A whirlwind of news and disappointments has us arriving at February 6, the date first set for UFC 196 with a Heavyweight title fight main event. First, challenger Cain Velasquez dropped out due to a back injury and was replaced by Stipe Miocic. Not even 24 hours later, Champion Fabricio Werdum backed out due to injury leaving UFC 196 in jeopardy. Fast forward to Tuesday last week and the event has been changed to UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson and will air LIVE and FREE on Fox Sports 1. The name UFC 196 has been given to the March 5 PPV that will be headlined by a Lightweight title fight between Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and Featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
Early Prelims- UFC Fight Pass (7 PM EST, 4 PM PST. 12 AM GMT)
Featherweight: Artem Lobov vs. Alex White
Welterweight: Mickey Gall vs. Mike Jackson
Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 1 (8 PM EST, 5 PM PST, 1 AM GMT)
Featherweight: Noad Lahat vs. Diego Rivas
Flyweight: Ray Borg vs. Justin Scoggins
Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis vs. Damian Grabowski
Lightweight: Josh Burkman vs. K.J. Noons
Main Card- Fox Sports 1 (10 PM EST, 7 PM PST, 3 AM GMT)
Welterweight: Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer
Light Heavyweight: Misha Cirkunov vs. Alex Nicholson
Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky
Light Heavyweight: Ovince St. Preux vs. Rafael Cavalcante
Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt
Welterweight: Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson
Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky
In a Flyweight bout with title implications when number one contender Joseph Benavidez (23-4 MMA; 10-2 UFC)* and Zach Makovsky (19-6; 3-2) meet. The fight was originally scheduled to start off the PPV portion,
Benavidez is a two-time Flyweight title challenger. He last fought for the title on FOX where he was KO’d in the first round. He is now on a four-fight win streak and looking to get back to the title. He has wins over Tim Elliot, Dustin Ortiz, John Moraga and Ali Bagautinov. He has yet to lose a non-title fight in the UFC so far. Benavidez is a very well rounded fighter with 3.27 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM)**, 66% Striking Defense and 0.8 Submission Attempts per 15 min.
Makovsky is the former Bellator Bantamweight champion when he beat Ed West. He joined the UFC at UFC on Fox 9, coincidentally where Benavidez last fought for the title. He would get the decision win over veteran Scott Jorgensen that night and then move on to Josh Sampo at UFC 170. He picked up a loss to Jussier Formiga but got back on track with a win over Tim Elliot. He last fought at UFC 187 against John Dodson where he lost a close decision. Makovsky has a wrestling base and shows it with his 3.60 Takedowns per 15 min.
Ovince St. Preux vs. Rafael Cavalcante
Light Heavyweights Ovince St. Preux (18-7; 6-2) and Rafael Cavalcante (12-6, 1 NC; 1-3) match up.
St. Preux is a former Strikeforce standout with five wins in six fights. He moved to the UFC with the merger and made his debut at UFC 159 against Gian Villante. His first four fights yielded three finishes with two submissions and a KO, including a Von-Flue choke against Nikita Krylov at UFC 171. His last four have seen him go 2-2 with wins over Shogun and Patrick Cummins. St. Preux is a solid striker with 2.59 SLpM and 53% Takedown Accuracy.
Cavalcante is the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion when he beat King Mo. The hype didn’t last long as he lost the title before he was able to defend it against Dan Henderson. He has not seen success in the UFC with just one win (TKO over Igor Pokrajec) in four UFC fights. He last fought at UFC 190 where he was dominated and then TKO’d by Patrick Cummins in Brazil. ‘Feijao’ is a power striker with 11 of his twelve wins coming by KO/TKO and one submission due to punches. He has been hit a ton in the UFC with 4.69 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM) and only 2.32 SLpM.
Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt
The co-main event is a top 15 Heavyweight showdown between Roy Nelson (20-12; 7-8) and Jared Rosholt (14-2; 6-1).
‘Big Country’ is a fan favorite with his KO power and a big belly. He is just 1-4 in his last five with the win coming over Antonio Nogueira in the main event of Fight Night: Abu Dhabi. 18 of his 20 career wins have come by finish, with all seven of his UFC wins by KO/TKO. He has only been finished once inside the Octagon when Mark Hunt face planted him in the main event of Fight Night Japan. He has been the main event in three of his last four fights and the co-main or main event in five of six.
Rosholt is a winner of his last three and six of seven in the UFC. He is almost the exact opposite of Big Country who has five of his six UFC wins by decision. He won his biggest fight yet against Stefan Struve at UFC 193 where he got the decision nod. The former Oklahoma State wrestler is the younger brother of former UFC Middleweight Jake Rosholt. Rosholt does the majority of his damage on the ground with 13 career takedowns and 38% of his Significant Strikes landed came from the ground.
Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson
The new main event of the UFC Fight Night 82 is a Welterweight scrap between former champion Johny Hendricks (17-3; 12-3) and Stephen Thompson (11-1; 6-1). It will be a five-round main event.
Hendricks is the former Welterweight champ. He won the vacant belt at UFC 171 after losing his first title fight to then-champion Georges St. Pierre. When St. Pierre left the sport, Hendricks fought veteran and now-champ Robbie Lawler for the belt. He would win the first match up in a Fight of the Year. The two would meet again at UFC 181 where Lawler got the better of Hendricks and won the belt. Hendricks has had weight issues since then and was pulled from a highly anticipated bout against Tyron Woodley at UFC 192 after being hospitalized for body complications due to extreme weight cut.
‘Wonderboy’ is a winner of five straight with three KO/TKO finishes. He was switched from being on UFC 189 to the main event of TUF 21 Finale against Jake Ellenberger. He hit two spinning heel kicks with the second ending the fight in the first round. That was his sixth win by TKO/KO in his 11 career wins. Wonderboy lands 4.68 SLpM at 50% Striking Accuracy. He’ll need to use his 78% Takedown Defense (TDD) against the former D1 All-American Hendricks
*- All records from Sherdog.com
**-All stats from FightMetric.com
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
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:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
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.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
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:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
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.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
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.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
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)
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)
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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