10 reasons to watch UFC Fight Night 117, including a time to shine for a few unheralded fighters


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC returns to Japan’s famed Saitama Super Arena on Friday for UFC Fight Night 117. In the headlining bout, Ovince Saint Preux faces former middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami in a light heavyweight contest. Okami steps in on short notice to replace the injured Mauricio Rua. The fight marks Okami’s first UFC bout in more than four years.

In the co-main event, two of the best the women’s strawweight division has to offer, Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade, meet in a bout that’s likely to end with the victor asking for another shot at the title.

Outside of the top two fights, this card is lacking in big-name talent, That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In a situation like this, lesser-known fighters have the opportunity to kick open the door and ingratiate themselves with fight fans through memorable performances.

UFC Fight Night 117 takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo. The card airs on FXX following a single early prelim on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. He’s gotta have it

Saint Preux is better than his record suggests. Sure, he’s lost five of his 13 fights, but those defeats have come at the hands of some of the best fighters in the light heavyweight division. That’s the book on Saint Preux: He’s always competitive, but not quite good enough to break into the top five. At 34, his window to make that jump is beginning to close.

With a submission win in his most recent outing, Saint Preux (20-10 MMA, 8-5), No. 10 in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light heavyweight rankings, has some momentum coming into this fight. A win over Okami (34-10 MMA, 13-5 UFC), who has never competed above middleweight and whose five most recent fights took place at welterweight, won’t boost Saint Preux in the rankings, but it will help build his confidence. That might be what Saint Preux needs more than anything at this point in his career.

With the circumstances of this fight being what they are, this is a 100 percent must-win fight for Saint Preux.


2. Lookin’ for a title fight

Gadelha has two losses on her record. Both of those defeats came to current strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the most recent being a July 2016 “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning decision loss. Since then, Gadelha, currently ranked No. 2 in the division, has two victories – her most recent win being a June submission victory over former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Gadelha (15-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) faces another former title challenger in Japan, No. 3-ranked Jessica Andrade (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), who enters this fight with a loss to Jedrzejczyk in her most recent outing.

With Jedrzejczyk booked to face No. 6-ranked Rose Namajunas in November, this fight could very well determine the next title challenger. That is something of which Gadelha is certainly aware.

“I think that, getting past Jessica, I won’t have anything else to prove to anyone,” Gadelha told MMAjunkie. “I had two close fights with Joanna. If I don’t deserve that title shot, I don’t think anyone else does.”

3. Swan song?

When a UFC fighter loses three straight, there’s a better than average chance he or she won’t get the opportunity to fight again for the promotion. That’s especially true if that fighter competes in a stacked division like lightweight. Sometimes there are exceptions to that rule. MMA legend Takanori Gomi happens to be one of those exceptions. Gomi (35-13 MMA, 4-8 UFC) looks to end a four-fight skid against ”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (14-8-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who enters this fight with a decision victory in his most recent contest.

Gomi’s last win came in 2014, when he earned a decision win over Isaac Vallie-Flagg. Gomi followed that fight with four straight first-round stoppage defeats.

With one no contest on his record, Gomi is fighting in his 50th pro bout. With this contest taking place in Gomi’s home country of Japan, it wouldn’t be a surprise if this fight is the last of his storied career.

4. A former kickboxing champ debuts

The UFC raised some eyebrows earlier this year when it announced the signing of former GLORY kickboxing light heavyweight champion Gokhan Saki. “The Rebel” has one MMA fight on his record, a 2004 TKO loss. His kickboxing record is an impressive 83-16, with 59 knockout wins.

Saki, known as the “Turkish Tyson,” has a fast and powerful striking game that should give him an advantage on the feet against most of the fighters in the somewhat shallow light heavyweight division. What we don’t know is anything about Saki’s takedown defense or ground game. A secondary worry about Saki is ring rust. He hasn’t fought since April 2015.

Luckily for Saki (0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), he faces Henrique da Silva (12-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC), who has attempted a total of three takedowns in his five UFC fights. In other words, he prefers to compete on the feet.

Saki is a much more technical striker than the brawling da Silva. All in all, this is a fight Saki should win.


5. Shore up some weaknesses

MMA fans and media sometimes get caught up in the excitement of the moment. So, when Teruto Ishihara scored two memorable knockout victories in 2016 and showed off his “colorful” personality whenever a camera and microphone were focused on him, many saw Ishihara as a featherweight star in the making. After losing his past two fights by wide margins, Ishihara has some ground to make up.

Ishihara was exposed a bit in those two losses. Artem Lobov, in his upset win over Ishihara, showed that when pressured, Ishihara’s striking game can be neutralized. Gray Maynard then revealed Ishihara’s non-existent takedown defense when he went 11-for-11 in takedowns in his decision victory over Ishihara.

Ishihara has a good camp around him, and there’s no doubt they’ve worked on these weaknesses. Now it’s Ishihara’s (9-4-2 MMA, 2-2-1 UFC) time to show he’s not a one-trick fighter. Ishihara faces Rolando Dy (8-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in Japan. Dy’s most recent fight ended in a doctor-stoppage loss.

6. Looking for a win outside of Boston

Charles Rosa was a perfect 9-0 when he joined UFC in 2014. Three years into his run with the promotion, Rosa’s record is now 11-3. Two of Rosa’s losses came outside America and all have taken place outside of his native Boston. However, Rosa hasn’t exactly disappointed in his three defeats. He earned “Fight of the Night” bonuses in each of those setbacks.

Rosa is an aggressive, fast-paced fighter, with an excellent ground game. He also can also fight at distance, where he is effective in mixing up his kicks. What really stands out about Rosa is his tenacity and toughness, two intangibles which make him a rough out for anyone in the featherweight division.

Rosa (11-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) attempts to earn his first win and first performance bonus outside America when he meets Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC), who badly missed weight.

7. Time to dust off that black belt

Former Legacy FC welterweight champion Alex Morono saw his seven-fight unbeaten streak come to an end in February when he was knocked out by Niko Price. Morono (13-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) looks to get back on the winning track against Keita Nakamura (32-8-2 MMA, 2-5 UFC), who also enters this fight following a loss. Nakamura dropped a decision to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos in October.

Morono is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but we haven’t seen much of his grappling game during his UFC tenure. Instead, Morono tends to use his somewhat reckless striking to earn his victories. That could change against Nakamura. Nakamura struggles on his feet, but he’s very effective at taking the back and locking on a rear naked choke. Nakamura has 15 career wins via rear-naked choke; included in that number are each of his last four victories.

8. Staying alive

Jussier Formiga has been slugging it out in the UFC since the earliest days of the flyweight division. Five years into his run with the promotion, Formiga has been unable to get a shot at the title. He’s been close – each of the four fighters who have beaten him have moved directly into a title fight – but he’s been unable to get over that hump. Now ranked No. 7 in the division, Formiga is at risk of being tagged with the dreaded gatekeeper status.

Formiga is excellent on the ground. In fact, he’s never lost a UFC fight where he’s scored a takedown. On the flipside, he has zero takedowns in his four UFC defeats. The good thing for Formiga (19-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) is his opponent, the unranked Ulka Sasaki (20-4-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC), has weak takedown defense. The bad thing is Sasaki has a decided height and reach advantage over Formiga, which could make getting the fight to the mat difficult.

9. A ‘Queen’ joins the UFC

Don’t expect UFC newcomer Syuri Kondo to be awed by the octagon. Kondo has plenty of combat sports experience. She began her career as a pro wrestler in 2008. In 2009 Kondo added kickboxing to her resume. She made her MMA debut in 2016.

Now 5-0 in MMA, Kondo won the Queen of Pancrase strawweight title in her most recent bout. In that fight, Kondo earned a five-round unanimous decision win over Kinberly Tanaka Novaes. Kondo was excellent in the clinch against Novaes, landing numerous knees to the head, body and legs of Novaes.

Kondo (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Chanmi Jeon in Japan. Jeon’s most recent fight was a one-sided unanimous-decision loss to J.J. Aldrich in June. Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) took the fight on short notice and came in two pounds overweight. It’s going to be interesting to see what Jeon brings to the octagon with a full camp. She was very active on her feet against Aldrich, attempting 252 total strikes.

10. Oh, and there’s a ‘King’ as well

If you’re looking for a sleeper pick for “Fight of the Night,” the welterweight matchup between Hyun Gyu Lim and Daichi Abe is your fight. Despite a 1-3 record dating back to 2014, Lim, a huge 170-pounder, is always game for a brawl. Abe is a smaller fighter with less experience, but he’s no neophyte. In his most recent bout, Abe knocked out former WEC welterweight title contender Hiromitsu Miura. The win, Abe’s fourth knockout victory, earned him the King of Pancrase welterweight title.

Abe (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is a powerful, aggressive striker with fast hands. When he does hurt his opponent, he has excellent finishing instincts. Abe’s kickboxing background will come in handy against Lim (13-6-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who has a five-inch reach advantage over the UFC newcomer. Lim is on a two-fight losing streak.

On paper, this looks like an excellent opening fight, one that could very well end early and violently.

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC-Auckland's 10 memorable moments, including Derrick Lewis' bombshell

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UFC Fight Night 110 started off slowly. The first four fights went the distance, but when things picked up steam, the card moved along rather nicely with all but one of the final six bouts ending in a finish. Those finishes included the heavyweight main event between Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis.

Lewis entered the FS1-televised headliner on a six-fight winning streak, but despite his best efforts, he was unable to extend that streak to seven, and instead, he tasted defeat for the first time in almost two years. During the four-round contest, Lewis went deep into his bag of tricks, attempting high kicks, flying knees and even thinking about a spinning kick, but Hunt calmly took everything he had to offer. And when his opponent’s gas tank hit empty, Hunt closed the deal with strikes against the fence.

In the co-main event, another winning streak came to a close as fan favorite Daniel Kelly fell to Derek Brunson via knockout in less than 90 seconds.

UFC Fight Night 110 took place Saturday at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Here are 10 memorable moments from the event.

1. Sticking around

The Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) and Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) bout lasted longer than many expected, grinding along until late in the fourth round. The end came when an exhausted Lewis put his hands on his hips and backed into the fence, where Hunt delivered a few strikes before referee Marc Goddard waved off the contest.

The finish was more whimper than bang, but it showed that even at 43, Hunt remains a force in the UFC heavyweight division.

After his victory, Hunt, the oldest fighter in the UFC, said he plans on sticking around until he fights out the reported six-fight deal he signed in April 2016.

“I like to get beat up,” Hunt told MMAjunkie. “Shucks, there’s nothing else I’m good at. But I’ve got a couple of fights I want to finish. Why not see the contract out and then retire?”


2. Somebody’s watching me

“It’s probably my last fight,” Lewis told UFC commentator Brian Stann after his loss to Hunt. “I’m getting married next week, and I don’t like to put my family through this. That will be my last fight.”

We all know MMA retirements have a tendency not to last, especially when they come seconds after a loss in a big fight. That didn’t stop two of Lewis’ fellow UFC heavyweights from commenting on his possible retirement via social media.

Travis Browne, whom Lewis knocked out in February, questioned Lewis’ heart in an Instagram post and offered to run back their fight, while up and coming Francis Ngannou tweeted that Hunt beat Lewis “like a baby.”

3. Back on track

Between August 2014 and September 2016, Brunson ran off five straight middleweight wins, with four victories coming via first-round knockout. Brunson’s stock took a hit after he dropped his next two fights, losing to Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva. Expect a market correction when it comes to Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) after his first-round knockout win over Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC).

Brunson faced criticism for his style in the Whittaker and Silva fights. He was reckless against Whittaker and not aggressive enough against Silva. Brunson found a middle ground vs. Kelly by throwing out jabs and kicks to measure distance and timing, and when he saw an opening, he threw a hard left that dropped Kelly. A few hammerfists later, Brunson was back in the win column while bringing an abrupt end to Kelly’s four-fight winning streak.


4. Move pays off

Dan Hooker joined the UFC’s featherweight division following a run as the Australian Fighting Championships lightweight titleholder. Three years into his UFC tenure, Hooker’s record stood at 3-3, and he decided to give lightweight another shot, starting at UFC Fight Night 110. That move paid off in a big way.

Moments after his corner implored their fighter to find his range, Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) connected with a knee to the chin that sent Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) to the mat while simultaneously launching his mouthpiece into the air. That perfectly timed strike, which ended the fight at the 3:02 mark of Round 2, earned Hooker a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

After the contest, Hooker told MMAjunkie he will be sticking around at lightweight.


5. Say goodnight

Ion Cutelaba was a bit belligerent at the weigh-in, where he refused to shake the hand of light-heavyweight opponent Henrique da Silva and lunging toward him. Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) upped his aggression on fight night, marching across the cage during introductions and dragging his thumb across his throat as he got in da Silva’s (12-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) face.

Cutelaba backed up his pugnaciousness once the fight began, throwing his punches with fight-ending intentions. Cutelaba knocked down da Silva early and didn’t let up once his opponent was hurt. He landed heavy rights from inside da Silva’s guard and ended the fight in 22 seconds.

After the victory, Cutelaba told Stann he was in a hurry to end the contest so he could say goodnight to his infant daughter, who was home in Moldova.


6. That’ll change your mood

Ben Nguyen was bummed out when he lost his chance to face Joseph Benavidez at UFC Fight Night 110. After his “Performance of the Night” winning effort against late replacement Tim Elliott, Nguyen’s mood improved significantly.

Nguyen’s aggressive striking had Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) looking for takedowns early. After some scrambling on the mat, Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) slipped in the hooks and sank in a rear-naked choke that ended the flyweight fight in 49 seconds. The loss was Elliott’s first submission defeat since Benavidez stopped him via guillotine choke in April 2014.

The quick stoppage will keep Nguyen in the mix to face a top-five opponent in his next outing, maybe even Benavidez if he heals up in time for that booking.


7. No power outage

Alexander Volkanovski displayed some mean ground and pound in his UFC debut in November, earning a second-round TKO win over Yusuke Kasuya in a lightweight bout. Volkanovski dropped to featherweight for his UFC Fight Night 110 fight against Mizuto Hirota, and he brought his heavy hands with him.

Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) was dominant in every facet of this fight, cruising to a unanimous-decision win over Hirota (14-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC). While he wasn’t able to get the finish, it wasn’t for lack of trying, as Volkanovski came close to ending Hirota’s night in the first round after knocking him down with a right and following up with ground strikes.

The win puts Volkanovski’s winning streak at 12, with 10 stoppages.


8. Rust? What rust?

Most UFC fighters don’t go more than three years between fights, but that’s the situation Vinc Pichel found himself in heading into UFC Fight Night 110. Pichel, who had been sidelined by what he called a “steamroll ball of (expletive)” since his May 2014 win over Anthony Njokuani, stepped into his lightweight fight against Damien Brown anxious to prove he still belonged in the UFC. He did just that.

Brown’s (16-10 MMA, 2-2 UFC) game plan was to pressure Pichel (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), and for most of the first round he was successful. He put Pichel on his heels. But with less than 90 seconds left in the first stanza, Pichel, backing into the fence, delivered a crisp combination that brought the fight to an abrupt end.

After the fight, Pichel informed the division of his plans.

“I ain’t stopping,” Pichel told Stann, “I’m going to go on a rampage.”


9. He needed that

John Moraga knew he was facing questions heading into his flyweight matchup with Ashkan Mokhtarian. The former title contender hadn’t won a fight in more than two years and was in the midst of a three-fight losing streak. Had Moraga (17-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) lost to Mokhtarian (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), a UFC newcomer, his run with the promotion would have likely come to an end.

Moraga put on a clinic against the overmatched Mokhtarian, dominating the fight in every way and earning a unanimous decision. Now back in the win column, Moraga is sure to be tested by tougher competition the next time he steps into the octagon.


10. That’s better

J.J. Aldrich came into her second UFC fight with a full camp behind her, and it showed. Aldrich represented herself much better against Chanmi Jeon than she did in her short notice debut vs. Juliana Lima.

Aldrich (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) pressured Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) throughout the strawweight fight, showing solid technical striking ability on her way to a unanimous-decision win.


For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 post-event facts: Derek Brunson is the 1st-round king at middleweight

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The UFC’s second visit to New Zealand took place Saturday when Spark Arena in Auckland hosted UFC Fight Night 110, which aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, local hero Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) continued to be an ageless wonder when the 43-year-old methodically broke down and eventually stopped Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) for a fourth-round TKO win in front of a jubilant crowd.

The heavyweight headliner won “Fight of the Night” honors, but it was far from the only memorable moment. Several spectacular performances occurred at UFC Fight Night 110, and for more on the numbers behind them, check out 40 post-event facts to come out of the UFC’s latest visit to Oceania.

* * * *


Alexander Volkanovski

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $110,000.

Debuting fighters went 1-2 at the event.

Hunt, Lewis, Dan Hooker and Ben Nguyen earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 110 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 110 drew an announced attendance of 8,649 for a live gate of $830,000.

Betting favorites went 8-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 1:47:57.

Main card

Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis

Hunt has earned all 10 of his career stoppage victories by knockout. That includes seven of his eight wins under the UFC banner.

Hunt’s seven fight-night bonuses for UFC heavyweight bouts are tied with Travis Browne for second most in divisional history behind champ Stipe Miocic (eight).

Lewis had his six-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since June 2015.

Lewis has suffered all three of his UFC losses by stoppage due to strikes.

Derek Brunson’s (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) eight UFC victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied for most in the division.

Derek Brunson and Daniel Kelly

Brunson has earned six of his eight UFC victories by stoppage.

Brunson’s six first-round stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Brunson’s six UFC stoppage victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied for most in the division.

Daniel Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has suffered both of his career losses by knockout.

Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his seven-fight UFC career.

Dan Hooker and Ross Pearson

Hooker has earned 13 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. That includes all four of his UFC wins.

Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) suffered his fourth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since March 2016.

Pearson fell to 6-7 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2012.

Ion Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned 12 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. He’s finished 10 of those wins by knockout.

Ion Cutelaba

Cutelaba’s 22-second knockout victory is the seventh fastest in UFC light-heavyweight history.

Cutelaba earned his eighth career victory in 30 seconds or less.

Henrique da Silva (12-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Ben Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned 14 of his 17 career victories by stoppage.

Ben Nguyen

Nguyen’s 49-second submission marked the second fastest finish in UFC flyweight history behind Fredy Serrano’s 44-second win at UFC Fight Night 79.

Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) fell to 1-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in December.

Elliott has suffered both of his UFC stoppage losses by submission.

Alex Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 12 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC) has suffered seven of his eight career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Vinc Pichel

Vinc Pichel (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) returned from a career-long layoff for his first victory since May 2014.

Pichel has earned eight of his 10 career victories by knockout.

Damien Brown (16-10 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered his first knockout loss since Nov. 19, 2011 – a span of 2,030 days (more than five years) and 19 fights.

Dominique Steele (14-9 MMA, 1-4 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2015.

John Moraga

John Moraga (17-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) snapped a three-fight losing skid for his first victory since December 2014.

Moraga’s six victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind champ Demetrious Johnson (12) and Joseph Benavidez (10).

Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Zak Ottow

Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned his past three victories by decision after stopping his opponent in his first 12 career wins.

Kiichi Kunimoto (18-7-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) suffered his first decision loss since March 11, 2012 – a span of 1,917 days (more than five years) and nine fights.

Chanmi Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had her five-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, 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.

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

J.J. Aldrich: Spunky 19-year-old Chanmi Jeon was 'out of her element' at UFC-Auckland

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – J.J. Aldrich was dominant in her first UFC victory when she halted the undefeated streak of prospect Chanmi Jeon at UFC Fight Night 110 on Saturday.

Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) accepted the fight on short notice after Aldrich’s (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) originally scheduled opponent, Nadia Kassem, suffered an injury. At 19, the South Korean fighter became the youngest member of the UFC roster.

She missed weight, though, and was required to forfeit 20 percent of purse to her opponent in the unanimous-decision loss. Aldrich said she wasn’t bothered by the situations leading up to fight night, and while she wasn’t thrilled with her opponent missing weight, she was just thankful to fight.

“My last fight was a last-minute fight, I took it on seven days’ (notice), and I still made the weight,” Aldrich told MMAjunkie. “She came in at fight week lower than I did and couldn’t make the weight, so I think it’s just maybe being from a different country, not knowing how to do it yet.

“I know it’s her first time trying to make 115, so I’m just appreciative she still stepped up and took the fight and I got it done. I can’t complain.”

Aldrich’s victory over Jeon took place on the UFC Fight Pass early prelims of UFC Fight Night 110, which streamed prior the televised card on FS1 at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Prior to her UFC debut, Jeon had competed only in her home country against inferior opposition. She hung tough despite 30-27 scorecards across the board in Aldrich’s favor, but when time ran out, the American viewed experience as a deciding factor.

“She’s kind of out her element a little bit,” Aldrich said. “She’s used to being like the hometown hero, so I think her confidence was pretty high coming in just because of that. She’s never been in a tough situation. She’s always had good fights and had high confidence. (There was) no reason for her to come in here without it.”

After falling short against Juliana Lima at UFC Fight Night 102 in December in her own short-notice UFC debut, Aldrich is in the UFC win column and ready to proceed with her career. She’s not wasting any time, either; she already a name and date in mind for her next trip to the octagon.

“I had a great time out here in New Zealand, and I heard there’s a card in Sydney,” Aldrich said. “I would love to get on that card in November. The girl that I was originally supposed to fight, Nadia, she got hurt, but that’s her hometown in Australia, so I’d love to go fight her in Sydney in November.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 Athlete Outfitting pay: Ross Pearson receives top payout in KO loss

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $110,000.

UFC Fight Night 110 took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Despite coming out on the wrong end of one of the year’s most memorable knockouts courtesy of Dan Hooker, Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) was the payout leader. “The Real Deal” received a maximum non-title payout of $20,000 for his 23rd octagon appearance.

The full UFC Fight Night 110 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Mark Hunt: $10,000
def. Derrick Lewis: $10,000

Derek Brunson: $10,000
def. Daniel Kelly: $5,000

Dan Hooker: $5,000
def. Ross Pearson: $20,000

Ion Cutelaba: $2,500
def. Luis Henrique da Silva: $2,500

Ben Nguyen: $2,500
def. Tim Elliott: $5,000

Alex Volkanovski: $2,500
def. Mizuto Hirota: $2,500

Vinc Pichel: $2,500
def. Damien Brown: $2,500

Luke Jumeau: $2,500
def. Dominique Steele: $2,500

John Moraga: $10,000
def. Ashkan Mokhtarian: $2,500

Zak Ottow: $2,500
def. Kiichi Kunimoto: $2,500

J.J. Aldrich: $2,500
def. Chanmi Jeon: $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: $2,472,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $12,795,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 110, spanning Kendrick Lama to AC/DC

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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 110 in Auckland, New Zealand, went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Mark Hunt def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 3:51

Mark Hunt: “Wickedest Man Alive” by Naughty by Nature

Derrick Lewis: “Umm Hmm” by ABN

Derek Brunson def. Daniel Kelly via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:16

Derek Brunson: “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

Daniel Kelly: “Run to Paradise” by The Choirboys

Dan Hooker def. Ross Pearson via knockout (knee, punch) – Round 2, 3:02

Dan Hooker: “Runnin” by David Dallas

Ross Pearson: “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Ion Cutelaba def. Henrique da Silva via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:22

Ion Cutelaba: “Doina Haiducului” by Zdob si Zdub

Henrique da Silva: “Back in Black” by AC/DC

Ben Nguyen def. Tim Elliott via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:49

Ben Nguyen: “Inner Light” by Shocking Lemon

Tim Elliott: “Karate” by Kennedy

Alexander Volkanovski def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alex Volkanovski: “Game of Thrones” Theme

Mizuto Hirota: “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith

Vinc Pichel def. Damien Brown via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:37

Vinc Pichel: “Bad Company” by Five Finger Death Punch

Damien Brown: “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC

Luke Jumeau def. Dominique Steele via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Luke Jumeau: “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio

Dominique Steele: “DOA” by Jay-Z

John Moraga def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)

John Moraga: “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Ashkan Mokhtarian: “Blood on the Leaves” by Kanye West

Zak Ottow def. Kiichi Kunimoto via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Zak Ottow: “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones

Kiichi Kunimoto: “Immortals” by Fall Out Boy

J.J. Aldrich def. Chanmi Jeon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

J.J. Aldrich: “The Warrior’s Code” by Dropkick Murphys

Chanmi Jeon: “Victory” by Yolanda Adams

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 results: J.J. Aldrich schools 19-year-old Chanmi Jeon making UFC debut

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“The Ultimate Fighter 23” veteran J.J. Aldrich didn’t bring the thirst for bloody competition as her opponent, Chanmi Jeon. But her technique was more than enough to carry the day.

Aldrich (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) shut out Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on judges scorecards with a unanimous 30-27 decision, expertly using her distance and timing to land the better blows over three rounds.

The women’s strawweight bout was part of today’s UFC Fight Night 110 early prelims, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass prior to additional prelims and a main card on FS1.

Aldrich established her best weapon early in the 15-minute affair, meeting Jeon’s kicks with a straight right hand. She followed up with a left high kick that slapped Jeon’s face. After taking several hard shots, Jeon, making her UFC debut, tried to bully her way into the clinch with knees and knocked Aldrich to the ground. The level change didn’t produce any meaningful offense, however, and they set into a similar rhythm as before.

Jeon found out in the middle frame that her best chance at success was to rush in and try to brawl with Aldrich. After taking more straight lefts and stiff jabs, Jeon landed a pair of hooks that at least got Aldrich’s attention.

Everyone in the audience heard Jeon’s war cry to start Round 3, and she tried to make up the obvious deficit in the final round, smiling as Aldrich cracked her with punches and kicks. But all the taunting didn’t change the fact that Aldrich had her number when she stood stationary and tried to counter. The left hands aimed by Aldrich were more accurate, and Jeon’s return punches often met air as Aldrich circled away.

After a loss to Juliana Lima in her octagon debut this past December, Aldrich picks up her first UFC win, while Jeon suffers the first loss of her professional career.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 110 results:

  • J.J. Aldrich def. Chanmi Jeon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie