J.J. Aldrich: Controlling nerves allowed me to be new fighter at UFC Fight Night 124

ST. LOUIS – J.J. Aldrich was a victim of the infamous octagon jitters in her UFC debut, and she lost. In her third fight with the promotion at UFC Fight Night 124, she said those nerves were channeled in a positive way, and she got the win.

“I think I was able to control and bring those nerves (in),” Aldrich told MMAjunkie following her unanimous decision win over Danielle Taylor. “Thinking back to even my debut with the UFC, all the nerves and the thoughts going through my head compared to today was just completely different. I felt like a new fighter in there.”

Aldrich (6-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) outstruck Taylor (9-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) over the course of three rounds at Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 124 event, which took place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The strawweight bout streamed on UFC Fight Pass prior to the remainder of the card on FS1.

The performance marked Aldrich’s second consecutive UFC win after dropping her debut. It didn’t come easy, though. The 25-year-old did not get a very favorable style matchup. At 5-feet tall, Taylor is the shortest fighter on the UFC roster. Moreover, she’s a counter-striker with a lot of speed, and therefore difficult to put hands on.

Aldrich, 25, was able to time Taylor well and land some solid punches and kicks during the 115-pound contest. She said she knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but managed to effective implement the strategy put together by her team.

“I thought we executed the game plan we came up with and I was able to keep Danielle at bay with her speed and her power crosses,” Aldrich said. “She caught me once really good in the third. Other than that, I felt like I was able to move and avoid the punches like I need too.

“Everyone was like, ‘You’re so much taller than Danielle. Danielle’s so short – she has to fight you,’” she continued. “It’s like, ‘No, Danielle’s been fighting tall people her entire career.’ It’s my first time fighting someone that I’m so much taller than. It was more of a change for me than her. But she’s super tough and I know she’s really fast. Obviously she’s got knockouts, so she’s very dangerous, but I felt like I was able to do my game plan.”

UFC Fight Night 124 marked Aldrich’s return to competition after an inactive 2017 campaign. She fought just once this past year, but after getting a win so early on the calendar, she said the hope is for a busy next 12 months of competition.

“I really want a big year,” Aldrich said. “I only got to fight once last year. It was mid-year, so it was like every six months. I’d like a decent turnaround. A little bit of a break, but I want to stay active and get good wins and work my way up.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 124 post-event facts: Jeremy Stephens on cusp of all-time knockdowns record

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Jeremy Stephens is one of the longest-tenured UFC fighters, and on Sunday he added another chapter to his career with a victory over Dooho Choi in UFC Fight Night 124’s main event.

Stephens’ (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC) power was again on display in the FS1-televised headliner at Scottrade Center in St. Louis (early prelims streamed on UFC Fight Pass). He put Choi (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) down in the second round, giving him a TKO win that placed him nearly the top of the list of one of the most notable categories in UFC history.

For more on the numbers to come out of the first UFC event of 2018, check out 40 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 124.

* * * *

General

Jeremy Stephens

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $135,000.

Debuting fighters went 0-1 at the event.

Stephens, Choi, Darren Elkins and Marco Polo Reyes earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 124 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 124 drew an announced attendance of 10,052 for a live gate of $812,995.

Betting favorites went 6-5 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:05:51.

Main card

Jeremy Stephens

Stephens improved to 7-5 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in May 2013.

Stephens’ 17 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are second most in company history behind Anderson Silva (18).

Stephens’ 10 knockdowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are most in divisional history.

Choi suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since July 2016.

Jessica-Rose Clark and Paige VanZant

Jessica-Rose Clark (9-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC) earned her second UFC victory in a 57-day stretch. She also beat Bec Rawlings at UFC Fight Night 121 in November.

Clark has earned both of her UFC victories by decision.

Paige VanZant (7-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was unsuccessful in her UFC flyweight debut.

VanZant suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career. She hasn’t earned a victory since August 2016.

Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) extended his winning streak to 11 fights. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

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

Usman became the first welterweight since Jon Fitch to start his UFC career with seven consecutive victories.

Usman has completed 28 takedowns in his seven UFC appearances

Emil Meek (9-3-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Darren Elkins

Elkins (24-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) improved to 13-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Elkins’ 13 UFC featherweight victories are second most in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (14).

Elkins’ six-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is the second-longest active streak in the division behind Holloway (11).

Elkins earned his first submission victory since May 30, 2009 – a span of 3,151 days (more than eight years) and 21 fights.

Elkins’ 36 takedowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Dennis Bermudez (39).

Darren Elkins and Michael Johnson

Elkins’ 21 submission attempts in UFC featherweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Elkins has landed 1,565 total strikes in UFC featherweight competition, the most in divisional history.

Michael Johnson (17-13 MMA, 9-9 UFC) was unsuccessful in his UFC featherweight debut.

Johnson fell to 1-5 in his past six fights dating back to August 2015.

Johnson suffered the eighth submission loss of his career. He’s been tapped out in all but one of his career stoppage losses.

Preliminary card

James Krause and Alex White

Alex White (12-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) fell to 1-2 since he moved up to the UFC lightweight division in January 2017.

Polo Reyes (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned seven of his eight career victories by stoppage.

Matt Frevola (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his six-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Irene Aldana (8-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Talita Bernardo (5-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in her career.

Kyung Ho Kang

Kyung Ho Kang (14-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was successful in his return to competition from a nearly 3.5-year layoff.

Guido Cannetti (7-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by submission.

Jessica Eye (12-6 MMA, 2-5 UFC) was successful in her UFC flyweight debut.

Eye snapped her four-fight losing skid for her first victory since November 2014. She’s 2-5 in her past seven fights.

Kalindra Faria (18-7-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) became the first fighter in UFC history to suffer two losses in women’s flyweight competition.

J.J. Aldrich’s (6-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) two-fight UFC winning streak in strawweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Felice Herrig (four) and Tecia Torres (three).

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 124 Athlete Outfitting pay: New tier structure brings higher total

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ST. LOUIS – Fighters from Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 124 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $135,000.

UFC Fight Night 124 took place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was Jeremy Stephens (27-14 MMA, 14-13 UFC), who on top of a TKO victory over Dooho Choi (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the event headliner, received $20,000 for his 27th octagon appearance.

The full UFC Fight Night 124 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Jeremy Stephens: $20,000
def. Dooho Choi: $5,000

Jessica-Rose Clark: $3,500
def. Paige VanZant: $5,000

Kamaru Usman: $5,000
def. Emil Meek: $3,500

Darren Elkins: $15,000
def. Michael Johnson: $15,000

James Krause: $10,000
def. Alex White: $5,000

Polo Reyes: $5,000
def. Matt Frevola: $3,500

Irene Aldana: $3,500
def. Talita Bernardo: $3,500

Kyung Ho Kang: $5,000
def. Guido Cannetti: $3,500

Jessica Eye: $5,000
def. Kalindra Faria: $3,500

J.J. Aldrich: $3,500
def. Danielle Taylor: $5,000

Mads Burnell: $3,500
def. Mike Santiago: $3,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-3 bouts receive $3,500 per appearance; 4-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2018 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $135,000
2017 total: $6,295,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $16,753,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 124 results: J.J. Aldrich outstrikes Danielle Taylor for decision win

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J.J. Aldrich started out somewhat slow but put her foot on the gas in the later rounds against Danielle Taylor.

And as Taylor (9-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) struggled to get any offense going at all, Aldrich (6-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) gradually took over the fight, winning a unanimous decision victory with scores of 29-28 across the board.

The women’s strawweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 124 event at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FS1.

Aldrich may have needed some time to find her comfort zone in this fight, but when she got there it proved to be trouble for Taylor. After getting a late takedown in the opening round, Aldrich gradually began to increase and diversify her striking attack, landing with increasing frequency as the fight wore on.

Taylor, meanwhile, spent much of the fight backing up and avoiding strikes and far too little of it throwing any back. Even as her coaches implored her to produce more offense, it was Aldrich who was scoring with punches from the outside, using her reach advantage to batter Taylor with impunity.

By the time the judges had their say, all three scored it in favor of Aldrich, who looked to be the fresher fighter by far after three rounds.

The win makes it two in a row in the UFC for Aldrich, after losing her debut in December 2016. Taylor’s loss snaps a two-fight winning streak.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 124 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC Fight Night 124, where 'Korean Superboy' gets fellow slugger Stephens

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The UFC makes its 2018 debut on Sunday with UFC Fight Night 124, which also marks the organization’s long-overdue debut in St. Louis. The headlining bout between Jeremy Stephens and Dooho Choi is a spectacularly fan-friendly featherweight matchup.

Stephens enters the bout on the strength of what might have been the best performance of his career. In September he systematically dismantled former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Stephens earned a unanimous-decision win in his “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning performance. Choi lost his most recent bout, but that “Fight of the Night” contest against Cub Swanson – one that also earned “Fight of the Year” accolades – earned him a lot of respect and didn’t hurt his standing one bit with fight fans.

In the co-main event, former light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort faces Uriah Hall in what Belfort said is the final fight of his 21-year career.

Also on the main card is rising welterweight star Kamaru Usman. The “Nigerian Nightmare” faces Emil Meek in the first bout of the main card.

UFC Fight Night 124 takes place at Scottrade Center, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Different career stages, same goal

Choi’s most recent trip to the octagon was in December 2016. He dropped the decision to Swanson that night in a “Fight of the Year” contender. After the loss, the South Korean told UFC commentator Joe Rogan, via an interpreter, “I’m going to train even more, and I’m not going to lose again.” We’ll find out if Choi (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is true to his word when he faces Stephens (26-14 MMA, 13-13 UFC).

Choi has surged in popularity since his debut in 2009. Before his loss to Swanson, he had won 12 straight fights. Ten of those wins came by knockout, which included three first-round stoppages with the UFC. In addition to his powerful and precise striking, Choi has displayed an iron chin.

Stephens, whose game has always been about power, will test that chin. The American enters this contest as the underdog. Stephens, who has been with the UFC since 2007, will be anxious to prove he’s no one’s stepping stone.

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2. An enigma vs. ‘The Phenom’

Hall has been an enigma during his UFC tenure. At times he’s looked like he would rather be anywhere but inside the octagon. He’s also ended fights with spectacular displays of violence. Sometimes both of those things have occurred in the same fight. Hall’s recent knockout of Krzysztof Jotko, which halted his three-fight losing skid, was one of those nights.

Hall told MMAjunkie Radio he was ready to quit during that fight until he had a brief – and profane – conversation with himself.

“I literally said, ‘(Expletive) this (expletive), (expletive) you, (expletive) this, (expletive) everybody,’ and I knocked him out.”

Hall (13-8 MMA, 6-6 UFC) might want to have that talk with himself before he enters the octagon against Belfort (26-13 MMA, 15-10 UFC). The former UFC champ might not be the fighter he once was, but if given the opportunity early, he can still recapture some of his past glory and finish things in a hurry.

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Belfort, an honorable mention in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, ended a three-fight losing skid in June with a decision win over Nate Marquardt.

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3. Turning dreams into reality

Paige VanZant made headlines in November when she tweeted that her next fight would be against the then-uncrowned women’s flyweight champion. That was just wishful thinking. Instead, VanZant makes her 125-pound debut against Jessica-Rose Clark.

Paige VanZant

VanZant, who the UFC has been pushing as a potential star since she was signed, has not fought since Michelle Waterson choked her out in December 2016.

Clark earned a split-decision win over Bec Rawlings in her UFC debut. She missed weight ahead of that short-notice fight.

Like VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has title aspirations in the growing flyweight division. The odds of the winner of this fight getting an immediate title shot are slim, but an impressive win could give the victor a healthy promotional push from the UFC.

4. Still climbing

Usman has been steadily climbing the welterweight rankings since he won Season 21 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Now 6-0 in the UFC, he looks like he could part of the next generation of stars at 170 pounds. With a knockout win over Sergio Moraes in his most recent fight, Usman (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) hopes to cement his position as a threat in the division when he meets Meek (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

After the Moraes fight, Usman climbed from rankings honorable mention to the No. 9 spot. He also decried the rankings and called out the rest of the division in the hopes of landing a top-10 opponent.

Meek is unranked and has just one UFC fight under his belt, a December 2016 decision win over Jordan Mein.

Meek has the opportunity to pull off the biggest upset on the card. If he does so, he could find his name mentioned as an up-and-comer in the division.

If Usman wins, there’s a good chance he’ll call out No. 4-ranked Colby Covington.

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5. Area man is not happy

Michael Johnson was born in St. Louis. As such, he hoped he would get a main-card spot when the UFC visited his hometown. It turns out his bout against Darren Elkins is the final fight on the prelims. That did not please him.

Johnson is 1-4 in his past five outings, but he’s won fight-night bonus awards in three of those contests. One of those bonuses came in Johnson’s most recent fight, a second-round knockout loss to Justin Gaethje. That bout won MMAjunkie’s “2017 Fight of the Year.”

Elkins, who is ranked No. 10 at featherweight, is on one of the best runs of his long career. He’s won five straight, including his March “Comeback of the Year” knockout of Mirsad Bektic.

Johnson (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC) will be motivated to not only show the UFC they messed up with the placement of this fight, but also that he can be a contender at featherweight. Elkins (23-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC), seven years into his UFC career, will look to continue his climb up the rankings.

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6. There’s some potential here

The lightweight bout between Matt Frevola and Marco Polo Reyes has the potential to be a good one. Reyes (7-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has gone the distance just once in his career while the unbeaten Frevola (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has two decision wins on his record.

Marco Polo Reyes

Reyes was on a four-fight winning streak before James Vick knocked him out in May. The Mexican fighter opened his UFC career with two fight-night-bonus-winning knockouts. He has a good muay Thai base, and he isn’t afraid to get into a slugfest.

Frevola earned his UFC roster spot with a second-round submission win on the Dana White’s Contender Series 8 card. Frevola, like Reyes, is an aggressive and exciting striker, but he’s not as technically sound. The American fought with his hands low and chin high on the DWCS card, which could be a recipe for trouble against Reyes.

Despite his apparent technical shortcomings, Frevola is a more than 2-1 favorite.

7. Long-awaited return

Jessica Eye has not fought since she dropped a split decision to Bethe Correia in September 2016. It was her fourth straight defeat.

Jessica Eye

Eye was set to return in July, but her opponent, Aspen Ladd, was pulled from the fight on the day of the event. Eye was then set to make her UFC flyweight debut against Paige VanZant at UFC 216, but a back injury forced VanZant from the fight. Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC) was subsequently removed from the card. Her UFC Fight Night 124 flyweight booking against Kalindra Faria (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been locked in since November.

Eye is under a lot of pressure to get a win in St. Louis. Her goal will be to remain focused despite that pressure and the adrenaline rush she’ll get when she returns to the octagon.

Faria dropped her UFC debut when Mara Romero Borella submitted her in the first round.

8. Make up the difference

The stylistic matchup between strawweights J.J. Aldrich and Danielle Taylor should make for an intriguing fight.

J.J. Aldrich

Aldrich (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is a technical striker who uses her length well. She also gets her opponents to bite on her feints. She has a 5-inch height advantage over Taylor (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC), as well as a seven-inch reach advantage.

Taylor, who is 5 feet tall, is not unaccustomed to being on the wrong end of the tale of the tape. To overcome those disadvantages, she relies on heavy-handed counter strikes. The downside of Taylor’s style is that she is not a very active striker. That could work against her when it comes to her more aggressive opponent.

9. ‘Show me’ fight in the ‘Show Me State’

Mike Santiago and Mads Burnell both lost their short-notice UFC debuts by submission. Santiago fell to Zabit Magomedsharipov while Burnell tapped to Michel Prazeres.

With both fighters getting a full camp ahead of UFC Fight Night 124, this contest should help determine where the two stand in the 145-pound division.

Mike Santiago

Santiago (19-10 MMA, 0-1 UFC), the former Ring of Combat featherweight champion, has a wrestling background. He also has boxing and kickboxing fights on his resume. The loss to Magomedsharipov ended his nine-fight winning streak.

Burnell (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC), a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, was signed to the UFC after two first-round Japanese necktie submissions wins.

10. It’s been a minute

No, the bantamweights opening the card are not making their UFC debuts. But the names Kyung Ho Kang and Guido Cannetti might not ring a bell.

Kyung Ho Kang

Kang (13-7 MMA, 2-1 UFC) hasn’t fought since September 2014 while Cannetti’s (7-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) most recent UFC bout was in August 2015.

Ten months of Cannetti’s absence were due to a USADA suspension after a long list of banned substances showed up in an out-of-competition drug test. A dietary supplement Cannetti was taking was found to contain all five substances he tested positive for.

Kang returns to the octagon after serving two years of mandatory military service.

Between them, they have 17 stoppage victories. Don’t be surprised if these two look to make up for lost time by getting after it early.

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Danielle Taylor meets J.J. Aldrich at UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis

The UFC’s debut in St. Louis in January now has a fourth women’s fight set for the lineup.

J.J. Aldrich (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will take on Danielle Taylor in a strawweight fight at UFC Fight Night 124. UFC officials recently announced the new booking.

UFC Fight Night 124 takes place Jan. 14 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

J.J. Aldrich

Aldrich came to the UFC as part of Season 23 of “The Ultimate Fighter” a year ago after fighting four of her first five pro fights for Invicta FC. After her run on the show, she dropped a unanimous decision to Juliana Lima at UFC Fight Night 102 as a late replacement for Tatiana Suarez. But earlier this year, in New Zealand, she picked up her first win in the promotion when she took a decision from Chan-Mi Jeon at UFC Fight Night 110.

Taylor spent the first eight fights of her career fighting under the King of the Cage banner, where she was the strawweight champion. She signed with the UFC as a replacement for Justine Kish to meet Maryna Moroz on just nine days’ notice at UFC Fight Night 92 in Salt Lake City and dropped a split decision. But since then, she has a split-call win over Seo Hee Ham a year ago, and in April took a unanimous decision from Jessica Penne at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville.

With the addition, the latest UFC Fight Night 124 card now includes:

  • Vitor Belfort vs. Uriah Hall
  • Jessica Eye vs. Kalindra Faria
  • Irene Aldana vs. Talita Oliveira
  • Matt Frevola vs. Marco Polo Reyes
  • James Krause vs. Alex White
  • Thiago Alves vs. Zak Cummings
  • Darren Elkins vs. Michael Johnson
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Paige VanZant
  • J.J. Aldrich vs. Danielle Taylor

For more on UFC Fight Night 124, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

J.J. Aldrich: Spunky 19-year-old Chanmi Jeon was 'out of her element' at UFC-Auckland

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – J.J. Aldrich was dominant in her first UFC victory when she halted the undefeated streak of prospect Chanmi Jeon at UFC Fight Night 110 on Saturday.

Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) accepted the fight on short notice after Aldrich’s (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) originally scheduled opponent, Nadia Kassem, suffered an injury. At 19, the South Korean fighter became the youngest member of the UFC roster.

She missed weight, though, and was required to forfeit 20 percent of purse to her opponent in the unanimous-decision loss. Aldrich said she wasn’t bothered by the situations leading up to fight night, and while she wasn’t thrilled with her opponent missing weight, she was just thankful to fight.

“My last fight was a last-minute fight, I took it on seven days’ (notice), and I still made the weight,” Aldrich told MMAjunkie. “She came in at fight week lower than I did and couldn’t make the weight, so I think it’s just maybe being from a different country, not knowing how to do it yet.

“I know it’s her first time trying to make 115, so I’m just appreciative she still stepped up and took the fight and I got it done. I can’t complain.”

Aldrich’s victory over Jeon took place on the UFC Fight Pass early prelims of UFC Fight Night 110, which streamed prior the televised card on FS1 at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Prior to her UFC debut, Jeon had competed only in her home country against inferior opposition. She hung tough despite 30-27 scorecards across the board in Aldrich’s favor, but when time ran out, the American viewed experience as a deciding factor.

“She’s kind of out her element a little bit,” Aldrich said. “She’s used to being like the hometown hero, so I think her confidence was pretty high coming in just because of that. She’s never been in a tough situation. She’s always had good fights and had high confidence. (There was) no reason for her to come in here without it.”

After falling short against Juliana Lima at UFC Fight Night 102 in December in her own short-notice UFC debut, Aldrich is in the UFC win column and ready to proceed with her career. She’s not wasting any time, either; she already a name and date in mind for her next trip to the octagon.

“I had a great time out here in New Zealand, and I heard there’s a card in Sydney,” Aldrich said. “I would love to get on that card in November. The girl that I was originally supposed to fight, Nadia, she got hurt, but that’s her hometown in Australia, so I’d love to go fight her in Sydney in November.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 results: J.J. Aldrich schools 19-year-old Chanmi Jeon making UFC debut

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“The Ultimate Fighter 23” veteran J.J. Aldrich didn’t bring the thirst for bloody competition as her opponent, Chanmi Jeon. But her technique was more than enough to carry the day.

Aldrich (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) shut out Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on judges scorecards with a unanimous 30-27 decision, expertly using her distance and timing to land the better blows over three rounds.

The women’s strawweight bout was part of today’s UFC Fight Night 110 early prelims, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass prior to additional prelims and a main card on FS1.

Aldrich established her best weapon early in the 15-minute affair, meeting Jeon’s kicks with a straight right hand. She followed up with a left high kick that slapped Jeon’s face. After taking several hard shots, Jeon, making her UFC debut, tried to bully her way into the clinch with knees and knocked Aldrich to the ground. The level change didn’t produce any meaningful offense, however, and they set into a similar rhythm as before.

Jeon found out in the middle frame that her best chance at success was to rush in and try to brawl with Aldrich. After taking more straight lefts and stiff jabs, Jeon landed a pair of hooks that at least got Aldrich’s attention.

Everyone in the audience heard Jeon’s war cry to start Round 3, and she tried to make up the obvious deficit in the final round, smiling as Aldrich cracked her with punches and kicks. But all the taunting didn’t change the fact that Aldrich had her number when she stood stationary and tried to counter. The left hands aimed by Aldrich were more accurate, and Jeon’s return punches often met air as Aldrich circled away.

After a loss to Juliana Lima in her octagon debut this past December, Aldrich picks up her first UFC win, while Jeon suffers the first loss of her professional career.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 110 results:

  • J.J. Aldrich def. Chanmi Jeon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie