This weekend, Uncasville is the place to be to catch a double-hitter Bellator event. Tonight comes Bellator 215, kicking things off with a Main Event Heavyweight bout between Former Heavyweight Grand Prix contestant Matt Mitrione… More
What a co-main event we have between two of the best strikers to ever step foot inside the Octagon – Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva (34-8) 1 NC vs ‘The Last Stylebender’ Israel Adesanya (15-0).
It has been said that the winner of this fight will be next in line to fight for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Some speculate on whether or not a win over Silva is worthy of a title shot for Stylebender, and others speculate if a win over Adesanya is worthy of a title shot for The Spider.
Anderson Silva is one of those guys that when he was at his peak, he was considered to be invincible. The way he would just tear through everyone, it was incredible. The list of guys he beat is also quite incredible: KO’d the iron-chinned Chris Leben in his UFC debut, landing 19 of 19 strikes to finish the fight in under a minute, he then KO’d champion Rich Franklin to capture the UFC Middleweight Crown, also in round one, and the rest is really history. He had ten UFC title defenses, and would’ve had 11 had Travis Lutter made weight in his first title defense. 16 straight wins inside the octagon, 14 finishes, he was an absolute ninja!
In addition to having ten title defenses at 185 lbs, he also went up to Light Heavyweight three times, and all three times he scored first-round knockouts, over James Irvin, former UFC Champion Forrest Griffin, and Stephan Bonnar. What many don’t realize, Anderson could have and would have been the first concurrent UFC Champion if he fought Forrest Griffin one fight beforehand, as Griffin had just lost his belt to TUF 2 Heavyweight winner Rashad Evans in the fight prior.
It’s the unreal opportunistic striking ability he possesses that made everyone believe he was unstoppable, and he still has that. Of course, he isn’t everything he used to be at almost 44 years of age, however, he does hone the same abilities he’s shown all of us before. The only difference I see is perhaps his chin isn’t as good anymore, which we were never really sure of because his head movement was so elite, and he doesn’t have much of a killer instinct anymore, as he hasn’t finished anyone since 2012 when he fought a juiced up Stephan Bonnar; and not too many people thought it was a great fight to take because it does nothing for him, but look at Bonnar’s record, the only people he’s ever lost to were current or former UFC Champions, and none of them could finish him.
In his last six fights, he’s gone 1-4 with 1 NC, I’ll just say 2-4 because Nick Diaz also failed the post-fight drug test at UFC 183. His only official win since then was a controversial decision over Derek Brunson (#8), but as I’ve stated before, his fight with Michael Bisping was also controversial for a couple reasons; reason number one is the fact that they fought in England and the judges clearly favoured the hometown guy, though I and many others thought Anderson should’ve won on the scorecards. Reason number two, a lot of people think it shouldn’t have even gone to the cards. Anderson could’ve easily gotten the stoppage when Bisping dropped at 4:58-4:59 of round 3 due to a flying knee, Bisping was still covering up when, and a couple seconds after the buzzer sounded. Regardless, Bisping got the nod on the scorecards and then proceeded to win the belt in his next fight. I just kept thinking, that could’ve been Anderson fighting Rockhold for the belt right now during the Rockhold/Bisping rematch, and still can’t help but wonder how it would’ve gone. I would have absolutely loved that match up!
As for Israel, I’m not sure we’ve ever had someone quite like him. We have some great strikers in the UFC like Edson Barboza who’s 25-3 in kickboxing, Stephen Thompson who’s 57-0 in kickboxing, Darren Till who’s 44-0 in kickboxing, but there seems to be an extra element of special with Israel Adesanya. On the night of UFC 234, he will have been with the UFC for two days shy of a year, and he’s already at this stage. 13 of his 15 wins are knockouts, and he’s already been five rounds, which is great for him. He is 32-0 in amateur kickboxing, 75-5-1 in professional kickboxing, and 5-1 in professional boxing, and he’s fighting a Muay Thai black prajied (belt/strap), and 5th-degree Taekwondo black belt. You could definitely say this is a matchup between two absolute assassins on the feet, the only difference in their skill sets is Anderson has a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the Nogueira brothers, while Israel has a blue belt under Andre Galvao.
Does the winner of this fight deserve a title shot? For both, I say yes, and here’s why:
Aside from Israel (#6), the next guys ranked above are Chris Weidman (#5), who’s had four knockout losses in his last five fights, Kelvin Gastelum (#4), who’s fighting for the belt moments after this fight takes place, Jacare Souza (#3), who is 2-2 in his last four fights and already fought both the champion and challenger, Luke Rockhold (#2), who’s coming off a KO loss and said he’s moving to 205 lbs, and Yoel Romero (#1), who stays at middleweight is also questionable and is 0-2 vs the champion. If Israel defeats Anderson and gets a title shot, whether he wins or loses the title fight, he will still have a bunch of middleweights to keep him busy. If he wins the belt, the division is full of potential contenders to challenge him; if he loses against Whittaker/Gastelum, he still has a bunch of guys he hasn’t fought to work his way back up and continue to grow. As for if Anderson wins, who wouldn’t want to see him fight for the belt again? Anything can happen in an Anderson Silva fight!
This Saturday on February 2nd, we have another clash between two Brazilians, most likely to determine the next title challenger.
Former WEC Featherweight Champion and former two-time UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo (27-4) fighting against none other than the former Interim Jungle Fight Featherweight Champion, Renato Moicano.
Jose Aldo has been in the limelight for years and years now; he became known to many when he fought Urijah Faber in the WEC’s only ever PPV card at WEC 48, or when he made his UFC debut against Mark Hominick at UFC 129, or maybe when Conor McGregor drew more eyes to the sport when he was on the rise, or challenging Aldo. Regardless of how long you’ve known him, he’s been there and done that many times over, while Moicano is still looking for his chance to really break through as the top guy at 145 lbs.
Right after winning the Interim Jungle Fight Featherweight Championship, he made his UFC debut, winning via submission in round two, before picking up a pair of split decisions over Zuba Tukhugov, and Jeremy Stephens in his next two outings. He then had his close and competitive fight with Brian Ortega, up until the stoppage with 91 seconds left on the clock, then won via unanimous decision against Calvin Kattar, and dropped Cub Swanson early with a jab and finished him in the first round a few months later.
Many people were questioning why this isn’t the main event, and when Dana White answered that Aldo did not want a five round fight, many still questioned why that is. Well, for starters, if anyone remembers his WEC days, he went 5-0 in three round fights and won all by knockout. He stopped Mike Brown in his first title fight in round two, he went the distance with Urijah Faber, finished Manny Gamburyan in round two, and had since only had two finishes, one of which was a TKO to an injury, and the other with one second left in round one, where many people dispute whether he would’ve got the finish if he wasn’t grabbing the fence. Point being, he often times won decision after decision as champion, why?
When he has to prepare for a five-round fight, it wears on your body more than preparing for a three-round fight; and the fight itself, he doesn’t have to worry about getting tired. What happened in his first three round fight in nine years? He scored a first-round knockout over an incredibly tough Jeremy Stephens, who had never been finished like that before, ever. He knows he’s always done well in the first three rounds and starts to fade afterwards. If he only has three rounds, he can be more explosive and go for the finish more, and I love that. I miss the old Jose Aldo that’d just destroy everyone with beautifully reckless Muay Thai, during his title reign he stagnated, doing a similar thing that Georges St Pierre did, just beat everyone with the basics, which worked for a while. However, St Pierre used his ground game and striking to beat his opponents, Aldo has only ever really used his striking.
Both of these men have two black belts, Jose Aldo’s in Luta Livre and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Renato Moicano’s in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I think this will mainly be a stand-up fight, but who knows, this is MMA with two of the top featherweights on planet earth. Tune in and enjoy the scrap!
Friday, February 1st – Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona
LFA is back for it’s third event of the month and a welterweight title shot could be on the line. UFC and Bellator vet David Michaud takes on hard-hitting Christian Aguilera; and another UFC vet makes is LFA debut, Seth Baczynski.
The main card kicks off @ 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT on AXS TV.
Main Card (AXS TV 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT)
- Welterweight Bout: David Michaud def. Christian Aguilera via TKO (punches) 4:14, R1
- Catchweight Bout: Jared Gooden def. Steven Newell via UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Middleweight Bout: Daniel Madrid def. Seth Baczynski via submission (guillotine choke) 2:54, R1
- Bantamweight Bout: Kevin Natividad def. Andy Perez via SD (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)
- Bantamweight Bout: Kyler Phillips def. Emeka Ifekandu via KO (head kick) 2:30, R1
- Bantamweight Bout: Hunter Azure def. Jaime Hernandez via TKO (punches) 2:15, R1
This Saturday on February 2nd, the UFC touches down in Fortaleza, Brazil for its second ESPN + fight card. Headlining the card will be a bout between ultra talented and long time bantamweight staples, Raphael Assuncao (27-5) and Marlon Moraes (21-5-1).
This is a rematch of their 2017 fight at UFC 212 that ended in a razor-thin split decision. That fight, however, was only three rounds, they get an extra two this time around to see who the real #1 contender at bantamweight is.
Marlon Moraes made his UFC debut against Assuncao in a losing effort. He has since won his last three straight, his last two by KO in a combined 1:40, over #5 bantamweight Jimmie Rivera, and #7 bantamweight Aljamain Sterling, who had a combined record of 35-3 and had only lost split decisions. Marlon also held the WSOF Bantamweight Championship and would have six title defenses if he didn’t schedule a catchweight fight at 140 lbs right after winning the title, so he, therefore, has five defenses.
Marlon also had a little bit rougher of a start to his career than Assuncao did, going 5-4-1 in his first 10 fights, being finished in all four losses, and has gone 16-1 since. Raphael Assuncao went 9-0 before dropping a majority decision to then top contender Jeff Curran and has gone 18-4 since. However, three of those most recent losses of Assuncao’s were at 145 lbs.
Raphael Assuncao has been on the big stage for quite a while now, going 3-2 in the WEC at featherweight, losing his UFC debut, also at featherweight, then he dropped to bantamweight for his second UFC fight back in 2011, and has been there since. 135 lbs is definitely his home, as he’s gone 11-1 since dropping down, the only loss being to bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw, and also holds a win over him. He’s 1-1 against the champ, and 10-0 otherwise at bantamweight.
I think it’s also safe to say, if Raphael Assuncao wasn’t in the UFC the entire time, he would most likely be a multiple time world champion as well. Their reaches and heights are very similar, both have Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts, and Marlon has a Muay Thai black prajiad (strap/belt). Moraes is more of a proven finisher, with 15 finishes and 6 decisions; Raphael has 14 finishes and 13 decisions, that doesn’t necessarily mean Moraes is better, because Assuncao’s fight IQ is incredibly high.
This is a very interesting rematch and I believe it needed to happen, the winner gets a shot at the belt, according to Dana White.
The UFC is back in Brazil for the first time under the ESPN banner. UFC Fight Night: Assunção Vs. Moraes 2 will air exclusively on ESPN+, so if you haven’t already subscribed, now is the time. Apart from the rematch that will be more important than their first matchup, there’s an undercard full of outstanding matchups. One of which is the always dangerous vet Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira against TUF vet David Teymur.
Charles Oliveira is a 22-fight veteran with the UFC, which includes 12 submission victories; the most in the history of the organization. Since returning to lightweight in 2017, Oliveira has gone 4-1, including a three-fight submission win streak (which all came last year) against Clay Guida, Christos Giagos and Jim Miller – Oliveira broke the record for most submissions against Giagos and extended it against Miller. All four of his most recent lightweight wins have come with a performance bonus as well.
David Teymur lost his first professional fight in 2013. Since then, he has reeled off eight straight, including five with the UFC. After losing in the quarter-finals of the Ultimate Fighter’s 22nd season, Teymur had a successful debut against Martin Svensson and followed that up with wins over Jason Novelli, Lando Vannata, Drakkar Klose and most recently Nik Lentz this past June.
After claiming that he wants to go back down to featherweight soon, Oliveira has been very impressive back at lightweight. Teymur has yet to be figured out at lightweight and wants to make it nine in a row. In a stacked lightweight division that is currently at a standstill with the suspension of champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, strides have to be made, and both of these fighters have been on hot streaks. Coming from a kickboxing background, Teymur hasn’t really been tested on the ground yet, and there’s no question Oliveira will look for that takedown quick and try to extend his submission record. Either way, a win for either fighter should propel them into the top 15.
UFC Fight Night: Assunção Vs. Moraes 2 streams live on ESPN+ with the main card starting at 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT.
The time has come. The grand finale of the Bellator World Heavyweight Grand Prix is here. The Last Emperor Fedor Emelianenko takes on Ryan ” Darth” Bader for the Grand Prix and Heavyweight championships.
Also coming up is the explosive co-main between Aaron Pico and Henry Corrales.
Prelims are 6:30pm EST/3:30pmPST exclusively on DAZN.
Follow MMAMotion @MMA_Motion on twitter for live tweets, tweeted by @mrdantyman.
Main Card is 9pm on Paramount and DAZN.
Main Card Results:
- Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko via First Round KO (Left Hook)
- Henry Corrales def. Aaron Pico via First Round KO (Right Hook)
- Jake Hager def. J.W. Kiser via First Round Submission (Arm Triangle)
- Ricky Bandejas def. Juan Archuleta via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
- Adel Altamimi def. Brandon McMahan via First Round Submission (Armbar)
Preliminary Card results:
- Osman Diaz vs. Christopher Reyes
- Jorge Juarez vs. David Pacheco
- Thor Skancke def. Jesse Merrit via First Round Submission (Monson Choke)
- Jesse Roberts def. A.J. Agazarm via Split Decision (29-28 x2)
- Chris Gonzalez vs. Henry Mendez
- Weber Almeida def. Odan Chinchilla via First Round KO (Combination)
- Ryan Lilley def. James Barnes via First Round KO (High Kick)
- Craig Plaskett def. Ian Butler via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)
- Desmond Torres def. Steve Ramirez via First Round Submission (Arm-Triangle)
Friday, January 25th – Route 66 Casino Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico
LFA is back after their 2019 debut last week, and Harvey Park versus Jaleel Willis headlines the promotion’s 58th event; UFC vet Joby Sanchez and Demetrius Wilson serve as co-headliners.
The main card kicks off @ 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT on AXS TV.
Main Card (AXS TV 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT)
- Lightweight Bout: Harvey Park def. Jaleel Willis via TKO (punches) 3:17, R1
- Flyweight Bout: Joby Sanchez def. Demetrius Wilson via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Lightweight Bout: Fernando Padilla def. Donald Sanchez via TKO (punches) 1:27, R2
- Featherweight Bout: Toninho Marajo def. Vince Fricilone via KO (knee) 0:40, R1
- Lightweight Bout: Flavian Pilgrim def. Sherwin Price via KO (punch) 0:50, R1
- Welterweight Bout: Maycon Mendonça def. Joshua Moreno via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Featherweight Bout: Natan Levy def. Henry Barahona via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
LFA women’s flyweight champion Sabina Mazo will make her UFC debut against Maryna Moroz at UFC on ESPN 2.
The second event to be broadcast on ESPN will get another marquee women’s matchup. On a card that already features Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Michelle Waterson and Alexa Grasso, top prospect and LFA flyweight champion Sabina ‘Colombian Queen’ Mazo will make her much awaited octagon debut against veteran Maryna ‘Iron Woman’ Moroz.
Since being signed by the UFC in early December, fans have been waiting for undefeated prospect Sabina Mazo to be booked to fight. Putting together a 6-0 record, including four in LFA where she captured the flyweight title, Mazo was put on the map after two back-to-back head kick knockouts in 2017.
11-fight veteran Maryna Moroz hasn’t had a win since August of 2016. After starting her UFC career with a 3-1 record, including wins over Joanne Calderwood, Cristina Stanciu and Danielle Taylor, Moroz has dropped two in a row to former strawweight champ Carla Esparza and former Invicta FC champ Angela Hill.
This will be Mazo’s biggest test yet in her young MMA career and Moroz will be searching for her first win in almost three years. This striker-versus-striker matchup will be a fun one to watch and to see if Mazo has what it takes to hang in a surging flyweight division.
UFC Fight Night: Barboza Vs. Gaethje will on air live on ESPN Saturday, March 30th from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After a dominating TKO finish over Alexander Hernandez, Donald Cerrone takes the opportunity in his post-fight interview to put the lightweight division on notice.
His request was for anyone in the top five of the UFC lightweight division, specifically Conor McGregor. Subsequently, the “Notorious One” fired back at Cerrone via Twitter in the moments after the post fight interview:
With the win over Hernandez, a hungry Donald Cerrone completes his 40th fight under Zuffa and 22nd win by stoppage as he picks up some momentum in the rankings. With such milestones and momentum from his victories in two divisions, time will tell if this call out to the first ever Champ Champ yields results with the UFC brass.
Friday, January 18th – 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado
LFA is kicking off 2019 with a featherweight showdown between undefeated prospect Youssef Zalal and Jose Mariscal; also on the card, Ronda Rousey’s longtime friend and Judo practitioner Pauline Macias makers her LFA debut.
The main card kicks off @ 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT on AXS TV.
Main Card (AXS TV 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT)
- Featherweight Bout: Chepe Mariscal def. Youssef Zala via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Welterweight Bout: Anthony Adams def. Josh Cavan via KO (punch) 4:56, R1
- Middleweight Bout: Adam Stroup def. Lucas Rota via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Welterweight Bout: Austin Jones def. Calen Born via UD (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
- Catchweight Bout (157): Jonathan Wyderko def. Matt Johnson via TKO (knee and punches) 3:41, R1
- Women’s Strawweight Bout: Pauline Macias def. Madie Meacham via TKO (verbal submission) 1:18, R2
- Middleweight Bout: Taylor Johnson def. Aaron Chambers via TKO (punches) 2:43, R1