MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for October: A legendary sub ends a historic title fight

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

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

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The Nominees

Emmanuel Sanchez def. Daniel Straus at Bellator 184

It took overcoming some rough spots early, but grappling-savvy Emmanuel Sanchez (16-3 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) looked nothing short of impressive en route to a third-round submission win over former champion Daniel Straus (24-8 MMA, 11-5 BMMA).

After an action-packed first round, which saw some crazy reversals and near-misses, Sanchez took control of the featherweight bout in the final two rounds, marking his best Bellator display yet with the rear-naked choke of Straus.

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Demetrious Johnson def. Ray Borg at UFC 216

Demetrious Johnson’s (27-2-1 MMA, 15-1-1 UFC) long journey toward UFC championship history reached its conclusion with his most memorable octagon moment to date when he scored a spectacular fifth-round submission of Ray Borg (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC).

Johnson’s unprecedented run of success as UFC flyweight champion claimed another victim when he defeated challenger Borg with a one-of-a-kind armbar in the final round. With the win, he broke Anderson Silva’s longstanding UFC title-defense run.

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Tony Ferguson def. Kevin Lee at UFC 216

It was far from an easy night of work for Tony Ferguson (24-3 MMA, 14-1 UFC), but a third-round triangle choke got Kevin Lee (16-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) to tap. It earned “El Cucuy” the UFC’s interim lightweight title.

After a back-and-forth two rounds, Ferguson’s superiority on the ground allowed him to set up a slick triangle choke. Lee attempted to fight out of it, but the choke was too fight, and he was forced to tap out in the title fight.

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Jan Blachowicz def. Devin Clark at UFC Fight Night 118

Devin Clark’s (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) rushing attack had Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) on his heels in the first round. But in the second, Blachowicz had an answer to end the light-heavyweight bout.

Clark exposed his neck while charging forward, and Blachowicz seized it. He secured a rarely seen standing no-hooks rear-naked choke in the second round, ending a three-fight slump for the Polish fighter.

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Vicente Luque def. Niko Price at UFC Fight Night 119

Vicente Luque (12-6-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) made the most of his short-notice opportunity against Niko Price (11-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), chipping away with heavy shots until a finish presented itself.

Luque dropped Price with a combo in the second round of the welterweight fight. But rather than punch his way to a stoppage, he locked in a D’Arce choke and forced a tap, becoming just the third fighter in UFC history to earn two or more submission wins with the technique.

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The Winner: Demetrious Johnson

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In what may go down as the slickest finish in his record-breaking championship reign, Johnson tapped Borg with a fifth-round armbar.

Just when it appeared Johnson was going to cruise to an easy decision win over Borg, “Mighty Mouse” lifted his opponent, grabbed his left arm in one fluid motion, and got a tap-out from an armbar at the 3:15 mark of the fifth round.

Johnson was listening when Borg said in a pre-fight interview he liked to upset his opponents’ balance to initiate winning scrambles. When he saw an opportunity to do the same, Johnson seized it and pulled off his eye-popping armbar.

“A couple of weeks ago, he was saying when somebody’s planted, you have to shift their weight, and when they shift their weight, they’re light,” Johnson said following the pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “So I kneed him, and then I shook his weight – I shifted his weight, and when he shifted, he went back and threw and elbow, and I was like, ‘Got you.’”

It wasn’t the first time Johnson had pulled off such a move, which he dubbed the “Mighty Armbar,” as improvisational as it seemed. He had pulled it off several times in practice for UFC 215, where he was originally scheduled for his try at the all-time UFC record before Borg fell ill and was forced to withdraw the day before the fight.

But the general public would never have known it was coming since Johnson has a strict rule of secrecy when it comes to his work in the gym.

“You see a lot of people that are doing their (video blogs), but I don’t show any of my training,” he said. “I just don’t do it. It’s none of your guys’ business what I’m doing in the gym. But we do have the ‘(UFC) Embedded’ crew come out there, and I show my warmup, and they’re like, ‘Dude, you need to let us film your sparring because the stuff you’re doing in sparring, you’re actually doing in the octagon.’

“When I was in Edmonton (for UFC 215), I was practically throwing people up. I do it all the time in the gym.”

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Source: MMA Junkie

Conor McGregor on using homophobic slur: 'I meant no disrespect' to LGBT community

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor today apologized for his use of a homophobic slur in an exchange caught on tape, saying he meant “no disrespect” to the LGBT community.

During a taped appearance on the Irsh TV show “The Late Late Show,” McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) told Ryan Tubridy he was overwhelmed by emotion following the loss of longtime teammate Artem Lobov (13-14-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) and let his words get away from him.

“I witnessed him lose a fight in a potential career-defining or a career-ending fight in a manner where the opponent was stalling and running away, and I was upset,” McGregor said. “I was whispering in his ear, and I was speaking on that, and I said what I said. I meant no disrespect to nobody, to anybody in the LGBT community.”

McGregor defended his record with the LGBT community, citing his efforts to legalize gay marriage in Ireland.

“I was campaigning for that,” McGregor said. “It’s another one where things just get blown out. Any chance they get, they love to throw me under the bus. I just have to say sorry for what I said and try and move on from it.”

It’s not the first time McGregor’s words have landed him in hot water.

During a promotional tour for his blockbuster “Money Fight” opposite boxing kingpin Floyd Mayweather in August, McGregor drew heavy criticism for racially tinged language and defended himself as “very multi-cultural and a very multi-cultured individual.”

McGregor’s latest remarks came to light when video was posted of his walk backstage with Lobov at UFC Fight Night 118. Comforting Lobov after a unanimous-decision loss to Andre Fili, the UFC champ said, “I thought you were going to sleep him. All I’m saying, he’s a (expletive). I never knew he was a (expletive).”

The exchange came after McGregor was warned by referee Marc Goddard for attempting to corner Lobov in violation of the rules, prompting UFC officials to restrain him during the fight, which took place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

Lobov later hinted at retirement following his loss. McGregor said the experience of watching his friend and teammate was deeply upsetting, to the point where he couldn’t control himself.

“I was watching a fighter, a sparring partner, a friend, a brother of mine who was giving his health – his body health, his brain health, everything – to help me prepare for fights to give my brain health and my body health to entertain the public,” McGregor said. “That’s the fighter I was going to watch and support.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Andre Fili on Conor McGregor acting as 4th cornerman at UFC-Gdansk: 'Didn't notice him at all'

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In case it wasn’t clear when he broke out the ‘Billionaire Strut,’ Andre Fili clarifies that he wasn’t the least bit fazed by Conor McGregor’s presence to support his UFC Fight Night 118 opponent.

If anything, Fili thought the pre-fight antagonism was pretty cool.

Fili (17-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) got back on the winning path after beating Artem Lobov (13-14-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) via unanimous decision at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. But that wasn’t the only highlight of Fili’s evening.

After his victory was announced, Fili sealed it by delivering a moving post-fight speech. And, before the fight even started, he made sure to capitalize on a high-profile presence when he used lightweight champ McGregor’s own gimmick to provoke him.

McGregor was there, of course, to support friend and training partner Lobov. And McGregor he got so excited doing it that referee Marc Goddard had to step in and ask him to keep things professional.

So how was it for Fili to have a third and notable antogonist lingering around the cage?

“I was aware of him, obviously. While Artem was walking out I saw him,” Fili told MMAjunkie Radio. “We had our little pissing contest, our little staredown. I (expletive) started, he was talking (expletive), he was talking (expletive). We were kind of doing our thing. But I liked that. I thought it was cool. I think the fans thought it was cool.

“I think part of this sport is showmanship. Also, if it has to do with McGregor, people are going to be excited. I thrive off that (expletive). I (expletive) love confrontation. So him being there and him sort of – actually, it was cool.”

As Fili told MMAFighting today, though, Fili was later made aware of a much less pleasant side of the champ’s attitude. Having shared mutual declarations of respect with McGregor at the event, Fili took issue with the “fake” attitude of saying things behind his back. But, also, he was adamantly against the homophobic slur he used in the process.

“There’s no need to use words like that,” Fili said. “You don’t need to demean other people to make yourself seem bigger. Whenever you hear someone use that word or call someone a ‘bitch,’ that makes you look so insecure.”

In any case, once the fight was on, Fili was all business.

“During the fight I didn’t notice him at all, to be honest,” Fili told MMAjunkie Radio. “I was just focused on the fight. I didn’t notice he was circling around. When (Goddard) stopped me and Artem, when I was on top of him, I didn’t know why the (expletive) he was stopping. I didn’t even hear McGregor. I was just hearing my cornerman, and I was just trying to beat Artem up.”

That, he did.

Despite a late rally by Lobov in the third round, Fili did enough to earn a clean 30-27 sweep on the judges’ scorecards. The result landed Fili back on the winning track following a decision loss to Calvin Kattar in July – and maybe spelled retirement for Lobov.

Of course, it wasn’t an entirely flawless night. Fili, who told MMAjunkie prior to the bout about his issues getting used to Poland’s timezone, believes that affected his performance. And he does wish that his first-round head kick had sealed the deal. But, all in all, he thinks the fight went “pretty good.”

“The travel time was like over 20 hours with all the layovers added up,” Fili said. “And I didn’t sleep more than a couple of hours each night because I was trying to get used to the time difference. So I really felt that in the third round. The third round didn’t go how I wanted.

“But I did what I needed to do to get the win. I felt the fight was still pretty exciting, all things considered.”

Now, as he reclaims both momentum and excitement to be in the cage, Fili already has some ideas for his next steps. First, he’ll probably need a few days to recover from the tattoo he was getting done during the interview with MMAjunkie Radio – a realistic portrait of The Grinch, in case you were wondering.

 

To hear from Fili, check out the video above (just pardon his occasional, tattoo-motivated grunts).

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events 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.

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

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2549 with Andre Fili and Alexander Shlemenko

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Andre Fili and Alexander Shlemenko.

Fili, still in Poland, phoned in to talk about his big win over Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 118. Shlemenko, who was defeated by Gegard Mousasi this past Friday at Bellator 185, voiced his displeasure in the decision rendered by the judges and would like an immediate rematch.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

After biggest win of career over 'Cowboy' Cerrone, Darren Till sets sights on 'Wonderboy' Thompson

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Following the biggest win of his career this past Saturday in the UFC Fight Night 118 main event, Darren Till has his eyes on another highly regarded welterweight.

Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) took out Donald Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) with a first-round TKO in the UFC Fight Night 118 main event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The card streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

England’s Till was a slight underdog in the fight, but had little trouble taking out “Cowboy” to stay unbeaten. In the process, he handed Cerrone, a former lightweight title challenger, his third straight setback.

Now the 24-year-old Liverpudlian is thinking about his next fight – just like many others. And while there have been calls for him to take on Mike Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), provided Perry gets past Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at UFC on FOX 26, Till has someone else in mind. (He said as much after the fight when he declared he had little interest in Perry.)

Early today, Till posted on his Twitter account that he’d be interested in a fight against Stephen Thompson. Thompson (13-2-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) is getting ready for a fight against Jorge Masvidal (32-12 MMA, 9-5 UFC) at UFC 217 next week at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“Just gonna put it out there, but imagine the chess game of striking me and wonderboy would have?,” Till wrote on Twitter. He added a “#HighLevelStriking” hashtag.

With his finish of Cerrone, Till now has 12 of his 16 career wins by stoppage. But the win over “Cowboy” was easily his most impressive yet. Prior to that fight, his UFC bouts had been against Wendell de Oliveira, Nicolas Dalby, Jessin Ayari and Bojan Velickovic. And while the old adage is that anyone at the UFC level is a tough opponent, none of those names carry the weight of Cerrone.

Thompson, 10 years Till’s senior, is coming off back-to-back welterweight title fights against champion Tyron Woodley. At UFC 205 nearly a year ago, the two fought to a majority draw. They rematched at UFC 209 in March, and Woodley eked out a majority decision. Prior to those fights, Thompson had seven straight wins against the likes of Patrick Cote, Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks and Rory MacDonald.

Till obviously will have to wait until Thompson fights Masvidal before any talk of them fighting can truly pick up steam. But what do you think? Is that the fight to make if Thompson wins? Or should he fight Perry if Perry beats Ponzinibbio? Sound off in our poll below.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC Fight Night 118 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 Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event in Gdansk, Poland, 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.

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The defeated

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The victorious

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For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with guests Andre Fili, Alexander Shlemenko

Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Andre Fili and Alexander Shlemenko.

Fili is coming off a win over Artem Lobov on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 118 and will discuss the fight, as well as the potential distraction of dealing with Conor McGregor cageside acting like an unofficial cornerman. Shlemenko is coming off a close loss to Gegard Mousasi on Friday at Bellator 185 and will give his thoughts on the fight.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

Aljamain Sterling rips Jimmie Rivera after wife gets involved in their feud

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Aljamain Sterling will fight Rani Yahya in December, which, when you think about it, kind of doesn’t make sense, though it’s not like the “Funk Master” didn’t try to set himself up for a showdown with a big name.

Coming off a win over former bantamweight champion Renan Barao at UFC 214, Sterling turned his attention to top contender Jimmie Rivera and last month lured him into a Twitter beef.

He got a little more than expected but not what he wanted.

Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) hoped it would result in a shot at Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC), a top contender who’s on an astounding 20-fight winning streak that dates back to 2009. The UFC, however, had other plans and booked Rivera, No. 5 in the current USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, in a probable title eliminator vs. ex-champ Dominick Cruz on Dec. 30 at the UFC 219 pay-per-view in Las Vegas.

As for Sterling? He gets Yahya on Dec. 9 in the FS1-televised UFC Fight Night 123 from Fresno, Calif. It’s not exactly what Sterling was hoping for coming off the biggest win of his career and second in a row, but he still wants Rivera and was very vocal about it during a UFC-Gdansk Q&A session over the weekend.

“There’s nobody in the top 10 for me to fight,” Sterling said. “So what I plan on doing, I’m gonna try to take a dump on Rani Yahya, then I want to fight that f*cking (expletive) Jimmie Rivera.”

The beef between Sterling and Rivera goes back to their time on the regional circuit. Sterling says that’s when Rivera first began to call him out, but Sterling wasn’t willing to fight him “for peanuts and pennies.” Now that they’re in the UFC and making names for themselves, he’s more than ready.

But does that mean Sterling will also have to deal with Rivera’s wife, Samantha, too? It already happened during that aforementioned Twitter exchange, which caught Sterling off guard.

Sterling also viewed it as a sign of weakness.

“Who has their girlfriend defending them on Twitter if they’re a fighter,” he said. “We’re going to fight – not me and your girlfriend, your wife, whatever. That shit doesn’t make sense to me.”

Sterling said he recently came face to face with Rivera and couldn’t believe the threat that was directed at him.

“I saw him before I came out here. And I’m a very nice guy in person. I just said, ‘What’s up, Jimmie?’” Sterling said. “And he looks at me, giving me this weird face like he doesn’t want to say anything, kind of rolls his eyes, walks away, turns back around, and says, ‘It’s not me you should be worried about; it’s my wife.’

“And I’m just like, ‘Oh my God, you’re such a (expletive).’ Who says that?”

Both Sterling and Rivera have business to handle in front of them, but it sounds like this won’t get settled until they step inside the octagon together.

For more on UFC Fight Night 118 and UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events and UFC Rumors sections of the site.


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

Mike Perry has big plans for when he's UFC champ, and it involves … fighting Stipe Miocic?

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For a guy who wasn’t even on the UFC Fight Night 118 card, Mike Perry had quite the week in Poland.

First and foremost, there was the heated cageside exchange with Darren Till after Till’s dominant TKO win over Donald Cerrone in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed headliner at Ergo Arena. Perhaps that set up a future showdown between the rising welterweights.

In the meantime, Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) has a fight with Santiago Ponzinibbio scheduled for Dec. 16 at UFC on FOX 26, and he used UFC-Gdansk fight week to take some verbal shots at his opponent. Perry also told the crowd at a Q&A session that he plans on fighting until he’s dead.

When asked at that same session if the 170-pound division is the toughest in the UFC, let’s just say Perry’s answer sort of veered off course.

Check it out above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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After dropping weight classes, UFC-Gdansk winner Josh Emmett ready for all comers at 145

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GDANSK, Poland – Team Alpha Male’s Josh Emmett made his UFC featherweight debut with a dominant victory over Felipe Arantes, then declared himself ready to take on anyone in the division.

Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) explained that fighting at 145 pounds was always his plan, but his early success at 155 persuaded him to keep going in the lightweight division.

“My goal when I got to the UFC was to fight in the featherweight division, but since I got in it (at) 55s, and it was working well for me, I just decided to stay there,” Emmett said. “I guess (I was) kinda complacent. Strength was never an issue in that division, but I was if you look at the stats. I think it’s myself and Nick Hein (who) are the smallest lightweights in the division.”

Emmett’s career in the UFC was going well enough as he extended his undefeated record to 11-0 with wins over Jon Tuck and Scott Holtzman. But a split-decision loss to Desmond Green in April convinced him to make the move down to his optimal weight class.

“After that last loss – I still think I won that last fight – I made the decision to drop down to featherweight, where I’ll be more of an average-to-bigger featherweight, and I think I’ll do really well, Emmett said. “I think I stack up well against anyone in the division, and I’m just excited to be in this featherweight division now.”

Emmett didn’t negotiate his first UFC fight week as a featherweight athlete alone. His longtime coach, Danny Castillo, was on hand to monitor his weight cut, and his Team Alpha Male teammate and fellow featherweight Andre Fili also was on the card.

Despite telling MMAjunkie he was ready to hit the scale early at Friday’s weigh-ins, Fili waited until Emmett was ready, with the pair weighing in one after the other, as the two teammates made sure they both hit their required weight.

“Andre and I have been training partners for such a long time,” Emmett said. “The funny thing is my pro debut was at 145, and we fought on the same card. So it’s just awesome now I’m making my featherweight debut again in the UFC, and Andre and I are right on the same card.

“He’s a great guy, one of my main training partners, and we’re going to get big wins tonight and go have some fun and check out Poland.”

Emmett looked outstanding in the opening rounds, repeatedly dropping Arantes with big right hands before realizing he’d have to pace himself to ensure he lasted the distance.

“He was tough, and I know he’s really dangerous off his back, so I didn’t want to play into his game and go in there and take a chance of getting caught in something,” Emmett said. “I train with the best team in the world – my jiu-jitsu coach, Felipe Bragio, and Chris Holdsworth and Fabio and all of us. I knew I’d be safe, but I did have to just tone it down and wait to pick my shots.”

Despite a huge first round, Emmett eventually had to contend himself with a landslide unanimous decision victory, and now the 32-year-old from Sacramento plans on making a dent in the UFC’s 145-pound rankings.

“I think I stack up well against anyone, so I’m up for anything,” Emmett said. “(Sean) Shelby – and when it was Joe Silva at the time – they asked me so many times about fighting anyone.

“I’ve never said no to a fight, but a lot of people said no to me. Even (for) this fight – I’m not gonna mention any names – but this was the fifth opponent. They (tried to) give me someone in the top 15. No one wanted it.

“I’m up for anybody. I’ve never said no to a fight, and I’m not going to start any time soon.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie