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Who’s Next? UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Hendricks

John Michael Edwards

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Stephen Thompson vs. Robbie Lawler:  Sorry Demian Maia, Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley, but Stephen Thompson may have just skipped to the head of the “next title contender” line.  Being the underdog, Thompson winning would have been somewhat of a surprise, but the way Thompson thumped the former champion was beyond impressive.  Thompson thwarted the initial takedown attempt from Hendricks, and from that point on it was the “Wonderboy” show. Thompson picked Hendricks apart, finishing him just over three minutes into the first round.  No one has ever walked through Johny Hendricks in such a way, and doing so is definitely worthy of a title shot.

 

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Johny Hendricks vs. Rory MacDonald:  Is the Johny Hendricks we see now the same Johny Hendricks that once took all-time great Georges St. Pierre to the brink of defeat and eventually went on to become champion? It doesn’t seem like it. While many expected Johny Hendricks to take the fight into later rounds, as recent history has shown, no one would have ever guessed that he would get routed in the fashion that he did. Stephen Thompson made Hendricks look like an amateur and whether that was more of a testament to Thompson’s improvement or Hendricks decline we will have to wait to see. Also coming from a loss, Rory MacDonald would be the perfect opponent to see if Hendricks is still a top-tier challenger or if his days as a 170lbs elite be numbered.

 

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Roy Nelson vs. Derrick Lewis:  Reason: Fans like to see guys bang, especially Heavyweights. It would be a surprise if this fight lasted past the second round.

 

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Joseph Benavidez vs. Kyoji Horiguchi:  Joseph Benavidez finds himself in a very precarious situation: he stands as the undoubted #2 in his division, but has had little to offer against the #1 Demetrious Johnson in both of their fights with one another. Being on a five-fight win streak, it’s hard to deny that any other fighter in any other division would be in the conversation for a title shot, but another fight with Johnson is a hard sell. Surely, he would rather fill the role of title challenger or better yet, champion, but unfortunately for Benavidez, it seems like his calling is to be the Rich Franklin-esque gatekeeper of the Flyweight division for the time being. Kyoji Horiguchi surely is eyeing at getting another shot at the title in the future, and getting past a fight of Benavidez caliber would go a long way in earning that shot.

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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Invicta

Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut 

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Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.

Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.

The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar.  While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.

Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.

Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

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