UFC 206 fight card: Max Holloway vs Anthony Pettis full fight preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight contenders Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will clash TONIGHT (Dec. 10, 2016) at UFC 206 inside Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Holloway’s current nine-fight win streak is one of the most impressive in any division. He has earned this opportunity and step up in competition, and the Hawaiian has a chance to capture the biggest win of his career tonight. Meanwhile, this is just Pettis’ second bout at 145 pounds. His performance in his Featherweight debut was strong, but flawed; however, the former Lightweight kingpin can prove that this truly is his new home with a win here despite failing to make weight.

Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men:

Max Holloway
Record: 16-3
Key Wins: Ricardo Lamas (UFC 199), Cub Swanson (UFC on FOX 15), Jeremy Stephens (UFC 194), Andre Fili (UFC 172)
Key Losses: Conor McGregor (UFC Fight Night 26), Dennis Bermudez (UFC 160)
Keys to Victory: Holloway is an excellent kickboxer who works from both stances and throws a ton of strikes. He has also become seriously difficult to drag to the mat, as a shot against the Hawaiian is more likely to result in a guillotine than successful takedown.

In this bout, Holloway’s biggest advantage is probably conditioning. Pettis slowed down quite a bit in his last match, and he’s more of a sniper than volume striker, anyway. The longer the fight drags on, the better the odds that Holloway is landing more shots and stealing rounds.

Holloway’s body shots will definitely play a role as well.

Additionally, I’d like to see Holloway deny Pettis his kicks to the body. Pettis almost always stands in the stance opposite to his foe, but Holloway is also a fighter equally skilled from both stances. If Holloway can match his opponent’s stance, it will go a longer way in limiting Pettis’ offense. Without those kicks he relies so heavily upon, Pettis will be forced into more of a boxing match, and that favors the Hawaiian.

VS.

Anthony Pettis
Record: 19-5
Key Wins: Charles Oliveira (UFC on FOX 21), Benson Henderson (UFC 164, WEC 53), Gilbert Melendez (UFC 181), Donald Cerrone (UFC on FOX 6)
Key Losses: Rafael dos Anjos (UFC 185), Eddie Alvarez (UFC Fight Night 81), Edson Barboza (UFC 197)
Keys to Victory: Pettis is a dynamic kickboxer with very slick Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He’s capable of finishing his opponent in any area in an instant, and he’s one of the best opportunists to ever compete.

The question is whether he can find an opening opposite Holloway.

Pettis is at his best when he’s the one leading the dance, walking his foe down and setting up traps. That’s his best strategy here, as it’s also the one Conor McGregor employed to stymie Holloway a couple years back. He may be unable to match his opponent’s volume, but there’s a reason Pettis has finished the vast majority of his wins. His kicks and punches will land harder than his opponent, particularly if Holloway is backed into the fence or circles into a strike.

Holloway is not a fighter who will accept being put on the defensive. Instead, he’ll open up and take more chances, which is precisely what a fighter like Pettis capitalizes on. It could result in a counter shot or scramble, but either way, Pettis will be ready to jump on the finish.

Bottom Line: Interim titles may be losing value rapidly, but this belt guarantees a shot at the real thing.

Holloway earned a real title shot several fights ago, but the top of the division has been jammed up because of Conor McGregor’s other interests outside of the division. With a win here, he proves that he can take out one of the sport’s best strikers, and that he’s ready for a showdown with Jose Aldo. On the other hand, a loss is a definite setback. Holloway is still on the short-list of Featherweight contenders, but he’ll have to look behind him in the ranks to get back into the win column first.

The stakes are high for both men, but this is an especially huge fight for Pettis. He dropped down to 145 pounds with the goal of becoming a champion, and Holloway is a serious roadblock. He made the journey much harder for himself because of the scale fail. Indeed even if Pettis comes out on top, it’s uncertain if he will fight Aldo in 2017. Either way, that’s an awesome fight that almost happened once before, and it would be fantastic should it finally happen. Plus, he’ll have an argument to technically being a two-division champ alongside McGregor, Randy Couture and B.J. Penn.

That said, should Pettis come up short, it calls into question whether or not his drop is worth pursuing in the future. At Lightweight, the title changes hands frequently. There are a few men who have beaten him in that weight class, but other men that Pettis is capable of beating could capture the crown. Meanwhile, Featherweight is historically a much more stable division, and the weight cut is absolutely miserable.

In other words, don’t be surprised if Pettis is back at 155 pounds with a loss tonight.

At UFC 206, Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will duel in the main event. Which man will receive the Interim strap?

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight contenders Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will clash TONIGHT (Dec. 10, 2016) at UFC 206 inside Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Holloway’s current nine-fight win streak is one of the most impressive in any division. He has earned this opportunity and step up in competition, and the Hawaiian has a chance to capture the biggest win of his career tonight. Meanwhile, this is just Pettis’ second bout at 145 pounds. His performance in his Featherweight debut was strong, but flawed; however, the former Lightweight kingpin can prove that this truly is his new home with a win here despite failing to make weight.

Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men:

Max Holloway
Record: 16-3
Key Wins: Ricardo Lamas (UFC 199), Cub Swanson (UFC on FOX 15), Jeremy Stephens (UFC 194), Andre Fili (UFC 172)
Key Losses: Conor McGregor (UFC Fight Night 26), Dennis Bermudez (UFC 160)
Keys to Victory: Holloway is an excellent kickboxer who works from both stances and throws a ton of strikes. He has also become seriously difficult to drag to the mat, as a shot against the Hawaiian is more likely to result in a guillotine than successful takedown.

In this bout, Holloway’s biggest advantage is probably conditioning. Pettis slowed down quite a bit in his last match, and he’s more of a sniper than volume striker, anyway. The longer the fight drags on, the better the odds that Holloway is landing more shots and stealing rounds.

Holloway’s body shots will definitely play a role as well.

Additionally, I’d like to see Holloway deny Pettis his kicks to the body. Pettis almost always stands in the stance opposite to his foe, but Holloway is also a fighter equally skilled from both stances. If Holloway can match his opponent’s stance, it will go a longer way in limiting Pettis’ offense. Without those kicks he relies so heavily upon, Pettis will be forced into more of a boxing match, and that favors the Hawaiian.

VS.

Anthony Pettis
Record: 19-5
Key Wins: Charles Oliveira (UFC on FOX 21), Benson Henderson (UFC 164, WEC 53), Gilbert Melendez (UFC 181), Donald Cerrone (UFC on FOX 6)
Key Losses: Rafael dos Anjos (UFC 185), Eddie Alvarez (UFC Fight Night 81), Edson Barboza (UFC 197)
Keys to Victory: Pettis is a dynamic kickboxer with very slick Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He’s capable of finishing his opponent in any area in an instant, and he’s one of the best opportunists to ever compete.

The question is whether he can find an opening opposite Holloway.

Pettis is at his best when he’s the one leading the dance, walking his foe down and setting up traps. That’s his best strategy here, as it’s also the one Conor McGregor employed to stymie Holloway a couple years back. He may be unable to match his opponent’s volume, but there’s a reason Pettis has finished the vast majority of his wins. His kicks and punches will land harder than his opponent, particularly if Holloway is backed into the fence or circles into a strike.

Holloway is not a fighter who will accept being put on the defensive. Instead, he’ll open up and take more chances, which is precisely what a fighter like Pettis capitalizes on. It could result in a counter shot or scramble, but either way, Pettis will be ready to jump on the finish.

Bottom Line: Interim titles may be losing value rapidly, but this belt guarantees a shot at the real thing.

Holloway earned a real title shot several fights ago, but the top of the division has been jammed up because of Conor McGregor’s other interests outside of the division. With a win here, he proves that he can take out one of the sport’s best strikers, and that he’s ready for a showdown with Jose Aldo. On the other hand, a loss is a definite setback. Holloway is still on the short-list of Featherweight contenders, but he’ll have to look behind him in the ranks to get back into the win column first.

The stakes are high for both men, but this is an especially huge fight for Pettis. He dropped down to 145 pounds with the goal of becoming a champion, and Holloway is a serious roadblock. He made the journey much harder for himself because of the scale fail. Indeed even if Pettis comes out on top, it’s uncertain if he will fight Aldo in 2017. Either way, that’s an awesome fight that almost happened once before, and it would be fantastic should it finally happen. Plus, he’ll have an argument to technically being a two-division champ alongside McGregor, Randy Couture and B.J. Penn.

That said, should Pettis come up short, it calls into question whether or not his drop is worth pursuing in the future. At Lightweight, the title changes hands frequently. There are a few men who have beaten him in that weight class, but other men that Pettis is capable of beating could capture the crown. Meanwhile, Featherweight is historically a much more stable division, and the weight cut is absolutely miserable.

In other words, don’t be surprised if Pettis is back at 155 pounds with a loss tonight.

At UFC 206, Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will duel in the main event. Which man will receive the Interim strap?

UFC Fight Night 102 Reebok Fighter Payouts: Gian Villante Tops List

UFC Fight Night 102 is in the books, and now it’s time for Reebok to pay the fighters their sponsorship money. Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov headlined this event in a heavyweight bout while Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Hamilton served as the co-main event, which was also a heavyweight bout. Rounding out this four bout

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UFC Fight Night 102 is in the books, and now it’s time for Reebok to pay the fighters their sponsorship money.

Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov headlined this event in a heavyweight bout while Francis Ngannou vs. Anthony Hamilton served as the co-main event, which was also a heavyweight bout. Rounding out this four bout main card was Corey Anderson vs. Sean O’Connell in a light heavyweight bout and Saparbek Safarov vs. Gian Villante in a light heavyweight bout.

The full payouts include:

Derrick Lewis: $5,000 def. Shamil Abdurakhimov: $2,500

Francis Ngannou: $2,500 def. Anthony Hamilton: $2,500

Corey Anderson: $5,000 def. Sean O’Connell: $5,000

Gian Villante: $10,000 def. Saparbek Safarov: $2,500

Justin Kish: $2,500 def. Ashley Yoder: $2,500

Randy Brown: $2,500 def. Brian Camozzi: $2,500

Gerald Meerschaert: $2,500 def. Joseph Gigliotti: $2,500

Andrew Sanchez: $2,500 def. Trevor Smith: $10,000

Shane Burgos: $2,500 def. Tiago Trator: $2,500

Marc Diakiese: $2,500 def. Frankie Perez: $2,500

Ryan Janes: $2,500 def. Keith Berish: $2,500

Juliana Lima: $2,500 def. J.J. Aldrich: $2,500

UFC Fight Night 102 took place on Friday, on December 9, 2016 at Times Union Center in Albany, New York. The entire event aired on UFC Fight Pass.

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Anthony Pettis On Weight Botch: I’m Not Here For The Interim Belt

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis became the latest in a long line of issues for UFC 206 yesterday. The Canada-based event had faced issues long before it was even finalized, as negotiations with former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre provided some negative press. This lead to some fans claiming they’d boycott the event, as GSP became

The post Anthony Pettis On Weight Botch: I’m Not Here For The Interim Belt appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis became the latest in a long line of issues for UFC 206 yesterday. The Canada-based event had faced issues long before it was even finalized, as negotiations with former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre provided some negative press. This lead to some fans claiming they’d boycott the event, as GSP became embroiled in a dispute with the promotion. Following that drama, came the removal of the main event title fight.

After Daniel Cormier was injured and Anthony Johnson was dropped from the card, UFC 206 was in need of a revival. UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor was stripped of the title, and so Jose Aldo was promoted. Bumoed up to the main event were Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis, and the interim title was created. Unfortunately for the promotion and the event, that plan fell apart last-minute too.

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Heavy

For the first time in his career, Anthony Pettis was unable to make weight. As a result, the junior belt is nopw only up for grabs if Max Holloway wins. Pettis hit the scales at 148 pounds. Speaking for the first time since yesterday’s weigh-in, ‘Showtime’ told MMAFighting.com why he was heavy:

Pettis said he got down to 146.5 pounds before his team decided he would not be able to lose any more weight.

“It was a team call,” Pettis said. “My body just wouldn’t let go of that extra weight. It’s just one those things. We did everything right beforehand, everything was on point. My body just gave out. I had nothing left to give. In the end, we decided that my career and health are more important than those two extra pounds.”

“I’m not here for the interim belt,” he said. “Originally, this fight wasn’t for the belt. The plan has always been to just beat Max Holloway. He’s not beating me tomorrow night.”

PettisFaded5

What’s Next?

Should Pettis defeat Holloway, although he won’t get the junior belt, surely he’s next for the title shot. That said, if he should face similar weight issues for a full title fight, it would be a far messier situation.

Stay tuned.

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Holloway vs. Pettis: Weigh-In Info, Top Comments Before UFC 206

Anthony Pettis can’t win the interim featherweight title when he faces Max Holloway at UFC 206 in Toronto on Saturday after the former missed weight during Friday’s weigh-in.
Pettis came up three pounds in excess of the required weight of 145 pounds, p…

Anthony Pettis can’t win the interim featherweight title when he faces Max Holloway at UFC 206 in Toronto on Saturday after the former missed weight during Friday’s weigh-in.

Pettis came up three pounds in excess of the required weight of 145 pounds, per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. The news has taken the lustre out of what was an already amended main event after UFC officials had to cancel the light heavyweight title clash between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson because of the former’s injury issues.

Fighting at 145 is something of a rarity for Pettis. In fact, this would have been only his second bout at the weight, following at hat-trick of defeats at 155, according to Brandon Wise of CBS Sports.

This naturally rates as one more setback in a suddenly waning career for the 29-year-old.

Pettis attempted to explain what happened and ultimately justified the decision to accept his reduced weight, per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting:

It was a team call. My body just wouldn’t let go of that extra weight. It’s just one those things. We did everything right beforehand, everything was on point. My body just gave out. I had nothing left to give.

In the end, we decided that my career and health are more important than those two extra pounds.

Pettis also cited health concerns, including hydration issues and acid reflux. Whatever the cause, Pettis will now forfeit 20 per cent of the purse along with the chance to claim an interim belt, according to Helwani.

Yet while he rued the missed weight, Pettis still kept his focus on Holloway, insisting his goal for the fight hasn’t changed, per Helwani: “I’m not here for the interim belt. Originally, this fight wasn’t for the belt. The plan has always been to just beat Max Holloway. And he’s not beating me tomorrow night.”

As for Holloway, he was left unimpressed by Pettis‘ failure to make weight, a feeling he made clear on his official Twitter account:

The 25-year-old even attempted to be philosophical about something that’s undermined his showpiece fight:

Holloway also saved some smack talk for Pettis, indicating he’s still keen and ready for an intense battle, per Brian Butler from Sucker Punch Entertainment:

UFC president Dana White attempted to downplay the incident but offered this troubling assessment of Pettis‘ current career standing, according to MMA Fighting: “He came in, when he landed here in Toronto, he was 10 pounds (over), so he should’ve made the weight. What that tells you is he’s too old and he’s too big to make that weight, is my opinion. So we’ll see where we go from here.”

White’s frustration is obvious and understandable, although he should still count on a decent bout. After all, both fighters enter the event with deserved reputations as “solid strikers,” according to ESPN’s Richard Mann.

Mann gives the edge to Holloway, who is never shy about throwing punches in flurries: “In his UFC career, he has landed 5.61 significant strikes per minute. That’s more than double Pettis‘ rate of 2.54.”

 

Pettis‘ issues with the weight may dim anticipation for the fight slightly, but there’s still plenty to be gained for Holloway. Specifically, he can claim ownership of the interim belt and a fight with outright UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo.

Pettis needs a strong fight to lift his flagging reputation, although it remains to be seen whether he will be handed a shot at Aldo if he does emerge victorious. He lost momentum at lightweight and now hasn’t made the weight for this class.

However, both fighters are more than capable of putting on a spectacle in what is likely going to be a contender for Fight of the Night, despite Pettis‘ issues.

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Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov Fight Video Highlights

In our main event from yesterday’s (Friday December 9, 2016) UFC Fight Night 102 event from Albany, New York, No. 10-ranked heavyweight Derrick Lewis and No. 15-ranked Shamil Abdurakhimov went to war. The first three rounds saw Abdurakhimov take advantage of multiple Lewis kick attempts, catching them and taking ‘The Black Beast’ down on multiple

The post Derrick Lewis vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov Fight Video Highlights appeared first on LowKickMMA.com.

In our main event from yesterday’s (Friday December 9, 2016) UFC Fight Night 102 event from Albany, New York, No. 10-ranked heavyweight Derrick Lewis and No. 15-ranked Shamil Abdurakhimov went to war.

The first three rounds saw Abdurakhimov take advantage of multiple Lewis kick attempts, catching them and taking ‘The Black Beast’ down on multiple occasions. Lewis would get up almost at will every time, throwing and missing often, while Abdurakimov threw little to no strikes at all.

In the fourth round Lewis was able to get the bout to the ground, mount his opponent, and reign down a plethora of ground-and-pound to put Abdurakimov away for the fourth round finish.

You can check out the full fight highlights from the heavyweight main event collision here:

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UFC 206: Beginning the Road Back to a Credible Featherweight Champion

Conor McGregor is no longer the featherweight champion.
Well, maybe he is. He says he still has the belt to prove otherwise, and he never lost as a UFC featherweight, but whatever.
You can think it’s stupid or you can think it’s about …

Conor McGregor is no longer the featherweight champion.

Well, maybe he is. He says he still has the belt to prove otherwise, and he never lost as a UFC featherweight, but whatever.

You can think it’s stupid or you can think it’s about time someone else got a chance to be the best at 145 pounds, but either way, the weight class is moving on.

Jose Aldo is some sort of semi-champion, a man the UFC is trying to give a title to but one who repels the notion in favor of trying to fight McGregor at lightweight for some reason.

UFC 206 on Saturday is headlined by an interim title fight between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis, a fight that might well crown an official champion if Aldo remains obstinate and McGregor is truly gone from the division. But only if Holloway wins, because of course Pettis missed weight for a bout occurring amid one of the stranger title pictures combat sports has ever seen and can no longer qualify for the gold.

It’s an odd time in a sport born almost totally of oddity, a series of circumstances that’s never been seen before.

So how does the division get back to being led by a champion with some semblance of credibility? That might take a little more work than stripping a guy under cover of darkness and watching others abstractly circle one another over the remains.

The first step is going to revolve around figuring out McGregor. Those who despise the Irishman or dislike how he held up the division for most of 2016 won’t love that, but it remains the truth.

If McGregor remains insistent that he’s a two-weight world champion when he comes back next year and decides he’s coming back to 145 pounds at any point thereafter, it’s not going to matter who has the gold when he does. He’s going to be fighting them, and in the eyes of many, he’d be doing it as the uncrowned king. That’s the power he holds as the biggest star in the sport.

The next step is going to involve figuring out Aldo.

Last seen in the cage rolling Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 with a focus that had been absent in his efforts for quite a while, Aldo has since teased retirement, a career in another sport, a meeting with the UFC that may or may not have gone anywhere and the aforementioned lightweight bout with McGregor.

If this man is going to be the featherweight champion and the UFC isn’t going to make him beat anyone to claim the throne, someone should probably make an effort to confirm he’s interested in the job because it’s a pretty dubious proposition to anyone watching from the outside. He’s come up with almost every reason imaginable as to why he’s seemingly uninterested in the role, so getting him to do it might require more than just saying he’s in.

The final step, and maybe the most important given the extreme flux of the two incontestable featherweight top dogs, is figuring out exactly what’s about to go down at UFC 206. Bizarrely conceived interim belt notwithstanding, Holloway is about to headline an event, and president Dana White is going to strap that belt on him if he wins no matter what.

Should that happen, Holloway is going to be thrust into the most certain position of anyone at the weight, holding some kind of belt and presumably having the clearest desire to defend it. Given how McGregor and Aldo have been treating the title, that’s about the best thing for its credibility at this juncture: having someone willing to accept the role of champion and take on a challenger.

Such a willingness will be the quickest way to forget the mess the top of the class has been since McGregor obliterated Aldo in December 2015 because it’s that willingness that will fuel new rivalries, new defenses, new champions and, eventually, a new legitimacy.

And if the UFC wishes to do its part in that new legitimacy? The company should give Aldo an ultimatum to accept its offer of being elevated to featherweight champion—not entirely unlike the ultimatum for McGregor to give up his title after UFC 205—and be prepared to move on accordingly.

If Aldo accepts the championship by the end of the calendar year, for example, book the unification with Holloway and act like none of this circus ever happened. If he doesn’t, make Holloway the undisputed world champion and hope that McGregor stays gone so that you never have to deal with him running roughshod over the weight class again.

Credibility doesn’t come easy with world titles. It took Aldo years before people truly understood his excellence, and it took an athlete as unique as McGregor to beat him and elevate the featherweight title that much further. Credibility can, however, be undone easily with world titles, and the UFC has been forced to confront that over the past few weeks.

UFC 206 is the beginning of a way back. For the sake of everyone involved, here’s hoping the promotion gets it right.

     

Follow me on Twitter: @matthewjryder!

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