UFC 220 gets 2 new matchups, including Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font

UFC 220 appears to have two new matchups.

They include bantamweights Thomas Almeida (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. Rob Font (14-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and featherweights Shane Burgos (10-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Calvin Kattar (17-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC).

Top Game Management announced the fights and later confirmed them with MMAjunkie (via Twitter):

UFC 220 takes place Jan. 20 at TD Garden in Boston. It airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been determined.

Almeida, who’s No. 13 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, has earned four “Performance of the Night” bonuses and one “Fight of the Night” award in seven UFC fights. However, after opening his career with a 21-0 mark, the 26-year-old Brazilian and former Legacy FC champion is just 1-2 since then with losses to contender Jimmie Rivera and now-ex-champ Cody Garbrandt.

He meets another crowd-pleasing 135-pounder in Font, a former CES MMA featherweight titleholder who’s 4-2 since making his UFC debut with two “Performance of the Night” bonuses. In his most recent outing, his two-fight winning streak came to a halt with a submission defeat to Pedro Munhoz.

Burgos, meanwhile, is a 26-year-old CFFC vet who made his promotional debut in April and scored a TKO victory over Charles Rosa while picking up “Fight of the Night” honors. He then picked up UFC win No. 2 over Godofredo Pepey via decision to push his career winning streak to 10.

He now meets Kattar, a surging 145-pounder and former CES MMA fighter who recently made his UFC debut and upset Andre Fili via unanimous decision. His winning streak, which included pre-UFC wins over the likes of Cody Stevens, Saul Almeida and Kenny Foster, now sits at nine fights.

The latest UFC 220 card now includes:

  • Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
  • Shane Burgos vs. Calvin Kattar

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

A 'die-hard' fan, UFC on FOX 25 winner Shane Burgos still finds the idea of being a UFC fighter surreal

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Shane Burgos had just added an impressive win to his unblemished record, but he still finds the very idea that he’s in the UFC quite surreal.

That’s because, at 26, Burgos also happens to be a self-proclaimed “die-hard” fight fan. He’s been traveling to Las Vegas to attend UFC Fan Expos and fight-week activities, for instance, since he was 18. His upcoming vacations, he says, will include visiting “The Ultimate Fighter” set – and feeling like “a kid in a candy store” in the process.

Which is why, in spite of looking like an absolute pro in his dominant UFC on FOX 25 display over Godofredo Pepey (13-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) on Saturday, Burgos (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) still seems somewhat fascinated by his current gig.

“It’s very surreal,” Burgos told reporters after the featherweight scrap, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. “My friends even say it, because we’re die-hard fans.

“It’s like, ‘Dude, we’re here because you’re in the UFC. This so weird.’ And we’re walking through the hotel in my first couple of fights, all my friends were like, ‘Dude, there’s Chris Weidman. Dude, there’s this guy.’ It’s crazy, still.”

If Burgos’ giddiness stood out in his post-fight interview, it was his composure inside the cage that most impressed. After tagging Pepey early with a knee, Burgos refused to fall into the fellow featherweight’s habitual guard-pulling attempts and seemed to spot his opponent’s haymakers from miles away. All the while, crisp punches landed clean on Pepey’s face and, occasionally, body.

It was a solid performance, by all accounts. But Burgos is still not entirely satisfied.

“No, I wanted the first-round finish,” Burgos said. “I’ve been saying I’m going to get it. I almost had it. He’s good. He’s a tough guy. He’s a veteran, too. He’s got those tactics. He was taking a little while to get back up when he was rocked after that knee I caught him with in the first round.

“I think if the referee would have pushed him to get up, I think I was definitely going to finish him.”

Although Burgos managed to get the job done with relative ease, he says making it into the octagon on Saturday was a struggle, in itself. While he won’t go into details about the nature of his pre-fight injuries, he says he was “pretty banged up” in this particular camp.

“I wouldn’t have pulled out, but I haven’t sparred in over three weeks,” Burgos said. “I tried, and I had to stop. I did about one minute of a round and then the injury I had was just nagging me. I could barely even throw a punch or kick.”

After resting the injury out, Burgos says he feels fine. Other than his hands, anyway – those are a bit swollen and sore from hitting the resilient Pepey. But, after three fights in seven months, he plans on taking a a five or six-month break to enjoy his five-month-old daughter.

Unless, of course, this one particular spot opens up.

“But if you call me for (Madison Square Garden, rumored destination to UFC 217 in November), how am I going to say no?” Burgos asked. “I’m a New Yorker, man. I’ve been to MSG for a bunch of other stuff. To be there to fight? That would be insane. So how could I say no to that?”

To hear from Burgos, check out the video above.

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

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

UFC on FOX 25 results: Shane Burgos unfazed by Godofredo Pepey, wins easy unanimous decision

Shane Burgos dropped Godofredo Pepey at the beginning and the end, but couldn’t shut him all the way down.

The result was a clear unanimous decision win for Burgos (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who brought the crowd to its feet in a toe-to-toe battle with the wild but resilient Pepey (13-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC).

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.

As he is known to do, Pepey started this by planting his feet and throwing one wild haymaker after another, whether it came in the form of looping overhands or spinning backfists. That didn’t seem to surprise Burgos, who stayed calm and fired back with pinpoint counters, dropping Pepey with a well-timed knee to the head in the first round and nearly finishing him with strikes moments later.

Pepey would use his grappling skill to recover in the clinch, though he couldn’t quite bait Burgos into joining him on the mat. Instead, Burgos repeatedly motioned him back to his feet so he could continue hammering him in the stand-up department.

That trend continued into the final round, where an increasingly desperate Pepey windmilled frantic attacks at Burgos to start the frame, only to fade late as Burgos came on. A late body shot from Burgos put Pepey down again and Burgos went all out with ground-and-pound inside his guard, looking for the finish as the last few seconds ticked away.

Pepey managed to survive, but all three judges saw the fight for Burgos, giving him the decision with scores of 30-26, 30-26, and 29-28.

With the win, Burgos remains perfect as a professional. Pepey has lost two of his last three.

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