Next week's UFC on FOX 26 lineup in Winnipeg undergoes slew of changes

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Next week’s UFC on FOX 26 lineup has undergone a number of changes.

Officials today announced the slew of new matchups for the card.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

As reported on Monday, Justin Scoggins (11-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) recently announced a back injury has forced him out of his fight with flyweight Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC). As a result, promotional newcomer and undefeated recent Bellator fighter Pietro Menga (13-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement.

Officials also confirmed Josh Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has been tapped for the co-headliner against featherweight Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). Lamas was originally was supposed to fight Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), but the former UFC champion recently had fill-in duties in this past weekend’s UFC 218 headliner, where he lost to current titleholder Max Holloway.

Additionally, Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) replaces Vitor Miranda (12-6 MA, 3-3 UFC) against middleweight Julian Marquez (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC). A reason wasn’t given for Miranda’s withdrawal.

Finally, welterweight Sultan Aliev (14-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is out of his fight against Nordine Taleb (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC), and Sheldon Westcott (9-3-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has been scratched from his bout from Danny Roberts (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) – both for undisclosed reasons. As a result, Taleb and Roberts are now slated to fight each other.

The official UFC on FOX 26 lineup now includes:

MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Josh Emmett vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Mike Perry vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 5 p.m. ET)

  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Julian Marquez vs. Darren Stewart
  • Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise
  • Tim Elliott vs. Pietro Menga
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 4 p.m. ET)

  • Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
  • Danny Roberts vs. Nordine Taleb

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 post-event facts: Matt Brown most prominent KO artist in UFC welterweight history

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The UFC made its fifth stop in Virginia with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event, which took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Dustin Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) continued to be one of the UFC’s biggest producers of stoppage wins when he defeated former UFC and WEC champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) by third-round TKO to add another signature win to his resume at 155 pounds.

Poirier’s victory concluded a 13-fight card that had several notable results. For more, check below for 55 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 120.

* * * *

General

Clay Guida

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $245,000.

Poirier, Pettis, Matt Brown and Raphael Assuncao earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 120 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 120 drew an announced attendance of 8,442 for a live gate of $642,070.

Betting favorites went 8-4 on the card. One fight had even odds.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:32:30.

Main card

Dustin Poirier

Poirier improved to 6-1 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in April 2015.

Poirier has earned nine of his 14 UFC victories by stoppage.

Poirier’s 14 victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Max Holloway for third most in the company behind Donald Cerrone (19) and champ Demetrious Johnson (15).

Poirier’s nine stoppage victories since 2011 in UFC competition are tied with Holloway and Tony Ferguson for second most in the company behind Cerrone (13).

Anthony Pettis

Pettis has alternated wins and losses over his past five fights.

Pettis fell to 1-1 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in July.

Pettis fell to 2-5 in his past seven UFC appearances.

Pettis has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Brown’s (21-16 MMA, 14-10 UFC) 14 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Georges St-Pierre (19) and Matt Hughes (16).

Brown’s 12 stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Brown’s 10 knockout victories in welterweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Matt Brown and Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez (27-11 MMA, 16-11 UFC) is now 0-1 since returning to the UFC welterweight division. He’s 9-5 overall at the weight under the UFC banner.

Sanchez fell to 3-6 in his past nine UFC appearances.

Sanchez has suffered all four of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC) snapped a five-fight losing skid and earned his first victory since September 2015.

Arlovski improved to 5-5 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in June 2014.

Arlovski’s 15 victories in UFC heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Frank Mir (16).

Junior Albini

Junior Albini (14-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since August 2012.

Albini suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Cezar Ferreira (12-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) improved to 4-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in April 2016.

Ferreira has earned six of his eight UFC victories by decision.

Nate Marquardt (35-19-2 MMA, 14-11 UFC) fell to 3-6 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2014. He’s 3-9 in his past 12 bouts overall.

Marquardt fell to 3-9 in his past 12 bouts.

Marquardt’s 12 knockdowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (13).

Marquardt’s 19 career losses are the most of any active member of the UFC roster.

Raphael Assuncao

Assuncao (26-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC) improved to 10-1 since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in August 2011.

Assuncao’s 10 victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied with Urijah Faber for second most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (11).

Assuncao earned his first knockout victory since July 11, 2012 – a span of 1,949 days (more than five years) and nine fights.

Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Clay Guida

Clay Guida (34-17 MMA, 14-11 UFC) improved to 2-0 since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in June.

Guida earned his first knockout victory since April 2, 2008 – a span of 3,510 days (more than nine years) and 19 fights.

Joe Lauzon (27-14 MMA, 14-11 UFC) has suffered eight of his 14 career losses by stoppage.

Preliminary card

John Dodson

John Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) fell to 2-2 since he returned to the UFC bantamweight division in April 2016. He’s 3-2 in the weight class overall.

Dodson has suffered all nine of his career losses by decision.

Tatiana Suarez (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) returned from a more than one-year layoff for her first victory since July 2016.

Viviane Pereira (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had her 13-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt (9-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) earned the second decision victory of his career. Both those wins have come in his past two fights.

Michel Quinones (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered two of his three career losses by decision.

Nina Ansaroff (8-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) earned just the second decision victory of her career and first since Sept. 11, 2010 – a span of 2,618 days (more than seven years) and 12 fights.

Angela Hill (7-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) fell to 1-2 since she returned to the UFC for a second stint in February. She’s 5-2 since her initial release from the company in late 2015.

Hill has suffered three of her four career losses by decision.

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland (19-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) improved to 4-2 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Strickland has earned four of his six UFC victories by decision.

Court McGee (18-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) fell to 2-3 since he returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2015.

McGee fell to 4-4 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2013.

McGee has suffered six of his seven career losses by decision.

Jake Collier

Jake Collier (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his six-fight UFC career.

Marcel Fortuna (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

Karl Roberson (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned five of his six career victories by stoppage.

Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, 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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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Karl Roberson 'coming for everybody' as classic UFC climb to top gets underway

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NORFOLK, Va. – Karl Roberson has no problem being honest about his career intentions following a successful UFC debut on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 120. Why? Because he knows everyone else in the sport is thinking the same.

Roberson (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who earned a first-round submission victory over Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in a UFC Fight Pass-streamed middleweight bout at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., is early in his career and has an ambitious mindset. Naturally, that has him gunning for the top.

“Everybody wants the belt,” Stewart told MMAjunkie following his victory. “What’s the point of being in this type of sport if you don’t want to be the best? I’m here to be the best. Top 10, top five, No. 1 (contender), champion. I’m coming for everybody.”

After earning a UFC contract with a 15-second TKO win on Dana White’s Contender Series 3 in August, Roberson said he wanted to deliver big in his official octagon debut.

“The win on the Contender Series was stressful,” Roberson said. “It was like the opening to everything. It either happened, or you’ve got to start all over again. Now I got to the big show; now I can have fun. Now I can show every part of my game. Now it’s time to really enjoy it.”

Roberson, 27, said he felt his ground game was being discounted in the lead-up to the contest. He managed to tap out Stewart in less than 4 minutes, though, and he said future opponents must be aware of what he can do.

“Everyone thinks I’m just a kickboxer; I’m dangerous everywhere,” Roberson said. “When he started wrestling, I got the hip toss on him, I knew we had time left in the round. So when I got his back there’s nothing he can do there.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 Athlete Outfitting pay: Highest non-PPV payout in program history

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NORFOLK, Va. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $245,000.

UFC Fight Night 120 took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Seven fighters on the card earned a maximum non-title payout of $20,000, the most of any card thus far in the history of the program.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Dustin Poirier: $20,000
def. Anthony Pettis: $15,000

Matt Brown: $20,000
def. Diego Sanchez: $20,000

Andrei Arlovski: $20,000
def. Junior Albini: $2,500

Cezar Ferreira: $10,000
def. Nate Marquardt: $20,000

Raphael Assuncao: $15,000
def. Matthew Lopez: $2,500

Clay Guida: $20,000
def. Joe Lauzon: $20,000

Marlon Moraes: $2,500
def. John Dodson: $10,000

Tatiana Suarez: $2,500
def. Viviane Pereira: $2,500

Sage Northcutt: $5,000
def. Michel Quinones: $2,500

Nina Ansaroff: $2,500
def. Angela Hill: $5,000

Sean Strickland: $5,000
def. Court McGee: $10,000

Jake Collier: $5,000
def. Marcel Fortuna: $2,500

Karl Roberson: $2,500
def. Darren Stewart: $2,500

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

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

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,322,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,645,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 120 results: Karl Roberson stays perfect, taps out Darren Stewart

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Undefeated middleweight prospect Karl Roberson (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) kept his perfect career record intact, debuting in the UFC with a first-round win over Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

The middleweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 120 event at Ted Constant Convocation Center on the Old Dominion University campus in Norfolk, Va. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FS1.

At the start, it was Stewart who was quick to get creative with his attacks, missing on a few spinning techniques. Roberson simply kept his range to avoid those wild shots before looking to unleash his own powerful attacks. The two eventually moved into the clinch, and while Stewart looked for the takedown, it was Roberson who countered with a beautiful lateral drop and then transitioned quickly to his opponent’s back. Once there, the right arm quickly wrapped the neck, but Stewart defended well. However, Roberson adjusted his position, switched arms and put in a deep squeeze, eventually forcing the tap.

Roberson has now earned five consecutive first-round finishes in his career, including a 15-second win at this past July’s Dana White Contender Series 3 event to earn his way into the UFC.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 120 results include:

  • Karl Roberson def. Darren Stewart via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:41

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in Norfolk.)

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC-Norfolk, and hey, have you really seen this card's depth?

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Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 120 fight card might not be as star-studded as the recent UFC 217 blockbuster, but it’s still a deep card full of recognizable names worthy of your attention.

In the main event, former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis looks to show that he’s still a player in the 155-pound division despite a record of 1-3 in his four most recent lightweight contests. Pettis’ opponent, Dustin Poirier, is anxious to keep climbing the divisional rankings since returning to lightweight in 2015.

In the co-main event, two veteran brawlers meet in a welterweight bout that might be the final fight for one of them. Matt Brown might call it a career after his bout against Diego Sanchez, but then again, he might not.

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. On the hunt

With a move up the 155-pound rankings on the line, the headlining bout between Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) and Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is a must watch.

Poirier is currently No. 13 in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings. Former lightweight champ Pettis checks in at No. 11.

After a two-fight run at featherweight, Pettis returned to form in his most recent fight, a decision win over Jim Miller. Pettis looked loose and relaxed in that bout. He employed a high-pressure and unconventional striking game that harkened back to his glory days. As for Poirier, he’s coming off an exciting fight with former champ Eddie Alvarez that unfortunately ended in a no-contest in the second round after Alvarez landed illegal knees to Poirier’s head.

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Before the Alvarez fight, Poirier was on a 5-1 run at 155 pounds. During that stretch, he looked like a complete and confident fighter. This bout should let us know if Pettis is indeed back to form.

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2. Leather will fly

Imagine how glorious a fight between Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC)
and Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) would have been just a few years ago. Between 2013 and 2014, Brown took home a bonus in each of his four bouts. Sanchez earned bonuses in six of his nine fights between 2009 and 2013. Neither has picked up a bonus since then.

That’s not to say this welterweight matchup is going to be a snoozer. Fans are almost guaranteed a slobberknocker, but with Brown’s record at 1-5 in his six most recent bouts and Sanchez 3-3 in his past six, it feels like this fight would have been more fun had it come a little sooner.

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Brown is the more technical striker of the two while Sanchez tends to bite down on his mouthpiece and throw caution to the wind. Brown suffered the first two knockout losses of his career in his two most recent outings. Sanchez was also knocked out in his two most recent setbacks.

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3. A hard act to follow

In his UFC debut, Junior Albini scored a first-round knockout of Timothy Johnson. He earned a sorely needed “Performance of the Night” bonus that night.

“I was never able to buy her a toy or something like that,” Albini said of his daughter following his win. “All of her toys were like shampoos, empty bottles, because we didn’t have much money. My wife was following my dream too together, so it means a lot to me right now that I can make a living and give back to them what they suffered together with me.”

Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) faces former heavyweight champion and current rankings honorable mention Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC), who, with five straight losses on his record (four by stoppage), is in the worst slump of his lengthy career.

As an aside, hopefully the UFC gets Albini a pair of shorts that fit for this fight.

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4. Itching for a title shot

Raphael Assuncao hoped a win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 212 would earn him a bantamweight title shot. And, he did win, but a title shot didn’t materialize. Instead, the No. 4-ranked Brazilian faces rankings honorable mention Matthew Lopez in Norfolk.

Assuncao is currently on a 9-1 run. His sole defeat was a unanimous-decision defeat to current bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw in 2016. That loss came after injuries kept the 35-year-old from the octagon for more than 21 months.

Lopez might not be the opponent Assuncao wanted, but he can’t take the 30-year-old American lightly. Lopez dropped his UFC debut, a short-notice fight to Rani Yahya. Since then he’s gone 2-0. After his recent first-round TKO of Johnny Eduardo, Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) called for a bout with any fighter above him in the rankings. We’ll find out if he bit off more than he can chew with Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC).

5. That’s a lot of bonuses

Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) vs. Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) is the kind of fight with which you look at the matchup and think, “You know, these guys aren’t what they used to be. But I like it.”

Guida has had a rough run as of late. After he dropped decisions to Benson Henderson in 2011 and Gray Maynard in 2012, he decided to give featherweight a go. The results were less than ideal. Guida wrapped up his run at 145 pounds with a record of 3-4. He moved back to lightweight in June and scored a decision win over Erik Koch.

Lauzon has alternated wins and losses since 2014 and is 4-4 over that time. His most recent fight was a majority-decision loss to Stevie Ray.

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With 24 fight-night bonuses between them, expectations are high that these two will increase that number in Virginia.

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6. A hidden gem

Two of the more entertaining bantamweights face off when No. 7-ranked Marlon Moraes meets rankings honorable mention John Dodson.

Moraes (18-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), the former WSOF bantamweight champ, saw his 13-fight winning streak come to an end when he dropped a split decision to Assuncao in June. Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC)
is 2-1 since returning to 135 pounds. In his most recent bout, Dodson earned a decision win over Eddie Wineland.

This fight is essentially a pick’em. That makes sense because it’s the most evenly matched bout on the card. While Dodson has the speed advantage, Moraes has a deeper arsenal of striking techniques. Moraes also employs good feints, which he might use to draw Dodson into striking range.

With both fighters recently coming out on the wrong end of split decisions, fans should expect a spirited display.

7. It’s been a while

It’s been 16 months since Tatiana Suarez won Season 23 of “The Ultimate Fighter”” with a first-round submission of Amanda Cooper. The accomplished wrestler has been on the sidelines since that “Performance of the Night” bonus-winning victory. She returns against Viviane Pereira, who has fought three times since Suarez (4-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won “TUF.”

Pereira’s (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) most recent bout was a June decision win over Jaime Moyle.

Both of these strawweights are unbeaten. Pereira has a definite advantage in experience with nine more pro fights than Suarez. However, with so much time in the gym between contests, Suarez is likely to show a fair amount of progress in her overall MMA game.

8. He’s back

Sage Northcutt (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) makes his 2017 debut against Michel Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in a lightweight bout. The contest is Northcutt’s first as a member of Team Alpha Male.

Northcutt is under a lot of pressure in this fight. After two stoppage wins in his first two UFC contests, the highly promoted 21-year-old is on a 1-2 run. Both losses came at welterweight. He also packed all five of his previous fights into a 14-month span. That rushed schedule might have hampered the development of the young fighter. With nearly a year between fights, we’ll find out if Northcutt used his time away from the octagon wisely.

Quinones had a five-fight winning streak come to an end with a TKO loss in his UFC debut in June.

9. Looking for two in a row

Angela Hill had a rough go during her first run with the UFC. She won her debut against Emily Kagan but then dropped fights to Tecia Torres and Rose Namajunas. After her loss to Namajunas, which was just her fourth pro fight, Hill moved to Invicta FC. With that promotion she went 4-0, and won and defended the Invicta FC strawweight title. In her return to the UFC, Hill dropped a decision to Jessica Andrade. She bounced back with a win over Ashley Yoder in her most recent bout.

One of the biggest personalities in the sport, Hill, who is ranked No. 8 at strawweight, faces Nina Ansaroff, who ended a two-fight losing skid in her most recent fight, a January submission win over Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger.

This should be a good striking battle. Hill (7-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is the more technical striker with a solid muay Thai base, but Ansaroff (7-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has more power. Both fighters land at a 50 percent striking rate, but Hill is more active.

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10. Set the tone

Two relatively young middleweights who like to get things done in a hurry open this card. Darren Stewart, who drops from light heavyweight for this fight, has five first-round knockouts to his name (one later ruled a no-contest due to an accidental head-butt). His opponent, Karl Roberson, has finished his past four opponents in the first stanza.

Roberson (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) comes into this contest on the strength of a 15-second knockout of Ryan Spann on DWCS 3. Stewart (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) suffered his first career loss in his most recent bout, dropping a decision to Francimar Barroso. Stewart faded as that fight wore on, so it will be interesting to see if the drop to 185 pounds helps his cardio.

Roberson has a kickboxing background, which should give him the striking advantage in this contest. He’s also likely to have the edge in confidence, as well, after defeating 15-fight veteran Spann in July.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes
  • Viviane Pereira vs. Tatiana Suarez
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Michel Quinones
  • Nina Ansaroff vs. Angela Hill

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 120 lineup finalized, and the Norfolk fight card isn't too shabby

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The lineup is set for the UFC’s upcoming return to Old Dominion.

UFC Fight Night 120, the UFC’s first event in Virginia since UFC Fight Night 63 in 2015, takes place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The main event features two 155-pound notables. Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) got his wish following a recent callout of fellow contender Dustin Poirier (21-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC).

Pettis, who’s No. 11 in the MMA lightweight rankings, recently earned a unanimous-decision victory over Jim Miller to improve to 2-1 since a disastrous three-fight skid in 2016. He meets Poirier, a perennial contender who’s ranked No. 13. Poirier was on a stellar 5-1 run before a recent bout with ex-titleholder Eddie Alvarez ended in a no-contest due to illegal knees from Alvarez.

In the co-main event, two longtime UFC fighters and tough-as-nails vets meet when welterweight Matt Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) takes on fellow fan favorite Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC). Brown plans to retire after the fight.

Rounding out the main card are former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (25-15 MMA, 14-9 UFC) vs. Junior Albini (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), former middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt (35-18-2 MMA, 13-11 UFC) vs. Cezar Ferreira (11-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), No. 4-ranked bantamweight Raphael Assuncao (25-5 MMA, 9-2 UFC) vs. Matthew Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), and veteran lightweights Joe Lauzon (27-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) vs. Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC).

In the featured prelim, former flyweight title challenger and No. 15-ranked bantamweight John Dodson (19-8 MMA, 8-3 UFC) takes on former WSOF champion and No. 7-ranked Marlon Moraes (18-5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

Other notables are part of the prelims, including Sage Northcutt, Angela Hill and Court McGee.

The full UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez
  • Junior Albini vs. Andrei Arlovski
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Matthew Lopez
  • Clay Guida vs. Joe Lauzon

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Justin Gaethje and TUF 25 Finale's other winning fighters?

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Former WSOF champ Justin Gaethje put on another masterpiece of violence on Friday at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, living up to the hype in every way imaginable in his main event bout with Michael Johnson.

Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) delivered arguably the most memorable performance of his career when he stopped Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC) with strikes in the second round of the lightweight bout, which aired on FS1 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Early prelims streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Although Gaethje’s victory was the most significant on the card, several others earned important wins, as well, including new “TUF 25: Redemption” champ Jesse Taylor (31-15 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who closed the door on the latest season of the reality series with a submission finish in the co-headliner.

Also on the main card, Drakkar Klose (8-0-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Brad Tavares (15-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and Jordan Johnson (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) added another tally to their win columns.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Jordan Johnson

Darren Stewart

Should fight: Darren Stewart
Why they should fight: Some intriguing new blood has revealed itself in the UFC lightweight heavyweight in recent months, and Johnson is certainly part of that group after his unanimous decision win over Marcel Fortuna.

Johnson admitted his performance lacked in significant action, but considering his inexperience in the sport, 15 minutes of hard-fought time in the octagon can’t hurt his development. Johnson brings a solid wrestling pedigree and a growing striking game into his fights, and if he keeps adding to his skillset, there’s a promising future ahead.

The undefeated 28-year-old needs several more fights against a somewhat even level of competition before he gains consideration for a truly noteworthy matchup, and with same number of pro fights, Stewart (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) would be a fair booking for both.

Brad Tavares

Sam Alvey

Should fight: Winner of Sam Alvey vs. Rashad Evans at UFC Fight Night 114
Why they should fight: More than seven years after making his UFC debut, Tavares added a 10th octagon victory to his resume when he defeated fan-favorite Elias Theodorou by unanimous decision.

Tavares was just a step ahead of “The Ultimate Fighter: Nations” winner Theodorou throughout the middleweight bout, and it led to his third victory in his past four fights. The Hawaiian has only lost to notable names throughout his UFC tenure, and even then, he makes his opponents work hard for it.

Still just 29, Tavares has potential to make noise at 185 pounds and has once again put himself in position to do just that. The winner of the UFC Fight Night 114 bout between Alvey (30-9 MMA, 7-4 UFC) and Evans (19-6-1 MMA, 14-6-1 UFC) on Aug. 5 isn’t ranked or on a big winning streak, but he will carry name value, which could help an underrated fighter like Tavares get more attention.

Jared Cannonier

Gokhan Saki

Should fight: Gokhan Saki
Why they should fight: Cannonier did what he was supposed to against an opponent who stepped in as an injury replacement on just three days’ notice when he defeated UFC newcomer Nick Roehrick by third-round TKO.

Cannonier’s vast striking arsenal was way too much for Roehrick to handle with essentially no preparation time. It was an important, confidence-building performance after Cannonier was blown out of the water against Glover Teixeira in his biggest fight to date at UFC 208 in February.

To make things even better, Cannonier came to his post-fight interview with a plan in mind. In an outside-the-box callout, he offered to welcome world renowned kickboxing champion Saki (0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who signed with the promotion earlier this year.

The callout was met with instant excitement, and despite the fact Saki has essentially no MMA experience, he said he wants tough fights right away. Cannonier will oblige in exactly the type of fight the Dutch striker wants, and there’s no doubt it would be a fan-pleasing affair. Moreover, Saki said he’s interested.

Drakkar Klose

Alan Patrick

Should fight: Alan Patrick
Why they should fight: The most heated grudge match on the card went in favor of Klose when he surprised highly touted prospect Marc Diakiese with a split-decision win.

There was a ton of tension and trash talk between the competitors prior to their encounter. Most expected it to be another showcase fight for Diakiese, but Klose had other plans and put in a superior work rate to hand the Brit his first career loss.

Klose’s confidence and relentless style will likely aid him to a successful UFC career, and while it’s not to discredit his performance, one of the primary narratives coming out of the fight is whether there was too much hype behind Diakiese.

He should get a chance to prove that’s not the case, though, and in the loaded 155-pound division, there’s no shortage of fighters capable revealing how good Klose really is. Patrick (14-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is coming off consecutive wins and has been tested over his multiple years as a UFC fighter. His mix of his experience and skillset would help further reveal Klose’s ceiling.

Jesse Taylor

Belal Muhammad

Should fight: Belal Muhammad
Why they should fight: Taylor completed the ultimate redemption story when he captured “The Ultimate Fighter 25” crown with a second-round submission of Dhiego Lima to claim a $290,000 prize.

Taylor’s journey from getting kicked off Season 7 of “TUF” just before the finals due to some careless antics to winning Season 25 is well documented, and his journey is nothing short of impressive.

“JT-Money” wants to make his mark on the UFC roster, but in a deep welterweight division it’s not going to be easy. Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) scored a quality decision win over Jordan Mein at UFC 213 the night after Taylor’s performance, and his game would be an interesting test for the latest “TUF” winner.

Justin Gaethje

Should fight: Al Iaquinta
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Gaethje should fight Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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