UFC 218's Justin Willis dares heavyweight division to go on 'suicide mission' and call him out

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DETROIT – Justin Willis is talking a big game after scoring a massive knockout in his sophomore octagon appearance on Saturday at UFC 218.

Willis (6-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) scored a first-round knockout of Allen Crowder (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in the opener of the UFC 218 card, which took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and streamed on UFC Fight Pass prior to the remainder of the card on FS1 and pay-per-view.

It was an impressive finish for “Big Pretty,” and now he has his sights on the top the heavyweight division.

“I’m here to take over this division,” Crowder told reporters in a post-fight media scrum, which MMAjunkie attended. “I’m made for this (expletive). It’s time for me to come and reap my rewards one by one.”

Although Willis believes he belongs at the top of the weight class, he refuses to call anyone out. He said fighters who call others out are the ones looking to move up, and in his mind, he’s already the best.

“I’m the elite fighter,” Willis said. “I am the elite fighter in the heavyweight division. I have teammates (like UFC champ Daniel Cormier) that are elite, they’ll tell you the same thing. But now it’s just coming here and proving it to the world piece-by-piece, step by step. Crowder was the second step.

“The guy who gets paid is the guy who gets called out,” he continued. “The people will take the suicide mission and come and challenge me and they’ll get decapitated as well.”

Willis won’t call other fighters out, but he does have some thoughts on the top contenders in the weight class, including Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem, who co-headlined UFC 218.

“They can kiss my (expletive) ass, and they can get it next if they want to call me out,” Willis said. “When you’re calling people out you’re not making the money. I’m the guy the people will be chasing down.”

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC 218 post-event facts: Max Holloway and Francis Ngannou doing record-setting stuff

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“The Blessed Era” continued in a big way on Saturday when UFC featherweight champon Max Holloway further added to his ridiculous resume with another victory over Jose Aldo in UFC 218[s pay-per-view headliner.

Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) defended his 145-pound title for the first time with a third-round TKO of Aldo (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

“Blessed” wasn’t the only one to put himself in the record books, though. For more on the numbers to come out of the UFC’s penultimate pay-per-view of the year, check below for 60 post-event facts from UFC 218.

* * * *

General

Little Caesars Arena

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $185,000.

Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Yancy Medeiros and Alex Oliveira earned $50,000 UFC 218 fight-night bonuses. All earned “Fight of the Night” bonuses (“Performance of the Night” awards weren’t issued).

Debuting fighters went 0-1 on the card.

UFC 218 drew an announced attendance of 17,587 for a live gate of $2 million.

Betting favorites went 10-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:11:47.

Main card

Max Holloway

Holloway extended his career-high winning streak to 12 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since August 2013.

Holloway, 25, became the youngest fighter in UFC history to earn 15 victories with the organization.

Holloway became the fifth fighter in UFC history to tally a 12-fight winning streak.

Holloway’s 12-fight winning streak in UFC competition is fifth longest in company history behind Anderson Silva (16), Jon Jones (13), Demetrious Johnson (13) and Georges St-Pierre (13).

Holloway’s 11-fight winning streak in UFC competition is third longest among active fighters in the company behind Johnson (13) and St-Pierre (13).

Holloway’s 11-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Max Holloway

Holloway’s 14 victories in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Holloway’s nine stoppage victories in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Holloway’s seven knockout victories in UFC featherweight competition are most in divisional history.

Holloway became the first fighter in UFC history to land 100 or more significant strikes in six separate fights.

Aldo fell to 1-3 in his past four fights after going undefeated for more than a decade.

Aldo has suffered all three of his career losses by stoppage. That includes three knockout losses in UFC competition.

Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou’s (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) six-fight winning streak in UFC heavyweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Ngannou’s six-fight stoppage streak in UFC competition is the longest among active fighters.

Ngannou became the fourth modern-era UFC fighter to begin his career with the organization with six consecutive stoppages. Silva, Rich Franklin and Ronda Rousey also accomplished the feat.

Ngannou has earned all 11 of his career victories by stoppage.

Ngannou has earned five of his six UFC victories by knockout.

Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-5 UFC) fell to 7-2 in his past nine UFC appearances dating back to December 2014.

Overeem’s 11 knockout losses in MMA competition are the most of any active member on the UFC roster.

Henry Cejudo (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has earned five of his six UFC victories by decision.

Sergio Pettis (16-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) fell to 4-2 since he dropped to the UFC flyweight division in March 2015.

Pettis suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Eddie Alvarez

Alvarez (29-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) improved to 1-1 (with one no-contest) in his past three fights.

Alvarez has earned 23 of his 29 career victories by stoppage.

Alvarez and Gaethje (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) combined for 227 significant strikes landed, the fourth highest single-fight total in UFC lightweight history.

Gaethje had his 18-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Tecia Torres’ (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) six victories in UFC strawweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk (eight).

Torres has earned nine of her 10 career victories by decision.

Michelle Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered her first decision loss since June 30, 2007 – a span of 3,808 days (more than 10 years) and 18 fights.

Preliminary card

Paul Felder

Paul Felder (15-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) has earned five of his seven UFC victories by stoppage.

Charles Oliveira (22-8 MMA, 10-8 UFC) fell to 1-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2017. He’s 3-4 in the organization at 155 pounds.

Charles Oliveira fell to 2-4 in his past six fights.

Charles Oliveira has suffered four of his seven career losses by knockout.

Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira

Medeiros (15-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) improved to 3-0 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in September 2016.

Medeiros has earned all three of his UFC welterweight victories by stoppage.

Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira (17-4-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) was the first fight in UFC history to feature two knockdowns for each fighter.

Alex Oliveira (17-4-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) fell to 5-2 (with one no-contest) in UFC welterweight competition.

Alex Oliveira suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Drakkar Klose (8-1-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had his nine-fight unbeaten streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Felice Herrig

Felice Herrig’s (14-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) five victories in UFC strawweight competition are tied with champ Rose Namajunas for third most in divisional history behind Jedrzejczyk (eight) and Torres (six).

Herrig’s four-fight UFC winning streak in strawweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Herrig has earned nine of her 14 career victories by decision.

Cortney Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) has suffered all four of her UFC losses by decision.

Amanda Cooper

Amanda Cooper (3-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) earned the first knockout victory of her career.

Angela Magana (11-9 MMA, 0-3 UFC) suffered her fifth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since August 2011.

Magana suffered the first knockout loss of her career.

Abdul Razak Alhassan (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned all his career victories by first-round knockout.

Sabah Homasi (11-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered five of his six career losses by stoppage.

Dominick Reyes

Dominick Reyes (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned seven of his eight career victories by first-round stoppage. That includes both of his UFC wins.

Jeremy Kimball (15-7 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all seven of his career losses by stoppage.

Kimball has suffered six of his seven career losses by submission.

Justin Willis (6-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned all of his career stoppage victories by knockout.

Allen Crowder (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by knockout.

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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UFC 218 Athlete Outfitting pay: Program total passes $16 million mark

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DETROIT – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 218 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $185,000.

UFC 218 took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC), who earned a maximum program payout of $40,000 as a titleholder. “Blessed” defended his belt against Jose Aldo (26-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) by third-round TKO in the event headliner.

The full UFC 218 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Max Holloway: $40,000
Jose Aldo: $30,000

Alistair Overeem: $10,000
Francis Ngannou: $5,000

Henry Cejudo: $5,000
Sergio Pettis: $5,000

Eddie Alvarez: $5,000
Justin Gaethje: $2,500

Tecia Torres: $5,000
Michelle Waterson: $2,500

Charles Oliveira: $15,000
Paul Felder: $5,000

Alex Oliveira: $10,000
Yancy Medeiros: $10,000

David Teymur: $2,500
Drakkar Klose: $2,500

Felice Herrig: $5,000
Cortney Casey: $5,000

Amanda Cooper: $2,500
Angela Magana: $2,500

Sabah Homasi: $2,500
Abdul Razak Alhassan: $2,500

Jeremy Kimball: $2,500
Dominick Reyes: $2,500

Justin Willis: $2,500
Allen Crowder: $2,500

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

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

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,847,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $16,170,500

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC 218, including plenty of Detroit references – and Imagine Dragons times two

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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 218 in Detroit went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Max Holloway def. Jose Aldo via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 4:51

Max Holloway: “Blessings/Hawaiian Kickboxer” by Big Sean/Moke Boy

Jose Aldo: “Somos Sente De Zambada” by Lenin Ramirez feat. Regulo Cabo

Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:42

Francis Ngannou: “Mi Gente” by J Balvin

Alistair Overeem: “Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit” by Fedde Le Grand

Henry Cejudo def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Henry Cejudo: “The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco

Sergio Pettis: “Good Life” by Kanye West feat. T-Pain

Eddie Alvarez def. Justin Gaethje via knockout (knee, punches) – Round 3, 3:59

Eddie Alvarez: “Victory” by Puff Daddy feat. The Notorious B.I.G. & DMX

Justin Gaethje: “Champion” by Keznamdi

Tecia Torres def. Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Tecia Torres: “Techno Syndrome/Dreamer” The Immortals/Charlie XCX

Michelle Waterson: “Believer” by Imagine Dragons

Paul Felder def. Charles Oliveira via knockout (strikes) – Round 2, 4:06

Paul Felder: “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons

Charles Oliveira: “O Hino” by Fernandinho

Yancy Medeiros def. Alex Oliveira via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:02

Yancy Medeiros: “We are Hawaii’s Finest/Till I Collapse” by Ekulo/Eminem

Alex Oliveira: “Balada” by Gusttavo Lima

David Teymur def. Drakkar Klose via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

David Teymur: “Suryoyo Football Song”

Drakkar Klose: “Devastated” by Joey Bada$$

Felice Herrig def. Cortney Casey via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Felice Herrig: “Blinded By the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

Cortney Casey: “Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie

Amanda Cooper def. Angela Magana via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:34

Amanda Cooper: “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss

Angela Magana: Revolutionary anthem of Puerto Rico by Danny Rivera & Lola Rodriguez De Tito

Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Sabah Homasi via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:21

Abdul Razak Alhassan: “Kakai” by Shatta Wale

Sabah Homasi: “Go Get It” by T.I.

Dominick Reyes def. Jeremy Kimball via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:39

Dominick Reyes: “Congratulations” by Post Malone feat. Quavo

Jeremy Kimball: “You Can’t Stop Me” by Andy Mineo

Justin Willis def. Allen Crowder via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:33

Justin Willis: “DNA/Till I Collapse” by Kendrick Lamar/Eminem

Allen Crowder: “Hail To the King” by Avenged Sevenfold

For complete coverage of UFC 218, 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 218 results: Justin Willis levels Allen Crowder for first-round knockout

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Justin Willis made short work of Allen Crowder with his left hook, battering the UFC newcomer until a shot finished him off in the first round.

Crowder (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) spilled to the canvas at the 2:33 mark of the opening frame, bringing Willis (6-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) his first knockout win in the octagon.

The heavyweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC 218 event at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on pay-per-view.

Crowder hoped to take away Willis’ power base with leg kicks, but Willis repeatedly caught his legs and repaid the effort with quick combinations. Just one minute in, Crowder’s face was reddened from the counters.

Willis slowly closed in when he discovered Crowder’s punches were not a significant threat. Then he threw a left hook off an exchange, and Crowder backpedaled to the cage, obviously hurt.

Crowder tried to cover up, but Willis caught him flush with a left hook, and the fight was quickly called off with the concussive shot.

Willis now owns a two-fight UFC winning streak and hasn’t seen defeat in six fights, while Crowder, a veteran of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” sees a four-fight streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 218 results include:

  • Justin Willis def. Allen Crowder via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:33

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on site in Detroit.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 218 lineup features 13 fights and featherweight title on the line in return to Detroit

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With an amended main event rematch, the lineup is set for next month’s UFC 218 pay-per-view in Michigan.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, and it’s the UFC’s first event in Michigan since UFC 123 in 2010. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC), who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA 145-pound rankings (and No. 8 pound-for-pound), looks to defend his title for the first time when he meets former champ Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) in a rematch. Holloway was supposed to fight Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) before Edgar pulled out with an injury.

The co-main event could serve as a title-eliminator in the heavyweight division. No. 2-ranked Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) takes on No. 9 Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in a battle of heavy-handed strikers.

Rounding out the main card, Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) meets Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at flyweight; Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on former lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in a fight between current “TUF” coaches; and strawweight Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) meets Michelle Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

The featured bout on the preliminary card is at lightweight. Paul Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) takes on Charles Oliveira (22-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC), who replaced an injured Al Iaquinta.

The full “UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo” card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

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

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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With 13th bout, 'UFC 218: Holloway vs. Edgar' lineup finalized

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With a final addition to the fight card, the lineup is set for next month’s UFC 218 event.

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and it’s the UFC’s first event in Michigan since UFC 123 in 2010. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

A heavyweight bout between Allen Crowder (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Justin Willis (5-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the latest addition to the card and serves as the curtain-jerker.

Crowder, a 27-year-old from North Carolina, picked up a UFC contract after a third-round TKO win over Don’Tale Mayes at DWCS 8. It marked his second straight victory and his sixth stoppage in seven career wins. He now meets Willis, a 30-year-old American Kickboxing Academy member who made his UFC debut in July and scored a decision victory over James Mulheron. It was his fifth straight victory.

In the main event, featherweight champion Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC), who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA 145-pound rankings (and No. 8 pound-for-pound), looks to defend his title for the first time when he meets former lightweight champ and perennial contender Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC), who’s ranked No. 3.

The co-main event could serve as a title-eliminator as No. 2-ranked Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC) takes on No. 9 Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in a battle of heavyweight strikers.

Rounding out the main card are No. 3 flyweight Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. No. 6 Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), No. 3-ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. former champ and No. 5 Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), and No. 7 strawweight Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) vs. honorable mention Michelle Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

The featured prelim boasts Paul Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Charles Oliveira (22-7 MMA, 10-7 UFC). As MMAjunkie reported on Tuesday, Oliveira replaced injured Al Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who’s ranked No. 14 at lightweight.

The full “UFC 218: Holloway vs. Edgar” card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

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

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:15 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

DWCS 8 results: Matt Frevola, Lauren Mueller punch their tickets to UFC with impressive wins

Undefeated lightweight Matt Frevola (6-0) kept his record perfect with a second-round submission win over a previously unbeaten Luke Flores (7-1), in the process securing one of two UFC contracts awarded.

The matchup served as the featured contest of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 8 event, which took place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass. The card wrapped up the debut season of the new show, designed to bring talent to the UFC.

Both men started quickly, but it was Frevola who landed flush and scored a knockdown in the opening minute. Flores did battle his way back to the feet, but Frevola kept pushing with powerful punches. Flores seemed to regain his composure as the round wore on, and Frevola had to steady his pace to prepare for a long haul. Flores focused on kicks as his primary attack, chopping away at his opponent’s legs. Meanwhile, Frevola continued to lace in powerful hooks as he pushed forward and scored a takedown. As Flores tried to attack, Frevola moved to the back, but he was unable to get the finish before the bell.

Frevola was again aggressive on the feet to start and then quickly took the fight to the floor, but Flores swept and moved to the feet. The pace remained incredibly high, and Frevola again scored a few big right hands before taking the fight to the floor. Frevola looked for options and eventually locked in an arm-triangle choke, holding mount to ensure it was secure before moving out to the side and getting the tap.

Lewis stays perfect

In a middleweight bout between previously undefeated athletes, Bevon Lewis (4-0) survived some trouble to battle back for an impressive TKO win over Elias Urbina (3-1)

Urbina was quick to start, nearly scoring with a flying knee in the opening seconds, but Lewis avoided the big shots and settled into a rhythm. The two traded shots in close quarters as bout opened, and Lewis was eventually able to push the action to the floor. Urbina tried to turn his hips for a submission, but Lewis simply brushed the legs aside and eventually backed away to the feet. Spirited exchanges on the feet ensued, with both men using their long frame to attack from all angles.

The pace was high again in the second before Urbina scores with a flying knee that stunned his foe. Lewis somehow shook it off and continued and actually started to land some big shots of his own. With Urbina seeking huge haymakers, Lewis focused on straight punches and started to hit the mark. Both men landed flush, but it was Lewis’ who earned a knockdown, and he jumped on top with huge shots to finish the deal.

Antonlin takes split call in razor-thin affair

In a flyweight matchup, Adam Antolin (13-3) gritted out a decision win over Casey Kenney (7-1-1) in a thrilling affair.

Both men were quick to start, firing punches and kicks to all angles as they danced around the cage. Antolin’s kicks were sharp, but Kenney answered back with strong punches, as well. The action remained high, and both men were swinging hard in the pocket. It was back-and-forth on the feet, and both men had impressive moments but neither took full control. Kenney did seem to catch momentum in the final two minutes, starting with a low kick that briefly swept his opponent to the floor.

The pace remained high in the second, with both fighter moving well and delivering offense. Punches and kicks from all angles were exchanged in entertaining fashion. Antolin started to land more frequently as the round wore on, but Kenney was always there to return fire. Toe-to-toe, the action continued, and Kenny’s left hand seemed the best weapon of the bunch. Kenney’s low kicks also kept his opponent off-balance, but Antolin was always there to recover and counter.

Neither man could be comfortable with the scores heading into the third, and they both continued to move at a solid pace. Antolin appeared just a touch fresher, but both were dangerous. Back-and-forth the action continued on the feet. Punches and kicks landed for both men along the way, and Antolin appeared to be the one pushing the pace. The two never stopped, and Kenny actually worked himself into an anaconda attempt to close but couldn’t get the tap. After a hard-fought affair, Antolin took home a split decision over a shocked Kenney.

Mueller shines over game Velasco

In the second women’s fight in Contenders Series history, Lauren Mueller (4-0) kept her career mark perfect with an impressive decision win over a game Kelly Velasco (2-2).

Mueller came out quickly, rifling in punches and firing kicks, as well. Velasco seemed a bit surprised by the early aggression and struggled to score early. The two moved quickly into the clinch, dirty boxing a bit before resetting after a failed Mueller takedown. Mueller appeared the more powerful woman as they exchanged strikes on the feet. Still, Velasco stayed firm in the pocket and battled strong in the clinch, as well. The pace slowed a but as the round wore on, but Mueller still looked the stronger fighter when they engaged. Mueller briefly dropped her hands to invite her foe to trade and then blasted her with heavy punches and knees, but Velasco wouldn’t go away. With the final seconds ticking away, Mueller unleashed another barrage that clearly rocked her foe but didn’t get the finish before the bell.

Velasco tried to use her reach to keep range in the second, but Mueller was simply too much. The action transitioned quickly from the feet to the floor, and Mueller worked her way to the top. Velasco refused to go away, showing heart and determination but absorbing damage along the way. The action was one-sided, but Velasco refused to quit, and Mueller – a late replacement – did start to slow. Still, Mueller remained in clear control.

Velasco tried to push the action in the third, but Mueller gathered herself and again went on the attack. She still showed the power edge but struggled to keep her volume high. Velasco found some success from range, but Mueller dominated when they moved in close. McGill briefly threatened with a guillotine, but it was never truly close. Mueller pushed until the end, landing a stunning spinning backfist and then blasting away with knees to the body. Velasco survived until the end, but the winner was clear.

Crowder outlasts Mayes

Heavyweights kicked off the night, with Allen Crowder (7-2) outlasting Don’Tale Mayes (3-2) to earn a late TKO.

Both fighters threw heavy low kicks to start the contest, before Mayes started head-hunting with big shots on the feet. Crowder then looked for a takedown, but a slick Mayes sweep saw him move to the back and land some big punches. An alert Crowder then crawled to his feet pulled his head free from a guillotine and scores his own takedown to reverse the action. Mayes worked hard to wiggle free, but Crowder maintained dominant position until the final minute, when they returned to the feet for a quick salvo.

Crowder was the aggressor to start the second, and he seemed the fresher fighter. Mayes threw heavy punches in return but struggled to land clean. Crowder eventually pushed an off-balance Mayes to the floor and took top position. Crowder willingly moves out of the dominant spot in hopes of chasing an armbar or triangle choke, but it backfired, leaving Mayes in side control. Crowder quickly reversed but then had the favor returned. Crowder spent some time on bottom before a last-minute kimura attempt that seemed dangerous but saw his opponent saved by the bell.

Mayes looked downright exhausted to start the third, though Crowder wasn’t too much better. Still, Crowder landed the better shots on the feet and eventually moved inside for a takedown, dragging his winded opponent to the floor. Crowder briefly tried top isolate the right arm but let in go in favor of maintaining position and eventually posturing with a series of punches and elbows that brought the fight to a close.

For more on DWCS 8, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie