UFC Fight Night 121 post-event facts: A long night leads to a dubious new record

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC’s latest trip to Australia took place Saturday with UFC Fight Night 121, which went down at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The heavyweight headliner saw Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC) defeat Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) by unanimous decision, concluding a 13-fight card that featured 10 fights decided by the scorecards.

It was a lengthy night of fights, but nevertheless the UFC’s 11th event “Down Under” produced some notable results. For more on the numbers to come out of Saturday’s lineup, check below for 45 post-event facts about UFC Fight Night 121.

* * * *

General

Allphones Arena (now Qudos Bank Arena)

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $122,500.

Debuting fighters went 4-1 at the event.

Nik Lentz, Tai Tuivasa and Damien Brown earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 121 fight-night bonuses. Frank Camacho’s $50,000 bonus was withheld because he missed weight.

UFC Fight Night 121 drew an announced attendance of 10,021. No live gate was revealed for the event.

Betting favorites went 10-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 3:04:18, the longest in the UFC’s 418-event history.

UFC Fight Night 121 featured 10 decisions, tied for the most on a single card in UFC history.

Main card

Fabricio Werdum

Werdum earned his second UFC victory in a 42-day stretch.

Werdum improved to 9-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.

Tybura has suffered both of his UFC losses by decision.

Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) improved to 3-3 (with one no-contest) in her past seven fights.

Bec Rawlings’ (7-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since March 2016.

Rawlings was unsuccessful in her UFC women’s flyweight debut.

Rawlings has suffered five of her seven career losses by decision.

Belal Muhammad

Belal Muhammad (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has earned nine of his 13 career victories by decision. That includes three of his four UFC wins.

Tim Means (27-9-1 MMA, 9-6 UFC) fell to 7-4 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in May 2014.

Means has suffered four of his six UFC losses by decision.

Jake Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC welterweight division.

Bojan Velickovic (15-5-1 MMA, 2-3-1 UFC) fell to 1-3-1 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2016.

Velickovic has suffered all six of his career losses by decision.

Elias Theodorou

Elias Theodorou (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has earned four of his six UFC victories by decision.

Theodorou failed to complete a takedown in a winning performance for the first time in his UFC career.

Daniel Kelly (13-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Kelly suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Alex Volkanovski (16-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 13 consecutive fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Shane Young (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered all four of his career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Ryan Benoit

Ryan Benoit (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past nine fights.

Benoit has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Benoit earned just the second knockout victory stemming from a head kick in UFC flyweight history. Louis Smolka also accomplished the feat.

Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Nik Lentz

Lentz (28-8-2 MMA, 12-5-1 UFC) improved to 3-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2015.

Lentz earned his first submission victory since March 26, 2011 – a span of 2,429 days (more than six years) and 13 fights.

Lentz’s 18 guillotine choke submission attempts in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Will Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

Brooks has suffered all four of his career losses by stoppage.

Tai Tuivasa

Tuivasa (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned all six of his career victories by stoppage.

Tuivasa has earned all of his career victories by knockout.

Tuivasa earned just the second knockout victory stemming from a flying knee in UFC heavyweight history. Werdum also accomplished the feat.

Rashad Coulter (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Coulter has suffered all three of his career losses by stoppage.

Frank Camacho

Camacho (21-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was successful in his UFC lightweight debut.

Nadia Kassem (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Alex Chambers (5-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of her career.

Jenel Lausa (7-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered both of his UFC losses by decision.

Adam Wieczorek (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to eight fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since November 2011.

Wieczorek earned the first decision victory of his career.

Anthony Hamilton’s (15-9 MMA, 3-7 UFC) four-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, 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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Source: MMA Junkie

Nadia Kassem wants Paige VanZant flyweight fight after missing 115 pounds in UFC debut

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

SYDNEY – The last time Nadia Kassem mixed it up with Alex Chambers was during a training session before she was even a pro fighter.

This time was on the prelims of UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney, where Kassem (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won a unanimous decision in her UFC debut, and she’s hoping for a much higher profile bout in her next outing as a result.

“I would love to fight Paige VanZant at 125 (pounds),” Kassem said. “She beat Alex previously, I just beat her tonight, and I feel like that would make the most sense.”

It would also make things a little easier on Kassem, who missed weight for this 115-pound affair and found herself trying to explain it in post-fight remarks backstage.

“I tried my best,” Kassem told MMAjunkie. “I stopped sweating in the sauna. I was in there all night, cutting water weight for a whole day. … Everyone feels like crap in the sauna. Sweatsuit on, the boys are sweating, and I’m not. That scares me.”

According to Kassem, she had to practically be carried back to her room, which resulted in a blown weight cut that was “not professional,” but at least it ended in a victory in front of her hometown crowd after a strong performance against the more experienced Chambers (5-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC).

“It was an awesome feeling getting a win,” Kassem said. “I was attacking the (submissions), going for everything. My heart was on the line. I wanted to prove a point that I’m here to stay.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 121 Athlete Outfitting pay: Yearly payout approaches $5.5 million

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SYDNEY – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $122,500.

UFC Fight Night 121 took place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Three fighters led with the way with $15,000 payouts, including former UFC champ Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC), who earned a unanimous-decision victory in the main event.

The full UFC Fight Night 121 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Fabricio Werdum: $15,000
def. Marcin Tybura: $2,500

Jessica-Rose Clark: $2,500
def. Bec Rawlings: $5,000

Belal Muhammad: $5,000
def. Tim Means: $15,000

Jake Matthews: $5,000
def. Bojan Velickovic: $5,000

Elias Theodorou: $5,000
def. Daniel Kelly: $5,000

Alex Volkanovski: $2,500
def. Shane Young: $2,500

Ryan Benoit: $5,000
def. Ashkan Mokhtarian: $2,500

Nik Lentz: $15,000
def. Will Brooks: $2,500

Tai Tuivasa: $2,500
def. Rashad Coulter: $2,500

Frank Camacho: $2,500
def. Damien Brown: $2,500

Nadia Kassem: $2,500
def. Alex Chambers: $2,500

Eric Shelton: $2,500
def. Jenel Lausa: $2,500

Adam Wieczorek: $2,500
def. Anthony Hamilton: $5,000

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: $5,445,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,768,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC-Sydney with well-timed AC/DC (RIP, Malcolm Young)

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

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 121 in Sydney went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Fabricio Werdum def. Marcin Tybura via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)

Fabricio Werdum: “Akhmat Fight Club” by Sharpuddi Ismailov

Marcin Tybura: “40:1” by Sabaton

Jessica-Rose Clark def. Bec Rawlings via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jessica-Rose Clark: “Only One” by John Butler Trio

Bec Rawlings: “Natural Born Killaz” by Dr. Dre feat. Ice Cube

Belal Muhammad def. Tim Means via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Belal Muhammad: “We Ready” by Archie Eversole

Tim Means: “Ladies and Gentleman” by Saliva

Jake Matthews def. Bojan Velickovic via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jake Matthews: “Hard as a Rock” by AC/DC

Bojan Velickovic: “I Lived” by OneRepublic

Elias Theodorou def. Daniel Kelly via unanimous decision (30-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Elias Theodorou: “Don’t Forget Me” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Daniel Kelly: “Most People I Know” by Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs

Alex Volkanovski def. Shane Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Alex Volkanovski: “Game of Thrones” theme (Violin Rock Cover) by Jason Yang & Roger Lima

Shane Young: “Dedicated To” by Home Brew

Ryan Benoit def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via knockout (head kick) – Round 3, 2:38

Ryan Benoit: “What They Want” by Russ

Ashkan Mokhtarian: “Can’t See Me” by Tupac

Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:05

Nik Lentz: “Greatest Show Unearthed” by Creature Feature

Will Brooks: “I’m Ill” by Red Cafe feat. Fabolous

Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter via knockout (flying knee) – Round 1, 4:35

Tai Tuivasa: “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton

Rashad Coulter: “Worth” by Anthony Brown

Frank Camacho def. Damien Brown via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

Frank Camacho: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Damien Brown: “Bad Company” by Five Finger Death Punch

Nadia Kassem def. Alex Chambers via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)

Nadia Kassem: “I Rep That West” by Ice Cube

Alex Chambers: “The Greatest” by Sia feat. Kendrick Lamar

Eric Shelton def. Jenel Lausa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-25)

Eric Shelton: “Bout 2 Blow” by Empire Cast feat. Yazz & Timberland

Jenel Lausa: “Bebot” by The Black Eyed Peas

Adam Wieczorek def. Anthony Hamilton via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Adam Wieczorek: “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil

Anthony Hamilton: “Last Breath” by Future

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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UFC Fight Night 121 results: Nadia Kassem goes the distance to top gritty Alex Chambers

After averaging just 36 seconds a fight her first four pro bouts, Nadia Kassem got a taste of 15 minutes in the UFC against Alex Chambers. She passed the test.

Kassem (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) took a unanimous decision from Chambers (5-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) with a pair of 29-27 scores and a 29-28. Chambers was returning after more than two years away.

The catchweight bout (Kassem missed the strawweight limit) was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 121 event at at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FS1.

Chambers pushed Kassem to the outside and kicked the inside leg. Kassem fired back with some leg kicks of her own, then tried to take Chambers down. But Chambers stayed upright and caught a kick from Kassem. Chambers tied Kassem up, but couldnt’ take her down on the fence, and Kassem landed a punch to force the break. But 90 seconds in, Chambers put a nice combination together, then landed a big left hook.

She drove in and took Kassem to the canvas. Kassem worked for a heel hook in defense midway through, which was a dangerous spot for Chambers, who was returning after two years off thanks to knee surgeries. But with 90 seconds left, Chambers powered through and got on top in half-guard looking to land elbows and punches to the body.

Kassem worked kicks from the outisde early in the second, but after an exchange 15 seconds in she found herself on the canvas again. Kassem got back to her feet, but Chambers tired for a standing arm-triangle choke. Kassem broke away with a kick, then missed a left hand that allowed Chambers to tie her up again. Chambers landed a right on the break, then kept pushing forward. Kassem landed a punch and kick combo, then two more kicks to the body.

On the second, though, Chambers caught it and took Kassem back to the canvas for her third takedown. Kassem stayed aggressive from her back and went after a triangle choke. She got it and transitioned to an armbar when Chambers tried to move out. Kassem punched to the head, then stayed after the choke with plenty of time to work. On the ground, Chambers stepped over and was in danger from the armbar. She survived it, but Kassem got on top and pounded away trying to get the finish, but Chambers made her way to the third.

Kassem came out swinging in the third, but Chambers pushed forward and tried to close the distance. Kassem saw the takedown attempt coming 30 seconds in and kicked to the body. Kassem threw a nice trio of kicks a minute in. Ninety seconds in, Kassem suddenly got a bit cocky and lifted her arms, beckoning Chambers forward. It may have been a mistake, though – Chambers took her down soon after and went to work on top with more than three minutes to go.

Kassem tried to set up a triangle again from her back, then attacked the arm again. Chambers stood up, but when she went back down, Kassem threatened with a heel hook again. That let Kassem back into it, and she tried a reverse triangle. With a minute left, Chambers got back to her feet and pressed Kassem to the fence. With 40 seconds left, Kassem landed a big head kick, tehn a knee and another head kick. Chambers walked through them, but Kassem made sure to steal the round late.

Kassem continued the perfect start to her pro career with her fifth straight win. Chambers has lost back-to-back fights, including a submission loss to Paige VanZant in September 2015. She has lost three of her past four.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 121 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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

10 reasons to watch UFC-Sydney, none of which include hotel drama

The UFC is in Australia on Saturday for UFC Fight Night 121. Headlining the event is a heavyweight scrap between former champion Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura.

Werdum steps into the octagon having fought 42 days ago at UFC 216. He defeated Walt Harris via first-round submission on that card. Werdum got the nod for the Australia card after the UFC pulled Tybura’s original opponent, Mark Hunt, from the event over medical concerns. Tybura’s most recent fight was in June. He earned a decision over former champion Andrei Arlovski in that contest. There’s no doubt two consecutive wins over former champs would boost his status in the division.

In the co-main event, two Australian fighters meet when Bec Rawlings welcomes UFC newcomer Jessica-Rose Clark to the octagon.

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Sunday (but airs live on Saturday in North America due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. The race is on

With heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic unbooked for his next title defense, the rest of the division is left to jockey for position to be that next opponent. That includes the man Miocic took the title from, Werdum.

Werdum, currently, ranked No. 3 in the division according to the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, has his work cut out for him in that regard since he’s gone 2-1 since his loss to Miocic. Knowing that, Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) seems to be taking the volume route back to title consideration. He faces Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in Sydney a few weeks removed from his recent win over Harris.

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Tybura, the man who hopes to play spoiler to Werdum’s plan, is currently an honorable mention in the rankings.

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2. Moving on up

Rawlings is under pressure heading into her first flyweight bout. She’s 2-3 since she joined the UFC, with losses in her past two outings. Rawlings was also one-and-a-half pounds overweight ahead of her most recent fight, a decision loss to Tecia Torres.

Rawlings’ (7-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) opponent, Clark (7-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC), steps in as a late injury replacement for Joanne Calderwood.

While Clark might be an unknown quantity, don’t expect her to wilt under the bright lights of the UFC. In her two most recent fights, she faced former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman and veteran Carina Damm. She lost to Kaufman and defeated Damm; both fights went the distance.

Clark mostly throws power punches and heavy low kicks with an occasional combination. She struggles if the fight hits the ground and she ends up in bottom position. Expect her to try and keep this one standing.

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3. The repairs are complete

It’s no surprise to see Australia-born Jake Matthews on this card. The 23-year-old has fought seven times for the UFC. Six of those outings took place in his home country or in nearby New Zealand. However, Matthews enters this fight on a two-fight losing skid. His most recent defeat was a November 2016 split-decision loss to Andrew Holbrook.

Healed up after undergoing surgery on both hips, Matthews (10-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) moves back to welterweight, where he began his MMA career, for this fight against Bojan Velickovic (15-5-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC). Like Matthews, the Serbian is coming off a loss. He dropped a unanimous decision to Darren Till in his most recent bout.

Early in his career, it seemed the UFC had Matthews pegged as a promotable fighter for its Australian market. His losing skid seems to have dampened that enthusiasm, as he dropped from the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 101 to the middle of the main card in Sydney.

If the added weight and repaired hips get Matthews back in the win column, expect the promotion’s interest in him to revive.

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4. Work with what you’ve got

Daniel Kelly doesn’t have the chiseled body of many UFC fighters. The 40-year-old Australian’s knees appear to be held together by braces and tape. He’s been an underdog in almost all of his UFC fights.

Despite these apparent shortcomings, Kelly went unbeaten between November 2015 and March 2017. His most prominent win was a unanimous-decision victory over former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans at UFC 209. Kelly’s feel-good story then ended in June, when Derek Brunson knocked him out.

Kelly’s opponent, Elias Theodorou, is also coming off a loss. The 29-year-old Canadian dropped a decision to Brad Tavares in July.

Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is a four-time Olympian in judo, so expect him to try to work from the clinch against his younger opponent. As for Theodorou (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), he’s one of the more cerebral fighters at middleweight. He crafts a gameplan specific to his opponents, and he generally sticks with that approach.

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5. High expectations

Alex Volkanovski could become the next big thing out of Australia. He joined the UFC in 2016 with a record of 13-1 and a long list of titles from smaller MMA promotions. Now 2-0 with the UFC, he faces Shane Young at featherweight.

Volkanovski is a powerful striker with good takedown skills, but he excels on the ground. When he gets his opponent to the mat, the Australian likes to posture up and rain down heavy ground strikes. Those ground strikes earned him a second-round TKO in his UFC debut.

Young (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is the third scheduled opponent for Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) for this card. The New Zealand-born fighter’s two previously booked opponents withdrew due to injury. Young, who is on a five-fight winning streak, stepped up on less than a weeks’ notice to take this fight.

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6. Looking for a foothold

Ryan Benoit has struggled since joining the UFC’s flyweight division in 2013. He’s alternated wins and losses and been unable to generate any momentum, even with a knockout of Sergio Pettis in 2015. His most recent fight was a split-decision loss to Brandon Moreno.

Benoit (9-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) faces Ashkan Mokhtarian in Sydney. Mokhtarian (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) debuted with the UFC in June. He entered that fight against John Moraga with 12 career stoppage victories. The Iranian-born fighter left that matchup with his second career loss.

Like Mokhtarian, when Benoit does win, it’s usually via stoppage. He has seven knockouts and one submission in his eight victories. With their recent losses, expect both of these men to do their best to avoid a second consecutive defeat.

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7. Back meet wall

Will Brooks joined the UFC’s lightweight division with a lot of hype. Before he signed with the promotion, the former Bellator champion ran off eight straight wins. He won his UFC debut, but Brooks has since been stopped in his two most recent bouts by unranked fighters.

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To date, Brooks’ performances with the UFC have been uninspired. That could change when he faces Nik Lentz, who is also coming off a loss. If you recall, the UFC pulled Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) from his scheduled fight against Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 216 due to “medical issues” on weigh-in day. Brooks had already made weight for the lightweight bout before the promotion scratched the contest. No fighter wants to go through camp and a weight cut only to do the same thing a month later.

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8. Let’s try this in a different hemisphere

Anthony Hamilton and Adam Wieczorek were set to face off at UFC Fight Night 118. However, the heavyweight bout was scratched the day before the event due to security concerns inside Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The UFC made that decision after both fighters made weight at the official weigh-ins. The two now meet more than 9,750 miles away in Sydney.

Wieczorek (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who makes his UFC debut on this card, is on a seven-fight winning streak. Each of his victories have come by way of stoppage. Wieczorek’s sole loss was a 2011 decision defeat to Tybura. Hamilton (15-8 MMA, 3-6 UFC) briefly toyed with retirement after his most recent fight, his third consecutive first-round stoppage defeat.

9. In a hurry

Nadia Kassem has just four fights to her name. Kassem, who recently turned 22, won each of those bouts by first round knockout. Three of those stoppages came in under 30 seconds. Nicknamed “187,” Kassem’s longest outing was her most recent, when she nearly hit the 90-second mark. Her total fight time is 2:22.

Kassem (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets fellow Aussie Alex Chambers in this strawweight contest. The 39-year-old Chambers (5-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has not fought since Paige VanZant submitted her in September 2015. Her opponent has fought three times since then.

Expect Kassem to come out fast and test Chambers’ cage readiness after such a long time away.

10. KO kings

Expect action in the heavyweight opener. Neither Rashad Coulter nor his opponent Tai Tuivasa have ever gone the distance. All eight of Coulter’s (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) wins have come by knockout, while Tuivasa (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has five first-round KO victories in five professional fights.

The 24-year-old Tuivasa, who makes his UFC debut in his home country, is a former rugby player. He left that sport five years ago to focus on boxing and MMA. He’s a training partner of Mark Hunt, who he cornered at UFC 209. His brother-in-law is UFC competitor Tyson Pedro.

Tuivasa has been sidelined for more than a year. He underwent knee surgery following his October 2016 win over former UFC fighter James McSweeney. Coulter’s most recent fight, his UFC debut, ended in a second-round knockout loss to Chase Sherman. Coulter displayed an incredibly durable chin in that “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning performance.

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For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 121 pre-event facts: Fabricio Werdum brings big numbers

The UFC returns to Australia this weekend with UFC Fight Night 121, which takes place Saturday at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) makes a quick turnaround from a win at UFC 216 in October when he steps in for Mark Hunt against Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the headliner.

The card has experienced a number of changes on top of the main event, but nevertheless some notable names are still set to compete. For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s 11th fight card in Australia, check below for 40 pre-event facts for UFC Fight Night 121.

* * * *

Main event

Werdum, 40, is the oldest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Werdum, 40, is the second oldest active fighter in UFC heavyweight division behind Mark Hunt (43).

Werdum competes in his second UFC bout in a 42-day stretch. He defeated Walt Harris at UFC 216 in October.

Werdum’s 42-day turnaround between fights is the shortest of his more than 15-year career.

Werdum is 8-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.

Werdum has earned seven of his 10 UFC victories by stoppage.

Marcin Tybura.

Werdum’s 65-second victory over Harris at UFC 216 was the fastest of his career.

Werdum’s five submission victories in UFC/Strikeforce heavyweight competition are tied for second most in combined divisional history behind Frank Mir (eight).

Tybura competes is in his second consecutive fight against a former UFC heavyweight champion. He defeated Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 111 in June.

Tybura’s three-fight UFC winning streak in heavyweight competition is the third longest active streak in the division behind Stipe Miocic (five) and Francis Ngannou (five).

Tybura has earned 13 of his 16 career victories by stoppage.

Tybura has earned both of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Co-main event

Bec Rawlings.

Bec Rawlings (7-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) makes her official debut in the UFC women’s flyweight division. She missed weight twice in the strawweight division.

Jessica-Rose Clark (7-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes her UFC debut on short notice with just two victories in her past six fights dating back to June 2015.

Remaining main card

Tim Means (27-8-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC) is 7-3 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in May 2014.

Means has earned 22 of his 27 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his nine UFC wins.

Means’ four stoppage victories since 2015 in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Donald Cerrone for second most in the division behind Vicente Luque (five).

Belal Muhammad.

Belal Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has earned eight of his 12 career victories by decision.

Jake Matthews(10-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) moves up to the UFC welterweight division after spending his entire octagon tenure at lightweight.

Matthews enters the event with back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since March 2016.

Bojan Velickovic (15-4-1 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) fell to 1-2-1 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2016.

Elias Theodorou.

Elias Theodorou (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has completed at least one takedown in six of his seven UFC appearances.

Daniel Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has won as the underdog in five of his six UFC victories.

Kelly has earned four of his six UFC victories by decision.

Kelly defends 65.2 percent of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the third highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Thiago Santos (66.7 percent) and Michael Bisping (65.9 percent).

Alex Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) enters the event on a 12-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Preliminary card

Ryan Benoit (9-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past eight fights. He suffered a loss in his most recent bout at the TUF 24 Finale in December.

Will Brooks (18-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) enters the event with back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

Nik Lentz (27-8-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) is 2-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2015.

Lentz has landed two or more takedowns against 14 of his 18 UFC opponents.

Lentz’s 17 guillotine choke submission attempts in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Anthony Hamilton.

Anthony Hamilton’s (15-8 MMA, 3-6 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He’s 1-4 in his past five fights overall and hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

Hamilton’s average fight time of 5:19 in UFC heavyweight competition is second shortest among active fighters in the weight class behind Francis Ngannou (4:35).

Hamilton has suffered five of his six UFC losses by stoppage.

Hamilton’s 14-second knockout of Damian Grabowski at UFC 201 is the second fastest in UFC heavyweight history. Only Todd Duffee’s seven-second knockout at UFC 102 was faster.

Adam Wieczorek (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut on a seven-fight winning streak. He hans’t suffered a defeat since November 2011.

Frank Camacho (20-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) drops to the UFC lightweight division after losing a welterweight bout in his debut.

Alex Chambers.

Alex Chambers(5-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC), 39, is the second oldest active female on the UFC roster behind Marion Reneau (40).

Chambers returns to competition for the first time since Sept. 5, 2015. The 805-day layoff is the longest of her more than seven-year career.

Chambers’ submission of Kailin Curran at 3:15 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night 65 stands as the latest third latest submission in a three-round UFC strawweight fight.

Chambers defeated Curran despite being outlanded by 37 significant strikes, the biggest deficit for a stoppage in a UFC strawweight fight.

Nadia Kassem (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event. She’s 18 years the junior of her opponent.

Rashad Coulter (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has earned all nine of his career victories by knockout. That includes six wins in Round 1.

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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

Report: Aussies Alex Chambers, Nadia Kassem booked for UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney

The UFC’s return to the “Land Down Under” has another fight ticketed for the card, and it’s between a pair of Aussies who used to train together.

According to a report from MMADNA.nl in the Netherlands, Alex Chambers (5-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) will take on Nadia Kassem (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a women’s strawweight bout at UFC Fight Night 122. UFC officials have not made a formal announcement of the booking.

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 19 (but airs in the U.S. on Nov. 18 due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It’s expected to air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Chambers will be fighting in front of her home fans in Sydney, where she’s based. She’ll be looking to get back on track following a submission loss to Paige VanZant at UFC 191 back in September 2015. She’s been on the sidelines since then.

Prior to her loss to VanZant, she picked up a bonus for a submission of Kailin Curran in Australia to bounce back after a loss to Aisling Daly at the TUF 20 Finale after appearing on that season of the show trying to become the UFC’s first strawweight champion. Chambers is a perfect 4-0 when fighting in Australia, so will be looking to five wins in her home country.

Kassem was supposed to make her promotional debut in June in New Zealand, but an injury took her out of a fight against J.J. Aldrich. She told The Daily Telegraph in Australia that prior to her amateur debut, she did some training with Chambers, who already was in the UFC.

The 21-year-old Kassem has all four of her pro wins by knockout – in a combined 2:22 of fight time. She has wins in 26 seconds, 10 seconds, 19 seconds and 87 seconds, but Chambers will be her biggest name opponent yet.

With the addition, UFC Fight Night 121 now includes:

  • Mark Hunt vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Belal Muhammad vs. Jesse Taylor
  • Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie