Fight Night Brisbane may have been one of the most exciting events of the short year with five of six fights ending in a finish and an exciting all around fight rounded out the main card. With little star power to back it up, Brisbane came out of nowhere to set the precedent for Fight Night cards. Zagreb is in the same fashion as the only star power comes from the main event in a new market. Three Heavyweight bouts end the night, meaning we could see three quick finishes or three snoozers. We climax with the main event between Ben Rothwell and Junior dos Santos.
Early Preliminary Card- UFC Fight Pass (10:30 AM EDT, 7:30 AM PDT, 3:30 PM GMT)
- Welterweight: Bojan Velickovic vs. Alessio Di Chirico
- Heavyweight: Jared Cannonier vs. Cyril Asker
- Featherweight: Robert Whiteford vs. Lucas Martins
Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 1 (12 PM EDT, 9 AM PDT, 5 PM GMT)
- Bantamweight: Felip Pejic vs. Damian Stasiak
- Bantamweight: Ian Entwistle vs. Alejandro Perez
- Lightweight: Mairbek Taisumov vs. Damir Hadzovic
- Welterweight: Nicolas Dalby vs. Zak Cummings
Main Card- Fox Sports 1 (2 PM EDT, 11 AM PDT, 7 PM GMT)
- Women’s Strawweight: Maryna Moroz vs. Cristina Stanciu
- Light Heavyweight: Igor Pokrajec vs. Jan Blachowicz
- Heavyweight: Timothy Johnson vs. Marcin Tybura
- Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou vs. Curtis Blaydes
- Heavyweight: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Derrick Lewis
- Heavyweight: Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos
Robert Whiteford vs. Lucas Martins
One of the most exciting fights of the night is the featured prelim on UFC Fight Pass when fFeatherweights Robert Whiteford (12-3 MMA; 2-2 UFC)* and Lucas Martins (15-3; 3-3) square off.
Whiteford is a Scottish prospect that has given some exciting fights to Europe. He’s a winner of two of his last three fights after his last bout against a surging Darren Elkins at UFC Dublin. The loss succeeded two wins against Daniel Pineda (decision) at UFC 171 and Paul Redmond (KO) at UFC Glasgow in his home country of Scotland. ‘The Hammer’ is a strong judoka and muay-thai practitioner, two things he uses well in sequence with each other to wins his fights.
Martins has hit a rough patch as he lost two in a row, both in his native Brazil. After winning his first 12 fights outside of the UFC, the call every professional MMA fighter wants came through for a fight at UFC on FX 7. He would lose his first fight as he got submitted by punches to Edson Barboza. His next three were all stoppage wins as he beat Jeremy Larson, Junior Hernandez, and Alex White. As like his opponent, the streak ended with two losses in a row Darren Elkins and Mirsad Bektic.
Nicolas Dalby vs. Zak Cummings
One of the most exciting European prospects in Nicolas Dalby (14-0-1; 1-0-1) gets a spotlight position as the preliminary card feature bout against Zak Cummings (18-4; 3-1). The original fight was Dalby against Bartosz Fabinski, but Fabinski was removed from the card due to undisclosed reasons and was replaced by Cummings.
Dalby has become an all-around mixed martial artist. He joined the UFC on a 13-fight win streak, winning two different organizations’ belts. He got his first fight against Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos at UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Alves. He showed his whole skill set with good striking supplemented by offensive and defensive grappling to get a split-decision. His next fight was closer to home in Dublin against Darren Till. Dalby was down on the scorecards, down two round to none going into the third. He landed 61 of his 84 Significant Strikes and 78 of his 111 total strikes in the third round to force a 10-8 round. The fight went to a draw, keeping both of the fighters undefeated records intact.
Cummings was on The Ultimate Fighter season 17 where he was picked by Team Sonnen. He would lose his first fight in the house to eventual semifinalist Dylan Andrews by decision. Cummings would make it to the UFC on his own and show his worth two wins in a row including a D’Arce submission over in his debut. He had a setback against talented grappler Gunnar Nelson when he was submitted to a Rear-Naked choke. He came back at UFC on Fox 16 with a TKO win over Dominique Steele 43 seconds into the fight. Cummings doesn’t look to have an advantage anywhere in the fight, but leave that up to Dan Tom and his breakdowns for stuff like that.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Derrick Lewis
We jump all the way to the co-main event as the Heavyweight version of grappler vs. striker is evident. Gabriel Gonzaga (17-10; 12-9) and Derrick Lewis (14-4, 1 NC; 5-2) meet in an interesting style bout. Gonzaga was originally supposed to face Ruslan Magomedov before Magomedov pulled out due to injury. Lewis dropped out of his bout against Roy Nelson at UFC 197 to face Gonzaga.
Gonzaga is a former title challenger at UFC 74 where he lost by third round TKO. He won four fights in a row to get there, the last being the iconic head kick KO of Mirko Cro Cop in the main event of UFC 70. After the title loss, Gonzaga could never quite get it going after that with a 6-7 record since then. Lately, he’s lost 3 of his last 4 including the rematch with Cro Cop. He did pick up a win in his last fight as the featured prelim at TUF 22 Finale against Konstantin Erokhin. Gonzaga has 11 submission attempts in the UFC, good for third in the active division. He also has 23 career takedowns, second to only former champion Cain Velasquez with 33.
Lewis, aka ‘The Black Beast’, is always a fun watch. Every one of his UFC fights has ended with a KO/TKO both in victory defeat. He has two wins in a row, both by TKO, over Viktor Pesta and Damien Grabowski. In 14 career victories, Lewis has a 100% finish rate with 13 KO/TKO and 1 submission. Lewis is third all-time with an average fight time of just over five minutes (5:10).
Ben Rothwell vs. Junior dos Santos
The main event is the last of four Heavyweight fights to end the night. Ben Rothwell (36-9; 6-3) and Junior dos Santos (17-4; 11-3) meet to keep relevant in the Heavyweight division.
Rothwell has figured it out as of late. He has won his last four fights with two by TKO/KO and two by submission. The savvy veteran has fought the “who’s who” in and out of the UFC with fights against Tim Sylvia, Roy Nelson, Cain Velasquez, Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett. After starting his UFC time with alternate wins and losses, his TKO win over Overeem changed the scope of things. His last two wins have come by his patented go-go choke which he used to beat Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett. Rothwell has picked up his striking output lately with 4.35 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute(SLpM) in his last four compared to 2.85 SLpM in his career. **
Dos Santos is the former Heavyweight champion; He was a winner of in each of his first seven fights to earn a title shot against Cain Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1. He would need just 66 seconds to finish the champ by KO and become the champion himself. Dos Santos defended the belt against Frank Mir at UFC 146 with a second round TKO. The UFC gave Velasquez another shot at UFC 155 where dos Santos was outclassed for five rounds. He’s had another shot at Velasquez since then with the same outcome at UFC 166. In his last bout, he lost to someone not named Cain Velasquez for the first time in eight years and 15 fights. With his 12 knockdowns and 730 career Significant Strikes, dos Santos leads the Heavyweight division all time in both.
*All records from Sherdog.com
**All stats from FightMetric.com
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5 Things We Learned from UFC on Fox 26: Lawler vs Dos Anjos
The UFC’s return to Winnipeg in over 4 years certainly did not disappoint the fans, as the card delivered just as it was expected with plenty of action packed fights.
Upset was in play often times for this card as on more than one occasion, the fans’ jaws dropped in shock and the predictions going into the fights were completely defied.
There are plenty of things to take away from this card, but what were the 5 biggest lessons learned here?
1. Rafael dos Anjos means business at welterweight
While Vegas odds may not have reflected it, dos Anjos had plenty of doubters coming into this fight on whether he could beat the top fighters in the welterweight division, his new found home. I’ll be the first to say, I didn’t think he’d be able to deal with Lawler’s power and size, considering that ‘Ruthless’ used to compete at middleweight, but he completely changed my perspective on what he brings to this division.
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With the mix of powerful leg kicks and crisp boxing, dos Anjos completely neutralized the former welterweight champion and took home a dominant victory, winning all five rounds of the fight.
Yes, Lawler was injured and barely moved for the last three rounds, but that should not discredit the masterful performance that dos Anjos had tonight. This only sets up a fight with the current champion Tyron Woodley now (unless Colby Covington gets it), and while Woodley is a whole different match up, it makes for an entertaining fight.
2. Robbie Lawler is still one of the toughest fighters on the roster
Despite both his legs looking like they were completely destroyed by the third round and him losing the fight, we once again saw the toughness and grit of Lawler to never give up.
While we don’t know how bad his injury was, when you see Lawler not moving much and standing still for three rounds straight, you know something is seriously hurting. He endured an unbelievable amount of punishment tonight but at the end was still standing pumping up the crowd. What a warrior.
3. Josh Emmett… the new force to be reckoned with at 145lbs?
Simply no words. It was easily the biggest shocker of the night and maybe even upset of the year. Stepping in on relatively short notice for Jose Aldo, Emmett was counted out in this fight on paper against the former title challenger Ricardo Lamas, and weighing in at 148.5lbs on the scale didn’t help convincing the fans.
But it definitely didn’t matter as he delivered a left hook from hell, sleeping Lamas at the end of the first round, sending a shock to the entire division and rising as a new threat to everyone in top 10. He said that his goal here was to shock the world, and shock the world he did. With this performance, Emmett immediately rises to a position where he now only needs one or two more significant wins from a possible title shot.
4. Mike Perry needs some time to develop into a title contender
Despite showing an unbelievable toughness in a three-round war against Santiago Ponzinibbio, Perry was unable to back up his words before the fight, losing via unanimous decision.
In a fight against a very tough opponent, Perry was once again exposed in a couple of areas as he was against Alan Jouban on his endurance, as he showed signs of fatigue as the second round came around. At the age of 26, he still has plenty of time, but Perry will need to fill that massive hole in order to continue to rise the ladder in the extremely stacked welterweight division, or else he’ll run into some trouble sooner or later.
5. Glover Teixeira isn’t done just yet
This fight was an excellent example of advantages a veteran brings compared to a young and upcoming fighter. Teixeira, coming off that tough loss in Sweden against Alexander Gustafsson, was also doubted by many as he came in as the underdog against a rising prospect in Misha Cirkunov.
Teixeira was put in immediate trouble in the first round, getting tagged by Cirkunov multiple times and getting backed up against the cage, but was able to outsmart Cirkunov by dragging him down to the ground and eventually pounding him out. Teixeira seemed to have lost all momentum against Anthony Johnson, and even more so against Gustafsson, but this fight proved that he is not done just yet, and showed the difference in level between the top 5 and top 10 of the division.
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.
An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.
The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.
UFC Winnipeg Official Results:
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
- #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT
- #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
- Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
- Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
- John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
- Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT
- Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
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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