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

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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Source: MMA Junkie

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira hit with potential USADA violation, pulled from UFC on FOX 26

A potential U.S. Anti-Doping Agency violation has forced Antonio Rogerio Nogueira out of December’s UFC on FOX 26 event.

Officials today announced Nogueira (22-8 MMA, 5-5 UFC) had been notified of the potential violation, which resulted from an out-of-competition sample collected on Sept. 27. No other details were given, but he later stated his test showed the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide.

From a USADA statement posted to the UFC’s web site:

USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Nogueira. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.

Nogueira was slated to fight Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC). A replacement opponent is being sought.

UFC on FOX 26 takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The card airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Nogueira hasn’t competed since November 2016 when he suffered a second-round TKO loss to Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 100. Prior to that, he earned a first-round TKO of Patrick Cummins at UFC 198 in May 2016.

The 41-year-old Brazilian is among the oldest active fighters on the UFC roster. He’s 1-3 in his past four contests and hasn’t put together consecutive victories since 2013.

Nogueira took to social media to immediately deny any wrongdoing in the situation (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

A translation, per Google Translate:

Students, fans, friends, family: to all who are always by my side, I am here speaking to you.

Today I was surprised by the USADA – dopping control organ – that appeared a diuretic substance in my exams.

I am here to try to clarify because we do not have all the explanations yet, but from now on we will investigate this situation in depth, I have told all of you that I am confident in my innocence and will actually find out what happened, and defend myself in the hour timely

I’ve always played the rules, I’m a veteran fighter and I’ve been in the sport for a long time; and I want to always set an example for the younger ones who mirror the career I built and would never get involved with something unlawful to improve my performance or gain any advantage.

I have never needed to take a diuretic, everyone who accompanies me mainly my coaches, know that I never had any difficulties to lose weight and this is the function of the diuretic.

As soon as the UFC marks my fight, I start a process of diet and training for precisely, at the end of the camp does not suffer with the weight loss.

It is very difficult going through this, for me I have always been honest, and especially with my work, that I dedicated myself and still dedicate myself with much love.

On account unfortunately my fight was canceled, I was very sad about it all, but I hope as soon as possible to clarify this misunderstanding and give spectacular fight to all of you.

Thank you all for your support and respect for me.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

USADA suspends UFC's Nick Roehrick 1 year for doping

Just over one month after he was flagged for a potential doping violation, UFC light heavyweight Nick Roehrick has accepted a suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA announced today that Roehrick, 30, has been suspended for one year after an out-of-competition test conducted Aug. 8 revealed the presence of clomiphene, an estrogen blocker banned year-round, and its metabolite, 4-hydroxyclomiphene.

Roehrick’s suspension is retroactive to the date his provisional suspension was imposed on Aug. 17.

“Clomiphene also indirectly promotes the secretion of testosterone,” read USADA’s statement. “Increasing testosterone, especially when combined with strength training, has been demonstrated to increase fat-free mass, muscle size and strength in males, potentially leading to performance enhancement in sport.”

The positive test came one month after Roehrick made his UFC debut on short notice against Jarod Cannonier at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale in Las Vegas. The event was regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Roehrick (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had won seven straight fights on the international circuit before getting knocked out by Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in the third round of their bout.

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC: USADA notifies Nick Roehrick of potential anti-doping violation

The UFC announced today that its anti-doping partner, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, has notified UFC light heavyweight Nick Roehrick of a potential anti-doping violation.

Roehrick was flagged after an out-of-competition drug test conducted Aug. 8. Per standard USADA procedure, details on the nature of his anti-doping violation are being withheld during the results management process.

“Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed,” read the UFC’s statement. “Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”

Roehrick (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) made his octagon debut on short notice at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, facing Jarod Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at the FS1-televised event on July 7 at T-Mobile Arena. After a spirited early effort, he was knocked out by a series of elbows, resulting in a third-round TKO and his first professional loss.

Prior to being signed to the UFC, Roehrick had won seven straight on the regional circuit.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Nogueira-Cannonier, Bamgbose-Di Chirico added to UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg

The UFC’s FOX card in Winnipeg in December now has its first two bouts.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (22-8 MMA, 5-5 UFC) will take on Jared Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in a light heavyweight fight, and Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) meets Alessio Di Chirico (10-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at middleweight. UFC officials announced the new bookings today.

The FOX card, expected to be UFC on FOX 26, takes place Dec. 16 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The main card will air on FOX following prelims likely for either FOX or FS1, as well as UFC Fight Pass.

Nogueira will fight for the first time in more than a year when he steps in the cage against Cannonier. This past November at UFC Fight Night 100, he was stopped by Ryan Bader with third-round TKO in the headliner in Sao Paulo, Brazil. That erased a first-round TKO of Patrick Cummins earlier in the year, also in Brazil. “Little Nog” has dropped three of his past four fights.

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.

Bamgbose is badly in need of a win. After a 5-0 start to his pro career, including a Ring of Combat middleweight title, he has dropped three of four since arriving in the UFC. His promotional debut was a TKO loss to Uriah Hall, but he followed that up nicely with a head-kick knockout of Daniel Sarafian at UFC Fight Night 83. But since then, he has a decision loss to Cezar Ferreira and a TKO loss at UFC 212 to Paulo Borrachinha in June.

Di Chirico, from Italy, had a 9-0 start to his pro career before falling back with setbacks in two of his past three since coming to the UFC. He lost a decision to Bojan Velickovic in April 2016 in Croatia, but bounced back with a split-decision win over Garreth McLellan later that year in Vancouver. Earlier this year in January, he was submitted in the first round by Eric Spicely at UFC on FOX 23.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Chris Weidman and UFC on FOX 25's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: News, UFC

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What next for UFC on FOX 25’s losing fighters?)

Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 main event had an important impact on the middleweight division. Former champ Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) put himself back in the mix as a relevant player in the weight class with a third-round submission of Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC)

“All-American” wasn’t the only one to get a meaningful victory at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y. In the FOX-televised co-main event, Darren Elkins (23-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) strengthened his featherweight contender status, Patrick Cummins (10-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) won another grueling fight, and Jimmie Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) shut down a hyped up-and-comer in the network-televised opener.

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 on FOX 25’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Jimmie Rivera

Dominick Cruz

Should fight: Dominick Cruz
Why they should fight: Rivera pushed his winning streak to a remarkable 20 consecutive fights when he defeated bantamweight prospect Thomas Almeida by unanimous decision.

Rivera’s nearly nine-year run without a loss continued when he handed a rare defeat to the Brazilian, providing the 135-pound division with further notice that he’s coming for the title. Rivera has had some bad luck with injuries and fight cancellations, but he hopes the latest win secures no less than a No. 1 contender fight.

Immediately following his win, Rivera targeted former UFC champ Cruz (22-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who was calling the action from cageside. “The Dominator” hasn’t fought since losing the 135-pound belt to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207, and with Garbrandt pegged to defend against T.J. Dillashaw next, setting up a fight between Rivera and Cruz would be perfect for the advancement of the division.

Patrick Cummins

Jared Cannonier

Should fight: Jared Cannonier
Why they should fight: Cummins’ up-and-down UFC career once again took an upward turn when he scored a split-decision win over Gian Villante in a hard-fought light heavyweight matchup.

Until Cummins can put together a big run, he’s going to remain relegated to mid-tier 205-pound matchups. That’s a perfectly fine role for now, especially because he’s likely to get more chances to break into the elite going forward.

Cummins’ wrestling is going to be a big threat against any opponent he fights. He’s struggled against hard hitters, though, and Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) matches the power of anyone in the weight class. Cannonier has had difficulty with grapplers during his career, so the danger of the matchup would go both ways.

Darren Elkins

Ricardo Lamas

Should fight: Winner of Ricardo Lamas vs. Jason Knight at UFC 214
Why they should fight: Elkins once again pulled off a huge victory when he went into hostile territory and defeated Dennis Bermudez in a crucial featherweight bout.

Elkins pushed his winning streak to five when he earned a split-decision win over Bermudez in the co-main event affair, setting himself up for more big things in the future.

With the top of the division locked up with a number of potential title-fight scenarios, Elkins is going to need to put in even more work to get in the conversation as a realistic challenger to champ Max Holloway. He’s already on the best run of his UFC tenure, and a victory over the winner of the UFC 214 bout between Lamas (17-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Knight (17-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) would elevate his position even more.

Chris Weidman

Should fight: Ronaldo Souza
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Weidman should fight Ronaldo Souza (24-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 25 Finale's Jared Cannonier quit his job at FAA, so fighting on religious holiday was must

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Jared Cannonier is putting his career first.

After many years of working for the government, he has quit his job at the Federal Aviation Administration, where he worked for eight years as an airway transportation systems specialist.

In many ways, his new full-time job as a UFC light heavyweight is perfect for his schedule. He gets to wake up and train, take a break, and then train again at night.

“It’s not fun working 10 hours a day and then going to try and train at night,” Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) told reporters backstage after beating newcomer and injury replacement Nick Roehrick (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on the FS1-televised prelims of the TUF 25 Finale on Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The victory put Cannonier back in the win column after he took a massive step up in competition, facing onetime title challenger Glover Teixeira and losing via decision.

But not all of the schedule is conducive to Cannonier’s lifestyle. An offer to fight at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale came on the day of Shabbat, a day of rest and celebration for those of the Jewish faith.

Cannonier follows the tenants of Judaism without necessarily identifying as a practicing member of the religion. Still, he was hesitant to take the fight. But he wasn’t in a place to turn down the opportunity.

Hopefully, he doesn’t have to make that choice again.

“I would prefer never to fight on a Shabbat,” he said. “Maybe the next time they offer the fight on Shabbat, I’ll be like, ‘Nah, I can’t do it.’ But I needed the fight to quit my job.”

The good news is, Cannonier is well-compensated for his work. He said with his win over Roehrick, he’s already made enough to live for the rest of the year. Another two fights, he said, “and that’s just extra.”

And for complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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TUF 25 Finale video highlights: Jared Cannonier vs. Nick Roehrick

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

Throughout the first two rounds of their bout, Jared Cannonier hit Nick Roehrick with everything but a paternity suit – and still he couldn’t put him away.

Finally, a head kick from Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) put Roehrick (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on wobbly legs, leading to a brutal TKO finish at the 2:08 mark of Round 3.

The light-heavyweight bout was part of the main card for today’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the highlights above.

Also see:

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

TUF 25 Finale results: Jared Cannonier finally takes out short-notice tough guy Nick Roehrick

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Throughout the first two rounds of their bout, Jared Cannonier hit Nick Roehrick with everything but a paternity suit – and still he couldn’t put him away.

Finally, a head kick from Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) put Roehrick (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on wobbly legs, leading to a brutal TKO finish at the 2:08 mark of Round 3.

The light-heavyweight bout was part of the main card for today’s UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Early on in this one, Cannonier’s speed advantage became apparent as he easily slipped Roehrick’s jabs and fired back with heavy right hands. It didn’t take long until the damage from those rights showed up on Roehrick’s eye, though he absorbed the power shots and kept firing back with his own at every opportunity.

Again and again Cannonier rocked Roehrick with fierce counters and sharp jabs too speedy for him to escape, and several times Roehrick looked like he might not cling to consciousness much longer. Yet each time he managed to survive and keep fighting, even as Cannonier calmly poured on more and more punishment.

Finally, a head kick from Cannonier caught Roehrick just as he was changing levels, sending him staggering back on shaky legs. Cannonier followed and hammered him with a knee to the face in the clinch, and then a blistering elbow strike just above the ear that put Roehrick down.

A few more elbows from inside Roehrick’s guard, and referee John McCarthy had no choice but to step in and wave it off. While Roehrick had proved his ability and willingness to absorb punishment, there was simply no use in letting him continue to demonstrate that skill any longer.

“A fight is a fight,” Cannonier said. “It never goes the way you want it to, so the opponent change didn’t throw me off. Very rarely does a fight go the way you want, and I didn’t expect anything different this time. I just knew I was better than my opponent. I have abs now – that’s the biggest difference in this being my first camp as a full-time fighter. Also, I’m becoming a more well-rounded fighter.

“I only spent four weeks down at The MMA Lab. Next camp, I’ll have a full camp at the Lab, so there will be even more tools in my bag. You heard me call out the man, Gokhan Saki. He’s a striker and I like to strike. I like to test myself against the best in the world, and I believe he’s the very best striker in the world – and I dig that call out.”

Cannonier’s win is his first since a unanimous decision loss to Glover Teixeira in February. Roehrick loses for the first time in his pro career.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 25 Finale results include:

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie