Henry Cejudo vs. Urijah Faber Further Proof That MMA Is More Entertainment Than Sport

After UFC 238, Henry Cejudo called out a few potential opponents following his TKO win over Marlon Moraes to become a double champ. One of the names he mentioned was Urijah Faber. At the time Cejudo said Faber’s name, the mere thought of this pot…

After UFC 238, Henry Cejudo called out a few potential opponents following his TKO win over Marlon Moraes to become a double champ. One of the names he mentioned was Urijah Faber. At the time Cejudo said Faber’s name, the mere thought of this potential fight was laughable. Just a few weeks later, though, and […]

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UFC Sacramento Fallout: Five Fights To Make

There were some great fights on last night (Sat. July 13, 2019), a couple of which had controversial finishes. Urijah Faber made good on his return, scoring his first finish via strikes since 2007, which was incredible, but some said they thought it was an early stoppage. When you fall like Ricky Simon did, and […]

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There were some great fights on last night (Sat. July 13, 2019), a couple of which had controversial finishes. Urijah Faber made good on his return, scoring his first finish via strikes since 2007, which was incredible, but some said they thought it was an early stoppage. When you fall like Ricky Simon did, and then don’t start fighting back until after the referee pulls him off, the stoppage certainly wasn’t terrible.

This happened again in the main event. Germaine de Randamie cracked Aspen Ladd with a hard right cross, and went to hit her again while Ladd was downed, and Herb Dean had seen enough. Ladd wasn’t out, and it was a tad early of a stoppage, but it’s understandable why he stopped it when he did, just 16 seconds into the fight. When de Randamie hit Ladd with that straight, Ladd fell down with her back turned to her opponent, and didn’t think to move so she didn’t get hit again, nor did she think to look ”GDR’s” way. She was visibly hurt.

However, as ”GDR” was throwing another punch at her downed opponent, Ladd rolled to her back to defend, but at this point the fight had already been stopped. Ladd was hurt very badly, but at the second the fight was stopped, she was regaining composure. It all happened in a two or three-second time frame.

Andre Fili had a great showing last night. He’s really come into his own recently. We’ve watched him grow up inside the Octagon since he was 23-years-old, and now look at him. It’s very surprising he wasn’t ranked going into his fight last night. Hopefully, now he’ll get a number next to his name. He had some troubles being consistent early on in his UFC career; after making it to 12-1, he made his UFC debut and got a second-round TKO victory to improve to 13-1.

Fili then went 3-4 over his next seven fights, he just couldn’t seem to figure out how to get back-to-back wins. It took him over four years in the UFC to get two wins in a row, which he did against Artem Lobov and Dennis Bermudez, before losing a split decision to Michael Johnson, a fight many thought he won.

He’s now on his second two-fight win streak in the UFC, and is looking better than ever. Fili picked up a first-round KO win over three-time Brazilian Kickboxing Champion, and two-time Brazilian Muay Thai Champion, Sheymon Moraes. He landed a beautiful head kick, and patiently picked his shots afterward in order to get the finish at 3:07 of round-one.

Continue reading for a look into our perspective on what fights should happen next:

Andre Fili (20-6) vs. Arnold Allen (15-1)

This matchup would be very intriguing, especially after each of their last fights. ”Touchy” wasn’t ranked before his fight last night, and Allen wasn’t ranked before his fight last weekend either. It’s almost a certainty that Fili will crack the top 15 now, so why not make this fight? Especially considering Allen is ranked at No. 13 now. Fili has some great boxing, particularly boxing for MMA, and also mixes his kicks up quite well.

“Almighty” Allen had the performance of his life in his last outing at UFC 239, defeating the former WEC and Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision. He broke his own personal record for the most strikes he’s ever landed in a fight against a stud boxer in Melendez. As good of a striker as Fili is, along with the 3-0 kickboxing, and 5-0 amateur boxing record of the 25-year-old Allen, this would be a very entertaining, and telling fight.

Josh Emmett (15-2) vs. Chan Sung Jung (15-5)

Josh Emmett also had the performance of his life last night, as he finished the formerly 13-1 Mirsad Bektic in round-one. The power Emmett possesses is just scary. He’s now 4-1 at featherweight with three knockouts, and the fight he won via decision, he scored four knockdowns in. He can wrestle, he can strike, he can crack, he can do it all. Bektic is no joke. He has barely lost a round in his career, and Emmett dropped him with a jab, before following up with numerous finishing blows. Emmett could ideally fight Jose Aldo, but he shouldn’t be moved up too quickly.

Chan Sung Jung is also coming off an incredible performance over top-ranked Renato Moicano, a fight he finished via TKO just under a minute into round one. Both men are coming off of first-round knockout wins over top opponents, but the style clash in this matchup is really gripping. Both of these two warriors have incredible striking, and both are good on the ground as well. Of course, coming from Team Alpha Male, you’re going to be experienced on the mat.

Emmett has 14 years of wrestling experience, and Jung is more of a grappler than a wrestler, and boasts a BJJ brown belt to his credit. It’d be very interesting to see these two bang it out on the feet, and that’s most likely what would happen if they did meet inside the octagon. With Emmett’s power and diverse striking attack of kicks and punches against Jung’s third degree Taekwondo black belt and elusive boxing, it’d be very fun to watch.

The Team Alpha Male product was ranked at No. 10 going into his fight at UFC Sacramento, and Jung is now ranked at No. 6 after his win last month. Emmett will most likely only get moved up one spot, over Renato Moicano, considering Jeremy Stephens (the last man to defeat him) is ranked at No. 8. Nonetheless, this is the perfect fight to make after seeing each of their last fights.

Urijah Faber (35-10) vs. Jimmie Rivera (22-4) II

Urijah Faber looked awesome last night. Many counted him out in his comeback; perhaps they thought he was too old in general, or maybe they just didn’t like the matchup, but he dealt with a little adversity early on. Though it only lasted 46 seconds into the first round. “The California Kid” got hit pretty hard with a nice left hook from Simon and was getting pressured by the 26-year-old, who also landed a hard leg kick while the former WEC champion was circling the outside of the cage.

Moments after, Faber connected with a beautiful overhand right that face-planted Simon to the canvas, and followed up in Simon’s side control with more punches to get the finish. We got to see that the 40-year-old Hall of Fame legend is still just as fast as ever, and he still hits very, very hard. Usually, he would hurt his opponents on the feet, then wrap up a submission, but once he saw Simon was hurt badly, Faber wanted that TKO. This was actually Faber’s fastest finish ever. Not too shabby for a return fight.

Faber has stated himself that he had a hard time getting excited for this fight. He still to this day oftentimes can’t remember Jimmie Rivera’s name. This would be a good matchup because Faber looked great in his return, and Rivera is at a crossroads of sorts. He started out his career 21-1, with his only loss via split decision in his second fight. Rivera was on a 20-fight win streak, and now he’s gone 1-3 in his last four. Not to say he’s not a good fighter, he’s just had a bit of a rough patch this past year or so.

It all started with a head kick from Marlon Moraes. He hasn’t really performed optimally since. Rivera had a good showing against John Dodson after losing to Moraes, but has lost his last two. He was doing well against Petr Yan in his last fight as well, until he began getting rocked by Yan’s punches. At 30-years-old, where most fighters come into their prime, it’s been unfortunate for Rivera. Granted, he has fought the best in the world since he’s been in the UFC. If Faber can learn to check leg kicks, at least better than he has in the past, he’s got a serious shot at avenging this loss.

Aspen Ladd (8-1) vs. Julianna Pena (10-3)

Julianna Pena had a decent performance last night. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either. She hadn’t fought in two-and-a-half years, however (like Urijah Faber), so perhaps she was a bit rusty; which appeared to be the case as the fight went on. Pena lost round one, and lost the first half of round two, before getting into her groove and beginning to out-class Montano.

This fight was largely contested on the ground, and was very back-and-fourth, but not in the sense where they kept reversing each other. Pena pretty much lost the first seven or so minutes of this fight, and won the last seven or eight minutes. She just needed a little time to adjust and get used to being in there again.

It’s very exciting to have “The Ultimate Fighter 18” winner back, she always had so much potential, it would’ve been a shame to see her call it a career after losing to Valentina Shevchenko. At almost 30-years-old, she has a great chance of working her way up to a title shot.

Ladd, of course, got the short end of the stick last night, it was unfortunate to see the fight end the way it did, but what better way to get over it than to fight a top-level opponent that won that same night? This is a great matchup between two very well rounded female fighters in the UFC’s bantamweight division. Both women are great on the feet; and both are great on the ground, in wrestling, and BJJ as well.

They’re both high level mixed martial artists that put on entertaining fights every time. We didn’t get to see much of Ladd’s performance last night, but we all know how good she is, and Pena is ready for the step up again. Pena at her best is an absolute killer. She defeated Jessica Eye and Cat Zingano in back-to-back fights before fighting Shevchenko, back when Zingano was ranked at No. 3 in the world.

People forget Pena was ranked at No. 5 in the division heading into that fight. She beat the No. 3-ranked fighter and was one of the very best in the world before her hiatus. Pena now holds a 5-1 record with the UFC, and Ladd holds a 3-1 record with the promotion. “The Venezuelan Vixen” is just a little taller, and slightly rangier than Ladd, but don’t let that fool you. Ladd knows how to win, as does Pena, and that’s why this would be such a great fight to make.

Germaine de Randamie (9-3) vs. Ketlen Vieira (10-0)

Germaine de Randamie looked great last night, for as long as it lasted. We don’t have much to judge from, but what can be judged is her precision, power, and timing. She landed one strike to Ladd’s chin, and only needed that one. Ladd folded over, and regardless of whether the stoppage was just or not, de Randamie was the winner of the night.

As a 37-0 kickboxer and multiple-time world champion in the art, she had a bit of a rough start to her MMA career. “GDR” started out with a 3-2 record before signing with the UFC. Once signed to the Las Vegas-based promotion, she defeated Julie Kedzie, a long-time women’s mixed martial artist, via split decision. This fight saw her out-striking Kedzie, but getting taken down a couple of times.

In her next fight, we saw “GDR” against a fellow women’s bantamweight that was also 1-0 in the UFC, Amanda Nunes. “The Lioness” quickly took “The Iron Lady” down and got the TKO finish in round one. All three of those losses were because of her ground game, or lack thereof rather. Her first loss was via submission (armbar), after she was taken down six times and out-wrestled to a decision in her second defeat, and her only other loss was to Nunes. Since then, she’s gone 5-0, four of which were at 135 lbs.

Initially, it was presumed the winner of de Randamie and Ladd deserved a title shot next. Not that de Randamie doesn’t deserve it, as she was ranked at No. 1 in the women’s bantamweight division before her fight last night, and she won. However, the stoppage may be a reason people wouldn’t want to see her rematch Nunes next, along with the fact that Cris Cyborg is fighting Felicia Spencer later this month, and the winner of that could also be next. So, considering “GDR’s” place in the rankings, and the way the fight ended last night, why not have her fight the No. 2 women’s bantamweight?

A matchup with Ketlen Vieira, who like de Randamie, is also a specialist, would be tremendous. Vieira holds black belts in both BJJ and Judo, along with being a Brazilian National Wrestling Champion as well. She’s just as much a killer on the ground as “GDR” is on the feet. The 27-year-old junior is also a four-time MMA champion as a professional, and holds a 4-0 record inside the UFC. “The Iron Lady” is an inch taller than “Fenomeno,” and has a one-inch reach advantage. Vieira’s size matches up with de Randamie’s well, who is quite big for a women’s bantamweight. These two ladies would certainly put on a show.

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UFC Sacramento Predictions: De Randamie vs. Ladd

UFC Sacramento Confidence Level Scale 1: Gun to the head, forced to choose  2: Minimum confidence 3-4: A small level of confidence 5-6: Significantly clearer path to victory for one person. 7 – Strong confidence. 8-9: Extremely confident. 10 – Bul…

UFC Sacramento Confidence Level Scale 1: Gun to the head, forced to choose  2: Minimum confidence 3-4: A small level of confidence 5-6: Significantly clearer path to victory for one person. 7 – Strong confidence. 8-9: Extremely confident. 10 – Bulletproof Confidence, barring freak occurrence Marvin Vettori (12-4-1) vs. Cezar Ferreira (13-7) The UFC Sacramento […]

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Bellator 224 Predictions: Budd vs. Rubin

Bellator heads back to the friendly confines of WinStar Resort and Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma this Friday night for Bellator 224. The event features a four-fight main card with a title fight in the headliner, and below are my predictions for each…

Bellator heads back to the friendly confines of WinStar Resort and Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma this Friday night for Bellator 224. The event features a four-fight main card with a title fight in the headliner, and below are my predictions for each bout. Women’s Featherweight Title Bout: Julia Budd (c) vs. Olga Rubin Budd (12-2) […]

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UFC 239 Fallout: Five Fights To Make

We had an incredible night of fights last night (Sat. July 6, 2019) at UFC 239. The show went even better than most expected it to. There were some stellar knockouts, some back-and-forth wars, some shocking outcomes, and a few fights that went the way most expected. You really couldn’t ask for more in a […]

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We had an incredible night of fights last night (Sat. July 6, 2019) at UFC 239. The show went even better than most expected it to. There were some stellar knockouts, some back-and-forth wars, some shocking outcomes, and a few fights that went the way most expected. You really couldn’t ask for more in a UFC card.

Where do the winners go from here? Where do the losers go from here? There were some great performances that made it tough to only pick five. Edmen Shahbazyan looked unbelievable, Marlon Vera did a great job, as did Song Yadong. Arnold Allen is really coming into his own. The whole main card was great.

We at LowKickMMA have decided on five great matchups to make after this great night of fights. Check them out below:

Song Yadong (14-3) 2 NC vs. Alex Perez (22-5)

One person that really impressed last night was Song Yadong. This kid made his UFC debut at just 19-years-old, and has done nothing but put on incredible performances since. He’s now 4-0 in the UFC with three finishes. Yadong defeated 7-year-long UFC featherweight and bantamweight veteran Felipe Arantes via TKO in just his second UFC outing, before winning all three rounds against Vince Morales. Last night, he took out “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” winner, Alejandro Perez, via KO in round one; a guy that was 7-2-1 in the UFC, and only 21-years-old. He’s a prodigy to say the very least.

The fight I’d like to see him in next would be against fellow bantamweight prospect, Alex Perez, who’s ranked at No. 10 in the UFC Flyweight rankings, but has all sorts of problems making the 126-pound flyweight limit consistently. Perez is 2-0 at bantamweight thus far inside the UFC, and is 4-1 overall in the UFC, with his only loss being to Joseph Benavidez. Perez is a well-rounded, experienced fighter that I feel would be a great test for Yadong. I think they match up together very well. Yadong has passed all four tests thus far in the UFC with flying colors, and so has Perez, aside from fighting the eight-year-long top-three fighter in Benavidez.

I think this fight would be back-and-fourth on the feet, and I also believe we’d get to see a little more of Yadong’s ground game. Perez was a Regional Champion and an All-American wrestler in his second year in college. It’d be interesting to see how Yadong reacts to another well-rounded fighter pushing the pace against him. Alejandro Perez didn’t get to do much against him last night, but Alex Perez would be a great fight for Yadong to see just where he’s at.

Ben Askren (19-1) 1 NC vs. Michael Chiesa (16-4)

How about a matchup between these two stud grapplers? At first, I liked a matchup between Askren and Darren Till; both are top ten guys that lost their last fights via vicious knockout to Jorge Masvidal. But I hate seeing guys go from undefeated to losing more than once in a row. Both men are coming off losses. Till made it to 17-0-1, now he’s 17-2-1. Askren was 19-0 (1 NC), and now he’s 19-1 (1 NC). Whoever would lose that fight would go from undefeated to losing either two or three in a row. Michael Chiesa said he’d accept nothing less than a top ten opponent next, so why not Ben Askren?

While looking at the mid-to-lower half of the top 15 welterweights, most are booked for a fight already except for Neil Magny, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, Demian Maia, and Santiago Ponzinibbio. Magny is suspended, a matchup between dos Santos and Ponzinibbio would be intriguing considering they’re both on seven-fight win streaks at welterweight, and Chiesa has three submission losses, so even as good of a matchup as a fight with Maia would be, it’d be a little harder to get people excited for.

This would be a great match up to see where each guy’s skill-set is at. Chiesa is an incredible talent. His grappling is unbelievably good, he has a perfect mixture of BJJ and wrestling, as does Askren. Now that ”Maverick” is at welterweight, he has the energy and strength to let his skills flow the way they should. Honestly, that may be the reason he’s been submitted three times; the weight cut was too much and it made his head foggy, let alone not having the energy to work his way out of them.

As for ”Funky,” everyone seems to think he’s overrated now that he has finally suffered defeat. This fight will be a perfect test for each of them to see how good they are, and where they should go from there.

Perhaps Askren would be the favorite, but what Chiesa did to Diego Sanchez, no one across four weight classes has ever been able to do. Sanchez may be 37 now, he may not be the fighter he once was, but out-grappling him isn’t an easy feat for anyone, and Chiesa did it swiftly. As for Askren’s health, he needs to let his brain recover, and a fight with someone who most likely won’t try to knock him out would probably be ideal for his next outing.

Tyron Woodley (19-4-1) vs. Jorge Masvidal (34-13)

”Gamebred” says he wants a title shot next, as he said after his last win as well, but let’s be honest, if Colby Covington defeats Robbie Lawler next month, he deserves the shot more than anyone. He’s the Interim UFC Welterweight Champion, or at least was, but never lost his belt. There’s a reason there was a title on the line when Covington fought Rafael dos Anjos. The winner, when healthy enough, was supposed to unify their title with Tyron Woodley’s. With that being said, this is a great fight to make.

Tyron Woodley just pulled out of his rematch with Robbie Lawler because of a hand injury, hence the reason Covington is fighting him a month later. As long as Woodley can return by the end of the year, why not make this fight for the No. 1 contender after Covington (if he wins on Aug 3) fights Kamaru Usman for the belt? This division is a little held up at the moment considering the champion is hurt as well, but in the meantime, this fight could take place. Masvidal just KO’d Ben Askren in five seconds, why not go for his teammate, and according to most, the No. 2-ranked welterweight of all-time next?

This fight presents an exciting matchup, as Woodley has better striking than Askren, he most likely wouldn’t get starched in five seconds. Masvidal is on fire right now and has two big knockout wins this year. Both of which are already early Knockout Of The Year candidates. However, that’s as far as his win streak stretches. He lost his last two fights just beforehand. One more win and he’ll be impossible to deny, but right now, Covington is still likely next. Not to overlook Robbie Lawler. If Lawler beats Covington, then Masvidal should certainly be next in line.

The styles of Masvidal and Woodley would make for a great fight. Masvidal isn’t going to out-wrestle Woodley like Usman did, but he will push the pace, and he will strike with him. This would likely bring out the best in both men. Masvidal’s kickboxing is just incredible, and he’s tough as hell, but Woodley is perhaps a top-three hardest hitter ever at 170 pounds.

Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Ladd/de Randamie or Cyborg/Spencer winner

We will have a better idea of what’s next for Amanda Nunes in the coming weeks, considering there’s No. 1-contender fights at both bantamweight and featherweight this month. Neither of these fights are guaranteed title eliminators, but the winner of each of them will be deserving of the next shot. We have three-time amateur MMA champion and undefeated professional Aspen Ladd taking on the former Women’s UFC Featherweight Champion, Germaine de Randamie. Both of these women are undefeated kickboxers. De Randamie’s record sits at 37-0 in the art, and Ladd’s at 8-0.

Ladd will improve to 9-0 (4-0 UFC) in MMA with a win, and de Randamie would improve to 9-3 (6-1 UFC) and a five-fight win streak. ”The Lioness” could choose to defend her UFC Bantamweight Championship against the winner of that fight, or to defend her UFC Featherweight Championship against the winner of Cris Cyborg and Felicia Spencer. Of course, a rematch with Cyborg would be more appealing to most. However, we’ve never seen her fight Spencer, who shocked the MMA community with her dominant win over Megan Anderson at UFC Rochester.

Spencer won the Invicta FC Featherweight Championship just before joining the UFC, and Cyborg is, of course, the former Women’s Champion of Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and the UFC. It’s been said that Nunes will defend her featherweight title for the first time in her next fight, but we all know that in MMA, all sorts of curve balls are thrown, and what’s said to be happening, doesn’t always happen. Nonetheless, all of these fights are intriguing, and all four of these opponents are former champions.

Jon Jones (25-1) 1 NC vs. Jan Blachowicz (24-8)

After watching Jan Blachowicz’ impressive performance last night, the argument could be made that the heavy-handed light heavyweight deserves to be next in line for the title shot at 205 pounds. Yes, he was knocked out in his second-to-last fight, but the one to knock him out (Thiago Santos) just fought Jon Jones for the belt on the same card, and actually did very well against the champion. Blachowicz knocked out former Strikeforce and UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold last night in the second round, after almost knocking him out at the end of round one. Blachowicz is a very well-rounded fighter. He has a BJJ black belt and holds a record of 34-0 in kickboxing. He also showed off his kickboxing last night, and it looked quite impressive.

Blachowicz had a bit of a rough start to his UFC career. After upsetting Ilir Latifi in Sweden, he would go 1-4 in his next five. Since then, he’s gone 5-1 with the only loss in that span being to Thiago Santos. Jon Jones had a very interesting approach to his fight last night, as he merely pursued Santos defensively the entire time without really landing any effective strikes. It makes one wonder what Santos could’ve done had he not injured his knee. Since the champion’s return at UFC 232, he has had a noticeably different approach to the game. Jones used to go for broke and throw anything and everything with reckless abandonment before he started fighting a little more tactically. Now Jones more or less fights not to lose.

It was a very unusual performance from him, and I thought he could’ve easily given his belt up. Not that he looked terrible, but he just didn’t do much. It could’ve gone 48-47 either way. When the fight was over, Jones pretty much said he didn’t do too much because Santos is a black belt in Muay Thai. When asked why he didn’t try and take the fight down, he answered because he felt he was winning the fight.

Firstly, it’s kind of sad that Jones is that content with coasting, he never seemed to be before. It’s absolutely okay to win decisions, there’s nothing wrong with not being able to finish your opponent, however, not trying whatsoever to do anything effective – that’s unfortunate. Secondly, ”Marreta” was on one leg for the majority of the fight.

A guy like Jon Jones should have been able to out-wrestle him. If this was the way he normally wins, it wouldn’t be much of a talking point. But this is just so out of character for Jones that it’s kind of nuts. Is this the new Jon Jones? And if so, how does this version of “Bones” matchup with Jan Blachowicz?

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5 Fights To Make For UFC 239 Main Card Winners

UFC 239 looked like it had the potential to be a great card on paper and the event definitely lived up to the hype. The main card in particular was chock full of some incredible performances, and my picks for who each of the five main card winners shou…

UFC 239 looked like it had the potential to be a great card on paper and the event definitely lived up to the hype. The main card in particular was chock full of some incredible performances, and my picks for who each of the five main card winners should fight next are listed below. Jon […]

The post 5 Fights To Make For UFC 239 Main Card Winners appeared first on MMA News.