UFC on FOX 21 brought us some great stories. Score one for jiu-jitsu in the main event. It could be the end of a great career, the arrival of another, and the re-emergence of a great former champion.5. Paige VanZant is Made For Show AND Go
Who says “The Karate Kid” is just a movie? Paige VanZant knocked out Bec Rawlings with a movie-style kick, then followed it up with a great ground and pound.
VanZant is not championship material, but the strawweight fighter is a star, and this clearly was her big moment. The former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant is already turning heads with her girl next door looks and now she is showing that she can fight also. She’s committed to the sport. She turned down a spot in the movie “Kickboxer” so that she could train and fight Saturday night. Can VanZant win the title? Anything is possible, but if she is booked correctly she can be a TV star, winning matches against fighters on her level. With Ronda Rousey appearing less frequently, the UFC needs another breakout, mainstream women’s star and Paige VanZant could be the one.4. Anthony Pettis Is Back
Anthony Pettis a few years ago was considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. He tapped out Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez, two of the best fighters in the UFC lightweight division at the time. But then he seemed to grow old really quickly. He lost three straight fights by decision and Pettis seemed to lose his flair. But he found it again.
Pettis returned to his old form by submitting Charles Oliveira with a guillotine choke in the third round, showing that he could rally and win a competitive and close fight. Pettis has now put himself back in the mix of the title shot picture or fight Conor McGregor. When Pettis is on — he’s one of the best in the world. Let’s hope we see more of the great Anthony Pettis going forward.3. CM Punk Is Near
The former WWE champion will make his debut in the UFC on Sept. 10 and the UFC wants you to know that. The UFC spent a lot of time on Saturday’s show promoting CM Punk, including a short interview. Punk is still coming across as a shadow of his WWE self because he doesn’t want to shoot his mouth off and then get destroyed in his match. Punk is a realist and he knows that his chances of winning are slim. So he is going in humble, with low expectations, hoping to give a respectful performance and maybe even surprise some people. The UFC is fully behind Punk’s debut and right now his match against Mickey Gall is getting more promotion than the Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem main event.2. Demian Maia is Title-Shot Bound
Or at least he should be. Demian Maia has won his past six fights and should have won 10 out of his past 11, except for a controversial split decision loss to Jake Shields. Maia is as dangerous on the ground as Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is in the stand-up. He tapped out Condit, a former world champion and guy who has not been submitted in nearly a decade. Without Georges St-Pierre as champion, any of the top guys can win the title. Maia could certainly be a championship contender against Tyron Woodley, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, or anyone else who has the title by the time he gets his shot. Maia is not the most exciting fighter in the world, but he wins and when he wins it’s in impressive fashion. He’s a throwback guy to the days when jiu-jitsu was king. When Maia is in the cage, jiu-jitsu is king.1. Carlos Condit at the End of His Career
Sometimes a fighter just can’t win the big one. Carlos Condit did enjoy a run as the interim welterweight champion, but he wasn’t able to beat the top guys in the sport: Georges St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. He was competitive in all three fights, however. Now, Condit, after 40 fights, is possibly at the end of his career. He appeared to be mentally checked out against Maia and his heart didn’t look into it. Condit can come back and fight at a high level, particularly now that Woodley is the champion. Does he want it? That’s up to him. It may be the end of a great career, but it doesn’t have to be. Maia just happens to be on the tear and is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu master. If Condit wants it, he’s still a top-level fighter. Let’s hope he finds that desire to fight again.Follow Joshua Molina on Twitter: @JECMolina. Follow @MMAHotSauce on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow MMAWeekly.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
(Courtesy of UFC)
Andrei Arlovski defeated Bigfoot Silva in their rematch bout in September 2014. Arlovski takes on fellow former UFC champ Josh Barnett in the main event at UFC Fight Night 93 in Hamburg on Saturday, Sept. 3, exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Former UFC welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald recently inked a deal with rival promotion Bellator MMA. His teammate and former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre believes his friend made the right move.
“I am very happy for Rory,” St-Pierre told UPROXX.com. “I think it’s a great move for him. He chose the best option for himself and his family. I wish him the best.”
MacDonald finished out his UFC contract with back-to-back losses to then-champion Robbie Lawler and No. 1 contender Stephen Thompson. He was still under a matching period with the UFC, but in Bellator’s most recent offer, the MMA juggernaut opted not to vie for MacDonald’s services. His signing with his new employer was announced during the broadcast for Friday night’s Bellator 160.
Addressing his signing, MacDonald said his decision to leave was simply because Bellator made him an offer than no one else could match.
“There’s many reasons, but straight up, though, Bellator gave me an offer that nobody in the world could match. They’re giving me an opportunity here that nobody else can do for me. They believe in me, and I’m here to put on a show,” he said.
MacDonald has his sights set on not only 170-pound champion Andrey Koreshkov, he’s also eyeing the middleweight division.
“I’m taking over. I’m the king of this division at 170. I’m going after Koreshkov and his belt. After that, I’ve got my eye on 185 too.”
With St-Pierre also saying he intends on returning to the UFC, despite them now being under contract with competing promotions, St-Pierre and MacDonald still intend to train together.
“We’re going to train together still,” said St-Pierre. “I’m very happy for him. He found a new home to make more money and, if the conditions of work are better, I’m happy. I’m all for that.”
St-Pierre is still in negotiations with the UFC with no set timetable for his return. MacDonald, recovering from multiple occasions of a broken nose, isn’t likely to make his Bellator debut until 2017.
UFC Fight Night 93 Fight Card
Main Card (on UFC Fight Pass):
Andrei Arlovski (25-12-0, 1NC) vs. Josh Barnett (34-8)
Alexander Gustafsson (16-4) vs. Jan Blachowicz (19-5)
Ryan Bader (21-5) vs. Ilir Latifi (13-4-0, 1NC)
Nick Hein (13-2-0, 1NC) vs. Tae Hyun Bang (18-9-0)
Prelims (on UFC Fight Pass):
Jessin Ayari (15-3) vs. Jim Wallhead (29-9)
Peter Sobotta (15-5-1) vs. Nicolas Dalby (14-1-1)
Ashlee Evans-Smith (4-1) vs. Veronica Macedo (5-0)
Taylor Lapilus (10-2) vs. Leandro Issa (13-5)
Jarjis Danho (6-1-0, 1NC) vs. Christian Colombo (8-1)
Scott Askham (14-2) vs. Jack Hermansson (13-2)
Rustam Khabilov (19-3) vs. Leandro Silva (19-4-1)
Martin Buschkamp (9-0) vs. Alex Enlund (14-2)
UFC Fight Night 93 Start Times:
Main Card on UFC Fight Pass: 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT
Prelims on UFC Fight Pass: 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT
World Series of Fighting announced on Monday that it has bolstered its roster of world-class athletes yet again with the signing of lightweight (155 pounds) star and former The Ultimate Fighter competition reality television series runner-up Ramsey Nijem (9-6), to an exclusive, multi-fight promotional agreement with the world championship Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) league.
Fighting out of Orem, Utah, the 5-foot-11, 28-year-old Nijem, a member of superstar Gilbert Melendez’s Skrap Pack fight team, will make his debut under the World Series of Fighting banner on a date to be announced soon.
“We have been aggressively pursuing some of the best available fight talent on the market and as a phenomenal and established competitor, Ramsey Nijem should make an exciting addition to our stacked, 155-pound division,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
Nijem defeated three straight adversaries – two by way of submission and one via TKO – to finish as runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos in 2011, while competing at welterweight (170 pounds) as a member of UFC superstar Junior Dos Santos’ seven-man fight team that opposed a squad captained by WWE icon and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
Nijem began his successful run on the reality television show with a second round (3:31) submission (rear-naked choke) of Charlie Rader, and followed up the victory with a quick, 56-second submission (rear-naked choke) of Clay Harvison and a second round (1:49) TKO (punches) of Chris Cope, respectively, to reach the show’s final round of competition where he was stopped with an onslaught of punches by Tony Ferguson in the first round (3:54) of battle.
During his 10-fight stint with the UFC, Nijem earned both a “Performance of the Night” honor for his first round (4:20) TKO (punches) conquest of Beneil Dariush on April 11, 2014, as well a “Fight of the Night” award for his gritty effort in a second round (1:53) TKO (punches) defeat at the hands of Carlos Diego Ferreira on August 30, 2014.
A lifelong athlete, Nijem was a three-sport (wrestling, cross country and soccer) competitor in high school before going on to wrestle for NCAA Division I Utah Valley University.
Live World Series of Fighting action returns to NBCSN on Saturday, Oct. 7, with an unprecedented, three-hour telecast and world championship doubleheader, beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m., from Kansas City Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
In the main event of WSOF33: Gaethje vs. Dugulubgov, reigning, undefeated world lightweight champion Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (16-0) of Safford, Ariz., will risk his title against number one contender Ozzy Dugulubgov (8-2) of Ridgewood, N.J.
In the light heavyweight (205 pounds) co-main event, reigning world champion David Branch (16-3) of New York, N.Y. will defend his title against fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and battle-tested veteran Vinny Magalhaes (14-7) of Las Vegas via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
While many still argue that Fedor Emelianenko is the best heavyweight MMA fighter of all time, don’t count Alistair Overeem among them. Check it out as Overeem explains why he thinks Fedor, his friend, is not the best of all time.
Overeem challenges heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in the UFC 203 main event on Saturday, Sept. 10, in Cleveland.
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Bellator MMA will come to FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., when the Scott Coker-led promotion presents a card headlined by the return of former middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (53-9), who meets Kendall Grove (23-15) in middleweight action.
In addition, during the card’s co-main event, the always-exciting former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley (14-2) meets Josh Appelt (12-5) in heavyweight action.
Tickets for the event go on sale September 2 at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster or FedExForum Box Office. Bellator Nation (www.bellator.com/bellatornation) will have special access to a pre-sale offering from Aug. 31-Sept. 1. Main card action kicks off LIVE and FREE on SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and additional main card and undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
A former Bellator MMA Middleweight Champion, the “Storm” has kept busy, racking up a pair of wins already in 2016, and adding to his seemingly endless resume of victories since turning pro in 2004. A natural born finisher, Shlemenko’s success in MMA has also translated to coaching, as he’s played a pivotal role in the ascension of current Bellator MMA welterweight kingpin Andrey Koreshkov.
Also of note, due to Shlemenko’s recent suspension, Bellator officials have enlisted the services of The Mohegan Department of Athletic Regulation to administer drug tests before and after Shlemenko’s fight against Grove. The former middleweight champion is presently licensed with the Mohegan commission.
Fixated on getting another shot a Bellator’s middleweight title, Grove has strung together two emphatic stoppage wins since losing his bid to attain gold at “Bellator 137: Halsey vs. Grove.” The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: 3” on SPIKE, the Maui, Hawaii, native has also been competing professionally for longer than a decade, racking up victories and a plethora of finishes along the way. An experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and Muay Thai practitioner, Shlemenko will need to be on his A-game when the two square off in the card’s main event on Oct. 21.
Lashley is a must-see mixed martial artist, as well as professional wrestler, and will make his first appearance inside the Bellator cage in 2016 during the co-main event at FedExForum. “The Dominator” will be looking to run his current winning streak to eight fights, and five-straight finishes. With the heavyweight belt recently vacated, there’s an argument that can be made that the Aurora, Colo., native is the big man to beat in Bellator MMA’s heavyweight weight class.
Appelt was set to make his fifth appearance under the direction of Bellator MMA against Sergei Kharitonov at “Bellator 154: Davis vs. King Mo,” but after the 35-year-old Russian withdrew due to illness, Appelt was forced to wait. Now, “The Juggernaut” is once again set to return, and again, the 33-year-old California native will have his hands full. With ten stoppages in 12 victories, Appelt will look to use his striking ability to nullify the strong wrestling pedigree of Lashley.
Bellator 162: Shlemenko vs. Grove Main Card:
- Middleweight Main Event: Alexander Shlemenko (53-9) vs. Kendall Grove (23-15)
- Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Bobby Lashley (14-2) vs. Josh Appelt (12-5)
After missing a year with injury issues, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is having a great second half of 2016.
In July, Velasquez picked up his first victory in nearly three years when he scored a first-round TKO over Travis Browne at UFC 200. And in September, Velasquez is one of numerous former UFC titleholders who will be appearing in the upcoming Kickboxer: Vengeance reboot.
Speaking to MMAWeekly.com during press for Kickboxer, Velasquez talked about the difference between fighting in the UFC and fighting in a movie, his comeback win over Browne, and his plans for regaining his lost title.
MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Cain, how did you get involved with Kickboxer: Vengeance?
Cain Velasquez: They called my manager up and asked if I would be part of the movie, be part of the fight scenes. As soon as I got to the set, it was cool. It was in Thailand, in a tiny little bar, and the scene was me fighting against the main character (of Kurt Sloane, played by) Alain Moussi. Just driving him through tables, up against the wall, it was just a great experience overall.
MMAWeekly.com: How did fighting for the movie differ from what you do in the UFC octagon?
Cain Velasquez: It’s cool, but it’s pretty different, definitely. I was still doing what I would do for fighting, but it’s more so making it look real. It was cool going through and getting to choreograph stuff. You have to have the right techniques so it looks good on camera.
In real life, in our sport, we’re taught to be very technical, have good technique, keep things kind of close to your body and not show your opponent what you’re doing. That’s the opposite of how you’re fighting for movies.
MMAWeekly.com: So do you think we’ll be seeing you in more movies going forward?
Cain Velasquez: You know what? If these opportunities keep coming and I’m able to do them, why not? I’m going to put as much emphasis as far as training and getting ready for this just like I did my fights, so yeah, we’ll see (what opportunities come my way).
MMAWeekly.com: Let’s talk MMA now. How did it feel to come back after all your injuries of late and get a win over Travis Browne at UFC 200?
Cain Velasquez: Travis Browne is a big guy, he hits hard, so going in I wanted to get him on the ground and finish him as soon as possible. Just keep the pressure on him, my way of fighting, and things worked out well for me. I’m happy about that.
Going in, to not be injured, that makes your performance way different. It makes you better when you go out there and have that confidence that there’s nothing holding you back, that all you have to do is fight this fight and that’s it. It felt good going in. I felt like the fight went well, so I’m happy.
MMAWeekly.com: Is the goal now to focus on regaining the UFC heavyweight championship?
Cain Velasquez: That’s the plan. We’ll see what happens in September with Stipe (Miocic) fighting (Alistair) Overeem, and (Fabricio) Werdum fighting Travis Browne again. We’ll see what happens with those fights.
MMAWeekly.com: Thanks for taking time out for us, Cain. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
Cain Velasquez: I hope everyone likes the movie. There are a lot of great fighters in there. Jean-Claude Van Damme is back in there. Alain Moussi is the main character in it. Georges St. Pierre is in it, Gina Carano is in it, Fabricio Werdum is in it. And you can see me in there too. It looks like a great movie, definitely.Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Trailer
(Courtesy of Kickboxer Vengeance)
(Courtesy of UFC)
Get an intimate look at the lives of two MMA pioneers, both former UFC heavyweight champions, as they prepare for a battle nearly a decade in the making. Californian Josh Barnett balances the grueling nature of mixed martial arts with fresh coaching approaches, a peaceful home life and a variety of intellectual pursuits. For Belarusian-born opponent Andrei Arlovski, home is where his head is: the Albuquerque gym where he has been reforged as a contender and rebuilt as a man.
After originally being slated to compete against one another at “Bellator 151” and “Bellator 158,” Michael “Venom” Page (11-0) has once again been booked to fight Fernando Gonzalez (25-13), this time on November 19 at SAP Center in Bellator MMA’s stomping grounds of San Jose, Calif.
The card will mark the second time this year that Bellator MMA has taken its show to the beautiful SAP Center, which is home to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. The welterweight pairing makes up one fight of the event’s main card, which will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE. Additional contests will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for this stacked MMA card go on sale Friday, September 2 at Bellator.com, as well as SAP Center Box Office and Ticketmaster. Bellator Nation presale offer will take place August 31 and September 1.
Page, a highlight reel king before and after the bell rings, was at it again earlier this year, when Bellator MMA invaded the United Kingdom at “Bellator 158: London.” During his bout, “MVP” took care of business the only way he knows how, with an early stoppage and unforgettable celebration that was heard and seen around the world. Page’s impressive flying knee knockout of Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos was his ninth stoppage in the opening frame. Now, the seven-fight Bellator MMA veteran looks to put to rest the opinion that he cannot defeat the always game “Menifee Maniac.”
Gonzalez enters the cage currently riding a string of five consecutive victories, all of which have come under the direction of the Scott Coker-led promotion. The 32-year-old Menifee, Calif., native has been competing professionally since 2003, with 25 wins under his belt, including 16 of the KO/submission variety. After a brief pause from MMA action to challenge Paul “Semtex” Daley in the kickboxing portion of the groundbreaking “Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1” event in 2015, Gonzalez returned to the sport of MMA, where he recently defeated Gilbert Smith in a split decision win at “Bellator 151: Warren vs. Caldwell.” The win improves his overall record under the Bellator MMA banner to 5-0 and now puts him in a position to officially proclaim himself as the only man to beat “Venom,” and further his case for a 170-pound title shot.
(Courtesy of UFC)
UFC veteran Josh Barnett accomplished a new feat at UFC 164: a first-round knockout in the UFC. Barnett KO’d Frank Mir in Round 1 at UFC 164 and now, three years later, Barnett headlines UFC Fight Night 93 in Hamburg against Andrei Arlovski on UFC Fight Pass.
(Courtesy of UFC)
Demian Maia credits jiu-jitsu for his success against Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 21 on Saturday in Vancouver, as well as he previous victories, where he has taken little to no damage.
Leandro Issa’s fighting career has taken him to places he could barely have imagined. He lives and trains in Singapore and has fought in cities all over the world, including Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Las Vegas, and Rio de Janeiro, but his next match-up will be in completely new territory.
“I was a bit surprised to be fighting in Germany. Fighting out of Evolve MMA in Singapore, I thought the UFC may have me fight more in Asia, but I have enjoyed the opportunities to fight in Brazil and Las Vegas. It doesn’t matter where I fight, I’ll be ready and will do my best inside of the cage.”
Issa’s last two UFC fights have been in his native Brazil. After nearly seven years training and living in Asia, returning to his native country to fight for the world’s biggest MMA promotion was a special moment.
“I have had the opportunity to fight for the UFC in Brazil two times; both were great experiences. I had a lot of support from the fans and a lot of friends and family were able to come. It had been a dream of mine to fight for the UFC in Brazil, so it was an amazing feeling.”
After back-to-back submission wins, Issa dropped a decision to highly experienced BJJ black belt Iuri Alcantara in his last fight. It was a setback, but one which the Brazilian believes he will benefit from in the long run.
“I learned a lot from the fight, fighting three rounds against a tough opponent. It was a great experience being able to compete against a tough guy for three rounds.”
Lapilus will also be looking to bounce back from a recent decision defeat. Both men hold stoppage wins over Yuta Sasaki and Issa has been studying some tape on the French fighter.
“I’ve watched some video of my opponent. He is a southpaw and I’ve incorporated that into my training a bit. At Evolve MMA, I get to train and spar with the best strikers in the world, Muay Thai world champions, and some of them are southpaws, so I feel ready and am hungry to fight. It will be a good fight.”
The UFC will only be putting on one event in Asia this year, meaning opportunities for Issa to compete on the continent he currently calls home are few and far between. That means lots of travel and he has already has his pre-fight schedule worked out.
“There isn’t that big of a time zone difference, so as soon as I reach Germany I’ll be able to adjust quite quickly and will be okay by fight night. I’ll arrive around six days before the fight, flying over with my head coach from Evolve MMA, Olympic wrestler Heath Sims. This will give me the chance to train a bit, get a sweat on, and get used to the jet lag to be ready for fight night.”
Over a year has elapsed since Issa’s loss to Alcantara. He has spent that time training and improving, patiently waiting to see what the matchmakers might have in store.
“It has been a year since my last fight, but I have been training every day at Evolve, improving under the world champion coaches. It wasn’t my choice to be out this long, but I finally got the call and I can’t wait to fight.”
Issa’s teammate Rafael Dos Anjos recently lost his UFC lightweight belt after being stopped by Eddie Alvarez. The Brazilian has been cageside to see a couple of his other training partners capture titles recently and sees it as a source of personal motivation.
“It was a great feeling to see my teammates, like Dejdamrong (Sor Amnuaysirichoke) and Angele Lee, win world championships. The whole Evolve fight team is very close, we are like a family and very close and support each other. When one of us goes into the cage it is as if we all do and when one of us succeed, we all share in the success.”
Issa has had more than his fair share of success. He’s gone from fighting in smaller Asian promotions like Martial Combat and Art of War to challenging for a ONE Championship title and scoring a submission win for the UFC in his home state. Next stop is the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg and the Brazilian will be hoping to secure a third win inside the Octagon.
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)
(Courtesy of UFC)
Paige VanZant talks about the challenges she had to overcome on her way to the cage at UFC on FOX 21, and how she feels like she has nothing to lose in the Octagon.
Invicta Fighting Championships recently announced the eight-fight card for Invicta FC 19, the organization’s return to Scottish Rite Temple – the nationally recognized historic landmark – in Kansas City, Mo. on Friday, Sept. 23.
Six additional bouts join the previously announced flyweight and atomweight title fights at Invicta FC 19, which streams live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Pulled from Invicta FC 18 after her opponent was forced off the card, Mexico’s Irene Aldana (5-2) returns to the Invicta cage for a bantamweight brawl with Faith “The Immortal” Van Duin (6-2) of New Zealand, who drops down after previously competing for Invicta’s featherweight championship.
Several strawweight debuts are on deck for Invicta FC 19:
- Muay Thai champion Tiffany “Time Bomb” Van Soest makes her professional mixed martial arts debut. Van Soest’s opponent will be announced shortly.
- Indian prospect Manjit Kolekar (8-0) puts an unblemished record on the line in her promotional debut against Brazilian veteran Kaline “The Dark Angel” Medeiros (7-4), who enters the bout on a four-fight winning streak.
- Sunna “Tsunami” Davidsdottir, a member of Iceland’s Mjölnir MMA gym, also enters her first professional bout, taking on Ashley “Doll Face” Greenway (1-0).
Plus, undefeated atomweight Julia “Jewels” Jones (4-0) meets Stephanie “The Scrapper” Skinner (4-5) while Amber Leibrock (1-1) and Amy “Donkey Kong” Coleman (2-0) square off at featherweight.
Invicta FC 19 is headlined by newly crowned interim flyweight champion Jennifer Maia (13-4-1) putting her belt on the line against challenger Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi (19-12). In the co-main event, Japanese star Ayaka Hamaski (13-1) defends her atomweight championship against surging Jinh Yu Frey (5-1).
The eight-fight card for Invicta FC 19 can be found below:
Interim Flyweight Title: Jennifer Maia (13-4-1) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (19-12)
Atomweight Title: Ayaka Hamasaki (13-1) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (5-1)
Bantamweight: Irene Aldana (5-2) vs. Faith Van Duin (6-2)
Strawweight: Manjit Kolekar (8-0) vs. Kaline Medeiros (7-4)
Strawweight: Tiffany Van Soest (0-0) vs. TBA
Atomweight: Julia Jones (4-0) vs. Stephanie Skinner (4-5)
Featherweight: Amber Leibrock (1-1) vs. Amy Coleman (2-0)
Strawweight: Ashley Greenway (1-0) vs. Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir (0-0)
(Courtesy of UFC)
After defeating the No. 6 ranked 145-pounder in the UFC, Anthony Pettis, now a featherweight fighter, doesn’t want easy fights. “I’m coming for the best in the world.”
Demian Maia’s superb jiu-jitsu game has made him one of the top welterweights in the UFC. His performance against Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 21 on Saturday night was another example of that.
Maia stopped Condit in the first round of their fight in the main event on the card in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In the process, Maia became the first fighter to submit Condit in more than a decade.
That kind of showcase tends to get top contenders title shots in their next fight. Is that the same case for Maia?
“I think so,” Maia said when asked if the win over Condit put UFC brass on notice about being considered for championship contention. “Many people, including me, thought he [beat Robbie Lawler] and he was supposed to be the champ. So what else should I do? I [have] six wins in a row.”
Fighters who feel they are deserving of a title shot historically have seen mixed results when their next fight gets booked. Some get their desired championship opportunity, while others find themselves getting fights meant to keep them active while the UFC writes its own championship story.
If you think Maia’s going to be one of those who fights to stay active, think again. It appears Maia’s about title shots and nothing else.
“I’ll wait,” he said when asked if he’ll take other fights while the UFC figures out the next bout for welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. “I can stay active in training and doing my teaching and doing whatever I do every day.”
UFC President Dana White has said that Woodley will face Stephen Thompson next. Woodley, however, has his eyes fixed on “money fights” and prefers the likes of Georges St-Pierre or Nick Diaz for his next opponent and first title defense.
If Maia has his way, he’ll leapfrog them all. At 38 years old, his window for fighting is nearing its closure, and getting that shot is better booked sooner than later, especially when it comes off the heels of a six-fight win streak.
“I respect Thompson, he’s a great guy,” he said. “Of course, you know, I’m much older than him, so if they can give me (the title shot) first, that would be great. If not, I hope they give it to him really fast and they decide that I wait for who wins the fight.”
Follow Erik Fontanez on Twitter: @Nahmles.
Demian Maia is really, really, really, really good at jiu-jitsu, you guys. He took Carlos Condit, a guy who’s no slouch on the ground, and submitted him in the first round of their main event at UFC on FOX 21.
And as Condit tapped to the rear-naked choke, UFC fighters took to Twitter to react to Professor Maia’s brilliance on the ground.
Damian Maia is the real https://t.co/RsUPBd4xtC
— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) August 28, 2016
Title shot pro @demianmaia
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) August 28, 2016
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) August 28, 2016
Wow. What a squeeze by Maia. Best Bjj in the UFC. #UFCVancouver
— Scott Holtzman (@HotSauceHoltzy) August 28, 2016
Fuck man Maia is incredible on the ground
— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) August 28, 2016
— The Spartan (@EliasTheodorou) August 28, 2016
— Ruslan Magomedov (@MagomedovUFC) August 28, 2016
— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) August 28, 2016
— Wilson Reis (@wilsonreis7) August 28, 2016
— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) August 28, 2016
Parabéns Demian , rumo ao cinturão. https://t.co/G4Ziyz20NZ
— Shogun Rua (@ShogunRua) August 28, 2016
Great jog by Demian Maia. Now there’s no excuses. Maia for the tittle. @demianmaia
— THALES LEITES (@thalesleites) August 28, 2016
Wrong again! Congrats @demianmaia
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) August 28, 2016
— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) August 28, 2016
Carlos Condit might be at the end of his MMA rope.
The former WEC and interim UFC welterweight champion, a fighter who many feel is still at the top of his game, said following his loss to Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 21 that he’s leaning towards being done with his career as a professional fighter.
It’s a matter of questioning whether or not he belongs in the Octagon, according to Condit.
“I don’t know if I have any business fighting at this level anymore,” he said during the UFC on FOX 21 post-fight press conference. “I’ve been at this for a really long time. The pressure of being one of the top guys for almost a decade … I don’t know, man. I don’t know if I belong here anymore. We’ll see.”
The chance Condit will hang up his gloves and embrace retirement has been a topic of conversation since he lost to Robbie Lawler at UFC 195 in January. Following that fight, an emotional Condit explained that he wasn’t certain he would return to the Octagon to fight again. With Saturday’s fight resulting in a loss, the conversation has come up again and now he has to have some discussions with those close to him.
“It’s definitely been in the back of my mind for a while now,” he said. “It’s been a long career. I think there comes a point in every fighter’s career that they have to question how long they’re going to continue, and I’ve been doing that for a little while. It wasn’t my night tonight. I don’t know if that’s going to be the swan song for me, hopefully not. I would hate to go out on a loss like this. I would’ve liked to at least put on an exciting show like I usually do. I don’t know what’s in the cards. I’m leaning towards possibly being done.”
If this is truly the end, Condit would have a 30-10 record with 15 KOs/TKOs, 13 submissions, and only two wins coming via decision. In 40 total fights, Condit has gained a reputation of entertaining through a mix of class, precision, and well-executed violence that few others in the industry possess. And while the hardcore fans have embraced the fighter known as the “Natural Born Killer,” racking up the bodycount has taken a toll on him over the past 14 years.
“I’ve taken a lot of punishment,” he said. “I don’t know if I can continue to take shots, honestly.”
Follow Erik Fontanez on Twitter: @Nahmles
The UFC on FOX 21: Maia vs. Condit main card fighters snatched up all of the post-fight bonuses on Saturday night in Vancouver.
Although fell just shy of the epic battle they had in 2012, Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon put on another classic battle in Canada. It was a back-and-forth battle that went all three rounds, but Miller edged ahead of Lauzon, scoring a split-decision victory.
It was an exciting performance from both fighters, and earned Miller and Lauzon another Fight of the Night honor, each man taking home an additional $50,000 for his efforts.
UFC on FOX 21 main eventer Demian Maia was one of two Performance of the Night bonus winners. He looked as impressive as ever in the Octagon, submitting former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit in the first two minutes of their fight.
The other Performance of the Night honor went to Paige VanZant, who made her first appearance in the Octagon since a runner-up stint on Dancing With the Stars. VanZant withstood some heavy blows from Bec Rawlings in the first round, but turned the tables in the opening seconds of round two, knocking Rawlings out with a kick to the head.
- Fight of the Night: Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon
- Performance of the Night: Demian Maia
- Performance of the Night: Paige VanZant