Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Kelvin Gastelum and UFC Fight Night 122's other winning fighters?

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UFC Fight Night 122 took place Saturday, and the four-fight main card from Mercedes-Benz Arena, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass, has to be deemed a success.

Three of the four bouts on the main card ended inside the distance, but no win was more emphatic than the main event in which Kelvin Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) put away former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) with strikes inside the first round.

Prior to Gastelum’s win, Chinese fighters Li Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Wang Guan (17-1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) put on impressive performances, while Alex Garcia (15-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) opened the main card with a submission finish.

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 122’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Alex Garcia

Peter Sobotta

Should fight: Peter Sobotta
Why they should fight: Garcia is pushing for a quick turnaround, ideally at UFC on FOX 26 in Winnipeg in December, after his upset submission win over touted promotional newcomer Muslim Salikhov.

Garcia spoiled Salikhov’s octagon debut with a second-round submission to help him bounce back from a loss in his previous bout. Garcia has alternated wins and losses over his past seven contests, and until he bucks that trend, he’s not going to be able to move up much in the welterweight pecking order.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of credible competition on the same level as Garcia at this time. Sobotta (17-5-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC), who is on a solid 4-1 run since returning to the UFC for a second stint more than three years ago, is well rounded and dangerous. His style meshes with Garcia’s powerful approach and the winner would be sitting in a good spot at 170 pounds.

Wang Guan

Chas Skelly

Should fight: Chas Skelly
Why they should fight: Guan showed why there was a lot of discussion and excitement around his UFC debut when he put his powerful hands on display over three rounds to take a unanimous decision over Alex Caceres.

Although he came close on multiple occasions, Guan couldn’t finish the featherweight fight. He still put a beating on an 18-fight UFC veteran in Caceres over three rounds, though, and that’s certainly not a bad look for an octagon debut.

With just one loss thus far in his 19-fight career, Guan has the style and poise which would make him a compelling matchup for many featherweights. It’s too soon for him to be fighting the biggest names at 145 pounds, but another notable, established member of the UFC roster like Skelly (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) would be helpful in further marking his UFC presense.

Li Jingliang

Alan Jouban

Should fight: Alan Jouban
Why they should fight: The most successful Chinese fighter in UFC history continued to roll when Jingliang extended his winning streak to four fights with a second-round TKO of Zak Ottow.

Jingliang’s run has been impressive to watch, and it’s clear “The Leech” is adding to his skillset and gaining confidence with every bout. He’s a sturdy, powerful welterweight who is not going to be an easy out for anyone, but now it’s time to find out where he stacks up against a more honest level of competition.

Jouban (15-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) might be coming off a pair of losses, but he’s shared the octagon with some of the best at 170 pounds. His size and length would be a difficult matchup for Jingliang, but if he could continue of his run of success through Jouban, he would be in position to start getting contender fights in his division.

Kelvin Gastelum

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

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Li Jingliang wanted to share joy of UFC-Shanghai win with wife and daughter, so he ran to them

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SHANGHAI – Li Jingliang was just living in the moment.

In the opening round of his UFC Fight Night 122 co-headliner with Zak Ottow on Saturday, Jingliang dropped his opponent with a straight right hand then followed up with a flurry of punches and hammerfists that sealed the deal.

Referee Herb Dean stepped in at the 2:57 mark to give Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) a TKO win in front of his home crowd at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. It was a huge moment for Jingliang, who immediately made a bee-line for the cage.

But this was unlike other instances in which fighters jump the cage following a win. This wasn’t a case of Jingliang looking to make a scene by calling out his next opponent sitting cageside. No, Jingliang jumped the cage out of love.

Jingliang’s feet hit the arena floor, and he sprinted down the aisle to enjoy the moment with his wife and daughter for the feel-good moment of UFC Fight Night 122.

“I hadn’t really thought about that in my mind, so it wasn’t planned,” Jingliang said through an interpreter. “But I was just too excited, and I wanted to share that joy with my wife. So that’s what happened.”

It was a fitting conclusion to Jingliang’s fight week. In addition to final preparations for the fight, Jingliang used the opportunity to meet with aspiring Chinese MMA fighters. Now with four straight UFC wins, Jingliang has an opportunity to grow his profile even more. And as that continues to happen, he intends on doing more good.

“I wanted to influence people who would need help, just like people who influenced me back in the days and helped me along the way,” Jingliang said. “When I have the kind of influence that could help people, I will certainly follow that path.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 122 bonuses: Gastelum, Jingliang among $50,000 winners in China

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SHANGHAI – Kelvin Gastelum, Li Jingliang, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Song Yadong each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at today’s UFC Fight Night 122 event.

All four fighters earned “Performance of the Night” honors. No “Fight of the Night” award was given out.

UFC officials announced the winners at the post-event news conference, which MMAjunkie attended.

Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) stopped former middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-9 MMA, 20-9 UFC) with a knockout midway into the first round of the main event. Gastelum caught Bisping with a flush left hand and dropped him, and follow-up punches were merely elementary.

In the co-feature, China’s own Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) picked up another big welterweight win with a first-round TKO of Zak Ottow (15-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC). The win electrified the crowd and gave “The Leech” four straight wins, including back-to-back bonuses.

To close out the preliminary card, Magomedsharipov (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) was dominant against former WSOF title challenger Sheymon Moraes (9-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC). And though it looked like Magomedsharipov would cruise to a unanimous decision win, he stayed after the finish and put Moraes away with an anaconda choke with 30 seconds left in their featherweight fight.

UFC Fight Night 122 took place Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. The entire card streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 122 results: Li Jingliang thrills home fans, takes out Zak Ottow in first

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A straight right hand from Li Jingliang put Zak Ottow down in the opening round, and a torrent of punches and hammerfists sealed the deal moments later.

With that, Jingliang (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) had a win in front of his home crowd, finishing off Ottow (15-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) via TKO at the 2:57 mark of Round 1.

The welterweight bout was the co-main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 122 event at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Jingliang showed off his improving striking game right away in this one, keeping Ottow at bay with his hands and stinging him with a left hook early on. But it was the right hand that found its way through Ottow’s defenses and out him down midway through the opening frame, and Jingliang wasted no time pouncing for the finish.

Ottow did his best to cover up and fend off the strikes, but as he rolled and tried to establish a defensive shell, Jingliang upped the pressure, pouring on the strikes and looking for openings, eventually convincing referee Herb Dean to call it off just shy of the three-minute mark.

The win for Jingliang makes it four in a row in the UFC. Ottow has now lost two of his last three.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 122 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in China.)

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UFC Fight Night 122 staff picks: How many are picking ex-champ Michael Bisping on short notice?

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Bisping
vs.
Gastelum
Jingliang
vs.
Ottow
Caceres
vs.
Guan
Garcia
vs.
Salikhov
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 116-76
bisping2017
Bisping
(53%)
jingliang2017
Jingliang
(64%)
caceres2017
Caceres
(72%)
salikhov2017
Salikhov
(55%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 121-71
bisping2017
Bisping
jingliang2017
Jingliang
caceres2017
Caceres
salikhov2017
Salikhov
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 120-72
gastelum2017
Gastelum
jingliang2017
Jingliang
guan2017
Guan
salikhov2017
Salikhov
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 120-72
trophy copy 2015 Champion
gastelum2017
Gastelum
jingliang2017
Jingliang
caceres2017
Caceres
salikhov2017
Salikhov
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 119-73
gastelum2017
Gastelum
jingliang2017
Jingliang
caceres2017
Caceres
salikhov2017
Salikhov
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 119-73
trophy copy 2016 Champion
gastelum2017
Gastelum
jingliang2017
Jingliang
caceres2017
Caceres
salikhov2017
Salikhov
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 113-79
gastelum2017
Gastelum
jingliang2017
Jingliang
caceres2017
Caceres
salikhov2017
Salikhov
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 112-80
gastelum2017
Gastelum
jingliang2017
Jingliang
guan2017
Guan
salikhov2017
Salikhov
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 112-80
gastelum2017
Gastelum
ottow2017
Ottow
caceres2017
Caceres
agarcia2017
Garcia
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 111-81
bisping2017
Bisping
ottow2017
Ottow
caceres2017
Caceres
agarcia2017
Garcia
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 110-82
trophy copy 2014 Champion
gastelum2017
Gastelum
jingliang2017
Jingliang
guan2017
Guan
salikhov2017
Salikhov

For the first time in its history, the UFC has touched down in mainland China this week.

UFC Fight Night 122 takes place Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass. (With the time difference, the prelims start at 3:45 a.m. ET and the main card starts at 7 a.m. ET.)

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, former middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC), who just lost his title three weeks ago in the UFC 217 main event, fills in for Anderson Silva on short notice. He takes on Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC), who is a 3-1 favorite. Of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts, only two are going with Bisping in the headliner.

In the co-main event, Li Jingliang (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is a slight favorite in his welterweight bout against Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC). Eight of our 10 pickers are going with China’s Jingliang to give his home fans a thrill.

Also on the main card, Alex Caceres (13-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC) has a 7-3 edge over Chinese newcomer Wang Guan (16-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in their featherweight fight. And to open the main card, only two pickers are taking slight underdog Alex Garcia (14-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) to top Russian newcomer Muslim Salikhov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in their welterweight bout.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Bisping, Jingliang, Caceres and Salikhov are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC-Shanghai in-depth breakdown: Stylistic matchups, fight picks, best bets and fantasy studs

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 122’s main-card bouts.

UFC Fight Night 122 takes place Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 38 Weight: 185 lbs. Reach: 75.5″
  • Last fight: Submission loss to Georges St-Pierre (Nov. 4, 2017)
  • Camp: RVCA Gym (California)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodx / Kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ Former UFC middleweight champion
+ “TUF 3” winner
+ Regional MMA titles
+ 18 KO victories
+ 3 submission wins
+ 12 first-round finishes
+ Consistent pace and pressure
^ Good cardio and conditioning
+ Excellent feints and footwork
^ Manages distance well
+ Accurate left hook
+ Underrated grappler
+ Good guard retentions and getups
– Dropped in 5 of his last 7 fights
+/- 5-3 against UFC southpaws

Kelvin Gastelum (13-3-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 26 Weight: 185 lbs. Reach: 71″
  • Last fight: Submission loss to Chris Weidman (July 22, 2017)
  • Camp: Kings MMA (California)
  • Stance/striking style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ “TUF 17” winner
+ 10th Planet jiu-jitsu purple belt
+ 7 KO victories
+ 4 submission wins
+ 6 first-round finishes
+ High-pressure approach
^ Good volume and combinations
+ Improved boxing
^ Accurate hooks and crosses
+ Hard left body kick
+ Solid wrestling and scrambling
+ Strong from front-headlock
^ Always looks for the back

Summary: The main event in Shanghai features a middleweight matchup between Michael Bisping and Kelvin Gastelum.

Originally slated to face Anderson Silva, who was pulled when he was flagged for a potential doping violation, Gastelum now will meet another former champion in Bisping.

Fresh off of a title loss that took place earlier this month at UFC 217, Bisping will be looking make an insane turnaround when he steps into the cage Saturday night. And with that being the glaring intangible heading into this fight, we are once again faced with uncertainty being the underlying theme in a headlining bout.

That aside, we still have a matchup of top-shelf middleweights on our hands, and I see these two producing potential fireworks on the feet.

An inherent pressure-fighter, we have recently started to see Gastelum’s skills come to fruition under the tutelage of Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA. Having a history of transforming high-level grapplers into dangerous strikers, Cordeiro has seemingly imparted the same knowledge onto Gastelum, who now incorporates crushing kicks to his already potent punches.

Staying in the Southern California scene, we have also watched Gastelum make measurable improvements to his boxing and footwork. In recent outings, we have seen Gastelum pivot more off of his right hand, which allowed him to take superior angles and get the jump on opponents.

Considering the speed advantage that Gastelum should have on paper, I would not be surprised to see him try to get his hands going early and often, especially from his left side.

As many now know, Bisping sustained an eye injury earlier in his career that required surgery. And though the true extent of his operating capacity may not be known, the Englishman has seemingly found himself susceptible to both punches and kicks from that side.

Still, Bisping is far from a sitting duck.

Since said incident, we have seen Bisping improve upon his hand and head positioning, as he seems to carry a heightened sense of urgency and awareness about his game. In fact, one could argue that Bisping’s work with Jason Parillo has been a big part of his late-career renaissance.

A striking coach with strong boxing roots, Parillo has helped many notable fighters grow, including lightweight legend B.J. Penn. In turn, we now see Bisping move much more fluidly with his footwork, which fuels his pulling and returning preferences.

Applying angles appropriately, the Englishman will also change his level more, which can open up his options and make him harder to hit. That said, it was Bisping who fell victim to a level-changing combination in his last outing when Georges St-Pierre dropped him with a left hook.

Against Gastelum, Bisping will likely have more potent threats firing at him from that side. However, given that Gastelum’s takedown threat isn’t as palpable as St-Pierre’s on paper, we may, oddly enough, see a smoother version of Bisping this time out.

Nevertheless, Gastelum will still have a ground game that the former champion will need to respect.

Despite also being bested via submission in his last outing, Gastelum has typically had an underrated grappling and transition game. A natural inside of a scramble, the Arizona state champion’s wrestling chops shine through in the way in which he goes about his business.

Whether he is floating from a front-headlock series or using Peterson or Granby roll to create reversal opportunities, Gastelum can be a handful for any fighter not equipped to stifle his game.

Should Gastelum elect to exercise these skills against the Englishman, he could present some interesting problems. But, like St-Pierre, Gastelum will also likely have to hurt Bisping before being able to work him over on the mat.

Even though wrestling pressure has been Bisping’s traditional foil, he surprisingly succeeds little control time in both wins and losses. Facilitated by active hips, the Englishman aggressively utilizes a butterfly hook or half-guard to create enough space to scoot his way to the fence.

Not afraid to turtle and stand if he needs to, Bisping displays excellent grip and hip awareness, which usually make it difficult to grab his back in the process of standing. But against more mobile fighters like St-Pierre or possibly Gastelum, this scenario can become much riskier in practice.

The oddsmakers have opened Gastelum as a clear 2-1 favorite, and the public seems to agree, driving the price onward and upward from there.

Bisping gave us a memorable 2016 that still has many rooting for him to finish his career well. The red flag, however, is the quick turnaround.

Not only did Bisping get dropped by a flush hook to the head recently, but he also sustained a plethora of hard elbows before eventually getting his back taken and finished. Couple that with being matched up against a younger, faster and harder-hitting fighter –– and it quickly becomes hard to forecast a positive outcome for the former champion.

Official pick: Gastelum inside the distance

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 122 pre-event facts: How legendary is Michael Bisping? Just look at his resume

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The UFC makes its first stop in mainland China on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 122, which takes place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

After years of waiting to host an event in a major city in China, the organization brings a card that features a former champion in the main event. Ex-middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC) makes a three-week turnaround from losing the title to Georges St-Pierre to take on “The Ultimate Fighter 17” winner Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in an important showdown.

There’s not much meat on the bone outside of the headliner, but 10 fighters are scheduled to make their octagon debut on the undercard, seven of which are from China. For more on the numbers behind the UFC’s final November fight card, check below for 50 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 122.

* * * *

Main event

Michael Bisping

Bisping, 38, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Bisping competes in his second UFC bout in a 21-day span. He lost the UFC middleweight title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 earlier this month.

Bisping competes in his 29th UFC bout, the most appearances in company history. His 24th UFC middleweight fight also marks a new record for most in divisional history.

Bisping makes his 14th UFC main-event appearance (8-5 in previous headliners). He’s been main or co-main event in 22 of his 29 UFC appearances, including UFC Fight Night 122.

Bisping is the only fighter in UFC history to headline two cards in a one-month span.

Bisping has headlined UFC cards in seven different countries, most in company history.

Bisping’s total cage time of 6:03:03 in UFC competition is second most in company history behind Frankie Edgar (6:27:49). They’re the only two fighters with six-plus hours of octagon time.

Michael Bisping

Bisping’s 20 victories in UFC competition are tied with St-Pierre for most in company history.

Bisping’s 16 victories in UFC middleweight competition are most in divisional history.

Bisping’s 10 knockout victories in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind Vitor Belfort (12), Anthony Johnson (11) and Anderson Silva (11).

Bisping’s seven knockout victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Silva (eight).

Bisping’s seven stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Silva (11), Chris Leben (nine) and Nate Marquardt (nine).

Bisping’s 10 decision victories in UFC competition are tied for fourth most in company history behind St-Pierre (12), Diego Sanchez (11) and Gleison Tibau (11).

Bisping has landed 1,560 significant strikes in UFC competition, the most in company history.

Michael Bisping

Bisping is one of three fighters in UFC history to record 100 or more significant strikes in five separate bouts. T.J. Dillashaw and Joanna Jedrzejczyk also accomplished the feat.

Bisping’s 216 leg kicks landed in UFC middleweight competition are the most in divisional history.

Bisping’s five knockdowns landed from the clinch position in UFC competition are the second most in company history behind Silva (seven).

Bisping won the middleweight championship from Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 in his 26th UFC appearance, the latest into a career of any first-time titleholder in company history.

Bisping is one of six European-born champions in UFC history. He’s the only from England.

Bisping’s one of five fighters in UFC history to win “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series and an undisputed UFC title. Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Matt Serra and Carla Esparza also accomplished the feat.

Bisping is the only fighter in UFC history to win “TUF,” a UFC championship and make a successful title defense.

Kelvin Gastelum

Gastelum competes in his fourth career UFC main event. He’s 0-2 (with one no-contest) in previous headliners.

Gastelum is 1-1 (with one no-contest) since he moved up to the UFC middleweight division in December. He’s 3-1 (with one no-contest) in the organization at 185 pounds.

Gastelum has earned nine of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Gastelum has landed six knockdowns in his past five fights.

Co-main event

Li Jingliang’s (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) three-fight winning streak is the longest of his UFC career.

Jingliang has earned all three of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned his past three victories by decision after stopping his opponent in his first 12 career wins.

Remaining main card

Alex Caceres

Alex Caceres (13-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC) is 3-2 since he returned to the UFC featherweight division in January 2015. However, he’s just 3-5 in his past eight UFC appearances overall.

Caceres is one of three fighters in UFC/WEC bantamweight history to land 100 or more significant strikes in two different fights. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz also accomplished the feat.

Caceres’ submission of Sergio Pettis at the 4:39 mark of Round 3 at UFC on FOX 10 marked the second latest in a three-round UFC bantamweight fight. Only Bryan Caraway’s victory at the 4:44 mark of Round 3 at UFC 159 occurred later.

Caceres’ 12 submission attempts in UFC bantamweight competition are tied with Dillashaw for most in divisional history.

Wang Guan (16-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has earned all 12 of his career stoppage victories as a result of strikes.

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia (14-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has earned 11 of his 14 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 10 of those finishes in Round 1.

Garcia has completed 20 takedowns in his past six UFC appearances.

Muslim Salikhov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut on a 10-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since December 2012.

Salikhov has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage. He’s earned 10 of those finishes in Round 1.

Salikhov has earned his past two victories by first-round spinning hook kick knockout.

Preliminary card

Zabit Magomedsharipov (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) enters the event on a nine-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since April 2013.

Magomedsharipov has earned 11 of his 13 career victories by stoppage.

Kenan Song (11-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut following a more than one-year layoff in a loss in his most recent bout at Road FC 34 in November 2016.

Kailin Curran

Kailin Curran (4-5 MMA, 1-5 UFC) competes in her seventh UFC strawweight bout, tied for the second most appearances in divisional history behind Joanna Jedrzejczyk (nine).

Curran’s three-fight losing skid is the longest of her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2015.

Curran’s five UFC losses are tied with Jessica Eye for most of any female in company history.

Xiaonan Yan (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is 4-0 (with one no-contest) since returning from a nearly five-year layoff in July 2015.

Chase Sherman (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has landed a combined 214 significant strikes in his past two UFC appearances.

Shamil Abdurakhimov (17-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has earned his past four victories by decision, the longest stretch of his career without a finish.

Wu Yana (9-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 21, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

For more on UFC Fight Night 122, 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.

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MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 122 in China

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 122 event in China.

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 122 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 122 takes place Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Michael Bisping vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Records: Michael Bisping (30-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC), Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC)
Past five: Bisping 4-1, Gastelum 2-2 (one no-contest)
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: Bisping No. 3, Gastelum honorable mention
Odds (as of 11/19/17): Gastelum -260, Bisping +220

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Li Jingliang vs. Zak Ottow

Records: Li Jingliang (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Past five: Jingliang 4-1, Ottow 4-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/19/17): Jingliang -175, Ottow +145

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Alex Caceres vs. Wang Guan

Records: Alex Caceres (13-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC), Wang Guan (16-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Caceres 3-2, Guan 4-1
Division: Featherweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/19/17): Caceres -180, Guan +150

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Alex Garcia vs. Muslim Salikhov

Records: Alex Garcia (14-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC), Muslim Salikhov (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Garcia 2-3, Salikhov 5-0
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 11/19/17): Salikhov -180, Garcia +150

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For more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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2 new bouts official for UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai

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Next month’s UFC Fight Night 122 event in mainland China has two new additions.

Officials formally announced featherweights Alex Caceres (13-10 MMA, 8-8 UFC) vs. Wang Guan (16-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and welterweights Li Jingliang (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. Zak Ottow (15-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC). Dutch site mmadna.nl first reported the fights.

UFC Fight Night 122 which takes place Nov. 25 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. The entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass, though the full lineup hasn’t been finalized.

Caceres vs. Guan was originally booked for a June event. The matchup has been rebooked as part of the UFC’s debut in Shanghai.

Despite some rough patches during his seven-year UFC career, Caceres has become a bit of a fan favorite due to his creative fighting style and upbeat personality. The 29-year-old longtime martial artist, who joined the UFC in 2010 as a quarterfinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter 12,” recently halted a two-fight skid (with losses to standouts Yair Rodriguez and Jason Knight) with a TKO victory over Rolando Dy, who suffered an eye injury.

He now meets Guan, a 31-year-old Chinese fighter. The longtime RUFF competitor is on a 4-0 run following a 2013 decision loss to Bekbulat Magomedov (18-1) – the first and only defeat in his career. Since his 2006 pro debut, Guan has posted 10 knockouts and two submissions in 16 career wins.

Jingliang, meanwhile, has been one of the UFC’s more successful Chinese fighters. The 29-year-old and Legend FC champion looks for his fourth straight victory following knockout victories over Anton Zafir and Bobby Nash, as well as a decision victory over Frank Camacho that earned “Fight of the Night” honors.

He meets Ottow, a 30-year-old Wisconsin native who’s on a 6-1 run going back to 2015. Since joining the UFC, he’s sandwiched split-decision victories over Josh Burkman and Ottow around a split-decision defeat to Sergio Moraes. Prior to joining the UFC, 12 of his 14 carer wins came via stoppage, which included 10 submissions.

The latest UFC Fight Night 122 card now includes:

  • Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum
  • Gina Mazany vs. Yanan Wu
  • Kailin Curran vs. Yan Xiaonan
  • Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Chase Sherman
  • Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Sheymon Moraes
  • Li Jingliang vs. Zak Ottow
  • Alex Caceres vs. Wang Guan

For more on UFC Fight Night 122, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for June: A slugfest in Singapore

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best fights from June. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Fight of the Month” award for June.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Paulo Borrachinha def. Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC 212

For the first few minutes of their fight, Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) struggled just to keep up with the frenetic violence of Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC).

Once the storm subsided and Bamgbose slowed after the opening round, though, that’s when Borrachinha took over the middleweight fight. The Brazilian overwhelmed his exhausted opponent with a vast striking arsenal, earning the TKO early in the second round.

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Mark Hunt def. Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110

A heavyweight fight between Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) and Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) that on paper looked like a slugfest turned into a battle of cardiovascular strength.

Hunt took Lewis’ best shots and dragged him into deep waters. “The Super Samoan” chased “The Black Beast” around the octagon, doling out repeated shots to the body and legs until Lewis tired and slumped in exhaustion for the TKO late in the fourth round.

Li Jingliang def. Frank Camacho at UFC Fight Night 111

Li Jingliang’s (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) leg kick game was on point in his welterweight fight with UFC newcomer Frank Camacho (20-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC), and in the end it helped reward him with a unanimous decision victory.

Jingliang absorbed some hard shots from Camacho in the opening round, but his durability and grit helped him get back into the fight in the latter rounds and take the victory on the scorecards.

Heather Hardy def. Alice Yauger at Bellator 180

The transition from pro boxing to MMA couldn’t have gone much better for Heather Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who picked up a sensational third-round TKO of Alice Yauger (4-6 MMA, 0-2 BMMA).

Hardy, who said she “fell in love” with MMA following the fight, had to overcome some early adversity and a nasty cut before she swarmed Yauger with strikes to earn the TKO late in the third round of the women’s flyweight affair.

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Tony Martin def. Johnny Case at UFC Fight Night 112

If you didn’t know it was something of a grudge match before, all you had to do was listen to Tony Martin (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in the second round, informing Johnny Case (12-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) that he wasn’t going anywhere in between counter right hands to the face.

The result was a unanimous decision win for Martin, who outstruck a game Case and seized control of the lightweight fight down the stretch before claiming the win with scores of 29-28 across the board.

* * * *

The Winner: Li Jingling vs. Frank Camacho

Camacho clearly has power, as he displayed in the opening moments of his UFC debut, but Jingliang seemed to have the better conditioning and all-around game.

It ultimately led Jingliang to a come-from-behind win over late replacement Camacho.

Camacho displayed his big power with the first significant punch of the fight.

He followed with a few more punches that found their mark, and Jingliang was quickly on wobbly legs. Jingliang, though, survived, and he then peppered Camacho with low kicks and took his back late in the round.

In the second round, Jingliang immediately looked for takedowns. Camacho fought it off, so “The Leech” went back to low kicks. Camacho’s energy level took a noticeable dip, though, and then Jingliang found openings to land some power punches of his own. Although the strikes were sometimes wild, they were effective, and Jingliang seemed to even up the score heading into the final frame.

In the pivotal third round, Jingliang’s low kicks were taking a toll, and his counters were on point. As Camacho sucked in wind, Jingliang used the low kicks to set up punches and take control of the fight. Camacho’s durability was on display, but not much else was.

In the end, Jingliang got the victory via 29-27, 28-27 and 29-27 scores.

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