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The Week in MMA: Lineker wins, McGregor shines, Ryback to Bellator and more…

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Lineker’s win worth the weight?

In some respects, we learnt nothing new about John Lineker this weekend. It was common knowledge that his habit of biting down on his gumshield and throwing haymakers made for exciting television. His split decision-win over a game John Dodson cemented Lineker as essential viewing. Yet, for every two steps Lineker takes towards the spotlight, there is always a pace in reverse.

Once again he failed in the most basic of professional obligations: making weight. The Brazilian dismissed it as a “small mistake” and blamed erroneous scales. That might be acceptable were this the only occasion he had made such a transgression. However, his struggles with the scales have littered his career to date. Something needs to change if “Hands of Stone” is going to hit the heights his talent deserves.

Stephens gets Con-ned

Another press conference and another masterclass from Conor McGregor. The Irishman was surrounded by the other fighters sharing the UFC 205 card for the promotion’s debut event in New York. However, he stole the show in typical fashion. His classic “Who the f*ck is that guy?” dismissal of Jeremy Stephens made mainstream headlines and highlighted the gulf in class between the featherweight champion and his contemporaries when it comes to salesmanship.

And spare a thought for Stephens. The hard-hitting featherweight was the unfortunate recipient of one of MMA’s most memorable putdowns. However, once his ego recovers from the bruising he may realise that this could still be turned to his advantage. Stephens has now inserted himself into the McGregor narrative. Further down the line he has a legitimate reason to promote a rivalry with the sport’s biggest star. It’s a fight that could change his financial future.All he has to do now is

All he has to do now is beat Frankie Edgar.

The Big Guy to Bellator? It’s crazy but it’s true…

Last week it was revealed that former WWE star Ryback was in serious negotiations with Bellator. The relationship between sports entertainment and MMA has been a little rocky of late. Brock Lesnar, at one time the biggest star in both disciplines, soured his reputation by failing a UFC 200 drugs test. And CM Punk’s brief, but highly-publicised flirtation with the octagon saw him lose handily to Mickey Gall.

Ryback has less experience than Punk, whose passion for jiu-jitsu has been documented for many years. However, his appearance in an MMA arena would command plenty of eyeballs on Spike TV. His signature would displease the purists. However in MMA in 2016, where the lines between sporting meritocracy and entertainment have started to blur a little, it makes a lot of sense.

UFC goes A-list

No less than 23 of the biggest names in sports and entertainment across the globe were revealed to be new UFC investors. Luminaries such as Sylvester Stallone, LL COOL J and Maria Sharapova were amongst the list circulated by UFC owners WME-IMG to the media last week.

It’s a signal of intent from UFC brass that they won’t be wasting any time in recouping some of their $4bn outlay. These are names that command mainstream attention. The UFC of old could only dream of attracting that sort of star power.

Which reminds me – where is Steven Seagal?

White-hot atmosphere at ACB 47

It wasn’t quite the performance he was hoping for but Rab Whiteford’s win at ACB 47 kept his vociferous crowd happy this past weekend.

The SSE Hydro played host to some UFC veterans, exciting new talent and some well-known names on the regional scene. There were impressive wins for Norman Parke and Jake Bostwick, though it was Whiteford’s entrance for the main event – to a rousing rendition of “Flower of Scotland” that sent the atmosphere into fever pitch. The Scot’s performance didn’t quite match the pre-fight expectations and he sneaked by on the scorecards. However, a win is a win in this game and both he and the promotion can hopefully keep progressing.

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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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