How does the opportunity to have the first ever simultaneous two-division champion sound? Well, that’s not happening this weekend anymore. In one of the most anticipated fights of all time, Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Featherweight champion Conor McGregor were scheduled for a fight for the Lightweight title. After Dos Anjos pulled from the fight, former Lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz won the prize to fight McGregor in the main event. This will be the first time since UFC 51 that a non-title fight will headline over a title fight. The rest of the card is solid from top to bottom.
Early Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (6:30 PM EST, 3:30 PM PST, 11:30 PM GMT)
Featherweight: Julian Erosa vs. Teruto Ishihara
Lightweight: Justin Salas vs. Jason Saggo
Lightweight: Diego Sanchez vs. Jim Miller
Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 1 (8 PM EST, 5 PM PST, 1 AM GMT)
Featherweight: Darren Elkins vs. Chas Skelly
Middleweight: Vitor Miranda vs. Marcelo Guimaraes
Welterweight: Erick Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
Welterweight: Brandon Thatch vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
Main Card- PPV (10 PM EST, 7 PM PST, 3 AM GMT)
Women’s Bantamweight: Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Light Heavyweight: Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor
Light Heavyweight: Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi
Women’s Bantamweight: (c)Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate
Lightweight: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
Here’s a small breakdown of the five main card fights.
Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko
The Women’s Bantamweight division has come a long way for fights like this to be possible. Amanda Nunes (11-4 MMA; 4-1 UFC)* and Valentina Shevchenko (12-1; 1-0) start off the main card.
Nunes is a top contender at 135. She’s a winner of her last two fights, both by finish as she TKO’d Shayna Baszler and a submission win over Sara McMann. Nunes has been very impressive with her lone loss coming to fellow top contender Cat Zingao at UFC 178. All of Nunes’ wins have come by finish with nine by TKO/KO and two by submission. Nunes has been impressive in her UFC career with 4.17 Significant Strikes Lander per Minute (SLpM)**, 51% Striking Accuracy and 2.32 Takedowns per 15 min.
Shevchenko is a recent UFC signee, making her debut at UFC on Fox 17. The former kickboxing champion showed her skills with her split decision win over Sarah Kaufman. ‘The Bullet’ would out strike (32 Sig. Strikes to 27) and out grapple (4 Takedowns) the former Strikeforce Bantamweight champion.
Corey Anderson vs. Tom Lawlor
Light Heavyweights Corey Anderson (7-1; 4-1) and Tom Lawlor (10-5, 1 NC, 6-4) take center stage on the main card.
Anderson is The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 winner when he beat Matt Van Buren by TKO. He is 3-1 after the finale. The loss came to Gian Villante at UFC on Fox 15 where he was outclassed and lost by TKO in the third round. He has since gone on to two decision wins over Jan Blachowicz and Fabio Maldonado. Those two wins have catapulted him up to number 12 in the UFC’s rankings. ‘Beastin 25/8’ is top ten in Significant Strikes Landed, SLpM, SApM, Takedowns Landed and Takedown Accuracy.
Tom Lawlor is a veteran of the sport and the UFC. He currently has won back-to-back fights for the first time since 2008. He has wins over Michael Kuiper and Gian Villante in his last two to gather a big match up like Anderson. Lawlor has the submission grappling advantage with 1.6 Submission per 15 min.
Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi
Gian Villante (14-6; 4-3) and Ilir Latifi (11-4, 1 NC; 4-2) square off in the Light Heavyweight division. This is a top 15 match up as Villante is ranked 13 and Latifi coming in at 14.
Villante is a winner of three of his last four with two Fight of the Nights. His streak started at UFC Fight Night 43 where won a split-decision Fight of the Night over Sean O’Connell. He would step back in there at UFC on Fox 15 where he picked up a third round TKO over Corey Anderson, another Fight of the Night. The lone loss came to Tom Lawlor at UFC on Fox 16 where one punch changed the concept of the whole fight where Villante lost. He would return at UFC 193 and get a KO victory of his own over Anthony Perosh. Villante has been hit more (238 Significant Strikes Absorbed) than he’s hit his opponents (213 Significant Strikes Landed) over his last four fights while still going 3-1.
Latifi is making a quick turnaround after he beat Sean O’Connell in the first round less than two months ago. That was his fourth win in his last five fights with the UFC, all by stoppage. The Swede’s only losses have come to Gegard Mousasi in a short notice main event slot and a TKO loss to Jan Blachowicz. His last two fights have lasted a combined 1:24. In his four UFC wins, Latifi has 3.79 SLpM, 0.61 SApM and two Knockdowns.
(c)Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate
The co-main event is for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. Champion Holly Holm (10-0; 3-0) will give way to challenger Miesha Tate (17-5; 4-2) as she goes for his second shot at UFC gold. Holm was originally expected to face former champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 200 in July, but Rousey will not be physically ready for the rematch.
Holm won the title a UFC 193 with a KO win over Rousey. Holm made her UFC debut with a split-decision win over Raquel Pennington, got a decision win over Marion Reneau and won the title all within 9 months of each other. In the fight for the title, Holm was the best she’s ever been as she avoided the clinch, got out of a submission and made Rousey look foolish. She landed a left high kick that sent Rousey to the canvas, unconscious. Holm was only hit 21 times in her UFC 193 title fight. In her UFC career, Holm has never been taken down in six attempts.
Tate is the former Strikeforce champion. She lost her title to Rousey when she lost by Armbar in the first round. That started her streak of losing three of four as she lost a title eliminator to Cat Zingano and a second fight against Rousey. Since the second Rousey fight, ‘Cupcake’ is a winner of four straight over Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai, Sara McMann and Jessica Eye. Tate was expected to get her second UFC title shot before Holm was given the chance at the former champ Rousey. Miesha is solid everywhere as she grinds out opponents to win fights. Her striking stats are about average (2.04 SLpM and 51% Striking Defense) while her wrestling/grappling skills are above average (2.31 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.9 Submission Attempts per 15 min.)
Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
The main event is a non-title fight between the current Featherweight champion Conor McGregor (19-2; 7-0) and former Lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz (18-10; 13-8) at Welterweight. McGregor was originally expected to face current Lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos for the belt. Dos Anjos had to pull out due to a broken foot 11 days out and was replaced by Diaz.
McGregor won the Interim Featherweight belt at UFC 189 with a TKO win over Chad Mendes. He would go on to unify and win the Featherweight title at UFC 194 with a 13 second TKO win over long-time champion Jose Aldo. The win over Aldo gave McGregor his seventh straight win in the UFC, six by KO/TKO. The brash Irishmen taking the MMA world by storm is on a 15 fight win streak dating back to 2011. McGregor is tops actively in the division with 6 Knockdowns, 5.53 SLpM and a Striking Differential of +2.51
Diaz is The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner. After winning his first five straight in the UFC, the younger Diaz brother went 3-5 in his next eight with a trip to 170. With his return to Lightweight, Diaz won three straight and earned himself a title shot after he beat Jim Miller in a FOX headliner. He went the distance with then-champ Benson Henderson but lost a decision. He is 2-3 in his last five with a great win over Michael Johnson in his last fight at UFC on Fox 17. Diaz holds the record for most Significant Strikes landed in a UFC fight with 238 at UFC 141. Diaz steps in with a 4.3 SLpM and 1.5 Submission Attempts per 15 min.
*- All records come from Sherdog.com
**- All stats from FightMetric.com
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
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)
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)
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)
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
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)
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
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)
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