Ferguson in the second round. After an accidental eye poke to dos Anjos, the center of the octagon was dominated by El Cucuy. He possessed a variety of strikes, including elbows, punches, and kicks (the latter of which bruised the lead leg of the Brazilian). Blood began to trickle out of the nose of dos Anjos thanks to a landed right jab. Like his bout versus Alvarez, the former champion was blasted around the octagon’s edge in the final minutes. For good measure, Ferguson connected with a left uppercut and a right straight to conclude the round.

Despite adjustments from dos Anjos, Ferguson successfully walked through strikes while landing his own. Also, the American showcased some dance moves while slinging a spinning back-fist and a head-snapping left hand. Past the halfway point, dos Anjos seemed to rediscover his early success by administering left-hand counter strikes. The former champion again started to advance, and, in doing so, landed a series of strikes (left hook, left superman punch, and spinning back-fist) to the delight of his corner.

In the fourth, dos Anjos picked up where he left off until Ferguson cracked him with a knee to the chin. The strike had great power yet was unable to down the Brazilian. dos Anjos tried a takedown on multiple occasions but was never able to land. Back-and-forth action persisted in the segment, though the former champion was a resident of the outer edge. Ferguson took advantage and enjoyed a barrage of landed strikes. To close the round, he had a powerful right straight after a failed takedown attempt.

The final round was no different than the previous four. Both fighters displayed great movement while refusing to allow any strike end the bout. The former champion did finish with a strong showing as he snapped his opponent’s head back in the early moments. No blood was drawn to Ferguson; however, a cut opened under the right eye of dos Anjos. El Cucuy persisted to pepper jabs and trade strikes with his opponent. Throughout, no dos Anjos strike was enough to stop the forward march of Ferguson.

“Thank you for this fight RDA,” said Ferguson through a translator. “That’s it. I’m out.”

With the victory, Tony Ferguson upped his active win streak to nine. dos Anjos became the second opponent in El Cucuy’s last three to be ranked in the top five of the weight division.

For Rafael dos Anjos, his defeat marks the first losing skid since April 2009, when he dropped the first two bouts of his UFC career. In his last three losses, no takedowns were recorded by the former champion.

Official Result:

Tony Ferguson defeats Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

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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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*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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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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