Felice Herrig announces UFC 218 bout vs. Cortney Casey in Detroit

A women’s strawweight bout between Felice Herrig and Cortney Casey is apparently the first fight on tap for December’s UFC 218 lineup.

Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) today revealed the matchup with Casey (7-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) on social media (via Instagram). UFC brass has yet to make an official announcement.

Instagram Photo

UFC 218 takes place Dec. 2 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Herrig is riding a three-fight winning streak at 115 pounds, her longest since 2013. “Lil’ Bulldog” earned a unanimous decision win over Justin Kish in her most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 112 in June, and afterward made some emotional comments about how she thinks her age and looks have prevented her from some of the biggest opportunities.

She will get a chance to move further up the ladder when she meets Casey, No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings. “Cast Iron” is coming off a unanimous-decision win over former WSOF champ Jessica Aguilar at UFC 211 in May. Afterward, she was caught up in a doping situation which ended with her being cleared of any wrongdoing.

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: On why UFC 214 is suddenly stacked, Felice Herrig's complaint and more

UFC 214 just got even more exciting. Is that at least partially because a few of its primary elements are slightly unreliable? Plus, where can Johny Hendricks go from here? And is there a single good reason for B.J. Penn to fight again?

All that and more in this week’s Twitter Mailbag. To ask a question of your own, tweet to @BenFowlkesMMA.

Let’s deal with the facts here. UFC 214 is headlined by Jon Jones fighting to reclaim his light heavyweight title. Further down the card, you’ve got Cristiane Justino fighting a replacement from another organization and weight class. So yeah, you can bet your Butterfinger the Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia welterweight title fight is something of a backup.

Can you blame the UFC if that’s the idea? Jones has proven to be unreliable. Justino has a way of reminding opponents of some very important task they need to run off and complete. The lesson the UFC learned from injury-ravaged years past is that you’d better have a Plan B if you want to sell pay-per-views.

And really, this is a pretty good one. Now UFC 214 could withstand some hits. It’s not like some other cards we’ve seen, where we’re never more than one tweaked knee from canceling the whole thing. You want to have a big fight card in the middle of the summer? This is how you do it. Now let’s just everybody try to stay healthy until then.

Tonya Evinger is skilled and ornery enough that you can never count her out completely. That said, this is a tough one. Usually Evinger wins with a style of grappling that looks like what your big sister would have done to you if she were a black belt. It’s not the flashiest or the slickest ground game you’ve ever seen, but it is mean and relentless.

Thing is, I don’t know how that’s going to work against Cristiane Justino. “Cyborg” will be bigger and stronger than Evinger, and it’s not as if she’s a novice on the ground. You’re not just going to bully that woman, and I doubt Evinger wants to stand there and trade punches with her for too long.

Credit to Evinger for taking the fight, especially since we just saw a champion literally give up the belt without a fight just to avoid it. But she’s going to have a tough night of work on July 29.

It’s somewhere in between. The California State Athletic Commission, led by executive director Andy Foster, himself a former professional MMA fighter, has made this issue a priority of late. The CSAC has been uncommonly proactive about trying to mitigate the dangers of extreme weight-cutting in MMA, and this is a part of that effort.

It’s an admirable one, too. If we actually want to do something about this problem, regulators can’t keep turning a blind eye for the sake of getting along with promoters. The question is whether or not one commission can spur a change throughout the entire sport.

That’s the problem with the state commission approach to regulating this sport. Standards differ between athletic commissions, sometimes greatly. So does funding and experience and the level of professionalism. Just ask Cortney Casey about her experiences with Texas, and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m glad to see California flexing its regulator muscle in the name of athlete health and safety. But what happens if Renan Barao wants to fight at bantamweight in Brazil next? Or in Pennsylvania? Or in Florida? I like what California is trying to do, but it can’t do it alone.

I won’t speculate on what the goal was in having Tony Ferguson sit at the FOX Sports desk and grill a potential future opponent on TV, but I can tell you what the pros and cons of the situation were in the end. You ready?

Pro: Now there’s some heat between Ferguson and Kevin Lee, which might prove handy in promoting a fight between them soon.

Con: Remember that part where Lee asked if they could “put a real journalist on” rather than having a fellow fighter masquerade as one for the sake of that interview? Turned out the answer was no, they couldn’t. Which, if I’m a viewer, really serves to remind me what I’m actually watching here.

You know how pro wrestling used to have those shows within the show, where it looked like a real news desk with two or three pundits talking and doing “interviews,” but in reality everyone was working for the wrestling promoter and their job was to push these narratives along? This felt a lot like that.

It was another reminder that we’re dealing with state-run TV here. And I guess that’s fine if that’s how FOX Sports (which just axed all its writers, thereby giving up the claim that it was still pursuing actual sports journalism, even if it was only online) and the UFC want to play.

Just seems like a bummer for fans, because this is pretty much the only TV show left in America that’s focused solely on this sport, and you can’t even watch it without being reminded that it’s all one big commercial.

It might be a valid complaint, but I can’t help but wish it had come from someone else.

Right now, Felice Herrig is a better fighter than she’s ever been. She’s won three straight in the UFC, and her last two victories came against undefeated opponents. But she feels like the promotional push from the UFC isn’t there, in part because it would rather focus on the young and the beautiful, regardless of what their records look like.

There’s something to that criticism, but I can recall a time not so long ago when Herrig was on the other end of it. She seemed content to exploit that dynamic and ignore the criticism from it before she was in the UFC. Now that she’s there and winning fights, it seems like she’s changed her mind.

The fight game is a sales business at heart, and everyone in it sells what they can. I’m not going to criticize Herrig for using sex appeal to market herself earlier in her career, but I would expect her to be a little more understanding when other people – whether it’s younger fighters or the UFC itself – do the same. Now that she’s stacking up meaningful wins, maybe the thing for her to do is focus on where that can take her.

I read that Johny Hendricks blamed his latest weigh-in miss on a fever, and I have no real reason to doubt that he’s telling the truth. If he hadn’t missed weight all those other times, people might be inclined to cut him some slack on this one.

Hendricks’ career decline is one of the sharpest we’ve ever seen in this sport. It’s not just one bad night here or there. This is a habitual thing for him now, and he’s already been given more latitude than lots of other fighters have gotten.

The trouble is that, as a former champion, the UFC is going to expect him to fight someone with a name. There aren’t any easy ones waiting for him out there. He has to know that. Maybe the thing for him to do now is be honest about himself about what it’s going to take to be ready for it.

I think the punishment for watching those fights was contained in the fights themselves. If not, I sure wish we’d known in advance what kind of trade we were making. I think most of us would have chosen to keep Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler intact. But maybe this pairing is too glorious to ever pass out of the realm of fantasy and into reality.

Up until recently I would have answered the first part of this question with Justin Gaethje. Now the UFC’s scooped him up, and it’s not hard to see why, since the guy has an exciting style that seems designed to make sure no one leaves the cage without a headache – including the referee if he gets too close to the backflip celebration.

If I can’t say Gaethje anymore, guess I have to go with the obvious choice: Baruto.

As for who I like to write about the most, I can’t say I’m familiar with this McDoogle fellow you mentioned. There’s a fighter by the name of Conor McGregor who fans seem to really like to read about. Then there are fighters whose honesty and intelligence and willingness to engage in self-reflection makes them interesting interview subjects.

But honestly, I like talking to the fighters who are at least a few years removed from active careers. I did a lot of it for this story on PRIDE a few months ago, and it reminded me that you get a different perspective from people who can stand at a certain point removed from it all. They’re also more likely to tell you the truth, if only because there are fewer people around who can punish them for it.

I can give you several bad ones.

– Maybe B.J. Penn feels like he doesn’t know who he is if he’s not a fighter.
– Maybe he can’t stand the thought of going out on this terrible losing streak.
– Maybe he feels like he needs the training to keep his life together, and he can’t stay motivated for the training without the promise of a fight at the end.
– Maybe he likes the paychecks and the attention and the adrenaline rush.

All of those are understandable to some extent, but not one is a good enough reason to keep going in a sport this brutal and unforgiving.

I’m with you. Michael Chiesa is an exciting fighter and a likable guy, and I think there are plenty of other fights available for him in possibly the most talent-rich division in all of MMA. Pick a name out of a hat. Is it someone good? Probably. Will that person rile you up by merely mentioning  you have a mother? Maybe. And we’re off. It beats waiting half a year to fight a guy you just fought.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @BenFowlkesMMA. Twitter Mailbag appears every Thursday on MMAjunkie.

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

Felice Herrig: UFC promoting me in 'hot girl' fights isn't good enough

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In the moments following her impressive performance at UFC Fight Night 112, Felice Herrig fought back tears as she talked about feeling “not young and beautiful enough” for the UFC to want to promote her.

The frustration for Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) seemed to stem from the fact that, while she’s on a three-fight winning streak, which includes knocking off two previously undefeated opponents, the 32-year-old veteran wonders if the opportunity to become a star is out of reach.

On Tuesday, Herrig expounded on why she feels that way durng an appearance on “The Luke Thomas Show.”

“I get promoted when it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a hot girl fight.,’” Herrig said. “But I’m not the one they’re promoting. They’re promoting my opponent. I feel like I’m a stepping stone. I’m getting put on the main card every time, so obviously I’m some kind of draw. But, unfortunately, I’m fighting opponents who they’re trying to pump up and build.”

Herrig points to recent fights with Kailin Curran and Alexa Grasso as evidence. Herrig pointed out that Grasso, 23, was asked by the UFC to make more promotional appearances for their UFC Fight Night 104 co-headliner and was more prominent on the event poster, not just because she had been undefeated but also, as Herrig claims, because she’s young and attractive.

Which brings us to UFC Fight Night 112, this past Sunday in Oklahoma City, where Herrig knocked off another undefeated opponent in Justine Kish. Herrig wonders where all the promotion was leading up to the fight.

“Obviously it was a draw. People knew it was gong to be a great fight, because look where it was on the card,” Herrig said. “It was on the main card right before the main event. It got zero marketing behind it, zero pulse, zero attention, zero promotion. Why? Because it wasn’t a hot girl fight?”

Herrig’s arguments aren’t reserved for just female fighters, either, as she mentioned UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Sage Northcutt as examples of the company’s reluctance to push certain accomplished fighters, while others get special treatment because of their looks.

“It’s not just me. I’m not just speaking on my behalf. I’m speaking for all the fighters who feel this way,” Herrig said. “I am not the only one who feels slighted. … Look at someone like Max Holloway – 11-fight win streak, has more wins in his division than anyone in the UFC. Is he even getting attention? The respect that he deserves now that he’s the champ? I don’t think so. …

“Why is somebody like Sage Northcutt coming in, with what, two pro fights, he wins one fight in the UFC, and he does a backflip, and all of a sudden, ‘We’re going to pay you a (expletive)-ton of money. We’re going to pay you more than a guy who’s been in the UFC for 10 years.’ And then he gets choked out in his next two fights. And he’s still getting all this media attention?”

Despite how it might appear, Herrig wants to make it clear that she’s not against fighters; she’s against “the big machine,” as she calls it.

“I’m not against the fighters,” Herrig said. “I’m 100 percent not against the fighters. I’m against the system, because the system is (expletive).”

She continued, “this is not about beauty, and it’s not about looks. It’s about all the fighters who are getting overlooked who are very talented. If they even had just a little bit of push from the big machine, not even about their looks, just a little chance to shine, and to be put on the mainstream stage. That’s what it’s about.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Oklahoma City's 10 memorable moments, with controversy and comebacks, good and bad

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The main event of Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 fight card was supposed to set up the victor for a matchup against a top contender in the lightweight division. That could still happen – after all, Kevin Lee did earn a first-round submission win over Michael Chiesa, but the level of controversy surrounding the stoppage, and more precisely the man who made the call, referee Mario Yamasaki, might prevent Lee from getting that immediate jump up in competition.

The co-main event had no such drama. In that bout, Tim Boetsch put Johny Hendricks away with a head kick and punches, earning himself a TKO victory early in the second round.

UFC Fight Night 112 took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Here are 10 memorable moments from the event.

1. You got yourself a situation there, UFC

Before his bout against Chiesa, Lee claimed he was the better fighter in every respect. Controversial stoppage aside, Lee backed up those words at UFC Fight Night 112. Chiesa had opportunities early, missing a takedown and briefly working for a couple of submissions. However, Chiesa failed to stick any of his offense, and when Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) gave up his back, Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) took control, securing a body lock and a rear-naked choke.

Lee appeared to have the choke in deep, and as the clock ticked down, Yamasaki waved off the fight at the 4:37 mark of Round 1. The problem with that was Chiesa had not tapped nor lost consciousness, and Chiesa immediately protested the stoppage.

It was a messy ending to an important lightweight bout. While Lee, an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings before the fight, did get the win, the UFC has some thinking to do about what’s next for him and Chiesa, who was ranked No. 9 before his controversial defeat.

2. Everybody’s talkin’

Chiesa didn’t have much to say regarding Yamasaki during his time on the mic with UFC commentator Jon Anik, but during his backstage chat with the media, Chiesa was less reserved.

“This is the main event – that is JV bull(expletive),” Chiesa said. “That guy (Yamasaki) is too focused on being some kind of playboy in front of the cameras, making his little heart logos. Maybe he should go back and read the (expletive) rule book.”

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UFC President Dana White also got involved, taking to Instagram to let his feelings be known.

Instagram Photo

For his part, Lee didn’t see the issue.

“Mario’s a very experienced ref,” Lee said. “Mario saw it and stopped the fight. If he wouldn’t have, there was still 45 seconds left in the fight. I don’t see what the controversy is about. It wasn’t like I was going to let go.”

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Chiesa, Lee and White weren’t the only ones offering opinions on the stoppage, social media was alive with opinions following the bout.

3. Something has to change

If Hendricks plans to succeed at middleweight, he’s going to need to add to his arsenal – and make weight. After coming in two pounds heavy, the former welterweight champion was largely ineffective against Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC). “The Barbarian” used kicks to prevent Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) from setting up and landing his patented overhand left.

Not only did those kicks stop Hendricks from establishing his offense, but they also ended the fight. Early in Round 2, Boetsch stunned Hendricks with a head kick and then swarmed, finishing him with punches against the cage.

The “Performance of the Night”-winning stoppage earned Boetsch his third TKO win in his last four outings. As for Hendricks, not only has he missed weight three times in his last four fights, but he is 1-3 in those contests and 3-6 dating back to November 2013.

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4. Speaking up

Felice Herrig is on the best run of her UFC career. Her unanimous decision win over Justine Kish was her third straight victory and second straight win over a formerly undefeated opponent. Despite her winning streak, Herrig is feeling under-appreciated.

“Honestly, if you want to know the truth, I just feel like I’m not young and beautiful for the UFC to want to promote me,” she said. “It’s sad because I’ve really worked hard to be here. It’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through and just got to the UFC at the right time, and they’re now getting all these opportunities.

“I’ve seen how hard I’ve worked to get here, and it just doesn’t matter because I just feel I’m not pretty enough, and I’m not getting any younger.”

After her last win, Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) called for a fight against either Michelle Waterson or Paige VanZant. She didn’t call out another fighter after defeating Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), but based on her winning streak, Herrig should get a top 15 strawweight opponent in her next outing.

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5. Remember, a sense of humor is important

Kish was close to being choked out by Herrig in the third round, but Kish fought through the choke, using muscle and force of will more than technique to break free from the submission hold. However, Kish paid a price for her efforts, something she acknowledged on social media following the fight.

6. A good June

Dominick Reyes has had a good month. On June 2, fighting for LFA, he delivered a highlight-reel knockout which earned him a short notice call up from the UFC. In his debut with the promotion, Reyes (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) wrapped things up quickly, blasting Joachim Christensen with a straight left that put Christensen (14-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) on the mat, forcing the referee to wave off the fight 29 seconds into the first round.

Reyes absorbed just one strike during the light heavyweight fight while landing 13 of the 16 he threw.

As debuts go, things could not have gone much better for Reyes, who earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus for his efforts.

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7. Struggles continue

B.J. Penn almost had his first win since his November 2010 KO of Matt Hughes. Penn dropped Dennis Siver in the second round of their featherweight contest, but he was unable to get the finish, and instead of turning up the heat in the third round, Penn came out flat. Actually, flat might be too kind. Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC) looked like he just wanted to survive the final five minutes of the fight, throwing a paltry 27 strikes to Siver’s 117 in the last round. In the end, Siver (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC), fighting for the first time in two years, got the majority decision win, handing Penn his fifth straight defeat.

Before the fight, Penn told MMAjunkie, “We’re going to take this as far as it can go,” which leads to the question, has Penn reached the end of the line?

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8. Back on track

Where Penn struggled at UFC Fight Night 112, another long-tenured UFC combatant showed he has some fight left in him. Clay Guida, competing at lightweight for the first time in five years, earned a unanimous decision victory over Erik Koch.

Guida looked excellent in his return to 155. His cardio was off the charts as usual, and his striking and defense were impressive, but where he excelled was in his pressure and takedown game. Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) forced Koch (14-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) to the cage for a prolonged period in the first round and controlled the fight on the mat for most of the second and third round.

Guida was never close to getting a finish, but he looked good, and he should get a step up in completion in his next outing.

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9. A major comeback

Darrell Horcher’s run in the UFC has spanned 14 eventful months. In April 2016 he was called in on short notice duty to face Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unsurprisingly he lost that fight. One month later he was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him with a cringeworthy list of injuries.

Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) was told he would never fight again, but he did, earning a split decision over Devin Powell (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in a lightweight contest at UFC Fight Night 112.

“It was so emotional for me to get back,” Horcher told MMAjunkie. “I fought so hard to be here. It was a long year and what I’ve come from, most would people say a year is very short. And if you look at it on paper it is, but for me it was very hard. I pushed myself to do this, to come back, to get a win.”

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10. Give him a call

The one misstep Jared Gordon made in his UFC debut came on the scale, where he missed the featherweight limit by four pounds. Gordon is a well-rounded fighter who was comfortable wherever his fight went against Michel Quinones. On the feet Gordon (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was aggressive, using pressure to close distance and not allow Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) the space he needed to mount any offense. On the ground Gordon was just as good, coupling a heavy top game with effective ground strikes, which earned him the second-round TKO.

After the fight, the former Cage Fury champion, who has struggled with substance abuse issues, let fans know they could reach out to him if need be.

“If you have any problems or anything, you can contact me on Twitter, (or) Instagram and I will take my day to talk to you guys,” Gordon told Anik.

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For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 112 medical suspensions: Chiesa, Boetsch, Herrig get 180-day terms

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Six fighters from Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 event face mandatory medical suspensions that could stretch up to six months.

MMAjunkie today requested and obtained the list of suspensions from the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the event.

UFC Fight Night 112 took place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the main card aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Headliner Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), who suffered a controversial first-round submission loss to lightweight Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC), was among the fighters receiving 180-day terms.

The full list of medical suspensions included:

  • Michael Chiesa: suspended 180 days due to a possible left-shoulder injury, though a doctor can clear him early; regardless, 30 days with no contact for 21 days due to a scalp laceration
  • Tim Boetsch: suspended 180 days due to possible right-foot and shin injuries, though a doctor can clear him early
  • Johny Hendricks: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Felice Herrig: suspended 180 days due to a possible left-wrist injury, though a doctor can clear her early; regardless, 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Justine Kish: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days due to a left-eyebrow laceration
  • Joachim Christensen: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons
  • B.J. Penn: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons
  • Marvin Vettori: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Vitor Miranda: suspended 180 days due to a possible right-ankle injury, though a doctor can clear him early; regardless, 30 days with no contact for 21 days due to left-ear and nasal lacerations
  • Devin Powell: suspended 180 days due to possible left-ankle injury, though a doctor can clear him early
  • Michel Quinones: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons
  • Johnny Case: suspended 180 days due to a possible hand, foot/ankle and nose injuries, though a doctor can clear him early; regardless, 60 days with no contact for 45 days due to a left-orbital laceration
  • Tony Martin: suspended for 30 days with no contact for 21 days for precautionary reasons
  • Josh Stansbury: suspended for 45 days with no contact for 30 days for precautionary reasons

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 post-event facts: Don't let controversy overshadow Kevin Lee's success

The UFC’s return to Oklahoma City, Okla., provided plenty of fight time, with eight of the 13 fights on Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 lineup at Chesapeake Energy Arena going to a decision.

Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) didn’t need the scorecards to win the lightweight main event against Michael Chiesa (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC), but he could have used better officiating; his first-round submission win was overshadowed by a premature stoppage from referee Mario Yamasaki.

Nevertheless, “The Motown Phenom” got another notable win, helping advance his status in the UFC lightweight division. For more on the numbers to come out of Sunday’s event, check out 50 post-event facts from UFC Fight Night 112.

* * * *

General

Clay Guida

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $182,500.

Debuting fighters went 2-1 at the event.

Lee, Tim Boetsch, Dominick Reyes and Jeremy Kimball earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 112 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 112 drew an announced attendance of 7,605 for a live gate of $549,302.

Betting favorites went 9-4 on the card.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:21:37.

Main card

Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee

Lee’s five-fight UFC winning streak in lightweight competition is tied with Al Iaquinta for the third longest active streak in the division behind Tony Ferguson (nine) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (seven).

Lee’s nine UFC victories since 2012 in lightweight competition are most in the division.

Lee has earned eight of his nine career stoppage victories by submission.

Lee’s three-fight submission streak in UFC competition is the longest among active fighters.

Michael Chiesa

Lee has earned his past four victories by stoppage.

Lee has completed at least one takedown against 10 of his 11 UFC opponents.

Lee’s 25 takedowns since 2014 in UFC lightweight competition are most in the division.

Chiesa has suffered all three of his career losses by stoppage.

Chiesa failed to complete a takedown for the first time in his career.

Tim Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC) improved to 3-1 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in July 2016.

Tim Boetsch

Boetsch has earned his past four UFC victories by stoppage.

Johny Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) fell to 1-1 since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in February.

Hendricks fell to 1-4 in his past five fights.

Hendricks has suffered both of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Felice Herrig

Felice Herrig’s (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) four victories in UFC strawweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (eight).

Herrig’s three-fight UFC winning streak in strawweight competition is the second longest active streak in the division behind Jedrzejczyk (eight).

Herrig has earned eight of her 13 career victories by decision.

Justine Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had her six-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of her career.

Dominick Reyes

Reyes (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned six of his seven career victories by first-round stoppage.

Reyes’ 29-second victory marked the second fastest stoppage by any debuting light heavyweight in UFC history behind Ryan Jimmo’s seven-second win at UFC 149.

Joachim Christensen (14-6 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Tim Means (27-8-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC) improved to 7-3 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in May 2014.

Dennis Siver

Dennis Siver (23-11 MMA, 12-8 UFC) returned to competition after a more than two-year layoff and earned his first victory since October 2014.

Siver improved to 4-3 (with one no-contest) since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in April 2012.

Siver has earned his past six UFC victories by decision. He hasn’t earned a stoppage victory since November 2010.

B.J. Penn (16-12-2 MMA, 12-11-2 UFC) suffered his fifth consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since November 2010.

B.J. Penn

Penn fell to 1-7-1 in his past nine UFC appearances dating back to April 2010.

Penn fell to 0-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in July 2014.

Penn has been outlanded 747 to 312 in significant strikes during his past nine UFC fights.

Penn has suffered eight of his 12 career losses by decision.

Preliminary card

Clay Guida

Clay Guida (33-17 MMA, 13-11 UFC) was successful in his return to the UFC lightweight division. He earned his first victory in the weight class since June 2011.

Guida’s 63 takedowns landed in UFC competition are fifth most in company history behind Georges St-Pierre (87), Gleison Tibau (84), Frankie Edgar (67) and Demetrious Johnson (65).

Guida has attempted 172 takedowns during his UFC career, third most in company history behind Demian Maia (189) and Edgar (189).

Erik Koch (14-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) fell to 2-4 in his past six UFC appearances.

Koch fell to 2-2 since returning to the UFC lightweight division in February 2014.

Carla Esparza

Carla Esparza (12-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) improved to 2-1 since losing the UFC strawweight title to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in March 2015.

Esparza has completed at least one takedown against all five of her UFC opponents.

Esparza has completed 16 takedowns in her three UFC victories.

Maryna Moroz (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has suffered both of her career losses by decision.

Devin Powell (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

Michel Quinones (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his five-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since November 2012.

Quinones suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Johnny Case (22-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in nearly 10 years.

Jeremy Kimball

Case suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Kimball (15-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has earned 12 of his 15 career victories by stoppage.

Josh Stansbury (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Not 'young and beautiful' enough? Felice Herrig opens up after emotional UFC-OKC win

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Felice Herrig turned pro nearly a decade ago. She’s fought for a host of major promotions. But as a 32-year-old, she wonders if some opportunities are now out of reach.

On Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 112 main card, Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) picked up her third straight victory and moved to 4-1 on MMA’s biggest stage with a unanimous-decision victory over Justine Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

It should have been a festive time for Herrig, but following the FS1-televised event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., her emotions were hard to hide, especially she spoke about what she perceives as a lack of opportunities.

“Honestly, if you want to know the truth, I just feel like I’m not young and beautiful for the UFC to want to promote me,” she said after the event. “It’s sad because I’ve really worked hard to be here. It’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through and just got to the UFC at the right time, and they’re now getting all these opportunities.

“I’ve seen how hard I’ve worked to get here, and it just doesn’t matter because I just feel I’m not pretty enough, and I’m not getting any younger.”

Herrig, who previously competed for organizations such as Bellator and Invicta FC, defeated Kailin Curran and highly regarded Alexa Grasso in her previous two bouts. She’s currently No. 13 in the official UFC rankings (and could enter the top 15 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings when they’re updated this week).

However, in the prize-fighting business, in-cage accomplishments alone don’t always result in career advancement.

“I just think that my performances are going to keep speaking volumes,” she said. “I think fans, the people and the media see and recognize I just beat two undefeated fighters, two really good undefeated fighters that were no joke. Alexa Grasso is no joke. Justine Kish is no joke. Anyone in this sport that’s not just a casual fan knows better. I don’t need a fancy trophy to tell me I’m good or to tell me what I’m made of I know.”

However, she clarified that her comments aren’t completely directed at UFC officials – but more as the business itself.

“I’m not trying to make this like a point finger at the UFC or Dana White or anybody,” Herrig said. “I know they have a business to run. … I’m not the only fighter who feels like this. … We put a lot out there as fighters, and I don’t know – I feel like I’ve paid my dues, and nobody can deny that.

“I’m a UFC fighter, and I’ve worked my way to the top, so I would like a little more love. That’s it.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 video highlights: Felice Herrig vs. Justine Kish

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For every time Justine Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) muscled her way out of trouble, Felice Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) used her technique to win countless fights for position and dominance, resulting in a unanimous-decision win.

The strawweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 112 event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112 results: Felice Herrig's technique, tenacity shine to hand Justine Kish 1st loss

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Felice Herrig needed every measure of technique to keep the relentless Justine Kish at bay.

But for every time Kish (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) muscled her way out of trouble, Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) used her technique to win countless fights for position and dominance. And at the end of 15 minutes, her hand was raised.

The strawweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 112 event at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

The final scores were 30-26 twice and 29-27 for Herrig, who picked up her third straight win in the octagon while handing Kish, a fellow castmate on “The Ultimate Fighter 20” before injury withdrawal, her first professional defeat.

Kish put Herrig on her heels from the opening bell with aggressive muay Thai. She tried to improve her hand with a throw from headlock. But in the first of many such instances, her enthusiasm was countered by experience.

Herrig took the back and set up for a choke, as she would do throughout the 15-minute affair. Kish managed to muscle out of the position, only to wind up in trouble again as Herrig put her back on the mat.

After a rough first round, Kish tried to even the score on the feet. But again, her desire to get revenge wound up backfiring as she ran into Herrig’s left hook, which landed several times in a series of frenzied exchanges. Herrig then tripped her to the mat and again took the mount, giving it up only the final seconds of the middle frame when Kish spun around into guard.

Exhausted from two rounds of nonstop action, Herrig went back to her winning strategy, getting an early takedown. After again taking the back, she nearly finished the fight when she sunk in a rear-naked choke. But somehow, Kish managed to get free, grimacing as she scrambled to safety.

Herrig still kept her composure and held top position. And by the end of the fight, it was clear she’d earned enough points to keep the undefeated fighter at bay.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 112 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Felice Herrig details how she lost motivation when 'dieting became starvation' – but has it back

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Felice Herrig was doing it all wrong.

The UFC strawweight is a self-proclaimed obsessive personality. And because of it, the choices Herrig made for fight preparations – specifically when it came to cutting weight – caused her to lose motivation two years ago.

“The thing that made me lose motivation was the obsessiveness,” Herrig told MMAjunkie ahead of her FS1-televised fight with Justine Kish on Sunday at UFC Fight Night 112. “I am an obsessive person, so when I do something I’m always trying to top myself. Every camp I thought I had to work harder, I had to train harder, I had to diet harder.

“To me, dieting became starvation. I had a lot of eating disorders. I remember there would be times where I would have a can of tuna, and I would split it up, and I would eat that – one can of tuna a day for like weeks at a time, thinking that’s how I was going to cut weight. Thinking that if I wasn’t depriving myself enough then I didn’t want it enough, I wasn’t motivated enough, I wasn’t disciplined enough.”

The effects of her habits were evident during a lackluster performance at UFC on FOX 15, resulting in a unanimous-decision loss to Paige VanZant. Since then, though, Herrig has changed her ways, taking a practical approach to her weight-cutting.

“I eat really clean and healthy whole foods,” Herrig said. “I don’t eat anything processed. But I listen to what my body is telling me.”

As a result, Herrig (12-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) heads into Sunday’s fight with Kish (6-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) riding the momentum of back-to-back wins. And as she puts it, “I’m back to loving the sport again, and I’m back to (being) the ‘Lil Bulldog,’ the Felice that was hungry. I’m just soaking everything in. I’m just loving every moment of it again.”

Admittedly, Herrig hasn’t been thrilled about having to face Kish. With her opponent making the 116-pound limit just once before, Herrig had concerns about Kish missing weight again and said she was prepared to walk away from the fight if it happened. Thankfully Kish made weight, which gives Herrig the chance to hand her a first loss.

But Herrig also said she feels a little burned by the UFC after a February win over up-and-coming star Alexa Grasso failed to have the effect she was hoping for.

“I thought beating Grasso was going to really shoot me into the rankings,” Herrig said. “Because you know that if she beat me, you know she would’ve sky-rocketed in the rankings. But honestly I just realize the rankings are (expletive). A fight is a fight. Maybe it’s not the ideal matchup, but we’re all strawweights, and we’re all going to fight each other at some time.”

Check out our interview above to hear more from Herrig.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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