Category Archives: MMA
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.
Andre Soukhamthath hit a setback last time out, but at UFC Moncton, he’s ready to show that he’s still going to be a big problem at 135lbs in the UFC.
Moncton, NB — Andre Soukhamthath heard the critics. Heard plenty from them after his loss to Sean O’Malley at UFC 222. It’s a fight in which ‘The Asian Sensation’ was rocked early, only for O’Malley to later injure his leg. Yet Soukhamthath was unable to turn off ‘The Sugar Show,’ and got an earful for repeatedly taking O’Malley down rather than trying to knock him out. Armchair critics, for the most part. Yet Soukhamthath, who later left Twitter with a pointed message to the media saying “it takes two people to put on FOTN,” (the bout won Fight of the Night honors), is ready to put all that behind him at UFC Moncton this weekend.
“If I can take anything from that experience, it’s growth,” he said at Thursday’s media day, ahead of a fight with short-notice replacement Jonathan Martinez. “I should have did something, I didn’t do it, I got a lot of backlash for it, whatever. Growth man.” Besides not performing the way he wanted in the fight, Soukhamthath also felt he was too distracted by outside influences.
A look back through Aung La N Sang’s body of work in ONE Championship will take the viewer on a thrill ride through some of the most memorable bouts in the organization’s history.
The two-division ONE World Champion has featured in some of the most thrilling encounters ever seen under the bright lights of ONE’s big arena events, and “The Burmese Python” is rightly proud of his career to date.
Aung La N Sang will look to make the latest defence of his ONE Middleweight World Title in Yangon, Myanmar on 26 October when he faces Mohammad Karaki in the main event of ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS.
Ahead of the contest “The Burmese Python” took time out of his busy schedule to chat about his career to date and some of the bouts that have defined his remarkable career.
Aung La N Sang captured the ONE Middleweight Title in a rematch against then-champion Vitaly Bigdash, and most recently defended the title in a thriller against Japan’s Ken Hasegawa.
The name Aung La N Sang may not resonate deeply in the minds of western MMA fans, but for those who follow ONE Championship, the 33-year-old represents one of the promotion’s truly transcendent figures. The reasons for this go beyond his success inside the cage. The current ONE middleweight and light heavyweight world champion has the distinction of being the first athlete from Myanmar to earn a major professional title in any sporting discipline. As a result, Aung La has become one of the country’s most well-known and beloved figures, and whenever the “Burmese Python” competes on home turf it becomes something of a national event for the 53 million citizens of Myanmar.
Aung La is a technically sound fighter with high-level cardio who can end fights on the ground or on the feet. 12 of his wins have come via submission and nine via TKO/KO. For this training camp, he has been based in Florida at Hard Knocks 365, only a stone’s throw away from American Top Team where his upcoming opponent Mohammad Karaki trains.
Life has changed for the better for UFC contender Anthony (Lionheart) Smith since moving up a weight class to light-heavyweight earlier this year.
Cutting weight to make 185 pounds as a middleweight proved too difficult for a fighter who used to walk around at 230. Not to mention dangerous.
Smith also stopped former title-holder Rashad Evans in the first round in June. The wins over Evans and Rua took just two minutes 22 seconds in total.
Both Smith and Oezdemir finish fights early. Between them they have some 30 first-round finishes.
The 29-year-old Oezdemir, who normally trains at the Hard Knocks 365 gym in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., spent the last two weeks before the fight training at Montreal’s Tristar Gym.
Volkan Oezdemir has regrouped following a failed bid to reach the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight mountaintop.
Booked for his first appearance since his technical knockout defeat to 205-pound champion Daniel Cormier in January, the Swiss standout will collide with Anthony Smith in the UFC Fight Night 138 main event on Saturday at the Moncton Events Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick. The loss to Cormier snapped a five-fight winning streak for Oezdemir, who operates out of the Henri Hooft-helmed Hard Knocks 365 camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 29-year-old enters the match as a slight favorite.