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
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
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:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
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.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
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.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
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)
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)
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)
Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams
Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.
Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.
Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.
Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.
⭐️ F I G H T W E E K ⭐️ . . Tickets/ T-shirt’s / Afterparty info at www.heather-hardy.com 🥂 link is in my bio 🥂 . . @bellatormma @dymatize @lululemon @jlewbags @rgfa @gleasonsgym @shihandevon . . #heatherhardy #heathertheheat #teamheat #boxing #femaleboxing #girlboxer #boxinglife #boxinghype #boxingnight #boxingday #boxinggloves #boxingfanatik #boxer #boxingfitness #womensboxing #boxeo #wmma #mma #teamrenzogracie #bjjgirls #womensmma #renzograciegirls
Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.
Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.
There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.
But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.
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