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UFC 198 Full Recap – A historic night in Brazil

Matthew Wells

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The Brazilian crowd at the Arena Athletico Paranense was rocking all night long as many legends of mixed martial arts from their home country would grace the UFC’s Octagon. In what was one of the most anticipated fight cards of the year, even after the removal of Anderson Silva from the card earlier in the week, the excitement for an event was higher than it has ever been in Curitiba.

Stipe Miocic brings a championship to Cleveland

The most prestigious title in the sport of mixed martial arts was on the line in the main event of the evening, as Fabricio Werdum would put his UFC Heavyweight Championship on the line against the third-ranked Stipe Miocic. If the championship history of Cleveland, Ohio was any indication of what could happen in the headlining bout, the deck was stacked against Miocic based on geographical location, a championship has evaded the city for many, many years. Luckily for Miocic, who has only suffered defeat twice in his professional MMA career, his fists, not a hometown curse, would decide the outcome of the fight.

Aside from the jubilation of Miocic’s corner, you could hear a pin drop in the () as the referee pulled Miocic away from Werdum, who was out cold on the canvas due to a stiff short right hand that shut off the lights on the now-former champion. The arena that was incredibly loud all evening long walked away in silence as a new champion was crowned, putting a sour note on an evening otherwise dominated by Brazilian fighters.

Stipe Miocic was patiently picking his shots throughout the first round while Werdum was trying to find a home for punches of his own. The quick jabs from Miocic and stellar takedown defense were effective early on as they seem to frustrate Werdum. Werdum would attempt one takedown during the round that was instantly stuffed by Miocic. While Werdum was successful with a few significant strikes of his own, nothing seemed to hurt Miocic. Werdum would rush forward and get caught with a hard counter right hand that sent him crashing to the canvas.

The official time of the stoppage was 2:47 of the first round, crowning a new UFC Heavyweight Champion, and breaking his hometown’s championship curse. This win potentially sets up an incredibly exciting fight between Miocic and Alistair Overeem, who just dispatched Andrei Arlovski with an impressive TKO finish at UFC Rotterdam.

Jacare destroys Vitor, wants title shot

The co-main event of the evening would serve as the fight that would split the raucous Brazilian crowd as two countrymen were set to square off against each other for a potential shot at becoming the number one contender in the middleweight division. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza would waste little time stating his claim for a shot at the title as he put the pressure on Vitor Belfort early.

Before Vitor knew it, he was on his back with arguably the most dangerous grappler in all of mixed martial arts in half guard. A hard elbow from Jacare sliced open Belfort’s face, which would prompt a brief stoppage by the referee to have the doctor look at the cut since blood was flowing heavily. The referee would return the fighters to the previous position and resume the action. While Vitor is no slouch on the ground himself, he managed to get the fight standing after defending an armbar attempt. Shortly after that, the next move would surprise everyone as Vitor pulled guard on Jacare, which would ultimately be a fight-ending mistake. Jacare soon found himself in full mount raining down hard punches that would cause a stop to the fight.

To knock off Vitor Belfort in that manner in the first round is incredibly impressive, and certainly creates an argument for who deserves the next shot at the middleweight title. While Yoel Romero certainly has a place in that conversation, it will be interesting to see what shakes out after Chris Weidman gets his rematch against Luke Rockhold at UFC 199.

Cyborg continues dominance in UFC debut

UFC 198 has etched its name in the history books as the event that played host to the UFC debut of Cris “Cyborg” Justino. It took a special catchweight fight at 140 pounds, a weight that the UFC does not have a division for to make it happen, but Cyborg finally stepped into the UFC’s Octagon for the very first time on Saturday night, adding a special touch to the event for the fans in Curitiba. No, it wasn’t against Ronda Rousey, whose beef with Cyborg goes back many years, but a very game Leslie Smith stepped up to the plate for the very tall challenge of facing the most dangerous female fighter in the game today.

There would be no “Octagon jitters” for Cyborg, who did exactly what many expected from the Invicta Featherweight Champion; unleash hard, violent striking, leading to her fourth first-round finish in a row. After dropping Smith with a slick combination of punches, Cyborg ran in to follow up with more strikes, resulting in a TKO stoppage just over 80 seconds into the fight. It’s the type of quick, hard violence we’ve come to expect from Cyborg, who now has her sights set on defending her Invicta Title while waiting for another special opportunity to arise with the UFC.

Maia dominates, continues his hunt for a title shot

Demian Maia has been to the top of the mountain once in his career. Ever since that lackluster performance, a fight against Anderson Silva that most would like to erase from their memory completely, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard has been on a mission to earn another shot at UFC gold and made his latest statement at UFC 198 against Matt Brown. The Sau Paulo native would dominate the fight on the ground from start to finish, which came by way of a rear-naked choke in the third round. Even though the fight reached the final round, Maia only absorbed a handful of strikes during the few seconds the fight was standing at the beginning of the rounds, otherwise, he was latched firmly to the back of Brown, searching for submissions and landing strikes of his own.

This type of dominant victory creates a very interesting problem in the UFC’s welterweight division. Coming into the bout ranked number six, Maia walks away with a completely dominant victory over the eighth-ranked Brown, pushing his win streak to five and putting his name among contenders for Robbie Lawler’s title. While the Champion is scheduled to face #3 Tyron Woodley at UFC 201, and #2 Stephen Thompson will square off against #1 Rory MacDonald in Ottawa, Maia may be on the outside looking in with the winner of Thompson and MacDonlald possibly getting their crack at the title. With #4 Carlos Condit coming off a closely contested title fight, and #5 Johny Hendricks suffering a TKO loss to Thompson, Maia may find himself matched up against a top five opponent to prove he’s ready for another title shot. While his style of fighting doesn’t appeal to everyone, another dominant performance like this one against a top-ranked opponent will surely make his claim undeniable.
The Brazilian fighters would largely be successful on the evening, going undefeated on the prelims and finishing the event with a record of 9-2, as Americans Bryan Barberena and Stipe Miocic walked away victorious. Other Brazilian legends would emerge victorious on the night as Mauricio “Shogun” Rua earned a decision victory over Corey Anderson, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira put his boxing on display en route to a TKO stoppage victory over Patrick Cummins. With a reported attendance of 45,207, the event was incredibly successful and certainly one of the most memorable events of the year.

The full results from the fight card are below:

Main Card

  • Stipe Miocic def. Fabricio Werdum via KO (Punch), Round 1 – 2:47
  • Jacare Souza def. Vitor Belfort via TKO (Punches), Round 1 – 4:38
  • Cris Cyborg def. Leslie Smith via TKO (Punches), Round 1 – 1:21
  • Mauricio Rua def. Corey Anderson via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Bryan Barberena def. Warlley Alves via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Fox Sports 1 prelims

  • Demian Maia def. Matt Brown via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), Round 3 – 4:31
  • Thiago Santos def. Nate Marquardt via KO (Punch), Round 1 – 3:39
  • Francisco Trinaldo def. Yancy Medeiros via Unanimous Decision (29-26, 30-27, 30-26)
  • John Lineker def. Rob Font via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26) 

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

  • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Patrick Cummins via TKO (Punches), Round 1 – 4:52 
  • Sergio Moraes vs. Luan Chagas declared Split Draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
  • Renato Moicano def. Zubaira Tukhugov via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
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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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Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219

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Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.

Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.

Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.

After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.

With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:

Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout

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*Live Updates* UFC 216 Official Results

Harry Davies

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Live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the UFC hosted their eighth PPV card of this year as fans were treated to UFC 216.

The card was headlined by a Interim Lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (23-3) and Kevin Lee (16-2). Ferguson entered the octagon holding the record for the longest winning streak in UFC lightweight division history (9). Beating top names such as Rafael Dos Anjos and Edson Barboza in the process.

#7 ranked Lee last fought in June of this year, earning the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Michael Cheisa by first round submission (rear-naked choke).

In the co-main event, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) was hoping to break the record for most consecutive title defenses as he faced Ray Borg (11-2). The record (10) was held by both Johnson and former middlweight champion, Anderson Silva.

Johnson and Borg were originally scheduled to fight in the main event of UFC 215 last month, but the title fight was cancelled a day before the event was supposed to take place, as Borg pulled out of the fight due to illness.


UFC 216 Official Results:

MAIN CARD – PAY PER VIEW – 10PM/7PM ETPT

  • #2 Tony Ferguson (24-3) vs. #7 Kevin Lee (16-3) – For UFC Interim Lightweight Championship
    • Result: Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee via SUB (triangle choke) Round 3 – 4:02
  • (C) Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1) vs. #3 Ray Borg (11-3) – For UFC Flyweight Championship 
    • Result: Demetrious Johnson def. Ray Borg via SUB (armbar) Round 5 – 3:15 
  • #2 Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1) vs. Walt Harris (10-6)
    • Result: Fabricio Werdum def. Walt Harris via SUB (armbar) Round 1 – 1:05
  • Mara Romero Borella (12-4) vs. Kalinda Faria (16-6-1)
    • Result: Mara Romero Barella def. Kalindra Faria via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 1 – 2:54
  • #12 Beneil Dariush (14-3-1) vs. #14 Evan Dunham (17-6-1)
    • Result: Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham declared a Majority Draw (29-29, 28-28, 28-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • Tom Duquesnoy (15-2) vs Cody Stamman (15-1)
    • Result: Cody Stamann def. Tom Duquesnoy via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
  • Bobby Green (23-8-1) vs. Lando Vannata (9-2-1)
    • Result: Bobby Green vs. Lando Vannata declared a Draw (split) (29-27, 27-29, 28-28)
  • Marco Beltran (8-6) vs. Matt Schnell (10-4)
    • Result:  Matt Schnell def. Marco Beltrán via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 7PM/4PM ETPT

  • #15 Magomed Bibulatov (14-1) vs. #11 John Moraga (18-6)
    • Result:  John Moraga def. Magomed Bibulatov via KO (punch) – Round 1 – 1:38
  • #13 Thales Leites (27-8) vs. Brad Tavares (16-4)
    • Result: Brad Tavares def. Thales Leites via Unanimous (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
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