Month: May 2019
If you thumb through Nik Lentz’ Instagram page, the eighth image in his array is a fan-made fight poster announcing his trilogy bout with Charles Oliveira this weekend in Rochester, New York.
Above the myriad hashtags affixed to the post is a message from the 34-year-old lightweight, who enters the contest on a two-fight winning streak. It reads, “I’ve been telling everyone… I’m a new person. New faith, new father, new man. I get a chance to prove it.”
A cynical person would say it’s a personal spin on the same old pre-fight promises of being in the best shape ever, training camp going perfectly and feeling ready to take on all comers, but to hear Lentz chronicle the twists and turns and milestone moments that led him to this point in his life, you come to understand that the unflinchingly honest and refreshingly open veteran really is in a different place.
All it took for him to get here was to stop caring about fighting so damn much.
Vicente Luque will quickly shift his focus from a veteran of the Octagon to a fighter making his promotional debut Saturday at UFC Rochester.
UFC newcomer Derrick Krantz will replace Neil Magny in Saturday’s co-main event against Luque, according to FloCombat’s Nolan King.
Krantz’s team confirmed the news in an Instagram post.
Magny was forced to withdraw from his welterweight matchup after failing a drug test Saturday, he announced on Instagram.
Krantz (24-10) is a former Legacy Fighting Alliance welterweight champion and makes his promotional debut with seven wins in his last eight fights, and is coming off a first-round TKO victory over Justin Patterson at LFA 63 in March. The 30-year-old has fought some tough competition, including current interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, Andrey Koreshkov, and UFC welterweight Alex Morono.
Luque (15-6-1) is riding a four-fight win streak which includes a TKO victory over Bryan Barberena at UFC on ESPN 1 in February. The Hardknocks 365 product has gone 8-2 during his UFC career, with all of those victories coming via stoppage.
UFC Fight Night 152: Danny Roberts recalls controversial Claudio Silva fight and looks ahead to Michel Pereira matchhardknocks365 May 14 2019 (0) Comment
England’s Danny Roberts steps back into the octagon on Saturday night for the first time since his controversial loss to Claudio Silva at UFC Fight Night: London in March.
The welterweight, who fights out of Liverpool like Darren Till and Molly McCann, moved to 16-4 after his loss to the Brazilian, but the decision is largely accepted to be the wrong one.
Officially, the result says Roberts loss via armbar in the third round and the referee made the decision believing Roberts verbally signalled his submission.
He seemed to be the only person in the O2 who saw it that way. talkSPORT caught up with Roberts ahead of his battle against UFC debutant Michel Pereira on Saturday and asked what exactly happened last time.
“Simply put, it was a hard-fought fight,” Roberts started. “And there was a few moments throughout the fight before the ending came where you could say there was a little bit of politics with it. I did not submit. I did not verbally submit. I didn’t submit in any kind of way. At the time, I could hear Claudio [Silva] talking to the ref and encouraging him, so it’s just something where it’s a fight, you know? It’s between me and him and it doesn’t really involve that third party.
UFC Ottawa: Derek Brunson Willing to Let Middleweight Sort Itself Out a Bit, Interested in Abu Dhabi Cardhardknocks365 May 09 2019 (0) Comment
Ottawa, ON — Derek Brunson needed a win at UFC Ottawa. Make no mistake about it. Heading into the Fight Night show in the rainy Canadian capital over the weekend, Brunson was 2-4 in his last six fights. On a two fight losing streak. Still in the co-main event, against Elias Theodorou. But in dire need of a victory to stay relevant.
Yes, his losses had come to top names. Jacare Souza. Anderson Silva. Israel Adesanya. Brunson had made adjustments as a result, moving at least partially to Hard Knocks 365 in Florida, under the tutelage of Henri Hooft. Brunson spoke about all that beforehand.
In the end, the change paid off. But perhaps what was most notable was that Brunson proved he was more than just a knockout artist.
“I’m a knockout guy. In my previous wins, I think all of my last seven wins, I got knockouts in the first round,” Brunson told reporters including Cageside Press following UFC Ottawa.
After losing two in a row and four of his last six, the new Hard Knocks 365 representative was in peril of being tossed aside. Brunson had to dig deep, do a little soul searching and change some things up in his life or else he was in jeopardy of not fighting in the Octagon again. MMA is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sport, and losing two in a row via knockout is not a spot any fighter wants to be in. So Brunson did what he needed to and reversed course to back in the winner’s circle.
“I switched up my training camp and moved to Hard Knocks 365,” he said after he toppled Theodorou via unanimous decision. “I think that made a big difference in this fight. They prepared me so well down there and told me exactly what he was going to do, so I felt confident coming in here.”
The duel with Theodorou wasn’t exactly the greatest fight in the history of the UFC, but Brunson did more than enough to earn the win. The North Carolinian tried goading his foe into a fire fight, but Theodorou played it safe throughout their 15 minutes, leaving plenty to be desired in terms of action. But, Brunson said, it wasn’t his fault; he tried bringing the proverbial heat.
CHICAGO — Patricio Freire will look to become a Bellator two-weight champion on Saturday night, but he thinks the fight against Michael Chandler should have happened much sooner.
Freire, the Bellator featherweight titleholder, meets Chandler, the lightweight champ, in the Bellator 221 main event at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL, USA, for Chandler’s title. “Pitbull” is looking forward to winning a second belt — and especially to simply getting his hand raised against Chandler — but he believes the promotion could have booked this bout far sooner than it did.
“It’s a fight I believe should have happened a long time ago,” Freire told Bloody Elbow on Wednesday. “Perhaps Bellator and Viacom were waiting for him to get have the belt back and some of his shine back to make this fight finally happen. But I think they missed some opportunities to do it before.”
Freire and Chandler have gone back and forth for years on social media and in interviews. Both are two of Bellator’s biggest faces for the company and their fight is looked at as one of the biggest in the promotion’s history. But after multiple requests to fight Chandler, the Brazilian moved on from a fight against him after it seemed it was never going to happen.
“[I] came here tonight and showed that I belong in the best company of MMA. I want my contract!” Burns told Usman to a chorus of cheers from his local South Florida fans, teammates, and students.
UFC president Dana White, who was in attendance for the Titan FC 54 show as part of his viral series, ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’, agreed with Burns. Following Burns’ one-sided win, White tendered the Brazilian a summer showdown opportunity on the Contender Series.
Burns, 31, turned to his grappling roots to get the job done against Gomez. While he wanted to strike more than he did, Burns says an injury in training prompted him to engage his jiu jitsu early, and the result speaks for itself.
“I was training with the [Titan FC] featherweight title challenger, Caio Uruguai, and then we were doing some grappling drills,” Burns told The Body Lock. “I was going to his back, and he was trying to whizzer my shoulder, and accidentally he cut my forehead. So, I had to change the strategy to a little bit more conservative.
The UFC will not have the mixed martial arts stage to itself, however, as Bellator MMA will counter with Bellator 221 on Saturday at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, where featherweight champion Patricio Freire moves up to 155 pounds to challenge Michael Chandler for his lightweight title in a five-round superfight.
An NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri, Chandler finds himself on a three-fight winning streak. The 33-year-old Hard Knocks 365 export reclaimed the lightweight championship for a third time at Bellator 212 on Dec. 14, as he laid claim to a five-round unanimous decision against Brent Primus and avenged a 2018 defeat to the Sports Lab standout. Chandler has compiled a 16-4 record under the Bellator banner.
UFC Fight Night 151 | Derek Brunson talks about changing tactics ahead of UFC Ottawa fight | Sportskeeda Exclusivehardknocks365 May 03 2019 (0) Comment
Derek Brunson is back in the mix, as he is set to fight in the co-main event of the upcoming UFC Ottawa.
He will be fighting Elias Theodorou in what is sure to be quite the fight.
Brunson is coming into the fight on the back of 2 losses against Israel Adesanya and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, but he will be looking to turn his fortune around with a win against Theodorou.
Catch UFC Fight Night 151 in Ottawa live on Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 2 HD at 5:30 AM on the 5th of May.
Q. What’s your preparation like heading into this fight against Elias Theodorou?
DB: I switched it up from training at home to training at Hard Knocks 365 in Florida. It’s a lot of tough guys all trying to get to the next level. So it’s a push every single day.
One Championship featherweight titleholder Martin Nguyen has become one of the faces of the Singapore-based promotion over the last five years, and his journey to this point in his career has been filled with surprising twists and turns. The son of Vietnamese immigrants, Nguyen, 30, grew up in the “Aussie life.” His parents escaped a war-torn nation and chose to start a family in Australia — a country with a welcoming nature to those from abroad.
“I wasn’t bullied or discriminated against for being Asian,” Nguyen told Sherdog.com. “I was raised as an Australian kid.”
Though he once dreamed of stardom on the rugby pitch, his small size and recurrent shoulder injuries forced him to look in other directions. Nguyen accompanied a neighbor to a taekwondo school that also offered Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. He was instantly hooked, later incorporated striking and ultimately made the transition to mixed martial arts. “The Situ-Asian” made his pro debut in July 2012 and joined the One Championship roster as a 3-0 prospect a little more than two years later.
Nguyen finished five of his first six opponents under the One Championship roster, a submission loss to eventual featherweight champion Marat Gafurov his only misstep. Two years later, he avenged the setback, knocked out Gafurov and captured One Championship gold. The victory catapulted Nguyen into an ambitious two-fight run in which he attempted to become a three-division champion.