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Two years on, Martin Nguyen seeks redemption against Marat Gafurov

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“Marat, I’m coming for you”

That came out of Martin Nguyen after he knocked out Edward Kelly 2 years ago – his first victory after losing to Marat Gafurov in Jakarta in September 2015. Nguyen was shot into title contention on a day’s notice when Jadambaa Narantungalag had visa issues, but lost the title bid in 41 seconds.

“That loss against Marat was a wake up call that I desperately needed to proceed to where I am now in the fight game,” Nguyen explained. “I was younger and naive that I was the best fighter but it obviously back fired and humbled me.”

The loss did nothing but motivate Nguyen even more to go after the belt. Since the defeat, Nguyen came back to impress even more with a 4 first round finishes that began with a victory against Edward Kelly. Nguyen then proceeded to stop Li Kai Wen’s 4-fight win streak, handed down Christian Lee’s first professional MMA loss, and stopped Kazunori Yokota, a DEEP veteran who rode a 13-fight win streak over the course of 5 years before losing the ONE Championship lightweight title bid against Marat Gafurov.

Finally, 2 years down the road, Nguyen finally earned his rematch in Kuala Lumpur on 18 August 2017.

“It’s a dream come true. I’ve been working so hard to get the rematch, 2 years in the making it’s finally here,”

Prior to the fight, Martin Nguyen had never been marketed as a title hopeful and constantly positioned as the underdog. However, the first round finish against Yokota is what arguably convinced ONE Championship matchmakers to finally gave the title shot that Nguyen had set his eyes on for the last 2 years.

“You just never know what one championship is going to plan. All I was focused on was racking up my wins and taking out the big boys at the top of the food chain. I was in no hurry to be calling out guys, I just took it one fight at a time. “

Nguyen knows that his hard-earned rematch will not come easy. Gafurov remained undefeated and have gone sharper, winning 3 more fights, all ended in a Rear Naked Choke, each one quicker than the next.

“We both have become much better at our respected games. He and I have gained a lot of confidence and are arguably some of the best featherweights in the world, and Marat has done well in utilising his ground game on all his opponents.

“As for myself, I plan on finishing all my opponents, never leaving it in the hands of the judges. Come fight night Malaysia will think New Years has come early because there will be fireworks.”

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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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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:

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.

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Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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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:

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.

 

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.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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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)

Main Card:

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)

Preliminary Card:

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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