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We Know Who Da Fook That Guy Is After UFC Orlando

There was a point in the latter half of round one when Josh Emmett was feeling pretty good about himself. After all, the Team Alpha Male product — who catapulted into the No. 4 slot in the official featherweight rankings by melting Ricardo Lamas — had already put Jeremy Stephens on his ass in the UFC on FOX 28 main event.

Shortly thereafter, Emmett pointed to the ground when “Lil’ Heathen” scrambled back to his feet, perhaps calling his shot inside Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., in a 145-pound headliner scheduled for five, five-minute rounds.

It never saw a third.

Emmett crumpled under the blitzkrieg of his resurgent opponent, who shook off the cobwebs and came back angrier. And one thing mixed martial arts (MMA) fans have learned after more than 10-plus years of watching the bearded brawler, is that Stephens is the opposite of Bruce Banner.

We do like him when he’s angry.

In 28 fights for the world’s preeminent combat sports promotion, Stephens (28-14) has 15 wins, eight of which have come by way of devastating knockout. His biggest issue to date has been consistency, resulting in a lukewarm reception to his inclusion in the UFC Fight Night 124 headliner opposite Doo Ho Choi back in January.

It also didn’t help that Conor McGregor, the most famous UFC fighter in the world, publicly mocked Stephens for competing in obscurity over the past decade, while “Notorious” punched his way into the mainstream in just a couple of years.

The question, as I’m sure you know by now, was “Who da fook is that guy?”

He’s the guy who will take pictures with your mom!

He’s also the guy who will put your head into the fifth row, which will no doubt have the MMA media rethink its hasty decision to drop Emmett in the No. 4 spot based on a single one-hitter quitter against a former title contender, especially considering he was unranked heading into UFC on FOX 26.

No matter.

By trashing Emmett in the UFC Orlando main event, Stephens proved that not only is he a featherweight work horse capable of taking out anyone willing to stand and bang, he’s also worthy of headlining major events on network television.

Stephens topped four events in his UFC career (so far) and three of them have returned performance bonuses, which include two “Fight of the Night” honors against Cub Swanson and the aforementioned Choi.

Hard to believe “Lil’ Heathen” is just 31.

That’s great news for both Stephens — now the winner of three straight — and the fans who support him. There’s still plenty of time to make a run at the division strap, currently held by Max Holloway, and it may not be as far away as it sounds. Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega eliminates one top contender at UFC 222 and sends the other into a “Blessed” title fight.

Elsewhere in the division, Swanson and Lamas are both coming off recent losses and Emmett just got wasted, so that leaves us with Chan Sung Jung. Unfortunately, “The Korean Zombie” has been sidelined until further notice as a result of a devastating knee injury.

It’s hard to say where Stephens fits into all of this but I would expect him to land in the top five after UFC on FOX 28. He may not be popular enough to generate this level of mass hysteria, but one thing he can generate is some serious knockout power.

I hear UFC on FOX 30 needs a main event.

For much more on UFC Orlando, including results, video highlights, reactions, and so much more, check out our “Emmett vs. Stephens” archive by clicking here.

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Barao Expecting ‘Nice KO’ At UFC Orlando After Move To ATT

Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao will look to regain momentum tomorrow night (Sat., Feb. 24, 2018) at UFC on FOX 28 from inside Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., when he takes on rising contender Brian Kelleher in the preliminary headliner on FOX.

Barao, 30, just hasn’t been the same since losing his 135-pound crown to T.J. Dillashaw back in 2014. Since that title loss, which ended a 33-fight unbeaten streak, the Brazilian has turned in a pedestrian 2-3 record. That includes a rematch against Dillashaw and an unsuccessful shot in the UFC’s featherweight division.

Despite his struggle to find consistency over the past couple of years, Barao is still a relevant player at 135 pounds. And if his recent move from Nova Uniao in Brazil to American Top Team (ATT) in Florida is any indication of what “Baron” is capable of moving forward, the bantamweight elites better pay close attention.

“I got the best preparation possible,” Barao said about his move to ATT in a recent interview with Combate. “I already wanted to move to the United States. I want to bring my son over here, in the future. I chose ATT so I could change my way of training, look for improvements. Since I already had some friends of mine training over there, telling me how different everything was, that’s what me decide. Everything changed. I’m doing my cardio with one coach, boxing with another, wrestling with another. I think I improved quite a lot.”

While Barao hasn’t been finished since his defeats to Dillashaw, he has dropped disappointing decisions to featherweight staple Jeremy Stephens and bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling. Needless to say, the former UFC champion desperately needs a big win this weekend if he wishes to turn back the clock and make 2018 his comeback campaign.

Unfortunately for Kelleher, any success Barao has this weekend in Orlando will come at the expense of him. “Boom” is a finishing machine and has won two Fight Night bonuses in just three Octagon appearances to date, but it is Barao who is looking to walk away from UFC on FOX 28 with a knockout.

“He’s a tough guy, coming off a win, but I expect a nice KO,” Barao said. “I’m ready to give my best.”

UFC on FOX 28 will be headlined by a featherweight tilt pitting veteran Jeremy Stephens against rising contender Josh Emmett.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 28 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 6 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

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Report: Gilbert Burns Rebooked After Weight-Related Cancelation, Faces Lando Vannata in April

Gilbert Burns might have blown his chance to fight this weekend, but it seems he didn’t have to wait long for a new engagement.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Report: Gilbert Burns Rebooked After Weight-Related Cancelation, Faces Lando Vannata in April

Gilbert Burns might have blown his chance to fight this weekend, but it seems he didn’t have to wait long for a new engagement.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Marlon Sandro Releases Statement Two Months After Allegedly Assaulting Fiancee

Marlon Sandro has broken his silence some two months after allegedly assaulting his fiancée in Brazil.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Marlon Sandro Releases Statement Two Months After Allegedly Assaulting Fiancee

Marlon Sandro has broken his silence some two months after allegedly assaulting his fiancée in Brazil.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

‘Cowboy’ Admits Nerves Were a Factor vs. Medeiros After ‘Pretty Sucky’ Losing Streak

Donald Cerrone did his best to avoid thinking about the three-fight losing streak that followed him into his UFC Fight Night 126 showdown with Yancy Medeiros.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

‘Cowboy’ Admits Nerves Were a Factor vs. Medeiros After ‘Pretty Sucky’ Losing Streak

Donald Cerrone did his best to avoid thinking about the three-fight losing streak that followed him into his UFC Fight Night 126 showdown with Yancy Medeiros.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

‘Cowboy’ Admits Nerves Were a Factor vs. Medeiros After ‘Pretty Sucky’ Losing Streak

Donald Cerrone did his best to avoid thinking about the three-fight losing streak that followed him into his UFC Fight Night 126 showdown with Yancy Medeiros.
Recent News on Sherdog.com

Midnight Mania! DC Rips Gus After Rockhold Callout

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

If you come for Daniel Cormier’s teammates, you better be ready for Cormier’s comeback.

I loved Gustafsson’s callout of Luke Rockhold, in which he did mention that he thought Cormier was holding up the light heavyweight title picture.

Cormier, though, wasn’t having it, reminding Gus that the lanky Swede last fought DC for the title coming off a loss with the hashtag #thegustafsonway

Of course, DC also fought for a title off a loss to Jon Jones. The difference, in his mind? He won his fight.

DC also thinks, trash talk aside, Luke Rockhold should take some time off.


An MMA Valentine’s Day

We can’t all be romantics.

Mackenzie Dern heart hands

Dang, Chas Skelly. That’s cold.

These cards by Justin Golightly are perfect. Dana White expresses love for McGregor.

Khabib love.

A lot of MMA fighters really love their families. They should.

No words can describe how much I love my girls ❤️

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6’6” sumo wrestler turned MMA fighter Baruto plays a gay man in a Japanese sitcom? As long as he’s practicing punches under waterfalls.


Insomnia

Will Brooks is out of the UFC and into that high-dollar PFL tournament.

For those of you who have been asking when my next fight is… well, I’m not sure when the next will be but it will not be with the UFC but rather with the @profightleague in the Million Dollar tournament. I’ve been doing this for a while now and I understand the business side of it. I didn’t do the job that was expected of me and like all jobs I was released, rightfully so. Unfortunately, I under performed with the UFC and didn’t achieve the goal I wanted to with that opportunity. I regret nothing, I took a chance at something I wanted and came up short. The fighter/competitor in me is highly disappointed with myself for allowing things to get away from me. The UFC chapter is closed for now… I’d like to thank the UFC staff for treating me so well during my employment. From day one I was treated well and with respect. I appreciate that greatly. Now with that being said, I am moving forward toward the next chapter. I’m extremely excited and fired up to be part of the @profighteague and their rebirth. The timing is perfect because I’m in my own rebirth process as well. As always I’m going to represent this organization as professionally as I possibly can. I look forward to being a pivotal part of the PFL’s growth in this sport. All praise and glory to God. 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalms 121:1-2 At my highest and my lowest, He’s been with me and seen me through to lands of milk and honey. Thank you God for blessing me with this incredible opportunity for my family and myself. Now let’s go secure this bag!!!! #Godisgood #hardwork #dedication #mma #ufc #PFL #professional #athlete #Godsplan #winningatlife

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Carla Esparza vs. Claudia Gadelha is a good matchup.

It’s official! UFC 225 on June 9th in Chicago

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Jon Jones has his date with destiny.

Interesting insight from Jeremy Stephens

Elias Theodorou kinda, sorta called out Israel Adesanya, who he may or may not have been kinda, sorta talking shit about during Israel’s debut fight.

This ain’t right, UFC. Don’t do Sage Northcutt like this.

Such a potty mouth, that @SuperSageNorthcutt! #UFCAustin

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Eh… I changed my mind, go for it, UFC.

K-1 champion Takeru’s sparring looks intense.


Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

This effortless old-school boxing:

It’s grainy, but this toehold is cool from Francisco Trinaldo:


Good Read


Seems like a good clip to end on tonight. Yes, I know a lot of you hate Luke Thomas. But the advice is relevant.


Random Land

Okay, one more before you go to sleep:

Smdh

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Stay woke, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @Vorpality

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