The Ultimate Fighter season 23 featured a competition of light heavyweights and strawweights to fight their way into the UFC. In the light heavyweight division, the two finalists were Khalil Rountree (4-0) vs Andrew Sanchez (8-2).
Khalil Rountree did not have the most conventional path to the finale, losing to his training partner Cory Hendricks in the first preliminary bout of the season. However, Hendricks was forced to withdraw from the competition with a shoulder injury, giving Rountree a second chance to prove he could be the next Ultimate Fighter. He went on to defeat Josh Stansbury to earn a place in the final.
Andrew Sanchezteps earned a unanimous decision win over Myron Dennis in his own first round bout. With the preliminary fights concluded, Andrew was forced to face Team Gadelha team mate Eric Spicely, winning by KO in the first round to book his spot in the final.
Sanchez starts the round with a right kick and Rountree tries to respond with a strong combination that is blocked by Sanchez. Sanchez shoots for his first takedown, but Rountree sprawls, stuffing the attempt. As the fight returns to the feet, Rountree again looks to tee off, but a second takedown attempt from Sanchez was successful. Rountree briefly gets to his feet before Sanchez immediately takes the fight back down to the canvass, this time in half guard. Rountree turns and stands with Sanchez on his back. Rountree throws a left hook which misses, allowing Sanchez to once again achieve a takedown, and the round ends with Sanchez on top.
Almost immediately, Sanchez shoots for a takedown but Rountree manages to defend it. The two trade strikes before attempts another takedown that puts Rountree against the cage. Sanchez keeps the pressure on Rountree, controlling him and landing a number of strikes which bloodies the nose of Rountree. The round ends with with Sanchez in the top posisition.
Rountree comes out with a sense of urgency, knowing he is 2 rounds down. He throws a left high kick, but Sanchez responds with a high kick of his own, followed immediatly by a takedown attempt. He backs Rountree to the cage and is successful with the takedown. In full guard, Sanchez attacks with short hammer fists and Rountree throws strikes from the bottom, desperate to create an opening. Sanchez begins to move towards the bac, keeping control for the rest of the round. As the round comes to an end, the crowd begins to voice their displeasure at what they considered to be a lacklustre fight, which Rountree seemed to agree with, to rolling his eyes in response. The round ends sending this fight to the judges.
Official decision – Andrew Sanchez defeats Khalil Rountree via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
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:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
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.
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)
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