Pic! The Aftermath Of This Invicta FC 34 Eye Poke Is Horrifying

Last night’s mixed martial arts (MMA) action did not end all that well.

Not only did Matt Mitrione’s main event clash with Sergei Kharitonov at Bellator 215 end in 15 seconds thanks to an accidental low blow, but Vanessa Porto’s flyweight title fight opposite UFC veteran Pearl Gonzalez at Invicta FC 34 ended early as well due to an accidental eye poke.

Despite getting poked in the eye in the fourth round and eventually being ruled unable to continue, Porto still walked away with the technical decision after the action hit the judges’ scorecards. It wasn’t the best way to capture the vacant 125-pound title, but Porto was handily winning the fight up until that point anyways.

Fight fans may have been rubbed the wrong way by the fourth-round stoppage, but one look at Porto’s eye after the fight and it’s easy to see why the bout was waved off. Luckily, the Brazilian veteran shared the aftermath with fight fans with the following Instagram post:

That’s not the way the human eye is supposed to look, especially the part of Porto’s eyelid that looks like it’s missing a meaty chunk. The puss is just icing on the cake.

Luckily, Porto didn’t suffer any long-term damage to her eye and will be able to get back into the cage later this year to defend her newly-acquired flyweight title. This was her third shot at Invicta FC gold so she was willing to fight through anything to get that belt.

Gonzalez posted the following image on her Twitter account after the fight to show her respect for Porto:

I guess there’s no hard feelings for nearly taking an eye out.

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Invicta FC 34 Results: Vanessa Porto Wins Flyweight Belt, But Sacrifices Eye

While Bellator was busy having its fighters kick each other in the nuts last night, the ladies of Invicta FC 34 were gouging each other’s eyes out. Because, you, girls don’t have nuts.

Vanessa Porto and Pearl Gonzalez were fighting for the flyweight belt. And despite Gonzalez being a badass UFC vet, Porto was actually ahead on the scorecards by the time Round 4 rolled around…

…Which is when Porto took an accidental eye-gouge that left her bleeding (yikes!).

The rules state that if a bout must be stopped due to accidental foul, and the fight has gone on at least two rounds, then the judges’ scorecards must determine the winner. Well, that’s precisely what happened. So Porto to the decision, and the belt.

But she had to sacrifice her eye.

Midnight Mania! Cougar Attack Gets Gracie Breakdown

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

The runner who choked a half-grown mountain lion to death has finally told the details to his story, and naturally the marketing gurus of the Gracie clan saw an opportunity. They produced the advice above, including convenient product placement at the end. The only criticism I have, is their recommendation of an Ezekiel choke from the bottom, which would seem to place an animal’s bite next to your face and neck, which seems… potentially counterproductive.

If you want to watch the man himself explain the encounter, you can do so below, starting at around the 3:30 mark.

Gracie family member Kron Gracie is making his UFC debut this Sunday against Alex Caceres.


Insomnia

The Gracie video was okay, but should have hired this guy to play the cougar:

Beautiful throw and creative finish

It turns out the courts have decided if you fight in an MMA bout, you are consenting to a bout with an athlete who might be on PEDs.

Don’t tease us like this, Max Holloway. That’s a pretty good Tony Ferguson joke, though.

It sure looks like Cain’s knee buckled at the end of this clip.

UFC heavyweight Juan Adams took a shot at Greg Hardy in his Valentine’s day post.

Valentines’ day!

Of course Derrick Lewis’ V-day post is captioned “GOING DEEP”

View this post on Instagram

GOING DEEP

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on


Podcasts and Video

Heavy Hands

MMA Ratings

The Andrews with the breakdowns:

Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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Five Reasons to Watch UFC Phoenix This Weekend

The next installment of UFC on ESPN+ is coming to us this weekend from Phoenix, AZ, and with it comes the promise of a lot of violence. Like, a whole lot.

The main event will see the former heavyweight great Cain Velasquez emerge from the shadows to face Francis Ngannou. If you’ll recall, Ngannou punched his way up to the top of the mountain, only to get out-worked by Stipe Miocic (who then got smoked by Daniel Cormier). I guess that makes Ngannou the division’s number three guy?

Regardless, that makes Velasquez the mysterious old star who keeps chilling on the bench because of injuries. But he was at one time the best! That counts for something!

Paul Felder is taking on James Vick in the co-main, and if you’ll recall, besides being one hell of a dude on the mic (his commentating side gig), he’s a beast of a Muay Thai ace. Since Vick likes to strike, this one could be bloody.

Elsewhere on the card, we have two on-again-off-again rising stars in Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera fighting each other. These guys were two stars from the Northeast regional scene, but were called up to the UFC before they could fight each other. So really, this match-up is a sweet one for us Northeasterners.

And of course, Kron Gracie is making his Octagon debut against Alex Caceres. His last name is Gracie, folks. That’s all you need to know.

The post Five Reasons to Watch UFC Phoenix This Weekend appeared first on Caged Insider.

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LIVE! Bellator 215 Results & Streaming Updates

Bellator 216

Bellator 215: “Mitrione vs. Kharitonov” airs TONIGHT (Fri., Feb. 15, 2019) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The big boys take the center stage in the main event as Matt Mitrione (13-6) faces Russian legend Sergei Kharitonov (29-7, 1 NC).

Bellator 215’s main card will start at 9 p.m. ET with “Prelims” undercard bouts at 7 p.m. ET on DAZN (watch it). MMAmania.com will deliver results and play-by-play for the entirety of the Bellator MMA card below.

Many readers check in before, during and after the fights to share their thoughts on all of the action. Feel free to leave a comment (or 215) about the bouts and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show — it’s always a lot of fun!

BELLATOR 215 QUICK RESULTS:

Matt Mitrione vs. Sergei Kharitonov —
Logan Storley vs. Ion Pascu —
Eduardo Dantas vs. Toby Misech — in progress.
Michael Kimbel vs. Jonathan DoumaDouma sub (triangle choke) 2:51 R1.
Austin Vanderford vs. Cody JonesVanderford sub (arm triangle) 4:49 R1.
Pat McCrohan vs. Jason MarklandMcCrohan TKO 1:11 R1.
Pete Rogers vs. Jason RineRogers TKO 0:50 R2.
Tabatha Watkins vs. Lindsey VanZandtVanZandt TKO 3:25 R2.
Amber Leibrock vs. Amanda BellBell KO 3:52 R1.
Billy Goff vs. Ryan HardyGoff UD 29-28 X3.
Steve Mowry vs. Darion AbbeyMowry sub (kimura) 1:27 R1.
Matt Probin vs. Ali ZebianProbin SD 28-29, 29-28 X2.
Zarrukh Adashev vs. Ronie AranaAdashev UD 29-28, 30-27 X2.

BELLATOR 215 PLAY-BY-PLAY:

Matt Mitrione vs. Sergei Kharitonov

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Final result: To be determined.


Logan Storley vs. Ion Pascu

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Final result: To be determined.


Eduardo Dantas vs. Toby Misech

Former Bellator champion Dantas comes into this bout 20-6, while his less experienced opponent Misech comes in 12-6.

Round 1:

Round 2:

Round 3:

Final result: To be determined.


Michael Kimbel vs. Jonathan Douma

Kimbel is undefeated at 2-0 with the black trunks and red gloves. His opponent Douma is 3-1, sporting the black trunks and blue gloves. Kimbel is 2” taller at 5’9” and has a 74” reach versus 66.5” for Douma. Douma fights out of Narragansett, Rhode Island. Kimbel fights out of Waterbury, Connecticut. Our referee is Yves Lavigne.

Round 1: Tap of gloves is followed by a high kick from Kimbel which just misses, so this fight is already longer than his last one. Douma is backpedaling to stay out of Kimbel’s range. Kimbel throws leg kicks as he tries to cut an angle on Douma. Spinning heel kick by Kimbel is ducked under as Douma clinches and goes to the fence, and Kimbel reverses it and takes Douma down. Both men get up at 2:10 before Kimbel throws him down to side control and starts to tee off. Douma wraps the leg triangle around his neck deep, Kimbel tries to power bomb his way out of it, but it doesn’t work and he’s forced to tap!

Final result: Jonathan Douma wins by submission (triangle choke) 2:51 of round one.


Austin Vanderford vs. Cody Jones

“Mr. VanZant” Vanderford is undefeated at 6-0 in the red gloves with black trunks. Jones is 6-2 in the blue gloves with bright red trunks and a four fight win streak coming into this bout. Vanderford works with Chael Sonnen and Jones trains with John Salter. Jones is taller at 6’2” to 5’10” but Vanderford has a two inch reach advantage at 76”. Jones fights out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina while Vanderford fights out of Portland, Oregon. Our referee in charge is Todd Anderson.

Round 1: Jones throws a head kick early that’s checked. Vanderford takes him to the ground at 37 seconds. In the scramble that follows Vanderford momentarily has the back, but Jones eventually winds up looking for a Peruvian necktie, and in the process he lets Vanderford back on top. Jones tries to sit up against the fence and Vanderford pushes him back down. Vanderford finally gets range to throw some good right hands. Vanderford goes to side control and takes the back with one hook in then transitions looking for an arm triangle. Jones taps out with under 15 seconds left!

Final result: Austin Vanderford improves to 7-0 via submission (arm triangle) 4:49 R1.


Pat McCrohan vs. Jason Markland

Markland makes his pro debut in the blue gloves, fighting out of New York, NY. McCrohan is in the red gloves, a record of 3-2, fighting out of Berkley, Mass. Our ref is Bryan Miner.

Round 1: A polite tap of gloves gets us started before McCrohan goes hard for a single leg and eventually gets it. He passes to full mount 35 seconds in while Markland does his best to cover up. McCrohan pins down the right arm with a knee and unloads so much punishment that Miner is forced to step in and save Markland. Fast win for McCrohan!

Final result: Pat McCrohan via technical knockout at 1:11 in round one.


Pete Rogers vs. Jason Rine

Red gloves and black trunks for the 3-4 Rogers. Blue gloves for the 1-4 Rine with neon yellow on his trunks. Rogers is a half foot taller at 6’0” and 9” longer at 73” in reach. Rogers fights out of Norwich, Connecticut. Rine fights out of Fredericktown, Ohio. Our referee in charge is Leon Roberts.

Round 1: Rogers quickly pushes Rine into the cage after the opening bell and they spin around jockeying for position. Takedown to side control at 35 seconds. Rogers is moving into position for a neck crank but Rine is momentarily able to block it. If Rogers can improve his position Rine is done for. Two minutes gone. Rogers lets it go then switches to a d’arce choke. He actually picks Rine up to apply more leverage and Rine starts stomping on his feet. Rogers lets this go too. Rogers gets another takedown with a minute left and is throwing heavy right hands that Rine is not defending. Rogers takes mount from behind and Roberts is taking a close look and warning Rine to fight back. 10-8 Rogers.

Round 2: Rogers is teeing off and Rine goes for a heel hook to try and save himself. Rogers unloads with right elbows and hammerfists and this one is mercifully over.

Final result: Pete Rogers wins via technical knockout at 0:50 in the second round.


Tabatha Watkins vs. Lindsey VanZandt

Red gloves, 3-0, Watkins – fighting out of Brighton, MI. Blue gloves, 4-1, VanZandt – fighting out of Wappinger Falls, NY. Our referee in charge of this fight is Bryan Miner.

Round 1: No glove tap to start. Watkins tries to bring the pressure and VanZandt pushes her back. Watkins throws a head kick that’s checked. Leg kick and a right hand for Watkins. Body kick for VanZandt. Right hook for Watkins. Left kick goes high again for Watkins. Leg kick follows. VanZandt pushes her into the cage to throw knees to the body and comes over the top with an elbow. VanZandt drops levels for a takedown right at the two minute mark and secures it. Watkins has her in full closed guard and unable to posture up. VanZandt keeps trying to turn to pass but Watkins has her legs crossed behind VanZandt’s back. When VanZandt briefly gets free she smashes an elbow home. VanZandt takes her back and goes for an armbar VERY late – the bell saves Watkins. 10-9 VanZandt.

Round 2: VanZandt with a left jab and Watkins with leg kicks to open the round. VanZandt gets a takedown 45 seconds into the round and passes to side control at 1:03. Watkins sweeps her way back to her feet but VanZandt dumps her again at 1:42 and postures up for right hands and elbows. Watkins finally closes guard at 2:01 but a left elbow still gets through. Watkins goes for an armbar but VanZandt scrambles to her feet, and decks Watkins before she can get back to hers, then slams her down with authority. Watkins gets back up at then gets decked with a hard left hand and quickly crumbles as Bryan Miner steps in to save her. VanZandt was throwing a right hook that missed as Watkins was already slumping to the ground.

Final result: Lindsey VanZandt wins via technical knockout at 3:25 in round two.


Amber Leibrock vs. Amanda Bell

Leibrock, 3-2, red gloves and white top, fighting out of Hayward, California. Bell, 5-5, blue gloves and top, fighting out of Hubbard, Oregon. Our referee in charge is Yves Lavigne.

Round 1: Double high-five from both fighters. The tall and lanky Leibrock is circling and looking for angles. Amanda Bell throws a strike so hard she throws herself to the ground. Bell gets back up clean and manages to put a right kick on Leibrock’s head. Leibrock turns her around against the fence to throw knees and breaks at 1:28. Now Bell is moving forward and forcing Leibrock to back up. Bell is tagging her with shots and pushes her into the fence again at 2:20, and Leibrock turns her around for knees to the body. They separate at 3:01. Bell keeps walking her down and puts her against the cage at 3:30 to throw lefts, rights and uppercuts. Leibrock covers up, goes down at 3:50, and Lavigne stops it. Leibrock has a look in her eyes afterward like she’s back in California — definitely not early at all. Medical personnel are attending to Leibrock for several minutes before Bell’s win is official.

Final result: Amanda Bell via first round knockout at 3:52.


Billy Goff vs. Ryan Hardy

Blue gloves and black trunks for Hardy making his professional debut out of Gordon Heights, NY. Red gloves and trunks with pink trim for Goff, 1-0 out of Connecticut. Our referee is Todd Anderson.

Round 1: Hardy is landing early including a left to the chin and a spinning elbow. Goff ties him up. Hardy breaks a clinch at 48 seconds. Goff with a leg kick. HARDY LEVELS GOFF WITH A RIGHT HAND and pours on ground and pound. Goff tries to hang on to Hardy’s arms to recover hits wits and survive. It’s working. Hardy looks to pass guard and throws a big right hand before Goff ties him up again. Hardy backs out at 2:56. Hardy is trying to control the legs and pass but is also having to avoid upkicks. Hardy throws leg kicks as the crowd boos. Goff is stood up at 4:15 and Hardy lands another hard punch. Goff and Hardy tie up for the last 10 seconds. 10-9 Hardy.

Round 2: Hardy is hunting for the home run right and jabbing with the left. Goff seems determined to walk him down and lands a good counter left. Head kick lands for Goff and he comes forward with a flurry. Hardy is backing up. Hardy’s arms are dropping low. Goff is using leg kicks as he closes the range. Blood is streaming down the left side of Hardy’s face. Another head kick from Goff. Hardy goes for a single leg but can’t get it. He connects on the double and pins Goff against the fence with short time left. 10-9 Goff.

Round 3: Goff continues to pressure and Hardy shoots for a takedown only to eat a knee in response. Goff pushes him into the cage and gets a takedown at 1:50. Hardy is able to push Goff away with his legs and get up at 2:29. Goff with a combo. Goff is attacking to the body and the head with his hands and kicks. 90 seconds remain. Even when Hardy throws nothing but a left jab it lands flush. Right kick and left hook both find the head. Hardy is in survival mode. 10-9 Goff.

Final result: Billy Goff wins via unanimous decision of 29-28 X3.


Steve Mowry vs. Darion Abbey

Mowry has the brown trunks with red gloves and a 5-0 record fighting out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Abbey makes his pro debut in the black trunks and blue gloves fighting out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Our referee in charge is Yves, Lavigne.

Round 1: Glove tap starts it before Mowry gets decked with a clean hard right that drops him. Mowry recovers and gets a takedown but Abbey gets back up and throws a superman punch and a knee and more rights. Abbey is teeing off on him and Mowry is almost a zombie standing. Leg kick by Abbey. Mowry takes him down again and gets to side control and cinches up the kimura for a come from behind submission.

Final result: Steve Mowry wins by submission (kimura) at 1:27 in round one.


Matt Probin vs. Ali Zebian

Blue gloves, black trunks, 1-0 for Zebian out of Westfield, Massachusetts. Red gloves and trunks for Probin, 3-0, fighting out of Portland, Maine. Our referee is Kevin MacDonald.

Round 1: Glove tap to start before Probin unloads a leg kick. Zebian shoots for a takedown and gets it at 19 seconds. Probin scoots backward toward the cage and gets up at 46 seconds, breaking free with an elbow but getting decked in response. Head kick from Probin is checked. Zebian with a left jab. Probin with a body kick. Over hand right swing and a miss for Probin. Body and leg kick connect. Zebian’s takedown is stuffed. 2:30 gone. Probin keeps pressuring and connecting with the kicks. Zebian is trying to respond with inside kicks and then gets another takedown at 3:12. He’s trying to squeeze out a submission as Probin looks to sweep. Zebian is trying to convince the ref that Probin is going out. Probin is giving the ref a thumbs up and pops out to mash Zebian with some big right elbows and heavy body shots. 10-9 Probin.

Round 2: Zebian gets a takedown 15 seconds in and quickly moves to side control. Probin gets back up at 36 seconds and unloads with a body kick. Zebian’s next takedown attempt is stuffed but the one after connects at 1:08. Zebian is in side control again but Probin wall walks up at 1:40. They separate at 2:11. Both men trade leg kicks. Zebian goes hard for a single leg but Probin hops to the fence and is fighting it off. He’s free at 3:31. Jump knee and head kick from Probin. Probin falls down on a kick and gets right back up. Another takedown to side control for Zebian at 4:17. If he can’t do anything to Probin there how effective are they really? Finally he postures up to throw some right hands to finish. 10-9 round for Zebian.

Round 3: Glove tap. Zebian lands the first leg kick of this round. Question mark kick from Probin in return. Zebian drops levels once as a fake out then does it for real as Probin widens his stance against the cage. Probin breaks free at 1:17 to throw hands and drops Zebian with a big left. Probin gets on top in side control. Zebian gets back up at 2:09. Zebian goes for a single but doesn’t have it. Probin throws a knee and Zebian tries to get a takedown while he’s off balance. He drops levels with under 90 seconds left but Probin elbows him in the head and looks at the ref hoping he’ll break up the stalemate. Zebian keeps digging and digging on the legs. Probin turns him around. Zebian goes for a single leg again right away but doesn’t have it. I sense a split decision coming. I’d go with Probin.

Final result: The judges score it 29-28 Zebian, 29-28 Probin, 29-28 Probin by SD.


Zarrukh Adashev vs. Ronie Arana

Red gloves and white trunks for 1-1 Adashev fighting out of Brooklyn, NY. Blue gloves and black trunks for the 0-2 Arana fighting out of New York, NY. Our referee in charge is Kevin MacDonald.

Round 1: Glove tap to start. Adashev is hunting with hands but Arana is trying to clinch up to avoid it. A straight shot puts Arana on his butt and he gets back up at 1:01. Arana backs up and dares him to come forward. Adashev throws Arana down at 1:40, stands up, then goes back down to side control. Arana is warned not to link his toes in the fence. Adashev is taking his time and slowly moving up, driving a hard right knee into Arana’s body as he does. Adashev lets Arana stand back up at 3:20. Adashev charges forward with a big kick to the body and some fast hands. He throws Arana to the ground again at 4:01 and takes full mount to bomb away. Arana is trying like hell to hang on and not let him posture up. He survives the round. 10-8 Adashev.

Round 2: They tap gloves again to start the round. Adashev quickly throws a spin kick but it doesn’t connect. Arana tries a head kick and falls on his butt. Adashev with a leg kick and a hard body shot. Right hook. Adashev with a spin kick a combo and a left. Arana clinches up and pushes Adashev to the fence. Adashev lands a knee to the groin and we get a timeout. John McCarthy doesn’t think it really landed. Adashev gets a verbal warning all the same. Adashev lands three right hooks and Arana briefly stumbled to the ground, then clinches on the fence. Adashev throws him to the ground and gets back up. He does it again at 2:48. He lets Arana back up at 3:06 and lands an uppercut. Adashev hits another takedown after a flurry all the way across the cage. 10-9 Adashev.

Round 3: Both men swing haymakers for the first 15 seconds until Adashev throws Arana to the ground one more time. Adashev’s judo is so good in this fight that John McCarthy is comparing him to Ronda Rousey. Knees to the ribs and left elbows to the chin. Arana tries to scramble and finally gets up at 1:22. Right hook for Adashev. Superman punch. Arana gets a takedown at 1:56. Adashev goes for an armbar but isn’t able to lock it up. Adashev gets back to his knees at 3:11. Arana spins to take the back but ends up in side control and then moves to full mount at 3:48. Adashev reverses and gets up at 4:10. Adashev lands a left hand as they break. Both men swing away and Adashev takes a hard one to the chin before the final bell. 10-9 Arana.

Final result: Zarrukh Adashev wins via unanimous decision 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.


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Five Reasons to Watch UFC Phoenix This Weekend

The next installment of UFC on ESPN+ is coming to us this weekend from Phoenix, AZ, and with it comes the promise of a lot of violence. Like, a whole lot.

The main event will see the former heavyweight great Cain Velasquez emerge from the shadows to face Francis Ngannou. If you’ll recall, Ngannou punched his way up to the top of the mountain, only to get out-worked by Stipe Miocic (who then got smoked by Daniel Cormier). I guess that makes Ngannou the division’s number three guy?

Regardless, that makes Velasquez the mysterious old star who keeps chilling on the bench because of injuries. But he was at one time the best! That counts for something!

Paul Felder is taking on James Vick in the co-main, and if you’ll recall, besides being one hell of a dude on the mic (his commentating side gig), he’s a beast of a Muay Thai ace. Since Vick likes to strike, this one could be bloody.

Elsewhere on the card, we have two on-again-off-again rising stars in Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera fighting each other. These guys were two stars from the Northeast regional scene, but were called up to the UFC before they could fight each other. So really, this match-up is a sweet one for us Northeasterners.

And of course, Kron Gracie is making his Octagon debut against Alex Caceres. His last name is Gracie, folks. That’s all you need to know.

The post Five Reasons to Watch UFC Phoenix This Weekend appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Ngannou: ‘I’ve Been Through Hell To Be Here Today’

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight title contender, Francis Ngannou, was heavily marketed by the promotion while “The Predator” was knocking out every fighter the matchmakers put in front of him.

Then it all came crashing down against a more well-rounded combatant in the form of Stipe Miocic, followed by a lame-duck performance opposite Derrick Lewis.

Because this is combat sports, which is no different than any other sport, the Cameroonian started hemorrhaging fans while UFC President, Dana White, buried him in the mixed martial arts (MMA) media, claiming Ngannou “completely lost his mind.”

Maybe the power-punching heavyweight doesn’t have a fighter’s mentality?

“Mentality is what brought me here,” Ngannou told the MMA media. “If I did not have that mentality, I could not have gone through what I went through. I was born and raised in Africa in a very poor family but I just have this mentality that I can’t give up. I’ve been through hell to be here today, so it’s all about fighting mentality. I have the ability to overcome that because I’ve been through worse than that, believe me when I say that.”

He’s fighting not only for himself, but also for the dreams of an entire country.

Ngannou was able to right the ship with a dominant performance against Curtis Blaydes at UFC Beijing back in November. No question a win over Cain Velasquez, long considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, would launch “The Predator” right back into title contention.

We’ll find out this Sunday night in Phoenix.

MMAmania.com – All Posts

Five Reasons to Watch UFC Phoenix This Weekend

The next installment of UFC on ESPN+ is coming to us this weekend from Phoenix, AZ, and with it comes the promise of a lot of violence. Like, a whole lot.

The main event will see the former heavyweight great Cain Velasquez emerge from the shadows to face Francis Ngannou. If you’ll recall, Ngannou punched his way up to the top of the mountain, only to get out-worked by Stipe Miocic (who then got smoked by Daniel Cormier). I guess that makes Ngannou the division’s number three guy?

Regardless, that makes Velasquez the mysterious old star who keeps chilling on the bench because of injuries. But he was at one time the best! That counts for something!

Paul Felder is taking on James Vick in the co-main, and if you’ll recall, besides being one hell of a dude on the mic (his commentating side gig), he’s a beast of a Muay Thai ace. Since Vick likes to strike, this one could be bloody.

Elsewhere on the card, we have two on-again-off-again rising stars in Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera fighting each other. These guys were two stars from the Northeast regional scene, but were called up to the UFC before they could fight each other. So really, this match-up is a sweet one for us Northeasterners.

And of course, Kron Gracie is making his Octagon debut against Alex Caceres. His last name is Gracie, folks. That’s all you need to know.

The post Five Reasons to Watch UFC Phoenix This Weekend appeared first on Caged Insider.

Caged Insider

Midnight Mania! Throwback Thursday: Weidman Wishes Anderson Happy Valentines Day

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Okay, I can’t say for sure whether Weidman’s enthusiastic holiday greeting is for Anderson specifically, or whether he, in his effusive show of love, meant it for all.

Okkkkk… Been tagged in this picture enough today and it’s time I just post it myself. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!

In less romantic news, Weidman has lately been criticizing Israel Adesanya’s win over Anderson, claiming Israel is ‘just a tad bit overrated’, then doubling down and claiming there is no way Adesanya beats him.

Weidman is 1-4 in his last five, coming off a KO loss to “Jacare” Souza. His most recent win came against Kelvin Gastelum. Adesanya is undefeated, having won his first five bouts in the UFC in a year’s time, and says he is willing to wait for his title shot after beating Anderson Silva in a Mortal Kombat-esque affair.


Insomnia

Has Francis Ngannou improved his cardio since the Stipe fight?

Paul Felder being a cool dad

TJ Dillashaw wants to prove Cejudo’s win over him wasn’t a fluke… I mean… wait…

Whoever runs the UFC’s Twitter account deserves a medal and a raise

Dominick Cruz will apparently teach you his weird-ass footwork for money

Robert Whittaker calling Kelvin Gastelum ‘adorable’ is a great quote from the champion

Bellator is doing the superfight thing too, with Michael Chandler vs. Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull. That should be a good one, as Patricio has his brother to avenge.

Conor McGregor wishes a happy Valentines day to his ride-or-die, Dee Devlin.

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Happy Valentine’s Day my Queen ❤️

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Kamaru Usman really did this to Demian Maia.

Dennis Bermudez just went for it and the ringside commentator paid the price

Zabit Magomedsharipov’s kung fu background explored!

Always a step ahead

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Stack …wha…Triangle

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Japanese kickboxer Takeru hitting pads

Weird nature Joe Rogan might be my favorite Joe Rogan

Happy Valentine’s Day, folks

Octopus are also nature’s stealth fighters

Sleep well, Maniacs! A better tomorrow is always possible. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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Bellator 215 predictions, preview for ‘Mitrione vs Kharitonov’

Sergei Kharitonov

Bellator 215: “Mitrione vs. Kharitonov” airs tomorrow night (Fri., Feb. 15, 2019) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The fans on the East coast are about to be treated to a massive mountain of muscle in the main event that comes packed with high knockout potential!

Let’s break it down:

265 lbs.: Matt Mitrione (13-6) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (29-7, 1 NC)

Former Heavyweight Grand Prix competitor Matt Mitrione was knocked out of his bracket in the second round … though not by knockout. Ryan Bader used his wrestling background to the fullest of his abilities to take the bigger and heavier Mitrione down to the canvas repeatedly, taking virtually no damage for the entire duration of the fight. The fans in Uncasville may not have been thrilled by this one-sided domination, but if Mitrione feels in any way responsible for the outcome, this main event is his chance to make amends.

Sergei Kharitonov is very unlikely to follow the same gameplan as Bader. With 57 percent of his wins (16 of 28) coming by knockout, including the notoriously hard to finish Roy Nelson in his last Bellator fight, expect him to engage with Mitrione for some fireworks. Mitrione’s style is even more singular than his opponent’s with 84 percent of his wins (11 of 13) coming by knockout, so the question isn’t if they will stand in a phone booth and haul off with strikes but when.

Not only are they perfectly matched for each other stylistically, but they are also perfectly matched for each other in age and size. Mitrione is 40 and Kharitonov is 38, Mitrione is 6’3” and Kharitonov is 6’4,” Mitrione has a 79” reach and Kharitonov has a 76” reach. While that gives a slight advantage to Mitrione on reach, it also gives Kharitonov an equally slight advantage in age, and it would appear those two things basically negate each other when all things are considered. The edge ultimately favors Mitrione, though, because we’ve seen cracks in Kharitonov’s chin that are deeper than “Meathead” has ever shown.

Final prediction: Matt Mitrione wins via first round knockout

170 lbs.: Logan Storley (9-0) vs. Ion Pascu (18-9)

Following an impressive win at Bellator 204 in Sioux Falls, Logan “Storm” Storley gets another fight on the main card against a hungry Ion “Bombardierul” Pascu. Why is he so hungry? Well despite getting half of his wins by knockout (nine of 18) he has yet to win in the Bellator cage. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the stylistic match-up for him to turn things around. Storley is a wrestler both figuratively and literally, cut from Brock Lesnar’s mold — same hometown, same collegiate experience, same method of dominance. Storley has an uncanny ability to sweep opponents off their feet and lay in hands and elbows until they turtle up and capitulate. Unless Pascu is quicker to the punch or is able to time a takedown with a well placed knee, I see no reason Storley won’t remain undefeated.

Final prediction: Logan Storley wins via first round technical knockout

135 lbs.: Eduardo Dantas (20-6) vs. Toby Misech (12-6)

Things have not gone so well for Mr. Dantas of late. The former Bellator champion lost his title to “The Wolf” Darrion Caldwell in a grueling five-round decision, then got KTFO by the now retired Michael McDonald. Bellator is giving him every opportunity to turn things around with late notice fighter Toby Misech on this card. At 10-5 he’s certainly not a pushover, and he’s coming off a win on the “Prelims” undercard of Bellator 212, so good for him. The jury is still out on his overall game, though. He had a test on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender’s Series and flunked it, and he’s a “streaky” fighter who goes in surges and slumps. The difference maker is definitely the ground game. Misech has never submitted anybody, Dantas has six wins by submission, and after being rocked in his last bout, Dantas will surely want to avoid the stand up and take this one to the ground. We shall see.

Final prediction: Eduardo Dantas via third round submission

135 lbs.: Michael Kimbel (2-0) vs. Jonathan Douma (3-1)

Kimbel is a highlight-reel fighter with a somewhat mysterious background. That’s fine. Nobody is paying him to tell his life story — not yet anyway. Right now people just want to see him get quick finishes, and he’s two for two in that category. Douma is handpicked for him to get another stoppage. He’s not even undefeated on the minor circuit and is coming in off a technical knockout loss to Adam Acquaviva six months ago. The only thing Kimbel should worry about is that Douma may have improved somewhat in those six months.

Final prediction: Michael Kimbel wins via first round knockout

170 lbs.: Austin Vanderford (6-0) vs. Cody Jones (6-2)

Rounding out the main card is “Mr. VanZant” Austin Vanderford against yet another handpicked opponent in Cody Jones. Some say Vanderford is the most hated man in MMA, but I don’t think he’s exceeded Conor McGregor’s level of fame/infamy just yet. Not by a long shot. He’s a star on the rise, though, and curiously given his association with Paige VanZant UFC let him slip through its fingers despite having gotten an impressive come-from-behind win on Dana White’s “Tuesday Night Contender Series.” He has split his finishes 50/50 between knockouts and submissions, while Jones is more of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu man (two out of three finishes). Given that Vanderford rolls with some studs out in Portland, Ore., I doubt that’ll be a problem for him.

Final prediction: Austin Vanderford wins via submission

That’s a wrap!

MMAmania.com will deliver coverage of Bellator 215 tomorrow with a main card on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET and DAZN fights starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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