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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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EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity

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Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.

Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”

Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”

Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”

Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”

With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”

Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”

Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.

Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:

Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)

By Ieuan Thomas.

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Announcement

Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219

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Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.

Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.

Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.

After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.

With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:

Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout

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*Live Updates* UFC 216 Official Results

Harry Davies

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Live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the UFC hosted their eighth PPV card of this year as fans were treated to UFC 216.

The card was headlined by a Interim Lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (23-3) and Kevin Lee (16-2). Ferguson entered the octagon holding the record for the longest winning streak in UFC lightweight division history (9). Beating top names such as Rafael Dos Anjos and Edson Barboza in the process.

#7 ranked Lee last fought in June of this year, earning the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Michael Cheisa by first round submission (rear-naked choke).

In the co-main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) was hoping to break the record for most consecutive title defenses as he faced Ray Borg (11-2). The record (10) was held by both Johnson and former middlweight champion, Anderson Silva.

Johnson and Borg were originally scheduled to fight in the main event of UFC 215 last month, but the title fight was cancelled a day before the event was supposed to take place, as Borg pulled out of the fight due to illness.


UFC 216 Official Results:

MAIN CARD – PAY PER VIEW – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • #2 Tony Ferguson (24-3) vs. #7 Kevin Lee (16-3) – For UFC Interim Lightweight Championship
    • Result: Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee via SUB (triangle choke) Round 3 – 4:02
  • (C) Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) vs. #3 Ray Borg (11-3) – For UFC Flyweight Championship 
    • Result: Demetrious Johnson def. Ray Borg via SUB (armbar) Round 5 – 3:15 
  • #2 Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1) vs. Walt Harris (10-6)
    • Result: Fabricio Werdum def. Walt Harris via SUB (armbar) Round 1 – 1:05
  • Mara Romero Borella (12-4) vs. Kalinda Faria (16-6-1)
    • Result: Mara Romero Barella def. Kalindra Faria via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 1 – 2:54
  • #12 Beneil Dariush (14-3-1) vs. #14 Evan Dunham (17-6-1)
    • Result: Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham declared a Majority Draw (29-29, 28-28, 28-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) vs Cody Stamman (15-1)
    • Result: Cody Stamann def. Tom Duquesnoy via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Bobby Green (23-8-1) vs. Lando Vannata (9-2-1)
    • Result: Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata declared a Draw (split) (29-27, 27-29, 28-28)
  • Marco Beltran (8-6) vs. Matt Schnell (10-4)
    • Result:  Matt Schnell def. Marco Beltrán via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 7PM/4PM ETPT

  • #15 Magomed Bibulatov (14-1) vs. #11 John Moraga (18-6)
    • Result:  John Moraga def. Magomed Bibulatov via KO (punch) – Round 1 – 1:38
  • #13 Thales Leites (27-8) vs. Brad Tavares (16-4)
    • Result: Brad Tavares def. Thales Leites via Unanimous (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
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