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 attempt to rank the best five performances in all Mixed Martial Arts from the past month. October was fairly light month in the world of MMA, all things considered. With only two UFC Events (UFC 192 & Fight Night 76), one Bellator Event (Bellator 144), one WSOF Event (WSOF 24), and one ONE Championship Event, finding the premier performances of the month wasn’t quite as hard as it could have been. The things I look for when determining whose performance belongs on this (not so) prestigious list include: outcome of fight, level of opponent, ease of victory, technique shown, and growth from previous fight. Now that you know how we’re determining the recipients, let’s see who made the cut this month.
5. Albert Tumenov – UFC 192 (Tumenov def. Jouban via TKO (strikes) Rd. 1)
During the Fox Sports 1 prelims for UFC 192 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Albert Tumenov’s performance announced his arrival into “contender” status. In a welterweight bout that was sure to be fireworks, Russian born Tumenov took on rising star Alan Jouban. Both known for their impressive stand up, most pundits had lauded this as the potential fight of the night. The result, however, was a very dominant win for Tumenov. After landing a few clean punches, (and eating a groin strike) Tumenov blasted Jouban with a head kick. Although partially blocked, the kick still wobbled Jouban who valiantly attempted to withstand the barrage with which the Russian followed up. The pinpoint accuracy of Tumenov’s follow up strikes was a beautiful sight to behold.
4. Yair Rodriguez – UFC 192 (Rodriguez def. Hooker via Unanimous Decision)
Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez dominated a very game Daniel Hooker for three rounds during the showcase preliminary bout at UFC 192. Rodriguez thew flashy kicks, spinning back elbows, dove for kneebars and defended takedowns with tight guillotine attempts…on a broken foot. Hell, Rodriguez at one point in the second round threw a variation of the “rolling thunder” that actually landed. I can’t wait to see Yair healthy and back in the octagon, as he’s definitely one of the brightest stars in the UFC.
3. Tom Breese – Fight Night 76 (Breese def. Pendred via TKO (strikes) Rd. 1)
The left straight that Tom Breese repeatedly landed against Ireland’s Cathal Pendred may be the quickest in the game. The 24-year-old Tri-Star product is yet to make it out of the first round in his two octagon appearances, the most recent of which happening at UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin, Ireland. Pendred had the crowd behind him as he entered the cage, and after the bell rung, he had Birmingham’s Breese all over him. Breese showed terrific footwork, precise straight punches, and the (ever important) ability to dish out punishment without taking major damage. The first straight left Breese landed appeared to break Pendred’s nose. A very indicative measure of how the fight would play out.
2. Louis Smolka – Fight Night 76 (Smolka def. Holohan via Submission (rear-naked choke) Rd. 2)
If this list gave points to “person who silenced the crowd the most”, Louis Smolka would undoubtedly rank number one. While Smolka’s dominant performance over Paddy Holohan may not have come as a huge surprise, it surely was impressive. Holohan, (fueled by his hometown crowd) came out and (surprisingly) landed a takedown. But, no matter the scramble, the Hawaiian seemed to wind up with the dominant position. After a first round of back-and-forth grappling, Smolka used the last 20 seconds to tee off on the Irishman. The second round was more of the first as Smolka wound up in mount and never relinquished the position, finishing Holohan in the second round.
1. Daniel Cormier – UFC 192 (Cormier def. Gustaffson via Split Decision)
The best adjectives to use when describing Daniel Cormier’s performance at UFC 192 sound more like those that would describe an Academy Award nominated thriller. Gritty, chilling, gutsy. Alexander Gustafsson gave the UFC Light Heavyweight Champ all he could handle and more. Cormier’s wrestling looked sharp early, as he tossed the 6’5″ Swede through the air for a massive takedown. But “The Mauler” showed resiliency, fighting off subsequent takedown attempts and even landing one of his own. Gustafsson had Cormier hurt badly in the third round after landing a flush knee from inside the clinch. “DC” showed the heart of a champion when if mattered, the fourth and fifth rounds Cormier pushed the pace and outworked the always game Gustafsson.
Agree with the list? Disagree with the list? Let us know! @mmalatestnws @jkillionmma
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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