Thiago 'Marreta' Santos meets Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil

The UFC’s first event in Belem, Brazil, appears to have another fight set for the lineup.

Brazilian Thiago “Marreta” Santos (16-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) will take on American Anthony Smith (28-12 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a middleweight bout at UFC Fight Night 125. The matchup was announced by Santos on his Twitter account after an initial report from Brazilian news outlet Combate. UFC officials have not yet made a formal announcement of the booking.

UFC Fight Night 125 takes place Feb. 3 at Mangueirinho Gymnasium in Belem, Para, Brazil. The card is likely to air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Thiago “Marreta” Santos

Santos has won three straight fights, including a bonus-winning knockout of Jack Marshman at UFC Fight Night 105 earlier this year. That got him back on track after a two-fight skid that saw him knocked out by Gegard Mousasi and submitted by Eric Spicely in an upset.

But after beating Marshman to rebound, he also stopped Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 213 in July and a month ago took out Jack Hermansson with just one second left in the first round for a TKo at UFC Fight Night 119 in Brazil.

Like Santos, Smith has won three straight fights, all by knockout, and is 4-1 since returning to the UFC in early 2016. After he was cut loose after a lone loss in the UFC in 2013 after the merger with Strikeforce, “Lionheart” went 7-1 with a pair of wins for Bellator and won the CFFC middleweight title.

That got him another UFC shot, and he took advantage with a decision win over Leonardo Augusto Guimares at UFC Fight Night 83. After a decision loss to Cezar Ferreira, his past year has been fantastic. He had a bonus-winning TKO of Elvis Mutapcic in December 2016, then a knockout of Andrew Sanchez. And in September, he stopped former Bellator champ Hector Lombard with a third-round TKO.

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

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UFC Fight Night 119 results: Thiago 'Marreta' Santos becomes first to TKO Jack Hermansson

Jack Hermansson covered up as much as he could against the charging attacks of Thiago “Marreta” Santos. But eventually, one shot found its way through.

Santos (16-5 MMA, 8-4 UFC) surged in the final seconds of the opening frame and caught Hermansson (16-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) with a left hook to set up a TKO at the 4:59 mark of the first round.

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 119 event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

The fight paired two fighters known for their fast work in the octagon, with Hermansson a dangerous fighter from top position and Santos a knockout artist. After a bouncy start in which the opponents eyed each other warily, Santos went first with a flurry of shots.

After taking a hardy body kick, Hermansson pushed to put the fight in more comfortable territory. When his attempt failed, however, Santos poured on the offense. Hermansson was battered across the canvas, and while he managed to block most of the punches, he was rendered completely defensive.

A jumping swick quick from Santos then came out of the blue. It wasn’t successful, but the ensuing flurry of punches as the Brazilian ran down his opponent produced the fight-ending knockdown.

Santos officially is on another tear with three straight TKO wins, while Hermansson sees a two-fight streak snapped after two first round TKOs of his own.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 119 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Fernanda Prates contributed to this report on site in Sao Paulo.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

Anxiety no longer stifles UFC Fight Night 119's Jack Hermansson

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SAO PAULO – Coming into a fight in peak condition is great if you’re a fighter. But then again, it’s a pretty much a job requirement.

Mastering pre-fight jitters is a highly individual task, and whether or not a fighter is successful depends on many variables, some of which are uncontrollable.

As confident as UFC middleweight Jack Hermansson looks inside the octagon, he admits he still wrestles with anxiety. Heading into a fight, the same fears clutch at him.

“It’s the nerves before you go out,” Hermansson (16-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who faces Thiago “Marreta” Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 119, told MMAjunkie. “I feel like it’s still in me when I’m in the octagon – too much.”

But after four fights, those fears don’t have the same hold.

“I think I’ve always had some challenges mentally, and I still have them,” he said. “But what makes me confident is that even though I’m feeling the anxiety, I’m able to perform.

“So I know that when I step up my mental game, I’ll be unbeatable. I think I still have some things to work on, but we’re getting there.”

For all his struggles behind the scenes, Hermansson is enjoying a moment of success in the UFC. He’s won his past two fights by TKO, and is 3-1 in the octagon. When newcomer Michal Materla dropped out of Saturday’s event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, the promotion called him on short notice.

It’s the second time Hermansson has been called into hostile territory on short notice. But he feels better prepared to meet the challenge.

Hermansson now visualizes success on a regular basis to prepare his mind for the same outcome in the cage. He talks about his anxiety with fighters who are good at managing it

Still, he notes, he can never predict when his nerves might strike. So it’s a never-ending process.

“Hopefully, I’m going to get out there and be the best ever,” he said.

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Michał Materla out, Jack Hermansson in at UFC Fight Night 119 in Brazil

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The UFC’s fall return to Brazil has a new middleweight addition to the fight card.

UFC officials today announced a UFC Fight Night 119 bout between Jack Hermansson (16-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Thiago “Marreta” Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC).

Santos originally was expected to fight KSW vet Michał Materla (24-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC). However, the 33-year-old Polish fighter reportedly decided to re-sign with the Polish promotion rather than ink a deal with the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 119 takes place Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Hermansson, a former Cage Warrior champion who went 7-0 with the promotion, is 3-1 since joining the UFC and is 11-1 overall (with eight stoppages) since early 2014. The 29-year-old Swede, who’s fought in four different countries (Germany, Brazil, Sweden and Mexico) since signing with the UFC, scored first-round TKO victories over Alex Nicholson and Brad Scott in his two most recent bouts.

He now meets Santos, a 33-year-old Brazilian who fights in his home country for the first time since a submission loss to Eric Spicely in September. Since then, he’s picked up second-round TKO victories over Jack Marshman (via spinning heel kick that earned “Performance of the Night” honors) and Gerald Meerschaert.

The latest UFC Fight Night 119 card now includes:

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson
  • Misha Cirkunov vs. Glover Teixeira
  • Colby Covington vs. Demian Maia
  • Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
  • Augusto Mendes vs. Boston Salmon
  • Christian Colombo vs. Carlos Felipe
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
  • Jack Hermansson vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Thiago 'Marreta' Santos meets Polish veteran Michal Materla at UFC Gdansk

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A veteran Polish fighter will make his UFC debut in front of his home-country fans this fall.

Michal Materla (24-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his promotional debut against Brazil’s Thiago “Marreta” Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 118. A UFC official confirmed the booking to MMAjunkie following an initial report from Brazilian news outlet Combate.com, though the promotion has not yet made an official announcement.

Although the report says the middleweight bout will be the card’s headliner, it is not yet known where the fight will fall on the card.

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

The 33-year-old Materla will fight for the 30th time as a pro, dating back to 2003. The bulk of his fights have been under Poland’s KSW promotional banner, for which he has fought 18 of his past 19 bouts. When he steps in the cage against Santos, though, it will be for the first time in more than a year.

In October 2016, he knocked out feared Brazilian submission artist and UFC and WSOF veteran Rousimar Palhares in the second round, giving him five wins in his past six fights. His resume also includes wins over UFC and Bellator veterans Jay Silva, Kendall Grove, Rodney Wallace and Matt Horwich, as well as UFC vet Tomasz Drwal. He has 18 of his 24 wins by stoppage, including a dozen submissions.

Santos will try to make it a perfect 3-0 in 2017 when he takes on Materla. He has back-to-back second-round TKO wins over Jack Marshman and Gerald Meerschaert and won a $50,000 bonus for the finish of Marshman in February in Nova Scotia, Canada. Those wins snapped a two-fight skid of stoppage setbacks to Gegard Mousasi and Eric Spicely.

Prior to those losses, he had a four-fight winning streak, including first-round knockouts of Andy Enz, Steve Bosse (in 29 seconds for another bonus) and Nate Marquardt, plus a decision over Elias Theodorou.

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
  • Michal Materla vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos

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

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Source: MMA Junkie

Having a bad day? These pics of kids getting a cool MMA masterclass from UFC fighters in Rio should help

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As far as MMA introductions go, it’s hard to top the masterclass a group happy-looking children and teenagers from social projects in Rio de Janeiro got this past Saturday.

As part of the celebrations of the one-year anniversary the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio, former PRIDE heavyweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was joined by six active UFC fighters in teaching the free class, held at the venue that hosted basketball competitions at the Olympics.

Former strawweight title challenger Jessica Andrade, flyweight Alexandre Pantoja, lightweight Alan Patrick, strawweight Poliana Botelho and middleweights Vitor Miranda and Thiago “Marreta” Santos all shared some knowledge.

“Social actions like these bring the children closer to martial arts and work as motivation for them to follow this path, as many have little access to sports,” Nogueira stated. “I believe that, by allowing direct access with idols such as UFC fighters, we help both the self-esteem and the development of these children.

“I’ve been working with this for a while and I understand how much the engagement between sports and social projects benefits the future of or country.”

Did the kids enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience? Check out the photos in the gallery above and decide for yourself.

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

After UFC 213 stoppage win, Thiago 'Marreta' Santos wants Mousasi rematch with full camp

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LAS VEGAS – When Thiago “Marreta” Santos fought Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200 a year ago, he had been painted into the proverbial corner.

Santos took a fight at UFC 200 against Mousasi when Derek Brunson dropped out about three weeks before the bout. The result was not a pretty one. Mousasi crushed Santos for a first-round knockout.

Santos’ next time out, back in his home country of Brazil, he was stunned by Eric Spicely, who submitted him with a rear-naked choke in the first round at UFC Fight Night 95. Santos was more than an 8-1 favorite in that fight, making Spicely’s win one of 2016’s biggest upsets.

But on Saturday at UFC 213, Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) continued to move past those rough results when he stopped Gerald Meerschaert (26-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) with a second-round TKO at UFC 213, giving him back-to-back stoppage wins. The fight was part of the FS1-broadcast preliminary card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas ahead of the main card on pay-per-view.

Now Santos wants another shot at Mousasi – but with a full training camp behind him.

“I feel like I could have fought better against him,” Santos said through a translator backstage after his win over Meerschaert. “I took the fight on short notice, so it feels like I deserve a better chance to train properly to face him again.

“We can have a really good fight for the fans. He’s a very good fighter. I admire him, and I like to see him fight. It’s nothing personal. I want to face better guys, and he’s one of the best.”

Mousasi indeed is one of the best. He’s currently No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings. Santos is unranked, but with some more stoppage wins like the one he had Saturday night, he may not be long for watching the top 15 from the outside looking in.

For more from Santos, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC 213 results: Thiago 'Marreta' Santos pounds out Gerald Meerschaert, calls out Gegard Mousasi

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Thiago “Marreta” Santos hurt Gerald Meerschaert with punches early in their fight, but it took him another round to seal the deal.

With Meerschaert (26-9 MMA, 2-1 UFC) clearly wounded but surviving, Santos (15-5 MMA, 7-4 UFC) kept pouring on the punishment as he avoided his opponent’s increasingly desperate takedown attempts, until finally referee Marc Goddard had no choice but to call a halt to the action at the 2:04 mark of Round 2.

The middleweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 213 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of and a main card on pay-per-view.

Santos stung Meershcaert with a kick right away in this fight, which immediately prompted Meerschaert to try and take the fight to the mat. That would prove to be his strategy throughout the fight, but it only got him into more trouble as Santos defended well and then hammered away with punches once Meerschaert’s takedown attempts had stalled.

Meerschaert got a brief moment to collect himself after an accidental eye poke from Santos midway through the first, and by then Santos was leaking blood from a deep cut along his scalp. But as soon as the action commenced again it was Santos in control, hurting Meerschaert with his strikes from every angle.

By the second, Meerschaert’s attempts to take the fight down were far more obvious and thus more easily defended by Santos, and once those fell short they gave Santos the opportunity to unload with punches. With Meerschaert hurt and unable to do much more than cover up, Goddard stepped in just slightly over two minutes into the second frame, giving Santos the TKO victory.

After the fight, Santos used his in-cage interview to call for a rematch with Gegard Mousasi, a fighter he lost to one year ago to the day at UFC 200. But Santos took that fight on short notice as an injury replacement and now wants to fight Mousasi with a full camp.

“This fight was very important to me,” Santos said. “Gerald is a tough fighter, but I am tougher and I showed that tonight. I feel that I am getting back to where I should be in the division. With one or two more wins, I would like to rematch Gegard Mousasi. I believe that fight will end very differently as I have continued to grow as a fighter and I want to show that to the world. I will continue to finish whoever is put in front of me.”

The win makes it two in a row in the UFC for Santos. Meerschaert’s loss snaps a seven-fight winning streak.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 213 results include:

For complete coverage UFC 213, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Steven Marroco contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Cody Stamann vs. Terrion Ware, James Bochnovic vs. Trevin Giles added to UFC 213 lineup

A pair of fights have been added to next week’s UFC 213 lineup at the 11th hour, giving four prospects a chance to make their promotional debuts.

Cody Stamann (13-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will take on Terrion Ware (17-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a featherweight bout, and James Bochnovic (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) meets Trevin Giles (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at light heavyweight. UFC officials announced the matchups today, both of which will stream on the UFC Fight Pass prelims.

UFC 213 takes place July 8 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The night’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Along with the two new bouts, the UFC made official a heavyweight bout for the main card. The fight between Curtis Blayes (6-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Daniel Omielanczuk (19-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC) shifts from the FS1 prelims to the main card in the wake of the removal of the welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Robbie Lawler due to a Cerrone injury. And moving up from UFC Fight Pass to FS1 is the middleweight bout between Gerald Meerschaert (26-8 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Thiago “Marreta” Santos (14-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC).

Michigan native Stamann heads to the UFC on the strength of a six-fight winning streak. In March, he knocked out Bill Kamery in the main event of a KnockOut Promotions event in his home state. Ware, an RFA veteran, has won four straight fights. In April, he knocked out UFC and WSOF veteran Jared Papazian at a CXF event. The win gave him a measure of revenge after a decision loss to Papazian in 2013.

Bochnovic, who trains with UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell, has won eight straight fights after being submitted in his pro debut nearly three years ago. Since then, all eight of his wins are by stoppage, and the most recent seven have been by submission. Just a month ago, he tapped Bellator, Titan FC and RFA vet Wayman Carter with an armbar just 85 seconds into their fight.

Giles, from Texas, brings his unbeaten record into the fight with Bochnovic. Eight of his nine wins are by stoppage, including five submissions. In February, he went to the judges for the first time in his pro career and took a split decision from Ryan Spann in the LFA 3 main event.

The UFC 213 lineup now includes:

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

  • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Yoel Romero vs. Robert Whittaker – for interim middleweight title
  • Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler
  • Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum
  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
  • Jim Miller vs. Anthony Pettis

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

  • Travis Browne vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Brian Camozzi vs. Chad Laprise
  • Gerald Meerschaert vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
  • Jordan Mein vs. Belal Muhammad

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

  • Rob Font vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade
  • Cody Stamann vs. Terrion Ware
  • James Bochnovic vs. Trevin Giles

For more on UFC 213, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie