MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for July: Who had the best finish in a loaded month?

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Galore Bofando def. Charlie Ward at UFC Fight Night 113

Galore Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) brought plenty of theatrics into his UFC debut against Charlie Ward (3-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

Bofando, who initially elicited some boos while dancing around the cage, took out welterweight Ward – one of UFC champ Conor McGregor’s teammates – with a toss/slam to the mat, which left him dazed and forced a quick stoppage.

Sean O’Malley def. Alfred Khashakyan at Dana White’s Contender Series 2

Sean O’Malley (8-0) styled on Alfred Khashakyan (8-4) for a little more than four minutes before he put the lights out for the knockout courtesy of a straight right hand.

The 22-year-old bantamweight made a huge impression when he put on a flashy display of striking in the dominant performance. He landed everything from spinning kicks to powerful punches, and while Khashakyan hung tough, he finally went down at the 4:14 mark of Round 1.

Instagram Photo

Alex Oliveira def. Ryan LaFlare at UFC on FOX 25

Ryan LaFlare (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) used his formidable wrestling skills to smother Alex Oliveira for five minutes. But Oliveira (18-3-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) only needed a second to turn the tables.

Oliveira caught LaFlare reaching and laid him out with a perfect right hand, ending the welterweight bout at the 1:50 mark of the second round.

Volkan Oezdemir def. Jimi Manuwa at UFC 214

Less than six months after his promotional debut, Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) further cut the line of UFC light heavyweight contenders with another spectacular knockout.

Oezdemir stunned Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in the clinch before knocking him to the mat with a left hand, finishing the fight in stunning fashion just 42 seconds into the opening round.

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Jon Jones def. Daniel Cormier at UFC 214

Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) reclaimed the UFC light heavyweight title by knocking out Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), stopping his rival with a head kick and punches at the 3:01 mark of the third round.

Jones, returning from a 15-month layoff due to an anti-doping violation, made Cormier wade through dozens of kicks and punches before catching him off guard with the fight-changing shot. “Bones” swarmed and picked up his first finish by strikes since April 2013.

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* * * *

The Winner: Galore Bofando

If you were to pick a way for Bofando to win his first UFC fight, it would probably be by some flashy kick. From the opening exchanges of his meeting with Ward, that appeared to be his best shot at victory.

You certainly wouldn’t guess a takedown reversal would lead to Ward unconscious on the mat, which is why Bofando’s debut was all the more remarkable.

Bofando’s first outing was called off at the 2:10 mark of the opening round after Ward tried to muscle him to the canvas and instead crashed head-first onto the mat, knocking him senseless. Referee Marc Goddard was right there to stop Ward from taking too much further punishment.

It was a bizarre sequence considering the initial skirmishes between Bofando and Ward. Bofando danced around the octagon, trying attacks you’d sooner see in a sport-karate competition than the octagon. A frustrated Ward banged his gloves together and tried unsuccessfully to slow Bofando down in the clinch. He tried to shame the UFC newcomer into a slugfest.

When that didn’t work, Ward got aggressive and held Bofando in a bodylock, pushing the fight into the cage. He had just started to elevate and twist Bofando’s body when his momentum was used against him.

“At the start, I just tried to size him up a bit, test the distance and test how strong he was,” Bofando said. “When we got into the clinch, I realized his legs were a bit weak, so I was able to turn him over and I dumped him on his head. He was strong, but it was pretty much what I was expecting from him, to be honest. Now we have to sit down as a team and discuss what’s next. There was talk of Artem Lobov before at 155 pounds, which could be an interesting fight. I think I (would) beat him.”

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The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 121 – Las Vegas: Paul Felder, Shane O'Malley, Mayweather-McGregor world tour wrap

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Episode No. 121 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast is now available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan hosts the show while traveling the world to cover the sport.

Cold Coffee is back from the madness that was the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor world tour, and he recaps his whirlwind week covering the craziness. Additionally he and John Morgan talk Bellator 181, “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” the return of Brock Lesnar and much, much more, while also bringing you quick interviews with UFC lightweight and now broadcaster Paul Felder, as well as new UFC fighter Shane O’Malley.

You can check it out on iTunes or at themmaroadshow.com. You can also subscribe via RSS.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC's Paul Felder talks dual roles as active fighter, Dana White’s Contender Series analyst

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LAS VEGAS – Two days after knocking out Stevie Ray in Scotland, Paul Felder was in Las Vegas for yet another UFC-related duty. This time, instead of the octagon, he was in the broadcast booth for Dana White’s Contender Series 2.

Active fighters taking on roles as TV analysts for UFC broadcasts isn’t exactly unheard of – light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and ex-bantamweight-champ Dominick Cruz are two examples. And there’s certainly something to be said for input from people who can actually grasp what being a cage fighter entails.

Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), however, can only relate to the subjects of his commentary to a certain point. After all, unlike in regular UFC events, the fighters featured on Dana White’s Contender Series are concerned with more than just coming out victorious. They’re also interviewing for a major gig.

“I can only imagine what that feels like,” Felder told reporters after Tuesday’s five-fight event, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. “Because I’m in (the UFC) now. So when I win a fight, there’s nothing else you’re waiting on other than the bonuses. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. But you still won your fight, you’ve got your job.

“(These guys) are not here for the money. They’re here to get the contract. So I really feel for the guys who got finishes tonight and still can’t get a contract. But it’s cut-throat. That’s our business. If you can’t get used to it now, you should just give it up.”

In each of the eight episodes of the weekly show, 10 fighters battle it out for a chance at a UFC contract. What it takes for that to happen, however, isn’t clear. A win – even a good one – may not be enough. Felder understands how that may be tough for the athletes. but he also appreciates the fact that these are all official fights.

“You’re still getting paid, you’re still fighting, you’re still putting wins on your record,” Felder said. “That’s what I like about the Contender Series. It’s just elevating these guys’ performances, but they’re still getting paid and still getting wins.”

When it comes to fighters in the booth, the internal conflict is bound to come up. On the one hand, the commentator is there to provide a neutral outlook on the fight. But there is the fact an active athlete can sympathize with what his colleagues are going through on a personal level.

Felder already had to deal with a tricky situation this Tuesday, when he had to do commentary for an ex-teammate in Sidney Outlaw. But judging by his handling of that, it seems like keeping a healthy distance won’t be a problem.

“He’s a former teammate of mine and a guy I like very much,” Felder said. “But I was pretty harsh on him because you know you’re here to get a contract, right? Or are you here to win whatever money you’re getting on your contract for the one fight tonight?

“Because that’s what it looked like. And I’ll tell him that honestly. He knows that. He’s probably upset right now because of that.”

While Outlaw did win his battle with Michael Cora via unanimous decision, he didn’t get the UFC deal. In fact, the night’s only winner to walk away with a contract was Sean O’Malley, who, after quite the flashy display over Alfred Khashakyan, prompted UFC president Dana White to say he had “the style and the mentality to be a star.”

Felder, who was already impressed after doing his homework on the 22-year-old bantamweight, agrees with White.

“Like Dana said, it’s not just about what you did tonight,” Felder said. “It’s about what you’ve been doing and about what he thinks you can continue to do. ‘That’s a guy that we think has got the ability to go and be unorthodox. And he’s got a look about him.’ You know what I mean? I hate to say that that matters, but it does.

“But first and foremost, the kid gets knockouts. So, all that other stuff is just icing on the cake.”

Felder is pleased with his night in the booth. And he’s excited about getting to put the acting experience he honed in college to good use after all these years of focusing mostly on the punching-other men-in-the-face thing. But after a full camp, a fight week, a “Performance of the Night” win and his new gig, the thought of finally getting home doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

“It was fun, man,” Felder said. “I’m kind of just still all over the place, because I literally just fought two days ago. I was talking about it yesterday, I was like, ‘My fight,’ and I’m like, ‘I fought last night.’ And I’m in Vegas now, doing this. I’m going home tonight. And I’ll see my daughter and all that kind of stuff. And eat some junk.”

To hear more of Felder’s input on Tuesday’s fights, check out the video above.

And for more on Dana White’s Contender Series 2, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Others left disappointed, but DWCS 2 winner Sean O'Malley had no doubt he'd get UFC contract

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LAS VEGAS – Undefeated Sean O’Malley was the only fighter who left Dana White’s Contender Series 2 on Tuesday night with a UFC contract. And he wasn’t surprised.

“I want to be a superstar, and I know I can be,” he told MMAjunkie after the fight. “That’s what’s going to happen.”

In the co-headliner of the five-bout card, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, O’Malley (8-0) eventually picked apart bantamweight Alfred Khashakyan (8-4) to score a first-round knockout via a straight right.

“I wasn’t nervous one bit,” he said.

Here are the highlights of “Sugar’s” big win (via Twitter):

Afterward, the winners gathered, and O’Malley was told he was the only one who receiving a UFC contract. UFC President Dana White said O’Malley is “kid has the style and the mentality to be a star.” The 22-year-old, who was coming off a spinning-wheel-kick knockout of David Nuzzo at LFA 11 in May, is now 8-0 with seven stoppage (six knockouts and a submission).

He isn’t surprised he’s leaving Vegas with a UFC contract.

“I was 100 percent confident (I’d get one),” O’Malley said. “All those guys – I like all of those (other guys who fought tonight), and they fought hard – but I went out there and put on a show. I do that every fight.”

Check out the full interview above.

For more on “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 2,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie