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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full UFC Fight Night 120 card includes:

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

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

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

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

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

On Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez, and 2 opposite approaches to the close of a career

We’ve got a real study in contrasts lined up for UFC Fight Night 120 on Nov. 11 in Norfolk, Va. That’s when Matt Brown, who says his next fight will be his last, will take on Diego Sanchez, who seems almost pathologically incapable of even considering retirement while he’s still capable of forming a fist.

That’s not just a clash between two 30-something fighters; this is a battle of competing late-career ideologies.

For starters, look at Brown. He’s lost three in a row, and five of his last six, but what’s really fueling his decision to hang it up, he says, is that he doesn’t want to hang around in the middle of the pack just for the sake of a paycheck.

“I didn’t get into this to be a journeyman, or to be in second place; I came into this to be a champion,” Brown said on “The MMA Hour” this week.

While he came close to earning a title shot thanks to a seven-fight winning streak spanning over two years, Brown said, “I don’t feel like I have that hunger inside my heart that’s going to get me back to that point, and that’s not to say I won’t ever come back one day. … But I’m not going to come back unless I plan on making a run for the title.”

Brown has other concerns, too. He’s spoken frankly about the unsettling side effects from what he believed to be his first concussion. He’d start sentences and be unable to finish them, he said. He’d stand up and then fall right over. Troubling symptoms, even if he eventually recovered.

So now he’s gone public with his plan to retire after the Sanchez fight, and he did so in part to make sure he followed through with it, he said. Especially for winning fighters, it’s easy to get caught up in the momentum, to squeeze in one more and then one more and then one more. This way, he’s got some accountability to consider.

But then, in the other corner, there’s Sanchez, one of the only fighters from the original cast of “The Ultimate Fighter” who’s still active – and still straining against the calls for him to retire.

The last time he heard those calls was after his first-round knockout loss to Al Iaquinta in April. It was the second time in less than a year that Sanchez had been stopped by strikes, which used to be a thing that simply didn’t happen to him. Still, he took to his Instagram after that fight to announce that he had decided to “continue to roar like a lion,” dismissing fan and media concerns that the same punches he once shrugged off were now putting him to sleep.

“(Losing) is a part of this sport, I choose to believe in my god given abilities and had work earned talent!” Sanchez wrote. “I choose to believe in my dream! I am confident, I am experienced, i am still very healthy, young for my physical age and more driven and hungry for success than ever.”

For anyone who’d followed Sanchez’s career, this was no great surprise. The man is, and has always been, a human pitbull. Even if his teeth start falling out and people stop fearing his bite, it’s not like he can suddenly learn how to be a house cat.

That’s what makes even this contrast between the two so tricky. Both Brown and Sanchez are still being the people that it’s in them to be, it’s just that one has changed along with his circumstances and one hasn’t.

Brown can admit that he’s almost hopelessly far from a title shot, and in possession of a human brain that was never intended to absorb repeated blunt force trauma.

Sanchez, on the other hand, has never stopped believing, which is a blessing and a curse. He will rage against the dying of the light. If need be, he might even rage on in total darkness.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC welterweight Matt Brown says he'll retire after fighting Diego Sanchez

When Matt Brown debuted on “The Ultimate Fighter 7,” he wasn’t an early favorite to win. His 7-6 record was downright dreary.

It didn’t take long, though, for Brown’s fellow cast mates to figure out that, what he lacked on paper, he more than made up for in toughness. Not many were eager to tussle with him in the gym.

Nine years after he emerged, a fan favorite despite his reality show loss, Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) is ready to hang up his gloves, announcing today that his upcoming fight against Diego Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 120 will be his last.

Instagram Photo

“11/11 will be my retirement fight. Thanks for enjoying the ride with me this will be an amazing show me and Diego will put on a show for all of you.”

Brown, 36, hopes to go out with a bang after a three-fight skid capped by a vicious knockout loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC 206. The loss was particularly concerning given his admission he’d suffered “hundreds” of concussions over the course of his career, one of which left him isolated for 10 days without lights or loud noises.

If history is any indication, Brown could be in for one last battle as he takes on Sanchez, the longest-lasting veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a member of the show’s inaugural cast. Known as a brawler, Sanchez has been in dozens of slugfests, often bleeding his way to victory.

No one will doubt the toughness of these fighters when they step in the cage Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. UFC Fight Night 120 airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Diego Sanchez returns to welterweight, meets Matt Brown at UFC Fight Night 120

A welterweight bout between Matt Brown and Diego Sanchez is the latest addition to November’s UFC Fight Night 120 lineup.

UFC officials tonight announced the 170-pound match between Brown (20-16 MMA, 13-10 UFC) and Sanchez (27-10 MMA, 16-10 UFC).

UFC Fight Night 120 takes place Nov. 11 at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Brown, 36, will compete for the first time since UFC 206 in December, when he suffered a third-round knockout loss to Donald Cerrone. The outcome marked his third consecutive loss and fourth in his past six bouts overall dating back to July 2014.

Sanchez, “The Ultimate Fighter 1” winner who has competed in four different weight classes during his UFC tenure, will return to welterweight for the first time since February 2012. Sanchez, 35, is 2-3 in his past five octagon appearances with his most recent fight being a first-round knockout loss to Al Iaquinta at UFC Fight Night 108 in April.

The latest UFC Fight Night 120 card now includes:

  • Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Karl Roberson vs. Darren Stewart
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Nate Marquardt
  • Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie