AXS TV renews deals for LFA, CES MMA events in 2018; LFA 30 set for January

LFA and CES MMA will continue on AXS TV in 2018, the cable network announced Thursday.

In addition, AXS TV Fights’ 2018 campaign will kick off Jan. 12 with LFA 30. That event, according to a release from AXS TV, makes the promotion the fastest in MMA history to reach 30 events. LFA started in January of this year following the merger of Legacy FC and RFA.

Ron Kruck will handle play-by-play duties in 2018 for AXS TV Fights events alongside commentator Pat Miletich. THey’ll be joined by cagedside nad backstage reporter Phoenix Carnevale.

LFA 30 will take place at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif. In the main event, welterweights Curtis Millender (13-3) and Nick Barnes (12-2) will clash. After that, CES MMA will return on Feb. 2 for its fifth year of events on AXS TV.

“For over 15 years, we have built our network to be the place for fighters to get discovered in the world of MMA, and with 2018’s stacked schedule, the tradition is set to continue,” AXS TV Fights CEO Andrew Simon stated. “Ron Kruck has been an integral part of our team from the beginning and it is only fitting he will call our 400th event alongside one of MMA’s greatest legends, Pat Miletich.”

For more on the upcoming AXS TV Fights schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA announces 3 events, 4 fights, 3 title bouts for January

LFA is coming out strong in the new year.

Officials recently announced three events, including the headliners, for January.

LFA 30 takes place Jan. 12 at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., LFA 31 is set for Jan. 19 at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, and LFA 32 closes out the month on Jan. 26 at Golden Nugget Lake Charles in Lake Charles, La.

All of the events air on AXS TV.

At LFA 30, Curtis Millender (13-3) and Nick Barnes (12-2) – both former LFA headliners and both veterans of the Southern California scene – meet in a welterweight clash. Millender, a former Bellator fighter, carries a five-fight winning streak into his bout with Barnes, a Bellator and RFA vet who’s on a 3-1 run.

At LFA 31, Bobby Moffett (10-2) meets Thanh Le (7-1) for the organization’s interim featherweight title. Moffett, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with six submissions in 10 career wins, meets Le, a striker with six knockouts in seven career wins, which included a DWCS 2 victory over Lazar Stojadinovic.

Two titles are on the line at LFA 32. Brendan Allen (8-2), who fell short in an LFA title fight with now-UFC fighter Eryk Anders in June, meets undefeated guillotine specialist Anthony Hernandez (5-0) for the vacant middleweight title. Additionally, the inaugural light-heavyweight champion will be determined in the co-main event when former UFC fighter Alex Nicholson (10-4) takes on proven finisher Ryan Spann (12-5).

For the latest on LFA 30, LFA 31 and LFA 32, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for October: A 6-1 betting favorite gets crushed

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

John Moraga def. Magomedov Bibulatov at UFC 216

Magomed Bibulatov (14-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) entered his fight with John Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) as a 6-1 favorite. Very few believed Moraga could get the job done in the flyweight bout against one of the hottest prospects in the sport, but he managed to overcome the odds.

Former UFC title challenger Moraga sent Bibulatov crashing to the canvas with a devastating left hook to come away with an impressive first-round knockout, needing only 98 seconds to get the job done.

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Curtis Millender def. Matthew Frincu at LFA 24

Four-time Bellator veteran Curtis Millender (13-3) is looking for a return to the big show, and he certainly helped his cause with a 38-second knockout of a tough Matthew Frincu (11-3).

The two explosive fighters came out looking to bang, and it was Frincu who flashed powerful high kicks to open. Millender’s right high kick then landed flush on the chin and sent his opponent crashing to the floor. Millender was poised to follow with additional strikes, but the referee called off the fight just 38 seconds after it began.

Roberto Soldic def. Lewis Long at Cage Warriors 87

Roberto Soldic (12-2) pulled off an absolute stunner in his first Cage Warriors headliner, stopping Lewis Long (15-5) with a vicious head kick just 40 seconds into the first round.

Soldic entered Long’s home territory and silenced an otherwise enthusiastic Welsh crowd. The welterweight fight was short and sweet. Soldic patiently waited for Long to circle toward his left leg, and that’s when he threw a left high kick that landed directly to the chin.

Gabriel Oliveira def. Tatsuya Kawajiri at Rizin FF 7

The Japanese legend Tatsuya Kawajiri (36-12-2) fell in front of his home country crowd courtesy of Gabriel Oliveira (10-0). After a strong start, he began to fade as time wore on. Oliveira was able to survive the early burst from “The Crusher,” but then he found his range and landed several shots that were on target.

Oliveira was firing on all cylinders going into the second round. He hurt Kawajiri multiple times before a perfectly timed left lead knee landed clean and put the lights out.

Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 119

Lyoto Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) was the first to put his hands on Derek Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). Then Brunson answered, and the former UFC champion’s night quickly ended in violent fashion.

Brunson spoiled Machida’s comeback from a more than two-year layoff with a well placed counter that left the Brazilian flat on the canvas, knocked out at the midway point of the opening round in the middleweight contender matchup.

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* * * *

The Winner: John Moraga

Against an unbeaten flyweight prospect who was a 6-1 favorite, former title challenger Moraga didn’t have many people picking him to beat Bibulatov.

But Moraga took Bibulato out with a massive first-round knockout, then dealt with the emotions of what was a crucial win for his career. Moraga got the stoppage at the 1:38 mark of the first round thanks to a vicious left hand and bounced Bibulatov from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Moraga kicked low early, then followed with another one. Bibulatov tried to answer with a kick to the body, then went high. When Moraga threw a third low kick, Bibulatov caught it and rolled him over. Seconds later, Bibulatov just missed with a high left kick, but stayed in the middle to land a right hand.

But Moraga stayed calm and patient, and moments later he found his opening. He landed a right hand over the top and hurt Bibulatov. He followed it up with a high kick that just missed. But when Bibulatov tried an uppercut, Moraga landed a left hand that may have been the best of his career.

The left was right on the button, and Bibulatov was on the canvas in a hurry. Moraga dropped down with him and it took only a couple punches to finish the previously unbeaten prospect.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 24 highlights: Mackenzie Dern's finishing choke, Curtis Millender's brutal KO in headliner

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured, News, Videos

Curtis Millender and Mackenzie Dern were the stars of LFA 24, earning impressive finishes in their bouts.

LFA 24 took place Friday from Comerica Theatre in Phoenix and aired live on AXS TV.

In the main event, four-time Bellator veteran Millender (13-3) helped his cause to return to the big stage with a highlight-reel head-kick knockout of Matthew Frincu (11-3) in just 38 seconds of their welterweight contest. The two explosive fighters came out looking to bang, but it was Millender who patiently absorbed blows before countering with a right high kick that landed flush on the chin and sent Frincu crashing to the canvas.

In a featured women’s flyweight fight, jiu-jitsu world champion Mackenzie Dern (4-0) earned another submission win by locking in a rear-naked choke to make Mandy Polk (3-4) tap out at the 2:55 mark of the first round. What stood out, though, was the fact that Dern’s striking – not her grappling – set up the finisher.

Watch the full highlights above.

And for more on LFA 24, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 24 results, video: Curtis Millender scores highlight-reel finish, Mackenzie Dern stays perfect

Four-time Bellator veteran Curtis Millender (13-3) is looking for a return to the big show, and he certainly helped his cause with a 38-second knockout of a tough Matthew Frincu (11-3).

The welterweight contest served as the headlining bout of Friday’s LFA 24 event, which aired on AXS TV from Comerica Theatre in Phoenix.

The two explosive fighters came out looking to bang, and it was Frincu who flashed powerful high kicks to open. However, Millender patiently absorbed the blows, adjusted his angles and countered with a right high kick of his own that landed flush on the chin and sent his opponent crashing to the floor. Millender was poised to follow with additional strikes, but the referee called off the fight at just 38 seconds.

Afterward, an emotional Millender pleaded for a UFC invite, insisting his “circumstances need to change.”

In the bantamweight co-feature, Brazilian import Vinicius Zani (11-4) picked up his fourth consecutive win in impressive fashion, outgunning Joey Miolla (9-3) in a three-round striking battle.

Both fighters came out ready to trade shots, sitting down on every blow from the start. Both landed flush in spots – and both immediately insisted it didn’t hurt – before Miolla eventually brought the fight to the floor. However, he couldn’t keep it there, with Zani popping quickly back to his feet to resume the entertaining exchanges.

The pace slowed a bit in the second, thought both men were still throwing meaningful strikes. Zani controlled the center of the cage for most of the round, and he punctuated his highlights with applause and knowing nods, much to the delight of a vocal crowd.

Zani seemed to gain control as the third unfolded. Powerful low kicks started to dot his opponent’s lead leg, and while Miolla’s returns were still loaded with power, they weren’t thrown frequently or quickly enough to prove truly effective. Miolla scored a takedown with 80 seconds left, but Zani simply pushed the head away, drove elbows inside and created enough space to scramble back to his feet. Zani finished strong with punches and kicks to seal the result, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

In a featured women’s flyweight fight, submission specialist Mackenzie Dern (4-0) earned another tapout, but it was her hands, not her grappling, that earned the win over Mandy Polk (3-4).

After a brief striking exchange to start the contest, it was Dern who looked first for the takedown, though Polk displayed excellent defense to remain upright. Forced to adjust, Dern backed away and fired wild haymakers, rocking Polk with one and sending her to the canvas with another. With Polk dazed on her knees, Dern followed to the floor, slipped to her back and locked in a rear-naked choke, earning a tap at the 2:55 mark of the first frame.

LFA 24 results include:

  • Curtis Millender def. Matthew Frincu via knockout (kick) – Round 1, 0:38
  • Vinicius Zani def. Joey Miolla via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Mackenzie Dern def. Mandy Polk via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:55
  • LaRue Burley def. Maycon Mendonca via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Cory Sandhagen def. Luiz Gavinho via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:00
  • Glen Baker def. Kevin Natividad via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:09
  • Keoni Diggs def. Nick Chasteen via submission (kneebar) – Round 3, 1:53

For more on LFA 24, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Matthew Frincu, Curtis Millender talk kitchen sinks and potential UFC deals ahead of LFA 24 headliner

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC

A pair of high-level strikers meet in tonight’s LFA 24 main event, but their philosophies about how the matchup will go down are divergent.

Matthew Frincu (11-2) takes on Curtis Millender (12-3) in the welterweight headliner at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. The main card airs on AXS TV.

Frincu says he’s all about meat-and-potatoes fist fighting. Millender is more apt to get fancy when it comes to his offense.

“It’s a great matchup – it’s a tailor-made matchup for me because I’m a striker,” Frincu told former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Cat Zingano ahead of the fight. “I want to fight other strikers. I want to display what I do. I’m excited to get in there, see what he throws, and then put the kitchen sink in his face and see if he can get through it.

“He likes to work his tricks – he like’s spinning kicks, oblique kicks, spinning elbows. But I’m going to keep it old school. I’m going to stick with my bread and butter – my 1-2 – and we’ll see what happens.”

Millender doesn’t deny he’ll try some spinning stuff when he gets in the cage. When it comes to his fights, if spinning stuff gets him a win, and a win gets him a call from the UFC, he’s all about it.

“I’m definitely going to go out there and do exactly what I said I was going to do – get a finish, be exciting and take that next step in my career,” Millender said. “I’m hoping after this, I’ll officially be a UFC fighter. I’m ready to be in the UFC. I’m ready to beat those guys up, too. I wouldn’t mind taking the (LFA) title, but I’m ready to be a UFC fighter. It’s time to make some money. I’ve got two little boys at home who need it, so that’s what I want.”

To hear more from Frincu and Millender with Zingano, check out the video above. And don’t miss Zingano’s interview with LFA 24’s Mackenzie Dern below.

And for more on LFA 24, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2540 with guests R.J. Clifford and Curtis Millender

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests R.J. Clifford and Curtis Millender.

Clifford, host of “MMA Tonight” and also a FOX Sports contributor, joined the program to talk about the latest news, including trying to figure out the UFC lightweight puzzle. Millender headlines LFA 24 on Friday vs. Matthew Frincu.

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

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Radio
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Curtis Millender and R.J. Clifford

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Curtis Millender and R.J. Clifford.

Millender headlines Friday’s LFA 24 event against Matthew Frincu. Clifford is host of “TUF Talk” and SiriusXM’s “MMA Tonight.”

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

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

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

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

LFA 24 set for Arizona with Matthew Frincu vs. Curtis Millender

A pair of welterweights with big-show experience tops the bill in LFA’s return to Arizona.

Promotion officials recently announced that LFA 24 takes place Oct. 13 at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Topping the bill is Matthew Frincu (11-2) vs. Curtis Millender (12-3). Bantamweights feature in the night’s co-main event with Joey Miolla (9-2) vs. Vinicius Zani (10-4).

As with all LFA events, the night’s main card airs on AXS TV.

Frincu first came to national prominence in a three-fight stint under the WSOF banner. More recently, the Australian native has put together a four-fight winning streak that includes LFA wins over Maicon Mendonca and Kris Hocum. Meanwhile, Millender boasts four fights in the Bellator cage, including one during his current four-fight winning streak that also includes an LFA win over Kevin Holland this past June.

Miolla enters the contest with an impressive of streak of nine wins in his past 10 appearances. He now meets Brazilian Zani, who is on a three-fight winning streak and has won seven of his past eight.

For more on LFA 24, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Could LFA 13 headliner Kevin Holland get a UFC contract? Not with this opponent

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Let’s just say Kevin Holland is keeping it real ahead of tonight’s LFA 13 headliner.

Whether he’s looking to get in his opponent’s head or just being pessimistic about the stakes for the fight, Holland had a rather sobering assessment of the nationally televised bout.

Holland (9-2) meets Curtis Millender (9-2) in a welterweight bout at Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Convention Center in Burbank, Calif. The AXS TV-televised headliner is a great way for Millender to get noticed, but unlike some past LFA main-event fighters, he doesn’t see it as a ticket to the big show.

“It’s hard to believe someone like Curtis is my final exam (to get into the UFC), so no,” he told MMAjunkie Radio. “I believe it’s just another stepping stone. I believe it’s another pawn on the chess board that I simple have to sacrifice to get where I need to be.

“Yeah, it’s a big-time show. It’s a big card. But it’s not the biggest. I’m not fighting for a title. It’s their first time coming to Cali. They’re really just experimenting.”

Holland, 24, is riding a four-fight winning streak with four stoppages. In fact, in nine career wins, he’s never gone to a decision. But he’s not sure his body of work is enough to get him a shot in the UFC octagon.

“Dreams due to come true, but will the dream of going to the UFC after this fight (come true)?” he said. “I think not. I’m only going to be 10-2. They keep mentioning record, record, record. So I see a couple more fights after this, and I’ve got no problem with that.”

Although his first four fights were first-round wins, Holland said he got a little overly focused on the finish, and it eventually cost him. He said he learned his lesson, and he’s ready to wait for his opening tonight against Millender.

“I started off doing kung fu, and you wait for the kill,” he said. “You can smell the kill. If the kill isn’t there, I’m not the type of guy who’s going to try jump all on it.

“I did that. I was 4-0. I went in my fifth pro fight, and I was thinking I could finish anybody from the road anywhere. And I did that, and I lost the fight with a decision because the whole time I was looking for the kill, and the guy was looking to play pussyfoot. I couldn’t put him away because he was playing around the whole time. But I learned from that.”

Besides, with the confidence he has in his skills, he said there’s no need to rush it.

“The kill’s coming to come regardless,” he said. “When you’re this long, this strong, this fast, this damn good – it’s going to come to you.”

For the full MMAjunkie Radio interview, check out the video above. And for his chat with AXS TV Fights’ Ron Kruck, in which Holland calls Millender a “one-trick pony,” check out the video below.

For more on LFA 13, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie