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UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold Preview

Vinny Craig

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In what most fans are calling the best card in April 2015, the UFC is back on Fox (big Fox that is). There are 11 fights from 7 different weight classes across two platforms. The main event features a Middleweight number-one contender fight between Lyoto Machida and Luke Rockhold. The card has mostly stayed together since its conception, and we look at what should be a great night of fights. *All fight information comes from Sherdog.com, and fight stats from FightMetric.com

Felice Herrig vs. Paige VanZant

In the only women’s fight on the card, we see ‘The Beauty Brawl’ between Felice Herrig (10-5 MMA; 1-0 UFC) and Paige VanZant (4-1; 1-0). In the young division of Women’s Strawweight, this fight could have title implications in the near future. Two Invicta bred fighters will meet in the Octagon yet again.

Herrig, a former Bellator and Invicta fighter, looks to use the momentum she built on TUF and on the finale. Her only fight in the UFC ended when she put a second round armbar against Lisa Ellis. She has wins over Jessica Rakoczy and Heather Jo Clark in her career. Her brief stint in the UFC so far shows her grappling style may be too much to handle. She landed every takedown she attempted in her last fight. Being the bigger and stronger fighter could be her key to victory

VanZant, also an Invicta alum, looked impressive in her first fight. Her only fight in Invicta ended bitterly after she was mauled for three rounds by Tecia Torres. In her one UFC fight, she had a Fight of the Night win over Kaitlin Curran. She looked good, but sloppy, in the fight and looked like she could use more work. She has 4.73 Significant Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) and only 2.17 Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute (SApM). He grappling looked good as well as she averaged 3.49 Takedowns per 15 min. with a 50% Takedown Accuracy.

Cub Swanson vs. Max Holloway

In the Featherweight division, Cub Swanson (21-6; 6-2) will meet Max Holloway (12-3; 8-3). Swanson is coming off a loss, while Holloway is on a win streak. Both fighters need wins to place themselves in title contention and could have a shot sooner rather than later.

Swanson, who has won six of his last seven fights, will look to avoid losing two straight for the first time in his career. During his six fight win streak, he had four finishes all coming by KO/TKO. While being widely regarded as one of the best 145 pound fighters in the world, Swanson has never fought in a title fight. Swanson is top 10 in most striking categories as he carries 3.13 SLpM and 2.76 SApM. His 65% Striking Defense is good for sixth in the division. He has the slight grappling advantage especially in the wrestling department.

Holloway, who comes in on a 5 fight win streak, has finished four of his last five fights. He won his last fight by decision over Cole Miller back in February. His last loss came to title-challenger Conor McGregor in 2013. While losing his first UFC fight, he would only lose two more in the middle of his career to Dennis Bermudez and McGregor. His striking is some of the best in the division, as his 5.62 SLpM is second best behind only McGregor. He is tied with Chad Mendes with 6 knockdowns for most in the division. His +1.61 Striking Differential is second best in the division to McGregor.

Ronaldo Souza vs. Chris Camozzi

In the co-main event, we get to see a rematch no one thought would happen. With Yoel Romero having to drop out just 8 days until the event, Souza was left without an opponent. Many things were considered, including taking fighters from another card or even moving the fight for a third time. Ultimately, former UFC fighter Chris Camozzi came back to the organization to fill in for the injured Romero. Ronald ‘Jacare’ Souza (21-3, 1 NC; 4-0) will face Chris Camozzi (21-9; 6-6).

Souza, a world-class ju-jitsu guy with world titles to prove it, wants his title shot and will look for his fifth UFC win in row. He has started his UFC time with wins over Camozzi, Yushin Okami, Francis Carmont and Gegard Mousasi. He has 15 submission wins in his 21 career wins, including an arm-triangle choke that almost put Camozzi unconscious in their first fight. . He has improving striking to go along with his world class ju-jitsu as he holds a Striking Differential of +0.27. His Striking Defense of 66% is some of the best in the division. His submission prowess starts with his 3.69 Takedowns Landed per 15 min. and ends with his 2.1 Submission Average per 15 min.

Camozzi signed with the UFC again for this fight after being released for losing four fights in a row. He had a streak of four straight wins before that. He is a well-rounded fighter with 6 TKO/KO wins, 7 submission wins and 8 decision wins. He won his last two fights while away from the organization. He is a better striker than Souza with 3.90 SLpM and 2.94 SApM, but is less effective with it. His defense of 59% is very good and has helped him never be knocked out.

Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold

In the main event, two former champions will meet in the Octagon. Lyoto Machida (22-5; 14-5) and Luke Rockhold (13-2; 3-1) will meet for a chance at the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort next month. With Yoel Romero out of his fight against ‘Jacare’, this is the front runner for a number one contender fight.

Machida, former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, looks to get another shot at the belt after losing to Chris Weidman at UFC 175 in July. His karate style is scary for anyone to try and defend as he has fought and beat the who’s-who of the UFC Light Heavyweight division. While in the Middleweight division, he as wins over Mark Munoz, Gegard Mousasi and CB Dolloway. He only absorbs 1.48 significant strikes per 15 min. while having a 63% Striking Defense. His 77% Takedown Defense (TDD) is good to keep the fight on the feet where he wants it.

Rockhold is the last Strikeforce Middleweight champion. He lost his first fight in the UFC to title challenger Vitor Belfort, but has finished his last three fights. A submission artist who finishes opponents at a high rate, Rockhold is always on the look for a finish. He has 3.60 SLpM and 1.86 SApM to go with 65% Striking Defense. His grappling is his best asset as he averages 1.4 Submissions per 15 min and a 72% TDD.

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*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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Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.

This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.

Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK

  • Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
  • Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
  • Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK

  • 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
  • Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity

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Jack Shore, a promising up and coming Welsh Featherweight who will be fighting on his fourth main Cage Warriors card in only his sixth professional fight. Despite his opponent, Federico Mini, dropping out days prior to the event, Shore isn’t concerned ahead of the opponent change. “Just another fight, I’m ready for anything come fight night and I’m looking forward to the challenge”. Cage Warriors have confirmed that Shore will now be fighting Italian, Mattia Galbiati.

Shore last fought at the Newport Centre, Wales at Cage Warriors 83, defeating his opponent Konmon Deh convincingly with a first-round submission. The crowd was electric for both his entrance and when his opponent tapped due to armbar, “I have a massive following and they like to make themselves heard on fight night, it’s getting bigger and bigger every time!”

Whilst using his extensive grappling to win the fight, the Tillery Combat MMA Academy fighter was very aggressive with his strikes on the ground, “I believe my grappling style is very different to what people are used to seeing and that’s why it’s entertaining to watch. I’m always looking to advance and put the pressure on, but I also try to use punches and elbows to set up my transitions.”

Being undefeated throughout his amateur career (including winning the IMMAF European Championships), to then continue being undefeated throughout his early professional career, Shore has a mature mindset for such a young fighter to how the sport works, “Obviously no one wants to lose but you have to be aware that it’s a possibility because anything can happen in this sport. But by being aware it allows me to train and prepare correctly to do everything I can (do) to prevent that from happening.”

Whilst growing up, Shore states that he wasn’t the most confident of people, “As a kid growing up I was never the world’s most confident person.” Cage Warriors being on BT Sport within the UK, being the biggest European MMA promotion, and having the following Shore has, he feels no pressure of fighting, “But as far as MMA is concerned I don’t feel any pressure at all. There’s obviously the fight day nerves but anyone will tell you I deal with them very well and am more than comfortable in that environment.”

With the current revolution of MMA in Wales occurring, former Cage Warriors fighters Brett Johns, Jack Marshman and John Philips all in the UFC, Josh Reed who has just come off a title shot with Cage Warriors Bantamweight champion Nathaniel Wood, Lewis Long being the best Welterweight in the UK. It brings a realistic opportunity of making the UFC, “Definitely. Since the first bunch of Welsh guys have been signed to the UFC it’s shown for guys like me, Lewis Long and Josh Reed that what we are pushing for is no doubt achievable. I believe that if we keep doing what we are doing then that dream won’t be too far away.”

Whilst having such a successful start to his professional career, and with the attention, this young Welshman is bringing, Shore is in no rush for the Cage Warriors belt, but is prepared if the opportunity arises. “I’m just taking one fight at a time. I’m aware that I’m still young in terms of my pro career so I will continue to fight whoever Cage Warriors put in front of me. Should a big opportunity like that present itself I’ll make sure I’m ready.”

Shore seems to be mature for someone of the age of just 22, the future seems bright for the young Welshman. Jack Shore fights on the up and coming Cage Warriors 87 card Saturday, 14th October at the Newport Centre, Newport, Wales. The event will be free-to-air on UK sports channels FreeSports, as well as be on UFC FightPass and via the red button on BT Sport.

Check the main card out for Cage Warriors 87 below:

Lewis Long vs Roberto Soldic (Welterweight)
Craig White vs Matt Inman (Welterweight)
Jack Shore vs Mattia Galbiati (Featherweight)
Aiden Lee vs Ludovit Klein (Featherweight)
Aaron Khalid vs Ross Houston (Welterweight)

By Ieuan Thomas.

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