Ecstatic Brett Johns breaks down rare calf slicer that finished Joe Soto at TUF 26 Finale

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – A rare submission over a solid grappler in only 30 seconds? Not bad for someone who wasn’t even expecting a finish.

At Friday’s TUF 26 Finale, Brett Johns (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) became only the second UFC fighter to pull off a calf slicer submission. More impressively, the 25-year-old got it over the ground-savvy Joe Soto (18-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who was riding a three-fight winning streak into the bout.

It’s not that Johns didn’t have confidence in that part of his game. After all, just because he doesn’t take part in grappling tournaments like Soto, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the chops.

“I grapple every day of my life,” Johns said after the FS1-televised bantamweight bout, which opened the main card at Park Theater in Las Vegas. “I do it sometimes three times a day. Just because I don’t show it in a grappling tournament, doesn’t mean I don’t it. And I grapple with the best guys in the world.”

But the Welsh fighter will admit that he wasn’t exactly anticipating the 15th win of his perfect professional record, which now includes three UFC wins, to come with such an exclamation point.

“I wasn’t expecting (a finish), to be honest,” Johns said. “I’m sort of known for being a decision fighter. But every guy I seem to face that I think is a step up, I perform. Back in the old Titan FC days, when I fought for the Titan FC old title, I fought a guy called Walel Watson. (He) was the first UFC vet I fought. I finished him.

“And tonight was the same. I felt (Albert) Morales and (Kwan Ho) Kwak, the first two UFC fights, were good opponents. Up-and-comers. But Joe has been there and done it. Obviously to get a finish over him was amazing. What can I say? It’s a great time for me, I’m happy.”

As for the calf-slicer, Johns had tried numerous times before. This time, thankfully, it worked. The key, Johns said, was recalling a detail that had eluded him when he was going through the same submission a few weeks before at the gym.

“The mistake I was doing to get to the detail was going over the foot and trying to get the foot down,” Johns said. “Instead of going over the foot instead of putting the toes down. And that”s all I could remember though the whole transition, ‘Pull the toes down.’ And I just pulled until I’d seen the tap.

“It was one of them things when I was thinking, ‘Is it actually on?’ Because he held on for so long. He was tough and he was durable. Then I felt the tap and was ecstatic.”

As far as his octagon future goes, Johns still needs to look into the UFC’s top-15 rankings. But, off the top of his head, the Welsh does see potential in a matchup with the unranked Cody Stamman – fresh off a win over touted French prospect Tom Duquesnoy.

But that’s a concern for later. For now, Johns’ plan is to make the most of his first visit to Las Vegas.

“If I don’t wake up with Mike Tyson’s tiger in my bedroom, I’m going to be disappointed tomorrow morning,” Johns joked.

To hear more from Johns on the submission, being undefeated and what the future holds, check out the video above.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

TUF 26 Finale results: Brett Johns needs just 30 seconds to finish Joe Soto via calf slicer

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LAS VEGAS – Welsh bantamweight Brett Johns (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) kept his perfect record intact, using just 30 seconds to tap out Joe Soto (18-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC).

The bantamweight bout opened up the main card of today’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale event at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Johns moved forward to start, pumping out a jab and dropping in a right hand behind it. Soto then turned to his wrestling, but it would turn out to be his undoing.

As Johns stuffed the takedown, he expertly locked his left leg around his opponent’s as they transition to the floor. With the limb secure, Johns finished the setup, sat back and torqued the leg for the quick finish via calf slicer.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 26 Finale results include:

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale pre-event facts: Inaugural title fight comes with dubious footnote

The UFC will crown its 12th divisional champion Friday when the first UFC women’s flyweight titleholder is determined at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale at Park Theatre in Las Vegas.

The UFC first announced the 125-pound weight class in May. Since then, 16 fighters have battled on “TUF 26” for the chance to compete for the inaugural championship.

That 16-woman field eventually narrowed to two as low-seeded Sijara Eubanks (2-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Nicco Montano (3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) advanced through the tournament for the chance to compete for gold.

Check below for 20 pre-fight facts about the TUF 26 Finale, which airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Main event

Sijara Eubanks

Eubanks’ four pro fights are the second least for a participant in a UFC women’s title fight behind Rose Namajunas (three at TUF 20 Finale).

Eubanks has alternated wins and losses over her four-fight career.

Eubanks and Montano have suffered all four of their combined career losses by decision.

Eubanks vs. Montano is the first title fight in UFC history in which both participants are coming off losses in professional competition.

Montano competes for a UFC title just 742 days after her professional debut.

Remaining card

Roxanne Modafferi

Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-1 UFC) returns to UFC competition for the first time since November 2013.

Modafferi is 6-2 since her initial UFC release.

Modafferi has earned 13 of her 21 career victories by decision.

Barb Honchak (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 38, is the oldest of the 22 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Honchak enters the event on a nine-fight winning streak. She hasn’t suffered an official defeat since September 2010.

Eric Spicely (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned both of his UFC victories by first-round submission in a total fight time of five minutes and 12 seconds.

Gerald Meerschaert

Gerald Meerschaert (26-8 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned 24 of his 26 carer victories by stoppage.

Meerschaert has earned both of his UFC victories by first-round submission.

Meerschaert is one of 10 fighters in UFC history to earn a submission victory by anaconda choke. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 102.

DeAnna Bennett (8-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) enters the event on a two-fight skid. She hasn’t earned an official victory since September 2015.

Joe Soto’s (18-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in bantamweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Jimmie Rivera (five) and Pedro Munhoz (four).

Soto is one of five fighters in UFC history to challenge for a title in his promotional debut. Gilbert Melendez, Liz Carmouche, Frank Trigg and Hayoto Sakurai are the others.

Brett Johns

Brett Johns’ (14-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) 14-fight MMA winning streak is the second longest among active UFC bantamweight fighters behind Rivera (20).

Johns’ 11 takedowns landed against Kwan Ho Kwak at UFC Fight Night 99 are the single-fight record for a UFC/WEC bantamweight bout.

Gillian Robertson (3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 22, is the youngest of the 22 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, 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.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for TUF 26 Finale in Las Vegas

We want your predictions for Friday’s TUF 26 Finale event in Las Vegas.

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 today at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the TUF 26 Finale staff picks we release today ahead of the event. The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale takes place Friday at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Sijara Eubanks vs. Nicco Montano

Records: Sijara Eubanks (2-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Nicco Montano (3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Eubanks 2-2, Montano 3-2
Division: Women’s flyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/30/17): N/A

Take Our Poll
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Sean O’Malley vs. Terrion Ware

Records: Sean O’Malley (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Terrion Ware (17-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Past five: O’Malley 5-0, Ware 4-1
Division:
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/30/17): O’Malley -260, Ware +200

Take Our Poll
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Barb Honchak vs. Roxanne Modafferi

Records: Barb Honchak (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Past five: Honchak 5-0, Modafferi 4-1
Division: Women’s flyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/30/17): N/A

Take Our Poll
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Gerald Meerschaert vs. Eric Spicely

Records: Gerald Meerschaert (26-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Eric Spicely (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC)
Past five: Meerschaert 4-1, Spielly 3-2
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/30/17): Meerschaert -185, Spicely +150

Take Our Poll
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DeAnna Bennett vs. Melinda Fabian

Records: DeAnna Bennett (8-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Melinda Fabian (4-3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Bennett 2-3, Fabian 3-2
Division:
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/30/17): N/A

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Brett Johns vs. Joe Soto

Records: Brett Johns (14-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) vs. Joe Soto (18-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC)
Past five: Johns 5-0, Soto 3-2
Division:
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/30/17): Johns -190, Soto +155

Take Our Poll
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For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2570 with Edson Barboza, Paul Felder, Joe Soto

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Edson Barboza, Paul Felder and Joe Soto.

Barboza discussed his upcoming matchup with Khabib Nurmagomedov, which takes place Dec. 30 at UFC 219. Felder, who fights Charles Oliveira on Dec. 2nd at UFC 218, talked about his fighting future, calling fights for the UFC and more. Soto, who faces Brett Johns on Dec. 1 at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, also called in to talk about his future.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Edson Barboza, Paul Felder and Joe Soto

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Edson Barboza, Paul Felder and Joe Soto.

Barboza fights Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219 on Dec. 30, Felder meets Charles Oliveira at UFC 218 on Dec. 2, and Soto takes on Brett Johns at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale on Dec. 1

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Undefeated Brett Johns vs. ex-title challenger Joe Soto booked for TUF 26 Finale

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The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale has a new bantamweight bout for the undercard.

Officials today announced a fight between undefeated Brett Johns (14-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and former tile challenger Joe Soto (18-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC).

The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale takes place Dec. 1 at Park Theatre in Las Vegas. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

The event also features the “TUF 26” tournament final, which crowns the inaugural women’s flyweight champion.

Johns, a former Cage Warriors and Titan FC champion, is still unbeaten five years into his pro run. In his most recent bout, the 25-year-old Welsh fighter picked up a unanimous-decision victory over short-notice opponent Albert Morales. It was his eighth decision win in 14 career victories.

He now takes on Soto, who’s resurrected his career since a three-fight skid that included a title loss to then-champ T.J. Dillashaw in 2014. After subsequent defeats to Anthony Birchak and Michinori Tanaka, the 30-year-old Bellator and Tachi Palace Fights vet had earned submission wins over Chris Beal and Marco Beltran, as well as a decision victory over Rani Yahya in his most recent bout, to push his current winning streak to three.

The latest TUF 26 Finale card includes:

  • TBA vs. TBA – for inaugural women’s flyweight title
  • Ryan Janes vs. Andrew Sanchez
  • Gerald Meerschaert vs. Eric Spicely
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Terrion Ware
  • Brett Johns vs. Joe Soto

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie