Alejandro Perez says he's still hungry at bantamweight after win at UFC-Fresno

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

FRESNO, Calif. – For the first time in his career, Iuri Alcantara has a losing skid – and he has Alejandro Perez to thank for it.

Perez (19-6-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) outworked Alcantara (35-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) for a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 123, which took place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. Perez’s win over Alcantara closed out the UFC Fight Pass portion of the prelims.

Perez said his upset of the veteran Brazilian was one he saw coming.

“I think he was very experienced,” Perez told MMAjunkie through a translator after the fight. “He was calm and relaxed until I connected with him with a couple kicks and hands. It was pretty clear we both did a really good job starting ourselves because he knew what I was trying to bring out here.”

“I knew I connected more, but there’s always that other side of the coin with one or two judges that don’t see the fight the way you did.”

Perez won for the fifth straight time, and that has made him even more excited for what he might be able to accomplish in the bantamweight division.

“It’s been a good roll,” Perez said. “I’m happy. This is the fifth victory in a row, but I’m still hungry and I want even more for my country and for my gym.”

For more from Perez, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 Athlete Outfitting pay: Cub Swanson only $20,000 recipient

FRESNO, Calif. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $117,500.

UFC Fight Night 123 took place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was Cub Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC), who suffered a submission loss to Brian Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the event headliner, but received a $20,000 for his 20-plus fight UFC/WEC tenure.

The full UFC Fight Night 123 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Brian Ortega: $5,000
def. Cub Swanson: $20,000

Gabriel Benitez: $5,000
def. Jason Knight: $5,000

Marlon Moraes: $2,500
def. Aljamain Sterling: $5,000

Scott Holtzman: $5,000
def. Darrell Horcher: $2,500

Eryk Anders: $2,500
def. Markus Perez: $2,500

Benito Lopez: $2,500
def. Albert Morales: $2,500

Alexis Davis: $5,000
def. Liz Carmouche: $5,000

Andre Soukhamthath: $2,500
def. Luke Sanders: $2,500

Alex Perez: $2,500
def. Carls John de Tomas: $2,500

Frankie Saenz: $5,000
def. Merab Dvalishvili: $2,500

Alejandro Perez: $5,000
def. Iuri Alcantara: $15,000

Davi Ramos: $2,500
def. Chris Gruetzemacher: $2,500

Trevin Giles: $2,500
def. Antonio Braga Neto: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,965,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $16,288,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 123

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno, Calif., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Brian Ortega def. Cub Swanson via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 3:22

Brian Ortega: “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” by DMX

Cub Swanson: “Wake N Bake/4AM” by Machine Gun Kelly/2 Chainz

Gabriel Benitez def. Jason Knight via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)

Jason Knight: “Mama Said Knock You Out” by L.L. Cool J

Gabriel Benitez: “Tierra Santa” by Mejor Morir en pie

Marlon Moraes def. Aljamain Sterling via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 1:07

Aljamain Sterling: “InfraRed” by Vybz Kartel & Masicka

Marlon Moraes: “Coming Home” by Diddy Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey

Scott Holtzman def. Darrell Horcher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Scott Holtzman: “Nothin’ But a Good Time” by Poison

Darrell Horcher: “Miracle” by Nonpoint

Eryk Anders def. Markus Perez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 29-28)

Eryk Anders: “Set it Off” by Lil’ Boosie

Markus Perez: “Ecstacy of Gold (Bandini Remix)” by Ennio Morricone

Benito Lopez def. Albert Morales via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Benito Lopez: “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G.

Albert Morales: “Belizean Warrior” by Fuego

Alexis Davis def. Liz Carmouche via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Alexis Davis: “The Mission” by Puscifer

Liz Carmouche: “Satisfaction” by Benny Enassi

Andre Soukhamthath def. Luke Sanders via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:06

Andre Soukhamthath: “All of the Above” by Maino feat. T-Pain

Luke Sanders: “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth

Alex Perez def. Carls John de Tomas via submission (D’arce choke) – Round 2, 1:54

Alex Perez: “Bad Mother(expletive)” by MGK

Carls John de Tomas: “Noypi” by Bamboo

Frankie Saenz def. Merab Dvalishvili via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Frankie Saenz: “Calm Like a Bomb” by Rage Against The Machine

Merab Dvalishvili: “Chveni Samshoblo” by Jgufi Bano

N/A
Alejandro Perez def. Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Alejandro Perez: “Originala” by Movimiento Original

Iuri Alcantara: “El Rey” by Vincente Fernandez

Davi Ramos def. Chris Gruetzemacher via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 0:50

Davi Ramos: “Till I Collapse” by Eminem

Chris Gruetzemacher: “Till It’s Gone” by Yelawolf

Trevin Giles def. Antonio Braga Neto via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:27

Trevin Giles: “Wait a Minute” by Phresher

Antonio Braga Neto: “Without Me” by Eminem

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 results: Alejandro Perez takes decision from Iuri Alcantara in ho-hummer

In a fight that could’ve been a barnburner, Alejandro Perez and Iuri Alcantara turned in 15 minutes that most fans would’ve considered a great opportunity to hit the bathroom or concession stand.

In the end, though, it was Perez (19-6-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) who took a unanimous decision from Alcantara (35-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) with a 30-27 score and a pair of 29-28s.

The bantamweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FS1.

It took a minute for things to open up, but then both fighters traded heavy leather. After that, Alcantara tried to come forward, but put himself in danger from Perez’s heavy hands. He backed out and stayed patient looking for openings. Perez threw a big right that just missed. Three minutes in, Alcantara landed a heavy left kick to the body. In the final seconds of the frame, Alcantara went airborn for a flying knee that was just off the mark. It was the flashiest move of an otherwise uneventful first round.

Forty seconds into the second round, Perez caught an Alcantara kick and tripped him to the canvas, but let him right back up. Midway through, Perez caught another kick and used it to fire off a pair of solid punches. Moments later, though, Alcantara landed a good head kick, and a straight right hand followed. Perez failed on a takedown with a minute left, then had to dip and dive away from Alcantara’s counters with 30 seconds left.

Alcantara slipped midway through the third for arguably the most action in the round thus far. Perez went after a takedown with two minutes left, but Alcantara fought it off. With 25 seconds left, Perez knocked Alcantara down, then got a takedown just at the horn. There may have been more action in the final 30 seconds than there was the whole fight before it.

Perez ran his unbeaten streak to five fights with a 4-0-1 mark in the past two and a half years. Alcantara lost for the second straight time, giving him the first losing skid of a career that stretches back more than 14 years.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 123 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Fresno.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 breakdown: Betting advice, possible prop bets and fantasy studs

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at the first four fights on the main card.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Disclaimer: The following section is designed for entertainment purposes only. The unit sizes serve as a rough representation of the percentage of bankroll risked, as well as my confidence in said plays. If you intend on gambling, I suggest that you do so responsibly and legally, as it is at your own risk. All lines are drawn from 5Dimes.eu on the day this article was published (Dec. 8, 2017).

Dan’s plays

Playable parlay pieces (my most confident favorites):

  • Eryk Anders -310
  • Iuri Alcantara-210
  • Trevin Giles -270

Summary: My recommended parlay pieces are typically my most confident picks that could serve as potential legs for whatever play you’re trying to put together.

First up is Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who is facing Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Essentially, we have a battle between a process-driven fighter and a flamboyant opportunist.

For reasons that I elaborate on in my in-depth breakdown, I believe that Anders should be the better fighter with a clear path to victory here.

Next, I elected to with Iuri Alcantara (35-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC), who comes in at a reasonable -210 should you still have faith in the veteran. Alcantara is facing Alejandro Perez (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC), a scrappy Mexican fighter who is coming off of two close and controversial fights.

Although Perez’s style of engagement can be frustrating for his opposition (and sometimes even his coaches), Alcantara is an experienced fighter who has shown he can work through much worse weather than what Perez will likely offer. Furthermore, Alcantara’s patented counter left-hand should serve him well considering the success we saw Andre Soukhamthath have against Perez in their last outing.

Lastly, I feel that Trevin Giles (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) could be worth a gander for your potential plays. Giles – an undefeated fighter with promise – reminds me of a young Rashad Evans given his skill-set. Giles appears to have some savvy in his striking, whether it be by the way that he moves his feet or throws his hands.

Carrying a natural feel for takedowns, Giles seems more than capable of taking a fight to the floor when he chooses to. And it is in grappling exchanges where Giles’ intelligence and potential shine through. From his positional choices, rides and overall awareness, there a lot there to tell me that he won’t be a fish out of the water if he finds himself swimming with Antonio Braga Neto (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), a fighter who is coming off of a three-year layoff from competition).

Straight plays:

  • Aljamain Sterling +115 (0.5 unit)
  • Merab Dvalishvili -160 (1 unit)

Summary: For straight plays, I typically look for fighters who I not only feel confident about (whether it be by their sample size or the matchup at hand), but also have a low asking price. And though it is admittedly hard to feel too confident on either side of Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), there could be value in playing the underdog in this spot.

As stated in my main-card breakdown, Moraes is making a quick four-week turnaround into what could be one of the tougher stylistic matchups for him in the division. And with Sterling being one of my few official underdog picks, I am willing to put my money (at least a small portion of it) where my mouth is to find out.

I also elected to take a shot on Merab Dvalishvili (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who has an asking price of -160 as of this writing. Although Dvalishvili is a debuting fighter (which can always be a potential flag for plays), there is a lot to like about the Georgian’s game.

Hailing from a region that is rich in Sambo, Dvalishvili carries some skills that will likely serve him well against Frankie Saenz (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC). Saenz, a former collegiate wrestler who found success in MMA, tends to do some of his best work (as well as takes needed/brief breaks) from the clinch. The problem, however, is that this is also where Dvalishvili – an accoladed sambo player and judo black belt – makes his money.

Coupled with the fact that Saenz is coming off a long layoff, and I could see a successful debut for the Georgian fighter who is over a decade younger than his counterpart.

Props worth looking at:

  • Iuri Alcantara/Alejandro Perez over 2.5: -120 (1 unit)
  • Eryk Anders “inside the distance”: -125 (1.5 units)

Summary: My first prop is a total, as I elected to go with the over 2.5 in the Alcantara-Perez matchup. With the pecking prodding nature of Perez’s game, he tends to find himself in close contests.

For that reason, it can be tricky in betting for or against Perez, as a play on the over could serve as a hedge for taking a side on the fight (e.g. Alcantara as my parlay piece).

My second prop is also chalk, as I have Anders inside the distance. Insanely heavy-hands aside, I believe that Anders – as stated in my breakdown – has a tangible path to put his opponent away both on the ground and in transition.

Fights to avoid (live dogs, high intangibles, etc.):

  • Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez
  • Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Here's the official lineup for Saturday's UFC Fight Night 123 event in Fresno

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The 13-bout lineup is set for Saturday’s UFC debut in Fresno.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The headliner features a pair of featherweight contenders – both of whom are California natives. Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, looks to solidify his case for a title shot when he meets No. 7-ranked Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC).

The California natives, who have combined for 23 stoppages in 37 career victories, are both on winning streaks. Swanson has won four straight since back-to-back submission losses to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway in 2015. Ortega, meanwhile, has posted four straight stoppage wins since a no-contest with Mike De La Torre in 2014 due to a failed drug test.

In the co-headliner, Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) – aka “Mississippi Mean” (and “Hick Diaz”) – looks to rebound from a recent loss to perennial contender Ricardo Lamas when he meets Mexican featherweight and “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 1” semifinalist Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

Rounding out the main card are No. 6 bantamweight Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. No. 12 Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), lightweights Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Darrell Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), middleweights Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and bantamweights Benito Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC).

Closing out the preliminary card is a bout between former women’s bantamweight title challengers Liz Carmouche (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Alexis Davis (18-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who meet at flyweight.

The full UFC Fight Night 123 card includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight
  • Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for August: Flyweights shine in rare non-title headliner

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from August. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for August.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Alejandro Perez def. Andre Soukhamthath at UFC Fight Night 114

Andre Soukhamthath (11-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) put Alejandro Perez (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC) down three times with his left hand and somehow still came out the loser.

A late rally by Perez was enough to overcome some solid early work by Soukhamthath, resulting in a split-decision win for Perez in a closely contested fight that remained fiercely competitive until the final seconds.

Alexa Grasso def. Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night 114

Alexa Grasso (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had to dig deep to give the fans in Mexico City the win they hoped for against Randa Markos (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC), but she got it done by the slimmest of margins in a spirited battle that went the distance.

Thanks largely to her work in the first and the third rounds, Grasso narrowly outpointed a game Markos to win a split-decision victory with scores of 28-29, 29-28, and 29-28.

Sergio Pettis def. Brandon Moreno at UFC Fight Night 114

A new contender in the UFC flyweight division was decided when Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) defeated Brandon Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the organization’s first 125-pound headliner not to feature champion Demetrious Johnson.

Pettis earned his fourth consecutive victory at 125 pounds when he defeated Moreno by unanimous decision in an exciting five-round affair.

Fernando Gonzalez def. Brennan Ward at Bellator 182

Fernando Gonzalez (27-14 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) continued to rebound from his lone Bellator loss this past year when he rallied to submit Brennan Ward (14-6 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) in the third round of their catchweight bout.

After having his offense largely thwarted over the first two rounds by Ward’s mixed game, Gonzalez capitalized on a error by his opponent that allowed him to lock in a guillotine choke for the come-from-behind victory.

Kali Robbins def. Sharon Jacobson at Invicta FC 25

Kali Robbins (5-0) was in all sorts of trouble against Sharon Jacobson (4-2). And then suddenly, it was all over.

Robbins took a barrage of punches from Jacobson before she was hip-tossed to the mat. Once there Robbins immediately went into jiu-jitsu mode, climbing her legs and grabbing a hold of an arm until she was belly down and submitted Jacobson with an armbar just 42 seconds into the first round.

* * * *

The Winner: Pettis vs. Moreno

After getting dominated in the first round, Pettis shut down Moreno’s takedown game and took over on his feet.

Pettis soundly outstruck Moreno from the second frame into championship rounds to take home a unanimous decision via scores of 49-46 and 48-46 twice.

“I definitely had to face some adversity,” Pettis said afterward. “He came out there and put me in a very dangerous position. I had four rounds to prove I was a better man, and I did it.”

Moreno came in hoping to get a big win in front of his native Mexico and gave the crowd high hopes early. A kick from Pettis allowed him to take the fight to the mat, and he quickly scrambled to back control, where he set up a choke. Unable to free himself, Pettis spent the opening frame fighting Moreno’s hands and biding his time.

Pettis had the opportunity to give Moreno the same treatment in the second round when he caught a kick. Instead, he stood back and settled in with striking. Moreno took him back down but was forced to retreat after Pettis used a triangle choke to initiate a scramble.

A little too loose for his own good, Moreno took several hard right hands as he channeled martial arts movies with his movement and left his head blatantly exposed. Pettis figured out he could land kicks as Moreno circled away, and head kicks started to land.

Pettis did his best work in the third frame, picking apart Moreno on the feet and opening a cut with a head kick. Gone was the smile on Moreno’s face as he bled and met diminishing returns with takedown attempts.

“His standup surprised me a lot,” Pettis said. “He gave me a different look. Kind of made me question my look, like an open style I had to adjust to.”

By the fourth round, Pettis no longer needed to fear the takedown. Moreno tried to make up some ground on the feet and instead caught more shots to the dome as sharp combinations cut off his wide attacks.

Told the fight was even by his corner, Moreno charged into a takedown in the final frame. He had his moment, yet he was unable to land any significant offense, and Pettis escaped to his feet, where he continued to control the stand-up action.

“I noticed he had his left hand down a lot, so I kept poking him with that jab,” Pettis said afterward. “He kept circling toward my left low kick, and I’ve got a funky switch-kick that I was catching him with. I just had to adjust my style, and it all worked out.”

Asked whom he’d like to take on next after taking out a fellow up-and-comer, Pettis deferred to the UFC in lieu of a title shot.

“I’ve got to wait for the higher powers to tell me what I want,” he said. “Obviously, I’d like a title shot, but there’s a lot of things I need to polish up to get there.”

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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Sergio Pettis and UFC Fight Night 114's other winning fighters?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5533438275001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 114’s main card, which aired Saturday on FS1 from Mexico City Arena in Mexico, featured a mix of brutal knockouts and hard-fought decisions.

Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) picked up his fourth consecutive victory in the headlining act when he delivered a superior performance to Brandon Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and was rewarded with a unanimous decision victory in the matchup of rising flyweights.

Alexa Grasso (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Niko Price (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Sam Alvey (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Alejandro Perez (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC) got their hands raised, as well. The wins ranged from highlight-reel material to competitive fights decided on the scorecards.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 114’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Alejandro Perez

Joe Soto

Should fight: Joe Soto
Why they should fight: “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” winner Perez put on another winning performance when he edged Andre Soukhamthath by split decision in a fight in which he made a bit of history.

Perez became the first fighter in UFC history to suffer three knockdowns in a fight and come back to win on the scorecards. It’s a remarkable accomplishment, even if some believe he shouldn’t have gotten the nod in the bantamweight affair.

With just one defeat in six UFC appearances so far, Perez is putting himself in position to be someone capable of making noise at 135 pounds. Soto (18-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is on a solid run in his own right, with three consecutive wins. The former title challenger would be a strong test for Perez, who would benefit to fighting a name like Soto.

Sam Alvey

Vitor Belfort

Should fight: Vitor Belfort
Why they should fight: Despite a lack of action, Alvey picked up the signature win of his 40-fight career when he edged former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans by split decision.

Alvey narrowly outpointed Evans in the middleweight bout, giving him his eighth victory since he joined the UFC in 2014. After the fight, Alvey called out another former UFC champion in Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-9 UFC), and his reasoning actually comes with a line of logic.

“Smile’n” said he wants to go on a “Vengeance Tour,” fighting those who have beaten his longtime friend, mentor and training partner, Dan Henderson. Evans beat Henderson in 2013, and Belfort actually has two victories over the former PRIDE and Strikeforce champ under the UFC banner.

Belfort is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 in June. “The Phenom” said he’s looking to make a run at 185 pounds once again, but he needs to beat some more middling fighters in the division before he can get there. In that case, Alvey is the perfect matchup.

Humberto Bandenay

Jared Gordon

Should fight: Jared Gordon
Why they should fight: As far as UFC debuts go, Bandenay’s win was about as good as it gets. Not only did he pick up a highlight-reel knockout courtesy of a perfectly timed knee, but he got the job done in a mere 26 seconds against Martin Bravo.

Bandenay was the biggest betting underdog on the card. However, that didn’t prevent him from stealing the spotlight for himself with a “Performance of the Night” effort. The nature of his victory instantly gives him traction as one to watch in the featherweight division, where there’s a plethora of top competition.

Gordon (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is also coming off a solid UFC debut win when he stopped Michel Quinones by second-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 112 in June. “The Flash” not only owns a strong record, but his trying life story proves he’s not going to quit easily. Chances are he wouldn’t go down as quickly as Bandenay’s first opponent, and that’s when the fight would get interesting.

Niko Price

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

Should fight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Why they should fight: Price’s quick start to his UFC career continued when he earned what should have been his third victory in under six months (one was overturned for a positive marijuana test) with a first-round TKO over a tough UFC veteran in Alan Jouban.

Price extended his undefeated record to 10-0, but the win over Jouban easily was his most significant. It was the first time Jouban suffered a truly unexpected loss inside the octagon, and that’s proof of what Price is capable of in the welterweight division.

Zaleski dos Santos (17-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is hoping to break through into big fights after a “Fight of the Night” win over Lyman Good at UFC on FOX 25. With both men coming off bonus-winning performances, pitting them against each other to see who can reach the next level is the right idea.

Alexa Grasso

Angela Hill

Should fight: Angela Hill
Why they should fight: Grasso rebounded from the first loss of her career when she defeated Randa Markos, one of the most durable strawweight fighters on the roster, by split decision.

The Mexican prospect suffered a setback to Felice Herrig earlier this year, but the performance against Markos proved it was just that: a setback. Although the result was debatable, Grasso showed improvement, and now the 23-year-old has momentum back on her side in the 115-pound weight class.

Grasso still has strides to make before joining the conversation of contenders who could possibly fight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. There are many names she can fight en route to getting there, though, and a foe like Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) would be a rightful fit.

Hill has faced some elite names in her division, and while she’s come up short in most of those opportunities, she’s never been embarrassed. Grasso would have a tough time being the first, but a win in itself would mean a lot.

Sergio Pettis

Should fight: Winner of Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis at UFC 215
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Pettis should fight the winner of Cejudo (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) vs. Reis (22-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at UFC 215.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 114 post-event facts: Overlooked card proves heavy on history

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The UFC’s lone August event delivered on Saturday when UFC Fight Night 114 took place at Mexico City Arena in Mexico.

The FS1-televised card, which followed early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, was headlined by a flyweight fight that saw Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) defeat fellow rising star Brandon Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) by unanimous decision.

Although the main event went the distance, there was plenty of action out of the gates. A record-tying seven fights ended in the first round. For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s fifth event in Mexico, check below for 45 post-event facts about UFC Fight Night 114.

* * * *

General

UFC Fight Night 114’s seven first-round stoppage results tied six other events (UFC 146, The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale and UFC Fight Night 14, 32, 68) for the most in history.

The Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $117,500.

Debuting fighters went 2-1 at the event.

Niko Price, Humberto Bandenay, Alejandro Perez and Dustin Ortiz earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 114 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 114 drew an announced attendance of 10,172. No live gate was announced.

Betting favorites went 8-4 on the card.

Total fight time for the 12-bout card was 1:39:13, the shortest of the UFC’s 23 events so far this year.

Main card

Sergio Pettis

Pettis improved to 4-1 since he dropped to the UFC flyweight division in March 2015.

Pettis’ four-fight UFC winning streak in flyweight competition is the third longest active streak in the division behind champ Demetrious Johnson (12) and Joseph Benavidez (six).

Pettis has earned all seven of his UFC victories by decision.

Moreno had his 11-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since July 2012.

Moreno has suffered all four of his career losses by decision.

Alexa Grasso

Alexa Grasso (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned both of her UFC victories by decision.

Randa Markos (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over her past 10 career bouts.

Markos has completed at least one takedown against six of her seven UFC opponents.

Price (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned nine of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Humberto Bandenay

Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned his third victory of 2017.

Bandenay has earned 11 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

Bandenay’s 26-second victory was the third fastest debut of any featherweight in UFC history. Only Makwan Amirkhani (8 seconds) and Dooho Choi (18 seconds) had quicker debuts.

Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 11-fight winning streak snapped for his first career defeat.

Sam Alvey’s (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) eight victories since 2014 in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Gegard Mousasi for most in the division.

Rashad Evans

Rashad Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC) suffered his fourth consecutive loss, extending the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2013.

Evans fell to 0-2 since he dropped to the middleweight division in March.

Evans has suffered five of his seven career losses by decision.

Andre Soukhamthath (11-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered all five of his career losses by decision.

Soukhamthath became the first fighter in UFC history to suffer a decision loss despite scoring three knockdowns of his opponent.

Preliminary card

Jack Hermansson

Jack Hermansson (16-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has earned 13 of his 16 career victories by stoppage.

Hermansson has earned both of his UFC stoppage victories by first-round knockout.

Brad Scott (11-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) has earned all of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Ortiz’s 15-second knockout victory was the fastest stoppage in UFC flyweight history.

Ortiz’s three knockout victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind John Lineker (four).

Hector Sandoval (14-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has suffered all four of his career losses by stoppage.

Rani Yahya

Rani Yahya (24-9 MMA, 9-3 UFC) has earned 18 of his 24 career victories by submission. He’s finished 12 of those wins in Round 1.

Yahya’s six submission victories in UFC/WEC bantamweight competition are the second most in combined divisional history behind Urijah Faber (seven).

Henry Briones (16-7-1 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss, extending the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2014.

Briones suffered his first submission loss since Feb. 23, 2008 – a span of 3,451 days (more than nine years) and 19 fights.

Jose Quinonez’s (6-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in bantamweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind champ Cody Garbrandt (five) and Jimmie Rivera (five).

Diego Rivas (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had his seven-fight winning streak snapped for his first career defeat.

Joseph Morales (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned seven of his nine career victories by stoppage.

Roberto Sanchez (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his seven-fight winning streak snapped for his first career defeat.

Jordan Rinaldi

Jordan Rinaldi (13-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) earned just the fourth Von Flue choke submission victory in UFC history. He joins Ovince Saint Preux (two) and Jason Von Flue (one) as fighters to accomplish the feat.

Alvaro Herrera (9-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) was unsuccessful in his UFC lightweight debut.

Herrera fell to 1-2 since he returned from a more than three-year layoff in August 2016.

Herrera has suffered all five of his career losses by stoppage.

Herrera has suffered both of his UFC losses by submission.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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UFC Fight Night 114 Athlete Outfitting pay: Program payout total passes $14 million

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MEXICO CITY – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 114 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $117,500.

UFC Fight Night 114 took place at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (19-7-1 MMA, 14-7-1 UFC), who suffered a split-decision loss to Sam Alvey (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) on the main card. “Suga” received $20,000 for his 22nd octagon appearance, the highest non-title payout possible.

The full UFC Fight Night 114 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Sergio Pettis: $5,000
def. Brandon Moreno: $2,500

Alexa Grasso: $2,500
def. Randa Markos: $5,000

Niko Price: $2,500
def. Alan Jouban: $5,000

Humberto Bandenay: $2,500
def. Martin Bravo: $2,500

Sam Alvey: $10,000
def. Rashad Evans: $20,000

Alejandro Perez: $5,000
def. Andre Soukhamthath: $2,500

Jack Hermansson: $2,500
def. Bradley Scott: $5,000

Dustin Ortiz: $10,000
def. Hector Sandoval: $2,500

Rani Yahya: $15,000
def. Henry Briones: $2,500

Jose Quinonez: $2,500
def. Diego Rivas: $2,500

Joseph Morales: $2,500
def. Roberto Sanchez: $2,500

Jordan Rinaldi: $2,500
def. Alvaro Herrera: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $3,775,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $14,098,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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