After UFC 218 win, Tecia Torres wants rubber match with new champ Rose Namajunas


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Tecia Torres won her third straight fight with a unanimous-decision victory over Michelle Waterson on Saturday at UFC 218, which leaves the question of what should come next for “The Tiny Tornado” in a suddenly wide open women’s strawweight division.

Fortunately, Torres (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) has some ideas on the matter. As she told reporters after she outlasted Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) in Detroit’s pay-per-view opener on Saturday in Detroit, she could see herself in a fight with fellow contender Claudia Gadelha (15-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC), or maybe even taking on the eventual winner of the slated bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who are expected to fight in February at UFC on FOX 28.

“But really, I’d like a title fight,” Torres said. “I’d like that grudge match. I think it’s a fight that fans want to see.”

Of course, fans already have seen it. Twice, in fact. Current UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) split a pair of bouts with Torres, with Torres claiming the decision victory in the first meeting at Invicta FC 6 in 2013, and Namajunas winning the UFC rematch via the same method last year.

What’s more, the two young fighters each had the honor of giving each other the first professional losses of their respective careers, so already there’s plenty of history between them.

“I think the story is there,” Torres said. “And I think it would be a great fight for the fans and for myself. Nothing against Rose, business is business. I want that title fight, and I’ve been wanting it for a long time.”

Namajunas is fresh off her upset victory over longtime champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217, where she stunned the MMA world with a first-round TKO of one of the UFC’s most dominant champions. And while Jedrzejczyk has vowed to reclaim her title, no future plans have been announced regarding the division’s next title fight.

According to Torres, the quick win by Namajunas was an impressive one, but didn’t leave a lot of opportunities for film study.

“I was totally impressed by Rose in her last fight, but I mean … there wasn’t really much to see out of that,” Torres said. “You’ve seen Rose as a fighter. She’s very unpredictable. She’s very good at her jiu-jitsu, very good striker, well-rounded fighter. Every fight presents something new, so I wouldn’t be able to pick something out of there. It would just be me and her fighting.”

Fortunately for Torres, she has plenty of experience there with two fights against Namajunas already. If she could face her for a third time, she said, and this time in a five-round fight rather than a three-rounder, she’s confident that her cardio and fast pace would become an advantage.

“I know how she hits,” Torres said. “I’ve taken her hits for six rounds, so it’d be a fun fight, and I’d be very comfortable and just excited about it. She’s a true representation of the strawweight division, and it’d be an honor to fight her a third time for a title.”

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC 218 results: Cardio pays dividends for Tecia Torres in decision win over Michelle Waterson

Tecia Torres muscled Michelle Waterson around the cage for three rounds, closing out their meeting with a heavy dose of ground and pound.

Torres (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) took home a unanimous decision over Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) with scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.

The women’s strawweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC 218 event at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

It didn’t take long for Torres to establish physical dominance over Waterson, whose size disadvantage became apparent when the two grappled. The crafty Waterson timed a headlock takedown and hopped on Torres’ back, only to lose the position. Torres then bullied Waterson to the fence, working short shots inside, and ended the opening frame with a flurry of punches.

Seeking to avoid that scenario in the second, Waterson waited for Torres to overextend and nabbed a takedown. On the mat, she managed to fight off reversal attempts, but struggled to put together any offense. Even from the bottom, Torres was able to muscle Waterson around.

In the final frame, Waterson landed a few nice right hands. But Torres simply ate them and returned fire with her own shots. When Waterson slippped on a front kick, Torres hopped into back control and wound up in back mount when a reversal attempt failed. Torres flurried with punches as Waterson floundered helplessly, suggesting an imminent finish. Waterson managed to get back to her feet, only to be chased across the cage with a final salvo of punches.

Torres now has won three straight in the octagon and moves closer to title contention, while Waterson suffers her second consecutive loss following a tapout to current champ Rose Namajunas in April.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 218 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on site in Detroit.)

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

UFC 218's Michelle Waterson not in any hurry to fight for UFC title


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

DETROIT – Although it’s still a big fight for the UFC’s strawweight division, Michelle Waterson knows the stakes are slightly lessened for her UFC 218 matchup with Tecia Torres after Rose Namajunas dethroned longtime champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk in November.

Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) shook up the 115-pound weight class when she scored a first-round knockout of Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) at UFC 217. Prior to the fight, Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) was viewed by most as a title eliminator in the division, but with a rematch likely to take place for the gold sometime next year, “The Karate Hottie” may need to put in more work in order to get a crack at the belt.

Waterson said she’s fine with that, mainly because she’s in no rush to reach the title. She sees more to work on with her game before challenging Namajunas, Jedrzejczyk or whoever else might be holding the crown.

“I’m not in any hurry,” Waterson told MMAjunkie at Thursday’s UFC 218 media day. “I love to fight. I’m comfortable in a place in my career now where I want to go out there and I want to show everybody what I’ve been working on. I want to go out there and execute. It’s like when you practice for a game and you actually land a move you’ve been landing over and over and over in practice. That feeling you get when you land it in the live game, that’s what I’m going out there Saturday night to do. Just go out there and execute what I’ve been working on and have fun.”

UFC 218 takes place Saturday at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, and it’s the UFC’s first event in Michigan since UFC 123 in 2010. Waterson vs. Torres opens the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Waterson is coming off a second-round submission loss to Namajunas at UFC on FOX 24 in April. She can bounce back toward the top of the division with a win over Torres, but unless something drastic changes, not likely into a championship bout.

Although the change in titleholders had an impact on Waterson’s placement in the division, she said her feeling of happiness for Namajunas outweighs anything else. She said she also wouldn’t mind rematching “Thug Rose” is she hangs onto the strap.

“I’m happy for Rose,” Waterson said. “She was really focused that night and she did a really great job executing her game plan. She went out there and she ceased the moment. Even though we’re all opponents and fight each other, you can’t help but be happy for somebody. You know what it is and you know what you sacrifice when you’re in training camp. To be able to capitalize on the moment, I was happy for her. I would love to rematch her. It just makes it that much better when she’s the champ now.”

Regardless of what’s on the horizon with a win, Waterson said she’s focused on the task at hand, which is earning a victory at UFC 218. Torres has been angling for a matchup with Waterson for quite some time, but it’s never come to fruition. Now’s the time, though, and Waterson said she’s pleased with the matchmaking.

“I think it’s a great matchup,” Waterson said. “Her coming off two wins, me coming off the fight against Rose. We’re both closely matched up in the rankings. It’s going to be a fight that determines who gets pushed up the ladder. I’m excited. … I’m looking forward to fighting a more well-rounded, developed Tecia Torres. I see myself winning by a finish.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

Tecia Torres believes she can skip past Joanna Jedrzejczyk in title queue with UFC 218 win


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DETROIT – Tecia Torres has her sights set on UFC gold. She believes an impressive victory over Michelle Waterson on Saturday at UFC 218 could get her that opportunity.

Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who fights Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) in the UFC 218 pay-per-view opener following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, is looking to extend her winning streak to three fights in the UFC strawweight division.

Despite the fact all signs point to former longtime champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) getting an immediate rematch with champ Rose Namajunas (6-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) following her UFC 217 title loss, Torres thinks she has a chance to jump the queue with the right performance.

“I do feel coming out with a great win this weekend I could get a possible title shot,” Torres told MMAjunkie at Thursday’s UFC 218 media day. “But you never know what happens. It’s really what the matchmakers want to make and what plays a good story. I think I have a good story. We’ll see what happens on Saturday night.”

Torres’ chances of getting a fight with Namajunas could be bolstered by the history between the pair. Torres defeated “Thug Rose” by unanimous decision at Invicta FC 6 in July 2013, while Namajunas won the rematch by unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 19 in April 2016.

With each fighter holding one victory, a trilogy bout seems inevitable. Torres said she’s not going to demand anything, though. She said she was pleased to see Namajunas win at UFC 217, especially because of how she got the job done and conducted herself afterward.

“I’m very happy for Rose,” Torres said. “She’s a talented fighter and a great representation for the UFC strawweight champion. I wasn’t surprised at all that she won. I thought she had the right tools to get in there and not stand in front of Joanna, because that’s what you can’t do. If you stand in front of her she’s going to light you up all day. She went in there and used her movement and she got that quick win. That was amazing. I’m very happy for Rose and I like where it’s at.”

As far as UFC 218 goes, though, Torres said she’s thrilled to be fighting Waterson. She’s been angling for a matchup with “The Karate Hottie” for the better part of 2017 and intends on proving why she asked for the fight with a statement win. Torres is coming off the first stoppage win of her career – a second-round submission of Juliana Lima at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale in July – and intends on continuing that momentum against Waterson.

“(After getting a stoppage) I was like, ‘Damn. That felt so easy, that felt so great. Why don’t I go in there and just get it done like that and not have to go 15 minutes?’” Torres said. “I’d like to go get it done for this fight. I continue to say I want to hit her and I don’t want to stop hitting her. That’s what’s win my mind and that’s what my game plan is.

“She’s a great fighter, I’m a great fighter and obviously I think I have the advantage everywhere the fight goes,” she continued. “I’m stronger, I’m faster and I’m more athletic. I’m just going to continue to say that because I really believe in it.”

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

UFC 218 main-card breakdown: Cejudo-Pettis, Alvarez-Gaethje and Torres-Waterson

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC 218’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at the first three pay-per-view bouts.

UFC 218 takes place Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The main card airs on PPV following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.


* * * *

Henry Cejudo (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC)

Henry Cejudo

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’4″ Age: 30 Weight: 125 lbs. Reach: 64″
  • Last fight: TKO win over Wilson Reis (Sept. 9, 2017)
  • Camp: Fight Ready MMA (Arizona)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ Olympic wrestling gold medalist (U.S.)
+ Multiple wrestling accolades
+ Bronze Gloves boxing champion
+ 4 KO victories
+ 1 submission win
+ 4 first-round finishes
+ Solid footwork
+ Improved overall striking
^ Offensively and off of the counter
+ Hard kicks and knees
+ Strong clinch game
^ Solid grips/hand-fighting
+ Excellent wrestling ability
^ 100 percent takedown defense rate

Sergio Pettis (16-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC)

Sergio Pettis

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 25 Weight: 125 lbs. Reach: 69″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Brandon Moreno (Aug. 5, 2017)
  • Camp: Roufusport (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ RFA flyweight title
+ Taekwondo black belt (2nd degree)
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt
+ 3 KO victories
+ 3 submission wins
+ 5 first-round finishes
+ Excellent footwork
+ Accurate jab and cross
^ Pulls and returns well
+ Dangerous head kicks
^ Strikes well off of the breaks
+ Improved wrestling ability
^ Good hips and wrist controls
+ Accurate and attacking guard


In a fight of importance at flyweight, Henry Cejudo take on Sergio Pettis.

Cejudo, one of the most decorated wrestlers to step foot into the cage, is still looking to score championship glory in MMA. Coming off an impressive win over recent title challenger Wilson Reis, Cejudo will seek to state his case for a second chance at the belt.

Brother to former UFC champ Anthony Pettis, Sergio is paving a path of his own, and he too would like to capture UFC gold. And if Pettis means to get himself into the conversation at 125 pounds, he will first need to make good on the main-stage against the dangerous contender that is before him.

Coming from a traditional taekwondo base, Pettis has arguably done a better job than his brother in regards to translating this style to the cage. Although Pettis is not as flashy as his brother (nor does he have the highlight reel to compare), there is an economical flow to the way in which he mixes his punches and kicks, and he also works at a much more consistent pace.

Not only does Pettis work in his kicking attacks seamlessly, but his point-fighting style of footwork has complemented his boxing nicely, utilizing his heightened sense of range to fuel his pulls and returns. Still, despite having accurate jab-cross continuums he works well from, Pettis will need to respect the power that Cejudo will be firing back at him.

Consistently demonstrating a stick-and-move curriculum, the former freestyle wrestler displays a surprising fluidity, seldom throwing himself out of position. Favoring cross-hook combinations, he often punctuates his presence with hard kicks to the body.

Recently, we have seen Cejudo only improve. In his bout against Joseph Benavidez last year, the Olympic champion displayed an upgraded muay Thai arsenal from his time spent at CSA in Northern California.

When watching him against Reis a few months ago, Cejudo took things to a different level, coming out in a sharp karate stance that he picked up while working with the Pitbull brothers (Bellator’s Patricio and Patricky) in Brazil. Showing off an improved sense of range, Cejudo was able to time and counter his opponent precisely with palpable speed and power.

Regardless of Cejudo’s confidence in his striking, it is inside the clinch where he is most comfortable, and I will be interested to see how much he forces the issue in this fight.

Utilizing fundamental hand-fighting, Cejudo will subtly stifle his opponent’s offense inside as he delivers a healthy dose of hard knees whenever in close. When able to establish a body lock, the former freestyle wrestler is quick to hit his inside trips.

That said, Pettis can be difficult to pin down due to his footwork and spatial awareness of when to leave and when to stay.

Demonstrating good posture to go along with a consistent hand-fighting and underhook awareness of his own, I think that Pettis could surprise Cejudo if he stays disciplined in defense.

Working with Izzy Martinez for his past few camps, we have seen steady improvements to Pettis’ wrestling, especially in the transitional phases of his grappling.

Already possessing crafty leg dexterity and wrist controls, Pettis now shows more process and understanding to his actions, and he was able to successfully navigate out of some tight spots in his last couple of outings. Should these two end up exchanging inside of grappling stanzas, I will be intrigued to see how each fighter has progressed.

The oddsmakers and public feel pretty confident in the former Olympian, currently listing Cejudo -280 and Pettis +240 as of this writing.

As someone who felt good about Pettis’ chances when the matchup was attempted the first time around – my opinion has admittedly changed since, primarily off of the strength of Cejudo’s last performance.

Don’t get me wrong: This is a winnable fighter for Pettis, who I could see sneaking his savvy kicking attacks over or under the shoulders of Cejudo. And if younger Pettis brother had five rounds to work within, then perhaps he could pull away on the scorecards.

But ultimately, I see Cejudo landing the more meaningful blows and likely hitting opportunistic takedowns along the way to a competitive but clear decision.

Official pick: Cejudo by decision

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

Michelle Waterson appears on 'The Steve Harvey Show' before UFC 218


Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

UFC strawweight contender Michelle Waterson is making the media rounds ahead of UFC 218, and that includes a spot on “The Steve Harvey Show.”

Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC), who meets Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) on Saturday’s pay-per-view opener at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, is looking to make a statement in the 115-pound division in the matchup vs. “The Tiny Tornado.”

“The Karate Hottie” is coming off a submission loss to current champ Rose Namajunas at UFC on FOX 24 in April, but she hopes to bounce back with a strong performance against Torres.

It appears Waterson is beaming with confidence ahead of the matchup. She discussed the fight with Steve Harvey, and also provided a kicking demo that gave Harvey a bit of a scare.

Watch the video above to see Waterson’s appearance.

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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

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

Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson official for UFC 218 in Detroit

Tecia Torres has wanted to fight Michelle Waterson for some time now, and that’s what she’s getting.

It was announced today that Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will meet in a strawweight bout at UFC 218, which takes place Dec. 2 from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit with a pay-per-view main card that follows prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Torres, No. 7 in the current USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings, made it known back in August she wanted Waterson for her next fight. The “Karate Hottie” is pleased to finally oblige that request.

“Tecia has been calling me out since her last fight,” Waterson told “I’m just trying to give her what she wants. It’ll be a great fight.”

For Waterson, she will be looking to rebound from a second-round submission loss to Rose Namajunas at UFC on FOX 24 in April. As a result of that win, Namajunas is set to face champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at next month’s UFC 217.

Torres also has lost to Namajunas in April 2016 for her lone defeat in a rematch of an Invicta bout won by Torres. Since that loss, Torres has compiled back-to-back wins, including her first finish in July, when she beat Juliana Lima with a rear-naked choke.

With the addition to the card, UFC 218 now includes:

  • Champ Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar – for featherweight title
  • Francis Ngannou vs. Alistair Overeem
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
  • Drakkar Klose vs. David Teymur
  • Cortney Casey vs. Felice Herrig
  • Yancy Medeiros vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Razak Al-Hassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana
  • Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

For more on UFC 218, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC strawweight Tecia Torres wants a fight with Michelle Waterson

With her dance ticket currently unfilled, UFC strawweight Tecia Torres went to Twitter to try to book her next fight.

Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) earlier this week called out Michelle Waterson (14-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on the social media platform saying she wanted to fight her.

“Michelle what’s up? Let’s fight and put on a good show! @karatehottiemma Waiting for you,” Torres wrote on her Twitter account.

Waterson has not yet responded. But Torres replied to a trolling fan who said she wasn’t on Waterson’s level by saying, “I beg to differ” with a laughing emoji.

Torres started her career 4-0, all for Invicta FC, before coming to the UFC via Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Although she didn’t reach the season’s final, she fout at the TUF 20 Finale and took a decision from Angela Magana. After that, she beat Angela Hill and Jocely Jones-Lybarger before dropping a decision to Rose Namajunas at UFC on FOX 19, which was the first setback of her career.

“The Tiny Tornado” bounced back with a win over Bec Rawlings earlier this year in Houston, which gave her eight decisions in eight career wins. But at the TUF 25 Finale in July, Torres finally got her first finish as a pro when she submitted Juliana Lima with a rear-naked choke to win a $50,000 performance bonus.

Waterson is coming off a second-round submission loss to Namajunas in the UFC on FOX 24 co-main event in April. That setback was her first loss in the UFC after opening with a pair of submission wins over Magana and Paige VanZant.

“The Karate Hottie” is a former Invicta FC atomweight champion who went 3-1 in that promotion with the lone loss being in a title defense against Herica Tiburcio. After that, she slid over to the UFC when the strawweight division was formed.

So what do you think of the matchup? Is it a good one? Or should Torres start asking for someone else? Vote on it in our poll below.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors 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

MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for July: One of the prettiest transitions you'll see in MMA

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

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

* * * *

The nominees

Tecia Torres def. Juliana Lima at TUF 25 Finale

After going to a decision in nine consecutive fights to open her pro career, Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) finally picked up her first stoppage win when she choked out durable Brazilian Juliana Lima (9-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC)

Torres became the first to tap Lima when she found a way to her opponent’s back early in the second round of the women’s strawweight bout. She secured a rear-naked choke moments later, earning a win without the help of the judges for the first time (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Jimmy Flick def. Johnny Bedford at LFA 16

UFC veteran Johnny Bedford (23-13-1) was a 5-1 favorite heading into his bantamweight main event, and it made Jimmy Flick’s (10-3) third-round submission win all the sweeter.

Flick, who closed as a +350 underdog to -500 favorite Bedford at the sports books, picked up arguably the biggest win of his career. He threw out a number of submission attempts, and it was finally a D’Arce choke that stuck for the finish (via Twitter):

Marlon Vera def. Brian Kelleher at UFC on FOX 25

After picking up a surprising and quick submission win in his UFC debut earlier this year, Brian Kelleher (17-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) experienced the other side of the coin when he tapped out early in the first frame of his fight with Marlon Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

In a grappling exchange in the bantamweight bout, Vera transitioned to a slick armbar, which forced Kelleher to tap out, giving Vera his third consecutive victory (via Twitter):

Chris Weidman def. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on FOX 25

Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) won’t back down. The former UFC middleweight champion survived a knockdown from Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in the opening frame before taking over on the mat, securing an arm triangle at the 3:45 mark of Round 3.

Weidman snapped a three-fight losing skid that had many MMA observers doubting whether he’d be able to keep his UFC job, let alone return to championship form. He did so by becoming the first to stop Gastelum inside the distance (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Brian Ortega def. Renato Moicano at UFC 214

Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Renato Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) were nearly two-and-a-half rounds into a striking war that cageside fans could hear as well as they could see. Then Moicano made the questionable decision to take down Ortega in the featherweight fight.

It played right into Ortega’s submission strengths as Moicano inadvertently stuck his neck into a guillotine choke that Ortega squeezed for the finish, forcing the tap at the 2:59 mark of Round 3 (via Twitter):

* * * *

The winner: Marlon Vera

Marlon Vera

It started out looking like a run-of-the-mill submission defense by Vera, who trapped Kelleher’s arm to stop the single-leg takedown early in the opening round.

It turned into much more.

When Kelleher tried to give up on the takedown, Vera stuck with the kimura trap, using it to transition into a slick armbar that forced the submission at the 2:18 mark of Round 1.

The transition to the armbar was about as smooth a submission as you’re likely to see, and it clearly caught Kelleher off-guard. He started off well, moving to an early takedown attempt with Vera pressed against the cage.

But when Vera reached down to snag Kelleher’s arm in a kimura, it halted Kelleher’s hopes for a takedown and forced him to bail on the move. When he went to back out of the single-leg takedown, however, Vera clamped down harder on his arm, using it to spin him around before spinning himself right into position for the armbar.

Kelleher tried to get his arm back, but by that point, it was too late. Vera already had the limb extended and showed no indication that he was willing to give it back.

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 25 Finale's Tecia Torres said death of former teammate 'really hit home' before win

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – A lot of positive things were happening for UFC women’s strawweight Tecia Torres heading into her bout at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale.

That’s why death of former teammate Aaron Rajman hit her particularly hard, and why she broke down with emotion after earning her first UFC finish.

“This is the first time (I’ve had to go through that kind of adversity),” Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) said backstage after submitting Juliana Lima (9-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) after opening the FS1-televised portion of the card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “It really hit home because he was there for me at the end of my amateur career. He had his own show, too. I fought my last amateur fight on his show. He was a good friend. We hadn’t talked in a while, but whenever we would connect, we would be together.”

Rajman, a member of American Top Team, was killed Monday after an argument with several men at a home in Boca Raton, Fla. Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide. A GoFundMe was set up for the fighter and promoter.

Torres took the fight on less than three weeks’ notice when a bout with standout Michelle Waterson failed to materialize. She immediately broke down in the octagon after the fight and dedicated her win to Rajman.

Despite the bittersweet victory, there are plenty of good things ahead. There’s the potential Waterson bout, which Torres thinks will put her within one win of a title shot, and her engagement to training partner and UFC women’s bantamweight Rachel Pennington.

Torres relocated from ATT to train with Pennington in Colorado, bidding farewell to her longtime team. A lot’s been a lot thrown at “Tiny Tornado” in a short period of time, but she’s soldiering on.

Check out the video above to hear Torres talk about her win and what’s next.

And for complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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