Jeremy Kennedy out, Alex Volkanovski meets Humerto Bandenay at UFC-Sydney

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With Jeremy Kennedy out with a back injury, Australia’s Alex Volkanovski will remain on the card in his home country next month.

Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) now will take on Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 121 with Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) sidelined. UFC officials recently announced the new booking after an initial report from Australia’s .

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 18 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The 23-year-old Bandenay, from Peru, made his promotional debut in August at UFC Fight night 114 – and it was an impressive one. He knocked out Martin Brazo in just 26 seconds with a knee in Mexico City. He picked up a $50,000 fight-night bonus for his quick work, which ran his winning streak to six fights.

Alex Volkanovski

Australia’s Volkanovski ran his winning streak to 12 fights in June when he took a unanimous decision from Mizuto Hirota at UFC Fight Night 110 in New Zealand. His UFC debut came in November 2016 in his home country when he stopped Yusuke Kasuya with a second-round TKO in a lightweight fight. Of his 15 career wins, a dozen have come by stoppage.

Kennedy was going to be putting his unblemished record on the line in hostile territory. He started his UFC run at lightweight a year ago and took a unanimous decision from Alessandro Ricci. He then returned to featherweight, where he has decision wins over Rony Jason in Brazil and Kyle Bochniak in July in New York. But now his shot at going to 4-0 in the UFC is on hold.

The latest UFC Fight Night 121 card includes:

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa

For more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for August: A kick that earned a UFC contract

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Julian Marquez def. Phil Hawes at Dana White’s Contender Series 4

Julian Marquez (6-1) earned his way into the UFC with a crushing knockout of Phil Hawes (4-2) at the Dana White’s Contender Series 4 event.

After an opening round in which both men had some shining moments, Marquez took over in the second, walking forward with strikes and wobbling Hawes before finishing him off with a vicious high kick.

Dustin Ortiz def. Hector Sandoval at UFC Fight Night 114

In less time than it takes most people to tie their shoes, Dustin Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) put Hector Sandoval (14-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) to sleep with an offensive outburst as swift as it was brutal.

A counter right hand from Ortiz put Sandoval on his heels, and the followup put him away just 15 seconds into the fight, giving Ortiz the fastest finish in UFC flyweight history.

Humberto Bandenay def. Martin Bravo at UFC Fight Night 114

Humberto Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his UFC debut as a heavy underdog against Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), but he needed only two kicks and 26 seconds to prove the oddsmakers wrong.

A head kick from Bandenay knocked Bravo out cold in the opening minute of the fight. It gave Bravo his first professional loss in a violent upset finish.

Mike Rodriguez def. Jamelle Jones at Dana White’s Contender Series 5

After a cautious start, Jamelle Jones (7-5) was forced to move in and out of range against a taller Mike Rodriguez (9-2). He eventually shot for a takedown that didn’t materialize.

Confident on his feet, Rodriguez launched a flying knee that landed flush, sending Jones to the floor. A few more punches sealed the result, giving Rodriguez a highlight-reel finish and a UFC contract.

Martin Nguyen def. Marat Gafurov via punches at ONE Championship 59

A perfect counter by Martin Nguyen (9-1) ended the undefeated run of Marat Gafurov (15-1), and ONE Championship got a new featherweight champion in the process.

Nguyen saw himself in a rough spot early, but a low kick by Gafurov paved the way for a massive overhand that had the now-ex-champ landing face down on the mat for the brutal stoppage.

* * * *

The Winner: Julian Marquez

Marquez ended Dana White’s Contender Series 4 with a bang, laying out Jon Jones training partner Hawes with a head kick to cap off the show.

The fight was over at the 2:20 mark of the second round, when Hawes dropped limp to the canvas with a scary thud.

“I was tired,” Marquez admitted after the fight. “The weight cut yesterday was pretty rough, but I just knew he was going to keep coming. I just knew if I weathered the storm, he would leave an opening, which he did.”

Hawes’ early drive to take the fight down to the mat may have sapped his energy reserves. Marquez proved a tough challenge to take down, and when he hit the mat, he escaped bad positions and returned to his feet. A guillotine attempt had Hawes scrambling not to tap.

At the start of the second round, Marquez landed a combination that badly hurt Hawes and put him on autopilot. A sloppy takedown attempt put Marquez on top, and when Hawes finally managed to escape, he was ready.

The head kick was perfectly timed and provided a highlight-reel finish that brought a UFC contract to Marquez.

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Source: MMA Junkie

How Humberto Bandenay lost his dad and 'No. 1 fan' before UFC debut – but never his focus

Say you’re 22. You’ve recently moved away from your family to a country where you don’t even speak the language yet. And you get the call for a short-notice UFC debut against an undefeated opponent.

There have got to be some nerves involved, right?

Well, apparently not if you’re Humberto Bandenay.

“I was very calm and content throughout the whole experience, even when I first got the call,” Bandenay told MMAjunkie. “I’m pretty young still, but I’ve felt for a while that I belong at this level, so managing my emotions wasn’t an issue. I’m very confident in my training, my skills and the people around me.”

Bandenay’s (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) steel nerves paid off big this month, when a thunderous knee put an end to his encounter with Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 114. The 26-second knockout not only capped off a six-fight winning streak – all finishes – for Bandenay, but it also came with a $50,000 bonus.

His composure before such a high-stakes debut – which Bandenay, by the way, entered as a massive underdog – would look impressive enough even if no added context was provided.

But it’s particularly inspiring considering his road there.

Bandenay’s MMA career began with three free classes he got at a local gym. It wasn’t long until the then-19-year-old realized that he was not only good at fighting – he wanted it to be his career. In order for that to happen, though, he knew he’d have to make sacrifices.

“I knew that I’d have to come to America if I wanted to fight in the UFC and truly live up to my potential in the sport,” Bandenay said.

Five months ago, Bandenay was still living in Peru. But, thanks to the support of friend and fellow UFC fighter Marlon Vera, Bandenay made his way up to California. Vera, who also moved there from his home country of Ecuador in his early 20s, introduced Bandenay not only to his Team Oyama headquarters, but their mutual management.

That bit, Bandenay says, worked out great. He loves both the team and life in the new country. But it’s come with its hardships.

“It’s been difficult at times only because I miss my family,” Bandenay said. “And I know they miss me.”

Being away from your family is hard enough as it is, but Bandenay had one heavy emotional layer added to it heading into his UFC debut. He had to leave his sick father at home. At some point, he had to make a call: Either go back to Peru and visit him, or continue pushing toward his goals in the U.S.

His father encouraged him to stay. And, as Bandenay would reveal in an emotional post-fight speech, he ended up passing away shortly before he got to see his son’s stellar UFC debut.

The grief could have understandably distracted Bandenay from his biggest career opportunity yet. But, instead, he turned it into fuel.

“I was very sad not being able to see my dad,” Bandenay said. “He was my No. 1 fan. We’ve always been very close. It was my goal to make it to the UFC – and, just as important to me, it was his goal to see me make it to the UFC, too. I knew that it’s what my dad wanted, and I know he was there with me in the octagon.

“My training and experience helped me stay focused throughout the experience. I knew this was an opportunity that I had been waiting for, and nothing was going to stop me. I know my dad was with me, and I wanted nothing more than to win for him.”

His remaining family, Bandenay says, is also fully on board with his MMA career. But the Peruvian up-and-comer admits that there was some initial iffiness around his sport of choice.

“It was very strange to a lot of my family members and friends,” Bandenay said with a laughter. “A lot of people didn’t understand it because the sport is not very popular there.”

Now, however, he has no shortage of supporters. In fact, Bandenay says his win made it to TV and newspapers across the country. And the weight that comes with that is not lost on the young fighter, who feels “a great responsibility” to both carry the Peruvian flag in the octagon and help boost the popularity of MMA in Peru.

“I want the whole world to look to Peru as a country with power,” Bandenay said.

Given the circumstances, Bandenay is also quite aware that his early UFC steps might come with more attention than usual. But, rather than let it overwhelm him, he takes the added eyeballs – and expectations – that might follow as a blessing.

“I don’t feel pressure when I compete or when I think about the future,” Bandenay said. “It’s very motivating, absolutely.”

When it comes to said future, Bandenay seems to take the same measured approach that he does everything else. He’d like to get back in there as soon as possible. He trusts his management. And he knows better than getting too far ahead of himself.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some ideas for both his distant and near octagon futures.

“I have goals of being a champion and as going down as one of the all-time great fighters,” Bandenay said. “But, for right now, I’m just taking everything one fight at a time.

“I would like to fight Dooho Choi or Artem Lobov. Though I’m more than happy to fight any featherweight in the world.”

As for the plan for those extra $50,000 that landed in Bandenay’s bank account earlier this month?

“I wish I had a better answer, but I’m saving it,” Bandenay said. “Getting that bonus was a blessing; I’m putting it away for my family. I’m hoping there will be a lot more bonuses in the future.”

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

With help from Marlon Vera, Humberto Bandenay dedicates huge UFC debut to late father

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5533326659001
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MEXICO CITY – Humberto Bandenay’s UFC debut was pretty much as good as they get, but it didn’t come without sacrifice.

Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was a huge underdog heading into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 114 bout against featherweight Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)  – an understandable status given a short-notice replacement call against an undefeated opponent. Still, it took less than 30 seconds for a knee to have Bravo lying defenseless on the mat (via Twitter):

After dedicating the knockout win to his father, who recently passed away, the 22-year-old Peruvian fighter spoke backstage about the tough decision he had to make before his stellar debut.

“It was one or the other – go back to Peru and see him before he passed away, or live my dream away,(which was) also his dream,” Bandenay said after the FS1-televised main-card bout at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. “Because my dad said, ‘Go live your dream. Don’t come back.’ I have my dad in my heart, and he was today with me in my corner.

“He would be super proud of me. He’s my No. 1 fan, and this victory is for him.”

If Bandenay’s interpreter looks oddly familiar, that could be because you’ve seen him – albeit in much different context – before. He was actually the one being interviewed not that long ago, after scoring his own first-round finish – a UFC on FOX 25 submission of Brian Kelleher.

Ecuador’s Marlon Vera and Bandenay are friends and teammates at California-based Team Oyama, and also exchanged some adorably kind words toward one another during the interview.

To hear more from Bandenay – and the seemingly multi-talented “Chito”– check out the video above.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

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

Relive all 7 record-tying 1st-round finishes from UFC Fight Night 114

Despite being viewed as one of the weaker cards in the UFC’s stretch of 11 events in 11 weeks, UFC Fight Night 114 made some history.

With seven fights ending in the first round, Saturday’s FS1-televised event at Mexico City Arena in Mexico tied six other UFC events for the most first-round finishes on a single card.

The stoppages came quickly and furiously. Watch all of them below.

* * * *

1. Jordan Rinaldi vs. Alvaro Herrera

Result: Jordan Rinaldi def. Alvaro Herrera via submission (Von Flue choke) – Round 1, 2:01
Recap: Jordan Rinaldi submits Alvaro Herrera with rare Von Flue choke
Photos: Jordan Rinaldi vs. Alvaro Herrera photos

2. Joseph Morales vs. Roberto Sanchez

Result: Joseph Morales def. Roberto Sanchez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:56
Recap: Joseph Morales turns tables on Roberto Sanchez, earns submission win
Photos: Joseph Morales vs. Roberto Sanchez photos

3. Rani Yahya vs. Henry Briones

Result: Rani Yahya def. Henry Briones via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 2:01
Recap: Rani Yahya nearly flawless in submission win over Henry Briones
Photos: Rani Yahya vs. Henry Briones photos

4. Dustin Ortiz vs. Hector Sandoval

Result: Dustin Ortiz def. Hector Sandoval via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:15
Recap: Dustin Ortiz KOs Hector Sandoval in 15 seconds for fastest flyweight win
Photos: Dustin Ortiz vs. Hector Sandoval photos

5. Jack Hermansson vs. Brad Scott

Result: Jack Hermansson def. Brad Scott via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:50
Recap: Jack Hermansson pounds his way to TKO finish of Brad Scott
Photos: Jack Hermansson vs. Brad Scott photos

6. Humberto Bandenay vs. Martin Bravo

Result: Humberto Bandenay def. Martin Bravo via knockout (knee, punches) – Round 1, 0:26
Recap: Humberto Bandenay stuns Martin Bravo with vicious KO in UFC debut
Photos: Humberto Bandenay vs. Martin Bravo photos

7. Niko Price vs. Alan Jouban

Result: Niko Price def. Alan Jouban via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:44
Recap: Niko Price TKOs Alan Jouban in 1st round to stay unbeaten
Photos: Niko Price vs. Alan Jouban photos

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

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

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UFC Fight Night 114 video highlights: Humberto Bandenay vs. Martin Bravo

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Humberto Bandenay made his UFC debut as a heavy underdog against Martin Bravo, but he only needed two kicks and 26 seconds to prove the oddsmakers wrong.

A head kick from Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) knocked Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) out cold in the opening minute of the fight, giving Bravo his first professional loss in a violent upset finish.

The featherweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 114 event at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

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

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UFC Fight Night 114 bonuses: New record holder Dustin Ortiz among 4 fighters to earn $50K

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MEXICO CITY – Dustin Ortiz, Joseph Morales, Humberto Bandenay, and Niko Price each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at today’s UFC Fight Night 114 event.

All four fighters were awarded “Performance of the Night” honors.

Ortiz (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) made quick work of Hector Sandoval (14-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) – in record time, in fact. Sandoval blitzed forward early against Ortiz on the preliminary card, and he landed. But Ortiz countered with a right-left, then a huge right to the temple that planted Sandoval on the canvas. Ortiz was all over him in a hurry with three hammer fists to get the job done with a 15-second knockout – the fastest in UFC flyweight history.

Morales (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was not in a great spot in the first round of his flyweight fight against Roberto Sanchez (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), but he stayed patient on his back and worked back to his feet. From there, it was perfection in the standup game, then on the ground. A right to the temple put Sanchez on the canvas, and from there Morales was able to systematically take his opponent apart for a rear-naked choke finish.

Bandenay, the biggest underdog on the card after taking his fight on two weeks’ notice, stunned Martin Bravo with a vicious knee to score a first-round knockout.

And Price remained undefeated after a first-round TKO of Alan Jouban.

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

UFC Fight Night 114 took place Saturday at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 114 results: Humberto Bandenay stuns Martin Bravo with vicious KO in UFC debut

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Humberto Bandenay made his UFC debut as a heavy underdog against Martin Bravo, but he only needed two kicks and 26 seconds to prove the oddsmakers wrong.

A head kick from Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) knocked Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) out cold in the opening minute of the fight, giving Bravo his first professional loss in a violent upset finish.

The featherweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 114 event at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

After taking the fight on short notice, Bandenay’s win was as much about the set-up as the finish itself. Squaring up with Bravo in the center of the cage, Bandenay thumped the body of Bravo with a hard kick.

As Bandenay wound up for another, Bravo dropped his hands as he changed levels, leaving his chin unguarded as Bandenay’s knee slammed home. Bravo was out before he hit the mat, his hands frozen in front of him as he lay on the mat unconscious.

With the win in his UFC debut, Bandenay has now won his last six fights. Bravo suffers the first loss of his pro career.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 114 results include:

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

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

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

UFC Fight Night 114 staff picks: Brandon Moreno, Alexa Grasso big picking faves on home turf

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Pettis
vs.
Moreno
Grasso
vs.
Markos
Jouban
vs.
Price
Bandenay
vs.
Bravo
Alvey
vs.
Evans
Perez
vs.
Soukhamthath
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 70-55
moreno2017
Moreno
(60%)
grasso2017
Grasso
(66%)
jouban2017
Jouban
(65%)
bravo2017
Bravo
(83%)
alvey2017
Alvey
(55%)
aperez2017
Perez
(73%)
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 81-49
trophy copy 2015 Champion
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
soukhamthath2017
Soukhamthath
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 80-50
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
price2017
Price
Bandenay revans2017
Evans
aperez2017
Perez
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 80-50
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
alvey2017
Alvey
soukhamthath2017
Soukhamthath
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 79-51
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
aperez2017
Perez
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 78-52
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
aperez2017
Perez
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 76-54
trophy copy 2016 Champion
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
price2017
Price
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
aperez2017
Perez
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 75-55
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
aperez2017
Perez
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 74-56
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
aperez2017
Perez
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 74-56
trophy copy 2014 Champion
spettis2017
Pettis
markos2017
Markos
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
soukhamthath2017
Soukhamthath
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 73-57
moreno2017
Moreno
grasso2017
Grasso
jouban2017
Jouban
bravo2017
Bravo
revans2017
Evans
aperez2017
Perez

For the fifth time overall, and the fourth time in the capital city, the UFC touches down in Mexico this week.

UFC Fight Night 114 takes place Saturday at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

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

In the main event, Mexico’s own Brandon Moreno (14-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) takes on Sergio Pettis (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in a fight between flyweight up-and-comers. Moreno is a slight betting favorite at the sports books, but he’s got a big edge in the picks from our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts. Only one of our pickers is taking Pettis to win on Moreno’s home turf.

In the co-feature, another homegrown fan favorite, Alexa Grasso (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), takes on Randa Markos (7-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) in a women’s strawweight fight. Like Moreno, Grasso is a slight betting favorite. And like him, she’s getting most of the love from our staff members at a 9-1 clip, just like Moreno.

Also on the main card, Alan Jouban (15-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) meets Niko Price (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a welterweight bout, and he’s a big favorite from our pickers at 8-2. Featherweight newcomer Humberto Bandenay (13-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) takes on Martin Bravo (11-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on short notice. Bravo is the card’s biggest favorite at 3-1, and he has a 9-1 edge in our picks.

Sam Alvey (30-9 MMA, 7-4 UFC) meets former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (19-6-1 MMA, 14-6-1 UFC) in a middleweight bout. And despite being a -160 favorite, Alvey finds himself on the outs with our pickers. Evans is getting a 9-1 nod. And to open the main card, Alejandro Perez (17-6-1 MMA, 3-1-1 UFC) takes on Andre Soukhamthath (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at bantamweight. It’s a pick’em fight at the betting window, but Perez has a 7-3 nod from our pickers.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Moreno, Grasso, Jouban, Bravo, Alvey and Perez are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie