On the back of a hugely successful International Fight Week in Las Vegas, one would forgive the UFC if they decided to take a week off. Luckily for fight fans, the break lasted all of three days and a rare midweek card took place in Sioux Falls with a battle of bantamweight knockout artists Michael McDonald and John Lineker atop of the show.
The 135-pound division has never looked better in recent months. Former champions like TJ Dillashaw and fresh challengers such as Cody Garbrant have looked to climb to the top of the mountain in search of a lucrative bout with reigning champion Dominick Cruz. Ranked at number eight and number five respectively Lineker and McDonald had a huge chance to showcase their talents in the main event showcase and lay a claim to a potential shot at gold in the coming year.
Originally scheduled to headline the UFC’s maiden show in South Dakota opposite Michael Chiesa, Tony Ferguson would have to settle for a co-main event slot opposite Octagon newcomer Lando Vannata.
The aforementioned Chiesa was forced out of the fight at the end of June with a ruptured disk in his back, which was particularly cruel considering this had been touted as a potential number one contender fight at 155 pounds.
For Ferguson who is currently riding a divisional high seven-fight win streak, it was business as usual and a new opponent in Vannata, a product of Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn was drafted in on short notice to face “El Cucuy.”
Having taken this opportunity on short notice Lando did not take long to turn this encounter into a back and forth war. Using head movement he managed to slip and roll through some of Ferguson’s best offense hurting him on two occasions in the first round. Ultimately the significant strikes began to add up for “El Cucuy” as he landed the jab again and again. A huge superman punch rocked Lando early in the second and caused him to make a grave mistake. Dipping his head he ran right into the front headlock a position that Tony has made his own recently. Switching from a guillotine choke to his patented dance choke Ferguson dragged Vannata to the mat and squeezed with everything he had, forcing the tap at two-minute mark of round 2.
Lando opened the round light and fluid on his feet finding the mark with the front leg side kick that is a staple of all Mike Winklejohn trained fighters. A move toward Ferguson’s hips forced a reaction from “El Cucuy” and opened up the right hand that slammed in over the top. It was clear that Vannata was not in Sioux Falls to roll over. Turning swiftly a spinning back kick clattered off Tony’s ribs sparking a reaction. Tony began to go to work with his jab from orthodox and southpaw. Working off the straight punches an inside leg kick found the mark and a hard body kick followed quickly. Another spinning attack from Landan Vannata had Ferguson on wobbly legs as a back fist landed flush to the jaw. Showing his mettle Ferguson responded the only way he knows how by trading punches and gritting it out despite appearing to be in trouble. He landed another jab and a straight right hand. Vannata responded with a teep to the body and incredibly found himself pushing for the finish seconds later. As Tony threw a punch and rolled with it, he met a huge high kick that had the lightweight contender out on his feet. Ferguson managed to survive the onslaught that followed smartly using a heel hook to deter strikes and stay in the fight.
In between rounds Vannata’s corner were extremely happy with how their fighter had performed early on and called for it to continue “Move your head and shock the world.” It was Ferguson who started the stronger of the two however as he once again found his jab landing repeatedly. A leaping right hand from Lando glanced off Ferguson’s head. “Groovy” began to drop his hands to his detriment as Ferguson kept him at range with straight punches that were snapping the head of Vannata back. A big elbow for Ferguson followed the numerous jabs. As Lando moved forward recklessly Tony showed his creativity using the fence to land a superman punch that shook his opponent. Dipping his head to avoid punches Vannata made the mistake of offering up his neck to Ferguson something you should never do. Tony immediately pushed for a guillotine before switching the train of attack to a d’arce choke, the very same submission he snared Edson Barboza with in December. Dragging Lando to the mat he quickly applied pressure and forced the tap to extend his winning run to eight, placing himself firmly in front of the rest of the chasing pack at lightweight.
Tony Ferguson defeats Lando Vannata via submission (Round 2, 2:22)
Cover image: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
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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