HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2016 starts off this Saturday night with UFC 195 headlined by a Welterweight title fight between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit. A card that was initially possible to be an all-female main card headlined by two title fights with the champions at the top. Three straight titles have changed hands, will this be the fourth?
Early Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (6:30 PM EST, 3:30 PST, 11;30 GMT)
Welterweight: Edgar Garcia vs. Sheldon Westcott
Bantamweight: Joe Soto vs. Michinori Tanaka
Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Joseph Duffy
Preliminary Card– Fox Sports 1 (8 PM EST, 5 PM PST, 1 AM GMT)
Lightweight: Drew Dober vs. Scott Holtzman
Women’s Strawweight: Justine Kish vs. Nina Ansafroff
Welterweight: Kyle Noke vs. Alex Morono
Bantamweight: Michael McDonald vs. Masanori Kanehara
Main Card- PPV (10 PM EST, 7 PM PST, 3 AM GMT)
Lightweight: Abel Trujillo vs. Tony Sims
Featherweight: Diego Brandao vs. Brian Ortega
Welterweight: Albert Tumenov vs. Lorenz Larkin
Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic vs. Andrei Arlovski
Welterweight: (c)Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit- for the UFC Welterweight Championship
Here’s a look at four fights from the card that you can’t miss!
Dustin Poirier vs. Joseph Duffy
A Lightweight bout between Dustin Poirier (18-4 MMA; 10-3 UFC) and Joseph Duffy (14-1; 2-0) headlines your Fight Pass portion of the event. The two were expected to fight at UFC Fight Night; Dublin in October before Duffy was forced out of the fight during fight week due to concussion symptoms he sustained in training.
Poirier is a former Featherweight contender who made it all the way to the top ten. After losing to now Featherweight champion Conor McGregor, Poirier went back to the Lightweight division. Since then, he has two Performance of the Night bonuses in as many fights with KO/TKO wins over Carlos Diego Ferreira and Yancy Medeiros. That brought Poirier’s finish percentage to 83% with nine by KO/TKO and six by Submission in 18 wins. ‘The Diamond’ is very versatile in all aspects of the game with 4.65 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM), 50% Striking Accuracy and 1.7 Submissions per 15 min.
Duffy will be seeking his third straight win in the UFC. He made his debut at UFC 185 with a body kick TKO win over Jake Lindsey. He followed that up with a triangle choke win in the first round against Ivan Jorge at UFC Fight Night 72. Before joining the UFC, Duffy started out his MMA career at 13-1 with wins over now UFC contenders Norman Parke and Conor McGregor. The Irishman has landed 23 Significant Strikes in just under five minutes of fight time.
Michael McDonald vs. Masanori Kanehara
The preliminary card headliner is a Bantamweight bout between Michael McDonald (16-3; 5-2) and Masanori Kanehara (25-12-5; 1-1).
McDonald makes his return after being out two years with a handful of injuries. He last saw action against Urijah Faber at UFC on Fox 9 where he lost the fight by second round Guillotine. This marked his second loss in three fights after he lost an Interim Bantamweight title shot to Renan Barao at UFC on Fuel TV 7. Before those losses, ‘Mayday’ was on a four fight win streak with two KO wins over Alex Soto and Miguel Torres. McDonald has big power for the division, evident by his nine career KO/TKO wins. He is tied atop the leader boards in Knockdowns Landed with champ TJ Dillashaw and Francisco Rivera with 5.
Kanehara is a long time Japanese fighter. He has spent time in DEEP, ZST, K-1, Sengoku and now the UFC. This will be just his third time fighting in the United States and sixth outside of Japan. He has career wins over Chan Sung Jung, ‘Kid’ Yamamoto and Joe Pearson. He has split his UFC fights with a Unanimous Decision win over Alex Caceres and a Split-Decision loss to Rani Yahya. Under the UFC banner, Kanehara has 56 Significant Strikes landed, two Takedowns and two Submission attempts.
Stipe Miocic vs. Andrei Arlovski
In the co-main event of the PPV, a Heavyweight contender fight has emerged. Stipe Miocic (13-2; 7-2) and former Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (25-10, 1 NC; 14-4) will step in just before the Welterweight title fight.
Miocic was expected to face Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night: Dublin. Miocic had to pull out of the with an injury and was booked for a bigger fight with Arlovski. Miocic is a winner of four of his last five with two finishes. The lone loss came in a close Split-Decision to Junior dos Santos in a headlining bout at UFC on Fox 13. Miocic is currently ranked third in the UFC official rankings. Miocic is one of the better strikers in the division with his 4.81 SLpM and 62% Striking Defense. He also can get the Takedown with 2.16 per 15 min.
Arlovski is the former UFC Heavyweight champion. After leaving the UFC for Affliction, Arlovski would go just 2-4 in his next six fights. He got back on track after that with a 6-1 record with a No-Contest in his next eight. That earned ‘The Pit Bull’ a second chance in the UFC where he has racked up four straight wins over Brendan Schaub, Antonio Silva, Travis Browne and Frank Mir. Arlovski is second all time in the division with 10 Knockdowns and seventh in Significant Strikes Landed (631). He will land less than Miocic (3.14 SLpM) and is less accurate (40% compared to 49%), but the Belorussian has the one punch KO power that Miocic doesn’t have.
(c)Robbie Lawler vs. Carlos Condit
The main event is the type of main event for the hardcore fans. Champ Robbie Lawler (26-10,1 NC; 11-4) goes for his second title defense against former Interim champ Carlos Condit (30-8; 7-4). The fight was originally expected to take place at UFC 193 in Melbourne. However, the champ had a thumb injury that moved the fight back to January.
Lawler won the title at UFC 181 in a rematch with then-champ Johny Hendricks. In another close fight, Lawler came out victorious and was crowned the Welterweight champ. His first defense was expected to be a trilogy fight with Hendricks before the backlash from fans had the UFC changing its mind. Lawler had a Fight of the Year candidate fight with Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 where Lawler defended the belt by fifth round TKO.
The former EliteXC and Strikeforce standout made his way back into the UFC at UFC 157 with a TKO finish over Josh Koscheck. He would earn a title shot with ensuing wins over Bobby Voelker and Rory MacDonald. He would come up just short in the first bout with Hendricks at UFC 171. ‘Ruthless’ wasted no time in getting back into the swing of things as he fought and defeated Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown within four months of his loss to Hendricks. The rematch was set and Lawler was victorious to become the UFC Welterweight champion.
The champ is at his best in title fights with a combined 352 Significant Strikes landed in his three fights for a title. Overall Lawler will bring in 3.49 SLpM, 62% Striking Defense and the best active takedown accuracy in the UFC with 80%.
Condit is the former WEC Welterweight champion and UFC Interim Champion. He beat Nick Diaz at UFC 143 to win the Interim title when former champ Georges St. Pierre tore his ACL. He fought St. Pierre to unify the title at UFC 154 where he lost by decision. That started a spiral of losing three of his last five with losses to St. Pierre, Johny Hendricks and Tyron Woodley. After hurting his knee in the Woodley loss, Condit was out 14 months before returning against Thiago Alves in Brazil. Condit would dominate the fight before the doctor stopped the fight after the second round. ‘The Natural Born Killer’ has one of the highest finish rates in all of the UFC with 93% of his wins coming by way of stoppage. Condit has 5 Knockdowns while in the UFC and has 1173 total strikes, good for third in the active division. His all around game is highlighted by his 3.41 SLpM, 2.28 SApM and 1.3 Submission Attempts per 15 min.
*All records from Sherdog.com
**All stats from FightMetric.com
2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures
After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.
Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.
Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.
At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.
For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.
Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.
Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:
- Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan 125 lbs
- Anna Astvik vs. Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
- Chamia Chabbi vs. Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
- C. McCrudden vs. Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
- Gase Sanita vs. Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
- Yernaz Mussabek vs. Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
- Gamzat Magomedov vs. O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
- Joel Arolainen vs. Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
- V. Andruhovich vs. Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
- Sola Axel vs. Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
- B. Haraldsson vs. Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
- Pavel Pahomenko vs. Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
- Irman Smajic vs. Lev Vins 265 lbs
- Atanas Krastanov vs. Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate
Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.
But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.
After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.
The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.
Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.
He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.
In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.
Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.
It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.
Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.
The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.
Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.
Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.
Could Cynthia Calvillo set herself up for a shot at the title in 2018 with a win later this year?
The end of 2017 is fast approaching and we’ve experienced some upsets in some of the recent cards. Not only did we witness three title changes at UFC 217 but we are also missing out on Frankie Edgar’s title shot at UFC 218 and Dominick Cruz being out of UFC 219. This bodes the question, who can finish the year with a triumphant win?
Maybe we’ll leave it to the ladies. Highly touted strawweight prospect Cynthia Calvillo is making waves throughout her division. Calvillo made her pro debut with “Global Knockout” August 27th, 2016 against Jessica Sanchez and got the win with a TKO in round two. She had two more fights in 2016, both of them she came out on top with an undefeated record of 3-0.
Calvillo made her UFC debut March 4th, 2017 just a month after signing her contract to UFC. She won her bout against Amanda “ABC” Cooper in round one with a rear naked choke showing everyone why she deserved to be in the octagon. Calvillo’s pro record now stood at 4-0. Her second UFC bout had her jump straight onto the main card fighting Pearl Gonzalez in which Calvillo dominated the fight and ended Gonzalez with another rear naked choke in round three. Displaying her strong submission game once again.
Not even halfway through 2017 and this prospect has certainly made herself known within the division. Originally from San Jose and fighting out of Sacramento, CA with the renowned Team Alpha Male, it’s no surprise she’s stacking the wins up already. She’s training under some of the best instructors in the business including Urijah Faber and Justin Buchholz, as well as training amongst some of the elite UFC fighters of the moment such as Cody Garbrandt, Darren Elkins, and Teruto Ishihara to name a few. Team Alpha Male is predominantly a male fight team and Calvillo says this has helped her on her way to success, fighting with the guys at Team Alpha Male has made her one tough cookie that’s not to be messed with.
In July 2017 Calvillo fought one of Scotland’s finest, Joanne Calderwood in Calderwood’s home city, Glasgow. Calvillo did not get the finish she wanted, however, did get the decision which put her record at 6-0. Not only did she snap up another win she now ranks at number 7 in her division and this is all within five months which is unheard of. This lady has clearly made herself right at home in the octagon.
While everyone was focusing on the title belt between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Cynthia has been creeping up those ranking and knocking fighters off their pedestals on her way. December 30th sees her fourth fight of the year against Carla Esparza who is currently ranked at number 8 in the division. If Calvillo defeats Esparza and gains another win she will hold a record of 7-0 and the only woman in the top ten of the Strawweight division to stay undefeated.
A win to top off her so far successful 2017 campaign could mean 2018 will be an even bigger year for this fearless fighter. Will anyone be able to stop he in tracks or could we see Calvillo go to the top in 2018?
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