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Top 5 Performances of the month – November 2015

Jordan Killion



In an attempt to shed light on some of the more outstanding performances we’ve collectively witnessed over the course of the past few weeks, this series will continue to attempt to rank the best five performances in all Mixed Martial Arts from the past month. November saw the emergence of new division leaders, upsets across the board, and the reemergence of the perennial champion: undefeated Father Time. Events that took place in November include four UFC events (Fight Night 77, UFC 193, TUF Latin America 2 Finale, and Fight Night 79), two Bellator events (145, and 146), two ONE Championship events, and WSOF 25.

Factors taken into consideration for making the list :

  • Outcome
  • Level of Competition
  • Ease of Victory
  • Level of Technique
  • Growth from Previous Fight



5. Robert Whittaker – UFC 193 (Whittaker def. Hall via Unanimous Decision)


Always be first. This is a very common phrase used in many striking disciplines throughout mixed martial arts. In Robert Whittaker’s impressive UFC 193 performance, he seemed to embody that phrase. Whittaker was the quicker fighter the whole night, landing a clean right that he followed up with some strong leg kicks. Whittaker used great spacial awareness and range management to avoid the flashy techniques for which Hall is traditionally known. In fact, Whittaker seemed to be looking for Hall to throw one of his patented spinning back-kicks, because half way through the first round, the Kiwi caught Hall’s attempt and took the fight to the ground. A very impressive performance against a very dangerous opponent.



4. Vitor Belfort – Fight Night 77 (Belfort def. Dan Henderson via TKO rd. 1)


While there is no denying the 2015 version of “The Phenom” is a K-Mart version of TRT-tor, he can still deliver a serious head kick KO. Just ask Dan Henderson. Both fighters seemed to respect their opponent’s power, as they patiently circled across the canvas. Then, *BAM*, Vitor threw a head kick that Hendo was not able to block or absorb without seeing stars. Vitor followed up with a flurry of punches and referee  Mario Yamasaki was forced to save the mighty Dan Henderson from his assailant. Belfort walked out of the Octagon with a performance of the night bonus, and relatively no damage taken…aside from a bruised shin.




3. Neil Magny – Fight Night 78 (Magny def. Kelvin Gastelum via Split Decision)


Neil Magny does not know the meaning of the word “rest”, and his effort inside the Octagon against highly touted Kelvin Gastelum, he put on a pace the TUF winner couldn’t match. The Colorado product out grappled the grappler while showing very good use of his length and jab during transitions. Gastelum had Magny in all sorts of trouble late in the fight, landing a clean hook and following it up with a straight that floored the U.S. Army veteran. Magny, however, remained calm and actually ended the round in a dominant position. Magny is 9-1 in the UFC over the last 24 months. That’s insane.




2. Thomas Almeida – Fight Night 77 (Almeida def. Anthony Birchak via KO rd. 1)


If you ask any MMA fan worth their weight in salt who the top 5 prospects under the age of 25 are, there’s no doubt that you will repeatedly hear the name Thomas Almeida. Many saw the undefeated Brazilian’s most recent match up as a “showcase bout”. While Anthony Birchak may not be world championship material right now, he is a very dangerous and talented fighter. Thomas Almeida made him look like a novice. Crisp combinations and devastating power were key contributors in Birchak winding up “stanky-legged” on the canvas. Moving forward Almeida will definitely need to work on his defensive positioning, as he was tuned up quite nicely by Brad Pickett in his previous outing.


1. Holly Holm – UFC 193 (Holm def. Ronda Rousey via KO rd. 2)


At this point, there’s not much I can say that some of the most prominent figures throughout the sport have already said. Holly Holm rose to the occasion in the biggest way possible. While many pundits overestimated Rousey’s striking acumen, an equal amount underestimated Holly Holm’s ability. From the opening bell, the Albaquerque native dominated the reigning Women’s Bantamweight Queen. “The Preacher’s Daughter” was able to control the distance, stuff takedowns, and even land one of her own. Holm’s performance was the definition of flawless.


Agree with the rankings? Think I’m an idiot? Let me know! @jkillionmma

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Holly Holm

Holly Holm vs Bethe Correia targeted for UFC: Singapore main event



After losing a closely contested inaugural UFC featherweight title fight, Holly Holm is set to return to the division where she became a champion in a headlining spot.

According to reports from, Holm is currently pencilled in to take on former title challenger Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 111 on June 17th. The women’s bantamweight bout is scheduled to be the showcase main event as the UFC makes only its second visit to Singapore.

Holm (10-3) is currently on a three-fight losing streak, the longest in her combat sporting history, and most recently fought in the main event of UFC 208. Before losing to Germain de Randamie in February of this year, ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ had lost back-to-back fights to Valentina Shevchenko and Meisha Tate, the latter in Holm’s first women’s bantamweight title defence.

Correia (10-2-1) meanwhile, is currently undefeated in her last two fights, a split-decision victory over Jessica Eye and, more recently, a majority draw with Marion Reneau at UFC Fight Night: Fortaleza.

Both Holm and Correia have two common opponents throughout their careers in Raquel Pennington and Ronda Rousey but have recorded very different results against the pair. Where Holm has defeated both Pennington and, more famously, Rousey at UFC 193, Correia’s only career defeats have come against the two 135 pounders.

UFC Fight Night 111 will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and currently has three other former Zuffa champions booked for the June event. Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski is set to face Marcin Tybura while former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos will make his first foray to welterweight against the last Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine.

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Holly Holm

*WATCH* UFC 208 Embedded – Episode 5



The 5th episode of UFC 208 Embedded is now available for viewing via the UFC’s official Youtube channel.

Watch below:

“On Episode 5 of UFC 208, featherweight title contender Germaine de Randamie embraces the inclement weather with a snowball fight. Brazilian middleweight Anderson Silva pranks a UFC staffer and shines at open workouts. His opponent Derek Brunson and headliner Holly Holm also engage with fans at the special event, held inside a famed boxing gym. Then the fighters, including Jacare Souza and Glover Teixeira, cut their final pounds before Friday’s official weigh-in. UFC 208 Embedded is an all-access, behind-the-scenes video blog leading up to the inaugural women’s featherweight title fight taking place Saturday, February 11th. See it live on Pay-Per-View and UFC.TV.”



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UFC 208: Betting Preview



UFC 208 is upon us this weekend and our betting experts on both sides of the Atlantic take a look at the best bets to bolster your bank balance this weekend.

Kevin Jones’ Picks

Randy Brown to beat Belal Muhammad -145

Muhammad’ s nickname is “Remember The Name.” We also need to remember that he was knocked out in a little over a minute by a guy with a .625 winning percentage in his last fight against 10-5-1 Vincente Luque. Jamaicans are known for being bangers and “Rude Boy” is no exception. They don’t get much easier to call than this one. Randy will have a 5″ height advantage as well as 7″ in reach on his opponent. That is very reminiscent of last week’s fight between James “The Texecutioner” Vick vs Abel Trujillo where the Texan was victorious. The Spanish Town native who now fights out of Queens, New York owns three UFC wins compared to Belal’s one. The only loss on his record is to a still undefeated Michael Graves. Brown has also proven that he is no slouch on the ground, while Muhammad has never won a bout via submission. The line on this fight should be closer to -250 than where it currently sits. With the hometown crowd behind him, Brown gets the W one way or another on Saturday night.

Side Note: Getting +140 odds on under 2.5 rounds is not a bad value play here as well.

Marcin Tybura to beat Justin Willis -180

Obviously “Tybur” has much more experience than his UFC debuting opponent when you look at their records. Marcin has also fought against tougher competition in M-1 Challenge. After gaining his first UFC win in his last fight over Viktor Pesta, he has gotten those first UFC fight hiccups out of the way. There are too many heavyweights that are cutting to get to 265 lbs. Sitting at a hair under 250 lbs, the Pole should be able to go at it harder and for longer than the bigger Willis. Justin has power, but so does everyone else in the heavyweight division. Outside of that, pretty much all that Justin has going for him is that he trains at American Kickboxing Academy.  That is meaning less and less in a time where these gyms are expanding and taking in fighters that they may not have 5 years ago. Tybura may try to take his heavier opponent down to negate the 4″ reach disadvantage he is facing. By taking a grappling approach, he will be able to drain his opponent’s energy and even if he does not finish Willis by either by submission or ground and pound, that will benefit him as the fight goes on. The rule of thumb is to usually avoid betting on heavyweights unless you are placing a wager on the under, and under 1.5 rounds at -130 in this one is not a bad play. There is just not enough known about Willis to risk that he will not last longer than that. Laying less than 2 to 1 against a guy with only 5 fights and one loss making his promotional debut, now that is enough of a reason to make an exception to the rules of betting heavyweights.

Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie under 4.5 rds -105

Despite the narrative that you will see being force feed to you Holm, who is coming off of two defeats, was never widely considered a top pound-for-pound women’s boxer. She does not have that much power in her hands as evident of her boxing knockout percentage of 24%. In MMA her KO% improves to 58%. However, Holly is a southpaw that uses her jab well to maintain a distance to where she can utilize her devastating kicks. Even though she looks a bit stiff on her feet at times, she does get into angles where her straight left can bust up an orthodox fighter who is not used to seeing it coming from where she throws it. Germaine’s knockout percentage of 33% is nothing special, but she has stopped her last two opponents who had a combined record of 13-1. “The Preacher’s Daughter” was KO’d twice inside a boxing ring and they were both brutal. “The Iron Lady’s” pedigree she brings from Kickboxing, where she was never beaten, and Muay Thai actually is greater than Holm’s boxing pedigree. Putting it bluntly she is more accomplished than Holly outside of MMA.  Betting the under and women’s fights can burn you more times than not, but this is not just any other fight. It is for the inaugural title and we should expect for both of these ladies to leave it all in the cage. This is a fight that will stay standing and one or the other will catch their opponent before the last half of the fifth round. Hard to call which one of leaves N.Y. with the gold but take the under and you will be hit your last bet of the night and join them.

Darren Russell’s Picks

Holly Holm to win via decision – 9/4

This fight will be a case of who has the better stand up with Holm, a former Boxing world champion facing off with de Randamie who is a former kickboxing and muay thai world champion. I think Holm has the endurance to go the distance, despite losing the decision to Shevchenko and getting “put to sleep” by Miesha Tate and will find more comfort in facing a lower level opponent in Germaine de Randamie. I think 9/4 is great odds and I think it’s crazy that Holm is the underdog… People have written her off since the demise of Ronda Rousey but she’s a tough tough cookie!

Glover Teixeira to win by KO/TKO/DQ – 11/4

The real factor in which way this fight goes is purely down to how Glover Teixeira has dealt with the crushing thirteen-second knockout defeat to Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 202. Glover has bounced back before after decision losses to Jon Jones and Phil Davis but, was knocked out for the first time since his MMA debut back in 2002. The man facing him in Jared Cannonier is a lot less experienced, has only recently dropped down to light heavyweight and probably on paper this is a mismatch, depending on Glover’s state of mind. His biggest enemy is himself!

Anderson Silva vs Derek Brunson – Fight to go the distance 6/4

Anderson Silva is widely considered to be the most talented athlete to ever enter the octagon, but without an official win since UFC 153 in 2012, can Anderson break the drought and get back to being in contention for a final run at the UFC title?

With Derek Brunson in the way, who always seems to fall up short when he gets a big fight (against Whittaker, Romero and Jacare) it won’t be an easy test for “The Spider” but I don’t expect Silva to finish Brunson or vice versa. I think it will be a cagey affair with Brunson looking to utilise his wrestling and Silva trying to strike Brunson from range and I think Brunson might be accused of showing Silva too much respect. I hope I eat my words but this seems too good of a bet to turn down.

Treble – Belal Muhammad, Ian McCall & Marcin Tybura – 6/1

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