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UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Saint Preux Preview

Vinny Craig

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The state of Tennessee gets its fourth UFC event, the third time they’ve stopped into Nashville. The last event held there was held at the same arena as Jim Miller submitted Melvin Guillard in the main event. This time around, a Tennessee native and University of Tennessee alum Ovince Saint Preux will take on former title challenger Glover Teixeira in the main event. The 13 fight card sees every weight class except Featherweight, Welterweight and Strawweight.

Ray Borg vs. Geane Herrera

In the Flyweight division, a solid matchup between Ray Borg (8-1 MMA; 2-1 UFC)* and Geane Herrera (8-0; 0-0) start off your main card. Borg is a top 15 ranked Flyweight by the UFC and is a star in the making at just 22 years old. (At time of writing this, it’s Borg’s birthday so I would like to give out a Happy Birthday to him).

Borg is a 3 fight UFC veteran at the young age of 22. He started out at UFC on Fox 11 in April 2014 where he was thrown to the wolves for his first fight. He would make it close in a split-decision loss to Dustin Ortiz where some thought Borg took the nod. He was back at it just over two months later with his first promotional win with a Rear-Naked choke. He last fought UFC Fight Night 60 where he got another submission win with a Kimura. ‘The Tazmexican Devil’ is top notch grappler with 6 of his career wins by submission to go along with his 5.46 takedowns** per 15 min. and 4.0 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

Herrera is a promotional newcomer with some great credentials. Hailing from Tampa, FL, he has spent most of his professional time in that area. He comes in undefeated with 8 wins, 5 of which are by submission. He last fought in April in RFA where got his first KO/TKO win of his career with a first-round TKO. His grappling style should compliment the style of his opponent well.

Chris Camozzi vs. Tom Watson

A Middleweight fight between Chris Camozzi (21-10; 6-6) and Tom Watson (17-8; 2-4) comes your way as well. Both guys have seen better days in their careers and a win here could mean the difference between their job. This could almost be a loser goes home matchup.

Camozzi was re-signed by the UFC to fight Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza on short notice at UFC on Fox 15. He would lose the fight by first round Armbar. Before being cut, he was on a four-fight losing streak with the first of those coming to Souza. After being cut, he won the Prize FC Middleweight title and defended it once in the 9 months he was gone. He was on a four-fight UFC win streak from January 2012 to March 2013 before his string of losses. ‘Kamikaze’ comes into the contest with 3.88 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) and only 2.93 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM) to go along with his 58% Striking Defense. He is not an efficient grappler as he has not completed a single takedown in 15 attempts inside the Octagon.

Watson has done just enough in his 6 UFC fights to stay with the organization. His two UFC wins have come over Stanislov Nedkov and Sam Alvey. He lost his last fight to Rafael Natal at UFC 183 where he lost a decision. Watson hits his opponents (3.75 SLpM), but also gets hit a bunch as well (4.17 SApM). ‘Kong’ has also never gotten a takedown in the UFC.

Jared Rosholt vs. Timothy Johnson

In the only Heavyweight fight on the card, Jared Rosholt (12-2; 4-1) and Timothy Johnson (9-1; 1-0) get a main card slot. Both have seen recent success and could make waves in a wide open Heavyweight division. Both have a moderate amount of experience and another fight under their belt always helps.

Rosholt has won 4 of his 5 UFC fights. He started out with a decision win over Walt Harris at TUF 18 Finale. He would win his next two fights, both by decision, to take his record to 11-1 with three straight UFC wins. He would lose for the second time in his career to Oleksiy Oliynyk when he was KO’d in the first round. He would get back on the wagon with a TKO win over Josh Copeland at UFC 185. Rosholt barely gets hit as he comes in with 0.99 SApM, the least all-time with any fighter with 5 fights or more. His 2.45 SLpM is all he needs with his 63% Striking Defense. He also Takes down his opponents at a 1.71 per 15 min. clip. He has never been taken down in 6 attempts while in the UFC.

Johnson made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 63 in April. It took him less than a round to get acclimated to the UFC when he got a TKO win with three seconds left in the round. Before joining the UFC, he was on a 7 fight win streak with all finishes (4 by submission and 3 by TKO). All of his fights have ended by stoppage and he has never seen the third round. He landed 22 Significant Strikes in his one fight with 37% accuracy.

Derek Brunson vs. Sam Alvey

Middleweight’s collide as Derek Brunson (13-3; 4-1) and our very own Sam Alvey (26-6, 1 NC; 3-1) go at it. ‘Smile ‘N’ is the co-host of the MMA Latest Pound-for-Pound podcast. Alvey, and fellow fighter on this card Ray Borg, were on last week’s show! Both guys are looking to make a push towards contention as they both will break the top 15 with a win.

Brunson was invited to join Season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter. He was pulled from the show when it was acknowledged that he had yet to be let go from his Showtime contract. He would fight in the UFC anyway with a win over veteran Chris Leben in his debut. He has one UFC loss to date to Yoel Romero where he was TKO’d in the third round. Brunson doesn’t get hit often as shown by his 2.40 SApM which bodes well with his wrestling. He averages 3.97 takedowns per 15 min. and has never been taken down in his Strikeforce/UFC time in 6 tries.

Alvey is on a tear right now with three straight first round finishes. He has 17 career wins by TKO/KO. He would start out in his UFC debut with a loss to Tom Watson. It would only get better as he has finished Dylan Andrews, Cezar Ferreira and Dan Kelly in the next three fights. He is a brawler and his fights are usually very exciting to watch. He lands 4.62 SLpM with 51% Striking Accuracy. ‘Smile ‘N’ has only been taken down twice in 7 attempts against him.

Michael Johnson vs. Beneil Dariush

In the co-main event we a have a fantastic match up between Michael Johnson (16-8; 8-4) and Beneil Dariush (11-1; 5-1). The bout could help decide a future title challenger no matter who wins the fights. Both are on hot streaks right now and will use their momentum into the fight. Johnson is currently ranked 8th in our Lightweight rankings while Dariush is an honorable mention.

Johnson is on a four fight win streak currently and has climbed the rankings quickly. He hasn’t lost since April of 2013 when he was submitted by Reza Madadi. In those 4 wins, he has three dominant decisions over Joe Lauzon, Melvin Guillard and Edson Barboza to go along with a KO of Gleison Tibau. He was expected to face former champion Benson Henderson, but an undisclosed injury kept ‘Smooth’ from fighting. Johnson comes in with 3.38 SLpM and only 2.55 SApM to go along with a 63% Striking Defense. His wrestling pedigree has not translated to his MMA game as he only averages 0.66 take downs per 15 min.

Dariush has risen through the rankings quickly with impressive outings from the start. The Iranian born fighter has also won four straight wins in impressive fashion. He has two finishes and two decisions in those four fights as he submitted Tony Martin and Daron Cruickshank. His last fight was an impressive decision win over Jim Miller in which he beat the veteran at his own game. His striking has come around as he know lands more strikes (2.48 SLpM) than he gets hit (2.33 SApM). His grappling has always been his strong suit with 2.29 take downs per 15 min. and 1.4 Submission Attempts per 15 min.

Glover Teixeira vs. Ovince Saint Preux

The main event is a Light Heavyweight bout between two contenders in Glover Teixeira (22-4; 5-2) and Ovince St. Preux (18-6; 6-1). Teixeira is a former title challenger to the former champion Jon Jones while Saint Preux has won 6 of his 7 fights in the Octagon. Between the two, their last six fights have been a main/co-main event.

Teixieira has lost his last two fights to tough competition. He won his first five fights in the UFC with four finishes. He was awarded with a title shot at then champ Jon Jones with that. He would be dominated for five rounds and lose the decision. His next fight came against another contender in Phil Davis where he didn’t look the same as before. He has taken some time off to recoup from injuries and is back in the Octagon for the first time since October 2014. He has good striking with 4.15 SLpM and 58% Striking Defense. His grappling has always been above average with 6 of his career wins coming by way of submission. He averages 2.32 take downs per 15 min. and 50% take down Accuracy. He is currently ranked #8 in our Light Heavyweight rankings.

Saint Preux is fighting in his home state for the for the first time in the UFC. A former college football player, Saint Preux was a Strikeforce contender before joining the ranks of the UFC’s elite. Since joining, he has only lost to fellow contender in Ryan Bader in a headlining bout. His 6 wins have all come by stoppage with 4 by TKO/KO. He has wins over Shogun Rua, Ryan Jimmo and Patrick Cummins while in the UFC. His SApM is only 2.73 with a Striking Accuracy of 50%. His take down Accuracy is at 60% to go along with his 1.70 take downs per 15 min. He is ranked #9 in our Light Heavyweight rankings.

*All records from Sherdog.com

**All stats from FightMetric.com

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate

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Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.

But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.

After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.

The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.

Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.

He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.

In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.

Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 17: Michael Bisping of England steps on the scale during the UFC weigh-in inside the SSE Hydro on July 17, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.

Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.

This is me and Anderson exchanging respect while being attended to by the doctors.

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on

The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.

Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.

Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.

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