Tag Archive for Rematch

Wilson Reis: Demetrious Johnson will deserve an immediate rematch after I submit him at UFC 210

Nine men have tried, and every single one has failed. Wilson Reis now has the chance to end UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson’s attempt to tie Anderson Silva’s all-time record in the Octagon, and he explains why he’s the right man for the job.

Winner of five of his six fights since cutting down to 125 pounds, Reis earned a shot at the UFC gold after a win over Dustin Ortiz in 2016, but an injury forced Johnson out of UFC 201. Reis added a couple more victories to his record after that, and feels in the end, the delay was positive for his career.

“I believe everything happens for a reason,” Reis told MMA Fighting. “The fight didn’t happen last year, it was canceled three weeks before, when I was super well-prepared, but I used this extra time really well. I fought twice, did two more training camps, and evolved a lot. I was ready then, and I believe I’m even better this time.”

Headlining a UFC event for the first time in his career, meeting Johnson at UFC on FOX 24 in Kansas City on April 15, Reis doesn’t feel any extra pressure ahead of his shot at the gold.

“This is the biggest fight or my career, for sure,” Reis said. “It’s the UFC belt. But that doesn’t change anything in the way I prepare for the fight. It’s still a training camp for a fight, so that doesn’t change much, no.”

When “Mighty Mouse” pulled out of UFC 201, the promotion changed plans and put the flyweight king to defend his gold against the winner of a Ultimate Fighter season. Tim Elliott earned the chance against Johnson, and almost pulled a huge upset with a scary submission early in the bout, but the champion survived to win a decision.

“What I saw in that fight is what I already knew,” Reis said. “The same openings I saw on the ground, he was exposed. That’s something I can work on. If you look at his game, what you can really work on in his jiu-jitsu. He’s good standing, his muay thai, and his wrestling is great, too, but the ground is the weakest aspect of his game. I wasn’t impressed. It actually confirmed what I already knew.”

Reis also has a not-so-secret weapon for his bout with Johnson. The Brazilian enters UFC on FOX 24 after training for seven years with Dominick Cruz, the only man to ever beat “Mighty Mouse” inside the Octagon.

“It helps a lot because Dominick Cruz talked to me about openings in his game, things that happened,” Reis said. “He shares that with me, and it helps a lot. He fought (Johnson) for five rounds and he knows a lot about his strength and cardio. But the good thing about it is that Dominick gives us so much confidence. Training with him every day is such an advantage for us.”

Almost 10 years after making his professional MMA debut, Reis looks back at everything he has experienced in the cages as he enters the biggest fight of his life.

“I never imagined it would be the way it was,” said Reis, who competed as a featherweight and bantamweight in the past. “I’m glad I got to this point. I want to win this belt and defend it many times. I want to do the same thing Demetrious Johnson did. Win the belt and defend it many times.”

Aside from “Mighty Mouse” (nine) and strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk (four), no other current UFC champion has more than two title defenses. As he plans on stopping Johnson’s title run, Reis makes bold predictions for his own future.

“I’m focused, confident and prepared,” Reis said. “I’ll win this fight and definitely rematch him right after. That’s how it will start. I want to dominate this division. After I defeat him, he deserves a rematch more than anyone for the multiple times he defended the belt.”

And how does one beat Johnson, who has looked unstoppable as a flyweight?

“I’ve envisioned this a thousand times,” Reis said. “I imagine this for two or three years already. Lights down, I walk to the Octagon. It’s always a beautiful moment, and I’m always confident in the victory.

“In my mind, it ends with a submission,” he continued. “That’s how I see it. A fight with a dominant submission. I’m ready for a war, but I don’t think it will be a war. I’ll put him in situations he never experienced before, and I will get this victory.”

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Muhammed Lawal Outpoints Beefed-Up Quinton Jackson in Bellator 175 Rematch

Muhammed Lawal avenges 2014 loss to Quinton Jackson with unanimous decision in Bellator 175 main event.
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Muhammed Lawal Outpoints Beefed-Up Quinton Jackson in Bellator 175 Rematch

Muhammed Lawal avenges 2014 loss to Quinton Jackson with unanimous decision in Bellator 175 main event.
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Muhammed Lawal Outpoints Beefed-Up Quinton Jackson in Bellator 175 Rematch

Muhammed Lawal avenges 2014 loss to Quinton Jackson with unanimous decision in Bellator 175 main event.
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Muhammed Lawal Outpoints Beefed-Up Quinton Jackson in Bellator 175 Rematch

Muhammed Lawal avenges 2014 loss to Quinton Jackson with unanimous decision in Bellator 175 main event.
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Invicta FC 22 Weigh-in Results: Tonya Evinger, Yana Kunitskaya Primed for Rematch

Invicta Fighting Championships, the world’s leading all-female mixed martial arts promotion, returns Saturday night to deliver another wild night of violence to fight fans.
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Tonya Evinger feels like she has something to prove in rematch against ‘disrespectful’ Yana Kunitskaya

Tonya Evinger has a high tolerance for criticism. She isn’t the kind of person who cares much of what others think of her. This is the same veteran fighter who laid a kiss on Invicta FC interviewer Laura Sanko’s lips in a post-fight interview minutes after vomiting in her corner.

People questioning her right to hold the Invicta bantamweight title, though, is where Evinger draws the line. More specifically, Evinger takes serious umbrage with Yana Kunitskaya’s claim on social media that she is the real champ.

“I think it comes down to people just hating,” Evinger said. “No matter what it is, no matter what I do, how much I accomplish, people love to hate on me. And that’s fine with me. But at the end of the day, this is my belt and you don’t walk around calling yourself the Invicta bantamweight champion when you aren’t really the Invicta bantamweight champion. I take that to heart. I love fighting for this promotion. I’ve done a lot to get to where I’m at and no girl is gonna come and just take this sh*t away from me on her first appearance. It just ain’t gonna happen.”

Evinger is the true and rightful Invicta champ. But Kunitskaya’s trash talk has some basis in reality — she did, after all, make Evinger tap out in their first fight in November.

That victory for Kunitskaya was overturned by the Missouri Office of Athletics, because referee Mike England told Evinger to move from a legal position while in a Kunitskaya armbar. Evinger obeyed the ref’s incorrect order and Kunitskaya ended up cinching in the submission even more, resulting in Evinger tapping out. The bout was ruled a no-contest after the fact and Evinger was able to keep her title.

A commission overturning a fight result is a rarity and Evinger knew it. That didn’t mean she wasn’t going to fight for what she believed in.

“I cried my eyes out, because it was heartbreaking for me,” Evinger said. “I just didn’t see it getting overturned. But I was definitely not gonna let something like that pass me by and not protest just because I’ve never seen it done. That was so ridiculous.”

Evinger, 35, won her case and now she’s hoping to put the entire matter to rest. She’ll defend her title yet again versus Kunitskaya in the main event of Invicta FC 22 on Saturday night in Kansas City.

Evinger (18-5, 1 NC) has not lost a fight since 2011 and came into the first bout with Kunitskaya riding a nine-fight winning streak. The Houston resident has been a fairly dominant champion for Invicta up until November. But now “Triple Threat” feels like the tables have turned and she’s not expected to win, much like it was for her earlier in her 11-year pro career.

“I’m just happy to be able to do it again,” Evinger said. “Let’s go back. I want to prove something. I’ve got something I want to prove, definitely. I like this feeling of the underdog, I guess. I perform better when people think I’m gonna lose.”

Evinger fully expects to be in a similar position against Kunitskaya again. As a longtime wrestler, her game plan, as it usually does, involves taking Kunitskaya down and winning by TKO or submission from there. There’s a chance Kunitskaya will attempt another armbar and Evinger said she’s not worried about that.

“Realistically, if the ref wouldn’t have stepped in, I would have gotten my arm out like I do every single f*cking time in that situation,” Evinger said. “I’m in that position a lot. I’m not in danger there. I’ve got a lot of jiu-jitsu guys like, ‘That’s not the right way to defend an armbar.’ Well, thanks. You do jiu-jitsu, I do MMA. So shut your mouth. There’s a little bit difference of sport here.”

Evinger is as motivated for this fight as she has been in a while, she said. While she is the rightful Invicta champion heading into the bout, she wants to make sure there’s no doubt left when it’s over.

“I do know that she’s still calling herself the Invicta bantamweight champion, which I feel is really disrespectful,” Evinger said. “I know a lot of people felt like I shouldn’t have gotten my belt back, but that just makes no f*cking sense.

“I’m definitely looking forward to smacking the sh*t out of somebody.”

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No Love Lost between ‘Rampage’ and ‘King Mo’ Ahead of Bellator 175 Rematch

Rivalries — especially heated ones — are some of the most important cogs that keep the combat sports machine rolling along.
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Heavyweight or catchweight? Confusion reigns over ‘Rampage’ Jackson vs. ‘King Mo’ rematch

When Bellator first announced the rematch between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal for March 31 at Bellator 175, the bout was unveiled as a heavyweight attraction. But that message was seemingly unclear for one of the competitors.

On a conference call Wednesday to promote Bellator 175, Jackson and Lawal kicked things off by arguing about their usual topic of conversation. Lawal accused Jackson of “looking kinda old” and “kinda fat” ahead of the rematch, while Jackson brushed off the criticism and warned that he would be walking into the cage at a far heavier weight than his foe. But then something curious happened.

Lawal, after calling Jackson a “fat and sloppy” fighter who “fell off,” explained that Bellator offered him the fight at a 235-pound catchweight, but Lawal turned it down in favor of a heavyweight contest because he wasn’t worried about the extra weight.

“Guess what? You ain’t fighting me at heavyweight,” Jackson then said. “You fighting me at a catchweight.”

“No. Heavyweight, player. Ain’t no catchweight here,” Lawal responded. “It’s at heavyweight, dog. Two-sixty-five is the weight class. Heavyweight. I don’t do no catchweights.”

“Wait, wait, you’re telling me I can weigh 265?” Jackson said. “Is this what you’re telling me?”

“Yes. Yes, you can,” Lawal replied. “Ain’t no catchweight. I ain’t no ho. I don’t do no catchweight. Man, hell no.”

“I was told the fight was at catchweight,” Jackson said.

Jackson was then asked to clarify his comments later in the call. Was he actually under the impression that he was preparing for a 235-pound catchweight contest?

“I was told this was a catchweight,” Jackson told MMA Fighting. “I don’t know if my coach is lying to me or what. I was told that this was a catchweight, that I had to weigh 235.”

“Hell no,” Lawal quickly responded. “Even on the poster they say ‘heavyweight bout.’ There ain’t no catchweight. Your coach is lying to you, dog. Listen, it’s been heavyweight the whole time. Even when they announced the fight, they said at heavyweight. I don’t do no catchweight. I think, to me, catchweight is weak. … Pick [a weight class] and we fight at it, and it’s heavyweight. I ain’t going to make up no weight class of 235, that’s weak.”

“Damn, my coach has been lying to me,” Jackson said. “My coach has been over here, he’s sitting right here, he’s been lying to me.”

The unusual exchange highlighted a call that saw Jackson and Lawal largely trade shots back-and-forth throughout, reigniting the rivalry that has stretched for years now between the two former friends. But whether the topic was their controversial first fight — which Jackson won via unanimous decision in May 2014 — or the circumstances of the rematch, the conversation often turned back to Lawal’s constant jabs at Jackson’s weight, of which he has thrown many in the lead-up the rematch.

“You guys, we can tell weight don’t matter to ‘King Mo.’ Look at his girlfriend,” Jackson said at one point. “We can tell he don’t give a f*ck about weight. Listen, ‘King Mo’ wants to talk about my weight and he thinks that hurts my feelings and stuff like that. It ain’t no secret, I’m older now. I’m an older fighter and I have a thyroid problem that is hard for me. I’m on medication, but what I did was, I addressed the problem. I went and saw a specialist and I talked to my coaches, and we decided to go to heavyweight and lift weights, get stronger, get bigger.

“So, ‘King Mo’ can fat shame and the stuff all he wants. I didn’t ask to fight ‘King Mo.’ I wanted to fight at heavyweight because I’m a bigger guy now. I left ‘King Mo’ in the past. I figured, yeah, I wanted to knock him out, I wanted the rematch, but I feel like fighting ‘King Mo’ again ain’t going to be nothing but a wrestling match, and why do I want to do that when I’m a striker? I like putting on exciting fights. I like being exciting.

“That’s why my career went towards the way it’s went, because I come to fight,” Jackson continued. “So, I don’t care what ‘King Mo’ says about my weight or what anybody else says. I’m doing Bellator a favor by giving them the rematch with ‘King Mo,’ and he had a problem dealing with me at 205. He’s going to have a problem dealing with me at 260, in shape.”

“What shape is that, circular?” Lawal shot back. “That’s about it, dog. Come on, man. You playing yourself. But that’s cool. As long as you happy, man, that’s all that matters to me. As long as you happy and you ready to go, I’m cool with that.”

Jackson said his decision to move up to heavyweight has been a beneficial one for both his health and mentality. He said that for the past six months he has been lifting weights for the first time in his career, noting that his coaches in the past always worried about him out-growing the 205-pound weight class he called home during his prime years.

And while Jackson admitted that Lawal wasn’t exactly the fight he wanted for his heavyweight debut — he much preferred a showdown against a striker like Matt Mitrione — he said that the trash talk in the rivalry was motivating enough to make the rematch against Lawal worthwhile.

“You guys have no idea how much ‘King Mo’ motivates me,” Jackson said. “The guy’s mouth is ridiculous, and that’s what I need. I wish more of my opponents would talk sh*t like ‘King Mo.’ Like, a lot of times when I go out there and fight, like, I’m not even motivated most times I fight. I don’t even care. I’m going to keep it real, I enjoy fighting. I love the fighting. But the training is the part that I have to get motivated for. I’m a natural fighter. I could fight any day, anybody, anywhere, I don’t care. I enjoy the fighting part. But the training is what I have to get motivated for, and ‘King Mo’ has motivated me more in this camp than I’ve been motivated in several years.

“It’s making me even love the training and stuff again, because I’m doing stuff that I haven’t done in years. So, it’s quite the contrary of what people think — I’m very motivated for this one.”

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Marion Reneau disagrees with judges, open to rematch with Bethe Correia after draw

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL – Marion Reneau talks to the media about her draw with Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 106, how she scored the bout, wanting a rematch with Correia, and much more.

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