MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for November: A slick choke caps a historic return

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Ilima Macfarlane def. Emily Ducote at Bellator 186

Ilima Macfarlane (7-0 MMA, 6-0 BMMA) may have become Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight champion, but Emily Ducote (6-3 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) did not go down without a major fight.

Macfarlane finally put Ducote away with an armbar and a verbal submission from a triangle choke late in the fifth round. But Ducote tested her most of the fight in what may have been a close one had it gone to the judges. The finish, however, came with less than 90 left in the final round.

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Georges St-Pierre def. Michael Bisping at UFC 217

Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) promised to make history against Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC), and he delivered by becoming just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win belts in two weight classes when he claimed the middleweight belt.

Former longtime welterweight champ St-Pierre was successful in his return to the octagon after nearly four years when he defeated Bisping by third-round technical submission, tying the record for most wins in UF history.

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Haim Gozali def. Arsen Faitovich at Bellator 188

Haim Gozali (8-4 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) made his way to the Bellator cage with style, complete with Israeli musical group The Shadow performing a song specifically for him. To be clear, Gozali entered with style and finished his fight the same way.

Arsen Faitovich (4-2 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) made the big mistake of shooting for a take down in the opening moments, and Gozali made him pay, transitioning to a triangle choke and putting Faitovich to sleep in his promotional debut.

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Nik Lentz def. Will Brooks at UFC Fight Night 121

There was a little bit of bad blood between Nik Lentz (28-8-2 MMA, 12-5-1 UFC) and Will Brooks (18-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) heading into their lightweight showdown, but in the end “The Carny” emerged victorious.

Lentz submitted Brooks with a second-round guillotine choke, then called out anyone at his former camp, and Brooks’ current camp, American Top Team – with a $50,000 bet on the table. Lentz forced the 5-1 favored Brooks to tap in the second round.

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Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Sheymon Moraes at UFC Fight Night 122

Zabit Magomedsharipov (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) made things look easy when he extended his winning streak to 10 with a dominant performance former WSOF title challenger Sheymon Moraes (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Magomedsharipov outworked Moraes for nearly 15 minutes, then put the Brazilian away with a late anaconda choke. Magomedsharipov was on his way to an easy win on the judges’ scorecards, but no doubt was glad for the finish, which came with 30 seconds left in the fight.

* * * *

The Winner: Georges St-Pierre

After four years away, St-Pierre made UFC history in his long-awaited return to the octagon against Bisping.

St-Pierre, who left the sport as a long-reigning welterweight champion, returned to the UFC and choked out middleweight champion Bisping to become the new 185-pound titleholder and just the fourth two-division champion in the promotion’s history.

St-Pierre went to the center and faked a kick while Bisping circled on the outside. Bisping tried to pepper a jab, but St-Pierre landed a right hand over the top. He tried a spinning kick shortly after that. St-Pierre missed on a right hand that had bad intentions. Bisping landed a left, but Bisping hit a solid jab seconds later. With two minutes left, St-Pierre clipped Bisping with a right hand, but couldn’t drop him.

A spinning kick whiffed for St-Pierre with 90 seconds left, and with a minute left St-Pierre dropped down for a takedown and secured it. It didn’t take long for Bisping to get back to his feet, but St-Pierre landed a right and a glancing kick before the horn. If anyone wondered how St-Pierre would respond after four years off, they got their answer.

St-Pierre tried a side kick early in the second, then tried it again 90 seconds into the frame. A right hand clipped Bisping not long after that. But Bisping’s best punch of the fight came a little more than two minutes into the round when he popped St-Pierre’s head back with a right. With two minutes left, St-Pierre got Bisping down in the center of the octagon and got to half-guard.

But without taking any damage, Bisping was right back to his feet and landed a big right hand. Bisping nearly took St-Pierre off his feet with a punch and slip, and St-Pierre looked to be much slower deep in the second than he was at the start of the round. Bisping glanced a high kick off St-Pierre’s head, then another not long before the round ended.

Fifteen seconds into the third, St-Pierre took Bisping down for the third time. But Bisping landed elbows from the bottom and cut St-Pierre open. Bisping wrapped St-Pierre up in guard and played defense from his back. St-Pierre got an elbow through. Just past the three-minute mark, Bisping got back to his feet. St-Pierre was a bloody mess from Bisping’s elbows. Bisping landed a right hand, but St-Pierre landed seconds later.

But a perfect left hook landed for St-Pierre and put Bisping on the canvas. St-Pierre dropped down and started hammering away with punches. John McCarthy gave the champ plenty of time to defend and work his way out. But St-Pierre let Bisping get out – only to take his back and quickly sink in a rear-naked choke.

Bisping refused to tap and went out cold, and St-Pierre was the latest two-division champion in UFC history.

I knew he had a problem with the shot coming from the right,” St-Pierre said afterward. “That’s what we did most of the fight. (The submission) was a trick. I think the best thing in fighting is to set up a trap.”

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Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for November: Which KO led an insane month?

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Tywan Claxton def. Jonny Bonilla-Bowman at Bellator 186

Tywan Claxton (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) recently secured a frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year” honors, but his reaction to it was rather simple: “The fight’s over, and I’ve got all of my teeth.”

Claxton blasted fellow featherweight Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman (1-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a flying knee – one that seemed to glide halfway across the cage – before the knockout video quickly went viral.

Instagram Photo

Ricardo Ramos def. Aiemann Zahabi at UFC 217

In a close fight, Ricardo Ramos (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) fell back on a technique he tried earlier – and got it to land for an emphatic knockout win that will be on highlight reels for a long time to come.

Ramos brutally knocked out Aiemann Zahabi (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) with a spinning back elbow in the third round of the bantamweight bout. The thunderous finish knocked Zahabi from the ranks of the unbeaten and came as Zahabi was unleashing combinations on Ramos against the fence.

Ovince Saint Preux def. Corey Anderson at UFC 217

Ovince Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) had trouble with Corey Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) through the first two and half rounds of their UFC 217 affair, perhaps owed to the fact he took the fight on less than two weeks’ notice.

But in the third, when it looked like he could be on his way to a momentum-halting decision loss, Saint Preux planted Anderson with a wicked head-kick knockout less than 90 seconds into the third round of the light heavyweight bout.

Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120

It didn’t go as long as some might have hoped, but it delivered everything one might expect, as Matt Brown (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) was almost finished but came back to score a first-round knockout of Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC).

After being stunned with a kick, “The Immortal” caught Sanchez’s next shot and threw a pinpoint right elbow over the top that landed flush to the head and sent Sanchez crashing to the floor. There would be no need for a follow-up blow after the highlight-reel walk-off.

Instagram Photo

Tai Tuivasa def. Rashad Coulter at UFC Fight Night 121

With a leaping right knee, Tai Tuivasa (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) announced his arrival to the UFC’s heavyweight division against Rashad Coulter (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

Tuivasa took out Coulter with a first-round knockout in his promotional debut, getting the stoppage with 25 seconds left in the first round. It was another first-round knockout for “Bam Bam” Tuivasa, who has finished every opponent thus far.

Instagram Photo

* * * *

The Winner: Tywan Claxton

Tywan Claxton

Claxton’s professional MMA debut was one to remember.

Just short of 90 seconds into his Bellator 186 fight with featherweight Bonilla-Bowman, “Speedy” rushed in, leaped in the air, reached for Bonilla-Bowman’s head for a Thai plum, and threw a massive flying left knee – all at the same time.

Bonilla-Bowman was out cold on the canvas. It took him nearly two minutes to get to his stool, and he needed help getting out of the cage.

Claxton, who had a lengthy undefeated amateur run before turning pro for his Bellator 186 bout, hopes his buzzy win leads to bigger opportunities. He wants a big-name opponent, such as James Gallagher.

He said he also tried to troll Bellator top prospect Aaron Pico into a fight by sending a “gift” to his gym.

“Look, the thing with Pico is, if you send a man tampons to his gym and he doesn’t respond, you can’t say too much more because then you become a bully, and I’m not big on being a bully,” Claxton said. “So, I kind of backed off the Aaron Pico situation.

“If he ever wants to fight and prove his manhood, then let’s do it. If he doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to pressure him to fight me. It kind of is what it is with him. I just thought that he was getting the hype, and I told him that was my hype, and I was going to take it.”

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Bellator champ Ryan Bader, Phil Baroni

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Ryan Bader and Phil Baroni.

Bader, Bellator’s light heavyweight champion, is coming off a TKO win to defend his title at Bellator 186 earlier this month in Pennsylvania. Next up, he’ll take part in the promotion’s heavyweight grand prix to attempt to become a two-division champion. MMA veteran Baroni will co-host the show in the second hour and help us understand how the Ali Act could affect MMA.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

What's next for Bellator champs Ryan Bader, Ilima Macfarlane? Scott Coker weighs in

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Bellator 186 saw the defense of one title and the crowning of a new champion.

In the main event of last Friday’s event at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s Campus in University Park, Pa., Ryan Bader pounded out Linton Vassell to retain light heavyweight gold with a second-round TKO.

And in the co-headliner, Ilima Macfarlane won the inaugural Bellator women’s flyweight title with a fifth-round submission of Emily Ducote.

So what could be next for the two champions? Bellator President Scott Coker has no intention of rushing a decision.

In the lead-up to Bellator 186, the 205-pound champion Bader expressed interest in taking part in a heavyweight tournament, should the promotion go that route to decide a new champion. Coker called Muhammed Lawal “a natural choice” for Bader’s next opponent but wouldn’t go so far as to commit to it.

As for Macfarlane, it’s new territory for Coker and Co. deciding what makes sense for the champion of a recently created division, but she’s in no rush to return.

Check out the video above to hear Coker weigh in on the possibilities for both champions, as well as his assessment of their performances.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Nov. 7: GSP back on the pound-for-pound list

After four years away from the competition, Georges St-Pierre is once again a UFC champion.

This time, of course, it’s in the middleweight division. So what do you do with the former welterweight title holder in both the 185-pound and pound-for-pound rankings? Well, in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, St-Pierre moves to the very top of the middleweight ranks, while settling in at No. 9 on the pound-for-pound list.

Take a look at how those divisions look with St-Pierre back in action, and inspect the rankings across every division following a stacked UFC 217 event, as well as Bellator 186.

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

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2559 with Walt Harris, Tywan Claxton

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton.

Harris shared his side of the disqualification result against Mark Godbeer this past Saturday at UFC 217. Claxton discussed his viral flying-knee knockout of Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman at this past Friday’s Bellator 186.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 186's Ed Ruth: 'Sky's the limit' after big knockout win

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. – Penn State alums attending this past Friday’s Bellator 186 might have expected Ed Ruth to put on a wrestling clinic against Chris Dempsey.

The MMA middleweight did put on a little ground-and-pound clinic. But then he gave them a knockout for the ages.

Ruth (4-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA), a three-time NCAA champ for the Nittany Lions, used his fists to stop Dempsey (11-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and up his current unbeaten streak to four at Bryce Jordan Center.

The end was a surprise even to Ruth. He extended his right hand, and suddenly the referee was putting a hand on his chest to stop the bout.

“I’m like what do I do now?” he Ruth told reporters after his Spike-televised fight.

Many a wrestler has made the transition to the cage, but Ruth’s credentials distinguish him as a prospect. He’s already drawn endorsements from many MMA veterans, including Nittany Lion turned light heavyweight standout Phil Davis, who picked up a decision win on Bellator’s 186 main card.

The only question now is how far he can go.

“For me being the wrestler, to knock someone out on their feet, just completely digress into boxing, that’s a big moment for me,” Ruth said. “That’s like a game-changer.

“It’s like, ‘OK, not only am I dangerous with my wrestling, I can also utilize my striking and my boxing.’ I just feel like the sky’s the limit.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Tywan Claxton discusses 'KO of Year' flying knee and sending Aaron Pico a box of tampons

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Tywan Claxton recently secured a frontrunner for “Knockout of the Year” honors, but his reaction to it was rather simple: “The fight’s over, and I’ve got all of my teeth.”

On Friday’s Bellator 186 preliminary card, Claxton (1-0) blasted fellow featherweight Jonathan Bonilla-Bowman (1-1) with a flying knee – one that seemed to glide halfway across the cage – before the knockout video quickly went viral.

Here’s a clip of the KO, which streamed on MMAjunkie from Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa.:

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During sparring sessions, Claxton said he often throws a few punches and then launches with a flying knee, which often gets a “calm down” warning from his teammates. Claxton, a former NCAA Division II wrestler, said it’s fun – but also can produce mixed results.

“Half the time, I really don’t know how to control it,” the 24-year-old said after the event. “Like, I almost went over (Bonilla-Bowman’s) head. But it’s fun to warm up with it, though. I’ll tell you that much.”

Claxton, who had a lengthy undefeated amateur run before turning pro for his Bellator 186 bout, hopes his buzzy win leads to bigger opportunities. He wants a big-name opponent, such as James Gallagher.

He said he also tried to troll Bellator top prospect Aaron Pico into a fight by sending a “gift” to his gym.

“Look, the thing with Pico is, if you send a man tampons to his gym and he doesn’t respond, you can’t say too much more because then you become a bully, and I’m not big on being a bully,” he said. “So I kind of backed off the Aaron Pico situation.

“If he ever wants to fight and prove his manhood, then let’s do it. If he doesn’t want to fight, I’m not going to pressure him to fight me. It kind of is what it is with him. I just thought that he was getting the hype, and I told him that was my hype, and I was going to take it.”

And for the rest of the division?

“It’s over,” he said. “It’s over. Grab a shovel. Dig your own grave. I’m coming for you.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Walt Harris and Tywan Claxton.

Harris was disqualified after hitting fellow heavyweight Mark Godbeer with an illegal kick at UFC 217 on Saturday. Claxton scored a highlight-reel flying-knee knockout a night prior at Bellator 186.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

Saad Awad looking for more respect after 15th Bellator fight, knockout of Freeman

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Fifteen fights into his Bellator career, lightweight Saad Awad has grown a little tired of being just another fighter.

After a first-round knockout of Zach Freeman (9-3 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) to open the Bellator 186 main card this past Friday, Awad (21-9 MMA, 9-6 BMMA) said he’s ready for a step up in competition – for a little respect.

“I kind of do feel (I don’t get enough respect),” Awad told MMAjunkie. “I don’t have a big following. I know people know who I am – but more of the hardcore fans. I just think it would be nice to be out there more. When you’re the first fight on the (main) card, they don’t really promote you, which I understand. You promote the main event and the co-main event. I don’t usually get much promotion. But it’s my 15th fight in Bellator, and I think it’s the first time (I was at a post-fight news conference).”

Bellator 186 took place Friday at Bryce Jordan Center on Penn State’s campus in University Park, Pa. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

One of the problems for Awad may be that when he’s gone up against Bellator’s higher-level lightweights, he hasn’t typically come out on top.

His resume features losses to Brennan Ward, Derek Anderson, David Rickels, Patricky Freire and Will Brooks, though his loss to Brooks came eight months after he knocked him out in 43 seconds.

But Freeman was coming off a brilliant submission of highly touted prospect Aaron Pico, and it gave Awad two wins in a row. Was it enough to start getting the respect he’s seeking?

Check out the video above for more from Awad after Bellator 186.

And for complete coverage of Bellator 186, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie