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Fuck the UFC. You’re shit. You motherfuckers don’t look after nobody.

We’ll let this fucking white piece of shit fucking stick needles in his ass and say, ‘oh, he’s going to take us all the way to the fucking bank.’ Let’s give him fucking millions of dollars and not worry about this motherfucker. You know what? Fuck that and fuck your shit company. Look at that for a contract. You can sue me on that, motherfuckers.

— 

Mark Hunt on the MMA Hour

Originally posted by reelinplace

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“Thug” Rose Namajunas vs Paige VanZant

“Thug” Rose Namajunas (5-2) has bounced back from her TUF 20 Finale loss in the inaugural women’s strawweight title fight with two dominant submission wins over Paige Vanzant and Angela Hill. With Gadelha out of the title picture for a while, the #1 contender spot is wide open so every fight is a big deal at the moment.

In what is very much likely to determine who will fight champion Joanna Jedrzejycyzk next, Thug Rose will fight Karolina Kowalkiewicz (9-0) in the co-main event of UFC 201 this Saturday (July 30).

UFC 201: The Twelve Precarious Ponderings

The UFC’s march through July, a march that saw five shows prior to this, comes to an end on Saturday with UFC 201 from Atlanta. While some people really seemed to dislike this card, I’m very much in favor of it from spots 3-12. There are a lot of really good fights on this card from a matchup and excitement standpoint. If you enjoy flyweight fights or are excited in well matched fights between finishers then you’ll definitely be getting some good contests. At the same time, the headliner is very much a so-so at best fight. The co-main event lacks sizzling name value but should be a really good fight too. Still, I suppose after the really solid headliner/co-headliner partnerships we’ve seen in the UFC this year on PPV, this one is much weaker. STILL there’s plenty to look forward to on this card. Here are my 12 precarious ponderings for UFC 201.

1- I think I’ve officially pinpointed the #1 reason why I really dislike this fight. I think it’s because deep down, there’s a more than tacit fear that Tyron Woodley can absolutely win this fight vs Robbie Lawler. We all love Robbie Lawler but we’d be foolish, utterly so, to think this is a cakewalk for him. Woodley is relatively durable (only finished once), has KO power in both hands and will probably be dangerous in the first two rounds. Beyond that though, it’s entirely reasonable to worry about Robbie Lawler coming off a run that features two insanely grueling back to back five round fights. Even if you believe that Lawler is the better fighter, we’ve seen a lot of first round chaos at play this year. Beyond that, Lawler does have a bit of a reputation of sitting on the middle rounds and seemingly mentally locking up. I’m not sure if that’ll be an issue vs somebody he’s trained with in the past but you definitely have to consider it. We all want Lawler vs -every single big name WW possible- and the madness that would come from Lawler vs Condit II/McDonald III/Thompson/Maia/Nelson/Magny/so on so forth but Woodley is a pretty credible threat and a dull one at that. That’s where the issue is for me.

2- And in a ways, I feel really bad for not liking Tyron Woodley.  By all accounts, Woodley is a great guy and somebody who all fight fans should want their fighters to be like. He’s just not Robbie Lawler which is not his fault nor his problem.

3- So I’m glad they moved Rose-Karolina up to the co-main because Ellenberger vs Brown being there just felt so wrong.

4- This card is getting dinged for plenty of reasons but let’s suspend the agita long enough to acknowledge it’s got some bombass flyweight fights on it. From McCall/Scoggins all the way down to Benoit/Freddy Serrano, the flyweight division is getting some much needed attention.

5- Which SHOULD be a #1 contender fight; Karolina K vs Rose Namajunas or the upcoming Joanne Calderwood vs Jessica Andrade fight?

6- It feels like this is one of those shows where you could look at what the UFC is offering and then figure out what this card would be worth to Fox and then try to work out whether or not an event like this would be better served as a fight night on Fox or FS1.

7- Have we sort of forgotten just how good Erik Perez CAN be? He’s still under 27 years old, he’s been in the UFC for a lot longer than people realize, he’s not a finished product by any stretch but he’s an athletic, fun fighter with a quickly developing game overall. His wrestling will never be great by any stretch but we’ve seen some improvements there. He trains with a top camp and assuming he can get by Francisco Rivera (no easy task for what that’’s worth), we may need to start talking about him again as a potential top prospect.

8- I’ve mentioned this before (about 1,000 times I guess), why is Ian McCall ranked so highly at flyweight?

9- Don’t look now guys but Nikita Krylov is on a four fight winning streak, all finishes. One more away from a big fight IMO.

10- Wilson Reis went from co-main event to opening up the FS2 prelims. That’s a harsh fall from grace, man.

11- Ross Pearson vs Jorge Masvidal at 170 lbs is a pretty damn great fight. The whole prelim slate is pretty great action wise. You’ve got Krylov vs Herman in what should be an action fight at 205, Masvidal vs Pearson should be a great clash of styles (the pressuring brawling style of Pearson and Jorge Masvidal’s patient counter striking and pinpoint accuracy), Hector Sandoval would’ve been a fine fit on the TUF 24 cast and he’ll at least offer a few challenges to Wilson Reis. The only shitty fight is the Hamilton/Grabowski one.

12- Numbers update! Fighters who  are debuting fell to 10-34-1-1  after the losses of Dmitry Smoliakov, J.C. Cottrell and Bojan Mijhalovic. Off to a great start. The win by Kamaru Usman and loss of J.C Cottrell and turned the record around to  22-25-1 short notice (14-12-1 short notice sans debut)

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This Week in Combat Sports (7/25-7/31)

We’ve got a ton of things happening this week to finish out the month to July.

  • RFA 41 - Friday, July 29 at 10pm ET on AXS TV - No title fight this time out, but RFA has a middleweight title eliminator lined up for their main event featuring TUF 19 alum Josh Clark (11-2) and undefeated prospect Trevin Giles (6-0). In the co-main, a couple of featherweights are trying to bounce back from bad (T)KO losses as Brazilian Journeyman Rivaldo Junior (15-5-2) and former RFA title challenger Jamall Emmers (9-3). If you’re not familiar with MMA agent/CEO of Empire Sports Hector Castro, he’s responsible for a lot of the Latin American talent that you see being shipped up to 1st class gyms here in the United States. His latest project is undefeated Colombian lightweight Hugo Hernando Prada (7-0) who is splitting time with K-Dojo and ATT. He’ll be fighting Gleidson Moraes (4-2).
  • PBC on Spike: Stevenson vs Williams Jr - Friday, July 29 at 9pm ET on Spike TV: As Kovalev’s star seems to continue to grow, his rival and lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (27-1, 22 KOs) continues to slip further and further into obscurity. With no ‘real’ opposition ahead of him under the Haymon banner, one has to assume he’s going to ride out his inflated paychecks until he doesn’t feel like boxing anymore. Then again, maybe his next opponent Thomas Williams Jr (20-1, 14 KOs) will be able to knock him from the top spot. Also featured on this card will be light heavyweight up and comer Eleider Alvarez (19-0, 10 KOs) will face off with Robert Berridge (27-4-1, 21 KOs). Also worth noting is undefeated heavyweight prospect Oscar Rivas (19-0, 14 KOs).
  • Invicta FC 18 - Friday, July 29 at 8pm ET on UFC Fight Pass: This is definitely more a showcase card. In the main event, rising Mexican strawweight star Alexa Grasso (7-0) returns from 17 months of inactivity due to injuries to face off with pro boxer Jodie Esquibel (5-1). Grasso’s teammate and bantamweight prospect Irene Aldana (6-2) will be pulling co-main event duty against Brazilian Taila Santos (13-0). Cage Warriors veteran Agnieszka Niedzwiedz (7-0) returns from the miracle of child birth to make her Invicta FC debut against Brazilian Claudia Rey (6-0). Featherweigt prospect out of Australia Megan Anderson (6-2) continues to climb the short ladder at 145 when she faces off with TUF 18 veteran Peggy Morgan (4-3). Japanese strawweight Mizuki Inoue (11-4) shows up on short notice to face off with Lynn Alvarez (6-3). And bantamweight prospect Aspen Ladd (3-0) will face off with Jessica Hoy (1-0).
  • Erica Farias vs Victoria Bustos - Saturday, July 30 on Argentina TyC Sports: Before taking a year off, Erica Farias (22-1, 10 KOs) was one of the top boxers in the sport. Now that the Argentinian has returned, she will face off with Victoria Noelia Bustos (15-3) to defend her WBC super lightweight title.
  • PBC on Showtime: Santa Cruz vs Frampton - Saturday, July 30th at 9pm ET on Showtime: While I’m sad Rigo continues to be left without a big dance partner, I can’t bemoan PBC’s offering this time. Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs) fighting with Carl Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) is one of the best match ups you can make at the sub 135lb weights. Also on this card: the return of Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs) as he faces Elio Rojas (24-2). Last but not least, Amanda Serrano (28-1-1, 21 KOs) will face off with Calixta Silgado (14-6-3). Gotta hand it to PBC, they’ve been knocking it out the park lately.
  • WSOF Global Championship 3 - Saturday, July 30th at 3am ET on WSOFGC.com: I still haven’t bothered to read up on how WSOF Global managed to wrassle away the WSOF lawsuit over their namesake, but I honestly don’t care. This time round, we have heavyweights topping off the card with the streaking Russian Evgeny Erokhin (14-4) and kinda UFC vet (kinda) Richard Odoms (11-2). If you’re into central Asian/Indian MMA, we’ve got some other stuff too. Indian flyweight/bantamweight Yadwinder Singh (5-0) will face off with Pakistani fighter Uloomi Karim Shaheen (5-3). Pakistani featherweight Ahmed Mujtaba (6-0) faces Filipino Neil Larano (2-0).
  • Jungle Fight 89 - Saturday, July 30th at 7pm ET: Jungle Fights returns with two great flyweight title fights. In the main event, a men’s interim title fight with prospect Herbeth Sousa (10-0) and Paulo Oliveira (5-4). In the co-main event, the vacant women’s flyweight title will be up for grabs as Simone Duarte (3-0) will Bianca Daimoni (6-1). If you’re looking for some younger, bigger-weight Brazilian talent, middleweights Quemuel Ottoni (4-0) and Sidnei Souza (5-1) are set to fight as well.
  • UFC 201 - Saturday, July 30th. Fight Pass Prelims at 6:30pm ET; FS1 Prelims at 8pm ET; PPV main card at 10pm ET: I’m digging the main card but the prelims are definitely struggling. Headlining will be the welterweight title fight between champion and FOTY generator Robbie Lawler (27-10) faces off with “I haven’t found in a Reebok uniform, it’s been so long” Tyrone Woodley (15-3). In the co-headliner, we have a women’s strawweight title eliminator between “Thug” Rose Namajunas (5-2) and Polish star Karolina Kowalkiewicz (9-0). Jake Ellengberger (30-11) gets fed to the wood chipper as he’s set to face off with Matt Brown (20-14). A couple of Latin bantamweight faces off as the hard hitting Francisco Rivera (11-6) will fight Mexican Erik Perez (15-6). Flyweight prospect Justin Scoggins (11-2) will attempt to establish himself as a real contender at 125lbs when he faces off with former title challenger Ian McCall (13-5-1). On the prelims we have light heavyweights Nikita Krylov (20-4) and Ed Herman (22-11) fighting in the prelim headliner. No longer fighting for the title, Wilson Reis (20-6) will have to settle with UFC newcomer Hector Sandoval (12-2). And of course, Ross Pearson (19-11) and Jorge Masvidal (29-11) will fight in a bout at 170lbs so that should be great.
  • WSOF 32 - Saturday, July 30th at 9pm ET on NBC Sports Network: We got a pretty stellar card actually, even if the two top fights are rematches. Good on ya WSOF. In the main event we have WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes (16-4-1) will look to defend his title in a rematch against Josh Hill (14-1). WSOF featherweight champion Alexandre de Almeida (18-5) will look to defend the title against the man he took it from in Lance Palmer (10-2). There’s also the brother vs brother thing we got going on with Caros Fodor (10-5) and Ben “Phoneix Jones” Fodor (7-1-1) fighting one another. Uberprospect, middleweight Phil Hawes (4-0) will take a huge step up in competition when he faces off with Louis Taylor (12-3). Featherweight prospects Hakeem Dawodu (5-0-1) and Marat Magomedov (7-0-1) will rematch on the prelims of their last draw.
  • Kunlun Fight 48 - Sunday, July 31st: China kickboxing still going down this Sunday. Dutch kickboxer Massaro Glunder will face Kim Minsoo. The last man to beat Rico Verhoeven, Andrei Herasimchuk will be on the card facing Bruno Susano. The last man to beat Buakaw, Khayal Dzhaniev will face off with Superbon Banchamek. Former Glory lightweight champion Davit Kiria will face Robbie Hageman. Artur Kyshenko and Alexsandro Pereira will fight on the card as well.

In terms of “who have you fought?”, it’s absurd how much Dan Henderson’s resume puts literally every other fighter in the sport to shame.

Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Big Nog, Lil Nog x2, Wanderlei x2, Rampage, Shogun x2, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Daniel Cormier, Gegard Mousasi, Vitor Belfort x2, Rich Franklin, Babalu x2, Jake Shields, Hector Lombard, Ninja, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Yvel, Feijao, Murilo Bustamante x2, Michael Bisping x2, and more I’m overlooking. And if he could have got away with fighting on an effed up knee, he’d have also fought Jon Jones.

If there’s anyone that deserves skipping the line for one last shot at the one title he’s never been able to grab before he rides off into the sunset, it’s Hendo.