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WSOF 22: Palharas vs. Shields Preview

Iain MacMillan

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The World Series of Fighting is putting on their 6th event of 2015 this Saturday and it may be one of the most intriguing cards in the promotions short history. Two title fights will be displayed as the co-main event features featherweight champion Marlon Moraes as he attempts to defend his WSOF strap vs. Sheymon da Silva Moraes. The cards main event has surprisingly flown under the radar as MMA grappling legends Jake Shields and Rousimar Palhares fight for the promotions Welterweight belt. This card has everything you want in an MMA event; young and talented prospects as well as seasoned and proven veterans.

Main Event: Rousimar Palharas (17-6) vs. Jake Shields (31-7-1)
This is a fight that could have happened in the UFC but it never came to fruition. Palharas was cut from the promotion due to a history of bad sportsmanship, and Shields was released for what many believed were unfair reasons like being a gatekeeper that would never reach the top. Now, after both establishing success in the WSOF, they meet in a clash for the title as Rousimar Palharas attempts to defend the belt he won vs. Steve Carl at WSOF 9 back in late 2013. Both fighters have had two fights with the promotion, and both of them won their fights via 1st round Submission. If thats not enough to convince you that this will be a spectacle for the ages on the mat, than how about the fact that both fights have a combined total of 26 submission finishes on their professional record. If you’re a grappling/Jiu Jitsu fan, than this fight is a must see. Look out for the leg locks of the Brazilian Palharas, and the chokes of the American Jake Shields.

Co-Main Event: Marlon Moraes (14-4-1) vs. Sheymon da Silva Moraes (7-0)
#7 on our list of top fighters outside the UFC, Marlon Moraes looks extend his win streak to double-digits as he takes on the young and undefeated Brazilian Sheymon Da Silva Moraes. Moraes last defended his belt in February of this year when he defeated Canadian Josh Hill via Unanimous Decision at WSOF 18 in Edmonton. Moraes will pass WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje for the record of most fights fought under the WSOF banner as this will be his 8th. The challenger Sheymon da Silva Moraes is coming off a split decision victory over Gabriel Solorio in his WSOF debut on December 14th of 2014. He comes into this fight with 4 (T)KO victories under his belt.

Mike Kyle (21-12-1) vs. Clifford Starks (11-2):
Mike Kyle has finally settled on his 3rd scheduled opponent for this weekends card. He was originally set to take on Tyrone Spong, only for him to get hurt and replaced by UFC vet Thiago Silva who was then in turn also pulled due to licensing issues from the commission. The third time’s the charm as just recently it was announced that Clifford Starks would step in on short notice to take the fight. Starks, who’s only two losses on his record came from the hands of Ed Herman and Yoel Romero inside the UFC, is back in his winning ways as he’s won his last three fights. Starks’ most recent win came at WSOF 19 in March of this year as he arm-triangled Jake Heurn in the 2nd round. Mike Kyle is making his return to the WSOF after his first two fights where he was the victim of unlucky match making as he lost to two fighters who are now near the very top of the UFC in Andrei Arlovski and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. The longtime veteran and MMA journeyman is coming off of a KO victory of Baga Agaev at ADW 2.

Abubakar Nurmagomedov (9-1) vs. Jorge Moreno (4-0)
The brother of UFC top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov, Abubakar, is set to make his WSOF debut vs. Jorge Moren. The Dagestani fighter has never left a fight to the judges scorecards as all 9 of his wins have come via finish (6 KO/TKO, 3 SUB), with his only loss coming via doctor stoppage. Moreno is also making his debut with the promotion as he has won all 4 of his professional fights so far, with 3 of them coming inside the distance (2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB). It will be interesting to see if Abubakar will be able to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Khabib, who has found fantastic success so far in the sport.

Islam Mamedov (11-1) vs. Jimmy Spicuzza (6-2):
Another Dagestani fighter is looking to win as Islam Mamedov takes on Jimmy Spicuzza in the opening fight of the main card. Mamedov is on a 10 fight winning streak since losing his 2nd fight as a professional. He has displayed his submission expertise as 6 of his 10 wins in that span came via tap-out. He is a tall order for Jimmy Spicuzza who will be ooking for his 2nd straight win after defeating Benny Madrid via Split Decision at WSOF 19 in March of this year. Spicuzza won’t be shy to grapple Mamedov as all 3 of his finishes have come from submission.

The Prelims:
Jake Heun (7-4) vs. David Clark (5-2-2)
Donavon Frelow (4-0) vs. Carlos Garcia (0-0)
Jimmy Jones (4-3) vs. Marco Lopez Simmons (0-0)
Cory Hendricks (1-0) vs. Julio Hinojosa (3-1)
Gil Guardado (3-1) vs. Pete Martin (5-3)

The event takes place at Planet Hollywod Resort & Casino and will be televised on NBCSN in the U.S. as well as Fight Network in Canada.

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Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”

Harry Davies

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MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.

Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.


Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?

I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.

Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?

I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened.  They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.

Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of  Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?

I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.

It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.

Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?

I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.

I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.

Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!

 

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2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures

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After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot  in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.

Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.

Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.

At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.

For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.

Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.

Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:

  • Michele Oliveira  vs.  Danni Neilan 125 lbs
  • Anna Astvik  vs.  Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
  • Chamia Chabbi  vs.  Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
  • C. McCrudden  vs.  Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
  • Gase Sanita  vs.  Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
  • Yernaz Mussabek  vs.  Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
  • Gamzat Magomedov  vs.  O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
  • Joel Arolainen  vs.  Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
  • V. Andruhovich  vs.  Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
  • Sola Axel  vs.  Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
  • B. Haraldsson  vs.  Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
  • Pavel Pahomenko  vs.  Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
  • Irman Smajic  vs.  Lev Vins 265 lbs
  • Atanas Krastanov  vs.  Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
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Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate

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Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.

But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.

After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.

The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.

Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.

He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.

In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.

Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 17: Michael Bisping of England steps on the scale during the UFC weigh-in inside the SSE Hydro on July 17, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.

Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.

This is me and Anderson exchanging respect while being attended to by the doctors.

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on

The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.

Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.

Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.

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