UFC on ESPN+6 Breakdown: Frankie Saenz vs. Marlon Vera

This will be the second to last fight on the prelims tomorrow night, as NCAA Division I wrestler Frankie Saenz takes on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Marlon Vera. A few things stand out to me about this fight, aside from the simple fact that I’ve been watching them both since 2014. They are both trying to crack the top 15, they’re also both looking to make it three wins in a row. Each of these men also have 18 fights, Frankie has won 13 of them, and Marlon has won 12 of them and had a draw. This should be a fun bantamweight clash for us fans to watch.

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Frankie Saenz won three different titles before joining the UFC; he won the WFF Featherweight Championship in his fourth professional fight, improving to 4-0 before losing his next two. With a record of 4-2, he fought for the Coalition of Combat Featherweight Championship, and won via majority decision. He then made both his bantamweight debut and KOTC debut, winning the KOTC Bantamweight Championship, and defended it twice before vacating it to join the UFC with an 8-2 record. He won his first three fights in the UFC, a unanimous decision over the 4-1 Tim Ticman, a unanimous decision over the 32-5 Iuri Alcantara, and a split decision over the 12-2 Sirwan Kakai.

Sanez then went on a little bit of a rough patch, and dropped his next three. The first of which he went into with an 11-2 record, and fought the former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber. Urijah almost finished Frankie in the second round but Frankie gutted through it and made it to the scorecards. His next fight would also be against a former WEC Champion, this time the former bantamweight king, Eddie Wineland; he was doing great in the fight, and most even had him winning it, before getting dropped with a beautiful right cross and finished moments after, about two minutes into round three.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Saenz vs Wineland

His next outing was against the 5-1 Augusto Mendes, who’d only fought once in the UFC in a losing effort to Cody Garbrandt. Mendes has 17 medals in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, ranging from the Pan American Championships, to the World Championships, to the Brazilian National Championships, to the World Cup, and many more. Augusto was able to out wrestle Saenz, getting four takedowns to the Division I wrestlers zero, and was able to out strike him by 25 more total strikes. Frankie Saenz lost this fight via split decision, and I was just hoping that he wouldn’t get his pink slip from the UFC.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Saenz vs Mendes

He didn’t get cut, and his next fight was against Merab Dvalishvili in December 2017, the fight didn’t really go his way, but the decision did. Many thought Merab did enough to win the decision, but he fell short via split decision. It was a competitive, back and fourth fight for sure, Saenz landed more significant strikes with 58 to Merab’s 47, and had better accuracy with them; however, Merab landed more total strikes with 104 to Frankie’s 66, and also landed eleven takedowns to Frankie’s zero. It’s not all bad though, Merab Dvalishvili is still in the UFC, and if Frankie Saenz would’ve lost this fight, he wouldn’t be.

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His last fight was a good performance against Henry Briones, who he out struck in both total strikes and significant strikes, and was able to gain four takedowns, and gave up none; that’s much better than his last couple fights. He appears to be on the right track again, he is however 38 years old, I have to wonder how much he has left. Marlon Vera just turned 26, and is not an easy opponent either, he’s an elite mixed martial artist.

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Marlon Vera is a very dangerous fighter, everywhere. He has nasty Muay Thai, and high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; he can knock you out, he can submit you off his back or from the top, he has relentless, aggressive pressure. He’s no fun for anyone that fights him. Before being forced off The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America with a skin infection, he went 1-0 on the show with a KO win over Henry Briones, that’s a guy Cody Garbrandt couldn’t knock out that he starched with an upkick. Marlon made his UFC debut with a record of 6-1-1; he started off his UFC career 1-2, losing to guys he’d almost indefinitely beat at this point, as he dropped a pair of unanimous decisions to Marco Beltran and Davey Grant, and inbetween the defeats had a triangle choke victory over Ramon Salzar. He was so young then, he has evolved into quite the dangerous, well rounded, high level cage fighter.

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By this time he was 7-3-1, and he was about to start his first UFC win streak, firstly he picked up a unanimous decision over Ning Guangyou. He next defeated Brad Pickett via head kick and punches at 3:50 of round three in a very entertaining fight, and next won via armbar against Brian Kelleher, a guy who submitted BJJ black belt Iuri Alcantara in his UFC debut. At 10-3-1, he would drop his next two, both via unanimous decision to John Lineker and Douglas Silva de Andrade. Firstly, I think he’d win the de Andrade rematch, but that’s my opinion, and secondly I think it’s very impressive simply just to not get knocked out by John Lineker. He is back to his winning ways with a pair of second round finishes, as he picked up a TKO over Wuliji Buren last August; and submitted the man that replaced him on TUF, Guido Cannetti, a fight he won via rear naked choke. Marlon Vera is absolutely a finisher, he has three wins via knockout, seven wins via submission, and two wins via decision; while his opponent Frankie Saenz also hold three wins via knockout, he has just two submissions, and eight decisions. Mr. Saenz also holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but I’m not sure it will hold up against Marlon’s submission game, we will see! Out of Saenz’ losses, two are knockouts, two are decisions, and one is a disqualification; and out of Vera’s losses, all five are decisions, he’s tough as nails, as is Frankie.

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As I said, both of these guys are looking to make it three in a row; Frankie Saenz is on a two fight decision streak, and Marlon Vera’s on a two fight finish streak. Marlon is 5’8” and Frankie is 5’6”, and Marlon has a five inch reach advantage on Frankie; however, it is generally easier for wrestlers to have success when they’re the shorter party, and Saenz has never been submitted before. 13-5 vs 12-5-1, NCAA Division I vs BJJ black belt.

Who takes it?

Results: UFC Fight Night Prague play-by-play

The Czech Republic hosts its first UFC event to witness a spectacular Light-Heavyweight bout between #6 ranked Thiago Santos, hailing from Brazil, coming from middleweight, and hoping to climb higher within the division against the pride of Poland, #4 ranked Jan Blahowicz.

The co-main is a heavyweight co-main event against the Skyscraper Stefan Struve and Brazilian powerhouse Marcos Rogerio de Lima.

The Main Card starts at 2:00pm EST on ESPN+. Prelim card will be live on ESPN 2 at 11:00am EST.

Live tweets and play-by-play will be by @thedantyman  on the MMA_Motion twitter account.

Main Card(ESPN+ at 2:00pmEST):

 Thiago Santos def. Jan Blachowicz via Third Round TKO
Stefan Struve def. Marcos Rogerio de Lima via Second Round Submission (Arm Triangle)
Michal Oleksiejczuk def. Gian Villante via First Round KO
Liz Carmouche def. Lucie Pudilova via Unanimous Decision (30-27 , 29-28 x2)
Petr Yan def. John Dodson via Unanimous Decision  (30-27 x3 )
Magomed Ankalaev def. Klidson Abreu via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)

Prelim Card(ESPN 2 at 11:00amEST:

Dwight Grant  def. Carlo Pedersoli Jr. via First Round TKO
Chris Fishgold  def. Daniel Teymur via Second Round submission(RNC)
Gillian Robertson def. Veronica Macedo via Second Round Submission (RNC)
Damir Hadzovic def. Marco Polo Reyes by Second Round TKO
Ismail Naurdiev  def. Michel Prazeres via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Diego Ferreira def. Rustam Khabilov via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Damir Ismagulov def. Joel Alvarez via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

Analysis: Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie – What Will Go Down?

The legendary Gracie lineage makes it’s return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship this weekend, as clan member Kron Gracie makes his fifth professional walk against promotion Featherweight gate keeper Alex ‘Bruce Leeroy’ Caceres on the main card of UFC on ESPN 1.

Kron, the youngest son of the legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer Rickson Gracie, arrives with big expectations following two submission victories in Japan over UFC alumni Tatsuya Kawajiri and fellow submission specialist Hideo Tokoro bringing a four fight undefeated record with him. The ADCC gold medalist faces a stern yet winnable first test in the Octagon by way of 26 fight veteran Alex Caceres.

Caceres, the Florida native holds a notable victory over recent Flyweight title charger Sergio Pettis but has become unstuck against the likes of Yair Rodríguez and Urijah Faber with ‘El Pantera’ spring-boarding into main event contention with his win over the 30 year old.

Holding the obvious striking advantage over Gracie, Caceres will have his work cut out if Kron lands the all important takedown or decides to pull guard, similarly to another submission grappler Dillion Danis who recently made his mixed-martial arts bow in Bellator, proving successful as he secured a first round toehold finish.

Saturday’s clash with Caceres will be Kron’s first walk in just over two years. Some expect a hesitant start from the Brazilian, but his Judo black belt and grappling expertise should be more than enough for him find a probable finish over ‘Bruce Leeroy’. The 30 year-old has submitted the likes of Gary Tonon, UFC Lightweight contender Beneil Dariush, Otávio Souza and ONE FC mainstay Shinya Aoki during his illustrious submission grappling.

Kron isn’t necessarily biased toward choke or joint finishes with countless variations in his search for the tap on display throughout his five year stint in submission grappling. Expect Kron to finish within the opening round.
Official pick: Kron Gracie via submission.

Results: Bellator 214 Live

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)

Live Results – LFA 58: Park Vs. Willis

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)

Live Results – LFA 57: Zalal Vs. Mariscal

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

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.

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

 

 

Confirmed: Diego Sanchez vs Mickey Gall booked for UFC 235

It looks like Mickey Gall will get his wish as he’s now slated to fight The Ultimate Fighter series one winner, Diego Sanchez at UFC 235 in Las Vegas.

After Gall’s last win over George Sullivan at UFC Fight Night 135, he called out “The Nightmare” for a good old-fashioned scrap, and it looks like the challenge has been accepted.

Gall has gathered himself a reputation for his post-fight callouts, with names such as Sage Northcutt and Dan Hardy, rolling off his tongue in some of his previous Octagon interviews.

The Jackson-Wink veteran, Sanchez is by far the most experienced fighter Mickey has ever fought with 41 fights to his record and an accumulation of 16 years of experience in the cage. However, in the last two years, his form has become questionable, ultimately going 3-3 since the start of 2016.

Gall has built a solid reputation in the UFC welterweight division since being discovered on the show “Dana White: Looking for a Fight”. He was drafted predominantly to face a debuting CM Punk. Gall subsequently dispatched Punk with ease in the first round and has since followed through with wins over notable names such as Sage Northcutt and George Sullivan.

Youth and ground technicals are definitely on his side, but experience may play a factor, who knows with this one?

Recap & Highlights: LFA 56 – LFA ends the calendar year with a new lightweight champion

The LFA ended the calendar year with an exciting card that crowned a new lightweight champion. All but one fight ended in a finish, with hot prospect Youssef Zalal extending his unbeaten streak, Demarques Jackson making a case for the next title shot and Austin Hubbard upsetting Killys Mota for that lightweight title.

Middleweight Bout: Dante Schiro def. Robert Gidron via submission (arm triangle) 2:25, R1

Schiro immediately went for the takedown and worked his way into an arm triangle for the win, almost made it look too easy.

Featherweight Bout: Youssef Zalal def. Steven Merrill via submission (D’Arce choke) 3:22, R1

The first round began with a bad break in the action after Zalal held on to the fence where Merrill was working on a single leg; when Merrill went for another single leg, Zalal caught him with a knee coming in but Merrill got up and rocked Zalal with a right. Shortly after, the fight found it’s way to the ground where Zalal was able to lock in a D’Arce choke. In the post-fight interview, the undefeated prospect told Sean Shelby to give him a call.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Alton Cunningham def. Erick Murray, Jr. via TKO (punches) 1:53, R2

After a 1st round full of grappling exchanges, Cunningham brought the fight to the mat in the 2nd and finished off Murray, Jr. with ground and pound. During the post-fight interview, Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series alum Cunningham called for another shot in the UFC.

Welterweight Bout: Jonathon Thomson def. Ange Loosa via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-27)

Thomson hands Loosa his first professional loss in the first fight of the night to go the distance.

165lb. Catchweight Bout: Demarques Jackson def. Bobby Lee via submission (guillotine choke) 2:11, R1

Bobby Lee shot for a takedown and when Jackson was trying to get himself up at the cage he was able to lock in a guillotine. Could a fight with the next lightweight champion be next?

LFA Lightweight Championship: Austin Hubbard def. Killys Mota via TKO (punches) 4:45, R5

After a fairly dominant 1st round for Killys Mota, Austin Hubbard took over in the second and didn’t let up, winning the next three rounds. In the 5th round, Hubbard had Mota finished, but the ref wouldn’t call it, it took about over a minute and the crowd booing to get the referee to finally call it off. Austin Hubbard is your new LFA lightweight champion.