MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for September: A bloody, all-Brazil slugfest

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Filed under: Cage Warriors, Featured, News, UFC

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from September. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for September.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Alexander Volkov def. Stefan Struve at UFC Fight Night 115

In a much-hyped heavyweight contest between two of the sport’s tallest competitors, Russia’s Alexander Volkov (29-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC) brushed aside a nasty cut and some eye pokes to rally for a third-round TKO over Stefan Struve (28-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC).

Bloodied and battered, Volkov just walked through the strikes of his opponent to land flush with a right and topple Struve. More punches on the floor landed clean as Struve’s tried to cover, and the fight was called to an end with 90 seconds left in the third.

Instagram Photo

Nathaniel Wood def. Josh Reed at Cage Warriors 86

After looking all but finished in the first round of his headliner against challenger Josh Reed (7-1), Cage Warriors bantamweight champ Nathaniel Wood (12-3) managed to keep his composure and land the left hand that changed it all.

After a few tentative exchanges, Reed charged forward with a series of haymakers. While somewhat careless, the blows landed – and, with Wood wobbling around the cage, it seemed like a matter of seconds before the referee intervened and the belt switched hands. Wood, however, weathered the storm and saw the opening to land a hard left that set up a dazzling comeback win.

Uriah Hall def. Krzysztof Jotko at UFC Fight Night 116

Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) has been plagued with inconsistency in his UFC career, sometimes looking unbeatable, other times not so much. Against Krzysztof Jotko (19-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC), he was both.

After taking a massive beating in the first round of the middleweight bout, a devastating straight right landed for Hall and changed the game. He sent Jotko crashing to the canvas and that’s when “Primetime” jumped on top with additional punches to seal the incredible comeback knockout win and snap an ugly three-fight losing skid.

Gregor Gillespie def. Jason Gonzalez at UFC Fight Night 116

Rising lightweight Gregor Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) kept his career record perfect, but Jason Gonzalez (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) certainly didn’t make it easy on him in barnburner of a bout.

After slugging it out on the feet for a good portion of the fight, Gillespie reverted to his wrestling pedigree as the clock ticked on. Gillespie eventually worked himself into an arm-triangle choke from mount and committed to the squeeze, pressing forward and tightening the hold until Gonzalez was forced to tap in the second round.

Jessica Andrade def. Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 117

The crucial matchup of UFC women’s strawweight contenders could only result in one winner, and Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC) was able to get the job done against Claudia Gadelha (15-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in one of the most highly-praised female bouts in company history.

In a clash of two fighters looking to get another crack at 115-pound champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Andrade took a lopsided unanimous decision victory over fellow Brazilian Gadelha in a blood-and-guts type of battle which will revered for quite some time going forward.

* * * *

The Winner: Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha

Gadelha only had lost to strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk before her trip to Japan for UFC Fight Night 117. Then Andrade came into her life.

Andrade took a unanimous decision from Gadelha, her fellow Brazilian, with a mostly dominant performance that had both fighters bloody through most of the fight. Andrade won with scores of 30-25, 30-26 and 30-27.

Gadelha got her hands going a minute in. Andrade tried to work her head out of the way, but Gadelha got her strikes through. Andrade tried to lead the charge not long after that with punches, but Gadelha countered wht an elbow. Two minutes in, the two slugged it out, and Gadelha opened a cut on Andrade’s forehead.

With blood pouring from her opponent, Gadelha kept her striking going until Andrade pressed her against the fence. There, Andrade picked Gadelha up for a massive body slam that seemed to take Gadelha by surprise. Gadelha went after a guillotine choke, but couldn’t hold it, and that allowed Andrade to get on top to work ground-and-pound for the final 90 seconds of the round.

After some more slugging early in the second, and a clinch, Gadelha tried to take the fight to the ground – but it was Andrade who again got on top and landed big ground-and-pound with Gadelha against the fence. When Gadelha got back up, Andrade landed heavy knees.

The two went back to standing midway through, then slugged it out again. With both fighters bleeding, Andrade started to pour on the punishment with two minutes left. Gadelha backed up and looked wiped out while Andrade landed low kicks, then punches. Gadelha went after a takedown that was weak to say the least. And Andrade made her pay for it up against the fence, landing a barrage of punches.

With a minute left, they broke apart and traded again, and Gadelha landed a solid counter. But Andrade kept swinging for the finish. She couldn’t get it, and instead tried to pick Gadelha up for a slam. It didn’t come, but what came instead was the need to defend a deep guillotine choke from Andrade for the final 15 seconds of the round.

Andrade easily defended a takedown attempt 30 seconds into the final frame, then ate a knee to the midsection. And seconds later, Andrade easily picked Gadelha up for another massive slam. She quickly went into side control, then worked ground-and-pound. Gadelha recovered to partial guard, but it didn’t keep Andrade’s punishment at bay. Gadelha tried to answer when she got back to full guard, but there wasn’t much there.

With 90 seconds left, Andrade easily passed to side control, then Gadelha gave her back trying to get back to her feet. Gadelha got back to her feet late, but just before the horn Andrade landed another big slam in a near perfect performance.

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The fascinating things I've learned about fishing from following Gregor Gillespie on Instagram

Back in April, UFC lightweight Gregor Gillespie scored a quick knockout over Andrew Holbrook and then jumped on the mic with an unusual claim.

He was, he explained, the “best fisherman in MMA.” If you wanted proof, just follow him on Instagram.

Obviously, that was an invitation I couldn’t refuse. I started following Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) that night, which is why I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see him win a bonus-worthy fight against Jason Gonzalez at UFC Fight Night 116 on Saturday night, and then decline to call out a new opponent on the grounds that he had some fishing to do before he even thought about fighting again.

Just to be clear, this is an undefeated fighter who is quickly establishing himself as a lightweight contender to keep an eye on, and all he wants to do is get back to fishing.

Seriously, you guys. This man loves fishing. He loves it so much, when he has to stop to focus on his training camp, he uses it as motivation. Of course he wants to beat up whoever’s standing across from him on fight night. That’s the guy who made him miss out on a ton of good fishing.

As a person who knows next to nothing about fishing, following Gillespie’s exploits on Instagram has been very educational.

Instagram Photo

A few examples of the things I’ve learned:

You don’t always have to know what kind of fish you’re catching in order to enjoy yourself. Gillespie seems to know a lot about fish, even the weird ones (more on this later), but occasionally he hooks one that stumps him. So what does he do? Well, lucky for him he’s got a lot of fishing buddies on Instagram, so he just crowdsources the question.

Some fish actually have venomous fins. How did I not know this? Unclear, but here we see Gillespie showing off one such fish, which he says is – I kid you not – stinging him with its venom as he is talking to us. But never fear, because Gillespie has been stung so many times that he’s built up a “tolerance” to the venom, not unlike the Dread Pirate Roberts did with iocane powder in “The Princess Bride.”

Instagram Photo

When you’re fishing for pike, first soak your lures in “barrel-aged hard cider.” Don’t ask, just do what the man says.

There are some beautiful waterways in New York state. But clearly, Keuka Lake is the “gem of the Finger Lakes.”

One of Gillespie’s favorite types of fish to go after is the mighty “musky.” That’s short for muskellunge, a large member of the pike family sometimes known to be a particularly aggressive fish. Northern muskies are fairly common in the Long Island lakes that Gillespie frequents, but the tiger musky is the truly elusive prize.

Instagram Photo

When you’re going after musky? Brother, that’s when you’ve got to get out the “big boy toys.”

Even when you aren’t catching any musky, it’s important to have fun out there. And by fun, I mean convincing your fishing buddy to strip down to his boxer shorts and jump in the freezing water.

If you hear a fisherman refer to a “lunker”? That means a really big fish (e.g. “That’s a real lunker!”). They can’t all be lunkers.

Instagram Photo

Those dudes you see standing on the beach and casting into the ocean? Apparently they catch some pretty sizable fish that way from time to time. I had no idea, but here we see Gillespie landing his first bluefish amid the waves, and yeah, he’s pretty stoked.

Gillespie is not even kidding with this “best fisherman in MMA” thing. He refers to his videos as episodes of “Fishing with ‘The Gift,’” and you will always know you’re watching such an episode because it includes at least two or three mentions of him being the best fisherman in MMA.

Instagram Photo

Fishermen can be very secretive. This is ironic, since much of Gillespie’s Instagram is devoted to telling us how and where he caught these fish. But sometimes, with a particularly good spot, he’ll go as far as changing his Instagram location (“Paris, France,” reads one example) just to keep the good fishing to himself.

Instagram Photo

This isn’t fishing related at all, but when you do a fancy photo shoot of a bunch of Long Island fighters, of course Al Iaquinta is going to be the guy to show up with no shirt on under his sport coat. LOL, dog.

Instagram Photo

Sometimes it just gets weird out there.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 116 medical suspensions: Newcomer Zu Anyanwu out indefinitely

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One of the 20 fighters on this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 116 event is facing an indefinite suspension following his promotional debut.

Zu Anyanwu

Heavyweight Zu Anyanwu (14-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) needs to be medically cleared for a right eye injury before he’s allowed to return after his split-decision loss to Justin Ledet (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) to open up the main card.

MMAjunkie today requested and received from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission a list of the medical suspensions from the event, which took place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The card aired on FS1.

A total of 11 fighters on the card received suspensions in excess of the automatic seven-day variety. In the main event, former two-division WSOF champion David Branch (21-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) tapped to strikes against Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in the second round and was given a 45-day medical suspension for facial lacerations.

In the co-feature, Alex Reyes (13-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) stepped in for Thiago Alves on just three days’ notice to fight Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), but was knocked out quickly into the first round. He received a 60-day sit from the commission.

The full list of UFC Fight Night 116 medical suspensions includes:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

'Do I think I'm that good? Absolutely,' but Gregor Gillespie not about to call out top-10 guys

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After putting on a “round of the year” candidate and adding a slick submission to his perfect pro record, Gregor Gillespie had set up the perfect scenario to issue the ever-popular octagon callout.

Instead, he talked about fishing.

Considering big talking has come to be expected after memorable performances, Gillespie’s choice may have struck some as odd. The lightweight, however, has his reasons. Of course Gillespie thinks he can beat the best. He’s just in no rush to get to them.

“I don’t want to put anyone on notice,” Gillespie told MMAjunkie after his UFC Fight Night 116 win. “There’s so many good guys in my division that’s like – I don’t even know the number, 150 guys, maybe, in my weight? Like, they’re all good. The next guy, whoever the next logical step is. And I said this in an interview before the fight: I’m not going to start calling out top-10 guys.

“I’m only 3-0 in the UFC, you know. Do I think I’m that good? Absolutely. But it’s calculated. You’ve got to be smart. I’m going to do some fishing. We’re going to keep training hard. And we’re going to see what the next logical step is. I’m going to heal up. I’ve got a few things and nicks on me.”

Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) met Jason Gonzalez (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a main-card lightweight affair, which aired live on FS1 from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The arm-triangle choke was the seventh finish of his undefeated pro run, which previously saw him beating Glaico Franca and Andrew Holbrook.

Gillespie had more reasons to celebrate, too. Not only did he get to score big in front of his “home away from home” in Pittsburgh, a mere hour-and-a-half from where he went to college, he made an added $50,000 check for the evening’s “Fight of the Night.”

These bonuses don’t often go to matches that don’t go past the second round. But, considering that the first five minutes of this lightweight battle packed more action that some five-round headliners, few would disagree that it was worthy of the honors.

The first round’s dizzying pace, Gillespie will admit, was quite chaotic. Good thing, then, that chaos is somewhat of a specialty of his.

“That’s my pace,” Gillespie said. “I wasn’t trying to push the pace – that’s the pace that I fight at. That’s all I know. I don’t know standing at a distance and trying to feel the guy out. I go out and get after it.

“That’s what we do in sparring. I have some tremendous training partners. I have some tremendous coaches. That’s just how we do it in our gyms.”

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

And for more on UFC Fight Fight 116, check out the UFC Eventssection of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Luke Rockhold and UFC Fight Night 116's other winning fighters?

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Former champ Luke Rockhold returned to the UFC middleweight title contender mix on Saturday when he put a thorough beating on David Branch in the UFC Fight Night 116 main event.

Rockhold’s (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) ground game was far too much for Branch (21-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) to handle in the FS1-televised headliner, which took place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. He battered his opponent with strikes for the second-round stoppage, putting Rockhold back in the queue of 185-pound contenders.

The finish in the main event concluded a main card where five of six fights ended inside the distance. Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), Anthony Smith (27-13 MMA, 4-2 UFC), Gregor Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) all stopped their opponents in exciting fashion, while Justin Ledet (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) was alone in winning on the scorecards.

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 UFC matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 116’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Justin Ledet

Should fight: Dmitriy Sosnovskiy
Why they should fight: In what was arguably the most forgettable bout on the card, Ledet made a successful return from a lengthy layoff with a split-decision victory over short-notice UFC newcomer Zu Anyanwu.

Ledet essentially jabbed his way to a win on the scorecards, giving him a win that pushed him to 3-0 in the UFC heavyweight division. Ledet has shown flashes of brilliance in his fights, but his performance against Anyanwu did not provide much excitement for his next trip to the octagon.

Perhaps Ledet deserves a bit of slack for having to change to a new opponent on short notice. Because of that, he should get the fight he was originally intended for against Sosnovskiy (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). The pair has already been booked to fight twice, but each time it’s fallen through. It’s possible it’s time to just move on from the fight, but given they’ve already trained to face off so many times, it would be interesting to see how it plays out.

Kamaru Usman

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Should fight: Santiago Ponzinibbio
Why they should fight: Usman has been nothing short of sensational since making his UFC debut, and Sergio Moraes was the next victim in his run toward the top of the welterweight division, courtesy of a first-round knockout.

Usman made some bold statements about where he sees himself among the contenders at 170 pounds, and he’s already taken aim at current champion Tyron Woodley. He’s not going to get that fight next, but if he continues to knock people out in a similar fashion to Moraes, it won’t be long until he’s fighting for UFC gold.

By adding dangerous striking to his already existing standout wrestling game, Usman is evolving into a threat on multiple levels. There aren’t many who will be capable of stopping his game, but Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) could be equipped to handle it.

The Argentinian is riding the second-longest UFC winning streak in his division behind Usman following his knockout of Gunnar Nelson at UFC Fight Night 113 in July, and a matchup between the two streaking fighters could have a big impact on the future of the weight class.

Gregor Gillespie

Vinc Pichel

Should fight: Vinc Pichel
Why they should fight: Highly regarded lightweight prospect Gillespie had another promising performance early in his career when he submitted Jason Gonzalez in the “Fight of the Night.”

Gillespie improved his record to 10-0 when he came out on the top of a back-and-forth war by submitting Gonzalez with an arm-triangle choke in the second round. “The Gift” has strong wrestling and improving striking, and at 30, still has a lot of upside as someone to watch at 155 pounds.

Gillespie’s first three UFC performances have come against opponents with limited UFC experience. It’s time for that to change, and Pichel (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is someone who has been around the promotion for several years on top of appearing on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

Pichel is riding a three-fight winning streak with his most recent octagon appearance being a first-round knockout of Damien Brown at UFC Fight Night 110 in June. If he could hand Gillespie his first loss, he would make a big statement that he’s not going to be pushed around by anyone with hype.

Anthony Smith

Uriah Hall

Should fight: Uriah Hall
Why they should fight: The second coming of Smith in the UFC took another memorable step forward when “The Lionheart” scored yet another come-from-behind knockout victory, this time at the expense of Hector Lombard.

After falling behind on the scorecards in the middleweight fight, Smith landed a fight-ending combination of strikes to extend the former Bellator champ’s losing skid to four fights. Smith said prior to the bout that he needed to get past Lombard to prove his worth, and he did just that.

Smith was arguably released prematurely during his first UFC stint in 2013. He’s put together a 4-1 run since coming back this past year, and his maturity is evident. Smith should be in for another noteworthy fight, and Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) fits the description.

Hall scored a massive knockout win of his own against Krzysztof Jotko on the preliminary card, helping him bounce back from a three-fight drought. “Primetime” is a lethal striker when he’s on, and if he shows up on point, Smith would surely have his hands full.

Mike Perry

Thiago Alves

Should fight: Thiago Alves
Why they should fight: Perry did his job against an overmatched short-notice replacement when he scored a 79-second knockout of UFC newcomer Alex Reyes.

Originally meant to fight Alves (22-11 MMA, 14-8 UFC), “Platinum” had no hesitation in taking another matchup when the former UFC title challenger pulled out on three days’ notice. Perry delivered another violent finish due to strikes, and afterward he called out former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler to a future matchup.

Perry deserves credit for aiming high, but it’s likely much bigger fights are in Lawler’s immediate future. Because of that, rebooking the showdown with Alves seems much more realistic. It still makes sense despite Perry’s win, and facing “The Pitbull” still represents the most high-profile fight of his career.

Luke Rockhold

Should fight: Yoel Romero
Why they should fight:
Watch the video above to see why Rockhold should fight Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 116 post-event facts: Mike Perry's power gaining a reputation

The return of Luke Rockhold was a triumphant one on Saturday when the former UFC middleweight champion defeated David Branch in the UFC Fight Night 116 main event.

After a more than 15-month layoff, Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) added another stoppage to his historically illustrious resume in the 185-pound division when he forced Branch (21-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) to tap out to strikes in the second round on the FS1-televised fight card at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

Rockhold’s victory capped off an event which featured eight stoppages out of 10 fights. For more on the numbers behind the card, check below for 40 post-event facts about UFC Fight Night 116.

* * * *

General

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $92,500.

Debuting fighters went 0-2 at the event.

Mike Perry, Uriah Hall, Gregor Gillespie and Jason Gonzalez earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 116 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 116 drew an announced attendance of 7,005 for a live gate of $396,190.75.

Betting favorites went 7-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 10-bout card was 1:20:40.

Main card

David Branch and Luke Rockhold

Rockhold has earned 14 of his 16 career victories by stoppage. That includes all six of his wins under the UFC banner.

Rockhold’s 13 stoppage victories in UFC/Strikeforce middleweight competition are the most in combined divisional history.

Branch had his 11-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since May 2012.

Branch fell to 1-1 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in March 2017.

Branch fell to 13-2 since his original release from the UFC in March 2011.

Branch absorbed 58 significant strikes in his loss. He had absorbed just 56 significant strikes in his previous five UFC appearances combined.

Branch suffered his first knockout loss since July 3, 2010 – a span of 2,632 days (more than seven years) and 18 fights.

Mike Perry

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

Perry has landed seven knockdowns in five UFC appearances.

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

Alex Reyes (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his 10-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since November 2007.

Reyes suffered his first knockout loss since his MMA debut on Sept. 15, 2007 – a span of 3,654 days (10 years) and 14 fights.

Hector Lombard and Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith (27-13 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is 4-1 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2016.

Smith improved to 11-2 since his original release from the UFC in June 2013.

Smith has earned 25 of his 28 career victories by stoppage.

Smith has earned all three of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Hector Lombard’s (34-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) four-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He’s on a five-fight winless skid and hasn’t earned a victory since March 2014.

Lombard fell to 0-3 since he returned to the UFC middleweight division in June 2016. He hasn’t earned his first victory in the weight class since December 2012.

Lombard has suffered all three of his career stoppage losses by knockout.

Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Gonzalez (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all four of his career losses by stoppage.

Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 10 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Usman’s six-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is the longest active streak in the division.

Usman did not attempt a takedown for the first time in his UFC career.

Sergio Moraes (12-3-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) suffered his first knockout loss since Oct. 17, 2009 – a span of 2,891 days (nearly eight year) and 10 fights.

Justin Ledet (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) improved to 4-0 with one no-contest since he returned to MMA competition after a nearly four-year layoff.

Ledet’s three-fight UFC winning streak in heavyweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Stipe Miocic (five) and Francis Ngannou (five).

Preliminary card

Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has completed at least one takedown against seven of his eight UFC opponents.

Anthony Hamilton (15-8 MMA, 3-6 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss, the longest skid of his career.

Hamilton has suffered five of his six UFC losses by stoppage.

Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) snapped his three-fight losing skid for his first victory since September 2015.

Hall has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. That includes five of his six UFC victories.

Krzysztof Jotko (19-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Gilbert Burns (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage.

Jason Saggo (12-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 116, 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: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch Gregor Gillespie's slick arm-triangle from mount at UFC-Pittsburgh

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Gregor Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Jason Gonzalez (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) came to bang.

The lightweights went at it from the opening bell of their UFC Fight Night 116 clash, which took place Saturday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on the FS1-televised main card. Back-and-forth from moment one, both men impressed, as their “Fight of the Night” bonus proves. But it was Gillespie who walked away with the win, eventually working his way to mount and showing in impressive squeeze, finishing an arm-triangle choke from the non-traditional position.

Check out the end of the fight above.

And for more on UFC Fight Fight 116, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 116 Athlete Outfitting pay: Program payout total nears $14.5 million

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Filed under: News, UFC

PITTSBURGH – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 116 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $95,000.

UFC Fight Night 116 took place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way were middleweights Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Uriah Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC), who each received a third-tier payout total of $10,000. Rockhold defeated David Branch in the main event, while Hall beat Krzysztof Jotko on the prelims.

The full UFC Fight Night 116 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Luke Rockhold: $10,000
def. David Branch: $5,000

Mike Perry: $5,000
def. Alex Reyes: $2,500

Anthony Smith: $5,000
def. Hector Lombard: $5,000

Gregor Gillespie: $2,500
def. Jason Gonzalez: $2,500

Kamaru Usman: $5,000
def. Sergio Moraes: $5,000

Justin Ledet: $2,500
def. Zu Anyanwu: $2,500

Olivier Aubin-Mercier: $5,000
def. Tony Martin: $5,000

Daniel Spitz: $2,500
def. Anthony Hamilton: $5,000

Uriah Hall: $10,000
def. Krzysztof Jotko: $5,000

Gilbert Burns: $5,000
def. Jason Saggo: $5,000

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: $4,145,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $14,468,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 116, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Pittsburgh bonuses: Mike Perry, Uriah Hall earn $50K for performances

PITTSBURGH – Mike Perry, Uriah Hall, Gregor Gillespie and Jason Gonzalez each earned $50,000 fight-night bonuses at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 116 event.

Perry (for his first-round knockout of Alex Reyes) and Hall (for his comeback win by knockout) picked up “Performance of the Night” awards, and Gillespie-Gonzalez took home “Fight of the Night” honors.

The UFC announced the winners following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

UFC Fight Night 116 took place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh and aired on FS1.

For more on UFC Fight Fight 116, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Pittsburgh results: Gregor Gillespie taps out Jason Gonzalez in absolute barnburner

Gregor Gillespie kept his career record perfect, but Jason Gonzalez didn’t make it easy.

The lightweight contest took place on the FS1-televised main card of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 116 from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

The two fighters immediately went to work in a torrid pace, both men landing in a wild start. After some traded shots, Gillespie tried for a takedown but adjusted with a powerful elbow over the top, instead toppling Gonzalez. However, the two men quickly scrambled back to the feet and just teed off with punches in the pocket before Gillespie finally changed levels and drove the action again to the canvas. Gillespie teed off on the floor, but Gonzalez powered his way back to the feet, and they continued the incredible, high-paced battle. Gonzalez briefly threatened the neck, but a combination of sweat and blood saw Gillespie pull free, and he returned with another takedown to end the round.

The two went right back at it in the second, Gonzalez scoring a high kick but Gillespie driving through it for a takedown. The pace remained high on the floor, with Gillespie trying to keep a dominant position but Gonzalez constantly looking to escape. Gillespie eventually worked himself into an arm-triangle choke from mount and committed to the squeeze, pressing forward and tightening the hold until Gonzalez was forced to tap at the 2:11 mark of the second frame in the wild contest.

Gillespie (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) remains perfect in his career with the thrilling victory. Gonzalez (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has earned victory just once in three UFC fights but certainly has nothing to regret following this performance.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 116 results include:

For more on UFC Fight Fight 116, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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