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UFC Fight Night 78 (TUF LA2) – Lineup and Four Fights You Can’t Miss

Vinny Craig

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We may never come down from the emotional roller coaster of UFC 193 (that is until UFC 194 next month), but the show must go on. The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 has been airing on Fight Pass every Monday for the past couple months. The two coaches of the season, Kelvin Gastelum and Efrain Escudero, will be on the card to end the season. Here’s a look at all things TUF Latin America 2 Finale you need to know

Lineups and Times

Early Prelims- UFC Fight Pass (6:30 PM EST, 3:30 PM PST, 11:30 PM BST)

Welterweight: Vernon Ramos vs. Alvaro Herrera

Welterweight: Erick Montaro vs. Enrique Marin- TUF Latin America 2 Welterweight Finale

Lightweight: Valmir Lazaro vs. Michael Prazares

Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 1 (8 PM EST, 5 PM EST, 1 AM BST)

Featherweight: Gabriel Benitez vs. Andre Filli

Bantamweight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Alejando Perez

Welterweight: Hector Urbina vs. Bartosz Fabinski

Bantamweight: Erik Perez vs. Taylor Lapilus

Main Card- Fox Sports 1(10 PM EST, 7 PM PST, 3 AM BST)

Lightweight: Efrain Escudero vs. Leandro Silva

Flyweight: Jussier Formiga vs. Henry Cejudo

Featherweight: Ricardo Lamas vs. Diego Sanchez

Welterweight: Neil Magny vs. Kelvin Gastelum

As if this lineup card didn’t make you excited enough, here are four fights you can’t miss!

Efrain Escudero vs. Leandro Silva

The Lightweight division is STACKED and this is just another fight to add to the pile as Efrain Esucdero (24-9 MMA; 5-5 UFC)* and Leandro Silva (18-2-1, 1 NC; 2-1, 1 NC) start off the main card.

Escudero is The Ultimate Fight Season 8 Lightweight winner after beating favorite Phillipe Nover by decision. His first stint in the UFC yielded success as he went 3-2 before being cut. He made a second less successful try in the UFC where lost both of his fights. Now on his third UFC stint, Escudero has won his last two fights. His Mexican heritage has made him a selling point with the UFC’s new region. None of his stats jump out at you, but he’s a well rounded fighter. He’ll step into the octagon with 2.03 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM)**, 55% Takedown Accuracy and 1.0 Submission Attempt per 15 min.

Silva hasn’t lost a fight in his last three. His fight with Drew Dober was originally a Guillotine win for Silva but was overturned to a No-Contest by the Brazilian commission after the submission was wrongly stopped early. He came back with a decision win at UFC Fight Night 70 over Lewis Gonzalez. Silva is a known grappler (10 career wins by submission) who avoids getting hit(60% Striking Defense) to get the fight where he wants it.

Jussier Formiga vs. Henry Cejudo

Two top five Flyweights meet when Jussier Formiga (18-3; 4-2) and Henry Cejudo (9-0; 3-0) fight to move one step closer to a title shot.

Formiga is a winner of three straight and four of his last five. The Brazilian was thrown to the wolves to start his UFC career as he had a Flyweight title eliminator with John Dodson at UFC on FX 5. He came back with a decision win over future title challenger Chris Cariaso only to be put back in his place with a fight against number two Flyweight Joseph Benavidez, a fight he lost by TKO. Since then he as three straight wins over Scott Jorgensen (Rear-Naked Choke), Zach Makovsky (UD) and Wilson Reis (UD). His grinding style is a terrible stylistic matchup with a guy like Cejudo. He steps in with 66% Striking Defense, 2.71 Takedowns per 15 min. and 87% Takedown Defense (TDD).

Cejudo is a US Olympic gold medalist at the 2008 games. He was the youngest (21) athlete to ever win a gold medal at the Olympic games. As an MMA fighter, Cejudo has yet to lose a fight. He has battled weight issues in the past, missing weight two different occasions. Cejudo has three straight dominating wins in the UFC, losing only one round on one judges score sheet. His wrestling has found its way into the cage with him as he has yet to taken down in his career. His striking has come around evident by his 4.09 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) and only 2.11 SApM, good for a +1.98 Striking Differential.

Ricardo Lamas vs. Diego Sanchez

The co-main event is a Featherweight bout (yes, Featherweight) between two of the UFC’s biggest Mexican stars in Ricardo Lamas (15-4; 6-2) and Diego Sanchez (25-7; 13-7).

Lamas is just three fights removed from fighting for the Featherweight belt against Jose Aldo at UFC 169. Since his loss for the title, Lamas is 2-1 with the only loss coming at the hands of three time title challenger Chad Mendes when he was TKO’d in the first round of their main event fight at UFC Fight Night 63. Lamas’ only two UFC losses have come to Aldo and Mendes. Lamas is good at everything, but not really great at any one particular thing. His 2.33 SLpM and 2.19 SApM are about average, but his 1.3 Submission Attempts per 15 min. are above the norm.

Sanchez will become only the second UFC fighter to compete in four weight classes under the UFC banner if he makes weight for the fight. The other is his fellow TUF 1 Middleweight final opponent in Kenny Florian, who also fought at 145 for the last two fights of his career. ‘The Dream’ is a seasoned vet with 20 career fights, none of which have been boring. He is a seven time Fight of the Night winner with three of those getting the coveted Fight of the Year from a media outlet. Sanchez hasn’t been so hot lately with two of his last three fights ending with him the loser. The lone win was a very close Split-Decision win over Ross Pearson, a fight many thought Sanchez lost. Despite always being in ‘wars’, Sanchez doesn’t get hit that often (2.85 SApM) and can take his opponents down at a pretty good clip (1.56 Takedowns per 15 min.). He is best know for weathering the storm of fighters and then turning it on at the end of a round/fight.

Neil Magny vs. Kelvin Gastelum

In the main event is a Welterweight fight with future title implications. Neil Magny (16-4; 9-3) and Kelvin Gastelum (10-1; 6-1) will end the night of good fights. Gastelum was expected to face Matt Brown in the main event with Magny at UFC 195 against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Brown had to pull out due to an ankle injury and was replaced by Magny, leaving ‘Wonderboy’ out of a fight at UFC 195.

Magny is a winner of eight of his last nine. He was on a seven fight win streak, all within 15 months of each other, before his submission loss to Damien Maia at UFC 190. He would step back in quickly with a Split-Decision win over Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 74. This will be his fifth fight this year, equaling his total from last year. Magny is a lengthy Welterweight (80” reach) who uses his reach to stay away from his opponents to not get hit. He comes in 3.77 SLpM and only 1.60 SApM, good for the best Striking Differential in the division at +2.17. He also has a strong wrestling background with 2.91 Takedowns per 15 min. and 50% Takedown Accuracy.

Gastelum is The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 winner, beating favorite Uriah Hall by Split-Decision in the finale. After competing at Middleweight for the show, Gastelum moved down to his natural weight class of 170 pounds. He rattled off four straight wins after the finale with two Rear-Naked Choke wins. He was in a contender fight with fellow contender Tyron Woodley at UFC 183. Gastelum dropped the ball and missed weight by 10 pounds in the biggest fight of his career. He would also lose that fight and be forced to move up a weight class where he would win his only fight against Nate Marquardt. Just like his opponent, Gastelum is well rounded with stats to back it up; 3.60 SLpM, 2.42 SApM, 50% Takedown Accuracy and 66% Striking Defense.

*All records from Sherdog.com

**All stats from FightMetric.com

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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