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UFC Fight Night 79: Henderson vs Masvidal Breakdown

Dan Tom

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Benson6

Benson Henderson (22-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 32 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Brandon Thatch (2-14-15)
  • Camp: The MMA Lab (Arizona)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: A-

Supplemental info:
+   Former UFC LW Champion
+   Former WEC LW Champion
+   2x NAIA All-American Wrestler
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
+   6 first round finishes
+   8 Submission wins
+   Creative reactive striking
+   Excellent leg dexterity
+   Active & effective striking
+   Stays busy in clinch
+   Manages distance well
+   Variates attack looks
^   Especially w/leg kicks
+   Improved head-movement
–    Struggles w/volume & pressure
–    Open when exiting range

Masvidal6

Jorge Masvidal (29-9)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 31 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Cezar Ferreira (7-12-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: B+

Supplemental info:
+   Former AFC WW Champion
+   Solid Fight Experience (2003)
+   11 KO victories
+   6 first round finishes
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Accurate shot selection
+   Solide base & balance
^   Rarely out of position
+   83% TD defense
+   Underrated submission game
+   Improved counter-wrestling
+   Good knees in close
+   Excellent get up ability
+/-Shell defense
^   Body/right hand openings
–    Lacks leg kick defense
–    Susceptible to coasting

Summary:

Seoul’s main event is set to be a showcase of high-level MMA as newly minted Welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Benson Henderson do battle. With both fighters being well-rounded veterans, this technical stand-off has hardcores salivating as we’ll potentially get a peek of what top shelf MMA can look like. Originally slated to face Thiago Alves, Benson’s new opponent won’t be on short notice as Masvidal was originally booked for this card(against Kim who’s also a Southpaw).

On the feet, I strongly feel distance management will be the name of the game as Jorge will try to find his range while Ben attempts to manage it. Luckily for Henderson this is something he’s made a career off of as he’s edged out many strikers & scorecards with his stylings. Generally circling just outside of range(and usually along the black inner-octagon lines) is where Henderson calls home as he’ll explode into counter attacks and reset to this space. His main tool to manage & check range is his kicks, something I suspect Ben will lean heavily on given Jorge’s defenses.

Though renown & respected for his striking skills, one of Masvidal’s few technical flaws is his reluctancy to check kicks. This could play a big factor in this fight given the variety & effectiveness of Henderson’s leg kicks. Variating his techniques & targets, Ben will go from inside-to-outside as he attacks thighs, calfs, and even the rear leg given his opponents stance. Henderson’s left body kicks & right side-kicks could also have play with Jorge’s natural inclination for a shell defense. Ben will still have be very mindful while throwing these as Masvidal show’s the ability to catch kicks and counter(Something he could use to get an offensive angle or even behind Ben).

Though Jorge is often pressuring forward, he’s ultimately a counter fighter as he looks read and react to his opposition. Though I stated Henderson’s advantage at distance, it’s the mid-to-pocket range where Masvidal makes his money and should have the advantage here. Look for Henderson to safely navigate these waters with his classic hard slip to the right(his orthodox opposition’s left/weak side) as he comes back into play with a right body hook-left hand follow up. Though only facing one Southpaw in the UFC(Tim Means) Masvidal showed excellent “outside-foot awareness” and should not make things comfortable for Henderson.

Masvidal’s biggest threat in this fight is his counter punching abilities(especially off clinch-breaks or exiting exchanges) as that will be his best chances against Benson in particular. Henderson will sometimes(especially when throwing his left hand) put himself out of position and off balance. In doing so, this will cause him to counter balance himself as he’ll use his(sometimes wild) head-movement off strikes to reset. The problem with this is that he’ll occasionally reset right back into a dangerous range, as we saw him burned by this in his Dos Anjos fight. Henderson will most likely dictate the striking distance by playing all-the-way out, or all-the-way in.

That brings us to clinch space, which I feel is a Key Factor in who wins this fight. With Masvidal’s dangerous inside elbows & knees, expect Ben to employ his strong & savvy clinch game as he’ll use his entire body in syncronisity to operate. Using his leg dexterity to strike or assist take-downs, he favors grounding opposition from the body lock. Ben will likely have trouble(at least early) getting Masvidal down who has solid take-down defense at 83%. Not to mention Masvidal’s underrated counter-wrestling and transition game, which can really make the ground exchanges fun should Jorge keep pace.

The pace however, is where this fun road begins to split for me. Masvidal has shown to coast & conserve energy in previous bouts, and though crediting this to extreme weight cuts(something he avoids at Welterweight), he’s still shown some inconsistency overall. Benson on the other hand, has excellent conditioning and an experienced know-how on winning 5 round affairs. As a fan of Masvidal, I’m happy to see him finally get a big fight as he more than has the tools to beat the former Champion. But I ultimately see Henderson’s distance game frustrating Masvidal to be the most likely outcome. I hope this fight will visit all the terrains of MMA as this is a match up where both men can shine technically and send us off satisfied.

Official Pick: Henderson – Decision

Dong2

Dong Hyun Kim (20-3-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 34 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Josh Burkman (5-22-15)
  • Camp: Busan Team M.A.D. (Korea)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   Judo Black Belt 4th dan
+   Multiple Judo Titles
+   Grappling Accolades
+   8 KO victories
+   3 first round finishes
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Strong in clinch
^   Trips/Body-lock TD’s
+   82% TD defense
–    Hands low
+   Aggressive pace
–    Throws-self out of position
^   Counter availabilities
+   Excellent Top Game
^   Solid Technical Pressure
+/-Willingness to exchange

Waters3

Dominic Waters (9-3)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 26 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 79″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / George Sullivan (7-12-15)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (New Mexico)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: D+

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 16 Alum
+   Wrestling Base
+   Pankration Accolades
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   2 first round finishes
+   3 KO victories
+/-Short notice match
+   Solid cage pressure
+   Good Double-leg TD
^   Times opponent coming in
–    Head high & upright
^   Lowers in exchanges
–    Lacks overall activity
–    Ineffective off bottom
–    Fades as fight goes
+   Shows to be durable

Summary:

In a maincard that’s been played like “Musical Chairs”, Dong Hyun Kim draws Dominic Waters as his dance partner. Returning to fight in his home country of Korea, expect Kim to try and make a statement against his late replacement. Though Dominic is no stranger to late notice fights, He’ll be stepping up to another level as he attempts to spoil Kim’s homecoming.

Starting off on the feet, Dominic shows a fairly basic striking arsenal as he primarily will look to set up his Double-leg. Overall lacking in speed, volume, and aggression, Waters will use his opponents forward pressure to change levels for a shot. He’ll have to mind Kim’s power punching as Dominic shows to keep his head upright(opening up overhands) and dipping it low in exchanges(exposing him to uppercuts).

Though Kim has similar defensive issues of his own, his pressure, volume, and experience should more than make the difference. Unless Waters can score his double and get on top, he shows to struggle and fade in fights. Given Kim’s on paper 88% TD defense to his in-fight technical grappling, it doesn’t look promising for Dominic.

Especially if Waters ends up on his back(as he shows reversal susceptibilities), his inactivity could lead to his first stoppage loss should he allow the Korean to dictate. I’m not trying to disrespect Dominic Waters chances as he’s a hard worker with a good camp(Jackson-Wink), I just feel it’s a bad match up skills gap aside. That said, Kim would be a solid choice even for his price in Fantasy MMA.

Official Pick: Kim – Inside the distance

Sexyyamma4

Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-5-2))

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 40 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 75″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Amir Sadollah (9-20-14)
  • Camp: Jackson-Wink MMA (Japan)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: C

Supplemental info:
+   Judo Black Belt
+   Multiple Judo Accolades
+   7 Submission wins
+   5 KO victories
+   10 first round finishes
+   95% TD defense
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Accurate right hand
–    1 fight in 3 years
+   Good check/L. hook
+   Strong in clinch
^   Solid Trips & TD’s
+   Good get-up ability
+   Durable chin
–    Lacks adjustments
+/-Propensity to brawl

Mina1

Alberto Mina (11-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 33 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 77.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Shinsho Anzai (8-23-14)
  • Camp: Epic MMA (Hong Kong)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair/li>
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+   Judo Black Belt
+   BJJ Black Belt
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   9 first round finishes
+   6 Submission wins
+   5 KO victories
+   Dangerous Kimura/figure-4 grip
^   Aggressive armbar set-ups
+   This camp at Kings MMA
+   Improved boxing
–    Head high off strikes
^   Counter-shot availability
–    Leans/slips heavily right
+   Level changes to Double-leg
+/-Gets hit/recovers well

Summary:

In another potential fight of the night, Yoshihiro “Sexyyama” Akiyama faces Alberto Mina in his return to Korea. With only one fight in the last 3 years, Akiyama’s inactivity will be the intangible coming in. Usually teaching & training around the world, Alberto Mina has spent this camp at Kings MMA in effort to improve his striking and overall game.

Traditionally, Mina will come out circling looking to range find with kicks. Though possessing improved hands and deceptive power, it’s coming off his punches where he’s most vulnerable. Often throwing himself out of position, Alberto’s head will keep high opening him up to counter strikes. This is where Akiyama will have his best chances to win this fight or at least sway it’s momentum.

Despite his strong Judo base, Akiyama has made his money striking in this latter-half of his career. His counter right is his most dangerous & accurate punch that should have plenty of play if Mina hasn’t shored up his defenses. Alberto also shows a tendency to lean/slip heavily to his right, and though Akiyama doesn’t show much switch-kicking, he bares a solid left hook.

The intangibles of Mina’s striking progress aside, his best chances will be getting this to the floor. There the BJJ Champion can create havoc with his relentless chains of submission attacks. The problem with that scenario is that I’m not sure that Alberto will be able to get Yoshihiro down.

Despite Mina’s Judo background and improved Double-legs, Akiyama boasts a 95% take-down defense rate in 21 fights.Even Jake Sheilds struggled for his lone take-down that came at the tail end of 3 rounds and roughly twenty attempts. Alberto Mina has the tools to win and arguably the intangibles in his favor. But in looking at actual in-fight stylings, it’s hard not to side with Korea’s “Sexyyama”.

Official Pick: Akiyama – Decision

Sam4

Sam Sicilia (15-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 29 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 67″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Yaotzin Meza (7-15-15)
  • Camp: Sikjitsu (Spokane, WA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: C

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 15 Alum
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   8 KO victories
+   10 first round finishes
+   4 Submission wins
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Dangerous right hand
^   Leans heavily on it
+   Aggressive pressure
+   Improved wrestling
+   Strong top game
^   Effective ground strikes
–    Hands low standing
–    Head high in exchanges
^   Often leading on entry
–    R. hand/Counter availabilities

Choi2

Doo Ho Choi(12-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 24 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: KO win / Juan Manuel Puig (11-22-14)
  • Camp: GUMI MMA (Korea)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   9 KO victories
+   6 first round finishes
+   10 fight win streak
+/-1 fight in over 2 years
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Deceptive hand & foot speed
+   Strong & efficient hips
–    Clinch/counter grappling availabilities
+   Scrambles/gets up well
+   Good transitional ground game
^   Chains submissions well
+   Excellent timing on knees
+   Good TD defense in open
+   Excellent overall timing
^   Intercepts/counter punches
+/-Willingness to exchange

Summary:

Kick-starting the main card is potential fireworks as Sam Sicilia is tasked with testing Korean prospect Doo Ho Choi. With almost one year since his last fight, it will be interesting to see what form the young Korean prospect returns at. Should Choi have not added any new tools to his game, his pre-existing ones could still prove trouble to the stylings of Sicilia.

Sam will utilize an aggressive pressure style to draw out brawls on his terms. Favoring his right hand in particular, Sicilia wields KO power that makes him dangerous against anyone at Featherweight. However, this aggressive nature comes at a cost as Sam keeps his hands low and head high in exchanges. This leaves him susceptible to counter shots(particularly right hands) that will be costly against a striker like Doo Ho.

Standing offensively squared to oppsition while staying light on his toes, Choi positions himself in a constant state of offensive/counter-offensive readiness. With an ability to reel-off quick kicks, it’s Choi’s punches that should serve him best against Sam. Utilizing feints, Doo Ho will draw out opponents reactions and counter strikes. He’ll use these opprotunities to off-set his opponents timing as he’ll intercept them coming in with beautifully accurate jab-crosses.

I see this in particular being effective in this fight should Sicilia stay at range. Sam’s best shot is making this an ugly & grinding affair by testing the prospect in-close and on the floor. Sicilia is very physically persuasive in the clinch and should he get on top, he shows a solid positional game that could cause Choi problems.

However, entering the clinch space to begin with posses it’s own dangers as Sam tends to lead his entries with his head down and forward. If Sam doesn’t mind this he’ll put himself right in line with Choi’s deadly knees. Owning multiple KO’s via this method, Choi’s excellent timing & feints come to fruition as he masterfully will misdirect and catch opponents here(Not to mention his shown TD defense & good balance against previous legitimate threats).

Should Sam ground the Korean, it may still be an uphill battle given Choi’s transitional grappling where he chains submission attacks into scrambles back to his feet. Though showing a good chin, it’s Choi’s willingness to brawl that could burn him here. Sicilia’s raw power keeps him a live-dog in any fight, and if Choi get’s overconfident it could potentially cost him. With that said, We should be in for a big bang either way, But I suspect Asia’s most promising talent to make a statement here.

 

Official Pick: Choi – Inside the distance

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Dongi Yang def. Jake Collier
  • Yui Chul Nam def. Mke De La Torre
  • Tae Hyun Bang def. Leo Kuntz
  • Cortney Casey def. Seo Hee Ham
  • Yao Zhikui def. Fredy Serrano
  • Ning Guangyou def. Marco Beltran
  • Dominique Steele def. Dong Hyun Kim

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Doo Ho Choi
-Dong Hyun Kim
-Benson Henderson

Low Tier Picks:

-Mike De La Torre
-Dongi Yang
-Alberto Mina

Pieces for your parlay:

-Doo Ho Choi
-Tae Hyun Bang
-Benson Henderson

Props worth looking at:

-Doo Ho Choi – by KO/TKO
-Dong Hyun Kim – Inside the distance

Fights to avoid:

-Yui Chul Nam vs Mike De La Torre
-Jake Collier vs Dongi Yang
-Sexyyama vs Alberto Mina

For the complete undercard analysis & past UFC events visit MixedMartialAnalyst.com and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws MMALatestNews.com

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Exclusive: Mike Ekundayo, “He could come with anything, I don’t care”

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In a little less than a week, Rise of Champions crowns its inaugural bantamweight champion. The crowning of the first 135 lb. champion marks the young promotions first champion. It makes sense why the promotion owned and operated by UK MMA star, Brad Pickett, and Team Titan head coach, Mickey Papas plan to crown the promotions first champion in the bantamweight division. Pickett competed in the division throughout his tenure with the WEC, and ultimately the entity which absorbed the light weight promotion, the UFC. Even more-so, two young and rising prospects of the division. One undefeated in his professional and amateur career, the other riding a seven consecutive victories, five by submission. The two meet February 17th, Mike Ekundayo puts his career unbeaten streak up against Jonas Magard’s at ROC 5, for the aforementioned, inaugural bantamweight championship.

Speaking to the undefeated Ekundayo before his fight, he believes this opportunity to be inevitable. Born in Hackney, (a borough of London) early in life, Ekundayo was no stranger to cramming his belongings into large cardboard boxes. At the age of 7, he moved from Hackney to Herne Hill, a district located in South London. Two years later he found himself in similar situation, moving from his vaguely new home in Herne Hill to Brixton. A road trip in the car to his new home, took approximately 5 minutes.

It is admittedly, not an easy life. In a harrowing article describing the horrors of gang life in London by the metro.uk, former gang member turned community activist, made the claim, “When you are from Brixton, from Peckham, west London, anywhere in London, you are seeing hardship where a lot of communities can’t reach their full potential”.

In his own words, Ekundayo describes his home as, “not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing”. But that couldn’t matter any less for him. Not only does the London resident consistently work to grow his potential, he gets to see it every day. His coaches Brad Pickett and Mickey Papas hold the knowledge as well as first-hand experience, increasing his limits with every session. “We’re all close”, speaking of his coaches and team. “My head coach is Mickey Papas, he’s very knowable in the game. He’s been around for a very long time. He teaches me a lot, I can learn a lot of stuff from Mickey Papas. Sometimes I just think, how does he know all of this? Where did he get this information from?”

He continued, “While I was coming up through amateur, Brad (Pickett) was still an active fighter, but nowadays he’s taken a coaching approach. So he’s coaching us prospects getting us to where he got to and further… He’s been through it all, gotten to the top, and stayed at the top”.

Further discussing his coach, “For UK MMA, you could definitely call Brad a legend. He’s done a lot in his career, and someone who I rate highly as an MMA fighter is Demetrious Johnson, and of course Brad has got a win over (him). I feel like just being surrounded by someone like Brad, you’re working towards the right things. When he passes information onto you, you respect it that bit more because of far he got in his career. He’s definitely given me the right guidance, I trust his guidance”.

When it comes to the upcoming title fight, confidence poured out from where praise and respect had once been. “I just think it’s my time, to be honest. I really do believe it’s my time for all of this. The work I put in, certain things become inevitable”, he said. “I actually called this after I won my third fight, I called for belts and big shows. I spoke it to existence”. He continued, “It’s my time to finally to get a strap of some sort. All the straps is what we’re going for, all of them. We’re going for every one”.

“Rise of Champions is my show… That’s how I feel when I’m performing on ROC, it’s just my show, it’s my time to shine. Everyone knows who there here to see, there not really there to see the other guys. It’s my time, it’s my show and I’m going to put on a show on February 17th and I’m going to win that belt”.

The infectious nature of his positive attitude was palpable. Although we only spoke through small rectangular devices, I could feel his energy in the room. His attitude shined brightest when talking about what it would mean to be the first ever ROC Bantamweight champion. Ekundayo claimed, “It just means a lot to have my first belt in anything to be honest… Within myself, I call myself a champion, every day. But now, other people would have to call me a champion because I’ve got a belt… And one thing I really want to do is, which sounds a bit weird, I just want to take the belt home to my area, to Brixton.”

“I just want to take it to my area, and just show the people of that area what hard work can achieve… I want to just take it to my people and show them that not for nothing, we are from Brixton, it’s not the best start to have in your life. It’s not the best upbringing but you can rise above it and you can achieve your goals and that’s what the belt will mean”.

When the conversation shifted to the topic of his opponent, Ekundayo had less encouraging words rolling off his tongue. Jonas Magard, the second half of the ROC 5 main event, holds a record of 7-4. Currently he owns a seven fight win streak after starting his career 1-3. Ekundayo thought, “He did fight quite decent guys in his three loses… but in the seven fight win streak, none of his opponents have been of caliber”.

He elaborated further, “What’s in my thoughts is more me, then it is of him. So, he could come with anything, I don’t care. I’m just focused on how I’m going to be picture perfect. How I’m going to paint a masterpiece, how I’m going to make it a beautifully perfect performance. That’s what my primary focus is on, so what he does to me is irrelevant, I’m just going to focus on how I’m going to be perfect on the night of February 17th”.

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Announcement

UFC 222 Re-Worked with Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, and Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega

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UFC 222 has been saved, and it didn’t take a superhero to lift the burning boulder which was Max Holloway’s injury and withdrawal. All it took was a female named Cyborg and a man with a demeanor so smooth, he could be mistaken for an alter-ego. Cris Cyborg now serves as the UFC 222 main event when she defends her featherweight belt against Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar bumped down to the co-main event to face Brian Ortega in what is likely a title eliminator. The news of the UFC 222 revival originally stemmed from a report by MMAFighting.com and confirmed later in the evening by the UFC.

Over the course of the week, reports surrounded the Las Vegas card and whether it would survive. Multiple options were reportedly being mulled over; cancelling the card outright, changing the pay-per-view (PPV) to a ‘Fight Night’ with an Edgar vs. Ortega main event, Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 main event, among others. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya as the new main event, while also booking Brian Ortega.

This adjustment of the card places their women’s Featherweight champion in the second PPV main event in three months. Cris Cyborg recently put her undisputed Featherweight title on the line against Holly Holm at the year ending card, UFC 219. She successfully defended her belt by unanimous decision, in what was an amazing technical display from the Brazilian. In her octagon career, Cyborg is undefeated in her four appearances with three KO/TKO stoppages.

The second half of the new main event, Yana Kunitskaya, makes her UFC debut against the scariest women on the roster. If the 145 lb. champion was not enough of a challenge, Kunitskaya also makes her first appearance in the division since defeating Cindy Dandois in December of 2010. Of Russia descent, her most recent performances came inside the Invicta FC cage. At the female-only promotion, she posted a record of 1-1, with 1 No Contest. Her loss and no contest, both came at the hands of former UFC Featherweight title challenger, Tonya Evinger.

Turning to the co-main event, both fighters have been relatively inactive but, for good reason. Brian Ortega amazingly forced perennial men’s Featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, to tap in the second round of their ‘Fight Night: Fresno’ contest. Ortega fought twice in 2017, but more-so stayed inactive following his stoppage victory over Swanson. The Californian contender announced his desire to wait in line for the next title shot following the recent victory.

For Frankie Edgar, his last fight took place at UFC 211 when he absolutely demolished young and rising star, Yair Rodriguez. A card which took place last May. While Ortega holds an undefeated record, Edgar is undefeated in his previous 9 fights, excluding people named Jose Aldo.

UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd.

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Announcement

UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker Announces Birth of Third Child

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Times seem dull and dreary for the UFC’s Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand born fighter withdrew from the promotions event debut in the eastern region of his residence, Australia. UFC 221, which takes place this Saturday, booked Whittaker to defend his title for the first time against former division champion, Luke Rockhold. His withdrawal was due to mistreatment of a serious staph infection inside of the Australians stomach.

It couldn’t get much worse, having to disappoint fans, and missing the first UFC event in eastern Australia. As it turns out, it could not get worse for Whittaker. Life only got better, as he had the pleasure of announcing the birth of his third child.

His new child is the champions third and first girl. Information regarding his child is limited as this moment is a tender and special time for the Whittaker family.

UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at Perth Arena on February 11th. The cards main event features Whittakers short notice replacement, Yoel Romero taking on Luke Rockhold. Much to the satiety of fans, an interim belt is not in the equation in this instance.

Thank God. Excuse me, thank Dana White.

UFC 221 also features the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa faces Cyril Asker, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy and more.

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