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UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz Main Card Preview

Vinny Craig

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Finally, after months of waiting, UFC 183 is upon us. Live from Las Vegas this Saturday, we will see two former champions go at it. The card has it all with title hopefuls and plain out scrappers. Let’s take a look at the main card!

#13 Jordan Mein vs. Thiago Alves

The PPV starts off with an intriguing Welterweight matchup between Jordan Mein (29-9 MMA; 3-1 UFC) and Thiago Alves (20-9; 12-6). Both fighters have thunder in their hands and are looking to use their power to their advantage. This is the perfect PPV starter as both fighters will throw caution to the wind and just straight up bang.

Mein, in the world of MMA since 2006, will look to build upon his Performance of the Night in his last outing against Mike Pyle. He looked fantastic in the win, his second in a row and third in four fights. His last loss came to Matt Brown at UFC on Fox 7 where he was hit with vicious elbows. With 4.05 Significant Strikes per minute(SLpM)*, ‘Young Gun’ will look to land an abundance of strikes instead of one big strike, while using his 72% striking defense to avoid his opponent.

Alves, a true veteran of the UFC, will look to build on his own win over Seth Baczynski. It’s been a tough go recently for the former title-contender who has alternated wins for losses over his last six fights. ‘Pitbull’ had a streak of 7 straight wins over two years, inducing five in a row in the middle of all finishes. With 3.56 SLpM, Alves is holding his own in the striking department. With his 65% striking defense, look for both fighters to hit often and avoid their opponent.

Thales Leites vs. Tim Boetsch

The next bout is a good one in the 185 pound division. Thales Leites (24-4;9-3) and Tim Boetsch (18-7;9-6) look to get themselves back on title track with a win. Both have a lot of experience in the octagon, and it’s going to take grit and determination to get the victory in this one. Leites is on a seven fight win streak, including his last four in the UFC. Boetsch has dropped three of his last five.

Leites, a former title-contender, looks to keep the streak alive. After 6 fights, a 5-1 record to boot, the long-time Nova Unaio standout was awarded a shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title. He would lose that fight and his next against Alessio Sakara, ultimately getting cut by the UFC. He would go on a solid streak as of late and get back to the big leagues where he would continue his success. In his last seven, he holds wins over Jeremy Horn and Francis Carmont.

‘The Barbarian’, who last fought in Maine against Brad Tavares, wants new life put back into his career. He holds wins over Yushin Okami, Hector Lombard, and CB Dolloway in his career. His veteran prowess and big right hand could prove to be more than his opponent can handle.

Joe Lauzon vs. Al Iaquinta

In the Lightweight division, two fighters will look to break into the top 15. Joe Lauzon (24-9;11-6) and Al Iaquinta (10-3, 1 draw; 5-2) will look to make some extra money with a post-fight bonus. Right in the middle of the PPV, this fight looks to prove to catapult both fighters into bigger spots in the pecking order. This is a classic grappler vs. striker matchup with neither having an advantage. This is an early Fight of the Night candidate.

Lauzon, a TUF 5 contestant, will look to grab another post-fight bonus. With a clear veteran status in the young sport, ‘J-Lau’ has fought some of the sports best Lightweights such as Jens Pulver, Kenny Florian, Anthony Pettis, and Jim Miller. His UFC debut saw him beat former champ Pulver in just 48 seconds and shock the world. He’s won his last two over former TUF winners Mac Danzig and Michael Chiesa. His 3.1 submission average per 15 minutes is one of the best in the UFC and could show the weakness of the young fighter across the octagon from him.

Iaquinta, also a TUF alum, has been given a chance to to show his worth. The Serra-Longo fighter has had a nice UFC stay with five wins in seven fights. His last fight was a TKO win over savvy vet Ross Pearson in Sydney. He also has wins over Ryan Couture and Piotr Hallmann in his career. With 4.93 SLpM, ‘Raging’ Al will look to use his striking to keep the fight standing and his 84% TDD should keep him off his back.

#3 Tyron Woodley vs. #7 Kelvin Gastelum

A very important fight in the Welterweight division will look to prove worthy as a co-main event to one of the biggest fights of the year. Tyron Woodley (14-3; 4-2) and Kelvin Gastelum (10-0; 5-0) are both wrestlers who are relying more on their striking now-a-days. For both fighters, they have been in consecutive co-main event slots.

Woodley, a former All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri, fights for the fifth time in fourteen months. With his busy fight schedule, it hasn’t done much for his level of fighting as he’s gone 3-1 in that span. He has wins over Tarec Saffiedine, Paul Daley, Jay Heron, and Josh Koscheck in his career. His 2.79 Strikes Absorbed per Minute(SApM) is higher than his SLpM of 2.64 which could possess some trouble with a striker like Gastelum on the other side. On the other side of the spectrum, he has a 91% TDD and averages 2.14 Takedowns per Minute.

Gastelum, former TUF 17 winner, is undefeated to this point and will look to keep his record in tact. After his win over Uriah Hall in the TUF 17 finale, he beat Brian Melancon, Rick Story, Nico Musoke, and Jake Ellenberger. His weight is something to look at, as he missed weight with his fight with Musoke and often has trouble with his weight cut. His 3.58 SLpM is significantly higher than his opponents and could be his main weapon. He’ll look to improve on his 54% TDD to keep the fight standing.

#1 Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz

Well now that we know Nick is in Las Vegas and ready to go, we all can sleep a little better at night. In the middleweight division, long-time UFC champion Anderson Silva (33-6; 16-2) and former Strikeforce Welterweight champion Nick Diaz (26-9; 1-2) will finally put on the gloves and get in the octagon after months of us waiting. With the tag “super fight” lingering around, this one should be one to remember.

Silva, one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all-time, is making his comeback after breaking his leg in a loss to now Middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Anderson had 16 straight wins in the UFC with wins over greats like Rich Franklin (twice), Dan Henderson, Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen (twice) and Vitor Belfort. He lost his title to Weidman in July of 2013 after being knocked out, then lost in the rematch in December after Weidman checked one of his leg kicks and Anderson broke his own leg. With 3.11 SLpM and only 1.47 SApM, Silvas counter-striking style is one of the best in MMA. He will look to avoid the punches (and only punches) and attack on the rebound of his opponents aggressive style. If all else fails, ‘The Spider’ can use his black-belt in BJJ to change the course of the fight.

Diaz, one of the most popular fighters in the UFC, has his own unique style that involves his patented ‘Stockton Slap’ to keep his opponents on the edge. With over two years off, one can wonder if Diaz will look like the old Nick we all know and love. He has lost his last two, both for the title, against then Interim-champion Carlos Condit and then champion Georges St. Pierre. Before those two losses, he was on an 11 fight win streak including wins over Ken Shamrock, KJ Noons, Paul Daley, and BJ Penn. With 13 wins by KO and 8 by submission, he has finished the majority of his fights in his career. His 5.63 SLpM is what shows his smothering style of striking where he throws punches in bunches at half power to avoid gassing. His cardio is second to none and like Silva, he can also use his black-belt to change the fight in his own way.

*all stats from FightMetric.com

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Bellator

Bellator 194, Nelson vs. Mitrione Pre-Fight Notes

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Bellator takes over the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut later tonight. The promotion hosts, Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione from the venue, beginning at 6:30 pm (ET). Bellator 194 marks the 17th trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino. Their last trip, took place a little more than a few months ago in October of 2017, Bellator 185. The first trip to the Connecticut casino, occurred all the way back in April of 2009, and the second ever event held by the promotion, Bellator 2.

Twenty four fighters will make the walk later tonight, giving fans 12 bouts to watch from prelims to main event. Of the 24 athletes set to compete, five make their professional debuts. Peter Nascimento, Mike Kimbel, Pat Casey, Ross Richardson, and Ronnie Leon all fight for the first time, professionally. As amateurs, the group holds a combined record of 18-12. Only Ross Richardson maintained an undefeated amateur record (3-0).

In recent cards past, only some full broadcasts brought forward newly professional fighters. Events such as Bellator 191, 190, and 187, only broadcast short main card. While events like 193, 192, 189, 188, and 186 broadcast full fight cards. Since November of 2017, 15 fighters made their pro debuts with the Bellator promotion. Including Khonry Gracie in his unanimous decision loss to Devon Brock (Bellator 192), and Ty-wan Claxton, in his amazing KO finish of Johnny Bonilla-Bowman in the first round of Bellator 186. Claxton makes his second pro appearance tonight at Bellator 194 against Jose Antonio Perez, whom also fights for the second time professionally.

Upon completion of Bellator 194’s broadcast, 50% of the promotions first round matches in their Heavyweight Grand Prix will be decided. It is nearly impossible to choose, one match-up more interesting than the others. Yet, the Mitrione vs. Nelson match up is not only puzzling to fans and media alike. One half of the main event, at least, was once annoyed by the prospect of fighting his former TUF cast mate. Mitrione spoke to MMAJunkie about his reaction to the match-up, “Well, I asked them, how does that make sense? Roy is arguably the #2 guy in the division… Explain that to me, is there any seeding?…” He continued, “But the more I thought about, the less I really cared. Either I beat Roy when I have the strap, or I beat Roy to get the strap. What the hell difference does it make?”

In one bit of event news, fan favorite flyweight, Heather Hardy missed weight, in what turned out to be an odd set of circumstances. According to Hardy, she believed she made weight, without stripping down and using the towel. It was her understanding that the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation gave her a weight allowance for the bikini top and bottom she wore while on the scale. Hardy weighed in at 126.25 lbs. with the aforementioned bikini top and bottom.

This understanding was not shared by president of Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, Mike Mazzulli. The president made the decision to record Hardy’s weight without allowing her to disrobe, or take use the extra two hours allotted to make weight. It was his understanding upon examining and attempting to communicate with Hardy whilst she stood on the scale that brought him to the decision. After renegotiation of the bout agreement, Hardy was fined 20% of her purse which goes to her opponent Ana Julaton.

 

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Bellator

Bellator 194 Weigh Ins Live Video

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Bellator 194 takes place Friday, February 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The stacked main card features the second bout in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix matching Roy Nelson against Matt Mitrione. Both former members of the UFC roster, Mitrione and Nelson look to make a further impact in the Bellator Heavyweight division with a potential step towards the divisions championship crown. In the co-main event, MMA veteran Patricky Pitbull takes Derek Campos. The two will most likely battle for the next shot at the promotions Lightweight title, following the Brent Primus (c) vs. Michael Chandler rematch. Other notable bouts on the card include Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov, Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton, and Tywon Claxton against Jose Antonio Perez. Bellator 194 airs live on the Paramount network, main card beginning at 9 pm.

The official weigh-ins took place earlier today, the results are listed below.

Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)

Roy Nelson (23-14) vs. Matt Mitrione (12-5) Heavyweight bout.

RN: 265 lb.

MM: 255 lb.

Patricky Freire (18-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-6) Lightweight bout.

PF: 155 lb.

DC: 154 lb.

Heather Hardy (1-1) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3) Women’s Flyweight bout.

HH: 126.25 lb*

AJ: 125 lb.

Liam McGeary (12-2) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2) Light Heavyweight bout.

LM: 203.75 lb.

VN: 205 lb.

Tywan Claxton (1-0) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1) Featherweight bout.

TW: 145 lb.

JS: 142.25 lb.

Preliminary Card (7 PM ET)

Ross Richardson (3-0, Amateur) vs. Ronie Arana Leon (2-5, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

RS: 155.5 lb.

RL: 156 lb.

Mike Kimbel (4-4, Amateur) vs. Geoffrey Then (0-1) Bantamweight bout. 

MK: 135.75 lb.

GT: 135 lb.

Regivaldo Carlvalho (4-2) vs. Thomas English (6-8) Featherweight bout.

RC: 145 lb.

TE: 146 lb.

Jarod Trice (2-0) vs. Walter Howard (3-4) Light Heavyweight bout.

JT: 205.5 lb.

WH: 203 lb.

Marcus Surin (4-1) vs. Dean Hancock (3-1) Lightweight bout.

MS: 156 lb.

DH: 155.25 lb.

Peter Nascimento (2-1, Amateur) vs. Kastriot Xhema (1-1) Catchweight (165 lb.) bout.

PN: 163.5 lb.

KX 164.5 lb.

Tyler Hamilton (1-0) vs. Pat Casey (7-2, Amateur) Lightweight bout.

TH: 154 lb.

PC: 155.5 lb.

*Heather Hardy missed weight by ¼ of a pound and subsequently fined 20% of her purse. The fine will go to her opponent Ana Julaton.

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UFC 221 Rockhold vs. Romero Live Results

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UFC 221 marks the first event hosted by the promotion in Western Australia. UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at the Perth Arena. The co-main event features Australian star, Mark Hunt against Curtis Blaydes. In the main event, Luke Rockhold looks to earn the Middleweight interim title when he takes on Yoel Romero. Romero is not eligible to earn the interim Middleweight title due to the fact that the Cuban missed weight. Yoel Romero replaced the original headliner of the card, Robert Whittaker. Whittaker, current Middleweight champion, withdrew from the event due to a serious case of mistreated staph infection.

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:

Fight of the night: Li Jianliang vs. Jake Matthews

Performance of the night: Jussier Formiga, Israel Adesanya

MAIN CARD – PPV – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • Yoel Romero (12-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (13-3) – Catchweight (187.7) bout
    • Result: Yoel Romero def. Luke Rockhold via KO (punch) 1:48 round 3
  • Mark Hunt (13-11, 1 NC) vs. Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)
  • Tai Tuivasa (8-0) vs. Cyril Asker (9-3) – Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tai Tuivasa def. Cyril Asker via TKO (punches and elbows) 2:18 round 1
  • Jake Matthews (12-3) vs. Li Jianliang (14-4) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jake Matthews def. Li Jianliang via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Tyson Pedro (6-1) vs Saparbek Safarov (8-1) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Tyson Pedro def. Saparbek Safarov via submission (kimura) 3:54 round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Damien Brown (17-11) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Dong Hyun Kim def. Damien Brown via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Kim, 29-28 Brown)
  • Rob Wilkinson (11-1) vs. Israel Adesanya (11-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Israel Adesanya def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) 3:37 round 2
  • Jeremy Kennedy (11-0) vs Alexander Volkovski (16-1) – Featherweight bout
    • Result: Alexander Volkovski def. Jeremy Kennedy via TKO (punches) 4:57 round 2
  • Jussier Formiga (20-5) vs Ben Nguyen (17-6) – Flyweight bout
    • Result: Jussier Formiga def. Ben Nguyen via technical submission (RNC) 1:43 round 3

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 6:30PM/3:30PM ETPT

  • Ross Pearson (21-12, 1 NC) vs. Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: Ross Pearson def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Teruto Ishihara (10-4) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez (7-2) – Bantamweight bout
    • Result: José Alberto Quiñónez def. Teruto Ishihara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Luke Jumeau (12-4) vs. Daichi Abe (6-0) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Luke Jumeau def. Daichi Abe via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 28-27)
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