Category Archives: UFC Fight Night 118

Warlley Alves vs. Jim Wallhead added to UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

The lineup for the UFC’s return to Poland continues to fill out, and a welterweight matchup with two fighters in dire need of a win is the latest addition.

UFC officials today announced that Warlley Alves (10-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Jim Wallhead (29-11 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will meet at UFC Fight Night 118, which takes place OCt. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The night’s full card streams live on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order has yet to be finalized.

Alves, 26, was the middleweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3,” though he immediately returned to the welterweight division for his next three contests, where he earned victories over Alan Jouban, Nordine Taleb and Colby Covington. However, Alves has struggled in his past two outings, suffering losses to Bryan Barberena and Colby Covington and now finds himself looking to break a two-fight losing streak.

Meanwhile, Wallhead, 37, is a longtime veteran of the European scene, competing professionally since 2005 and earning notable career wins over the likes of Igor Araujo, Che Mills, Frank Trigg and Joey Villasenor, among others. His persistence finally earned a UFC call in late 2016, but he’s since suffered back-to-back losses to Jessin Ayari and Luan Chagas, and he now gets a third shot at picking up a first UFC win.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Warlley Alves vs. Jim Wallhead

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Donald Cerrone, in 'new-age Tombstone outfit,' talks new film, Ray Borg, not studying opponents

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

EDMONTON – Donald Cerrone spent UFC 215 Fight Week in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada doing a little bit of everything, which culminated with an interview session with media.

Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), looking spiffy in what he called a “new age Tombstone outfit,” addressed a variety of topics, including his appearance in a new film called “Puppy Love” that’s slated for release early next year, teammate Ray Borg’s withdrawal from the UFC 215 main event and why he’s not studying film of UFC Fight Night 118 opponent Darren Till.

Check out the video above to hear from “Cowboy.”

And for more on UFC Fight Night 118, visit 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

Darren Till guarantees win: 'I'm going to build my name off Donald Cerrone'

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Cursing the cancellation of a contest long since giddily penciled in to their calendar has become all too commonplace for the average MMA fan, but occasionally the improvised matchmaking that follows presents fighters with an opportunity for which they’ve been desperately waiting.

Just ask Nate Diaz, who stepped in on short notice for then-lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos to face Conor McGregor at UFC 196 and went on to earn a career-best victory and purse. In spite of losing, their rematch at UFC 202 certainly did Diaz’s bank balance no harm, either.

Darren Till

And then there’s UFC welterweight Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC). Just over a week ago, the Liverpool native was backstage at Ahoy Rotterdam in the Netherlands, toasting his bruising unanimous decision victory over Bojan Velickovic at UFC Fight Night 115, when an unexpected offer came his way via Sean Shelby, the UFC’s Senior Vice President of Talent Relations.

“After the fight, me and Sean Shelby were in the bar having a drink, and he was saying that they were struggling to find a main event for Gdansk,” Till told MMAjunkie. “He asked me if I wanted to fight in main event and I said, ‘Of course. I’ll fight anyone so get that fight on.’ Within a matter of days, it was sorted, and I knew it was going to be ‘Cowboy.’”

The “Cowboy” in question is, of course, Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), who ranks among the promotion’s most prolific and exciting fighters, and just days after extending his undefeated record against the comparatively unknown Velickovic, Till had signed on to face him in the five-round main event of UFC Fight Night 118 on Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

The showcase is to be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass, and it will be the first time during his stint with the company that Till features atop of the bill. The 24-year-old took little issue with Cerrone admitting to having never heard of him but is quite sure the former UFC lightweight title challenger will be enlightened soon enough.

“It’s been good getting a bit of attention,” Till said. “And he said he doesn’t know me, which is fine because it’s not disrespect. On Instagram, Jackson-Wink put up ‘Donald Cerrone versus who,’ but I’m sure they’re researching me now and thinking, ‘We have to take this kid seriously.’

“At the end of the day, Donald Cerrone is a 34-year-old man who is on his way out and drinks every day. I’m a 210-pound gorilla, and they should be scared because I’m not scared, and I’m going to go in there and knock him out.”

A non-traditional path

The truth is, if Till’s name is unfamiliar to his North American contemporaries, that’s hardly surprising. For starters, he’s never fought there, and a shoulder injury recently kept the muay Thai specialist out of action for the better part of two years.

Such prolonged absences invariably slow the momentum of fighters still making their name, even one as dynamic as Till, whose journey to this juncture has proven anything but straightforward.

He returned to the octagon in May with a unanimous decision win over Jessin Ayari at UFC Fight Night 109 in Stockholm, but had weighed in at 176-pounds and was forced to forgo a significant chunk of his first payday in what felt like an age. However, his performance was a comprehensive masterclass.

Nicolas Dalby and Darren Till

Before that, Till had last fought in a “Fight of Night”-awarded draw with Nicolas Dalby at Dublin’s 3Arena in October 2015 – the lone blemish on his record – and the lack of income in the interim was particularly arduous for the father of one.

“It really was a bad injury, and it required surgery, which is why I was out for so long,” Till said. “I had to be really careful with my money so not to fall into hard times. It was a difficult two years, but life isn’t always about highs – there has to be lows as well.

“The guy (Ayari) took 30 percent of my purse, and that’s no bother. My body just wasn’t used to that cut anymore, so that’s why it happened, but I’ve come back and made championship weight, so I’ve just proved everybody wrong.”

Unlike most prospects from the U.K. and Ireland, Till did not come to the UFC’s attention through shows such as Cage Warriors and BAMMA because his formative years as a mixed martial artist were spent in Brazil.

At just 19, and on the advice of his coach at Team Kaobon, Colin Heron, he travelled the 6,187 miles from Liverpool to Balneario Camboriu in southern Brazil. The circumstances that precipitated the bold move were of the gravest kind.

“I got stabbed twice in the back,” Till explained. “It was just one of them things – I was at a party and a fight happened. I went in to have a fight with the guys who were fighting my mate and some guy came up behind me and stabbed me twice. You have people like that in this life but, as I say, it was just another obstacle in life that I had to recover from.”

In 2012, Heron sent him to the Astra Fight Team, under head coach Marcelo Brigadeiro, but Till would arrive without a word of Portuguese, little knowledge of the grappling arts, no reputation to speak of, and just enough money to get situated in an apartment. Needless to say, before he departed, his friends and family were more than a little skeptical.

“Sometimes, when you tell people about your plans and dreams, they don’t actually start to believe in you until you go and do it,” Till said. “I’d always tell my friends and family that I was going to be this and that, and they’d listen to me, but I don’t think they ever believed it. But right now, let me tell you something, they believe it.

“I haven’t been in school since I was 14 – my job has always been fighting. At the start in Brazil it was horrible, with a different culture and people speaking a different language, but I gritted my teeth and got on with life. I started speaking the language and swore to be the best fighter in Brazil.”

Till began muay Thai at 12 and from then only envisioned combat sports as a possible professional future. He had won the K-1 European title, but coming to Brazil as an MMA novice meant almost starting from scratch, and all the while attempting to assimilate to a profoundly different way of life.

“I (had) just done a little bit of grappling and wrestling at Team Kaobom,” Till said. “My striking was always there but, to be fair, I wasn’t very good with the grappling. But with a lot of dedication, belief and talent, I can happily say that I was tapping black belts while I was there.

“The first two months were difficult. I didn’t really know what I was doing or where I was going, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to pan out. But I settled, got myself together, and it was fun, and now I consider Brazil a second home.”

He went 3-0 as an amateur before turning pro and, aside from his debut, not one of Till’s first 12 pro bouts went the distance.

The striking standout explained that the main difference between regional circuits in Brazil and Europe is that a fighter could compete on a weekly basis in the South American nation, such is the frequency shows are staged there. In 2013 alone, Till fought eight times.

As is so often the case, the call for his UFC debut came in May 2015 on extremely short notice, but Till accepted the bout with Wendell de Oliveira without a moment’s hesitation. At UFC Fight Night 67 in Goiania, Brazil, the Englishman disposed of de Oliveira with a vicious, elbow-laden second-round knockout.

The victory was accompanied by great elation and an even greater desire to succeed, which was significantly heightened given Till’s daughter had been born during his stay in his adopted homeland.

“Ever since I got that first win, I’ve known that I’m going to be one of the pinnacle fighters in the UFC,” Till said. “I left the arena that night very emotional not just for me but my daughter. It’s all just obstacles for us. In this life, you can either quit or carry on. Anything that’s thrown at me, it doesn’t matter because I’ll overcome it.”

A promise, and a guarantee

Speaking to Till, it’s abundantly clear that he doesn’t so much welcome adversity, but readily gleans any lessons to be had when it occurs. To him, each travail provides the chance to demonstrate his resolve.

Last Christmas, he made his most harrowing decision yet. He returned to Liverpool so as to reunite with Colin Heron and make the necessary improvements he believed only their partnership could yield, but that required saying goodbye to his beloved daughter.

“I’ll go back to her again and, it might sound boring, but it’s another obstacle,” Till said. “It’s not easy being away from my daughter because I love her and she’s my little bit of daylight. This is all for her and me and her mother, because I want us all to have a good life.

“When I see myself getting paid good money by the UFC and I know my daughter is watching me on the TV, it’s all worth it in the end, to be away from her for that much time. It’s a big sacrifice, but it’s worth it.”

Till’s rapport with Heron, who founded Team Kaobon, goes far beyond that of master and student. The former holds the latter in such high esteem that the admiration is palpable.

“Since I’ve been back with Colin, I’ve had two great wins so I definitely made the right choice. Colin is not just a coach; he’s like a father, life mentor and everything he says should be guarded in a safe because it’s all words of wisdom. I just love being around Colin.

“I know that Colin knows what’s needed, so I just do what he tells me to because I trust him 100 percent. The relationship I have with him is like no other. It was all thanks to Colin. I owe Colin my life and he means everything to me.”

Team Kaobon has fostered the talents of other UFC veterans such Paul Kelly, Paul Sass, Paul Taylor and Terry Etim, the only fighter Till has ever remotely idolized.

Despite their shared muay Thai background, the Liverpudlian never watched Cerrone from afar and dreamed of emulating him. There’s a healthy respect, but nothing more. Till is also acutely aware his foe is contemplating three consecutive losses for the first time in an 11-year career. The youngster smells blood in the water.

Darren Till

“He’s got to come in and win because he’s on a losing streak, but I’ve got to come in and prove who I am,” Till said. “This is for me to now build my name, and I’m going to build my name off Donald Cerrone.

“I’m over the moon, and I can’t stop thinking about the opportunity the UFC have given me. I’m grateful to Donald, too, because this is a risky fight for him, so you’ve got to take your hat off to him because he’ll fight anyone at any time. It’s still a bad move and he shouldn’t have taken the fight against me, because I’m a gorilla.”

As you’d expect from a person with such unflappable self-belief, Till is no way perturbed by the prospect of closing out a show or, for that matter, potentially fighting 25 minutes. The sole focus is on taking his biggest scalp yet.

“Whether it’s five rounds, the main event or pressure, I don’t care,” Till said. “If you can’t handle them things then you shouldn’t bother fighting and you may as well quit. I honestly don’t care – I’m just going in there to beat Donald Cerrone.

“I’m straight back into camp, no messing about. I’ve had a week off just to get over a few little injuries, but we start again this week. I’m coming to destroy Donald Cerrone in one round, and that’s what’s going to happen.”

In today’s UFC, it’s almost impossible to predict just where a convincing win over a man of Cerrone’s pedigree would land Till – title shots have been granted for far less. What is not up for debate, however, is Till’s surety that after Oct. 21, no one will ever again hear his name and wonder who he is.

“These types of sacrifices and commitments have got to be made, because I just don’t want to be an everyday UFC fighter,” Till said. “As I’ve said, I want to be the greatest, and that comes with responsibility and sacrifice. You’ve just got to do it, and it’s a long road but achievable.

“There’s no other outcome to this fight than my hand being raised – let me guarantee that to everyone.”

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

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

Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak official for UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

Get ready, Poland. Brian Kelleher is coming.

Bantamweight Kelleher (17-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who famously enraged all of Brazil in his UFC debut, is now taking his show to Europe, where he’ll meet Poland’s own Damian Stasiak (10-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC).

UFC officials formally announced the contest, which was previously reported by multiple outlets.

Featuring a welterweight headliner between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till, UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The entire card streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

Kelleher made his promotional debut in June, travling to Brazil and scoring a “Performance of the Night” submission of Brazil’s Iuri Alcantara. Kelleher then returned to action just seven weeks later in an effort to fight in his home state of New York but was submitted by Marlon Vera in the opening round. “Boom” now looks to return to the win column fighting on the road.

Stasiak fights in his home country for the second time in his UFC run. He debuted at UFC Fight Night 64 in April 2015, losing a decision to Yaotzin Meza. Stasiak then bounced back with submission wins over Filip Pejic and Davey Grant but then suffered a submission loss to Pedro Munhoz this past May.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Donald Cerrone: Unbeaten Darren Till 'might be more dangerous' than Robbie Lawler

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EDMONTON – Donald Cerrone is unsurprisingly thrilled to return to the octagon next month at UFC Fight Night 118, even if he has to travel for his first fight overseas in a decade.

Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) will headline UFC Fight Night 118 opposite undefeated welterweight prospect Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC). The event takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

There’s no secret “Cowboy” is ready and willing to fight anyone at any time. Till asked for a marquee matchup following his unanimous-decision win over Bojan Velickovic at UFC Fight Night 115 this past weekend, calling himself the best striker in the 170-pound division.

Cerrone, No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, said he’s ready to help figure out whether that’s true.

“We’ll find out (if he’s the best striker),” Cerrone told MMAjunkie. “Good, I hope you are. It’s good fun. I love fighting, and apparently he does too. It’s going to be in Poland. Euro-trip 2017, here we come. … I don’t even watch my own fights let alone other people’s. I don’t know anything about him, but good. Right on. It’s a good opportunity for him.”

Cerrone is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to former UFC champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 214 in July. It was one of the most anticipated fights of the year, and now he moves into a bout against a foe he admittedly knows nothing about. Despite his lack of awareness about Till, Cerrone said he’s taking the fight as seriously as any other in his career.

“I know Robbie, so this new guy might be more dangerous,” Cerrone said. “I was up-and-coming once. I was in his shoes. He might be the next guy. You can’t look at him like, ‘Oh, this guy sucks.’ He’s undefeated. We’ll see. It’s like going from like a farm team, called up to the big show and now he’s the main event, five rounds – that’s a lot. Lights, camera, action.

“We’ll see how he does with the pressure and everything. I don’t know much about the guy, but I’m sure he’s super pumped. He has five weeks. It’s not like he has a lot of time to worry about this. Oh (expletive), here we go.”

Although Cerrone doesn’t care much for repercussions, it’s hard to deny accepting a fight with Till at this point is risky. Cerrone is sitting on a two-fight losing skid for the first time in his career and certainly has no desire for it to stretch to three.

The American said he’s not putting pressure on himself, though. He’s going to enter the fight with a smile on his face like always, and if he performs well, a return to the win column will come.

“Fighting Robbie was probably one of the funnest fights I’ve ever had,” Cerrone said. “I took a loss, but I don’t think I lost much credit. Hopefully not. Hopefully people aren’t mad. Back-to-back losses sucks. I don’t think about it like that. I just go and do what I love. Now I get to go to Europe and do what I love.”

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

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

Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till expected for UFC Fight Night 118 headliner in Poland

A welterweight headliner between two striking specialists is expected to serve as the headliner for UFC Fight Night 118.

Multiple sources have confirmed that both Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) and Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet in the main event of the Oct. 21 event, which takes place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. The entire card streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

The matchup was first reported by MMAUNO.com. Till has since posted a photo of him apparently signing a UFC bout agreement. An official announcement is expected shortly.

Cerrone is currently ranked No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, while Till is hoping to break into the list with a win.

Fan-favorite Cerrone comes into the bout on the first two-fight losing streak of his professional career after dropping back-to-back outings to Robbie Lawler and Jorge Masvidal. Prior to the losses, Cerrone had won 12 of 13.

Meanwhile, Till was in acton at this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 115 event, impressing in a three-round decision win over Bojan Velickovic. The Englishman showed flashes of brilliance and brimmed with confidence through the striking battle.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

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

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Karolina Kowalkiewicz meets 6-time Invicta FC vet Jodie Esquibel in Poland

Polish strawweight contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) returns home for next month’s UFC Fight Night 118 event, where she’ll take on six-time Invicta FC veteran Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

UFC officials recently announced the new matchup. Kowalkiewicz is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings.

While a headlining bout has yet to be revealed, UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk. The entire event streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

Esquibel is a 31-year-old Jackson-Wink MMA fighter who saw action most recently at March’s Invicta FC 22 event, scoring a split-decision win over DeAnna Bennett, who is currently competing on “The Ultimate Fighter 26.” Esquibel is 3-1 in her past four appearances, all under the Invicta FC banner, with the lone loss coming to fast-rising UFC contender Alexa Grasso.

Kowalkiewicz fights in her home country for the first time in her UFC career. The homecoming comes at a key time for the 31-year-old contender, who came up short in a November 2016 bid for the UFC strawweight title but then suffered a shocking first-round submission loss to Claudia Gadelha at this past June’s UFC 212 results. The back-to-back defeats are the only two losses of Kowalkiewicz’s professional career.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

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

Filed under: News, UFC
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.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Marcin Held tries to snap 3-fight skid vs. Teemu Packalen at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

For the first time in more than seven years, Marcin Held will get to fight in front of his home Polish fans.

Held (22-7 MMA, 0-3 UFC) will take on Teemu Packalen (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a lightweight fight at UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. The bout, not yet made official by the UFC, first was reported by MMADNA.com.

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

After fighting his first 11 pro bouts in his home country, Held hasn’t fought there since October 2010. After that, he signed with Bellator, where he became one of the promotion’s most feared submission artists. He won 11 of his first 13 fights for the promotion, but then dropped a lightweight title fight to then-champ Will Brooks in November 2015.

Held is badly in need of a win. He beat Dave Jansen at Bellator 155 in May 2016 to avenge one of his Bellator losses, then signed with the UFC. But since coming over less than a year ago, he has decision losses to Diego Sanchez and Joe Lauzon – a fight even Lauzon said Held was robbed in by the judges. And in May, he was knocked out seven seconds into the third round by a Damir Hadzovic knee in Sweden, giving him three straight setbacks.

Teemu Packalen

Finland’s Packalen has alternated wins and losses since coming to the UFC a little more than two years ago. He started his career 7-0 with seven stoppages. But in his promotional debut, he dropped a decision to Mickael Lebout in Scotland. He bounced back with a bonus-winning submission of Thibault Gouti in February 2016 in just 24 seconds in London. But in March, after 13 months on the sideline, he was knocked out in 30 seconds by Marc Diakiese.

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

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Artem Lobov-Andre Fili, Smoliakov-Wieczorek set for UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

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The UFC’s October return to Poland continues to build with another couple fights ticketed for the lineup.

Artem Lobov (13-13-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) will take on Andre Fili (16-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) in a featherweight bout, and Dmitrii Smoliakov (8-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will fight Adam Wieczorek (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at heavyweight. UFC officials recently announced the bookings.

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

Fili has alternated wins and losses for his entire eight-fight UFC tenure. He debuted with a TKO win over Jeremy Larsen nearly four years ago, giving him a 13-1 start as a pro. But since then, he has losses to current featherweight champ Max Holloway, Godofredo Pepey, Yair Rodriguez, and most recently a decision setback to Calvin Kattar at UFC 214 less than three weeks ago.

The loss to Kattar was the first decision loss of Fili’s career. Of his four wins in the promotion, two are by stoppage – a bonus-winning head-kick knockout of Gabriel Benitez in Mexico in November 2015, and his TKO of Larsen. He has decision victories over Felipe Arantes and Hacran Dias, the latter of which came nearly a year ago.

Lobov will try to get back in the win column after back-to-back decision wins over Chris Avila and Teruto Ishihara. A longtime training partner of Conor McGregor, Lobov lost Season 22 of “The Ultimate Fighter” when Ryan Hall outpointed him at the finale. After that, he dropped to featherweight from lightweight, but lost a decision to Alex White before his consecutive wins.

In April, he got the highest-profile opportunity of his career when he headlined UFC Fight Night 108 against longtime title contender Cub Swanson in Nashville. And though he gave the veteran a battle and earned “Fight of the Night” honors for the performance, he dropped a unanimous decision and saw his career record fall back to .500.

Smoliakov started his pro career a perfect 8-0 with four knockouts and four submissions. But it’s been a different story since he came to the UFC. In July 2016, he made his promotional debut at UFC on FOX 20 in Chicago, but was submitted by Luis Henrique in the second round. In January at UFC Fight Night 103, Cyril Asker knocked him out in the first round.

Wieczorek will make his UFC debut in front of his home Polish fans. The lone l oss of his pro career came to current UFC heavyweight Marcin Tybura back in 2011. But since then, he has seven straight wins, all by stoppage, to get his shot in the big show. When he steps in the cage against Smoliakov, though, it will have been more than a year since his most recent fight.

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

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie