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UFC 184 One to Watch: Former 16-Time Boxing World Champion Holly Holm Finally Enters the UFC

Steven Cavagnino

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After providing some massive hype, only to subsequently provide some massive let down, UFC 184 is finally upon us. With Ronda Rousey at the helm taking on a battle-ready Cat Zingano, it will be the woman who bring us war this Saturday. Not only is this fight one of the most highly anticipated Women’s Bantamweight title fights, but for the first time ever UFC 184 is being both headlined and co-headlined by female fighters and that’s where my choice for UFC 184’s fight to watch comes in.

Before Rousey and Zingano attempt to tear each other apart, UFC newcomer Holly Holm and TUF 18 veteran Raquel Pennington will do battle in what could possibly be the most telling fight of the night. It’s not the the Holm/Pennington fight has major star power or is sure to be a barn burner, the fight is intriguing because the outcome could potentially determine the future of an entire division.

Enter Holly Holm, a ferocious female who has been at the top of own her sport; 16 times over. That’s right, a 16 -time professional boxing world champion, Holm easily has the most impressive standup resume in the division, and perhaps the entire UFC. Having been nominated for awards like fighter of the year alongside the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Georges St. Pierre, Holm is no stranger to both fame and recognition. Her resume speaks for itself, and if that’s not saying enough for you, let her training partners in Jon Jones, Donald Cerrone, Jon Dodson, Carlos Condit, and Alistair Overeem tell you some more about her.

With that all said, Holm is 7-0 in MMA with 6 knockouts, her striking is lethal and she has the ‘big show’ experience. At this point in her career her kicks and punches have starched her opponents and to see if she’ll be able to do it against UFC-calibre fighters is yet another reason to tune in. But she is only one half of the fight. Raquel Pennington, who, at this point in her career is really a journeyman (journeywoman?) fighter has posted an underwhelming 5-4 record to date. She is tough as nails, comes to brawl, and certainly won’t back down from Holm no matter how successful she was in professional boxing. But it’s pretty evident that Pennington is the technically inferior fighter and will have to beat the odds to win. In short and in reality this fight is a test for Holm to see where she stands in the division and if she’ll receive a #1 contender matchup. It’s also a long shot for Pennington, who will certainly open some eyes, whilst causing some headaches for the UFC matchmakers if she manages to get past Holm.

It is fitting that Holm is fighting on the same show the Rousey is as many people view Holm as being one of the last women who has a legitimate shot at dethroning Ronda Rousey, and this is why the fight between Holm and Pennington is so important. A win for Holm could breathe some life into a Woman’s Bantamweight division that is the most shallow in the UFC. Beating Pennington could easily give Holm a #1 contender fight seeing as she is sitting behind those who Rousey has already vanquished, and, let’s get real, Holm vs. Rousey is one of the few marketable fights the UFC has left without going the route of rematch; or rubber match. Through no fault of her own, Ronda Rousey’s dominance has provided the UFC with a “Now what?” scenario, they have their top fighters knocking each other out of title contention and even then, most of them have already lost to Rousey.

The Holm vs. Pennington matchup and outcome could single handedly either progress or stagnate an entire division. It’s one of the most important fights in recent events, even if it is being downplayed by the Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano matchup. Add Holm’s ability to cause massive damage and end a night with one strike and Pennington’s inability to back down from a challenge, and there is plenty reason to watch this fight, thus making it the UFC 184 fight to watch.

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Interviews

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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Announcement

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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Announcement

*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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