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Tag: UFC fight booking

Do-or-Die Alert: Josh Koscheck Now Faces Jake Ellenberger at UFC 184


(I really have no caption for this, but would just like to say that Richard Kiel is a legend. Via Kos’ instagram.)

While admittedly not much of a Josh Koscheck fan over the years (my uncle is a male nurse, bro), even I scratched my head when it was announced that he would return from a 15-month layoff to face Neil Magny at UFC 184. Being that one of them is riding a three fight skid and the other just tied the record for most consecutive wins in a year, it seemed unusual and a bit cruel that Koscheck was essentially being used as a stepping stone in what could very well be the final performance of his storied UFC career*.

Thankfully, it appears the UFC has come to its senses and decided to place Kos against a similarly struggling (and therefore more appropriate) opponent: Jake Ellenberger. Having also dropped his past three, Ellenberger is practically Koscheck’s doppelganger in the welterweight division — an aging wrestler with heavy hands who has seemingly been surpassed by the “new breed” of martial artists in recent years — albeit a much nicer one to be around.

Koscheck is on the heels of back-to-back KO losses (to Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley, respectfully), whereas Ellenberger’s most recent loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 180 was his first to come by submission since 2007. Methinks we’re going to be in for a good old fashioned slugfest here, or possibly three rounds of methodically paced wall-n-stall. Either or.

Predictions, please.

Check out the UFC 184 lineup after the jump. 

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UFC 183 Continues to Improve Exponentially, Adds Joe Lauzon vs. Al Iaquinta


(Great fight banner, or greatest fight banner?)

It appears that the UFC is just going to keep digging in regards to UFC 183 despite already striking oil with the booking of Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz for its main event. In addition to the recently added grudge-ish match between top flyweight contenders Ian McCall and John Lineker, Newsday confirmed earlier today that a sure-to-be barnburner between lightweights Joe Lauzon and Al Iaquinta will now join the already stacked lineup as well.

Both Lauzon and Iaquinta will be riding two-fight win streaks into the hotly-anticipated contest, with the former most recently battering Michael Chiesa — aka the man who defeated Iaquinta to claim the TUF 15 title — en route to a doctor’s stoppage TKO at Fight Night 50. The Massachusetts native was expected to face Diego Sanchez at UFC 180 after original opponent Norman Parke went down with injury, but was struck by the injury bug himself shortly thereafter. In an apparent show of respect, Sanchez would later withdraw from the event with an injury that *definitely* wasn’t cartwheel related.

The training/endorsement partner of Chris Weidman, on the other hand, is fresh off a massive upset victory over Ross Pearson earlier in the month that he was a tad bit pissed to not earn a post-fight bonus for. The win improved Iaquinta’s UFC record to a solid 5-2.

Predictions, please.

-J. Jones

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John Lineker vs. Ian McCall Rescheduled for UFC 183 in January


(Photo via Sherdog)

When John Lineker failed to make weight for the 1,500th time prior to his Fight Night 56 co-main event scrap against Ian McCall, “Uncle Creepy” responded with quite possibly the most epic weigh-in trolljob this side of Roy Nelson’s fat suit. Less than 24 hours later, however, it was McCall who found himself physically unable to compete due to a last-minute illness, and the fight was scrapped.

Thankfully, UFC.com announced earlier this evening that the battle of top flyweight contenders is back on. McCall and Lineker has been rescheduled for the main card of UFC 183: Silva vs. Diaz on January 31st in Las Vegas.

“Looks like fat boy finally said yes,” McCall posted to Sqor just hours ago, which seems like a real dick thing to say about a guy who already forgave you for being a loud-mouthed pecker that pulled out just moments before you were supposed to bang. God, that’s gotta be some kind of record for sex puns in a single sentence. Weiner.

One thing’s for sure, there’s no way that McCall vs. Lineker ever lives up to likes of Martinez vs. Zimmer, which set the gold standard for fat guy vs. obnoxious a-hole fights.

-J. Jones

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Kelvin Gastelum Gets Quick Turnaround, Faces Tyron Woodley in UFC 183 Co-Main Event


(Photo via Getty.)

After coming out of his UFC 180 win over Jake Ellenberger no worse for the wear, TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum will be given next to no time off before receiving a(nother) huge step up in competition.

UFC officials announced earlier this evening that Gastelum has been booked to take on top welterweight contender Tyron Woodley at UFC 183: Diaz vs. Silva. As was the case with his bout against Elenberger, the fight will receive co-main event status.

Gatelum’s first round submission over Ellenberger last weekend improved his professional record to a perfect 10-0, while the 14-3 Woodley recently rebounded from a one-sided beatdown at the hands of Rory MacDonald with a first round starching of Dong Hyun Kim at Fight Night 48.

Gastelum is easily the greatest prospect to come out of The Ultimate Fighter since the early seasons, but does anyone think he can handle a legitimate top 3 opponent like Woodley? Give us a shout in the comments section.

-J. Jones

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Barnburner Alert: Welterweight Prospects Brandon Thatch and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson to Collide at Fight Night Broomfield


(Thatch awakens from a rage blackout to find that he has claimed yet another victim. Photo via Getty.)

A matchup between highly-skilled welterweight strikers Brandon Thatch and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson has been booked for the UFC’s return to Colorado on February 14th, reports UFC.com.

The 29-year-old Thatch has made quite an impression in just 2 UFC performances, stopping veterans Justin Edwards and Paulo Thiago with strikes in a combined total of less than 4 minutes. Another fun fact about Thatch: He has stopped 11 out of his 12 opponents inside the first round, and 3 in less than 20 seconds. Got. Damn.

Thatch has also shown a willingness to take a shot to give one, however, which might not be the best strategy against a striker of Wonderboy’s caliber. Now 5-1 in the UFC and riding a 4-fight win streak, Thompson has looked almost untouchable in the octagon as of late, thanks in no small part to his wealth of kickboxing experience – 37 amateur and 20 professional matches, with 28 wins coming by knockout.

Predictions, please.

Random aside: Does anyone else miss the days when the UFC used to name each card? Numbering Fight Night cards make sense, sure, (and sounds a lot cooler than “Fight Night Broomfield”), but a return to naming the big cards would add a touch of flare to what many consider a continuously monotonous product. It would help each event stand out from the previous one, at the very least, and would occasionally make for some unintentionally hilarious results. And don’t even act like you wouldn’t be a *little* more excited for UFC 189: Battle in the Bayou 2 — Electric Boogaloo than Johnson vs. Stevenson, or whatever.

-J. Jones

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Antonio Silva vs. Frank Mir Booked for UFC 184, Miesha Tate vs. Sara McMann a Go for UFC 183


(#ForaWin. Via Mir’s Instagram.)

According to a report on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight, heavyweight staples Frank Mir and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva have been booked to throw down at UFC 184: Weidman vs. Belfort in Los Angeles.

In a previous, less saturated era of the UFC, this fight would likely be considered one of the “do-or-die” nature for both guys, who have been struggling as of late to put it lightly. Since breaking Big Nog’s arm back in December of 2011, Mir has fallen on a rather tough-to-watch 0-4 skid, which has included TKO losses to Junior Dos Santos and Josh Barnett and decision losses to Daniel Cormier and Alistair Overeem. Despite this, the former champion is somehow still ranked #13, which should really tell you something about the depth of the heavyweight division right now.

Silva, on the other hand, has been run over by Cain Velasquez, busted for elevated testosterone, and hammerfisted into oblivion by Andrei Arlovski in his past three appearances. So yeah, both guys could use a win, but a loss a won’t likely result in either of them being let go. But what do you think, Nation, does Mir still have enough in the tank to avoid the dreaded 0-5 stretch (a.k.a The Cantwell)?

In other fight booking news…

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Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington Official For UFC 181 on December 6th


(Holm’s most recent performance — a 5th round starching of Julianna Werner at Legacy FC 30)

At long last, Holly Holm‘s UFC debut has been made official, with an opponent and everything! According to a press release sent out by the UFC last night, Holm will in fact be making her promotional debut at UFC 181 on December 6th. As previously reported, it appears that Holm’s potential bout with Russian scrapper Milana Dudieva has been passed over in favor of a bout with TUF 18 semifinalist Raquel Pennington.

Currently 1-1 in the UFC and 4-4 overall, Pennington’s only appearances on the big stage have resulted in an incredibly lackluster decision victory over Roxanne Modafferi at the TUF 18 Finale and a split decision loss to Jessica Andrade at UFC 171. Holm, on the other hand, is 7-0 as a professional with 6 stoppage victories by way of TKO. Expect the odds in this one to be Silva vs. Bonnar-esque.

Said Holm after signing with the UFC:

When I first started doing MMA, people asked me what my goal was in this, and my goal is to be the first female that has titles in both MMA and boxing because nobody’s done that. And it’s totally doable, and that’s my plan.

How do you see this one ending, Potato Nation? A body shot KO victory for Holm, or a head kick KO victory for Holm?

-J. Jones

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Lyoto Machida vs. CB Dollaway Likely For Fight Night Brazil Card in December


(See? We told you.)

Now here’s some interesting matchmaking.

Following back-to-back KO losses at the hands of Mark Munoz and Jared Hamman in 2011, it looked as if the book was about to close on the UFC career of TUF 7 finalist CB Dollaway. “The Doberman” had provided fans with some memorable highlights — most notably, his peruvian necktie finish of fellow TUF 7 alum Jesse Taylor — but the pair of losses had dropped his promotional record to just above .500, and lets just say that nobody was talking about “CB Dollaway: Future Champion” around the water cooler*.

But then, he was booked against Jason Miller in a “loser leaves town” match for both fighters, and whatever pieces of Mayhem’s soul that Michael Bisping *didn’t* steal, Dollaway did. The win kicked off something of a career revitalization for Launchpad Dollaway, who has notched 4 victories alongside just one defeat in the time since, including an impressive first round KO of TUF Brazil winner Cezar Ferreira and a decision over the highly-touted Francis Carmont.

And now, it looks like Dollaway will be getting the big name he deserves, as UFC Tonight tweeted yesterday that he is being considered for a bout with former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. The fight would likely serve as the headliner for the UFC’s return to Brazil in December, on a TBD Fight Night card transpiring on the 20th from the Ginásio José Corrêa in Barueri, Brazil.

Machida, as we all know, last battled Chris Weidman in an uncharacteristically gritty performance at UFC 175 that saw him come up short by way of unanimous decision. While the fight against Weidman has yet to be confirmed, we will keep you updated on this matchup as details are made available.

*Unrelated: Lyoto Machida’s water cooler

-J. Jones  

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Paige VanZant vs. Kailin Curran Reshuffled to Fight Night Austin, Which Also Gets Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz


(Photo via Getty.)

Although they were originally scheduled to throw down at Fight Night Halifax in October, it appears that the spine injury Paige VanZant recently suffered will in fact delay her long-awaited UFC debut against fellow stunner Kailin Curran.

Instead, “12 Gauge” and “Punkie Bruise-ter” (our tentative nickname for Curran) will now square off at Fight Night 57, which goes down on November 22nd from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. This is normally the part of the article where we’d start listing Van Zant and Curran’s relevant/recent wins, but with a *combined* record of 6-1 and their only notable opponent being Tecia Torres (who defeated VanZant via UD at Invicta 4), let’s just skip the formalities, shall we?

Also joining Fight Night 57 will be a flyweight clash between Joseph Benavidez and Dustin Ortiz. After being KO’d by Demetrious Johnson in their rematch at UFC on FOX 9, Benavidez bounced back in style at UFC 172, submitting Tim Elliott with a guillotine so vicious that it forced him to tap with his feet. Ortiz, on the other hand, has made it two in a row since being outworked by John Moraga at Fight Night 35, notching split decisions over Ray Borg and highly-touted prospect Justin Scoggins in back-to-back appearances.

After the jump: Kailin Curran kicks the shit out of two interns on The Jason Ellis show. You know, for science.

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Tim Kennedy vs. Yoel Romero Booked for UFC 178 Co-Main Event


(Still not as scary as this photo. via Kennedy’s Instagram.)

A battle between top middleweights Tim Kennedy and Yoel Romero has just been added to UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson II in the co-main event slot, which must mean that it is only a matter of time before an injury moves it into the *main* event slot. Regardless, the active duty Army Ranger and the Cuban powerhouse have been booked for a fight that could earn the winner a shot at middleweight champion Chris Weidman. “Middleweight champion Chris Weidman.” Still feels kind of weird to write that.

Kennedy is on the heels of a dominant, if less-than-thrilling victory over Michael Bisping at the TUF Nations Finale, which saw him completely neutralize the Brit with his takedown-oriented offense and ground-n-pound. Methinks Kennedy will have a tougher time doing the same against Romero, a hulking middleweight and Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling who, like Kennedy, will be riding a four fight win streak into their matchup at UFC 178.

Following vicious KO wins over Clifford Starks, Ronny Markes, and Derek Brunson in his first three UFC appearances, Romero most recently bested TUF 11 alum Brad Tavares via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 11 back in April.

Predictions, please.

-J. Jones

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