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WSOF 29 – Gaethje vs. Foster Preview

Iain MacMillan

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With the absence of a UFC event this weekend after one of the craziest cards in the promotions history last Saturday, the World Series of Fighting will more than fill your appetite for action-packed cage fighting. WSOF 29 takes place this Saturday in Greeley, Colorado and its main event features a lightweight title fight as Brian Foster challenges one of the promotions most talented and popular fighters: Justin Gaethje.
The three-fight preliminary card kicks off at 8PM EST/5PM PST and will stream live at WSOF.com. The four-fight main card starts at 10PM EST/7PM PST and will air on NBCSN in the U.S. and Fight Network in Canada.

Prelims:
Danny Mainus (3-4) vs. Brandon Royval (2-1):
The WSOF 29 prelims kick off with a bantamweight bout between two newcomers to the promotion who are both fighting in their home state of Colorado. Mainus, who previously fought for RFA, is coming off a Unanimous Decision loss to Boston Salmon and will be looking to even out his record at 4-4. All three of his wins so far have come via finish (1 TKO/KO, 2 SUB), while all 4 of his losses have come via decision with three of the four being split. Royval will be fighting for only the 4th time in his professional career. He is coming off of a quick triangle-choke finish as he submitted his last opponent in under a minute. It’ll be interesting to see how these WSOF newcomers will deal with fighting for a higher end promotion.

Josh Huber (15-9) vs. Clay Wimer (6-0):
This featherweight fight features a strong prospect in Clay Wimer who is undefeated while finishing all 6 of his opponents (3 TKO/KO, 3 SUB) so far in his career. He is facing Colorado native Josh Huber who is coming off of 2 straight losses but hoping to get back into the win column. Both of these fighters are new to the promotion. Huber is a long time veteran of the sport as his first professional fight was all the way back in 2006. Tune in to see who comes out on top of this edition of the classic matchup between an experienced veteran and a young prospect.

Ian Heinisch (4-0) vs. Tyler Vogel (2-0):
One of the 0’s has to go in this prelim finale between two young, but undefeated fighters as they square off in a Middleweight bout. This bout has a similar trait to the other two prelim fights as they feature two athletes who are making their World Series of Fighting debut. Heinisch finished 1 out of his 4 opponents (KO/TKO), while Vogel got the TKO finish in both of his professional fights. Heinisch is fighting in his home state so an added pressure of fighting in front of friends and family may be a factor. If one of these fighters can pull off a decisive victory, they will solidify themselves as one of the top prospects in the promotion.

Main Card:
Josh Cavan (11-6) vs. Kris Hocum (7-4):
Colorado based fighters who are making their promotional debut seems to be the theme of the night as Josh Cavan and Kris Hocum square off in their home state in a Welterweight contest. Another common trait between these fighters is that they’re both coming off of a loss, so a win for them would be absolutely essential to getting back on track and making a name for themselves within the promotion. As if these two athletes couldn’t be more similar, they also have an almost identical finishing rate with Cavan finishing his opponents at a rate of 82% while Hocum sports a finishing rate of 85%. Going to the judges score cards doesn’t seem to be very probable in this Welterweight match-up.

Cory Devela (15-6) vs. Louis Taylor (11-3):
It’s WSOF newcomer night as once again these fighters will be making their promotional debuts this Saturday in a Middleweight contest. Both fighters are coming into this fight with a four-fight win streak and a lot of momentum. Chicago native Louis Taylor knows how to finish a fight, 10 of his 11 wins have ended before the final bell as he has submitted 5 of his opponents and KO/TKO’d the other 5. Devela, who hails from Wasington, also knows how to finish a fight as 11 of his 16 wins came inside the distance (3 KO/TKO, 8 SUB). Both of these fighters will be looking to make it five straight wins while making a strong impression with the WSOF brass.

Josh Copeland (11-3) vs. Mike Hayes (19-10-2):
In the evenings co-main event we see two long time veterans face off in a heavyweight bout in what will be (yep, you guessed it) their WSOF debut. Colorado’s Copeland has had a successful career so far in which he has won every fight except for two straight losses in the UFC as well as his most recent loss vs. arguably the best heavyweight in the world in Vitaly Minakov. Copeland is a big signing for WSOF and with a dominant win against Hayes, you may see him in a title fight vs. Blagoy Ivanov in the near future. Mike Hayes has been around the block, he has fought for several promotions including Bellator, Strikeforce, and King of the Cage. He will be looking to get back on track as he has been 1-6-1 in his last 8 bouts. Don’t count Hayes out though, he still has an ability to not only win fights, but to finish them as well with a finishing rate of 74%.

Main Event:
Justin Gaethje (15-0) vs. Brian Foster (25-8):
In the main event of the night, Brian Foster challenges Justin Gaethje for the WSOF Lightweight championship. Gaethje is undefeated and is one of the top fighters in the world outside of the UFC (ranked #5 on our most recent list). His aggressive style is exciting to watch and dangerous for his opponents as he has 12 TKO/KO finishes on his record. Some of the biggest wins in his career include wins over UFC veteran Melvin Guillard, Dan Lauzon, and most recently back-to-back victories over Luis Palomino. Gaethje is without a doubt a world class talent in Mixed Martial Arts.
The challenger, Brian Foster, is a true veteran of the sport and he gets his chance on Saturday to capture WSOF gold. He earned his shot by recently winning the WSOF 8-man lightweight tournament back in November when he defeated Joey Zeferino via KO in the finals. Foster found himself at the bad end of an odd situation when he fought for the UFC back in 2010. After coming off the biggest win of his career vs. Matt Brown, a pre-fight brain scan showed something irregular in his brain and was subsequentially medically released by the UFC. After being cleared by doctors and having numerous brain scans that did not show any further issues, Foster got back to fighting. After a long and painful journey, Foster will have his shot at glory this Saturday night.

Be sure to watch WSOF 29 this Saturday on NBCSN and follow along with us on twitter at @mmalatestnws

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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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