Category Archives: Holly Holm

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Holly Holm and UFC Fight Night 111's other winning fighters?

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

After a somewhat slow-paced main card, Holly Holm closed Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 event in spectacular fashion when she knocked out Bethe Correia in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed headliner at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) put Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) out in the third round with a perfectly placed head kick, putting an end to a career-worst three-fight skid in the women’s bantamweight main event.

“The Preacher’s Daughter” was the lone athlete on the four-fight main card to stop her opponent inside the distance. Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), Colby Covington (12-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Rafael dos Anjos (26-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC) all needed the judges, but won in clear-cut fashion.

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 111’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Rafael dos Anjos

Gunnar Nelson

Should fight: Winner of Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Fight Night 113
Why they should fight: Former UFC lightweight champion dos Anjos made a significant career decision by jumping up a division. He got no easy introduction to welterweight in Tarec Saffiedine, but the Brazilian showed he belongs with a unanimous decision win over the former Strikeforce champ.

Dos Anjos said the weight cut to 155 pounds became too great a physical toll, and as a result he moved up. He looked much healthier and filled with energy, and as someone who held gold in arguably the toughest weight class in the sport, it sets up great possibilities for his future at 170 pounds.

Saffiedine hasn’t necessarily blown the doors off during his UFC career, but he’s no pushover, and dos Anjos got past him. He said he’s prepared to prove his worth in the new weight class, and in order to climb the ranks he’ll need to get additional wins over more middling contenders like Saffiedine.

The winner of Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who headline UFC Fight Night 113 in July, will be on a multi-fight winning streak and in a good position in the weight class. They may argue at wanting someone higher ranked, but dos Anjos’ background as a former UFC champion makes him a more valuable win than other name opponents.

Colby Covington

Neil Magny

Should fight: Neil Magny
Why they should fight: Covington did everything in his power to campaign for a big fight in the UFC welterweight division. He finally got one in the form of longtime contender Dong Hyun Kim, and made the most of it.

“Chaos” picked up his seventh victory in eight UFC appearances when he beat Kim by lopsided unanimous decision. The 29-year-old had beaten some solid opponents in the octagon coming into the fight, but the win over Kim was on a vastly different level and legitimizes him as a contender.

Covington called out almost every big name imaginable at 170 pounds before the fight with “Stun Gun” came to fruition. He called out champ Tyron Woodley at the post-fight news conference, which shows his confidence level. He’s not going to get a title shot next, but Covington should certainly get another stiff test, and Magny (19-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) is no pushover.

Magny is coming off a win over former UFC welterweight champ Johny Hendricks at UFC 207 in December, but has been on the sidelines since due to injury. He’s apparently gearing up for a return before the end of the year, and as someone who has never been shy to a challenge, putting his skill set up against a rising contender like Covington would be an important fight for the weight class.

Marcin Tybura

Travis Browne

Should fight: Winner of Travis Browne vs. Aleksei Oleinik at UFC 213
Why they should fight: Just four fights into his UFC career, Tybura already picked up a signature win when he took out former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski by unanimous decision.

Although Tybura came into the fight as the betting favorite against the slumping Arlovski, a win over “The Pitbull,” who is one of the most successful competitors in heavyweight history, is still a meaningful accomplishment.

The Polish fighter has recorded three consecutive victories since dropping his UFC debut in April 2016, and beating Arlovski puts him on an enhanced trajectory up the divisional rankings. He might not get an opponent with as big a name next time out, but he should get a fight of value.

The winner of July’s UFC 213 bout between Browne (18-6-1 MMA, 9-6-1 UFC) and Oleinik (51-10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), especially if it’s Browne, would be a fight that would test Tybura in a different way than Arlovski and also give him another notable name for his resume as he attempts to push his run of victories to four.

Holly Holm

Should fight: Winner of Cristiane Justino vs. Megan Anderson
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Holm should fight the winner of the rumored “Cyborg” Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Anderson (9-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) fight at UFC 214 next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/VhhgrXa6pJdCgPosMxYVHG/253728”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holm def. Correia”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

With the right encouragement, Holly Holm found the KO artist within. Will it last this time?

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/VhhgrXa6pJdCgPosMxYVHG/253699”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holm def. Correia”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

It was shaping up to be one of those main events where five rounds sounds more like a threat than a promise.

A lot of movement and meaningful stares. Some vicious pummeling of the empty air between Holly Holm and Bethe Correia. A warning from referee Marc Goddard, who told the women as politely as he could that the crowd hadn’t assembled in Singapore Indoor Stadium to watch them strategize just out of one another’s reach.

Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) must have been getting restless too. Early in the third round, she flashed Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) the international hand gesture for “Bring it.” A few seconds later Holm brought it directly upside her head.

A shin to the face sat Correia down. She raised a hand as if to say, “Could you give me a second here?” Holm replied with a left hand that ended the discussion. Just like that, the overnight journey of UFC Fight Night 111 was at an end.

What a relief this victory must have been for Holm. Remember when she was the second coming? Remember when she meme-ified Ronda Rousey and had the world by the throat? That ended up being a shockingly short-lived triumph.

First Miesha Tate took her UFC women’s bantamweight title with a fifth-round burglary. Then she dropped a pair of decisions in fights she seemed entirely capable of winning. The end result was this, a UFC Fight Pass main event on the other side of the world against an opponent known for having more aggression than skill.

This was exactly the kind of fight Holm was supposed to win, which made it the kind she had to win. Holm’s status as the very first Rousey-killer could maybe survive a couple close decision losses. But she couldn’t not beat Correia. Not if she wanted to stay even semi-relevant.

So now the dreaded three-fight losing skid is over, presenting Holm with some interesting options. The good news is she’s one of the few women under contract to the UFC who has actually fought at 145 pounds, even if it was just once and even if she lost. Still, she has a name and a history and a division that can’t seem to even keep its own champion interested in hanging around could sure use someone like her.

Then again, there are still options for her at bantamweight. The book on Holm says that she’s a skilled striker and an extremely dangerous one when she has an opponent willing to be the one who moves forward. The current champ, Amanda Nunes, is just that type of fighter. It’s not at all unreasonable to think that the women’s 135-pound wheel of fortune might spin back her way some time soon.

But let’s not act like one win, even if it’s one for the highlight reel, removes all doubt about Holm. Even in victory she showed the same reluctance at range that’s plagued her in previous fights. She has a unique gift for giving away rounds to lesser talents, which doesn’t pair well with her personal moratorium on charisma.

There’s so much to like about Holm as a fighter. You just wish it would show up every time she does.

In Singapore, at least, it did. For the fans who cared enough to pair the UFC with their morning coffee, it was a memorable ending to what had been a sleepy slog of a fight right up until then. That’s a start, at least. It’s a win. When you haven’t had one of those since 2015, you’ll probably take it any way you can get it.

For complete coverage UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/VhhgrXa6pJdCgPosMxYVHG/253699”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holm def. Correia”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 111's Holly Holm knew crowd would boo her game plan, but didn't care

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/VhhgrXa6pJdCgPosMxYVHG/253694”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holm def. Correia”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

SINGAPORE – Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm had waited nearly two years to get her hand raised.

If she had to wait for the right moment to strike against Bethe Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC), so be it, she said after returning to peak form with a head-kick knockout in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 111.

“The game plan was not to rush anything,” Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) told MMAjunkie after her UFC Fight Pass-streamed win Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. “We knew the crowd might boo; it’s the type of game plan the crowd might boo.”

Indeed, the audience signaled its displeasure fairly early in the fight when it became clear both fighters were approaching the main event with more caution than usual. Even referee Marc Goddard intervened to jolt the action, warning the pair for timidity.

But to Holm, the need to put on a show was outweighed by the one to be patient and seize the right opportunity, not just the first one that arrived.

“As soon as I heard it, I just thought, ‘You know what, I’m the one in here fighting. I’m going to stick to the game plan, and I’m going to pick the right shot,’” she said.

As it turned out, that came early in the third round when Correia got impatient and started taunting Holm, looking to engage in a brawl. It was a moment for which Holm had prepared, and soon after, she launched the fight-ending kick, which set up her first win since a shocking knockout of Ronda Rousey in November 2015.

Asked whether Correia’s taunting prompted her to seek revenge, Holm said she was unfazed. Yet she still relished the idea of landing that signature move that stung Rousey.

“If I was training to fight me, I’d be like, ‘OK, she has a left kick. Let’s watch out for it,’” Holm said. “It’s one of those things, just that competitive side of me that thinks, ‘You know it’s coming, but I still want to hit you with it.’

“The taunting doesn’t do anything to me. That’s never affected me in any fight I’ve ever had. My whole plan was to stick to my game plan.”

Now, Holm gets to drive a different narrative than the one that followed her into the fight. Before she smacked Correia upside the head, she’d lost three straight fights, losing the women’s bantamweight title and a chance to capture the inaugural women’s featherweight belt in her previous outing. Moving back into the win column means she gets a break from doubts about her viability, and it validates the approach she took to prepare for the fight.

“I really wanted to enjoy this camp, this fight week, and I wanted to remind myself over and over that I do this because I love it,” she said. “A lot of people keep asking me, ‘What are you going to do now? You’re on a three-fight losing streak – what are you going to do now?’ It doesn’t really matter what everybody thinks I’m going to do. I started fighting because I love it and I’m passionate about it, and that was the reminder here. I’m going to be me. I’m the one who’s getting in there and fighting, anyway.”

The crowd might not have liked every moment of her effort, but things turned out just fine. As for what comes next, she isn’t too worried about it.

“As far as what’s next for me, I see a beer and some french fries, and a beautiful view over Singapore at the hotel,” Holm said.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 111 bonuses: You know Holly Holm's sick kick was worth $50,000

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/6BoFFTKa8g5z3xHgFZTNP8/253594”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Jingliang def. Camacho”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Holly Holm, Ulka Sasaki, Li Jingliang and Frank Camacho each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at today’s UFC Fight Night 111 event.

Holm and Sasaki earned “Performance of the Night” honors, while Jingliang and Camacho won “Fight of the Night.”

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

Former women’s bantamweight champion Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) knocked out Bethe Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) 69 seconds into the third round with a head kick, just seconds after Correia told Holm to come forward, apparently frustrated with a lack of activity. Correia got what she asked for and then some, and Holm snapped a three-fight skid that started when she lost the title.

As a 5-1 favorite, Justin Scoggins (11-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) was tied with Holm and Jingliang as the biggest favorites on the card. But Sasaki (20-4-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) didn’t care much about that. He tapped Scoggins in the second round with a rear-naked choke on the preliminary card.

Jingliang (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Camacho (20-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) battled for 15 minutes on the prelims before Jingliang ultimately took a unanimous decision with a pair of 29-27 scores and a 28-27 in a fight that was more competitive than the oddsmakers likely expected when they instilled Jingliang as a 5-1 favorite.

UFC Fight Night 111 took place Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The entire card streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Holly Holm's head-kick KO of Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 111

After a three-fight skid that marked the low point of an otherwise prestigious combat sports career, Holly Holm got back in the win column Saturday when she defeated Bethe Correia in the UFC Fight Night 111 headliner.

Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) returned to the win column for the first time since her memorable knockout of Ronda Rousey in November 2015 when he earned a third-round knockout victory over Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed women’s bantamweight bout at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Holm’s victory over Correia in the UFC Fight Night 111 main event.

* * * *

http://twitter.com/ChaseShermanUFC/status/876077602410287107

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 111 results: Holly Holm answers Bethe Correia's request, KOs her with head kick

The kick that ex-champ Holly Holm used to knock out Ronda Rousey came back with a vengeance, though it took her a while to use it.

Holm’s (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) cautious approach over two rounds suddenly gave way to a head kick that felled onetime title challenger Bethe Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) at the 1:09 mark of the third round.

The women’s bantamweight bout was the main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 111 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Referee Marc Goddard stepped in to save Correia after Holm followed her concussive kick with a punch to the chops that knocked the Brazilian flat on the canvas.

Just moments earlier, Correia had taunted Holm to engage – and the answer left her unconscious.

Holm followed the highlight-reel win with her signature backflip, which she hadn’t done in nearly two years before her headliner in Singapore.

The knockout was an emphatic ending to an otherwise tentative fight. After the fighters circled endlessly, drawing a warning for timidity from Goddard in the second, boos showed the crowd’s patience was wearing thin.

Holm, ever the counter-fighter, mostly stayed at range and used her kicks to snipe at Correia, who came into the fight with a height and reach disadvantage. Despite those long limbs, Correia managed to find her way inside, connecting late in the opening frame with a combination that got Holm’s attention. Mostly, though, the fighters danced around the octagon.

Correia apparently got tired of the pace, too. With her taunts, she invited a scrap that might get the audience back on her side. But that turned out to be her undoing, as she walked straight into a kick that put Holm’s shin straight to her face.

It was Holm’s first win in the octagon since she did the same to ex-champion Ronda Rousey, upending the MMA world in November 2015 with a shocking upset knockout.

“Amazing,” Holm said of snapping a three-fight skid. “There’s so many things I want to say, but this fight, I know she could make messy, and I heard a lot of boos from the first round. But what I wanted to do was make it look as clean as I could.”

After Holm’s experiment going for the inaugural women’s featherweight title ended in a messy decision loss to Germaine de Randamie, her finish could not have been more perfect. Now that she’s back in the bantamweight division, the question is how she leverages the performance in a division ruled by champ Amanda Nunes.

Holm shrugged off questions about her future and said she’d rather enjoy her win than plot her next move.

“It’s been a year-and-a-half since I’ve been able to do a backflip in here, and I was glad to do it in Singapore.”

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 111 results include:

For complete coverage UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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

UFC Fight Night 111 staff picks: Despite 3-fight skid, Holly Holm inspires unanimous confidence

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: News, UFC

Holm
vs.
Correia
Arlovski
vs.
Tybura
Covington
vs.
Kim
Dos Anjos
vs.
Saffiedine
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 51-38
holm2017
Holm
(90%)
arlovski2017
Arlovski
(53%)
kim2017
Kim
(68%)
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
(72%)
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 60-29
holm2017
Holm
tybura2017
Tybura
kim2017
Kim
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 58-31
holm2017
Holm
tybura2017
Tybura
covington2017
Covington
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 56-33
trophy copy 2016 Champion
holm2017
Holm
arlovski2017
Arlovski
kim2017
Kim
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 55-34
trophy copy 2015 Champion
holm2017
Holm
tybura2017
Tybura
kim2017
Kim
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 53-36
holm2017
Holm
tybura2017
Tybura
kim2017
Kim
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 52-37
holm2017
Holm
tybura2017
Tybura
covington2017
Covington
saffiedine2017
Saffiedine
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 52-37
trophy copy 2014 Champion
holm2017
Holm
arlovski2017
Arlovski
covington2017
Covington
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 51-38
holm2017
Holm
arlovski2017
Arlovski
covington2017
Covington
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 51-38
holm2017
Holm
arlovski2017
Arlovski
covington2017
Covington
saffiedine2017
Saffiedine
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 46-43
holm2017
Holm
arlovski2017
Arlovski
covington2017
Covington
dosanjos2017
Dos Anjos

The UFC returns to Singapore on Saturday for UFC Fight Night 111, featuring a former champion at the top of the card.

UFC Fight Night 111 takes place Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

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

In the main event, former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) takes on former title challenger Bethe Correia (10-2-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC). Holm is a significant favorite in the fight (more than 6-1 at some online sports books) and will be looking to snap a three-fight skid that includes the loss of the 135-pound title and a loss in the UFC’s inaugural women’s featherweight title fight.

But her skid isn’t stopping anyone from confidence in her against Brazil’s Correia. Holm is the only unanimous choice among our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts for this week’s card.

In the co-main event, former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (25-14 MMA, 14-8 UFC) will try to snap a four-fight skid when he meets Marcin Tybura (15-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), who is a -250 favorite. But those odds don’t seem to matter much to half our staff. We’re split down the middle at 5-5 on the fight between the big men.

Also on the card, Colby Covington (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) takes on Dong Hyun Kim (22-3-1 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in a welterweight fight. Rising star Covington is more than a 3-1 favorite over the veteran Korean fighter, and has a 6-4 edge in our picks. And to open the main card, former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (25-9 MMA, 14-7 UFC) moves up to welterweight to take on former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine (16-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC). Brazil’s “RDA” is a 3-1 favorite and an 8-2 pick from our staff.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Holm, Arlovski, Kim and dos Anjos are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/ePfHkMMFy6oiqM89EmQTcM/253279”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holly Holm”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to set your alarm, wake up early and watch UFC Fight Night 111 at 4:45 a.m. ET

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: News, UFC

A sense of quiet desperation surrounds Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 event.

The card features former champions from the UFC, Strikeforce and PRIDE, as well as a former UFC title challenger. However, those fighters – Holly Holm, Andrei Arlovski, Rafael dos Anjos, Tarec Saffiedine, Takanori Gomi and Bethe Correia – are a combined 0-14-1 in their last 15 fights. That means these fighters, who have all been near the top of the MMA summit, are each in a position where a loss could be a devastating setback. As such, don’t be surprised to see these fighters competing like their jobs depend on earning a victory.

In the main event, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holm looks to end the first three-fight losing streak of her pro fighting career, a run that dates back to the early 2000s when she began boxing professionally. Holm faces former title challenger Correia.

In the co-main event, former UFC heavyweight champion Arlovski is bogged down in the second four-fight losing skid of his long career. He faces Marcin Tybura, a man who made his pro debut in 2011, more than five years after Arlovski’s run as UFC champ ended.

From top to bottom, this card features veterans and newcomers who are all determined to impress UFC matchmakers.

UFC Fight Night 111 takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass, with an early start time of 4:45 a.m. ET (1:45 a.m. PT).

Here are 10 reasons to wake up early – or stay up late – and watch the event.

1. Erase the pain

Holm is under enormous pressure. Since ending the title reign of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 with the head kick heard around the world, Holm has lost three straight. Holm (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC), currently No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, needs a statement win against No. 14 ranked Correia (10-2-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC) to remain relevant in the division. Holm knows this.

“That’s been a sore ache in my side for the past three fights,” Holm told MMAjunkie. “I hate to lose, and I just want the taste of victory. I don’t want to be there just to experience it. I’m not ever there for a participation ribbon. I’m there for a victory, and that’s all there is to it.”

brightcove.createExperiences();

Correia, a brawler who likes to move forward and fight in close, seems to be an optimal opponent for Holm, who thrives at distance. Correia is 1-2-1 in her past four outings.

2. That time again

A few years back Arlovski lost four straight fights, three by first-round knockout. At that point questions arose about the strength of his then 32-year-old chin. We’re in a similar situation today – questioning the health of Arlovski’s now 38-year-old mandible following three TKO losses in his past four outings.

brightcove.createExperiences();

Arlovski (25-14 MMA, 14-8 UFC), the No. 12 ranked heavyweight, is likely to get his chin tested by Tybura (15-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), a former M-1 heavyweight champion who has finished his last two UFC fights by knockout. Tybura has a reputation as a ground specialist, but he’s mostly used his striking to get things done in the UFC.

brightcove.createExperiences();

3. Talking the talk

Colby Covington, unbeaten in his past three bouts, was having a hard time finding an opponent. So he took to social media to try to bait a ranked welterweight into a signing a bout agreement.

When that failed Covington headed to the streets to beg for a fight. It’s unclear if Covington’s “Will fight for food” sign was the reason No. 7-ranked Dong Hyun Kim signed on the dotted line, but he did.

Instagram Photo

Kim (22-3-1 MMA, 13-3), who is also on a three-fight winning streak, represents a huge jump up in competition, but Covington (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) is confident.

“I think they’re giving me the platform, the opportunity to show my worth in this fight, and that’s what I plan on doing is backing up all the talk,” Covington told MMAjunkie.

brightcove.createExperiences();

4. Moving on up

In early January, former lightweight champion dos Anjos announced he was moving to welterweight:

What dos Anjos didn’t mention was the move came after he had lost two straight fights at 155 pounds, one a title fight against Eddie Alvarez, the other to then No. 4 ranked Tony Ferguson. Before those defeats, dos Anjos had won five straight

Dos Anjos faces former Strikeforce welterweight champion Saffiedine in Singapore. Like dos Anjos (25-9 MMA, 14-7 UFC), Saffiedine (16-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is on a two-fight losing skid.

This is an excellent test to see if dos Anjos can make a run at welterweight. Saffiedine is excellent at range and has some of the heaviest leg kicks in the division. If dos Anjos can get past Saffiedine’s defenses and pressure him as he did to many of his lightweight opponents, that bodes well for the Brazilian’s future.

5. Last time to catch a legend?

Takanori Gomi was already a legend when he joined the UFC in 2010. Back then he had a record of 31-5 with one no-contest. He’s now 35-12 and has lost his past three fights via first-round TKO.

On a more positive note, the last two contests Gomi has won earned “Fight of the Night” bonuses, with the last of those victories, a decision over Isaac Vallie-Flagg coming in 2014.

Gomi’s opponent in this lightweight bout, Jon Tuck, has also struggled recently, losing his past two fights via decision. Like Gomi (35-12 MMA, 4-6 UFC), Tuck (9-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) was awarded a fight-night bonus for his last victory, when he took home “Performance of the Night” for his first-round submission over Tae Hyun Bang in 2015.

Gomi could be fighting for his UFC life here, so if you want to catch him in the octagon one more time, UFC Fight Night 111 might be your last chance.

6. Coming together

Things are coming together for heavyweight Walt Harris. In his second stint with the UFC, Harris delivered his best performance with the promotion in his last outing when he stopped Chase Sherman with a brutal combination that earned consideration for MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” for January.

Harris (9-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC) didn’t get a fight-night bonus for the stoppage, and that has him walking into his UFC Fight Night 111 bout against Cyril Asker (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) with some attitude.

“It made the chip on my shoulder a little bigger,” Harris told MMAjunkie.

Asker is coming off a first-round TKO win over Dmitry Smoliakov.

brightcove.createExperiences();

7. Let’s try this again

The last time Justin Scoggins attempted to make flyweight, it didn’t go well. Scheduled to face Ian McCall at UFC 201, Scoggins was forced out of that fight before the weigh-in, telling MMAjunkie that his body fat was down to about two percent and that he had stopped sweating during his weight cut, leaving him at more than 132 pounds.

brightcove.createExperiences();

Scoggins moved up to bantamweight at UFC Fight Night 100, and he lost that fight to Pedro Munhoz via second-round submission. Scoggins returns to flyweight to face Ulka Sasaki in Singapore.

It’s an interesting move, especially since Scoggins seemed adamant about not trying to make 125 pounds again. Knowing how he struggled ahead of UFC 201, it’ll be interesting to see how Scoggins (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) performs against Sasaki, (19-4-2 MMA, 2-3 UFC) who is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Wilson Reis at UFC 208.

brightcove.createExperiences();

8. Making the news

Frank Camacho has been getting some press ahead of UFC Fight Night 111, which is pretty rare for a fighter who’s coming in as a late injury replacement on a UFC Fight Pass card. However, when you look at Camacho’s history and the past of his opponent, Li Jingliang, in this welterweight matchup, things make more sense.

Both of these fighters are finishers. Camacho (20-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has 24 fights to his name and has heard the scorecards read twice. Jingliang (12-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC), with 16 fights, has nine wins via stoppage, including his last three UFC victories. In addition to possessing stopping power in his hands, Jingliang has displayed a strong chin.

This one could be a sleeper pick for “Fight of the Night.”

brightcove.createExperiences();

9. Checking IDs

Despite claims from UFC President Dana White that the promotion has been “talking about shutting down the flyweight division for years,” two unbeaten, and very young, flyweight fighters debut in Singapore.

Carls John de Tomas is the older of the two; he turns 21 in August while Naoki Inoue celebrated his 20th birthday on June 14. De Tomas (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) joins the UFC after going unbeaten with URCC, where he won three fights by submission and three via decision. Inoue (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been much busier, competing 10 times for DEEP, winning seven bouts by submission and three via decision.

De Tomas missed weight at today’s weigh-ins, but the fight will go on at a catchweight.

10. Hardcore cred

Every once in a while, the UFC throws North American fans a curveball and holds an event outside normal prime time viewing hours. UFC Fight Night 111 is one of those events. If you live on the East Coast, things kick off at 4:45 a.m., and if you’re on the West Coast, well, that’s a 1:45 a.m. start for you.

This card is a chance to prove your hardcore fan bona fides.

For more on UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/WWbZD8WQL8h6QSmWTmpw4P/253300”, customAnalytics: true, title: “UFC-Singapore ceremonial weigh-ins”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter Mailbag: Does McGregor stand a chance? And what's the MMAJA for, anyway?

In this week’s Twitter Mailbag, let’s be serious now that the fight is set: Does Conor McGregor have any realistic chance of beating Floyd Mayweather? Even a little? Plus, what does the MMA Journalists Association hope to do, now that it’s a real thing? And is it worth waking up early on Saturday morning to see Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia?

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

The number of times in the past 24 hours I’ve been asked some version of this question by friends who don’t follow MMA or boxing helps to explain how and why this fight got made. It’s ridiculous, when you think about it. But it’s the exact brand of ridiculous that captures our attention, and with it our money, so there’s a good argument to be made that winning or losing isn’t even the point anymore.

If you’re looking for reasons to think that Conor McGregor might actually beat Floyd Mayweather – and, just to be clear, this is if you are actively searching for reasons, scouring the earth for hope in any form – I can give you three.

1. The puncher’s chance
McGregor hits hard, right? This we know. He knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. He at least annoyed Nate Diaz. If he connects with that left hand, who knows?

The problem is that Mayweather is primarily known as a defensive genius. He doesn’t get hit much, and that’s when he’s up against the best boxers in the world. What good is all that power if you can’t lay a glove on the guy? And if the glove you’re wearing is of the boxing variety, which comes with significantly more padding, will the power still be as devastating?

2. The positive thinker’s chance
Let’s take a moment and appreciate what McGregor has done. Just a few years ago he was an Internet stream fighter from Ireland talking all kinds of outlandish mess. He was effectively a nobody who kept saying he was going to beat the greatest featherweight of all time. Many of us didn’t believe him, of course, but he turned out to be right. Then he said he was going to take the lightweight title, too, which he did. After that he set his sights on Mayweather, and here we are.

If you’re looking to sell DVDs of “The Secret” right now, McGregor is your huckleberry. This whole thing feels like a manifestation of his thoughts. Is the physical world an illusion? Are we all just characters in McGregor’s opioid dream? I mean, I don’t think so, but at this point I have to at least question it.

Then again, this whole scenario I’ve just laid out? The one in which he wins because he thinks good thoughts and the universe sees that and therefore he gets everything he wants? That’s insane. That is literally some stuff that people shout about on public transportation. So let’s just say I wouldn’t place a bet based on this alone.

3. The “Great White Hype” chance
This situation mirrors the underrated 1996 sports comedy film in a lot of ways. White guy with no professional boxing matches is somehow sanctioned (in Las Vegas) to take on a dominant black champion. This time the white guy actually is Irish, though the dominant champion is significantly less likable than Damon Wayons.

The movie’s 20 years old so I guess I’m not spoiling it by telling you that the white guy loses. Still, he kind of almost wins, mainly because the champion barely bothers to prepare for the fight.

I guess that could happen here. So sure of his victory, and comfortable in his pseudo-retirement, Mayweather might not put in the toughest training camp. Though it’s worth mentioning that in the movie all it takes is for the improbable challenger to land one good shot – his signature punch is the overhand right rather than the straight left, but still – and then the champ gets mad enough to pull it together. After that, “Danny Boy” becomes a slow, sad dirge.

I get what Joe Lauzon is saying. Sort of. The UFC made this deal with Reebok, and that deal cost many fighters many thousands of dollars. They got no say in it whatsoever, even though lots of them were in the middle of UFC contracts that they’d signed with a certain understanding about sponsor income, only to have that completely obliterated while their end of the contractual obligations remained.

Still, shouldn’t that make them mad at the UFC instead of Reebok? What good does it do to trash Reebok in public? That’s not going to put any more money in fighters’ pockets.

I definitely see the logic in that argument, but where do you go from there? Docile acceptance doesn’t seem like it’s going to change anything. Politely asking the UFC to give you more of the money that Reebok gave it also seems like a strategy with limited chances for success.

Some fighters seem to think that the only way forward is to be a good soldier and trust that the money will flow in the end. But it doesn’t. People don’t give money away unless they have to. So if you want more money, the question becomes how to make people feel like they have to. Maybe bashing Reebok on Facebook or Twitter won’t do it, but it’s fair to ask what will.

I’d be considerably more interested if Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 event didn’t start at 2:30 a.m. in the One True Time Zone. That’s the exact worst time! Should I stay up on Friday night and try to make it all the way to the main event at roughly 8 a.m. Saturday morning? Or do I try to go to bed early and set an alarm for bar closing time? What a conundrum.

But I admit, I am interested. Holly Holm is in such a strange place in her career right now. She dethroned Ronda Rousey and then sat on top of the world for about 15 minutes before it all came crashing down.

Now she’s somehow lost three in a row, including two title fights. How did it come to that? Holm is better than this … isn’t she? Style-wise, a fight with Bethe Correia right now seems designed to help her prove it. If she can’t pass that test, I hesitate to think of what comes next.

Simple stuff, mostly. Establishing members. Electing officers. Agreeing on a code of conduct. I think those are all attainable goals by the end of our first year.

A lot of people have asked why MMA journalists need an association in the first place. One reason is strength through unity. As we’ve seen in the past, some fight promoters like to isolate and bully journalists who do work they don’t like, even when that work is literally the journalist’s job. In instances like that, an association allows you to speak with one strong voice in response, and that would be very useful in this sport.

But just as importantly is the ability to establish standards within the industry. MMA is a young sport, which means MMA journalism is also a young occupation. Just as the sport grew up in public view, thanks to the Internet, so did the reporting on it. We’ve made mistakes. Hopefully we’ve learned from them.

I think we’ve also seen that when other MMA media members (or even just MMA media hopefuls) are trying to figure out what to do or not do, they’re looking around at each other, at their colleagues, at us. We are setting standards whether we mean to or not, so we should work to consciously set good ones. An association helps us not only set those standards, but also put something behind them. That will hopefully improve the media environment and the end product.

This effort started as a big group, in sputters and starts, and then the authority to push it forward was delegated to small group, those of us who you see as the initial interim officers on the website. But this isn’t our thing. It doesn’t belong to us. Once we have our first election, members can choose whoever they want to fill those roles, and those of us who have been involved in the long, tedious process just to get to this point might not mind a break from those positions.

The important thing is that the association lasts, and that it doesn’t lose sight of its goals. It doesn’t matter who gets to put their names on it. It matters that it works.

My experience helping to establish the MMAJA mostly taught me that this is a lot harder than it looks. It’s time-consuming. It’s boring. It’s frustrating.

On the flip side, you get to learn new stuff about your colleagues. I was surprised at some of the people who turned out to be valuable allies in making this happen. I was pleased at their ability to put aside differences and work together. It’s not always easy for competitors to become teammates on something like this, and I’d imagine that dynamic is many times tougher for pro fighters than it is for pro writers.

That said, their situation is very different from ours. We had the support of our employers and a lot of very generous legal and logistical help from the people at Vox Media, and it still wasn’t easy or quick. Fighters have more working against them, but in the end they may also have more to gain.

I like the existing Bellator commentary team, so I can’t say that that’s where I was hoping to see the company spend its money. Still, Mauro Ranallo is a good pickup for any combat sports broadcast and I look forward to seeing what he adds to Bellator.

It’s the Mike Goldberg hire that stumps me. Is Bellator hoping to trick people into thinking they’re watching the UFC? Is it part of a prolonged effort to court the viewers who liked the UFC when it was on Spike TV but not enough to follow it to another channel?

I know some people really liked Goldberg on UFC broadcasts. I didn’t. Especially later in his run, he seemed uninterested in learning anything new about the sport or the athletes in it, up to and including the proper pronunciation of their names. He was basically a human speak-and-spell, repeating the same phrases and banal observations.

But that’s just my opinion, and opinions on commentators can vary wildly. Maybe to some people the voice of Mike Goldberg is what big time MMA sounds like. Just seems to me like Bellator might be going a step too far in recycling the UFC’s castoffs.

Wait, is 10 the most crazy? Or is that the most sane? Regardless, I’ll put him right in the middle at about a five. Cub Swanson is smart enough to know that the metric you’re using – you know, wins and losses and common opponents – is the old way. The UFC doesn’t do it like that anymore. Now you just have to prove that you can sell. And a Swanson-Holloway title fight? I’d buy that.

If Frankie Edgar claims a second UFC title in a second division, he’ll have to go down as one of the best fighters and greatest overperformers in MMA history, especially when you consider that he’s probably undersized for both divisions.

Old Man Edgar is also 35, so taking the belt off a man a decade younger would be a huge feel-good story for what we are led to believe is the UFC’s aging demographic. If nothing else, maybe that would land him a Life Alert sponsorship or something.

In fairness to Jose Aldo and Andre Pederneiras, it’s not just when Aldo loses that we get to hear about his injuries. We’ve seen detailed images of the man’s ribs, heard tales of his many training woes, and that’s when he was one of the most dominant champs in the UFC.

Still, the time when people are least interested in hearing about your injuries is in the month or so following a big loss. And if you’re going to tell us how hurt you are, don’t make it some boring leg injury. Go cracked skull or go home.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Who ya got?! Fellow fighters have a runaway favorite while picking Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia

brightcove.createExperiences();
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

SINGAPORE – When it comes to Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 111 event, fellow fighters see a clear favorite with the Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia headliner.

UFC Fight Night 111 takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

In the featured attraction, former 135-pound champion and recent featherweight title challenger, Holm (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who’s No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, takes on No. 14-ranked Correia (10-2-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC).

At the sports books, Holm is a 6-1 favorite (-600) over heavy underdog Correia (+425). That means a winning $100 bet on Holm would result in a profit of just $16.67. However, a winning $100 bet on Correia would result in a net profit of $425.

As you can see in the above video, fellow fighters largely agree with current betting lines and see Holm as the clear favorite.

Check it out above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/ePfHkMMFy6oiqM89EmQTcM/253111”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holly Holm”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie