UFC on FOX 25 results: Chris Wade smothers Frankie Perez, wins rematch via unanimous decision

In a rematch of East Coast MMA vets, Chris Wade gave Frankie Perez few opportunities other than to defend his wrestling.

Wade (12-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) smothered Perez (10-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) over three rounds to pick up a unanimous decision with scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.

The lightweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 25 event at NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FOX.

Wade snapped a two-fight skid and picked up his second win over Perez after a split-call on points in 2014. Perez is now 1-3 in the octagon after a unanimous decision loss to Mark Diakiese this past December.

Wade made no secret of his gameplan early in the fight, nabbing an early takedown. By the time Perez managed to get up, half of the opening frame had expired. And when Perez tried to get revenge with his own takedown, he struggled to avoid a kimura and managed only one minute of top time after getting a trip.

Advised by his coaches to circle and strike, Perez tried his best to make Wade slug it out. But whether exhausted from the previous round’s grappling or worried about getting put on his back, Perez wound up losing striking exchanges before taking another trip to the mat.

Wade again stuffed Perez against the fence in the final frame, using a guillotine attempt to reverse position after Perez took a punch and shot for a takedown. Perez managed to escape, but with only one minute to work, he couldn’t turn the tables.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 25 results include:

  • Chris Wade def. Frankie Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in New York.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC on FOX 25, including a must-win middleweight feature

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Filed under: News, UFC

The UFC heads back to New York for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25. While this is the promotion’s fifth trip to the Empire State in eight months, it is the UFC’s first visit to NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. Unsurprisingly, the card is packed with local fighters, including former middleweight champion and Long Island native Chris Weidman, who competes in the headlining bout opposite Kelvin Gastelum.

Weidman is under significant pressure. Not only is he fighting just a short drive from his home, but he’s also mired in the worst stretch of his career, losing his last three fights, with his two most recent setbacks happening in New York. As for Gastelum, a victory over the former champ would do wonders for his rising profile at 185 pounds.

In the co-main event, Darren Elkins, who will be up for some end-of-the-year awards thanks to his gritty come-from-behind victory over Mirsad Bektic, looks to carry the momentum from that March battle into his matchup against Dennis Bermudez.

UFC on FOX 25 airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Time marches on

On May 10, 2015, Robert Whittaker fought for the second time at middleweight. Thirteen days later, Weidman defended that weight division’s title for the third time, knocking out Vitor Belfort. Today, Whittaker is 7-0 at 185 pounds and the current interim champ. Weidman is 0-3 since defeating Belfort, losing each fight by knockout. The former champ has dropped to No. 8 over that time, according to the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings.

Weidman (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) looks to end his slide and take a few steps up the rankings against No. 13 ranked Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who could establish himself as a top middleweight contender with a win.

Gastelum is coming off a first-round TKO victory over Belfort. That win was later ruled a no-contest after Gastelum failed a fight-day drug test for carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC,” a metabolite found in marijuana.

2. A man of will

It took Elkins 16 UFC fights before he earned his first fight-night bonus. Elkins, currently No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, spent most of his bout against Bektic absorbing strikes — and bleeding. It looked like the best Elkins could hope for would be a one-sided decision loss, but midway through the third round Bektic provided an opening. Elkins took Bektic’s back and stopped him via head strikes as Bektic attempted to get to his feet. The TKO win, Elkins’ fourth consecutive victory, will undoubtedly be a contender for “Comeback of the Year.”

Coming off that fight, Elkins (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) has never had a higher profile. He makes the first co-main event appearance of his UFC career opposite Bermudez (16-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC).

Bermudez needs a comeback of his own. A rankings honorable mention, he is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Chan Sung Jung which ended his two-fight winning streak.

3. Staying alive

Gian Villante and Patrick Cummins are talented athletes. The problem they’ve both endured during their UFC careers is they’ve been unable to translate those talents into long-term success.

Cummins has a great wrestling base but struggles with defending strikes. Those defensive deficiencies have led to each of Cummins’ (9-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) four defeats, which have all come via TKO. Villante (15-8 MMA, 5-5 UFC) is a powerful striker with strong takedown defense, but he often fades as fights wear on, which leaves him susceptible to strikes.

Both these competitors have 2-3 records over their last five outings. A win here might be the last chance for the victor to make a run up the light heavyweight rankings.

4. Rising bantamweight stars

A crucial bantamweight contest opens the main card. In one corner, you have No. 7-ranked Jimmie Rivera, who has won 19 straight, four of which have come with the UFC. Opposite Rivera is No. 12-ranked Thomas Almeida, who saw his 21-fight winning streak come to an end last May when he was knocked out by current bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt.

Almeida (21-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), a flashy striker, is the underdog in this matchup, a first during his six-fight run in the UFC. One reason for that might be Almeida’s loss to Garbrandt, another might be Rivera’s (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) ability to combine power, volume, a fast pace over three rounds and effective combinations on the counter.

Almeida hasn’t gone the distance since his UFC debut in 2014. He needs to be ready for a full three rounds from an opponent who has heard the final bell in 15 of his 21 fights.

5. Back on the accelerator

Lyman Good was 22 fights – and 10 years – into his career before getting the call from the UFC. The former Bellator welterweight champ vacated his Cage Fury welterweight belt for the opportunity to face Andrew Craig at UFC Fight Night 71. Good knocked out Craig in the second round of that contest. After some time off due to injury, Good was booked to face Belal Muhammad at UFC 205.

Good was pulled from that fight after being notified of potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test. A tainted supplement was the cause of Good’s failed test and he received a six-month suspension.

Now, more than two years removed from his win over Craig, Good (19-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) looks to regain the momentum he had in 2015. Good faces Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (16-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who is coming of a “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning victory over Keita Nakamura.

6. Moving fast

Before LFA 6, Eryk Anders predicted he would defeat Jon Kirk and then fight for the LFA middleweight title. Those predictions came true. He TKOd Kirk in 95 seconds and then won the inaugural LFA title in June with a decision over Brendan Allen. Before that win, he said he felt a victory over Allen would get him a shot in the UFC. He was right about that, as well.

The former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker replaces an injured Alessio Di Chirico (10-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) vs. Rafael Natal (21-8-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) at UFC on FOX 25. An undrafted signee of the Cleveland Browns upon leaving college, Anders (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was a 2010 training camp cut by the NFL team. Anders went on to have brief stints in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League before deciding to concentrate on MMA, where he remains unbeaten as a pro.

Anders gets a stiff step up in competition in his UFC debut, facing Natal, a 16-fight UFC veteran who is coming off losses to current interim middleweight champ Whittaker and Tim Boetsch.

7. Exuding confidence

Winning improves a fighter’s confidence. A knockout victory that scores a “Fight of the Night” bonus improves confidence exponentially, at least for heavyweight Chase Sherman.

Sherman stopped Rashad Coulter in the second round of a wild striking battle at UFC 211, ending a two-fight losing skid. After the win, Sherman took some shots at the rest of the division.

“I’m blessed enough to be in a division that’s not very stacked,” Sherman said. “It’s not stacked with very young, athletic guys.”

The 27-year-old Sherman (10-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) meets Damian Grabowski in Long Island. Grabowski (20-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC), a 37-year-old former M-1 heavyweight champ, has lost both of his UFC bouts by first-round knockout.

8. Young and unbeaten

The UFC Fight Pass prelims feature a pair of young featherweight fighters looking to extend unbeaten streaks. In the featured Fight Pass prelim, Jeremy Kennedy (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) looks to take his streak to 11 straight against Kyle Bochniak (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Further down the card, Shane Burgos (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) hopes to move into double digits in consecutive victories vs. UFC veteran Godofredo Pepey (13-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC). Bochniak and Pepey are both 1-1 in their last two outings.

9. Big man, big step

The UFC’s heavyweight division is rare in that one win can mark a fighter as a rising contender. If that fighter happens to be under 30 years of age, that tends to increase the amount of hype. Junior Albini gets his chance to start his hype train rolling against five-fight UFC veteran Timothy Johnson.

The 26-year-old Albini (13-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has won his last nine fights, but the 32-year-old Johnson (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who is coming off a split-decision win over Daniel Omielanczuk is a big step up in competition for the young Brazilian. At worst, this fight will be an indicator of what Albini needs to shore up to grow as a UFC competitor. At best, Albini adds a 12th career stoppage to his resume and becomes an instant player in the division.

10. A rematch three years in the making

The first time Frankie Perez and Chris Wade fought, Wade was the reigning Ring of Combat lightweight champion. Wade (11-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) won that contest by split decision, handing Perez (10-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) his first career defeat. Wade moved on to the UFC after that victory, opening his promotional run with a 4-0 record. He’s stumbled in his two most recent bouts, dropping decisions to Rustam Khabilov and Islam Makhachev.

Meanwhile, Perez picked up a win with WSOF before he was signed by the UFC. After a loss in his promotional debut, Perez defeated Sam Stout and abruptly retired. Perez returned in December, dropping a decision to Marc Diakiese.

To add to the rematch angle, there seems to be some lingering hard feelings between these two.

For more on UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC on FOX 25 pre-event facts: Can Long Island's Chris Weidman stay unbeaten as a headliner?

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The UFC makes another stop in New York on Saturday when UFC on FOX 25 takes place at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale with a FOX-televised card following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

A local favorite headlines the event when former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) looks to snap his three-fight losing skid when he faces “The Ultimate Fighter 18” winner Kelvin Gastelum (13-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC).

There are quite a few other local fighters slated for competition, as well. For more on the numbers behind the card, check below for 60 pre-event facts about UFC on FOX 25.

* * * *

Main event

Weidman competes in his fifth career UFC main event. He’s 4-0 in previous headliners.

Weidman enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since May 2015.

Weidman became the first male fighter in UFC history to win a championship with an undefeated record and go on to successfully defend the belt more than once when he defeated Machida at UFC 175.

Weidman has completed at least one takedown against all 12 of his UFC opponents.

Weidman’s six stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition since 2011 are tied with Yoel Romero and Ronaldo Souza for most among active fighters in the weight class.

Weidman has out-struck nine of the 12 opponents he’s faced in UFC competition.

Weidman has suffered all three of his career losses by stoppage due to strikes.

Gastelum competes in his third career UFC main event. He’s 0-1 (with one no contest) in previous headliners.

Gastelum is 1-0 (with one no contest) since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in December. He’s 3-0 (with one no contest) in the organization at 185 pounds.

Gastelum has earned nine of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Gastelum has landed five knockdowns in his past four fights.

Gastelum has suffered both of his career losses by split decision.

Co-main event

Darren Elkins

Darren Elkins (22-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) competes in his 15th UFC featherweight bout, the second most appearances in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (16).

Elkins is 11-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Elkins’ 11 UFC featherweight victories are second most in divisional history behind Holloway (13).

Elkins’ four-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is tied for the second longest active streak in the division behind Holloway (10).

Elkins has landed 1,412 total strikes in UFC featherweight competition, the most in divisional history.

Elkins’ 32 takedowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Dennis Bermudez (38).

Elkins’ 18 submission attempts in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Elkins was victorious against Mirsad Bektic at UFC 209 despite a -91 total strike differential (146 to 72), the third-largest deficit for a winner by stoppage in UFC history.

Dennis Bermudez

Dennis Bermudez (16-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) competes in his 14th UFC featherweight bout, the third most appearance in divisional history behind Holloway (16) and Elkins (15).

Bermudez’s nine victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Holloway (13), Elkins (11) and Cub Swanson (10).

Bermudez has earned six of his nine UFC victories by decision.

Bermudez is the only fighter in UFC featherweight history to register three knockdowns in a single fight. He accomplished the feat against Jimy Hettes at UFC 171.

Bermudez’s 38 takedowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Bermudez has defended 91.7 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC featherweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Bermudez has suffered all six of his career losses by stoppage.

Remaining main card

Patrick Cummins

Patrick Cummins (9-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) competes in his 10th UFC bout since he joined the organization in February 2014. No other light heavyweight has made more octagon appearances in that time.

Cummins lands 6.15 takedowns per 15 minutes of fighting in UFC competition, the highest rate in light heavyweight history.

Cummins completed 10 takedowns against Kyle Kingsbury at UFC on FOX 12, the second most in a UFC light-heavyweight bout. Rodney Wallace holds the record with 11 takedowns at UFC 111.

Gian Villante

Gian Villante (15-8 MMA, 5-5 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past six UFC appearances. He was defeated in his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 106.

Villante is the only light-heavyweight fighter in UFC history to absorb 100 or more significant strikes in three consecutive fights.

Villante and Sean O’Connell combined for 202 significant strikes landed at UFC Fight Night 43, a three-round light-heavyweight record.

Villante’s knockout of Corey Anderson at the 4:18 mark of Round 3 at UFC on FOX 15 marked the second latest knockout in a three-round UFC light-heavyweight contest. Mauricio Rua’s victory over Mark Coleman at UFC 93 holds the record.

Villante has defended 88.5 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC light-heavyweight competition, the fourth highest rate in divisional history behind Jones (94.6 percent), Ryan Jimmo (87.5 percent) and Alexander Gustafsson (85.4 percent).

Jimmie Rivera

Jimmie Rivera (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) enters the event on a 19-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since November 2008.

Rivera’s 19-fight winning streak in MMA competition is second longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (24).

Rivera’s four-fight UFC winning streak in bantamweight competition is the second longest active streak in the division behind champ Cody Garbrandt (five).

Rivera has earned 14 of his 20 career victories by decision. That includes three of his four UFC wins.

Thomas Almeida

Thomas Almeida (21-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has earned 20 of his 21 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 16 of those finishes in Round 1.

Almeida’s four knockout victories in UFC bantamweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind T.J. Dillashaw (five).

Almeida lands 6.46 significant strikes per minute in UFC bantamweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Almeida earned a fight-night bonus in his first four UFC appearances. He’s the only bantamweight in UFC history to start his career with four-straight bonuses.

Almeida’s five fight-night bonuses for UFC bantamweight bouts are tied for second most in divisional history behind Dillashaw (six).

Preliminary card

Lyman Good (19-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) returns to competition for the first time since July 15, 2015. The 738-day layoff is the longest of his more than 11-year career.

Rafael Natal (22-7-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) has earned seven of his nine UFC victories by decision.

Natal’s 36 takedowns landed in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Alex Oliveira (16-3-1 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is 4-1 with one no-contest in UFC welterweight competition.

Ryan LaFlare

Ryan LaFlare (13-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) is 7-1 since he returned from a two-and-a-half year layoff in January 2013.

LaFlare has fought to a decision in all seven of his UFC appearances.

LaFlare’s average fight time of 16:26 in UFC welterweight competition is the longest in divisional history.

Chase Sherman (10-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by stoppage.

Damian Grabowski (22-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC), 37, is the oldest of the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Grabowski has suffered both of his UFC losses by first-round knockout in a total fight time 2:31. He’s landed just three total strike in those bouts.

Jeremy Kennedy (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has completed 13 total takedowns in his two UFC appearances.

Brian Kelleher (17-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Marlon Vera (9-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) enter the event off victories where they received “Performance of the Night” awards.

Timothy Johnson (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his five-fight UFC career. He was victorious in his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 107.

Godofredo Pepey

Godofredo Pepey (13-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) has earned 12 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 11 of those finishes in Round 1.

Pepey’s four first-round stoppage victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for most in divisional history.

Pepey’s average fight time of 7:04 in UFC featherweight competition is third shortest in divisional history behind Mike de la Torre (4:25) and Conor McGregor (5:35).

Pepey is one of 18 fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a flying knee strike. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 38.

Frankie Perez (10-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past six fights. He was defeated in his most recent bout at UFC Fight Night 102.

For more on UFC on FOX 25, 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.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie