Dana: Mac Gets Next Title Shot With Win Over ‘Cowboy’

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, will give former lightweight champion, Conor McGregor, the next crack at the 155-pound crown, assuming he gets past veteran “Cowboy,” Donald Cerro…

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, will give former lightweight champion, Conor McGregor, the next crack at the 155-pound crown, assuming he gets past veteran “Cowboy,” Donald Cerrone, at the upcoming UFC 246 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

But we don’t yet know who will be holding the title if and when that happens, as Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, already booked for UFC 249 next April in Brooklyn, New York, have yet to collide for “The Eagle’s” lightweight strap.

“That fight’s done, it’s happening,” White told BT Sport about the UFC 249 headliner. “If Conor can get through Cowboy, and if Khabib can get through Tony, then we’d be looking at a rematch with Conor and Khabib down the line pretty soon.”

Nurmagomedov was able to defeat McGregor by way of fourth-round submission at UFC 229 back in late 2018. It was the first Octagon appearance for “Notorious” since taking an extended break from cage fighting more than three years back.

Naturally, a lot can happen between now and next April and McGregor’s title shot is dependent on two wins that are far from guaranteed. Still, this sort of matchmaking lends credence to this recent take from another top lightweight.

Michael Bisping Says Alistair Overeem Has Grounds For An Appeal Over Rozenstruik Stoppage

Michael Bisping believes Alistair Overeem vs. Jairiznho Rozenstruik should not have been stopped when it did. And, he believes the veteran has a case for an appeal. Overeem was winning the bout on every judge’s scorecards yet Rozenstruik dropped …

Michael Bisping believes Alistair Overeem vs. Jairiznho Rozenstruik should not have been stopped when it did. And, he believes the veteran has a case for an appeal. Overeem was winning the bout on every judge’s scorecards yet Rozenstruik dropped the Dutch fighter with four seconds left and the fight was called off. Yet, according to […]

The post Michael Bisping Says Alistair Overeem Has Grounds For An Appeal Over Rozenstruik Stoppage appeared first on MMA News.

New Rankings! ‘Bigi Boy’ Cracks Top 5 In DC

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently updated its official rankings, which are a little lighter with the absences of Ben Askren and Liz Carmouche, after the UFC on ESPN 7 mixed mart…

UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Rozenstruik

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently updated its official rankings, which are a little lighter with the absences of Ben Askren and Liz Carmouche, after the UFC on ESPN 7 mixed martial arts (MMA) event last weekend in Washington, D.C., featuring a main event between Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

“Bigi” Boy won by lip-busting knockout and jumped a staggering nine places in the heavyweight rankings. Also seeing forward progress is bantamweight upstart Aspen Ladd, who improved to No. 3 by finishing Yana Kunitskaya.

Here’s how the rankings work, courtesy of UFC.com:

Rankings were generated by a voting panel made up of media members. The media members were asked to vote for who they feel are the top fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound. A fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are in active status in the UFC. A fighter can appear in more than one weight division at a time. The champion and interim champion are considered to be in the top positions of their respective divisions and therefore are not eligible for voting by weight-class. However, the champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings.

Take a look at what the latest rankings field looks like courtesy of UFC.com. Note: (+/- = movement in rankings, T = tie, *NR = Not previously ranked).

POUND-FOR-POUND

1. Jon Jones
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
3. Henry Cejudo
4. Stipe Miocic
5. Amanda Nunes
6. Daniel Cormier
7. Max Holloway
8. Israel Adesanya
9. Tony Ferguson
10. Kamaru Usman
11. Valentina Shevchenko
12. Dustin Poirier
13. Robert Whittaker
14. Conor McGregor
15. Tyron Woodley

FLYWEIGHT

Champion: HENRY CEJUDO

1. Joseph Benavidez
2. Jussier Formiga
3. Deiveson Figueiredo
4. Alexandre Pantoja
5. Brandon Moreno
6. Kai Kara France
7. Rogerio Bontorin
8. Tim Elliott
9. Matt Schnell
10. Jordan Espinosa
11. Alex Perez
12. Askar Askarov
13. Ryan Benoit
14. Mark De La Rosa
15. Raulian Paiva

BANTAMWEIGHT

Champion: HENRY CEJUDO

1. Marlon Moraes
2. Aljamain Sterling
3. Cory Sandhagen
4. Petr Yan
5. Raphael Assuncao
6. Pedro Munhoz
7. Jimmie Rivera
8. Cody Garbrandt
9. Rob Font +1
10. Cody Stamann -1
11. John Dodson
12. (T) Urijah Faber
12. (T) Song Yadong +1
14. Marlon Vera
15. Casey Kenney

FEATHERWEIGHT

Champion: MAX HOLLOWAY

1. Alexander Volkanovski
2. Brian Ortega
3. Jose Aldo
4. Zabit Magomedsharipov
5. Frankie Edgar
6. Yair Rodriguez
7. Chan Sung Jung
8. Renato Moicano
9. Jeremy Stephens
10. Josh Emmett
11. Calvin Kattar
12. Shane Burgos
13. Mirsad Bektic
14. Arnold Allen
15. Ryan Hall

LIGHTWEIGHT

Champion: KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV

1. Tony Ferguson
2. Dustin Poirier
3. Conor McGregor
4. Justin Gaethje
5. Donald Cerrone
6. Paul Felder
7. Dan Hooker
8. Kevin Lee
9. Al Iaquinta
10. Edson Barboza
11. Anthony Pettis
12. Gregor Gillespie
13. Charles Oliveira
14. Alexander Hernandez
15. Islam Makhachev

WELTERWEIGHT

Champion: KAMARU USMAN

1. Tyron Woodley
2. Colby Covington
3. Jorge Masvidal
4. Leon Edwards
5. Rafael dos Anjos
6. Demian Maia
7. Santiago Ponzinibbio
8. Stephen Thompson
9. Nate Diaz
10. Anthony Pettis
11. Robbie Lawler
12. Gilbert Burns +2
13. Vicente Luque
14. Geoff Neal +1
15. Neil Magny *NR

MIDDLEWEIGHT

Champion: ISRAEL ADESANYA

1. Robert Whittaker
2. Paulo Costa
3. Yoel Romero
4. Jared Cannonier
5. Darren Till
6. Jack Hermansson
7. Kelvin Gastelum
8. Derek Brunson
9. Edmen Shahbazyan
10. Ian Heinisch
11. Uriah Hall
12. Brad Tavares
13. Antonio Carlos Junior
14. Omari Akhmedov
15. Anderson Silva

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

Champion: JON JONES

1. Thiago Santos
2. Daniel Cormier
3. Anthony Smith
4. Dominick Reyes
5. Corey Anderson
6. Jan Blachowicz
7. Alexander Gustafsson
8. Volkan Oezdemir
9. Glover Teixeira
10. Aleksandar Rakic
11. Johnny Walker
12. Ilir Latifi
13. Misha Cirkunov
14. Nikita Krylov
15. Ronaldo Souza

HEAVYWEIGHT

Champion: STIPE MIOCIC

1. Daniel Cormier
2. Francis Ngannou
3. Curtis Blaydes
4. Junior dos Santos
5. (T) Derrick Lewis
5. (T) Jairzinho Rozenstruik +9
7. Alexander Volkov -1
8. Alistair Overeem -2
9. Walt Harris -1
10. Shamil Abdurakhimov -1
11. Blagoy Ivanov -1
12. Aleksei Oleinik -1
13. Augusto Sakai -1
14. Sergei Pavlovich -1
15. Marcin Tybura *NR

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT

Champion: WEILI ZHANG

1. Jessica Andrade
2. Rose Namajunas
3. Tatiana Suarez
4. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
5. Nina Ansaroff
6. Claudia Gadelha
7. Carla Esparza
8. Michelle Waterson
9. Marina Rodriguez
10. Cynthia Calvillo
11. Alexa Grasso
12. Felice Herrig
13. Tecia Torres
14. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
15. Amanda Ribas

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT

Champion: VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO

1. Katlyn Chookagian
2. Jessica Eye
3. Joanne Calderwood
4. Jennifer Maia +1
5. Viviane Araujo +1
6. Lauren Murphy +1
7. Roxanne Modafferi +1
8. Andrea Lee +1
9. Maycee Barber +1
10. Alexis Davis +1
11. Montana De La Rosa +1
12. Antonina Shevchenko +1
13. Mara Romero Borella +1
14. Paige VanZant +1
15. Ji Yeon Kim +1

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT

Champion: AMANDA NUNES

1. Germaine de Randamie
2. Ketlen Vieira
3. (T) Holly Holm
3. (T) Aspen Ladd +2
5. Julianna Pena -1
6. Raquel Pennington
7. Yana Kunitskaya
8. Marion Reneau
9. Sara McMann
10. Irene Aldana
11. Lina Lansberg
12. Macy Chiasson
15. Bethe Correia
14. Nicco Montano
15. Sijara Eubanks

There you have it.

You can expect these standings to change around this time next week, particularly in the welterweight division, after the UFC 245: “Usman vs. Covington” pay-per-view (PPV) event this Sat. (Dec. 14, 2019) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (see that fight card here).

For even more upcoming UFC events click here.

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington alternative stats

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A detailed breakdown of the position-by-position statistics to watch out for in Saturday’s UFC 245 fight card from Las Vegas. UFC 245 goes down this Saturday night in Vegas where for just th…

UFC 245 Usman v Covington: Press Conference

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A detailed breakdown of the position-by-position statistics to watch out for in Saturday’s UFC 245 fight card from Las Vegas.

UFC 245 goes down this Saturday night in Vegas where for just the fifth time in 471 documented UFC events, three championship belts will be on the line.

In the main event of the evening, the brash, Trump-loving, former interim champion Colby Covington finally gets to try to settle his beef with welterweight titleholder, “The Nigerian Nightmare” Kamaru Usman. In the co-main event, Max Holloway looks to keep things on featherweight cruise control defending his title against up-and-comer Alexander Volkanovski. And in the co-co-main, we get the joy of watching female GOAT Amanda Nunes rematch former kickboxing champion and UFC women’s featherweight trivia answer Germaine De Randamie.

Let’s jump into the numbers.

Remember, what you’re about to read are not official UFC statistics. They’re alternative stats generated from official statistics designed to (1) give more weight to the recent present than the distant past and (2) not let one huge or horrible performance dominate the data.

See the notes at the bottom for definitions of certain statistics and check out an earlier piece for an explanation of how this works.


Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington

The first thing that stands out on analyzing the hundreds of stats available for the Usman and Covington grudge match is the positioning their fights tend to take place in. They each spend 1:50-1:59 of every five minutes at distance, 1:04-1:19 in the clinch (with 84% control time for both), and 1:42-2:06 on the ground where Usman has control 100% of the time to Covington’s 91%.

And such slight edge’s to Usman may be all he needs to take the fight.

While Covington’s more of the volume striker at distance (33.2 head jab attempts and 62.7 power attempts per five minutes in the position, P5M, to Usman’s 18.0 and 42.7), Usman’s activity comes alive in the clinch, in an unusual way, blasting 32.7 power shots P5M and landing 87%. A typical welterweight attempts 23.0 power strikes and only lands 61% (and 16.1 and 61% for Covington). Usman’s accuracy is so high because 66% of his clinch power shots target the body where he lands an incredible 96%. For perspective, the average welterweight only throws 35% of their clinch power strikes to the body and Covington throws only 20%.

The takedown game edges to Usman in the clinch where both fighters make 6.9 attempts P5M, but Usman lands 63% to Covington’s 53%. And when it comes to getting taken down, Covington’s succumbed to 3-of-5 clinch takedown attempts while Usman’s yet to be taken down from any position.

On the ground, Usman has control 100% of the time while Covington’s spent 3:19, or 9% of his ground time, on his back. Neither fighter’s a spectacular volume striker on the canvas, but they’ve had some submission success (1-of-2 for Usman, 2-of-2 for Covington) and Usman’s 24% better than average at keeping opponents from standing up or sweeping. Covington tends to let opponents back up at a high rate but also tends to get back to his feet quickly with six stand-ups in a little over three minutes on his back.

While the stats tend to show a number of potential small edges for Usman, the distance game could be Covington’s time to shine if he can avoid the T-Wood treatment from Usman. Covington has the volume edge and out lands his opponents by +10.6 power strikes P5M, far superior to Usman’s +0.1 power differential. Covington only absorbs 25% of head power strikes against him, while Usman eats 31%. And while they both attempt around six takedown shots P5M, Covington lands 64% to Usman’s 34%.

But again, Usman is yet to be taken down from any position.

Neither fighter is much of a knockdown or KO artist but if strategic fighting between elite and well-conditioned combatants is your thing, this one should be a treat.

While exact win probabilities will go up on Saturday, the fight computer edges towards Usman to keep the UFC welterweight division great… by keeping Covington beltless.

Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski

Statistically, what we have here is a fighter in Holloway who spends 4:06 of every round in the open space of distance and the rest usually pressed against the cage or scrambling from the ground versus Volkanovski who spends about half of each round at distance, one minute in the clinch with 83% control, and about one-and-a-half minutes on the ground with 76% control.

So whose positioning game will win the day?

At distance, Holloway lands 12.6 head jabs P5M to Volkanovski’s 5.1 and 26.4 power strikes to Volkanovski’s 14.0. In the differential department, Holloway lands at +6.6 and +8.2 P5M rates with head jabs and overall power strikes while Volkanovski comes in at +2.0 and +0.8.

Volkanovski’s best distance advantage would appear to be power, landing knockdowns and busting up faces in 14.3-14.5% of his rounds (5.2-12.9% for Holloway) and a knockdown rate that’s 59% better than the featherweight average (and Holloway’s 32% below average). But Holloway’s yet to be dropped in his UFC career.

If Volkanovski wants to put his strong distance takedown shots to the test, Holloway has 95% defense waiting for him. If Volkanovski tries his subpar 34% takedown success from the clinch, Holloway has his solid 73% defense to fall back on. And if any of Volkanovski’s takedowns succeed, Holloway scrambles back to his feet 194% better than average.

As for the possibility of Holloway trying to take things to the ground, he hasn’t shown much of that lately, or ever really. With only one takedown attempt in his last five fights and just six attempts across his 21-fight UFC career spanning 4 hours and 17 minutes of standing time, we know where Holloway wants this fight.

It could easily be a standup affair with a little cage pressing mixed in. And the numbers seem to be in Holloway’s favor in that world.


Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine De Randamie

Their first four-minute-long scrap back in 2013 basically went: feints to caught leg to cage work to takedown to two minutes of mount (coded as about a minute-and-a-half of mount and 30 seconds of miscellaneous control time) to elbow ground-and-pound to Herb Dean stoppage.

And the ground could still be GDR’s glaring weakness. She’s been on her back for a total of 5:46 in Zuffa fights, primarily with Nunes and Julie Kedzie on top, and not once was she able to work her way back to her feet.

If that were to continue, it would be a recipe for disaster against the now BJJ black belt Nunes.

The good news for GDR, she’s successfully defended all 22 takedown attempts in her five fights since losing to “The Lioness.” The not-so-good news, those attempts all came from Anna Elmose, Holly Holm, and Raquel Pennington; not exactly elite takedown artists. Although, neither is Nunes.

At distance, we’ve got two outstanding strikers who tend to throw good volume and regularly outland their opponents. GDR comes in at +11.5 and +8.1 in head jab and overall power strike differentials P5M while Nunes is an impressive +5.9 and +26.1. The huge power strike differential for Nunes certainly isn’t from her Shevchenko fights, but she’s also had some pretty quick destructions thrown into the mix.

For an indicator of defense, I like looking at how fighters keep their head from getting touched by power shots. At distance, Nunes only eats 27% of her opponents’ power shots to the head, a solid number below the 32% women’s bantamweight average. But GDR isn’t even in the same ballpark as only 6% of her opponents’ head power strikes connect.

Both fighters have solid power stats with Nunes getting the statistical edge. An average women’s bantamweight drops opponents with 0.6% of their standing power head strikes landed and bloodies up a face with 0.4% of power head strikes and distance head jabs landed. GDR knocks down opponents and busts up faces at 2.5x and 1.5x these rates, respectively, while Nunes is an even more impressive 6.3x and 3.3x.

If she wants to try to take things to the canvas, Nunes hasn’t been terribly successful from distance with only a 9% of her takedown attempts completed. In the clinch, where she got GDR before, her success rate improves to 33%, although is still subpar. The good news for Nunes is GDR’s goose egg in the standup department still hasn’t changed.


Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Moraes
Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber
Mike Perry vs. Geoff Neal
Ketlen Vieira vs. Irene Aldana
Matt Brown vs. Ben Saunders

Predictions can be made for eight of the 13 scheduled bouts. Be sure to return to Bloody Elbow on Saturday for precise win probabilities and possible bets before UFC 245 starts.

Statistical Notes: A bout closeness measure towards zero means a fighter tends to be in blowouts (win or lose) and towards 100 means they tend to be in very close fights. Strike attempts are per an entire five minute round in each position (P5M) and are categorized as jab or power. A jab is just a non-power strike. Strikes are documented based on where they land or are targeted (head, body, legs), not the type that is thrown (punch, elbow, kick, knee). Visible damage rate is per five minutes the fighter is not on his back. It’s hard to bust up someone’s face while lying on your back. Damage percentage is per power head strike and distance head jab landed. Knockdown rate is per five minutes at distance or in the clinch off the cage. Knockdown percentage is per power head strike landed while standing. It’s really hard to knock someone down if they’re already on the ground. Knockdown/Damage round percentage is the percentage of rounds with at least one knockdown or busted up face, respectively. Clinch control is having the opponent pressed against the cage. Ground control is having top position or the opponent’s back. Submission attempts are per five minutes of ground control minus time spent in the opponent’s guard plus time spent with the opponent in guard.

Paul writes about MMA analytics and officiating at Bloody Elbow and MMA business at Forbes. He’s also an ABC-certified referee and judge. Follow him @MMAanalytics. Fight data provided by FightMetric.

Leon Edwards Gives Update On Tyron Woodley Negotiations: ‘We’re Trying To Force Him To Come To London’

Leon Edwards says a fight between himself and Tyron Woodley as the main event of UFC London makes all the sense in the world. Yet, Woodley recently came out and said he would not fight in London, and instead is looking to fight in the United States. Ye…

Leon Edwards says a fight between himself and Tyron Woodley as the main event of UFC London makes all the sense in the world. Yet, Woodley recently came out and said he would not fight in London, and instead is looking to fight in the United States. Yet, Edwards believes that is the fight to […]

The post Leon Edwards Gives Update On Tyron Woodley Negotiations: ‘We’re Trying To Force Him To Come To London’ appeared first on MMA News.

Rookie Destroys Russia’s Slapping Champion

Male Slapping Championships — courtesy of Russia (of course) — is back in the news this morning after its previously undefeated champion, Vasily Kamotskiy, suffered the first loss of his career by way of violent, bloody knockout.
Rookie Vya…

Male Slapping Championships — courtesy of Russia (of course) — is back in the news this morning after its previously undefeated champion, Vasily Kamotskiy, suffered the first loss of his career by way of violent, bloody knockout.

Rookie Vyacheslav Zezulya is now king of the beards.

Kamotskiy doubled over after taking one flush from Zezulya and had to be carried from the stage as handlers helped wiped blood from his face. Folks, I would take a full-blown cage fight over this lunacy any day of the week.

Here’s another look:

Ouch.

Russia is known for its bizarre (and sometimes unsettling) combat sports. My personal favorite is Team Fighting Championship (TFC), which is essentially a controlled gang rumble on what looks to be a converted tennis court.

At least it’s better than the universally-panned Akhmat Fight Club, which had children fighting — and knocking out — other children as crazed adults cheered in celebration.