This weekends UFC on Fox 14 in Sweden is a can’t-miss event. With all walks of the MMA world, this card has the possibility to do big thing. It has title implications, legends, win-streaks, and all around just fun fights look forward to. Here’s the preview
Akira Corassani vs. Sam Sicilia
In this featherweight bout, expect sparks to fly. Two very powerful 145ers will clash to open up the main card for the event. With 18 matches each, the experience in the cage will definitely show when these two collide. Corassani (12-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), an Ultimate Fighter alum, will look to get back to his winning ways after dropping his last two. He’ll look to use timely kicks and and good cardio to take this fight. Corossani will fight in his home country for the second fight in a row.
Sicilia(13-5, 3-4), also an Ultimate Fighter alum, has dropped 2 of his last 3 and will look to take the Swedes glory in his home country. The former lightweight will look to use his powerful strikes to keep Corossani from using his kicks effectively. Five of his last six fights have come by knockout, while Corossani’s last three losses have come due TKO/KO.
My Pick: Akira Corossani
Phil Davis vs. Ryan Bader
This is not your typical wrestler vs. wrestler drag in which both fighters will look to grab each other and hold them for three rounds. While both Davis(13-2,1 NC; 9-2 ,1 NC) and Bader(18-4; 12-3) are NCAA Division 1 All-Americans, the two Light-Heavyweights have improved their striking since joining the UFC. Mr. Wonderdful, a victor over Glover Teixeira in his last fight, will look to continue his resurgence toward a title shot. Look for him to use his wrestling, but to transition to other parts of his game such as his ground and pound and submissions, I mean how many people have their own submission named after them(the Mr. Wonderful submission he put on Alexander Gustafsson in their fight)
Bader, the Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner, has won his last 3 fights including his main event against Ovince St. Preux. ‘Darth’ will look to keep things standing with his ever improving striking, with a full arsenal to use. Look for his 57% TDD to be exploited by his opposition, but he’ll use 72% striking accuracy to keep his opponent on his feet.
My Pick: Phil Davis
Dan Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi
In his return to middleweight, Hendo will take on always dangerous Gegard Mousasi. The two will fight in the co-main event spot and will look to give the fans a show. Henderson(30-12, 11-6), longtime Pride and UFC favorite, is coming into this losing three of his last four. Look for the former Olympic wrestler to use his patented ‘H-Bomb’ to show the take down and possibly finish his night early. If the striking isn’t showing, look for Henderson to use his Olympic caliber wrestling to take the fight to the ground.
Mousasi(35-5-2, 2-2) has split his four UFC fights and would like to start a winning streak to get into title contention. Mousasi will look to keep this fight standing and use his diverse striking to get the victory. With his 3.42 Significant Strike per Minute, he lands shots that put his opponents in a world of hurt. With his underrated submission game, it may not be the worst idea to let the fight get the ground.
My Pick: Gegard Mousasi
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson
The main event is sure to please people of all types. With this fight being for the next chance to go blow-for-blow with Light-Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. It pits the all-around Gustafsson(16-2, 8-2) with the explosive striking of ‘Rumble'(18-4, 9-5). Gustafsson, who has been the toughest challenge to Jon Jones’ title, will look to keep his streak of 7 straight wins in non-title fights. His all-around style and large height and reach are intimidating to any fighter. But ‘Rumble’ doesn’t abide by those rules.
Johnson, a UFC vet, looks to continue on his impressive win streak of 8. Rumble started out his UFC career as a welterweight, and would make his through all the divisions above that in the next seven years. With his powerful punches and kicks, he is not out of any fight. With his 3.07 Significant Strikes per Minute and an 85% TDD, his explosive style is a stylistic nightmare for any fighter he comes in contact with. Look for his power to play a major role in this one
My Pick: Alexander Gustafsson
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
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