Tag Archive for down

Face Off! Fedor Stares Down Sonnen In New York

Bellator MMA is less than 24 hours away from its Bellator 208: “Fedor vs. Sonnen” mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Paramount Network, locked and loaded for this Saturday night (Oct. 13, 2018) inside Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Prior to this weekend’s big show, which also features “Prelims” bouts on DAZN, the promotion sent all 30 fighters to the scale for the official Bellator 208 weigh ins.

Crunch the numbers here.

Of course, no weigh-in event is complete without the corresponding staredowns, and Bellator 208 is no exception. Watch Fedor Emelianenko come nose-to-nose with heavyweight opponent Chael Sonnen, along with all the other fighters, in the embedded video player above.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire Bellator 208 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with DAZN “Prelims” matches before the main card start time at 9 p.m. ET, live on Paramount Network.

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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Fighter On Fighter! Breaking Down ‘Boa Constrictor!’

Smothering grappling master, Aleksei Oleinik, will throw down with fellow legendary veteran, Mark Hunt, this Saturday (Sept. 15, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 136 inside Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Moscow, Russia.

Oleinik is a throwback fighter to an era he fought extensively in. A professional since 1996, “Boa Constrictor” has never kept his intentions hidden, as Oleinik very often runs straight to the takedown or to clasp hands around his opponent’s neck in some manner. Watching Oleinik, it’s easy to get nostalgic about the golden days of Pride FC, where specialists and strange strategies were a common part of the fun.

In truth, the best part of watching Oleinik is that he’s improved in the last few years. The 41-year-old combatant has aged like wine, climbing into the top 10 and picking up some of the best wins of his career.

Let’s take a closer look at his skill set.


Let’s get this out of the way early: any part of Oleinik’s game that does not directly involve cranking on necks is at least a bit awkward. That’s especially true of his kickboxing, which is wooden and somewhat predictable.

That does not, however, mean that Oleinik is ineffective on his feet or without craft.

Mostly, Oleinik plods forward with his guard high and chin down, looking to step deep into hard shots before driving for a takedown. When pushing forward, Oleinik is generally in good defensive position — although that changes once he starts winging shots. At first, Oleinik will try to whack opponents with a hard jab, but the Russian does most of his work with an overhand and follow up left hook.

Not complicated, but Oleinik can put some surprising speed and power into his shots.

Oleinik does do some interesting things with his right hand. Often, he throws the overhand with his knuckles fully turned over, landing with the knuckles of his pinky and ring fingers. Known as a casting punch and somewhat common among Russian fighters, this type of overhand can slip through the guard and also be used as a clinch entry.

Since his right hand generally has a considerable arc, Oleinik will capitalize on that threat with the uppercut and body shots. In addition, Oleinik does a great job of pounding at the mid-section the second he and his opponent clinch. It’s as simple as whacking his opponent repeatedly in the ribs with his right hand the second they engage, but it’s an effective technique in making a fight ugly and slowing opponents down.


If Oleinik could consistently take down the best fighters in the world, he would be unstoppable. That’s not the case, but Oleinik is certainly an above-average wrestler at Heavyweight.

Often, Oleinik’s first move is to drive for a takedown from the standing position. To be frank, it rarely works — his shot isn’t fast enough to simple blast people off their feet. Luckily, it serves the important purpose of moving the exchange towards the fence. Using the fence to keep his opponent in place, Oleinik can hang on his foe and tire him out, either by continually pushing for the double or walloping the body with his right hand.

If Oleinik manages to get under his opponent and in on the hips, he’ll complete the shot.

If not, Oleinik will move to an upper body throw. For the Russian, this can be technical or pure strength. The International Master of Sports in Sambo clearly knows what he is doing — he steps deep into tosses, uses his hip to block well, and can threaten the throw from many different positions. Sometimes though, Oleinik will simply grab the head and just try to jam his opponent into the mat.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A fourth-degree black belt with an insane 46 submission victories on his record, Oleinik’s moniker “Boa Constrictor” is perhaps the most appropriate in all of MMA. The combination of an 80 inch reach, immense physical strength, and well-over 20 years of experience makes Oleinik an absurdly dangerous man on the mat.

Oleinik has some armbars and heel hooks on his record, and I’m sure he’s better than 99% of Heavyweights at those submissions, but his game is all about the choke. Oleinik’s squeeze is the stuff of legends, as he seems to be able to create an unmatched level of compression with his arms. The result is rare finishes and submissions from odd angles, things generally not possible for most grapplers.

Look at the picture below, for example. Though undoubtedly a rear naked choke, the position is absolutely wrong for a classic rear naked choke. Oleinik was not behind Browne — that’s the “rear” part — he was on his side. In addition, Oleinik’s top hand is in a position where Browne can grab it, generally a flaw that makes finishing the submission more difficult, particularly since the choking arm was not exactly under the chin. Against a regular grappler, each of those issues makes the finish less likely, and all together nearly impossible.

Oleinik has no problem securing the tap. Oh, and he also squeezed the hell out of Browne’s belly with his legs, furthering that “Boa Constrictor” analogy.

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The Ezekiel choke is another incredibly rare submission in the world of MMA. It’s almost entirely used in the gi, generally from top position. Oleinik, meanwhile, has a dozen of them on his record and commonly finishes the choke from his back (GIF).

It’s the obvious topic for this week’s technique highlight.


Another great head-squeezing submission from Oleinik is the scarf-hold head lock. It’s resposnible for two of his fairly recent victories, a pair of cranks over Mirko Filipovic and Anthony Hamilton. The technique here is pretty simple: Oleinik wraps up his opponent’s head and arm, sits back, and squeezes the hell out of them (GIF).

As far as I know, Oleinik is also the only man to secure a scarf-hold headlock tapout in the modern era of the UFC.

Aside from Oleinik’s beastly squeeze, Oleinik is also a large man. When he sits back, his opponent’s shoulders are off the mat, which compacts the diaphragm and makes the position even more miserable. Also from this position, Oleinik can attack the trapped arm with his legs, a maneuver known as the scarf-hold arm lock that has also earned Oleinik a pair of submission wins.


Like his opponent, Oleinik may not be a title contender, but he is awesome to watch and likely near the end of his career. Oleinik’s remarkable 5-2 record inside the Octagon has been a blast to watch, and it’s really great that he has been able to compete in the UFC after so many years in Europe. Now, Oleinik returns to Russia in his first main event slot against a fellow veteran. It’s a well-deserved opportunity and pretty great full circle moment for “Boa Constrictor.”


Andrew Richardson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, is a professional fighter who trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. In addition to learning alongside world-class talent, Andrew has scouted opponents and developed winning strategies for several of the sport’s most elite fighters.

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Brian Ortega Doubles Down on Decision to Wait for a Healthy Max Holloway

At UFC 226, an intriguing title fight was scheduled to take place in the featherweight division between the champion Max Holloway and his challenger, Brian Ortega.
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UFC Has TJ Dillashaw Staring Down Henry Cejudo … Super Fight Imminent?

Will Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) book a bantamweight vs. flyweight championship “super fight” between reigning 135-pound titleholder TJ Dillashaw and newly-minted 125-pound kingpin Henry Cejudo?

Promotion president Dana White isn’t ruling it out.

One of the big questions heading into that proposed showdown following their respective wins at UFC 227 is why Demetrious Johnson isn’t entitled to an immediate rematch based on his record-setting accomplishments. The other is how Dillashaw and Cejudo match up inside the cage.

UFC fan and Extra host Mario Lopez has one of the two answers in the video above.

There is also some unfinished business at bantamweight with both Dominick Cruz and Raphael Assuncao — each holding past wins over Dillashaw — claiming their right to the next 135-pound title shot.

But UFC is in the business of making money (obviously) and will likely book the bout that gets the most bang for the buck. Whether or not that’s Dillashaw vs. Cejudo remains to be seen.

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Face Off! Alvarez Stares Down ‘Diamond’ In Calgary

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently wrapped a special pre-fight media day for the upcoming UFC on FOX 30: “Alvarez vs. Poirier 2” mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which takes place this Sat. night (July 28, 2018) inside Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

UFC on FOX 30 will feature the highly-anticipated rematch between top-ranked lightweight contenders Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, who battled to a “no contest” at UFC 211 in early 2017. In the Calgary co-main event, former 145-pound champion Jose Aldo tries to get back into the win column against featherweight smashing machine Jeremy Stephens.

Watch them all face off in the staredowns video above.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 30 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 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.

To see who else is fighting at UFC on FOX 30 click here.

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Predictions! Breaking Down UFC Boise Main Card

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back on FOX Sports 1 this weekend, because fuck your plans, WE’RE GOING TO BOISE!!! That’s right my fellow mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, the combat sports-deprived community in Idaho is FINALLY getting some face-punching action on Saturday night (July 14, 2018) inside the one-and-only CenturyLink Arena.

I’m actually pretty interested in the heavyweight main event between Junior dos Santos and Blagoy Ivanov, as “Cigano” represents the last of the old guard, at least in terms of title contenders, and just when you think his goose is cooked, he comes back and surprises you. It also gives “Blaga” a chance to put the division on notice by proving he’s not just a regional can crusher.

Also in action is Sage Northcutt, who for some reason compels me to watch because I want to see him win by highlight-reel knockout, or tap to some one-arm choke that’s not even that tight. Is that weird? Oh! And we get Chad Mendes back (finally) to shake things up at featherweight, not long after Cat Zingano tries to prove she’s still got something left at 135 pounds.

I know you’re all dying to see what the charming and affable Patty Stumberg had to say about the UFC Fight Night 133 “Prelims” card, spread across FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass, so click here and here for a complete and thorough breakdown. As for all the Boise odds and best bets, click here to crunch the numbers.

Now then, let’s chop down the six-fight main card:

265 lbs.: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (18-5) vs. Blagoy “Blaga” Ivanov (16-1, 1 NC)

Junior dos Santos, at one time, was the most feared heavyweight in UFC and had that incredible run where he turned Shane Carwin into corned beef hash, then scored consecutive knockout wins over Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir. Then Velasquez got his revenge — twice — in a pair of fights that likely changed the Brazilian’s career. In fact, the second five-round massacre was so violent and so difficult to stomach, there were calls to have “Cigano’s” cornermen sent packing. Fortunately for Dos Santos, he was able to extend the lease on his combat sports life with a razor-thin decision win over the still-green Stipe Miocic back in 2014, and showed that he can still outbox middling journeymen in 2016. But getting dry cleaned by both Alistair Overeem and the reborn Miocic were enough to finally convince me that Dos Santos is just a shell of his former self.

He hasn’t won back-to-back fights in over six years.

We also have to wonder aloud about his recent run-in with United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). While I’m sympathetic to the cries of shady supplements, it’s a tough pill to swallow these days because USADA has been around for a couple of years now and no one should be able to plead ignorance. So that means something really unfortunate happened, or Dos Santos was trying to game the system and came up snake eyes on his last roll. I don’t mention it because I like to pile on, but it’s certainly relevant here, particularly if “Cigano” was being assisted by “supplements.” At age 34 and with the face of a catcher’s mitt, one thing we can say for sure is that Dos Santos can still box, has good cardio for a heavyweight, and remains dangerous until he’s face down on the mat, no matter how many times you tag him. I know I’m not alone when I say that zombie Dos Santos is fun to watch in spite of the guilt I feel knowing it’s going to cost him another round of brain cells.

This being a five-round fight is of little consequence to his opponent, Blagoy Ivanov, as the Bulgarian bruiser has already done 25 minutes in victory. That was against Josh Copeland under the now-defunct World Series of Fighting (WSOF) banner, which recently transmogrified into Professional Fighters League (PFL) because rich white guys with lots of money don’t seem to mind wasting it. Anyway, Ivanov was undefeated in five appearances for WSOF/PFL and also went 5-0 for Bellator MMA before running into Alexander Volkov in 2014. That loss becomes more forgivable now that “Drago” has proven to be a top-five heavyweight and let’s not forget that Ivanov dethroned Fedor Emelianenko back in their Sambo days circa 2008. He’s not going to get outgrappled by Dos Santos and he hits just as hard, but he will have to overcome a four-inch reach disadvantage.

This is a fight that Dos Santos should win. Unless he’s just completely gone, I can’t imagine the decade of experience he’s accumulated fighting the best in the world has just magically dissipated. “Cigano” has faced great grapplers, deadly strikers, and just about everything in between. His size advantage, coupled with his opportunity to take time off to rest his brain, leaves me feeling pretty optimistic about Saturday night’s performance. Unless Ivanov can get him tied up against the cage, where he can drop a few Bulgarian bombs and crumple the Brazilian, a fleet-footed Dos Santos should be able to box his way to a sweep on the judges’ scorecards, though I would caution that we may hear from the boo birds on more than one occasion during this fight.

Final prediction: Dos Santos def. Ivanov by unanimous decision

170 lbs.: “Super” Sage Northcutt (10-2) vs. Zak “The Barbarian” Ottow (16-5)

I’ve kind of been fascinated by the Sage Northcutt experiment ever since it got underway at UFC 192 back in 2015. Originally the “pretty boy who made Dana White shut up,” the bodybuilder masquerading as an MMA fighter has done pretty well for himself, racking up a 5-2 record at just 22 years old. Unfortunately, he’s gone to a decision in his last three wins and looked amateurish against the likes of Mickey Gall and Bryan Barberena. Part of his problem is that he’s never been able to settle on a weight class, oscillating between lightweight and welterweight, and his megalomaniacal father still calls all the shots in training. Not unusual for his age, but a handicap nonetheless.

His bread-and-butter is striking and always has been, but his natural athleticism has allowed him to be a pretty decent offensive wrestler, building on his mat work from high school. I’m less worried about his submission defense and more concerned about his panic button, which appears to get pressed like one of those Staples “That was easy!” toys from a few years back. On top of that, his decision wins over Michel Quinones and Thibault Gouti — the occasional flashy kick notwithstanding — were unspectacular in every way. Where are all the stoppages? Hard to explain how a guy starts his career with six-straight finishes then can’t seem to close the deal, and it’s not like he’s been fighting the top 10 of his division, so I have to wonder where his head is at.

Zak Ottow has been something of an enigma himself, at least in terms of finding his identity as a fighter. He had a pretty remarkable run on the regional circuit where he spent most of his time running the table at King of the Cage (KOTC). That trend appeared to continue when he graduated to UFC in late 2016, capturing a hard-fought decision win over the venerable Josh Burkman. Then came a ho-hum 2-2 run which not only resulted in another pair of split decisions, but also a knockout loss to Jingliang Li. While he rebounded from the fight with a finish of his own, I’m not sure how much stock I want to put into a victory over the 42 year-old Mike Pyle, who entered that fight on the heels of two consecutive knockout losses.

Ottow bills himself as a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, though he’s yet to register a submission in six trips to the Octagon. One of my concerns is that he’s co-owner of his own gym and may be the big fish in a little pond and I always approach with caution when fighters start making up their own forms of tap out, which in this case, is the “Ottowplata.” I guess that makes sense when you consider his favorite strike is the dart punch, also known as the cobra strike (and a few other things), but that’s primarily to set up his takedown because his stand-up attack is average, at best. If he strikes to throw hands or stay in the pocket against Northcutt, he’s going to be looking up at the lights. Ottow is going to need to get “Super” to the floor and when he does, exploit the gaping holes.

While I earlier complimented Northcutt for his offensive wrestling, his defensive wrestling is atrocious, having been taken down 13 times in seven UFC fights. That said, I think the best is yet to come for the blonde bomber because he’s just 22 and improving every fight. Conversely, we’ve already seen the best Ottow has to offer and I’m not expecting much different when the cage door closes in Boise. A fresher, stronger, and healthier Northcutt — no longer depleted to make 155 pounds — shucks off a couple of early takedowns and turns this into a three-round, lopsided sparring match.

Final prediction: Northcutt def. Ottow by unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez (16-8) vs. Rick “The Gladiator” Glenn (20-5-1)

Dennis Bermudez hasn’t really changed much in the seven years we’ve watched him compete since cutting his teeth on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because one thing you’re guaranteed from “The Menace” is nonstop action, regardless if it carries with it any elite-level technique. We know what to expect from Bermudez and so does his opponent, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stop. Aside from his punishing left hook, the 31 year-old New Yorker was ranked in the top 25 in NCAA Division-1 wrestling. He’s going to come after you, he’s going to tie you up, and he’s going to swing for the fences every second his arms are free. Keep your chess match, that shit is fun to watch, though it hasn’t really paid off in the win column. Bermudez is mired in a dreadful 0-3 stretch and needs get the ship righted sooner, rather than later.

I might have picked this fight differently a couple of years back as Rick Glenn entered the UFC on a torrid 11-1 streak dating back to summer 2011, which included a string of appearances for WSOF. “The Gladiator” was known as a prolific finisher on the regional circuit, racking up an impressive 15 stoppages in 18 wins. I’m not sure what happened after hooking up with UFC just under two years back, but he’s been unable to close the deal in four trips to the Octagon. The result is a tepid 2-2 record, including last December’s unanimous decision loss to Myles Jury. Was the jump in competition that much greater? Jury was his only opponent who’s currently ranked in the top 15, so I’m not sure if he’s fighting not to lose or just having trouble pulling the trigger. Glenn doesn’t have a foundation in an existing discipline and simply went from his couch to the gym, which makes his record all the more impressive.

By that same token, he seems to have stalled since becoming a UFC fighter and that’s really not where you want to be against a lunatic like Bermudez. Glenn owns a brown belt in jiu-jitsu and has some sneaky leg locks, but when was the last time you saw “The Menace” hanging around long enough to slap one on? Glenn calls himself “The Gladiator” and that moniker will be put to the test in Boise. Without some exceptional skill set to make him a clear-cut favorite anywhere this fight goes, I’m not sure his significant height and reach advantage will be sufficient — or utilized quickly enough — to repel the sustained blitzkrieg.

Final prediction: Bermudez def. Glenn by technical knockout

170 lbs.: Randy “Rude Boy” Brown (10-2) vs. Niko “The Hybrid” Price (11-1, 1 NC)

One of the things that I liked the most about Randy Brown’s victory over Mickey Gall is that it showed us he fights with confidence and a strong mind. Prior to their UFC 217 showdown, Brown laid out exactly what he was going to do, as well as the areas that Gall was weak in, then went out and hit all his marks, walking forward and aggressively pushing the action. It was also an important performance because it immediately followed his unanimous decision loss to Belal Muhammed at UFC 208, which did raise some questions about Brown’s place in the 170-pound division. At 28, “Rude Boy” is in his athletic prime and this is probably the best time for him to put something together and try to crack into the Top 15.

The same can be said for Niko Price, who looks every bit of his “Hybrid” nickname, but can’t seem to stay consistent. He entered UFC after racking up a perfect 8-0 record on the regional circuit, then promptly ended the hype train of Brandon Thatch — while announcing himself in the process. What followed was three straight knockout finishes, but his stoppage over Alex Morono got overturned when Price flunked his UFC Fight Night 104 drug test (marijuana). From that point, Price put together a 1-1 record that included a submission loss to the venerable Vincente Luque. Like his opponent, the former American Top Team (ATT) product is a true mixed martial artist; meaning, he did not come from a competitive sports background and thus trained every discipline from day one. The results speak for themselves.

Brown holds an advantage in both height (3”) and reach (2”) and if he plans to win this fight he’s going to need to use them. Both fighters match up well in every department: good wrestling, competent striking, and cardio for days. Where Price has the advantage is in his fluidity. He’s a much more creative striker and his attacks are difficult to prepare for. Expect a competitive three rounds that has Price come out on top, simply because Brown will get frustrated trying to “fight his fight” without “The Hybrid” sticking to the script.

Final prediction: Price def. Brown by unanimous decision

145 lbs.: Chad “Money” Mendes (17-4) vs. Myles “Fury” Jury (17-2)

It’s been over two years since we last saw Chad Mendes inside the Octagon and considering the kind of slump he was in — back-to-back knockout losses — he was probably glad to get the time off to rest his brain. “Money” was popped by USADA back in July 2016 for using skin cream that contained growth hormone and to his credit, he owned his mistake and took his punishment with little fanfare.

Prior to his hiccups against Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar, Mendes terrorized the featherweight division with a punishing wrestling attack and legitimate knockout power in his hands. You can see just how far his striking came by hearkening back to his Jose Aldo rematch in the UFC 179 main event, which we can attribute to the coaching of Duane Ludwig back when “Bang” was still employed by Team Alpha Male (TAM). Those days are over and I don’t expect Mendes to be the same striker when he steps into the cage on Saturday night.

Fortunately, he doesn’t need to be. Let’s overcompensate and assume the 33 year-old Mendes has regressed all the way back to his first Jose Aldo fight, which he earned by winning 11 straight fights, seven of them by decision. He would still be the kind of wrestler who can blast through just about any defense, including the one presented by opponent Myles Jury, because that is something he’s been doing his entire life and it’s basically in his DNA at this point.

Jury is a former lightweight wunderkind who first made his mark on TUF 13, which he abandoned after suffering a mid-season injury. Upon his return he continued his winning ways, racking up six straight wins before getting emasculated by Donald Cerrone at UFC 182. That prompted a drop to featherweight and Charles Oliveira gave him the rudest of welcomes, though undeterred, he hung around and rebounded with consecutive wins over Mike de la Torre and Rick Glenn, two unranked fighters who are just kinda “there.”

One of my biggest complaints about Jury is how poorly his resume holds up over time. The best thing he has going for him is his 17-2 mark, but there isn’t a single fighter on his record who’s currently ranked in the top 15. As for his skill set, he’s good at just about everything but great at almost nothing. His biggest asset is his wrestling, scoring takedowns in just about every fight. That’s not going to work against a bigger, stronger wrestler and he doesn’t have the kind of power Conor McGregor did that made “Money” too timid to set up his shots. Unless something crazy happens, I expect Mendes to dump-and-hump his way to the cards, largely uncontested.

Final prediction: Mendes def. Jury by unanimous decision

135 lbs.: Cat “Alpha” Zingano (9-3) vs. Marion “The Bruiser” Reneau (9-3-1)

I kinda get the feeling that UFC matchmakers are slowly working their way down the women’s bantamweight ladder in the hopes they’ll eventually find someone who Cat Zingano can beat. I understand it’s hard to let go of what could be one of the last of the old guard and let’s face it, there aren’t a whole lot of fighters with knockout wins over reigning champion Amanda Nunes and “Alpha” is one of them.

That earned her a spot against then-champion Ronda Rousey where she was summarily booted from the UFC 184 main event. She attempted to rebound the following year at UFC 200, but ran into a fighter in Julianna Pena who can do hustle-and-muscle better than Zingano can, probably because “The Venezuelan Vixen” is eight years her junior.

I mention the age because at 36, it’s a factor, and that showed against Ketlen Vieira back in March. You can argue that her two-year layoff was also a factor, but Zingano’s bulldozer style is built on pressure, not finesse, and that sort of thing is not easily eroded as say, the striking mechanics of someone elite like Conor McGregor.

So, with that in mind, UFC did the only thing it could and found someone even older than Zingano, though I’m not sure the 41 year-old Reneau is necessarily a downgrade in competition. “The Bruiser” has won two straight and three of her last four, with a majority draw to Bethe Correia sandwiched somewhere in the middle. She’s also fought some of the best in the world, including one former UFC champion and two former title contenders, and finished eight of her nine wins. For my money, Reneau should be ranked ahead of Zingano, who’s the loser of three straight, and not behind her.

Zingano has done some pretty remarkable things in her UFC career and it’s hard to pick against her in this fight. But Reneau is a jiu-jitsu black belt under Cleber Luciano and trains Muay Thai under Rafael Cordeiro. She’s able to perform at this level despite her advanced age simply because she’s that damn good. So too, is Zingano, but also a little more shopworn. Expect a competitive first round but the tide is likely to change midway through the fight and eventually Reneau is going to take over. “The Bruiser” — who got her nickname by bruising testicles in training — has a ton of momentum and more importantly, more tools to fall back on when it counts.

Final prediction: Reneau def. Zingano by decision

There you have it.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 133 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” undercard bout at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” undercard bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.

For much more on UFC Fight Night 133 click here.

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Midnight Mania! Romero Taunts Cormier, DC Shuts Him Down Again

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Yoel Romero’s clapback at Daniel Cormier was pretty good. The two-time middleweight title challenger, who has only lost to Robert Whittaker in the UFC, (the second fight by the narrowest of margins) pointed out that getting a title shot a division up after a loss was not too far from what Cormier himself accomplished at UFC 226. Of course, Cormier’s second loss to Jon Jones was turned into a no-contest after Jones popped for steroids, and he defended the title against Volkan Oezdemir after that, but those are just technicalities.

And, to back up Cormier’s admittance that Romero would likely have beaten him in straight wrestling, Romero’s manager Abraham Kawa posted his wrestling credentials.

That drew a response from Cormier, who was having none of it, and told Romero to keep dreaming. He pointed out the flaw in Romero’s argument, and also indicated that he thinks it is Romero’s manager’s brother, Malki Kawa, that is posting on his behalf.

Of course, Romero missed weight by 4 ounces after the commission stopped his weight cutting an hour early. Cormier, over by 1.2 pounds at UFC 210, went a much simpler route.

This fight won’t happen yet, if it happens at all. Cormier has way too important a money fight on his horizon in Brock Lesnar to risk it against Yoel Romero. Maybe Shogun Rua. (Please, not Shogun Rua)

I’ll accept Yoel Romero vs. Jon Jones instead, after the requisite Romero win over ranked light heavyweight competition.


Mere rings cannot contain Blagoy Ivanov and Ilir Latifi

I fear for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next foe

I’m guessing this papapkha allows him to control an super-powered arrow via whistling.

Justin Gaethje looks like he hits pretty hard in sparring.

No. Why? Please, no. I just defended fun fights but the interim belts? Please make them stop. Holly Holm and Ketlen Vieira don’t need an interim title fight.

This is a good sparring tool.

Nice drill to work on close range fighting

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I just turned my alarm off this morning. Take the power back.


A post shared by Grappling Gorilla (@grapplinggorilla) on

Anderson Silva’s son has come of age.

Another proud father, John Wayne Parr, holding pads for his daughter as only a father can

I hope Kyle Snyder does transition to MMA eventually

Familiar feelings

l Chuckle

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I wouldn’t want to fart around Junior Dos Santos either.

In case you doubted Paul Felder’s arm was really broken.

Never stop being yourself, Tony Ferguson

This would be fun

Mike Perry and Derek Lewis

@thebeastufc and @platinummikeperry

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Brendan Schaub started the internet on some wild speculation today about who he and Dana White have in common. The smart money is on Joe Rogan.

I tried to be cool. @danawhite #Icandoyourjobyoucantdomine

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The memes coming out of this Dana White-Brendan Schaub spat are admittedly somewhat funny.

#ufc #mma #ithinkyoudbesurprised

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Daniel Cormier is the second-oldest champion in UFC history. Randy Couture, the oldest, was also an Olympic wrestler, also both light heavyweight and heavyweight champion AND fought Brock Lesnar for heavyweight gold. Coincidence?

It is still very cool to me that UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is a very skilled piano player

Angela Hill is just giving away the UFC’s secret long-term plan for the sport right now

Good Reads

Slips, Rips, and KO Clips

When you want to knock someone out without getting your hands dirty. This is incredible.

These debuts were all really good but I think hindsight bias may be in effect here too

First impressions are key. We countdown our Top 5️⃣ UFC Debuts.

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This remains the most blistering front kick knockout I have ever seen

Still my personal favorite Conor McGregor knockout

Just call him left hook Rottang

Sumo: because the basho is back baby

Podcasts and Video

Ivanov has a good ten-fingered guillotine, evidently. Follow MMA Mania on Youtube

The JRE with Israel Adesanya

The best-timed counters in MMA?

Random Land

Me, looking for a headline each night

Hang in there, fam. It’s almost Friday.

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I like ghost gardens almost as much as ghost towns now

This iconic piece of history destruction made me sad

I found a new bird account to follow. The Honey Buzzard really does eat bees.

蜂鷹 Honey Buzzard

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This is satisfying to watch


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

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Midnight Mania! DC Shoots Down Romero’s Title Shot Hopes

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

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

If you are like me, you have learned to accept this new era of free-for-all matchmaking and even make the choice to enjoy it. Fun fights- call them money fights if you like- are still fun. Now, there are limits. If it’s a money fight but it’s not fun, I’m not into it. I wasn’t into CM Punk getting two chances in the Octagon, but I was into Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 1 and 2, Daniel Cormier fighting Stipe Miocic, GSP fighting Michael Bisping, even the proposed Amanda Nunes fight with Cris Cyborg. The carnival boxing match between McGregor and Mayweather was somewhere in the middle; I hated covering it but the actual fight turned out okay, all things considered. I’ll admit many of those choices don’t make a whole lot of divisional sense in terms of rankings, but many of them were and remain incredibly fun fights I ended up enjoying. I see the very valid objections to Brock Lesnar getting a UFC title shot coming off a drug suspension, but it will also likely be great fun for as long as it lasts, so I’ll accept it and make the choice to enjoy it.

Yoel Romero vs. Daniel Cormier falls into this category of extremely fun fight that I don’t feel the need to justify in my head to watch. I’ll watch those two fight on pretty much any excuse. However, Daniel Cormier does not have my resignation to the funhouse version of the UFC we are currently getting. He isn’t about to take a light heavyweight title defense against Yoel Romero for no reason- even if Yoel is one of the only fighters who would have washed him in straight wrestling. He said so on UFC Tonight (transcript via MMAJunkie.com)

“Here’s the deal: I never wrestled Yoel Romero, but in wrestling he probably would have served me up,” Cormier said. “He’s one of the great wrestlers of all-time. But, you don’t fail a class and then get moved up a grade to the next one.”

Of course, Chael Sonnen did exactly that, fighting Jon Jones after a season of TUF (he would have beaten him too, if it wasn’t for that meddling TKO). When reminded of this, DC dismissed it as a Sonnen-esque exception.

“Chael Sonnen did that one time, but I don’t know what was going on,” Cormier said. “Chael has a way of doing that. Let’s just say that.”

He did also say, however, he does want to make a title defense so he doesn’t get stripped the way McGregor did.

“I don’t want them to take one of these belts,” Cormier said. “So I will defend it. I will defend the light heavyweight title if the right fight presents itself.”

I’m not sure if handpicking Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua counts as ‘the right fight’ presenting itself, DC. Might as well wait for the Lesnar fight if that’s your idea of defending the title.


The cast for the next TUF season has been revealed

These workouts are always as enjoyable to watch as they are unattainable.

#workout #level

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In case you thought Conor McGregor WASN’T enjoying his year away from fighting

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Beware, Notorious one

He listened and is back in training. Either that, or he is still wet from his jetski run.

Sage Northcutt’s brand of trash talk is inimitable.

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This man is a treasure

Cub Swanson is going to be featured on a local mural with his sparring partner, former boxing champion Tim Bradley Jr.

Mike Perry asking Joe Rogan about the intersection of free speech and violence is peak MMA Online

At least Perry has a sense of humor

@platinummikeperry making pool side deals

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Here’s Instagram’s translation of the following caption from Paulo Costa:

I’m sure of my ability. I stepped into this octagon today to give a show, and that’s what I did. Thank God in the first place and to every person who cared for me, thank you every message and support! Thanks also to my family, my masters and teammates, my sponsors and supporters and each one of you!

Today more than ever, We Are All condoms!

Maybe this is why Costa uses ‘The Eraser’ (the correct translation of his nickname ‘Borrachinha’) in his official Octagon introductions now.

This was very cool of Junior Dos Santos, who is fighting this weekend.

I turned on the cold water at the end of my shower today so I know exactly how this feels

No better way to free(ze) the spirit!

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Check out this old West style promo from LFA fighting.

Brendan Schaub and Dana White got into it on Israel Adesanya’s page and Brendan is getting serious.

Slips, Rips, KO Clips

This back kick worked because heavyweight is so weird

Тот самый Шустряк @ufcboom

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Beautiful throw

This old Zabit Magomedsharipov fight features what seems to be a delayed reaction bodyshot

Israel Adesanya in action

Podcasts and Video

The overlooked event of the weekend had some cool moments Follow MMA Mania on Youtube

Israel Adesanya highlights aren’t getting old to me

BJJ Scout breaks down DC’s dirty boxing

Random Land

I need to visit Barcelona someday because I don’t believe for one second this is real.

Take em to church

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Maybe I just need a vacation because this looks incredibly fun

What is life… #slamthemultitudes #stackingbodies #littlecrowded

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Fennec foxes are very cute

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

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Judge Shuts Down Greedy Prosecutor In Nick Diaz Court Case

Longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight veteran, Nick Diaz, was represented by his attorney, Ross Goodman, at today’s (June 26, 2018) court hearing in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the Clark County prosecutor lodged a criminal complaint against the Stockton slugger for his involvement in last month’s domestic violence arrest.

In addition, a request was made to increase the former Strikeforce champion’s bail to $ 100,000, because the prosecution believed Diaz — a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter by trade — was a greater risk if forced to pony up anything less.

MMA Junkie reports:

Judge Amy Chelini ultimately refused the request, saying she “can’t fathom” a reason to increase the bail above the standard set by the court. She appeared to agree there were inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s story that would need to be proven at trial. She added Diaz shouldn’t be punished based on his occupation.

“I don’t care,” she said. “He’s going to be treated the same way everybody else is.”

Diaz, who maintains his innocence, is expected back in court on July 10.

The incident occurred back on May 24 after Diaz was accused of injuring a female acquaintance. He was arrested and initially charged with felony domestic battery but later released on $ 18,000 bond.

UFC has frozen his contract and will not take any action until the legal process is complete, stressing its code of conduct while also citing the right to due process (read the full statement here).

Stay tuned.

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Cyborg Conspires With WWE Stars To Take Down Rousey

Worked shoot?

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, has been laying waste to the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) roster ever since she made her WrestleMania debut back in April.

So how can the pro wrestling “Divas” contend with a real life mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter? By employing the services of another combat sports powerhouse in the form of UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.

“Let me know Alexa Bliss if you need help training Judo takedown and armbar defense,” the Brazilian wrote on Twitter. Bliss was smashed by Rousey on Monday Night RAW, leading to a suspension of 30 days.

Her response:

Cyborg has a long history with Rousey, which started when the “Rowdy” one was still plying her trade under the UFC banner. At the time, that was the biggest fight to make in the women’s division, and perhaps all of MMA, but this happened first.

And this happened second.

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