MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event in Poland.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 118 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 118 takes place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till

Records: Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC)
Past five: Cerrone 3-2, Till 4-0-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Cerrone No. 10
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Cerrone -150, Till +120

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Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Records: Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Past five: Esquibel 3-2, Kowalkiewicz 3-2
Division: Women’s strawweight
Rankings: Kowalkiewicz No. 4
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Kowalkiewicz -465, Esquibel +345

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Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark

Records: Jan Blachowicz (19-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC), Devin Clark (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Past five: Blachowicz 1-4, Clark 4-1
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Clark -150, Blachowicz +120

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Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

Records: Oskar Piechota (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Jonathan Wilson (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Past five: Piechota 5-0, Wilson 3-2
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Piechota -200, Wilson +160

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Here's the official UFC-Gdansk poster with 'Cowboy' and Darren Till

Dann StuppCheck out the official poster for UFC Fight Night 118, which marks just the second time the UFC has visited Poland.

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass. It’s the first event in Poland since UFC Fight Night 64 took place in Krakow in 2015.

Here’s the recently released poster for the latest card, which features welterweight headliners Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) andDarren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC), as well as co-headliners Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC):

How do you rate UFC Fight Night 118’s poster? Give it a grade:

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The full UFC Fight Night 118 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (3 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

PRELIMINARY CARD (11:45 a.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)

  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Warlley Alves vs. Jim Wallhead
  • Aspen Ladd vs. Lina Lansberg
  • Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett

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

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

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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for 'OSP,' Andrade and UFC Fight Night 117's other winning fighters?

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The UFC’s latest event in Japan was arguably the weakest of all on paper, but in practice, it produced some solid action, with four of six fights on the FXX-televised main card ending inside the distance.

Ovince Saint Preux (21-10 MMA, 9-5 UFC) once again pulled off his signature submission in the light heavyweight main event, which took place at Saitama Super Arena. “OSP” put away late-notice replacement Yushin Okami (34-11 MMA, 13-6 UFC) with a Von Flue choke submission in the first round to give him consecutive wins for the first time in more than two years.

The remainder of the lineup included a statement performance from former strawweight title challenger Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) as well as victories by ”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Gokhan Saki (1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Teruto Ishihara (10-4-2 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC) and Jussier Formiga (20-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC).

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 117’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Ben Nguyen

Jussier Formiga

Should fight: Ben Nguyen
Why they should fight: Formiga put on one of the finest performances of his UFC career when he went into Ulka Sasaki’s home country and earned a submission in the opening round of the flyweight fight.

Formiga has been part of the UFC’s 125-pound since its inception, and despite being ranked in or around the top-five for the entire time, he’s one of the few contenders that’s yet to get a shot at champion Demetrious Johnson.

The win over Sasaki isn’t going to get the Brazilian his long-awaited title shot, but it moves him in the right direction. Formiga needs to string together a few in a row against relevant names. A matchup with Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC), who is on a nice run of his own, would be a perfect next step.

Godofredo Pepey

Teruto Ishihara

Should fight: Godofredo Pepey
Why they should fight: After losing back-to-back fights, Ishihara got back on track with a solid unanimous decision win against lesser-known Ronaldo Dy.

Ishihara’s personality has gained him a lot of traction, but his past two performances, which were close decision losses to Gray Maynard and Artem Lobov, took some of his luster away. The step back in competition was just what he needed, and it led Ishihara to a win.

At this point Ishihara hasn’t proven himself as much more than an action fighter in the featherweight division. Fortunately for him there’s many others in his weight class who fit the same role. Pepey (13-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) may be coming off a loss, but there’s no doubt the feisty Brazilian would give Ishihara a scrap.

Steve Bosse

Gokhan Saki

Should fight: Steve Bosse
Why they should fight: The much-anticipated debut of former kickboxing champion Saki went about as good as possible when he styled out on Henrique da Silva for a first-round knockout courtesy of his left hand.

Saki competed in one MMA fight back in 2004, but since then has gone through an extraordinary combat sports journey. After a decorated career in kickboxing, he decided to test his chops in the UFC light heavyweight division with minimal MMA experience. He passed his first test, but it’s not going to get any easier going forward.

“The Rebel” clearly has terrifying striking, but the big test will be when someone can put him in a compromising position on the ground. It would be best to avoid that as long as possible, though, so he should get another matchup with a striking-based opponent. Bosse (12-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), the former hockey enforcer turned MMA slugger, would almost certainly be willing to stand toe-to-toe with “The Rebel.”

Scott Holtzman

“Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim

Should fight: Scott Holtzman
Why they should fight: Although Takanori Gomi is a diminished version of what he once was, “Maestro” Kim added the most noteworthy victory of his career so far to his resume when he defeated the former PRIDE FC lightweight champion by TKO in just 90 seconds.

Kim handed Gomi his fifth consecutive loss, and likely ended his UFC career, with a solid performance which put him back on even ground when it comes to his UFC record (2-2). He may lack the skills of a top 155-pound fighter, but, the South Korean has proven to be an exciting competitor each time he steps in the octagon. The UFC embraces that, and a matchup with Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) would bring out the best in Kim’s skillset.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Jessica Andrade

Should fight: Winner of Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Jodie Esquibel at UFC Fight Night 118
Why they should fight: Andrade rebounded from her title-fight loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk earlier this year with arguably the biggest victory of her career against Claudia Gadelha.

Andrade became the first fighter outside of Jedrzejczyk to defeat her fellow Brazilian, scoring a one-sided unanimous decision win in the crucial women’s strawweight co-headliner. She put herself right back near the top of the totem pole in the 115-pound pecking order, but considering the recent and, more importantly, lopsided nature of her defeat to Jedrzejczyk, she’s going to need to do more before another crack at the gold comes her way.

It’s clear Andrade isn’t going to be an easy out for anyone in her weight class. Her primary goal is to take out any contender willing to sign a contract to face her, and her wish for the winner of the UFC Fight Night 118 between Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who meet on Oct. 21 in Poland, is quite realistic.

Ovince Saint Preux

Should fight: Mauricio Rua
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Saint Preux should rebook his rematch with Rua (25-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Karolina Kowalkiewicz meets 6-time Invicta FC vet Jodie Esquibel in Poland

Polish strawweight contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) returns home for next month’s UFC Fight Night 118 event, where she’ll take on six-time Invicta FC veteran Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

UFC officials recently announced the new matchup. Kowalkiewicz is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings.

While a headlining bout has yet to be revealed, UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk. The entire event streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

Esquibel is a 31-year-old Jackson-Wink MMA fighter who saw action most recently at March’s Invicta FC 22 event, scoring a split-decision win over DeAnna Bennett, who is currently competing on “The Ultimate Fighter 26.” Esquibel is 3-1 in her past four appearances, all under the Invicta FC banner, with the lone loss coming to fast-rising UFC contender Alexa Grasso.

Kowalkiewicz fights in her home country for the first time in her UFC career. The homecoming comes at a key time for the 31-year-old contender, who came up short in a November 2016 bid for the UFC strawweight title but then suffered a shocking first-round submission loss to Claudia Gadelha at this past June’s UFC 212 results. The back-to-back defeats are the only two losses of Kowalkiewicz’s professional career.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

With Evinger's title vacated for UFC 214 shot, lineup set for Invicta FC 25: Pa'aluhi vs. Kunitskaya

With its bantamweight champion off to go after the UFC’s featherweight title on Saturday, Invicta FC will crown a new 135-pound champ next month. The lineup now is set for the card.

Evinger vacated Invicta’s 135-pound title to fight ex-Invicta FC 145-pound champ Cristiane Justino at UFC 214 on Saturday for the vacant women’s featherweight title. So Raquel Pa’aluhi (6-5) will take on Yana Kunitskaya (9-3-1) for the now-vacant bantamweight title in the Invicta FC 25 main event. Another title will be on the line in the co-main event when Livia Renata Souza (10-1) takes on Jodie Esquibel (6-2) for the vacant strawweight title.

Invicta FC 25 takes place Aug. 31 at Tachi Palace Casino in Lemoore, Calif. The entire card will stream on UFC Fight Pass. And that card now is complete with a total of seven more bouts below the two title tilts.

Alexa Conners (4-1) will meet Katharina Lehner (5-0) at bantamweight; Sharon Jacobson (3-1) meets Kali Robbins (4-0) at strawweight; atomweights Alyse Anderson (3-0) and Shino VanHoose (5-5) will square off; in bantamweight action, Kelly McGill-Velasco (2-1) fights Amberlynn Orr (0-1), and Yaya Rincon (1-0) takes on Stephanie Egger (2-1); Cheri Muraski (3-0) fights Tracy Cortez (0-0) at flyweight; and debuting atomweights Ashley Medina (0-0) and Jillian DeCoursey (0-0) are booked to open the card.

Kunitskaya (9-3-1) will enter after a pair of fights with Evinger. Kunitskaya originally defeated Evinger by submission in Nov. 2016 but later had the result overturned because of a controversial call by the referee. They rematched in March, with Evinger winning by second-round submission.

Pa’aluhi (6-5) will enter having won four of her last five fights, including most recently a rear-naked choke finish in January at Invicta FC 21. She will enter trying to follow the footsteps of UFC champion Max Holloway to bring a second MMA title to Waianae, Hawaii.

Souza (10-1) will enter her bout against Esquibel (6-2) looking to reclaim the 115-pound title she lost in a split decision to Hill in May 2016. Souza rebounded with an impressive TKO finish of Ayaka Hamasaki in March at Invicta FC 22.

Esquibel, who has won three of her last four, had her most recent fight on the same night, defeating DeAnna Bennett by split decision.

The complete Invicta FC 25 lineup includes:

  • Raquel Pa’aluhi vs. Yana Kunitskaya – for vacant bantamweight title
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Livia Renata Souza – for vacant strawweight title
  • Alexa Conners Katharina Lehner
  • Sharon Jacobson vs. Kali Robbins
  • Alyse Anderson vs. Shino VanHoose
  • Kelly McGill-Velasco vs. Amberlynn Orr
  • Stephanie Egger vs. Yaya Rincon
  • Tracy Cortez vs. Cheri Muraski
  • Jillian DeCoursey vs. Ashley Medina

For more on Invicta FC 25, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Championship doubleheader slated for Invicta FC 25 in California

Invicta FC is going to California and bringing a championship doubleheader event with it.

The promotion announced Monday that Invicta FC 25 will take place Aug. 31 at Tachi Palace in Lemoore, Calif., and atop the card, which will stream on UFC Fight Pass, is a pair fights for vacant title belts.

In the main event, Yana Kunitskaya and Raquel Pa’aluhi will face off for the bantamweight title recently vacated by longtime champion Tonya Evinger, who will compete later this month in a title fight at UFC 214. The co-headliner will feature Livia Renata Souza and Jodie Esquibel battling for the strawweight belt vacated by UFC fighter Angela Hill.

Kunitskaya (9-3-1) will enter after a pair of fights with Evinger. Kunitskaya originally defeated Evinger by submission in Nov. 2016 but later had the result overturned because of a controversial call by the referee. They rematched in March, with Evinger winning by second-round submission. Pa’aluhi (6-5) will enter having won four of her last five fights, including most recently a rear-naked choke finish in January at Invicta FC 21. She will enter trying to follow the footsteps of UFC champion Max Holloway to bring a second MMA title to Waianae, Hawaii.

Souza (10-1) will enter her bout against Esquibel (6-2) looking to reclaim the 115-pound title she lost in a split decision to Hill in May 2016. Souza rebounded with an impressive TKO finish of Ayaka Hamasaki in March at Invicta FC 22. Esquibel, who has won three of her last four, had her most recent fight on the same night, defeating DeAnna Bennett by split decision.

For more on Invicta FC 25, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie