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UFC Fight Night 83 Full Report

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Pittsburgh had waited 5 years to once again play host to a UFC event and the wait was finally over on February 21st, 2016. A card that saw multiple short notice changes due to failed drug tests and injuries, there was some skepticism over whether UFC Fight Night 83 would still deliver an exciting night of fights, but that’s exactly what it did.

The main event saw a “Cowboy vs Cowboy” matchup as Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone took on Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira in a fight where both of the fighters moved up to 170 lbs. After getting tagged by a few right hands, knees in the clinch and responding with some kicks and knees of his own, Cerrone secured a takedown and that was the beginning of the end. Cerrone smoothly transitioned from half-guard, to full mount, into a setup for a triangle choke. Once he had the setup, Cerrone was quick to lock in the triangle and Oliveira tapped almost immediately from the deep choke.

The co-main event was a battle of rising middleweights as Derek Brunson went toe to toe with Roan Carneiro. The pace of the fight was slow until roughly 2 minutes into the 1st round when, after a slip by Carneiro, Brunson laid into the Brazilian and landed an incredibly fast barrage of punches, most of which went unanswered until the ref stepped in and stopped the fight. It was yet another impressive performance by Derek Brunson who is quickly making a name for himself at 180 lbs.

Pittsburgh native Cody “No Love” Garbrandt seemed like he might not get the chance to fight in front of his hometown crowd after his original opponent, John Lineker pulled out of the fight due to illness just 7 days before fight night. In stepped Augusto Mendes, who took the extremely short notice fight, making his UFC debut in the process. While Mendes is a world-class jiu-jitsu practitioner, the fight never made it to the ground as Garbrandt made sure to keep the fight standing before ultimately dropping Mendes with a solid right hand and finishing him with a few quick hammerfists in the final minute of round 1. Garbrandt remains undefeated.

With a combined 28 UFC fights between them, Chris Camozzi and Joe Riggs are both seasoned veterans with experience in 3 round wars. Their fight in Pittsburgh was the exact opposite, lasting only 26 seconds. Camozzi landed a big jab immediately which staggered Riggs before Camozzi unleashed a flurry of knees to the head with Riggs attempting to block with his forearms. 6 straight knees finally dropped Riggs and ended the fight. The commentators of the bout reported later that Camozzi had actually broken one of Riggs’ arms with those knees.

Two fights on the main card went the distance as Dennis Bermudez returned to the win column with a dominant performance over Tatsuya Kawajiri and James Krause earned a unanimous decision over a very tough Shane Campbell.

Main Card (FS1 at 9 PM ET)
Donald Cerrone def. Alex Oliveira via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:33

Derek Brunson def. Roan Carneiro via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:38

Cody Garbrandt def. Augusto Mendes via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:18

Dennis Bermudez def. Tatsuya Kawajiri via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Chris Camozzi def. Joe Riggs via TKO (knees) – Round 1, 0:26

James Krause def. Shane Campbell via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card: (FS1 – 7:00 PM ET)
Sean Strickland def. Alex Garcia via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:25

Oluwale Bamgbose def. Daniel Sarafian via knockout (head kick, punches) – Round 1, 1:00

Anthony Smith def. Leonardo Augusto Leleco via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Nathan Coy def. Jonavin Webb via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card: (UFC Fight Pass – 5:30 PM ET)
Ashlee Evans-Smith def. Marion Reneau via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-27)

Lauren Murphy def. Kelly Faszholz via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 4:55

Shamil Abdurakhimov def. Anthony Hamilton via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

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Announcement

Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223

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UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.

 

Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

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Bellator

Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet

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Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

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Fight Announcements

Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April

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MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.

 

The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.

Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.

An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.

His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).

Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.

PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.

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