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
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
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.
*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.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.
Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.
First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.
Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.
Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.
In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.
UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira.
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