UFC Fight Night 123 results: Scott Holtzman dominates Darrell Horcher en route to unanimous decision

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Scott Holtzman had no intention of standing still and letting Darrell Horcher tag him with that big left hand of his.

Instead, Holtzman (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) decided he’d be better off putting Horcher (13-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a place where his punches couldn’t do much damage, and that turned out to be flat on his back.

The strategy may not have made for a barnburner of a fight, but it did net Holtzman a victory on the scorecards in the form of a unanimous decision, with all three judges giving him a 30-27 sweep after three rounds.

The lightweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

For Holtzman, the key technique in this fight was the inside trip from the clinch, a takedown he executed over and over again to halt Horcher’s momentum and force the action to the ground.

While Horcher remained dangerous as long as the fight was upright and at a comfortable distance, as soon as Holtzman got in close he was a threat to take the fight down and keep it there, racking up rounds on the scorecards.

The one thing working in Horcher’s favor was referee Mike Beltran, who was quick to stand the fight up the instant the pace slowed even a little on the mat. That gave Horcher the chance he struggled to get for himself, and several times he almost made it count, coming with centimeters of landing a big blow on the wary Holtzman.

But Holtzman’s grappling-heavy style proved to be enough in the end, as he committed himself to grinding out a win and was rewarded on the scorecards for his efforts.

Holtzman has now won two straight in the UFC. Horcher has lost two of his last three.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 123 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Fresno.)

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

UFC Fight Night 123 staff picks: Who's the runaway choice between Cub Swanson, Brian Ortega?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

 

Swanson
vs.
Ortega
Benitez
vs.
Knight
Moraes
vs.
Sterling
Holtzman
vs.
Horcher
Anders
vs.
Perez
Lopez
vs.
Morales
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 120-81
swanson2017
Swanson
(64%)
knight2017
Knight
(92%)
sterling2017
Sterling
(51%)
horcher2017
Horcher
(55%)
anders2017
Anders
(73%)
blopez2017
Lopez
(58%)
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 127-74
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 126-75
trophy copy 2015 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
horcher2017
Horcher
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 126-75
ortega2017
Ortega
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
horcher2017
Horcher
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 125-76
trophy copy 2016 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 124-77
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 119-82
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 118-83
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 117-84
trophy copy 2014 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 117-84
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 115-86
ortega2017
Ortega
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez

The UFC has set up camp in Fresno, Calif., this week for the first time, and a featherweight barnburner headlines the show.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

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

In the main event, Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) will try to hand Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) the first loss of his pro career. Swanson is going after his fifth straight win, and he’s the pick of eight of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts – even though Ortega is a mild betting favorite.

In the co-feature, Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) meets Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in another featherweight clash. Knight is a 3-1 favorite and one of two unanimous picks on the main card. The other unanimous choice comes in the form of middleweight Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who is a 3-0 favorite against Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a battle of unbeatens. Anders has all 10 of our pickers siding with him.

Also on the main card, former WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) meets Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC). In a close one, it’s Moraes with a 6-4 edge in the picks. Lightweight Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) goes after his first UFC winning streak when he meets Darrell Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), and Holtzman has an 8-2 edge. And to open the main card, Benito Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) in a bantamweight bout that is deadlocked at 5-5.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Swanson, Knight, Sterling, Horcher, Anders and Lopez are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC-Fresno main-card breakdown: Moraes-Sterling, Holtzman-Horcher and more

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC 218’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at the first four fights on the main card.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 29 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 67″
  • Last fight: Decision win over John Dodson (Nov. 11, 2017)
  • Camp: Ricardo Almeida BJJ (New Jersey)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA title
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ Multiple muay Thai accolades
+ 8 KO victories
+ 5 submission wins
+ 10 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Consistent pace and pressure
+ Excellent feints and footwork
^ Pivots, lateral movement, distancing
+ Accurate shot selection
^ Coming forward and off of the counter
+ Dynamic and dangerous kicker
+ Underrated wrestling ability
^ Strong hips and positional awareness
+ Good transitional grappler
^ Solid scrambling and submissions

Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 28 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 71″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Renan Barao (July 29, 2017)
  • Camp: Serra-Longo MMA (Long Island, NY)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt
+ 2x All-American wrestler
+ 2 KO victories
+ 6 submission wins
+ 3 first-round finishes
+ Solid pace and pressure
+ Tricky feints and footwork
^ Variates looks and levels
+ Improved boxing
+ Dynamic kicking attack
^ Functional from both sides
+ Superb wrestling ability
+ Diverse takedown game
^ Chains trips, singles and double-legs
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Creative flow/positionally aware

Summary:

In a fun bantamweight fight, Marlon Moraes meets Aljamain Sterling.

After fighting just four weeks ago, Moraes is making a quick turnaround to competition to step in for an injured Rani Yahya. Coming off two tightly contested split-decision results, I suspect Moraes is looking to remind the masses of his standing at 135 pounds.

Sterling, who has had lofty expectations put upon him since entering the organization, has also been trying to put space in between him and close scorecards. And after a clean victory over the former champ Renan Barao, Sterling is seeking to make another statement here.

In recent outings, the product of the Serra-Longo fight team has shown to make measurable strides in his striking game.

With his funk-style of wrestling following him into his striking endeavors, Sterling would bust out of the gates as an awkward stick-and-move stylist. But after a few years of valuable lessons and experiences, we have seen Sterling get much more comfortable in expressing his growth as of late.

Continually switching his stances while moving laterally, Sterling makes himself hard to read. Incorporating his fair share of feints, Sterling works his way into the fight behind a wall of dynamic kicking variety.

From his snapping front kicks and traditional teeps to his Thai kicks parlayed into sidekicks, Sterling can execute attacks soundly from either stance. Addressing the criticisms of his game at boxing range, Sterling has shown upgrades to his pocket presence.

Attaching more purpose (as well as punches) to his trunk movements, Sterling will slip strikes to fire back return offerings of his own. That said, Sterling still tends to keep his hands low, which make striking exchanges as compelling as they are dangerous given who he is facing.

Enter Moraes.

A former champion in the now-defunct WSOF, Moraes has also had high hopes put upon him since his arrival to the big show. A well-versed striker who came up training with Edson Barboza from a young age, it is not hard to see why so many are excited about Moraes.

A fighter whose feet you seldom find out of position, Moraes keeps an excellent balance to his attack and approach. Carrying a speed advantage over most of his contemporaries, Moraes stays light on his toes while always ready to engage.

Working behind a healthy dose of feints, the Brazilian will prod with his jab to initiate exchanges. Typically looking to land his patented leg kicks, Moraes will also mix in switch-kicks to the body as well as head kicks to keep his opposition honest.

What is most impressive about Moraes’ kicking ability is the fact that he maintains his balance and defensive hand-position while executing his assaults. These attributes also make it easier for Moraes to counter, as he seemingly keeps his right cross and check-hooks at the ready.

Still, Moraes is not beyond having his kicks caught and countered himself, as that may be something worth watching for considering the dynamic of this matchup.

The longer this fight stays standing, Moraes should have the decided edge on paper; which is why I suspect that Sterling will be changing gears and getting back to his wrestling roots for this one.

Sterling, a two-time All-American wrestler, has a diverse array of takedowns in his arsenal. From reactive shots in the open to his chaining ability in the clinch, Sterling will pose some interesting threats.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how Moraes fairs in this style of matchup.

Whether it be by destiny or design, Moraes has not had a lot of opponents push a grappling-heavy agenda in recent bouts. Nevertheless, the Brazilian still shows an underrated wrestling game that has only improved since moving shop to the United States.

Following Barboza to train with Mark Henry and company in New Jersey, Moraes appears even more comfortable inside of the scramble – as I’m sure training with fighters like Frankie Edgar helps. Moraes also has fast feet and hips, which come in handy for shutting down many of the shot attempts thrown his way.

When he is taken down, Moraes is quick to threaten with a submission or scramble back to his feet. But he will need to extra careful in those spaces with Sterling, who typically makes his money in transit.

Once touching down on the mat, Sterling’s funky flow comes to life. Melding his wrestling base into his innovative jiu-jitsu, Sterling will combine things like chair-sits to leg weaves and rides, seamlessly climbing the walls of his opponent’s defenses.

Not afraid to jump on a back, Sterling has also shown to be content in punishing opponent’s positionally, landing solid ground strikes when submissions are not available. Should the Serra-Longo fighter get his game going on the floor, then it could be a rough night for his Brazilian counterpart.

Despite the short-notice intangibles, the oddsmakers and public are slightly favoring Moraes at -140 with Sterling +120 as of this writing.

As one of the more vocal supporters of Moraes’ game, I can certainly see why. He should carry a sizeable striking edge to go along with his speed, and I could see his shot selection and accuracy either severely hurting Sterling or taking him off of his game.

However, the quick turnaround from a competitive three-round fight makes me uneasy. Not so much for Moraes’ health, but more so for the performance considering what we have seen in these scenarios before. Furthermore, there is not enough evidence – at least for my liking – to suggest that Sterling won’t be a bad matchup for the Brazilian (which he just might be).

Sterling’s wrestling base and unique style could prove frustrating for Moraes, whose displayed moments of frustration in his last two bouts. If the Brazilian fails to take Sterling off of his game or ends up on the floor early, then I feel that the more likely outcome here is the Long Island resident getting his hand raised after what should be a competitive affair.

Official pick: Sterling by decision

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

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 event in Fresno.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 123 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 123 takes place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

Records: Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC)
Past five: Swanson 4-1, Ortega 4-0 (one no-contest)
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: Swanson No. 6, Ortega No. 7
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Swanson -115, Ortega -105

Take Our Poll
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Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight

Records: Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Past five: Benitez 3-2, Knight 4-1
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Knight -300, Benitez +250

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Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling

Records: Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
Past five: Moraes 4-1, Sterling 3-2
Division: Bantamweight
Rankings: Moraes No. 6, Sterling No. 12
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Moraes -175, Sterling +155

Take Our Poll
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Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher

Records: Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Darrell Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Past five: Holtzman 3-2, Horcher 4-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Holtzman -115, Horcher -105

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Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez

Records: Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Anders 5-0, Perez 5-0
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Anders -280, Perez +240

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Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales

Records: Benito Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC)
Past five: Lopez 5-0, Morales 2-2-1,
Division: Bantamweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Lopez -115, Morales -105

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For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher first bout added to UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno

UFC Fight Night 123 is beginning to take shape with the addition of its first bout: A lightweight contest between Scott Holtzman and Darrell Horcher.

Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) both announced the matchup on social media (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Holtzman will attempt to win consecutive fights under the UFC banner for the first time when he competes at UFC Fight Night 123. “Hot Sauce” has alternated wins and losses over his five-fight tenure with the promotion, with his most recent bout being a unanimous decision victory over Michael McBride at UFC Fight Night 108 in April.

Darrell Horcher

Horcher will make his third UFC appearance at the event. His UFC debut took place in April 2016, with “The Saint” accepting a short-notice bout with top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. He suffered a second-round TKO loss in the fight, but things would get even worse from there, because Horcher was involved in a brutal motorcycle accident which nearly ended his career.

After making a miraculous recovery from his injuries, Horcher returned doc competition in June with a split-decision victory over Devin Powell at UFC Fight Night 112. He will now try to carry that momentum forward against Holtzman.

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 112 salaries: B.J. Penn earns highest purse despite tough loss

B.J. Penn took a loss at UFC Fight Night 112, but he earned the most money of any fighter on the card.

Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC) earned $150,000 for his majority-decision defeat to Dennis Siever this past Sunday. Penn knocked down Siever (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC) in the second round and had a chance to come away with the win then and there. It was a close fight that, had it gone the other way, would’ve resulted in another $150,000 for Penn. Siever, fighting for the first time in two years, took home $39,000 for showing and earned another $39,000 for the win.

MMAjunkie today obtained the disclosed payouts from the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, which oversaw UFC Fight Night 112 on Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla, which aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Kevin Lee took home $44,000 for showing and another $44,000 for the win over Michael Chiesa. As previously reported, the submission victory also earned Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus, bringing his total earnings to $138,000. Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) earned $36,000 for the fight and lost out on another possible $36,000 thanks to the controversial finish.

Elsewhere on the main card, former champion Johny Hendricks earned $100,000 for showing and stood to earn another $100,000 for the win, which didn’t happen as Tom Boetsch finished him in the first round. Boetch earned $67,000 to show, $67,000 to win and also received a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

Felice Herrig earned $25,000 for showing and another $25,000 winning. Her opponent, Justine Kish, took home $14,000 for showing.

For his UFC debut, Dominick Reyes earned $12,000 for showing and $12,000 for his impressive victory in addition to his $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

The total disclosed payout for UFC Fight Night 112 was $1,225,000.

The full list of UFC Fight Night 112 salaries included:

Kevin Lee: $88,000 (includes $44,000 win bonus)
def. Michael Chiesa $36,000

Tom Boetsch: $134,000 (includes $67,000 win bonus)
def. Johny Hendricks $100,000

Felice Herrig: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Justine Kish $14,000

Dominick Reyes: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Joachim Christensen $16,000

Tim Means: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Alex Garcia $31,000

Dennis Siever: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. B.J. Penn: $150,000

Clay Guida: $110,000 (includes $55,000 win bonus)
def. Erik Koch: $24,000

Marvin Vettori: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Vitor Miranda: $18,000

Carla Esparza: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Maryna Moroz: $23,000

Darrell Horcher: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Devin Powell: $10,000

Jared Gordon: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Michel Quinones: $10,000

Tony Martin: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Johnny Case: $23,000

Jeremy Kimball: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Stansbury: $12,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC-Oklahoma City's 10 memorable moments, with controversy and comebacks, good and bad

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The main event of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 fight card was supposed to set up the victor for a matchup against a top contender in the lightweight division. That could still happen – after all, Kevin Lee did earn a first-round submission win over Michael Chiesa, but the level of controversy surrounding the stoppage, and more precisely the man who made the call, referee Mario Yamasaki, might prevent Lee from getting that immediate jump up in competition.

The co-main event had no such drama. In that bout, Tim Boetsch put Johny Hendricks away with a head kick and punches, earning himself a TKO victory early in the second round.

UFC Fight Night 112 took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Here are 10 memorable moments from the event.

1. You got yourself a situation there, UFC

Before his bout against Chiesa, Lee claimed he was the better fighter in every respect. Controversial stoppage aside, Lee backed up those words at UFC Fight Night 112. Chiesa had opportunities early, missing a takedown and briefly working for a couple of submissions. However, Chiesa failed to stick any of his offense, and when Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) gave up his back, Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) took control, securing a body lock and a rear-naked choke.

Lee appeared to have the choke in deep, and as the clock ticked down, Yamasaki waved off the fight at the 4:37 mark of Round 1. The problem with that was Chiesa had not tapped nor lost consciousness, and Chiesa immediately protested the stoppage.

It was a messy ending to an important lightweight bout. While Lee, an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings before the fight, did get the win, the UFC has some thinking to do about what’s next for him and Chiesa, who was ranked No. 9 before his controversial defeat.

2. Everybody’s talkin’

Chiesa didn’t have much to say regarding Yamasaki during his time on the mic with UFC commentator Jon Anik, but during his backstage chat with the media, Chiesa was less reserved.

“This is the main event – that is JV bull(expletive),” Chiesa said. “That guy (Yamasaki) is too focused on being some kind of playboy in front of the cameras, making his little heart logos. Maybe he should go back and read the (expletive) rule book.”

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UFC President Dana White also got involved, taking to Instagram to let his feelings be known.

Instagram Photo

For his part, Lee didn’t see the issue.

“Mario’s a very experienced ref,” Lee said. “Mario saw it and stopped the fight. If he wouldn’t have, there was still 45 seconds left in the fight. I don’t see what the controversy is about. It wasn’t like I was going to let go.”

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Chiesa, Lee and White weren’t the only ones offering opinions on the stoppage, social media was alive with opinions following the bout.

3. Something has to change

If Hendricks plans to succeed at middleweight, he’s going to need to add to his arsenal – and make weight. After coming in two pounds heavy, the former welterweight champion was largely ineffective against Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC). “The Barbarian” used kicks to prevent Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) from setting up and landing his patented overhand left.

Not only did those kicks stop Hendricks from establishing his offense, but they also ended the fight. Early in Round 2, Boetsch stunned Hendricks with a head kick and then swarmed, finishing him with punches against the cage.

The “Performance of the Night”-winning stoppage earned Boetsch his third TKO win in his last four outings. As for Hendricks, not only has he missed weight three times in his last four fights, but he is 1-3 in those contests and 3-6 dating back to November 2013.

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4. Speaking up

Felice Herrig is on the best run of her UFC career. Her unanimous decision win over Justine Kish was her third straight victory and second straight win over a formerly undefeated opponent. Despite her winning streak, Herrig is feeling under-appreciated.

“Honestly, if you want to know the truth, I just feel like I’m not young and beautiful for the UFC to want to promote me,” she said. “It’s sad because I’ve really worked hard to be here. It’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through and just got to the UFC at the right time, and they’re now getting all these opportunities.

“I’ve seen how hard I’ve worked to get here, and it just doesn’t matter because I just feel I’m not pretty enough, and I’m not getting any younger.”

After her last win, Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) called for a fight against either Michelle Waterson or Paige VanZant. She didn’t call out another fighter after defeating Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), but based on her winning streak, Herrig should get a top 15 strawweight opponent in her next outing.

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5. Remember, a sense of humor is important

Kish was close to being choked out by Herrig in the third round, but Kish fought through the choke, using muscle and force of will more than technique to break free from the submission hold. However, Kish paid a price for her efforts, something she acknowledged on social media following the fight.

6. A good June

Dominick Reyes has had a good month. On June 2, fighting for LFA, he delivered a highlight-reel knockout which earned him a short notice call up from the UFC. In his debut with the promotion, Reyes (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) wrapped things up quickly, blasting Joachim Christensen with a straight left that put Christensen (14-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) on the mat, forcing the referee to wave off the fight 29 seconds into the first round.

Reyes absorbed just one strike during the light heavyweight fight while landing 13 of the 16 he threw.

As debuts go, things could not have gone much better for Reyes, who earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his efforts.

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7. Struggles continue

B.J. Penn almost had his first win since his November 2010 KO of Matt Hughes. Penn dropped Dennis Siver in the second round of their featherweight contest, but he was unable to get the finish, and instead of turning up the heat in the third round, Penn came out flat. Actually, flat might be too kind. Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC) looked like he just wanted to survive the final five minutes of the fight, throwing a paltry 27 strikes to Siver’s 117 in the last round. In the end, Siver (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC), fighting for the first time in two years, got the majority decision win, handing Penn his fifth straight defeat.

Before the fight, Penn told MMAjunkie, “We’re going to take this as far as it can go,” which leads to the question, has Penn reached the end of the line?

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8. Back on track

Where Penn struggled at UFC Fight Night 112, another long-tenured UFC combatant showed he has some fight left in him. Clay Guida, competing at lightweight for the first time in five years, earned a unanimous decision victory over Erik Koch.

Guida looked excellent in his return to 155. His cardio was off the charts as usual, and his striking and defense were impressive, but where he excelled was in his pressure and takedown game. Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) forced Koch (14-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) to the cage for a prolonged period in the first round and controlled the fight on the mat for most of the second and third round.

Guida was never close to getting a finish, but he looked good, and he should get a step up in completion in his next outing.

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9. A major comeback

Darrell Horcher’s run in the UFC has spanned 14 eventful months. In April 2016 he was called in on short notice duty to face Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unsurprisingly he lost that fight. One month later he was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him with a cringeworthy list of injuries.

Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was told he would never fight again, but he did, earning a split decision over Devin Powell (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in a lightweight contest at UFC Fight Night 112.

“It was so emotional for me to get back,” Horcher told MMAjunkie. “I fought so hard to be here. It was a long year and what I’ve come from, most would people say a year is very short. And if you look at it on paper it is, but for me it was very hard. I pushed myself to do this, to come back, to get a win.”

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10. Give him a call

The one misstep Jared Gordon made in his UFC debut came on the scale, where he missed the featherweight limit by four pounds. Gordon is a well-rounded fighter who was comfortable wherever his fight went against Michel Quinones. On the feet Gordon (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was aggressive, using pressure to close distance and not allow Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) the space he needed to mount any offense. On the ground Gordon was just as good, coupling a heavy top game with effective ground strikes, which earned him the second-round TKO.

After the fight, the former Cage Fury champion, who has struggled with substance abuse issues, let fans know they could reach out to him if need be.

“If you have any problems or anything, you can contact me on Twitter, (or) Instagram and I will take my day to talk to you guys,” Gordon told Anik.

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For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 112, with Johnny Cash, Zeppelin, DMX

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While it take 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 Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 in Oklahoma City, Okla., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Kevin Lee def. Michael Chiesa via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:37

Kevin Lee: “First Day Out” by Tee Grizzly

Michael Chiesa: “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent

Tim Boetsch def. Johny Hendricks via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:46

Tim Boetsch: “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash

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

Felice Herrig def. Justine Kish via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)

Felice Herrig: “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey

Justine Kish: “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin

Dominick Reyes def. Joachim Christensen via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:29

Dominick Reyes: “Congratulations” by Post Malone feat. Quavo

Joachim Christensen: “Holy Moly” by J Mix feat. Hakeem

Tim Means def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Tim Means: “Slipping” by DMX

Alex Garcia: “Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte

Dennis Siver def. B.J. Penn via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-27)

Dennis Siver: “Last Resort” by Papa Roach

B.J. Penn: “Hawaii 78″/”E Ale E” by Israel Kamakawlwo’Ole

Clay Guida def. Erik Koch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-26, 30-27)

Clay Guida: “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue

Erik Koch: “C’Mon (Catch ‘Em By Surprise)” by Tiesto vs. Diplo

Marvin Vettori def. Vitor Miranda via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Marvin Vettori: “Falling Away From Me” by Marvin Vettori

Vitor Miranda: “Save Me” by Remy Zero

Carla Esparza def. Maryna Moroz via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Carla Esparza: “Bodies” by Drowning Pool

Maryna Moroz: “BomBom” by Macklemore & Ryan lewis feat. The Teaching

Darrell Horcher def. Devin Powell via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Darrell Horcher: “Miracle” by Nonpoint

Devin Powell: “We’re Alive” by Eyenine

Jared Gordon def. Michel Quinones via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:24

Jared Gordon: “Flash” by Queen

Michel Quinones: “Keep It Thoro” by Prodigy

Tony Martin def. Johnny Case via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Tony Martin: “The Last Breath” by Future

Johnny Case: “Soul to Squeeze” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Jeremy Kimball def Josh Stansbury via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:21

Jeremy Kimball: “You Can’t Stop Me” by Andy Mineo

Josh Stansbury: “Many Men” by 50 Cent

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 winner Darrell Horcher discusses emotional comeback after near-death

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Darrell Horcher successfully returned to competition just 13 months after a gruesome motorcycle accident, defeating Devin Powell at UFC Fight Night 112.

Despite being thrown more than 100 feet and sustaining broken bones, ligament tears and internal injuries, Horcher’s (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) seemingly miraculous return to the octagon was an achievement in and of itself. The fight he capped it off – a the split decision win over Powell (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) – was the icing on the cake.

At first doctor’s told Horcher he would never fight again. He proved them wrong, though, by beating Powell at Sunday’s event, which took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

“It was so emotional for me to get back,” Horcher told MMAjunkie. “I fought so hard to be here. It was a long year and what I’ve come from, most would people say a year is very short. And if you look at it on paper it is, but for me it was very hard. I pushed myself to do this, to come back, to get a win.”

Just one month before the accident, Horcher made his UFC debut. He stepped in on short notice against Khabib Nurmagomedov, the No. 2-ranked lightweight in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, and lost by second-round TKO.

Horcher was already overmatched, and the circumstances made his odds even worse. He had much more time to prepare ahead of UFC Fight Night 112, and he said the fact he came out on top was a redeeming moment.

“My goal was to get back here, to step in that octagon and get a W,” Horcher said. “I came up short in my debut, and, you know, you fight the No. 1 (contender) in the division on eight days’ notice, I lost 25 pounds in seven days. I came off the couch, I hadn’t trained in months. This was my real debut.”

After his career was nearly over and he was forced to sit on the sidelines for more than a year, it would come as no surprise if Horcher wanted a quick turnaround to make up for lost time. He said that’s not the case, though.

“I don’t feel like I have to fight quick, but I do want to fight before the end of the year,” Horcher said. “It was a stepping stone for me, a stepping stone to see how my body would react. My body did fine; I held up fine. Nerves killed my cardio a little bit. I have better cardio than I showed. I’ll heal up a little bit, and I’ll get back into training, and I just keep getting better. I’ve only been fighting for seven years.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 112 Athlete Outfitting pay: Program payout total passes $13 million

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Fighters from Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $182,500.

UFC Fight Night 112 took place at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. The main card aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

The third highest non-PPV event payout of the year saw four fighters earn a maximum non-title payout. Veterans Tim Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC), Dennis Siver (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC), B.J. Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC), and Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) each took home $20,000 for making 21 or more appearances under the program structure.

The full UFC Fight Night 112 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Kevin Lee: $10,000
def. Michael Chiesa: $5,000

Tim Boetsch: $20,000
def. Johny Hendricks: $15,000

Felice Herrig: $2,500
def. Justine Kish: $2,500

Dominick Reyes: $2,500
def. Joachim Christensen: $2,500

Tim Means: $10,000
def. Alex Garcia: $5,000

Dennis Siver: $20,000
def. B.J. Penn: $20,000

Clay Guida: $20,000
def. Erik Koch: $10,000

Marvin Vettori: $2,500
def. Vitor Miranda: $5,000

Carla Esparza: $2,500
def. Maryna Moroz: $2,500

Darrell Horcher: $2,500
def. Devin Powell: $2,500

Jared Gordon: $2,500
def. Michel Quinones: $2,500

Tony Martin: $5,000
def. Johnny Case: $5,000

Jeremy Kimball: $2,500
def. Josh Stansbury: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $2,807,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $13,130,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie