Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Jose Aldo and UFC 218's other losing fighters?

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(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 218’s winning fighters?)

Saturday’s UFC 218 event at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit delivered plenty of entertainment value. That won’t matter to the five losing fighters from the pay-per-view main card, though.

In the main event, Jose Aldo’s (26-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) aspirations of a third UFC featherweight title reign were crushed by Max Holloway(19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC). Alistair Overeem (43-16 MMA, 8-5 UFC) suffered a brutal knockout loss in the co-headliner. Additionally, Sergio Pettis (16-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), Justin Gaethje (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Michelle Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) were all topped by their foes.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters 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 218’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Michelle Waterson

Cortney Casey

Should fight: Cortney Casey
Why they should fight: Waterson suffered consecutive losses for the first time in her career when she came out of the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Tecia Torres in an important strawweight bout.

After falling short against now-champ Rose Namajunas in April, Waterson faltered against the streaking Torres, who put herself in solid standing to challenge for the title with the win.

Waterson is one of the bigger names in the 115-pound division, and as a result, she’s going to get tough competition nearly every fight. Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who lost to Felice Herrig on the UFC 218 preliminary card, is a lower-ranked opponent but never an easy out.

Justin Gaethje

James Vick

Should fight: James Vick
Why they should fight: The remarkable winning streak of Gaethje was finally brought to an end courtesy of former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in their anticipated fight.

Gaethje suffered a third-round knockout loss to fellow “The Ultimate Fighter 26” coach Alvarez. Gaethje knows his fighting style comes with great risk, and the former WSOF titleholder finally paid the price.

Gaethje’s still a very fresh face to the UFC, and there are countless fights ahead that could bring entertainment. Surging contender Vick (12-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who’s riding a three-fight winning streak, is clamoring for a top-ranked opponent. Perhaps Gaethje would be a willing adversary.

Sergio Pettis

Ray Borg

Should fight: Ray Borg
Why they should fight: After putting together a solid run that put him in a title-eliminator, Pettis’ run toward the UFC flyweight title experienced a hiccup courtesy of Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo.

Pettis suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Cejudo that will put him back to the drawing board in terms of making a run at the 125-pound belt. At 24 he’s still got plenty of time to progress, and there’s no doubt Pettis will go right back to work.

Given his character, Pettis will search for the biggest challenge available to help him rebound. Fighting another young flyweight in Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), who is coming off a title-fight loss to champ Demetrious Johnson at UFC 216 in October, would provide him with an opportunity to make a statement.

Alistair Overeem

Cain Velasquez

Should fight: Cain Velasquez
Why they should fight: Overeem’s latest climb to the UFC heavyweight title suffered a critical blow courtesy of a violent Francis Ngannou knockout, and now it’s difficult to determine where “The Reem” goes from here.

Overeem is still incredibly dangerous and skilled, but the first-round loss to Ngannou is a tough setback for the former Strikeforce champ. Overeem has said the UFC belt is the one thing missing from his mantel, but after a failed title shot against now-champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 in September 2016, then the loss to Ngannou three fights later, he’s in a tough spot.

If Overeem has the fortitude to make another run at the belt, he could certainly do that within a few fights. It would be understandable if he weren’t up for it more than 20 years after his debut, but assuming he is, a matchup with ex-champ Velasquez (14-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC), who recently said he’s aiming for a return next year, could get him right back on track.

Jose Aldo

Should fight: Anthony Pettis
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Aldo should move up to lightweight to fight Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6) next.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

After a chaotic few years in UFC featherweight division, where does Frankie Edgar fit?

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A little more than seven years have passed since UFC President Dana White first draped the featherweight belt around Jose Aldo in Detroit and, over the subsequent half-decade, the division came to be defined by the Brazilian’s uninterrupted tenure as the first UFC champion at 145 pounds.

Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) amassed seven title defenses – against six worthy challengers – but, such was his almost total dominance, along with a complete lack of compelling subplots outside the octagon, that flawless reign started to border on the mundane.

By then, Conor McGregor’s incessant soundbites and trusty left hand had somewhat stirred the pot but, it wasn’t until the Dubliner defeated Chad Mendes for the interim title in July 2015 at UFC 189 that the dog-eared script was ripped to shreds.

The unfolding twists, turns and seesawing balance of power were of “Game of Thrones” proportions, and looking back now, it’s startling to consider that it took McGregor a mere 13 seconds to put such a chaotic chain of events in motion.

Almost immediately after unseating Aldo at UFC 194, the brass gave Irishman McGregor leave to challenge then-lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, though when the latter was ruled out through injury, the former and Nate Diaz fought out a pair of welterweight bouts, which were punctuated by an all-too-public standoff between McGregor and his employers.

At UFC 200, Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision to capture an interim crown prior to the Brazilian being handed back the unified title after UFC officials stripped it from McGregor, who had destroyed lightweight kingpin Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the first man to lord over two weight classes simultaeously.

And yet, the plot thickened some more. A month later, in a rather facile attempt to lend UFC 206 some gravitas (after the scheduled light-heavyweight title bout between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson was pulled from the card), the promotion thought it wise to have Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis contest the third interim title bout in less than two years.

Holloway stopped Pettis in Round 3 as he did Aldo in their unification bout in June at UFC 212.

Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) was slated to face Edgar in tonight’s UFC 218 headliner, but the New Jersey native was forced to withdraw after breaking his orbital bone, and Aldo was drafted on three weeks’ notice for a rematch few people believe he can win.

So here we are, seven years later, back in Detroit, where it all began. You tired yet?

UFC color commentator and analyst Dan Hardy believes should Holloway or Aldo win tonight’s main event, which airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, the uncertainty is set to continue.

“It’s been a bit of mess, but there were unprecedented times,” Hardy told MMAjunkie. “We had a two-weight world champion fight the best boxer on the planet, so who can predict what could happen next? With the new ownership, everything is changing, so we’ve just got to be in it for the fights.

“There are plenty of fights being made that make no sense with the rankings. Then there are fights that make perfect sense for the rankings, but they’re just not happening. There were a lot of matchups on the way up to the belt that McGregor should have had, but he didn’t. It’s just the way it works now. If Aldo does beat Max Holloway, he may not want to fight for the next six months, and with an orbital fracture, we just don’t know how long Edgar is going to be out.”

According to Edgar’s coach Mark Henry, the former lightweight champion is already back doing light training, but he had no estimate as to when he will be able to fight again. What Henry is sure of, however, is that normal service should resume at 145 pounds if Holloway’s nascent run as champion continues.

“Frankie can’t wrestle, do jiu-jitsu or spar,” Henry told MMAjunkie. “He can only do pads and some speed and agility. He was really upset. We all were. Frankie was really looking good and coming on just at the right time.

“It’s just a crazy time right now. Frankie deserved the title shot when he got it, but there are a lot of guys in other divisions who don’t, and these interim belts are ridiculous. We’re just lucky that a guy like Max wants to fight and acts like a champion should act. He only wants to fight the best.”

By his own admission, Henry’s hope for a Holloway victory is due to the fact Aldo has twice defeated Edgar, and the appetite for a trilogy fight would be minimal. He also has serious reservations about how active a champion Aldo would prove to be.

“I think Jose will call out for a 155-pound fighter, or he’ll get hurt again,” Henry said. “He hasn’t been hurt in a while, so it’s probably overdue, and he only likes to fight once a year. I guarantee the only thing Jose will concentrate on is Conor McGregor or going to lightweight. That’s all you’ll hear out of him. I would much rather see guys fighting two or three times a year, and that’s why I like Max’s attitude. He’s a true champion.”

There is no doubt that if Aldo recaptures the belt, Edgar’s short-term prospects of fighting for the gold are likely to greatly diminish, even more so should the next big featherweight contest end conclusively.

A week from now, at UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno, Calif., perennial contender Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) meets undefeated submission artist Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in what could turn out to be a title-eliminator. Some were surprised Swanson did not replace Edgar, but on the verge of testing free agency, the timing appears to have been poor.

Hardy isn’t so sure that Swanson is truly contemplating moving on, and he reckons that his motivations are more mental than monetary.

“If Cub was to get a title shot, they’d have offered him a new contract before putting him in there,” Hardy said. “Look, there’s testing free agency, and then there’s signing a new deal for a title shot, and more than anything, all these guys in the top 10 want to be in the UFC because that’s where you prove yourself as the best.

“Sometimes testing free agency is more about flexing and posturing, just to see where they’re at. It’s been quite a stagnant division for some time with Conor McGregor storming through and taking the top, so a lot of these guys are maybe looking for that little boost, and testing free agency can be more of a psychological ploy than anything else.”

However, no amount of pats on the back from the brass will improve Swanson’s situation if Ortega gets his hand raised, an outcome Hardy believes would only further muddy the waters for all parties.

“You never know, but Brian Ortega could submit Cub Swanson, and then we’ve got a new contender to talk about,” the former UFC welterweight title challenger said. “Then there’s the situation where Frankie Edgar could end up fighting Ortega, shuts him down like he did Yair Rodriguez, and then there’s no argument about him getting another title shot.

“Things have to keep moving along. It’s difficult to tell how long Frankie is going to be out for, and if Max beats Jose this weekend, he’s not going to be waiting around for Frankie to come back. The matches have to be made with who’s fit and able because you can’t be the best fighter in the world if you can’t get in the octagon and prove it. Frankie may have to beat one more guy now but, if the timing is right, he could step straight back into a title shot against Max Holloway.”

Prior to getting injured, Edgar had told “The MMA Hour” that his showdown with Holloway likely represented his final chance to again be a UFC champion, but Henry doesn’t see any evidence to suggest that his pupil is falling victim to father time. Quite the opposite, in fact.

“Anything can happen in the UFC, like you saw Dan Henderson getting a title fight,” he said. “Frankie acts like he just got into the UFC, and I think that’s why I don’t see this as his last run.

“This kid never talks about retiring. He’s at the highest level, and how could he be at the end when he just destroyed Yair Rodriguez, who’s supposed to be at his peak? If you were to ask me how long, I would say another five years, maybe longer. I think he’ll keep digging until he gets that belt – as long as it takes.”

Hardy concurs and is sure the situation is the exact same with 34-year-old Swanson, who has been beaten inside the distance by Edgar, Aldo (in the WEC) and Holloway.

“A lot of people were looking at Yair Rodriguez as part of the new wave spearheaded by Max Holloway, but Frankie just cut through that noise, while Cub Swanson did the same thing with Dooho Choi,” Hardy said. “It’s taken two of the division’s elder statesmen to say, ‘Hold on, you’ve got to wait your turn.’

“It is amazing to watch Frankie get after it because when he does, there’s not a lot of people who can keep up with him. He’s still one of the biggest names in the sport, a fan favorite and, like I said, the time could come when he does get one back on Aldo.”

Looking to the five rounds scheduled to close out the UFC’s third visit to Detroit, Hardy and Henry agree that it’s Holloway’s fight to lose.

“All the signs point to Max winning, possibly even quicker than the last time,” said Hardy, who broke things down recently on UFC’s “Inside the Octagon” (via YouTube). “I feel like he knows he has Jose’s number, and Jose is not a quick starter by any means, and there are still a lot things Max does that he will not have adjusted to.  If Jose lands some takedowns that might be a stay of execution but, when I lay the cards out, it just seems Max trumps everything Aldo does.”

Henry suspects that Aldo will give a better account of himself than before but, ultimately, Holloway – the owner of the longest winning streak in UFC featherweight history – will prevail.

“Jose gassed the last time, but he did win the first two rounds, even if he did get knocked out,” he said. “Look, I’m hoping for Max to win, but I don’t think it’ll go that easy again. But Max has got the cardio, height and range, plus his skills and heart.”

Of course, Henry still has a busy night ahead of him, with Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) taking on the unbeaten concussion specialist Justin Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC ) following their recent stint as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter 26.”

Both men have made it abundantly clear that their courteous rapport on the show will not be reflected in their lightweight showdown. All caution should be thrown to wind by a pair of fighters who traditionally have little regard for their own physical wellbeing.

Henry, who recently discussed the matchup on MMAjunkie Radio (watch it above), is resigned to the reality that he’ll have little control over what’s shaping up to be 15 minutes of bruising bloodletting.

“I’ll be in the corner, but Eddie told me to hang out with his wife and watch this one,” he said. “This is going to be a toxic one. Both these guys have dynamite in their hands and such tremendous heart, so it’s going to be wild. It’s definitely a concern because it would be like getting on the back of a wild stallion if I was to try to tame Eddie for this fight.”

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

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Dustin Poirier's neck was a little sore, but without Mike Brown, it could've been worse

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Dustin Poirier left a recent UFC headliner with a sore neck, but if it weren’t for Mike Brown, he could’ve left with a loss too.

Earlier this month in UFC Fight Night 120’s headliner, Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) picked up a big win after scoring a third-round TKO victory over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC).

However, to get the victory, which took place Nov. 11 and aired on FS1 from Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., Poirier had to survive a few dangerous – and painful – submission attempts.

“My neck is a little sore from getting out of that last triangle,” he recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “He locked in a tight triangle. The tightest one of them all was maybe (with) 20 or 30 seconds left in the second round.

“There’s a pass I do to get out of the triangle and I throw my head toward the lock and kind of sprawl over the body and circle my feet around. And when I did that, the triangle was so tight that my neck got put in a crazy position and it popped.”

Of course, one triangle also came with a tad of controversy. As Pettis looked to secure the hold, the referee called a timeout to have a cageside physician look at the ex-champ’s badly bleeding face. The pause in action elicited some boos, though Poirier dismissed them.

“All those people who were upset probably live in Milwaukee or have an Anthony Pettis T-shirt,” he joked. “F*ck ’em, man.”

As for his ability to survive Pettis’ dangerous ground game, Poirier, who’s No. 11 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, thanks one man: American Top Team coach and former WEC champ Brown.

“I used to have more of a pure jiu-jitsu style, but since I’ve been at American Top Team, Mike Brown has helped me round out my grappling for MMA so much more,” Poirier said. “I’m more of a top guy now. I give up less positions chasing submissions, and he’s a guy who’s really dedicated and spent a lot of time perfecting the things I was doing wrong, and still to this day, (he’s) tightening up a lot of things.

“He’s an amazing coach and an amazing guy to have (in my corner).”

Following his victory, Poirier emphatically called for a rematch with another ex-champ, Eddie Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who fought to a controversial no-contest in May. An immediate rematch wasn’t booked so that Alvarez could coach opposite Justin Gaethje on the currently airing 26th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Still, Poirier hopes to get that fight someday – and bouts against other top contenders who can help him get to a title shot.

But getting the type of experience he did against Pettis – and with help from coaches like Brown – he’s confident he’s ready for more fights against the 155-pound division’s best.

“You know, (Pettis) is a vet,” Poirier said. “He’s been fighting a long time and fighting the best of the best, so I didn’t expect anything less from him.”

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

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Nov. 14: Poirier rises; big week for Tybura

With a win over a former champion, Dustin Poirier is on the rise in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings.

Poirier defeated former titleholder Anthony Pettis in UFC Fight Night 120’s headliner, which moved him from No. 13 to No. 11 at lightweight. Pettis, meanwhile, falls from No. 11 to No. 12.

As for upcoming events, Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 121 headliner offers rankings honorable mention Marcin Tybura a chance to jump in the top 15 in the heavyweight division when he takes on former titleholder and No. 3-ranked Fabricio Werdum.

Check out all of the rankings above.

Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rankings, News, PFL, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Dustin Poirier and UFC Fight Night 120's other winning fighters?

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UFC Fight Night 120 was touted as one of the most stacked non-pay-per-view and non-FOX cards this year, and in the end, the six-fight main card largely delivered at Ted Constant Convocations Center in Norfolk, Va.

Headliner Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) pulled off the crowning performance of the card when he beat former UFC champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) by third-round stoppage in the FS1-televised bout, continuing his solid run in the 155-pound division.

Elsewhere on the card, Matt Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC), Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC), Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), Raphael Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) earned victories that ranged from total domination to scorecard squeakers.

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 120’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Clay Guida

Joseph Duffy

Should fight: Joseph Duffy
Why they should fight: Guida’s return to the UFC lightweight division is proving to be a good one after he moved to 2-0 with a victory over fellow UFC veteran Joe Lauzon.

Despite spending a decade together under the UFC banner, Guida and Lauzon had never crossed paths. When it finally happened, “The Carpenter” pulled off a first-round TKO victory over Lauzon to continue his revival in the 155-pound division.

Guida said his stint in the featherweight division was only to provide “star power” to the weight class, but he admitted lightweight is best for him. He believes he can do big things, but at 35 and with more than 50 pro fights, it remains to be seen how far he can go.

If Guida can consistently rack up wins like he did against Lauzon, he’ll have a place on the UFC roster for as long as he wants. He’s going to get challenging competition every time out, though, and Duffy (16-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is a very dangerous fighter.

Duffy is coming off a TKO loss to James Vick at UFC 217 this month and will surely be looking to rebound as quickly as possible. Guida represents a solid name for the Irishman, and Duffy would be a solid win for Guida.

Raphael Assuncao

Cody Garbrandt

Should fight: Cody Garbrandt
Why they should fight: Assuncao emerged victorious in a high-risk fight against an up-and-coming bantamweight when he picked up a brutal third-round knockout of Matthew Lopez.

Lopez came into the fight looking to threaten Assuncao’s status as an established top-five fighter in the 135-pound division. The Brazilian denied that possibility, though, and improved to a ridiculous 10-1 in his past 11 UFC appearances.

There’s good and bad for Assuncao at this point. He owns a victory over newly crowned UFC bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw, but he also has a loss to the currently titleholder in their rematch at UFC 200 in July 2016. A trilogy could always happen if the circumstances are right, but at this point, it’s obvious the UFC isn’t eager to push Assuncao into a title shot.

That leaves him in the undesirable position of fighting top opponents until he loses again or wins to the point he can’t be denied. He’ll surely want the latter, and that means taking on the next best available challenge. At this point, recently dethroned champ Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) would be his best way to make a statement.

Cezar Ferreira

Antonio Carlos Junior

Should fight: Antonio Carlos Junior
Why they should fight: Ferreira’s return to the middleweight division has been largely successful. He improved to 4-1 since returning to the weight class after scoring a split-decision victory over tough veteran and former Strikeforce champion Nate Marquardt.

“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” winner had had some ups and downs in his UFC tenure, but his form is consistently improving. He caught a version of Marquardt wh’os in the twilight of his career, but beating “The Great” is still a somewhat meaningful accomplishment.

Ferreira has fallen short against his most notable opponents in the past, but against Marquardt, he came through. He needs a solid test at this point, and when it comes to 185-pound fighters on the rise, Carlos Junior (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) looks pretty good.

Carlos Junior is another “TUF: Brazil” winner who is on a four-fight winning streak, which includes a recent submission win over Jack Marshman at UFC Fight Night 119. A matchup between the two reality-show winners is a solid enough narrative, and the fact their skills match up well only makes things better.

Andrei Arlovski

Curtis Blaydes

Should fight: Curtis Blaydes
Why they should fight: Just when Arlovski appeared to be written off for good in the UFC heavyweight division, the former champ rebounded with a crucial victory against Brazilian prospect Junior Albini.

It’s been a rough road for Arlovski in recent years. However, he managed to snap a brutal five-fight losing skid when he picked up a unanimous-decision win over Albini to return to the win column for the first time since September 2015.

Regardless of whether anyone has objections over Arlovski still fighting at this point, the 38-year-old is determined to keep going, even if he has to fight unheralded opponents in the heavyweight division.

That’s a useful item to have for UFC matchmakers, and they will likely continue to use Arlovski as a measuring stick for rising talent. Albini was unable to pass, but perhaps Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who’s another fighter with growing momentum, would have something else to offer “The Pitbull.”

Matt Brown

Should fight: No one
Why: Although Brown has already walked back the possibility of a guaranteed retirement, a brutal knockout of Diego Sanchez seems like a solid way to ride off into the sunset for “The Immortal.”

Brown originally announced his bout with Sanchez would mark his retirement. However, he slowed those conversations ahead of fight night. Even with the first-round knockout of “The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner, it’s still an option worth considering, and Brown seems like he’s going to take some time off to make that decision.

With 24 UFC fights under his belt and at age 36, Brown has gone through the ringer inside the octagon. Every fighter who retires appears to have some measure of reluctance, but for Brown, there’s not much more to prove.

He said a hiatus from competition is coming and that it’s just a matter of whether it sticks. Only time will tell, but regardless of which way it goes, it seems Brown won’t be fighting anytime soon, and for that reason, speculating on matchmaking possibilities is a useless endeavor.

Dustin Poirier

Should fight: Winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje at UFC 218
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Poirier should fight the winner of the UFC 218 bout between Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) next.

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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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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Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 120

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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 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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Dustin Poirier adamant about Eddie Alvarez rematch after TKO win over Anthony Pettis

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NORFOLK, Va. – Dustin Poirier is rooting for Eddie Alvarez to take out surging lightweight Justin Gaethje when they meet next month at UFC 218.

Even after taking out his frustrations on ex-lightweight champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 120, Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) hasn’t forgotten about the chain of events that led him to his fight on Saturday night, and he’s got a score to settle with Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

“I hope Eddie wins, so we can build this up to what it should be,” Poirier told MMAjunkie after his third-round TKO over Pettis in the headliner of Saturday’s fight card at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “I should have (had) an automatic rematch. He shouldn’t have been rewarded with a TV show and more publicity and another big fight against another ranked guy.

“He cheated and got out of a fight that he was losing, and he should have been forced to run it back with me.”

Poirier is speaking about the no contest declared in his meeting with Alvarez in May at UFC 211. Alvarez landed a trio of illegal knees against Poirier in the second round, but the blows were ruled accidental and no winner was declared. Poirier later appealed the result to no avail.

Poirier hoped to get an immediate rematch with the ex-champ. But instead, Alvarez was booked as a coach opposite Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” a setup to a showdown at UFC 218.

The winner of Alvarez vs. Gaethje could be on the short list for a title shot. That’s why Poirier is demanding he first meet the winner of the fight. There’s no hiding the chip on his shoulder or his ambition to cut the line of contenders.

“I’m the guy who got robbed in that fight,” Poirier said. “(Alvarez) got rewarded.”

After Pettis tapped out in the third round, Poirier immediately walked to the cage and yelled at UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, ordering him to green light a showdown with the winner of Alvarez vs. Gaethje.

Historically, the rate of success on career demands is far less than 100 percent. But Poirier is certain he’ll get what he wants.

“100 percent,” he said. “I mean, I’ve earned it. I don’t deserve it. I’m not begging for it. I’ve earned it, and then we move on.”

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 bonuses: Yeah, Dustin Poirier got his money

Following his thrilling win over Anthony Pettis at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event, Dustin Poirier shifted his gaze to UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard, demanding they award him a $50,000 bonus.

They listened.

Poirier and Pettis were each awarded “Fight of the Night” honors for Saturday’s event, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. Their contest served as the main event of the FS1-broadcast main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, and Poirier took home a third-round TKO.

The headliners weren’t the only fighters to take home an extra check, with both Matt Brown and Rapahel Assuncao also earning an additional $50,000 in the form of “Performance of the Night” awards.

Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) devastated fellow veteran brawler Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) in the night’s co-feature, landing a devastating elbow to score a first-round knockout. Meanwhile, Assuncao (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) picked apart Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) for two full rounds before knocking him out in the third.

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

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