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Posted on March 26, 2017 by jcs

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Tonya Evinger will get a second chance to successfully defend her Invicta FC bantamweight title against Yana Kunitskaya after their first fight ended controversially. The bout will be the main event of Invicta FC 22, which airs live Saturday night on UFC Fight Pass. Evinger is currently riding a nine-fight winning streak that dates back to 2011. Since she is the champion of a smaller organization, the question persists: how does she compare to the fighter’s in the UFC’s bantamweight division. The short answer is, quite well. She is currently ranked #6 in the division. However, that does not tell the entire story.

Not only does Evinger hold a high ranking, but she has also maintained a level comparable to her contemporaries in the UFC for multiple years. The following table shows ranking points for all fighters currently ranked in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight rankings as well as Evinger for the period between 4/1/2015 and 1/1/2017. The bottom line is that Evinger deserves a shot in the UFC if she wins on Saturday.

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Richard Mann

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We’ve recently published an article related to the weight cutting issues in MMA, which have become a lot common since the introduction of the early weigh-in and the ban on intravenous (IV) re-hydration. I don’t want to continue beating a dead horse (where’s the referee to stop this beating?), but this issue deserves additional discussion in the light of the current MMA climate.  Fighters missing weight (or suffering health issues during the weight cut process which are severe enough to cancel the fight altogether) happens so often these days, that fans should be able to use the price per head sportsbook for placing bets on which fights will be cancelled in the 24 hours before the event. The regulatory bodies involved with the sport are well aware of these issues, and Andy Foster – executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) – recently proposed a set of changes to address extreme weight cutting in MMA.

Foster’s proposal includes 10 key points, and I am not going to go over each one individually – you can read them all here, under “Agenda Item #15”. Most of the proposed points make sense, are feasible to implement without undue burden on promoters or fighters, and might actually make the sport safer for its participants, as well as reduce the number of disappointing last-minute fight cancellations. Whether these rules will actually be implemented is anybody’s guess, and the fact that some fighters will still find a way to bend or break the rules in attempt to gain a competitive advantage (even at the risk of their own health) is pretty much a given. Overall this seems like a very solid plan, which is unusual for something produced by a state athletic commission. However there are two points that I do want to address specifically, as they seem to be the biggest gaps in the otherwise well-thought out design:

  • Additional weight classes. 165, 175, 195, 225 with the removal of 170. This places each weight class below 205 at 10 pound increments. Along with licensing by weight class and ringside physician certification, the new weight classes· are essential so that each individual athlete has more options to choose a class that is suitable for them. (Authority-Association of Boxing Commissions) – Please see attached letter from the ABC Rules Committee and letter to the ABC Medical Committee

The proposal states nothing about 155 or below, heavyweights, or women’s weight divisions – so I am assuming these will be left intact. If the leading MMA promotions as well as state and international commissions all decide to adopt the new weight classes, this will lead to a major redistribution of talent. Lightweight, welterweight, and even middleweight as of late, are some of the deepest divisions in the sport, and have the talent pool to support the redistribution of fighters who currently perform between 155 and 185 lbs into five viable divisions spanning from 155 to 195. For light-heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, however, this doesn’t look promising.

Continue reading 'Weight Cuting, Redux'

Posted on March 23, 2017 by oleg

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Women Bantamweight (135)
[#6] Tonya Evinger (18-5-0) vs. [#51] Yana Kunitskaya (9-2-0)
Tonya Evinger is the All-Time #41 ranked Women’s fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Tonya Evinger (2-0-0, 1 NC)
2016-11-18: NC vs. [#51BW] Yana Kunitskaya (9-2-0)
2016-05-07: W vs. [#26BW] Colleen Schneider (11-7-0) via UD (50-44, 50-44, 49-45)
2015-09-12: W vs. [#49BW] Pannie Kianzad (8-2-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:34 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Yana Kunitskaya (1-1-0, 1 NC)
2016-11-18: NC vs. [#6BW] Tonya Evinger (18-5-0)
2016-09-04: W vs. [#105BW] Yanan Wu (6-1-0) via TKO (Punches) in 0:32 of round 2
2016-03-26: L vs. [#42BW] Zaira Dyshekova (3-2-0) via in of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Tonya Evinger 127, Yana Kunitskaya 127
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Even: Both have 1 win(s) against common opposition.
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Women Strawweight (115)
[#1AW/#3DD/#4P4P] Ayaka Hamasaki (14-1-0) vs. [#4] Livia Renata Souza (9-1-0)
Ayaka Hamasaki is the All-Time #13 ranked Women’s fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Ayaka Hamasaki (3-0-0)
2016-09-23: W vs. [#4AW] Jinh Yu Frey (5-2-0) via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in 4:38 of round 2
2016-03-11: W vs. [#69SW] Amber Brown (6-3-0) via Submission (Armbar) in 2:52 of round 3
2015-07-09: W vs. [#3AW] Herica Tiburcio (10-4-0) via SD (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)

Last 3 Fights: Livia Renata Souza (2-1-0)
2016-05-07: L vs. [#6SW] Angela Hill (6-3-0) via SD (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
2016-01-16: W vs. [#7FLY] DeAnna Bennett (8-2-0) via TKO (Kick to the Body and Punches) in 1:30 of round 1
2015-04-24: W vs. [*] Katja Kankaanpaa (10-3-1) via Submission (Triangle Choke) in 3:58 of round 4

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Ayaka Hamasaki 183, Livia Renata Souza 322
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Women Strawweight (115)
[#7FLY] DeAnna Bennett (8-2-0) vs. [#78] Jodie Esquibel (5-2-0)

Last 3 Fights: DeAnna Bennett (1-2-0)
2016-03-11: L vs. [#5FLY] Roxanne Modafferi (19-13-0) via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
2016-01-16: L vs. [#4SW] Livia Renata Souza (9-1-0) via TKO (Kick to the Body and Punches) in 1:30 of round 1
2015-09-12: W vs. [*] Katja Kankaanpaa (10-3-1) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Last 3 Fights: Jodie Esquibel (2-1-0)
2016-07-29: L vs. [#28SW] Alexa Grasso (9-1-0) via UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
2014-11-01: W vs. [#44AW] Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc (8-10-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
2014-09-06: W vs. [#4AW] Jinh Yu Frey (5-2-0) via SD (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: DeAnna Bennett 379, Jodie Esquibel 239
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program – Invicta FC 22: Evinger/Kunitskaya 2 (03-25-2017)'

Posted on March 21, 2017 by jcs

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As internet users, we’re all familiar with the abbreviation “LOL”. It may be one of the most ubiquitous terms we encounter daily during informal, text-based communication: internet forums & message boards, social media, SMS and various other real-time text messaging apps. LOL stands for “laughing out loud”; of course people rarely actually laugh out loud while typing away at their computer or a phone. At most, they might crack a grin. Nonetheless, LOL has become the most common way of expressing amusement in a text chat. It can also be used sarcastically – to shoot down a blog post, comment, statement, or dismiss an opinion that one finds so ludicrous that it doesn’t deserve a proper response or counter-argument. When you see a simple “lol” in response to something you’ve stated that wasn’t meant to be funny, the other person is laughing at you, not with you. A three-letter retort which indicates that you’re worthy of ridicule, no more and no less.

Now, the abbreviation LOL could come to mean something very different in the context of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): League of Legends. If you haven’t heard, Vitor Belfort is making a pitch to the UFC brass to create some type of a “masters” division in the UFC, where aging legends of the sport can face each other under a modified rule set. At first, the idea appeared so absurd to me that the abbreviation LOL seemed very fitting. However, I’ll try to be a bit more open-minded and list a few reasons why I think this is a terrible idea.

Continue reading 'League of Legends? LOL!'

Posted on March 18, 2017 by oleg

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Light Heavyweight (205)
[#9] Jimi Manuwa (16-2-0, -149) vs. [#13] Corey Anderson (9-2-0, +124)
Jimi Manuwa is the All-Time #46 ranked Light Heavyweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Jimi Manuwa (2-1-0)
2016-10-08: W vs. [#18LHW] Ovince St. Preux (19-10-0) via KO (Punches) in 2:38 of round 2
2015-09-05: L vs. [#2LHW/#8DD] Anthony Johnson (22-5-0) via KO (Punches) in :28 of round 2
2015-04-11: W vs. [#32LHW] Jan Blachowicz (19-6-0) via UD (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Last 3 Fights: Corey Anderson (2-1-0)
2016-12-09: W vs. [#60LHW] Sean OConnell (17-9-0) via TKO (Punches) in 2:36 of round 2
2016-05-14: L vs. [#8LHW] Mauricio Rua (25-10-0) via SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
2016-03-05: W vs. [#52LHW] Tom Lawlor (10-6-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Jimi Manuwa 161, Corey Anderson 99
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Even: Both have 1 win(s) against common opposition.
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Welterweight (170)
[#18] Gunnar Nelson (15-2-1, -327) vs. [#28] Alan Jouban (15-4-0, +253)

Last 3 Fights: Gunnar Nelson (2-1-0)
2016-05-08: W vs. [#46WW] Albert Tumenov (17-4-0) via Submission (Neck Crank) in 3:15 of round 2
2015-12-12: L vs. [#4WW] Demian Maia (24-6-0) via UD (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
2015-07-11: W vs. [#356WW] Brandon Thatch (11-5-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 2:54 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Alan Jouban (3-0-0)
2016-12-17: W vs. [#51WW] Mike Perry (9-1-0) via UD (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
2016-07-07: W vs. [#64WW] Belal Muhammad (11-2-0) via UD (28-27, 29-27, 29-28)
2016-03-19: W vs. [#623LW] Brendan OReilly (6-3-0) via TKO (Elbows and Punches) in 2:15 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Gunnar Nelson 314, Alan Jouban 91
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Gunnar Nelson leads 1-0
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Bantamweight (135)
[#52] Brad Pickett (25-13-0, -137) vs. [#234FW] Marlon Vera (8-3-1, +115)

Last 3 Fights: Brad Pickett (1-2-0)
2016-12-17: L vs. [*] Urijah Faber (34-10-0) via UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
2016-10-08: L vs. [#9BW] Iuri Alcantara (34-7-0) via Submission (Triangle Choke) in 1:59 of round 1
2016-02-27: W vs. [#53BW] Francisco Rivera (11-7-0) via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Last 3 Fights: Marlon Vera (2-1-0)
2016-11-26: W vs. [#431FW] Guangyou Ning (5-4-1) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2016-02-27: L vs. [#177BW] Davey Grant (10-3-0) via UD (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
2015-08-08: W vs. [#479FW] Roman Salazar (10-5-0) via Submission (Triangle Armbar) in 2:15 of round 2

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Brad Pickett 91, Marlon Vera 112
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: No common opposition or both are winless against common opposition.
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program – UFC Fight Night 107: Manuwa/Anderson (03-18-2017)'

Posted on March 15, 2017 by jcs

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Most promotions are just dying for name fighters and especially like it when they can make fights between two fighters with recognizable names, even if these fights are not warranted based on the fighters current rankings, or the fighters are not in the same weight division (like Rampage’s, King Mo’s and countless others fights at Heavyweight), or the fighters are long past their prime (like Ken Shamrock’s last few fights).

The UFC is obviously in no such need for name fighters and fights as other promotions, as its roster is full of name fighters. Still, it seems baffling sometimes how they go out of their way not to book name fighters against one another, opting instead to put the over-the-hill name fighter against some up-and-coming prospect, or sometimes not even that.

One glaring example is Anderson Silva who was put against Derek Brunson not long ago. Another is BJ Penn’s fight against Yair Rodriguez. And I think now we have seen an especially good example of that: Last week Rashad Evans made his middleweight debut against Daniel Kelly. Rashad Evans didn’t fight for 2 years and then didn’t look good in his fights since his return. If his transition to middleweight wasn’t a successful one, this would probably be the end for Evans’ career.

Continue reading 'Big Names – Big Fights, Anyone?'

Posted on March 8, 2017 by Ked Becker

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It’s been a while since I did one of these event review blogs. I was actually going to write up a preview as I was very much looking forward to the event. Just as I was finishing up, the news got out that Khabib Nurmagomedov was hospitalized after a failed weight cut, cancelling his interim lightweight title bout with Tony Ferguson, which on paper was the most interesting matchup of the card. I was too bummed to re-write my preview, and decided to spend the evening playing video games instead.

Despite losing the co-main, and the main event which turned out to be a stinker, the card wasn’t bad overall. It had a couple of fun come-from-behind finishes, a good heavyweight scrap (in addition to two bad ones), and an early candidate for fight of the year in Vannata-Teymur. Here’s how the televised UFC 209 fights went down.

Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)

[#72 HW] Mark Godbeer def. [#164 HW] Daniel Spitz by unanimous decision

A sloppy heavyweight striking battle to start off the night. Godbeer had the clear power advantage and landed some good shots but could not put Spitz away. Both fighters gassed badly halfway through the second round. Not much else to say about this fight.

Aftermath: Can we just pretend this fight didn’t happen? It’s pretty clear at this point that Godbeer will not make it past being a low-level gatekeeper in the UFC, if he doesn’t wash out in his next few fights. Spitz is young and has plenty of time to develop, but his career would be better served by doing this development in smaller leagues. But the UFC’s heavyweight division needs all the warm bodies it can get, so both guys are guaranteed at least one more fight in the Octagon. I have very little interest in watching their next fights, whoever the opponent might be, so I’ll take the lazy approach to matchmaking with a winner-loser matchup against the participants of the other sloppy heavyweight bout of the night (Tybura – Henrique).

Continue reading 'UFC 209 Review'

Posted on March 6, 2017 by oleg

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Latest Men's Rankings: P4P Division Dominance Heavyweight LightHeavyweight Middleweight Welterweight Lightweight Featherweight Bantamweight Flyweight Strawweight

Latest Women's Rankings: P4P Division Dominance Featherweight+ Bantamweight Flyweight Strawweight Atomweight