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UFC 196 Times, Lineup and Main Card Preview

Vinny Craig

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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

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5 Things We Learned from UFC on Fox 26: Lawler vs Dos Anjos

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The UFC’s return to Winnipeg in over 4 years certainly did not disappoint the fans, as the card delivered just as it was expected with plenty of action packed fights.

Upset was in play often times for this card as on more than one occasion, the fans’ jaws dropped in shock and the predictions going into the fights were completely defied.

There are plenty of things to take away from this card, but what were the 5 biggest lessons learned here?

1. Rafael dos Anjos means business at welterweight

While Vegas odds may not have reflected it, dos Anjos had plenty of doubters coming into this fight on whether he could beat the top fighters in the welterweight division, his new found home. I’ll be the first to say, I didn’t think he’d be able to deal with Lawler’s power and size, considering that ‘Ruthless’ used to compete at middleweight, but he completely changed my perspective on what he brings to this division.

With the mix of powerful leg kicks and crisp boxing, dos Anjos completely neutralized the former welterweight champion and took home a dominant victory, winning all five rounds of the fight.

Yes, Lawler was injured and barely moved for the last three rounds, but that should not discredit the masterful performance that dos Anjos had tonight. This only sets up a fight with the current champion Tyron Woodley now (unless Colby Covington gets it), and while Woodley is a whole different match up, it makes for an entertaining fight.

2. Robbie Lawler is still one of the toughest fighters on the roster

Despite both his legs looking like they were completely destroyed by the third round and him losing the fight, we once again saw the toughness and grit of Lawler to never give up.

While we don’t know how bad his injury was, when you see Lawler not moving much and standing still for three rounds straight, you know something is seriously hurting. He endured an unbelievable amount of punishment tonight but at the end was still standing pumping up the crowd. What a warrior.

3. Josh Emmett… the new force to be reckoned with at 145lbs?

Simply no words. It was easily the biggest shocker of the night and maybe even upset of the year. Stepping in on relatively short notice for Jose Aldo, Emmett was counted out in this fight on paper against the former title challenger Ricardo Lamas, and weighing in at 148.5lbs on the scale didn’t help convincing the fans.

It’s My Time!

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But it definitely didn’t matter as he delivered a left hook from hell, sleeping Lamas at the end of the first round, sending a shock to the entire division and rising as a new threat to everyone in top 10. He said that his goal here was to shock the world, and shock the world he did. With this performance, Emmett immediately rises to a position where he now only needs one or two more significant wins from a possible title shot.

4. Mike Perry needs some time to develop into a title contender

Despite showing an unbelievable toughness in a three-round war against Santiago Ponzinibbio, Perry was unable to back up his words before the fight, losing via unanimous decision.

In a fight against a very tough opponent, Perry was once again exposed in a couple of areas as he was against Alan Jouban on his endurance, as he showed signs of fatigue as the second round came around. At the age of 26, he still has plenty of time, but Perry will need to fill that massive hole in order to continue to rise the ladder in the extremely stacked welterweight division, or else he’ll run into some trouble sooner or later.

5. Glover Teixeira isn’t done just yet

This fight was an excellent example of advantages a veteran brings compared to a young and upcoming fighter. Teixeira, coming off that tough loss in Sweden against Alexander Gustafsson, was also doubted by many as he came in as the underdog against a rising prospect in Misha Cirkunov.

Teixeira was put in immediate trouble in the first round, getting tagged by Cirkunov multiple times and getting backed up against the cage, but was able to outsmart Cirkunov by dragging him down to the ground and eventually pounding him out. Teixeira seemed to have lost all momentum against Anthony Johnson, and even more so against Gustafsson, but this fight proved that he is not done just yet, and showed the difference in level between the top 5 and top 10 of the division.

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*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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