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Top 5 Performances of the month – October 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 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)

UFC Fight Night: Pendred v Breese

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

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Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223



UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.


Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

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Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet



Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Fight Announcements

Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April



MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by, came Sunday night before confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.


The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.

Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.

An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.

His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).

Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.

PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.

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