Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Rafael dos Anjos, Eryk Anders, John Makdessi, Ryan Stoddard, Lex McMahon

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Rafael dos Anjos, Eryk Anders, John Makdessi, Ryan Stoddard and Lex McMahon.

Dos Anjos meets fellow headliner Robbie Lawler at Saturday’s UFC on FOX 26 event, where Makdessi fights Abel Trujillo. Anders recently beat Markus Perez at UFC Fight Night 123. Victory FC owner Stoddard and Titan FC COO McMahon discuss their upcoming events.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Danny Castillo, Eryk Anders, Andre Soukamthath, Alex Perez

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Danny Castillo, Eryk Anders, Andre Soukamthath and Alex Perez.

Semi-retired UFC and WEC vet Castillo is also a Team Alpha Male coach. Anders, Soukamthath and Perez were all victorious this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 123.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

Why UFC-Fresno winner Eryk Anders wants to fight Lyoto Machida on ex-champ's turf

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_EnoSMGDH_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/EnoSMGDH.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

FRESNO, Calif. – Eryk Anders is only two fights into his UFC career, but he’s already aiming high.

After earning a unanimous-decision win over Markus Perez (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in a battle of unbeaten middleweights on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 123, Anders (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) used his time on the mic to ask for a fight with former UFC light heavyweight champion and onetime 185-pound title challenger Lyoto Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC).

Backstage, Anders detailed why he not only wants to fight “The Dragon” – but would like to do so on the ex-champ’s turf.

“He has a very similar style to Markus’,” Anders said after the FS1-televised main-card bout at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. “(He’s) probably a little bit more precise with the strikes. Obviously, much more experienced. A former titleholder. I love the hostile environment. There’s no more hostile place on Earth, I feel like, than in the cage, in a ring, with a Brazilian in Brazil.

Lyoto Machida

“Especially a guy that’s held in such high regard as Lyoto Machida. He’s a little bit better than Markus Perez, and I think I can get there and find that home on that chin.”

While it’s a callout that not many would expect, it was a smart one for the surging Anders, especially considering the UFC’s next Brazilian foray, set for Feb. 3 in Belem do Para, takes place in the city that Machida called home for most his life.

It remains to be seen if now-middleweight Machida, who suffered losses to Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson in his past three fights, will want to take on a hungry up-and-comer almost a decade his junior in Anders. But “The Dragon” recently said he’s neither retiring nor ruling out the Feb. 3 card.

Meanwhile, Anders is set to go to Brazil with his wife to relax after what’s been quite a successful few months. Anders was last seen at UFC on FOX 25 July, when a knockout win over now-retired Rafael Natal guaranteed some eyeballs toward the former Alabama football player.

Despite his dominance, Anders couldn’t get the first-round finish that he wanted on Saturday. That, Anders said, probably had something to do with his own display in the opening frame, in which he caught himself “headhunting” instead of picking his shots.

On the other hand, by staying in there for three rounds, at least Anders was able to showcase other aspects of his game.

“I’m well-prepared, well-conditioned and well-coached,” Anders said. “So, no matter where the fight takes place, whether I’m on my back as I was in the first round – he had that thing, I think it was the D’Arce or the Anaconda, sunk in a little bit. I was able to fight out of it.

“I’ve got great training partners who try to choke me out all the time, so no matter where the fight takes place, I’m well-prepared, and I’m able to slow it down. And find a way to get out of the position and get a dominant position.”

To hear more from Anders, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, 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/PgCSyiQs3mnhZ6XNKmYH2S/290265”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Anders def. Perez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 results: Eryk Anders dominates Markus Perez, calls out Lyoto Machida

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/PgCSyiQs3mnhZ6XNKmYH2S/289859”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Anders def. Perez”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Eryk Anders did plenty to try to put Markus Perez away, but the UFC newcomer managed to always just survive him.

But Anders (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) did plenty right in a lopsided unanimous decision over Perez (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), even if he couldn’t get a highlight-reel finish the way he did in his promotional debut earlier this year. Anders won with scores of 30-26, 30-25, 29-28.

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

After the fight, Anders used his opportunity on the microphone with Paul Felder to call out former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, now a middleweight, for a fight in Belem, Brazil, on Feb. 3.

Perez kicked high early, then went low hoping to create some distance. Perez danced on the outside with Anders stalking him. Thirty seconds in, Anders clinched Perez up, then defended Perez’s judo throw attempt. When they broke, Perez landed a knee, then tried the high kick again. Anders landed a counter right hand, then closed teh distance again rather than stay in striking range. They traded position on the fence and looked for knees. Midway through, Perez scooped Anders up and dropped him for an impressive takedown.

Perez squeezed on a choke attempt, but Anders worekd out of it and got back to his feet. He landed a punch, tehn ducked away from a spinning backfist from Perez, who laughed at the exchange. With 90 seconds left, they went back to the center and Anders landed a knee, then a body shot. He ducked under a spinning Perez elbow, then took Perez’s back standing. Anders chased Perez down late in the round and made it appear as if the second round might look a lot more like his UFC debut.

Anders came out like a steamroller in the second. He just missed with big punches, then 30 seconds in slid away from a cartwheel kick attempt from Perez, who again laughed it up – though Anders wasn’t amused. A minute in, Anders landed a big uppercut, then a follow-up, but Perez survived it and worked through. Perez fired off a couple kicks, but Anders dropped him with a huge left hand, then a kick.

Perez slowed down, then ate another left from Anders. With three minutes left, Anders landed a knee, then barely missed with a left hand. Anders swung for a home-run punch with two minutes left, and it forced Perez to shoot for a takedown. With 90 seconds left, Perez went to the canvas, and Anders followed him down for big punches and plenty of time to work for a finish. But Perez survived to see the third.

Right away in the third, Anders put Perez on the canvas with a combination, then followed him down. Perez tried to work out, and when he got back to his feet he had to eat plenty of punches. Perez looked exhausted, but Anders didn’t look like he had a ton of energy, himself. Perez held a one-armed guillotine, but it was mostly defensive to keep Anders from hitting him. Midway through, Anders popped out and worked ground-and-pound. With 45 seconds left, Anders went back to his feet briefly, but wrapped up the fight controlling Perez on the canvas.

Anders stayed unbeaten and moved to 2-0 in the UFC. Perez suffered the first loss of his pro career.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 123 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Fresno.)

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

UFC Fight Night 123 breakdown: Betting advice, possible prop bets and fantasy studs

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

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Disclaimer: The following section is designed for entertainment purposes only. The unit sizes serve as a rough representation of the percentage of bankroll risked, as well as my confidence in said plays. If you intend on gambling, I suggest that you do so responsibly and legally, as it is at your own risk. All lines are drawn from 5Dimes.eu on the day this article was published (Dec. 8, 2017).

Dan’s plays

Playable parlay pieces (my most confident favorites):

  • Eryk Anders -310
  • Iuri Alcantara-210
  • Trevin Giles -270

Summary: My recommended parlay pieces are typically my most confident picks that could serve as potential legs for whatever play you’re trying to put together.

First up is Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who is facing Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Essentially, we have a battle between a process-driven fighter and a flamboyant opportunist.

For reasons that I elaborate on in my in-depth breakdown, I believe that Anders should be the better fighter with a clear path to victory here.

Next, I elected to with Iuri Alcantara (35-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC), who comes in at a reasonable -210 should you still have faith in the veteran. Alcantara is facing Alejandro Perez (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC), a scrappy Mexican fighter who is coming off of two close and controversial fights.

Although Perez’s style of engagement can be frustrating for his opposition (and sometimes even his coaches), Alcantara is an experienced fighter who has shown he can work through much worse weather than what Perez will likely offer. Furthermore, Alcantara’s patented counter left-hand should serve him well considering the success we saw Andre Soukhamthath have against Perez in their last outing.

Lastly, I feel that Trevin Giles (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) could be worth a gander for your potential plays. Giles – an undefeated fighter with promise – reminds me of a young Rashad Evans given his skill-set. Giles appears to have some savvy in his striking, whether it be by the way that he moves his feet or throws his hands.

Carrying a natural feel for takedowns, Giles seems more than capable of taking a fight to the floor when he chooses to. And it is in grappling exchanges where Giles’ intelligence and potential shine through. From his positional choices, rides and overall awareness, there a lot there to tell me that he won’t be a fish out of the water if he finds himself swimming with Antonio Braga Neto (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), a fighter who is coming off of a three-year layoff from competition).

Straight plays:

  • Aljamain Sterling +115 (0.5 unit)
  • Merab Dvalishvili -160 (1 unit)

Summary: For straight plays, I typically look for fighters who I not only feel confident about (whether it be by their sample size or the matchup at hand), but also have a low asking price. And though it is admittedly hard to feel too confident on either side of Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), there could be value in playing the underdog in this spot.

As stated in my main-card breakdown, Moraes is making a quick four-week turnaround into what could be one of the tougher stylistic matchups for him in the division. And with Sterling being one of my few official underdog picks, I am willing to put my money (at least a small portion of it) where my mouth is to find out.

I also elected to take a shot on Merab Dvalishvili (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who has an asking price of -160 as of this writing. Although Dvalishvili is a debuting fighter (which can always be a potential flag for plays), there is a lot to like about the Georgian’s game.

Hailing from a region that is rich in Sambo, Dvalishvili carries some skills that will likely serve him well against Frankie Saenz (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC). Saenz, a former collegiate wrestler who found success in MMA, tends to do some of his best work (as well as takes needed/brief breaks) from the clinch. The problem, however, is that this is also where Dvalishvili – an accoladed sambo player and judo black belt – makes his money.

Coupled with the fact that Saenz is coming off a long layoff, and I could see a successful debut for the Georgian fighter who is over a decade younger than his counterpart.

Props worth looking at:

  • Iuri Alcantara/Alejandro Perez over 2.5: -120 (1 unit)
  • Eryk Anders “inside the distance”: -125 (1.5 units)

Summary: My first prop is a total, as I elected to go with the over 2.5 in the Alcantara-Perez matchup. With the pecking prodding nature of Perez’s game, he tends to find himself in close contests.

For that reason, it can be tricky in betting for or against Perez, as a play on the over could serve as a hedge for taking a side on the fight (e.g. Alcantara as my parlay piece).

My second prop is also chalk, as I have Anders inside the distance. Insanely heavy-hands aside, I believe that Anders – as stated in my breakdown – has a tangible path to put his opponent away both on the ground and in transition.

Fights to avoid (live dogs, high intangibles, etc.):

  • Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez
  • Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche

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

UFC Fight Night 123 staff picks: Who's the runaway choice between Cub Swanson, Brian Ortega?

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_leS2iVij_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/leS2iVij.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

 

Swanson
vs.
Ortega
Benitez
vs.
Knight
Moraes
vs.
Sterling
Holtzman
vs.
Horcher
Anders
vs.
Perez
Lopez
vs.
Morales
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 120-81
swanson2017
Swanson
(64%)
knight2017
Knight
(92%)
sterling2017
Sterling
(51%)
horcher2017
Horcher
(55%)
anders2017
Anders
(73%)
blopez2017
Lopez
(58%)
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 127-74
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 126-75
trophy copy 2015 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
horcher2017
Horcher
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 126-75
ortega2017
Ortega
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
horcher2017
Horcher
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 125-76
trophy copy 2016 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 124-77
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 119-82
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 118-83
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 117-84
trophy copy 2014 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 117-84
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 115-86
ortega2017
Ortega
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez

The UFC has set up camp in Fresno, Calif., this week for the first time, and a featherweight barnburner headlines the show.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

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

In the main event, Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) will try to hand Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) the first loss of his pro career. Swanson is going after his fifth straight win, and he’s the pick of eight of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts – even though Ortega is a mild betting favorite.

In the co-feature, Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) meets Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in another featherweight clash. Knight is a 3-1 favorite and one of two unanimous picks on the main card. The other unanimous choice comes in the form of middleweight Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who is a 3-0 favorite against Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a battle of unbeatens. Anders has all 10 of our pickers siding with him.

Also on the main card, former WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) meets Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC). In a close one, it’s Moraes with a 6-4 edge in the picks. Lightweight Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) goes after his first UFC winning streak when he meets Darrell Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), and Holtzman has an 8-2 edge. And to open the main card, Benito Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) in a bantamweight bout that is deadlocked at 5-5.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Swanson, Knight, Sterling, Horcher, Anders and Lopez are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, 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/xuiChyHa5AQBnaZ6EdXb4d/289580”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Cub Swanson”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Fresno main-card breakdown: Moraes-Sterling, Holtzman-Horcher and more

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC 218’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at the first four fights on the main card.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 29 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 67″
  • Last fight: Decision win over John Dodson (Nov. 11, 2017)
  • Camp: Ricardo Almeida BJJ (New Jersey)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA title
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ Multiple muay Thai accolades
+ 8 KO victories
+ 5 submission wins
+ 10 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Consistent pace and pressure
+ Excellent feints and footwork
^ Pivots, lateral movement, distancing
+ Accurate shot selection
^ Coming forward and off of the counter
+ Dynamic and dangerous kicker
+ Underrated wrestling ability
^ Strong hips and positional awareness
+ Good transitional grappler
^ Solid scrambling and submissions

Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 28 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 71″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Renan Barao (July 29, 2017)
  • Camp: Serra-Longo MMA (Long Island, NY)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt
+ 2x All-American wrestler
+ 2 KO victories
+ 6 submission wins
+ 3 first-round finishes
+ Solid pace and pressure
+ Tricky feints and footwork
^ Variates looks and levels
+ Improved boxing
+ Dynamic kicking attack
^ Functional from both sides
+ Superb wrestling ability
+ Diverse takedown game
^ Chains trips, singles and double-legs
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Creative flow/positionally aware

Summary:

In a fun bantamweight fight, Marlon Moraes meets Aljamain Sterling.

After fighting just four weeks ago, Moraes is making a quick turnaround to competition to step in for an injured Rani Yahya. Coming off two tightly contested split-decision results, I suspect Moraes is looking to remind the masses of his standing at 135 pounds.

Sterling, who has had lofty expectations put upon him since entering the organization, has also been trying to put space in between him and close scorecards. And after a clean victory over the former champ Renan Barao, Sterling is seeking to make another statement here.

In recent outings, the product of the Serra-Longo fight team has shown to make measurable strides in his striking game.

With his funk-style of wrestling following him into his striking endeavors, Sterling would bust out of the gates as an awkward stick-and-move stylist. But after a few years of valuable lessons and experiences, we have seen Sterling get much more comfortable in expressing his growth as of late.

Continually switching his stances while moving laterally, Sterling makes himself hard to read. Incorporating his fair share of feints, Sterling works his way into the fight behind a wall of dynamic kicking variety.

From his snapping front kicks and traditional teeps to his Thai kicks parlayed into sidekicks, Sterling can execute attacks soundly from either stance. Addressing the criticisms of his game at boxing range, Sterling has shown upgrades to his pocket presence.

Attaching more purpose (as well as punches) to his trunk movements, Sterling will slip strikes to fire back return offerings of his own. That said, Sterling still tends to keep his hands low, which make striking exchanges as compelling as they are dangerous given who he is facing.

Enter Moraes.

A former champion in the now-defunct WSOF, Moraes has also had high hopes put upon him since his arrival to the big show. A well-versed striker who came up training with Edson Barboza from a young age, it is not hard to see why so many are excited about Moraes.

A fighter whose feet you seldom find out of position, Moraes keeps an excellent balance to his attack and approach. Carrying a speed advantage over most of his contemporaries, Moraes stays light on his toes while always ready to engage.

Working behind a healthy dose of feints, the Brazilian will prod with his jab to initiate exchanges. Typically looking to land his patented leg kicks, Moraes will also mix in switch-kicks to the body as well as head kicks to keep his opposition honest.

What is most impressive about Moraes’ kicking ability is the fact that he maintains his balance and defensive hand-position while executing his assaults. These attributes also make it easier for Moraes to counter, as he seemingly keeps his right cross and check-hooks at the ready.

Still, Moraes is not beyond having his kicks caught and countered himself, as that may be something worth watching for considering the dynamic of this matchup.

The longer this fight stays standing, Moraes should have the decided edge on paper; which is why I suspect that Sterling will be changing gears and getting back to his wrestling roots for this one.

Sterling, a two-time All-American wrestler, has a diverse array of takedowns in his arsenal. From reactive shots in the open to his chaining ability in the clinch, Sterling will pose some interesting threats.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how Moraes fairs in this style of matchup.

Whether it be by destiny or design, Moraes has not had a lot of opponents push a grappling-heavy agenda in recent bouts. Nevertheless, the Brazilian still shows an underrated wrestling game that has only improved since moving shop to the United States.

Following Barboza to train with Mark Henry and company in New Jersey, Moraes appears even more comfortable inside of the scramble – as I’m sure training with fighters like Frankie Edgar helps. Moraes also has fast feet and hips, which come in handy for shutting down many of the shot attempts thrown his way.

When he is taken down, Moraes is quick to threaten with a submission or scramble back to his feet. But he will need to extra careful in those spaces with Sterling, who typically makes his money in transit.

Once touching down on the mat, Sterling’s funky flow comes to life. Melding his wrestling base into his innovative jiu-jitsu, Sterling will combine things like chair-sits to leg weaves and rides, seamlessly climbing the walls of his opponent’s defenses.

Not afraid to jump on a back, Sterling has also shown to be content in punishing opponent’s positionally, landing solid ground strikes when submissions are not available. Should the Serra-Longo fighter get his game going on the floor, then it could be a rough night for his Brazilian counterpart.

Despite the short-notice intangibles, the oddsmakers and public are slightly favoring Moraes at -140 with Sterling +120 as of this writing.

As one of the more vocal supporters of Moraes’ game, I can certainly see why. He should carry a sizeable striking edge to go along with his speed, and I could see his shot selection and accuracy either severely hurting Sterling or taking him off of his game.

However, the quick turnaround from a competitive three-round fight makes me uneasy. Not so much for Moraes’ health, but more so for the performance considering what we have seen in these scenarios before. Furthermore, there is not enough evidence – at least for my liking – to suggest that Sterling won’t be a bad matchup for the Brazilian (which he just might be).

Sterling’s wrestling base and unique style could prove frustrating for Moraes, whose displayed moments of frustration in his last two bouts. If the Brazilian fails to take Sterling off of his game or ends up on the floor early, then I feel that the more likely outcome here is the Long Island resident getting his hand raised after what should be a competitive affair.

Official pick: Sterling by decision

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

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 event in Fresno.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 123 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 123 takes place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

Records: Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC)
Past five: Swanson 4-1, Ortega 4-0 (one no-contest)
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: Swanson No. 6, Ortega No. 7
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Swanson -115, Ortega -105

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight

Records: Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Past five: Benitez 3-2, Knight 4-1
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Knight -300, Benitez +250

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling

Records: Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
Past five: Moraes 4-1, Sterling 3-2
Division: Bantamweight
Rankings: Moraes No. 6, Sterling No. 12
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Moraes -175, Sterling +155

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher

Records: Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Darrell Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Past five: Holtzman 3-2, Horcher 4-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Holtzman -115, Horcher -105

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez

Records: Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Anders 5-0, Perez 5-0
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Anders -280, Perez +240

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales

Records: Benito Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC)
Past five: Lopez 5-0, Morales 2-2-1,
Division: Bantamweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 12/4/17): Lopez -115, Morales -105

Take Our Poll
(function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=’http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js’;s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !==’undefined’)jQuery(d.body).trigger(‘pd-script-load’);}(document,’script’,’pd-polldaddy-loader’));

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, 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/xuiChyHa5AQBnaZ6EdXb4d/288912”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Cub Swanson”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Eryk Anders looking for yet another first-round finish in UFC-Fresno's battle of unbeatens

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_FDe7d8TK_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/FDe7d8TK.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

At Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123, Eryk Anders enters the octagon with quite a tough act to follow.

Anders kicked off his UFC run with an exclamation point back in July, when he knocked out veteran Rafael Natal less than three minutes into their UFC on FOX 25 encounter. The victorious debut was made all the more impressive by the fact that Anders not only stepped in on short-notice, but did so less than a month after capturing LFA’s 185-pound title.

Add to it that this all took place less than two years after his pro MMA debut, and one wouldn’t really fault Anders for dealing with some measure of nerves as he walked into the octagon for the first time.

So was he?

“No, not at all,” Anders told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’ve never been more calm, cool and collected. … I just felt really really good, top to bottom – physically and mentally.”

That statement, Anders says, encompasses an extensive athletic past that includes football, track and wrestling. But even if he did get nervous, it certainly didn’t show as he dismantled Natal in what we’d later find was the Brazilian grappling expert’s final MMA bout.

From a 34-year-old veteran on his way out in Natal, Anders is now set to welcome a 27-year-old on his way in when he faces Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Originally scheduled to meet vet John Phillips (21-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) got a fellow undefeated former LFA champ, instead.

It took some re-reouting, but Anders isn’t mad about the switch.

“You go from a guy like John Phillips who was a bruiser, super aggressive, coming forward – more of a boxer than anything else” Anders said. “Now I’m fighting a Brazilian. He’s real smooth. it almost looks like he’s dancing in there.

“He throws a lot of weird shots – not weird, but he’s not a very conventional fighter. Very slick jiu-jitsu. Definitely a game opponent. He’ll come forward. So I’m definitely looking forward to the matchup.”

In any case, it’s not like the opponent makes a difference in the plan.

“Regardless of the stage, the atmosphere, or the opponent, the objective is always the same,” Anders said. “To go out there and get a finish as early as possible and take the least amount of damage.

“I’m very confident in my preparation to go out there and get a victory. And finish him in that first round.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2572 with Eryk Anders, Drakkar Klose, Nate Andrews, Brian Butler

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Eryk Anders, Drakkar Klose, Nate Andrews and Brian Butler.

Anders, who faces Markus Perez on Dec. 9 at UFC Fight Night 123, talked about his recent change of opponent. Klose called the show to discuss his upcoming bout with David Teymur, which takes place on Dec. 2 at UFC 218. Andrews, who is coming off of a submission win over Tyler Combs at CES 47, stopped by to share what’s next for him. MMA manager Butler called the program to talk about the latest with SuckerPunch Entertainment and his stable of fighters.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

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