Gunnar Nelson's team disappointed after appeal fails in UFC Fight Night 113 loss

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UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson’s attempt to appeal his TKO loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio has failed.

Nelson’s management team at Paradigm Sports today released a statement confirming the UFC has denied the fighter’s request.

“We are disappointed with the UFC’s recent ruling to uphold the result of the July 16, 2017 bout between our client, Gunnar Nelson, and Santiago Ponzinibbio,” read the statement, posted on Paradigm’s Facebook page. “While we understand the outcome of a fight is difficult to overturn, we maintain that the blatant eye pokes were a major factor in the stoppage and the final eye poke was certainly a fight-ending foul, because Gunnar had no opportunity to signal the referee.

“A more stringent application of the Unified Rules of MMA should have been applied here to rule this fight a no-contest. We stand behind Gunnar and Team Nelson, and we hope this unfortunate situation will lead to more careful application of the rules regarding eye pokes, as fairness and fighter safety must always be a priority.”

Nelson (16-3-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) was stopped by Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at the 1:22 mark of the opening frame of the FS1-televised UFC Fight Night 113 event in Glasgow, Scottland, which was regulated by the UFC and conducted under the new Unified Rules of MMA, which penalize a fighter from extending fingers outward during the action (the promotion oversees events in jurisdictions without formal athletic commissions).

The referee did not stop the fight to issue any warnings for eye-pokes, but afterward, Nelson said the flurry of punches he took was preceded by several fingers to his eye from Ponzinibbio.

“I’m kicking myself in the head for not stopping the fight,” Nelson told MMAjunkie at the event’s post-fight presser. “I should have stopped the fight, recovered, and carried on from there.”

Under the current rules, the only person who can stop a fight mid-action is the referee, who is the sole arbiter of the contest. However, it’s not uncommon for referees to miss illegal eye-pokes in the heat of the moment.

“I was seeing two Ponzinibbios in front of me, and it was like that until I remember standing up and the fight was over,” Nelson said.

Ponzinibbio had no recollection of poking Nelson in the eye and maintained his punches ultimately finished the fight.

Nelson’s loss snapped a two-fight win streak and put him back in the hunt for a breakthrough fight. The 29-year-old submission ace has reeled off several impressive wins, but has fallen short against veterans such as Rick Story and Demian Maia prior to his defeat by Ponzinibbio, who’s won his past five octagon bouts.

For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for July: Who had the best finish in a loaded month?

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

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

* * * *

The Nominees

Galore Bofando def. Charlie Ward at UFC Fight Night 113

Galore Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) brought plenty of theatrics into his UFC debut against Charlie Ward (3-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

Bofando, who initially elicited some boos while dancing around the cage, took out welterweight Ward – one of UFC champ Conor McGregor’s teammates – with a toss/slam to the mat, which left him dazed and forced a quick stoppage.

Sean O’Malley def. Alfred Khashakyan at Dana White’s Contender Series 2

Sean O’Malley (8-0) styled on Alfred Khashakyan (8-4) for a little more than four minutes before he put the lights out for the knockout courtesy of a straight right hand.

The 22-year-old bantamweight made a huge impression when he put on a flashy display of striking in the dominant performance. He landed everything from spinning kicks to powerful punches, and while Khashakyan hung tough, he finally went down at the 4:14 mark of Round 1.

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Alex Oliveira def. Ryan LaFlare at UFC on FOX 25

Ryan LaFlare (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) used his formidable wrestling skills to smother Alex Oliveira for five minutes. But Oliveira (18-3-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) only needed a second to turn the tables.

Oliveira caught LaFlare reaching and laid him out with a perfect right hand, ending the welterweight bout at the 1:50 mark of the second round.

Volkan Oezdemir def. Jimi Manuwa at UFC 214

Less than six months after his promotional debut, Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) further cut the line of UFC light heavyweight contenders with another spectacular knockout.

Oezdemir stunned Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in the clinch before knocking him to the mat with a left hand, finishing the fight in stunning fashion just 42 seconds into the opening round.

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Jon Jones def. Daniel Cormier at UFC 214

Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) reclaimed the UFC light heavyweight title by knocking out Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), stopping his rival with a head kick and punches at the 3:01 mark of the third round.

Jones, returning from a 15-month layoff due to an anti-doping violation, made Cormier wade through dozens of kicks and punches before catching him off guard with the fight-changing shot. “Bones” swarmed and picked up his first finish by strikes since April 2013.

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* * * *

The Winner: Galore Bofando

If you were to pick a way for Bofando to win his first UFC fight, it would probably be by some flashy kick. From the opening exchanges of his meeting with Ward, that appeared to be his best shot at victory.

You certainly wouldn’t guess a takedown reversal would lead to Ward unconscious on the mat, which is why Bofando’s debut was all the more remarkable.

Bofando’s first outing was called off at the 2:10 mark of the opening round after Ward tried to muscle him to the canvas and instead crashed head-first onto the mat, knocking him senseless. Referee Marc Goddard was right there to stop Ward from taking too much further punishment.

It was a bizarre sequence considering the initial skirmishes between Bofando and Ward. Bofando danced around the octagon, trying attacks you’d sooner see in a sport-karate competition than the octagon. A frustrated Ward banged his gloves together and tried unsuccessfully to slow Bofando down in the clinch. He tried to shame the UFC newcomer into a slugfest.

When that didn’t work, Ward got aggressive and held Bofando in a bodylock, pushing the fight into the cage. He had just started to elevate and twist Bofando’s body when his momentum was used against him.

“At the start, I just tried to size him up a bit, test the distance and test how strong he was,” Bofando said. “When we got into the clinch, I realized his legs were a bit weak, so I was able to turn him over and I dumped him on his head. He was strong, but it was pretty much what I was expecting from him, to be honest. Now we have to sit down as a team and discuss what’s next. There was talk of Artem Lobov before at 155 pounds, which could be an interesting fight. I think I (would) beat him.”

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Source: MMA Junkie

Per Häljestam's best photos from UFC Fight Night 113 in Glasgow

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GLASGOW – Check out the best photos from Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113 event in Scotland.

MMAjunkie and USA TODAY Sports photographer Per Häljestam was cageside at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland for the FS1-televised event.

Check out his favorite images from the fight card, which saw Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) score a stunning knockout of welterweight Gunnar Nelson (16-3-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) in the headliner, as well as Cynthia Calvillo (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) pick up a narrow unanimous-decision win over Joanne Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) in the co-headliner.

And complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 113 reactions: Winning and losing fighters on social media

Since the early days when the sport was anything but a mainstream endeavor, the MMA industry has thrived and survived through various websites, forums and, perhaps most importantly, social-media platforms.

Fighters interact with fans, each other and many more through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which helps outsiders get a deeper look into the minds of the athletes.

Following Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113 event in Glasgow, several of the winning and losing fighters, along with their coaches, training partners or family members, took to social media to react to the event or share a message with supporters.

Check out some of those reactions.

* * * *

The defeated

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The victorious

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For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

With personal issues in the past, UFC's Danny Roberts out to prove himself at 170

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GLASGOW – After bouncing back in style, Danny Roberts is determined not to let a setback overshadow his octagon career.

Roberts (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) dispatched Bobby Nash (8-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 113 encounter on Sunday. The win improved the Brit’s UFC record to 3-1 in the octagon and 8-1 in his past nine fights. While the numbers are not shabby at all, the one recent blemish is still somewhat fresh: a knockout loss to Mike Perry at October’s UFC 204 event.

Since then, however “Hot Chocolate” says he’s had a tough but revealing journey in dealing with issues in his personal life. And he’s now ready to move on to bigger and better things.

“I’m at the stage of my life now where I feel really happy,” Roberts told reporters after the FS1-televised welterweight bout at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. “I’m going to be back on winning ways, and nothing’s going to stop me. This is the time now. I just turned 30 two days ago. I was cutting weight on my birthday. I just want to move forward from here and just keep active, fit and ready.”

Roberts wouldn’t go into too much detail about the issues, alluding to “relationship problems” that get trickier when “you’ve got kids involved.” Not to mention the hard bits of a fighter’s life: the traveling, being away from home, all things that, while somewhat invisible to the public, can play into a fighter’s mindset.

“People just see all the glitz and the glamour and the Instagram and the tweets,” Roberts said. “When the reality of it is that it’s not easy. And there’s a lot of dirt and nasty things that go on. A lot of hardships that you have to do and see and overcome.

“And mental battles. It makes us tougher. Obviously, as men who are in the sport that we are doing – it can make or break you. And it’s something that, me personally, it’s just made me stronger.”

While he wasn’t the first or last octagon victim of Perry’s knockout power, Robertson doesn’t want it to be the determining factor of a mostly victorious UFC career that started off with back-to-back wins over Nathan Coy and Dominique Steel.

And though Roberts is not exactly issuing callouts to the top dogs in the highly competitive 170-pound division, he did throw in a name that he believes could help achieve his mission to show his worth.

“I want to be able to go out there and to be able to prove that I’m still one of the best fighters there is,” Roberts said. “I fight with a lot of heart and dedication. I’m smart and fast. There’s a lot of attributes that I’ve got where I can entertain.

“And not even just that: I can prove that I’m one of the best fighters in the world. So, step-by-step – the likes of Alan Jouban, someone like that. Top-20, top-30. I want someone up there to be able to prove who I am.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Alexandre Pantoja wouldn't mind Brandon Moreno rematch after UFC Fight Night 113 win

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GLASGOW – Neil Seery seems resolute in his decision to retire, but his last opponent wouldn’t mind seeing him stick around.

Alexandre Pantoja (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) gave Seery (16-13 MMA, 3-4 UFC) a sour farewell on Sunday, ending their UFC Fight Night 113 encounter with a third-round submission. While it was his rear-naked choke that sealed the deal, Pantoja was quick to share the laurels of the flyweight battle with his tough opponent.

At 27, Pantoja can’t help but be impressed by the gritty three-round display of a veteran 10 years his senior. How impressed, you ask?

“This guy’s fighting perfectly,” Pantoja told reporters after the FS1-televised preliminary card scrap at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. “Three rounds, perfect fight. He put everything in the cage, a war. (He’s) an amazing guy. I think he needs to continue fighting.”

That, at least according to Seery’s post-fight chat with reporters, doesn’t really seem to be in the books. For Pantoja, however, the future seems promising. After making it all the way to the semifinals of “The Ultimate Fighter 24,” the Brazilian flyweight has won his two UFC fights and is now riding an 11-fight streak.

Pantoja  showed he’s not one for modest requests in January, when he suggested a meeting with two-time title contender Joseph Benavidez after his UFC-debut win – a split call over Eric Shelton at UFC on FOX 23. Now Pantoja says he wants to take it step-by-step. But he still thinks a top-five or top-10 opponent would suit him just fine.

In fact, he’ll even narrow that list down a bit. After beating Brandon Moreno, currently ranked No. 9 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, in the first episode of their “TUF 24” stint, Pantoja wouldn’t mind extending him the courtesy of a rematch.

“I’m looking at Brandon Moreno. He has a fight with (No. 8) Sergio Pettis (at UFC Fight Night 114, set for Aug. 5),” Pantoja said. “I don’t think I need to fight Moreno again, because I won. I think Moreno needs to fight me. But I’m going slow. I don’t think I need to go to the top title now, because I need more time. This fight was perfect for me.”

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

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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After UFC Fight Night 113, a sobering celebration for Paul Felder in dedicating win to dad

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SCOTLAND – Paul Felder got the job done once more at UFC Fight Night 113, but it didn’t come without personal sacrifice.

Felder (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) spoiled the Scottish party with a first-round knockout of local product Stevie Ray (21-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) at Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113. Felder dedicated the big win, later given a “Performance of the Night” bonus, to his father – who’d succumbed to pancreatic cancer a week before he started camp.

As far as life in the octagon goes, Felder can’t really complain. But when it comes to the unfortunate developments in his personal life, he might need a little extra time to process.

“I’ve got to say, this is one that hasn’t set in,” Felder told reporters after the FS1-televised lightweight scrap at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. “Just like him passing away. I had the athlete retreat, I had fight camp. So I went to Vegas, came home, I was with my family for about four of five days. I was at Roufusport right away for seven weeks, living in the gym, doing training. I don’t think I’ve had a chance for anything to set in.”

Felder is not exactly on vacations following Sunday’s big win. He’s now set to fly to Las Vegas to do commentary for “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” – a job that he, by the way, believes his acting background is perfectly equipped him to handle.

But after that, the lightweight says he’s going to take some time to mourn his loss next to his loved ones.

“I get to spend time with my family and my mom, and I think I’ll just kind of take a week to just miss my dad a little bit,” Felder said.

Career-wise, however, Felder is now living one of his brightest moments. After a UFC Fight Night 95 decision loss to Francisco Trinaldo in Brasilia, Brazil, the lightweight elbowed his way to vicious back-to-back wins over Alessando Ricci at UFC Fight Night 105 and now Ray. He earned post-fight bonuses for both.

And the fact that these came after he switched camps is no coincidence.

“I feel really calm and collected; I feel like I’m finally showing what I’ve been capable of doing my whole UFC career,” Felder said. “I had to do some changes; I had to find some new coaches. And find my home and my balance and what makes me tick as a fighter. I really think I found that. I think I’m finally showing that with two first-round knockouts.”

Amid the turmoil, Felder didn’t really have that much time to anticipate what happens with a win as big as Sunday’s. But coming into it, he did see both himself and Ray as names who could be gearing toward the 155-pound division’s stacked top-15 rankings.

For the next eight weeks, Felder’s focus will be on his commentary gig. But after August is over, he believes he should be all set to start a new camp. Maybe October, maybe November – but he definitely wants to get another octagon appointment before year’s end.

As for whom that may be against?

“I’d love to either get my name up there (in the rankings) with a little number next to it and start fighting one of these top guys,” Felder said. “With two first-round KOs by elbows, I think I’ve earned a glance at that. That maybe they’d give me a ranking or get me a guy that would get me in the rankings. So that’s what we were just talking about backstage, about what might be next. Hopefully, a big fight next.”

To hear Felder’s full chat with reporters, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Newly retired and emotional Neil Seery not sure what's next, 'and that's what scares me'

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SCOTLAND – After 29 professional MMA bouts, Neil Seery now heads into what might just be his toughest fight yet.

On Sunday Seery (16-13 MMA, 3-4 UFC) walked into the octagon at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, in what he’d already announced was to be the last fight of his 12-year-long career. The parting note may not have been ideal – Seery succumbed to a third-round submission by Alexandre Pantoja (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) – but the decision to call it quits remains.

But while his days of fighting inside a cage may be over, Seery is gearing up to deal with a different type of opponent. And it’s one that he’s by no means taking lightly.

“I truly believe that every fighter has the biggest fight of their career coming up,” Seery said after the FS1-televised flyweight scrap. “The biggest fight ever is the retirement part. It’s getting ready for that. A lot of people tend to go up from the highest onto another organization to try and make a few quid. And all of it seems to end – flattened on face, in hospital or in very bad situations.

“And that’s why I’m stepping out now. I didn’t want to go downhill after making it to the top. I believe that I’ve got a massive fight ahead of me now. As in, how do we feel that void.”

The third time ended up being the charm for Seery, who had two attempted retirement bouts recently canceled – both against Ian McCall. One of the scraps fell through due to McCall’s botched weight cut, and another one due to a death in Seery’s family.

At 37 the former Cage Warriors champion retires on two-fight skid with losses to Pantoja and to Kyoji Horiguchi. Before that, however, Seery submitted Jon delos Reyes in his home town of Dublin, at UFC Fight Night 76. Apart from some serious love from the crowd, Seery got a “Performance of the Night” award for his efforts.

With so many years put into fighting, what’s next for “2Tap”?

“I don’t know yet,” Seery said. “I haven’t made up my mind. There are a lot of options out there. I’ve got a full-time job. I’ve got another kid on the way. I have five kids. I’m just going to have to find something to do. I’ve got a lot of fishing rods up the riverside.

“But I just don’t know. And that’s what scares me. I’ve got to be honest with you – that’s what scares me. When you think it’s all over and it’s done and you’re not going to fight again, it’s very frightening.”

Seery has seen his fair share of up-and-downs throughout his career but established himself as somewhat of a fan-favorite in the process. And, with nothing but love and gratitude for his supporters, he hopes that the way he conducted himself remains part of his legacy.

Seery also has one big lesson that he’d like to pass along to up-and-coming fighters. And it’s not one you can learn inside the gym. Rather, he warns them that not everyone gets to drive around in Ferraris and Rolls-Royces. And if they want to have something to show for the “cuts in their faces and broken noses” in the future, they better not go around spending it all now.

“I just think fighters need to, for their own hearts, to not just jump in and spend everything they can,” Seery said. “It’s a short window. It’s not like a footballer’s career, where they sign for five years and make a lot of money. We don’t have that. It’s fight by fight, and that’s just the way it is.”

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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After 20-week camp, undefeated Brett Johns was 'broken' before UFC-Glasgow win

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SCOTLAND – Brett Johns was a bit “broken” heading into UFC Fight Night 113, but the undefeated Welsh fighter got a nice boost from the Scottish faithful.

In the final UFC Fight Pass-streamed preliminary-card bout at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Johns (14-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) dominated the action on the mat to pick up a lopsided unanimous-decision win over bantamweight Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC).

Johns was supposed to fight Ian Entwistle earlier this year, but the fight fell apart. He also almost lost his Glasgow opponent after original opponent Mitch Gagnon suffered an injury, but Morales stepped in as a late replacement.

“People don’t realize this, but it’s been a 20-week camp,” he said after the win. “I trained for London (UFC Fight Night 107 in March), and it didn’t happen. And I didn’t take time off. I went right back into camp. This is my 20th week in camp. Like I said, I’m quite broken at the moment.”

“So it’s nice to get some time off, but I’m hoping to get back in December.”

Despite the fatigue from an extended training camp, his spirit was reignited during his walkout in Glasgow.

“When I walked out there, it was as if I was fighting in Wales, and for that I’m really grateful for the Scottish fans,” he said.

 

So, what’s next? Ideally someone in the top-20 range and a steady climb up the 135-pound ranks. He called out some potential opponents in the past – simply because he thought they’d be compelling matchups – but he said he’s not really in a position to make demands. Not yet, anyway.

“I’m not a guy who can shout for anyone yet, but if I think someone who I think would be a good matchup, I’ll shout for them,” he said.

Check out the full video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

Short notice or not, Danny Henry knew when he got the UFC's call, he had to answer

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5509646774001
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

GLASGOW – Danny Henry had gotten in the ears of the UFC’s matchmakers earlier this year and was told they’d keep an eye on him.

But when he didn’t hear anything, he may have started to give up hope a little. Then the call came, and he had but three weeks to get ready for UFC Fight Night 113 – even though he didn’t even know who his opponent was going to be.

“The phone call came, and I hadn’t trained in the better part of eight weeks,” Henry told MMAjunkie on Sunday after a win in his debut over Daniel Teymur. “Three weeks out, I’m on the door at work and the text comes through and I’m just standing there overjoyed. I went downstairs and told the manager of the club that I work at, ‘Look, I’ve got to go,’ and I just went straight to the gym …

“I went to Glasgow the next day and started the training camp there (with) no idea of the opponent or the weight. I just started it and never looked back, so for it to pay off tonight is just unbelievable.”

Henry (11-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) had to rally from a rough first round against Teymur (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), but his second and third frames were exceptional ones. He even picked up a pair of 10-8 rounds from a judge on his way to a unanimous decision with a 29-28 score and two 29-26s.

Henry, from Edinburgh in Scotland, won for the fourth straight time, though it was only the second time in 11 career wins he had to go to the judges’ scorecards.

Still, getting that UFC debut win out of the way seems to be the most important thing.

“This is fairy-tale stuff, to be honest with you,” Henry said. “I can’t believe I got that call three weeks ago. It was just a matter of asking. When the UFC (calls), you’ve got to answer it. It’s unbelievable. Not many people get to experience that. I feel overjoyed I had the opportunity to go in there and put on a show.”

UFC Fight Night 113 took place Sunday at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the video above for more from Henry after his win over Teymur.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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