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 :
- 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
Sensor Equipped Tracking Gloves to be Used at UFC 219
From implementing the likes of USADA, the UFC Performance Instiute and the introduction of the instant replay. The UFC has always prioritized being at the top of the sport science game.
Now, at UFC 219 on December 30th, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has approved a test run for sensor equipped tracking gloves to be worn by a selection of fighters on the card.
The technology behind the gloves comes from AGI International (an analytics company) along with HEED (a consumer platform company). A collaboration founded by the UFC.
After a sparring exhibition between top lightweights, Edson Barbosa (19-4-0) and Mark Diakiese (12-1-0), HEED co-founder Mati Kochavi had this to say regarding how “70 insights” collected from sensors on the gloves, the corner-men, the octagon itself can depict a clearer image of a fight.
“Those insights are covering entire aspects of the fight between Diakiese and Barbose. Their passion, power of the fight, resiliency and strategy. All happen in the octagon.“
Shouldn’t sport be told in real-time, with real data, information and emotions?”
He finally promises “We are a company which is trying to revolutionize the way we (broadcast) sports and live events”
As for now there is little to zero information into the technical aspects of the gloves, however products like a Fit Bit have similar abilities to give data on speed, force, motion, elevation, heart rate etc.
The UFC 219 card takes place on Decemebr 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between current champion Cris Cyborg (18-1) and former UFC bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (11-3).
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 MMAFighting.com, 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.
*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.
“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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