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.

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

 

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

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – September

Kailin Hill does it again, a superman punch into a flying knee knockout against Adam Fugitt @ LFA 51 on September 28th

Geoff Neal with the head kick KO on Frank Camacho @ UFC 228 on September 8th

AJ McKee deads John Macapá @ Bellator 205 on September 21st

Jéssica Andrade knocks out Karolina Kowalkiewicz @ UFC 228 on September 8th

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos lands a flying knee and follows it up with a knockout @ UFC Fight Night: Sao Paulo on September 22nd

Report: UFC sign wrestling standout Deron Winn

It has been confirmed that the UFC has secured a deal with highly touted MMA prospect and wrestling standout, Deron Winn.

The AKA team member got somewhat of a spotlight at Golden Boy Promotions last month with a victory over UFC veteran Tom Lawlor. The 29 year old Winn was previously 4-0 with four first-round TKO’s.

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We got to see his impressive cardio when he took Lawlor the distance, winning via unanimous decision. He is only 5′ 7” and was fighting at light heavyweight, but it looks like he wants to cut to middleweight for his UFC debut. He was also an assistant wrestling coach on The Ultimate Fighter 27 for Team Cormier.

His wrestling credentials are endless, and he was great from the start, going 163-6 throughout high school, winning the high school state title three times, a two time Junior College National Champion, and three-time All-American, just to name a few, with countless international tournament places.

It’ll be exciting to see how he does in the UFC.

Report: Rockhold talks about his move to light heavyweight

Luke Rockhold recently went on Submission Radio and discussed his plans for 2019 and it involves a move to the light heavyweight division. He talked about his most recent fight booking and cancellation, a rematch with Chris Weidman, stating he had a small ACL and PCL tear, and he is still rehabbing his knee until it is 100%, then said he is coming for the 205 lb division.

He expressed that he is unimpressed with the UFC light heavyweight division and called fellow contenders Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith “middleweight washouts that are sloppy in so many ways”. When asked about Anthony Smith getting the next title shot at 205lbs, he said he didn’t look good in his last fight and claimed he looked like a ‘bum’. I think it’s safe to say Luke won’t be making any friends at light heavyweight as of yet.

Rockhold also mentioned he would like one or two fights before a title shot as he wants to be comfortable in the division. He stated the move is long overdue and he is tired of compromising his body to make 185lbs as it gets hard towards the end and makes his body shut down so a move to light heavyweight may be refreshing.

Opinion: All four of Luke’s losses are via knockout, I don’t think they hit any softer at light heavyweight. However, perhaps the division isn’t as stacked as middleweight and as Luke said, he won’t be killing his body. Time will tell if this was the right move.