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UFC Fight Night 72 Preview

Vinny Craig

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After having various events around the United Kingdom, the UFC makes its first stop in Scotland in Glasgow. The promotion is putting one its biggest European draws to get the fans to attend and watch the event. Michael Bisping did not know his opponent for quite some time before the UFC announced that he would be taking on Thales Leites. The event will be at the SSE Hydro and has plenty of star power to back up the hype.

Steven Ray vs. Leandro Mafra

To start off your main card is a Lightweight bout between the Scotsman Steven Ray (17-5 MMA; 1-0 UFC)* and the Brazilian Leandro Mafra (12-2; 1-2). Ray starts off a main card where every fight has a European on it.

Ray made his UFC debut in April and beat Marcin Bandel by TKO in the second round. In the six and a half minutes of cage time, ‘Braveheart’ landed 31 of 42 Significant Strikes** and held off all five of his opponents’ takedown attempts. He passed the guard of his opponent five times before the fight ended in the second round. Before joining the UFC, Ray had 12 of his 16 wins end by stoppage (7 by KO/TKO and 5 by Submission).

Mafra is a two fight UFC vet. He got a tough test in his first fight as he faced Rick Story at UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller. He would be defeated by Arm-Triangle choke in the second round. His first promotional victory came in March when he beat Cain Carrizosa by decision. ‘Macarro’ lands 4.2 Significant Strikes per Minute (SLpM) and gets 2.28 Takedowns per 15 min. He has an 83% accuracy when trying to take down his opponents.

Leon Edwards vs. Pawel Pawlak

The Welterweight divisions Leon Edwards (9-2; 1-1) and Pawel Pawlak (11-1; 1-1) will face off in Glasgow. Pawlak is Polish while Edwards fights out of England. Neither guy is very experienced and will look to make their rounds in the UFC.

Edwards, like most people on this card, last fought at UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop II. He picked up a win with a knockout of Seth Baczysnki just 8 seconds into the fight. That came after a Split-Decision loss to Claudio Silva back in November for his debut. ‘Rocky’ will look to shave a couple of seconds off his knockout time and have the fastest KO in UFC history,

Pawlak has gone almost the same route as his counterpart. He would lose his debut by decision at UFC Fight Night 41 and then come back with a win the same night as Edwards. In his 30 minutes of fight time, ‘Plastinho’ has landed 51 Significant Strikes with all three of his takedowns coming in his second fight. He also passed the guard of his opponent five times in his victory.

Joanne Calderwood vs. Cortney Casey-Sanchez

In her home country, Joanne Calderwood (9-1; 1-1) will try and please her fans with a win over Cortney Casey-Sanchez (4-1; 0-0). Calderwood was expected to face Bec Rawlings but an injury left her unable to compete and was replaced by Casey-Sanchez

Calderwood was a contestant on TUF 20. She made it to the quarterfinals as the #2 seed before losing to Rose Namajunas by Kimura. She would face Seehoe Ham at the finale in December and earn her 9th straight professional victory. She was expected to get a title shot at this event with a victory over

Maryna Moroz. Moroz spoiled that party with a first round armbar. ‘Jojo’ will try and get back to contention with a win in front of her hometown fans.

Casey-Sanchez steps in on short notice to take on one of the best fighters in the division. She last fought under the PXC banner in March and won her fight by TKO. The Phoenix native they call ‘Cast Iron’ has a pro record of 4-1 with all five fights ending with a stoppage. She won two of her PXC fights by TKO and one by submission.

Joseph Duffy vs. Ivan Jorge

At Lightweight we get a matchup between surging Joseph Duffy (13-1; 1-0) and up-and-coming Ivan Jorge (26-4; 2-1). Both have seen action in 2015 already and will look to be active while continuing their success. This is an Ireland (Duffy) vs. Brazil (Jorge) matchup.

Duffy made his UFC debut at UFC 185 in March. He got a TKO victory over Jake Lindsey in the second round to be victorious. Before joining the promotion, the Irishman had won 12 of his first 13 fights including wins over now Interim-Featherweight champion Conor McGregor and Norman Parke. Duffy landed 15 total strikes (all Significant Strikes) in the minute and 47 seconds that his first fight lasted.

Jorge has 3 UFC fights under his belt. He started off with a decision win over Keith Wisniewski at UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader then followed that with a loss five months later to Rodrigo Damm. He fought in February against Josh Shockley and got the nod by decision. Before joining the UFC, 10 of his past 11 fights had ended in a submission. ‘Batman’ averages 3.49 SLpM and 1.67 Takedowns per 15 min.

Ross Pearson vs. Evan Dunham

Another Lightweight bout takes place as the co-main event when the Brit Ross Pearson (17-8, 1 NC; 9-5, 1 NC) faces the American Evan Dunham (15-6; 8-6). This will be the seventh straight main/co-main event slot for Pearson.

Pearson is The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 winner for the Lightweight division. He was coached by the headliner for this event in Michael Bisping. He started out his time with the UFC at 3-0 before he started trading losses for wins over the next six fights. He’s 3-2 with a No-Contest in his last six, all co-main/main event appearances. His last fight was a victory over Sam Stout at UFC 185 with a second round KO. Pearson is a striker with 3.98 SLpM and only 3.02 SApM to go along with his 69% Striking Defense.

Dunham last fought at UFC 182 where he beat Rodrigo Damm by decision. He was in a co-main event slot before that where he lost to Edson Barboza by TKO. After starting out in the UFC with 4 wins, he has since gone 4-6 with tougher competition. He does have three Fight of the Night bonuses, two in losing efforts. Dunham is a busy fighter with his 5.42 SLpM and only 3.60 SApM. He also comes in with 63% Striking Bonus and 78% Takedown Defense (TDD).

Michael Bisping vs. Thales Leites

In the main event we have British star Michael Bisping (26-7; 15-7) and Brazilian Thales Leites (17-4; 10-2) square off at The Hydro. Both are still in contention for a title run and have had success previous in the UFC. They’re 40 combined UFC fights is the most on the card.

Bisping is The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 winner. After winning the show, he went on a three fight win streak before losing to Rashad Evans. He moved to Middleweight and won three straight to start out there before being KO’d for the first time by Dan Henderson. After losing to Wanderlei Silva two fights later, another win streak (this time of 4 wins) saw him in a title-eliminator fight. He would lose yet again, this time to Chael Sonnen. Starting at that fight, he alternated losses for wins for his next 8 fights. He last fought at UFC 186 where he beat CB Dolloway by decision. Bisping is number 1 all time in the Middleweight division for Significant Strikes Landed (987) and Striking Defense (69.6%) to go along with his 4.39 SLpM and 2.47 SApM.

 

Leites is a former Middleweight title challenger. After starting out in the UFC 5-1, he faced then champion Anderson Silva at UF C 97 for the belt. He would lose the fight and his next and be cut by the promotion. After going 6-1 while not in the UFC and was re-signed to the biggest MMA promotion. Since rejoining, he has won five straight with the last three coming by stoppage. He last fought at UFC 183 where be submitted Tim Boetsch by Arm-Triangle choke. Leites is a strong grappler who averages 2.59 Takedowns per 15 min and 1.6 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

*All records from Sherdog.com

**All stats from FightMetric.com

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Announcement

UFC looks for undefeated fighters for the next season of TUF

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As the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close in a few weeks, UFC has set tryouts for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter on December 12th but there is a catch, participates must hold an undefeated record.

Titled The Ultimate Fighter 27: Battle of the Undefeated, the next installment of TUF will be looking for male fighters with an undefeated record with a minimum of 3-0 to apply for the show. The casting call asks for featherweights and welterweights but in the early stages of tryouts, a weight class will be decided later in the process.

Fighters must be aged between 21 – 34 and will grapple and light spar in front of UFC matchmakers and must be prepared to stay in Vegas until December 16th.

It is unknown what the future of TUF will be after the TV deal with FOX ends next year but the show has been a success for the company and many fighters to emerge from The Ultimate Fighter have become champion including current interim Lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas coming from past seasons of the show.

This will be the third time in a row that a gimmick will be added to the show that has been on the decline in the ratings in recent years but yet to use only undefeated fighters. An undefeated streak can be one of the most prestigious records to keep in mixed martial arts with the wins and losses being so vital in a fighters career.

Who will keep their zero? Who will be the next Ultimate Fighter? Who will be the coaches?

These questions will be answered when the new season of TUF begins shooting in January and the show premiering later in the year.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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