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UFC Fight Night 88 Preview

Vinny Craig

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After the historic UFC 198 in Brazil, the UFC keeps it moving, going back to their home base of Las Vegas with UFC Fight Night 88. The card, for the most part, has stayed intact with a solid core of fighters leading the way. From Heavyweight to Lightweight, and a final stop in Bantamweight takes MMA fans through their night of fights. A usual time for a big PPV event is given to Bantamweight prospects Thomas Almeida and Cody Garbrandt and the rest of the Fight Night 88 crew on Sunday, May 29.

Main Card- Fox Sports 1 (9 PM EDT, 6 PM PDT, 2 AM GMT)

  • Bantamweight: Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt
  • Featherweight: Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Welterweight: Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rick Story
  • Middleweight: Chris Camozzi vs. Vitor Miranda
  • Welterweight: Jorge Masvidal vs. Lorenz Larkin
  • Lightweight: Josh Burkman vs. Paul Felder

Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 1 (7 PM EDT, 4 PM PDT, 12 AM GMT)

  • Women’s Bantamweight: Sara McMann vs. Jessica Eye
  • Lightweight: Abel Trujillo vs. Jordan Rinaldi
  • Middleweight: Jake Collier vs. Alberto Uda
  • Lightweight: Eric Koch vs. Shane Campbell

Early Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (6 PM EDT, 3 PM PDT, 11 PM GMT)

  • Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling vs. Bryan Caraway
  • Heavyweight: Chris De La Rocha vs. Adam Milstead

 

Aljamain Sterling vs. Bryan Caraway

The UFC Fight Pass feature spot has been a big one lately with guys like Joseph Duffy, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Diego Sanchez getting that spot. Add Bantamweights Aljamain Sterling (13-0 MMA; 4-0 UFC)* and Bryan Caraway (20-7; 5-2) to that list as they get the call for Vegas.

Sterling has been calling for this fight for some time now. ‘Funkmaster’ just recently signed a new contract with the UFC after testing the free agency market. The undefeated New Yorker has three straight finish wins inside the Octagon over Hugo Viana, Takeya Mizugaki, and Johnny Eduardo. The former CFFC Bantamweight champion has impressed in the UFC with 3.24 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM)** and only 0.99 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM). A former collegiate wrestler has brought that to the biggest stage with 3.58 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.5 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

Caraway was a former WEC competitor who made it to The Ultimate Fighter as a Featherweight. Caraway fought and beat Marcus Brimage by submission in his quarterfinal fight. In the semi-finals, he lost to Diego Brandao by TKO in the first round. At the finale, Caraway got fellow contestant Dustin Neace and won the fight by Rear-Naked choke. He went on to move to Bantamweight and earned a Fight of the Night, submission win at UFC 149. He took his first loss to Takeya Mizugaki at UFC on Fuel TV 8 as the Split-decision went the opposite way. He got two straight submission wins over Johnny Bedford and Erik Perez to get him to a fight with Raphael Assuncao where he lost by decision. At UFC on Fox 16, he met Eddie Wineland and took the fight by Unanimous decision. His main attribute is his grappling prowess as he steps in with 2.8 Takedowns per 15 min., 81% Takedown Defense (TDD), and 1.0 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

 

Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rick Story

In the Welterweight division, Tarec Saffiedine (16-4; 2-1) and Rick Story (18-8; 11-6) get on the main card.

Saffiedine was the last Strikeforce Welterweight Championship with his win over Nate Marquardt. To get to that fight, he picked up wins over Scott Smith, Tyler Stinson, and Roger Bowling. He made his debut in a headliners role at UFC Fight Night 34 where he beat Hyun Gyu Lim in a Fight of the Night. He wouldn’t return to the Octagon until he got another headlining role at UFC Fight Night Halifax. The fight went to Rory MacDonald as he earned a title shot off the win over Saffiedine. After another injury, he didn’t return for another 15 months when he beat Jake Ellenberger by decision in January. The Karate fighter has shown his striking nature with 4.25 SLpM and a 64% Striking Defense.

Story is a veteran of the UFC with this being his 18th career UFC fight. After dropping his UFC debut at UFC 99, he came back strong with a Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night win over Brian Foster at UFC 103. That jump-started a six-fight win streak that included wins over Dustin Hazelett, Johny Hendricks, and Thiago Alves. The streak came to an end against Charlie Brenneman where he lost a decision. Since then, he is 5-4 which includes a current two-fight win streak over Leandro Mafra (Arm-Triangle choke) and Gunnar Nelson (Split-decision). While not as decorated of a striker as his opponent, he comes in with 3.84 SLpM and 64% Striking Accuracy. He has the advantage with the grappling with 2.72 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.0 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

 

Renan Barao vs. Jeremy Stephens

The co-main event comes in the Featherweight division as Renan Barao (33-3, 1 NC; 8-2) takes on Jeremy Stephens (24-12; 11-11) in his Featherweight return.

Barao is the former Bantamweight champion after former (and current) champion Dominick Cruz had to be stripped. Barao defended the belt once against Urijah Faber with a first-round TKO, his streak moving to 33 fights unbeaten. His next fight was almost a give-me fight to get to Dominick Cruz as he faced TJ Dillashaw at UFC 173. The fight did not go his way as Dillashaw moved around the champ and finished the fight in the fifth round. The rematch was booked for three months later at UFC 177 where Barao made it to fight week, but could not make it to the fight due to weight cut issues. He beat Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58, the last event on 2014, by third round Arm-Triangle choke in his return. The rematch was booked for UFC on Fox 16 where it was much of the same for Barao who was finished in the fourth round. Barao is still very talented with 3.65 SLpM, 1.25 Takedowns per 15 min., and 97% TDD.

Stephens was a longtime Lightweight contender known for his power. After going 6-8 with three straight losses at the end, Stephens moved to the Featherweight division. His first fight at 145 was a decision win over Estevan Payan at UFC 160. His second fight showed the old Stephens with a first round head-kick KO over Rony Jason. After his win over Darren Elkins, he got a bump up in competition with a main event slot against Cub Swanson. After five rounds, Swanson won the decision and Stephens was given Charles Oliveira. Another decision loss landed ‘Heathen’ on the main card of UFC 189 against Dennis Bermudez. After a rocky first round, a flying knee caught Bermudez in the second and Stephens finished the fight. That win catapulted him up to a fight with Max Holloway at UFC 194, the biggest card of the year. The fight again went to a decision for his opponent in Max Holloway as Stephens was bested. His biggest threat is his big power as he has 10 Knockdowns in the UFC.

 

Thomas Almeida vs. Cody Garbrandt

The main event is one of the most fun matchups of the year as undefeated prospects Thomas Almeida (21-0; 4-0) and Cody Garbrandt (8-0; 3-0) get the right to be the first non-title Bantamweight main event.

Almeida has impressed from the start as a 17-0 prospect who joined the UFC against Tim Gorman at UFC Fight Night 56. While his streak of 16 straight finishes ended, the fight was Fight of the Night with Almeida the clear victor by decision. He got back to his roots at UFC 186 with a first round TKO over Yves Jabouin on the main card. On one of the biggest cards of the year, Almeida impressed with a second round flying knee KO over Brad Pickett at UFC 189. He got a fight in his home country of Brazil with a first round KO over Anthony Birchak. In his four UFC fights, he has landed a total of 199 Significant Strikes at a 50% clip and 65% Striking Defense. He has yet to go for a takedown while only allowing himself to be taken down three times in four fights.

Garbrandt is a member of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. Like his opponent, he stepped into the Octagon with six straight wins, all by finish. He made his debut with a TKO win over Marcus Brimage at UFC 182. Like Almeida, Garbrandt was on UFC 189 and got a decision win over Henry Briones on the undercard of that event. He was supposed to fight John Lineker at UFC Fight Night 83, but Lineker became ill during fight week and was replaced by Augusto Mendes. ‘No Love’ disposed of Mendes by first round TKO to gain his eighth straight win. Much like Almeida, Garbrandt has relied on striking with 3.63 SLpM and 2.61 SApM. He has a better wrestling game with four Takedowns and three guard passes in his three UFC fights.

*All records from Sherdog.com

** All stats from FightMetric.com

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results

Harry Davies

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The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.

Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.

Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.


MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST

  • Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) Round 1 – 4:20
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-3) – Women’s strawweight bout
    • Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Jan Blachowicz (20-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-2) – Light heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Błachowicz def. Devin Clark via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 2 – 3:02
  • Oskar Piechota (10-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-3) – Middleweight bout
    • ResultOskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

(more…)

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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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Bellator

Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.

This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.

Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK

  • Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
  • Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
  • Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK

  • 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
  • Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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