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UFC Fight Night: Boetsch vs. Henderson Preview

Vinny Craig

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After last weekend’s up-and-down fight night, here’s the next UFC event to come your way. In the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, Tim Boetsch and Dan Henderson will clash in the Octagon. The original headliner between now Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and contender Ryan Bader was scrapped when Cormier stepped to face Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 for the vacant Light Heavyweight belt.

Francisco Rivera vs. Alex Caceres

Starting off the main card is an exciting Bantamweight fight between Francisco Rivera (10-4, 1 NC MMA; 3-3, 1 NC UFC)* and Alex Caceres (10-7, 1 NC; 5-5, 1 NC). Both have lost their last two fights to tough competition and will look to rebound into contention. This matchup will see the #11 contender (Rivera) and a fighter on the cusp in Caceres.

Rivera has lost his last two fights. His last fight was a Bulldog choke loss to Urijah Faber at UFC 181. An inadvertent eye poke started the flurry and eventually the finish for Faber. Rivera and his management appealed the loss, but the commission disagreed. Before that, he lost a decision to Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 173. He was on a five fight unbeaten streak (which included a no-contest) before these two losses. Rivera is top ten in most striking categories for his division including third in Striking Defense (69.4 %)**.

Caceres has also lost his last two fights. He lost the first of the two to Faber as well as his night ended in the third round by Rear-Naked Choke. He would also lose his next fight to Masanori Kanehara by decision in his opponents’ promotional debut. Just like his opponent, ‘Bruce Leeroy’ was on a five fight unbeaten streak, with one no-contest, before his two straight losses. He is also a known striker and comes with the best Significant Striking Accuracy (51%) in the division.

Joe Soto vs. Anthony Birchak

In another Bantamweight fight, we see Joe Soto (15-3; 0-1) and Anthony Birchak (11-2, 0-1) in the Octagon. Each holds a UFC loss to their name and wants to get the weight of their first win off their shoulders. I expect to see these two fighting for quite some time as each showed promise in their debuts. The two were scheduled to fight at UFC 177 before Soto stepped up in a big fight.

Soto last fight for the title against the champ TJ Dillishaw when the champs’ original opponent Renan Barao had been admitted to the hospital and had to be removed from his title fight. Soto stepped up for Barao and left Birchak without an opponent. Soto looked good, taking the champ to the fifth round before being knocked out. Before that he had been on a six fight win streak to get into the UFC.

Birchak was rescheduled for UFC on Fox 13 where he faced Ian Entwistle. The fight would only last just over a minute before Birchak was tapping due to a heel hook. Before that loss he had been on a five fight win streak with 4 by stoppage. Look for a submission attempt or two as Birchak won his first five fights by tap out.

Thiago Tavares vs. Brian Ortega

We will see a Featherweight bout between submission guys when Thiago Tavares (19-5-1; 9-5-1) and Brain Ortega (8-0, 1 NC; 0-0, 1 NC) meet. Tavares was expected to face Zubaira Tukhugov before an undisclosed injury saw him pull out. Ortega stepped in on just over a month’s notice.

Tavares is a former Lightweight who transitioned in his last fight to the 145 pound division. He would win his Featherweight debut against Robbie Peralta by Rear-Naked Choke. Tavares started his career 10-0 before joining the UFC in 2007. 13 of his 19 career wins have come by submission and he has 5 fight bonus awards in his career. He has a grappling heavy attack as he averages 3.47 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.5 Submission attempts per 15 min.

Ortega is a UFC new comer with only one fight. He would originally win by submission over Mike De La Torre, but failed his post-fight drug test. The fight was changed to a No-Contest and Ortega’s first UFC win was tarnished. Before that fight, he was 8-0 in his career with two of his last three by Submission. He is a grappler by trade with a black belt in ju-jitsu and has wrestling to get his opponent to the ground.

Dustin Poirier vs. Yancy Medeiros

This fight has Fight of the Night written all over it as Dustin Poirier (17-4; 9-3) and Yancy Medeiros (11-2, 1 NC; 2-2, 1 NC) see who will move forward in the Lightweight division. Both are formerly of a different weight class with Poirier moving up and Medeiros moving down.

Poirier is a former top 5 contender in the Featherweight division. He last fought at UFC Fight Night: Mends vs. Lamas where be beat Carlos Diego Ferreira by knockout. He started his UFC career with 4 straight wins with 2 by submission. He is 4-1 in his last five with the only loss being to Featherweight title challenger Conor McGregor. His all-around fight game is evident by his stats; 4.53 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM), 3.23 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM), 1.35 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.6 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

Medeiros is a former Strikeforce contender who joined the UFC in 2013. He went 0-2 with a No-Contest in his first three fights. He would turn things around in his last two fights with submission wins over Damon Jackson (Reverse Bulldog choke) and Joe Proctor (Guillotine). He is a finisher with 9 of his 11 career wins coming by stoppage. He comes in with 4.57 SLpM and 2.2 Submission attempts per 15 min.

Ben Rothwell vs. Matt Mitrione

The co-main event is an exciting Heavyweight matchup between Ben Rothwell (34-9; 4-3) and Matt Mitrione (9-3, 9-3). This puts #9 Rothwell and #13 Mitrione for a chance to move up in the Heavyweight rankings. They have five fight night bonuses between the two, and one or both could very well earn one on Saturday.

Rothwell is a true veteran of the sport who has been competing since 2001. He started his UFC career at UFC 104 against now Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. He split losses for wins for five fights stretching four years. He finally put together two wins in a row with his last win over Alistair Overeem. Rothwell doesn’t t thrown punches in bunches, but like most Heavyweight puts together a big shot or two to put you away.

Mitrione is a former college football player at Purdue University. He joined MMA on TUF 10 where he went 1-1. In the finale, he was matched up with Marcus Jones and beat him by KO. He would win his next four fights with three by KO/TKO. He got a tough test when he faced Cheick Kongo and would lose by decision. That was a part of four fights where he lost three. Since then he has won three straight, all coming by KO/TKO over Shawn Jordan, Derrick Lewis and Gabriel Gonzaga. He throws more volume than Rothwell which is evident by his 3.86 SLpM and 51% Striking Accuracy.

Tim Boetsch vs. Dan Henderson

In the main event we have a Middleweight matchup between two wrestlers in Tim Boetsch (18-8; 7-5) and Dan Henderson (30-13; 10-7). Both have wrestling backgrounds with the latter being a two time Olympian. Between the two they have lost 6 of their last 8 fights.

Boetsch is a former Light Heavyweight who has made a home at 185. He’s had a 5 year UFC career which started at UFC 117 where he beat Todd Brown. He has wins over Yushin Okami, Hector Lombard, CB Dolloway and Brad Tavares since joining the organization. He was submitted by an Arm-Triangle choke in his last fight against Thales Leites.  ‘The Barbarian’ comes in boasting a 2.72 SLpM with 50% accuracy on it. His wrestling comes in nicely with 1.69 Takedowns per 15 min.

Henderson is the former Pride Middleweight and Welterweight champion. His UFC career was re-launched when he had to unify both of his titles against the UFC champions in Anderson Silva and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. He would lose both fights and keep neither belt to his name. After joining Strikeforce in 2010 he would get an immediate title shot at champion Jake Shields for the Middleweight strap. He would come up short but get a shot for the Light Heavyweight belt just two fights later. He would TKO then champ Rafael Cavalcante to win the belt.  Since he returned to the UFC to headline UFC 139 in a Fight of the Year (maybe century) honors, he has gone just 2-5. He comes in to the fight with only 2.55 SApM to go along with his wrestling stats of 1.61 Takedowns per 15 min. and 54% Takedown Accuracy.

*-All records come from Sherdog.com

** All stats come from FightMetric.com

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*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 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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EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity

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Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.

Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”

Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”

Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”

Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”

With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”

Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”

Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.

Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:

Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)

By Ieuan Thomas.

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