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UFC on FOX “Prelim Spotlight”: Saffiedine vs Ellenberger Breakdown

Dan Tom




Tarec Saffiedine (15-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 29 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 70.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Rory Macdonald (10-4-14)
  • Camp: Tristar Gym (Canada)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Switch-stance / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Strikeforce Welterweight Title
+   Black Belt in Karate & BJJ
+   Amateur Kickboxing experience (12-1-1)
+   5 first round finishes
+   5 Submission wins
+   Good distance management
^   Moves well laterally
+   Disciplined striking defense
^   Head moves well of strikes
+   Effective jab from both stances
^   Conducts tempo/sets up kicks
+   Superb leg kick timing
+   Underrated counter wrestling
^   86% takedown defense
+   Solid defensive grappling & get-up acuity
+/-Consistently fights along fence
–    2 fights in the last 3 years


Jake Ellenberger (30-10)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 30 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: KO loss / Stephen Thompson (7-12-15)
  • Camp: Kings MMA (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Wrestling Base
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   20 KO victories
+   13 first round finishes
+   4 Submission wins
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Aggressive power double takedown
+   Strong inside the clinch
^   Difficult to takedown/control
+   Underrated submission game
+   Effective ground striker
+   Devastating right hand
^   Favors overhands & hooks
–    Often throws himself out of position
–    Subject to activity lulls
–    1 win in 3 yrs. (lost 4 of last 5)


Headlining the preliminary card for “UFC on FOX” is an interesting styles matchup between Tarec Saffiedine and Jake Ellenberger. With this fight originally scheduled back in Januaruary of 2014, MMA’s history has its own funny way of repeating itself. As both men are looking to bounce back from devastating losses, expect a potential pressure cooker of expectation and execution. Fights like this can either bring out the best performances or promote conservative approaches. Sometimes subject to activity lulls, it will be important for Ellenberger to establish himself early physically & mentally. Now back with Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA, Jake is in great hands to find the balance that he’s spent the last few years looking for.

It will be interesting to see what adjustments are made for Jake, but hopefully, it involves the aggression that got him to the dance. With a distinct power advantage over Saffiedine and most of the division, Ellenberger is deadly when committing punches to his improved footwork. In my opinion, Tarec is a more technical striker, but putting power behind solid pressure could level the playing field for Jake. Especially during Saffiedines stance switching, Ellenberger could find opportune times to blitz. As we saw in Tarec’s last fight, Rory Macdonald masterfully utilized his long jab to disrupt Saffiedines rhythm upon stance changes. However, Jake does not possess the same frame or skillset as Rory, and will be heavily reliant on his instincts & movement.

Ellenberger will also have to be careful not to let his aggression work against him, as he’ll often throw himself out of position in an effort to follow up. A seasoned striker like Saffiedine will consume healthy servings like these as they’re given. Where I see Ellenberger having issues(in regards to standing with Tarec), is the preemptive plots in which he loads his shots. Despite parlaying this second nature movement into feints, Jake could inadvertently give cues for Saffiedine to work with. Not to mention, these feints are strongly up, down, and forward based. Which will heavily load weight to the front foot, and, in turn, puts legs on a silver platter for strikers like Saffiedine.

If Jake can’t get off early & often, Tarec’s well-timed leg kicks could heavily disruptThe Juggernaut’s” advances. Ellenberger’s best chance to hedge his bets will be by mixing in his wrestling game. Wielding an explosive power double takedown, the mere threat could at the very least open up strikes. Jake also possesses hard ground strikes and an underrated submission game. That being said, Saffiedine demonstrates great instincts off his back with a shown get-up acuity. And with some underrated counter wrestling of his own, it won’t be a path easily accomplished for Ellenberger. Although Jake’s said camp changes prove interesting, the same can be said for Saffiedine as he’s spent this camp at Tristar in Canada. Unless Jake commits to wrestling Tarec to the fence, I ultimately see the technical discipline of the Belgian native paying off.

Official Pick: Saffiedine – Decision

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Saffiedine def. Ellenberger
  • Mercier def. Ferreira
  • Natal def. Casey
  • Ortiz def. Reis
  • Yakovlev def. Sullivan
  • Caceres def. Fullen
  • Brown def. Dwyer
  • Makashvili def. Jackson
  • Martin def. Olivieri

Recommended Plays

Pieces for your parlay:

-Jimmie Rivera
-Tarec Saffiedine
-Rafael Natal

Props worth looking at:

-Bryan Barberena – Inside the distance
-Randy Brown- by KO/TKO
-Jimmie Rivera – by Decision

Fights to avoid:

-Ben Rothwell vs Josh Barnett
-Tony Martin vs Felipe Olivieri
-Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs Carlos Diego Ferreira

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Anthony Johnson
-Randy Brown
-Jimmie Rivera

Low Tier Picks:

-Ben Rothwell
-Bryan Barnerena
-Felipe Olivieri

For the complete analysis of future & past UFC events visit and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws

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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”



Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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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:

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.


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.

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*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)

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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