UFC 220 in Boston gets new bouts, including Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja

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The lineup is taking shape for January’s UFC 220 event in Massachusetts.

New bookings include flyweights Dustin Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) vs. Alexandre Pantoja (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and featherweights Kyle Bochniak (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Brandon Davis (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

UFC officials announced the fights via @BGlobeSports.

UFC 220 takes place Jan. 20 at TD Garden in Boston. It airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

Ortiz, who’s No. 12 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, is coming off a “Performance of the Night” win over Hector Sandoval. The 28-year-old registered the fastest knockout in flyweight history with the 15-second stoppage, which came after a 1-3 stretch against the upper echelon of the division. He now takes on No. 15-ranked Pantoja, a 27-year-old Brazilian who signed with the UFC after winning RFA and AXS TV “super fight” titles. He’s since defeated Eric Shelton (split decision) and Neil Seery (submission) to push his winning streak to 11 fights.

Bochniak, a 30-year-old from Massachusetts, went 6-0 with CES MMA before signing with the UFC, where he has decision losses to Charles Rosa and Jeremy Kennedy, and a decision victory over Enrique Barzola. He meets Davis, a 27-year-old from Mississippi who signed with the UFC after earning a decision win over Austin Arnett at DWCS 4. It was his seventh straight victory.

The latest UFC 220 lineup includes:

  • Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau
  • Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
  • Shane Burgos vs. Calvin Kattar
  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

DWCS 4's Julian Marquez scored a thunderous KO – here's the moment he got a UFC contract

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

LAS VEGAS – So, you’ve gone out there and won a fight at a Dana White’s Contender Series event. Now what? As it turns out, the nervousness isn’t over.

Each Tuesday during the weekly UFC Fight Pass-streamed event series, five fights take place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, and they feature UFC hopefuls – with both up-and-comers and vets hoping to hold on to the dream. However, not everyone is guaranteed a UFC contract, even with a victory.

On Tuesday, at Dana White’s Contender Series 4, five winners – Julian Marquez, Kyler Phillips, Carlos Candelario, Brandon Davis and John Castaneda – gathered backstage to await their fate, and MMAjunkie was there to capture the anxiety-filled moments and eventual verdicts.

That anxiety eventually turned into jubilation; two fighters – Marquez and Davis – were awarded UFC contacts for their victories. Marquez earned one of the most memorable knockouts of the series so far – against Jon Jones training partner Phil Hawes – while Davis gutted out a brutal battle with Davis.

Watch the video above to see the moment the fighters were informed they’d been selected for UFC contract offers. Check below to see White’s explanation of why (via Twitter):

For complete coverage of Dana White’s Contender Series 4, visit 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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Source: MMA Junkie

DWCS 4 winner Brandon Davis: 'If you want to see an exciting fight, I'm your man'

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LAS VEGAS – Brandon Davis came out victorious in one of the most exciting battles in all four of Dana White’s Contender Series events. And now, with a UFC contract locked up, he assures us there’s plenty more where that came from.

Davis (8-2) earned a unanimous-decision nod after a three-round slugfest with Austin Arnett (15-3) on Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 4 event. The battle saw blows, smiles and words exchanged between the featherweights, who got standing ovations from UFC President Dana White and matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard.

Here are the highlights (via Twitter):

Davis joined fellow victor Julian Marquez – author of a thunderous head-kick – as one of two fighters scoring a UFC contract that night. The good news for the 145-pounder might just mean good news for the fans, assuming he delivers on his promises for the big stage.

“That’s honestly the way I fight every fight,” Davis told MMAjunkie after the scrap, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. “I’m not saying I get hit a lot or anything like that. I usually have a little more movement.

“I felt myself pushing a little too fast-paced in the beginning of the first round. So I slowed down, and people thought I was getting tired. But I wasn’t; I was just trying to be smart about and making sure I didn’t gas out. I slowed down, tried to use a bit more angles and drop my hands a little bit.

“I like to talk (expletive) during the fight, just to get to him. After the fight, we’re friends, we talk – it’s just what it is. It’s how I fight, and I feel every fight from now on is going to be like that too. It’s been like that every fight before, so – if you want to see an exciting fight, I’m your man. ”

The 27-year-old fighter was fully aware he had a tough opponent in front of him on Tuesday. Arnett, 25, came into the bout riding an impressive 13-fight winning streak with a professional record that held only two losses. Carrying in a six-fight winning streak of his own, Davis saw two ways the scrap could go.

The first was that he could finish Arnett late in the first round or early in the second – a prediction that, while unsuccessful, he believes his elbows almost helped him accomplish.

And the second?

“Or, if he was able to take it, it was going to be bloody, and we were going to make it a ‘Fight of the Night,’” Davis said. “I feel like that happened.”

The fact that Davis imagined this happening, however, didn’t take away from the “unreal” feeling of hearing his name getting called. And now, other than figuring out whether he wants to cry or to party, the featherweight is planning for a quick octagon turnaround.

At the moment, that still depends on X-ray results from his hurt ankle. If it’s broken, he says, he might be looking at an 180-day suspension. But if it’s not, he’s already got some ideas in mind.

“I know they’ve got a Sydney card (on Nov. 19) coming up,” Davis said. “I’ve never been to Australia. I’m down to fight as often as I can. I’m healthy. I’m ready to go. Other than my foot, I can fight again tomorrow.”

Check out the full post-fight interview above.

And for more on Dana White’s Contender Series 4, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 4 results: Julian Marquez KOs Jon Jones training partner Phil Hawes

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Julian Marquez ended Dana White’s Contender Series 4 with a bang, laying out Jon Jones training partner Phil Hawes with a head kick to cap off the show..

Dana White’s Contender Series 4 took place Tuesday at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. The card streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

The fight was over at the 2:20 mark of the second round when Hawes dropped limp to the canvas with a scary thud.

“I was tired,” Marquez admitted after the fight. “The weight cut yesterday was pretty rough, but I just knew he was going to keep coming. I just knew if I weathered the storm, he would leave an opening, which he did.”

Hawes’ early drive to take the fight down to the mat may have sapped his energy reserves. Marquez proved a tough challenge to take down, and when he hit the mat, he escaped bad positions and returned to his feet. A guillotine attempt had Hawes scrambling not to tap.

At the start of the second, Marquez landed a combination that badly hurt Hawes and put him on auto pilot. A sloppy takedown attempt put Marquez on top, and when Hawes finally managed to escape, he was ready.

The head kick was perfectly timed and provided a highlight-reel finish that brought UFC contract to Marquez (6-1), who’s won his past four. Hawes (4-2), an early flameout on “The Ultimate Fighter 23,” now has dropped two straight.

Phillips quickly stops shooting Gray

Bantamweight Kyler Phillips picked up the first stoppage win of the night with a quick TKO of James Gray.

An early takedown attempt from Gray (4-2) was countered by elbows from Phillips (5-0), who pounded away with punches before returning for a hammerfist to close it out just 46 seconds into the opening frame.

“I did not want to do jiu-jitsu,” Phillips said of his win.” “I want to be exciting and get that KO. This organization, we’ve got to make money, so I’m here to do crazy kicks and crazy punches. I’ll put everybody out.”

Candelario’s damage counters Candido for decision nod

Carlos Candelario survived a last-minute submission scare from jiu-jitsu specialist Ronaldo Candido to take home a unanimous decision.

The final scores were all 29-28 for the unbeaten Candelario, who refused to cede positions on the mat and repaid Candido’s takedown attempts with consistent damage.

“He had me in that last round a little bit, but I knew I won that fight,” Candelario said.

All three rounds followed a consistent pattern. Candido fought his way into a takedown and threatened a choke. But on each occasion, Candelario scrambled to safety and then pounded away with elbows and punches.

Candido (6-1), a jiu-jitsu coach of Jose Aldo, gamely pressed the action late and earned a huge slam in the final round. With Candelario (7-0) fading, he advanced to mount position and wrapped the head for a guillotine choke. When Candelario made his neck scarce, elbows opened up an arm-triangle attempt. The attempts led to a tense minute but no tap from Candelario.

Blood-and-guts thriller sees Davis edge Arnett

After three rounds, featherweights Brandon Davis and Austin Arnett were spattered with Arnett’s blood. They traded smiles and hundreds of punches in an all-out slugfest.

Davis, the busier and more effective fighter, emerged with a unanimous decision via scores of 30-27, 30-26 and 29-28 and also earned the only other UFC contract of the night. Arnett, sporting a forehead gash that flowed freely, never capitulated and kept swinging until the final bell.

“That’s every fight – sign me,” Davis said afterward. “I promise you.”

Arnett’s powerful straight right was stymied by Davis’ head movement and aggressive combinations. Then an elbow split him open after he banked on a guillotine and missed in the second round. The ensuing blood was the third opponent in the cage as Davis tried to open it with spinning attacks.

Two rounds took some of the verve out of Davis’ (8-2) pace, but he managed to hold off as Arnett (15-3) landed several power shots to the body and head. The decision was his seventh straight win, while Arnett lost his first bout in three years and 13 fights.

Castaneda gets unanimous nod over Leialoha

Bantamweight John Castaneda’s last-minute rally tipped the scores in his favor against Max Holloway training partner Cheyden Leialoha.

After trading takedowns and kicks with Leialoha, Castaneda put his opponent on the mat late in the third and made a statement with a back mount and ground control.

“I’ve never been this tired in a fight, so it’s just going to motivate me to never be this tired again,” he said afterward.

Judges unanimously scored it 29-28 for Castaneda (14-2), who picked up his ninth straight win, and did so after Leialoha (6-1) cut him with an elbow on the mat in the first. With blood running into his eye, he charged back in the second by countering Leialoha’s aggressive striking, and then won a key takedown for his final push.

The official Dana White’s Contender Series 4 results:

  • Julian Marquez def. Phil Hawes via KO (head kick) – Round 2, 2:20
  • Kyler Phillips def. James Gray via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:46
  • Carlos Candelario def. Ronaldo Candido via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Brandon Davis def. Austin Arnett via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
  • John Castaneda def. Cheyden Leialoha via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

For complete coverage of Dana White’s Contender Series 4, visit the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 4 lineup revealed, includes Phil Hawes vs. Julian Marquez

The lineup for the fourth edition of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” has been revealed, and a prospect long considered an octagon-worthy talent is among those vying for a UFC contract.

UFC official today revealed the five fights that will be featured at Dana White’s Contender Series 4, which takes place Aug. 1 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streams live on UFC Fight Pass. The featured bout takes place in the middleweight division, with Phil Hawes (4-1) facing Julian Marquez (5-1).

Additional matchups includes bantamweights James Gray (4-1) vs. Kyler Phillips (4-0), flyweights Carlos Candelario (6-0) vs. Ronaldo Candido (6-0), featherweights Austin Arnett (14-2) vs. Brandon Davis (7-2) and bantamweights John Castaneda (13-2) vs. Cheyden Leialoha (6-0).

Long considered a top prospect, Hawes has struggled to break into the national spotlight. After turning pro in February 2014, Hawes rattled off four stoppage victories to open his career but most recently suffered a July 2016 loss to Louis Taylor under the WSOF banner. Hawes now return to action following a year on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, “The Cuban Missile Crisis” Marquez turned pro just three months after Hawes and has earned victories in five of his first six contests. All five of his victories have come by way of stoppage, including four in the first round. Meanwhile, Marquez’s lone loss came by way of decision in a preliminary bout at Bellator 150 in February 2016. He’s since bounced back with three consecutive wins.

The Dana White’s Contender Series 4 lineup includes:

  • Phil Hawes vs. Julian Marquez
  • James Gray vs. Kyler Phillips
  • Carlos Candelario vs. Ronaldo Candido
  • Austin Arnett vs. Brandon Davis
  • John Castaneda vs. Cheyden Leialoha

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 4, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie