We’re back! After missing a week off I’m back to recap this week’s episode of TUF 21: Blackzilian’s vs. ATT. Just to recap thus far: American Top is ahead 100 – 0 after 4 fights. One bright spot for Lambert’s ATT is that we are now entering the “next” 4 fights, which are now worth 50 points per piece, double the first four.
After recapping last week’s “controversial” decision win for the Blackzilians, we pick up in the TUF house where Anthony Johnson is visiting the victorious Carrington Banks. At ATT’s gym, Sabah Homasi recalls his decision loss and urges his team to move forward and win the next bout. Over at the Blackzilian’s gym, Coach Tyrone Spong is advising his team that now is no time to celebrate, but to work on furthering their lead. We join Dan Lambert in ATT’s “brain trust” session. Hayder Hassan (6-1) is the pick for Top Team. We hear Hassan’s back story over a training montage where he’s sparring with Thiago Alves. Over at team Blackzilians, Robinson and co. vote to go with Andrews Nakahara (4-2-2). All signs point to a striker v striker battle. Nakahara, a Brazilian-Japanese fighter, is a Karate World Champion, and multiple organization veteran.
Official Fight Announcement – Hayder Hassan (ATT) vs. Andrews Nakahara (Blackzilians)
MMA Latest Pick – Hassan via TKO.
Back at the house, Hayder Hassan confronts Jason Jackson about spreading roumers about him being a “dirty fighter”. Hassan previously fought Jackson, winning via TKO in the 3rd round. Hassan admits to the camera that he is hoping the Blackzilians are putting forward Jackson to fight this week. Hassan, Carl and Homasi are outside speaking about who they think Hayder will be fighting, again he’s hoping for Jason Jackson. As weigh in day arrives, team ATT discusses Michael Graves’ continuous drinking and partying. Graves sleeps through the weigh ins, I don’t think his team is going to be happy about that. Before weigh ins, ATT has an impromptu team meeting about Graves. Lambert vocalized his disappointment with his fighter. Coy suggests kicking him out if the behaviour is not reconciled. About 5 minutes before weigh ins, Michael Graves finally shows up. Dana White issues his feelings on the matter “if you’re not mentally there for this competition, how are you ever going to fight in the UFC?” As the teams line up to weigh in, Frank Gentille of the FSAC calls forward ATT’s combatant. After Hassan steps forward, Gentille calls team Blackzilian to do the same. Hassan weighs in at 170 no problem, as does Nakahara. After weighing in, both fighters square off, calmly, in front of their coaches. A really cheesy piece of production, I think. The Blackzilians seem to be of the mindset that Hassan will gas out after the first round. Perhaps they will want Nakahara to clinch early and try to expedite that process. The day before the fight we follow Hassan speaking of his Muslim faith, and his praying 5 times a day. Meanwhile, Nakahara is training in the house gym with Coach Spong. The further into this episode we get without actually heading to the fight, the more I am confident this fight isn’t going to a decision. Good news for the fans.
As the fighters make their way to the octagon, we are again reminded of how much of a different atmosphere this season’s fights take place in. A change in scenery would be a welcome change for ATT.
Hayder Hassan (ATT) vs. Andrews Nakahara (Blackzilians)
-As the round begins Nakahara lands a hard kick to the body. Hassan is stalking his opponent with a right hand that is ready to smash. Another hard body kick lands for Nakahara, but BOOM. Hassan lands a huge left-right combo that drops Nakahara. Hassan finishes with a flurry on the ground and the fight is stopped. A great win for American Top Team.
Official Decision Hayder Hassan (ATT) wins via TKO Rd. 1.
With the win, American Top Team lessens the gap to make the score 100-50, Blackzilians still lead. With the correct pick, MMA Latest is now 3-1 with our predictions.
Keep up to date with all things TUF 21 right here at mmalatestnews.com
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
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