UFC Sydney: Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura Toe-to-Toe preview – A complete breakdown

Phil and David break down everything you need to know about Werdum vs. Tybura for UFC Sydney, and everything you don’t about properly bouncing boomerangs. Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura headlines UFC Sydney this 18 November 2017 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
One sentence summary
Phil: Fabricio “Jacare Dundee” Werdum hunts the most dangerous game, apparently a giant Polish hobbit.
David: Captain Boomerang vs. Polish Swole Seth Rogen.
Stats
Record: Fabricio Werdum 22-7-1 Draw | Marcin Tybura 16-2
Odds: Fabricio Werdum -350 | Marcin Tybura +290
History / Introduction to both fighters
David: Alas! It’s kind of amazing. This fight is alright as a clash of pugilism. But is that why we’re excited? Of course not. This is MMA. And we finally hit peak MMA when Werdum attacked Colby Covington with a boomerang. This, of course, after some homophobic slurs. It’s given us everything we deserve in this sport – half baked bigotry, partially steeped in real world atrocities, weapons you’d only find in a DC universe movie, and classic nu metal brooding. This has nothing to do with Werdum’s opponent, of course. But that’s because MMA is just another word for ADHD. We didn’t come here for the common ventures. We came here for the anti-heroics. Bask in it, Phil! Bask!
Phil: Fabricio Werdum is an unconventional hero. OK, he’s not a hero at all. He’s a bit of a wally. But, if there was anyone for him to pull his schtick where he tries to flex and bully the smaller man (current list: Luke Rockhold, Jon Jones, Tony Ferguson, Edmond, and am I missing anyone?), I’m sort of glad it was Colby Covington. The fact that Colby pressed charges after all his nonsense about how he was going to eat the hearts of his enemies? After getting a gift-wrapped tourist-shop boomerang bounced off his head? Now Werdum has to stay in Australia to face the charges, while Covington’s image has taken a beating. It’s a scenario with no heroes, no winners, and no meaning, but it’s all pretty funny, and that’s about as MMA as you can get.
David: There’s that line in Tombstone. Billy Bob Thornton gets embarrassed, slapped, and humiliated inside a saloon by Kurt Russell, playing Hollywood’s version of Wyatt Earp – not the real life non vigilante. Kurt then goes and shoots the shit with Doc Holiday and the gang. Billy Bob returns, ‘heeled’ with a winchester rifle, hoping to get some sort of revenge. Except the gang’s all there. Everyone talks, leaves, but not before Doc intones “Why Johnny…I forgot you were there…” And so this is how I feel the MMA world has addressed Tybura. Like the proverbial tear in the rain. For Werdum, however, who is notorious for in-cage eccentricity (or just plain stupidity – his loss to Stipe Miocic is a classic example of a fighter doing everything in their power to leave their own carcass to the crows), this would be a critical error.
Phil: Tybura had a modest amount of hype on his way into the UFC, but sadly ended up running into the vast Secondary Rothwell bulk of Tim Johnson, who forced him into ugly clinch exchanges over and over. Such is the fate of the heavyweight talent. Even those who have a decent amount of skill and some baseline athleticism have to get used to the fact that they’ve likely never fought anyone with close to the level of power, strength, and straight-up durability that they’ll encounter in the UFC. Tybura has done a solid job of righting the ship since, though.
What’s at stake?
David: This is all on Werdum, really. If he wins, he’s back in the title mix. If he loses, Dana finally has a reason to think more critically about what kind of penalty assault with a boomerang deserves while one of his fighters gets banned for 18 months for a drug that isn’t even as potent as a weight watcher guru’s cup of green tea.
Phil: I don’t think anyone would be wild about a Werdum-Stipe rematch, but there’s really no-one else apart from Ngannou out there at the moment. Much as I love him, it’s probably time to admit that Cain is never coming back as a top-level fighter.
Where do they want it?
David: At his best, Werdum is quietly dangerous on the feet. With penetrating leg kicks, and a cheater’s reach, Werdum closes distance with urgency and violence. It’s funny because he’s not terribly technical. There’s nothing real unique or inspiring about the mechanics of his striking, but sometimes velocity is all you need. He’s great in the clinch too. And from afar, he’s got that flying Johnny Cage flash kick that nearly put Travis Browne down and out. But none of this really highlights what makes him one of the best heavyweights in the world. At his size, it’s almost unfair how fluid he is on the ground. He’s a big dude with small man jiu jitsu skills.
Phil: Werdum is a smart enough fighter to know what his own problem is: confidence. Without much in the way of defense, he’s similar to Poirier (who we discussed last week), in that he needs to be insulated by being carried along on the rolling train of his own offense. Unlike Poirier, Werdum has a tendency to force the issue, by getting crazy with flying kicks, or trying to bumrush Miocic to disastrous effect. The issue with forcing yourself to disrespect what’s coming back from the opponent is that sometimes it’s something fight-ending. Essentially, Werdum knows that he’s not a cautious range kickboxer, and that he needs to be in those body kick-marching punch-clinch takedown chains to be effective, but he needs to be careful that he tunes that approach. Another decent analogue here is Derek Brunson, who had a comical loss to Bobby Knuckles, then followed it up with an uncharacteristically cautious performance (as with Werdum against Overeem).
David: Tybura possesses a solid toolkit for a division that doesn’t need many tools. Imagine Anthony Johnson with dadbod mechanics, and you’ll have some idea of what Tybura has in his arsenal. With a wide range of strikes – sweeping left hook, outside high kick, lunging jab, etc – he’s surprisingly nimble for a man of his size. That knockout of Viktor Pesta is one of the more impressive knockouts in the heavyweight division. It’s not that he was able to shut off the lights, but how he was able to do it, displaying speed, awareness, and agility all in one brutal consciousness constricting blow. This style allows him to stay effective on the feet in different states; moving forward, backward, pressuring, resetting, countering etc. It’s a fluid attack attack be brings to the cage that remains unseen the bigger the bodies get. He doesn’t offer much else beyond striking, which is exactly what we presume Werdum will exploit.
Phil: Tybura reminds me of Miocic, in that he doesn’t have a particularly memorable style for the freakshow heavyweight division, but this in itself is something of a reminder that hey: being generically well-rounded and decently athletic is not a common trait at this weight class. Tybura is light on his feet, with a powerful judo base and a knack for taking the back. While he’s not a phenomenal puncher, he’s a quick and unpredictable kicker. Defensively he’s not good at all, but he does a reasonably decent job of mixing up feints, his jab, his cross, and a flicking head kick.
As said, it’s a style which you see normally populating the middle of the lower divisions (James Krause, Jason Saggo and suchlike), but which rarely progresses much beyond that, due to basic weaknesses against fundamental Muay Thai, pressure and wrestling. That sounds like Werdum?
Insight from past fights
Phil: People have said that Tybura can outpace Werdum but… can he? He looked near-dead from fairly early on against Arlovski, and won because Andrei was even more utterly exhausted than he was. He also looked hugely ragged against Johnson. Werdum’s cardio has historically been pretty amazing for a heavyweight. You don’t get much better credentials in that regard than outlasting Cain.
David: The Miocic fight might have offered some insight if Werdum didn’t slam his head face first into Stipe’s fist. As is, I don’t see a real opening for Tybura in a fight where his opponent has so many options for victory (attrition, submission, low volume striking match, high octane eye poke fest, etc). Werdum’s standup defense, regardless of how goofy he can get, has always left a bit to be desired. He charges even when he’s moving the needle by inches, so Tybura will have his opportunities as long as the fight isn’t on the ground.
X-Factors
Phil: Short of karma for supporting Kadyrov whickering around through the air and clonking into Werdum’s face like some kind of curved stick, I can’t think of any.
David: Heavyweight is its own x-factor. Maybe physics has something to say about it all, but for now, chaos reigns in the UFC, but the gravitational pull of it all seems to wallow in the heavyweight swamp.
Prognostication
Phil: I was higher on Tybura’s chances before reviewing the tape for this fight, but I think Werdum might be a very bad matchup for him. Tybura’s TKD-style kicks will be hard to set up on Werdum’s relentless forward pressure, and Werdum thrives on beating people up in the clinch and landing hard kicks to the leg and body as they retreat. Werdum’s weaknesses in fundamental boxing technique and defense are also present and debatably even worse in Tybura’s style. I’m prepared to be surprised, or for Werdum to look old overnight, but Fabricio Werdum by submission, round 3
David: As you said, it’s hard to reconcile Tybura’s technical, patient style with Werdum’s aggressive, but still technical momentum. If Werdum gets knocked out while pulling guard, I won’t be surprised. But this should be fairly traditional in outcome. Fabricio Werdum by rear naked choke, round 2.

Source: bloody

Matt Serra calls out ‘f-cking asshole’ and ‘attention whore’ Conor McGregor for Bellator antics

Serra: “If I did that, if anybody did that, they’d be called a f*cking asshole. How does this guy get a pass? He’s acting like a f*cking asshole.” Matt Serra is the latest fighter to weigh in on Conor McGregor’s controversial antics at Bellator 187, and the former UFC welterweight champion pulled back no punches on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
McGregor, the current UFC lightweight champ, shoved referee Marc Goddard and slapped a Bellator employee at Dublin’s 3Arena during his wild celebration with SBG Ireland teammate Charlie Ward, who knocked out John Redmond in the first round.
Former UFC welterweight title challenger turned commentator Dan Hardy, 35, called McGregor’s behavior ‘reckless and disrespectful’. But Serra, who officially retired from the sport in 2013, really let loose and called ‘The Notorious’ a ‘f-cking asshole’ and an ‘attention whore’.
“The point is this: He makes it about himself,” Serra said, per MMA Mania’s Dan Hiergesell. “He doesn’t make it about his friends. He’s not doing that to support his friends… Dude – you’re an attention whore. That’s not respectful to your fighter. And what about him jumping on the cage and smacking the official?
“If I did that, if anybody did that, they’d be called a f*cking asshole. How does this guy get a pass?… He’s acting like a f*cking asshole.”
Although ABC president Mike Mazulli said McGregor had been removed from the upcoming UFC 219 pay-per-view on Dec. 30 due to his misconduct in the Bellator cage (McGregor had never been officially booked for the event), many pundits feel the Irishman will get away scot-free.
Serra, who is known for his sharp tongue, doesn’t ‘give a f-ck’ and thinks the MMA megastar should be punished.
“I just think it’s f*cking silly that people are like, ‘Ahh, well, that’s Conor, he’s bigger than life!’ He’s allowed to smack somebody? Man, f*ck that dude. I don’t give a f*ck.”
McGregor, 29, lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the mega-boxing match this past August and is expected to return to the Octagon to defend his lightweight title in the new year.

Source: bloody

Bellator 188 Results: Noad Lahat earns unanimous decision over Jeremiah Labiano in Bellator’s return to Israel

Expectations were fairly low for Bellator 188, especially after it lost its main event fight between Patricio Freire and Daniel Weichel just a few days beforehand, but the unheralded card ended up being an enjoyable affair with a plethora of first-round stoppages and a main event which saw Noad Lahat pick up a win over Jeremiah Labiano in his hometown of Tel Aviv, Israel

After a tepid first round that saw Lahat control the action with his top game, the second round played host to some controversy when Lahat secured another takedown but then landed a pair of illegal elbows to the back of Labiano’s head. Lahat argued that the elbows were to the ear, but the referee disagreed, breaking the fighters up and deducting a point from Lahat.

Perhaps feeling the pressure of losing the point, Lahat came out for the third round with increased urgency, quickly securing a takedown and dominating Labiano for the majority of the round. In the end, the point deduction did not matter as Lahat took home a unanimous decision victory with 29-27 scorecards from all three judges.

In the co-main event of the evening, Haim Gozali wasted no time rebounding from a his last loss, submitting Arsen Faitovich with a triangle choke only 45 seconds into the first round. Faitovich went for an early takedown and fell immediately into the choke. A quick adjustment later and Faitovich was going limp and the Israeli MMA pioneer was celebrating in front of a raucous crowd.

John Salter staked his claim for a middleweight title shot, finishing Jason Radcliffe with a rear-naked choke at 1:55 of the first round. It was a simple affair for the grappling standout who quickly secured a takedown, moved to the back, and sunk in the choke quickly. Salter is now 5-0 inside the Bellator cage with all of his wins coming by way of stoppage, four of them in the first round.

In the main card opener, Denise Kielholtz impressed in her Bellator MMA debut, submitting Jessica Middleton with a scarfhold armbar at 1:16 of the first round. Kielholtz is the Bellator flyweight kickboxing champion but she also has a black belt in judo and it was her grappling that decided this bout quickly, tossing Middleton to the ground with a head-arm-throw before eventually securing the tap out.

Source: mmafighting

Bellator 188 results and video highlights: Lahat decisions Labiano, three finishes in under two minutes

Here are the results and highlights from Bellator 188, where Noad Lahat earned the nod over Jeremiah Labiano in the main event. Plus three finishes, each under two minutes. Bellator 188 has just wrapped up from Tel Aviv, well technically the show ended on Thursday, but the tape-delayed broadcast has just wrapped up. The top of the billing saw Noad Lahat pick up a unanimous decision victory over Jeremiah Labiano. The rest of the main card was absolute hot fire as each of the three bouts concluded in less than two minutes each. Haim Gozali choked out Arsen Faitovich in a swift 45 seconds, John Salter subbed Jason Radcliffe in 1:55, and Denise Kielholtz opened up the card with a 1:16 armbar of Jessica Middleton. Check out all of the deets below!
Noad Lahat def. Jeremiah Labiano by Unanimous Decision (29-27 x3): Featherweight

These two featherweights came out looking to throw hands for the first minute of the opening round. It was Lahat who closed the distance first, and initiated the clinch, but didn’t really do much with it. Once back on the feet, the athletes went shot for shot, until Labiano lost his balance and fell on his back. Lahat would remain in the closed guard of Labiano for the remainder of the round.
Labiano started the second stanza with some intensity, by throwing heavy leather, but only really connected on a single uppercut. A inadvertent low blow to Labiano caused a halt to the action, to which the Israeli crowd vocally expressed their disapproval. Once the action resumed, Lahat rapidly closed the distance, scoring a takedown and keeping it. Labiano struggled with the top pressure of his opponent, but was gifted a standup after Lahat threw a few illegal elbows to the back of the head. The referee deducted a point from Lahat, and the action continued. The action resumed into a giant scramble, with Lahat working for leg locks while Labiano searched for strikes.
It was Labiano who racked up some control time to start the final round, but Lahat responded to his coach Robert Follis, and secured a takedown to control the situation. Lahat racked up some ground strikes as his opponent offered up very little from the bottom. The referee stood them up for the final 10 seconds, and the 145’ers obliged the crowd by slugging it out in the closing moments of the fight.
Peep the slugfest in the final 10 seconds of the bout:

“They battle to the very end!” – @GoldieOnTV #Bellator188 pic.twitter.com/Yw5tDQWbpy— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 18, 2017

Haim Gozali def. Arsen Faitovich by Submission (Triangle) at :45 of round 1: Welterweight

Gozali pressured forward behind a series of probing hooks, which caused Faitovich to shoot in for a takedown. From his back, Gozali quickly walked up his legs to lock in a Triangle Choke, cleared the arm across, and then pulled down on the head which appeared to put Faitovich to sleep. Luckily, the referee was right on top of the action to stop the bout, just as Gozali was transitioning to the armbar.
Check out Haim Gozali’s 1st round fire finish of Arsen Faitovich:

3rd straight 1st round finish of the night courtesy of @Haim_Gozali #Bellator188 pic.twitter.com/rmP1KC89Cx— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 18, 2017

Check out Bloody Elbow’s own Ram Gilboa with the legend Renzo Gracie:

Lucas Noonan/ Bellator (Isr)

John Salter def. Jason Radcliffe by Submission (RNC) at 1:55 of round 1: Middleweight

Salter wasted little time in closing the distance in pursuit of the takedown, and Radcliffe stuffed the initial effort, but ultimately ended up on the ground. Radcliffe exposed his back, to his opponent’s delight, and before he had an opportunity to improve his position, Salter sunk a fight-ending rear-naked choke.
John Salter is a frickin’ savage who ONLY finishes his foes:

.@JohnSalter_mma remains undefeated in the #BellatorMMA cage with yet another finish. #Bellator188 pic.twitter.com/sMNpfQWzin— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 18, 2017

Denise Kielholtz def. Jessica Middleton by Submission (Armbar) at 1:16 of round 1: Flyweight

Middleton came pressing forward but ate a series of punches from Kielholtz that landed rather flush. Kielholtz landed a head and arm throw, and locked up an ultra rare scarfhold armbar, which is basically a caveman armbar with extra bit of flare.
What’s a scarfhold armbar? Check this out…

First MMA win ✓ Awesome celebration ✓@Denisekielholtz #Bellator188 pic.twitter.com/R2JfIH2EHK— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 18, 2017

Kielholtz won with a sensational submission, but she is really known for her striking:

.@Denisekielholtz #Bellator188 pic.twitter.com/FY4HHT08nA— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 18, 2017

Source: bloody

Marlon Moraes steps in to face Aljamain Sterling on short notice at UFC Fresno

It’ll be Long Island versus New Jersey on the West Coast.

Marlon Moraes has stepped in to face Aljamain Sterling on short notice at UFC Fresno on Dec. 9, sources confirmed with MMA Fighting on Friday. Sterling was supposed to face Rani Yahya, who pulled out with an injury. MMAjunkie was the first to report the news after Sterling posted he’d be facing Moraes on social media.

Moraes (19-5-1) is coming off a split decision win over John Dodson just six days ago at UFC Norfolk. The Brazilian, who has lived and trained for years in New Jersey, is the former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion. Moraes, 29, is 1-1 since coming to the UFC, falling to Raphael Assuncao in his debut at UFC 212 in June.

Sterling (14-2) has won two straight, most recently a unanimous decision over Renan Barao at UFC 214 in July. The Serra-Longo product has compiled a 6-2 record in the UFC. Sterling, 28, is the former CFFC bantamweight champion.

UFC Fresno is headlined by a featherweight contender bout between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega.

Source: mmafighting

UFC Sydney: Bec Rawlings vs. Jessy Rose-Clark Toe-to-Toe preview

Phil and David break down everything you need to know about Rawlings vs. Rose-Clark in UFC Sydney, and everything you don’t about the cabaret backlot abattoir. Bec Rawlings vs. Jessy Rose-Clark co-headlines UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura this 18 November 2017 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
One sentence summary
Phil: This is certainly a fight, in Australia, between Australians.
David: Not your average co-main event, for better and for worse.
Stats
Record: Bec Rawlings 7-6 | Jessy Rose-Clark 7-4-1 NC
Odds: Bec Rawlings -135 | Jessy Rose-Clark +115
History / Introduction to both fighters
Phil: TUF 20 was not a season where many of the women on it came off looking particularly great. Basically, only JoJo and Rose did. Rawlings was something of the Leben of that season: someone for whom “rough around the edges” and “damaged” can’t really be separated out. Since then, she’s largely been famous for going on a rant against the evils of third wave feminism, and getting posterized by a Paige Van Zant jumping switch kick.
David: Like a lot of TUF fighters who get lost in the shuffle post-show, Rawlings flirted with modest success, but her presence in the octagon is more a function of c-level “star” cachet than anything focused on her pugilism. In fairness, she had a couple of wins following her loss on the show’s finale. It was fine. Her losses were tough. And she’s probably UFC material in a wheat thin division. So now we’re here.
Phil: Jessy Jess is one of those fighters that I think the UFC would very much like to be good at MMA. She projects an appealing mixture of wade-forward Muai Thai violence and charm. As in a lot of these cases, though, whether she’s going to sink or swim in the UFC is difficult to tell until she actually gets in there. Her most recent fight since (I believe) a move to Australian Top Team in Sydney showed genuine growth, which is encouraging.
David: The fresh faced Jessy Rose-Clark has done what all fighters do away from the UFC in a foreign land – smash some cans, and hope for the UFC’s scan. Watching older tape, Rose-Clark never stood out except as a project to put on TUF: Australia vs. Liechtenstein or something. She had a blue collar quality that I think takes fighters far in the glorified parking lots of Unarmed Combat Unleashed 2 and Mud with Blood Mixed Martial Tarts 15, or whatever unoriginal algorithm these shows use to get people watching this stuff. Durability tends to separate the strong from the weak at the lower levels. Jessy has evolved over time. She’s improved a lot, but whether that turns into a UFC career is a question mark.
What’s at stake?
David: Nothing much. Jessy can raise her stock in a big way. Even if her talents keep her matchups subdued, she’s like a Aussie PVZ in that respect – the UFC will push her profile, give her soft matchups, and hope they have a minor star when the boomerang circus rolls into town.
Phil: Surely “comes back around”? Wait, let’s save the boomerang puns for the main event.
Where do they want it?
David: Stylistically, Rawlings is something like fight goulash. She plods forward with a heavy foot, attacking wide for an overhand right, combinations upstairs and down, and then attempts to turn that offense into grappling exchanges. Rawlings is the perfect example of a fighter who is “good” on the ground by virtue of being comfortable. She doesn’t force much, and doesn’t try much, making the tunnel vision of gradually applying pressure on the ground enough to catch opponents in compromising positions. She has a pretty good whipping left hook. Other than that there’s not much else going on. Without strong legs and movement, her aggression can be stifled, and even within that I’d never bet against a more dynamic fighter. Again; see the PVZ karate kid knockout.
Phil: Rawlings is a fighter who wants to be aggressive, but lacks the tools to actually be aggressive. Her punches rarely come off step-ins, and she always throws planted, so she often ends up simply following her opponents around and scowling at them. I think a decent (although far more technically skilled) analogue here would be Paul Felder. At her best, she’s an aggressive counterpuncher, who pressures people into throwing then comes back with more and harder punches. She’s an underrated clinch fighter and dirty boxer, but that inability to move and attack simultaneously often leads her trying to figure out what is going on. It allowed Tecia Torres to carve her up by coming in and out, and it left her just watching while PVZ tried that switch kick about three separate times before landing it.
David: Watch Jessy fight “back in the day,” and you begin to realize why so many amateur fighters simply stagnate and become meat for the cabaret backlot abattoir – you can get away with bad fights. This fight with Kate De Silva is a “good” example. Here, Jessy gets away with classic Street Fighter trolling, spamming strikes like a teenager on so much Mountain Dew he can only see two buttons. Ok, I need a punch entry? How about straight right, straight right, straight right. She’s coming forward! Straight right. I got her in the clinch! Straight right, straight right. It’s the pugilist translation for comic book pow, kaboom, and thud. But then watch her fights with Carina Damm and Sarah Kaufman. It’s not quite night and day. More like night and dusk. But her movement has improved immensely. I think she’s still figuring out how to connect that movement with her boxing into a stronger synthesis, and the flaws show. But so does her ceiling. We’re not talking about a potential superstar or anything (although her story is a delight), but with the right coaching, she has the skills to be a UFC mainstay,
Phil: This is really the thing which jumps out, isn’t it. When I first saw that fight with De Silva in Ryan’s piece, I was relatively sure that Rose-Clark was going to get killed. Three short years have made a world of difference. She’s calmer with distance, her footwork… she has footwork now! Whereas before she was terribly plodding. Her ability to control range with the jab, and disrupt footwork with the leg kick make her look like a veteran at times. So, basically, co-sign on everything you said. She’s not going to be beating Valentina Shevchenko any time soon, or probably ever, but overall is a pleasant surprise.
Insight from past fights
David: Jessy’s fight with Kaufman was eye-opening for me since I was never able to track her progression in real time or anything. I mean, nothing against Roshambo and External Totally Real Combat, but it’s just not something I can fit into my schedule. Anyway, not only has her game evolved into something more movement based, and “angular,” but even against a very good veteran in Kaufman, she was able to adjust as the fight wore on. Hell, not even good fighters are all that good at adjusting. Rose-Clark went from being taken down, controlled, and neutralized on the feet in the first round to staying on the feet, working the jab, and patiently wait for openings. It didn’t work, and Kaufman’s leg work and classic boxing earned her a decision win, but it’s a strong gauge for a so called “regional fighter.”
Phil: Rawling’s record looks underwhelming, but it’s worth pointing out that she was probably beating VanZant before staring right into that head kick. She got dismantled by Torres, but there’s a decent argument that Tecia Torres might be the best strawweight in the world at the moment.
X-Factors
David: These are the things that UFC fans want to know! Is Jessy some kind of sinister “third wave feminist”? Did Rawlings ever properly digest the world’s hottest burger? X-Factors – we has ‘em.
Phil: Not much of an X-factor, but I’m curious how Rawlings looks when she’s not the slower person in the octagon. She’s always been a massive strawweight, and is one of those fighters that I think will genuinely benefit from moving up a division simply because everyone isn’t going to be so much quicker than she is.
Prognostication
David: Honestly, this is a pretty tough fight for both women. Rawlings has enough durability and moxy to make the evening tough for Jessy. Meanwhile, Jessy has the raw talent to pull away if she can stay active. I think one of the stories of this fight will be how Jessy deals with the clinch. She’s strong, but has a tendency to ‘get stuck’, if you will. Granted, how her newfound movement negates these tendencies is something I still anxiously await. But for the most part, I like Jessy’s movement. Basically, I’m banking on her progression. She doesn’t have a lot of knockouts, but she has strong mechanics, and good speed. If she’s better integrating that knuckle napalm into everything else, I like her to eek out a hard fought decision. Jessy Rose-Clark by Decision.
Phil: In the Kaufman and Damm fights, Jessy showcased a strong jab and leg kick. Rawling’s still has that Alliance-trained tendency to just move aimlessly on the outside, which should leave her open to moments of distance control. Much like you, I’m still not sure whether I trust Rose-Clark’s wrestling and clinch games, particularly as Rawling’s may actually have the proportionate footspeed to be able to close her opponents down at this weight class. Still. Jessica Rose-Clark by unanimous decision.

Source: bloody

Bellator 188 Results: Lahat vs. Labiano

MMA Fighting has results for the Bellator 188: Lahat vs. Labiano event at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In the main event, Noad Lahat takes on Jeremiah Labiano in the main event after Patricio Freire was forced out of his bout with Daniel Weichel just days ago.

Check out the Bellator 188 results below.

Main card (SPIKE at 9 p.m. ET)

Noad Lahat vs. Jeremiah Labiano

Arsen Faitovich vs. Haim Gozali

Jason Radcliffe vs. John Salter

Denise Kielholtz submits Jessica Middleton with a scarfhold armbar at 1:16 of Round 1

Source: mmafighting

Marlon Moraes accepts short-notice fight vs. Aljamain Sterling at UFC Fresno

With Rani Yahya injured, Marlon Moraes will not fight Aljamain Sterling at UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega in Fresno, California. Sometimes you see UFC fights fall apart due to injury or drug test failures, and the replacement opponent represents an arguable upgrade in fight quality. It’s fair to say that this is a textbook example of such a scenario.
Earlier this month, bantamweight veteran Rani Yahya withdrew from his December 9th matchup vs. top-10 contender Aljamain Sterling, leaving the New Yorker without an opponent just a few weeks out from fight night. Have no fear, for Marlon Moraes is here! MMAjunkie first reported on Friday that Moraes has agreed to fight Sterling on short notice, and while Sterling has announced the matchup on Twitter, the UFC has not yet made it official.
Moraes (19-5-1) is coming off a split decision win over John Dodson at UFC Norfolk just last week. The former WSOF bantamweight champion dropped his Octagon debut by split decision to top-5 contender Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212 in June.
Sterling (14-2) has won his last two fights, offsetting his two split decision defeats to Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao with impressive unanimous decision victories over Augusto Mendes and ex-champ Renan Barao. Incredibly, despite his 6-2 UFC record and top-10 status, Sterling has never been on a UFC main card.
Moraes’ triumph last Saturday meant that he’s now #7 in the UFC’s official rankings, while Sterling dropped down to #8. It’s nevertheless an exciting matchup between two very talented 135-pound fighters.
UFC Fresno is headlined by a featherweight bout between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega.
Source: bloody