Alliance of necessity sends trio of New England fighters into battle together at UFC 220 in Boston

The way Tyson Chartier saw it, fighters in New England had a problem. He’d seen it in action, both during his own fighting days and when he transitioned into management.

“I think there’s a lot of talent here in New England,” Chartier told MMAjunkie. “But what happens is, they just kill each other before they can get anywhere, and they do it for pennies on these local shows.”

Take what happened with Rob Font and Calvin Kattar, for instance. Here were two fighters from Massachusetts, both climbing up the ranks on the New England MMA scene at around the same time, and local promoters saw the potential to match them up against each other.

But Chartier managed both fighters, and he knew they both had their sights set on the UFC. He also knew that both were suffering from a common problem in New England MMA: a lack of elite training partners who could prepare them for the competition at the next level.

“We were both going back and forth as No. 1 and 2 in the region, so of course we wanted to fight each other,” Font said. “Tyson talked us out of it, and at first we didn’t see it his way. We wanted to fight. But he was right. He explained that we could get more out of training together than we could from fighting each other on a local show.”

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Now Font (14-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Kattar (17-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) train together several times a week, along with UFC featherweight Kyle Bochniak. They all still officially represent different teams – Kattar comes from 617 Fight Sports, Font from New England MMA, and Bochniak (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) from Broadway Jiu-Jitsu – but they’ve formed a sort of informal alliance to help one another get the training and support they need.

At UFC 220 on Saturday, all three will get the chance to show their friends and families the fruits of that labor when the UFC visits Boston for the first time since 2016.

The hometown UFC event brings with it a different kind of pressure, but it helps that they’ve gotten the chance to prepare together with the same date in mind. According to Kattar, it also makes a difference to have other UFC fighters to work with – especially in New England, where many fighters cobble together their training from several different sources.

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“You can’t be afraid to get in the car to go get your work in here,” Kattar said. “It helps to have someone right there with you, but it’s also getting that work with someone else who is there in the UFC with you, who knows what it takes, and who understands what you’re going through trying to get ready for that.”

That’s something a lot of fighters in the New England scene were missing, according to Chartier.

“It’s not like (American Top Team) where they have 50 UFC fighters on the mats every day,” Chartier said. “The goal was, let’s get these high-level guys in the same room training together and let them make each other better.”

Chartier was able to forge this alliance thanks to his work as the manager for all three, but it took cooperation from all the individual coaches to make it work.

“The thing is, you just can’t have egos,” Chartier said. “Everybody has to be able to work together and communicate, since that’s what’s best for the fighter.”

Bringing home the right results will be crucial this time out, not only because all three will be fighting in front of their home crowds, but also because two of them – Font and Bochniak – are coming into UFC 220 off losses.

Kattar, the one fighter with a win in his last outing, is looking to extend his overall winning streak to 10 fights, but he’ll get arguably his toughest test yet against unbeaten featherweight Shane Burgos (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the main card at TD Garden.

Font faces bantamweight Thomas Almeida (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) on the opening bout of the pay-per-view portion, while Bochniak leads the trio against 145-pounder Brandon Davis (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the FS1 prelims.

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The latter is a role that Bochniak embraces, he said, in part because he knows what it will mean to his new friends and teammates.

“I’m going to go out first, and I’m going to set the tone,” Bochniak said. “When I come back to the locker room, smiling with my hands raised, then they’ll see me and they’ll know.”

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 220 workouts and ceremonial weigh-ins open to fans

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If you’re heading to Boston for this week’s UFC 220 event, you can attend some free fight-week activities.

UFC 220 takes place Saturday at TD Garden in Boston. The main card, which includes two title fights, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (17-2 MMA, 11-2 UFC) takes on challenger Francis Ngannou (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC), and in the co-main even, light-heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) meets top contender Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

Wednesday’s open workout take place at Reebok Headquarters (25 Drydock Ave.) in Boston, and doors open at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT). Participants include the headliners and co-headliners, as well as UFC 220 fighters Kyle Bochniak, Rob Font and Calvin Kattar.

Thursday’s ultimate media day and Friday’s early/official weigh-ins are closed to fans.

However, Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins take place at TD Garden and are free and open to all. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. ET, and the first fighter is on the scale at 6 p.m. ET.

MMAjunkie will have full on-site coverage throughout fight week.

The full UFC 220 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Champ Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou – for heavyweight title
  • Champ Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir – for light heavyweight title
  • Shane Burgos vs. Calvin Kattar
  • Francimar Barroso vs. Gian Villante
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja
  • Julio Arce vs. Dan Ige

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Enrique Barzola vs. Matt Bessette
  • Maryna Moroz vs. Jamie Moyle
  • Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau

For more on UFC 220, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

We showed you Patrick Cummins' UFC on FOX 25 face. Did you see Kyle Bochniak's on Instagram?

Patrick Cummins wasn’t the only fighter at UFC on FOX 25 to leave the arena looking a little less pretty than he was when he walked in.

Cummins’ face was downright a mess after his split-decision win over Gian Villante at the event at NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. We showed that to you on Sunday. But he wasn’t alone.

Kyle Bochniak (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) dropped a decision to Jeremy Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) on the UFC Fight Pass-streamed preliminary card. By the end of things, Bochniak had a bit gash on his forehwead that needed stitching.

Bochniak posted the cut before it was stitched on his Instagram account, and it’s not for the squeamish.

Instagram Photo

On Sunday, he posted a video thanking his fans for their support – and the cut was sewn up.

Instagram Photo

So whose post-fight wounds would you rather have to live with? Cummins and his swollen-up eye? Or Bochniak’s deep forehead gash?

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

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