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UFC 199 Preview

Vinny Craig



The UFC heads to The Forum in Inglewood, California for the first time in its history. Two title fights headline the event leading up to the ‘biggest event in UFC history’. California natives Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping, Urijah Faber, Dan Henderson, and others get to fight closer to home. The card goes through seven weight classes and five nationalities to complete the lineup for UFC 199.

Main Card- PPV (10 PM EDT, 7 PM PDT, 3 AM GMT)

  • Middleweight: (c)Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping- for the UFC Middleweight championship
  • Bantamweight: (c)Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber- for the UFC Bantamweight championship
  • Featherweight: Max Holloway vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Middleweight: Dan Henderson vs. Hector Lombard
  • Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Bobby Green


Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 1 (8 PM EDT, 5 PM PDT, 1 AM GMT)

  • Featherweight: Brian Ortega vs. Clay Guida
  • Lightweight: Beneil Dariush vs. James Vick
  • Strawweight: Jessica Penne vs. Jessica Andrade
  • Featherweight: Cole Miller vs. Alex Caceres


Early Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (6:15 PM EDT, 3:15 PDT, 11:15 GMT)

  • Welterweight: Sean Strickland vs. Tom Breese
  • Light Heavyweight: Jonathan Wilson vs. Luiz Henrique de Silva
  • Middleweight: Kevin Casey vs. Elvis Mutapcic
  • Lightweight: Polo Reyes vs. Dong Hyun Kim


Dustin Poirier vs. Bobby Green

The Lightweights start out the main card as Dustin Poirier (19-4 MMA; 11-3 UFC)* takes on returning Bobby Green (23-6; 4-1).

Poirier is a former Featherweight contender who came up to the 155-pound division. After three wins in a row, he got the biggest test of his career against now Featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 178. The fight lasted just over three minutes with Poirier the loser. He made his 155 debut against Carlos Diego Ferreira at UFC Fight Night 63. He finished the fight by knockout in the first round for his sixth finish in the Octagon. He came back with a TKO win over Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night 68, one of 11 finishes on the card. He last fought in a bout that was re-scheduled from the main event slot in October for UFC 195. Poirier showcased his wrestling as he took down Joseph Duffy four times, the most he’s had in a UFC fight. ‘Diamond’ has really tightened his game lately with 4.67 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM)**, 50% Striking Accuracy, 1.72 Takedowns per 15 min., and 1.5 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

Green is making his return after 19 months off from competition. He last fought at UFC Fight Night 57 in November 2014. After four straight UFC wins over Jacob Volkmann. James Krause, Pat Healy, and Josh Thomson, Edson Barboza handed ‘King’ his first loss in eight fights. Before the UFC, Green was a Strikeforce fighter who went 4-1 with all four wins coming in consecutive order leading up to his UFC debut. For a career, ‘King’ has impressed with his striking, coming in with 4.34 SLpM and 68% Striking Defense.


Dan Henderson vs. Hector Lombard

The Middleweight division gets a solid Olympian vs. Olympian fight on the main card as Dan Henderson (31-14; 8-8) takes on Hector Lombard (34-5-1, 2 NC; 3-3. 1 NC). Henderson was expected to face Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 19, but Machida was removed to an illegal substance. Lombard replaced Machida and the bout was moved to this event.

Henderson is one of the most iconic fighters of all time. From his dual titles in PRIDE to his knockouts of Michael Bisping and Fedor, all the way back to his two Fight of the Night bouts with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, ‘Hendo’ has given MMA fans a lot to cheer about in his 19-year career. Henderson has won titles in the UFC (tournament winner), PRIDE, and Strikeforce in his career. He’s on a rough skid currently with six losses in his last eight fights with four losses coming by finish. Henderson fought a trilogy fight against Vitor Belfort in Brazil in November for his last fight. The fight would end the same as the one before as Belfort landed an early head kick to put him away. The former Olympic wrestler has never really needed it inside the Octagon, more relying on his power and strength to win fights. ‘Hendo’ has six career UFC knockdowns in 16 fights.

Lombard has returned to the Middleweight division where he was a defending champion in Bellator. Starting in February 2007, Lombard went without a loss in 26 straight fights when he joined the UFC in 2012. He was met by Tim Boetsch, where he lost his first fight in five years by decision. After a win over Rousimar Palhares and a loss to Yushin Okami, ‘Showeather’ went on a two fight win streak to place himself in title contention. A win over Josh Burkman at UFC 182 was sure to get Lombard a big fight, but he tested positive for a banned substance post fight and was suspended. He returned in March to face surging Neil Magny in Australia, a fight he lost by third round TKO. The move to 185 comes after just three fights in the Welterweight division.


Max Holloway vs. Ricardo Lamas

The top non-title fight card on the bill goes to Max Holloway (15-3; 11-3) and Ricardo Lamas (16-4; 7-2) in the Featherweight division.

Holloway is currently on an eight-fight win streak. In the crowded Featherweight division, Holloway must take fights while earning a title shot. On his current streak, Holloway has six finishes in eight fights with four by TKO/KO and two by submission. His last loss came to current Featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC Fight Night 26. His last fight was a decision win over Jeremy Stephens during that top-billed weekend in December. ‘Blessed’ in tops in the Featherweight division in Knockdowns Landed (6) and Significant Strikes Landed (738) while keeping a 66% Takedown Accuracy.

Lamas is a former title challenger to Jose Aldo. He joined the Featherweight division with his UFC debut against Matt Grice. His UFC and Featherweight career started off right with four consecutive wins over Grice, Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki, and Eric Koch. Those wins earned him his title shot at Aldo at UFC 169 in the co-main event. ‘The Bully’ was outclassed everywhere and lost the fight by a decision as he was unable to muster any offense against the former champion. He picked up wins over Hacran Dias and Dennis Bermudez to set him up with the main event slot against Chad Mendes. The two former title challengers needed less than one round to determine the victor as Lamas lost by TKO. His last fight was a decision win over veteran Diego Sanchez at The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 Finale. The big advantage will be for Lamas to get the fight to the ground with his wrestling. He steps in with 1.8 Takedowns per 15 min. (compared to 0.19 for Holloway) and 1.1 Submission Attempts per 15 min. (0.5 for Holloway).


(c)Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber

The co-main event is a trilogy fight for the title as new-old champion Dominick Cruz (21-1; 4-0) takes on Urijah Faber (33-8; 9-4) for the Bantamweight title. The trilogy currently sits at 1-1 with Faber winning the first and Cruz the second.

Cruz regained the title he ever lost at UFC Fight Night in January against TJ Dillashaw. The fight was just the second for Cruz in over four years after multiple knee injuries and a groin injury. The fight was in typical Cruz fashion as he dipped and dodged for five rounds to a decision win. The victory marked the 12th straight for the champion, including six title fights and many defenses within those. He has wins over Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez, Urijah Faber. Demetrius Johnson, and now Dillashaw. His footwork has been his biggest asset in winning fights with 2.18 SApM and 75% Striking Defense.

Faber has been the most known lighter weight fighter in MMA for awhile. Since being the WEC Featherweight champion, ‘The California Kid’ has seen wide success across the entire world of MMA. After winning the WEC title at WEC 19, Faber defended the belt five times (including a win over Cruz) before losing to Mike Brown. After joining the UFC, Faber returned to the Bantamweight division and picked up a win Eddie Wineland at UFC 128. That win earned him a fight with Cruz for the title at UFC 132, the big fourth of July event. The fight was close throughout with Cruz the winner at the end. Faber has fought the for the title again since then with a loss to Renan Barao at UFC 169 by way of TKO. In his career, Faber is 14-1 in non-title fights including 9-1 in the UFC. Faber has always been the superior grappler in his fights with 1.0 Submission Attempts per 15 min.


(c)Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping- for the UFC Middleweight Championship

The main event is a Middleweight title fight between newly crowned champion Luke Rockhold (15-2; 5-1) and challenger Michael Bisping (28-7; 18-7). The fight was originally scheduled for a rematch from the UFC 194 co-main event between Rockhold and the man he beat for the belt, Chris Weidman. Weidman became injured about two weeks ago and was replaced by Bisping in a rematch of a 2014 matchup that Rockhold won by submission.

Rockhold won the title at UFC 194 against Weidman with a fourth round TKO. The fight changed the tone in the third when Weidman went for a spinning back heel kick and was taken down. From their, Rockhold went into mount and rained down punches for a solid minute straight. The fight went into the fourth where Rockhold finished the fight. The win was his fifth straight with finishes over Costas Philippou (TKO), Tim Boetsch (Sub), Bisping (Sub), Lyoto Machida (Sub), and then Weidman (TKO). Rockhold comes in with some impressive stats with 4.15 SLpM, 0.99 SApM, and 1.5 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

Bisping will be in his first title fight after a decade in the UFC. He made his debut on The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 where he won the Ligh Heavyweight tournament. He moved to Middleweight following a loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 78. He rattled off three consecutive wins to get to a title eliminator against Dan Henderson at UFC 100. Bisping is a winner of his last three following the loss to Rockhold with wins over CB Dollaway, Thales Leites, and Anderson Silva. ‘The Count’ has beaten guys such as Chris Leben, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, and Brian Stann among others while in the UFC. He is tops actively in the Middleweight division for Total Fight Time (4:29:46), Significant Strikes Landed (1210), and Total Strikes Landed (1447).


For the latest MMA news, live event coverage and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.

*All records from

**All stats from

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Michael ‘GIP’ Cutting BACK! in 2018; Wants Anthony ‘Pretty Boy’ Taylor in the Bellator MMA Cage!



After losing his Bellator debut to talented Irish prospect, James Gallagher at Bellator 158 – Daley vs. Lima. There was some potential for self-loathing. A near 17 months on, and after making a re-overture to Bellator MMA President: Mr. Coker, it would seem as if Michael ‘GIP’ Cutting now has that drive to fight again.

Speaking with MMA Latest, Michael details the drive behind his intent for that return.

“My missus has stood by me through it all and has pushed me to fight for what I want. At times I was going to leave it all behind, she taught me that it’s better to try and fail then to not try at all. If I don’t try I’ll have already failed. Win or lose she has my back and she’s with me for me, she cooks all my meals – pushing me to train. So I thank her for all her support and hope she knows how much I appreciate and love her. The last year has taught me so much, good and bad. I’ve realized that if I want it that bad, I’ve got to fight for it and I need to do it now. Let’s face it, fighting is what I know. So Michael ‘GIP’ Cutting is coming back stronger and better than ever. I was fighting at 50% of my skill-set and just having too much fun; now don’t get me wrong – I’ll still have fun but Nothing and Nobody will get in my way this time. I’ve let too much stop me from getting my dreams and my goals in the past and it has cost me so much; well no more, that’s for sure! 2018 is my year and I’m coming back for the wins ‘kill or be killed’ this time! I’m doing this for me, my girlfriend and my three children in hoping one day I can give them the life I dream of. Everyone deserves a second chance – so where’s mine; I’m waiting!”

With Michael’s micro intent detailed, what is Michael’s long-term (macro) aspirations?

“My aim is to get to the UFC one day! The determination is real and I don’t care who I have to fight or how many fights it takes; I will get there! I will be making weight at every fight after working hard and continuing to do so; my game plan is different; my thought process has changed! I’m a different person. I move, think and train differently to others! My first goal after I’ve made weight and won my fight in May 2018 [return fight at Featherweight; previously Featherweight & Bantamweight], I’m looking to get on the Bellator MMA roster at 145; under (exclusive) contract with that promotion!”

Human resources can run thin sometimes; that’s true with the mental capacity’s ability to endure; process; then manage all personal distractions and demons that come into our life from outside or inside sources. The focus on one’s career as well as persisting personal unhappiness – it raises ”what is the point!’. It would seem as if Michael’s love & passion for MMA; the reason he got into Martial Arts & MMA will be the beacon for personal achievement; a beacon for fulfillment; a beacon for happiness, along with his family’s love & support to carry that motivation going forth.

“Fighting is what I do, it’s in my blood and since the first day I witnessed guys like Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, and B.J Penn perform MMA and the technique behind it all”, Michael tells MMA Latest.

“I knew it was something I had to do. And now honestly, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else! jujitsu and MMA saved me from being like the other kids from my town: doing nothing and going nowhere in life. I didn’t want that for me. I became a black belt in 2 years of training at jujitsu under my instructor a good friend, Michael Magary. I’m now a 2-time jujitsu world champion!”

So with Michael placing his marker tentatively, but meaningfully down on the 2018 MMA calendar – what mat, and what frames would Michael desire to show his art, and newfound regime at/against? We’ve already viewed the re-overture to Scott Coker via a tweet, and Michael’s May 2018 debut stated above. Let’s potentially dial in further to the canvas Michael would like to showcase his art for.

“I’m determined now more than ever to get back into the cage and choke the first neck I can. I’m back, trust me! Anthony ‘pretty boy’ Taylor called me out a year ago, calling me a ‘bum’ making it personal – so now I want his neck or any limbs. let’s make this fight happen Bellator MMA. He will be my first fight back in that Bellator cage and he will be my first win at putting everything right and making a big comeback.”

Wishful thinking or intents of a man who knows he will get what he wants? They say “if you work hard enough and believe enough, you’ll achieve anything”. We’ve witnessed foundation to such statements coming to fruition in MMA before. Conor McGregor is what some would call ‘special’, or maybe he’s a man who desired & Aspired. That said, Scott Coker will be the determining factor towards giving the green light towards Cutting stepping into the Bellator MMA cage; unless Bellator MMA work alongside a third party promotion, such as ATAK Promotions like a previous London Bellator MMA Event. Is a tweet enough, or will Cutting have to earn his spot on the full-time Bellator MMA roster? It would seem as if Cutting has the desire to earn his spot if must, but you need a platform to progress up those levels.

Cutting has had few trying to blacklist him from U.K MMA cards. The MMA world in the U.K is a small one. It’s hard to break into that international MMA scene, and even more tougher to break out onto the North American MMA scene from the U.K. Conor McGregor said it best when he coached Season 22 of the Ultimate Fighter to his European Team (paraphrasing) “you guys have had the harder road than those in the other locker room”.

Michael’s experience and abilities alone should be enough to secure a spot on many various MMA European events. Can Micheal push through the stone wall that certain individuals have placed in front of him? Will Michael get that opportunity? He has the credentials – having already showcased his abilities on the BAMMA and Bellator MMA canvases.

Some would be happy enough with that achievement alone. Micheal isn’t done achieving and won’t be kept down, no matter what. That should be music to any regional/second tier promoters ears. You want a reliable guy who you know has an unnerved desire to make it to the top. Michael ticks the skill/desire/reliable boxes to make a Champion for any region second-tier promotion. Will Micheal be granted his wishes; will he be given a chance by Bellator MMA President: Scott Coker? Will Michael attain his goals for 2018? We can’t answer those questions, but i ask you to keep an eye out and show support to a family man trying to provide a better life for his family, with the only thing he knows how to, and that is through his passion.

After a torrid 2016; an inactive 2017 – What will Mike Cutting title 2018?

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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)

By Ieuan Thomas.

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Battle Arena 47 Preview: Five Title Fights in Bedfordshire



Battle Arena fight cards almost always provide us with some of the most entertaining amateur MMA bouts you will see.

This Saturday’s Battle Arena 47 card in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire promises to continue the trend with five… yes five title fights.

Mathieu James, fighting out of MD Fight Club, takes on the Norweigan Johane Stromsnes in a featherweight bout to kick off the card. Followed by a lightweight fight with Max Pearson from Rising Crane MMA taking on Birmingham’s Bahtar Oryakhil. Pearson’s last appearance on Battle Arena was a split decision win back in February and he looks to take his Battle Arena record to 2-0-0.

Skipping through the undercard, Erland Limanduik Myhr vs. Lee Anthony certainly raises an eyebrown. Anthony, who is moving up to lightweight after two previous featherweight bouts, looks to shake off a decision loss last time out in April and regain the form he showed in his Battle Arena debut where he knocked out his opponent after just 38 seconds. Anthony who stands well over 6 foot will look to use his height advantage to out strike his opponent.

Callum Birkenshaw from SLKMMA in Bedworth puts his undefeated 3-0 record on the line against Liam Hardy from Mcleods MMA in a welterweight fight. In his last fight, Birkenshaw used his kickboxing skills to perfection, showing off 101-varieties of kicks and effective takedowns to stroll to a decision win over a resilient and super tough Jack Lake.

Now… time for the title fights! Our first of the evening sees Molly Lyndsey fight Megan Norman for the European title at 63kg. After a dominant display in her Battle Arena debut showing, Lyndsey was then outclassed on the canvas against Magdelina Giec, who’s very credible judo and jiu jitsu eventually led to her dislocating Lyndsey’s elbow.

Giechas now gone on to represent Poland at the World Games in jiu jitsu, so Lyndsey shouldn’t grade herself too harshly as she looks to take the European belt against Norman.

Next up is the bantamweight European title as Rob Masters defends his belt again, this time against Badar Khalid from Prime MMA in Dunstable.

Masters, who likes to start quickly, came back from a long lay off with a split decision win over Ollie Southam to retain his belt last time out, however Masters himself said via his Instagram.

Masters fights Badar Khalid who trains with Battle Arena featherweight champion Duncan Djillali. This should benefit Khalid mentally with the champions mentality oozing out at sessions looking at that belt hanging in the gym. Khalid is moving down a weight class for this bout and it looks to be an extremely exciting fight.

Two more title fights follow as Fred Sjolie defends his European lightweight title against the Irishman Shane Geraghty who fought just 4 weeks ago, choking out his opponent in the process.

The co-main event sees a regional title fight in the bantamweight division which is bursting with talent as George Caruna takes on Tom Gibbs for the belt. Both fighters will be high on confidence as they fight off the back of wins so expect to see an explosive bout.

Finally, the main event. Jaye John vs Duncan Djillali, for the British bantamweight title.

Another title fight from the bantamweight division? How good is this weight class in Battle Arena?

Djillali started the year brightly racking up three wins before suffering an extremely controversial decision loss. Feeling that he deserved another chance at a title, Battle Arena gave this to him. In comes Jaye John.

A post shared by Jaye John (@jaye.john) on

John fought and was defeated just two weeks ago, so as you can imagine his bravery is admired for stepping back into the cage so soon with the chance to win the British title. We expect Duncan to keep the fight standing up to show off his extremely credible boxing skills.

Battle Arena is renowned for being one of the biggest amateur MMA shows in Europe so expect fireworks, expect finishes and expect some stars to break out.

Full fight card below:

Mathieu James (MD Fight Club) vs Johane Stromsnes (Front line academy) – 66KG
Max Pearson (Rising Crane MMA ) vs Bahtar Oryakhil (Counter Combat) – 70KG
Attila Hanzel (SBJMMA ) vs Tyler Thomas (Hells Pit) – 84KG
Louise Dempter (BMAC) vs Anna Askvik (Pancrase Stokholm) – 52KG
Harvey Stacy (RGA Bucks) vs Lionel Alexis (Bedford MMA) – 77KG
Erland Limanduik Myhr (ILA MMA) vs Lee Anthony (Elite TC) – 70KG
Hanna Ingram (5 Elements) vs Danielle Hutton (Team Walhead) – 66KG
Liam Hardy (McLeods MMA) vs Callum Birkenshaw (SLKMMA) – 77KG
Mark Kelly (Rising Crane MMA) vs Melvin Galdal (Frontline Academy) – 70KG
Jack Fletcher (RGA Bucks) vs Elijas Paknys (Frontline academy) – 84KG
Molly Lyndsey (5 Elements) vs Megan Norman (Hells pit) – 63KG – European Title
Rob Masters (Rising Crane MMA) vs Badar Khalid (Prime MMA) – 61KG – European Title
Shane Geraty (Samsons Martial Arts) vs Fred Sjolie (Frontline Academy) – 70KG – European Title
George Caruna (Mcleods MMA) vs Tom Gibbs (Elite TC) – 61KG – Region Title
Jaye John (Combat & Exercise) vs Duncan Djillali (Prima MMA) – 61KG – British Title

Written by Jack Wright

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