UFC on FOX 26 results: Jordan Mein dominates Erick Silva for first win since 2014

In a battle of welterweights in desperate need of a victory, it was Jordan Mein (30-12 MMA, 4-4 UFC) who earned a dominating win over Erick Silva (19-9 MMA, 7-8 UFC).

The 170-pound bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 26 event at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on FOX.

Mein was aggressive to start, pushing forward and opening with strong kicks to the leg, leading Silva to shoot inside and try to take the fight to the floor. Instead, it was Mein who countered with a gorgeous hip toss, though Silva did scramble quickly to his feet, where both fighters threw heavy punches in the pocket.

As the round wore on, Mein really started to find the range, sneaking big left and right hands through his opponent’s defense. The Canadian also did a fine job thwarting his opponent’s takedown attempts, and Silva appeared to slow.

Mein continued to push forward in the second, forcing Silva to fight on the back foot. The fight did eventually hit the floor, but it was Mein who was on top and did big damage with crushing elbows from the dominant spot. Silva did work his legs high on a few occasions, but he never truly threatened with a genuine submission attempt.

Silva tried to rally in the third, but Mein’s punching combinations proved the most effective striking between the two. Still, Mein elected to take the fight again to the canvas, which he did with relative ease. From there, Mein fended off a few sweep attempts and continued to strike from the top. Silva did have one earnest effort at a triangle choke, but Mein calmly worked his way free and maintained a dominant position until the final bell, walking away with a clearcut decision win, 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.

The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Mein, while Silva, once considered a top talent, falls to 1-4 in his past five fights.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 26 results include:

  • Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Winnipeg.)

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

10 reasons to watch UFC on FOX 26 with title eliminator between two former champs

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Most fighters headed into a title eliminator are inclined to boast about how they are going to win that fight and move on to dethrone the sitting champion. Most fighters are not Robbie Lawler, who faces Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of Saturday’s UFC on FOX 26 card.

When asked about UFC President Dana White saying the winner of the fight would get a shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Lawler seemed unfazed.

“I haven’t had any communication with (White), but I’m not too worried about that because you’ve got to win anyway,” Lawler told MMAjunkie. “We’ll see what happens after that.”

Lawler, the former welterweight champion lost the title to Woodley in June 2016. He defeated Donald Cerrone in his only fight since that loss. Dos Anjos, the former lightweight champion, is 2-0 since moving to the welterweight division.

In the co-main event, former featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas faces Josh Emmett.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Too close to call

Several welterweights will have their eyes on the headlining bout at UFC on FOX 26. Those fighters will likely include champion Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington, the No. 5 ranked fighter in the most recent USA TODAY Sports MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings.

Covington has been making a lot of noise about getting a shot at Woodley’s title, but with a solid win in Winnipeg, the No 3 ranked Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) or the No. 9 ranked dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) will leapfrog Covington in the hunt for the belt according to UFC President Dana White.

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With the odds being almost event in this battle between two former champs it’s hard to tell who has the advantage in this fight. Will it be Lawler with his powerful striking? Or will it be the ground game of dos Anjos that puts him in the running for a shot at becoming a two-division champion?

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2. Make the most of a bad situation

Lamas has three losses in his UFC career. He was close to getting a second shot at one of the men who defeated him, former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, at UFC on FOX 26. But when an injury knocked Frankie Edgar out of his scheduled fight against champion Max Holloway, the UFC inserted Aldo into that open spot. Now, Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who is the No. 5 ranked 145-pounder faces the unranked Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC).

That’s a raw deal for Lamas, but it’s not something he’s dwelling on.

“It’s a part of this game,” Lamas told MMAjunkie Radio. “The fight game is very unpredictable, so you’ve got to roll with the punches. You have no other choice. I can’t just sit here and throw a tantrum like a little kid. I’ve just got to suck it up and keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is finishing fights.”

Lamas has finished his past two fights, a third straight stoppage will keep him in the mix of the featherweight division, but it will also keep him behind Edgar and Brian Ortega as a title challenger.

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This is a huge opportunity for Emmett, who has just one featherweight fight in the UFC, an October unanimous decision win.

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3. Outside looking in

A deep pool of future contenders continues to develop in the welterweight division. There’s Covington, No. 8 ranked Kamaru Usman and No. 10 ranked Darren Till. Outside the rankings sit Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

A throwback in many ways, Perry has become an unlikely fan favorite over the past two years. Perry has one goal when he steps into the octagon – get a knockout. He’s done that 11 times in his MMA career. His sole loss came in the only fight where he went the distance.

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Perry is a slugger, plain and simple. His lack of a full MMA game will limit him in the long run, but in the short-term, he’s entertaining as all get out in the cage.

Ponzinibbio holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but he too prefers to throw hands as his 14 career knockout wins indicate. Ponzinibbio enters this bout on a five-fight winning streak with three of those wins coming via first-round TKO.

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4. Erase the memory

Misha Cirkunov was on the rise heading into his May bout against Volkan Oezdemir. He had won eight straight fights by stoppage including four in the UFC. Oezdemir halted that climb with a 28-second knockout. The No. 9 ranked Cirkunov looks to get back in the win column against Glover Teixeira, who is ranked No. 6 in the division.

Cirkunov has a great ground game and phenomenal strength, which was on display when he broke Alex Nicholson’s jaw with a neck crank at UFC Fight Night 82.

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Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is by far the most accomplished and well-rounded fighter Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has faced. If he can get past the former light heavyweight title challenger, it will help people forget his knockout loss to Oezdemir and put him back in the mix.

Teixeira is coming off a fifth-round knockout loss to Alexander Gustafsson in May. His return to the octagon was delayed when he underwent hand surgery in June.

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5. More than a striker?

Jared Cannonier got serious about his MMA career in 2017. He shed his full-time job and began to train with the MMA Lab. UFC on FOX 26 marks the first full camp the 33-year-old will spend with the Arizona-based team. It will be interesting to see how successful the MMA Lab has been in adding to Cannonier’s repertoire.

One thing Cannonier’s opponent in this light heavyweight matchup, Jan Blachowicz will want to test is if Cannonier has worked on his takedown defense, something he has struggled with in the past. If Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has not shored up that aspect of his game, he could find himself in trouble against Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

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6. Lesson learned

Darren Stewart learned the hard way that success with smaller promotions doesn’t automatically translate to success inside the octagon. Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) joined the UFC with a perfect 7-0 record. He’s since gone 0-2 (with one no contest.) He’ll look to teach Julian Marquez (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) the same lesson he learned when the two meet in a middleweight bout in Winnipeg.

Marquez has six wins on his record. He ended each of those fights by knockout, including his most recent bout, a win over Phil Hawes on a Dana White’s Contender Series card. He also has a first-round knockout win over former UFC fighter Matt Hamill.

Stewart comes to this fight as a late replacement. His most recent bout was a November 11 submission loss to another DWCS alum, Karl Roberson.

7. Following a slamming debut

Galore Bofando

Galore Bofando made a huge impression in his UFC debut. At UFC Fight Night 113, the Congolese-born fighter scored a rare slam knockout victory over Charlie Ward. Before the fight came to an end, Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) displayed a very unorthodox striking style with a lot of flashy kicks. It’s going to be hard for the 35-year-old to top that performance, but he’ll look to do so against the more experienced Chad Laprise (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in a welterweight matchup.

After a five-fight run at lightweight, Laprise returned to welterweight at UFC 213. The Canadian fighter scored a third-round TKO over Brian Camozzi at that event. The win earned the 31-year-old a “Performance of the Night” bonus. Laprise showed good speed and movement against Camozzi, that will come in handy against an opponent like Bofando.

8. A debut to watch

Expect Pietro Menga to be motivated when he steps into his flyweight bout against Tim Elliott. The unbeaten Englishman was out of action for more than two years due to ACL surgery. When he returned in 2016, he scored a 41-second one-punch knockout of Spencer Hewitt at Bellator 158. He hasn’t fought since that July 2016 victory. Menga steps in on short-notice to replace Justin Scoggins.

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Menga is fast and packs quite a bit of power in his hands. He’s also very confident despite his lack of fights over the past few years. If Menga (13-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) gets past the well-respected and tenacious Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC), he could find himself matched up against a top-15 flyweight in his next bout.

Elliott is 1-2 since he returned to the UFC after winning Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

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9. Slow and steady might not win the race

Abel Trujillo was once a fighter who stomped the gas pedal to the floor early. He’s gotten away from that style recently, but he might want to revisit it against the tough and resilient John Makdessi in this lightweight bout.

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Makdessi is one of the most active strikers in UFC lightweight history and he has the best striking defense in the division. However, Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) does pack more power than Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) in his striking.

What makes this fight most interesting is that both of these veterans are coming off stoppage losses and will be anxious to show they can still compete at the UFC level.

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10. An early high-stakes battle

Jordan Mein and Erick Silva have a few things in common. Both were expected to do big things in the UFC. Both have struggled since joining the promotion. Both might be fighting for their UFC lives on the Fight Pass Prelims of UFC on FOX 26.

Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) enters this welterweight scrap on a three-fight losing skid while Silva (19-8 MMA, 7-7 UFC) is 1-3 in his past four outings.

Both of these fighters have shown flashes of brilliance, but they struggle to put together complete performances. That has hurt them over the course of their careers. Although this fight is early on the card, it is a high stakes contest for these veteran competitors.

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For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26 main-card breakdown: Perry-Ponzinibbio, Cirkunov-Teixeira, plus prelim picks

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC on FOX 26’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at the first two fights on the main card.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Saturday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 31 Weight: 170 lbs. Reach: 73″
  • Last fight: Knockout win over Gunnar Nelson (July 16, 2017)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Jiu-jitsu black belt
+ 14 KO victories
+ 6 submission wins
+ 14 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Strong pace and pressure
+ Excellent combination striker
^ High-volume/variating attacks
+ Accurate right cross and left hook
+ Strikes well off of the breaks
+ Shows wrestling improvements
^ Good getup urgency
+ Makes in-fight adjustments

Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’0″ Age: 26 Weight: 170 lbs. Reach: 71″
  • Last fight: Knockout win over Alex Reyes (Sept. 16, 2017)
  • Camp: Team Sparta (Florida)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/muay Thai
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt
+ 11 KO victories
+ 7 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Solid boxing technique
^ Heavy right hand and left hook
+ Dangerous knees and elbows
^ Strikes well off of the breaks
+ Strong inside of the clinch
^ Deceptive base and balance
+ Improved ground game/transitions
^ Bails or re-wrestles when appropriate
+ Effective ground striker

Summary:

In a potential welterweight war, Santiago Ponzinibbio will take on Mike Perry.

A dark horse among the division’s top contenders, Ponzinibbio quietly has amassed a five-fight winning streak. Now, with another big name before him, the Argentinian fighter will attempt to climb even further up the ranks.

Seeking to stop that ascension is Perry, an unabashed brawler who continues to grow as a fighter. And after capturing the attention of many with some memorable performances thus far, Perry will look to establish himself as a serious contender.

Akin to two cars on a collision course is the way that these two match up on the feet. Although heated exchanges are inevitable in each fighter’s style, both men go about their business in different ways.

Ponzinibbio, who is a pressure fighter at heart, has shown the ability to stick and move when he needs to.

Whether he is feinting his way forward or moving laterally, Ponzinibbio does an excellent job of keeping his feet beneath him while slipping his head off the centerline in unison with his patent cross–hook continuums. Variating his levels of attack to the body and head, the Argentine will occasionally mix in kicks for good measure.

That said, this approach is not without its caveats.

Despite Ponzinibbio’s high-volume style of offense being effective on scorecards (as well as his opponent’s psyche), it inherently opens him to counters. Although the Argentine’s current counterpart may not be known as a counter striker, he certainly has no issue with capitalizing upon the moment.

A hard-nosed brawler at heart, who seemingly gets more technical each time out, Perry presents an interesting dichotomy of fighter through and through. Doing his best work when coming forward, the Floridian has added to the effectiveness of his stalking by steadily improving his feints and footwork.

Working behind said feints and footwork, Perry applies pressure that is palpable, looking to create openings and angles to slip and rip his way inside.

Despite keeping a low standing guard, Perry does a good job inherently blocking his body while goading his opponent into attempting a headshot. Backed by a granite chin, Perry keeps his right hand and left hook counters at the ready as he retaliates at the drop of a dime.

As far as clinch fighting goes, I do not expect the action to slow from either side.

Both men are technically competent from underhooks to Thai plums, and neither miss an opportunity to strike off the break. Part of me suspects Ponzinibbio may try to surprise his opponent with the underrated takedown game he displayed early in his career, but I doubt that will get him far against Perry, who defends takedowns like it’s almost second nature.

Carrying solid takedown abilities of his own, Perry shows the skills from ground striking to transitions that could pose some problems for Ponzinibbio if he ends up on top.

Earlier in Perry’s career, he showed a surprising amount of intelligence on when to bail on a position. Now, showing more confidence and competence, Perry will re-wrestle for position or even put his hooks in when appropriate.

Still, holding Ponzinibbio down seems to be no picnic or promise, especially when looking at the Argentine’s improvements in regards to his grip fighting and positional awareness.

The oddsmakers and public seem somewhat confident in a favorite, listing Ponzinibbio -190 and Perry +165 as of this writing.

I can’t say I disagree with the betting lines, but I do caution being too confident on either side here. Perry’s power is always live in a matchup in which the dynamic involves committed striking exchanges, and he only seems to get better each time out.

However, I believe Ponzinibbio is the more skilled striker, and I see his speed, footwork and ability to adjust ultimately making the difference. The prediction is for Ponzinibbio to survive a couple of close scares en route to a 29-28 barnburner on the scorecards.

Official pick: Ponzinibbio by decision

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

Jordan Mein: Comeback has been '(expletive),' goal is to 'basically die in there' for UFC-Winnipeg win

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WINNIPEG – Jordan Mein’s return from retirement hasn’t exactly gone according to plan, but the UFC welterweight is not deterred by his underwhelming results.

Since coming back from a nearly two-year retirement in December 2016, Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) has dropped both of his fights. He’s sitting on a three-fight losing skid overall but hopes to bounce back against Erick Silva (19-8 MMA, 7-7 UFC) at UFC on FOX 26, which takes place Saturday at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The bout streams on UFC Fight Pass prior to the televised card on FS1 and FOX.

Despite his comeback not going as well as he’d hoped, Mein is making no qualms about his situation.

“I’m 0-3 in my last three fights, so it’s been (expletive),” Mein told MMAjunkie. “I’m looking for a win. It’s hard to talk about anything when you’ve lost three fights. Before every fight you’re saying all this stuff, and you want it to happen, and it doesn’t. Just because I’ve lost those three fights doesn’t waver me in any negative sense. I still feel great. I still feel powerful.

“I feel great. I feel the same as before. I’m ready to come in and win and show more aggression. That was the change this last training camp – show a little more aggression and a little more threat.”

Although there are things Mein could hang his head on, he said it’s not his style to do so. He said knowing that he’s preparing properly helps him through the difficult moments.

Mein said earlier in his career such struggles would be harmful to his overall attitude. With 41 professional fights and more than 11 years in the sport, though, Mein understands his position.

“I look at my record, and I see three losses, but inside it doesn’t bother me,” Mein said. “I know I’m a warrior. I’m training hard. I’m going in there, and I’m going to show them that I’m a warrior again, and I’m going to put everything on the line. That’s how I see it. I see three losses, and I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re giving me another chance.’ I’m grateful for that.”

For Mein, the key to getting back on track at UFC on FOX 26 stems from his aggression in the octagon. The Canadian hasn’t won a fight since a 72-second TKO of Mike Pyle at UFC Fight Night 49 in August 2014, but he senses a return to the win column is just around the corner.

If anyone is going to give Mein a chance at victory, too, it’s Silva. The Brazilian is one of the more tenacious fighters on the UFC roster in terms of finishing fights and is tied for the second most first-round wins in welterweight history. Mein said he’s not going to back down from Silva’s fighting style.

“You could say to avoid that aggression, or to run away from that, or to take him down,” Mein said. “I’m going to do all those things, but I’m also going to apply lots of pressure on him, as well. That’s the beautiful thing about this game. We can talk all the (expletive) we want or say everything we want, but once we get in there that’s the true self in there. I’m excited for that.”

For Mein, winning is the only option. At 28, Mein already feels like he’s been in the sport forever, but “Young Gun” is still young and could potentially have his best years ahead. He’s not thinking about anything beyond fight night, though, and said it’s going to take something significant from Silva to get past him.

“The goal is to basically die in there,” Mein said. “Leave everything I physically can in there. That’s my goal.”

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26 pre-event facts: Winnipeg return loaded with big-time hitters

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The UFC’s final network-televised event of 2017 is set for Saturday. UFC on FOX 26 takes place at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with a main card on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

A welterweight title-eliminator headlines the promotion’s return to Winnipeg after more than four years. Former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) meets former lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) in a crucial matchup for the 170-pound weight class.

Several other key bouts are slated for the UFC’s 25th event in Canada. For more on the numbers behind the fights, check below for 60 pre-event facts about UFC on FOX 26.

* * * *

Main event

Robbie Lawler

Lawler is 9-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2013.

Lawler became the first fighter in UFC history to force a belt to change hands by split decision when he defeated Johny Hendricks at UFC 181 in December 2014.

Lawler is one of two fighters in UFC history to win two title fights by split decision. Benson Henderson has also accomplished the feat.

Lawler’s six knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Matt Brown (nine), Thiago Alves (eight) and Matt Hughes (seven).

Lawler’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Alves (13) and Jake Ellenberger (11).

Robbie Lawler

Lawler has absorbed 781 significant strikes in UFC competition since Jan. 1, 2013, the most of any fighter in the company since that date.

Lawler’s 539 significant strikes absorbed in UFC title fights are the most history.

Lawler’s significant strike disadvantage of -82 against Carlos Condit at UFC 195 marked the largest disparity in UFC history for a fighter who won a decision.

Lawler and Hendricks attempted 728 significant strikes at UFC 171, the second most in a single UFC bout behind Cole Miller and Nam Phan (788 at UFC on FOX 4).

Lawler completes 76.2 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC competition, the highest accuracy rate in company history.

Rafael dos Anjos

Dos Anjos competes in his sixth UFC main event. He’s 3-2 in his previous five headliners.

Dos Anjos is 2-0 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in June.

Dos Anjos is the only Brazilian lightweight champion in UFC history.

Dos Anjos became just the second fighter in history to challenge for a UFC title and win a 50-45 decision on all three judges’ scorecards when he beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 185. Randy Couture also accomplished the feat against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68.

Dos Anjos’ 66-second victory over Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17 marked the fastest stoppage in UFC lightweight title-fight history.

Co-main event

Ricardo Lamas

Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) is 9-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Lamas’ six stoppage victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (nine).

Lamas’ three submission victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Charles Oliveira (six) and Chas Skelly (four).

Josh Emmett

Josh Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was successful in his UFC featherweight debut when he defeated Felipe Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118 in October.

Emmett has earned all three of his UFC victories by decision.

Emmett’s four knockdowns of Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118 are tied for third most in a UFC fight. Only Jeremy Stephens (five) at UFC 215 and Forrest Petz (five) at UFC Fight Night 6 have scored more knockdowns in a fight.

Emmett is the only fighter in UFC history to land four knockdowns in a single round. He accomplished the feat against Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118.

Remaining main card

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Santiago Ponzinibbio’s (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) five-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied with Colby Covington for the second longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (six).

Ponzinibbio has earned 20 of his 25 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 16 of those wins in Round 1.

Ponzinibbio’s four first-round knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Anthony Johnson (five).

Ponzinibbio has landed 91 percent of his strikes in UFC competition from a distance, the largest proportion in welterweight history.

Mike Perry

Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by knockout. He’s earned seven of those wins in Round 1.

Perry has landed seven knockdowns in five UFC appearances.

Perry averages 2.58 knockdowns per 15 minutes of fighting in UFC competition, the third-highest rate in company history.

Glover Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is 4-4 in his past eight UFC appearances.

Teixeira’s nine victories since 2012 in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied with Ryan Bader for the most in the division.

Glover Teixeira

Teixeira’s seven stoppage victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Jon Jones (nine), Chuck Liddell (nine) and Ovince Saint Preux (eight).

Teixeira’s three submission victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are fourth for third most in divisional history behind Jones (five), Saint Preux (four) and Renato Sobral (four).

Teixeira completes 51.4 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC light-heavyweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Lyoto Machida (65 percent).

Teixeira has landed 86.8 percent of his significant strikes in UFC light-heavyweight competition to his opponent’s head, the largest proportion among active fighters in the division.

Misha Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. That includes all four of his UFC wins.

Cirkunov’s three submission victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Jones (five), Saint Preux (four) and Sobral (four).

Preliminary card

Jan Blachowicz

Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is one of two light heavyweights in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a body kick. He accomplished the feat against Ilir Latifi at UFC Fight Night 53.

Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is 2-1 since he dropped to the UFC light-heavyweight division in December 2016.

Cannonier has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) competes in his second UFC bout in a 35-day span. He lost to Karl Roberson at UFC Fight Night 120 in November.

Stewart is winless in his past three fights after starting his career with seven straight wins.

Galore Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is one of nine fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a slam. He accomplished the feat against Charlie Ward at UFC Fight Night 113.

Tim Elliott

Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) is 1-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in December 2016.

Elliott has alternated wins and losses in his past four fights. He suffered a defeat to Ben Nguyen in his most recent bout, at UFC Fight Night 110.

Elliott’s 35 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Demetrious Johnson (57).

Elliott lands 64.8 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Abel Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) was taken down a UFC record 21 times in his unanimous-decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 160.

John Makdessi

John Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back fist. He accomplished the feat against Kyle Watson at UFC 129.

Makdessi lands 51.4 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Olivier Aubin-Mercier (56.5 percent).

Makdessi defends 72.4 percent of opponent significant strike attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by first-round knockout.

Jordan Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is 0-2 since he returned from retirement in December 2016.

Mein enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since August 2014.

Erick Silva

Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) has earned all seven of his UFC victories by stoppage.

Silva’s six first-round stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Josh Koscheck for second most in divisional history behind Matt Hughes (seven).

Silva’s five submission victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Hughes and Gunnar Nelson for second most in divisional history behind Chris Lytle (six).

Silva landed all 18 significant strikes thrown in his 52-second knockout of Takenori Sato at UFC Fight Night 36. That’s the most in UFC history for a fighter who didn’t miss a strike.

Silva is the only fighter in UFC history to have three fights with the organization without absorbing a single strike.

Silva has been awarded seven fight-night bonuses for UFC welterweight bouts, tied with Carlos Condit for second most in divisional history behind Lytle (10).

Nordine Taleb (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) lands 53 percent of all significant strike attempts in UFC welterweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Matt Brown (54 percent).

Taleb defends 68.2 percent of all opponent significant strikes in UFC welterweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors 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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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC on FOX 26 tickets on sale this week, and $316 Canadian gets you cageside

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The UFC returns to Winnipeg next month, and tickets for the event go on sale this week.

Featuring a welterweight title eliminator in the main event between former champion Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and ex-lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC), UFC on FOX 26 takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card airs on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Tickets, in Canadian dollars, are priced at $316, $212.50, $179, $144.75, $111.75 and $77.50 and include fees. They go on sale to the general public at Ticketmaster.ca on Friday at 10 a.m. CT.

UFC newsletter subscribers have access to a special pre-sale beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. CT, while UFC Fight Club members can purchase tickets Wednesday 10 a.m. CT.

The co-main event is a featherweight rematch from a past title fight. Former featherweight champ Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) will take on former title challenger Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the co-feature.

In addition, UFC on FOX 26 features a pair of welterweight bouts between Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Jordan Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) vs. Erick Silva (19-8 MMA, 7-7 UFC).

UFC on FOX 26 includes:

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Mike Perry vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Jared Cannonier vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins
  • Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Sultan Aliev vs. Nordine Taleb
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico
  • Julian Marquez vs. Vitor Miranda

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 212 medical suspensions: Johnny Eduardo possibly out 6 months with foot fracture

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Two fighters from this past weekend’s UFC 212 event received medical suspensions that could last up to six months.

The Atletica Brasileira de MMA (CABMMA) – the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission – on Monday sent the list of suspensions to MMAjunkie.

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

Johnny Eduardo (28-11 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who suffered a first-round TKO loss to bantamweight Matthew Lopez (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on the FS1 prelims, as well as Jim Wallhead (29-11 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who suffered a submission loss to welterweight Luan Chagas (15-2-1 MMA, 1-1-1 UFC) on the UFC Fight Pass prelims, both could be out of action for six months.

However, a doctor can clear Eduardo early from a right-foot fracture, and Wallhead can be cleared early from an eye injury.

Jose Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who lost his featherweight belt to interim titleholder Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) in a headlining title-unification bout, was also suspended. Aldo, who suffered a third-round TKO loss, is suspended 45 days with no contact during training for 30 days.

All fighters received minimum suspensions of 14 days with no contact during training for seven days. Lengthier medical suspensions included:

  • Jose Aldo: Suspended for 45 days with no contact during training for 30 days
  • Vitor Belfort: Suspended for 21 days with no contact during training for 14 days
  • Oluwale Bamgbose: Suspended for 45 days with no contact during training for 30 days
  • Erick Silva: Suspended for 45 days with no contact during training for 30 days
  • Johnny Eduardo: Suspended 180 days until receiving doctor’s clearance from a right-foot fracture
  • Jamie Moyle: Suspended for 45 days with no contact during training for 30 days
  • Jim Wallhead: Suspended 180 days until receiving doctor’s clearance from an eye injury
  • Marco Beltran: Suspended for 45 days with no contact during training for 30 days

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 212 staff picks: Forget the staff – MMAjunkie readers are split like never before

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Filed under: News, UFC

Aldo
vs.
Holloway
Gadelha
vs.
Kowalkiewicz
Belfort
vs.
Marquardt
Bamgbose
vs.
Borrachinha
Medeiros
vs.
Silva
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 45-33
holloway2017
Holloway
(51%)
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
(52%)
belfort2017
Belfort
(56%)
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
(61%)
esilva2017
Silva
(51%)
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 52-26
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 49-29
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 47-25
trophy copy 2015 Champion
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 47-31
trophy copy 2016 Champion
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
marquardt2017
Marquardt
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 45-33
trophy copy 2014 Champion
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 45-33
aldo2017
Aldo
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 42-36
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
medeiros2017
Medeiros
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 38-40
holloway2017
Holloway
gadelha2017
Gadelha
belfort2017
Belfort
borrachinha2017
Borrachinha
esilva2017
Silva

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

The UFC returns to Brazil on Saturday for UFC 212, which features a featherweight title-unification fight at the top of the card.

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

In the main event, featherweight champion Jose Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) is a narrow 6-4 choice over interim titleholder Max Holloway (17-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC).

Also on the card, Claudia Gadelha (14-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is the unanimous choice over fellow strawweight co-headliner Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), and Paulo Borrachinha (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the 10-0 pick over middleweight Oluwale Bamgbose (6-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC).

Additionally, Vitor Belfort (25-13 MMA, 14-10 UFC) is a 9-1 pick over fellow middleweight vet Nate Marquardt (35-17-2 MMA, 13-10 UFC), and Yancy Medeiros (13-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is the 6-4 choice over fellow welterweight Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC).

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Holloway, Kowalkiewicz, Belfort, Borrachinha and Silva are the choices, though the results were awfully close.

Check out all the picks above.

And for more on UFC 212, 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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Source: MMA Junkie