UFC 217 medical suspensions: Georges St-Pierre, Stephen Thompson receive 45 days


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Georges St-Pierre’s triumphant return at UFC 217 earned him the middleweight title and a 45-day medical suspension, likely from some nasty cuts courtesy of Michael Bisping.

St-Pierre’s (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) former training partner, Stephen Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC), walked away from the event with a unanimous-decision win over Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) and the same 45-day term.

MMAjunkie today received a full list of medical suspensions stemming from this past Saturday’s event, which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York and was regulated by the New York State Athletic Commission.

Citing medical privacy laws, the commission said it does not release details on the nature of the suspensions.

Thompson reported a thumb injury in the wake of his win, leading to speculation about his readiness to return for a proposed fight with Darren Till at a UFC event scheduled for Feb. 24. After UFC President Dana White confirmed the matchup, Thompson told MMAWeekly.com he had not received or accepted an offer to face Till.

All fighters received a minimum 7-day suspension.

The full list of medical suspensions from UFC 217 include:

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 217's Ovince Saint Preux simply wanted Ilir Latifi to know he didn't forget callout


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

NEW YORK – Resurgent UFC light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux didn’t call out Ilir Latifi, all appearances to the contrary.

“I didn’t pick him; he picked me,” Saint Preux told reporters backstage at UFC 217 after a thunderous knockout of Corey Anderson on the FS1-televised prelims at Madison Square Garden. “He called me out a while back, and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ When this situation came up, I jumped on it.

“And I’m jumping right back on it. Dec. 30 we can make it happen.”

Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC), who topped Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) for his third straight win, hasn’t heard whether the promotion will grant his desired date, which marks the date for UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But, he added, “I’m pushing it.”

With two fights in 42 days, it’s hard to argue he’s pushing the bounds of activity. A December fight would mark his fifth octagon appearance in 2017.

Saint Preux previously traveled to Japan for a FS1-televised headliner at UFC Fight Night 117. He tapped short-notice replacement Yushin Okami with a Von Flue choke, his second consecutive win using the rare submission.

Going from the famed Saitama Super Arena to Madison Square Garden, Saint Preux said things couldn’t get much better. A fight in Vegas with Latifi (13-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC), who in September outpointed Tyson Pedro at UFC 215, would be a start.

But don’t get it mixed up – he’s merely responding to a request.

“He called me out. I’m just letting him know I didn’t forget about him,” Saint Preux said.

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC 217 post-event facts: Record set as 3 new champs crowned in historic night


Filed under: News, UFC

UFC 217 will go down in the history books as one of the most memorable fight cards in UFC history. Underdogs reigned supreme as three new champions were crowned and a remarkable nine of 11 fights ended inside the distance.

With memorable action from beginning to end, the fact all three title bouts changed hands will be the cornerstone of UFC 217, which took place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York with a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC) returned from a four-year hiatus to take the middleweight title from Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC). T.J. Dillashaw (15-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) knocked out former teammate and rival Cody Garbrandt(11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) to take back the bantamweight title in the co-headliner, and in the most unexpected outcome of all, Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) dethroned Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) of strawweight gold with a quick knockout.

The biggest UFC event of the year lived up to the hype, and it showed on paper. Check below for 50 post-event facts and footnotes to come out of UFC 217.

* * * *


UFC 217 became the first event in UFC history to have three new champions crowned.

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $315,000.

St-Pierre, Dillashaw and Namajunas earned $50,000 UFC 217 fight-night bonuses. Ovince Saint Preux and Ricardo Ramos received $25,000 bonuses.

UFC 217 drew an announced attendance of 18,201 for a live gate of $6.2 million.

Betting favorites went 5-6 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 1:46:17.

Main card

Georges St-Pierre

St-Pierre became the fourth fighter in UFC history to win titles in two weight classes. Randy Couture, B.J. Penn and Conor McGregor have also accomplished the feat.

St-Pierre’s 13 victories in UFC championship fights are the most in company history.

St-Pierre’s 20 victories in UFC competition are tied with Bisping for most in company history.

St-Pierre’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is tied with champ Demetrious Johnson for longest among active fighters in the company. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since April 2007.

St-Pierre’s 13-fight UFC winning streak is tied with Johnson and Jon Jones for second longest in company history behind Anderson Silva (16).

St-Pierre earned his first submission victory since Dec. 29, 2007 – a span of 3,598 days (nearly 10 years) and 11 fights.

St-Pierre’s 87 takedowns landed in UFC competition are most in company history.

Michael Bisping

Bisping had his five-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since November 2014.

Bisping has suffered his past two losses by submission after going his entire career without being submitted.

Dillashaw’s 11 victories in UFC bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dillashaw’s 11 victories in UFC/WEC bantamweight competition are tied with Urijah Faber for second most in divisional history behind Dominick Cruz (12).

Dillashaw’s seven stoppage victories in UFC bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Dillashaw’s six knockout victories in UFC bantamweight competition are most in divisional history.

T.J. Dillashaw

Dillashaw’s seven knockdowns landed in UFC bantamweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Garbrandt (eight).

Dillashaw’s seven fight-night bonuses for UFC bantamweight bouts are the most in divisional history.

Garbrandt became the first UFC bantamweight champion to lose the title before making a successful defense.

Garbrandt had his 11-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Garbrandt’s eight knockdowns landed in UFC bantamweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Rose Namajunas

Namajunas became the third UFC strawweight champion.

Namajunas’ five victories in UFC strawweight competition are tied with Tecia Torres for second most in divisional history behind Jedrzejczyk (eight).

Namajunas’ four stoppage victories in UFC strawweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Namajunas earned the first knockout victory of her career.

Jedrzejczyk had her 14-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her professional career.

Stephen Thompson’s (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) nine knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Thiago Alves (13) and Jake Ellenberger (11).

Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) fell to 4-4 since he returned to the welterweight division in July 2015.

Masvidal has suffered 10 of his 13 career losses by decision. That includes all five of his UFC defeats.

Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has earned all 11 of his career victories by stoppage.

Costa has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by knockout. That includes all three of his UFC wins.

Johny Hendricks (18-8 MMA, 13-8 UFC) fell to 1-2 since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in February.

Hendricks fell to 1-5 in his past six fights.

Hendricks has suffered all three of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Preliminary card

Joseph Duffy (16-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Walt Harris (10-7 MMA, 3-6 UFC) suffered his second UFC loss in a 28-day stretch.

Harris fell to 3-3 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in April 2016.

Ovince Saint Preux

Ovince Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) earned his second UFC victory in a 42-day stretch.

Saint Preux’s three-fight UFC winning streak in light-heavyweight competition is tied with Mauricio Rua and Volkan Oezdemir for the longest active streak in the division.

Saint Preux’s eight stoppage victories since 2013 in UFC competition are most in the light-heavyweight division and tied with Derrick Lewis and Max Holloway for second most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (nine).

Saint Preux has earned 17 of his 22 career victories by stoppage. That includes eight of his 10 UFC wins.

Corey Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has suffered all three of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Mickey Gall

Mickey Gall (4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) had his four-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Curtis Blaydes (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has earned seven of his eight career victories by stoppage, all by knockout.

Aleksei Oleinik (52-11-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) suffered his first knockout loss since July 22, 2011 – a span of 2,297 days (more than six years) and 15 fights.

Ramos (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned nine of his 11 career victories by stoppage.

Ramos became the second fighter in UFC history to earn a knockout victory stemming from a spinning back elbow. Dong Hyun Kim also accomplished the feat The Ultimate Fighter China Finale.

Aiemann Zahabi (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his seven-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 217 Athlete Outfitting pay: 3 title fights help move 2017 payout past $5 million

NEW YORK – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 217 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $315,000.

UFC 217 took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were the three fighters who entered – but did not exit – the event as champions. Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC), Cody Garbrandt (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) all received a maximum program payout of $40,000 as reigning champions coming into the card.

Those three title fights pushed the UFC 217 payout total to the second-highest mark of an event in 2017 and pushed the year’s total north of $5 million.

The full UFC 217 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Michael Bisping: $40,000
Georges St-Pierre: $30,000

Cody Garbrandt: $40,000
T.J. Dillashaw: $30,000

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: $40,000
Rose Namajunas: $30,000

Stephen Thompson: $10,000
Jorge Masvidal: $15,000

Paulo Costa: $2,500
def. Johny Hendricks: $20,000

James Vick: $5,000
def. Joseph Duffy: $5,000

Ovince Saint Preux: $15,000
def. Corey Anderson: $5,000

Mark Godbeer: $2,500
def. Walt Harris: $5,000

Randy Brown: $5,000
def. Mickey Gall: $2,500

Curtis Blaydes: $2,500
def. Aleksei Oleinik: $5,000

Ricardo Ramos: $2,500
def. Aiemann Zahabi: $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: $5,077,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,400,500

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC 217, including one the UFC got wrong

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 217 in New York City, went with as their backing tracks – though we later found out new strawweight champion Rose Namanjunas intended to have a different tune, only to have a production error end up with the result listed below.

* * * *

Georges St-Pierre def Bisping via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:23

Georges St-Pierre: “Afro Trap Pt. 7 (La Puissance)” by MHD

Michael Bisping: “Song 2” by Blur

T.J. Dillashaw def. Cody Garbrandt via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:41

T.J. Dillashaw: “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Cody Garbrandt: “We Will Rock You” by Queen

Rose Namajunas def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via KO (punches) – Round 1, 3:03

Rose Namajunas: “Supersonic” by Oasis

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: “Przejmij Ster Swoje Dlonie” by Rena Gosx Gutek

Stephen Thompson def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

Stephen Thompson: “Wonderboy” by Tenacious D

Jorge Masvidal: “Tony Montana” (Scarface Theme Song)

Paulo Costa def. Johny Hendricks via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:23

Paulo Costa: “2026” by Lagum

Johny Hendricks: “I’ll Sing About Mine” by Josh Abbott Band

James Vick def. Joe Duffy via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:59

James Vick: “Bring Em Out” by T.I.

Joseph Duffy: “Oro Se Do Bheatha Bhaile” by Sean Mor

Mark Godbeer def. Walt Harris via disqualification (illegal kick) – Round 2, 4:29

Mark Godbeer: “Supersonic” by Oasis

Walt Harris: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Ovince Saint Preux def. Corey Anderson via knockout (head kick) – Round 3, 1:25

Ovince Saint Preux: “Push It” by Rick Ross

Corey Anderson: “My Time” by Fabolous

Randy Brown def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

Randy Brown: “Broad Daylight” by Vybz Kartel

Mickey Gall: “Hey Mickey/Woke Up This Morning” by Toni Basil/Alabama 3

Curtis Blaydes def. Aleksei Oleinik via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 1:56

Curtis Blaydes: “Encounter The Ultimate (Mortal Kombat Theme)” by The Immortals

Aleksei Oleinik: “Ballad For The Suppression” by Vladimir Vysotsky

Ricardo Ramos def. Aiemann Zahabi via knockout (spinning elbow) – Round 3, 1:58

Ricardo Ramos: “Get Your Walk On” by Xzibit

Aiemann Zahabi: “Still Crusin” by Eazy E feat. The Game

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ovince Saint Preux was robbed of a potential second-round finish, so came through in the third

Ovince Saint Preux kicked Corey Anderson upside the head so hard it sent his mouthpiece flying. Believe it or not, this may have prevented Saint Preux from finishing the fight early, so he had to do it all over again late – and this time with a little more stank on it.

See, what happened is that after Saint Preux (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) hurt Anderson (9-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) with a kick to start the second round, Anderson found himself retreating on wobbly legs as he was being pursued.

So what did he do? Anderson turned to referee Dan Miragliotta to point out that he was missing his mouthpiece as a result of getting kicked in the face. And fortunately for Anderson, Miragliotta paused the bout right then and there to replace it.

It was a somewhat controversial decision, since it was by no means a natural break in the action. Anderson seemed visibly hurt, Saint Preux was coming after him, and the mouthpiece halt bought Anderson a few precious moments to clear his head and get back in the fight.

It worked, too. Anderson rebounded with some takedowns, negating Saint Preux’s striking by grinding him out on the mat for the rest of the round. Despite nearly getting finished to start the second, he may have won the round with his work after the restart.

But instead of cursing his rotten luck, Saint Preux went back to the well early in the third. With Anderson standing still in front of him, Saint Preux let fly an almost identical head kick.

And from the way Anderson fell, clearly unconscious before he hit the mat, you could tell that this time the stop in the action was going to be permanent.

Not bad for a guy who took the fight with Anderson on less than two weeks’ notice.

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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UFC 217 results: Ovince Saint Preux KOs Corey Anderson with head kick, calls out Ilir Latifi

Ovince Saint Preux had trouble with Corey Anderson through the first two and half rounds, 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 (22-10 MMA, 10-5 UFC) planted Anderson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a wicked head-kick knockout. The end came at the 1:25 mark of the final round.

The light heavyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden in New York. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

Anderson kicked low early, then got pushed back from a Saint Preux kick up the middle. Saint Preux came back on top of it with a left hand, and another left was on the money right after that. Anderson landed a solid right hand, though, and 45 seconds in landed a perfect double-leg takedown. When Saint Preux got up, Anderson scooped him up and slammed him again. Anderson put Saint Preux in trouble against the fence. Saint Preux worked back to his feet, but Anderson kept wrestling him.

Under the two-minute mark, when it looked like Saint Preux might work his way out, Anderson hit him with a pair of strikes and went back to the wrestling, even though he couldn’t get Saint Preux back down. They went back to the middle with 45 seconds left, where Saint Preux ultimately landed a big knee that forced Anderson to tie him up. Saint Preux landed a flurry of punches late in the round – and knocked Anderson down right before the horn.

Quickly into the second round, Saint Preux drilled Anderson with a head kick and knocked his mouth piece out. While Saint Preux was stalking him down looking to further the damage, Anderson told referee Dan Miragliotta his mouthpiece was out – and Miragliotta stopped the action to allow Anderson to put his mouthpiece back in, halting Saint Preux’s momentum. Anderson was able to recover and went back to his wrestling. Midway through the round, he scooped Saint Preux up for a takedown. He continued to put pressure on Saint Preux with punches and elbows once he got him to the canvas.

Anderson tried to get Saint Preux down in the third, but couldn’t find it in the first minute. Instead, he threw hands and touched Saint Preux up a few times. But out of absolute nowhere, Saint Preux threw a left kick and it was on the money. He planted Anderson on the canvas, and Saint Preux needed no follow-ups. Anderson was stiff on the canvas.

After the fight, Saint Preux told analyst Joe Rogan he wants to be on the UFC 219 card on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas against Ilir Latifi.

Saint Preux won for the third straight time. Anderson lost for the second straight time and third time in four fights.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 217 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan, Mike Bohn, Ken Hathaway and Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in New York.)

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

10 reasons to watch UFC 217, where everyone seems to be beefin' in a big way


Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC made its debut at Madison Square Garden a year ago with UFC 205. Like the first event at the venerated arena, Saturday’s UFC 217 lineup features three title fights at the top of the card.

Trash-talk has been at a premium ahead of the trio of championship bouts. Middleweight champion Michael Bisping chided his opponent, Georges St-Pierre, by saying the former welterweight champ “hasn’t got the balls to fight anyone that he doesn’t think he can beat.”

Not to be outdone, bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt dismissed former champ T.J. Dillashaw as nothing more than a distraction ahead of a desired fight with flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson.

Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk got more personal in her attack. She called her challenger, Rose Namajunas, “mentally unstable” in the lead up to their contest.

UFC 217 takes place in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. It’s about more than gold

St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) knows there’s a lot more on the line than a title at UFC 217. After four years away from the sport, the surefire UFC Hall of Famer returns to the octagon to put his legacy on the line against middleweight champ Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC).

There are UFC fans out there who never saw St-Pierre compete during his historic run through the 170-pound division. If he fails in his quest to become the fourth UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight divisions, those fans could look at St-Pierre as nothing more than a has-been, a diminished competitor who should have stayed away from the game. For a proud fighter like St-Pierre, that would be heartbreaking.

As for Bisping, who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middle rankings, he would love nothing more than to bloviate about adding another UFC legend to his list of recently vanquished opponents.


2. Good, clean hate

Garbrandt has been one of Dillashaw’s fiercest critics. He claims his former teammate lacks loyalty. At times the current bantamweight champion has come across as almost obsessed with his former teammate.

Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) has taken Dillashaw’s (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) departure from the Team Alpha Male camp extremely personally. His preoccupation with No. 3-ranked Dillashaw could help or hurt him in this, his first title defense.

If Garbrandt brings too much emotion into this fight, he might become unfocused and over-aggressive. On the flip side, if he’s able to focus his anger, Garbrandt could prove to be a big problem for Dillashaw.


3. The memory remains

Ronda Rousey’s presence looms over the fight between Jedrzejczyk (14-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

In 2014, UFC President Dana White implied Namajunas had the potential to be a Rousey-like presence. Namajunas, who is currently ranked No. 6 in the strawweight division, fell short of that prediction when she dropped a title fight to Carla Esparza that year.

At the time White made his claim about Namajunas, Jedrzejczyk was 1-0 in the UFC. Today, the Polish star is the unbeaten strawweight champion. With a victory at UFC 217, Jedrzejczyk will tie Rousey’s UFC record of six consecutive title defenses for a female champ and extend her UFC unbeaten streak to nine.

It’s hard to see anyone replacing Rousey in the minds of mainstream fans, but with a victory at UFC 217 – and a big marketing push – one of these women could become the dominant face of female fighting in the UFC.


4. Sometimes things just work out for everyone

In June, welterweight title hopefuls Stephen Thompson and Jorge Masvidal both appeared at a fan Q&A. During that appearance, they were asked about a possible fight between them.

“We definitely want it, to get together and get out there in the octagon and face off,” Thompson said. “Obviously, you saw him in his last fight, which I thought he won against Demian Maia. (Masvidal is) a very good striker, and I think it’s going to be fireworks.”

Not long after, the UFC booked the fight between No. 2-ranked Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) and No. 9 Masvidal (32-12 MMA, 9-5 UFC).


With both fighters anxious to get back in the win column after losses in their most recent bouts, this matchup could be a sleeper pick for “Fight of the Night.”


5. Prospect vs. former champ

Rising middleweight prospect Paulo Costa (he’s no longer going by Paulo Borrachinha) has never been past the 6:06 mark in his 10 professional fights. The rankings honorable mention meets Johny Hendricks at UFC 217.

Costa, the former Jungle Fight middleweight champ, has devastated his two UFC opponents, stopping both Garreth McLellan and Oluwale Bamgbose with powerful strikes.


Hendricks’ best bet in this fight might be to return to his wrestling roots and test Costa (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the ground. Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) is mired in the worst run of his professional career. The former welterweight champion is 3-7 in his past 10 fights. He lost his most recent contest, to Tim Boetsch via second-round TKO.


6. First fight on new deals

Two lightweights who recently signed new contracts meet in the featured prelim. James Vick secured a four-fight deal after his first-round knockout of Marco Polo Reyes in May. In July, Joseph Duffy earned a seven-fight pact after a brief time on the free-agent market. Duffy defeated Reza Madadi by decision in the last fight of his previous deal.

While both of these fighters are well-rounded, they prefer to do most of their work standing. Duffy (17-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has a very good boxing game while rankings honorable mention Vick (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC), who is 5 inches taller than Duffy, uses his height and reach to employ more of a kickboxing style.

If these two can deliver the striking battle this booking suggests, the winner could be in line to face a ranked opponent in his next bout.

7. Ambitious plans

With his placement on this card, it looks like Corey Anderson’s star has fallen a bit. Anderson recently fought in UFC Fight Night 107’s main event, where Jimi Manuwa knocked him out in the first round. Despite the devastating loss, Anderson remained upbeat.

“I’m in this sport to be the best, eventually. I’m not the best right now, but eventually I will be,” Anderson told MMAjunkie. “I plan on it before I leave this sport, and wherever it is, I’ve got to go, I’m willing to go.”


Anderson (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), a light heavyweight rankings honorable mention, faces No. 10 ranked Ovince Saint Preux (21-10 MMA, 9-5 UFC), a short-notice replacement for Patrick Cummins. Saint Preux has won his two most recent bouts via Von Flue choke.


8. A fourth ‘title’ fight

Mickey Gallrecently crowned himself the “Dana White: Lookin’ For a Fight” champion. Gall signed with the UFC after winning his pro debut during the filming of the first episode of that show. In his most recent bout, the New Jersey-based fighter submitted Sage Northcutt, who signed with the UFC during the filming of the pilot of the reality show.

At UFC 217, Gall (4-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) fights for the first time in nearly 11 months. His opponent, Randy Brown (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), was signed to the UFC after the same “Dana White: Lookin’ For a Fight” episode in which White watched Gall compete, hence the fictional title Gall is defending.

Brown lost his most recent bout to Belal Muhamad by decision.


9. Some differences

There’s a vast difference in experience between heavyweights Aleksei Oleinik and Curtis Blaydes.

Blaydes, who made his debut in 2014, has nine bouts under his belt. He was 6 when Oleinik made his debut in 1997. The Russian has fought 63 times since then.

The gap between the two in the rankings is much smaller. Blaydes (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is No. 15 in the division while Oleinik (55-10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is an honorable mention.

Blaydes has looked better in each of his four UFC fights, but he showed an inability to adjust when things went sideways in his most recent bout, a decision win over Daniel Omielańczuk. In that contest he attempted takedown after takedown even though he was unable to put his opponent on the mat. That could be a problem against a veteran like Oleinik.

Oleinik submitted Travis Browne in his most recent bout.

10. Be in your seat

Rising bantamweights Aiemann Zahabi and Ricardo Ramos meet in UFC 217’s opening bout.

Zahabi is a good technical fighter who prepares well for his opponents. That should be expected considering he is the younger brother of famed trainer Firas Zahabi. The one knock against Zahabi in his UFC debut was that he was a little too patient. His six first-round finishes indicate he can step up the aggression.

Ramos (10-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), like Zahabi (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), likes to fight at distance. He’s good with his counters, but he too was reluctant to work in close during his UFC debut. Ramos is an outstanding ground fighter with six submission wins to his name. He could have trouble getting this fight to the ground as Zahabi defended 11 of 13 takedown attempts in his sole UFC fight.

There is the possibility that this could be a snoozer, but there’s also the chance these two will be anxious to show how they’ve developed since their promotional debuts.


For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Corey Anderson: Ovince Saint Preux replacement was 'destiny' for UFC 217


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NEW YORK – Corey Anderson had a feeling the UFC would offer him Ovince Saint Preux as a replacement opponent at UFC 217. So, when it happened, it hardly took him off guard.

Before the matchup with Saint Preux (21-10 MMA, 9-5 UFC) materialized, Anderson (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was originally scheduled to fight Patrick Cummins in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 217, which takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fight airs on the FS1-televised prelims prior to the pay-per-view main card.

Cummins was forced to withdraw from the event less than three weeks out due to a “mutant staph infection,” and Saint Preux was tapped as the replacement. When Anderson caught wind of Cummins being out of the fight, he looked at the landscape of the division for potential opponents. He said Saint Preux was the natural fit.

“When Pat got hurt I said, ‘It’s either going to be OSP or Ilir Latifi,’” Anderson told MMAjunkie. “I looked to see those two were targeted to fight each other Dec. 30, then the next day, sure enough I get a call. It was destiny. I knew it was going to happen.”

Anderson said he trains to prepare for any style of opponent, so the switch didn’t take him for a loop. In addition to that, he’s already somewhat familiar with Saint Preux. The pair did some training together earlier this year, and although there was limited physicality, Anderson said he has a good feel for what to expect.

“The way I focused this last camp was I don’t want to focus on anything one person does good,” Anderson said. “I’m going to focus on being a complete martial artist so I can fight anybody – not just one person. For this reason exactly, in case I got a new opponent.”

UFC 217 marks Anderson’s return to competition following a knockout loss against Jimi Manuwa in March’s UFC Fight Night 107 headliner. It was a difficult setback for “Overtime,” but he claims the break from the octagon was just what he needed to come back even better.

“I’m just looking to go out there and seize the moment,” Anderson said. “After the last fight I was going to go back to the rating board and develop and be the best Corey Anderson.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


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Source: MMA Junkie

Ahead of UFC 217 bout with Corey Anderson, OSP has the perfect analogy for his Von Flue choke


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Von Flue choke finishes aren’t exactly common in the UFC, so when Ovince Saint Preux managed to make a third octagon victim that way, the general reaction was of slight befuddlement.

If you know that’s your opponent’s go-to move, many asked, why would you fall for it? Still, that’s just what former middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami did in September in Japan, at UFC Fight Night 117. At the time, even Saint Preux himself admitted to being “quite surprised” that his opponent would even grab his head.

But at the same time, Saint Preux and his team have worked on this move long enough that he can find the finish from basically any position. And he’s seen it in action often enough to know just how hard it is to escape once he is able to get ahold of his opponent’s arm.

So, to those who wonder how anyone with basic jiu-jitsu skills would get caught, he offers an analogy to explain it.

“People don’t realize: That arm that you have around my head? Once I wrap my arm around your arm, you can’t pull your arm out,” Saint Preux told MMAjunkie Radio. “It’s one of those situations where – have you seen the monkey comes to go there in that jar? And his fist can fit in there. But once he gets the treat, he’s trying to pull his arm out, and he can’t? You can’t pull your arm out. Especially with gloves on. You definitely can’t pull it out.

“It’s just something that I’ve been doing since Day One. And you know, with mixed martial arts, if you’ve been doing a particular move since Day One, after a while it just becomes embedded in your head.”

One man who’ll most likely be on the lookout for that choke is Corey Anderson (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who meets Saint Preux (21-10 MMA, 9-5 UFC) on Saturday at UFC 217. The light heavyweights are set to meet on the FS1-televised preliminary card prior to the pay-per-view main card.

Being on one of the year’s biggest UFC cards, which features three title fights at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, is not too bad of a deal. But the quick turnaround wasn’t in Saint Preux’s plans until a few weeks ago, when a “mutant” staph infection forced Patrick Cummins out of his bout with Anderson.

As soon as Saint Preux, who’s No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA light-heavyweight rankings, caught wind of Cummins’ withdrawal from the meeting with honorable mention Anderson, he had a hunch his coach would be in touch soon – a feeling made stronger by looking at a fully booked 205-pound roster.

As someone who’s taken three fights in seven weeks back in his Strikeforce days, Saint Preux didn’t have much of a problem saying yes when his prediction came true two days later.

“I woke up one morning, I was like, ‘I know I’m going to get a phone call,’” Saint Preux said. “Lo and behold – I get a phone call. Once I got the call, the opportunity was right there. why not take it? I feel good. I’ve been training. And my body feels amazing. So we just went ahead and took the fight.”

There’s an added factor heading into the meeting: The fact Saint Preux and Anderson have actually trained together in the past. But much like the short preparation window or getting down from 227 pounds, that was yet another non-issue for the 205-pounder.

“We talked about it, and it was like, ‘If we ever have to fight, we fight,’” Saint Preux said. “It’s part of the job. It’s what you do. It’s a business. So we’ll handle business, and after that, we can get back to being friends.”

To hear more from Saint Preux on his signature finish, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors 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 and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie