Derek Brunson vs. 'Jacare' slotted for Charlotte's UFC on FOX 27 headliner

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Derek Brunson and Ronaldo Souza apparently are going to rematch after all.

“Jacare” (24-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, and No. 11-ranked Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) recently drummed up interest in the fight on social media, though they couldn’t seen to agree on a date or location.

But Souza’s preference for a meeting at UFC Fight Night 125, which takes place Feb. 3 at Mangueirinho Gymnasium in the Brazilian city of Belem, seems to be nixed. Instead, Brunson gets his wish for a fight at UFC on FOX 27, which takes place Jan. 27 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.

UFC President Dana White suggested the fight was set on Tuesday, though he didn’t give a date. According to ESPN.com, however, Brunson said it’ll serve as UFC on FOX 27’s headliner.

Three of Brunson’s past four bouts have taken place outside of the U.S. (Australia, New Zealand and Brazil), so the North Carolina native is undoubtedly happy to get a fight closer to home.

Brunson, who’s coming off back-to-back knockout wins over Daniel Kelly and ex-champ Lyoto Machida (with a narrow and somewhat controversial decision loss to Anderson Silva before that), looks for redemption against Souza. The two 185-pounders fought in 2012 under the Strikeforce banner, where “Jacare” picked up a 41-second knockout win.

Brunson’s career seemed to turn a corner after that loss, and he continued fighting top names. The 33-year-old is 9-3 since then.

Souza, meanwhile, was on a 10-1 run that followed the loss of his Strikeforce belt to Luke Rockhold in 2011. However, in his most recent fight, the 37-year-old Brazilian suffered a TKO loss to now-interim champ Robert Whittaker in April.

The latest UFC on FOX 27 card includes:

  • Derek Brunson vs. Ronaldo Souza
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Juliana Lima vs. Randa Markos
  • Mara Romero Borella vs. Katlyn Chookagian
  • Justine Kish vs. Ji Yeon Kim

For more on UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

'Jacare' and Derek Brunson agree to rematch, but then things get complicated

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Ronaldo Souza and Derek Brunson have apparently agreed to a fight; when it’ll happen remains a point of contention, though.

On Monday, the two UFC middleweights, who previously fought under the Strikeforce banner, discussed the potential rematch on Twitter, though the date and location appear unresolved.

According to “Jacare” (24-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, he accepted the fight with No. 11-ranked Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) for UFC Fight Night 125, which takes place Feb. 3 at Mangueirinho Gymnasium in the Brazilian city of Belem (via Twitter):

However, according to Brunson, he accepted the bout for UFC on FOX 27, which takes place Jan. 27 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. (via Twitter):

As Brunson was quick to retweet, three of his past four bouts have taken place outside of the U.S. (Australia, New Zealand and Brazil), so the North Carolina native would surely enjoy a fight in his home state.

Brunson, who’s coming off back-to-back knockout wins over Daniel Kelly and ex-champ Lyoto Machida (with a narrow and somewhat controversial decision loss to Anderson Silva before that), would actually be looking for redemption against Souza. The two 185-pounders fought in 2012 under the Strikeforce banner, where “Jacare” picked up a 41-second knockout win.

Brunson’s career seemed to turn a corner after that loss, and he continued fighting top names; the 33-year-old is 9-3 since then.

Souza, meanwhile, was on a 10-1 run that followed the loss of his Strikeforce belt to Luke Rockhold in 2011. However, in his most recent fight, the 37-year-old Brazilian suffered a TKO loss to now-interim champ Robert Whittaker in April.

For more on UFC Fight Night 125 and UFC on FOX 27, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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How is ol' man Daniel Kelly dealing with 'massive, massive disappointment'?

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SYDNEY – After a four-fight winning streak came to an abrupt end, how is 40-year-old Daniel Kelly dealing with the setback?

With his trademark optimism and fortitude, as usual.

Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who meets fellow middleweight Elias Theodorou (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 121, was inching up the 185-pound ladder with a solid winning streak, but in his most recent bout, he suffered a 76-second knockout loss to Derek Brunson.

How’d it feel to deal with such an untimely setback?

“Massive disappointment – massive, massive disappointment,” the fan favorite told MMAjunkie. “We were on a really good run. We won like four in a row, something like that. And everything was good.

“(The loss) was my fault. I made mistakes. So, you can’t make mistakes at that level. You saw what (Brunson) did to (Lyoto) Machida that next fight. And Brunson is an awesome, awesome competitor. So, it was very disappointing. All you can do is get back to the drawing board.”

He looks to do just that when he meets Theodorou in an FS1-televised main-card bout at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. For the four-time Australian Olympic judoka, he’s likely going to be a massive crowd favorite.

But Kelly also knows he has a tough challenge in Theodorou, a fellow vet of “The Ultimate Fighter.” After all, Theodorou has defeated the two of the three opponents who have beaten Kelly since the Australian turned to pro MMA in 2006 – Sam Alvey and Sheldon Westcott (in a “TUF” exhibition bout).

And sure, some folks close to him may have preferred that Kelly call it a career after the Brunson loss. But despite a couple decades of combat-sports experience and Father Time peering over his shoulder, Kelly isn’t quite ready to call it quits.

“At the end of the day, I think I’m a good representation for the sport and how I conduct myself and all of that,” he said. “So, there’s still a little but of gas in there, in the tank. So I’ll get going for a little bit longer.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Paulo Costa denies accusations of steroids use after UFC 217: 'I'm a genius … if I'm bypassing USADA'

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Being aggressively brushed off by Derek Brunson hasn’t turned Paulo Costa’s attention away from his fellow middleweight. If anything, he’s now even more interested.

Shortly after his knockout win over former 170-pound champ Johny Hendricks (18-8 MMA, 13-8 UFC) at this Saturday’s UFC 217, Costa (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) used some of his time on the mic to call out Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). It didn’t take long for Brunson to respond, both dismissing Costa and adding a PED accusation in the process.

Informed of Brunson’s reply, Costa also offered an immediate comeback. Speaking to MMAjunkie a few days later, the gist of that one remains the same. But the middleweight elaborates.

“He doesn’t want to fight me, because he’s scared,” Costa said. “That’s simply it. He said he didn’t want to fight me, because I could be caught in the anti-doping at some point until the middle of next year, because I’m using steroids. He’s trying to run away from me and using this entirely fake pretext. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m systematically tested by (the U.S. Anti-Dopong Agency). I was tested before and after the fight. Counting the fight, I was tested five times in the past month.

“All in all, since I’ve been in the UFC, I’ve been tested over 10 times – around 15. But I have the e-mails. Whenever they test us, they send a type of receipt. And I’ve been asking the UFC to provide those updated tests, so I can show them. Because it’s a flimsy excuse.

“He just wants to run away. And he won’t give a reason. ‘Oh, you do steroids.’ I’ve never been caught with anything. He’s running in any way that he can. But not for long. He’s ranked ahead of me, but not for long, too. If he takes this fight, I’ll beat him and everyone will see who he really is.”

Costa refers to a tweet by Brunson that puts his name next to a single test. What the screengrab showed, however, was the Brazilian under his nickname, “Borrachinha” – which previously appeared as his last name in the UFC’s official communications. A search with Paulo’s full name, Paulo Henrique Costa, shows seven tests.

In any case, it’s not like Costa hasn’t heard that before. As somewhat of a physical specimen, the 26-year-old has been the target of PED-use speculation since he joined the UFC in March – despite the fact he’s never been flagged by USADA.

If you watch any interview with Costa, you’ll notice he’s not bothered by much. But the finger-pointing based on the eye test, he’ll admit, isn’t pleasant.

“It bothers me a little bit,” Costa said. “But, at the same time, it’s kind of crazy. Because USADA tests every Olympic and UFC athlete. So if I’m cheating USADA, I’m a genius. I’m a next-level scientist, a really good one, if I’m bypassing USADA. But it is what it is. There’s not much I can say. I train hard, I dedicate myself, and I eat very well. I’m always doing follow-ups with doctors, whether I’m training or not, to do everything I can to evolve.

“I was with (wrestling coach) Eric Albarracin in Arizona, and we went to the University of Arizona. We talked to sports specialists and scientists. We ran a few times, training, they gave me orientations. I’m very dedicated. I’m also very young. That’s why I have this strong physique. And I think that’s one of the things that makes me a strong candidate to be champion.”

Whatever the reasons, fact remains that Brunson, fresh off a first-round knockout win over former 205-pound champion Lyoto Machida, has been aiming higher on the middleweight ladder. And one could see why a matchup with Costa, who’s still unranked, wouldn’t look as appealing.

If Brunson is not up for it, though, can Costa think of anyone else?

“I have no idea,” Costa said. “I’d like to fight people with big names, maybe ex-champs and top-10 fighters. But I’d like to fight him since he’s talking a bunch of crap. I’d like to fight him to settle this.”

Whomever it is, Costa is aiming for either a March or April return. While he is going back to the gym next week already, the 185-pound fighter wants to step off the gas and enjoy time with his family for a little while after what has been quite an intense 2017.

Costa had no way of knowing that a few months after his UFC debut, he’d be in one of the year’s biggest cards, at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden, meeting an ex-champ on pay-per-view. But, as fast as it’s been, the progress within the promotion has felt quite natural for the ever-cool up-and-comer.

While being thrown into the spotlight – with the added weight of an unblemished, knockout-filled record – might not make for a particularly comfortable experience for many, Costa is unfazed.

Sure, he’ll admit, there is pressure. But it’s up to him to make sure that it bounces right off his back.

“I found out that all the nerves and anxiety, they only exist in our head,” Costa said. “They’re not palpable things. You either choose to feel them or not. You can ignore this feeling of nervousness. And it’s what I do. I try to stay cool all the time. Of course Madison Square Garden has a different energy. It’s a place where Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali have been, so it can’t just be like any other place. To me, it’s the biggest venue for sports in the world.

“But you have to take this pressure and minimize it as much as possible, so you can show what you can do. It’s what I do. I can fight anywhere. It can be the Coliseum. There will be pressure, but I’m able to get it off my back and make sure my hard work shines through.”

Costa’s next move is yet to be determined. But he thinks it won’t be that long until they lead him to a title shot. More precisely, the Brazilian believes he might be just “three or four” fights away.

“We just saw former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who’d been out for four years, becoming the new middleweight champion,” Costa said. “(The division) is very volatile. It’s changing very fast.

“We no longer have an isolated, runaway champion like we had with Anderson Silva a few years ago. Or like Jose Aldo once was. So it’s possible to get there. With the right wins, I can get there.”

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Paulo Costa's response to Derek Brunson's PED accusations? First a big laugh, then: 'He's scared'

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NEW YORK CITY – Things have escalated quickly between UFC middleweights Paulo Costa and Derek Brunson.

Costa (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) was the one who shot first there, calling Brunson out immediately after his knockout win over ex-champ Johny Hendricks (18-8 MMA, 13-8 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC 217. But Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), himself fresh off over a knockout win over an ex-UFC-champion, mercilessly shot it down.

By the time Costa made his way backstage to talk to media at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, he hadn’t yet seen Brunson’s tweet, which means the cameras were able to catch his real-time reaction to Brunson’s confidence he was on steroids.

“He’s crazy,” Costa said after a hearty laugh. “He’s scared. He doesn’t want a fight against me. USADA tests everybody all the time. So Derek Brunson doesn’t want a fight against me, but I’m ready. It’s like Vitor Belfort, he doesn’t want a fight against me. (Or) Tim Boetsch.”

Costa was accompanied by his manager, “vale-tudo” pioneer Wallid Ismail, who chimed in and added that Brunson was simply making excuses not to meet the Brazilian up-and-comer. Ismail, who repeatedly intervened, went on to say that Costa had been tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency three times in one month.

“Please, Derek Brunson, don’t be scared,” Costa said.

As for his reasons for eyeing a matchup with fellow knockout artist Brunson, Costa was to-the-point: After what has so far been the peak moment of his undefeated career, he wants someone in the top-5 or top-10 of the UFC’s official rankings. Which means that Brunson, who happens to occupy the 6th position, would fit just fine.

It would appear Brunson is not too interested.

Whomever he ends up meeting next, though, Costa wants to give it three of four months before returning. Some time off doesn’t sound entirely unreasonable considering Costa has fought another two times since his UFC debut back in March – all of which, like the remaining fights on his professional record, ended in knockouts.

Costa has been able to accomplish quite a lot considering such a short UFC stint. Saturday’s meeting with ex-champ Hendricks, it turns out, was already Costa’s second pay-per-view main card bout. He’s since sharpened up his language skills, adapted his nickname to better suit the U.S. market and has shown no problem with promoting himself.

Moving forward, the 26-year-old Brazilian has some lofty goals to accomplish. Whether he’ll get to fulfill his own prophecy, only time will tell. But there’s no denying that he’s so far been delivering.

“I’m the next generation from Brazil,” Costa said. “And I have no questions: I will be the next legend from Brazil.”

To hear more from Costa and Ismail, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

'Silly arse kid' Luke Rockhold and 'not worth my time' Derek Brunson chirp on Twitter

Dann StuppSo much for Derek Brunson’s attempt to book a fight with a former UFC middleweight champion.

Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who scored a quick win over Lyoto Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) this past weekend in UFC Fight Night 119’s headliner, had his sights set on Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) next. And he tried to goad the former titleholder – “Lucas,” as he called him – into a fight (via Twitter):

But Rockhold, who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings following a stoppage win over David Branch in September, quickly dismissed No. 10-ranked Brunson (via Twitter):

Rockhold is likely referring to interim titleholder Robert Whittaker, ranked No. 2, and contender Yoel Romero, who’s No. 4. They beat Brunson in 2016 and 2014, respectively.

And then the back-and-forth continued (via Twitter):

Brunson’s callout of Rockhold actually came after another one – one that was also directed at an ex-champ.

However, Brunson then learned Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who recently halted a three-fight skid with a submission win over Kelvin Gastelum, likely won’t be back in action anytime soon (via Twitter):

Do you want to see Brunson vs. Rockhold? Vote in the poll below.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, 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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Source: MMA Junkie

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

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

John Moraga def. Magomedov Bibulatov at UFC 216

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

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

Instagram Photo

Curtis Millender def. Matthew Frincu at LFA 24

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

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

Roberto Soldic def. Lewis Long at Cage Warriors 87

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

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

Gabriel Oliveira def. Tatsuya Kawajiri at Rizin FF 7

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

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

Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 119

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

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

Instagram Photo

* * * *

The Winner: John Moraga

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

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

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

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

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

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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Derek Brunson and UFC Fight Night 119's other winning fighters?

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Derek Brunson’s early knockout power has proven to be a major threat in recent years. He displayed another example with an early finish of Lyoto Machida in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 main event.

Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) handed former UFC champ Machida (23-7 MMA, 15-7 UFC) the fastest loss of his career in the FS1-televised middleweight headliner at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, improving his standing among the top contenders in the weight class.

Prior to Brunson’s win, Colby Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), Pedro Munhoz (15-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Rob Font (15-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Francisco Trinaldo (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC), Thiago “Marreta” Santos (16-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and John Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) picked up notable victories on the main card.

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 matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 119’s winning fighters.

* * * *

John Lineker

Should fight: Thomas Almeida
Why they should fight: Lineker rebounded from an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw with a solid performance in a unanimous decision victory over rising bantamweight prospect Marlon Vera.

Lineker showed improved control of his aggression to snap Vera’s winning streak. He apologized for what he considered to be a sloppy showing, but nevertheless walked away with an important victory for his career.

“Hands of Stone” has suffered just three losses in his past 27 fights, two of which came against a former UFC champion and a former title challenger. It’s clear the Brazilian is elite, but he’s struggled to get over the hump. At just 27, though, Lineker still has tremendous upside and potential to make more runs at the belt.

Another fighter in a similar position is Almeida (21-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who despite coming off a loss to Jimmie Rivera at UFC on FOX 25 in July, is still among the most dangerous 135-pound fighters on the roster. A matchup with Lineker has “Fight of the Night” written all over it, and more than that, has the potential to be one of the great action fights in recent memory.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos

Should fight: Tim Boetsch
Why they should fight: Santos showed why again why his striking is among the most dangerous of anyone in the UFC middleweight division when he became the first to stop Jack Hermansson with strikes.

“Marreta” not only put Hermansson away, but he did it in fierce fashion inside one round, giving him his sixth victory in his past eight octagon appearances. The Brazilian is riding a three-fight streak of knockouts and appears to be improving with every performance.

The Brazilian has few flaws offensively, but issues with durability have proven to be his downfall. It doesn’t matter much if he takes his opponents out first, though, and that’s what’s happened of late, putting Santos in position for another noteworthy matchup at 185 pounds.

Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC) is a long-time UFC veteran who has essentially seen and done it all inside the octagon. His relentless style causes problems for a lot of fighters, and following his win over former UFC champ Johny Hendricks at UFC Fight Night 112 in July, “The Barbarian” would be a good test for Santos.

James Vick

Francisco Trinaldo

Should fight: Winner of James Vick vs. Joseph Duffy at UFC 217
Why they should fight: Trinaldo spoiled Jim Miller’s historic 28th trip to the UFC cage when he outworked the most seen fighter in company history for a unanimous decision, taking two of three rounds on all three scorecards.

Trinaldo has essentially been a model of consistency since joining the UFC roster in 2012. He’s won 12 of 16 fights and hasn’t fallen easily in any of his losses. “Massuranduba” might be 39, but he still shows signs of advancement against tough competition.

The Brazilian is a stellar 8-1 in his past nine fights, with the lone defeat coming against top contender Kevin Lee. He’s proven to be a talent worthy of a rankings beside his name in the lightweight division, and he should fight someone of a similar status. The winner of the UFC 217 fight between Vick (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Duffy (16-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is in that territory,

Pedro Munhoz

Should fight: Eddie Wineland
Why they should fight: Munhoz has become an exciting addition to the UFC bantamweight division in recent years, and his submission win over Rob Font was another example of what he can do.

Munhoz finished Font with a one-armed guillotine choke. That’s a nifty way to make an opponent tap out for the first time, and the effort was rewarded with a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

The 135-pound division is rather top-heavy at the moment, and more of the numbers close to the title are already booked. Munhoz will get there if he continues his current form, though, and a showdown with a divisional standout like Wineland (23-12-1 MMA, 5-6 UFC) would be a helpful step for his career.

Stephen Thompson

Colby Covington

Should fight: Stephen Thompson or winner of Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny at UFC 219
Why they should fight: Covington’s rise up the UFC welterweight ranks took a direct shot closer to the championship when he went to Brazilian and stunned former multi-time title challenger Demian Maia.

Although Covington has become a polarizing personality outside the octagon, he’s doing tremendous work inside of it. He beat Maia by unanimous decision, marking his fifth consecutive win in the welterweight division. ‘

Covington has been calling for a matchup with 170-pound champ Tyron Woodley, but with December’s UFC on FOX 26 fight between Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos pegged as a title eliminator, he’s likely not going to be next in line.

Although it’s hard to move up from Maia in terms of ranked contenders, a fight with the winner of UFC 219’s bout between Condit (30-10 MMA, 7-6 UFC) and Magny (19-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC), whom he has called out many times, would be a fitting affair. If not that, “Wonderboy” Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) would be a good matchup if he can get past Covington’s teammate, Jorge Masvidal, on Saturday at UFC 217.

Derek Brunson

Should fight: Chris Weidman
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Brunson should fight Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 119 post-event facts: Is this the end of Lyoto Machida?

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Derek Brunson pulled off yet another remarkable first-round knockout on Saturday when in the UFC Fight Night 119 headliner he became the fastest to ever defeat former UFC champion Lyoto Machida.

Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) used his dangerous left hand to set up a quick finish of Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC) in the FS1-televised middleweight headliner at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. Prelims aired on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

As a result, “The One” is becoming a fixture in the UFC 185-pound record books.

The UFC’s sixth stop in Sao Paulo saw Brazilian fighters win nine of 12 bouts. For more on the numbers behind the card, check below for 55 post-event facts about UFC Fight Night 119.

* * * *

General

Brazilian fighters fell to 3-7 main event fights on home soil dating back to December 2014.

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $170,000.

Debuting fighters went 0-1 at the event.

Brunson, Pedro Munhoz, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Max Griffin earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 119 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 119 drew an announced attendance of 10,265. No live gate was disclosed for the event.

Betting favorites went 8-3 on the card. One fight had even odds.

Total fight time for the 12-bout card was 1:57:18.

Main card

Brunson’s nine UFC victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied with Brad Tavares for most in the division.

Brunson has earned seven of his nine UFC victories by stoppage.

Brunson’s seven UFC stoppage victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied for most in the division.

Brunson’s seven first-round stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Machida fell to 5-7 in UFC main event fights.

Machida’s three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since December 2014.

Machida fell to 3-4 since he dropped to the UFC middleweight division in October 2013.

Machida has suffered three of his four UFC middleweight losses by stoppage.

Colby Covington’s (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) five-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is the second longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (six).

Covington attempted no takedowns in a fight for the first time in his UFC career. He landed 41 takedowns combined in his previous eight UFC appearances.

Demian Maia (25-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) fell to 10-4 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2012.

Maia is a combined 0-for-35 on takedown attempts over his past two UFC appearances.

Maia has suffered seven of his eight UFC losses by decision.

Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font

Munhoz’s (15-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in bantamweight competition is the third longest active streak in the division behind champ Cody Garbrandt (five) and Jimmie Rivera (five).

Munhoz has earned four of his five UFC victories by stoppage.

Munhoz’s three submission victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Urijah Faber (six).

Rob Font (14-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Francisco Trinaldo’s (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) 11 victories since 2011 in UFC lightweight competition are tied with Donald Cerrone for most in the division.

Trinaldo has earned seven of his past nine victories by decision.

Jim Miller (28-11 MMA, 17-10 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2016.

Miller fell to 4-7 in his past 11 UFC appearances.

Miller’s total fight time of 4:57:53 in UFC lightweight competition is most in divisional history.

Miller has suffered eight of his 11 career losses by decision.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos (16-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) has earned seven of his eight UFC victories by knockout.

Santos’ seven knockout victories in UFC middleweight fights are tied with champ Michael Bisping and Chris Leben for second most in divisional history behind Anderson Silva (eight).

Thiago “Marreta” Santos

Santos’ seven knockouts since 2014 in UFC competition are tied for second most in the company behind Derrick Lewis (eight).

Jack Hermansson (16-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

John Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) improved to 5-1 since he moved up to the UFC bantamweight division in September 2015.

Marlon Vera (10-4-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has suffered all four of his career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Vicente Luque (12-6-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage. That includes all five of his UFC wins.

Luque’s five stoppage victories since 2015 in UFC competition are tied for second most in the company behind Lewis (six).

Luque’s two D’arce choke victories in UFC competition are tied with Dustin Poirier for second most in company history behind Tony Ferguson (three).

Niko Price (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had his 11-fight unbeaten streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Antonio Carlos Junior (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) improved to 5-1 (with one no-contest) since he dropped to the UFC middleweight division in June 2015.

Carlos Junior’s four-fight UFC winning streak in middleweight competition is the third longest active streak in the division behind Robert Whittaker (seven) and Bisping (five).

Carlos Junior has earned all of his career stoppage victories by submission.

Jack Marshman (22-7 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Hacran Dias’ (23-6-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) three-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since June 2015.

Dias has suffered all six of his career losses by decision.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

Zaleski dos Santos’ (18-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (six) and Covington (five).

Dos Santos has earned three of his four UFC victories by decision.

Griffin (13-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered three of his four career losses by decision.

Deiveson Figueiredo (13-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) earned just the second decision victory of his career and first since May 1, 2014 – a span of 1,276 days (more than three years) and nine fights.

Jarred Brooks (13-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) had his 13-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Marcelo Golm (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by stoppage.

Golm earned the first submission victory of his career.

Christian Colombo (8-3-1 MMA, 0-2-1 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by submission.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, 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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UFC Fight Night 119 Athlete Outfitting pay: Program total passes $15 million mark

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SAO PAULO – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $170,000.

UFC Fight Night 119 took place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The card aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were a number of individuals. Longtime octagon veterans Lyoto Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC), Demian Maia (25-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) and Jim Miller (28-11 MMA, 17-10 UFC) all earned maximum non-title-fight payouts of $20,000.

The full UFC Fight Night 119 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Derek Brunson: $15,000
def. Lyoto Machida: $20,000

Colby Covington: $5,000
def. Demian Maia: $20,000

Pedro Munhoz: $5,000
def. Rob Font: $5,000

Francisco Trinaldo: $15,000
def. Jim Miller: $20,000

Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $10,000
def. Jack Hermansson: $2,500

John Lineker: $10,000
def. Marlon Vera: $5,000

Vicente Luque: $5,000
def. Niko Price: $2,500

Antonio Carlos Junior: $5,000
def. Jack Marshman: $2,500

Jared Gordon: $2,500
def. Hacran Dias: $5,000

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos: $2,500
def. Max Griffin: $2,500

Deiveson Figueiredo: $2,500
def. Jarred Brooks: $2,500

Marcelo Golm: $2,500
def. Christian Colombo: $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: $4,762,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,085,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie