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UFC Fight Night 70 – Fighters Making Their Debut.

Ethan Mudford

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UFC Fight Night 70 takes place on June 27 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida and will be headlined by Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida and Yoel ‘The Soldier of God’ Romero; two top ranked Middleweight fighters who are looking to earn a shot at the belt. Before the main event though, six fighters will compete in the Octagon for the very first time. Let’s take a look at those fighters in more detail.

Fighter: Steve Bosse

Division: Light Heavyweight

Nationality: Canadian

Age: 33

Record: 10-1

Team: Tristar Gym

Previous Organisation: Challenge MMA, TKO

Notable Victories: Wes Sims, Houston Alexander and Marvin Eastman

Finally, after being signed to the UFC in 2014 and having 2 fights fall through due to various reasons, Steve Bosse will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time – over 2 years after his last fight. The former North American Hockey League enforcer was always known for his toughness having had a reported 221 fights on the ice before retiring and transferring that toughness into the cage in 2007.

Bosse is very much a stand up fighter, using his hands primarily due to his Hockey fighting background and also has a decent dirty boxing technique. He trains out of Tristar Gym in Montreal so expect head trainer Firas Zihabi to have had an influence on his all around game, especially in the last 2 years that he has been absent from the sport. Fighters under Zihabi normally improve leaps and bounds in short periods of time and I expect nothing less from Bosse.

Initially expected to make his debut in April, 2014 against fellow Canadian Ryan Jimmo, Bosse pulled out of the fight due to a shoulder injury and subsequently retired telling La Presse that “My body is talking to me, It’s time that I make the right decision.”

Fast forward to UFC 186 back in April this year and all the talk was about whether or not ‘Rampage’ Jackson would be able to co-headline the event against Fabio Maldonado after his former employer Bellator MMA had been granted an injunction against him for breach of contract. ‘Rampage’ was out and Steve Bosse stepped up on short notice but 4 days before the event, the injunction was lifted and Bosse was removed from the card.

After having 2 potential fights fall through, Bosse will finally make his long awaited debut against Thiago Santos, who has a loss-win-loss-win record thus far in the UFC. Both men are heavy handed and don’t have much desire to take fights to the mat so expect a stand up battle that will most likely end in someone knocking the other out.

Here is Robin Black’s analysis on Steve Bosse to get better acquainted with him.

Fighter: Joe Merritt

Division: Middleweight

Nationality: American

Age: 31

Record: 6-0

Team: Millennia MMA

Previous Organisation: RFA – Resurrection Fighting Alliance

Notable Victories: N/A

Joe Merritt is the latest fighter to come out of Millennia MMA into the Octagon following Darrell Montague, Willie Gates and fellow UFC Fight Night 70 competitor, Lorenz Larkin. As well as training with these guys, Merritt also trains with Bellator fighters Saad Awad and Georgi Karakhanyan which, along with an undefeated record, would lead you to believe that he comes into this fight with some hype about him.

Unfortunately Merritt’s record is not filled with any name fighters and he is going into a fight with the Brazilian ‘Cowboy’ Alex Oliveira who has looked very good in his 2 fights against tough competition. Of course anything is possible in this sport but I wouldn’t bet any money on Oliveira losing this fight.

Of Merritt’s 6 wins, all have been finished via strikes and 4 of them in the first round. What this tells us is that he can crack which I believe will be his only shot in this fight. He looks very much like a good athlete but I’m not sure how far that will take him. However, his last fight was for the highly regarded regional organisation RFA and he starched Steven Ciaccio late in the 3rd round which showed plenty of endurance on Merritt’s part. A lot of unknowns about Merritt but looking forward to his debut nonetheless.

Here’s a fight from 2013 against Roger Kelly.

Fighter: Lewis Gonzalez

Division: Lightweight

Nationality: American

Age: 27

Record: 10-1

Team: MMA Gold Fight Team

Previous Organisation: WSOF – World Series of Fighting

Notable Victories: Justin Buchholz, Antonio McKee and Justin Baseman.

Entering the Octagon with a 2-1 record from the highly regarded World Series of Fighting is quite an impressive way to make your debut and that’s what we’re getting here with Gonzalez. in his last 3 fights, ‘Lethal’ has 2 wins against UFC veterans Antonio McKee and Justin Buccholz whilst losing to the most recent challenger to the WSOF Lightweight title in Luis Palomino. Other than that loss, Gonzalez is undefeated and should enter this fight with a lot of confidence.

Gonzalez will be making his debut against Leandro Silva; the man who in his last fight believed that he had tapped Drew Dober when the referee clearly made the wrong decision by stopping the fight due to a choke that was never a choke. That result was overturned to a no contest and I’m sure Silva will want to look good in this fight to put the naysayers to rest. Unfortunately for him, I can see Gonzalez winning this fight. Gonzalez uses his wrestling background to good effect (former California state high school and community college champion) and mixes in a decent striking arsenal as well. He’ll have to be weary of Silva’s submission game but if he can wrestle from the top and stay active then I believe he will win.

Here is Gonzalez’s last fight with Justin Buccholz.

Fighter: Steve Montgomery

Division: Welterweight

Nationality: American

Age: 24

Record: 8-2

Team: American Top Team

Previous Organisation: TFC – Titan Fighting Championship

Notable Victories: Colton Smith and Brock Jardine

Steve Montgomery comes to the UFC with an 8-2 record and one of the best nicknames in the sport. ‘The Creepy Weasel’ is a 24 year old, 6 foot 4 inch, long, wiry fighter who uses his height to good effect. Fighting out of American Top Team, most fans will know him as the guy that had a seizure on the show whilst trying to cut weight for his upcoming fight. The seizure wasn’t as bad as it looked and now Montgomery gets a chance on the big stage ahead of the guys still currently on the show.

Montgomery will be making his debut against fellow debutante Tony Sims (see below) and will most likely look to utilise his quite drastic height and reach advantage. ‘The Creepy Weasel’ has shown a huge improvement in using his size to dictate the distance where he can strike from range and land without much retaliation. He has knockout wins against former UFC fighters Colton Smith and Brock Jardine and his only losses have been against current UFC fighter Dhiego Lima and regional circuit prospect Cody Wilson.

Here is Montgomery’s amazing knockout of Brock Jardine in his last fight.

Fighter: Tony Sims

Division: Welterweight

Nationality: American

Age: 29

Record: 11-2

Team: Elevation Fight Team

Previous Organisation: Fight to Win

Notable Victories: Thomas Denny

The man to fight Steve Montgomery is 29 year old Tony Sims who trains out of Elevation Fight Team in Denver, Colorado with the likes of Brandon Thatch, Cat Zingano and Neil Magny. Needless to say, cardio surely won’t be an issue for the man they call 2.0.

A former amateur boxer who fought at the junior Olympic and silver gloves level, Sims brings a stand up game that is effective both in the orthodox and southpaw stances as well as a background in high school wrestling. The obvious disadvantage he has in this fight is the height disparity between himself and Montgomery. However, this is only a disadvantage if he lets it be an issue. Using his boxing skills, Sims would ideally like to get inside Montgomery’s range and fight form the inside.

9 of Sims’ 11 wins have been finished due to strikes and 5 of those were in the first round. Sims’ hand speed is tough for his opponents to deal with and if he can get Montgomery’s attention early, then this fight could definitely go his way. This fight between Sims and Montgomery is very well matched as I believe both fighters can win. It’s just a matter of who can impose their game plan first and who can take advantage of any opening that they get.

Here is Sims’ fight against James Steele McCall.

Fighter: Sirwan Kakai

Division: Featherweight

Nationality: Swedish

Age: 25

Record: 11-2

Team: GBG MMA / American Top Team

Previous Organisation: TFC – Titan Fighting Championship

Notable Victories: N/A

The last fighter to make his debut this weekend is former TUF competitor Sirwan Kakai, who lost his first fight to Chris Beal which would have got him into the house on TUF 18. The Swedish native trains equally back home and with American Top Team when he is state side.

The former Featherweight competitor will be taking his debut fight in a Bantamweight bout against Danny Martinez, who himself is moving up in weight from Flyweight. He will have a slight height advantage but depending on how both fighters’ weight cuts have gone, Kakai may be a lot thicker than his opponent which is an area he could potentially exploit in the cage.

I expect to see Kakai trying to keep this fight on the feet as I believe that is his only chance to win. Martinez has shown in his past fights that he is always keen to stand and bang but that he has a decent wrestling game for if he ever gets hurt. Kakai doesn’t have much of a grappling background and if he can’t land big shots then I expect the fight to go the same as his fight with Chris Beal.

Here is Kakai’s last fight against Joe Barajas.

 

 

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FURY FC 17 Preview: UFC Veteran Roger Narvaez Set to Fight For Gold

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Deep in the Hill Country of Texas, there is a storm of MMA action brewing on the horizon in the historic city of San Antonio.

In 1836 the most iconic siege ever to take place in the American West was waged between Santa Anna’s Mexican forces and a small band of Texans fighting for their independence at the Battle of the Alamo. On June 10th that tradition of never backing down continues as Fury Fighting Championships 17 takes place at the Shrine Auditorium with a card that was originally slated to have 20 bouts of MMA action. At the top of the bill, there will be a familiar face as former UFC fighter, Roger “The Silverback” Narvaez, looks to capture his first championship in the sport when he faces Antonio “Doomsday” Jones for the vacant middleweight title. The event will also feature a hot prospect, a kickboxing champion, and a grudge match.

Fury FC 17 will be broadcast live on FloCombat.com.

While the 33-year-old Narvaez (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has already realized his ultimate goal of getting to the highest level of MMA, fighting for a title has always eluded him. The 6’3″ fighter nicknamed “The Silverback” due to his abnormal 79.5″ wingspan, or monkey arms as he calls them was twice scheduled to fight for the Legacy Fighting Championship Middleweight Title against then champion Bubba Bush who now fights in the UFC. An injury caused the first fight to be canceled. Then a call up to the UFC to fight an unknown opponent on short notice put an end to plans for the another scheduled title fight.

Theodorou vs. Narvaez at UFC 185 (photo: Matthew Wells – MMA Latest)

 

To Roger, the secret to grabbing the attention of the world’s biggest MMA promotion is fighting for several different promotions. He fought for six different organizations winning all of his fights before getting a call from the UFC’s former matchmaker Joe Silva to ask if he was ready to make the move. Narvaez feels that fighting for multiple shows tells the UFC that a fighter is ready to fight whoever and whenever. His first fight for the promotion was a loss to Patrick Cummins at UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque where he fought at an altitude of over 5300 feet sea level, something he says will not do again unless he is training at altitude. To put it bluntly, he plainly states “the altitude in Albuquerque sucks.” After a win against Luke Barnett, he faced Elias Theodorou. In that fight, he broke his arm before ultimately losing, and was then cut by the UFC.


At this point in Narvaez’s career, his goals now are different:

“The next goal for me, to be realistic, is to make as much money as I can. I love fighting, but at the same time, I have a family that I am trying to support. That is always first and foremost now…[and] Fury is doing a pretty good job of taking care of me…This is a really big deal for me. I am probably training harder for this fight than I have ever trained before. Part of that is with age comes knowledge and experience and I am doing everything I need to do the right way to get ready to come home with that strap, but that strap means ever thing…I didn’t quit fighting with a broken arm, it is going to take something pretty drastic to get me stop. I don’t think the guy I am fighting is going to be able to break my will or test my heart to where I am not going to be able to pull through…coming home with that title is a big deal.”

That home is one of a fighting family. Narvaez’s wife Brandi is also a fighter who recently made her professional debut at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7. His stepson is a gray belt who competes in Jui-Jitsu year round, his daughter also trains in the sport. They understand the hard work that their dad puts in more so than the average fighter’s family. As he puts “it’s not normal, but it is normal to us.”


The prospect to keep an eye on is Two-time Alabama state wrestling champion turned lightweight MMA fighter, Alec Williams (5-1 MMA) from Birmingham. Williams will be looking to rebound from his first professional loss as he takes on Travonne “Prince Scorpion” Hobbs. In his last fight, Alec relied on his wrestling and got it in his head that he did not want to stand and trade with his opponent. That mentality ultimately not only cost him his undefeated record but also to sustain four broken bones in the right side of his face.

“I didn’t get knocked out, I still got the takedown after I broke those four bones. I know it is going to be pretty difficult to knock me out…Honestly, the loss kind of took any pressure off. Before I was undefeated, that loss was going to be a big change and now a loss is just another loss.”

For this fight, Williams says he has been working with MMA legend and former UFC fighter Pete Spratt on his stand up and will not make the same mistake twice.


Also featured on the card is the first Brazilan World Cup Kickboxing Champion, welterweight Washington “Washingthai” Luiz. Originally slated to fight Nickolay Veretennikov, “Washingthai” Luiz will now take on lesser known Danny Ageday. With a new opponent on just four days notice, the man who has aspirations to become a champion in GLORY Kickboxing is not fazed.

“I did my whole camp studying my first opponent who is a striker like me, but I do not feel harmed by the change. I’m ready for this war…The main reason for my change to the USA is the opportunity to be in the biggest events in the world I have already fought the biggest events in Brazil in kickboxing and MMA. I have fought in big events in Europe and now my challenge is the biggest event of kickboxing, GLORY. But I also love MMA and when a fight appears for me, I do not refuse.”


The grudge match at Fury FC 17 comes to us from the flyweights division’s Mark “The Sparrow” Plata and David “Gallito” Miramontes. These two men were scheduled to fight previously but Plata had to pull out due to his wife giving birth to twins. According to Plata, that is where the beef began.

“The day my twins were born he was messaging me talking about how this was not a good reason not fight and that I just did not want to fight him. My kids were in ICU at the time and he just keeps messaging me over and over…it upset me at the time because they were dying, they were trying to survive, but it just added more fuel to the fire. Then he kept asking promoters to fight me. He asked two or three different promoters to set it up. I got tired of him asking for me. So then I was like, alright cool if you want it that bad, let’s do it…His fighting style matches his personality. He tries to be a bully, and that’s cool, I don’t mind shutting bullies down.”

Titles, champions, prospects, legitimate bad blood…what more you could ask for in a local card?

This is an event not to miss and thanks to Fury FC having a deal with FloSports, you do not have to.

Tune in for all the action live at 6:00 PM CST on FloCombat.com this Saturday.

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*VIDEO* Francis Ngannou has his eyes on the UFC Heavyweight Title

Matthew Wells

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UFC Heavyweight Francis “The Predator” Ngannou has taken the heavyweight division by storm.

Currently 5-0 in the UFC and riding a 9 fight win streak, the native of Cameroon possesses vicious power and has shown improvements each time he steps inside the cage.

Hear Ngannou talk about his journey and plans for the future:

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The humble beginnings of the Korean Zombie

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Korean Zombie UFC

The featherweight division has become one of the most exciting in the UFC in the last few years. With the arrival of Conor McGregor, and an influx of exciting talent, new life has been breathed into a division that was suffering due to Jose Aldo’s dominance.

A notable absentee during this rise has been “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, who returns for the first time in three years against Dennis Bermudez on Saturday. The fight features as the main event of UFC Fight Night 104, and Jung is making his long awaited return after serving his mandatory military service duty for the South Korean Army.

With the fight with Bermudez fast approaching, the buzz for Jung’s return is noticeable throughout the MMA community. With a return of this magnitude, it is always fun to look back at the career of the fighter and relive the moments in his career that make the fan in all of us excited for his return.

The humble beginnings of the Korean Zombie

Chan Sung Jung was widely considered to be one of the best prospects to emerge from the far east when he was signed by WEC to face Cub Swanson in 2010. An injury forced Swanson out of the contest and Leonard Garcia stepped in as a replacement.

The fight between the two would take place on the preliminary card of Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight championship. The event was the first and only WEC pay-per-view card and with Zuffa on board, the event was treated as such with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan on commentary.

That night, MMA fans were treated to one of the greatest fights in mixed martial arts history and widely regarded as the best fight ever in the lighter weight classes. Many fans call a fight “a war” in an exciting contest between two fighters, but the fight between the Zombie and Garcia was more like a demolition derby.

Both men threw their strikes with wreckless intent and dropped each other on numerous occasions. The fight went to a split decision with Garcia getting the nod from the judges. Many considered Jung the winner, but the fight received praise from every media outlet in the days following the card. Dana White would wear a shirt with the now famous “Korean Zombie” logo at the following UFC PPV weigh ins in support of the epic fight.

Jung returned to the cage to face George Roop in his next outing in the WEC and lost the fight by a vicious head kick. This would be his final fight in WEC as the UFC went on to absorb the WEC’s featherweight and bantamweight divisions and bring both into the UFC.

Jung was scheduled to make his promotional debut for the UFC against Rani Yahya at UFC Fight Night 23, but was forced out of the fight with an injury. Ironically Leonard Garcia’s opponent Nam Phan would suffer an injury before their scheduled fight. It seemed like fate that Jung and Garcia would do battle once more. The Korean Zombie came in as a late replacement for the injured Phan. The rematch between the two was highly anticipated and the UFC was promoting the fight as the rematch to the greatest fight ever.

The fight was set as the opener to the main card for UFC Fight Night 24. What came next was history in the making. Both fighters were tentative in the early exchanges in the fight and didn’t have the same enthusiasm to brawl as the previous encounter, but in the final few minutes of the opening round, Jung took the back of Garcia.

In an unorthodox position on the ground, Rogan said on the desk, “Looks like he is setting up for a twister”. The twister was not seen in the UFC at this point and with the clock ticking, Jung stretched Garcia in a position where his spine was turned into a pretzel and Garcia tapped. Jung stated in the post-fight interview with Rogan that he had learned how to do the submission watching videos of Eddie Bravo doing the move. The win won multiple awards for submission of the year.

After that win, Chan Sung Jung was set to face Mark Hominick at UFC 140 in Toronto. Hominick, who fought Aldo for the title at UFC 129 in his hometown, came into the fight as the underdog, but in seven seconds that all changed. Jung cracked Hominick, tying the record for the second fastest knockout in UFC history. A win over a former title challenger launched the South Korean into title contention.

Following another historic win, Chan Sung Jung was now set to take part in his first ever main event against rising star Dustin Poirier with the winner receiving a title shot against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at a later date.

Jung went on to put on another fight of the year that night. The one-man zombie horde overwhelmed Poirier in the early rounds with his aggressive style. Numerous submission attempts and transitions by Jung frustrated Poirier. As Poirier became more aggressive and careless in the fight, Jung launched a flying knee in the third round and rocked his opponent. Poirier attempted to take Jung down, but the Zombie caught Poirier in a D’Arce choke in the third round to get the win.

Multiple injuries, and scheduled title fights between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar; and Aldo and Anthony Pettis, delayed Jung’s title shot. After Pettis was forced out of the title fight with Aldo because of an injury, Jung was called up as a late replacement and finally get the title shot he earned by defeating Poirier a year earlier.

The fight would take place in Brazil and was surprisingly lacklustre. Both fighters were sizing each other up for the majority of the contest. Jung suffered an injury during the fight when he dislocated his shoulder and in typical zombie fashion, Jung attempted to put his own shoulder back in place. Aldo used this time to attack, winning the title fight by TKO.

This would be the last time we saw the zombie in the cage as he would be drafted by the South Korean Army to do his two-year mandatory military service. Jung has not fought in three and a half years.

Now the burning question is how will the Korean zombie look after such a long absence. One thing is sure though, fans are extremely excited to see his return and on Saturday, The Zombie Apocalypse could be on the cards if the South Korean comes out of the cage with a win.

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