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UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant Lineup and Fights You Can’t Miss

Vinny Craig

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After just under two weeks off, the UFC is back for the biggest weekend in history. Starting off that weekend is a Fight Pass exclusive card on Thursday, December 9. Here are the lineup and times for the event!

Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (6:45 PM EST, 3:45 PST, 11:45 PM GMT)

Women’s Strawweight: Kailin Curran vs. Emily Kagan

Featherweight: Zubaira Tukhgov vs. Phillipe Nover

Welterweight: Michael Graves vs. Danny Roberts

Welterweight: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Andreas Stahl

Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling vs. Johnny Eduardo

Middleweight: Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Kevin Casey

Welterweight: Omari Akhmedov vs. Sergio Moraes

Welterweight: Tim Means vs. John Howard

Main Card- UFC Fight Pass (10 PM EST, 7 PM PST, 3 AM GMT)

Middleweight: Elias Theodorou vs. Thiago Santos

Lightweight: Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister

Lightweight: Jim Miller vs. Michael Chiesa

Women’s Strawweight: Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant

 

Five fights you don’t want miss from the event!

 

Aljamain Sterling vs. Johnny Eduardo

In the Bantamweight division, we have Aljamain Sterling (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Johnny Eduardo (27-9; 2-1). The fight is buried on the preliminary card despite being one of the fights people are most excited for.

Sterling is a winner of three straight in the UFC. He last fought UFC on Fox 15 where he picked up a win as the underdog against Takeya Mizugaki. He won the fight in the third round by Arm-Triangle choke. This comes after a TKO win over Hugo Viana at UFC Fight Night 45 and a decision win against Cody Gibson at UFC 170. Coming out of the Serra-Longo camp, home of UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Sterling is good everywhere and is exciting to watch. He’ll come into the fight with 3.41 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) and only 1.12 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM). His wrestling is also good with 3.66 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.5 Submission Attempts.

Eduardo is a winner of his last two including a first round KO of Eddie Wineland. Eduardo started his UFC career off with a loss to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 134. Just under a year later he beat Jeff Curan by decision and then needed another two years before beating Wineland. Eduardo is  a striker who hits his opponent (2.60 SLpM) as often as he gets hit (2.60).

 

Elias Theodorou vs. Thiago Santos

Middleweights start the main card with Elias Theodorou (11-0; 3-0) and Thiago Santos (11-3; 3-2). Both got finishes in their last affairs.

Theodorou is The Ultimate Fighter: Nations winner from the Canadian team. He won in the finale beating Sheldon Westcott by second round TKO. His last two fights have been victories as he got a decision win over Bruno Santos and a TKO against Roger Narvaez. Theodorou is the type of fighter to take you down (3.55 Takedowns per 15 min.) and then execute serious ground and pound (4.59 Significant Strikes Lander per Minute).

Santos is a winner of two straight, both by finish. He has three UFC wins all together starting with a TKO win over Ronny Markes in the first round. His last two have come by TKO over Andy Enz by UFC 183 and a KO over Steve Bosse at UFC Fight Night 70. The head kick KO over Bosse earned him a Performance of the Night check. Santos is all striking with 3.88 SLpM and 68% Striking Defense.

 

Sage Northcutt vs. Cody Pfister

In one of the most anticipated fights on the card, Sage Northcutt (6-0; 1-0) and Cody Pfister (12-4-1; 1-1) face off in the Lightweight division.

Northcutt was on the Fight pass prelims in his last fight and now is on the main card. His debut lasted only 57 seconds as he picked up a TKO win over Francisco Trevino at UFC 192. That increased his streak to six straight finishes to start his career. He has a karate background and has learned the ground game after. Northcutt landed 21 Significant Strikes to his opponent’s 1.

Pfister is a two fight UFC vet with a win and a loss. He made his debut early this year when he lost to James Moontasri by Rear-Naked choke. His next fight was at UFC 189 where he picked up a decision win over Yosdenis Cedeno. Pfister has only landed 27 Sig. Strikes in two fights with five takedowns, all in the second fight.

 

Jim Miller vs. Michael Chiesa

The co-main event for the card also happens in the Lightweight division as veterans Jim Miller (25-6, 1 NC; 14-5, 1 NC) and Michael Chiesa (12-2; 5-2).

Miller started his career at UFC 89 and had nine of his first ten fights with the organization. At UFC on Versus 5, Miller was placed into a title eliminator fight of sorts with future Lightweight champion Benson Henderson. He would lose the fight by decision and then lost another title eliminator to Nate Diaz in a headlining bout for UFC on Fox 3. Recently, he has lost two of three with the lone win coming to Danny Castillo at UFC on Fox 16. Miller is a grappler by trade with some striking prowess. He doesn’t get hit often with his 62% Striking Defense and uses that for his takedowns with 1.83 Takedowns per 15 min. Miller has the most submission attempts in Lightweight history with 34.

Chiesa is The Ultimate Fighter Live winner when he beat Al Iaquinta by Rear-Naked choke. That win gave way to another Rear-Naked choke victory over Anton Kuivanen. He is 3-2 wince those two wins with a Submission of the Night win over Colton Smith and a Fight of the Night loss to Joe Lauzon. In his last fight, he won a decision over Mitch Clarke at UFC Fight Night 63. Chiesa is also a grappler with 2.81 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.2 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

 

Rose Namajunas vs. Paige VanZant

In the main event is the first time a non-title Women’s Strawweight fight has headlined a card, and no one is better for the task than Rose Namajunas (3-2; 1-1) and Paige VanZant (6-1; 3-0). The original fight was expected to be VanZant against Joanne Calderwood. When Calderwood pulled out, Namajunas stepped in.

Namajunas was the runner-up in The Ultimate Fighter Season 20. ‘Thug Rose’ was spectacular on the show with three straight submission wins over Alex Chambers, Joanne Calderwood and Randa Markos. The finale was a title fight with former Invicta champion Carla Esparza who also impressed on the show. Namajunas looked good in the fight but ultimately was submitted in the fourth round. She was expected to face Nina Ansaroff at UFC 187, but Ansaroff pulled out hours before the fight after missing weight by four pounds. She got back in there at UFC 192 with a first round submission over Angela Hill. The keyword in this is submission as Namajunas has won all of her fights by submission including a flying-Armbar at Invicta 5.

VanZant is a winner of four straight, three in the UFC. She has impressed with her cardio and all-around game. She has wins over Kailin Curran (Fight of the Night), Felice Herrig and Alex Chambers. VanZant has shown impressive stats lately with her 5.16 SLpM, 60% Striking Accuracy, 3.08 Takedowns per 15 min. and 1.5 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

 

 

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*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath

Harry Davies

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In this video, MMA Latest’s Dave Noseworthy shares his thoughts on Marlon Moraes’ brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling that took place this past weekend at UFC Fresno.

Check out Dave’s thoughts below:

 

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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