Don’t Sleep On This – UFC Brooklyn Edition: Gillespie/Medeiros & Calderwood/Lipski

A new era for the UFC starts this weekend in Brooklyn, New York.

The deal with ESPN is ready to kick off with a superfight between flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw which will stream exclusively on ESPN+. In a rather stacked card, two matchups stand out to me: undefeated prospect Gregor Gillespie will take on the always exciting vet Yancy Medeiros and Joanne ‘JoJo’ Calderwood looks to make some noise in the women’s flyweight division as she takes on newcomer Ariane ‘The Violence Queen’ Lipski.

New York native Gregor ‘The Gift’ Gillespie, former ROC lightweight champion, came into the UFC with a 7-0 record and three years later is still undefeated. His last four wins coming by way of stoppage against Andrew Holbrook, Jason Gonzalez, Jordan Rinaldi and most recently Vinc Pichel at UFC Fight Night 131 back in June, Gillespie is looking to crash the lightweight title picture and should get that push from the company.

Yancy Medeiros, who has been with the promotion since 2013, started out at lightweight before moving to welterweight; is now back a lightweight for this bout after a loss to Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone just under a year ago. Ripping off three straight at welterweight, (finishes against Sean Spencer, Erick Silva and Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira, respectively) Medeiros is no stranger to fight bonuses, collecting five over his stint with the promotion. Keep an eye on the weigh-ins, as Medeiros promised his opponent a ‘rude awakening’ if he gets too close after they hit the scales.

Former kickboxing champion Joanne ‘JoJo’ Calderwood was part of the Ultimate Fighter season 20, where the first UFC strawweight champion was crowned. Calderwood lost to current champion Rose Namajunas in the quarterfinals. A lot has changed since then. The UFC implemented the women’s flyweight division in 2017 and Calderwood was eager to move up, feeling more comfortable at that weight, and it’s shown. JoJo is undefeated at flyweight, besting former strawweight title challenger Valérie Létourneau and Kalindra Faria. The only other flyweight without a loss and on a win streak is Jessica Eye, someone who Calderwood is keeping an eye on as current champ Valentina Shevchenko waits for her next opponent.

UFC newcomer Ariane ‘The Violence Queen’ Lipski is finally here. The former KSW women’s flyweight champion signed with the big show after her latest win this past March (she was scheduled to face Maryna Moroz in November before Moroz sustained an injury). Lipski is known to be a rare knockout artist among the flyweights and carries a nine-fight win streak into her upcoming bout. The Brazilian prospect was most recently seen training with former UFC women’s featherweight champion, the heavy-handed Cris Cyborg.

Gillespie versus Medeiros is an interesting fight. Gillespie is looking to crack the top 10 while Medeiros is trying to find himself back in the win column with a move back down to lightweight. If this fight manages to stay on the feet, it could be another bonus for both fighters; but if it hits the ground, I give Gillespie the advantage.

Calderwood versus Lipski is a fight I’m very excited to see. I expect both fighters to stand and bang, as this will be the toughest test yet for Lipski, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘JoJo’ brings it to the ground, as she looked rather comfortable there in her last fight.

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo Vs. Dillashaw streams live on ESPN+ which feature the early prelims (6:00PM ET/3:00PM PT) and the main card (10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT) (which feature Gillespie/Medeiros), while the preliminaries air live on ESPN (8:00PM ET/5:00 PM PT) (which feature Calderwood/Lipski).

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News: UFC Vet and Bellator Fighter, Norman Parke Announces Retirement

UFC veteran Norman Parke, currently signed with Bellator under a multi fight contract has shockingly announced retirement.

Posted via twitter, the Northern Irish, Ultimate Fighter winner, Norman Parke has stated that following his upcoming bout under promotion BKB he will give up fighting unless he is offered a fight worth the right amount of money.

Coming off back to back wins against Myles Price and highly talented BJJ artists Paul Redmond, this announcement will come to a surprise to many, considering his recent signing with Bellator.

There was rumors of a fight between him and Benson Henderson in the pipeline, so it could be possible that perhaps that a disagreement between the two parties could have had some part to play in this decision. We will have to wait to find out what exactly the reason was.

All I do know however is that it would be a real shame to see Norman retire as he has a lot more to offer.

More will follow as it comes to light.

Junior dos Santos Vs. Derrick Lewis to headline UFC on EPSN+ 4 event in Wichita, Kansas

Derrick Lewis will look to rebound from his loss to heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in November against former champion Junior dos Santos.

Lewis and dos Santos are set to throw down as the main event on March 9th in Wichita, which will be the promotion’s first visit to Kansas. Lewis is coming off his UFC 230-saving loss to champion Daniel Cormier, as dos Santos is riding a two-fight win streak.

Derrick Lewis had won nine of his last 10 dating back to October 2015, knocking out his opponents in all but two matchups (his lone loss coming from Mark Hunt in Auckland, New Zealand).  After ripping off three straight after that (Marcin Tybura, Francis Ngannou and comeback of the year nominee against Alexander Volkov), Lewis was called upon to save UFC 230 by challenging Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight title after just fighting 28 days prior. Lewis was submitted in the second round.

Junior dos Santos is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, his first winning streak since joining the UFC where he won nine straight from 2008 to 2012 and captured the heavyweight gold. After alternating wins and losses, JDS is coming off wins against former WSOF heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov and former undefeated Australian prospect Tai Tuivasa in Adelaide just over a month ago.

Lewis is looking to get back on track after some time off and dos Santos is eager to get back in the title picture. This should be a classic stand-up war, where Lewis packs tremendous power that can put your lights out at any time and JDS’ boxing is one of, if not the best, in the heavyweight division. With Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou set to meet in February, we could see a couple rematches materialize while the heavyweight division figures itself out for the new year.

UFC Fight Night: Lewis Vs. dos Santos will air on ESPN+ Saturday, March 9th from Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.

Report: Khabib responds to claims around breakdown of Tony Ferguson matchup

For the past week, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has spoken publicly about being reluctant to allow lightweight title contender, Tony Ferguson a shot at Khabib’s gold next.

However, it appears there may be some cross of opinion between Abdelaziz and Khabib. As per the Team Dagestan Twitter account, when Khabib was questioned by a slightly disappointed fan, he seems to suggest the breakdown in the match up with Ferguson was a choice Abdelaziz rather than his own:

Although brief, the Tweet seems to suggest that Khabib may not be 100% happy with the decision to avoid the fight with “El Cucuy” and was more so a choice of Abdelaziz.

In the lead up to UFC 229, the UFC’s lightweight division had regained hope in respect to potential fights after a previous year of injuries and hiatus’. With the unfortunate turn of events post-fight after Khabib’s win and the subsequent pending trial with the NSAC, the wheels have again grinded to a halt in the 155lb division.

Now, discussions about who fights next after the trial and who deserves it more are aplenty in the MMA community. This development from Khabib adds further ambiguity in matchmaking at the top of the division.

Report: Commentator Jimmy Smith leaves the UFC

Confirmed by Jimmy Smith himself via twitter, the Las Vergas-based poromotion has decided not to sign the former UFC color caster for the fightcards of 2019.

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Before his time at the UFC, Smith spent a good amount of his career announcing, interviewing, analyzing, and providing play-by-play in Bellator MMA. This vast extensive knowledge of MMA and presence in analysis made him an asset whether it was his color commentary on UFC 223, or his continued work as an analyst on FOX cards.

His welcome to the UFC was reassuring considering the good terms of his departure, described on an interview with Ariel Helwani right after the move from Bellator.

He was given abundant praise by UFC’s Joe Rogan on his podcast ahead of his eventual acceptance into the fold.

No word from Rogan or any of the Analyst team during the minutes of this news.

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MMAJunkie later found out that the 41 year old has no immediate plans but will want to soon commentate. As for right now Jimmy Smith is free-agent.

 

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – December

Bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes shocks the world and finishes featherweight champ Cris Cyborg by knockout to become the first women’s “champ champ” at UFC 232 on December 29th

Louis Taylor floors Abus Magomedov to win the middleweight title and $1 million dollars at PFL 11 on December 31st

Uriah Hall storms back in the 3rd round and drops newcomer Bevon Lewis with a right hook at UFC 232 on December 29th

Joaquim Silva puts Jared Gordon out on his feet @ UFC Fight Night: Milwaukee on December 15th

Edson Barboza wins the war against Dan Hooker @ UFC Fight Night: Milwaukee on December 15th

Alen Amedovski does it again, stopping Ibrahim Mane early @ Bellator 211 on December 1st

Dheigo Lima gets back in the win column with a walk-off KO of Chad Laprise @ UFC 231 on December 8th

 

 

 

Kent Kauppinen stuns the Italian crowd with his knockout of Alessio Sakara @ Bellator 211 on December 1st

 

Results: PFL New Championship Finals

To end the new year right, the Professional Fight League holds a pantheon of an event at MSG.

Six divisions, Six Championship finals, and only six winners will be crowned champion and awarded $1 million.

Also featuring tonight is a special bout with women’s lightweight hopeful Kayla Harrison.

Show starts tonight at 7pm EST and will broadcast on NBCSports.

Live results will be tweeted by @TheDantyMan. Tune in for all the info.

Main Card:

Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Ray Cooper III via Third Round Submission (Arm Bar)

Sean O’ Connell def. Vinny Magalhaes via Third Round Corner Stoppage

Philipe Lins def. Josh Copeland in Fourth Round TKO

Kayla Harrison def. Moriel Charneski via First Round TKO

Natan Schulte def. Rashid Magomedov via unanimous decision

Lance Palmer def. Steven Siler via unanimous decision

Louis Taylor def. Abus Magomedov via First Round KO

 

 

Betting: UFC 232 Predictions

It is nearly time for the fights and we have last minute predictions to help you beat the bookies. Following previous weeks with success rate of over 60% on average we aim to give you another week of bank.

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Main Event: Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson

After 5 long years, finally we finally get the rematch to what was not only fight of the year, but one of the greatest fights of all time.

Jones is coming back after over a year layoff following a failed drug test after his win against Daniel Cormier.

Coming in to this one, Jones is a decent sized favourite, and rightly so, considering he won the first fight. However, not everyone believes he should have.

Jonesseems to show up to the biggest fights and this is certainly one of them. There was much debate as to how hard he actually trained for the first fight but there is no question as to whether he will take this one serious. Both fighters will possess the same skills as before but I believe that Gustafsson has much better striking than before. Unless his takedown defence is significatly worse and can’t stop jones from outgrappling him, I believe Gus has a serious chance of winning this fight.

If Jones is not on his game there could be a serious upset, and im calling it. I see Gustafsson outpointing jones in a razor close split decision.

Prediction: Gustafsson via Decision

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Co-main Event: Cyborg vs. Nunes

In my opinion Nunes is being completely overlooked in this fight and maybe its justifued – Nunes has power, Cyborg has more. Nunes has speed, Cyborg has more.

However, I strongly believe that Nunes possesses a sizeable advantage  in the grappling department. I have noticed in Cyborgs previous fights that she has has problems when in grappling exchanges. She got dominated early on in the clinch by Holm and she was taken down easily against Kunitskaya.

I honestly believe that Nunes will aim to dominate Cyborg in the grappling ages, tire her out and outpoint her to a reasonably comfortable decision win. I could end up with egg on my face but im willing to put my neck on the line.

Prediction: Nunes via Decision

Other main card picks:

  • Michael Chiesa def. Carlos Condit via Submission (Round 2)
  • Corey Anderson def. Ilir Latifi via Decision
  • Chad Mendes def. Alexander Volkanovski via Decision.

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

  • Walt Harris def. Andrei Arlovski via TKO (Round 2)
  • Cat Zingano def. Megan Anderson via Decision
  • Petr Yan def. Douglas Silva de Andrade via Decision
  • Ryan Hall def. BJ Penn via Decision

Fight Pass Prelims

  • Nathaniel Wood def. Andre Ewell via TKO (Round 2)
  • Urijah Hall def. Bevon Lewis via TKO (Round 2)
  • Curtis Millender via Siyar Bahadurzada via Decision
  • Brian Kelleher def. Montel Jackson via Submission (Round 3)

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – November

My knockout of the year: Yair ‘El Pantera’ Rodríguez lands an upward elbow with 1 second left in the 5th round to finish ‘The Korean Zombie’ @ UFC Fight Night: Denver on November 10th

Kailan Hill lands knockout of the year contender, making my list for the third time @ LFA 54 on November 16th

Santiago Ponzinibbio knocks out Neil Magny in his home country @ UFC Fight Night: Argentina on November 17th

Johnny Walker with short elbows to the temple to put down Khalil Rountree, Jr. @ UFC Fight Night: Argentina on November 17th

Moses Murrietta folds Sidiah Parker @ LFA 54 on November 16th

Ronaldo ‘Jacaré’ Souza knocks out Chris Weidman @ UFC 230 on November 3rd

Austin Lingo starches Aaron Webb @ LFA 55 on November 30th

Top Knockouts of 2018 – October

Mandel Nallo with a knee to the chin of Carrington Banks @ Bellator 207 on October 12th

Don Madge debuts with a perfect head kick KO on Te Edwards @ UFC Fight Night: Moncton on October 27th

Josh ‘Cuddly Bear’ Copeland punches his way to the heavyweight finals @ PFL 8 on October 5th

When Derrick Lewis coined the phrase “My Balls Was Hot” with a come from behind knockout of Alexander Volkov @ UFC 229 on October 6th

Anthony Rocco Martin with the head kick KO to start the night off @ UFC 229 on October 6th

And finally, Khabib’s flying eagle on Dillon Danis @ UFC 229