UFC Fight Night 117 results: Jussier Formiga chokes out Ulka Sasaki in first round, calls for title shot

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With a brilliant first-round submission win, Jussier Formiga kept himself in the middle of the pack of flyweight title contenders.

Formiga (20-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) forced Ulka Sasaki (20-5-2 MMA, 3-4 UFC) to tap to a first-round rear-naked choke, then asked for a title shot next. Formiga got the finish with 30 seconds left in the first round.

The flyweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 117 event at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo. It aired on FXX following prelims on the same channel.

Sasaki got off to a good start in the striking game, picking his shots – including some to the body, which kept Formiga a little hesitant to try to get inside. But two minutes in, Formiga caught a Sasaki kick and used it to land a solid punch.

With two minutes left, Formiga scooped the taller Sasaki up and took him to the canvas. He tried to pass from half-guard while eating short punches from Sasaki. But he brilliantly took Sasaki’s back and worked for a rear-naked choke with 75 seconds to get it done. He kept after it, wearing his Japanese opponent down. And finally, Sasaki had no choice but to tap with the choke deep under his chin.

Formiga got back in the win column after a decision loss to upcoming flyweight title challenger Ray Borg in March. Sasaki heads back to the loss column after a June win over Justin Scoggins. He has dropped two of his past three.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 117 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Japan.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

You can't always get what you want – but, with his UFC-Japan opponent, Jussier Formiga did

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UFC flyweight Jussier Formiga might be coming off a loss, but other than that, he has very few reasons to complain.

Formiga (19-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) meets Ulka Sasaki (20-4-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) on Friday at UFC Fight Night 117, looking to rebound from a loss to Ray Borg in March. Like what happened when the Brazilian dropped a split decision to ex-title-challenger Henry Cejudo in 2015, Formiga’s loss to Borg came at a key time for a possible title push.

Incidentally, by getting a second straight win with the unanimous decision over Formiga, it was Borg who got a later-canceled UFC 215 title shot against kingpin Demetrious Johnson.

Formiga was, understandably, upset with the loss – for a little while. Then, he picked himself back up. Now he has quite a few reasons to feel motivated by the conditions of his approaching matchup.

“I asked for this fight,” Formiga told MMAjunkie ahead of the preliminary-card bout, which airs live on FXX from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo. “I watched Sasaki’s last fight with (Justin) Scoggins – who was winning before Sasaki submitted him. I was excited about his fighting style. He’s good grappler who can handle himself on the ground.

“I asked the UFC for the fight, and thankfully they made it happen in Japan. I’m very excited. The battle continues. My goal is beating him, who comes off a win, and make my way back to the elite squad.”

Getting his wish of opponent granted, however, isn’t Formiga’s only cause for celebration. While some fighters are not exactly thrilled by the idea of traveling halfway across the world for a fight, Formiga is happy with his return to grounds that proved successful once.

Formiga, then an undefeated up-and-comer who’d had all of his six pro bouts in Brazil, met Shooto’s 123-pound world champion Shinichi Kojima in Tokyo in 2009. He  pulled off an upset then, walking away with an unanimous decision.

So it makes sense when Formiga says that, rather than intimidated, he’s simply all the more motivated by unfavorable conditions.

“The guys I beat in the UFC – I was always the underdog,” Formiga said. “And I love it. Rest assured it won’t affect me one bit. He’ll be fighting at home, with his crowd, but I like these challenges. I like going to my opponents’ homes and try to get the better of them and do my work.”

Formiga, who currently sits in the No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, has gone 1-2 in his past three octagon outings – with a unanimous decision win over Dustin Ortiz between the losses to top contenders Cejudo and Borg.

Sasaki, in turn, enters the bout with a most recent 2-1 UFC record –  a loss to former title challenger Wilson Reis sandwiched between the “Performance of the Night” over Scoggins and yet another submission over Willie Gates.

Clearly, Formiga isn’t dealing with a novice on the ground. Good thing, then, that that’s exactly why the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt wanted the meeting in the first place.

“I see him as a great athlete,” Formiga said. “He has a very unique game. He strikes, he’s very big for the division, and he can hold his own on the ground. He’s a good grappler.

“He likes doing a similar game than mine – moving on to the back. But that’s exactly why I asked for the fight.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Pair of bouts official for UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan

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September’s UFC Fight Night 117 lineup in Japan has two recent additions.

Earlier this week, officials announced flyweights Jussier Formiga (19-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) vs. Ulka Sasaki (20-4-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and strawweights Chan-Mi Jeon (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vs. Syuri Kondo (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

UFC Fight Night 117 takes place Friday, Sept. 22 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, near Tokyo. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Formiga, who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings, had won three straight fights to surge up the ranks. However, the 32-year-old Brazilian is just 1-2 since then with a decision victory over Dustin Ortiz sandwiched by losses to former title challenger Henry Cejudo and upcoming title challenger Ray Borg.

He meets Sasaki, a 27-year-old Japanese fighter who’s currently on a 2-1 run. In his most recent appearance, the former featherweight and bantamweight scored a submission victory over Justin Scoggins that earned “Performance of the Night” awards.

Jeon, meanwhile, is a 19-year-old Korean fighter who recently made a short-notice promotional debut and suffered a decision loss to J.J. Aldrich. It marked the first loss of her pro career, which began in 2015 with a 5-0 run with four knockouts. She now meets Syuri Kondo, a 28-year-old Japanese fighter (and pro wrestler, boxer and kickboxer) who made her pro MMA debut in 2016. She heads to the UFC with a perfect 5-0 record that features one knockout and four decision wins – all under the Pancrase banner.

The latest UFC Fight Night 117 card includes:

  • Mauricio Rua vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Jussier Formiga vs. Ulka Sasaki
  • Henrique da Silva vs. Gokhan Saki
  • Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Syuri Kondo

For more on UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

After finishing 'tougher than expected' Justin Scoggins, Ulka Sasaki wants Ray Borg next

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SINGAPORE – In the UFC’s game of inches, a winning strategy can start taking effect even before the fighters step onto the octagon.

For flyweight Ulka Sasaki (20-4-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who finished Justin Scoggins (11-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) in the second round of their UFC Fight Night 111 encounter on Saturday, it started at their heated face-off the day before.

“Because I was very aggressive at the weigh-ins, that’s why I think I made Justin very aggressive at the beginning of the fight,” Sasaki said through a translator after their preliminary card affair at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. “So everything worked out for me.”

Happy ending aside, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the Japanese fighter, who had to navigate some solid offense by Scoggins’ before the American’s own risk-taking style backfired. Eventually, though, Sasaki was able to sink in the same rear-naked choke that had brought all of his previous UFC wins.

While Sasaki was able to weather the storm, and walked away with a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus in the process, he admits to having been surprised by what his opponent brought to the table.

“First of all, he was much tougher than I expected,” Sasaki said. “Stronger than I expected. He had a much (bigger) variety of striking technique than I expected. So he was a very, very tough fighter.

“First, when I grappled with him, I felt like I could control him well. But he was much tougher. He had a better wrestling power. So I decided to not put my full body power into it. I was just looking for opportunity for my chance.”

The win evened out Sasaki’s six-fight octagon record and put him back on a victorious track after an unanimous decision loss to onetime title challenger Wilson Reis at UFC 208 in February.

As for what’s next, Sasaki didn’t hesitate to put in his request for a spot at a UFC Fight Night event expected to take place at Saitama Super Arena, near Tokyo, on Sept. 23. And he has a target in mind, too.

“(Scoggins) has defeated Ray Borg,” Sasaki said. “So I would like to fight Ray Borg.”

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

And for complete coverage UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 111 bonuses: You know Holly Holm's sick kick was worth $50,000

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Holly Holm, Ulka Sasaki, Li Jingliang and Frank Camacho each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at today’s UFC Fight Night 111 event.

Holm and Sasaki earned “Performance of the Night” honors, while Jingliang and Camacho won “Fight of the Night.”

The UFC announced the winners following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

Former women’s bantamweight champion Holm (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) knocked out Bethe Correia (10-3-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) 69 seconds into the third round with a head kick, just seconds after Correia told Holm to come forward, apparently frustrated with a lack of activity. Correia got what she asked for and then some, and Holm snapped a three-fight skid that started when she lost the title.

As a 5-1 favorite, Justin Scoggins (11-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) was tied with Holm and Jingliang as the biggest favorites on the card. But Sasaki (20-4-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) didn’t care much about that. He tapped Scoggins in the second round with a rear-naked choke on the preliminary card.

Jingliang (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Camacho (20-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) battled for 15 minutes on the prelims before Jingliang ultimately took a unanimous decision with a pair of 29-27 scores and a 28-27 in a fight that was more competitive than the oddsmakers likely expected when they instilled Jingliang as a 5-1 favorite.

UFC Fight Night 111 took place Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The entire card streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 111 results: Justin Scoggins dazzles early, but Ulka Sasaki gets tap

Justin Scoggins’ return to flyweight looked like it was going to be a triumphant one, but his risky style ultimately doomed him against Ulka Sasaki.

Ulka Sasaki (20-4-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) survived nearly two rounds of Scoggins’ (11-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) dazzling offense before securing a fight-ending choke.

The flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 111 event at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Things got off to an interesting start when Scoggins, who returned to 125 pounds after a brief move up to bantamweight, landed a suplex in the opening seconds of the fight.

Scoggins didn’t stop there, and he flowed through the opening round. After initially looking for takedowns on the grappler, he popped Sasaki with punches and kicks, ultimately forcing him to the mat and finishing the round with some heavy ground and pound.

The dramatics immediately continued in the second round, when Scoggins promptly dropped Sasaki with a back kick. He followed him to the mat and delivered more ground and pound that included some powerful forearm blows. Sasaki tried to scramble, but Scoggins remained in dominant position. However, late in the round, Sasaki got a reversal, promptly slapped on a rear-naked choke, and spoiled Scoggins’ otherwise dominant performance.

The tap came at the 3:19 mark of the second round.

Sasaki was stuck in a 1-3 skid before the rear-naked-choke win – his third in three career UFC wins. Scoggins falls to 2-4 in his past six fights.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 111 results include:

For complete coverage UFC Fight Night 111, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Singapore.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie