Edwards-Sobotta, Ankalaev-Craig, Godbeer-Poberezhets set for UFC Fight Night 127 in London

The UFC’s March return to London has started to build with the addition of three fights to the lineup.

Leon Edwards (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will take on Peter Sobotta (17-5-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC) in a welterweight bout; promotional newcomer Magomed Ankalaev (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet Paul Craig (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at light heavyweight; and heavyweight Mark Godbeer (13-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will clash with Dmitry Poberezhets (24-5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who will make his UFC debut. UFC officials announced the three new bookings today.

UFC Fight Night 127 takes place March 17 at The O2 in London. The entire card will stream on UFC Fight Pass.

Edwards will fight in front of his home fans in England for the third time in four fights and for the fifth straight time in Europe. He’s currently on a 4-0 run with decisions over Dominic Waters, Vicente Luque and, most recently, Bryan Barberena at UFC Fight Night 115 in September. In October 2016 in Manchester, he thrilled his home British fans with a submission of Albert Tumenov.

Peter Sobotta

Poland native Sobotta has won four of his past five fights since returning to the UFC in 2014 for his second stint with the company, and has won nine of his past 10 overall. After a TKO loss to Kyle Noke at UFC 193 more than two years ago, he got back on track with a decision win over Nicolas Dalby in September 2016. In May, he picked up arguably his biggest win to date with a TKO of Ben Saunders at UFC Fight Night 109 in Sweden.

Paul Craig

Craig will be looking to get back on track after back-to-back knockout losses in 2017. He debuted with the UFC just about a year ago with a bonus-winning submission of Henrique da Silva at UFC on FOX 22. But the Scottish “Bearjew” was stopped with a first-round TKO by Tyson Pedro at UFC 209 in May, then knocked out by Khalil Rountree at UFC Fight Night 113 in May in front of his home Scotland fans.

Ankalaev, a 25-year-old Dagestani fighter, comes to the UFC with a perfect 9-0 record that includes four knockout wins. He has two first-round knockout wins in 2017, including one over three-fight UFC veteran Wagner Prado in May.

Mark Godbeer

Godbeer will be looking to build on back-to-back victories – his first two wins in the UFC. He debuted with the promotion at UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast in November 2016, but was submitted by Justin Ledet. He bounced back at UFC 209 with a decision win over Daniel Spitz, and at UFC 217 in New York in November, he won a controversial fight when Walt Harris was disqualified for an illegal head kick. He has wins in five of his past six overall.

Poberezhets finally will make his promotional debut after a false start earlier this year at UFC 211 in Dallas. He was booked to debut there against Jarjis Danho, then had his opponent changed to Chase Sherman. Then Poberezhets was pulled from the card not long before the event. When the 32-year-old Ukrainian steps into the octagon for the first time, it will have been more than six years since his most recent loss. He has a 14-fight winning streak with 13 finishes, 12 of which have come in the first round.

The UFC Fight Night 127 lineup now includes:

  • Leon Edwards vs. Peter Sobotta
  • Magomed Ankalaev vs. Paul Craig
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Dmitry Poberezhets

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Walt Harris will appeal DQ loss to Mark Godbeer at UFC 217: 'He cheated the fans, he cheated me'

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Following his controversial disqualification loss to Mark Godbeer on Saturday, Walt Harris says he was advised by UFC president Dana White to file an appeal.

So that’s just what he’s going to do.

Harris (10-7 MMA, 3-6 UFC) was off to a good start in his FS1-televised UFC 217 encounter with fellow heavyweight Godbeer (13-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC)  when things took a turn for the messy. After a knee landed on Godbeer’s groin, the referee verbally signaled and seemingly touched Harris’ leg to call a time out. Just as he did that, though, Harris threw a head kick that also landed.

At the 4:29 mark of Round 1, the doctor deemed Godbeer unable to continue. Harris was declared the loser via disqualification – bringing on not only a second consecutive setback to his record, but also accusations of being a dirty fighter. (via Twitter)

Two days later, Harris offered his side of Saturday’s events to MMAjunkie Radio. The heavyweight vehemently maintains that he didn’t cheat. And he clarified that, if for the viewers the yells of a mic’d up ref may have come across loud and clear, it’s quite different when you’re inside the cage and mid-combination.

Harris, simply put, thought he’d hurt his opponent with a knee. Then he pounced, focused only on getting the finish. Considering the circumstances and the referee’s position, Harris says, he couldn’t hear nor see him in the few seconds while that it was all happening.

“I felt like (the referee) was a bit late,” Harris said. “He said he yelled, but it’s a fight. I can’t hear you yelling. I barely can hear my own corner. I’m in the middle of a fight trying to finish the fight. From what I saw on the replay, I saw he was getting there as the kick landed.”

If the internet isn’t showing Harris much support, he’s not entirely alone, either. According to the heavyweight, he found support in White to not only try to clear his name, but also his record.

“I spoke with Dana right afterward, and he told me to contest it,” Harris said. “He told me to appeal it. He said he felt like, you know, there’s a replay and I had a chance to win if I appealed. And that’s what I’m going to do. I feel like, at worst, it should have been a no-contest. If you remember, Curtis Blaydes and Aleksei Oleinik had the same type of situation, and they gave Curtis the win.

“I don’t understand how mine just went straight to a disqualification when there was conclusive evidence on the replay that the knee didn’t land low and I was in the heat of the fight. It wasn’t like the ref had put his hands on me, stopped my momentum, and then I took off and went and hit him. I was in the middle of a combination. So, to just go straight to a disqualification is like – I don’t understand it.”

Harris was referring to yet another confusing heavyweight contest, which took place earlier that night. After Blaydes threw an illegal kick to his downed opponent, the fight was halted and the doctor deemed Oleinik unfit to continue. The replay, however, showed that the kick only grazed Oleinik’s ear and, therefore, didn’t cause the fight-ending damage. Blaydes won via TKO.

While Harris walked away with the loss, he believes that his appeal might result in a positive outcome. In the meantime, he’s expecting to take the week off and get right back into the gym to prepare for whatever else the UFC has in store for him.

But he is hoping that this doesn’t mean another meeting with Godbeer. The two were, in fact, supposed to have met before, at UFC 216. A last-minute injury suffered by Derrick Lewis, however, left former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum without an opponent for his main card bout – so Harris stepped in.

Harris was choked out by Werdum but soon got rescheduled against Godbeer, and we saw how that one unfolded. What we didn’t get to see, though, was how the heavyweight feud continued backstage, as the two exchanged heated words about the situation.

“He said I cheated; he said he’d fight me again,” Harris said. “I’m like, ‘Bro, you had the chance to fight me. Take your five minutes, and then get yourself together and come back and fight.’ He took the easy way out. Point blank, period. I don’t care what anybody says. He took the easy way out. He knows it. His camp knows it. Everybody in that arena knew it.

“So don’t sit here – he’s yelling and screaming back and forth with me. I basically called him a (expletive). Because that’s what I felt in the moment. He (expletive)’d out. He took the easy way out. He knew he was losing the fight. And he knew it was just a matter of time before I put him away.”

The two, Harris said, had to be separated “a little bit” after the heated exchange. And while the bad blood that now seems to linger between the two could certainly work to fuel a rematch in the future, Harris clarifies that he’s ready to move on.

“He quit, bottom line,” Harris said. “I feel like he could’ve continued. There’s been numerous fights where I was hit low. And if you watch, I’ve got pictures – the kick hit him in the neck. It didn’t hit him in the face, chin, it didn’t even connect clean. And he reacted afterward. And then he went to his corner and took a knee, like he couldn’t continue.

“I feel like he cheated the fans, he cheated me. No, I don’t want to fight him again. What’s the point? Honestly. He said I cheated. Why would I do that if I was winning the fight handily? What would be the need to do something dirty?”

Harris is clearly ready to fight to clean the most recent blemish on his record. But, as it stands, he walked away from Saturday’s major Madison Square Garden event with both a loss and a somewhat of a negative public perception.

Which one hurts most, though? After putting in basically a 14-week camp to return to the winning path, Harris doesn’t wince.

“The loss, man,” Harris said. “People are going to say what they’re going to say. But I’ve worked so hard to be in the position where I am now. I can’t deal with a l loss like that. Especially when I was winning the fight as dominantly as I was. Thats what bothers me.”

To hear from Harris, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 217 results: Mark Godbeer takes kick to the face – and DQ win over Walt Harris

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The prelims at UFC 217 continued to have bizarre moments, maybe none more so than Mark Godbeer’s disqualification win over Walt Harris.

Godbeer (13-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) beat Harris (10-7 MMA, 3-6 UFC) after Harris landed a low knee, then a kick to the face after the referee called for time several times. The fight was stopped at the 4:29 mark of the first when the cageside doctor said Godbeer couldn’t continue due to the illegal kick.

The heavyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 217 event at Madison Square Garden in New York. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

Harris came out looking like he wanted to go home in a hurry. He landed some solid kicks early, and when the fight went to the canvas he jumped to mount with perfection. Godbeer was able to quickly recover to full guard, but had to deal with Harris on top looking for ground-and-pound.

After the two got back to their feet, they clinched up. And there, Harris landed a low knee to Godbeer’s groin. When referee Blake Grice called time, Harris continued to go – and threw a big head kick that landed.

Godbeer struggled to stay on his feet, and ultimately went to his knees. When the doctor came in to check on him, it was determined he couldn’t continue and the fight was called. Replays showed even though Grice didn’t get physically between the two after the groin strike, he yelled “Time!” several times before Harris threw the kick, and Grice’s hands were on Harris, as well.

Godbeer picked up the win by disqualification with 31 seconds left in the first round. He won for the second straight time and fifth time in six fights. Harris suffered his second straight loss.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 217 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 217, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan, Mike Bohn, Ken Hathaway and Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in New York.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

After 'emotional rollercoaster' of scrapped UFC 216 bout, Mark Godbeer happy it led to MSG

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NEW YORK – Mark Godbeer’s UFC road took a few interesting turns recently. But, considering where it’s gotten him, the heavyweight isn’t complaining.

Godbeer was supposed to have met Walt Harris at last month’s UFC 216. On the day of the fight, though, Fabricio Werdum lost his opponent in Derrick Lewis. While Harris can’t really be blamed for his decision to take the pay-per-view main card spot – against a former UFC champion, no less – that meant Godbeer was out.

Godbeer must have earned some karma points, because it didn’t take long for him to be relocated. Only this time, he’d get to perform at New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden. Sure, the moving around took some sacrifices; not only were vacation plans canceled, but he had to essentially add a month to his camp.

“Massive emotional rollercoaster” aside, though, it seems Godbeer got the better end of the deal.

“MSG – says it all, don’t it?” Godbeer told MMAjunkie during a media day. “So it’s worth that whole ride.

“(…) A huge moment. Every great at the top of their games in combat sports has fought here. It’s an honor to fight at MSG.”

Stretching his camp took a few adjustments, considering fighters train to be at peak condition at a certain point in time. But, after taking a few days to rest before returning to full-on training, a more relaxed Godbeer thinks the change ultimate made him better prepared both physically and mentally.

Not to mention the heavyweight didn’t even need to worry about studying a new opponent. After getting tapped out by Werdum in 65 seconds at their UFC 216 encounter, Harris (10-6 MMA, 3-5 UFC) was re-booked against Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC). The two meet on the FS1-televised prelims.

Come Saturday night, Godbeer plans on being in Harris’ face and to “let him know he’s in a fight.” But before that, he clarifies there are no hard feelings toward Harris stemming from their scrapped UFC 216 appointment.

After going through “every emotion the human body can feel” in one night, Godbeer understood where both the promotion and Harris were coming from when they decided to re-arrange the card.

“It was a tough pill to swallow at the time,” Godbeer said. “But I sort of knew the UFC had to make a decision, and I respect the decision they made. As soon as they announced that Walt had stepped up to fight Werdum, I walked over to Walt’s changing room, I shook his hand. I said, ‘Look, I would have done the same.’

“Fair play. This is what we’re all here for. We’re trying to work our way up the ladder. We’re trying to get that top spot. If someone offers you a chance to jump from here to here, we’re going to do it.”

To hear from Godbeer, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 217 face-offs: Jorge Masvidal with a throat-slash, Randy Brown with a phone call

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NEW YORK – Check out the face-offs from today’s UFC 217 media day, which had a few humorous moments.

UFC 217 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, and the main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Today, before the stacked event, some fighters who aren’t part of the trio of title fights met with media members and had a customary face-off for the cameras. And they offered a little of everything.

Welterweights Jorge Masvidal (32-12 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Stephen Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC)? It ended with a Masvidal throat-slash and a quick exit from the stage.

Middleweights Johny Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) and Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC)? A few laughs as ex-champ Hendricks seemed to forget the face-off positions.

Featured preliminary-card fighters and lightweights Joseph Duffy (17-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and James Vick (11-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC)? Polite smiles before a fight that could deliver some stellar striking.

Heavyweights Mark Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Walt Harris (10-6 MMA, 3-5 UFC)? Upbeat, as always.

Light heavyweights Corey Anderson (9-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Ovince Saint Preux (21-10 MMA, 9-5 UFC), former training partners and friends? A bro hug, of course.

Welterweights Randy Brown (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Mickey Gall (4-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC)? A few laughs as Brown got a call during his face-off.

And light heavyweights Ion Cutelaba (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Michal Oleksiejczuk (12-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who close out the UFC Fight Pass prelims? No love lost here.

Check out all of the face-offs above.

And for more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Godbeer-Harris rebooked for UFC 217, Hendricks-Borrachinha rounds out main card

A heavyweight matchup expected to take place at UFC 216 has been booked again for UFC 217, instead.

UFC officials today announced that Mark Godbeer and Walt Harris fill face off on the FS1-televised prelims of next month’s UFC 217 event, which takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

With the new contest, a middleweight matchup between Johny Hendricks (18-7 MMA, 13-7 UFC) and Paulo Borrachinha (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has been moved up to the evening’s pay-per-view main card.

Godbeer and Harris were slated to meet at this past weekend’s UFC 216 before a Derrick Lewis back injury flared up the day of the contest, and Harris was plucked from the prelim bout and placed into a main card matchup with top contender Fabricio Werdum, who needed just 65 seconds to finish the fight via armbar.

Hendricks will look to untie the 1-1 record that he’s amassed since moving up to the UFC’s middleweight division. After a decision win over Hector Lombard at UFC Fight Night 105, Hendricks was knocked out by Tim Boetsch in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 112 encounter.

Borrachinha, in turn, comes impressive off back-to-back UFC wins – which cap off an undefeated professional record. The 25-year-old fighter followed a quick knockout over Garreth McLellan, at UFC Fight Night 106, with another TKO, this time over Oluwale Bamgbose, at June’s UFC 212. He has finished all of his fights to date.

The full UFC 217 lineup includes:

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

  • Champ Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre – for middleweight title
  • Champ Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw – for bantamweight title
  • Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas – for women’s strawweight title
  • Jorge Masvidal vs. Stephen Thompson
  • Paulo Borrachinha vs. Johny Hendricks

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

  • Joseph Duffy vs. James Vick
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Ion Cutelaba vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
  • Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall

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

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Corey Anderson vs. Patrick Cummins
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

For more on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Kevin Lee, Ray Borg and UFC 216's losing fighters?

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(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for UFC 216’s winning fighters?)

UFC 216 will go down as event to forget for some, because all four main card losers were put away in the distance on the pay-per-view lineup at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

After the opening between Evan Dunham and Beneil Dariush went to a draw, each subsequent fight saw the loser forced to tap out, including Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in his interim lightweight title headlining bout with Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) as well Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in his first UFC title bout with Demetrious Johnson (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC).

Prior to the championship bouts, Walt Harris (10-6 MMA, 3-5 UFC) and Kalindra Faria (18-6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) were put away by there respective opponents in less than three minutes each.

After every event, fans wonder whom the losing fighters 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 216’s losing fighters.

* * * *

Kalindra Faria

Should fight: “The Ultimate Fighter 26” cast member
Why they should fight: Faria’s UFC debut came under less than ideal circumstances. After being booked or short notice then having her opponent switched on even shorter notice, the Brazilian fell short against Mara Romero Borella with a first-round submission loss.

Faria is one of the most established veterans of the women’s flyweight division, and although the UFC debut didn’t go her way, she’s still a promising member of the organization’s newest weight class.

The Brazilian would have liked her octagon career to begin under better circumstances, but Faria will certainly get another chance to prove herself. The infancy of the 125-pound division makes it difficult to judge who her next fight should be, but a matchup with someone who does well on the current season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which will crown the division’s inaugural champion, would be fitting.

Walt Harris

Should fight: Mark Godbeer
Why they should fight: Opportunity knocked and Harris answered, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to charge through the door. After Derrick Lewis fell off the card just before it was scheduled to begin, Harris stepped in to take on a huge task in Fabricio Werdum. To the surprise of almost no one, it didn’t go his way.

Harris had never fought anyone close to Werdum’s caliber, and it showed. He was quickly taken down and submitted within 65 seconds. Instead of getting down on a high-profile loss, though, “The Big Ticket” took it all as a learning experience to get better.

Before the last-minute scramble Harris was booked to fight Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) on the card. It would be fair to both sides to put that matchup back together considering both men put in an entire training camp for each other but never got to put it to use.

Ray Borg

Should fight: Brandon Moreno
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Borg should fight Moreno (14-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) next.

Kevin Lee

Should fight: Al Iaquinta
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Lee should rematch Iaquinta (13-3-1 MMA, 8-2 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Did Mark Godbeer get the better end of the UFC 216 fight cancellation after all?

On the surface, it seemed like a bad deal for Mark Godbeer.

After Derrick Lewis withdrew from his UFC 216 bout with Fabricio Werdum, the UFC tapped Walt Harris – the man originally slated to fight Godbeer – to step in as a replacement.

That left Godbeer as the lone healthy heavyweight without a fight on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But especially after seeing how Harris fared against Werdum, maybe Godbeer didn’t get such a bad deal after all.

According to a report from MMAUno.com, Godbeer says he received his full show and win money for the canceled bout. And according to a statement Godbeer posted to Facebook, he may be rebooked sooner rather than later.

Godbeer’s post seems to suggest he’ll fight at UFC 217 in New York on Nov. 4. If that’s true, he’ll end up with two paydays for one fight in the span of less than a month, which isn’t such a bad deal for an unranked heavyweight.

He also might have cause to feel like he dodged a bullet after seeing how easily Werdum dispatched Harris. The former UFC heavyweight champ needed just 65 seconds to take Harris down, take his back and finish him with an armbar.

Godbeer may not have gotten a chance to fight, but at least he got paid without having to get steamrolled by Werdum. There are worse ways for a night at a UFC event to go.

For complete coverage of UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

So, can Walt Harris get back his UFC 216 pay-per-view main-card slot?

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Walt Harris has a simple request wish for UFC officials: give him back his spot back on Saturday’s UFC 216 pay-per-view main card.

Harris (10-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC), who’s going for his third straight win, meets fellow heavyweight Mark Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at the event, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

When the fight card’s order was initially finalized, Harris, a 34-year-old who’s in his second UFC stint, was slated to kick off the main card. Heavyweights don’t always get placed in that high-profile slot – why kick off a $60 PPV with a potentially slow and sloppy heavyweight bout, after all? – but Harris and Godbeer have combined for 19 knockouts in 22 combined wins. In fact, all of Harris’ victories are knockouts.

So, based on those past results, the fight is likely to produce some fireworks.

However, when the UFC added a second title fight to the card – a rescheduled UFC 215 meeting between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) and Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) – Harris and Godbeer were demoted to the prelims with a featured slot on the night’s UFC Fight Pass portion of the card.

Yet, they could move again following the recent cancellation of two female bouts (Jessica Eye vs. Paige VanZant and then Andrea Lee vs. Kalindra Faria) that were slated for the main card. At least, that’s Harris’ hope.

“Well, from what I understood before Demetrious and Ray Borg (were added to UFC 216), I was on the main card,” Harris told MMAjunkie Radio. “So I don’t know where I am now. I know I went down (the card) when they added them back.

“So I don’t know, man. I’m down for it. I want a main-card fight because I’m looking to fight the best guys and (with) the best opportunities and best situations. … I want to beat (Godbeer) and then start going for the top-15, top-10 guys. I think that would be the perfect catapult for me – to get a main-card fight and get more exposure to show the world what I’ve been working on.”

Harris went 0-2 in his first UFC stint before rebounding with a Titan FC victory over well-traveled vet D.J. Linderman and earning a quick invitation back to the octagon. He thanks a stable of American Top Team regulars – Din Thomas, coach Conan Silveira and “best friend” Charles Rosa – for keeping him motivated and confident that he’s UFC-caliber, even when the former collegiate basketball player went bust in his first UFC run.

Harris is now 3-2 in his current stint – and he’s won two straight and three of his past four. So, what changed?

“In my first stint, it was kind overwhelming,” he said. “When you work so hard for something and you finally achieve it and it’s happening so fast, it can take you by surprise. And I think that’s kind of what happened to me.

“And I’ve also grown. I’ve matured. I’ve learned how to be a pro, how to train like a pro, how to live like a pro. So I think that’s all contributed to my success here lately in the octagon. I’m just trying to keep that mindset, that mind frame and keep winning and doing my thing.”

Now, he’s just hoping a PPV audience can see the new Walt Harris.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Has social-media stud Chase Sherman entertained you?

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5517919426001
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Chase Sherman has embraced social media and put himself out there for MMA fans. He’s learned it can be a double-edged sword.

Sherman has become a must-follow on Twitter (he’s at @chaseshermanufc). He’s got jokes. He’s got tweets. Memes. Contests. Photoshops.

I mean, check out a sampling:

Sherman’s social-media efforts have really been kicked up a notch in the past few months, so heading into Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 event, he knew some eyes were on him. He can entertain fans in 140 characters, but if he didn’t also entertain them in the cage, he knew the support could disappear.

“It almost seemed like I had a little more pressure this time than last time because I don’t want to let my fans down,” he said. “They invest a lot in me, and they’re constantly watching.”

Luckily for Sherman (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), his supporters were rewarded. Fighting on network TV – a FOX-televised preliminary-card bout at NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. – he scored a dominant decision victory over Damian Grabowski (20-5 MMA, 0-3 UFC).

“I always want to prove them right,” he said of his growing legion of supporters. “I always want to make them proud, make my family proud, make my friends proud. So there’s a little more pressure there because I told myself I’d much rather just go 0-3 and completely fail at it than be a one-hit wonder – to get that little bit of fame and then fizzle out and no one remember who you are.”

The 27-year-old, who went 9-1 on the regional circuit with nine knockout victories, then joined the UFC and promptly suffered losses to Justin Ledet and Walt Harris. However, with a current winning streak that includes a knockout of Rashad Coulter and the decision victory over Grabowski, he’s now looking to move up the ranks – and a fight with Mark Godbeer (12-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) would do just fine, he said.

“We’ve got two (UFC wins) under the belt,” he said. “Let’s go for three and evaluate the top 15 and see where we’re at.

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie