Marcin Held happy with long-awaited 1st UFC win, hopes to prove he belongs

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

GDANSK, Poland – Marcin Held expected to make quick work of his UFC Fight Night 118 foe, which didn’t pan out. But considering the tricky position he was at in the UFC, a win will do just fine.

“I’m really happy,” Held told reporters backstage at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”

Held (23-7 MMA, 1-3 UFC) took an unanimous decision over Nasrat Haqparast (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC). The 30-27 scorecards, however, might not accurately reflect just how much trouble the UFC newcomer gave Held, who was even knocked down in the second round of the lightweight bout that streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

It certainly wasn’t the “fast submission” that Held expected going into it. But fact remains he’s officially bounced back from the disappointing three-fight skid that kicked off a UFC run surrounded by high expectations.

“It was huge pressure,” Held said. “I was trying not to think about it. But somewhere in the back of my head the pressure was really big. I hope into the next fight I will go with (less) pressure. It will be even easier.”

Held’s long-awaited UFC win came with an added bonus: The Polish fighter got to enjoy it in front of his home fans, something he hadn’t done in years. Held loves to travel and is happy to do it. But he’ll admit there’s certainly some added perks to fighting at home.

“Before, it didn’t matter for me,” Held said. “But now I see how much easier it is. I have everything here. I know everything here. It’s much easier to communicate, to go somewhere.”

After a period of feeling “unhappy” in the promotion, Held believes he’s now proven he’s worthy of being on the UFC roster. And he’s hoping productive conversations with its matchmakers and officials will follow what was the last fight in his current contract.

Whether he’ll get what he wants remains to be seen, but Held already has some ideas for his future.

“I really would like to take revenge with someone I’d lost to,” Held said. “Joe Lauzon, Diego Sanchez or Damir Hadzovic. I would like to fight them one more time to show that I was really unhappy, and I would like to show that I deserve to be here, and I’m a better fighter than them.”

To hear more from Held, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 118 results: Marcin Held tops Nasrat Haqparast for 1st UFC win

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After four tries, Marcin Held has his first UFC win.

Not surprisingly, it was Held’s (23-7 MMA, 1-3 UFC) ground game that carried him when the going got tough against newcomer Nasrat Haqparast (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Despite getting knocked down in the second, Held won via unanimous decision.

The lightweight bout closed the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 118 event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

The final scores were 30-27 for Held, a surprising tally considering Haqparast’s performance in the first and second rounds. On the feet, the bouncy Haqparast had a better hold on range and timing, and he repeatedly stung Held with his right hand. When Held managed to get a takedown late in the opening frame, he did little from top position.

Haqparast kept with his strategy to stay on the feet, and he put down Held in the second frame. But perhaps a little too eager to show his dominance, he wound up in Held’s world when a throw was countered. Suddenly, he was fighting not to get caught in one of Held’s signature ankle locks.

Held decided to keep the fight in his comfort zone as the fight went into deep waters, and he landed an early takedown. Hunting for submissions, he twice transitioned to ankle attacks from guard. But with Haqparast well-prepared for the move, he moved to take mount. When Haqparast scrambled, Held nearly seized an armbar. Instead, he was forced to his feet.

Haqparast kept Held at bay with stiff punches to close out the fight. But despite his strong showing, judges awarded Held the sweep, bringing him his first win after a three-fight skid. Newcomer Haqparast now sees an eight-fight streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 118 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in Poland.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Marcin Held gets promotional newcomer as replacement at UFC Fight Night 118

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Marcin Held will remain on next week’s UFC Fight Night 118 lineup, after all.

This past week Teemu Packalen (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) announced a knee injury forced him out of his fight with lightweight Held (22-7 MMA, 0-3 UFC). Today, officials announced promotional newcomer Nasrat Haqparast (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement (via Twitter):

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and the entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass. Held vs. Haqparast is currently slated as the featured prelim.

Haqparast, a 22-year-old Afghan, is on an 8-0 run since a loss in his 2012 pro debut. The Kings MMA fighter has scored a knockout in every one of his career victories, and six have come in the first round. Most recently, he fought at Superior FC 17 in May and stopped Ruslan Kalyniuk in the third round.

Held, a 25-year-old Polish fighter, has had a rough go of it since leaving Bellator, where he was a former title challenger, and joining the UFC. He has decision losses to Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon, though even Lauzon said Held was robbed in with the decision. In May Damir Hadzovic knocked him out in the third round. Held is now in a three-fight skid and 1-4 since 2015.

The latest UFC Fight Night 118 lineup now 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)

  • Nasrat Haqparast vs. Marcin Held
  • 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.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Knee injury, surgery forces Teemu Packalen from UFC Fight night 118 vs. Marcin Held

The UFC’s return to Poland later this month for UFC Fight Night 118 has taken a hit to one of its featured bouts.

Teemu Packalen (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is out of his lightweight fight against Marcin Held (22-7 MMA, 0-3 UFC) after suffering a knee injury that required surgery. Packalen announced the injury on his social media accounts and today posted a photo from the hospital, post-operation.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

The Packalen-Held fight was set as the featured prelim. With the event only about two weeks away, it is not yet known if Held will remain on the card against a new opponent. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of Packalen’s removal from the card.

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The event streams live on UFC Fight Pass. In the main event, former lightweight title challenger and current welterweight Donald Cerrone will try to hand Darren Till his first professional loss.

Marcin Held

Held is badly in need of a win. He beat Dave Jansen at Bellator 155 in May 2016 to avenge one of his Bellator losses, then signed with the UFC. But since coming over less than a year ago, he has decision losses to Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon – a fight even Lauzon said Held was robbed in by the judges. And in May, he was knocked out seven seconds into the third round by a Damir Hadzovic knee in Sweden, giving him three straight setbacks.

Finland’s Packalen has alternated wins and losses since coming to the UFC a little more than two years ago. He started his career 7-0 with seven stoppages. But in his promotional debut, he dropped a decision to Mickael Lebout in Scotland. He bounced back with a bonus-winning submission of Thibault Gouti in February 2016 in just 24 seconds in London. But in March, after 13 months on the sideline, he was knocked out in 30 seconds by Marc Diakiese. Now it appears he’ll be sidelined for a while once again.

The 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. TBA
  • 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.

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Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Marcin Held tries to snap 3-fight skid vs. Teemu Packalen at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

For the first time in more than seven years, Marcin Held will get to fight in front of his home Polish fans.

Held (22-7 MMA, 0-3 UFC) will take on Teemu Packalen (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a lightweight fight at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. The bout, not yet made official by the UFC, first was reported by MMADNA.com.

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The event will stream live on UFC Fight Pass.

After fighting his first 11 pro bouts in his home country, Held hasn’t fought there since October 2010. After that, he signed with Bellator, where he became one of the promotion’s most feared submission artists. He won 11 of his first 13 fights for the promotion, but then dropped a lightweight title fight to then-champ Will Brooks in November 2015.

Held is badly in need of a win. He beat Dave Jansen at Bellator 155 in May 2016 to avenge one of his Bellator losses, then signed with the UFC. But since coming over less than a year ago, he has decision losses to Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon – a fight even Lauzon said Held was robbed in by the judges. And in May, he was knocked out seven seconds into the third round by a Damir Hadzovic knee in Sweden, giving him three straight setbacks.

Teemu Packalen

Finland’s Packalen has alternated wins and losses since coming to the UFC a little more than two years ago. He started his career 7-0 with seven stoppages. But in his promotional debut, he dropped a decision to Mickael Lebout in Scotland. He bounced back with a bonus-winning submission of Thibault Gouti in February 2016 in just 24 seconds in London. But in March, after 13 months on the sideline, he was knocked out in 30 seconds by Marc Diakiese.

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

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

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie