The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 133 – Las Vegas: Marcin Tybura, featuring Demetrious Johnson

Episode No. 133 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 wrapping up his vacation in Spain, so John Morgan is rolling solo since “The MMA Road Show” never misses a beat. Morgan recounts his experience at UFC 216 and shares a few minutes of an exuberant Demetrious Johnson. Morgan also discusses a few hot topics in MMA, including the ongoing Mark Hunt saga, and shares an interview with UFC Fight Night 121 headliner Marcin Tybura.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: UFC's decision to sideline Mark Hunt against his will is a tricky one

If you make your struggle with the effects of brain trauma public, how surprised can you be when a promoter won’t let you fight? But if the promoter won’t let you fight, what do you get to do?

Plus, what’s the fight of the year so far in 2017? And does the UFC flyweight champ need to jump up a division now?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

I’m torn on this. On one hand, you want the UFC to be proactive about fighter health and safety. If a fighter tells us that he’s slurring his words and struggling with short-term memory – both major red flags – you don’t want to put that person in a cage to fight for money.

On the other hand, Mark Hunt is currently suing the UFC for what he alleges is a failure to look out for fighter health and safety, so we can’t ignore the context of this move by the UFC.

It’s also worth asking if the UFC just set a precedent that it’s not willing to stick to. Georges St-Pierre has also described issues with his memory (which he attributed to possible alien activity, which is not necessarily any less concerning), but he was never pulled from any fights, and is slated to return for more in November.

Then there’s the question of what you do with a fighter who you’ve deemed medically unfit to fight based on a column he wrote for a website. How can you keep him under contract if you’re not going to let him work?

And if you do release him, does that mean any fighter can get out of his contract by publicly proclaiming his brain to be damaged, only to pop up in Bellator a couple months later declaring that, actually, he’s feeling much better now, thank you?

These are uncharted waters. This wasn’t an athletic commission that pulled Hunt from the fight. And, as far as we know, the decision to pull him wasn’t based on any actual medical testing. UFC officials just read a column with Hunt’s name on it and yanked him, which forces us to wonder about the true motives here.

(Also, if talking openly about brain trauma leads to a de facto suspension, what you’ve really done is ensure that fighters will stay quiet about their symptoms if and when they do appear.)

But again, if Hunt really is experiencing the symptoms he wrote about, he shouldn’t be fighting. I wish the UFC had done more to confirm and investigate that before acting. I also wish it hadn’t decided to make this unprecedented principled stance with a fighter who’s currently battling the promotion in court. Then it would have been a lot easier to know what to make of it.

Are those the only two choices? Because if you told me right now that Rory MacDonald has a goat who he cares for and talks to and secretly feels is the only one in this world who understands him, I would believe that in a heartbeat.

First of all, that’s awesome. Second of all, if ever there was a situation where you don’t want to walk around with an imported IPA in your hand, loudly discussing the superiority of Japanese motorcycles, this is it. Third of all, Roy Nelson? Now that’s natural sponsor synergy, right there. Fourth, remember to have a good time. Fifth, but not so good that you forget to apply sunscreen and end up with the inevitable tank top tan. That’s experience talking, my friend.

Is this love? That you’re feeling? Is this – and here I’m just thinking out loud – the love that you’ve been waiting for?

But I know what you mean. Watching Demetrious Johnson pull off a brand new submission reminded me of one of the things that I’ve always loved about MMA, which is that it’s a sport that’s always growing and changing.

Remember 15 years ago when Tito Ortiz would take somebody down, wedge their head against the fence, and elbow a hole in their face? At the time that felt like a new answer for the relatively old problem of the jiu-jitsu guard. Now it’s the first step to having someone wall-walk their way to an escape.

The nature of MMA – just two humans trying to hurt each other in a cage, with relatively few rules restricting them – makes it an environment that allows for a lot of creativity. The opportunities for evolution are everywhere. New attacks lead to new counters, which then breed new variations on the old moves. Every once in a while, an artist appears to blaze a fresh trail.

You don’t really get as much of that with most other sports. Instead you get people who do the old stuff slightly better than their predecessors. This is one of the things that makes MMA special. I hope we never lose that.

Since we’re talking about a health and safety issue, I’m not sure we want to use “try something – anything!” as our mantra here. Some proposed fixes, like same-day weigh-ins or lengthy suspensions for missing weight, are likely to make things worse, because fighters are still going to take the risks even when it’s a bad idea, and you’re not going to punish your way out of this problem.

I think the best hope for a solution is something along the lines of what California is trying to do, using hydration testing and other methods to determine a safe fighting weight for every athlete, then making the fighters stick to those guidelines even when they don’t want to.

Even that system won’t be perfect. There will be times when it feels like regulatory overreach for a commission to tell someone like Renan Barao that he doesn’t get to be a bantamweight anymore.

Plus, fighters’ bodies change. They get old. Or they just let themselves get out of shape. Just because you determine a safe fighting weight, it doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of fighters trying for last-minute, extreme weight cuts. And if you think it’s a bummer when a fight is scratched due to someone missing weight, wait until a big one is called off because someone is too far from the target weight for the commission to even let them try.

Still, this is obviously an issue. Fighters can literally die this way. Not to mention, it’s just insane to put athletes through that kind of intense depletion a day before the competition. There’s no doubt that performances suffer as a result. Careers are probably shortened, and for what? Just so fighters can face someone roughly their own size in the end?

I support athletic commissions that are serious about changing that culture, but it can’t just be one or two of them. As with anti-doping efforts, this needs to be something the whole sport does if we’re every going to get anywhere.

Ultimately? Antonio Silva is. But I see your point. It’s madness to me that GLORY would even book this fight. What’s the point? To let Rico Verhoeven show out against a big, slow punching bag of an opponent for the sake of some memorable violence? What, to prove some point about kickboxing vs. MMA? Is this some kind of sad, off-brand attempt at a Mayweather-McGregor-esque cross-sport challenge? I don’t get it.

Ideally, the people who love and care about Silva would stop him from doing this, but for various reasons I wrote about back when this fight was announced, that’s not happening. Instead we’re just charging ahead with this like these mismatches aren’t very dangerous, which they are.

I like face-punching and knockouts as much as anyone, but I won’t watch this. I can’t. As viewers and fans, that feels like the least we can do to make this sort of matchmaking stop.

 

Really, that’s your list? There’s something to spoil every one of those, and I’m pretty sure the last one is a cartoon.

If you ask me to pick a fight of the year that I can still feel good about as of this writing, I have to go with Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson. No one got popped for drugs. The judges didn’t screw it up (because Gaethje didn’t give them a chance). The fight was competitive and rational from a matchmaking perspective.

And if that’s not enough, the action was just bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

That’s not a call for the UFC to make; that’s up to the athletic commission. And no, based on precedence alone, that’s not something that merits an official punishment. We’ve seen fighters get away with much more egregious shots after the bell (looking at you, Germaine de Randamie) and there was no punitive action beyond whatever the referee was willing to do in the fight itself, which is usually nothing at all.

He doesn’t have to, because weight classes exist for a reason. But man, it sure would be great if he did, wouldn’t it?

I can’t help but feel underwhelmed by the thought of watching Johnson keep beating up the same flyweights over and over, all while the UFC has to reach further down the rankings ladder just to find fresh opponents. It feels too easy for a fighter as good as Johnson. He needs a challenge. I’d argue he needs it more than he needs another victory. It’s just a question of whether or not he sees that – and whether or not he cares.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Even in super slo-mo, Demetrious Johnson's UFC 216 finish is pretty unfathomable

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Slow it down all you want, Demetrious Johnson’s incredible submission of Ray Borg at UFC 216 still blows the mind.

As you’d expect, Johnson’s “Submission of the Year” candidate was featured in the UFC’s latest “Phantom Cam” highlights package, covering this past weekend’s UFC 216 event in Las Vegas. The sequence might be even more impressive when it’s slowed down enough for mere mortals to understand.

Check out that highlight and more – including some fantastic footage of the “Fight of the Night” between Bobby Green and Lando Vannata, as well as Tony Ferguson’s interim title-winning performance over Kevin Lee – in the footage above.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie rankings, Oct. 10: Demetrious Johnson again takes P4P throne

Say what you will about his ability to draw pay-per-view buys – Demetrious Johnson’s fighting skills are simply off the charts.

At this past weekend’s UFC 216 event in Las Vegas, Johnson earned the 11th consecutive defense of his UFC flyweight title, breaking a promotional record he shared with former middleweight champ Anderson Silva. “Mighty Mouse” did so in style, submitting Ray Borg in the fifth round with an incredible suplex-to-armbar series that will surely gain “Submission of the Year” nominations.

With the win, Johnson again moves past former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to take the No. 1 spot in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA pound-for-pound rankings.

Johnson wasn’t the only fighter making moves on the pound-for-pound list. Check out the updates on that chart, as well as moves across several divisions following this past weekend’s MMA action.

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

Belal Muhammad's attempt to mimic Demetrious Johnson's 'Mighty Armbar' did not go well

Joe Rogan said during the recent UFC 216 pay-per-view broadcast that he believed fighters around the globe would attempt to copy UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson’s incredible title-fight finish while in the training room. Well, he was right.

Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) set the UFC’s all-time consecutive title defense record (11) this past Saturday when he earned a fifth-round submission victory over Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the UFC 216 co-headliner, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“Mighty Mouse” dubbed the finish as the “Mighty Armbar,” and it was unlike anything ever seen in the octagon. Johnson hoisted his opponent and immediately transitioned from the suplex position into a slick armbar. Borg was forced to tap, and Johnson was left with a mind-blowing new highlight for his growing reel.

The move had a high degree of difficulty, and UFC welterweight Belal Muhammad (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) found that out firsthand. He attempted to repeat Johnson’s move during training, but the end result was very different (via Twitter):

Fortunately for Muhammad, he’ll have plenty more time to train the move. He’s not currently booked for a fight after a scheduled UFC Fight Night 121 matchup with Jesse Taylor was called off when his opponent, who’s “The Ultimate Fighter 25” winner, was flagged for a potential USADA violation.

In case Muhammad needs a refresher, here’s how it’s really done (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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

UFC 216 medical suspensions: Ray Borg potentially out six months with finger injury

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Filed under: News, UFC

UFC flyweight Ray Borg could be out for six months following a failed bid to unseat dominant champ Demetrious Johnson.

Borg’s arm isn’t the problem, however. After tapping to an armbar in the fifth round of UFC 216’s co-headliner, the Nevada State Athletic Commission cited his right right finger as the area of concern.

Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) needs an orthopedist to clear him, or he could sit out a half-year, according to medical suspensions released today by the NSAC, which regulated the pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Although Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) reported a potential knee injury following his record-breaking 11th title defense, he got off scot-free with no suspension.

Headliner Tony Ferguson (24-3 MMA, 14-1 UFC), who claimed the interim lightweight title, has a three-week suspension for a possible corneal abrasion, while opponent Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) sits for two months after his third-round submission loss, which came after a brutal weight cut made more miserable by an active staph infection.

The full list of medical suspensions stemming from UFC 216 include:

  • Tony Ferguson: Suspended until Oct. 29 for possible left eye corneal abrasion.
  • Kevin Lee: Suspended until Nov. 7.
  • Ray Borg: Needs fourth right finger cleared by orthopedic doctor or suspended until April 6; minimum suspension runs to Nov. 7 with no contact until Oct. 29.
  • Mara Romero Borella: Must repeat MRI of brain in six months, due April 7.
  • Evan Dunham: Needs ophthalmologist clearance on blurred vision or no contest until Dec. 7, no contact until Nov. 22.
  • Cody Stamann: Suspended until Nov. 7 with no contact until Oct. 29.
  • Tom Duquesnoy: Suspended until Nov. 22 with no contact until Nov. 7.
  • Lando Vannata: Suspended until Dec. 7 with no contact until Nov. 22.
  • Bobby Green: Suspended until Nov. 22 with no contact until Nov. 7.
  • Pearl Gonzalez: Suspended until Nov. 7 with no contact until Oct. 29.
  • Poliana Botelho: Needs right elbow and right thumb cleared by orthopedic doctor or suspended until April 6; minimum suspension runs to Nov. 7 with no contact until Oct. 29.
  • Matt Schnell: Needs right forearm X-rayed; if broken, needs clearance by orthopedic doctor or suspended until April 6.
  • Marco Beltran: Needs left thumb X-rayed and cleared by orthopedic doctor or suspended until April 6; minimum suspension runs to Nov. 7 with no contact until Oct. 29.
  • Magomed Bibulatov: Suspended until Nov. 22 with no contact until Nov. 7.
  • Thales Leites: Needs possible right orbital fracture cleared by orthopedic doctor or suspended until April 6; minimum suspension runs to Nov. 22 with no contact until Nov. 7.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

And for his next trick, the great Demetrious Johnson will attempt … what, exactly?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

After submitting Ray Borg with something out of a Spiderman comic at UFC 216, the one thing Demetrious Johnson didn’t want to talk about was his immediate fighting future.

“Everyone is so quick to jump to the next one,” the UFC flyweight champ said. “It’s been 25 minutes since the fight.”

Fair enough, but now it’s been over 36 hours since the fight, so can we talk about it yet?

I only ask because it feels like Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) is at a crossroads. His win over Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) on Saturday night in Las Vegas shattered the record for consecutive UFC title defenses. It also established him as a bonafide ninja, thanks to a transition from slam to armbar that most of us didn’t even know was possible.

So now Johnson has records and highlights that may never be topped. Who knows, he might even be on the verge of breaking through to another level of popularity with fans, since even the most curmudgeonly flyweight hater has to admit that he’s something special now.

Opportunity is in the air for the champ. But if he squanders it now, it may never come again.

Realistically, there are two options for Johnson’s next fight: 1) He can fight another flyweight, continuing his reign of terror over all 125-pound men, or 2) He can fight a bantamweight, essentially accepting a weight handicap as a means to test his skill.

If he goes with door No. 1, we’re probably looking at a fight against the winner of Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis, who are set to square off in December. The problem is, Johnson has already beaten Cejudo – easily – and he’d be a huge favorite to do the same to Pettis, who’s still a work in progress at 24.

This is a side effect of Johnson’s greatness. He’s dominated his own weight class so thoroughly that any fight in that division now comes with at least the perception of a low degree of difficulty. It feels like he’s walking a tightrope that’s six inches off the ground. He looks good doing it, and he manages to pull off some amazing tricks on his way across, but it never feels like he’s in any real danger.

That brings us to the second option. Johnson’s been reluctant to go back up to bantamweight without the promise of a big payday, and he balked at welcoming a bigger fighter to his division because he worried that a problem on the scales might prevent him from breaking the title-defense record.

Both those concerns seem less like dealbreakers now. Johnson already has the record, so a failed weight cut wouldn’t be such a big deal. And the UFC could sure use a champion-vs.-champion superfight right about now, since there aren’t too many marquee attractions on the calendar past early November.

The point is, now feels like the time for something special. And since Johnson’s record is a testament to his consistency and longevity when it comes to the task of beating up flyweights, watching him beat up one more probably isn’t going to feel all that novel.

Now’s the time for a new challenge, one he might actually fail at.

If not, he risks letting his success become so common that we take it – and him – for granted.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Demetrious Johnson on historic UFC 216 title defense: 'No one was going to take this away from me'

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Not only did UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson make history on Saturday at UFC 216, but he did so with maximum style points, submitting Ray Borg with a brilliant armbar setup.

Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) forced Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) to tap out in the fifth round of the UFC 216 co-headliner, which took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass. With the win, “Mighty Mouse” earned his 11th consecutive title defense, surpassing Anderson Silva’s longstanding all-time record.

It’s been a goal of Johnson’s to set himself apart from all other champions in UFC history, and his performance against Borg helped him do that in several key categories. Johnson’s reign has lasted more than five years, and in arguably the most crucial fight for his legacy so far, he said he wasn’t going to be denied.

“There was a long time ago in PRIDE: (Mirko) ‘Cro-Cop’ (Filipovic), it was his birthday, and he had that look on his face like nobody was going to take that championship away from him,” Johnson told reporters at the UFC 216 post-fight news conference. “That’s how I felt (Saturday). I felt like no one was going to take this away from me. The weight cut went easy. All my training sessions went easy. I kind of did whatever I wanted this week. Everything just felt good. When I fight guys who are my size – 5-foot-3, 5-foot-5 – it’s fine. You never know you’re going to win until the referee pulls you off.”

Although Johnson’s place in history will be argued by some due to his level of competition and the fact he’s gone into nearly every fight as a colossal betting favorite, his ability inside the octagon is second to none.

Johnson’s stunning finish was met universally with praise and astonishment, but he said he knew exactly what he was doing when he tossed Borg in the air and locked up his limb.

“It was another day in the office,” Johnson said. “Every fight is like the last one. It was special to pull that off that finish. I’ve been working on that submission in the gym. I was so tired from doing it, but I’ve practiced it a 1,000 times, and that’s what I got. My coach said, ‘You mastered it in the gym and pulled it off in the octagon.’”

Having essentially cleared out the entire queue of relevant 125-pound challengers, Johnson’s next move is up in the air. He’s received some pressure from both the fans and UFC brass to test his skills against fighters in the bantamweight division, but Johnson doesn’t appear keen on making the change unless he’s awarded significantly greater compensation.

Johnson said prior to the bout with Borg that he view the winner of the UFC 218 matchup between Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) as the most likely next contender. However, when asked about the future following UFC 216, Johnson dismissed all questions, opting instead to revel in the greatness of his most recent major accomplishment.

“I’m going to go home and spend time with my family and soak this one in,” Johnson said. “My motivation is to get better and to work on everything. Everyone is so quick to jump to the next one. It’s been 25 minutes since the fight. I’m going to spend some time with my family and kids, and enjoy this for a little bit.”

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Tony Ferguson, Demetrious Johnson and UFC 216's other winners?

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 216’s losing fighters?)

UFC 216 took place on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a pay-per-view main card that saw every winner beat her or his opponent by some form of submission.

The two championship fight finishes were especially impressive, with Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) winning the interim lightweight title against Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the main event while Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) produced more excellence with his historic flyweight title defense against Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the co-headliner.

Fabricio Werdum (22-7-1 MMA, 10-4 UFC) and Mara Romero Borella (12-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) forced their opponent so tap out in short order, picking up wins early in the first round. The main card also featured one fight that didn’t produce a winner, as Evan Dunham and Beneil Dariush fought to a draw.

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 UFC 216’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Mara Romero Borella

Andrea LeeShould fight: Andrea Lee
Why they should fight: Just the second women’s flyweight fight in UFC history went in the favor of Romero Borella, who earned a main card victory over fellow promotional newcomer Kalindra Faria.

Romero Borella made her UFC debut on less than a week’s notice and managed to top a seasoned veteran in Faria by first-round submission, immediately putting her on the radar in the budding 125-pound division.

She will likely have to wait a little while to get another fight as the UFC rolls out the new weight class with the ongoing season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which will crown the inaugural women’s flyweight champion.

Romero Borella could fight anyone who doesn’t make it to the finals of that show, but giving her a fight with Lee (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who she stepped in for at the event, in the first quarter of 2018 would also be an option that would work.

Fabricio Werdum

Should fight: Cain Velasquez
Why they should fight: Former UFC heavyweight champion Werdum bounced back from his loss to Alistair Overeem over the summer with a crucial first-round submission of outmatched last-minute replacement Walt Harris.

Had he lost, Werdum would be 1-3 in his past four octagon appearances. Instead, he’s 2-2 and can still make the argument he’s one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division.

Although Werdum seems to believe the win over Harris puts him at the top of the line to rematch current UFC champ Stipe Miocic, that’s not likely to be the case. He can strengthen his argument with another win against a contender, and if Velasquez (13-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) can get healthy, it’s the fight to make.

Werdum won the UFC title from Velasquez by submission at UFC 188 in June 2015. The promotion has attempted to set up a rematch several times since, but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened. Velasquez recently said he’s seeking a return to action in early 2018, and that would be a perfect timeframe for Werdum’s return.

Demetrious Johnson

Sergio Pettis

Should fight: Winner of Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis at UFC 218
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Johnson should fight the winner of the UFC 218 bout between Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) next for his 12th consecutive title defense.

Tony Ferguson

Should fight: Conor McGregor
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Ferguson should meet McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) next in a lightweight title unification bout.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Kevin Lee, Ray Borg and UFC 216's losing fighters?

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 216’s winning fighters?)

UFC 216 will go down as event to forget for some, because all four main card losers were put away in the distance on the pay-per-view lineup at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

After the opening between Evan Dunham and Beneil Dariush went to a draw, each subsequent fight saw the loser forced to tap out, including Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in his interim lightweight title headlining bout with Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) as well Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in his first UFC title bout with Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC).

Prior to the championship bouts, Walt Harris (10-6 MMA, 3-5 UFC) and Kalindra Faria (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) were put away by there respective opponents in less than three minutes each.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters 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 UFC 216’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Kalindra Faria

Should fight: “The Ultimate Fighter 26” cast member
Why they should fight: Faria’s UFC debut came under less than ideal circumstances. After being booked or short notice then having her opponent switched on even shorter notice, the Brazilian fell short against Mara Romero Borella with a first-round submission loss.

Faria is one of the most established veterans of the women’s flyweight division, and although the UFC debut didn’t go her way, she’s still a promising member of the organization’s newest weight class.

The Brazilian would have liked her octagon career to begin under better circumstances, but Faria will certainly get another chance to prove herself. The infancy of the 125-pound division makes it difficult to judge who her next fight should be, but a matchup with someone who does well on the current season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which will crown the division’s inaugural champion, would be fitting.

Walt Harris

Should fight: Mark Godbeer
Why they should fight: Opportunity knocked and Harris answered, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to charge through the door. After Derrick Lewis fell off the card just before it was scheduled to begin, Harris stepped in to take on a huge task in Fabricio Werdum. To the surprise of almost no one, it didn’t go his way.

Harris had never fought anyone close to Werdum’s caliber, and it showed. He was quickly taken down and submitted within 65 seconds. Instead of getting down on a high-profile loss, though, “The Big Ticket” took it all as a learning experience to get better.

Before the last-minute scramble Harris was booked to fight Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) on the card. It would be fair to both sides to put that matchup back together considering both men put in an entire training camp for each other but never got to put it to use.

Ray Borg

Should fight: Brandon Moreno
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Borg should fight Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) next.

Kevin Lee

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

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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