Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Fabricio Werdum and UFC Fight Night 121's other winning fighters?

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_qwzAnBOk_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/qwzAnBOk.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

The octagon doesn’t touch down in Sydney very often, but UFC Fight Night 121 provided plenty of cage time for the Australian fans. All six main-card bouts went to a decision on Saturday’s FS1-televised lineup at Qudos Bank Arena.

Former UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum (23-7-1 MMA, 11-4 UFC) even went all five rounds in the main event, dominating Marcin Tybura (16-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to a unanimous decision to strengthen his argument for another shot at the title he lost in May 2016.

Prior to the headliner, Jessica-Rose Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Belal Muhammad (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Jake Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) edged their respective opponents by split decision, while Elias Theodorou (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Alex Volkanovski (16-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) earned unanimous nods 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 121’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Alex Volkanovski

Jeremy Kennedy

Should fight: Jeremy Kennedy
Why they should fight: Volkanovski continued to thrive since joining the UFC roster when he improved to 3-0 under inside the octagon with an utterly dominant performance against short-notice promotional newcomer Shane Young.

Volkanovski had his way with Young en route to a unanimous decision victory and now has won 16 of his 17 career fights. The Australian could be major problem in the featherweight division, but he needs tougher opponents in order to prove exactly where he stands among the best.

Once upon a time, before multiple injury changes, Volkanovski was scheduled to fight Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) at the event. The Canadian was forced to withdraw due to a back injury, but if his recovery is on track for a return early next year, it would be interesting to see how the unbeaten fighter approached Volkanovski, who has been a tough riddle to solve.

Elias Theodorou

Anthony Smith

Should fight: Anthony Smith
Why they should fight: “Ultimate Fighter: Nations” winner Theodorou picked up a unanimous decision win over fellow cast member Dan Kelly, much to the dismay of the Australian crowd.

Every time Theodorou has experienced a setback he’s rebounded with a win, and following a defeat to Brad Tavares in July, he did that again by outpointing Kelly over the course of three rounds of middleweight action.

There’s definitely something to be desired with Theodorou’s style visually, but on paper it’s proven effective. He’s won six of eight UFC fights so far and has some notable wins to his credit within that record. The Canadian will surely want to keep the balling rolling, and there’s no shortage of tough competition at 185 pounds.

Theodorou’s faults have come against opponents capable of out-striking him. There’s no guarantee Smith (27-13 MMA, 4-2 UFC) would be able to do that, but “Lionheart’s” height, size and strength has the potential to give Theodorou all sorts of problems.

Jake Matthews

Shinsho Anzai

Should fight: Shinsho Anzai
Why they should fight: It was a bumpy return back to the UFC welterweight division, but ultimately Matthews managed to get his hands raised with a split-decision victory over a gritty Bojan Velickovic.

After a hot start to his UFC career, Matthews has had some struggles of late. He hoped a change in weight class would bring out his best, but he just scratched by against Velickovic in a rather unimpressive manner. The upside for the Aussie, though, is the fact he’s still young at just 23.

Matthews has been given few easy fights to this point, and that’s unlikely to change going forward. Anzai (10-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is a tough and durable opponent who has back-to-back wins on his UFC record. The Japanese fighter is on approximately the same level of Matthews in the division, so there’s no reason not to pit them against each other.

Belal Muhammad

Warlley Alves

Should fight: Warlley Alves
Why they should fight: Muhammad picked up the biggest victory of her career when he outworked and edged UFC veteran Tim Means by split decision in the card’s featured bout.

Muhammad has shown some solid skills each time he’s stepped in the octagon. He dropped two of his first three fights with the promotion, but since has reeled off three-straight, with the win over Means being the most meaningful yet.

The only thing holding Muhammad back at this point is his low rate of stoppage victories. He need a big finish to take things to the next level, and a fight with an ulna-aggressive, powerful foe like Alves (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) would give him every opportunity to make that happen.

Jessica-Rose Clark

Joanne Calderwood

Should fight: Joanne Calderwood
Why they should fight: After making her UFC debut on just 11 days’ notice against a veteran of the octagon, Clark now finds herself with a winning record inside the octagon and high aspirations for the future in the women’s flyweight division.

Clark may have missed weight, but still picked up a split-decision win over Bec Rawlings to announce her arrival in the UFC. The circumstances were far from ideal, but Clark made the most of them and already has big aspirations for her future, such as fighting for the title.

The women’s 125-pound division is still in its infancy in the UFC. Clark has intentions of being a significant part of the weight class, but will have to see how “The Ultimate Fighter 26” tournament, which will crown the inaugural champion, shakes out.

In the meantime, Clark should look to fight an opponent who is not part of “TUF 26.” Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) was originally supposed to face Rawlings at the event but was forced to withdraw on short notice. Clark filled in for her, now she should fight against her.

Fabricio Werdum

Should fight: Alexander Volkov
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Werdum should fight Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) next.

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

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/TbN2uvtugmxi8DnzN2s9QC/285653”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Werdum def. Tybura”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for September: A bloody, all-Brazil slugfest

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_J8ELMmgI_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/J8ELMmgI.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Cage Warriors, Featured, News, UFC

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Alexander Volkov def. Stefan Struve at UFC Fight Night 115

In a much-hyped heavyweight contest between two of the sport’s tallest competitors, Russia’s Alexander Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) brushed aside a nasty cut and some eye pokes to rally for a third-round TKO over Stefan Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC).

Bloodied and battered, Volkov just walked through the strikes of his opponent to land flush with a right and topple Struve. More punches on the floor landed clean as Struve’s tried to cover, and the fight was called to an end with 90 seconds left in the third.

Instagram Photo

Nathaniel Wood def. Josh Reed at Cage Warriors 86

After looking all but finished in the first round of his headliner against challenger Josh Reed (7-1), Cage Warriors bantamweight champ Nathaniel Wood (12-3) managed to keep his composure and land the left hand that changed it all.

After a few tentative exchanges, Reed charged forward with a series of haymakers. While somewhat careless, the blows landed – and, with Wood wobbling around the cage, it seemed like a matter of seconds before the referee intervened and the belt switched hands. Wood, however, weathered the storm and saw the opening to land a hard left that set up a dazzling comeback win.

Uriah Hall def. Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Fight Night 116

Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) has been plagued with inconsistency in his UFC career, sometimes looking unbeatable, other times not so much. Against Krzysztof Jotko (19-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), he was both.

After taking a massive beating in the first round of the middleweight bout, a devastating straight right landed for Hall and changed the game. He sent Jotko crashing to the canvas and that’s when “Primetime” jumped on top with additional punches to seal the incredible comeback knockout win and snap an ugly three-fight losing skid.

Gregor Gillespie def. Jason Gonzalez at UFC Fight Night 116

Rising lightweight Gregor Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) kept his career record perfect, but Jason Gonzalez (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) certainly didn’t make it easy on him in barnburner of a bout.

After slugging it out on the feet for a good portion of the fight, Gillespie reverted to his wrestling pedigree as the clock ticked on. Gillespie eventually worked himself into an arm-triangle choke from mount and committed to the squeeze, pressing forward and tightening the hold until Gonzalez was forced to tap in the second round.

Jessica Andrade def. Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 117

The crucial matchup of UFC women’s strawweight contenders could only result in one winner, and Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) was able to get the job done against Claudia Gadelha (15-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in one of the most highly-praised female bouts in company history.

In a clash of two fighters looking to get another crack at 115-pound champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Andrade took a lopsided unanimous decision victory over fellow Brazilian Gadelha in a blood-and-guts type of battle which will revered for quite some time going forward.

* * * *

The Winner: Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha

Gadelha only had lost to strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk before her trip to Japan for UFC Fight Night 117. Then Andrade came into her life.

Andrade took a unanimous decision from Gadelha, her fellow Brazilian, with a mostly dominant performance that had both fighters bloody through most of the fight. Andrade won with scores of 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27.

Gadelha got her hands going a minute in. Andrade tried to work her head out of the way, but Gadelha got her strikes through. Andrade tried to lead the charge not long after that with punches, but Gadelha countered wht an elbow. Two minutes in, the two slugged it out, and Gadelha opened a cut on Andrade’s forehead.

With blood pouring from her opponent, Gadelha kept her striking going until Andrade pressed her against the fence. There, Andrade picked Gadelha up for a massive body slam that seemed to take Gadelha by surprise. Gadelha went after a guillotine choke, but couldn’t hold it, and that allowed Andrade to get on top to work ground-and-pound for the final 90 seconds of the round.

After some more slugging early in the second, and a clinch, Gadelha tried to take the fight to the ground – but it was Andrade who again got on top and landed big ground-and-pound with Gadelha against the fence. When Gadelha got back up, Andrade landed heavy knees.

The two went back to standing midway through, then slugged it out again. With both fighters bleeding, Andrade started to pour on the punishment with two minutes left. Gadelha backed up and looked wiped out while Andrade landed low kicks, then punches. Gadelha went after a takedown that was weak to say the least. And Andrade made her pay for it up against the fence, landing a barrage of punches.

With a minute left, they broke apart and traded again, and Gadelha landed a solid counter. But Andrade kept swinging for the finish. She couldn’t get it, and instead tried to pick Gadelha up for a slam. It didn’t come, but what came instead was the need to defend a deep guillotine choke from Andrade for the final 15 seconds of the round.

Andrade easily defended a takedown attempt 30 seconds into the final frame, then ate a knee to the midsection. And seconds later, Andrade easily picked Gadelha up for another massive slam. She quickly went into side control, then worked ground-and-pound. Gadelha recovered to partial guard, but it didn’t keep Andrade’s punishment at bay. Gadelha tried to answer when she got back to full guard, but there wasn’t much there.

With 90 seconds left, Andrade easily passed to side control, then Gadelha gave her back trying to get back to her feet. Gadelha got back to her feet late, but just before the horn Andrade landed another big slam in a near perfect performance.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/ANkB3WeyZqmgrpdYLPbtCJ/275646”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Andrade def. Gadelha”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

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

Ouch: Watch UFC main-event winner Alexander Volkov get a nasty cut stitched up

Dann StuppAlexander Volkov took some damage in his recent UFC headliner, but the pain continued after he left the cage.

This past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 115, Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) stopped fellow big man Stefan Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) via third-round TKO in a grueling heavyweight attraction.

Volkov endured heavy blows, some eye-pokes and a nasty gash under his left eye during the fight, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Afterward, Volkov, who was cut open with a Struve knee, got the wound stitched up.

It’s not fun to watch (it’s a pretty big cut, after all) – and it was clearly even less fun to experience, despite Volkov’s efforts to play it cool. Check it out (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Volkov, who’s No. 13 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, is now 3-0 in the UFC. After the Struve victory, the 28-year-old Russian and former M-1 champion stumped for a UFC event in Russia.

For more on UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/Bti5hbMhV8QMVwnNYCd5kN/270237”, customAnalytics: true, title: “UFC-Rotterdam best photos”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 115, including multiple Eminem selections

While it take 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 115 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Alexander Volkov def. Stefan Struve via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 3:30

Alexander Volkov: “Mother Winter” by 25/17

Stefan Struve: “He’s a Pirate (Tiesto Remix)” by Klaus BadeIt

Siyar Bahadurzada def. Rob Wilkinson via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:10

Siyar Bahadurzada: “All The Way” by Fat Joe

Rob Wilkinson: “Wrist” by Logic feat. Pusha T

Marion Reneau def. Talita de Oliveira via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:54

Marion Reneau: “X Rated” by Excision

Talita Oliveira: “Bate Pesadao” by Pregador Luo

Leon Edwards def. Bryan Barberena via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Leon Edwards: “1942 Flows” by Meek Mill

Bryan Barberena: “Outsiders” by Eric Church

Darren Till def. Bojan Velickovic via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Darren Till: “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

Bojan Velickovic: “Run This Town” by Jay-Z feat. Rihanna

Mairbek Taisumov def. Felipe Silva via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 1:24

Mairbek Taisumov: “Kunta Mayan” by Nasheed

Felipe Silva: “Burning Heart” by Survivor


Michel Prazeres def. Mads Burnell via submission (north-south choke) – Round 3, 1:26

Michel Prazeres: “Nego Drama (Ao Vivo)” by Racionais MC’s

Mads Burnell: “B.M.F.” by Rick Ross feat. Styles P

Rustam Khabilov def. Desmond Green via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Rustam Khabilov: “Extreme Ways” by Moby

Desmond Green: “Last Breathe” by Future

Aleksandar Rakic def. Francimar Barroso via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Aleksandar Rakic: “Ready for War” by 50 Cent

Francimar Barroso: “Go To Sleep” by Eminem

Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Mike Santiago via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:22

Zabit Magomedsharipov: “Era” by Enea Volare Mezzo

Mike Santiago: “Bantering” by Skrillex

Abdul-Kerim Edilov def. Bojan Mihajlovic via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:32

Abdul-Kerim Edilov: “Forward Ahmat” by Rizavdi Ismailov

N/A

Bojan Mihajlovic: “Love My Life” by Robbie Williams

Thibault Gouti def. Andrew Holbrook via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:28

Thibault Gouti: “Without Me” by Eminem

Andrew Holbrook: “Let’s Go (Ricky Luna Remix)” by Yelawolf & Busta Rhymes

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, 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

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Alexander Volkov and UFC-Rotterdam's other winning fighters?

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_4nREoTuh_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/jw6/4nREoTuh.xml”}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

UFC Fight Night 115’s main event didn’t go well for the hometown crowd.Alexander Volkov defeated Dutchman Stefan Struve in the heavyweight headliner, which took place at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

In a matchup of fighters looking to move up the rankings, Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) managed to halt Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) for a third-round TKO win in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed contest to remain perfect inside the UFC octagon.

Other main-card winners included Siyar Bahadurzada (23-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Marion Reneau (8-3-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC), who finished their opponents inside the distance with strikes, as well as Leon Edwards (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who picked up a win 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 115’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Leon Edwards

Should fight: Alex Oliveira
Why they should fight: With four consecutive UFC victories in the welterweight division, Edwards’ request for a top-15 opponent should be granted following his unanimous-decision win over Bryan Barberena.

Aside from a few missteps, the Brit has been solid throughout his UFC career. His current run is not to be taken lightly, especially if he continues to improve going forward. “Rocky” wants an opponent of note, and fortunately for him, Oliveira (17-3-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) is available.

Oliveira is riding a five-fight unbeaten streak inside the octagon, which includes back-to-back finishes of Ryan LaFlare and Tim Means. The Brazilian may be interested in someone more highly ranked at 170 pounds, but given the current landscape of the division, he might have to settle for someone slightly below him in Edwards.

Marion Reneau

Should fight: Germaine de Randamie
Why they should fight: All credit goes to Reneau for her willingness to accept and win a risky matchup with newcomer Talita Oliveira after a much more high-profile fight with ex-champ de Randamie fell through on short notice.

Reneau lost the matchup with de Randamie (7-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) on less than two weeks’ notice, which was surely a disappointment. Moving from a former UFC champion to a promotional newcomer would be tough for most fighters to get motivated for, but Reneau still showed up and handled her business in the form of a third-round TKO win.

Despite some criticism of her own performance, Reneau should be rewarded for her handling of the entire situation and give her the big fight that was originally intended. Unless de Randamie is out for an extended period with her injured hand, the UFC should make it right with Reneau and give her a fight with “The Iron Lady.”

Siyar Bahadurzada

Should fight: Jake Ellenberger
Why they should fight: Bahadurzada hopefully put his years of injury woes behind him with a successful return to the octagon with a second-round TKO of UFC newcomer Rob Wilkinson.

Bahadurzada showed his power is still as prevalent as ever when he overwhelmed Wilkinson with strikes until the referee waved off the fight. When healthy, Bahadurzada’s hands are as difficult as any to deal with, be it at middleweight or welterweight. The issue, though, is that he can’t seem to stay healthy.

With just three fights in four-plus years, Bahadurzada’s main priority should be getting back in the cage as soon as possible to get some momentum going. It’s been far too long since he’s had a quick turnaround, and that should happen soon.

Bahadurzada could fight pretty much anyone, but with a planned return to 170 pounds for his next fight, a bout with a fellow hard-hitter like Ellenberger (31-13 MMA, 10-9 UFC) has highlight-reel potential.

Alexander Volkov

Should fight: Francis Ngannou
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Volkov should fight Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WswVNZtGZrBTiHaRZiK6am/269734”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Volkov def. Struve”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 115 post-event facts: A late finish, a KO streak, a rare sub and more

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WswVNZtGZrBTiHaRZiK6am/269729”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Volkov def. Struve”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The UFC’s return to the Netherlands was a hit on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 115, which took place at Ahoy Rotterdam and streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Alexander Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) capped off a card that featured eight stoppages in 12 fights when he put away Stefan Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) with a third-round TKO to move further up the UFC heavyweight ranks.

Volkov was one of multiple fighters who earned a big finish at an event with some worthwhile footnotes. For more on the numbers behind the first of four UFC events in September, check below for 50 post-event facts about UFC Fight Night 115.

* * * *

General

Alexander Volkov

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $90,000.

Debuting fighters went 3-4 at the event.

Volkov, Struve, Mairbek Taisumov and Zabit Magomedsharipov earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 115 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 115 drew an announced attendance of 10,224 for an estimated live gate of $900,000.

Betting favorites went 11-1 on the card.

Total fight time for the 12-bout card was 2:10:46.

Main card

Alexander Volkov

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

Volkov is 5-0 since his final Bellator bout in June 2015.

Volkov has earned 22 of his 29 career victories by stoppage.

Struve fell to 1-1 in UFC main events.

Struve has suffered all six of his UFC stoppage losses by knockout.

Struve’s six fight-night bonuses for UFC heavyweight fights are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Miocic (eight), Mark Hunt (seven) and Travis Browne (seven).

Siyar Bahadurzada

Siyar Bahadurzada (23-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) earned consecutive victories for the first time in his UFC career.

Bahadurzada has earned six of his past seven victories by knockout.

Rob Wilkinson (11-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his 11-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Marion Reneau (8-3-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC), 40, became the oldest female fighter to earn a UFC victory.

Reneau has earned seven of her eight career victories by stoppage.

Reneau’s victory at the 4:54 mark of Round 3 marked the latest stoppage in a three-round UFC women’s bantamweight fight.

Talita Oliveira (5-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of her career.

Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards’ (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied with Santiago Ponzinibbio and Colby Covington for the second longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (five).

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

Bryan Barberena (13-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) fell to 3-2 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in January 2016.

Barberena has suffered all three of his UFC losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Darren Till

Darren Till’s (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) 16-fight undefeated streak in MMA competition is tied for fifth longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (24), Jimmie Rivera (20), Cris Cyborg (19) and Justin Gaethje (18).

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.

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

Taisumov’s (26-5 MMA, 6-1 UFC) five-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Tony Ferguson (nine) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (seven).

Taisumov has earned 24 of his 26 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his six wins under the UFC banner.

Taisumov became the first lightweight in UFC history to earn five consecutive knockout victories.

Taisumov’s five-fight UFC stoppage streak is tied with Francis Ngannou and Miocic for longest among active fighters in the organization.

Taisumov’s five-fight UFC knockout streak is tied for second longest in UFC history behind Chuck Liddell (seven).

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

Felipe Silva (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his eight-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Michel Prazeres

Michel Prazeres’ (23-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) five-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Ferguson (nine) and Nurmagomedov (seven).

Prazeres became the first fighter in UFC history to earn two north-south choke submission victories. He has two of the five such finishes overall in UFC history.

Prazeres has completed 35 takedowns in his nine UFC appearances. He’s landed at least one takedown against all nine of his UFC opponents.

Mads Burnell (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Rustam Khabilov

Rustam Khabilov’s (22-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) five-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Ferguson (nine) and Nurmagomedov (seven).

Khabilov has earned six of his eight UFC victories by decision.

Aleksandar Rakic (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to nine fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since his MMA debut in October 2011.

Rakic earned the first decision victory of his career.

Zabit Magomedsharipov

Magomedsharipov (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to nine fights. He hans’t suffered a defeat since April 2013.

Magomedsharipov has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Mike Santiago (19-10 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his nine-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since January 2014.

Santiago has suffered nine of his 10 carer losses by stoppage. Eight of those defeats have come by submission.

Abdul-Kerim Edilov

Abdul-Kerim Edilov (17-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) extended his career-high winning streak to 11 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since April 2013.

Edilov has earned 16 of his 17 career victories by stoppage.

Edilov out-landed his opponent 77-1 in significant strikes.

Bojan Mihajlovic (10-6 MMA, 0-3 UFC) has suffered all three of his UFC losses by knockout.

Thibault Gouti

Thibault Gouti (12-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) snapped his three-fight losing skid for his first victory since November 2015.

Gouti has earned 10 of his 12 career victories by stoppage.

Andrew Holbrook (12-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by knockout.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, 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: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Rotterdam Athlete Outfitting pay: Stefan Struve tops payout scale despite loss

Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 113 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $90,000.

UFC Fight Night 115 took place at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The card streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was headliner Stefan Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC), who received $15,000 for his 19th UFC appearance, which was a third-round TKO loss to Alexander Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

The full UFC Fight Night 115 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Alexander Volkov: $2,500
def. Stefan Struve: $15,000

Siyar Bahadurzada: $2,500
def. Rob Wilkinson: $2,500

Marion Reneau: $5,000
def. Talita Oliveira: $2,500

Leon Edwards: $5,000
def. Bryan Barberena: $5,000

Darren Till: $2,500
def. Bojan Velickovic: $2,500

Mairbek Taisumov: $5,000
def. Felipe Silva: $2,500

Michel Prazeres: $5,000
def. Mads Burnell: $2,500

Rustam Khabilov: $5,000
def. Desmond Green: $2,500

Aleksandar Rakic: $2,500
def. Francimar Barroso: $5,000

Zabit Magomedsharipov: $2,500
def. Mike Santiago: $2,500

Abdul-Kerim Edilov: $2,500
def. Bojan Mihajlovic: $2,500

Thibault Gouti: $2,500
def. Andrew Holbrook: $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: $3,865,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $14,188,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Alexander Volkov's win gives the UFC something it needs – a new, young heavyweight contender

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_3TzO3mwk_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/jw6/3TzO3mwk.xml”}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Alexander Volkov got split open by a knee and poked in both eyes, and somehow it only seemed to make him more dangerous. The more Stefan Struve did to hurt him, employing techniques on both sides of the rules, the more committed to victory the Russian seemed to become.

Next thing we knew, Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) sat Struve down against the fence and punched him until Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) performed the international hand signal for “I would like to go home now,” which is when we knew for sure that the UFC Fight Night 115 headliner had reached its violent conclusion.

If there were any doubts about Volkov’s toughness before, they vanished along with all the disappointed Dutch fans who filed out of Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Saturday night. What’s left in their place is something the UFC sorely needed: a new potential heavyweight contender who was born some time within the last three decades.

Those are in short supply in an aging heavyweight class where there are only two fighters under 30 in the UFC’s top 10. One of them is Volkov. The other is the very tall man he just beat up.

The win makes it three in a row for the big Russian, and he’s still two months shy of his one-year anniversary with the UFC. This is usually the point where we start taking young heavyweights seriously. Watching them blink away the blood to put away an opponent who matters is also a pretty good indicator that we should start paying attention.

Not that Volkov is doing too much to sell us on his swift rise to prominence. After the biggest win of his career, he set his sights on the always popular “Whoever the UFC decides” as his next opponent. Backstage, he spent more time arguing in favor of a UFC event in Russia than he did plotting out any specific future for himself.

But maybe that’s not such a bad way to go. After all, as of now the only things most fans know about him is that he’s big, Russian, and he’s nicknamed “Drago.” If you’re hoping to eventually finagle a fight with the plucky American champion, there are worse approaches then handing the UFC a ready-made “Rocky IV” storyline to work with.

Still, at the moment, the 28-year-old Volkov has one asset that most UFC heavyweights don’t – time. If he were a lightweight, he’d just be one more faceless talent. On the other end of the spectrum, he’s a rare commodity.

Exactly how far he can take that remains to be seen. It’s one thing to knock off Struve, but higher up the heavyweight ranks things start to get more serious. Some of those guys near the top might be old, but they’re also dangerously experienced.

For them, it might take more than toughness alone. The good news about being Volkov right now? He has no need to be in any particular rush.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WswVNZtGZrBTiHaRZiK6am/269687”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Volkov def. Struve”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

After impressive UFC-Rotterdam headlining win, Alexander Volkov stumps for UFC event in Russia

The opponent for his next fight is not as important as the location for surging UFC heavyweight Alexander Volkov, who picked up his third straight octagon win at UFC Fight Night 115.

Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who stopped veteran Stefan Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) via third-round TKO in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed headliner, demurred on future opponents and said he’s more concerned with bringing the UFC to his home country of Russia.

“I’m not thinking about who to fight, but where to fight,” Volkov told reporters backstage at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands. “Today, five Russian fighters won, and I headlined the (event). It would be great if the UFC could bring UFC to Russia, and I’ll be happy and honored to headline.”

If the UFC needs proof that such an event will be successful, Volkov said, executives should simply listen to the crowd on Saturday.

“If you saw today, there were a lot of Russian fans in the crowd,” he said. “Sometimes they were chanting louder than other people. I think it would be a great step if the UFC seizes the opportunity. An event would be profitable for them. Our fans are smart, they’re crazy, and they’ll show the world they love MMA.”

Volkov, a former Bellator champ, is fast on his way to becoming Russia’s next biggest MMA export after legendary Fedor Emelianenko. Struve was overwhelmed by counter-striking and couldn’t slow down his slightly shorter opponent, despite several eye pokes Volkov said weren’t so accidental.

“He worked not very cleanly, let’s say,” Volkov said. “He always pushed his left arm forward with the open palm. It’s sad, but I have five stitches, and like my trainers always told me when I was little, pain will go away, and the victory will remain.

“Frankly, I was more afraid of the doctor stopping the fight.”

Volkov said he predicted a third-round stoppage of Struve at the event’s weigh-ins and noted sparring partner Semmy Schilt – a former K-1 champion – was a more difficult challenge in preparation.

Whatever his next booking, Volkov feels confident he’ll only be fighting marquee opponents from here. Now, if he can just move that marquee to Russia, he’ll be a happy man.

The UFC already has market research that Russia is one of the promotion’s biggest potential audiences despite being the least monetized. If they can clear that hurdle, Volkov can expect to work at home sooner than later.

“In Russia, a UFC event could fill a big stadium, like Wembley (Stadium in London) – 40,000-plus,” Volkov said. “For me personally, it’s better for me to fight in Russia and show the UFC how many fans from Russia love the UFC and are always watching it.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WswVNZtGZrBTiHaRZiK6am/269668”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Volkov def. Struve”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stefan Struve on Instagram after UFC-Rotterdam TKO loss: 'Sometimes you get hammered'

Stefan Struve appears to be handling a devastating loss in front of his home country about as well as one could.

Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC), the Dutch heavyweight who suffered a third-round TKO defeat to Alexander Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 115 headliner at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands, provided a social media update to fans shortly after the event wrapped up.

With a bloody and bruised face following a “Fight of the Night” slugfest with Volkov, “The Skyscraper” assured any concerned supporters that he’s doing well (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

I’m ok you all, Sometimes you’re the Hammer, Sometimes you get hammered. Congrats to @volkov_alex you we’re the better man and wanted it more. Much Love you all!

After a health scare hindered him over several years, Struve went on a 3-1 run in the heavyweight division, setting himself up for the UFC Fight Night 115 main event with Volkov, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Struve started the fight well, landing some hard punches on his opponent. However, once Volkov figured out his range and distance in the striking department, he dropped Struve to the canvas and finished the job in front of a disappointed Dutch crowd.

Struve said both in the octagon during his post-fight interview and in his statement that Volkov “wanted it more.” Whether those comments are simply a cliche or if there’s true meaning remains unanswered.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 115, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WswVNZtGZrBTiHaRZiK6am/269662”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Volkov def. Struve”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie