Last we saw of the UFC, Dominick Cruz was re-winning the Bantamweight Championship after only one fight in four years. That fight, on FS1, got over 2 million viewers and peaked at just under 3 million. This Saturday is a Light Heavyweight showdown to determine who will next face the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson will bring his KO power and the wrestling/technical prowess of Ryan Bader clash in the main on FOX. Let’s take a look at the rest of the card, along with the 4 main card fights!
Early Prelims- UFC Fight Pass (3:30 PM ET, 12:30 PM PST, 8:30 GMT)
Welterweight: Matt Dwyer vs. Randy Brown
Lightweight: Tony Martin vs. Felipe Olivieri
Featherweight: Levan Makashvilli vs. Damon Jackson
Preliminary Card- Fox Sports 1(5 PM EST, 2 PM PST, 10 PM GMT)
Bantamweight: Alex Caceres vs. Masio Fullen
Welterweight: George Sullivan vs. Alexander Yakovlev
Flyweight: Dustin Ortiz vs. Wilson Reis
Middleweight: Kevin Casey vs. Rafael Natal
Lightweight: Oliver Aubin-Mercier vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Welterweight: Tarec Seffiedine vs. Jake Ellenberger
Main Card- FOX (8 PM EST. 5 PM EST, 1 AM GMT)
Lightweight: Sage Northcutt vs. Brian Barberena
Bantamweight: Iuri Alcantara vs. Jimmie Rivera
Heavyweight: Josh Barnett vs. Ben Rothwell
Light Heavyweight: Anthony Johnson vs. Ryan Bader
Sage Northcutt vs. Brian Barberena
It’s a battle of two up and coming Lightweights as ‘Super’ Sage Northcutt (7-0 MMA; 2-0 UFC) and Bryan Barberena (10-3; 1-1) start off the main card on FOX. Northcutt was originally scheduled to face another fellow undefeated youngster in Andrew Holbrook. Holbrook had to pull out with an injury just eight days before the fight and was replaced by Barberena.
Northcutt has burst onto the scene with great vigor and athleticism. The 19-year-old from Texas was first seen on Dana White’s Looking for a Fight. He made his anticipated debut at UFC 192 in his home state of Texas and impressed with a 57 second TKO over Francisco Trevino. Northcutt made his main card debut at UFC Fight Night 80 just two months later. While early troubles may have shown a chink-in-the-armour when it came to his wrestling. Northcutt made it through the round and submitted Cody Pfister by Guillotine Choke in the second. Northcutt has landed 40 total strikes in the Octagon and has landed three takedowns.
Barberena last saw action at UFC 186. He looked good early but finished poorly to lose a decision to Chad Laprise. This came after a third round TKO win over Joe Ellenberger at UFC on Fox 13 in his UFC debut. Barberena has landed 157 Significant Strikes in just under two full fights in the UFC.
Iuri Alcantara vs. Jimmie Rivera
The Bantamweights shine on the main card as Iuri Alcantara (33-6, 1 NC; 7-3, 1 NC) and Jimmie Rivera (18-1; 2-0) meet.
Alcantara is a Zuffa vet with 12 fights dating back to the WEC. Before the WEC, he was the Jungle Fight Lightweight champion. The Brazilian is a winner of four of his last five with a finish over Vaughan Lee at UFC Fight Night 41, one of only two finishes under the Zuffa banner. He picked up a decision win over Leandros Issa at UFC 190 back in August. ‘Marajo’ is a jack-of-all-trades with 2.47 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM), 1.94 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM) and 70% Takedown Accuracy.
Rivera is on a roll with 17 straight wins dating back to 2009. It didn’t take him long to get acclimated to the UFC with an 89 second TKO win over Marcus Brimage at UFC Fight Night 72. He followed that up with a Split-decision win four months later at UFC Fight Night 77 against Pedro Munhoz. During his win streak, he has captured the King of the Cage, Ring of Combat and CFFC belts.
Josh Barnett vs. Ben Rothwell
In a weeks span (maybe not), the Heavyweight title picture will be a little bit more clear. Alistair Overeem and Stipe Miocic have already done their part, no it’s time to see if Josh Barnett (34-7; 6-2) or Ben Rothwell (35-9; 5-3) will emerge victorious.
Barnett is the former UFC champ after beating Randy Couture at UFC 36. Barnett tested positive for PED’s and was stripped of the title and released by the UFC. After a successful career in Japan with Pride, Barnett returned to America to fight for Affliction. He returned to the UFC at UFC 164 with a KO of Frank Mir. He would return four months later against rising star Travis Browne where he would meet his elbows en route to being KO’d in the first round. After 16 months off from fighting, the ‘Warmaster’ headed back to Japan for a UFC Fight Night main event slot against Roy Nelson. Barnett would win the fight by decision in at the same arena he fought so many times in Tokyo. Barnett landed 146 Significant Strikes in his last fight, the most he’s ever landed in a single fight. He steps in with 1.4 Submission Attempts per 15 min.
Rothwell is on a streak of his own with three straight finishes. After trading losses for wins in his first five UFC fights, Rothwell has found a groove as of late. He has TKO wins over Brandon Vera and Alistair Overeem to go along with a Guillotine over Matt Mitrione. He was expected to face Stipe Miocic at UFC Dublin before Miocic had to pull out. Miocic won his alternate fight against Andrei Arlovski and Rothwell was pitted against Barnett. Rothwell doesn’t land much (2.75 SLpM), but only needs the one shot to put the lights out.
Anthony Johnson vs. Ryan Bader
The main event for the second straight January FOX card features a Light Heavyweight title eliminator. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (20-5; 11-5) and Ryan Bader (20-4; 13-4) meet for a potential shot at the Light Heavyweight belt after Jon Jones returns. ‘Rumble’ was in this same exact event last year against Alexander Gustafsson and won the fight by TKO.
Johnson is a former title challenger. After Jon Jones was unable to make it to their May showdown, Rumble faced Daniel Cormier in the main event of UFC 187. He would get in one good shot but ultimately was beat by the wrestling and speed of Daniel Cormier. He returned strong at UFC 191 with a KO of Jimi Manuwa in the second round. Rumble has the third most knockdowns in UFC history with 12 and has 9 KO/TKO finishes in his career.
Bader is the Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner by beating Vinny Magalhaes. He started his career with five straight wins before losses to Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz set him back. He has been on a streak of late with five straight again with the last three over Ovince St. Preux, Phil Davis and Rashad Evans. The former collegiate wrestler has transitioned his game well with 41 Takedowns inside the Octagon at a 42% clip. His striking has improved with a little bit of KO to power to go along with his technique.
*All records from Sherdog.com
**All stats from FightMetric.com
*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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