After battling 'trickier' Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson unfazed by Lyoto Machida's striking

Derek Brunson has in UFC Fight Night 119 opponent Lyoto Machida a skilled, elusive striker. But, after dealing with the “trickier” Anderson Silva, Brunson isn’t too worried.

Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) meet in a UFC Fight Night 119-headlining affair on Oct. 28, at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Brunson comes into the bout riding a first-round knockout win over Daniel Kelly – which snapped a two-fight losing skid, capped off by an unanimous-decision loss to Silva in February.

Machida and Silva have a few things in common. Other than being talented counter-strikers who have previously held UFC belts, the Brazilians have shared training sessions and a management team. And, as it appears, they’ve also shared insight on Brunson.

Brunson, however, isn’t concerned about whatever intel Machida might be gathering. If anything, Brunson walks into the FS1-televised bout made all the more confident by his encounter with Silva.

“Anderson doesn’t really have any valid advice,” Brunson told MMAjunkie. “The only valid advice is he can say, ‘Derek is going to shoot for a takedown. Derek is going to do this, or do that.’ But everything he’s telling him, he can see it in the film. But he might want to take into consideration that fight was on three weeks, a month’s notice – very short notice. So I wasn’t the best that I was in.

“In my opinion, Anderson is harder to deal with than Machida. He has more length and he has more deception in his strikes. Whereas Machida, you pretty much know what he’s doing, and you know the blitz is coming. I think Anderson is trickier, and I was able to deal with that, so I’m feeling very comfortable to go out and fight with a good striker, but less tricky.”

There are a few variables around Machida for this one. At 39, the former 205-pound champ hasn’t fought in over two years. The time away wasn’t voluntary – at least not the 18 months determined by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), after Machida admitted to taking a prohibited substance prior to his last scheduled bout.

Machida, himself, has been putting a positive spin on the suspension. But not everyone was on board with the harshness of the penalty, considering the facts that the ex-champ was upfront about the intake of 7-keto-DHEA before even failing a test and that some of his peers received more lenience in light of seemingly worse offenses.

In the polarizing discussion about ring rust, Brunson sides with those who don’t really see it as that big of a factor. But, when it comes to the USADA situation, it’s safe to say we can’t expect Brunson to advocate for the ex-champ’s innocence.

“I’m not really a believer in inactivity being an advantage,” Brunson said. “I know he’s been out because of some supplement, or some PED, I’m not really sure what it was. I also know that guys often come up with excuses for what they did so it wouldn’t reflect as PEDs, also.

“So I think maybe he might come out looking like a different fighter as far as, you know, the cardio, the strength and stuff like that. But I think that he will still have his skillset.”

Other than the layoff, Machida has another thing going against him: He enters the fight riding back-to-back losses to former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and contender Yoel Romero. It’s Machida’s first skid of consecutive losses since 2010 – when he followed a title-costing loss to Mauricio Rua with a decision setback to Quinton Jackson.

While “The Dragon” has never ceased being a menacing presence in the UFC’s roster, the mystique that surrounded his karate-based movement has certainly grown weaker over the years, as more and more opponents were able to crack his code in the octagon.

On his end, Brunson sees Machida as a “very patient” and “accurate” striker –but, also, a predictable one.

“I think he’s the same type of fighter since he entered the UFC,” Brunson said. “But there’s more material on him. More video. More film. You can kind of see what he does.”

Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Brunson has been working to fill some of the holes in his own game. While his power is undeniable – as consecutive knockout victims Sam Alvey, Roan Carneiro and Uriah Hall would probably agree – the flip side of Brunson’s aggression showed last November, when interim champ Robert Whittaker knocked him out after a wild start to a UFC Fight Night 101 affair.

Don’t get him wrong: Brunson is still as finish-driven as ever. But he believes he’s become better at navigating the fine line between being aggressive and downright reckless.

“I think I’ll get the finish,” Brunson said. “I definitely think I’ll get my hand raised. But yeah – I’m going to fight looking for the finish. And I’m finding better ways to do it without putting myself in so much risk. I know that guys are expecting this fireball to come at them, and waiting for the counter or whatever. I understand.

“In the Anderson fight, I understood Anderson is a great counter-striker. With Lyoto, I understand he’s a good counter-striker. With that being said, there are some things I have to adjust and I think I’ll be able to find the finish.”

Adding a second win to his streak with an incisive display over an ex-champ who’s currently ranked No. 11 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings would certainly be a good statement for the No. 10-ranked Brunson, especially considering he was on a four-fight winning streak prior to his brief skid.

In fact, Brunson ponders, it could very well mean he’s one fight away from a title shot. But, at the same time, it could mean nothing in a “crazy weight class” that could become even crazier after titleholder Michael Bisping puts his belt on the line against former 170-pound kingpin Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217.

Considering that, while well-known, Machida’s standing in the division after the time away is hard to even calculate, Brunson won’t dwell too much on what may follow. So, given all the variables, why the dangerous Machida, in his home country?

“I like good fights, you know,” Brunson said. “Machida definitely has a name value, so I’m definitely interested in that aspect.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/b5dR8FV7YyZXSGobkXzDvW/277277”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Derek Brunson”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sao Paulo's 12-bout UFC Fight Night 119 lineup finalized for FS1, FS2

The fight card is set for the UFC’s return to Brazil on Oct. 28 with UFC Fight Night 119.

The event emanates from Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo and airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass. The card featured 12 fights total.

In the main event, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) makes his return to the octagon in more than two years when he takes on Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in a middleweight bout. Brunson enters the contest coming off a first-round knockout of Dan Kelly at UFC Fight Night 110, while Machida hasn’t competed since losing to Yoel Romero in June 2015.

The co-headliner features a clash of top-10 welterweights as Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) takes on Colby Covington (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC). Maia looks to rebound from a failed title bid against champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 214. Covington enters in search of his fifth consecutive win.

The full UFC Fight Night 119 lineup includes:

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

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson
  • Colby Covington vs. Demian Maia
  • Rob Font vs. Pedro Munhoz
  • Jim Miller vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • Jack Hermansson vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
  • John Lineker vs. Marlon Vera

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS2, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Niko Price vs. Luan Chagas
  • Augusto Mendes vs. Boston Salmon
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Max Griffin

PRELIMINARY CARD (7 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)

  • Hacran Dias vs. Jared Gordon
  • Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Alex Nicholson picks up heavyweight win, aims for UFC return

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

Four-time UFC veteran Alex Nicholson (8-4) is looking for a return to the sport’s top promotion, but he’s hoping to do so in a new division.

“The Spartan,” who competed in the UFC once at light heavyweight and three times more at middleweight, picked up a win on the regional stage at heavyweight and believes he could potentially make some noise in the octagon in the class, as well.

Nicholson earned a first-round stoppage over Demoreo Dennis at Saturday night’s Next Level Fight Club 8 event in Raleigh, N.C. Check out the video above to see the action.

Nicholson’s win did not come without some controversy. His opponent’s brother, fellow MMA fighter Myron Dennis, took to Facebook prior to the fight to suggest in a since-deleted post that Nicholson had been caught taking performance-enhancing drugs “in the bathroom just before the fight.”

Nicholson said the claims were ridiculous and insisted he had simply been in the bathroom with his wife and 12-week-old son, who accompanied him on the eight-hour drive to the fight.

“We were in the bathroom with our baby,” Nicholson told MMAjunkie. “All I brought was her and my baby to come do this fight. I didn’t have anybody, but Marcus Davis happened to be there – the old ‘Irish Hand Grenade.’ He held mitts for me and wrapped my hands.

“Not many guys can say that they took a drive with their wife and baby to go fight, knocked the guy out and got back in the car and drove back home. Derek Brunson was there, and he was like, ‘No way I’d be able to do that. It’s giving my anxiety just looking at you.’”

Further supporting his case, Nicholson fought most recently under the UFC banner in May and said he was still enrolled in the UFC’s official anti-doping program, administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, until just before stepping into the cage on Saturday night.

“I got tested by USADA like last week, too, just before they cut me off of the testing pool,” Nicholson said. “A guy showed up at the gym. So it’s just ridiculous that people would say that. I’m like, ‘Do you even know what guys on steroids look like?’ I’ve been eating Oreos in public. Leave me the (expletive) alone.”

Nicholson currently plans to fight again next month in Florida but would happily change his plans should the UFC come calling – and he’d really like the opportunity to fight at November’s UFC Fight Night 121 event in Sydney.

“I would really like to get on the Australia card,” Nicholson said. “I’d be willing to be a Fight Pass guy or whatever. I don’t know if they’re totally interested in bringing me back at heavyweight until I make a little more noise, but I knocked out Chase Sherman at heavyweight, so I beat a guy who’s having success in the UFC in that division. I beat a dude who was 9-0 and on his way, apparently – that Dillon Cleckler kid – and I don’t think he ever fought again.

“I’m doing this because I love it, but I’m doing this to support my family, so I’m going to be picking up as many fights as possible until Sean Shelby or Mick Maynard calls me.”

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

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

Here's official poster for UFC Fight Night 119, featuring the return of 'The Dragon'

The UFC makes its annual stop in Sao Paulo later this year with UFC Fight Night 119.

The event, which takes place Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, features an FS1-televised lineup following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Taking center stage on the organization’s 30th overall fight card in Brazil is a matchup of middleweight contenders. Former UFC champion Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) returns to competition after an 18-month USADA suspension when he takes on the hard-hitting Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC).

Check out the official event poster below (via Twitter):

The latest UFC Fight Night 119 lineup includes:

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Deiveson Alcantara vs. Jarred Brooks

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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

Report: Lyoto Machida returns, meets Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/AK2bqyPbd7nqGJAw3airBV/266176”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Lyoto Machida”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

It appears a former light heavyweight champion will return to headline the UFC’s card in Brazil in October.

According to a report from Combate, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) will return from a suspension to take on Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in a middleweight bout at UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. Already set for the card is a light heavyweight bout between Misha Cirkunov and former title challenger Glover Teixeira.

It’s been more than two years since Machida last fought. The former 205-pound champion, who lost that belt more than seven years ago, has dropped three of his past four fights. He’s 3-3 since his move from light heavyweight to middleweight in October 2013.

After starting his 185-pound tenure with a knockout win over Mark Munoz and a “Fight of the Night” decision win over Gegard Mousasi, he got a title shot against then-champ Chris Weidman, but lost a decision. He rebounded with a 62-second bonus-winning TKO of C.B. Dollaway in December 2014, but then was submitted by Luke Rockhold in April 2015 on Rockhold’s path to the middleweight belt.

In June 2015, he was knocked out by Yoel Romero in the third round of the UFC Fight Nighit 70 main event. After that, he was booked for a fight with Dan Henderson at UFC on FOX 19, but when he declared the use of a banned substance, he was pulled from the card. Ultimately, he received an 18-month suspension from USADA. His return in October will be just three weeks after he becomes eligible to fight again. The bout will be his seventh consecutive UFC main event.

Derek Brunson

Brunson got back in the win column in June at UFC Fight Night 110 in New Zealand when he knocked out Dan Kelly in 76 seconds. That snapped a two-fight skid that saw him knocked out by Robert Whittaker in the UFC Fight Night 101 main event this past November, then lose a decision to Anderson Silva at UFC 208 in February.

Prior to those losses, Brunson had won seven of his first eight fights in the UFC and was on a five-fight winning streak, including four consecutive knockouts of Ed Herman, Sam Alvey, Roan Carneiro and Uriah Hall.

For more on UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Auckland's 10 memorable moments, including Derrick Lewis' bombshell

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/56uW6wsofxCW5EMfpRV83Z/252813”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Hunt def. Lewis”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UFC Fight Night 110 started off slowly. The first four fights went the distance, but when things picked up steam, the card moved along rather nicely with all but one of the final six bouts ending in a finish. Those finishes included the heavyweight main event between Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis.

Lewis entered the FS1-televised headliner on a six-fight winning streak, but despite his best efforts, he was unable to extend that streak to seven, and instead, he tasted defeat for the first time in almost two years. During the four-round contest, Lewis went deep into his bag of tricks, attempting high kicks, flying knees and even thinking about a spinning kick, but Hunt calmly took everything he had to offer. And when his opponent’s gas tank hit empty, Hunt closed the deal with strikes against the fence.

In the co-main event, another winning streak came to a close as fan favorite Daniel Kelly fell to Derek Brunson via knockout in less than 90 seconds.

UFC Fight Night 110 took place Saturday at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Here are 10 memorable moments from the event.

1. Sticking around

The Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) and Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) bout lasted longer than many expected, grinding along until late in the fourth round. The end came when an exhausted Lewis put his hands on his hips and backed into the fence, where Hunt delivered a few strikes before referee Marc Goddard waved off the contest.

The finish was more whimper than bang, but it showed that even at 43, Hunt remains a force in the UFC heavyweight division.

After his victory, Hunt, the oldest fighter in the UFC, said he plans on sticking around until he fights out the reported six-fight deal he signed in April 2016.

“I like to get beat up,” Hunt told MMAjunkie. “Shucks, there’s nothing else I’m good at. But I’ve got a couple of fights I want to finish. Why not see the contract out and then retire?”

brightcove.createExperiences();

2. Somebody’s watching me

“It’s probably my last fight,” Lewis told UFC commentator Brian Stann after his loss to Hunt. “I’m getting married next week, and I don’t like to put my family through this. That will be my last fight.”

We all know MMA retirements have a tendency not to last, especially when they come seconds after a loss in a big fight. That didn’t stop two of Lewis’ fellow UFC heavyweights from commenting on his possible retirement via social media.

Travis Browne, whom Lewis knocked out in February, questioned Lewis’ heart in an Instagram post and offered to run back their fight, while up and coming Francis Ngannou tweeted that Hunt beat Lewis “like a baby.”

3. Back on track

Between August 2014 and September 2016, Brunson ran off five straight middleweight wins, with four victories coming via first-round knockout. Brunson’s stock took a hit after he dropped his next two fights, losing to Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva. Expect a market correction when it comes to Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) after his first-round knockout win over Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC).

Brunson faced criticism for his style in the Whittaker and Silva fights. He was reckless against Whittaker and not aggressive enough against Silva. Brunson found a middle ground vs. Kelly by throwing out jabs and kicks to measure distance and timing, and when he saw an opening, he threw a hard left that dropped Kelly. A few hammerfists later, Brunson was back in the win column while bringing an abrupt end to Kelly’s four-fight winning streak.

brightcove.createExperiences();

4. Move pays off

Dan Hooker joined the UFC’s featherweight division following a run as the Australian Fighting Championships lightweight titleholder. Three years into his UFC tenure, Hooker’s record stood at 3-3, and he decided to give lightweight another shot, starting at UFC Fight Night 110. That move paid off in a big way.

Moments after his corner implored their fighter to find his range, Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) connected with a knee to the chin that sent Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) to the mat while simultaneously launching his mouthpiece into the air. That perfectly timed strike, which ended the fight at the 3:02 mark of Round 2, earned Hooker a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

After the contest, Hooker told MMAjunkie he will be sticking around at lightweight.

brightcove.createExperiences();

5. Say goodnight

Ion Cutelaba was a bit belligerent at the weigh-in, where he refused to shake the hand of light-heavyweight opponent Henrique da Silva and lunging toward him. Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) upped his aggression on fight night, marching across the cage during introductions and dragging his thumb across his throat as he got in da Silva’s (12-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) face.

Cutelaba backed up his pugnaciousness once the fight began, throwing his punches with fight-ending intentions. Cutelaba knocked down da Silva early and didn’t let up once his opponent was hurt. He landed heavy rights from inside da Silva’s guard and ended the fight in 22 seconds.

After the victory, Cutelaba told Stann he was in a hurry to end the contest so he could say goodnight to his infant daughter, who was home in Moldova.

brightcove.createExperiences();

6. That’ll change your mood

Ben Nguyen was bummed out when he lost his chance to face Joseph Benavidez at UFC Fight Night 110. After his “Performance of the Night” winning effort against late replacement Tim Elliott, Nguyen’s mood improved significantly.

Nguyen’s aggressive striking had Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) looking for takedowns early. After some scrambling on the mat, Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) slipped in the hooks and sank in a rear-naked choke that ended the flyweight fight in 49 seconds. The loss was Elliott’s first submission defeat since Benavidez stopped him via guillotine choke in April 2014.

The quick stoppage will keep Nguyen in the mix to face a top-five opponent in his next outing, maybe even Benavidez if he heals up in time for that booking.

brightcove.createExperiences();

7. No power outage

Alexander Volkanovski displayed some mean ground and pound in his UFC debut in November, earning a second-round TKO win over Yusuke Kasuya in a lightweight bout. Volkanovski dropped to featherweight for his UFC Fight Night 110 fight against Mizuto Hirota, and he brought his heavy hands with him.

Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) was dominant in every facet of this fight, cruising to a unanimous-decision win over Hirota (14-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC). While he wasn’t able to get the finish, it wasn’t for lack of trying, as Volkanovski came close to ending Hirota’s night in the first round after knocking him down with a right and following up with ground strikes.

The win puts Volkanovski’s winning streak at 12, with 10 stoppages.

brightcove.createExperiences();

8. Rust? What rust?

Most UFC fighters don’t go more than three years between fights, but that’s the situation Vinc Pichel found himself in heading into UFC Fight Night 110. Pichel, who had been sidelined by what he called a “steamroll ball of (expletive)” since his May 2014 win over Anthony Njokuani, stepped into his lightweight fight against Damien Brown anxious to prove he still belonged in the UFC. He did just that.

Brown’s (16-10 MMA, 2-2 UFC) game plan was to pressure Pichel (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), and for most of the first round he was successful. He put Pichel on his heels. But with less than 90 seconds left in the first stanza, Pichel, backing into the fence, delivered a crisp combination that brought the fight to an abrupt end.

After the fight, Pichel informed the division of his plans.

“I ain’t stopping,” Pichel told Stann, “I’m going to go on a rampage.”

brightcove.createExperiences();

9. He needed that

John Moraga knew he was facing questions heading into his flyweight matchup with Ashkan Mokhtarian. The former title contender hadn’t won a fight in more than two years and was in the midst of a three-fight losing streak. Had Moraga (17-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) lost to Mokhtarian (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), a UFC newcomer, his run with the promotion would have likely come to an end.

Moraga put on a clinic against the overmatched Mokhtarian, dominating the fight in every way and earning a unanimous decision. Now back in the win column, Moraga is sure to be tested by tougher competition the next time he steps into the octagon.

brightcove.createExperiences();

10. That’s better

J.J. Aldrich came into her second UFC fight with a full camp behind her, and it showed. Aldrich represented herself much better against Chanmi Jeon than she did in her short notice debut vs. Juliana Lima.

Aldrich (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) pressured Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) throughout the strawweight fight, showing solid technical striking ability on her way to a unanimous-decision win.

brightcove.createExperiences();

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 Athlete Outfitting pay: Ross Pearson receives top payout in KO loss

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/Pm96HiVWGASd6Wj54aCpMF/252618”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Hooker def. Ross Pearson”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $110,000.

UFC Fight Night 110 took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Despite coming out on the wrong end of one of the year’s most memorable knockouts courtesy of Dan Hooker, Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) was the payout leader. “The Real Deal” received a maximum non-title payout of $20,000 for his 23rd octagon appearance.

The full UFC Fight Night 110 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Mark Hunt: $10,000
def. Derrick Lewis: $10,000

Derek Brunson: $10,000
def. Daniel Kelly: $5,000

Dan Hooker: $5,000
def. Ross Pearson: $20,000

Ion Cutelaba: $2,500
def. Luis Henrique da Silva: $2,500

Ben Nguyen: $2,500
def. Tim Elliott: $5,000

Alex Volkanovski: $2,500
def. Mizuto Hirota: $2,500

Vinc Pichel: $2,500
def. Damien Brown: $2,500

Luke Jumeau: $2,500
def. Dominique Steele: $2,500

John Moraga: $10,000
def. Ashkan Mokhtarian: $2,500

Zak Ottow: $2,500
def. Kiichi Kunimoto: $2,500

J.J. Aldrich: $2,500
def. Chanmi Jeon: $2,500

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

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

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $2,472,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $12,795,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 110, spanning Kendrick Lama to AC/DC

Filed under: News, UFC

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland, New Zealand, went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Mark Hunt def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 3:51

Mark Hunt: “Wickedest Man Alive” by Naughty by Nature

Derrick Lewis: “Umm Hmm” by ABN

Derek Brunson def. Daniel Kelly via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:16

Derek Brunson: “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

Daniel Kelly: “Run to Paradise” by The Choirboys

Dan Hooker def. Ross Pearson via knockout (knee, punch) – Round 2, 3:02

Dan Hooker: “Runnin” by David Dallas

Ross Pearson: “Wonderwall” by Oasis

Ion Cutelaba def. Henrique da Silva via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:22

Ion Cutelaba: “Doina Haiducului” by Zdob si Zdub

Henrique da Silva: “Back in Black” by AC/DC

Ben Nguyen def. Tim Elliott via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:49

Ben Nguyen: “Inner Light” by Shocking Lemon

Tim Elliott: “Karate” by Kennedy

Alexander Volkanovski def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alex Volkanovski: “Game of Thrones” Theme

Mizuto Hirota: “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith

Vinc Pichel def. Damien Brown via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:37

Vinc Pichel: “Bad Company” by Five Finger Death Punch

Damien Brown: “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC

Luke Jumeau def. Dominique Steele via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Luke Jumeau: “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio

Dominique Steele: “DOA” by Jay-Z

John Moraga def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)

John Moraga: “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Ashkan Mokhtarian: “Blood on the Leaves” by Kanye West

Zak Ottow def. Kiichi Kunimoto via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Zak Ottow: “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones

Kiichi Kunimoto: “Immortals” by Fall Out Boy

J.J. Aldrich def. Chanmi Jeon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

J.J. Aldrich: “The Warrior’s Code” by Dropkick Murphys

Chanmi Jeon: “Victory” by Yolanda Adams

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110's Derek Brunson wants to go 'Cowboy' route, welcomes Antonio Carlos Junior

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – UFC middleweight Derek Brunson spent a lot of time feeling sorry for himself after a pair of losses, respectively, against Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva.

“It definitely sucked being home for a while,” he said.

So after a quick win on Saturday brought back memories of his prior resume, Brunson is ready to put as much distance between him and his setbacks as possible.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve fought four guys ranked ahead of me, so at this point, I just want to get out there and get more experience,” Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) said after stopping Dan Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the FS1-televised co-headliner of UFC Fight Night 110 at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Before the dual setbacks, Brunson had won five straight with four consecutive first-round finishes. That sapped his title run, but he thinks he can rebuild quickly.

Already lining up to face him is Antonio Carlos Junior, who called out the winner of Saturday’s fight. The winner of “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3” is 4-2 with one no-contest since his reality show win.

“If a guy is calling me out and it makes sense, if you have a good record in the UFC – I mean, I think he’s 6-2 in the UFC – that’s good enough,” Brunson said.

Even if it took him a second to get the Brazilian’s name right in his post-fight interview, he is game to take the matchup and stay busy, he said, “Kinda like (Donald) ‘Cowboy’ (Cerrone).”

After several years of commuting to the famed Jackson-Winkeljohn Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., Brunson is trying to make his training camps more manageable. He’s also practicing not to rush in and get too eager against opponents, which led to a knockout loss against Whittaker this past November.

A loss to Silva, Brunson chalks that up to faulty judging.

“When you go into a fight and you’ve got the stats, it’s very clear,” he said. “The guy barely hit me in that fight. I hit him, I took him down – I didn’t finish on some of my takedowns, but I definitely should have gotten the decision.”

Whittaker (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is now scheduled to fight for the UFC interim middleweight title next month at UFC 213 against Yoel Romero (13-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC), another opponent Brunson availed himself well against before getting caught with a punch.

Asked who he favored in the fight, Brunson referenced the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which caught Romero with a banned substance post-fight and later settled for a six-month sentence when a tainted supplement was discovered.

Long a voice against doping in MMA, Brunson feels like he simply faced off with Romero at the wrong time.

“I like USADA,” he said. “USADA’s putting a hold on a lot of guys. You look at that fight with Romero, (and) I kick myself.”

But the good news for Brunson is he’s back on the right foot. And however the promotion and fans assess his career to date, he plans to prove he’s still a title contender.

“I performed five or six fights,” he said. “I think it should be judged fairly.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/QBLT5XwyFbzN4f2YEty2Nm/252653”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Brunson def. Kelly”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 video highlights: Derek Brunson vs. Daniel Kelly

After a controversial decision went against him in his previous bout, Derek Brunson had every reason to make sure his UFC Fight Night 110 bout didn’t go to the judges.

It didn’t even go past the first round.

One left hand from Brunson, and Daniel Kelly was on the mat. A few follow-up hammerfists later, and Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) had himself a quick finish, stopping Kelly (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) with strikes at the 1:16 mark of Round 1.

The middleweight bout co-headlined today’s UFC Fight Night 110 event, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/QBLT5XwyFbzN4f2YEty2Nm/252675”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Brunson def. Kelly”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie