True to form, Francisco Trinaldo hardly satisfied with UFC-Sao Paulo win over Jim Miller

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SAO PAULO – It seems Francisco Trinaldo is keeping up with his tradition of not being quite pleased with his UFC displays, no matter the outcome.

After a tough first round at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119, Trinaldo (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) managed to outlast fellow veteran Jim Miller (28-11 MMA, 17-10 UFC) to earn a unanimous decision from the judges. The main-card lightweight meeting put a big name under Trinaldo’s belt but, most importantly, landed him back in the winning column after a loss to interim title contender Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC).

Trinaldo is certainly happy to be back on track, which isn’t to suggest he’s 100 percent satisfied with what he showed against Miller.

“I trained to knock him down or submit him,” Trinaldo told reporters after the FS1-televised bout, which took place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “I swear to you. I trained every day. I didn’t miss a single training session. I did four training sessions a day. I didn’t miss a single one.

“When I thought my body was tired, I looked at my kid and thought, ‘No (expletive) way I’m going to stay here. I need this win.’”

It may not have been a finish, but it was a positive outcome, much like the seven straight wins “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” alum managed to line up before Lee spoiled his party in March. And it’s one that Trinaldo believes should be rewarded in the rankings.

“The next step is to meet a guy who’s ranked,” Trinaldo said. “A top-7, top-5, top-8. Because I want to show what I can do.”

Trinaldo has always been known for his unwavering work ethic as any of his coaches and training partners will confirm. But he found even more motivation while preparing for his 16th octagon appearance since 2012. Apart from the added fuel of a loss, he became a father six months ago.

“The arrival of my kid (Francisco) just pushed me harder,” Trinaldo said, “to train harder and show I’m going to be a great fighter and a great citizen.” (via Instagram)

Instagram Photo

As usual, Trinaldo wants to resume his path to becoming a great fighter sooner rather than later. While it would appear he has a preference for fighting on Brazilian soil, given that’s where 13 of his UFC outings have taken place, Trinaldo says he doesn’t want to wait until Belem’s Feb. 3 card to return.

Pressed for possible names, “Massaranduba” gave two options. Before taking a loss on what was a record-breaking 28th octagon appearance on Saturday, Miller was coming off two consecutive setbacks. Trinaldo thinks either of those men could be good fights for him.

The problem is that the two, ex-155-pound champion Anthony Pettis and contender Dustin Poirier, are set to fight each other Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night 120. So he might have to settle for someone else.

Another option? Well, it seems like he’s not counting on it to happen now, but Trinaldo would like a chance to get the UFC Fight Night 106 submission loss to Lee back at some point.

“I lost to a guy who I know I’m superior to,” Trinaldo said. “We’ll meet further down the road, and I’ll get that one back.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Derek Brunson and UFC Fight Night 119's other winning fighters?

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Derek Brunson’s early knockout power has proven to be a major threat in recent years. He displayed another example with an early finish of Lyoto Machida in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 main event.

Brunson (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) handed former UFC champ Machida (23-7 MMA, 15-7 UFC) the fastest loss of his career in the FS1-televised middleweight headliner at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, improving his standing among the top contenders in the weight class.

Prior to Brunson’s win, Colby Covington (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), Pedro Munhoz (15-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Rob Font (15-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Francisco Trinaldo (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC), Thiago “Marreta” Santos (16-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and John Lineker (30-8 MMA, 11-3 UFC) picked up notable victories on the main card.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 119’s winning fighters.

* * * *

John Lineker

Should fight: Thomas Almeida
Why they should fight: Lineker rebounded from an 11-month layoff due to a broken jaw with a solid performance in a unanimous decision victory over rising bantamweight prospect Marlon Vera.

Lineker showed improved control of his aggression to snap Vera’s winning streak. He apologized for what he considered to be a sloppy showing, but nevertheless walked away with an important victory for his career.

“Hands of Stone” has suffered just three losses in his past 27 fights, two of which came against a former UFC champion and a former title challenger. It’s clear the Brazilian is elite, but he’s struggled to get over the hump. At just 27, though, Lineker still has tremendous upside and potential to make more runs at the belt.

Another fighter in a similar position is Almeida (21-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who despite coming off a loss to Jimmie Rivera at UFC on FOX 25 in July, is still among the most dangerous 135-pound fighters on the roster. A matchup with Lineker has “Fight of the Night” written all over it, and more than that, has the potential to be one of the great action fights in recent memory.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos

Should fight: Tim Boetsch
Why they should fight: Santos showed why again why his striking is among the most dangerous of anyone in the UFC middleweight division when he became the first to stop Jack Hermansson with strikes.

“Marreta” not only put Hermansson away, but he did it in fierce fashion inside one round, giving him his sixth victory in his past eight octagon appearances. The Brazilian is riding a three-fight streak of knockouts and appears to be improving with every performance.

The Brazilian has few flaws offensively, but issues with durability have proven to be his downfall. It doesn’t matter much if he takes his opponents out first, though, and that’s what’s happened of late, putting Santos in position for another noteworthy matchup at 185 pounds.

Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC) is a long-time UFC veteran who has essentially seen and done it all inside the octagon. His relentless style causes problems for a lot of fighters, and following his win over former UFC champ Johny Hendricks at UFC Fight Night 112 in July, “The Barbarian” would be a good test for Santos.

James Vick

Francisco Trinaldo

Should fight: Winner of James Vick vs. Joseph Duffy at UFC 217
Why they should fight: Trinaldo spoiled Jim Miller’s historic 28th trip to the UFC cage when he outworked the most seen fighter in company history for a unanimous decision, taking two of three rounds on all three scorecards.

Trinaldo has essentially been a model of consistency since joining the UFC roster in 2012. He’s won 12 of 16 fights and hasn’t fallen easily in any of his losses. “Massuranduba” might be 39, but he still shows signs of advancement against tough competition.

The Brazilian is a stellar 8-1 in his past nine fights, with the lone defeat coming against top contender Kevin Lee. He’s proven to be a talent worthy of a rankings beside his name in the lightweight division, and he should fight someone of a similar status. The winner of the UFC 217 fight between Vick (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Duffy (16-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is in that territory,

Pedro Munhoz

Should fight: Eddie Wineland
Why they should fight: Munhoz has become an exciting addition to the UFC bantamweight division in recent years, and his submission win over Rob Font was another example of what he can do.

Munhoz finished Font with a one-armed guillotine choke. That’s a nifty way to make an opponent tap out for the first time, and the effort was rewarded with a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

The 135-pound division is rather top-heavy at the moment, and more of the numbers close to the title are already booked. Munhoz will get there if he continues his current form, though, and a showdown with a divisional standout like Wineland (23-12-1 MMA, 5-6 UFC) would be a helpful step for his career.

Stephen Thompson

Colby Covington

Should fight: Stephen Thompson or winner of Carlos Condit vs. Neil Magny at UFC 219
Why they should fight: Covington’s rise up the UFC welterweight ranks took a direct shot closer to the championship when he went to Brazilian and stunned former multi-time title challenger Demian Maia.

Although Covington has become a polarizing personality outside the octagon, he’s doing tremendous work inside of it. He beat Maia by unanimous decision, marking his fifth consecutive win in the welterweight division. ‘

Covington has been calling for a matchup with 170-pound champ Tyron Woodley, but with December’s UFC on FOX 26 fight between Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos pegged as a title eliminator, he’s likely not going to be next in line.

Although it’s hard to move up from Maia in terms of ranked contenders, a fight with the winner of UFC 219’s bout between Condit (30-10 MMA, 7-6 UFC) and Magny (19-6 MMA, 12-5 UFC), whom he has called out many times, would be a fitting affair. If not that, “Wonderboy” Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) would be a good matchup if he can get past Covington’s teammate, Jorge Masvidal, on Saturday at UFC 217.

Derek Brunson

Should fight: Chris Weidman
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Brunson should fight Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 119 Athlete Outfitting pay: Program total passes $15 million mark

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SAO PAULO – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $170,000.

UFC Fight Night 119 took place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The card aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were a number of individuals. Longtime octagon veterans Lyoto Machida (22-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC), Demian Maia (25-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) and Jim Miller (28-11 MMA, 17-10 UFC) all earned maximum non-title-fight payouts of $20,000.

The full UFC Fight Night 119 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Derek Brunson: $15,000
def. Lyoto Machida: $20,000

Colby Covington: $5,000
def. Demian Maia: $20,000

Pedro Munhoz: $5,000
def. Rob Font: $5,000

Francisco Trinaldo: $15,000
def. Jim Miller: $20,000

Thiago “Marreta” Santos: $10,000
def. Jack Hermansson: $2,500

John Lineker: $10,000
def. Marlon Vera: $5,000

Vicente Luque: $5,000
def. Niko Price: $2,500

Antonio Carlos Junior: $5,000
def. Jack Marshman: $2,500

Jared Gordon: $2,500
def. Hacran Dias: $5,000

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos: $2,500
def. Max Griffin: $2,500

Deiveson Figueiredo: $2,500
def. Jarred Brooks: $2,500

Marcelo Golm: $2,500
def. Christian Colombo: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $4,762,500
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $15,085,500

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 119 results: Francisco Trinaldo outpaces fellow veteran Jim Miller

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Francisco Trinaldo outworked and wore down a crafty Jim Miller, taking over a close fight in the later rounds.

The reward for Trinaldo (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) was a win on the scorecards, as he beat Miller (28-11 MMA, 17-10 UFC) via unanimous decision by scores of 29-28 across the board.

The lightweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 119 event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Miller got off to a good start in this fight, but he seemed to fade in the latter two rounds under the pressure of Trinaldo after controlling the action from the top for most of the opening round.

In the second, Trinaldo began stinging Miller with his combination punching on the feet, and grinding away with his top pressure when the action hit the mat. Miller could be seen wincing in pain at several points, and he seemed to run out of gas as Trinaldo kept pushing him into the third round.

Trinaldo really took control in that final frame, using his work rate to keep Miller on the defensive and further sapping his energy with ceaseless attacks. By the end, it was clear that Trinaldo had done more to earn the win, and all three judges scored the fight in his favor, giving him two of the three rounds on every scorecard.

The win for Trinaldo is his first since a submission loss to Kevin Lee in March. Miller has now lost three straight.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 119 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Fernanda Prates contributed to this report on site in Sao Paulo.)

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

10 reasons to watch UFC-Sao Paulo with a pair of Brazilian legends atop the card

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

On Saturday, the UFC visits Brazil for UFC Fight Night 119. The event marks the final time the promotion heads to the South American country in 2017.

The headlining bouts feature two Brazilian legends who look to hold off a pair of hungry American fighters. In the main event, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida returns from a long absence to face Derek Brunson in a middleweight scrap. In the co-headliner, former welterweight and middleweight title challenger Demian Maia meets the brash and confident Colby Covington at 170 pounds.

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The main card airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. A former champ returns

The last time Machida stepped into the octagon, Yoel Romero knocked him out. That fight happened more than two years ago. Machida was then booked against Dan Henderson in April 2016. He was pulled from that contest days before the event after he informed the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency he had used a banned substance, 7-keto-dehydroepiandrosterone (7‐keto-DHEA), a hormonal supplement. That disclosure earned Machida an 18-month suspension. At the time, the Brazilian fighter was ranked No. 8 in the middleweight division.

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Despite his long absence, the former light heavyweight champion is currently ranked No. 11 at 185 pounds, according to the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings. Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) faces No. 10 Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in his return bout. Brunson scored a knockout win over Dan Kelly in his most recent outing.

If Machida hopes to return to the top of the division, he needs to make a statement in Brazil. At 39, he’s older than all but two of the fighters ranked above him at middleweight.

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2. Talk the talk

Colby Covington has been outspoken of late. The No. 9 welterweight recently implied No. 5 Maia is merely a stepping stone toward his ultimate goal: welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

“I’m out to set out that I’m the best fighter in the world and that’s exactly what I’m going to do (Saturday) when I retire Demian Maia in his home city of Sao Paulo, Brazil,” Covington told MMAjunkie Radio. “He’s going to be looking for a new job, maybe at a cell phone kiosk in the mall.”

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Covington (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) has won his past four fights. Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) enters this bout on the heels of a title fight decision loss to Woodley. The defeat ended Maia’s seven-fight winning streak.

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3. Making strides

Since losing to John Lineker in 2016, Rob Font has looked excellent. His confidence seems to grow each time he steps into the octagon, as does his skill set. Font throws sweet striking combinations. He never seems to stop moving on his feet, and when the contest hits the ground, he’s very good with his transitions. Over the course of his five-fight UFC run, the former CES MMA featherweight champ has developed into a dark-horse contender in the bantamweight division.

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Pedro Munhoz will test Font in this tilt. Munhoz, an honorable mention selection in the rankings, might not be as well-rounded as Font. But he is a dangerous grappler. If Font (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) makes one mistake, he could find himself in a guillotine choke, a submission that earned Munhoz (14-2-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC), the former RFA bantamweight kingpin, two consecutive “Performance of the Night” bonuses in 2016.

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4. Bleed with me

In early September, Jim Miller put out a plea on Twitter. “STILL trying to get a fight. Never thought I’d have to beg someone to bleed with me,” Miller wrote. The New Jersey native, 26 fights deep into his UFC career wanted to fight someone – anyone – at lightweight or welterweight, anywhere in the world except New York.

The UFC granted Miller his wish. The promotion matched him against Brazilian competitor Francisco Trinaldo at lightweight.

The fight marks the second time Miller has fought outside North America, the first was his UFC debut, where he earned “Submission of the Night” honors after defeating David Baron at UFC 89 in England.

Miller (28-10 MMA, 17-9 UFC) has lost his past two fights. He’s never dropped three in a row. Trinaldo (21-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) also lost his most recent outing. He’s never lost two consecutive contests. Barring a draw, one of these fighters will march into uncharted territory in Brazil.

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5. Striker vs. striker

Jack Hermansson earned two first-round TKO victories in his two most recent bouts. Both of those stoppages came via ground strikes.

“I have the best ground-and-pound in the world and there’s nobody that can survive being on the bottom with me,” Hermansson said after his August win over Brad Scott.

At UFC Fight Night 119 he gets the opportunity to put his striking game to the test against Thiago “Marreta” Santos, who also has TKO wins in his two most recent outings.

Hermansson (16-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) might not get the chance to display his ground prowess in this bout. Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) has defended 69 percent of his opponent’s takedown attempts. But Hermansson landed a takedown in each of his past two fights, and those takedowns led to finishes.

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6. Coming back from a bad break

John Lineker racked up 37 fights in a little more than eight years. At UFC Fight Night 119 he returns after a layoff of nearly 10 months to face Marlon Vera.

T.J. Dillashaw was responsible for Linker’s layoff. The former champ broke the Brazilian fighter’s jaw at UFC 207. Adding insult to injury, Dillashaw swept his opponent on the scorecards. The loss ended Lineker’s six-fight winning streak.

While the No. 8 ranked Linker (29-8 MMA, 10-3 UFC) was on the mend, Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) won two fights by stoppage. Those victories earned him a shot at his first ranked opponent.

Vera is very effective at keeping his opponents at bay with his kicks. He’d be wise to implement that game plan against the heavy-handed Lineker, who has 13 career knockouts to his name.

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7. Still unbeaten

When Niko Price made his UFC debut in 2016, he was a perfect 8-0. Seven of those wins came via stoppage. All of those fights were with Florida’s Fight Time Promotions. The question facing Price was, how would his regional success translate to the UFC’s welterweight division? It turns out it translated just fine.

Three fights into his UFC run, Price remains unbeaten and still only has one decision on his record. In his most recent bout, Price earned a TKO win over Alan Jouban. He also scored his first fight-night bonus award, which on a card with seven first-round finishes, was noteworthy.

Price (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) puts his unbeaten streak on the line against Vicente Luque. Luque (11-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) might not have an unblemished record, but he does tend to wrap things up early, going the distance just five times in his 18-fight career. Luque dropped a decision to Leon Edwards in his most recent bout. The loss brought an end to his run of four straight stoppage victories.

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8. A heavy weight

Former Cage Fury featherweight champion Jared Gordon was impressive in his UFC debut. In that contest, he used pressure, volume and a fast pace to take out Michel Quinones via second-round TKO. The only mark against Gordon was he came in three pounds overweight.

After his win, Gordon predicted a bright future.

“In the end of 2017, if everything goes well and I’m healthy, I see myself fighting a top-10 guy, and then 2018, 2019, winning the belt,” Gordon told MMAjunkie.

Gordon (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) gets another shot at featherweight against Hacran Dias. Dias (23-5-1 MMA, 3-4 UFC) also missed weight before his most recent fight when he came in 2.5 pounds heavy. Dias lost that scrap to Andre Fili via unanimous decision.

9. Looking for a finish

Before he signed with the UFC, Max Griffin captured titles in three of his four previous fights. The 31-year-old fighter claimed the Tachi Palace Welterweight title and both the West Coast Fighting Championship welterweight and middleweight titles.

In his first UFC bout, Griffin lost to Colby Covington via third-round TKO. In his second fight with the promotion, Griffin stopped Erick Montano in 54 seconds. After that win, his confidence was high.

“When I’m focused, I can take anyone out with one punch,” Griffin said. “I was going for the finish and it could happen at any moment. That’s what I’m going for, any second I want the finish. I don’t plan to go to decision, I plan to take the guy out.”

Those words should make fans happy ahead of UFC Fight Night 119. Griffin’s (13-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) opponent in this welterweight fight, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos is also a finisher, with 12 knockout wins to his name. Dos Santos (17-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) enters this contest with a “Fight of the Night” split decision win over Lyman Good in his most recent outing.

10. Battle of the unbeatens

Two unbeaten and confident flyweights open the card. Deiveson Alcantara has 11 stoppages in his 12 career victories. Jarred Brooks has finished 11 of his 13 fights early. This matchup is the second UFC fight for both competitors.

Of the two, Brooks (13-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has been more vocal about his goals. After his split decision win over Eric Shelton in July, he voiced displeasure in his performance, putting some of the blame on octagon jitters. He followed up with the brash claim that he was going to “take over the (expletive) division.”

Alcantara (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) let his performance in the cage do the talking for him during his UFC debut. He showed some decent striking and a solid ground game in his June TKO win over Marco Beltran.

In a division desperately in need of new blood, a win in this fight could be significant.

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 119 staff picks: Who's taking Lyoto Machida to win after 28 months off?

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Machida
vs.
Brunson
Covington
vs.
Maia
Font
vs.
Munhoz
Miller
vs.
Trinaldo
Hermansson
vs.
Santos
Lineker
vs.
Vera
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 97-67
machida2017
Machida
(54%)
maia2017
Maia
(77%)
font2017
Font
(68%)
trinaldo2017
Trinaldo
(53%)
marretasantos2017
Santos
(60%)
lineker2017
Lineker
(86%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 104-60
brunson2017
Brunson
covington2017
Covington
munhoz2017
Munhoz
trinaldo2017
Trinaldo
hermansson2017
Hermansson
vera2017
Vera
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 104-60
trophy copy 2015 Champion
brunson2017
Brunson
maia2017
Maia
font2017
Font
jmiller2017
Miller
hermansson2017
Hermansson
lineker2017
Lineker
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 103-61
trophy copy 2016 Champion
brunson2017
Brunson
covington2017
Covington
font2017
Font
jmiller2017
Miller
hermansson2017
Hermansson
lineker2017
Lineker
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 101-63
brunson2017
Brunson
covington2017
Covington
munhoz2017
Munhoz
trinaldo2017
Trinaldo
hermansson2017
Hermansson
lineker2017
Lineker
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 99-65
brunson2017
Brunson
covington2017
Covington
font2017
Font
trinaldo2017
Trinaldo
marretasantos2017
Santos
vera2017
Vera
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 97-67
brunson2017
Brunson
maia2017
Maia
munhoz2017
Munhoz
jmiller2017
Miller
hermansson2017
Hermansson
lineker2017
Lineker
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 96-68
brunson2017
Brunson
covington2017
Covington
font2017
Font
jmiller2017
Miller
hermansson2017
Hermansson
vera2017
Vera
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 95-69
machida2017
Machida
covington2017
Covington
font2017
Font
jmiller2017
Miller
marretasantos2017
Santos
vera2017
Vera
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 95-69
brunson2017
Brunson
covington2017
Covington
font2017
Font
jmiller2017
Miller
hermansson2017
Hermansson
vera2017
Vera
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 94-70
trophy copy 2014 Champion
machida2017
Machida
maia2017
Maia
font2017
Font
jmiller2017
Miller
marretasantos2017
Santos
lineker2017
Lineker

The UFC is back in Brazil this week, and a former champion returns after a lengthy layoff.

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place Saturday at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The main card airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

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

In the main event, former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) is back after more than two years away thanks in part to an 18-month suspension. He takes on Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at middleweight, and the American is a -160 favorite. Brunson also is the pick of eight of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts, making him our heaviest staff favorite.

In the co-feature, Colby Covington (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) takes on Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) at welterweight. Covington is a slight favorite over the recent title challenger and has seven of 10 picks going his way.

Also on the main card,Rob Font (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is a 7-3 choice over Pedro Munhoz (14-2-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC) in their bantamweight fight. Jim Miller (28-10 MMA, 17-9 UFC) has six of 10 pickers taking him to upset Francisco Trinaldo (21-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) in their lightweight bout.

Jack Hermansson (16-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is a 7-3 pick over Thiago “Marreta” Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) at middleweight. And to open the main card, John Lineker (29-8 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is more than a 3-1 favorite against Marlon Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC), but our picks are split right down the middle at 5-5.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Machida, Maia, Font, Trinaldo, Santos and Lineker are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Sao Paulo in-depth breakdown: Stylistic matchups, fight picks, best bets and fantasy studs

MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 119’s main-card bouts.

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place Saturday at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. The main card airs on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC)

Derek Brunson

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 33 Weight: 185 lbs. Reach: 77″
  • Last fight: Knockout win over Dan Kelly (June 10, 2017)
  • Camp: Brunson’s MA and Fitness (North Carolina)
  • Stance/striking style: Southpaw/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ 3x Division 2 All-American wrestler
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
+ 10 KO victories
+ 3 submission wins
+ 13 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Dangerous left kicks and crosses
+ Subtle shuffle-step entries
^ Closes distance and sets up strikes
+ Strong pressure against fence
^ Strikes well off the breaks
+ Good power-double takedown
^ Chains / transitions from it well
+ Solid pressure from topside
– Sometimes throws self out of position
+/- 3-2 against UFC southpaws

Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC)

Lyoto Machida

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 39 Weight: 185 lbs. Reach: 74″
  • Last fight: Knockout loss to Yoel Romero (June 27, 2015)
  • Camp: Kings MMA (California)
  • Stance/striking style: Southpaw/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ Former UFC light-heavyweight champion
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
+ Karate black belt
+ 9 KO victories
+ 3 submission wins
+ 5 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Crafty feints and footwork
^ Deceptive distance closer
+ Accurate left cross
^ Coming forward or off the counter
+ Dangerous left kick
+ Good counter wrestling
^ Strong base and balance
– Someimtes struggles from back
+/- Coming off a 28-month layoff
+/- 0-2 against fellow UFC southpaws

Summary:

The main event in Sao Paulo features a pairing of middleweights as Derek Brunson and Lyoto Machida square off.

A top-10 contender who has recently rebounded from losses to the likes of Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva, Brunson will get another shot at a big name when he travels to Brazil.

Welcoming the American is Machida, a former champion who has been out of competition for the past two years due to an infraction with USADA stemming from April 2016.

Starting off on the feet, we have a battle between two southpaw strikers.

As I often preach in my breakdowns, a meeting of lefties can always be tricky, especially considering that most southpaws predicate their games on facing an opponent of the opposite stance. For this reason, the more “skilled” striker does not always demonstrate their perceived on-paper advantages.

With this in mind, I will be very interested in seeing Machida’s approach. Not only is the Brazilian coming off of a two-fight skid, but those last two losses came at the hands of southpaw fighters.

Still, the dynamic of this matchup has been one that typically favors Machida since Brunson is a come-forward fighter who can sometimes be available for the counter.

If the 39-year old Brazilian’s bottom has not yet dropped out, then Machida may have ample opportunity to attempt counter left hands, a shot that has traditionally troubled Brunson from both stances.

Nevertheless, Brunson will be the more potent striker of the two, and more importantly, he has the pressure to make things uncomfortable for Machida.

Subtly stalking his prey as he utilizes a shuffle-step variation to come forward, Brunson will put himself in prime position to land shots from the power side of his southpaw stance. Having a knack placing powerful kicks, Brunson has also improved his hands over that past few years, being particularly dangerous when punching his way in or out of the pocket.

And considering that Brunson does his best work when forcing his opposition to the fence (a place that has caused problems for Machida in the past), I would not be surprised to see another pressure-heavy approach from the American here.

In Machida’s middleweight title bout with Chris Weidman, we saw the Brazillian initially struggle to get off offensively under the waves of suffocating strikes and takedown stanzas. Should Brunson have similar intentions, I will curious to see how he fairs in the takedown portion of the equation.

Despite having a lower takedown percentage than one might expect, Brunson does a deceptively good job of using his initial shot to force his opponents to the fence; the former All-American wrestler does a decent job of chaining off his attacks from there.

However, it is in that brief space/period of re-wrestling where Machida is most crafty, re-swimming under-hooks or even limp-arming as he attempts to circle to safety. In fact, historically Machida has been hard to take down outside of well-timed shots or an outright out-muscling.

But if Machida is grounded, he is far from impervious.

Although he is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Machida has struggled when being put on his back, often displaying a lack of offense or even scrambling ability from the bottom.

Against Weidman, this cost Machida crucial rounds. Against Rockhold and Romero, it cost him brutal stoppages.

Brunson may not have a “game-over” type of ground game, but he can transition well with strikes from topside and plays position when he needs to. That said, if Brunson fails to score takedowns early, then this fight’s propensity to hit strange lulls will likely increase as time goes on.

Not only does Machida bring the lulling intangible with his off-beat stylings, but we also saw Brunson struggle in spots against Anderson Silva, another southpaw who prefers to counter. And even though Machida is the elder fighter who is coming off of a layoff, he is more experienced in five-round affairs than Brunson, who has shown signs of slowing late in fights regardless of winning or losing.

With the oddsmakers opening Bunson in the neighborhood of a -150 favorite, I was slightly surprised the line wasn’t a bit wider, to be honest.

Don’t get me wrong: As a black belt in karate who discovered MMA later in life, watching Machida’s initial rise was one of the most inspirational things I’ve witnessed in this sport. Because of that, part of me will always be rooting for Machida to do well.

And yes, perhaps this is another case of me trying to over-correct the steering wheel in the effort to sway from my biases, but I will once again be reluctantly siding with sensibility since there are ultimately more paths and probabilities for a Brunson victory.

If this matchup were to have happened a few years prior, then I would side with Machida to find a crippling counter shot before the final bell. But now, at 39 and a 28-month layoff at his back, the odds at a successful showing may be steeper than the betting lines suggest. For that reason, I will be staying away from any plays as I observe how this crucial crossroads bout shakes out.

Official pick: Brunson inside the distance

Official outcome: To be determined

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

UFC Fight Night 119 pre-event facts: Jim Miller sets a major UFC record

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The UFC makes its final stop in Brazil this year with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 119 event, which takes place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo with a main card on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

A middleweight fight heads a fairly deep lineup. In the main event, Derek Brunson (17-5 MMA, 8-3 UFC) welcomes former UFC champion Lyoto Machida (22-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) back to the octagon after more than two years away, while several other notables are also scheduled to compete.

For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s next fight card, check below for 60 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 119.

* * * *

Main event

Brunson’s eight UFC victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied for second most in the division behind Brad Tavares (nine).

Brunson has earned six of his eight UFC victories by stoppage.

Brunson’s six first-round stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Brunson’s six UFC stoppage victories since 2012 in middleweight competition are tied for most in the division.

Brunson is one of five fighters in modern UFC history to register both a knockout and submission victory in less than one minute each. Joe Lauzon, Ronda Rousey, Tom Lawlor and Andrei Arlovski also accomplished the feat.

Brunson is 0-4 against fighters who have held or competed in a UFC/Strikeforce title fight.

Machida returns to competition for the first time since June 27, 2015. The 854-day layoff is the longest of his more than 14-year career.

Machida competes in his 12th UFC main event. He’s 5-6 in his previous headliners.

Machida is 3-3 since he dropped to the UFC middleweight division in October 2013.

Machida is the only fighter in UFC history to absorb zero strikes in two main events. He accomplished the feat against C.B. Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 58 and Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 31.

Machida has earned nine career victories against fighters who once held a UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce or PRIDE title.

Machida’s 13 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are tied for fifth most in company history behind Anderson Silva (17), Jeremy Stephens (16), Chuck Liddell (14) and Donald Cerrone (14).

Machida has earned a fight-night bonus in four of his past six UFC appearances.

Co-main event

Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC), 39, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Maia’s 19 victories in UFC competition are tied with Cerrone and Georges St-Pierre for second most in UFC history behind Michael Bisping (20).

Maia’s 19 victories in UFC competition are the most of any Brazilian fighter in company history.

Maia is 10-3 since he dropped to the UFC welterweight division in July 2012.

Maia’s nine submission victories in UFC competition are tied with Nate Diaz and Charles Oliveira for second most in company history behind Royce Gracie (10).

Maia’s six submission victories via rear-naked choke in UFC competition are second most in company history behind Kenny Florian (seven).

Maia is 19-2 in UFC bouts in which he completes at least one takedown. He’s completed at least one takedown against 21 of his 26 UFC opponents.

Maia was unsuccessful on all 21 of his takedown attempts against champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 214, the second worst title-fight output in UFC history behind Diego Sanchez’s 0-for-27 effort against B.J. Penn at UFC 107.

Maia completed just two of 22 takedown attempts in his unanimous-decision loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 170. Those 22 takedown attempts were the most in a single UFC welterweight bout.

Colby Covington’s (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied for the second longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (six).

Covington absorbs 1.4 significant strikes per minute in UFC welterweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Covington has completed 41 takedowns in eight UFC appearances.

Covington’s 41 takedowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are most among active fighters in the weight class.

Covington lands 7 takedowns per 15 minutes of fighting in UFC competition, the highest rate in company history.

Covington’s 12 takedowns landed at UFC on FOX 22 are tied for the second most in a single UFC welterweight fight. Luigi Fioravanti holds the record with 13 at UFC 82.

Remaining main card

Pedro Munhoz’s (14-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in bantamweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Cody Garbrandt (five) and Jimmie Rivera (five).

Rob Font (14-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned all four of his UFC victories by stoppage.

Francisco Trinaldo (21-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) is one of six fighters in UFC history to earn two arm-triangle-choke victories. He’s one of only three fighters to earn the submission from half-guard.

Jim Miller (28-10 MMA, 17-9 UFC) competes in his 28th UFC bout, the most appearances in company history.

Miller competes in his 27th UFC lightweight bout, tied with Gleison Tibau for most in divisional history.

Miller’s total fight time of 4:42:53 in UFC lightweight competition is second most in divisional history behind Tibau (4:45:33).

Miller’s 16 victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied with Tibau for most in divisional history.

Miller’s nine stoppage victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Joe Lauzon (12).

Miller’s six submission victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Lauzon (seven) and Diaz (seven).

Miller’s 39 submission attempts in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) has earned six of his seven UFC victories by knockout.

Santos’ six knockout victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind A. Silva (eight), Bisping (seven) and Chris Leben (seven).

Santos is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn two sub-one-minute knockout victories in middleweight competition.

Jack Hermansson (16-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has earned 13 of his 16 career victories by stoppage.

Hermansson has earned both of his UFC stoppage victories by first-round knockout.

John Lineker (29-8 MMA, 10-3 UFC) is 4-1 since he moved up to the UFC bantamweight division in September 2015.

Lineker has landed 10 knockdowns in UFC competition, but he’s never been knocked down, himself.

Lineker is one of three fighters in UFC history to score three knockdowns in two different fights. A. Silva and Conor McGregor also accomplished the feat.

Lineker’s seven knockdowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are most in divisional history.

Lineker and Francisco Rivera’s 100 combined strike attempts at UFC 191 are the most in UFC history for any fight to last a half round or less.

Lineker has missed weight ahead of five UFC fights, the most in company history.

Preliminary card

Vicente Luque (11-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by stoppage. That includes all four of his UFC wins.

Luque is one of six welterweights in UFC history to earn four consecutive stoppage victories.

Luque is one of nine fighters in UFC history to earn a submission victory by anaconda choke. He accomplished the feat at UFC on FOX 17.

Niko Price (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has earned nine of his 10 career victories by stoppage. That includes both of his UFC wins.

Antonio Carlos Junior (8-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is 4-1 with one no-contest since he dropped to the UFC middleweight division in June 2015.

Carlos Junior’s three-fight UFC winning streak in middleweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind interim champ Robert Whittaker (seven) and current champ Bisping (five).

Carlos Junior absorbs just 1.55 significant strikes per minute in UFC middleweight competition, tied for the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Carlos Junior’s submission at the 4:46 mark of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night 94 stands as the second-latest finish in a three-round UFC middleweight fight. Garreth McLellan holds the record for his win at the 4:58 mark of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night 76.

Carlos Junior has earned six of his eight career victories by submission.

Hacran Dias (23-4-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has fought to a decision in all seven of his UFC appearances.

Jarred Brooks (13-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), 24, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, 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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Jim Miller vs. Francisco Trinaldo is 13th addition to UFC Fight Night 119 in Brazil

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After putting out a call for an opponent – at lightweight or welterweight – Jim Miller will remain at 155 pounds.

Miller (28-10 MMA, 17-9 UFC) is scheduled to fight fellow lightweight Francisco Trinaldo (21-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 119. UFC officials recently added the bout to the fight card, which now boasts 13 matchups.

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

During his nine years with the UFC, Miller has earned nine UFC fight-night bonuses, including six “Fight of the Night” bonus checks. However, he’s currently coming off a majority-decision loss to Dustin Poirier (in a “Fight of the Night”) and a unanimous-decision defeat to former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.

He now takes on Trinaldo, who looks to bounce back after a lengthy winning streak was recently snapped. The 39-year-old Brazilian vet and former Jungle Fight champion, who debuted with the UFC in 2012, had won seven consecutive fights, which included knockout wins over Chad Laprise and Paul Felder. However, he suffered a recent submission defeat to contender Kevin Lee in March.

The latest UFC Fight Night 119 card now includes:

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson
  • Colby Covington vs. Demian Maia
  • Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
  • Augusto Mendes vs. Boston Salmon
  • Christian Colombo vs. TBA
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
  • Jack Hermansson vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
  • Rob Font vs. Pedro Munhoz
  • Hacran Dias vs. Jared Gordon
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Max Griffin
  • Niko Price vs. Luan Chagas
  • Jim Miller vs. Francisco Trinaldo
  • John Lineker vs. Marlon Vera

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie