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Unbeaten WSOF Middleweight Vagab Vagabov Suspended 5 Months for Continuing Assault After Stoppage

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Unbeaten prospects are hard to come by in the World of MMA and the WSOF’s middleweight division just lost one for 5 months after that organization handed down a suspension to 16-0 Vagab Vagabov who hit his opponent after the bell at WSOF 23 in Pheonix, Arizona last Friday.

Vagabov, who compiled his unbeaten record fighting in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, had no problem defeating Brian Grinnell via second-round TKO in the prelims at Comerica Theatre. The problem that the 29-year-old Russian had was knowing when to stop striking his opponent. Not the best way to start his career on American soil. Referee Al Guinee decided to intervene at 2:29 in the second round as an exhausted Grinnell, who was still standing, but was not intelligently defending himself from an assault of knees and punches from Vagabov. A full second after the ref waved off the fight Vagabov threw a knee and a hammerfist-like chop at Grinnell. He was immediately reprimanded by the official, his opponent and announcer Chael Sonnen. After all was said and done, the two fighters did embrace in the cage, which shows the true honorable character of both these fighters. One that we see very often in MMA.

You can see the video of the incident here: https://cdn.streamable.com/video/webm/vp9n.webm

Vagabov’s team expressed remorse for his mistake when they spoke to WSOF Vice President and matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz after the fiasco. They reportedly told him that “Vagab got caught-up in the moment.” Abdel-Aziz explained the 5-month suspension when he told reporters, “as a company, we simply cannot let moments like this go without addressing them directly. We hope this penalty sends a strong message to everyone on our roster that such infractions simply will not be tolerated.” There is no doubt the suspension would have been longer had the attack be more malicious in nature.

WSOF has had their fair share of controversy lately. Last month’s WSOF 22 in Las Vegas’ main event welterweight title fight between Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields was marred by the Champion’s repeated eye pokes throughout the fight and a failure to release the fight-ending kimura in a timely manner by the notoriously dirty Palhares. A frustrated Shields ultimately answered the infractions by connecting with an ill-advised seated punch after the stoppage. The Brazilian fighter was stripped of his title and suspended indefinitely by WSOF. He is still awaiting discipline from the Nevada Athletic commission. Shields, meanwhile, received 50 hours of community service from the NAC for his actions.

From watching the video one can come to a conclusion that it was a honest mistake from the Vagabov and barring any further action from the Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission he will be eligible to compete for WSOF again on Feb. 18. The Republic of Dagestan native was making his debut for the promotion and hopefully in the future the size of the stage will not cause him to have another lapse in judgement.

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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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Sensor Equipped Tracking Gloves to be Used at UFC 219

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From implementing the likes of USADA, the UFC Performance Instiute and the introduction of the instant replay. The UFC has always prioritized being at the top of the sport science game. 

Now, at UFC 219 on December 30th, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has approved a test run for sensor equipped tracking gloves to be worn by a selection of fighters on the card.

The technology behind the gloves comes from AGI International (an analytics company) along with HEED (a consumer platform company). A collaboration founded by the UFC.

After a sparring exhibition between top lightweights, Edson Barbosa (19-4-0) and Mark Diakiese (12-1-0), HEED co-founder Mati Kochavi had this to say regarding how “70 insights” collected from sensors on the gloves, the corner-men, the octagon itself can depict a clearer image of a fight.

“Those insights are covering entire aspects  of the fight between Diakiese and Barbose. Their passion, power of the fight, resiliency and strategy. All happen in the octagon.“

Shouldn’t sport be told in real-time, with real data, information and emotions?”

He finally promises “We are a company which is trying to revolutionize the way we (broadcast) sports and live events”

As for now there is little to zero information into the technical aspects of the gloves, however products like a Fit Bit have similar abilities to give data on speed,  force, motion, elevation, heart rate etc.

The UFC 219 card takes place on Decemebr 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between current champion Cris Cyborg (18-1) and former UFC bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (11-3).

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