Nina Ansaroff: UFC champ Amanda Nunes showed me how to win as an underdog

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NORFOLK, Va. – Nina Ansaroff showed once again why she relishes the role of underdog when she defeated Angela Hill on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120.

Ansaroff (8-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) pulled off arguably the biggest win of her career when she topped Hill (7-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) by unanimous decision in their strawweight bout, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The odds weren’t in her favor going into the event, but Ansaroff said she didn’t mind. Her girlfriend, Amanda Nunes, who also just happens to be the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, has gone into plenty of fights on the wrong end of the odds. She’s overcome it many times, so Ansaroff said she was comfortable with the situation.

“I love when I’m the underdog,” Ansaroff told MMAjunkie after her victory. “I’m used to Amanda all the time as the champion being the underdog, so it’s just a little bit more motivation to get the job done. I use it for the energy in the fight then laugh about it after.”

The fact Ansaroff was able to beat Hill wasn’t the biggest surprise of the night, but it was how she got the job done. She stood toe-to-toe with the decorated striker and managed to have the better moments over 15 minutes. Although that wasn’t her strict game plan, Ansaroff said she knew she could perform on the feet.

“It’s exactly what I figured it was going to go,” Ansaroff said. “I’m not one to back down from a brawl. I got caught up in it a little more than I should have. I should have not played her game so much, but sometimes I get caught up in it because it’s fun. It was a good fight, and it went the way it went.”

After starting her UFC career 0-2, Ansaroff has bounced back with two solid victories in a row. She said she wants to keep that momentum going, and after beating a former Invicta FC champion in Hill, she wants another step up.

“When I fight higher-level opponents it brings out the better in me. I just want to keep climbing from here. I don’t want to call out names, but I want someone in the top 10. My goal is to be the champion.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 120 post-event facts: Matt Brown most prominent KO artist in UFC welterweight history

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The UFC made its fifth stop in Virginia with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) continued to be one of the UFC’s biggest producers of stoppage wins when he defeated former UFC and WEC champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) by third-round TKO to add another signature win to his resume at 155 pounds.

Poirier’s victory concluded a 13-fight card that had several notable results. For more, check below for 55 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

General

Clay Guida

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $245,000.

Poirier, Pettis, Matt Brown and Raphael Assuncao earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 120 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 120 drew an announced attendance of 8,442 for a live gate of $642,070.

Betting favorites went 8-4 on the card. One fight had even odds.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:32:30.

Main card

Dustin Poirier

Poirier improved to 6-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier has earned nine of his 14 UFC victories by stoppage.

Poirier’s 14 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Max Holloway for third most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (19) and champ Demetrious Johnson (15).

Poirier’s nine stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Holloway and Tony Ferguson for second most in the company behind Cerrone (13).

Anthony Pettis

Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past five fights.

Pettis fell to 1-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in July.

Pettis fell to 2-5 in his past seven UFC appearances.

Pettis has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Brown’s (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) 14 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19) and Matt Hughes (16).

Brown’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Brown’s 10 knockout victories in welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Matt Brown and Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) is now 0-1 since returning to the UFC welterweight division. He’s 9-5 overall at the weight under the UFC banner.

Sanchez fell to 3-6 in his past nine UFC appearances.

Sanchez has suffered all four of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC) snapped a five-fight losing skid and earned his first victory since September 2015.

Arlovski improved to 5-5 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.

Arlovski’s 15 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Frank Mir (16).

Junior Albini

Junior Albini (14-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since August 2012.

Albini suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) improved to 4-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in April 2016.

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

Nate Marquardt (35-19-2 MMA, 14-11 UFC) fell to 3-6 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014. He’s 3-9 in his past 12 bouts overall.

Marquardt fell to 3-9 in his past 12 bouts.

Marquardt’s 12 knockdowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (13).

Marquardt’s 19 career losses are the most of any active member of the UFC roster.

Raphael Assuncao

Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) improved to 10-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in August 2011.

Assuncao’s 10 victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied with Urijah Faber for second most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (11).

Assuncao earned his first knockout victory since July 11, 2012 – a span of 1,949 days (more than five years) and nine fights.

Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Clay Guida

Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) improved to 2-0 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in June.

Guida earned his first knockout victory since April 2, 2008 – a span of 3,510 days (more than nine years) and 19 fights.

Joe Lauzon (27-14 MMA, 14-11 UFC) has suffered eight of his 14 career losses by stoppage.

Preliminary card

John Dodson

John Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) fell to 2-2 since he returned to the UFC bantamweight division in April 2016. He’s 3-2 in the weight class overall.

Dodson has suffered all nine of his career losses by decision.

Tatiana Suarez (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) returned from a more than one-year layoff for her first victory since July 2016.

Viviane Pereira (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had her 13-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) earned the second decision victory of his career. Both those wins have come in his past two fights.

Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered two of his three career losses by decision.

Nina Ansaroff (8-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) earned just the second decision victory of her career and first since Sept. 11, 2010 – a span of 2,618 days (more than seven years) and 12 fights.

Angela Hill (7-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) fell to 1-2 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February. She’s 5-2 since her initial release from the company in late 2015.

Hill has suffered three of her four career losses by decision.

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland (19-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) improved to 4-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

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

Court McGee (18-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) fell to 2-3 since he returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2015.

McGee fell to 4-4 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2013.

McGee has suffered six of his seven career losses by decision.

Jake Collier

Jake Collier (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his six-fight UFC career.

Marcel Fortuna (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

Karl Roberson (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned five of his six career victories by stoppage.

Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 Athlete Outfitting pay: Highest non-PPV payout in program history

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NORFOLK, Va. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $245,000.

UFC Fight Night 120 took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Seven fighters on the card earned a maximum non-title payout of $20,000, the most of any card thus far in the history of the program.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Dustin Poirier: $20,000
def. Anthony Pettis: $15,000

Matt Brown: $20,000
def. Diego Sanchez: $20,000

Andrei Arlovski: $20,000
def. Junior Albini: $2,500

Cezar Ferreira: $10,000
def. Nate Marquardt: $20,000

Raphael Assuncao: $15,000
def. Matthew Lopez: $2,500

Clay Guida: $20,000
def. Joe Lauzon: $20,000

Marlon Moraes: $2,500
def. John Dodson: $10,000

Tatiana Suarez: $2,500
def. Viviane Pereira: $2,500

Sage Northcutt: $5,000
def. Michel Quinones: $2,500

Nina Ansaroff: $2,500
def. Angela Hill: $5,000

Sean Strickland: $5,000
def. Court McGee: $10,000

Jake Collier: $5,000
def. Marcel Fortuna: $2,500

Karl Roberson: $2,500
def. Darren Stewart: $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: $5,322,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,645,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 120

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

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

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, Va., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (submission due to injury) – Round 3, 2:08

Dustin Poirier: “The Boss” by James Brown

Anthony Pettis: “Showtime” by Jim Jones & Tum Tum

Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez via knockout (elbow) – Round 1, 3:44

Matt Brown: “The Immortal” by Jasta

Diego Sanchez: “Hall of Fame” by Script feat. WILL.I.AM

Andrei Arlovski def. Junior Albini via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Andrei Arlovski: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash

Junior Albini: “It’s a Fight” by Three 6 Mafia

Cezar Ferreira def. Nate Marquardt via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Cezar Ferreira: “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti

Nate Marquardt: “Why Wait” by P.O.D.

Raphael Assuncao def. Matthew Lopez via knockout (punch) – Round 3, 1:50

Raphael Assuncao: “Podo Vir” by Tiago Brasil

Matthew Lopez: “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

Clay Guida def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:07

Clay Guida: “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue

Joe Lauzon: “Move” by Thousand Foot Krutch

Marlon Moraes def. John Dodson via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)

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

John Dodson: “Children of the Night” by Kids Next Door

Tatiana Suarez def. Viviane Pereira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Tatiana Suarez: “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Viviane Pereira: “Pesadao” by IZA

Sage Northcutt def. Michel Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Sage Northcutt: “Represent” by Lecrae feat. Tedashi

Michel Quinones: “Mi Gente” by J Balvin

Nina Ansaroff def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Nina Ansaroff: “Try Everything” by Shakira

Angela Hill: “Battle Hymn” by Manowar

Sean Strickland def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Sean Strickland: “Star Spangled Banner” by Electric Guitar

Court McGee: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem

Jake Collier def. Marcel Fortuna via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jake Collier: “Remember My Name” by Maino

Marcel Fortuna: “Shoot to Thrill” by AC/DC

Karl Roberson def. Darren Stewart via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:41

Karl Roberson: “New Level” by A$AP Ferg feat. Future

Darren Stewart: “Original Nuttah” by Shy-FX

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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UFC Fight Night 120 results: Nina Ansaroff edges Angela Hill in high-paced affair

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After struggling to start her UFC career,  Nina Ansaroff (8-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) now owns a two-fight winning streak after downing a game Angela Hill (7-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC).

The women’s strawweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 120 event at Ted Constant Convocation Center on the Old Dominion University campus in Norfolk, Va. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on FS1.

Both women looked quick and poised to open, rattling off jabs and low kicks early in hopes of setting up more powerful attacks. It was a quick pace for both women, and both landed powerful strikes on the feet. Hill’s non-stop movement provided her with options on the feet, and she capitalized with powerful low kicks and quick hands. Ansaroff answered with crisp jabs and few low kicks of her own, though Hill just seemed the busier athlete.

Ansaroff pressed forward to start the second, seemingly looking to pick up the pace. Ansaroff appeared to be the more powerful fighter, but Hill’s speed movement proved a perfect counter. Ansaroff continued to lead with the stiff jab, drawing blood from her opponent’s nose. At that point, Hill seemed to slow a bit, and Ansaroff started loading up on her shots. Leg kicks really chopped away, and Ansaroff sat down on her punches, as well. Hill was game in return, but there was a slight drop in her speed and output.

With the fight seemingly hanging in the balance, both women came out firing in the third. Ansaroff’s low kicks left Hill limping a bit, and her punches landed down the middle. But Hill was always there to counter, flurrying in return with rapid punches and low kicks of her own. The two fighters continued the high pace until the very end, but Ansaroff was just the busier fighter, and she walked away with the decision, 29-28 on all three cards.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 120 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in Norfolk.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC-Norfolk, and hey, have you really seen this card's depth?

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Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 fight card might not be as star-studded as the recent UFC 217 blockbuster, but it’s still a deep card full of recognizable names worthy of your attention.

In the main event, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis looks to show that he’s still a player in the 155-pound division despite a record of 1-3 in his four most recent lightweight contests. Pettis’ opponent, Dustin Poirier, is anxious to keep climbing the divisional rankings since returning to lightweight in 2015.

In the co-main event, two veteran brawlers meet in a welterweight bout that might be the final fight for one of them. Matt Brown might call it a career after his bout against Diego Sanchez, but then again, he might not.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. On the hunt

With a move up the 155-pound rankings on the line, the headlining bout between Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) and Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is a must watch.

Poirier is currently No. 13 in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings. Former lightweight champ Pettis checks in at No. 11.

After a two-fight run at featherweight, Pettis returned to form in his most recent fight, a decision win over Jim Miller. Pettis looked loose and relaxed in that bout. He employed a high-pressure and unconventional striking game that harkened back to his glory days. As for Poirier, he’s coming off an exciting fight with former champ Eddie Alvarez that unfortunately ended in a no-contest in the second round after Alvarez landed illegal knees to Poirier’s head.

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Before the Alvarez fight, Poirier was on a 5-1 run at 155 pounds. During that stretch, he looked like a complete and confident fighter. This bout should let us know if Pettis is indeed back to form.

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2. Leather will fly

Imagine how glorious a fight between Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC)
and Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) would have been just a few years ago. Between 2013 and 2014, Brown took home a bonus in each of his four bouts. Sanchez earned bonuses in six of his nine fights between 2009 and 2013. Neither has picked up a bonus since then.

That’s not to say this welterweight matchup is going to be a snoozer. Fans are almost guaranteed a slobberknocker, but with Brown’s record at 1-5 in his six most recent bouts and Sanchez 3-3 in his past six, it feels like this fight would have been more fun had it come a little sooner.

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Brown is the more technical striker of the two while Sanchez tends to bite down on his mouthpiece and throw caution to the wind. Brown suffered the first two knockout losses of his career in his two most recent outings. Sanchez was also knocked out in his two most recent setbacks.

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3. A hard act to follow

In his UFC debut, Junior Albini scored a first-round knockout of Timothy Johnson. He earned a sorely needed “Performance of the Night” bonus that night.

“I was never able to buy her a toy or something like that,” Albini said of his daughter following his win. “All of her toys were like shampoos, empty bottles, because we didn’t have much money. My wife was following my dream too together, so it means a lot to me right now that I can make a living and give back to them what they suffered together with me.”

Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) faces former heavyweight champion and current rankings honorable mention Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC), who, with five straight losses on his record (four by stoppage), is in the worst slump of his lengthy career.

As an aside, hopefully the UFC gets Albini a pair of shorts that fit for this fight.

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4. Itching for a title shot

Raphael Assuncao hoped a win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 212 would earn him a bantamweight title shot. And, he did win, but a title shot didn’t materialize. Instead, the No. 4-ranked Brazilian faces rankings honorable mention Matthew Lopez in Norfolk.

Assuncao is currently on a 9-1 run. His sole defeat was a unanimous-decision defeat to current bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw in 2016. That loss came after injuries kept the 35-year-old from the octagon for more than 21 months.

Lopez might not be the opponent Assuncao wanted, but he can’t take the 30-year-old American lightly. Lopez dropped his UFC debut, a short-notice fight to Rani Yahya. Since then he’s gone 2-0. After his recent first-round TKO of Johnny Eduardo, Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) called for a bout with any fighter above him in the rankings. We’ll find out if he bit off more than he can chew with Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC).

5. That’s a lot of bonuses

Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) vs. Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) is the kind of fight with which you look at the matchup and think, “You know, these guys aren’t what they used to be. But I like it.”

Guida has had a rough run as of late. After he dropped decisions to Benson Henderson in 2011 and Gray Maynard in 2012, he decided to give featherweight a go. The results were less than ideal. Guida wrapped up his run at 145 pounds with a record of 3-4. He moved back to lightweight in June and scored a decision win over Erik Koch.

Lauzon has alternated wins and losses since 2014 and is 4-4 over that time. His most recent fight was a majority-decision loss to Stevie Ray.

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With 24 fight-night bonuses between them, expectations are high that these two will increase that number in Virginia.

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6. A hidden gem

Two of the more entertaining bantamweights face off when No. 7-ranked Marlon Moraes meets rankings honorable mention John Dodson.

Moraes (18-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), the former WSOF bantamweight champ, saw his 13-fight winning streak come to an end when he dropped a split decision to Assuncao in June. Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC)
is 2-1 since returning to 135 pounds. In his most recent bout, Dodson earned a decision win over Eddie Wineland.

This fight is essentially a pick’em. That makes sense because it’s the most evenly matched bout on the card. While Dodson has the speed advantage, Moraes has a deeper arsenal of striking techniques. Moraes also employs good feints, which he might use to draw Dodson into striking range.

With both fighters recently coming out on the wrong end of split decisions, fans should expect a spirited display.

7. It’s been a while

It’s been 16 months since Tatiana Suarez won Season 23 of “The Ultimate Fighter”” with a first-round submission of Amanda Cooper. The accomplished wrestler has been on the sidelines since that “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning victory. She returns against Viviane Pereira, who has fought three times since Suarez (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won “TUF.”

Pereira’s (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) most recent bout was a June decision win over Jaime Moyle.

Both of these strawweights are unbeaten. Pereira has a definite advantage in experience with nine more pro fights than Suarez. However, with so much time in the gym between contests, Suarez is likely to show a fair amount of progress in her overall MMA game.

8. He’s back

Sage Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) makes his 2017 debut against Michel Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in a lightweight bout. The contest is Northcutt’s first as a member of Team Alpha Male.

Northcutt is under a lot of pressure in this fight. After two stoppage wins in his first two UFC contests, the highly promoted 21-year-old is on a 1-2 run. Both losses came at welterweight. He also packed all five of his previous fights into a 14-month span. That rushed schedule might have hampered the development of the young fighter. With nearly a year between fights, we’ll find out if Northcutt used his time away from the octagon wisely.

Quinones had a five-fight winning streak come to an end with a TKO loss in his UFC debut in June.

9. Looking for two in a row

Angela Hill had a rough go during her first run with the UFC. She won her debut against Emily Kagan but then dropped fights to Tecia Torres and Rose Namajunas. After her loss to Namajunas, which was just her fourth pro fight, Hill moved to Invicta FC. With that promotion she went 4-0, and won and defended the Invicta FC strawweight title. In her return to the UFC, Hill dropped a decision to Jessica Andrade. She bounced back with a win over Ashley Yoder in her most recent bout.

One of the biggest personalities in the sport, Hill, who is ranked No. 8 at strawweight, faces Nina Ansaroff, who ended a two-fight losing skid in her most recent fight, a January submission win over Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger.

This should be a good striking battle. Hill (7-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is the more technical striker with a solid muay Thai base, but Ansaroff (7-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has more power. Both fighters land at a 50 percent striking rate, but Hill is more active.

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10. Set the tone

Two relatively young middleweights who like to get things done in a hurry open this card. Darren Stewart, who drops from light heavyweight for this fight, has five first-round knockouts to his name (one later ruled a no-contest due to an accidental head-butt). His opponent, Karl Roberson, has finished his past four opponents in the first stanza.

Roberson (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) comes into this contest on the strength of a 15-second knockout of Ryan Spann on DWCS 3. Stewart (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered his first career loss in his most recent bout, dropping a decision to Francimar Barroso. Stewart faded as that fight wore on, so it will be interesting to see if the drop to 185 pounds helps his cardio.

Roberson has a kickboxing background, which should give him the striking advantage in this contest. He’s also likely to have the edge in confidence, as well, after defeating 15-fight veteran Spann in July.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

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

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

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

  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Michel Quinones
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill

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

  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC-Norfolk's Angela Hill motivated to work toward Rose Namajunas rematch

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Angela Hill’s run in the UFC has been up, down and then up again, and she hopes it continues toward the top.

Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC), coming off a win in her last fight, looks to keep the momentum going when she takes on Nina Ansaroff (7-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) on Saturday in the opening FS1 prelim of UFC Fight Night 120, which takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va.

Putting together a winning streak in the UFC strawwweight division has proven difficult for the former Invicta FC champion. She won her UFC debut in Sept. 2014 before losing back-to-back fights to Tecia Torres and current champion Rose Namajunas, who knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title last weekend at UFC 217.

The two losses prompted Hill down to Invicta FC, where she put together a four-fight winning streak that included her title win and one defense. Her return to the UFC didn’t fare well, however, as she dropped a decision to title contender Jessica Andrade last February at UFC Fight Night 104.

Now that Hill is back in the win column – in the UFC, that is – after earning a decision from Ashley Yoder at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale in July, she hopes to continue climbing the ranks until she either gets a second shot at Namajunas or a crack at Jedrzejczyk, who was on her mind for some time.

“I’ve always wanted my rematches, but I wanted to make sure that I was ready when I did have those rematches,” Hill told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “You know, everyone’s on the list that I’ve lost to when it comes to that. But I definitely feel like I was a totally different fighter when I did fight (Namajunas). I was motivated to fight (Jedrzejczyk) when she was champ. I was hoping that I could work my way up to that. I was already thinking about what I was going to do for the face-off and everything.

“But now that (Jedrzejczyk is) out of the picture, she’s still going to be around. I’d still love to fight her at some point. Yeah, I’m definitely going for that title run after I feel I’ve got enough wins, and I’ve impressed enough to get a go at (Namajunas).”

Check out the video above to hear more from Hill on her mindset heading into her fight on Saturday.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 120 pre-event facts: Matt Brown matches longtime record in retirement bout

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The UFC’s lengthy stretch of events in the fourth quarter of the year continues Saturday with UFC Fight Night 120, which takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The deep fight card filled with notable names features a key lightweight bout in the main event. Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) looks to continue his run of success since returning to the 155-pound division when he takes on former UFC champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) in a matchup with high potential for fireworks.

Four other former UFC champions and title challengers are also featured on the card, which marks the organization’s fourth event in Virginia. For more on the numbers behind the event, check below for 80 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

Main event

Dustin Poirier

Poirier is 5-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier’s 13 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (19), Demetrious Johnson (15) and Max Holloway (14).

Poirier’s eight stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in the company behind Cerrone (13), Tony Ferguson (nine) and Holloway (nine).

Poirier lands 6.72 significant strikes per minute in UFC lightweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Poirier is one of three fighters in UFC history to earn two or more submission victories by D’Arce choke. Tony Ferguson and Vicente Luque also accomplished the feat.

Anthony Pettis

Pettis makes his fourth UFC main-event appearance. He’s 1-2 in previous headliners.

Pettis was successful in his return to the lightweight division in July after a two-fight stint at featherweight.

Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past four fights. He was victorious in his most recent bout against Jim Miller at UFC 213.

Pettis has earned 16 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his seven UFC wins.

Pettis is the only fighter in UFC history to win consecutive UFC lightweight title fights by submission.

Pettis’ three knockout victories in UFC/WEC competition stemming from a kick to the head or body are tied for fourth most in combined promotional history behind Cerrone (six), Vitor Belfort (four) and Edson Barboza (four).

Co-main event

Matt Brown

Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) competes in his 24th UFC welterweight bout, tied with Josh Koscheck for most appearances in divisional history.

Brown is 1-5 in his past six bouts after going on a seven-fight UFC winning streak from 2012-2014.

Brown has earned 18 of his 20 career victories by stoppage. That includes 11 of his 13 wins under the UFC banner.

Brown’s 13 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for fifth most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19), Matt Hughes (16), Josh Koscheck (14) and Thiago Alves (14).

Brown’s 11 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Hughes for most in divisional history.

Brown’s nine knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Brown lands 54 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC welterweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Brown’s 24 submission attempts in UFC welterweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Chris Lytle (31).

Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) returns to the welterweight division for the first time since February 2012. He’s 9-4 in the weight class under the UFC banner.

Sanchez competes in his 27th UFC bout, tied for the third most appearances in company history behind Michael Bisping (28) and Miller (28).

Sanchez has alternated wins and losses of his past seven UFC appearances. He suffered a loss to Al Iaquinta in his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 108.

Sanchez is the only active UFC fighter who was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter 1.”

Sanchez is one of two fighters in UFC history to compete in four different weight classes. Kenny Florian also accomplished the feat.

Sanchez has earned his past eight victories by decision. He hasn’t finished an opponent since Luigi Fioravanti at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in June 2008.

Sanchez has fought to a decision 18 times in UFC competition, the most in company history.

Sanchez has absorbed 1,117 total head strikes in his UFC career, the second most among active fighters behind B.J. Penn (1,282) and third most overall in company history behind Penn and Tito Ortiz (1,167).

Sanchez has earned six “Fight of the Night” bonuses in UFC competition, tied for fourth most in company history behind Nate Diaz (eight), Frankie Edgar (seven) and Joe Lauzon (seven).

Remaining main card

Andrei Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) competes in his 24th UFC heavyweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind Frank Mir (27).

Arlovski enters the event on a five-fight losing skid, the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since September 2015.

Arlovski is 4-5 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.

Arlovski’s 14 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Mir (16).

Arlovski’s 11 stoppage victories in UFC heavyweight competition are tied with Gabriel Gonzaga for second most in divisional history behind Mir (13).

Andrei Arlovski

Arlovski’s nine knockout victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Cain Velasquez (10).

Arlovski’s 10 knockdowns landed in UFC heavyweight competition are tied with Velasquez for second most in divisional history behind Junior Dos Santos (12).

Arlovski’s eight knockout losses in UFC/WEC/PRIDE/Strikeforce competition are tied with Mir, Gonzaga and Antonio Silva for second most in combined organizational history behind Alistair Overeem (nine).

Arlovski defends 81.5 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC heavyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on a 10-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since August 2012.

Albini has earned 12 of his 14 career victories by stoppage.

Nate Marquardt

Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC) competes in his 23rd UFC middleweight bout, tied with Bisping for most appearances in divisional history.

Marquardt is 3-5 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014. He’s 3-8 in his past 11 bouts overall.

Marquardt’s 13 victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Yushin Okami for third most in divisional history behind Bisping (16) and Anderson Silva (14).

Marquardt’s nine stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied with Leben for second most in divisional history behind Silva (11).

Marquardt’s 11 knockdowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Silva (13).

Nate Marquardt

Marquardt’s four knockdowns landed against Dean Lister at UFC Fight Night 8 stand as the most in a UFC middleweight fight.

Marquardt’s 33 takedowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are fourth most in divisional history behind Chris Weidman (36), Rafael Natal (36) and Chael Sonnen (35).

Marquardt’s 18 career losses are the most of any active member of the UFC roster.

Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is 3-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in April 2016.

Ferreira completes 69.2 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Raphael Assuncao

Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is 9-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in August 2011.

Assuncao’s nine victories in UFC bantamweight competition are third most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (11) and Urijah Faber (10).

Assuncao has earned seven of his nine UFC victories by decision.

Assuncao defends 70 of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC bantamweight competition, the third highest rate in divisional history behind Vaughan Lee (71.5 percent) and Dominick Cruz (70.9 percent).

Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC lightweight division at UFC Fight Night 112 in July.

Guida’s 63 takedowns landed in UFC competition are fifth most in company history behind St-Pierre (90), Gleison Tibau (84), Johnson (73) and Edgar (67).

Guida has attempted 172 takedowns during his UFC career, third most in company history behind Demian Maia (223) and Edgar (189).

Joe Lauzon

Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) competes in his 25th UFC lightweight bout, the third most appearances in divisional history behind Miller (27) and Tibau (26).

Lauzon’s 14 victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for the fourth most in divisional history behind Miller (16), Tibau (16) and Cerrone (15).

Lauzon has alternated wins and losses over his past eight UFC appearances. He lost his most recent bout against Stevie Ray at UFC Fight Night 108.

Lauzon has earned 25 of his 27 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished 18 of those wins by submission.

Lauzon’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC lightweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Lauzon’s seven submission victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied with Diaz for the most in divisional history.

Lauzon’s 29 submission attempts in UFC competition are third most in company history behind Miller (38) and Lytle (31).

Lauzon has been awarded 15 fight-night bonuses during his UFC career, tied with Diaz for most in company history.

Preliminary card

John Dodson

John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC) is 2-1 since he returned to the UFC bantamweight division in April 2016. He’s 3-1 in the weight class overall.

Dodson’s 37-second knockout of Manny Gamburyan at UFC on FOX 19 stands as the fifth fastest knockout in UFC bantamweight history.

Dodson has suffered all eight of his career losses by decision.

Tatiana Suarez (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since July 8, 2016. The 491-day layoff is the longest of her nearly four-year career.

Suarez earned the first and only D’arce choke submission in UFC women’s competition at the TUF 23 Finale.

Viviane Pereira’s (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) 13-fight MMA winning streak is longest among female UFC fighters.

Pereira has earned both of her UFC victories by decision.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Northcutt, at 19, became the youngest fighter in UFC history to earn a victory when he defeated Francisco Trevino at UFC 192.

Angela Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is 1-1 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February.

Hill is 5-1 since her initial release from the UFC in late 2015.

Hill’s two knockdowns landed in UFC strawweight competition are tied with champ Rose Namajunas for most in divisional history.

Nina Ansaroff (7-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) competes in her just her third bout since November 2014.

Court McGee

Court McGee (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is 2-2 since he returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2015.

McGee is 4-3 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2013.

McGee is one of three fighters in UFC history to land 100-plus significant strikes in a single fight in two separate weight classes. Nam Phan and Valerie Letourneau also accomplished the feat.

Sean Strickland (18-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is 3-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Jake Collier (10-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his five-fight UFC career. He lost his most recent bout against Devin Clark at UFC on FOX 24.

Collier is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back kick to the body. He accomplished the feat against Alberto Uda at UFC Fight Night 88.

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, 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.

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UFC Fight Night 120 lineup finalized, and the Norfolk fight card isn't too shabby

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The lineup is set for the UFC’s upcoming return to Old Dominion.

UFC Fight Night 120, the UFC’s first event in Virginia since UFC Fight Night 63 in 2015, takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The main event features two 155-pound notables. Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) got his wish following a recent callout of fellow contender Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC).

Pettis, who’s No. 11 in the MMA lightweight rankings, recently earned a unanimous-decision victory over Jim Miller to improve to 2-1 since a disastrous three-fight skid in 2016. He meets Poirier, a perennial contender who’s ranked No. 13. Poirier was on a stellar 5-1 run before a recent bout with ex-titleholder Eddie Alvarez ended in a no-contest due to illegal knees from Alvarez.

In the co-main event, two longtime UFC fighters and tough-as-nails vets meet when welterweight Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) takes on fellow fan favorite Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC). Brown plans to retire after the fight.

Rounding out the main card are former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) vs. Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), former middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC) vs. Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), No. 4-ranked bantamweight Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) vs. Matthew Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), and veteran lightweights Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) vs. Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC).

In the featured prelim, former flyweight title challenger and No. 15-ranked bantamweight John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC) takes on former WSOF champion and No. 7-ranked Marlon Moraes (18-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Other notables are part of the prelims, including Sage Northcutt, Angela Hill and Court McGee.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

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

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

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

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

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Top 25 finishes in Invicta FC history (Nos. 15-11): Body kicks galore

More than five years have passed since Invicta FC hosted its first event. During that time, the all-female organization has gone through a number of different incarnations.

Despite having roster members consistently plucked up by the UFC, Invicta FC frequently hosts solid fight cards to help further the growth of women’s MMA. The fighters do their part by delivering inside the cage, and with the 25th event in company history set to go down Thursday, Invicta FC has decided to highlight its young history.

Invicta FC 25 takes place at Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, Calif. Ahead of the event, Invicta FC’s social media team is rolling out a countdown of the 25 best finishes in its history.

Don’t miss the countdown for finish Nos. 25-21, as well as finish Nos. 20-16. And check out the third installment below, counting down No. 15 to No. 11. Then stayed tuned to The Blue Corner this week for the top 10.

15. Andrea Lee def. Rachael Ostovich at Invicta FC 14 (Sept. 12, 2015)

Andrea Lee showed off her slick ground game against Rachael Ostovich with a third-round submission win by armbar at Invicta FC 14.

Instagram Photo

14. Alexa Grasso def. Alida Gray at Invicta FC 10 (Dec. 5, 2014)

Mexican prospect Alexa Grasso added to her undefeated record at Invicta FC 10 when she showed off the power in her hands to stop Alida Gray by first-round TKO.

Instagram Photo

13. Livia Renata Souza def. DeAnna Bennett at Invicta FC 15 (Jan. 16, 2016)

Now-former strawweight champion Livia Renata Souza made her first successful title defense at Invicta FC 15 when a brutal body kick set up her 90-second TKO of DeAnna Bennett.

Instagram Photo

12. Angela Hill def. Alida Gray at Invicta FC 15 (Jan. 16, 2016)

The dangerous striking arsenal of Angela Hill was on display at Invicta FC 15 when she overwhelmed Alida Gray with a flurry of strikes in the first round to win by TKO in a mere 99 seconds.

Instagram Photo

11. DeAnna Bennett def. Michele Ould at Invicta FC 8 (Sept. 6, 2014)

The kicking power of DeAnna Bennett stunned Michele Ould at Invicta FC 8. Bennett landed a left kick to the liver in the second round, and after a delayed reaction Ould slumped to the canvas holding her body.

Instagram Photo

For more on the Invicta FC schedule, including the upcoming Invicta FC 25, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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

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