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UFC on Fox 18 – Full Report



The UFC returned to New Jersey on Saturday, January 30th. The main event saw what many viewed as a #1 contender matchup for the Light Heavyweight title end in devastating fashion and the rest of the main card provide the excitement that fight fans love to see.

The #3 ranked Light Heavyweight in the world, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson took less than 2 minutes to completely derail the momentum of the #4 ranked fighter, Ryan “Darth” Bader, who hadn’t lost since 2013. When Bader shot in for a takedown in the opening seconds of the fight, Johnson got the chance to show off what looked to be a much-improved ground game. Johnson stuffed the takedown, avoided a kimura attempt while transitioning to full mount and once he got full mount it was just a matter of time and Johnson knocked Ryan Bader out cold from his ground and pound attack at just 1:26 of round number 1.

Ben Rottweil (36-9) carried a three-fight win streak into his showdown with fellow veteran Josh Barnett (34-8). Rothwell was largely outstruck in the first round and was actually bloodied by Barnett before the round was over. He landed some shots of his own and towards the end of the round seemed to be starting to find his rhythm. The second round saw the stand-up game continue but this time, Rothwell was the one scoring the cleaner shots. Barnett tried to switch things up by grabbing a single leg and attempting the takedown but Rothwell slipped an arm under his neck and at 3:48 of round number 2, Ben Rothwell made history by being the first person to submit Josh Barnett in his career. Rothwell paid respect to Barnett after the fight before saying that he’s here to put the Heavyweight division on notice and that he will be the champion.

In what ended up being the only judges decision of the main card. New Jersey native Jimmie Rivera (19-1) looked to continue his surge towards the top when he took on Iuri Alcantara (33-7). Rivera pushed the action in the first round, mixing up his striking well and not giving Alcantara a chance to breathe. He finished the round with a huge slam takedown on Alcantara. The second round had Alcantara starting to throw more strikes and land some good shots, including one that dropped Rivera briefly. Rivera did score another takedown before the round was over to make sure that it was clear that he wasn’t giving up that easy. Round three saw both fighters scoring with strikes and the final minute was just a back and forth brawl between the two with neither fighter being able to put the other away. All three judges ended up scoring the fight 29-28 for Rivera as he continues to look impressive.

Bryan Barberena (11-3) came into New Jersey and might have knocked the wheels off of the Sage Northcutt (7-1) hype train. Northcutt looked impressive early as he took Barberena down in the first and ended up cutting him above his eye before the two ended the round in a slugfest. In round two it looked like Northcutt may be able to maintain his momentum. That quickly changed after Northcutt attempted a hand plant hook kick that missed and allowed Barberena to get top position. Barberena dropped some nasty elbows to the face of Northcutt before starting to lock in an arm-triangle. While still in half-guard and before it looked like the choke was completely sunk in, Northcutt tapped out to the arm triangle.

Main Card

Anthony Johnson def Ryan Bader via KO 1:26 of Round 1

Ben Rottweil def Josh Barnett via Submission 3:48 of Round 2

Jimmie Rivera def Iuri Alcantara via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Bryan Barberena def Sage Northcutt via Submission 3:06 of Round 2

FS1 Prelims

Tarec Saffiedine def Jake Ellenberger via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Diego Ferreira def Olivier Aubin-Mercier via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Rafael Natal def Kevin Casey via TKO 3:37 of Round 3

Wilson Reis def Dustin Ortiz via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

Alexander Yakovlev def George Sullivan via KO 3:59 of Round 1

Alex Caceres def Masi Fullen via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

Damon Jackson and Levan Makashvili fight to a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

Tony Martin def Felipe Olivieri via Submission 3:02 of Round 3

Randy Brown def Matt Dwyer via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

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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.

GDANSK, POLAND – OCTOBER 21: (R-L) Darren Till of England punches Donald Cerrone in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Ergo Arena on October 21, 2017 in Gdansk, Poland. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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, 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.

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Rhode Island Prospect John Douma Booked for CES 49 against Zach Burhans



The New England regional MMA scene has been fairly quiet this month. Such a description won’t be apt one month from now. As the days fade away from the month of March, the two most prominent organizations of this region gear up for early April events. The CES MMA promotion holds CES 49, on the first Friday of April (April 6th). CES 49 takes place in its hub venue, Twin River Casino, in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Twin River Casino, Lincoln, Rhode Island. Photo courtesy of

Yesterday, CES officials announced John Douma, a highly regarded pro featherweight prospect, makes his third appearance for the MMA promotion, when he faces Zach Burhans at CES 49.

For John Douma, he looks to continue his career with an undefeated record. At 2-0, Douma owns two stoppage victories, both coming in the first round (1 KO/TKO, 1 Sub). Born and raised in Wyckoff, Rhode Island, Douma is the New England regions 18th ranked pro Featherweight (Rankings by A lofty ranking for a 21-year-old with only two professional fights on his record. Especially so in the regions most prominent professional division.

Zach Burhans comes into next months match with a similar amount of experience. Burhans has four professional fights in his arsenal of experience with a record of 3-1. Twice that of his opponent, but two times a small number is still a small number. The New York fighter makes his promotional debut at next months CES 49.

Surprisingly, Burhans has not fought since his last loss, which came in March of 2011. The loss was the first of his four fight pro career. It also was the first fight for Burhans since August of 2009. At CES 49, he ends his second hiatus from professional mixed martial arts. His second and most recent break from the sport was his longest. Burhans did not compete from March 2011, until next months CES MMA card. Making the span between his most recent and upcoming, around 6 years and nine months.

CES 49 takes place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island on April 6th. Other bouts featured on the card include, #1 ranked New England Lightweight, Nate Andrews takes on Chris Padilla for the promotions vacant Lightweight title. Kaline Medeiros attempts to bounce back following her 3rd round submission loss to rising star, Mackenzie Dern at Invicta 26, when she faces 11th ranked pound-for-pound New England women’s fighter, Jenna Serio. Also, Chris Curtis goes up against Jason Norwood in a main card Welterweight clash. 

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Report: Bellator plans Rome event for July



With the news of Bellator 200, turning a bit stale being nearly a week old, comes more international event news for the promotion. According to a report by Raphael Marinho of Combate, Bellator scheduled its third international event of 2018. In the report, it states the promotion booked July 14th as a date for a Rome, Italy event. 

It will be the first event held by Bellator in the historic city of Rome, Italy. The first in Rome, but the fifth Bellator event in Italy. Previously, the promotion made stops in Torino and Florence, Italy, holding two events in each location. It also marks the 23rd international held by Bellator. 23 events across 10 cities, and 5 countries.

The previous four Italian events held a mixture of combat sports. Each of the events had a Kickboxing card, serving as the main event and an MMA card, which acted as a main card. News of an accompanying Kickboxing card, most likely, would come following a formal announcement of the event.

Also included in the report, the promotion is working to make Alessio Sakara the headliner of evening. Sakara spent nine years with the UFC (Oct. 2005 – Oct. 2013). Over that span, he earned a record of 6-8. He was cut following four consecutive loses. Before signing with Bellator, Sakara signed with Final Fight Championship, where he went 1-0, 1 NC. His final fight with FFC (Final Fight Championship) was a 1:32 KO of his opponent.

The Italian athlete, Sakara, fought on three of the four previous Italy held Bellator events. Sakara headlined Bellator 190 & 168, while begin the co-main event for Bellator 152. Interestingly, the Middleweights only Bellator competition took place in his home country of Italy. He is 2-1 with the promotion, defeating Brian Rogers and Joey Beltran, respectively, while losing to Middleweight champion, Rafael Carvalho, most recently.

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