News: Cerrone calls out Mcgregor, Mcgregor accepts

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.

 

Darren Till & Jorge Masvidal agree to terms for UFC on ESPN+ 5 in London

Jorge Masvidal returns to the octagon for the first time since November 2017 to face England native Darren Till in London.

Two highly competitive strikers will meet on March 16th across the pond as welterweights Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal are both looking to get back into the win column. Till, fresh off his loss to champion Tyron Woodley and Masvidal, looking to shake off the rust of not fighting for 16 months.

Darren Till will enter the cage for the first time in March and not have an undefeated record under his name. That 0 was taken from him by welterweight champion Tyron Woodley back in September. After starting out his career 17-0-1, wins against tough veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and former title challenger Stephen Thompson garnered Till a title shot, his first fight in the states, and it didn’t go according to plan. After mulling over moving up to light heavyweight after the loss, it looks like Till has at least one more fight at welterweight.

Jorge Masvidal hasn’t fought since losing a decision to Stephen Thompson at UFC 217 in November 2017, couple that with a loss to Demian Maia months earlier, and I’m sure Masvidal wants to get the taste of that losing streak out of his mouth. Before that, Masvidal was riding a different kind of streak that included wins over Ross Pearson, Jake Ellenberger and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone before falling short of a title shot bid against Maia.

Masvidal is a friend and training partner of Colby Covington, the interim welterweight champion at the moment. Till had lobbied for a fight with Covington, but it looks like Masvidal’s request worked out better. It will be interesting to see if Masvidal’s time off shows, because Till is eager to get back in there and learn from his mistakes, as he’s back on his quest to become a champion.

UFC Fight Night: Till Vs. Masvidal will air on ESPN+ Saturday, March 16th from The O2 Arena in London, England.

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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Report: Namajunas returns against Andrade at UFC 237

After a lengthy spell on the sidelines, UFC women’s strawweight champion “Thug” Rose Namajunas will return to the Octagon for her second title defence. She will meet surging contender Jéssica Andrade at UFC 237 in Brazil on May 11th.

The Trevor Wittman protege, Namajunas is still nursing a neck injury, keeping her inactive since her rematch with Polish striker Joanna Jędrzejczyk back in April at UFC 223. She faces a stern welcoming party in the form of Andrade who looks to make good on her second siege of the 115lbs gold.

UFC 217: Jedrzejczyk v Namajunas

Finding huge success since relocating to Colorado, the well rounded Namajunas achieved her life long goal of becoming world champion and has established a considerable fan base off the back of her two wins over Joanna in the process. Namajunas showed her finishing ability with a devastating first-round finish, while the second bout displayed Rose’s grit and determination to iron out a unanimous decision victory.

The Elevation Fight Team product is more than equipped on the feet and even more so when her grappling is called into practice, but her stopping power when compared to Andrade is vastly different.

Up until Jéssica Andrade’s title eliminator with fellow former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz, we had never truly seen an earth shattering stoppage at strawweight. In the premier round, Andrade landed a massive right hand and slept Karolina in brutal fashion.

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She once more grabbed the number one contender spot by adding wins over Tecia Torres and compatriot Cláudia Gadelha to her trail of destruction.

With incredibly heavy hands for her weight and an aggressive approach to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Andrade has posed somewhat of an unsolvable puzzle for those at 115lbs with only the previously mentioned Joanna Jędrzejczyk blemishing her record there since her drop from her previous bantamweight home.

This has all of the makings of a great fight where it will see the technique and creativity of Namajunas pitted against power and aggression of Andrade.

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

 

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)