Category Archives: Henry Cejudo

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Sergio Pettis and UFC Fight Night 114's other winning fighters?

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UFC Fight Night 114’s main card, which aired Saturday on FS1 from Mexico City Arena in Mexico, featured a mix of brutal knockouts and hard-fought decisions.

Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) picked up his fourth consecutive victory in the headlining act when he delivered a superior performance to Brandon Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and was rewarded with a unanimous decision victory in the matchup of rising flyweights.

Alexa Grasso (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Niko Price (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Sam Alvey (31-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Alejandro Perez (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC) got their hands raised, as well. The wins ranged from highlight-reel material to competitive fights decided 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 114’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Alejandro Perez

Joe Soto

Should fight: Joe Soto
Why they should fight: “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” winner Perez put on another winning performance when he edged Andre Soukhamthath by split decision in a fight in which he made a bit of history.

Perez became the first fighter in UFC history to suffer three knockdowns in a fight and come back to win on the scorecards. It’s a remarkable accomplishment, even if some believe he shouldn’t have gotten the nod in the bantamweight affair.

With just one defeat in six UFC appearances so far, Perez is putting himself in position to be someone capable of making noise at 135 pounds. Soto (18-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is on a solid run in his own right, with three consecutive wins. The former title challenger would be a strong test for Perez, who would benefit to fighting a name like Soto.

Sam Alvey

Vitor Belfort

Should fight: Vitor Belfort
Why they should fight: Despite a lack of action, Alvey picked up the signature win of his 40-fight career when he edged former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans by split decision.

Alvey narrowly outpointed Evans in the middleweight bout, giving him his eighth victory since he joined the UFC in 2014. After the fight, Alvey called out another former UFC champion in Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-9 UFC), and his reasoning actually comes with a line of logic.

“Smile’n” said he wants to go on a “Vengeance Tour,” fighting those who have beaten his longtime friend, mentor and training partner, Dan Henderson. Evans beat Henderson in 2013, and Belfort actually has two victories over the former PRIDE and Strikeforce champ under the UFC banner.

Belfort is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Nate Marquardt at UFC 212 in June. “The Phenom” said he’s looking to make a run at 185 pounds once again, but he needs to beat some more middling fighters in the division before he can get there. In that case, Alvey is the perfect matchup.

Humberto Bandenay

Jared Gordon

Should fight: Jared Gordon
Why they should fight: As far as UFC debuts go, Bandenay’s win was about as good as it gets. Not only did he pick up a highlight-reel knockout courtesy of a perfectly timed knee, but he got the job done in a mere 26 seconds against Martin Bravo.

Bandenay was the biggest betting underdog on the card. However, that didn’t prevent him from stealing the spotlight for himself with a “Performance of the Night” effort. The nature of his victory instantly gives him traction as one to watch in the featherweight division, where there’s a plethora of top competition.

Gordon (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is also coming off a solid UFC debut win when he stopped Michel Quinones by second-round TKO at UFC Fight Night 112 in June. “The Flash” not only owns a strong record, but his trying life story proves he’s not going to quit easily. Chances are he wouldn’t go down as quickly as Bandenay’s first opponent, and that’s when the fight would get interesting.

Niko Price

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

Should fight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Why they should fight: Price’s quick start to his UFC career continued when he earned what should have been his third victory in under six months (one was overturned for a positive marijuana test) with a first-round TKO over a tough UFC veteran in Alan Jouban.

Price extended his undefeated record to 10-0, but the win over Jouban easily was his most significant. It was the first time Jouban suffered a truly unexpected loss inside the octagon, and that’s proof of what Price is capable of in the welterweight division.

Zaleski dos Santos (17-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is hoping to break through into big fights after a “Fight of the Night” win over Lyman Good at UFC on FOX 25. With both men coming off bonus-winning performances, pitting them against each other to see who can reach the next level is the right idea.

Alexa Grasso

Angela Hill

Should fight: Angela Hill
Why they should fight: Grasso rebounded from the first loss of her career when she defeated Randa Markos, one of the most durable strawweight fighters on the roster, by split decision.

The Mexican prospect suffered a setback to Felice Herrig earlier this year, but the performance against Markos proved it was just that: a setback. Although the result was debatable, Grasso showed improvement, and now the 23-year-old has momentum back on her side in the 115-pound weight class.

Grasso still has strides to make before joining the conversation of contenders who could possibly fight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. There are many names she can fight en route to getting there, though, and a foe like Hill (7-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) would be a rightful fit.

Hill has faced some elite names in her division, and while she’s come up short in most of those opportunities, she’s never been embarrassed. Grasso would have a tough time being the first, but a win in itself would mean a lot.

Sergio Pettis

Should fight: Winner of Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis at UFC 215
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Pettis should fight the winner of Cejudo (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) vs. Reis (22-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at UFC 215.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 114's Sergio Pettis calls for rebooking with Henry Cejudo, not title shot

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MEXICO CITY – UFC flyweight Sergio Pettis won’t say he’s the No. 2 contender in the 125-pound division, even after stopping Brandon Moreno.

Despite an emphatic win over the red-hot prospect, Pettis is more interested in putting a would-be opponent on his win list rather than facing the winner of Demetrious Johnson’s (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) possible record-setting title defense at UFC 215 against Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

“I’d like to fight again,” Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) told MMAjunkie after his unanimous decision over Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC), which headlined the FS1-televised UFC Fight Night 114 at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. “I feel like me and Cejudo should go at it again.”

The thing is, Pettis and Henry Cejudo haven’t gone at it. They were booked to fight at UFC 211 in May, but Cejudo withdrew due to a hand injury.

It seems when you agree to fight Pettis, you never escape the target on your head.

“He kind of pulled out two days before, and I want to still touch that face,” said the No. 8 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings.

If anything, a win over a onetime title challenger would be a good resume boost. And it presumably keeps the winner of Johnson vs. Borg, which takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on a parallel schedule.

Pettis has won four straight, making him just as good a candidate as any to fight for the title in a division cleared out by Johnson. But smartly, he wants to give himself the best chance to actually win the belt.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Sergio Pettis still irked by Henry Cejudo, but UFC-Mexico City headliner is nice distraction

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MEXICO CITY – Sergio Pettis is satisfied with a Mexico City headliner against a fellow young contender, but he’s still irked about his previously scheduled fight with Henry Cejudo.

Pettis (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who’s No. 8 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, takes on No. 9-ranked Brandon Moreno (14-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 114 headliner, which airs on FS1 from Mexico City Arena in Mexico.

However, before his first UFC headlining spot, 23-year-old Pettis was slated to fight No. 3-ranked Cejudo (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 211, but the May bout was canceled three days before fight night due to the Olympic gold medalist’s hand injury.

“Two days before the weigh-ins – about four pounds away from making weight – I finish my last workout, and I get the call from my manager that Cejudo pulled out,” Pettis told MMAjunkie. “So, it was definitely a frustrating moment. I was ready to fight. (He’s) a big name, No. 3 in the division, and it would’ve shot me up (the rankings).”

As someone who embraces his Mexican heritage, Pettis said the subsequent opportunity to headline UFC Fight Night 114 in Mexico City is a “blessing in disguise.” Still, it’s hard to completely forgot about the opportunity he lost at UFC 211.

“Yeah, I was a little angry (Cejudo) showed up to the pressers and shook my hand, and a couple hours later he tells me he can’t fight,” Pettis said. “He had an injury he knew about a couple weeks before.

“He actually called me to apologize, so that’s cool of him to do. But it sucks. But if you know you have an injury, at least let the guy know so you can get a replacement.”

Still, he’s got another solid opportunity to move up the ranks and solidify his contender status when he fights Moreno, a fan favorite who’s won 11 straight fights, including three in the UFC (two of which earn “Performance of the Night” honors).

“Brandon’s making his way up, and I’m making my way up,” Pettis said. “And one thing that interests me about this fight is that he’s a young fighter. He’s 23 years old, and me – I’m the same age, 23 years old. He’s hungry. I’m hungry. That’ll make me rise to the occasion. I’m excited to test his game.”

When Pettis joined the UFC in 2013, he was a 20-year-old who was perhaps best known as the younger brother of former UFC champ Anthony Pettis. However, the younger Pettis has carved out his own niche in the sport, he’s entered the top 10 at 125 pounds, and he’s now riding an impressive 5-1 run into his first UFC headliner.

After turning pro as an 18-year-old in 2011, Pettis got a trial by fire with his pro-MMA career. But he feels like he’s now settling in just fine.

“My mentality is so different,” he said. “I came into the UFC a little kid. I felt small, man. I felt like a little kid – Anthony’s little brother. I had to play up the hype. But now I feel like I’ve broke out of it. I’m making my way to becoming myself, becoming Sergio Pettis. And I’m slowly but surely doing that.”

And if all goes well, he’ll be the victor of a contender-vs.-contender fight. Moreno will surely be the crowd favorite, though Pettis says he doesn’t mind. Regardless, with an impressive win, either fighter could be next up for long-reigning and long-dominant flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC), who meets Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at UFC 215 on Sept. 9. There, “Mighty Mouse” looks for a UFC-record 11th straight title defense. After that, the list of contenders is thin.

“The division needs a new face,” Pettis said. “I feel like I’m going to be the next one to do it.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC 216 in Edmonton gets Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis, Sarah Moras vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith

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UFC 216, which marks the UFC’s return to Canada, has two new bouts.

They include former flyweight title challengers Henry Cejudo (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) vs. Wilson Reis (22-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and female bantamweights Sarah Moras (4-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (5-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC), officials announced via TSN.ca.

UFC 216 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the lineup hasn’t been finalized.

Cejudo is No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, and Reis is No. 7. Neither female fighter is ranked.

Cejudo, a 30-year-old Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, won his first 10 pro MMA bouts, which included UFC victories over Dustin Kimura, Chris Cariaso, Chico Camus and Jussier Formiga – all via decision. He then suffered a title loss to champ Demetrious Johnson via TKO, and in his most recent bout, he suffered a narrow split-decision defeat to Joseph Benavidez after a costly one-point deduction for low blows.

He takes on Reis, who went on a 5-1 run to earn a title shot against Johnson in April. However, the 32-year-old Brazilian fighter, jiu-jitsu specialist and former EliteXC champ suffered a submission loss in that UFC on FOX 24 championship headliner.

Meanwhile, Moras, a 29-year-old Canadian, fights for the first time in two years. She made her UFC in 2014 and posted a decision victory over Alexis Dufresne but suffered a decision defeat to Jessica Andrade in 2015. It remains her most recent bout due to injuries.

She takes on Evans-Smith, a 29-year-old who had posted back-to-back wins over Marion Reneau and Veronica Macedo. However, in her most recent appearance, she suffered a decision defeat to Ketlen Vieira.

The latest UFC 216 card includes:

  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Demetrious Johnson took his UFC feud public, and here's how the flyweights responded

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Could the UFC flyweight division be disbanded just five years after it was introduced? Champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson claims that’s been one of the threats made by the organization.

Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC), who’s largely been a company friendly fighter while reigning as the only 125-pound champion in history, revealed this week that his relationship with UFC brass has taken a sharp turn south in recent weeks after it was suggested his next title defense be against former bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC).

Among other things, “Mighty Mouse” claims UFC President Dana White threatened to shut down the entire flyweight division if MMA’s top pound-for-pound fighter didn’t accept the fight with Dillashaw for UFC 215 in August. Johnson thought it was unfair for Dillashaw to receive an immediate title shot without having competed in the weight class, and he wanted financial assurances if his opponent missed weight.

Moreover, Johnson said No. 5-ranked flyweight Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) was most deserving of the next shot, and making that fight would keep the division in order as “Mighty Mouse” attempts to set the all-time UFC title defense record with his 11th in his next fight.

The reactions to Johnson’s stance have varied, but for the most part, his fellow fighters – and specifically fellow flyweights – have stood behind the champion’s stance. Henry Cejudo, Ben Nguyen, Tim Elliott, Zach Makovsky and Jarred Brooks also weighed in.

Here they are:

What happens next remains to be seen. Johnson has aired his grievances in a very public way, but he said his relationship with the UFC is far from irreparable. He would be willing to fight Dillashaw or Borg, but first his conditions must be met, which Johnson doesn’t view that as an unreasonable request.

If Johnson is to be believed, the UFC is willing to ax a weight class with more than 25 active fighters because the champion won’t play ball. Johnson encouraged the company to follow through on that threat if it’s something truly even being considered.

Fighter unrest has been a common theme for the UFC in recent months. Johnson is just the latest example, but if his situation gets worse, the ramifications could be more extreme than any previous feud.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie