Category Archives: Eric Spicely

Gerald Meerschaert vs. Eric Spicely booked for December's TUF 26 Finale

A middleweight bout between Gerald Meerschaert and Eric Spicely is the first addition to December’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale lineup.

Spicely (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) announced the bout with Meerschaert (26-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on social media following an initial report from MMAuno.com (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale takes place Dec. 1 at Park Theatre in Las Vegas. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

After getting off to a hot start to his UFC career with back-to-back first-round submission victories, Meerschaert suffered his first octagon defeat in July when he dropped a second-round TKO to Thiago Santos at UFC 213. The upcoming bout will be his fourth in less than a year since joining the promotion.

Spicely, meanwhile, also had a stretch of consecutive first-round submission wins going into his previous bout. Similar to Meerschaert, though, his was abruptly halted in the form of a second-round submission loss to Antonio Carlos Junior at UFC 212 in June.

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC 212, where life returns to normal for UFC featherweights

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

On Saturday UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and interim champ Max Holloway compete in a title-unification bout. The hope is the matchup puts the weirdness of the past 17 months behind us.

It’s been a strange road to this point. In December 2015, Conor McGregor ended Aldo’s title reign with a 13-second knockout victory. McGregor held onto the title while he fought at welterweight and lightweight. Shortly after winning the lightweight title with a second-round TKO of Eddie Alvarez, McGregor was stripped of the featherweight belt. As a result, Aldo, who had won an interim title with a July 2016 win over Frankie Edgar, was promoted to undisputed champion. Holloway then captured an interim title in December with a TKO victory over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

So, yes, it’s about time for a single undisputed UFC featherweight champion.

In the co-main event, top-ranked strawweights Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz meet in the hopes of getting back in the title mix.

UFC 212 takes place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Could be the first of many

I encourage you to check out the “Main Event” section of UFC 212 pre-event facts story for this fight card. Once you’ve done that, look at the (virtual) UFC featherweight record book, especially the striking section, and see where Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and Holloway (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) sit among the all-time leaders. Impressive, right?

On paper this title-unification fight should be one of the more entertaining bouts of 2017. In Holloway you have a high-output, aggressive striker who constantly pressures his opponent. In Aldo, you have a great defensive fighter with some of the heaviest leg kicks the sport has ever seen.

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It’s not a stretch to think that this could be the first of several title fights between these two. After all, Aldo is 30 with no plans of retiring any time soon, and Holloway is just 25.

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2. Just accept it

No matter who wins the main event, the shadow of former featherweight champion McGregor will loom large in the minds of some fans. You know, the fans who, once the undisputed champion is crowned, will quickly point at the victor and say, “Yeah, but he lost to McGregor, so he’s not the real champion.”

That argument might be valid if McGregor planned to return to featherweight, but that appears very unlikely.

Like it or not, the winner of this fight is going to be the one and only UFC featherweight champion.

3. This feels familiar

The scenario in the co-main event is very similar to that of the main event of the recent UFC Fight Night 109 event. In one corner you have a fighter with two defeats in title fights, and in the other, a fighter with one loss in a title fight. The big difference at UFC 212 is that those three setbacks are the only blemishes on the records of Gadelha (14-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Kowalkiewicz (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC).

The stakes in this fight are similar to Sunday’s Alexander Gustafsson vs. Glover Teixeira fight in that the winner remains in the hunt for a title shot in the very near future.

What we’ll be watching for here is progress and development. Gadelha, who is No. 2 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA straaweight rankings, and No. 3-ranked Kowalkiewicz need to show they’ve learned lessons from their losses to champ Jedrzejczyk and have grown since those defeats.

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No one is saying an immediate title fight awaits the victor, but this is the UFC, and with an amazing performance, anything is possible.

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4. Who knows what the future holds?

Vitor Belfort is sending mixed messages ahead of his fight against Nate Marquardt. Earlier this year the No. 15-ranked middleweight was pondering wrapping up his UFC career. Now, Belfort says he feels rejuvenated and is looking for more UFC fights.

But hold on. Belfort’s also talking about possibly working for the UFC as a fighter liaison, opening a Tristar Gym affiliate in Florida and planning his own lifestyle brand – all things someone who’s ready to move on from the fight game would mention.

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Belfort (25-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) hasn’t won a fight since 2015, and he’s been TKOd in four of his past five (one later ruled a no-contest after his opponent, Kelvin Gastelum, failed a drug test, so maybe planning for a future that doesn’t include fighting is a positive. Marquardt (35-17-2 MMA, 13-10 UFC) is in a similar situation, having gone 3-7 in his past 10 fights with four losses via knockout.

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5. The next big thing?

Paulo Borrachinha received high praise following his UFC debut. After Borrachinha stopped Garreth McLellan in 77 seconds, MMAjunkie speculated the middleweight division might just have its next star in the former Jungle Fights champion. The McLellan stoppage was Borrachinha’s ninth first round finish in nine tries.

He returns to the octagon less than three months after that win, and the UFC has him competing on the main-card portion of UFC 212. Borrachinha (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), one of the biggest favorites on the card, faces Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) who is 1-2 since joining the UFC and hasn’t fought since losing a decision to Cezar Ferreira in April 2016.

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6. Step two

After a 4-4 run at lightweight, Yancy Medeiros jumped to welterweight. The move paid immediate dividends with Medeiros earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his win over Sean Spencer at UFC 203.

With his days of cutting weight behind him, Medeiros hopes to make some noise in the 170-pound division; his head kick to rear-naked choke submission victory over Spencer was a good first step. At UFC 212, Medeiros (13-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) gets a chance to take another step against a bigger name opponent in Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC).

Silva is coming of a “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning submission win over Luan Chagas. Before that win, Silva was stuck in the first two-fight losing skid of his career.

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7. There are levels to this

Shortly after Cody Garbrandt captured the UFC bantamweight title from Dominick Cruz, Marlon Moraes told MMAjunkie that fight served as inspiration for his successful Dec. 31 WSOF bantamweight title defense against Josenaldo Silva. Moraes also said the Garbrandt vs. Cruz fight let him know he could compete at a championship level in the UFC.

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After an 11-0 run in WSOF, which included five title defenses, Moraes signed with the UFC. He gets the chance to put his theory to the test at UFC 212. Moraes (18-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), ranked No. 6 in the division, faces No. 4-ranked Raphael Assuncao (24-5 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who’s coming off a split-decision win over Aljamain Sterling.

The fight is Moraes’ first in his home country of Brazil since 2010.

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8. Return to the scene

During the UFC’s sale to WME-IMG, the promotion forget to send Eric Spicely his release paperwork. Due to that mix-up, Spicely got a second fight with the promotion, but it wasn’t an easy one; he was matched up against Thiago Santos in Santos’ home country of Brazil.

Santos entered the fight as an 8-1 favorite, but three minutes into Round 1, Spicely locked in a rear-naked choke for a “Performance of the Night” winning submission. Spicely followed up with a first-round triangle-choke submission over Alessio Di Chirico.

Spicely (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) returns to Brazil, facing fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Antonio Carlos Junior (7-2-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC), who is also unbeaten in his last two outings.

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9. Don’t do that again

If Johnny Eduardo approaches his bantamweight matchup against Matthew Lopez the same way he fought his last bout against a wrestler, this could be a showcase for Lopez.

In December 2015, Eduardo was too respectful of the wrestling of Aljamain Sterling, and that left him relying mostly on counterstrikes. That was a bad game plan. Eduardo landed just four significant strikes and was taken down twice before submitting to a guillotine choke.

Lopez is a more aggressive striker than Sterling, but if he gets in trouble, he can rely on his wrestling, something he did in his last fight while racking up five takedowns on his way to a decision over Mitch Gagnon.

The trick for Eduardo (28-10, 3-2 UFC), who is coming off a second-round TKO win over Manny Gamburyan, is to catch Lopez (9-1, 1-1 UFC) before he decides to wrestle – a possibility since Lopez is sometimes reckless with his striking.

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10. Obstacles removed

Things were stacked against Viviane Pereira heading into her UFC debut. She was fighting on short notice. She was competing against a more experienced opponent who had recently fought for a UFC title. Pereira also gave up a significant amount of height and reach.

Despite those obstacles, Pereira managed to eke out a split-decision victory over Valerie Letourneau at UFC 206. The win launched Pereira right into the strawweight rankings, where she is currently No. 14.

Pereira gets a full camp and a fight on home soil when she meets Jamie Moyle at UFC 212. Moyle is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Kailin Curran.

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For more on UFC 212, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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