Robert Whiteford (12-3)
- Height: 5’9″ Age: 32 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 69″
- Last Fight: Decision loss / Darren Elkins (10-24-15)
- Camp: American Top Team (Florida/Scotland)
- Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
- Risk Management: Fair
+ Regional MMA Titles
+ Black Belt Judo
+ 6 first round finishes
+ 7 TKO/KO victories
+ KO Power
+ Hard inside leg kicks
+ Accurate left cross-right hook
+ Good head movement off strikes
+ Strong inside the clinch
^ Solid throws & body lock TD’s
+ Excellent grip fighting/awareness
– Standing guard slightly low
+ Physically durable/solid chin
Lucas Martins (15-3)
- Height: 6’0″ Age: 27 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 72″
- Last Fight: TKO loss / Misrad Bektic (5-30-15)
- Camp: Macaco Gold Team (Brazil)
- Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
- Risk Management: Fair
+ Regional MMA Titles
+ Purple Belt BJJ
+ 7 first round finishes
+ 11 KO victories
+ KO Power
+ Good counter right hand
+ Accurate left hook
+ Dangerous head kicks
+ Improved counter wrestling
^ 76% Takedown defense rate
– Struggles with pressure
– Head often stays on center
^ Hurt or dropped in 5 of last 6 fights
In a card full of international talents, UFC Fight Pass delivers a fireworks matchup for it’s featured bout between Rob “The Hammer” Whiteford and Lucas “Mineiro” Martins.
Whiteford will be looking to get back to his winning ways after having mixed success thus far in the UFC. With the Scottish Judoka using his skills to keep fights standing, Robert may have found himself a willing dance partner here in Martins. “Mineiro” stormed onto the scene as he is one of the few fighters in the UFC to hold victories in three different weight classes(bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight). Now coming off of two consecutive losses, the Brazilian may be fighting for more than just a win in this contest.
Starting off on the feet, both men carry different striking styles that should make for a fun and competitive affair. Wielding classic Chute Boxe stylings, Martins Muay Thai is very reminiscent of his camp and counterparts. Thai marching and feinting his way into range, Mineiro will utilize a left jab or hook to corral his opposition into his power side. Given the mirroring stance of his southpaw opponent, this approach could be very effective in setting up right crosses and powerful mid to high kicks. Martins accurate left hook could also be live here given Whiteford’s tendency to keep his lead right hand low.
That all said, “The Hammer” has some solid tools of his own that could see the light of day. Possessing natural knockout power and a durable chin, Whiteford has made serious strides in his striking technique since moving shop to American Top Team. The Scotsman’s demonstrated improvements in his head movement and footwork should serve him well, as I see those attributes being a key factor for his success. From managing the distance to creating angles, it is Rob’s natural counter & interception intuitions that make his punches work. Whiteford’s variating left cross-right hook combinations could find their mark especially well given Martins habit of keeping his head on center.
As far as ground games go, Whiteford should have a clear on-paper advantage over the Muay Thai stylist. Never the less, we have only see the young Martins once in the last 17-months which make progressions hard to forecast. The Brazilian has however made shown improvements to his counter wrestling. Displaying good balance in defending singles and even better defense from the cage, Whiteford will have to get crafty should he decide to ground his opposition. Wielding a variety of trips & throws from the clinch, it’s Robert’s underrated level-changing double-leg that may be most successful against the taller man.
Even if Whiteford fails on initial attempts, these engagements could prove useful in disrupting his opponents offense or even edging out tight rounds. Although Rob will have to mind Mineiro’s dangerous knees in close, the Brazilian displays slow hand retractions off clinch breaks that have cost him in the past. Considering that Whiteford shows solid hand fighting and natural inclinations to strike off the break, this could spell trouble for the taller Martins in tight quarters. I feel Mineiro’s best chances are at a distance where he can utilize his length and head kicks to dissuade Rob’s movement and possibly expose his low hands. Ultimately, I suspect Whiteford’s durable chin and knockout power will make the difference against an opponent who has been hit, hurt and dropped in 5 of his last 6 outings. Regardless of who you favor here, this is a firefight well worth your attention on Fight Pass.
Official Pick: Whiteford – Inside the distance
Preliminary Card Predictions
- Dalby def. Cummmings
- Entwistle def. Perez
- Hadzovic def. Taisumov
- Pejic def. Stasiak
- Whiteford def. Martins
- Asker def. Cannonier
- Di Chirico def. Velickovic
Fantasy MMA Picks
High Tier Picks:
Low Tier Picks:
Pieces for your parlay:
Props worth looking at(5Dimes.eu):
-Rothwell/Dos Santos – Under: +125
-Johnson/Tybura – Over: -160
-Lewis/Gonzaga – Under: -150
Fights to avoid:
-Mairbek Taisumov vs Damir Hadzovic
-Filip Pejic vs Damian Stasiak
-Alessio Di Chirico vs Bojan Velickovic
Stephen Thompson wants Rafael dos Anjos in contender eliminator bout
Over the weekend, Rafael dos Anjos defeated Robbie Lawler at UFC Fight Night: Winnipeg, in dominant fashion via unanimous decision. The main event of the Canadian event was Dos Anjos’ third victory in as many fights at welterweight. The former UFC lightweight champion moved up in weight after suffering two consecutive losses. First, relinquishing his championship title to Eddie Alvarez, then falling to current interim lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson. Although the Brazilian had fought at the 155-pound weight limit exclusively in his career, his weight cut in order to reach the lightweight limit is admittedly brutal.
When talking with FloCombat, the top welterweight contender claimed, “It is not worth it [the weight cut] considering the amount I’m earning today. This was one of my motivations to change to welterweight. I don’t need to kill myself and earn this salary.” He further explained the agony of making the weight limit, “I want to avoid those last 15 pounds. That is terror and panic. It’s almost death. I don’t need to face that anymore. I want to fight well and happy, get in there strong and in good shape”.
Now that Dos Anjos has arrived at welterweight with such success, he believes he deserves a shot at Tyron Woodley and the 170-pound belt.
Am'I the only one that thinks that this fight should be for a interim title? Since the champ is out until next year?
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) October 12, 2017
This is a sentiment that UFC president Dana White seems to agree with. At the Toronto press conference, White fielded a question on whether or not the winner of the Lawler vs. Dos Anjos match-up would yield a title contender, “Yup,” he responded. Later in the press event, White further clarified Dos Anjos’ position in the welterweight ranks, “(RDA) just had a great win to get himself back into contention and a win over Robbie Lawler obviously would do it”.
Yet, another top-ranked welterweight does not agree. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson wants a third crack at welterweight gold, and he believes Dos Anjos is his ticket back to title contention.
That was a WAR! Hats off to both RDA and Robbie for that effort! I can be back in the Octagon this March. @RdosAnjosMMA , let’s give the fans another treat. We both want gold, it’s only fitting we battle for it! @ufc #UFCWinnipeg @danawhite
— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) December 17, 2017
What makes this challenge intriguing? The status of current welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley. Last week, Woodley announced on his TMZ show, The Hollywood Beatdown, he would be having surgery. The champion stated, “I’m going to go ahead and get this shoulder repaired. I’ve been saying, ‘You know what, I don’t want to get it cut on, I don’t want to get it repaired.’ But if there’s no fight that really makes a ton of sense for me to take the risk, to not be 100 percent with my shoulder, then I’m going to go ahead and have it repaired. They’re not going to do a full orthopedic rehabilitation, but they’re going to do a scope and they’re going to anchor down some sides. Then I’m going to get some PRP (platelet-rich plasma), some stem cells.” A timetable for his return is not readily available.
As the division stands, the truly deserving of the next welterweight title shot would be either Thompson or Dos Anjos. The recent credentials of both garner such status. Thompson most recently defeated rising contender, Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217. Before his early November victory over Masvidal, the undefeated kick-boxer challenged for the belt twice, consecutively. While he was unsuccessful in both attempts to earn the belt, each fight was extremely close. The first of which, scored a majority draw.
*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)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.
It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.
Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.
In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.
Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.
In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
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