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Who Could Phil Brooks’ First UFC Fight be Against?

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Back in December when Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks announced live on air in an interview with Joe Rogan that he had officially signed with the UFC for a multi-fight deal. Immediately, Tongues started wagging as to where the former WWE Champion would train, and who his first fight would be against. Shortly after, Brooks announced that he would be training with Duke Roufus at Roufusport out of Milwaukee.

Brooks, who is a Chicago native, would then travel each day to training working with people like UFC fighter Anthony Pettis. But after starting training back in January, Punk would then move to Milwaukee in June, to be able to train more often for an Octagon debut. He has also been training in spells with Octagon veterans Rashad Evans and Luke Rockhold at Team EXOS.

And even though Punk has been training with Rener Gracie on and off for a few years in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it was his striking ability that most impressed his new camp. In an interview on The MMA Hour back in March Duke Roufus called Brooks a ‘natural striker’.

Although there has been no set date for Brooks’ octagon debut, it is looking more and more likely that it will be in 2016 before we see his first fight. Speaking on the Anik & Florian podcast in June Punk had this to say:

“I’ve had zero talks with Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, Joe Silva, anybody, about an opponent, about a date, I’m thankful for that because that’s zero pressure.”

One of the other things that many were unsure about is what weight Brooks would fight at, but looking at ufc.com and sherdog.com, they both have him posted as a middleweight fighter, but in that same interview with Rogan, Punk did say he could drop down to welterweight, but ruled out going up to Light-Heavyweight.

But with that in mind, and Brooks’ 0-0 record, I have looked at possible middleweight fights with current UFC fighters, who have had a maximum of 7 professional fights.

Mike King (5-1)
One possibility could be American Mike King, who currently holds a 5-1 pro record, but is 0-1 in the UFC, after having lost to Cathal Pendred at Fight Night in Dublin back in last July. King, who is trained in Kickboxing and wrestling, was the 2010 Ohio Ammy of the year, and won the NAAFS Tournament championship in the same year, and has finished all of his 5 wins, by either TKO or submission. But could King’s mixture of Kickboxing and wrestling, and Brooks’ mixture of BJJ and being a natural striker lead to a decent matchup?

Ricardo ‘Demente’ Abreu (5-2)
Another middleweight I looked at was Ricardo ‘Demente’ Abreu. The Brazilian is a black belt in BJJ, and holds a 5-2 professional record. Abreu was part of Team Wanderlei during TUF: Brazil in 2013, losing in the semi-finals to eventual runner-up Marcio Alexandre Jr by split decision. He also holds a 1-1 record in the UFC, with a loss to Jack Collier in June 2015 by split decision, and holds a win over Wagner Silva by submission at Fight Night: Sao Paulo in May 2014.

Antonio ‘Cara De Sapato’ Carlos Jr. (6-1)
The third current UFC fighter I looked at was Antonio ‘Cara De Sapato’ Carlos Jr. Another Brazilian on the list, Carlos Jr. is probably the most experienced out of the 3, holding a 6-1 pro record with 2-1 in the UFC. Carlos holds a submission victory over Eddie Gordon (Fight Night: Hollywood, Florida, June 2015) and a Unanimous decision win over Vitor Miranda in May 2014, but did lose to Patrick Cummings by unanimous decision in December of last year.

The TUF: Brazil 3 winner, started off at heavyweight, and has dropped weight twice, dropping to Light-Heavyweight in 2014, and then dropped to Middleweight earlier this year. Like Ricardo Abreu, Carlos is also a champion at BJJ. Carlos is a former World, Brazilian and Pan-American champion in BJJ, and could be another good match for Punk.

Lorenzo Fertitta spoke to ESPN back in January and, stated that it will be a pro MMA fighter that he will face, and will be someone recognisable to the MMA media. The UFC CEO added that he will be relying on matchmaker Joe Silva, who will be bringing 2-3 fighters to the table. But could bring someone in from of roster if the fit is right.

Jason David Frank (1-0)
If a fighter from outside of the UFC is being brought in, then it could lead to the one match which has an internet following. This would be a bout against Jason David Frank. Frank is probably most widely known as ‘The Green PowerRanger’ but is also a 7th degree Black Belt in Karate, and holds a 1-0 professional record in MMA.

His only pro win came against Jose Roberto Vasquez at a Texas Cage Fighting back in 2010. Although he is not signed to the UFC at the minute, he is a possibility, and a fight that some people would like to see, even to the extent that Comics Remixed have a petition on change.org to get the fight happening.

But another possibility could be 2 fighters that both have UFC experience in the past.

Jason Thacker (0-1)
The first was suggested by one of our other writers, is Jason Thacker.

Thacker who has a professional record of 0-1, does have octagon experience, as he was part of Team Couture on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Even though he was picked as a light-heavyweight, he fought on the finale show as a middleweight, suffering a TKO loss to fellow contestant Chris Leben after 1:35 of the first round.

Phil Baroni (15-18)
The other is someone who has been calling out Punk, is former UFC, Bellator, ONEFC and Pride fighter Phil Baroni.

The welterweight holds a professional record of 15-18, holds a 3-7 UFC record, had this to say on his Instagram:

“I’ll bust you up. Call Coker , move da f****** needle. Wa Wa 3H was mean to me. Vince owes me. Wa Wa. . Your gona love MMA and @Danawhite it’s so fair ova here. Ryback hurt you? I’ll break your f****** Neck #whineybitch”

But the only problem with this is, is the fact Baroni would want the fight to happen in a Bellator cage, and I can’t see that happening.

There have been various people calling Phil Brooks out over twitter, including people like Cathal Pendred, Al Iaquinta, as well as Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman. I am going to go on record now and say Brooks vs Merriman is a no-go. One Merriman isn’t a professional fighter, having come close in January 2015 after he was in talks with Japanese MMA event GANRYUJIMA, but talks broke down. And two, it all stems from a slight twitter war the 2 had in 2011, regarding Merriman trying to hit on some WWE divas by a pool.

Personally I feel it would be a Brooks’ vs Franks fight, if they can make it happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something gets announced out of left field in the coming months.

But tell us what you think and join in the conversation by Liking our facebook page and follow us on twitter: @mmalatestnws

Or follow me: @carlr_mma

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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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