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UFC Zagreb Debut Introduction: Filip Pejic

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As the UFC head to Croatia for the very first time with a card destined for excitement with big heavyweight hitters down to upcoming prospects trying to make their mark filling the card. Croatia has produced some UFC greats over the years and we could possibly see a future one make his debut this Sunday in Zagreb in Filip Pejic.

Pejic is one of Croatia’s most appealing young prospects right now and will make his debut against Damian Stasiak. Only living 15km away from Zagreb it will only be a short journey from home for him so there’s no doubt that he will have a large and loud following behind him on the night.

Fighter: Filip Pejic
Division: Bantamweight
Nationality: Croatian
Age: 23
Record: 10-1-1
Team: Olimp Ban Team
Previous Organisation: Final Fight Championship

At only 23 years of age, Pejic has quite a lot of experience for such a young guy, making his debut back in 2011 at only 18. Since debuting in professional MMA he has clocked himself numerous victories on the Croatian MMA scene leading to him signing with UFC.

Training under Greco-Roman Wrestling legend Bernard Ban, Pejic is certainly in safe hands when it comes to his grappling game, however, this aspect of his game has not been the talking point of his fight style. While of course being an exceptional grappler as expected, it has been his striking abilities that have been his most impressive boasting 6 TKOs to date. His hands have probably been the most effective standing up, in particular, his counter punching, catching a lot of opponents as they’re attacking or moving forward, although he does like to mix things up with some kicks too. This evolving striking game along with his explosiveness could certainly give him the advantage in this fight if it is kept on the feet, be sure to look out for his dangerous right hand if he and Stasiak get into a scrap.

Pejic has a tough debut fight in Starsiak who will be aiming to dig deep and spoil the dream debut for the hometown boy. Starsiak came into the UFC back at UFC Krakow and failed to get the win, falling short at the decision to Yaotzin Meza. Now he is hoping to improve on that fight and pick up his first victory under the UFC banner against the tough Croat and with 5 submission victories under his belt I’d expect him to try and out grapple and submit Pejic in this fight.

This is going to be a big test for the young Croat who will be looking to be the hometown here in front of the Zagreb crowd. This prospect is probably one of Croatia’s brightest moving forward and could be a big draw for the UFC moving forward when returning to Europe. A big win here will definitely prove his worth and could possibly earn him bigger opportunities in the future. This prospect is certainly one to watch on tomorrow’s card when he debuts. To get more acquainted with him check him out against SBG’s Francisco Albano Barrio back in 2014:

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Interviews

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

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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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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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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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Announcement

*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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