With all that has been going on in the MMA world this week, UFC 197 has been somewhat overshadowed, despite featuring the number 1 and 2 pound for pound fighters in the world. However, the fact that the weigh-ins have now taken place should mean that all eyes are firmly on Las Vegas and not elsewhere.
The main event sees the long-awaited return of Jon Jones, although not against Daniel Cormier as originally planned. Following an injury withdrawal from the UFC light heavyweight champion, Ovince St Preux stepped in and the bout will now be an interim title match. Whichever man prevails will no doubt be the next challenger for Cormier’s belt when the champion is healed. The story heading into this fight, however, is definitely all about Jon Jones first fight for over a year after numerous troubles in his personal life, resulting in him being stripped of his UFC title.
After weighing in, the underdog St Preux had this to say. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m telling you, I’m going to make the most of it tomorrow night.”
His opponent, Jon Jones, took a moment to show his appreciation to the crowd, stating “Man, thank you all for being here. I love you guys so much.” He also added a promise that sounded rather ominous for St Preux. “I promise to give you guys the best performance ever tomorrow night.”
The co-main event sees the only flyweight champion in UFC history and #2 pound for pound fighter, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson taking on Henry Cejudo in a match that has been touted as the most serious threat to the dominant champion’s title reign ever since the latter made his UFC debut in 2014. In a division often criticised by fans for being void of credible challengers, this is a title bout that, on paper at least, promises to be the most competitive in UFC flyweight history.
Cejudo stated that, in order to win this fight, he has to “Fight with heart, fight with passion.” Before promising “You’re gonna see the best Henry Cejudo you’ve ever seen.”
The champion put what he has to do to win simply. “It’s gonna be a great fight. I’m gonna go out there and do my thing.”
Outside of the big two fights for the night, UFC 197 also has a trifecta of what should be fascinating fights completing the main card. For most, the highlight is the lightweight match between two of the best strikers in the division in Edson Barboza and former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis. Elsewhere, rapidly rising middleweight Robert Whittaker challenges Rafael Natal, while two featherweight prospects in Yair Rodriguez and Andre Fili collide.
The preliminary portion of the card is, as ever, split between UFC Fight Pass and televised prelims. Sergio Pettis makes UFC 197 a family affair for the Pettis family when he takes on Chris Kelades and the first ever UFC women’s strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, returns after a long injury lay off. The featured UFC Fight Pass prelim is in the heavyweight division as Walt Harris takes on the latest, and most controversial, signee of the popular “Lookin’ For a Fight” series, Cody East.
All fighters successfully made weight at the first time of asking.
The full weigh-in results are as follows:
UFC 197 Main Card
- Jon Jones (205) vs Ovince St Preux (205) – UFC Interim Light Heavyweight Title
- Demetrious Johnson (125) vs Henry Cejudo (125) – UFC Flyweight Title
- Anthony Pettis (156) vs Edson Barboza (155)
- Robert Whittaker (185.5) vs Rafael Natal (186)
- Yair Rodriguez (145.5) vs Andre Fili (146)
UFC 197 Preliminary Card (Fox)
- Sergio Pettis (126) vs Chris Kelades (126)
- Danny Roberts (170.5) vs Dominique Steele (171)
- Carla Esparza (116) vs Juliana Lima (115)
- Glaico Franca (156) vs James Vick (155)
UFC 197 Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
- Walt Harris (255.5) vs Cody East (245.5)
- Marcos Rogerio de Lima (205) vs Clint Hester (205)
- Efrain Escudero (155.5) vs Kevin Lee (156)
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
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)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.
It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.
Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.
In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.
Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.
In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.
Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.
First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.
Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.
Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.
In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.
UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira.
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