Highlights! Former NFL Star Greg Hardy Scores 14-Second KO In LFA Debut

Former National Football League (NFL) defensive star Greg Hardy made good on his Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) debut last night (Fri., Feb. 16, 2018) at LFA 33 from inside The Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas, when he finished heavyweight oppo…

Former National Football League (NFL) defensive star Greg Hardy made good on his Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) debut last night (Fri., Feb. 16, 2018) at LFA 33 from inside The Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas, when he finished heavyweight opponent Ryan Chester via knockout just 14 seconds into the first round.

Check out the impressive knockout stoppage above courtesy of AXS TV.

Hardy, 29, looked considerably more comfortable in this bout compared to his previous two. He was able to finish both of those fights via first-round knockout as well, but didn’t showcase the same level of patience and range that he did this time around.

While Hardy is going to encounter more dangerous and experienced heavyweights than Chester as he dives deeper into the mixed martial arts (MMA) world, things are looking up for the former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman after running into some domestic abuse trouble back in 2014.

Only time will tell if a bigger promotion, like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) or Bellator MMA, will take a chance on the rising heavyweight prospect.

Blaydes Vs. Hunt Full Fight Video Highlights – UFC 221

Rising UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes survived an early scare last night (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, to defeat New Zealand native Mark Hunt via unanimous …

Rising UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blaydes survived an early scare last night (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, to defeat New Zealand native Mark Hunt via unanimous decision.

Hunt had Blaydes hurt badly in the first round. “Super Samoan” blasted Blaydes with a right hand as he was coming in and then followed that up with a left hook that dropped Blaydes to his knee. Still, the young heavyweight absorbed it all in order to move in and drag Hunt to the canvas.

That is where the majority of this fight took place, as Blaydes controlled the New Zealand legend on the ground and scored heavy elbows from top position. The young heavyweight even picked Hunt up and slammed him to the mat on multiple occasions.

Check out the full fight video highlights above courtesy of UFC.

With this performance, Blaydes pushes his UFC record to 4-1 (1 NC), losing only to Francis Ngannou via doctor stoppage in his Octagon debut. The promising 26-year-old possesses the type of ground game to scare any heavyweight in the top 10, so it will be interesting to see what sort of success “Razor” has moving forward.

For complete UFC 221 results and coverage click here.

LIVE! UFC 221 ‘Prelims’ Recaps

The action returns to the Octagon later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, as former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes another shot at divisional gold …

The action returns to the Octagon later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, as former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold takes another shot at divisional gold when he takes on the formidable Yoel Romero in the main event. In addition to the headlining act, heavyweight knockout sensation Mark Hunt will look to dispose of rising contender Curtis Blaydes.

But, before the premier bouts get underway on PPV starting at 10 p.m. ET, UFC 221’s “Prelims” action will go down on Fight Pass starting at 6:30 p.m. ET and FOX Sports 1 starting at 8 p.m. ET.

Find out what happened right here as the UFC 221 undercard recaps roll in real-time:

Damien Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim

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Rob Wilkinson vs. Israel Adesanya

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Jeremy Kennedy vs. Alexander Volkanovski

The only featherweight bout on the card saw rising Australian contender Volkanovski (17-1) put his 13-fight win streak on the line against undefeated Canadian youngster Kennedy (11-1). The longer Kennedy opened up from range before sneaking in for a takedown attempt. Volkanovski defended nicely before landing his own takedown via sweep. Volkanovski started to score short elbows and punches down the pipe as Kennedy struggled to cover up. Kennedy didn’t offer much outside of a few transitions with his legs and his lack of defense really started to show on his face. In Round 2, Volkanovski quickly secured another takedown along the cage. Kennedy returned to his feet before eating a hard knee inside by Volkanovski. The Canadian tried again to grab a leg and take Volkanovski down, but Volkanovski remained heavy, switched his stance, and ended up in top control. From there, “The Great” blasted Kennedy with thudding body shots that went unanswered. Volkanovski followed that up with nasty elbows to the side of the head as the points continued to rack up. Kennedy tried to defend in turn, but the pressure was too much. Volkanovski would earn the second-round TKO finish with seconds left in the round.

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Jussier Formiga vs. Ben Nguyen

In the opening FS1 preliminary bout, ranked flyweight contenders Formiga (21-5) and Nguyen (18-7) locked horns in a crucial 125-pound matchup. Nguyen opened up with a flurry that back the Brazilian against the cage. Formiga fought the hands well and landed a counter punch off the break. Formiga then caught Nguyen with a nasty counter right hand as Nguyen rushed inside yet again. The Brazilian tripped Nguyen and landed in side control. Formiga quickly and effortlessly moved over into full mount. From there, the grappling expert landed hard ground-and-pound before the first bell sounded. In Round 2, Formiga suffered a cut on his forehead during an early exchange that started to drip down his face. The Brazilian shook it off and landed a nice spinning kick to the body. As Nguyen swung a looping hook, Formiga quickly changed levels and dragged the rising contender to the canvas, quickly passing to half guard. Nguyen was able to get back to his feet, which is a win in its own right. Nguyen followed that up some good strikes on the feet, but unfortunately suffered an eye poke towards the end of the frame. In the third round, Nguyen landed some short punches inside, including an uppercut that stung Formiga. Out of nowhere, Formiga blasted Nguyen with a devastating spinning back fist that dropped Nguyen in his tracks. Formiga jumped on Nguyen’s back and quickly sunk in the late rear-naked choke finish.

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Ross Pearson vs. Mizuto Hirota

UFC veteran Pearson (20-14, 1 NC) headlined the Fight Pass portion of the event and tried to stop a four-fight losing streak when he took on Japanese veteran Hirota (18-9-2). Pearson opened up with a nice body kick before sticking Hirota with a stiff jab. “Real Deal” then caught Hirota with a nice counter left inside. Hirota kept his hands low with confidence but Pearson started to slip his shots and scored good points. In Round 2, Pearson continued to find a home for his counter left inside, although Hirota was able to score damage to the Englishman’s body and lead leg. Hirota would add to his efforts with a nice jab, but Pearson landed the more powerful punches in most exchanges. Pearson kept the pressure going with quick lefts coming in and impeccable shot selection. Hirota returned favor with a huge right hand that buckled Pearson and opened a cut. In Round 3, Pearson landed a nice head-body combination inside. Hirota came back with more lead leg kicks, but Pearson kept busy by sticking his left uppercut on the counter. Both men started to throw with more power with under 30 seconds remaining, but nothing significant landed for either lightweight. In the end, it was Pearson who did enough on the judges’ scorecards to walk away with the unanimous decision win.

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Teruto Ishihara vs. Jose Quinonez

In the lone bantamweight matchup of the evening, Team Alpha Male standout Ishihara (10-5-2) aimed to capture his fourth Octagon victory when he met wily 27-year-old Mexican fighter Quinonez (7-2). Quinonez opened up with a few low leg kicks before securing a brief takedown. Ishihara was pinned against the cage but defended nicely to limit damage. That was until Quinonez took Ishihara’s back and secured a tight body triangle. Ishihara broke the lock and got back to his feet. From there, Ishihara was finally able to land some offense in the clinch before tripping Quinonez to the canvas. He also landed a flush left hook before the first bell. In Round 2, Ishihara came up high with a head kick. Quinonez responded with a whipping front leg kick. Ishihara decided to close the distance and landed a nice takedown along the cage. Quinonez came back with more leg kicks on the feet, but it was Ishihara who led the way with pace and persistence. Ishihara then landed a big counter left that dropped Quinonez before the end of the round. The third frame saw Quinonez land a nice right hand over the top. Ishihara offered a lot of feints and remained mobile before and after throwing strikes. Quinonez was able to land a partial head kick before blocking a Ishihara takedown attempt. Quinonez opened up a little more with his hands down the stretch and was able to score some valuable points. Fortunately for Quinonez, his efforts scored him a unanimous decision win.

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Luke Jumeau vs. Daichi Abe

The opening bout of the evening saw New Zealand lightweight Jumeau (13-4) take on undefeated Japanese prospect Abe (6-1). Jumeau opened up with a nice one-two down the pipe, as Abe immediately started to leave his hands down by his hip. Jumeau came back with a big overhand right before catching Abe with a nice left hook. Abe was able to land a short right after Jumeau caught his leg from a kick. The Japanese striker then piled on more right hands along the cage as Jumeau covered up. Abe then dropped Jumeau with a right counter inside, but the New Zealand native stayed alive. In Round 2, Jumeau came out quickly to secure a takedown, although Abe got right back up. Jumeau landed a painful body kick. Abe was waiting for his counter shots to land, but Jumeau showed solid head movement inside to avoid most of the attacks. The third and final frame saw Jumeau continue his comeback on the feet. Abe tried to counter when the opportunity presented itself, but he kept loading up on his shots. Jumeau was able to sneak in a slick head kick that caused some swelling over Abe’s right eye. Abe came back with a strike that seemed to be a punch, but the fight was stopped after Jumeau protested it was an eye poke. Jumeau snapped a few body kicks in after the action resumed, following his efforts up with a leg kick that buckled Abe. In the end, it was Jumeau who did enough over the final 10 minutes to walk away with the unanimous decision win.

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MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

Keys To Victory! Rockhold Vs. Romero

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will look to reclaim 185-pound gold later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, when he takes on proven contender Yoel …

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold will look to reclaim 185-pound gold later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, when he takes on proven contender Yoel Romero.

Romero missed weight for the interim middleweight title fight so he will be unable to claim the belt, but Rockhold remains in play.

This is a huge opportunity for both fighters. Rockhold will have the chance to finally shake off his UFC 199 title loss to Michael Bisping and get back the middleweight strap. Romero, despite not being able to win UFC gold, can still prove that he’s championship worthy with a victory over one of the most complete fighters in the sport today.

In preparation for the monstrous middleweight showdown, we take a closer look at what both Rockhold and Romero need to do in order to walk out of Perth victorious.

Luke Rockhold

1. Win the early grappling exchanges…

As one of the strongest and most athletic fighters at 185 pounds, Rockhold has made a living out of tracking down opponents, dragging them to the canvas, and battering them into oblivion. He did it against Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping, Lyoto Machida, David Branch, and many more.

While Rockhold should still be able to lean on his world-class grappling game at UFC 221 he’s going to be facing his toughest wrestler to date. Romero is Olympic level with his takedowns and takedown defense, so the first few grappling exchanges may very well paint the picture for this fight.

Ronaldo Souza and Weidman remain the only two UFC fighters to ever take “Soldier of God” down, so we’ll see if Rockhold can add his name to that list.

2. Reach and range…

Whether or not Rockhold is able to find success in the clinch and on the ground against Romero, he’s still going to have a massive advantage on the feet. That’s not to say Romero isn’t a solid striker capable of landing devastating blows with his hands, feet, and knees, but Rockhold is a towering middleweight who will possess a four-inch reach advantage come fight time.

Rockhold is one of the best in the division at utilizing his reach to find his range, attack from the outside, and give his opponents limited opportunity to counter. While Rockhold will have to be cautious not to run into a flying knee or fight-ending left hand, he should be able to score in bunches on the stockier Romero.

Yoel Romero

1. Attack early…

We really don’t know how Romero’s botched weight cut is going to effect his performance at UFC 221, but it’s safe to say the Cuban’s best chance to end Rockhold remains in the first three rounds. After all, Romero has recorded all but one of his UFC finishes within the 11-15 minute mark.

That said, “Soldier of God” mustn’t burn himself out in the process. Romero was able to last all five rounds against Robert Whittaker back at UFC 213, but he wasn’t as dangerous as he usually is when the fight entered the championship rounds. Romero needs to take that title loss as a lesson and use his experience to better pace himself against Rockhold.

Anything else could end in devastating fashion for Romero in the later rounds.

2. Land heavy inside…

Despite his wrestling pedigree and devastating top game, Romero’s quickest route to victory at UFC 221 is to land one of his power shots on Rockhold’s chin. While Rockhold is one of the most durable names in the division, he has recently shown that he’s susceptible to getting rocked.

If Romero is looking to land early and do the most damage he can before Rockhold gets comfortable in his own gameplan, the 40-year-old Cuban will probably have to do his bidding inside. After all, that four-inch reach advantage for Rockhold will be difficult to deal with if Romero tries to pick his shots from distance on the feet.

Instead, “Soldier of God” needs to tuck his chin, close the gap, push Rockhold up against the cage, and launch heavy punches and knees inside to try and deplete the former UFC champion’s gas tank.

Prediction: Rockhold via unanimous decision

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

Embedded! ‘Make F*cking Weight’

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is inching closer to its upcoming UFC 221: “Rockhold vs. Romero” mixed martial arts (MMA) event on pay-per-view (PPV), locked and loaded for this Saturday night (Feb. 10, 2018) inside Perth Arena in Austr…

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is inching closer to its upcoming UFC 221: “Rockhold vs. Romero” mixed martial arts (MMA) event on pay-per-view (PPV), locked and loaded for this Saturday night (Feb. 10, 2018) inside Perth Arena in Australia.

To help fans get hyped up for this weekend’s big shebang, the “Embedded” video series has made its return, featuring a closer look at the final weight cuts for middleweight headliners Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero, as well as other cool stuff like Ferrari collections, open workouts, and Australian camel rides.

From the official YouTube description:

On Episode 4 of UFC 221 Embedded, middleweight title contender Luke Rockhold rents a camel to take him to open workouts. Heavyweight opponents Mark Hunt and Curtis Blaydes appreciate the Australian fans at the event, and headliner Yoel Romero welcomes three of them on stage for a dance lesson. Local Perth heavyweight Soa Palelei brings Hunt’s camp to check out a Ferrari collection. Rockhold cuts weight in the sauna before the next day’s official weigh-in. Opponents square off on stage, but things get heated when one headliner misses the 185-pound limit. UFC 221 Embedded is an all-access, behind-the-scenes video blog leading up to the interim middleweight championship bout at UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold on Saturday, February 10th on Pay-Per-View.

Click here, here, and here to watch episodes one, two, and three.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.

For much more on this weekend’s UFC 221 fight card click here.

Romero Dismisses Cardio Concerns Entering UFC 221 Main Event

Yoel Romero will not be eligible to fight for the interim UFC middleweight title later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, after missing weight by over two pounds, …

Yoel Romero will not be eligible to fight for the interim UFC middleweight title later tonight (Sat., Feb. 10, 2018) at UFC 221 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, after missing weight by over two pounds, but he’s still going to have a five-round main event fight with former UFC champion Luke Rockhold.

While most of the attention will now be cast upon Romero’s botched weigh cut, the Olympic wrestler will still have to perform at peak level against a proven title threat like Rockhold. It doesn’t help that Romero’s cardio has already been called into question before he stepped on the scale heavy at yesterday’s weigh ins. In fact, Romero had to reassure fight fans that he’s built for five rounds earlier this week at UFC 221’s open workouts.

“People’s opinions, you’ve got to respect them,” Romero told Submission Radio (shown above). “If people think that I don’t have five-round cardio, ask Robert (Whittaker) how he felt when he was fighting me in the later rounds. He’s a very tough man, I applaud him, my hat off to him. He’s got a lot of talent, he’s the champion now for a reason.”

“But look at my age. Look at my form. Do I have cardio or do I not have cardio? If I’m number one in the world, it’s for a reason. People can talk about the cardio all they want, but the results show it. So people behind me, they have to have really, really bad cardio also.”

Romero, 40, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker for the interim middleweight title back at UFC 213. It was the first time in Romero’s career that he fought beyond a third round, even though he was scheduled to go five against Lyoto Machida in 2015 (“Soldier of God” defeated Machida via third-round knockout).

Considering Rockhold is often a slow starter and a freak of an athlete capable of maintaining optimal output for 25-straight minutes, Romero may want to attack early. If not, he’s going to have to put his money where his mouth is and prove that he can win a fight in the championship rounds.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 221 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.