Month: March 2019
Josh Emmett (13-2) vs. Michael Johnson – Featherweight division
Josh Emmett, age 34, is tenth in the UFC Featherweight (145lbs) rankings. His last fight was on February 24, 2018 where he lost via second round knockout to Jeremy Stephens. He was sidelined for the remainder of the year due to surgery needed to correct facial injuries sustained in the fight.
”Grim Reaper” is 5 feet, 6.5 inches. He has a 70 inch reach. He currently trains with Team Alpha Male out of Sacramento, California. He is a NAIA wrestler and has a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Michael Johnson, age 32, is not ranked in the UFC featherweight division but hopes to change that with a win over Emmett. Johnson last fought against Artem Lobov on October 27, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 138. Johnson picked up a unanimous decision victory over Lobov although he missed weight by one pound.
”The Menace” stands at 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He has a 73.5 inch reach. Johnson is a southpaw boxer and a NJCAA wrestler. He recently switched from the Blackzilians training team to work with Hard Knocks 365.
Josh Emmett is -110 and Michael Johnson is -120.
The sun-drenched landscape of Fort Lauderdale, Florida may seem a world away from the Japanese metropolis of Tokyo, but for “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, the two cities are intimately connected, representing both his present and future.
Inside Florida’s renowned Hard Knocks 365 gym, the ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Champion is deep in camp preparing for his upcoming middleweight title defense against Japan’s Ken Hasegawa.
The two square off for the second time in their careers on 31 March at ONE: A NEW ERA which will be held at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
The pair’s first clashed was last June at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR, in what is considered the greatest World Title bout in ONE Championship history. “The Burmese Python” emerged victorious from the bruising encounter, stopping Hasegawa in the fifth. However, the back and forth nature of the contest meant a rematch was inevitable.
Now nine months later, they are set to do it again, and for Aung La, the matchup represents a chance to put on an even better display than last time.
Training out of Hardknocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States, reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, 33, of Myanmar will face Ken Hasegawa, 32, of Japan at “ONE: A New Era” in a rematch. The Burmese mixed martial arts superstar will defend his middleweight belt.
Aung and Hasegawa had their official face-off during the kick-off press conference for “ONE: A New Era” on March 28, 2019 at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo, Japan. During the event, the Burmese defending champion said, “It’s an honor and a dream come true for me to be fighting here in Japan.”
“I want to thank Japan for the hospitality,” Aung continued. “Ken Hasegawa is a worthy opponent and I can’t wait to run it back with him. This is going to be a fight that fans will definitely enjoy. I am super excited to put on a show for you all this Sunday.”
Taking place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on March 31, 2019, “ONE: A New Era” is the first ever ONE Championship event to take place in Japan. Aung is the sole representative of Myanmar while Hasegawa is one of the six hometown heroes on the card.
The rematch between Aung and Hasegawa is one of the three co-main events of “ONE: A New Era,” which are all title bouts. Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil will challenge reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, 31, of the Philippines in a trilogy fight.
Linton Vassell is a very big guy. One need only look at a couple of weigh-in photos of the burly, 6-foot-4-inch Brit standing alongside “normal” light heavyweights to appreciate this reality. Speaking to Sherdog.com ahead of his bout with Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 218 this weekend — his debut at heavyweight — Vassell exudes a palpable sense of relief. It isn’t difficult to conclude that making the 205-pound divisional limit must have been taxing for Vassell, a fact he readily acknowledges. In fact, he claims his decision to move up in weight was made even before his last fight, a third-round TKO loss to Phil Davis at Bellator 200 last May.
“I had a bad weight cut going into the Phil Davis fight, and I was just like ‘I’m over this,’” Vassell said. “Win or lose, I was going to move up. I’d had quite enough of cutting that weight. I’d usually walk around weighing about 240, and then kind of pre-cut to about 225 to try and make it not such a hard [water] cut, and I’d just gotten over it. I was like, ‘Just let me eat and enjoy it and fight as a heavyweight now.’”
More than a mere loosening of the belt, Vassell claims that the move to heavyweight changes his entire approach to fight preparation. “Now I get to be a proper heavyweight, rather than a heavyweight trying to be a light heavyweight,” he said. “I get to eat, drink, train like a heavyweight. I can enjoy a good meal, eat pretty much what I want. Before, talking to you a week away from a fight, I’d be eating a little plate of vegetables or something. Now I can have carbs again!
With Daniel Cormier now the reigning heavyweight champion and Alexander Gustafsson recently losing his second attempt at UFC 232, the general belief seems to be there are no real threats to Jon Jones (24-1-1) at light heavyweight, especially given the way he outclassed Anthony Smith at UFC 235.
However, former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (16-4) is one who could pose a threat to “Bones” according to two-weight ONE Championship champion and Hard Knocks 365 teammate Aung La N Sang.
Rockhold recently signaled his intentions of moving up to light heavyweight and earlier this year, called out a “beatable” Jones and warned him that he was coming soon.
Another Bellator MMA event, another blue-chip wrestling prospect ready to show the world he can fight.
Friday night, University of Missouri wrestling product Johnny Eblen (4-0) makes his promotional debut when he takes on Chauncey Foxworth at Bellator 218 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
During his time wrestling in college, Eblen never viewed fighting as a goal. Once his collegiate career came to an end, Eblen looked to enter the “real world” by getting a blue-collar job.
“It just kind of presented itself,” Eblen told FloCombat. “I was always interested in fighting, but I didn’t really know how to go about it. After my wrestling career, I was just focusing on my next career. I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be. I ended up going to South Florida for a paving job. I was doing estimating.”
While in Florida, Eblen would enter the realm of MMA through a human portal—renowned American Top Team wrestling coach Steve Mocco.
“When I was down there, I met up with Steve Mocco because we both coached high school wrestling down here,” Eblen said. “I coached at American Heritage Delray, and he has a little camp at American Top Team—Mocco Wrestling.
There’s no doubt that Luke Rockhold is one of the best middleweights in the world, but would the former UFC 185-pound champion be able to give Jon Jones a run for his money?
Since losing to Yoel Romero last year, Rockhold announced his plans to move up to the light heavyweight division and, when he does eventually make the switch, Hard Knocks 365 teammate Aung La N Sang says reigning LHW champ Jones needs to be on guard.
Speaking to Abhinav Kini of The Body Lock in a recent interview, two-division ONE FC champion La N Sang said Rockhold has the skillset to pose a real threat to ‘Bones’ at 205-pounds.
“I do think he [Rockhold] has the skillset that will be a threat for Jon Jones,” he said. He’s got a high-level grappling game and he’s got a different dimension that a lot of 205-ers don’t have.”
La N Sang went on to say that Rockhold will be able to perform much better at light heavyweight due to the easy weight cut.
“205 is a better weight class for Luke. He is so much stronger at 205. He walks around naturally at 225 so he’s a big, big guy.”
FLORIDA (TR) – The sun-drenched landscape of Fort Lauderdale may seem a world away from the Japanese metropolis of Tokyo, but for Aung La N Sang(“The Burmese Python”) the two cities are intimately connected, representing both his present and future.
Inside the renowned Hard Knocks 365 gym, the ONE Championship’s Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Champion is deep in camp preparing for his upcoming middleweight title defense against Japan’s Ken Hasegawa.
The two square off for the second time in their careers at the event “A New Era” which will be held at the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan on March 31.
The pair’s first clashed was last June at “Spirit Of A Warrior,” in what is considered the greatest World Title bout in ONE Championship history. “The Burmese Python” emerged victorious from the bruising encounter, stopping Hasegawa in the fifth. However, the back and forth nature of the contest meant a rematch was inevitable.
Titan Fighting Championship officials today announced that their next fight card, Titan FC 54, will be held Friday, April 26 from Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event which will be broadcast exclusively on UFC Fight Pass features two titles on the line.
In the main event, undefeated Titan FC featherweight champion Jason Soares (12-0) defends his belt against number one contender, Anderson Hutchinson (7-2). “The Specimen” Soares is coming off a first finish of Caio Uruguai at Titan FC 52 in January. “Superman” Hutchinson returns to the promotion for the first time since Titan FC 43 more than two years ago where he captured a second round submission win over Bruce Lutchmedial.
The promotion’s interim lightweight title is up for grabs as a pair of Brazilian mixed martial artists look to capture the gold. Rafael Alves (17-9) meets Felipe Douglas (17-4). Alves has two wins with the Titan FC promotion to include a late third round submission over Beibit Nazarov and a decision victory over Guilherme Miranda. “Buakaw” Douglas comes to the Titan FC promotion riding a four-fight win streak.
“We’ve hit the ground running in 2019 with two amazing events already in the books, our third offering will prove to be the most exciting card to date,” said Titan FC COO Lex McMahon. “Titan FC 54 will showcase a slew of undefeated fighters, amazing match ups, and some surprises that will be announced soon.”
Purchase tickets for Titan FC 54 at cagetix.com/titan
Oh boy. It’s happening again!
Shamrock FC is back, with their unprecedented 316th event and an unsurprisingly stacked lineup.
Kicking off at 8 PM ET, Shamrock FC 316 takes place Friday, March 15, at the River City Casino in St. Louis, Missouri. The entire card will air live and exclusively here on FloCombat.
Watch Shamrock FC 316 LIVE on FloCombat
In the main event, Bellator MMA veteran Jordan Dowdy returns to the Shamrock FC cage to take on short-notice replacement Josh Weston. Earlier this week, Weston replaced former V3Fights title contender Ben Brewer.
A winner of three out of his last four bouts, Dowdy last competed at Bellator 197 in April. It took a mere 29 seconds for the 32-year-old welterweight to choke out opponent Jeff Crotty. The submission marked Dowdy’s first Bellator win in three attempts with the promotion.
Now he faces a gritty follow-up test in the form of 13-fight veteran Josh Weston. A professional since 2012, Weston has proved to be a tough outing for any opponent placed in his path. Coming off back-to-back losses, the 37-year-old will try to reinvent himself against Dowdy.