UFC on FOX 26 pre-event facts: Winnipeg return loaded with big-time hitters

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

The UFC’s final network-televised event of 2017 is set for Saturday. UFC on FOX 26 takes place at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with a main card on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

A welterweight title-eliminator headlines the promotion’s return to Winnipeg after more than four years. Former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) meets former lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) in a crucial matchup for the 170-pound weight class.

Several other key bouts are slated for the UFC’s 25th event in Canada. For more on the numbers behind the fights, check below for 60 pre-event facts about UFC on FOX 26.

* * * *

Main event

Robbie Lawler

Lawler is 9-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in February 2013.

Lawler became the first fighter in UFC history to force a belt to change hands by split decision when he defeated Johny Hendricks at UFC 181 in December 2014.

Lawler is one of two fighters in UFC history to win two title fights by split decision. Benson Henderson has also accomplished the feat.

Lawler’s six knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Matt Brown (nine), Thiago Alves (eight) and Matt Hughes (seven).

Lawler’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC welterweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Alves (13) and Jake Ellenberger (11).

Robbie Lawler

Lawler has absorbed 781 significant strikes in UFC competition since Jan. 1, 2013, the most of any fighter in the company since that date.

Lawler’s 539 significant strikes absorbed in UFC title fights are the most history.

Lawler’s significant strike disadvantage of -82 against Carlos Condit at UFC 195 marked the largest disparity in UFC history for a fighter who won a decision.

Lawler and Hendricks attempted 728 significant strikes at UFC 171, the second most in a single UFC bout behind Cole Miller and Nam Phan (788 at UFC on FOX 4).

Lawler completes 76.2 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC competition, the highest accuracy rate in company history.

Rafael dos Anjos

Dos Anjos competes in his sixth UFC main event. He’s 3-2 in his previous five headliners.

Dos Anjos is 2-0 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in June.

Dos Anjos is the only Brazilian lightweight champion in UFC history.

Dos Anjos became just the second fighter in history to challenge for a UFC title and win a 50-45 decision on all three judges’ scorecards when he beat Anthony Pettis at UFC 185. Randy Couture also accomplished the feat against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68.

Dos Anjos’ 66-second victory over Cerrone at UFC on FOX 17 marked the fastest stoppage in UFC lightweight title-fight history.

Co-main event

Ricardo Lamas

Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) is 9-3 since he dropped to the UFC featherweight division in June 2011.

Lamas’ six stoppage victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind champ Max Holloway (nine).

Lamas’ three submission victories in UFC featherweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Charles Oliveira (six) and Chas Skelly (four).

Josh Emmett

Josh Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was successful in his UFC featherweight debut when he defeated Felipe Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118 in October.

Emmett has earned all three of his UFC victories by decision.

Emmett’s four knockdowns of Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118 are tied for third most in a UFC fight. Only Jeremy Stephens (five) at UFC 215 and Forrest Petz (five) at UFC Fight Night 6 have scored more knockdowns in a fight.

Emmett is the only fighter in UFC history to land four knockdowns in a single round. He accomplished the feat against Arantes at UFC Fight Night 118.

Remaining main card

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Santiago Ponzinibbio’s (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) five-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied with Colby Covington for the second longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (six).

Ponzinibbio has earned 20 of his 25 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 16 of those wins in Round 1.

Ponzinibbio’s four first-round knockout victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Anthony Johnson (five).

Ponzinibbio has landed 91 percent of his strikes in UFC competition from a distance, the largest proportion in welterweight history.

Mike Perry

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

Perry has landed seven knockdowns in five UFC appearances.

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

Glover Teixeira (26-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is 4-4 in his past eight UFC appearances.

Teixeira’s nine victories since 2012 in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied with Ryan Bader for the most in the division.

Glover Teixeira

Teixeira’s seven stoppage victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Jon Jones (nine), Chuck Liddell (nine) and Ovince Saint Preux (eight).

Teixeira’s three submission victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are fourth for third most in divisional history behind Jones (five), Saint Preux (four) and Renato Sobral (four).

Teixeira completes 51.4 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC light-heavyweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Lyoto Machida (65 percent).

Teixeira has landed 86.8 percent of his significant strikes in UFC light-heavyweight competition to his opponent’s head, the largest proportion among active fighters in the division.

Misha Cirkunov (13-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage. That includes all four of his UFC wins.

Cirkunov’s three submission victories in UFC light-heavyweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Jones (five), Saint Preux (four) and Sobral (four).

Preliminary card

Jan Blachowicz

Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is one of two light heavyweights in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a body kick. He accomplished the feat against Ilir Latifi at UFC Fight Night 53.

Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is 2-1 since he dropped to the UFC light-heavyweight division in December 2016.

Cannonier has earned eight of his 10 career victories by stoppage.

Darren Stewart (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) competes in his second UFC bout in a 35-day span. He lost to Karl Roberson at UFC Fight Night 120 in November.

Stewart is winless in his past three fights after starting his career with seven straight wins.

Galore Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is one of nine fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a slam. He accomplished the feat against Charlie Ward at UFC Fight Night 113.

Tim Elliott

Tim Elliott (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) is 1-2 since he returned to the UFC for a second stint in December 2016.

Elliott has alternated wins and losses in his past four fights. He suffered a defeat to Ben Nguyen in his most recent bout, at UFC Fight Night 110.

Elliott’s 35 takedowns landed in UFC flyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Demetrious Johnson (57).

Elliott lands 64.8 percent of his takedown attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Abel Trujillo (15-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) was taken down a UFC record 21 times in his unanimous-decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 160.

John Makdessi

John Makdessi (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) is one of four fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a spinning back fist. He accomplished the feat against Kyle Watson at UFC 129.

Makdessi lands 51.4 percent of his significant strike attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Olivier Aubin-Mercier (56.5 percent).

Makdessi defends 72.4 percent of opponent significant strike attempts in UFC lightweight competition, the highest rate in divisional history.

Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by first-round knockout.

Jordan Mein (29-12 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is 0-2 since he returned from retirement in December 2016.

Mein enters the event on a three-fight losing skid. He hasn’t earned a victory since August 2014.

Erick Silva

Erick Silva (19-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) has earned all seven of his UFC victories by stoppage.

Silva’s six first-round stoppage victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Josh Koscheck for second most in divisional history behind Matt Hughes (seven).

Silva’s five submission victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Hughes and Gunnar Nelson for second most in divisional history behind Chris Lytle (six).

Silva landed all 18 significant strikes thrown in his 52-second knockout of Takenori Sato at UFC Fight Night 36. That’s the most in UFC history for a fighter who didn’t miss a strike.

Silva is the only fighter in UFC history to have three fights with the organization without absorbing a single strike.

Silva has been awarded seven fight-night bonuses for UFC welterweight bouts, tied with Carlos Condit for second most in divisional history behind Lytle (10).

Nordine Taleb (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) lands 53 percent of all significant strike attempts in UFC welterweight competition, the second highest rate among active fighters in the weight class behind Matt Brown (54 percent).

Taleb defends 68.2 percent of all opponent significant strikes in UFC welterweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors 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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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Roberts vs. Westcott, Blachowicz vs. Cannonier added to UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg

UFC on FOX 26 additions include a pair of fighters looking to build on recent wins and a replacement opponent making a quick turnaround.

UFC officials today announced that England’s Danny Roberts (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will meet Canada’s Sheldon Westcott (9-3-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC on FOX 26, which takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Additionally, light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) has agreed to step in against Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

The night’s official bout order has yet to be revealed.

Roberts saw action most recently at July’s UFC Fight Night 113, scoring a TKO win over Bobby Nash. Roberts is now 8-1 in his past nine appearances (including four in the UFC), with the lone loss in that time coming to fast-rising contender Mike Perry.

Meanwhile, Westcott picked up his first official UFC win at UFC 195 in January 2016. The result snapped a two-fight losing streak for the 33-year-old Westcott, who will look to return from nearly two years on the sidelines thanks to injuries.

Blachowicz fought just three weeks ago, picking up a submission win over Devin Clark at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. The victory was a much-needed result for the veteran, and he now hopes to build on that momentum stepping in for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who was pulled from the contest after being flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Cannonier got back on track in July with a third-round TKO of Nick Roehrick at the TUF 25 Finale in Las Vegas. Roehrick was a late replacement for Steve Bosse, who had to pull out of the fight with an injury. That got Cannonier back in the win column after a decision loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC 208 snapped a two-fight streak.

With the addition, UFC on FOX 26 now includes:

  • Robbie Lawler vs. Rafael dos Anjos
  • Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas
  • Mike Perry vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Julian Marquez vs. Vitor Miranda
  • Galore Bofando vs. Chad Laprise
  • Tim Elliott vs. Justin Scoggins
  • Oluwale Bamgbose vs. Alessio Di Chirico
  • Jordan Mein vs. Erick Silva
  • Sultan Aliev vs. Nordine Taleb
  • John Makdessi vs. Abel Trujillo
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Jared Cannonier
  • Danny Roberts vs. Sheldon Westcott

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for October: A legendary sub ends a historic title fight

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Straus at Bellator 184

It took overcoming some rough spots early, but grappling-savvy Emmanuel Sanchez (16-3 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) looked nothing short of impressive en route to a third-round submission win over former champion Daniel Straus (24-8 MMA, 11-5 BMMA).

After an action-packed first round, which saw some crazy reversals and near-misses, Sanchez took control of the featherweight bout in the final two rounds, marking his best Bellator display yet with the rear-naked choke of Straus.

Instagram Photo

Demetrious Johnson def. Ray Borg at UFC 216

Demetrious Johnson’s (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) long journey toward UFC championship history reached its conclusion with his most memorable octagon moment to date when he scored a spectacular fifth-round submission of Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC).

Johnson’s unprecedented run of success as UFC flyweight champion claimed another victim when he defeated challenger Borg with a one-of-a-kind armbar in the final round. With the win, he broke Anderson Silva’s longstanding UFC title-defense run.

Instagram Photo

Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee at UFC 216

It was far from an easy night of work for Tony Ferguson (24-3 MMA, 14-1 UFC), but a third-round triangle choke got Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) to tap. It earned “El Cucuy” the UFC’s interim lightweight title.

After a back-and-forth two rounds, Ferguson’s superiority on the ground allowed him to set up a slick triangle choke. Lee attempted to fight out of it, but the choke was too fight, and he was forced to tap out in the title fight.

Instagram Photo

Jan Blachowicz def. Devin Clark at UFC Fight Night 118

Devin Clark’s (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) rushing attack had Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) on his heels in the first round. But in the second, Blachowicz had an answer to end the light-heavyweight bout.

Clark exposed his neck while charging forward, and Blachowicz seized it. He secured a rarely seen standing no-hooks rear-naked choke in the second round, ending a three-fight slump for the Polish fighter.

Instagram Photo

Vicente Luque def. Niko Price at UFC Fight Night 119

Vicente Luque (12-6-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) made the most of his short-notice opportunity against Niko Price (11-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), chipping away with heavy shots until a finish presented itself.

Luque dropped Price with a combo in the second round of the welterweight fight. But rather than punch his way to a stoppage, he locked in a D’Arce choke and forced a tap, becoming just the third fighter in UFC history to earn two or more submission wins with the technique.

Instagram Photo

* * * *

The Winner: Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious Johnson

In what may go down as the slickest finish in his record-breaking championship reign, Johnson tapped Borg with a fifth-round armbar.

Just when it appeared Johnson was going to cruise to an easy decision win over Borg, “Mighty Mouse” lifted his opponent, grabbed his left arm in one fluid motion, and got a tap-out from an armbar at the 3:15 mark of the fifth round.

Johnson was listening when Borg said in a pre-fight interview he liked to upset his opponents’ balance to initiate winning scrambles. When he saw an opportunity to do the same, Johnson seized it and pulled off his eye-popping armbar.

“A couple of weeks ago, he was saying when somebody’s planted, you have to shift their weight, and when they shift their weight, they’re light,” Johnson said following the pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “So I kneed him, and then I shook his weight – I shifted his weight, and when he shifted, he went back and threw and elbow, and I was like, ‘Got you.’”

It wasn’t the first time Johnson had pulled off such a move, which he dubbed the “Mighty Armbar,” as improvisational as it seemed. He had pulled it off several times in practice for UFC 215, where he was originally scheduled for his try at the all-time UFC record before Borg fell ill and was forced to withdraw the day before the fight.

But the general public would never have known it was coming since Johnson has a strict rule of secrecy when it comes to his work in the gym.

“You see a lot of people that are doing their (video blogs), but I don’t show any of my training,” he said. “I just don’t do it. It’s none of your guys’ business what I’m doing in the gym. But we do have the ‘(UFC) Embedded’ crew come out there, and I show my warmup, and they’re like, ‘Dude, you need to let us film your sparring because the stuff you’re doing in sparring, you’re actually doing in the octagon.’

“When I was in Edmonton (for UFC 215), I was practically throwing people up. I do it all the time in the gym.”

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

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Darren Till and UFC Fight Night 118's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

A potential star was born in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 headliner when Darren Till added a most noteworthy win to his undefeated record against fan favorite and former UFC title challenger Donald Cerrone.

Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) bludgeoned Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) for a first-round TKO in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed welterweight main event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, adding more credibility to those touting him as the next big thing from England.

Prior to Till’s impressive win, Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) and Oskar Piechota (10-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) all made impressions for various reasons with key victories.

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 118’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Oskar Piechota

Should fight: Trevor Smith
Why they should fight: He didn’t have a thrilling fight or decisive finish, but as far as UFC debuts go, Piechota turned in a solid performance with his unanimous-decision victory over Jonathan Wilson.

The former Cage Warriors champion admitted post-fight that he probably wasn’t as physically prepared for his first octagon appearance as he should have been. His conditioning showed, but he vowed to come back in better shape for his next fight.

Piechota is another solid European to join the UFC roster, and in a middleweight division filled with opportunity, the unbeaten fighter has some potential to flourish. Smith (15-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) is a tested veteran who has a lot of experienced in the UFC, Strikeforce and various other notable organizations. “Hot Sauce” was forced out of a fight on the same card due to injury, but as soon as he recovers, a matchup with Piechota would work for his comeback.

Jan Blachowicz

Should fight: Jared Cannonier
Why they should fight: With his UFC career likely on the line, Blachowicz delivered in a key moment when he scored a slick second-round submission of Devin Clark in their light heavyweight bout.

Blachowicz entered the UFC several years ago with a lot of hype behind him. He’s struggled against top competition, but perhaps his strong effort against Clark will represent a turning point.

The Polish fighter needs to continue his rebuild process, and a matchup with Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is fitting. Cannonier just lost his UFC on FOX 26 opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira due to a potential USADA violation. and Blachowicz is in position to be a suitable replacement.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Should fight: Jessica Andrade
Why they should fight: Former strawweight title challenger Kowalkiewicz rebounded from a two-fight skid with a unanimous decision win over promotional newcomer Jodie Esquibel to get her career back on track.

Kowalkiewicz is still one of the top contenders in the 155-pound division, and now that her rough patch is a thing of the past, she can return to fighting fellow elite names in her weight class.

During her post-fight interview Kowalkiewicz mentioned a showdown with Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who is coming off a dominant win over Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 117. The Brazilian named Kowalkiewicz as someone she wants to fight, and with all sides apparently on board, the matchup makes itself.

Darren Till

Should fight: Winner of Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Mike Perry at UFC on FOX 26
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Till should fight the winner of the UFC on FOX 26 bout between Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC-Gdansk winner Jan Blachowicz wants 'Shogun' after snapping skid with flashy choke

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

GDANSK, Poland – The MMA community couldn’t stop geeking out over the standing bulldog choke that secured Jan Blachowicz’s win over Devin Clark at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118.

Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) was certainly happy to walk away with the finish over Clark (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) – and snap a two-fight losing skid in the process. But as far as the rare submission goes, don’t expect elaborate breakdowns from the light heavyweight, who couldn’t even tell whether he’d pulled it off before or not.

“Really, I don’t remember,” Blachowicz told reporters after the main card scrap, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. “Maybe a long time ago but in training. Never in the fight. …

“He just made a mistake. I used it perfectly, and I finished the fight.”

The submission would go on to earn “Performance of the Night” honors.

Considering a third loss in a skid is something few UFC fighters can afford, walking into Saturday’s bout meant some added weight on Blachowicz ‘s shoulders. But only to a point, he says.

“When I stepped onto the cage, the pressure was gone,” Blachowicz said. “And I just enjoyed the fight.”

The Polish fighter also got to enjoy another bonus: the “amazing” feeling that came with getting some love from the crowd. As for those who aren’t as loving – his critics, that is – Blachowicz has a pretty straightforward message.

“I feel sorry for them,” Blachowicz said.

In any case, with the skid in the past, Blachowicz can now focus on his future. And while he points out it’s mostly out of his hands, he wouldn’t mind having a stab at a former UFC champion.

“This is not my decision, but I would like a fight against ‘Shogun’ (Mauricio Rua),” Blachowicz said.

To hear from Blachowicz, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 118 bonuses: Darren Till, Jan Blachowicz earn $50K for big finishes

GDANSK, Poland – Darren Till, Jan Blachowicz, Brian Kelleher, and Damian Stasiak each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event, which MMAjunkie attended.

Till and Blachowicz each won “Performance of the Night” honors, while Kelleher vs. Stasiak was awarded “Fight of the Night.”

Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) picked apart Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) and battered him with his left hand before a finish at the 4:20 mark of the opening frame. Clark (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) exposed his neck charging forward, and Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) seized it, securing a standing bulldog choke at the 3:02 mark of the second round.

Kelleher (18-8 MMA, 2-1 UFC) struggled through some early adversity but managed to rallying for a TKO finish of Stasiak (10-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at the 3:39 mark of Round 3.

UFC Fight Night 118 took place Saturday at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and stream entirely on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter was in awe of Jan Blachowicz's standing bulldog choke finisher at UFC-Gdansk

Devin Clark figured he could rush in on Jan Blachowicz to open the second round, because he came out of the first with Blachowicz reeling.

That, however, turned out to be a huge mistake.

Clark (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) charged forward and landed an overhand right as the two men pressed against the cage. But he left his neck exposed, and Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) pounced to score an incredible submission win while standing at UFC Fight Night 118.

Check it out here (via Twitter):

Officially, the method of Blachowicz’s victory was announced as a standing rear-naked choke, but it was technically a *bulldog* choke, which is rare in MMA.

It was awesome and had folks geeking out on Twitter:

UFC Fight Night 118 took place today at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and streamed entirely on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, 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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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 118 results: Jan Blachowicz surprises rushing Devin Clark with vicious choke

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Devin Clark’s rushing attack had Jan Blachowicz on his heels in the first round. But in the second, Blachowicz had an answer.

Clark (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) exposed his neck charging forward, and Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) seized it, securing a no-hooks rear-naked choke at the 3:02 mark of the second round.

The light-heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 118 event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

The momentum of the finishing sequence sent Blachowicz tumbling to the mat after Clark tapped to the choke, bringing a swift reversal to a fight that previously was going the American’s way.

Blachowicz was unable to catch Clark as he quickly darted in and out of range. Clark punished the legs with kicks and landed a right hand that wobbled his Polish opponent as they disengaged. Clark seemed to have found the answer to Blachowicz’s conventional kickboxing approach.

In the second round, Blachowicz found better luck keeping Clark at bay with kicks. One of them visibly hurt Clark, prompting him to shoot for a takedown. This time, Blachowicz stuffed the attempt and got his own takedown. But Clark escaped to his feet and reset for a charge.

A rear-naked choke was probably the last thing Clark expected as he missed on a right hand and briefly turned his back to Blachowicz. But in an instant, he paid for that miscalculation.

Clark now sees a two-fight streak snapped while Poland native Blachowicz likely saves his UFC job after a 1-4 skid in the octagon.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 118 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in Poland.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

After stumble out of gate, UFC Fight Night 118's Devin Clark turns back on 185 pounds

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GDANSK, Poland – Devin Clark had two months to shrink his body to middleweight size after three years as a professional light heavyweight.

Despite the 20-pound gap to close, Clark wasn’t about to shun the task. After he won the LFA title at 205 pounds, UFC President Dana White had offered him a chance to fight in the octagon at UFC Fight Night 91.

The new weight division offered Clark a foot in the door, but as it turned out, it started him off on the wrong foot. Less than 5 minutes into his debut, he was knocked out by Alex Nicholson.

Clark (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) moved back to his traditional division in his next fight, and he’s now won two straight. On Saturday at UFC Fight Night 118, he faces Polish veteran Jan Blachowicz (19-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC), a former KSW champ who’s UFC career is on the rocks.

Unless big money or a belt is on the table, Clark has no intention of returning to 185 pounds. Between the extra weight and work with top-tier training partners, he said his game has improved by leaps and bounds.

“Being at Jackson-Winkeljohn longer,” Clark told MMAjunkie. “This is my fourth camp, working with Jon Jones a lot, but also everybody else at Jackson Wink. Coming from South Dakota, where I didn’t have much training, that’s a huge change in my progression.”

Now that Clark is trending up, the UFC’s offer puts him across from a fighter who’s likely fighting to save his job. Blachowicz, who entered the UFC as a 17-3 powerhouse in the European MMA scene, is now 1-4 in his past four outings. Most recently, he suffered a majority decision loss to Patrick Cummins, who managed to outstrike him using the threat of wrestling.

Clark is on Blachowicz’s turf as he tries to reverse his fortune. It’s not a job favorable to a fighter trying to build his brand. But then again, it could win him big points with the UFC if he’s able to upset the hometown favorite.

“He’s a tough dude. Nobody’s finished him in the UFC, and he’s fought some really good opponents,” Clark said of Blachowicz. “So obviously, I have to fight smart. But I know I can finish him if I want to. I know what I can do, and I know what he can do, and I know at the end of the day, I can come out on top.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 118 staff picks: How many are picking unbeaten Darren Till to upset 'Cowboy'?

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Cerrone
vs.
Till
Esquibel
vs.
Kowalkiewicz
Blachowicz
vs.
Clark
Piechota
vs.
Wilson
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 94-66
cerrone2017
Cerrone
(74%)
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
(96%)
blachowicz2017
Blachowicz
(63%)
piechota2017
Piechota
(68%)
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 102-58
trophy copy 2015 Champion
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 101-59
till2017
Till
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 100-60
trophy copy 2016 Champion
till2017
Till
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 99-61
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 97-63
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 95-65
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 93-67
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
blachowicz2017
Blachowicz
piechota2017
Piechota
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 93-67
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 92-68
trophy copy 2014 Champion
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 91-69
till2017
Till
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
blachowicz2017
Blachowicz
piechota2017
Piechota

The UFC returns to Poland this week with a fun welterweight scdrap in the main event.

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Saturday at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, 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 lightweight title challenger Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) continues his run at welterweight against unbeaten British up-and-comer Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC). Cerrone is a slight betting favorite and is trying to snap the first two-fight losing skid of his career. He’s the pick of seven of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-feature, former women’s strawweight title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) fights for her home fans in Poland against Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who will be making her UFC debut. Kowalkiewicz is the biggest favorite on the card at more than 4-1, and to little surprise she’s a unanimous pick from our staff members.

Also on the main card, Jan Blachowicz (19-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC) fights in front of his home fans in a light heavyweight bout against Devin Clark (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC). But it’s Clark who has the nod from eight of our 10 pickers. And unbeaten promotional newcomer Oskar Piechota (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will try to thrill his home fans when he takes on Jonathan Wilson (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at middleweight. Piechota is a 2-1 favorite and is our second unanimous pick on the card.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Cerrone, Kowalkiewicz, Blachowicz and Piechota are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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