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UFC on Fox 16 – Fighters Making Their Debut.

Ethan Mudford

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The UFC returns to the windy city for the first time in over a year this Saturday night, as UFC on Fox 16 takes place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and will be headlined by the Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw taking on former title holder Renan Barao. Before the main event though, two fighters will compete in the Octagon for the very first time. Let’s take a look at those fighters in more detail.

Fighter: Andrew Holbrook

Division: Lightweight

Nationality: American

Age: 29

Record: 9-0

Team: Indy Boxing and Grappling

Previous Organisation: MFS – Midwest Fight Series

Notable Victories: N/A

As far as impressive records go, you can’t look much further than Andrew Holbrook. The undefeated Lightweight is currently 9-0 professionally and 1-0 as an amateur with every single one of his wins coming via submission. If that wasn’t impressive enough, only one of those fights lasted longer than the first round. He steps in as an injury replacement for Erik Koch against Ramsey Nijem. Holbrook will pose a much different threat than the striker Koch would have.

From the footage of Holbrook that I’ve seen, he is an aggressive grappler who is constantly looking for a finish and has so far always got it. He tends to use his striking to get inside where he can either attempt to clinch and look for trips or throw knees to soften his opponent before taking them to the mat. When on the feet at distance, Holbrook’s striking is most likely his weakest skillset but he does throw varied strikes both to the body and head which at least shows that he is comfortable no matter where the fight goes.

His submission skills are hard to argue against but one thing I’d like to point out is that Holbrook has fought his whole career in the state of Indiana and with no big names on his record, can he do to guys in the UFC what he has done to all his victims so far?

As I mentioned earlier, Holbrook will be taking on TUF finalist and UFC vet Ramsey Nijem, who is very well rounded and experienced in the Octagon. If Holbrook can pressure Nijem into a grappling exchange early on, he could continue his streak but if Nijem can keep it standing, then we may see the level of striking that knocked out UFC up and comer Beneil Dariush last year.

Here’s some footage of Holbrook in his fight with Daniel Head.

Fighter: Dominique Steele

Division: Welterweight

Nationality: American

Age: 27

Record: 13-5

Team: Team Vision

Previous Organisation: CES – Classic Entertainment and Sports

Notable Victories: Chuck O’Neil, Dan Hornbuckle, Nate Moore and Ryan Thomas

Having already competed in Bellator and Strikeforce at the age of only 27, Dominique Steele is making the natural step up to the UFC after capturing the CES Welterweight title by upsetting former UFC fighter Chuck O’Neil 6 weeks ago. Steele will be stepping in as a late replacement for Antonio Braga Neto to face Zak Cummings; a strong fighter with a 2-1 record who will be wanting to return to form after losing to Gunnar Nelson in his last outing.

The man who goes by the moniker “Non-Stop Action Packed” has shown in previous bouts that he likes to fight his fight by striking to get inside for the clinch but has no problem swinging in the pocket if he has to. In fights against the higher level opponents Steele has faced like Brian Rogers, the whole fight was kept standing in a somewhat boring fight in which Steele looked tentative and was being outstruck by Rogers. To be fair to Steele, he was inexperienced at the time and making his debut for Bellator but could we see the same performance for his UFC debut?

Dominique Steele has a tough fight ahead of him in Zak Cummings. A former fighter for Bellator and Strikeforce also, Cummings brings a tough, grinding type of style that can get the better of a lot of fighters if they’re not careful. Steele may look to keep his distance in this fight and strike from the outside where he could land a bomb but if he engages in a grappling exchange, Cummings might be able to get the upper hand.

Here is highlights of Dominique Steele winning the CES Welterweight title in his last fight against Chuck O’Neil.

 

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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