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

Calderwood vs. Rawlings, Kennedy vs. Volkanovski set for UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney

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The UFC’s return to the “Land Down Under” has another pair of fights headed for the card.

Joanne Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will take on Australia’s own Bec Rawlings (7-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in the newly created women’s flyweight division at UFC Fight Night 121. UFC officials announced the booking following an initial report from the Brisbane Times.

And according to a report from E. Spencer Kyte in The Province, Canadian featherweight Jeremy Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will fight Alex Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the card. UFC officials have not made a formal announcement of that booking.

UFC Fight Night 121 takes place Nov. 19 (but airs in the U.S. on Nov. 18 due to the time difference) at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It’s expected to air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

After talking about her struggles to make 115 pounds for years, and after missing the strawweight limit her most recent time out against Cynthia Valvillo, Calderwood finally gets to fight at 125 on a likely permanent basis. After starting her career a perfect 8-0, she came to the UFC by way of Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” On the show, she lost to eventual runner-up Rose Namajunas in the semifinals.

Still, she won three of her first four in the UFC, including a “Fight of the Night” decision over Cortney Casey, and a TKO of Valerie Letourneau in a special flyweight fight in June 2016, well before the UFC officially brought the division in. But at UFC 203 nearly a year ago, she was submitted by Jessica Andrade. And at UFC Fight Night 113 in July in front of her home fans, she missed weight and lost a decision to Calvillo.

Bec Rawlings

Rawlings has back-to-back losses, as well. Like Calderwood, she got her UFC shot courtesy of “TUF 20.” On the show’s live finale, she dropped a decision to Heather Jo Clark. But she bounced back with consecutive wins in her home country of Australia – a submission of Lisa Ellis in 2015 and a decision over Seo Hee Hamm in 2016.

Those wins earned her a step up in competition. But against Paige VanZant in the UFC on FOX 21 co-main event a year ago, she was caught with a head kick early in the second round. And against Tecia Torres at UFC Fight Night 104 in February, she missed the strawweight limit at weigh-ins, then lost a decision on fight night.

Jeremy Kennedy

Kennedy will put 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.

Strangely enough, it will be the third straight time Kennedy will go into his opponent’s home base to fight. His UFC debut came in front of his own home fans in British Columbia. But since then, he’s had to fight Jason in Brazil, Bochniak on Long Island, and now Volkanovski in Australia.

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.

With the additions, UFC Fight Night 121 now includes:

  • Mark Hunt vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Belal Muhammad vs. Jesse Taylor
  • Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alex Volkanovski

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Undefeated Jeremy Kennedy explains Gray Maynard callout after UFC on FOX 25 win

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5517749988001
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – After adding a third octagon win to his undefeated record at Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25, Jeremy Kennedy quickly fired off the next name on his hitlist: Gray Maynard.

But unlike other callouts that took place that night, there is no bad blood behind Kennedy’s (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC). Speaking to reporters after his  unanimous decision win over Kyle Bochniak (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC), the featherweight offered a respectful and simple explanation for his interest in Maynard (13-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC).

“Everyone knows who Gray Maynard is,” Kennedy said after the preliminary card scrap, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. “He’s coming off a win. He’s right out there, you know, outside of the top-15 – if not, right around there. I’m looking to break into the top-15. He just fought (earlier this month at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale).

“I think around the same timeline, it just makes the most sense that way. But, really, anybody that – I want a guy that has a name. I can tell people, ‘Hey, I’m fighting this guy and they know’ instead of me having to explain it or whatever. I’m in the UFC now. I want to keep fighting these name guys. If they’re in the top 15, even better. But I want them coming off of a win.”

While Maynard is indeed coming off a (big) win, a dominant unanimous decision over Teruto Ishihara, he’s seen a rough few years in the octagon. After two memorable title battles with then-champ Frankie Edgar in 2011 – a split draw and a fourth-round knockout loss – he followed a win over Clay Guida with four straight losses. Maynard, now 37, then decided to drop to the 145-pound division, where he’s gone 2-1.

While Kennedy’s record certainly lacks the high-profile names featured on Maynard’s, the 24-year-old Canadian prospect has most recently taken unanimous decisions over Alessandro Ricci, Rony Jason and Bochniak to round out a perfect pro record.

In what would be a classic up-and-comer vs. veteran battle, there certainly wouldn’t be any lack of respect on Kennedy’s end.

“I watched Gray Maynard when he fought Frankie Edgar on that New Year’s card (UFC 125) way back in the day,” Kennedy said. “I was a fan, I was just a kid there. So to think now, fast forward, how many years, I could be possibly fighting him. That’d be amazing.”

 

Ideally, Kennedy says he’d like to take a four-month window between fights. But if Maynard is OK with ditching his own original target and happens be available for the UFC 216 card in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the Sept. 9 date might just work.

“It’s a little close, but I’m healthy,” Kennedy said. “It’s a Canadian card. Makes sense. If he’s ready, I’m ready.”

To hear from Kennedy, check out the video above.

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

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

UFC on FOX 25 results: Jeremy Kennedy's grappling shines to remain undefeated

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By the time Kyle Bochniak was able to slug it out with Jeremy Kennedy, he was already down two rounds.

Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) ran a takedown clinic on Bochniak (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) to take home a unanimous decision by scores of 30-27 twice and 29-28.

The featherweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 25 event at NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FOX.

Kennedy remains unbeaten as a professional and picks up his second win in the octagon, while Bochniak goes back to the loss column after beating Enrique Barzola on points this past August.

A winging overhand provided Kennedy the excuse needed to put Bochniak on the mat early, and he was able to control the fight for much of the round. Bochniak managed to get up with one minute left in the opening frame, only to take a flurry of knees to the midsection before taking another trip southward.

Kennedy rinsed and repeated in the middle frame. This time, Bochniak showed off a nice sweep to get back to his feet. But the end result was still the same as Kennedy dragged him back down.

The high-pace grappling may have taken its toll on Kennedy, because in the final frame he played with fire as Bochniak came in hot with punches. Several right hands landed clean to Kennedy’s chin, but he got a gift when Bochniak inadvertently kicked the groin. A break allowed Kennedy to catch his breath, and before the end of the fight, he was able to get one more takedown.

In the final exchange, Kennedy left Bochniak with an indelible reminder of the fight, landing an elbow that opened a generous cut.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 25 results include:

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

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in New York.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie