Jeremy Kennedy out, Alex Volkanovski meets Humerto Bandenay at UFC-Sydney

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With Jeremy Kennedy out with a back injury, Australia’s Alex Volkanovski will remain on the card in his home country next month.

Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) now will take on Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 121 with Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) sidelined. UFC officials recently announced the new booking after an initial report from Australia’s .

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 18 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The 23-year-old Bandenay, from Peru, made his promotional debut in August at UFC Fight night 114 – and it was an impressive one. He knocked out Martin Brazo in just 26 seconds with a knee in Mexico City. He picked up a $50,000 fight-night bonus for his quick work, which ran his winning streak to six fights.

Alex Volkanovski

Australia’s Volkanovski ran his winning streak to 12 fights in June when he took a unanimous decision from Mizuto Hirota at UFC Fight Night 110 in New Zealand. His UFC debut came in November 2016 in his home country when he stopped Yusuke Kasuya with a second-round TKO in a lightweight fight. Of his 15 career wins, a dozen have come by stoppage.

Kennedy was going to be putting his unblemished record on the line in hostile territory. He started his UFC run at lightweight a year ago and took a unanimous decision from Alessandro Ricci. He then returned to featherweight, where he has decision wins over Rony Jason in Brazil and Kyle Bochniak in July in New York. But now his shot at going to 4-0 in the UFC is on hold.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card includes:

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Calderwood vs. Rawlings, Kennedy vs. Volkanovski set for UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney

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The UFC’s return to the “Land Down Under” has another pair of fights headed for the card.

Joanne Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will take on Australia’s own Bec Rawlings (7-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in the newly created women’s flyweight division at UFC Fight Night 121. UFC officials announced the booking following an initial report from the Brisbane Times.

And according to a report from E. Spencer Kyte in The Province, Canadian featherweight Jeremy Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will fight Alex Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the card. UFC officials have not made a formal announcement of that 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.

After talking about her struggles to make 115 pounds for years, and after missing the strawweight limit her most recent time out against Cynthia Valvillo, Calderwood finally gets to fight at 125 on a likely permanent basis. After starting her career a perfect 8-0, she came to the UFC by way of Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” On the show, she lost to eventual runner-up Rose Namajunas in the semifinals.

Still, she won three of her first four in the UFC, including a “Fight of the Night” decision over Cortney Casey, and a TKO of Valerie Letourneau in a special flyweight fight in June 2016, well before the UFC officially brought the division in. But at UFC 203 nearly a year ago, she was submitted by Jessica Andrade. And at UFC Fight Night 113 in July in front of her home fans, she missed weight and lost a decision to Calvillo.

Bec Rawlings

Rawlings has back-to-back losses, as well. Like Calderwood, she got her UFC shot courtesy of “TUF 20.” On the show’s live finale, she dropped a decision to Heather Jo Clark. But she bounced back with consecutive wins in her home country of Australia – a submission of Lisa Ellis in 2015 and a decision over Seo Hee Hamm in 2016.

Those wins earned her a step up in competition. But against Paige VanZant in the UFC on FOX 21 co-main event a year ago, she was caught with a head kick early in the second round. And against Tecia Torres at UFC Fight Night 104 in February, she missed the strawweight limit at weigh-ins, then lost a decision on fight night.

Jeremy Kennedy

Kennedy will put his unblemished record on the line in hostile territory. He started his UFC run at lightweight a year ago and took a unanimous decision from Alessandro Ricci. He then returned to featherweight, where he has decision wins over Rony Jason in Brazil and Kyle Bochniak in July in New York.

Strangely enough, it will be the third straight time Kennedy will go into his opponent’s home base to fight. His UFC debut came in front of his own home fans in British Columbia. But since then, he’s had to fight Jason in Brazil, Bochniak on Long Island, and now Volkanovski in Australia.

Alex Volkanovski

Australia’s Volkanovski ran his winning streak to 12 fights in June when he took a unanimous decision from Mizuto Hirota at UFC Fight Night 110 in New Zealand. His UFC debut came in November 2016 in his home country when he stopped Yusuke Kasuya with a second-round TKO in a lightweight fight. Of his 15 career wins, a dozen have come by stoppage.

With the additions, UFC Fight Night 121 now includes:

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

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Why UFC-Auckland winner Alex Volkanovski wants to fight 'the bad guys'

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Following his UFC Fight Night 110 victory on Saturday, Alex Volkanovski said he refuses to follow the trend of fighters who use an outspoken approach to further their careers. However, the featherweight wants to fight the ones who do.

Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who earned a unanimous-decision victory over Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC) on the FS1-televised main card at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, said he wants to be different from all the “bad guys” who are trying to cater to what they think fans and UFC officials want most.

Instead of talking trash or picking Twitter fights, Volkanovski said he wants to take on the competitors who are trying to make a name for themselves by doing anything other than stepping in the octagon and performing.

“I want the bad guys,” Volkanovski told MMAjunkie after his win. “Let them call me out. I want the bad guys, though.”

Although Volkanovski doesn’t have a specific name in mind, he does know he wants to get back in the octagon as soon as possible. His two UFC fights have come seven months apart, after all.

“I want to fight regularly,” Volkanovski said. “I’m ready to fight. Even with these black eyes, I’ll go in there in two weeks and get another fight. I want anther couple of fights this year. If I can get another one, bring it on.”

The Hirota victory pushed Volkanovski’s impressive winning streak to 12 fights. He hasn’t lost since May 2013, and in both of his UFC appearances, he’s shown the skills that could make him one to watch in the future.

After his debut came in the lightweight division, Volkanovski dropped down to featherweight at UFC Fight Night 110 and didn’t appear to lose any of his edge. He said he would have loved to finish he fight and put himself in line for a $50,000 fight-night bonus, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“Any win is a good feeling; it’s a good feeling to win, but in UFC, the pinnacle of the sport, it’s just unreal,” Volkanovski said. “With how I’ve been feeling the past couple of weeks, I’m just happy with the win. It’s a relief for me. My debut was a relief for me finally getting in there and getting a win, but overcoming sicknesses and whatnot and stuff getting the win, it feels great.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Mark Hunt and UFC Fight Night 110's other winners?

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The UFC made its second stop in New Zealand on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 110, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland. The event, which aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, saw five of six main-card fights end in a stoppage.

In the main event, heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) dazzled once again when he stopped Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) by fourth-round TKO in a “Fight of the Night” affair.

Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC), Dan Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC), Ion Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Ben Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) all put their opponents away in memorable fashion, which left Alex Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) as the only main-card fighter who needed the judges to get his hand raised.

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 110’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Alex Volkanovski

Chas Skelly

Should fight: Chas Skelly
Why they should fight: Volkanovski has burst onto the UFC scene with consecutive wins, the latest a unanimous-decision triumph over veteran Mizuto Hirota.

A winner in 15 of his 16 pro fights, Volkanovski has displayed some solid skills in his two UFC outings, but how that will play out against a higher level of competition remains to be seen.

Volkanovski is still an unknown to many fans and won’t get a truly big fight until he establishes himself more in the featherweight division. Skelly (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is not ranked in the weight class, but he has the experience and name value to help get Volkanovski there.

Ben Nguyen

Jussier Formiga

Should fight: Jussier Formiga
Why they should fight: Nguyen pulled off his biggest UFC victory to date when he shocked former flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott by submission in just 49 seconds.

Nguyen was originally scheduled to fight Joseph Benavidez, but when an injury occurred, a game Elliott stepped in on short notice. He came flying out of the gate, but Nguyen was ready for it and locked up the quick rear-naked choke for his fourth victory in five UFC appearances.

The fact Nguyen has been booked against the likes of Elliott and Benavidez prove UFC matchmakers consider him one of the best prospects on the 125-pound roster. He validated that status with the big win, which should put him in line for another marquee fight.

It’s one thing to find a way to submit Elliott, but repeating the feat against a grappling ace such as Formiga (19-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) would be an entirely different task. Along with Nguyen, the Brazilian is one of few ranked 125-pounders who has yet to share the octagon with champion and pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson. Both men want their shot, and the winner of a potential fight would help build a legitimate claim to making it happen.

Ion Cutelaba

Josh Stansbury

Should fight: Winner of Josh Stansbury vs. Jeremy Kimball at UFC Fight Night 112
Why they should fight: The once-dead UFC light-heavyweight division has begun to thrive again in recent months, and Cutelaba added himself to the excitement when he scored a 22-second knockout victory over Henrique da Silva.

Cutelaba has split results over his four-fight UFC career, but at just 23, there’s a lot to like about “The Hulk.” His performance against da Silva was further evidence of why. There’s still room for development, but in each fight, the Moldovan fighter has shown growth.

The 205-pound weight class is unquestionably top-heavy, which is both a positive and a negative for a fighter such as Cutelaba. He would have to do something dramatic to be thrown in the octagon against one of the division’s biggest names, so he will continue to be pitted against fighters positioned in a similar spot.

Whoever wins the scheduled bout between Stansbury (8-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Kimball (14-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 112 on June 25 would be coming off his first UFC win and would be a suitable next opponent for Cutelaba.

Dan Hooker

David Teymur

Should fight: David Teymur
Why they should fight: Hooker’s move up to the lightweight division after spending his first six UFC fights at featherweight proved wise when he defeated longtime UFC vet Ross Pearson by second-round knockout.

Hooker has shown flashes of brilliance with some spectacular UFC wins, and the crushing finish of Pearson was another example. He’s failed to be consistent, though, while alternating wins and losses over his seven-fight tenure with the organization. Pearson is by far the biggest win of his career, but Hooker’s main focus should be finding a wave of momentum.

It remains to be seen if the jump to 155 pounds will mark a turning point for Hooker, but Pearson has been slumping, and a win over “The Real Deal” isn’t quite as significant as years prior. Nevertheless, Hooker put himself in a spot to fight another fan-friendly name in his new division. Teymur (6-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who is coming off an impressive “Fight of the Night” win over Lando Vannata at UFC 209 in March, is just that.

Derek Brunson

Chris Weidman

Should fight: Winner of Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on FOX 25
Why they should fight: After a two-fight losing skid that resulted from poor fight IQ and lousy judging, Brunson got back on track when he snapped the surprising winning streak of Daniel Kelly with a thunderous first-round knockout victory.

Around this time in 2016, Brunson was riding a five-fight winning streak and considered a rising threat in the 185-pound division. A first-round knockout loss to Robert Whittaker and controversial decision defeat to Anderson Silva derailed his momentum, but “The One” proved that was only a bump in the road with the 76-second destruction of Kelly.

Brunson has been booked in several notable fights over the past few years, and after beating Kelly, there’s no reason that should change. The winner of July’s UFC on FOX 25 headliner between Weidman (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Gastelum (14-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) would be coming off a high and represent a step up in competition from Kelly.

Beating a former champion in Weidman would be a massive statement for Bruson, and taking out a rising star in Gastelum would also be significant. There’s upside regardless of who wins – more so than a matchup with Antonio Carlos Junior, whom Brunson specifically called out post-fight.

Mark Hunt

Should fight: Cain Velasquez
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Hunt should fight former UFC champ Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 post-event facts: Derek Brunson is the 1st-round king at middleweight

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The UFC’s second visit to New Zealand took place Saturday when Spark Arena in Auckland hosted UFC Fight Night 110, which aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, local hero Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) continued to be an ageless wonder when the 43-year-old methodically broke down and eventually stopped Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) for a fourth-round TKO win in front of a jubilant crowd.

The heavyweight headliner won “Fight of the Night” honors, but it was far from the only memorable moment. Several spectacular performances occurred at UFC Fight Night 110, and for more on the numbers behind them, check out 40 post-event facts to come out of the UFC’s latest visit to Oceania.

* * * *

General

Alexander Volkanovski

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $110,000.

Debuting fighters went 1-2 at the event.

Hunt, Lewis, Dan Hooker and Ben Nguyen earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 110 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 110 drew an announced attendance of 8,649 for a live gate of $830,000.

Betting favorites went 8-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 1:47:57.

Main card

Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis

Hunt has earned all 10 of his career stoppage victories by knockout. That includes seven of his eight wins under the UFC banner.

Hunt’s seven fight-night bonuses for UFC heavyweight bouts are tied with Travis Browne for second most in divisional history behind champ Stipe Miocic (eight).

Lewis had his six-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since June 2015.

Lewis has suffered all three of his UFC losses by stoppage due to strikes.

Derek Brunson’s (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) eight UFC victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied for most in the division.

Derek Brunson and Daniel Kelly

Brunson has earned six of his eight UFC victories by stoppage.

Brunson’s six first-round stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Brunson’s six UFC stoppage victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied for most in the division.

Daniel Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has suffered both of his career losses by knockout.

Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his seven-fight UFC career.

Dan Hooker and Ross Pearson

Hooker has earned 13 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. That includes all four of his UFC wins.

Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) suffered his fourth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since March 2016.

Pearson fell to 6-7 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2012.

Ion Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned 12 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished 10 of those wins by knockout.

Ion Cutelaba

Cutelaba’s 22-second knockout victory is the seventh fastest in UFC light-heavyweight history.

Cutelaba earned his eighth career victory in 30 seconds or less.

Henrique da Silva (12-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Ben Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned 14 of his 17 career victories by stoppage.

Ben Nguyen

Nguyen’s 49-second submission marked the second fastest finish in UFC flyweight history behind Fredy Serrano’s 44-second win at UFC Fight Night 79.

Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) fell to 1-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in December.

Elliott has suffered both of his UFC stoppage losses by submission.

Alex Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 12 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC) has suffered seven of his eight career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Vinc Pichel

Vinc Pichel (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) returned from a career-long layoff for his first victory since May 2014.

Pichel has earned eight of his 10 career victories by knockout.

Damien Brown (16-10 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered his first knockout loss since Nov. 19, 2011 – a span of 2,030 days (more than five years) and 19 fights.

Dominique Steele (14-9 MMA, 1-4 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2015.

John Moraga

John Moraga (17-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) snapped a three-fight losing skid for his first victory since December 2014.

Moraga’s six victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind champ Demetrious Johnson (12) and Joseph Benavidez (10).

Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Zak Ottow

Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned his past three victories by decision after stopping his opponent in his first 12 career wins.

Kiichi Kunimoto (18-7-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) suffered his first decision loss since March 11, 2012 – a span of 1,917 days (more than five years) and nine fights.

Chanmi Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had her five-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, 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.

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

UFC Fight Night 110 Athlete Outfitting pay: Ross Pearson receives top payout in KO loss

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $110,000.

UFC Fight Night 110 took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Despite coming out on the wrong end of one of the year’s most memorable knockouts courtesy of Dan Hooker, Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) was the payout leader. “The Real Deal” received a maximum non-title payout of $20,000 for his 23rd octagon appearance.

The full UFC Fight Night 110 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Mark Hunt: $10,000
def. Derrick Lewis: $10,000

Derek Brunson: $10,000
def. Daniel Kelly: $5,000

Dan Hooker: $5,000
def. Ross Pearson: $20,000

Ion Cutelaba: $2,500
def. Luis Henrique da Silva: $2,500

Ben Nguyen: $2,500
def. Tim Elliott: $5,000

Alex Volkanovski: $2,500
def. Mizuto Hirota: $2,500

Vinc Pichel: $2,500
def. Damien Brown: $2,500

Luke Jumeau: $2,500
def. Dominique Steele: $2,500

John Moraga: $10,000
def. Ashkan Mokhtarian: $2,500

Zak Ottow: $2,500
def. Kiichi Kunimoto: $2,500

J.J. Aldrich: $2,500
def. Chanmi Jeon: $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: $2,472,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $12,795,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 110, spanning Kendrick Lama to AC/DC

Filed under: 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 110 in Auckland, New Zealand, went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Mark Hunt def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 3:51

Mark Hunt: “Wickedest Man Alive” by Naughty by Nature

Derrick Lewis: “Umm Hmm” by ABN

Derek Brunson def. Daniel Kelly via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:16

Derek Brunson: “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

Daniel Kelly: “Run to Paradise” by The Choirboys

Dan Hooker def. Ross Pearson via knockout (knee, punch) – Round 2, 3:02

Dan Hooker: “Runnin” by David Dallas

Ross Pearson: “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Ion Cutelaba def. Henrique da Silva via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:22

Ion Cutelaba: “Doina Haiducului” by Zdob si Zdub

Henrique da Silva: “Back in Black” by AC/DC

Ben Nguyen def. Tim Elliott via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:49

Ben Nguyen: “Inner Light” by Shocking Lemon

Tim Elliott: “Karate” by Kennedy

Alexander Volkanovski def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alex Volkanovski: “Game of Thrones” Theme

Mizuto Hirota: “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith

Vinc Pichel def. Damien Brown via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:37

Vinc Pichel: “Bad Company” by Five Finger Death Punch

Damien Brown: “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC

Luke Jumeau def. Dominique Steele via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Luke Jumeau: “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio

Dominique Steele: “DOA” by Jay-Z

John Moraga def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)

John Moraga: “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Ashkan Mokhtarian: “Blood on the Leaves” by Kanye West

Zak Ottow def. Kiichi Kunimoto via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Zak Ottow: “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones

Kiichi Kunimoto: “Immortals” by Fall Out Boy

J.J. Aldrich def. Chanmi Jeon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

J.J. Aldrich: “The Warrior’s Code” by Dropkick Murphys

Chanmi Jeon: “Victory” by Yolanda Adams

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 staff picks: Mark Hunt or Derrick Lewis? It's ridiculously close

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Lewis
vs.
Hunt
Brunson
vs.
Kelly
Hooker
vs.
Pearson
Cutelaba
vs.
da Silva
Elliott
vs.
Nguyen
Hirota
vs.
Volkanovski
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 48-35
hunt2017
Hunt
(51%)
brunson2017
Brunson
(62%)
pearson2016
Pearson
(61%)

da Silva
(54%)
elliott2017
Elliott
(79%)
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
(67%)
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 56-27
lewis2017
Lewis
brunson2017
Brunson
pearson2016
Pearson
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
Nguyen
Nguyen
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 54-29
lewis2017
Lewis
kelly2017
Kelly
hooker2017
Hooker
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
Nguyen
Nguyen
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 51-32
trophy copy 2016 Champion
hunt2017
Hunt
brunson2017
Brunson
hooker2017
Hooker
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 51-32
trophy copy 2015 Champion
lewis2017
Lewis
brunson2017
Brunson
hooker2017
Hooker
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 50-33
trophy copy 2014 Champion
lewis2017
Lewis
kelly2017
Kelly
pearson2016
Pearson
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 49-34
lewis2017
Lewis
kelly2017
Kelly
pearson2016
Pearson
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 49-34
hunt2017
Hunt
brunson2017
Brunson
pearson2016
Pearson
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 48-35
lewis2017
Lewis
brunson2017
Brunson
hooker2017
Hooker
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 47-36
lewis2017
Lewis
brunson2017
Brunson
hooker2017
Hooker
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 42-41
lewis2017
Lewis
brunson2017
Brunson
hooker2017
Hooker
cutelaba2016
Cutelaba
elliott2017
Elliott
volkanovski2016
Volkanovski

(Click here to see the full grid in .jpg format.)

When it comes to Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 heavyweight headliner, fans are split – almost exactly down the middle.

Derrick Lewis (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is the overwhelming 8-2 choice over Mark Hunt (12-11-1 MMA, 7-5-1 UFC) in the MMAjunkie staff picks. However, among MMAjunkie readers, Hunt is a tiny 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent favorite.

UFC Fight Night 110 takes place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Also on the card and in the middleweight co-headliner, Derek Brunson (16-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is the 7-3 choice over a very live ‘dog in the resurgent Daniel Kelly (13-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC).

Additionally, Dan Hooker (13-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is a 6-4 pick over lightweight Ross Pearson (19-13 MMA, 11-10 UFC), light heavyweight Ion Cutelaba (12-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is a unanimous choice over Henrique da Silva (12-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC), former flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott (14-7-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) is the 8-2 pick over Ben Nguyen (16-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC), and featherweight Alex Volkanovski (14-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the 10-0 choice over Mizuto Hirota (14-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Hunt, Brunson, Pearson, da Silva, Elliott and Volkanovski are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 110 pre-event facts: Derrick Lewis then Conor McGregor on this KO list

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC makes its second trip to New Zealand on Saturday when UFC Fight Night 110 takes place at Spark Arena in Auckland. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Headlining the promotion’s Oceania return is a heavyweight showcase between streaking knockout artist Derrick Lewis (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and struggling veteran Mark Hunt (12-11-1 MMA, 7-5-1 UFC).

For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s upcoming event, check below for 40 pre-fight facts about UFC Fight Night 110.

* * * *

Main event

Derrick Lewis

Lewis makes his 12th UFC heavyweight appearance since 2014, the most in the division and tied for third most among all UFC fighters behind Donald Cerrone (13) and Neil Magny (13).

Lewis competes in his third consecutive UFC main event since December. He’s 2-0 in his previous headliners.

Lewis’ six-fight UFC winning streak in heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Lewis has earned 16 of his 18 career victories by knockout. That includes eight of his nine wins under the UFC banner.

Lewis’ eight knockout victories in UFC competition since 2014 are the most among active fighters in the organization. Conor McGregor is second with six.

Lewis’ eight knockout victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied for the third most in divisional history behind Cain Velasquez (10) and Andrei Arlovski (nine).

Lewis is the only fighter in history to have his first eight UFC appearances end in a knockout.

Lewis absorbs 1.23 significant strikes per minute in UFC heavyweight competition, the second-best rate in divisional history behind Jon Madsen (1.18).

Mark Hunt

Hunt, 43, is the oldest active fighter in the UFC heavyweight division. He’s also the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Hunt has earned all nine of his career stoppage victories by knockout. That includes seven of his eight wins under the UFC banner.

Hunt defends 72.2 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC heavyweight competition, the fourth highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Arlovski (84.3 percent), Travis Browne (83.3 percent) and Junior Dos Santos (80.5 percent).

Hunt has suffered all of his career losses by stoppage.

Co-main event

Derek Brunson

Derek Brunson (16-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is one of five fighters in modern UFC history to register both a knockout and submission victory in less than one minute each. Joe Lauzon, Ronda Rousey, Tom Lawlor and Arlovski also accomplished the feat.

Brunson’s five first-round stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Chris Leben for most in divisional history.

Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly’s (13-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in middleweight competition is the fifth longest active streak in the division behind Yoel Romero (eight), Robert Whittaker (six), champ Michael Bisping (five) and Gegard Mousasi (five).

Kelly 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 second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Bisping (66.6 percent).

Remaining main card

Ross Pearson

Ross Pearson (19-13 MMA, 11-10 UFC) makes his 12th UFC appearance since 2014, tied with Lewis for third most among all UFC fighters behind Cerrone (13) and Magny (13).

Pearson enters the event on a career-worst three-fight losing skid. He’s 4-6 (with one no-contest) in his past 11 fights overall.

Pearson is 6-6 with one no-contest since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2012.

Pearson’s five knockout victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Melvin Guillard (seven), B.J. Penn (six) and Edson Barboza (six).

Pearson’s three split-decision losses in UFC competition are tied for second most in company history behind Jorge Masvidal (four).

Dan Hooker (13-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has earned 12 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished nine of those wins in Round 1.

Tim Elliott

Tim Elliott (14-7-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) is 1-1 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in December.

Elliott’s 35 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Demetrious Johnson (49).

Elliott lands 67.3 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Alex Volkanovski (14-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on an 11-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Preliminary card

Vinc Pichel

Vinc Pichel (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since May 24, 2014. The 1,113-day layoff is the longest of his nearly eight-year career.

Dominique Steele (14-8 MMA, 1-3 UFC) is one of eight fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a slam takedown. He accomplished the feat against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night 79.

John Moraga (16-6 MMA, 5-5 UFC) competes in his 11th UFC flyweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind champ Johnson (13) and Joseph Benavidez (12).

John Moraga

Moraga enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since December 2014.

Moraga’s four stoppage victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for the second most in divisional history behind Johnson (six).

Moraga’s three submission victories in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Johnson (four).

Moraga is one of 22 fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from standing elbow strikes. He accomplished the feat against Ulysses Gomez at UFC on FOX 4.

Moraga was the first fighter in UFC flyweight history to be stopped between rounds when John Dodson defeated him by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at UFC Fight Night 42.

Kiichi Kunimoto

Kiichi Kunimoto (18-6-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since Feb. 4, 2015. The 857-day layoff is the longest of his more than 11-year career.

Chan-Mi Jeon (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 19, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (14-8-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is 1-1 since he dropped to the UFC lightweight division in June 2016.

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, 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
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 110 in New Zealand

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 event in Auckland, New Zealand.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 110 staff picks we release on Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 110 takes place Saturday at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, and the main card airs on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Derrick Lewis vs. Mark Hunt 

Records: Lewis (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC), Hunt (12-11-1 MMA, 7-5-1 UFC)
Past five: Lewis 5-0, Hunt 2-2-1
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: Lewis No. 7, Hunt No. 11
Odds (as of 6/5/17): Lewis -120, Hunt +100

Take Our Poll
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Derek Brunson vs. Daniel Kelly 

Records: Brunson (16-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC), Kelly (13-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC)
Past five: Brunson 3-2, Kelly 4-1
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: Brunson No. 12, Kelly honorable mention
Odds (as of 6/5/17): Brunson -260, Kelly +220

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Dan Hooker vs. Ross Pearson 

Records: Hooker (13-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC), Pearson (19-13 MMA, 11-10 UFC)
Past five: Hooker 2-3, Pearson 1-4
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: n/a
Odds (as of 6/5/17): n/a

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Ion Cutelaba vs. Henrique da Silva 

Records: Cutelaba (12-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC), da Silva (12-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC)
Past five: Cutelaba 3-2, da Silva 3-2
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: n/a
Odds (as of 6/5/17): n/a

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Tim Elliott vs. Ben Nguyen

Records: Elliott (14-7-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC), Nguyen (16-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC)
Past five: Elliott 4-1, Nguyen 4-1
Division: Flyweight
Rankings: Elliott No. 15, Nguyen honorable mention
Odds (as of 6/5/17): n/a

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Mizuto Hirota vs. Alex Volkanovski

Records: Hirota (14-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Volkanovski (14-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Past five: Hirota 4-0-1, Volkanovski 5-0
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: n/a
Odds (as of 6/5/17): n/a

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For more on UFC Fight Night 110, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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