Bisping-GSP, Garbrandt-Dillashaw title fights among 7 official for UFC 217

Two championship belts will be on the line when the UFC makes its second visit this November to the famous Madison Square Garden in New York.

In the main event of the Nov. 4 pay-per-view lineup (which follows prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass), Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) will defend the UFC middleweight championship against Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC). Bantamweight titleholder Cody Garbrandt (11-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) takes on rival T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in the co-headliner.

Both title bouts were confirmed on Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on FS1.

The matchup between Bisping and St-Pierre has been an on-again, off-again mess after it was announced in March that former UFC welterweight champion St-Pierre would end his nearly 4-year hiatus to fight Bisping, despite never having competed at 185 pounds.

St-Pierre hasn’t fought since 2013, when he notched his ninth consecutive welterweight title defense with a split-decision victory over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167. St-Pierre then vacated the title and took a break from competition. After St-Pierre recently flirted with a return, UFC officials announced earlier this year that the 36-year-old Canadian MMA great would fight Bisping sometime later in the year.

However, St-Pierre then said he could not fight until at least November due to outside commitments, and an irked UFC President Dana White later said the fight was off. Bisping was then slated to fight top contender Yoel Romero.

But when Bisping subsequently revealed a knee injury (while St-Pierre declared a lingering eye issue), Plan B for Bisping-Romero also was scrapped. Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) then lost a decision to fellow contender Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) for an interim title earlier this month at UFC 213.

White suggested a knee injury recently suffered by Whittaker opened the door for St-Pierre to cut the line.

With Whittaker the challenger in waiting, White said in July that St-Pierre would instead fight the winner of this past Saturday’s UFC 214 co-headliner between current welterweight champ Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) and challenger Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC). However, with Woodley’s heavily panned unanimous-decision win over Maia, that apparently opened the door for St-Pierre vs. Bisping once again.

Garbrandt and Dillashaw have a tenuous history after being teammates for several years at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif. Dillashaw unceremoniously left the gym to train with striking coach Duane Ludwig in Colorado, and the disdain with former teammates such as Garbrandt and Urijah Faber has grown thicker ever since.

The feud grew deeper when the pair served as opposing coaches on Season 25 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Dillashaw handled Garbrandt in the coaching aspect, seeing a greater number of his fighters advance through the tournament, with Jesse Taylor ultimately winning the tournament crown.

Garbrandt was forced to withdraw from their planned UFC 213 bout in July due to a back injury that required treatment. He’s been rehabbing since and is ready to go for UFC 217.

Also confirmed for UFC 217 was a heavyweight bout between Curtis Blaydes (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Aleksei Oleinik (52-10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), a light-heavyweight showdown between Corey Anderson (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Patrick Cummins (10-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) and a bantamweight bout between Ricardo Ramos (10-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Aiemann Zahabi (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

The latest UFC 217 lineup now includes:

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ion Cutelaba
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

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

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UFC 213 medical suspensions: No surprise, but Robert Whittaker facing 6-month term after title win

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Filed under: News, UFC

The visible knee injury that accompanied Robert Whittaker’s UFC interim title win could keep him on the bench for six months.

Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) needs doctor clearance after Yoel Romero(12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) tweaked his left knee with a side kick early in last Saturday’s UFC 213 headliner.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission today released medical suspensions for the event, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Main card fights aired live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Romero, who suffered his first UFC loss, also needs doctor clearance for cuts on his left eyebrow and right scalp.

A total of 16 fighters were suspended by the NSAC for a variety of injuries. Four were given potential six-month terms unless cleared by a doctor.

The full list of medical suspensions for UFC 213 includes:

  • Robert Whittaker: needs MRI of left knee, if positive for injury needs orthopedic clearance or suspended until Jan. 4, 2018; minimum suspension until Aug. 8 with no contact until July 30
  • Yoel Romero: needs left eyebrow and right scalp lacerations cleared by doctor or suspended until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Fabricio Werdum: suspended until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Curtis Blaydes: needs right tibia/fibula and left chest rib X-rayed, if positive for injury needs doctor clearance or suspended until Jan. 4, 2018; minimum suspension until Aug. 8 with no contact until July 30
  • Daniel Omielanczuk: suspended until Aug. 8 with no contact until July 30
  • Anthony Pettis: needs right hand X-ray, if positive for injury needs orthopedic clearance or suspended until Jan. 4, 2018; minimum suspension until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Jim Miller: suspended until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Aleksei Oleinik: suspended until Aug. 8 with no contact until July 30
  • Travis Browne: needs left foot X-ray, if positive for injury needs orthopedic clearance or suspended until Jan. 4, 2018; minimum suspension until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Brian Camozzi: suspended until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Thiago Santos: needs right eye laceration cleared by doctor or suspended until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Gerald Meerschaert: suspended until Aug. 8 with no contact until July 30
  • Belal Muhammad: suspended until Aug. 8 with no contact until July 30
  • Jordan Mein: needs left eye laceration cleared by doctor or suspended until Aug. 23 with no contact until Aug. 8
  • Douglas Silva de Andrade: suspended until Aug. 8 with no contact until July 30
  • James Bochnovic: suspended until Sept. 7 with no contact until Aug. 23

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC 213 post-event facts: Robert Whittaker is a bonus machine

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After 44 fighters walked to the octagon during the UFC’s sixth annual “International Fight Week” festivities, Robert Whittaker closed the show when he claimed the interim UFC middleweight title in Saturday’s UFC 213 main event.

Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) defeated Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) by unanimous decision in the pay-per-view headliner, which followed prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, closing a weekend with 22 fights across two events.

For more on the numbers to come out of Whittaker’s victory, as well as the rest of the competitors on the card, check below for 45 post-event facts to come out of UFC 213.

* * * *

General

The Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $182,500.

Whittaker, Romero, Chad Laprise and Rob Font earned $50,000 UFC 213 fight-night bonuses.

Debuting fighters went 2-2 on the card.

UFC 213 drew an announced attendance of 12,834 for a live gate of $2.4 million.

Betting favorites went 10-1 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:24:45.

Main card

Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker

Whittaker became the first New Zealand-born fighter in UFC history to win a championship.

Whittaker improved to 7-0 since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in November 2014.

Whittaker’s seven-fight UFC winning streak in middleweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Whittaker’s eight-fight UFC winning streak is tied for the sixth longest active streak in the company behind Jon Jones (13), Demetrious Johnson (12), Georges St-Pierre (12), Max Holloway (11) and Tony Ferguson (nine).

Whittaker’s 74 significant strikes landed marked the most of his UFC career.

Whittaker has earned five of his 10 UFC victories by decision.

Whittaker has earned a fight-night bonuses in six of his past eight UFC appearances.

Romero had his eight-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since September 2011.

Romero suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum

Alistair Overeem (43-15 MMA, 8-4 UFC earned just the fifth decision victory of his career. Three of those have come during his UFC career.

Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC) fell to 8-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2012.

Werdum fell to 3-2 in rematch or trilogy bouts during his career.

Werdum has suffered five of his seven career losses by decision.

Curtis Blaydes (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) earned the first decision victory of his career.

Daniel Omielanczuk (19-8-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

Omielanczuk has suffered seven of his eight career losses by decision.

Anthony Pettis

Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) was successful in his return to the lightweight division after a two-fight stint at featherweight.

Pettis earned his first decision victory since Oct. 8, 2011 – a span of 2,100 days (nearly six years) and 10 fights

Jim Miller (28-10 MMA, 17-9 UFC) fell to 4-6 in his past 10 UFC appearances.

Douglas Silva de Andrade (24-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) fell to 2-2 in his past four fights after starting his career on a 23-fight unbeaten streak.

De Andrade fell to 2-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in February 2015.

De Andrade suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Preliminary card

Aleksei Oleinik and Travis Browne

Aleksei Oleinik (52-10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned all four of his UFC victories by stoppage.

Oleinik has earned 42 of his 52 professional victories by submission.

Travis Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC) suffered his fourth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since January 2016.

Browne fell to 2-6 overall in his past eight UFC appearances dating back to April 2014.

Browne suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Chad Laprise

Chad Laprise (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC welterweight division. He earned his first victory in the weight class since April 2014.

Laprise improved to 2-0 in the UFC welterweight division.

Brian Camozzi (7-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) has earned six of his seven UFC victories by knockout.

Santos’ six knockout victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (eight), Michael Bisping (seven) and Chris Leben (seven).

Gerald Meerschaert (26-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Belal Muhammad

Belal Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has earned eight of his 12 career victories by decision.

Jordan Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) fell to 0-2 since he returned from retirement in December.

Trevin Giles (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned nine of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

James Bochnovic (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his nine-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since his MMA debut in August 2014.

Bochnovic suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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UFC 213 Athlete Outfitting pay: 2017 payout total passes $3 million

LAS VEGAS – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC 213 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $182,500.

UFC 213 took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and the main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were the two main event competitors. New UFC interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) and Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) each received a minimum title-fight payout of $30,000. Whittaker won the fight by unanimous decision.

The full UFC 213 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Robert Whittaker: $30,000
def. Yoel Romero: $30,000

Alistair Overeem: $10,000
def. Fabricio Werdum: $10,000

Curtis Blaydes: $2,500
def. Daniel Omielanczuk: $5,000

Anthony Pettis: $15,000
def. Jim Miller: $20,000

Rob Font: $2,500
def. Douglas Silva de Andrade: $2,500

Aleksei Oleinik: $2,500
def. Travis Browne: $15,000

Chad Laprise: $5,000
def. Brian Camozzi: $2,500

Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $10,000
def. Gerald Meerschaert: $2,500

Belal Muhammad: $2,500
def. Jordan Mein: $5,000

Cody Stamann: $2,500
def. Terrion Ware: $2,500

Trevin Giles: $2,500
def. James Bochnovic: $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: $3,112,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $13,435,500

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC 213, including CCR, Kanye, Lynyrd Skynyrd

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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 213 in Las Vegas, went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Robert Whittaker def. Yoel Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Robert Whittaker: “Can’t Be Touched” by Roy Jones Jr.

Yoel Romero: “Soldado” by Juan Luis Guerra

Alistair Overeem def. Fabricio Werdum via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Alistair Overeem: “Fearless” by Bold Action

Fabricio Werdum: “Despacito” by Luis Fons feat. Daddy Yankee

Curtis Blaydes def. Daniel Omielanczuk via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Curtis Blaydes: “Mortal Combat Theme Song”

Daniel Omielanczuk: “King Bruce Lee Karate Mistrz” by Franek Kimono

Anthony Pettis def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Anthony Pettis: “Showtime” by Jim Jones & Tum Tum

Jim Miller: “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Rob Font def. Douglas Silva de Andrade via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:36

Rob Font: “Welcome to Jamrock” by Damian Marley

Douglas Silva de Andrade: “Conquistando o Impossavel” by Jamily

Aleksei Oleinik def. Travis Browne via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:44

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

Travis Browne: “I’m Only Human After All” by John “Ragin Cajun” Jones

Chad Laprise def. Brian Camozzi via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 1:27

Chad Laprise: “God’s Song” by Mikey Rukus

N/A

Brian Camozzi: “Here Comes the Hotstepper” by Kamoze

Thiago “Marreta” Santos def. Gerald Meerschaert via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:04

Thiago “Marreta” Santos: “Marretta Da CCD Para o Mundo” by MC Isaac Saradinho

N/A

Gerald Meerschaert: “Ante Up” by M.O.P.

Belal Muhammad def. Jordan Mein via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Belal Muhammad: “We Ready” by Archie Ebersole

Jordan Mein: “Body Like a Back Road” by Sam Hunt

Cody Stamann def. Terrion Ware via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Cody Stamann: “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Terrion Ware: “Amazing” by Kanye West

Trevin Giles def. James Bochnovic via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 2:54

Trevin Giles: “Wait a Minute” by Phresher

James Bochnovic: “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 213 results: Curtis Blaydes shows room to improve in clean-sweep win vs. Daniel Omielanczuk

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Try as he might, Curtis Blaydes simply could not land a single takedown on Daniel Omielanczuk. No worries, though. Blaydes still did enough for the win.

After 15 minutes, all three judges scored the contest 30-27 to give Blaydes a unanimous-decision win, despite the wrestler being 0-for-14 in takedown attempts.

The heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 213 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The first round got off to an unusual start as Blaydes (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) was warned twice for low knees, forcing referee Marc Goddard to restart the fight in neutral position. Blaydes tried for a takedown, which was stuffed by Omielanczuk (19-8-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC), and the two men stayed up against the cage. After a bit of struggling for position, they separated. Blades started to settle in but again failed to score a takedown. He scored with a nice knee to the body, but it didn’t do any damage. Blaydes and Omielanczuk separated, though they remained in the outer-octagon, which didn’t allow enough space to complete a third takedown attempt. Not much action took place with the two men against the cage, where the round finished.

Blaydes came out in the second round and attempted a quick takedown again near the edge of the octagon, resulting in the two men pressed against the fence. Once they separated, Blaydes and Omielanczuk had some good exchanges. Omielanczuk went for a head kick that Blaydes ducked under. He tried for a takedown but couldn’t get it. As they squared up, away from the fence, Blaydes bobbed in front of Omielanczuk before throwing a kick that landed near the groin. It stopped the fight momentarily as the referee warned Blaydes near the end of the round.

The third round opened with Omielanczuk getting the better of a striking exchange, though Blaydes shifted gears when he shot in and Omielanczuk stuffed the takedown attempt again. After a few moments up against the cage, they stood in the center of the octagon and threw punches at each other, with neither fighter looking particularly impressive. The final round ended without much action, but it was enough for Blaydes to earn the win.

“I feel I should’ve done better on my feet,” he said. “I know I can do better than that. I went to my wrestling a little too early. It didn’t work out. He was ready for my wrestling. … I made it through, though. I beat him at his own game.”

Up-to-the-minute UFC 213 results include:

For complete coverage UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Steven Marroco contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 213 salaries: Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker each get flat $350,000 purse

LAS VEGAS – Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker each will make $350,000 for their UFC interim middleweight title fight at UFC 213, per disclosed purses released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

MMAjunkie today requested and received the show and win purses for the pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which is regulated by the NSAC.

Romero (12-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) are not scheduled to receive a win bonus, indicating they are likely to receive a cut of pay-per-view profits for the interim title bout.

The top disclosed purse for the event belongs to onetime heavyweight title challenger Alistair Overeem (42-15 MMA, 7-4 UFC), who will receive a flat $800,000 for his trilogy bout with Fabricio Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC). The Brazilian ex-champ will receive $275,000 to show and $125,000 to win.

UFC 213 was set to be headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC). But Nunes pulled herself from the fight due to illness just hours before the fight bout was set to begin. Nunes was set to make $105,000 to show and another $105,000 if she successfully defended her belt. Shevchenko was scheduled to get a flat $100,000 payday, win or lose. It is not yet known if either fighter will receive their show money.

The potential disclosed purses for the UFC 213 main card fights include:

  • Yoel Romero: $350,000 (no win bonus)
    vs. Robert Whittaker: $350,000 (no win bonus)
  • Alistair Overeem: $800,000 (no win bonus)
    vs. Fabricio Werdum: $400,000 ($125,000 win bonus)
  • Daniel Omielanczuk: $60,000 ($30,000 win bonus)
    vs. Curtis Blaydes: $38,000 ($19,000 win bonus)
  • Anthony Pettis: $180,000 ($90,000 win bonus)
    vs. Jim Miller: $142,000 ($71,000 win bonus)
  • Rob Font: $39,000 ($19,500 win bonus)
    vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade: $36,000 ($18,000 win bonus)

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, including the official UFC Athlete Outfitting sponsorship program pay. They also do not include any other “locker room” or special discretionary bonuses the UFC oftentimes pays. They also do not include pay-per-view cuts that some top-level fighters receive.

In other words, the above figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

For complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC 213 staff picks: Nunes or Shevchenko? Romero or Whittaker? Who do we like in pair of title fights?

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Nunes
vs.
Shevchenko
Romero
vs.
Whittaker
Blaydes
vs.
Omielanczuk
Overeem
vs.
Werdum
Miller
vs.
Pettis
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 58-47
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
(54%)
whittaker2017
Whittaker
(54%)
blaydes
Blaydes
(63%)
overeem2017
Overeem
(53%)
anthony-pettis
Pettis
(70%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 68-37
nunes2016
Nunes
whittaker2017
Whittaker
blaydes
Blaydes
overeem2017
Overeem
anthony-pettis
Pettis
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 66-39
nunes2016
Nunes
whittaker2017
Whittaker
blaydes
Blaydes
overeem2017
Overeem
anthony-pettis
Pettis
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 64-41
trophy copy 2015 Champion
nunes2016
Nunes
whittaker2017
Whittaker
blaydes
Blaydes
werdum2016
Werdum
anthony-pettis
Pettis
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 64-41
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
whittaker2017
Whittaker
blaydes
Blaydes
werdum2016
Werdum
anthony-pettis
Pettis
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 63-42
trophy copy 2016 Champion
nunes2016
Nunes
whittaker2017
Whittaker
blaydes
Blaydes
werdum2016
Werdum
anthony-pettis
Pettis
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 62-43
shevchenko2017
Shevchenko
whittaker2017
Whittaker
blaydes
Blaydes
werdum2016
Werdum
anthony-pettis
Pettis
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 61-44
nunes2016
Nunes
whittaker2017
Whittaker
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Blaydes
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Werdum
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Pettis
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 59-46
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Shevchenko
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George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 58-47
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John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 56-49
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A pair of titles are on the line Saturday at one of the UFC’s biggest events of the year.

UFC 213 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) puts her title on the line in a rematch against Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC). Although Nunes won the first meet, Shevchenko currently is a slight betting favorite. But it’s the champ who has a 6-4 edge from our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-main event, Yoel Romero (12-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) takes on Robert Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) for the interim middleweight title. Whittaker is a mild favorite and is a 7-3 pick from our staff members.

Also on the main card, Curtis Blaydes (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) takes on Daniel Omielanczuk (19-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC) in a heavyweight bout. Blaydes is as much as a 9-1 favorite and is a unanimous pick from our staff members. And also at heavyweight, recent title challenger Alistair Overeem (42-15 MMA, 7-4 UFC) meets former champ Fabricio Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in a trilogy rematch. That fight is a close call with the oddsmakers, and our staff members are split right down the middle with their picks at 5-5.

To open up the main card, former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis (19-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) returns to the division after a brief stint at featherweight to take on veteran Jim Miller (28-9 MMA, 17-8 UFC). Pettis is a heavy 9-1 pick from our staff members.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Shevchenko, Whittaker, Blaydes, Overeem and Pettis are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

10 reasons to watch UFC 213, with 'Lioness' vs. 'Bullet' and 'Knuckles' vs. 'Soldier of God'

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Filed under: News, UFC

Amanda Nunes has already accomplished what her two immediate predecessors, Holly Holm and Miesha Tate, could not: defend the UFC women’s bantamweight title. At UFC 213 Nunes looks to put any questions about her place as the top fighter in the division behind her when she meets Valentina Shevchenko in a rematch of their March 2016 bout.

The first meeting was a three-round contest, and while Nunes took the first two rounds, Shevchenko turned the tables in the third stanza, leaving many to wonder just how the fight would have ended had it been a five-round bout. That question will be answered when the two meet in the main event of Saturday’s card.

In the co-main event, highly ranked middleweights Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker meet in a highly anticipated interim title fight. A little further down the card, heavyweight contenders Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem look to make their case for the next shot at champion Stipe Miocic.

UFC 213 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Two more rounds

Before Nunes ran through Miesha Tate and then Ronda Rousey to claim, and defend, the women’s bantamweight title, she won a unanimous decision over Shevchenko.

While Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) was on her championship run, Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) defeated ex-champion Holly Holm and also Julianna Pena. Now, the two women, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, run back that first meeting.

This rematch is going to be about game plan. Will Nunes come out quicker against “Bullet” in pursuit of 14th career finish? Will Shevchenko slow the pace even further, knowing she has two additional rounds with which to work? Or will Shevchenko surprise “The Lioness” and aggressively deploy her muay Thai skills in the hopes of getting an early stoppage of her own?

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This is the type of fight in which the slightest adjustment from the first meeting could make a big difference.

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2. Let’s have a war

In Romero and Whittaker, we have two fighters who have gone undefeated since moving to middleweight.

Romero (12-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC), ranked No. 2 in the division, has posted an 8-0 record with six wins by knockout since “The Soldier of God” dropped from light heavyweight. No. 4-ranked Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) has gone 6-0 since moving up from welterweight, with “The Reaper” (aka “Bobby Knuckles”) winning four bouts by knockout.

Additionally, both fighters have won five fight-night bonus awards during their middleweight runs, including “Performance of the Night” bonuses in their last victories – Romero knocking out ex-champ Chris Weidman and Whittaker earning a TKO win over Ronaldo Souza.

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While Romero has scary and unpredictable one-strike finishing power, Whittaker is the better overall striker, and he possesses what may be the key if this fight goes past two rounds: the better gas tank.

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3. Big man, big favorite

Despite his relative inexperience, oddsmakers have installed Curtis Blaydes as the biggest favorite on this fight card. Blaydes has appeared in only three UFC fights, but his mix of knockout power and formidable wrestling have some thinking the 26-year-old heavyweight has a bright future with the UFC.

His opponent, Daniel Omielanczuk (19-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC), is much more experienced than Blaydes (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), with more than three times as many professional fights, including eight in the UFC.

This is the kind of fight that will tell us if Blaydes is ready to make the jump to ranked competition in his next bout or if he still needs some seasoning.

4. Hello Cleveland

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic doesn’t know who his next title defense will come against, but he does know the winner of the UFC 213 matchup between No. 2 ranked Werdum (21-6-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and No. 4 ranked Overeem (42-15 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is going to want another shot at the Cleveland, Ohio native.

Miocic took the belt from Werdum at UFC 198 with a first-round knockout, and in his first defense of that title, the champ knocked out Overeem at UFC 203. Both fighters recently told MMAjunkie they expect a shot at redemption.

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UFC 213 marks the third meeting between Werdum and Overeem. Werdum won the first bout, submitting Overeem via kimura in 2006 under the PRIDE FC banner. Overeem evened the score with a unanimous-decision victory during the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament in 2011.

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5. Tough test for any lightweight

Anthony Pettis is in a pickle heading into UFC 213. The former lightweight champion lost three fights in a row between March 2015 and April 2016 and decided to try his hand at featherweight. He won his first bout at 145 pounds, but in his next outing, he missed weight, losing his opportunity to win the interim title on the scale.

That chance at the title became moot when he was knocked out in the third round of that bout with Max Holloway. Now, 1-4 in his past five contests, Pettis returns to lightweight in the hopes of getting his career back on track.

Standing in his way is Jim Miller (28-9 MMA, 17-8 UFC), who makes his record-tying 27th UFC appearance in this fight. He’s just the kind of combatant who will test Pettis (19-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) in every way.

Miller is 3-1 in his last four fights, most recently dropping a majority decision to Dustin Poirier in February.

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6. Unfamiliar territory

It’s been almost four years since Travis Browne enjoyed his last winning streak. Between April and December 2013, Browne ran off three straight first-round knockout wins and was one victory away from a heavyweight title shot. But he lost that title eliminator to Werdum via decision. Including that fight, Browne is 2-5 in his last seven contests, and he’s currently in the midst of a career worst three-fight losing skid.

Despite the rough patch, Browne (18-6-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) is ranked No. 13 in the division. His hopes of holding onto that ranking rest on his ability to avoid the grappling expertise of Aleksei Oleinik (51-10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who has 42 submission wins in his professional career, including the first Ezekiel choke in UFC history, which he scored in his last bout, a first-round stoppage of Viktor Pesta.

7. Stepping up on a hot streak

The last time Gerald Meerschaert went the distance was May 2014, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Sam Alvey on a North American Fighting Championship card. Since then, Meerschaert has gone 7-0 with seven finishes, and six of those have come in the first round. Included in those first-round stoppages are his two UFC bouts.

Meerschaert (26-8 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who has more than 10 years of professional MMA experience, gets his first step up in UFC middleweight competition at UFC 213 facing Thiago “Marreta” Santos (14-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC), who’s coming off a second-round “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning TKO win over Jack Marshman.

8. Status check

Belal Muhammad, the former Titan FC welterweight champion, entered the UFC on a 9-0 run. Four fights into his UFC career, Muhammad is now 11-2 after a 2-2 octagon run. He’s fared well over inexperienced fighters, most recently defeating Randy Brown by decision, but when his competition has more than a handful of UFC fights, Muhammad has faltered against those more experienced fighters.

Muhammad’s (11-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) opponent at UFC 213, Jordan Mein, fits into the latter group, but he has not been all that active, fighting just once in the past two years after returning in December after a brief retirement. Mein (29-11 MMA, 3-3 UFC) lost that return bout, dropping a decision to Emil Meek.

This fight is an excellent status check for these two fighters who are both in their late 20s.

9. Expect fists to fly

The bantamweight bout between Rob Font and Douglas Silva de Andrade is likely to be contested on the feet. There are three reasons to think this.

The first is these two have a preference for striking battles. Font (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is one of the more active strikers in the UFC bantamweight division while De Andrade (24-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is more of a power striker with one-punch knockout power.

The second reason is that De Andrade has an impressive 75 percent takedown defense and that could negate any chance of Font using his wrestling skills to take this one to the mat.

And the third and final reason this fight is likely to feature striking? These two have combined for 24 knockout victories in their careers.

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10. New blood

If you’re interested in checking out the newest UFC signings, you’re going to want to make sure you have your UFC Fight Pass subscription up to date; the two opening fights feature four promotional newcomers.

Cody Stamann (13-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Terrion Ware (17-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at featherweight, and James Bochnovic (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) faces Trevin Giles (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at light heavyweight.

Each of these fighters brings a winning streak with him into UFC 213. Stamann has won his last six while Ware is unbeaten in four straight. As for Giles, his 9-0 record features eight stoppages while Bochnovic, whose only defeat came in his professional debut, has never been the distance.

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For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2480 with Anthony Pettis, Curtis Blaydes, Rob Font, Terrion Ware, Cody Stamann

Stream or download Wednesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Anthony Pettis, Curtis Blaydes, Rob Font, Terrion Ware and Cody Stamann.

All five guests fight Saturday at UFC 213. Pettis and Blaydes are featured on the pay-per-view main card vs. Jim Miller and Daniel Omielanczuk, respectively. Ware and Stamann compete against each other, while Font takes on Douglas Silva de Andrade, with both fights featured on the UFC Fight Pass prelims.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

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