After destroying former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida on Saturday night in what was by far the most impressive performance of his UFC, and indeed his MMA career, Yoel Romero decided not to name the opponent that he wants for the next time he steps into the octagon. He instead gave the answer that makes MMA fans worldwide groan in unison: that he would fight whoever the UFC wanted him to. Well, in that case, their answer to him should be a very simple one: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
The UFC have tried on two previous occasions to match up Romero and Souza. Originally they were scheduled to fight at UFC 184 back in February. On that occasion, Souza had to withdraw as he was suffering from pneumonia. Their fight was re-scheduled for UFC on Fox 15 in April, but this time, Romero was forced to pull out with a knee injury. Rather than move the fight this time, Souza instead fought Chris Camozzi, who he submitted in the first round for the second time in his career, and Romero moved onto his match with Machida.
Both men are hell-bent on getting a shot at the winner of the upcoming UFC middleweight title match between champion Chris Weidman and number 1 contender Luke Rockhold, a fight for which no date has even been announced yet. One can assume, therefore, that it is unlikely it will occur before November or even December. This would mean it could potentially be a long wait for either man to wait for a shot at the belt and neither Romero nor Souza would want a long layoff heading into the most important fight of their lives, especially with respect to Romero who is 3 years older than the Brazilian at 38. In fact, “Jacare” said during the recent UFC 190 media day when asked if he would wait for a title shot that “I won’t wait for anyone. I was not born to wait. I was born to become champion.” With those comments in mind, the timing of Romero’s victory this past weekend could not have been better.
Souza is a multiple time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion and Romero is a silver medallist from the 200 Olympics, but in recent times, fans have seen dramatic improvements in the striking games of both fighters. Both men are also yet to taste defeat in the UFC, with “Jacare” winning 5 and “The Soldier of God” winning 6 fights for the promotion, with only 2 decisions between them during that time. It is quite possibly the most intriguing and exciting fight that the UFC could put on in the middleweight division and fans will be salivating at the prospect.
It has been suggested that Vitor Belfort might be a good opponent for one of them, and Souza has said he would be open to fighting him. The problem is, if Belfort were to win that match, then the UFC will have essentially killed off a potential title challenger as the manner in which the current champion beat Belfort doesn’t exactly have fans itching for a rematch. A card sometime towards the end of the year headlined by Weidman vs Rockhold for the title with Romero vs Souza for the #1 contender spot as the co-main event would be the perfect scenario and would beautifully set up a future match in 2016 between the winners. Should the UFC decide to go down that route, it would provide massive promotional opportunities for them. But whether or not they decide to hold both fights on the same night, the bout between Romero and Souza is the only fight for both that makes sense and is one that must be made.
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
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”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
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.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
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.
Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut
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.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) December 9, 2017
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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