Bellator Hawaii Double-Header Primer: Chandler, Machida, Mir, King Mo – Oh My!

I have no idea why Bellator keeps doing this, but there are yet again two Bellator events this weekend. Bellator 212 and Bellator 213 are Friday night and Saturday night, respectively, and the cards… actually have some compelling fights on them (or at least, some compelling names).

The main event on Friday night is the long-awaited rematch between the man who should be king, Michael Chandler, against the man who has the crown via a strange confluence of circumstances, Brent Primus. You see, back in 2017, Bellator was doing their thing at Madison Square Garden, and their best lightweight (Chandler) was fighting someone far from the best (Primus).

But! Chandler slipped on a banana peel (or something) and injured his leg, and boom! That was it. Primus was suddenly the Bellator lightweight champ.

Sadly, for whatever reason, Primus hasn’t defended his belt against anymore, and it’s taken forever for this rematch to happen and for the universe to reset itself.

Oh, and Frank Mir is also fighting on the Bellator 212 card.

As for Saturday night’s extravaganza, we’ve got promotional newcomer and perpetual karate man Lyoto Machida on tap, as well as King Mo, Ed Ruth, and anyone else who wanted a free trip to Hawaii.

So yeah. Good times, good times.

The post Bellator Hawaii Double-Header Primer: Chandler, Machida, Mir, King Mo – Oh My! appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Bellator 213 Weigh-in Results: Title Fight Set; Carvalho, Kala Hose Heavy

The undefeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is set to defend her belt in her home state of Hawaii, fighting there for the first time in her career against Valerie Letourneau
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Predictions! Breaking Down Lee-Iaquinta, Barboza-Hooker 

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will end its seven-year run on the FOX network with the UFC on FOX 31: “Lee vs. Iaquinta 2” mixed martial arts (MMA) fight card, taking place this Sat. night (Dec. 15, 2018) inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Sorry to all the financial planners out there but Fiserv is a terrible name and I hate it.

UFC on FOX 31 will be headlined by the lightweight rematch pitting top lightweight contender Kevin Lee opposite 155-pound slugger Al Iaquinta. In the Milwaukee co-main event, lightweight striking sensation Edson Barboza, apparently too cool for a nickname, trades leather with dangerous Dan “The Hangman” Hooker.

Before we take a closer look at those two fights, see what resident fighter and top MMA analyst, Andrew Richardson, had to say about the rest of the main card match ups in his “X-Factor” preview right here. Looking for a breakdown of the UFC Milwaukee “Prelims” bouts? Patrick Stumberg has those locked down here and here.

UFC on FOX 31 odds and betting lines can be found here.

155 lbs.: Kevin “Motown Phenom” Lee (17-3) vs. “Ragin’” Al Iaquinta (13-4-1)

The Good:

Lee has won six of his last seven and was right there with Ferguson until getting caught in a submission. His rebound fight against Edson Barboza proved he’s not going anywhere and at age 26, he’s still in his fighting prime. You can even argue that the best is yet to come from one of the most athletic fighters in the division. His last five wins have all come by way of knockout or submission.

It appears Iaquinta is serious about his career again, though it wasn’t that long ago when he was telling promotion president Dana White to “shut the fuck up” and begging UFC to cut him. I know the “stick to real estate” jokes are plentiful after he got jabbed to death by Khabib Nurmagomedov, but prior to his short-notice “Eagle” showdown, “Ragin’ Al” won five straight with four knockouts.

The Bad:

Lee is fast and built like a shredded running back, but where is his stopping power? In 17 wins, “Motown Phenom” has just two knockouts and one of those came by way of doctor’s stoppage. I also question his level of competition. Hey, wins are wins, I get that, but his only victory over a lightweight currently ranked in the Top 10 is Barboza. And I have a real problem with his view of drunken Jersey Boys because they are actually from Long Island.

Iaquinta didn’t fight at all in 2016 and competed just once in 2017. He’s aways been something of a maniac (just ask the hotel staff), but his disgruntlement has cost him prime years of his fighting career. I believe he’s taking this fight seriously, but I also believe “Ragin’ Al” hasn’t evolved since the last time he fought Lee. I agree that Nurmagomedov doesn’t get enough credit for his striking, but Iaquinta was still looking pretty silly at UFC 223.

The Ugly:

Lee is practically boiled alive in his attempts to make the lightweight mark.

Iaquinta needs to work on his Twitter game.

Stats:

Lee, fighting orthodox, is 26 years-old and stands 5’9” with a 77” reach. He holds just two knockout wins against eight submission victories. “Motown Phenom” has been defeated by knockout (1), submission (1), and decision (1). Iaquinta, 31, is 5’9” with a 70” reach and also stands orthodox. He’s scored seven knockouts and just one submission win against three losses by submission and one by decision. The betting lines have Lee as the favorite (-350) and Iaquinta (+290) as the underdog.

Prediction:

Iaquinta was a collegiate wrestler, just like Lee, so “Motown Phenom” won’t have his usual bag of tricks to rely on. But MMA wrestling is more than just takedowns. Good wrestlers use it for control and to stop the attack of power punchers while also frustrating their opponents. I’m sure anyone paying attention knows how easily it is to frustrate “Ragin’ Al” and that is Lee’s path to victory.

I expect this fight to be decided by the better athlete, not the better fighter. Iaquinta has power and has already proved he can box, but his style becomes predictable and there isn’t much diversity in his offense. I think Lee outworks him across most of their five rounds and to be honest, I’m not sure it will even be that difficult. Mentally, I believe Iaquinta checked out a long time ago and is never coming back.

Prediction: Lee def Iaquinta by unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Edson Barboza (19-6) vs. Dan “The Hangman” Hooker (17-7)

The Good:

Barboza is, and always was, one of the division’s flashiest strikers and has the kind of highlight reel that up-and-coming fighters dream of. His legs are so deadly that he’s finished three opponents by way of leg kick. Prior to his MMA career, the Brazilian was 25-3 in Muay Thai with 22 knockouts and 17 first-round finishes. When the action stays on the feet, Barboza is about as exciting as they come.

Hooker may have looked avenger on paper, thanks largely in part to his 3-3 record to open his UFC career, but “The Hangman” is one of the most ruthless finishers in any weight class, ending 16 of his 17 bouts by way of unbridled violence. You can thank his move up to the lightweight division for that and Hooker is in the prime of his career, showcasing his ability to win fights wherever they go.

The Bad:

It’s almost 2019 and Barboza still cannot defend the takedown or work from guard, evidenced by the near-death experiences against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee. The former is forgivable considering “The Eagle” is the best in the world, but the Brazilian is simply unable to beat top-five fighters, previously losing to Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone, among others.

There isn’t much to say about Hooker after his jump up to 155 pounds, the guy is a fucking killer. I guess the only knock on his vaunted streak is that it came against the cream of the crap. Ross Pearson hasn’t been relevant since 2008, Marc Diakiese dropped three in a row, and Jim Miller has more miles on his tires than my sister’s ‘72 Buick. Gilbert Burns, meanwhile, isn’t even ranked in the Top 15.

The Ugly:

Barboza absorbed 138 significant strikes to the head in his loss to Lee.

Hooker wants to make a name for himself by beating up brain-dead opponents.

Stats:

Barboza, fighting orthodox, is 32 years-old and stands 5’11” with a 75” reach. He’s finished 11 opponents by way of knockout and locked up just one submission. The Brazilian has been defeated by knockout (2), submission (2), and decision (2). Hooker, 28, is a switch-stance fighter who stands 6’0” and holds a 75” reach. He has just one decision win against nine knockouts and seven submissions. “The Hangman” has been defeated five times by decision and submitted twice. The odds have Barboza a slight underdog at +100 against the favored Hooker at -120.

Prediction:

If you’re going to be a one-dimensional fighter and expect to compete for a division title — or at least be in the running — then you need to be a suffocating wrestler. See Askren, Ben. Stand-up attacks are so much easier to neutralize and let’s face it, Barboza is not that hard to figure out. He’s going to try to kick you and expect the same in return, like when Frank Dux out-kicked Paco in Bloodsport.

That’s not going to cut it against Hooker, who doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being such a cerebral fighter. He doesn’t score finishes because he’s winging punches or grabbing limbs out of desperation, he knows when to adjust, how to be fluid, and when to go for the kill. This fight will be no different and as much as it pains me to say this, Barboza is likely shot after his last two lopsided losses.

Prediction: Hooker def. Barboza by technical knockout

There you have it.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 31 fight card on Saturday (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 5 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

For much more on UFC on FOX 31 click here.

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Predictions! Breaking Down Lee-Iaquinta, Barboza-Hooker 

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will end its seven-year run on the FOX network with the UFC on FOX 31: “Lee vs. Iaquinta 2” mixed martial arts (MMA) fight card, taking place this Sat. night (Dec. 15, 2018) inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Sorry to all the financial planners out there but Fiserv is a terrible name and I hate it.

UFC on FOX 31 will be headlined by the lightweight rematch pitting top lightweight contender Kevin Lee opposite 155-pound slugger Al Iaquinta. In the Milwaukee co-main event, lightweight striking sensation Edson Barboza, apparently too cool for a nickname, trades leather with dangerous Dan “The Hangman” Hooker.

Before we take a closer look at those two fights, see what resident fighter and top MMA analyst, Andrew Richardson, had to say about the rest of the main card match ups in his “X-Factor” preview right here. Looking for a breakdown of the UFC Milwaukee “Prelims” bouts? Patrick Stumberg has those locked down here and here.

UFC on FOX 31 odds and betting lines can be found here.

155 lbs.: Kevin “Motown Phenom” Lee (17-3) vs. “Ragin’” Al Iaquinta (13-4-1)

The Good:

Lee has won six of his last seven and was right there with Ferguson until getting caught in a submission. His rebound fight against Edson Barboza proved he’s not going anywhere and at age 26, he’s still in his fighting prime. You can even argue that the best is yet to come from one of the most athletic fighters in the division. His last five wins have all come by way of knockout or submission.

It appears Iaquinta is serious about his career again, though it wasn’t that long ago when he was telling promotion president Dana White to “shut the fuck up” and begging UFC to cut him. I know the “stick to real estate” jokes are plentiful after he got jabbed to death by Khabib Nurmagomedov, but prior to his short-notice “Eagle” showdown, “Ragin’ Al” won five straight with four knockouts.

The Bad:

Lee is fast and built like a shredded running back, but where is his stopping power? In 17 wins, “Motown Phenom” has just two knockouts and one of those came by way of doctor’s stoppage. I also question his level of competition. Hey, wins are wins, I get that, but his only victory over a lightweight currently ranked in the Top 10 is Barboza. And I have a real problem with his view of drunken Jersey Boys because they are actually from Long Island.

Iaquinta didn’t fight at all in 2016 and competed just once in 2017. He’s aways been something of a maniac (just ask the hotel staff), but his disgruntlement has cost him prime years of his fighting career. I believe he’s taking this fight seriously, but I also believe “Ragin’ Al” hasn’t evolved since the last time he fought Lee. I agree that Nurmagomedov doesn’t get enough credit for his striking, but Iaquinta was still looking pretty silly at UFC 223.

The Ugly:

Lee is practically boiled alive in his attempts to make the lightweight mark.

Iaquinta needs to work on his Twitter game.

Stats:

Lee, fighting orthodox, is 26 years-old and stands 5’9” with a 77” reach. He holds just two knockout wins against eight submission victories. “Motown Phenom” has been defeated by knockout (1), submission (1), and decision (1). Iaquinta, 31, is 5’9” with a 70” reach and also stands orthodox. He’s scored seven knockouts and just one submission win against three losses by submission and one by decision. The betting lines have Lee as the favorite (-350) and Iaquinta (+290) as the underdog.

Prediction:

Iaquinta was a collegiate wrestler, just like Lee, so “Motown Phenom” won’t have his usual bag of tricks to rely on. But MMA wrestling is more than just takedowns. Good wrestlers use it for control and to stop the attack of power punchers while also frustrating their opponents. I’m sure anyone paying attention knows how easily it is to frustrate “Ragin’ Al” and that is Lee’s path to victory.

I expect this fight to be decided by the better athlete, not the better fighter. Iaquinta has power and has already proved he can box, but his style becomes predictable and there isn’t much diversity in his offense. I think Lee outworks him across most of their five rounds and to be honest, I’m not sure it will even be that difficult. Mentally, I believe Iaquinta checked out a long time ago and is never coming back.

Prediction: Lee def Iaquinta by unanimous decision

155 lbs.: Edson Barboza (19-6) vs. Dan “The Hangman” Hooker (17-7)

The Good:

Barboza is, and always was, one of the division’s flashiest strikers and has the kind of highlight reel that up-and-coming fighters dream of. His legs are so deadly that he’s finished three opponents by way of leg kick. Prior to his MMA career, the Brazilian was 25-3 in Muay Thai with 22 knockouts and 17 first-round finishes. When the action stays on the feet, Barboza is about as exciting as they come.

Hooker may have looked avenger on paper, thanks largely in part to his 3-3 record to open his UFC career, but “The Hangman” is one of the most ruthless finishers in any weight class, ending 16 of his 17 bouts by way of unbridled violence. You can thank his move up to the lightweight division for that and Hooker is in the prime of his career, showcasing his ability to win fights wherever they go.

The Bad:

It’s almost 2019 and Barboza still cannot defend the takedown or work from guard, evidenced by the near-death experiences against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee. The former is forgivable considering “The Eagle” is the best in the world, but the Brazilian is simply unable to beat top-five fighters, previously losing to Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone, among others.

There isn’t much to say about Hooker after his jump up to 155 pounds, the guy is a fucking killer. I guess the only knock on his vaunted streak is that it came against the cream of the crap. Ross Pearson hasn’t been relevant since 2008, Marc Diakiese dropped three in a row, and Jim Miller has more miles on his tires than my sister’s ‘72 Buick. Gilbert Burns, meanwhile, isn’t even ranked in the Top 15.

The Ugly:

Barboza absorbed 138 significant strikes to the head in his loss to Lee.

Hooker wants to make a name for himself by beating up brain-dead opponents.

Stats:

Barboza, fighting orthodox, is 32 years-old and stands 5’11” with a 75” reach. He’s finished 11 opponents by way of knockout and locked up just one submission. The Brazilian has been defeated by knockout (2), submission (2), and decision (2). Hooker, 28, is a switch-stance fighter who stands 6’0” and holds a 75” reach. He has just one decision win against nine knockouts and seven submissions. “The Hangman” has been defeated five times by decision and submitted twice. The odds have Barboza a slight underdog at +100 against the favored Hooker at -120.

Prediction:

If you’re going to be a one-dimensional fighter and expect to compete for a division title — or at least be in the running — then you need to be a suffocating wrestler. See Askren, Ben. Stand-up attacks are so much easier to neutralize and let’s face it, Barboza is not that hard to figure out. He’s going to try to kick you and expect the same in return, like when Frank Dux out-kicked Paco in Bloodsport.

That’s not going to cut it against Hooker, who doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being such a cerebral fighter. He doesn’t score finishes because he’s winging punches or grabbing limbs out of desperation, he knows when to adjust, how to be fluid, and when to go for the kill. This fight will be no different and as much as it pains me to say this, Barboza is likely shot after his last two lopsided losses.

Prediction: Hooker def. Barboza by technical knockout

There you have it.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 31 fight card on Saturday (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 5 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

For much more on UFC on FOX 31 click here.

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Diego Sanchez-Mickey Gall Welterweight Scrap Added to UFC 235

Mickey Gall will get his wish, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship has put together a thrilling matchup between Diego Sanchez and Gall at UFC 235 in March.
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Alex Oliveira: Tapout at UFC 231 Was Due More To The Cut Than The Choke

Alex Oliveira’s fight against Gunnar Nelson at UFC 231 on Dec. 8 was a wild back-and-forth affair that ended in the memorable image of Oliveira tapping to a rear-naked choke while blood poured everywhere from a huge gash on his forehead.
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UFC on FOX 31 Primer: Al Iaquinta Is a Rare Wine That Should Be Savored

This weekend’s UFC on FOX 31 will be the last UFC event on FOX before the jump to ESPN, and the UFC has brought out a rare bottle of wine for this special occasion.

His name is Al Iaquinta.

Sure, when last we saw Iaquinta, he was getting pounded on by Khabib Nurmagomedov. But the fact of the matter is that Iaquinta was a last-minute replacement, he went the distance with Khabib, and HE’S AL IAQUINTA.

 

What’s the big deal about a dude that hardly ever fights in the Octagon anymore? Well, strip away the fact that he was a runner-up on a season of TUF, and that he was clobbering opponents pretty regularly and building up hella momentum before bailing on the sport, and you have a man who just doesn’t give a f**k. When he takes the mic after his fights, he’s the Iron Sheik v.2. And he’s tough as nails and salty as heck.

Seriously, Iaquinta used to fight in underground events in New York back when MMA was illegal there. He’s simply just a fighter. And it’s not like he’s fighting for money – he makes a living as a real estate mogul. He doesn’t need UFC paychecks like the rest of fools… Like UFC on FOX 31 opponent Kevin Lee.

Iaquinta has already beaten Lee before. I’m sure “Ragin’ Al” is sure he can beat Lee again. He’s probably doing this fight just because a main event victory means he can take the mic and riff about who’s on his sh*tlist.

Who cares why he’s fighting, though! Iaquinta is fighting, just enjoy that for what it is!

The post UFC on FOX 31 Primer: Al Iaquinta Is a Rare Wine That Should Be Savored appeared first on Caged Insider.

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Midnight Mania! Iaquinta On Lee’s Prelim Threats: ‘That’s Not Cool’

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Kevin Lee called Al Iaquinta a ‘drunken Jersey boy’, saying he views it his ‘personal duty’ to send Al back to the prelims. Iaquinta didn’t think that was a very nice thing to say.

He’s not very nice. That’s not cool. I don’t wish that upon him. I think if I — I would like to beat him, and beat him impressively, I get, you know, we both move our way up. I don’t really care either way. I think he’s just trying to hype a fight up.

Iaquinta and Lee faced each other before, in Lee’s UFC debut back in 2014, at UFC 169, a fight Iaquinta won by unanimous decision, knocking Lee down en route. Since then, Iaquinta is 5-2 and Lee is 10-2. Lee, suffering from a staph infection, tapped to Tony Ferguson’s triangle choke in an interim title fight at UFC 216; he bounced back with a five-round smashing of Edson Barboza. Iaquinta dropped a decision on one day’s notice to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223.


Insomnia

John Lineker is another breed of man.

Jon Jones visualizing that good feeling, winning. I wonder how he would react if he lost.

I had to look up Carlos Condit’s height- he’s 6’2”- because this picture makes him look bigger than Jon Jones, which is very strange.

This makes sense. Valentina Shevchenko’s coach was involved in an actual shoot-out with her present, in which he was shot but seems to have also killed a robber. Don’t mess with that set of people.

Andrey Koreshkov vs. Lorenz Larkin is another fantastic Bellator welterweight matchup

Ouch

I said this quote was meme material the moment I saw it.

We got dunked on by Max Holloway for quoting Scott Coker in our headline and had to correct the record- Max is a happy man!

Can’t stop the typos

Hey look, someone filmed me attempting a side kick

Sage Northcutt’s caption is on brand

Cain Velasquez is coming back… or so they want us to believe.


Slips, Rips, KO Clips

This remains one of Edson Barboza’s most impressive knockouts

I’ve never seen someone TKOed by leg kicks on the ground before

I watched all 6 camera angles and I’m still not quite sure what happened during this knockout. Was it an elbow or a punch?

Baseball bat chokes are dark arts


Random Land

I don’t really watch hockey but anyone can appreciate this utterly nonsense save by the goalkeeper

People are amazing

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

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Bellator 212 Weigh-in Results: All Fighters on Weight

Michael Chandler is set to exact his revenge on Brent Primus, with the latter defending his lightweight belt for the first time against the man he toppled to win it.
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Bellator 212 Weigh-in Results: All Fighters on Weight

Michael Chandler is set to exact his revenge on Brent Primus, with the latter defending his lightweight belt for the first time against the man he toppled to win it.
Recent News on Sherdog.com