Take away the best light-heavyweight and top pound-for-pound fighter in the world and a top contender in the lightweight division and what do you get? Still one the deepest cards in recent memory. How deep? The fight for (presumably) the next title shot at flyweight is on the prelims. Every fight on the main card has substantial meaning as far as rankings are concerned and being topped off by two title fights make this one of the best cards to date. Here are some picks from our writers.
Anthony Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier
John Michael Edwards: This is a tough choice. I’m going to go with my gut and pick “Rumble” to pull out the win. While it is sometimes hard to get the visual of the old, struggling, 170 -185(ish)lbs out of my mind, since moving to heavyweight and light-heavyweight he has been sensational. It’s also better for the division if he wins, so I’ll say Johnson 48-47.
Jordan Killion: This is more than your traditional “striker v. grappler” match, because the “striker” (Rumble) can grapple, and the “grappler” (DC) can strike. DC via Unanimous Decision
Vinny Craig: What a tough fight to pick. The classic wrestler vs. striker conundrum. Cormier could neutralize Johnson and use his fighter IQ to win the fight, or Johnson could tee off at some point and send Cormier’s head into the second row. It’s going to depend on if Cormier can wrestle Johnson or not, with that we will see who will win. I got Cormier by decision.
Dom Tutino: It’s not a secret that Cormier wants to get this fight to the ground and Johnson wants to stand and bang. Although Johnson has great takedown defense and I see him maybe stuffing a few takedowns, I see Cormier’s Olympic wrestling eventually winning the day especially in the later rounds, with Daniel then capitalising on the gassed Johnson for a submission late in the fight.
Michael Maniscalco: Rumble’s punching power is obviously something for Cormier to look out for, but his wrestling and ability to put guys against the cage will help him prevail in a decision win.
Griffen Tobey: Cormier will win as long as he does not get knocked out by the heavy-handed Johnson. Cormier via Unanimous Decision
Jeff Severcool: I believe had this fight been 3-4 years ago, we would have DC reigning in this division, but unfortunately timing is everything, and it is a BAD time to have to fight Anthony Johnson right now. This will be a war of attrition, but Rumble young man, Rumble. DC falls once again and sadly becomes one of the greatest fighters to not win a title.
Derek Bowe: The main event between Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier is a difficult one to call. Should Rumble be able to land his powerful strikes, it could be a short night for Cormier. However, Cormier has superior wrestling than almost anyone in that division, Rumble included. If Cormier can close distance and is not forced to shoot from too great of distances, he wins this by grinding out a decision by controlling Johnson.
Brendan McGlynn: In my heart I want Daniel to pull this one out he is getting up there in age and may not have too many chances left. However, I think Anthony Johnson may be virtually unstoppable at this point in his career. It could be a different fight if Daniel can get Rumble on the ground since we have not seen Rumble tested on the ground during this resurgence. I got Anthony Johnson winning the belt via 4th Round TKO to obtain the vacant belt.
Brice Schroeder: I keep flip flopping on who is going to win this fight. The way I see it Rumble needs to finish Cormier and Cormier can only win by going the distance. Rumble was able to nullify Phil Davis’ wrestling when they fought, but DC is a whole different animal. I’m picking DC here. Look for him to use his wrestling to avoid the knockout blow from Johnson
Jim Edwards: DC is a guy that can’t get over the line in the important fights. He’s suffered many disappointments in his career already, but there must be some mental scarring in that he’s lost in so many important points in his career already. Johnson via KO.
Sam LaPoint: I believe Daniel Cormier will pressure Anthony Johnson in the early rounds to wear him down and be able to secure the victory from there by unanimous decision or technical knockout.
Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort
John Michael Edwards: Nothing against Weidman, but I’d love to see Vitor win this in classic (violent) Vitor fashion…I don’t see it happening though. Mind beats heart on this pick. Weidman 49-46.
Jordan Killion: Weidman is the better overall fighter. He’ll have to withstand a flurry early, but I’ll take “The Chris” via Submission rd. 3
Vinny Craig: I see the strength of Weidman being an issue for Belfort. He won’t be able to use his speed against him either as Weidman uses angles better than almost anyone in the organization. No scenario in my mind, besides Weidman being lazy, do I see Vitor catching the champ. I have Weidman winning by decision.
Dom Tutino: I believe Weidman is truly the better fighter in near enough every aspect of MMA. Vitor was once a great fighter but at 38 and off TRT I see Weidman just being too much for him. I see Chris working his wrestling and ground and pound early, rocking Vitor on the ground making Belfort scramble to recover and leave himself open for a submission early in the contest.
Michael Maniscalco: Vitor’s best chance of winning this fight is in the opening two rounds, he’s going to come out aggressive and I expect Weidman to stay on the defensive until the later rounds. I’ve got Weidman.
Griffen Tobey: Weidman will dominate this fight with his wrestling if he can keep his distance from Belfort on the feet and take the right opportunities to go for the takedown. The only way I see Belfort winning this fight is by the improbable knockout. Weidman via Unanimous Decision.
Jeff Severcool: Weidman has beaten a couple notorious killers and former champions in Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida. However, he meets his match in Vitor Belfort. While Silva and Machida excel in counter punching, it allows the champion to get comfortable and find his pace in the early rounds. But Vitor is not patient, and he enjoys quick kills. The night of the Blackzillian champions begins with a shockingly vintage Belfort blitz setting up Belfort vs. Rockhold 2.
Derek Bowe: Weidman has an amazing all-around set of abilities: he is good on the feet, excellent in taking the fight to the canvas and has a brilliant Jiu Jitsu game. One which stands out to me is Weidman’s tendency to absorb strikes. He has gotten hit in almost every fight he has been in, including significantly by Machida in his last defense. Belfort is a fighter whose strikes cannot be taken and shaken off. If Belfort can apply pressure without being taken down and held and this fight is contested on the feet we are likely to see a new champion.
Brendan McGlynn: And New UFC Middleweight Champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort! Call me crazy, but after a year and a half layoff I think Belfort comes out guns blazing. I have Vitor making it 4 straight wins via head kick KO, stopping the Champ in the second round.
Brice Schroeder: Even though Vitor has looked like an animal the last couple of fights I’m taking Weidman to take a fairly dominant decision win here. Weidman is young, hungry and pissed off at Vitor who has a lot of miles on his 38-year-old body. Now that he is off the juice who knows how he will look. I don’t think “cheez-its” will be enough to save Vitor in this one.
Jim Edwards: I’m still changing my mind about this one. Despite Weidman’s undoubted top level ability, there’s just something I’ve not liked about the way he’s looked during the preparation for this fight. There are so many variables we can’t quantify at this point at this point – Vitor off TRT, Weidman seemingly being prepared to take a shot to give one, etc. I’m going to go with the challenger to upset the odds. Belfort by KO.
Sam LaPoint: Chris Weidman can out-wrestle Belfort if he can’t outstrike him. However, I believe Weidman won’t need to and can get the win via TKO within the first three rounds.
Donald Cerrone vs. John Makdessi
John Michael Edwards: Cerrone SUB
Jordan Killion: Cerrone Sub rd. 2
Vinny Craig: Cerrone by SUB
Dom Tutino: Cerrone SUB
Michael Maniscalco: Cerrone UD
Griffen Tobey: Cerrone SUB
Jeff Severcool: Cerrone SUB
Derek Bowe: Cerrone SUB
Brendan McGlynn: Cerrone SUB
Brice Schroeder: Cerrone SUB
Jim Edwards: Cerrone UD
Sam LaPoint: Cerrone UD
Travis Browne vs. Andrei Arlovski
John Michael Edwards: Arlovski SD
Jordan Killion: Browne TKO rd. 2
Vinny Craig: Browne def. Arlovski by KO
Dom Tutino: Browne KO
Michael Maniscalco: Browne TKO
Griffen Tobey: Browne KO
Jeff Severcool: Arlovski KO
Derek Bowe: Browne KO
Brendan McGlynn: Arlovski TKO
Brice Schroeder: Browne KO
Jim Edwards: DRAW – no one wins this fight…. no one!!
Sam LaPoint: Brown via TKO
Joseph Benavidez vs. John Moraga
John Michael Edwards: Benavidez UD
Jordan Killion: Benavidez via UD
Vinny Craig: Benavidez UD
Dom Tutino: Benavidez SUB
Michael Maniscalco: Benavidez UD
Griffen Tobey: Benavidez TKO
Jeff Severcool: Moraga UD
Derek Bowe: Benavidez TKO
Brendan McGlynn: Moraga UD
Brice Schroeder: Benavidez SUB
Jim Edwards: Benavidez SUB
Sam LaPoint: Benavidez UD
John Dodson vs. Zach Makovsky
John Michael Edwards: Dodson TKO
Jordan Killion: Dodson via UD
Vinny Craig: Dodson TKO
Dom Tutino: Dodson UD
Michael Maniscalco: Dodson TKO
Griffen Tobey: Dodson UD
Jeff Severcool: Dodson KO
Derek Bowe: Dodson TKO
Brendan McGlynn: Dodson KO
Brice Schroeder: Dodson KO
Jim Edwards: Dodson UD Sam LaPoint: Dodson UD
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Josh Burkman
John Michael Edwards: Kim UD
Jordan Killion: Kim via UD
Vinny Craig: Kim TKO
Dom Tutino: Kim KO
Michael Maniscalco: Kim UD
Griffen Tobey: Burkman SUB
Jeff Severcool: Kim UD
Derek Bowe: Kim UD
Brendan McGlynn: Burkman SUB
Brice Schroeder: Kim UD
Jim Edwards: Kim UD
Sam LaPoint: Kim UD
Uriah Hall vs. Rafael Natal
John Michael Edwards: Hall TKO
Jordan Killion: Hall TKO rd 1
Vinny Craig: Hall TKO
Dom Tutino: Hall KO
Michael Maniscalco: Hall TKO
Griffen Tobey: Hall TKO
Jeff Severcool: Hall TKO
Derek Bowe: Hall UD
Brendan McGlynn: Hall TKO
Brice Schroeder: Hall KO
Jim Edwards: Hall UD Sam LaPoint: Hall TKO
Rose Namajunas vs. Nina Ansaroff
John Michael Edwards: Ansaroff TKO
Jordan Killion: “Thug” Rose Submission Rd 1.
Vinny Craig: Namajunas SUB
Dom Tutino: Namajunas SUB
Michael Maniscalco: Namajunas SUB
Griffen Tobey: Namajunas UD
Jeff Severcool: Namajunas UD
Derek Bowe: Namajunas SUB
Brendan McGlynn: Namajunas UD
Brice Schroeder: Namajunas UD
Jim Edwards: Ansaroff UD
Sam LaPoint: Namajunas UD
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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