In a little over two weeks UFC Fight Night – Hunt VS. Miocic will be hosted in Adelaide, Australia and its a card with some stand out grapplers from around the world. At first glance, it may seem like the grappling talent is few and far between. When you look a little deeper we have a few exceptional ground players to indulge in the coming weeks.
1. Daniel Kelly
The Australian native has represented his nation four times at the Olympics in Judo. He most recently competed in the 2012 Olympics for Australia but had his professional debut six years prior. Kelly maintained a six-year hiatus to focus on Judo. Following his last Olympic tournament in 2012 he made the full turn to MMA. Since then Kelly has gone undefeated in eight bouts, finishing all but two of them. There is no question he is an elite Judoka with a proficient ground game. Admittedly he is 37, but he has held up well and taken decently to striking. With his strong base, it takes a powerful wrestler or fellow Judoka to bring him down while he is susceptible to leg takedowns his movement combats them pretty actively. Off his back, he is not the most dangerous but has pretty solid scrambling if he ends up there and a dominant top game. He can be a bit timid at times, but he is smart and should be fun to watch compete against Sam Alvey who is going to look to take his head off.
2. Jake Matthews
The darkhorse of this list and one of the youngest fighters ever to join the UFC ranks is worthy of this list. You may be wondering what accolades he has out of MMA and he does not have any. He is apart of the next generation of kids being brought up that are incredibly well rounded. With that said, there is no discounting his grappling. Matthews is undefeated and in his two fights in the UFC has finished both his opponents by submission. The most impressive was his last opponent, Vagner Rocha a decorated black belt in BJJ under the renown Pablo Popavitch. Matthews submitted him early in the second round via RNC. Matthews is incredibly athletic, dynamic and self-aware. These things will take you far in MMA and only adds to his grappling. He has a tough test against James Vick who has been notoriously hard to takedown, but Matthews has the tools to beat him on the feet or on the mat.
3. Alptekin Ozkilic
The Turkish-American wrestler enters the cage for the fourth time against Ben Nguyen. Ozkilic was a successful wrestler in Turkey in his youth, a strong nation for wrestling. He moved to America in his teens and wrestled at the famous Nassau Community College which has had MMA royalty come through in past years. This list includes Jay Hieron, Phil Baroni, Ryan LaFlare, and current middleweight champion, Chris Weidman. A standout and solid wrestler, Ozkilic has been able to implement a style of sprawl and brawl on his opponents that can be quite hard to deal with. Over the last few fights, his striking has shored up a good bit especially his boxing, but his wrestling that allows him to do so much. Especially his Greco techniques. Ozkilic has gone toe to toe with some of the divisions more dangerous opponents. Expect his throws, and shots to be on display against the dynamic Ben Nguyen.
4. Stipe Miocic
The Croatian-American heavyweight has some of the best boxing in the division, but what gets forgotten is how good is grappling is a lot of the time. Miocic was a D1 wrestler at Cleveland State. Miocic usually uses his grappling in a defensive manner to keep it standing and knock out his opponents. Against the late Shane del Rosario and Junior Dos Santos, Miocic was able to implement his wrestling in offensive ways to mix it up. Stipe tends to like throws against the cage or low singles against his opponents and turning the corner to take them down. Stipe has a solid style of pressure passing he uses to gain position and do damage to his opponents. Stipe’s sprawl is his best weapon, but against Hunt expect his shot to be on display to throw the Super Samoan for a curve.
(not a whole lot in this highlight for his wrestling, but a little)
5. Hatsu Hioki
The Japanese wonderboy has fallen on hard times. Hioki has lost four of his last five bouts in the UFC. For the most part, it has been his grappling which has looked a bit weak. More so he has looked stiff since joining the UFC ranks. There is no doubting his grappling acumen though. Hioki is one of the most technical grapplers to come out of Japan in recent years. If anything he has been physically outmatched and it not unreasonable as he looks smaller than most of his opponents. Against Daniel Hooker he will again have a size disadvantage, but should have a clear grappling advantage in such a way that he makes quick work of the New Zealand prospect. Hooker had some trouble with the much smaller Ian Entwistle for a bit before winning by TKO. Hoki can use his solid wrestling and great technical passing to get to a dominant position on Hooker and finish it with a nice submission. Hooker is no slouch but matches up nicely with Hioki if he is not able to implement his striking. Hioki could be looking at walking papers so expect a fired up Hioki for this match.
Expect a lot of great grappling exchanges from the fighters listed here and others. It is these cards that usually end up having some of the most dynamic scrambles and jumped submissions.
*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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