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Two Intriguing Lightweight Bouts Added to UFC FN 96 in Portland

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UFC Fight Night 96 just got a whole lot more interesting as it was announced Monday afternoon that two lightweight bouts have been added to the card. Newly acquired Former Bellator Lightweight Champion “Ill” Will Brooks has his second UFC booked and he will be taking on the Brazilian Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira. The other fight added to the event is Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman who will square off against Bobby “King” Green.

UFC officials have confirmed that these fights will take place at the event that is scheduled to take place October 1st at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon but has yet to confirm where on the card the bouts will be placed.

The UFC’s signing of “Ill” Will (19-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) back in June was one of the biggest hits to the Bellator roster in quite sometime. Over the last year it had been Bellator who was scalping talent from the UFC when it signed former UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson, Heavyweight Matt Mitrione and long time star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Brooks made his UFC debut July 8th at TUF 23 Finale and won a closely contested decision against UFC veteran Ross Pearson. Brook’s lone loss was to Saad Awad back in February of 2013 at Bellator 91. He has previously stated that he would like to be on the fast track to a title shot and this is the type of fight that will get him that much more closer to that goal.

ALex Oliveira (15-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) recently rebounded from his second UFC loss at the hands of the better know “Cowboy,” Donald Cerrone, with a win on July 23rd at UFC on Fox 20 over James Moontasri via unanimous decision Olivieria’s only other UFC fight contested at lightweight was a loss by 3rd round arm lock submission in his UFC debut to Gilbert Burns back in March 2015 at UFC Fight Night 62 when there was only 46 second left on the clock. Tapology.com currently lists “Cowboy” as the #66 Best MMA Welterweight Fighter in the world, while Brooks is ranked as the #8 Best MMA Lightweight Fighter in the world.

Josh Burkman (28-13 MMA, 6-8 UFC) made the move to the lightweight division in February of this year after suffering back to back losses to Patrick Cote and Dong Hyun Kim at welterweight in 2015. This will be his third fight at 155 lbs. Lightweight has long been one of the deepest divisions in the UFC, and Burkman, who is 1-3 in his second run with the promotion, would appear to desperately need a win in this fight in order to not receive a pink slip. His previous two lightweight fights where a UD win over a down trending K.J. Noons and a UD loss to 12-2 prospect Paul Felder.

His opponent, Bobby Green (23-7 MMA, 4-2 UFC), will be no easy test as he also has his back against the wall. The “King” has faced very stout competition lately and he is looking to get back on track after losing his last two fights to Dustin Poirier and Edson Barboza. Green began his UFC career when the UFC purchased of Strikeforce in 2012 and won 4 fights in row. Bad luck seems to follow Green around and during his time in the company Green has had 8 fights canceled due to opponents dropping out, injuries of his own or in the case of UFC 176, an event being canceled.

UFC Fight Night 96 will air on FS1 with the prelims expected to air on FS1 and Fight Pass

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Sensor Equipped Tracking Gloves to be Used at UFC 219

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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).

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Mark Hunt Returns to Fight Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221

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UFC 221 in Perth has officially added a another Australian to the main card. Joining Robert Whittaker is the knockout legend Mark Hunt.

The Daily Telegraph first reported that Hunt will be stepping into the octagon to face #9 Curtis Blaydes. Some weren’t sure if we would ever see Hunt fight again after he was pulled from the main event in UFC Fight Night 21 against Marcin Tybura. The UFC removed him due to “medical concerns” while Hunt was stating he was perfectly fine.

After getting evaluated and cleared to fight by Australian and American doctors, it looks like his time has come to return.  Hunt’s last fight was back in June when he derailed the Derrick Lewis hype train with a 4th round TKO win.

Hunt had been adamant about calling out #3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and trying to get that rematch booked, labelling Werdum a “chicken shit” and a “coward.”

Curtis “Razor” Blaydes who has an 8-1 record, is coming off a TKO victory due to doctor stoppage at UFC 217 in November. Since losing to now title challenger Francis Ngannou in April of 2016, Blaydes has rattled off three straight wins over Alexey Oleynik, Daniel Omielanczuk, and Cody East.

With all this momentum from the win streak, Blaydes looks to capitalize and win the biggest fight of his career against Hunt.

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Angela Magana says she has been cut from the UFC

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Angela Magana announced her release from the UFC on Twitter yesterday.

The now-former UFC strawweight was 0-3, in as many contests with the promotion. Her most recent loss came at the hands of Amanda Cooper, at UFC 218, on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims. A bout which she lost by TKO in the second round.

Her first opportunity arose with the UFC when she appeared on, The Ultimate Fighter 20. A #12 seed, in the tournament of strawweights, Magana lost her preliminary round bout to #4 seed, Aisling Daly. Unfortunately, her promotional debut, on The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 20, resulted in another loss. Tecia Torres defeated Magana that night via unanimous decision. The following summer, Magana fought Michelle “Karate Hottie” Waterson at The Ultimate Fighter Finale: 21. Waterson won by submission (rear-naked choke) in the third round of the bout.

Oddly enough, following her July 2015, loss to Waterson and before her final bout with the UFC, Magana seemingly instigated a feud between herself and current featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg. A feud which began on social media and boiled over at the 2017 UFC Athlete Retreat. Disregarding her well-documented spat with Cris “Cyborg”, Magana managed her way through a storm of misfortune on her way to UFC 218.

After falling in love with Puerto Rico while on vacation, Magana moved to the island in the fall of 2016. Her entire life followed her there, as she began to train on the island she fell in love with. The tropical paradise turned to an apocalyptic wasteland following Hurricane Maria, the category five hurricane which decimated the area. The disaster became an extreme hindrance for the strawweight.

Her UFC 218 bout became official in early October. Yet, in spite of horrendous living conditions, she powered on through the natural disaster that left her home without power, until the week of the fight. Magana took to social media to tell fans that she would not stop fighting and is currently training for her next opportunity.

 

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