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UFC 189 Main Card Fighter Grades

Brice Schroeder

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It is not hyperbole to say UFC 189 may have delivered the greatest night of fights in MMA history.  Each fight delivered war after war with every main card fight seeing a finish inside the distance.  To top it all off, the two title fights gave us a front runner for fight of the year and the proper coronation of the UFC’s biggest star today.  Giving out grades to the fighters involved will no doubt be a tough task, but one we will attempt none the less.

 

Thomas Almeida defeated Brad Pickett via 2nd round KO

Thomas Almeida – B+

If you were just grading the finish it would be a no brainer A+, but the way Pickett was tagging Almeida early lowers his final grade to a B+.  Pickett is on the downside of his career yet he was able to land shot after shot on the Brazilian prospect in the 1st round.  He may not be able to overcome those strikes against higher quality competition.  All that being said he was able to get the highlight finish and showed some perseverance in the process.

Brad Pickett – B

Coming into this bout Pickett was the biggest underdog on the entire card according to Vegas.  Pickett must have missed the memo.  He scored two knockdowns in the 1st round and appeared to be up on the scorecards going into the 2nd frame.  He then fell victim to what very well could be the KO of the year.  He outperformed what was expected of him in this fight and for that he earns a solid B grade.

 

Gunner Nelson defeated Brandon Thatch via 1st round SUB

Gunner Nelson – A

Many expected Nelson to be in big trouble if he could not get this fight to the mat.  He eventually did get his opponent down, but it was not by the method many predicted.  He floored Thatch with a great two punch combo and immediately went to work with his high level grappling from there.  He was able to pass guard almost at will until he eventually took Thatch’s back.  From there he was able to lock in a body triangle and softened his opponent up with strikes until Thatch gave up his neck.  Gunner quickly snatched the opportunity and got the rear naked choke victory.  Quite a way to bounce back from his first career loss.
Brandon Thatch – D+

Brandon Thatch came into this fight seeming to have a massive advantage in the striking department.  That quickly turned out not to be the case when he was knocked down by Nelson where it became inevitable what would transpire from there.  The Denver native was able to land some solid leg kicks before the knockdown, but very little went right for Thatch on Saturday night.

 

Jeremy Stephens defeated Dennis Bermudez via 3rd round TKO

Jeremy Stephens – C+

Stephens and Bermudez had the misfortune of being on the same card as Lawler MacDonald or they very well may have gone home with the fight of the night bonus.  It was a back and forth affair which ended with a beautiful flying knee from Stephens.  So why the low grade for Lil’ Heathen?  He failed to make weight.  Not only did he miss weight, but he did so by over 4 pounds!  That is simply inexcusable and it shows a lack of professionalism and respect for his opponent.

Dennis Bermudez – C+

Bermudez seemed to be in good shape heading into the final stanza of the fight.  What he did not plan on was that brutal fight ending knee Stephens landed.  Prior to the knee, Bermudez was doing a good job mixing his striking and takedowns and had a real chance to come away from this fight victorious.  He came off of TUF 14 and reeled off 7 UFC wins in a row.  He now has followed up that run with two straight losses and will have to make some changes if he is to ever enter the top echelon of UFC featherweights.

 

Robbie Lawler defeated Rory MacDonald via 5th round TKO

Robbie Lawler – A

Ladies and gentleman, Robbie Lawler is an absolute savage!  He started the fight out strong winning the first two rounds on my scorecard, but looked to be in trouble in both the 3rd and 4th rounds.  He looked to be badly hurt in those later rounds, but showed just how tough he was by surviving for a crucial final round.  Eventually he was able to land that last crippling blow to MacDonald’s shattered nose in the 5th round to come away with the victory in one of the most exciting fights in UFC history.

Rory MacDonald – B+

Rory was able to come back from losing the first two rounds and force a fight deciding 5th round.  Unfortunately for him the accumulative damage he suffered in the bout was just too much to handle.  He took a big punch to his already destroyed nose and crumbled to the ground in agony and was unable to continue.  Throughout the fight he had Robbie hurt and seemed close to finishing him on a couple different occasions.  That coupled with being part of one of the most exciting fights in UFC history will earn you a B+ even in a losing effort.

 

Conor McGregor defeated Chad Mendes via 2nd round TKO

Conor McGregor – B+

McGregor silenced critics who pointed at his lack of competition prior to his title fight.  In the end he had to get through what may have been the worst style matchup for him in the entire division.  While this was not his typical dominant fight we have come to see from the Irishman, he may have shown something much more important.  He was able to come back from adversity and scored a huge knockout over a big name.  Who knows, maybe with a full training camp focused on Mendes he stuffs some of the takedowns and wins in even more convincing fashion?  That lack of takedown defense and the number of punches he absorbed is what prevents him from cracking into grade A territory here.

Chad Mendes – B

Mendes looked to be in control throughout the first two rounds.  His takedowns were being finished at will and Conor’s only defense seemed to be asking the ref to stand them up.  Instead of riding out another round on top he went for a finish which ended up being his downfall.  Once Mendes was back on his feet he seemed to be exhausted and was just unable to withstand McGregor’s final assault.  It is very uncharacteristic for Mendes to gas like that and maybe that is attributed to the lack of training camp he had for this fight.  One may also point to the number of body shots Conor landed for his sapped gas tank.  We will never know, but Mendes did enough in this fight to warrant another crack at McGregor somewhere down the line when both are fully prepared.  He lost on twelve days notice and it is hard to penalize him much for that.

 

Follow @MMALatestNws on twitter and let us know how you graded the UFC 189 competitors.

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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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Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.

This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.

Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK

  • Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
  • Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
  • Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK

  • 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
  • Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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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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