UFC on Fox 14 in Stockholm, Sweden took place last night in front of 30,000 European fight fans at the Tele2 Arena. This was the first card that the UFC held in a European stadium and the fans definitely made their presence felt for their hometown fighters. The ovation and chants for headliner Alexander Gustafsson were incredible, similar to Irish fans cheering on Conor McGregor. It was a lively scene in Sweden, but did the card live up to the expectations?
The main card kicked was headlined by a number one contender bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson. This fight was expected to be a war between two of the UFC’s elite fighters, both hungry for their shot at Jon Jones’ title. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has been on an absolute tear as of late, destroying anyone the UFC has put in front of him since his return to the promotion. Gustafsson, the man who some believe beat Jon Jones when the two fought at UFC 165, would be the biggest test of his Johnson’s career.
Rumble wouldn’t need much time.
After a very brief feeling out period, a few clean exchanges, and then an inadvertent eye-poke from Gustaffson, a huge overhand right hand would find home on Alex’s chin. At the 2:15 of the first round, the fight was stopped as Johnson was raining down punches on a downed Gustafsson.
The performance would earn Johnson a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, and more importantly, a title shot against Jon Jones.
The co-main event of the evening saw a return to middleweight for Dan Henderson to face Gegard Mousasi. Both of these fighters have been in some incredible battles throughout their career, however on this night, it was a very brief outing with a lot of controversy for Hendo fans. Mousasi landed a punch that cut Henderson’s eyelid very early on and he even attempted to point it out to the referee. Henderson knowing he was possibly facing a stoppage if it were to be looked at, began to pressure quickly and was hit with a glancing right hand from Mousasi that sent him to the canvas. Gegard moved in to land more punches and he was pulled off by the referee at the 1:10 mark while Henderson was hurt, but seemingly still about his senses. Henderson was visibly upset and instantly protested the stoppage, however Mousasi would be the one to have his hand raised and also earn a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for the stoppage.
The main card also featured a light heavyweight matchup between top contenders Ryan Bader and Phil Davis. These are two very accomplished wrestlers who have been focusing on improving their standup game. Throughout the fight, Bader would look like the more polished striker, landing cleaner combinations and significant strikes. Davis had some good moments while working his kicks as well, although Bader was never badly hurt. The grappling exchanges were even as both fighters were able to get at least one clean takedown during the fight. Ryan Bader would be awarded the split decision victory in a very forgettable fight between two top level wrestlers.
Opening the main card on Fox was a featherweight fight between Sam Sicilia and Swedish fighter Akira Corassani. After the opening bell, Sicilia stalked Corassani looking to land big shots to end the fight quickly. He would do so at the 3:26 mark of the opening round when he landed a big right hand that sent Corassani to the canvas ending the fight via TKO.
The prelims had some great moments as two of the Performances of the Night were awarded from the early fights.
Makwan Amirkhani finished Andy Ogle in first round with a flying knee right after the opening bell followed up with some ground and pound before the referee pulled him off. It only took eight seconds of work to earn one of the fastest stoppages in UFC history and the sweet bonus that comes along with it.
Kenny Robertson would also earn a bonus as he finished Sultan Aliev in the first round via knockout. Aliev was setting up a spinning back kick that missed and was countered with a big overhand left from Robertson that put Aliev on the canvas. The fight was stopped at 2:42 of the first round, earning Robertson his Performance of the Night bonus.
It’s been a solid start for the UFC in 2015, and they keep it rolling this coming weekend with the return of Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz at UFC 183 on January 31 in Las Vegas!
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.
This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.
Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK
- Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
- Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
- Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK
- 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
- Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
- Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
- Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
- Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.
Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”
Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”
Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”
Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”
With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”
Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”
Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.
Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:
Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)
By Ieuan Thomas.
Gokhan Saki vs Khalil Rountree JR Added to UFC 219
Kickboxing superstar Gokhan Saki will make his return to the octagon just three months after his UFC debut, as he faces Khalil Rountree at UFC 219.
Saki (1-1 ) made a big statement at UFC Japan in September, knocking out Henrique de Silva with a devastating, statement making left hook.
Rountree (6-2) is a TUF-23 alumni. His UFC run started unsuccessfully losing two in a row including his TUF 23 contract fight. However, Rountree is now on a two-fight winning streak after picking up consecutive first round knockout victories against Paul Craig and Daniel Jolly.
After making his MMA debut in 2004, Saki signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC in May and was succesful in his return to the cage. Saki’s first round KO of de Silva earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 23, 2017
Neither Saki or Rountree are currently ranked in the UFC’s light heavyweight division, so a win at UFC 219 could most certainly push either of the two in the top fifteen at 205-pounds.
With the addition of Saki vs. Rountree, your current line-up for the UFC 219 card on December 30th is as follows:
Dominick Cruz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Bantamweight bout
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza – Women’s strawweight bout
Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny – Welterweight bout
Louis Smolka vs. Matheus Nicolau – Flyweight bout
* Gokhan Saki vs. Khalil Rountree – Light heavyweight bout
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