A battle of top-ranked Welterweights took center stage at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa on Saturday night. Rory “The Red King” Macdonald (18-3) returned to the octagon for the first time since his epic war with champion Robbie Lawler almost one year ago at UFC 189. While there had been talks among fans and media about a rematch with Robbie Lawler, it appeared that the UFC wanted at least one fight in between in order for Macdonald to secure another shot at the belt. Standing in his way would be Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (12-1). Thompson is easily one of the biggest rising stars in the 170 lb weight class, riding a six-fight win streak, including an incredible first round knockout of former champion Johny Hendricks in February at UFC Fight Night 82. With a diverse striking attack and great movement, many saw a “Wonderboy” title shot as an inevitability, but he’d have to get past Rory Macdonald first.
Both men touch gloves in the center of the octagon and begin sizing each other up, looking for openings. Side kick from Thompson that Macdonald stays away from before also dodging a leg kick. Macdonald goes for a rolling heel hook but can’t secure it and gets back to his feet as Thompson steps away. Thompson throws a 1-2 combo but gets grazed by a head kick from Macdonald in the middle. Macdonald goes for the roll again but Thompson easily dodges it. Thompson snaps off a front kick to the body and follows it with a leg kick. Macdonald counters with a kick of his own. A spinning kick from Thompson just misses and they return to circling. Thompson lands a side kick to the body and then they clinch and exchange punches. Thompson pushes Macdonald against the cage and they exchange on the break. Macdonald goes for a head kick and it’s blocked as the round comes to an end.
They touch gloves once again and then Macdonald throws a side kick to the body. Thompson counters with a jumping head kick that is blocked and they exchange punches. Macdonald seems to want to get in close while Thompson is utilizing distance to open up his striking. They exchange kicks and punches but nothing significant lands. Macdonald briefly gets the clinch and lands a knee from the thai clinch before Thompson pushes him away. They exchange punches again. Macdonald again attempts the roll but Thompson steps to the side and avoids it. Thompson just misses with a hook kick to the head of Macdonald. Macdonald shoots for a takedown and gets Thompson against the cage and lands a big elbow off of the break. Thompson has his hands very low and is darting in and out with a jab. Macdonald throws a head kick that is blocked. Thompson lands another side kick to the body and another. They circle again as the round comes to a close and the crowd seems to be getting restless.
A lot of respect being shown by both men as they touch gloves again to start the round. Macdonald eats a kick to the body but presses forward, trying to close the distance and lands a right hand. Thompson lands a body kick and a quick left hand before dodging a right from Macdonald. Macdonald lands a left and is doing a better job of closing the distance. They clinch and Thompson takes Macdonald down with a trip and briefly has a mount. Macdonald tries to sink in a heel hook but Thompson escapes and they’re back to the feet. Thompson lands a left hand and Macdonald answers with a right. They circle and exchange again as Macdonald lands a few clean right hands. They trade kicks to the body and Thompson lands a short right hand. They exchange strikes as Macdonald attempts to close the distance again but Thompson keeps him at bay. Thompson lands a short right and both men miss with kicks as the bell sounds and they touch gloves with a smile as they go to their corners.
The now standard glove touch starts the round and Macdonald throws a combination but Thompson strafed to the side. A side kick from Thompson and then dodges some shots from Macdonald before landing two clean punches. The clinch and exchange with Macdonald landing a knee before they break. Macdonald is able to get close in but can’t seem to maintain that distance. Thompson is bouncing on his toes and throwing well but he gets caught with a solid kick. Thompson responds with a few jabs and an uppercut. Thompson is still keeping his hands very low, landing clean shots every time Macdonald attempts to step in. A solid kick to the body from Thompson and they resume circling. Thompson misses with a punch but lands a body kick. Macdonald lands a big jab but Thompson responds with a right hand. Thompson lands two counterpunches as Macdonald steps in and then immediately moves away. A brief exchange of strikes closes out the round.
A little bit of blood is coming from the nose of Macdonald at the start of the round as they touch gloves again. Macdonald continues to try and close the distance but Thompson lands a side kick to push him away. They exchange big shots but neither fighter seems fazed. Thompson is never still, always moving and Macdonald catches him with a big right hand. Both fighters start swinging for the fences and land some big shots. Thompson throws a spinning wheel kick that catches Macdonald with a glancing shot. Macdonald goes for another takedown but Thompson ends up on top and in side control. Thompson throws a couple of short elbows to the face of Macdonald before getting to his feet. They exchange and it looks like Macdonald might be hurt. Thompson is picking his shots now and making them count. Macdonald is constantly moving forward, egging Thompson on and trying to brawl. Thompson is consistently staying just out of range, darting in and out with jabs and kicks. Both fighters miss with head kicks as the final round ends.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson def. Rory MacDonald via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 48-47)
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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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