Month: November 2018
Usman will meet Rafael dos Anjos in “The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale” on Nov. 30 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. A decisive victory over dos Anjos would move the Hard Knocks 365 standout one step closer to the title shot he covets. As Usman approaches his critical showdown with dos Anjos, here are five things you might not know about the 31-year-old welterweight contender:
1. He comes from Nigeria.
Usman was born on May 11, 1987 in Benin City, the capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria. When he was 5, Usman and his family emigrated to America in search of a better life. Despite leaving at such a tender age, “The Nigerian Nightmare” still identifies as Nigerian. Being draped in a Nigerian flag has become a staple of the brash combatant’s walkouts. Usman’s successes in the cage have seen him gain a strong following back in his homeland, where the nascent sport is just starting to take off.
2. He was a talented wrestler.
Prior to becoming a professional MMA fighter, Usman was a wrestler. He initially excelled in the sport while at school. During his tenure at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas, Usman compiled a 53-3 wrestling record. After graduating, Usman went to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. There, he continued wrestling competitively. His college accolades include earning NCAA Division II All-America honors in each of the three years he was at the school. He was also the 2010 NCAA Division II national champion and a member of the University World Team that same year. During his days on the wrestling mat, Usman went by the moniker “Marty.”
To cap off this season of The Ultimate Fighter, welterweight contenders, Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman will square off in a main event bout with title implications. Dos Anjos, who adjusted beautifully to his transition to welterweight, is coming off a loss to Colby Covington for the interim title. He needs a win in this one to keep his name in the title picture. Usman has been lobbying for a title shot for quite some time now and if he beats dos Anjos, it will be impossible to say he does not deserve it. He is 8-0 in the UFC with a 12 fight winning streak as a professional.
A similar task in front of dos Anjos
Since making the transition from lightweight to welterweight, Rafael dos Anjos (28-10) has looked rejuvenated. He started his welterweight career with three straight wins over Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny, and Robbie Lawler before dropping the interim title fight to Colby Covington. At welterweight, we have seen crisp and accurate striking from dos Anjos despite a lack of knockout power. The huge punches have not come against the larger competition but his consistency is there. Dos Anjos has also never looked better on the ground. The black belt blew through Neil Magny to get a submission and is capable of doing so to many more.
Bobby Moffett was victorious in his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut but not in the manner in which he envisioned.
The MMA Lab standout submitted Chas Skelly with a brabo choke in the second round of their featherweight prelim at UFC Fight Night 139 on Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Moffett (14-3, 1-0 UFC) brought it to a close 2:43 into Round 2, through the result was not without controversy. Thinking Skelly was unconscious, referee Tim Mills had moved in to release the choke and call for the stoppage. The Hard Knocks 365 representative immediately rose to his feet in protest, to no avail. After several tense moments and multiple looks at replays, Mills’ decision stood.
Skelly (17-4, 6-4 UFC) transitioned from a takedown to a standing back take in the first round, attached himself to his opponent’s back and hunted for the rear-naked choke. Moffett fought through the adversity and pushed the fight deeper. He landed a takedown roughly 90 seconds into the second round, only to be reversed by the cagy Skelly. However, Moffett cinched a brabo choke from the bottom and squeezed until Mills intervened.
Moffett has won four fights in a row.
Andre Soukhamthath has already been involved in four-straight bangers in the UFC. His most recent bout against Sean O’Malley earning him Fight of the Night honors. Heading into the fifth bout of his UFC contract, Soukhamthath has been tasked with welcoming promotional newcomer Jonathan Martinez to the Octagon at UFC Moncton this Saturday night, after original opponent Gavin Tucker was forced off of the card due to health issues.
Before stepping into the cage on Saturday, Soukhamthath caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his exciting FOTN outing, as well as his thoughts on O’Malley’s failed drug test. Soukhamthath also detailed the various ways in which the Laotian-American was able to earn thousands of dollars to help aid the flood victims of Laos. The interview wraps up with the “Asian Sensation” giving his prediction for his UFC Moncton main card matchup.