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On Saturday, wrestling prodigy Aaron Pico will make his MMA debut on the main card of Bellator 180/NYC. For the uninitiated, Pico made news in 2014 when he left high school wrestling and forfeited any potential collegiate wrestling career to sign with Zinkin Entertainment. He continued to compete in freestyle wrestling for a shot at the Olympics, but MMA was always the ultimate goal. This past summer he ended up one match short of winning the U.S. Olympic Trials and has since focused on his MMA debut.

In his debut, the 20-year-old fighter will face Zach Freeman. “The Altar Boy” holds an 8-2 professional record and has been ranked as high as #118 LW in the Fight Matrix system. It is safe to say that Pico will face one of the toughest debut opponents for a wrestling prospect in the last 10 years.

The following table shows the debut opponents for all NCAA Division I wrestling All-Americans in the last 10 years who have transitioned into MMA. As you can see, only three others besides Pico have faced fighters who were ever ranked and only two others faced opponents who were ranked at the time. Freeman also has more wins that any of the other opponents, slightly beating out Phil Davis’ debut opponent Brett Chism.

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Richard Mann

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MMA Ranks | Comments (1)


Featured Upcoming Bouts (Outside of UFC)


Lightweight (155)
[#9] Kevin Lee (15-2-0, -134) vs. [#13] Michael Chiesa (14-2-0, +109)

Last 3 Fights: Kevin Lee (3-0-0)
2017-03-11: W vs. [#21LW] Francisco Trinaldo (21-5-0) via in 3:12 of round 2
2016-11-19: W vs. [#76LW] Magomed Mustafaev (13-2-0) via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 4:31 of round 2
2016-07-08: W vs. [#93LW] Jake Matthews (10-3-0) via TKO (Punches) in 4:06 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Michael Chiesa (3-0-0)
2016-04-16: W vs. [#12LW] Beneil Dariush (14-3-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 1:20 of round 2
2015-12-10: W vs. [#19LW] Jim Miller (28-9-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 2:57 of round 2
2015-04-04: W vs. [#336LW] Mitch Clarke (11-4-0) via UD (29-26, 29-28, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Kevin Lee 106, Michael Chiesa 435
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Michael Chiesa leads 2-1
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Middleweight (185)
[#16] Johny Hendricks (18-6-0, -221) vs. [#20] Tim Boetsch (20-11-0, +178)
Johny Hendricks is the All-Time #40 ranked Absolute fighter.
Tim Boetsch is the All-Time #45 ranked Middleweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Johny Hendricks (1-2-0)
2017-02-19: W vs. [#44MW] Hector Lombard (34-7-1) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
2016-12-30: L vs. [#9WW] Neil Magny (19-5-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
2016-07-09: L vs. [#10MW] Kelvin Gastelum (13-2-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Last 3 Fights: Tim Boetsch (2-1-0)
2017-02-11: L vs. [#6MW] Ronaldo Souza (24-5-0) via Submission (Kimura) in 3:41 of round 1
2016-11-12: W vs. [#30MW] Rafael Natal (21-8-1) via KO (Punches) in 3:22 of round 1
2016-07-13: W vs. [*] Josh Samman (12-4-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:49 of round 2

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Johny Hendricks 126, Tim Boetsch 134
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)
[#18] Felice Herrig (12-6-0, -116) vs. [#26] Justine Kish (6-0-0, -110)

Last 3 Fights: Felice Herrig (2-1-0)
2017-02-04: W vs. [#32SW] Alexa Grasso (9-1-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
2016-07-23: W vs. [#88SW] Kailin Curran (4-4-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 1:59 of round 1
2015-04-18: L vs. [#34SW] Paige VanZant (7-3-0) via UD (30-26, 29-27, 30-26)

Last 3 Fights: Justine Kish (3-0-0)
2016-12-09: W vs. [#53SW] Ashley Yoder (5-2-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-82)
2016-01-02: W vs. [#44SW] Nina Ansaroff (7-5-0) via UD (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)
2014-01-24: W vs. [#8SW] Randa Markos (7-4-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Felice Herrig 141, Justine Kish 198
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 112: Chiesa/Lee (06-25-2017)'

Posted on June 22, 2017 by jcs

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Light Heavyweight (205)
[#40] Chael Sonnen (28-15-1) vs. [*] Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1)
Chael Sonnen is the All-Time #44 ranked Light Heavyweight fighter.
Wanderlei Silva is the All-Time #3 ranked Light Heavyweight and #17 ranked Absolute fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Chael Sonnen (1-2-0)
2017-01-21: L vs. [*] Tito Ortiz (20-12-1) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 2:03 of round 1
2013-11-16: L vs. [#31MW] Rashad Evans (21-6-1) via TKO (Punches) in 4:05 of round 1
2013-08-17: W vs. [#8LHW] Mauricio Rua (25-10-0) via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in 4:47 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Wanderlei Silva (2-1-0)
2013-03-03: W vs. [*] Brian Stann (12-6-0) via KO (Punches) in 4:08 of round 2
2012-06-23: L vs. [*] Rich Franklin (29-7-0) via UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
2011-11-19: W vs. [*] Cung Le (9-3-0) via TKO (Knees and Punches) in 4:49 of round 2

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Chael Sonnen 154, Wanderlei Silva 1574
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Even: Both have 2 win(s) against common opposition.
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Heavyweight (265)
[#21] Matt Mitrione (11-5-0) vs. [#29] Fedor Emelianenko (36-4-0)
Fedor Emelianenko is the All-Time #1 ranked Heavyweight and #4 ranked Absolute fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Matt Mitrione (2-1-0)
2016-07-16: W vs. [#58HW+] Oli Thompson (17-10-0) via TKO (Punches) in 4:21 of round 2
2016-06-24: W vs. [#104HW+] Carl Seumanutafa (10-7-0) via KO (Punch) in 3:22 of round 1
2016-01-17: L vs. [#11HW+] Travis Browne (18-6-1) via TKO (Punches) in 4:09 of round 3

Last 3 Fights: Fedor Emelianenko (3-0-0)
2016-06-17: W vs. [#91HW+] Fabio Maldonado (23-11-0) via MD (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
2015-12-31: W vs. [#272HW+] Jaideep Singh (2-2-0) via TKO (Submission to Punches) in 3:02 of round 1
2012-06-21: W vs. [*] Pedro Rizzo (20-11-0) via KO (Punches) in 1:24 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Matt Mitrione 343, Fedor Emelianenko 372
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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Welterweight (170)
[#10] Lorenz Larkin (18-5-0) vs. [#15] Douglas Lima (28-6-0)
Douglas Lima is the All-Time #47 ranked Welterweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Lorenz Larkin (2-1-0)
2016-08-20: W vs. [#9WW] Neil Magny (19-5-0) via in 4:08 of round 1
2016-05-29: W vs. [#5WW] Jorge Masvidal (32-12-0) via SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
2016-01-02: L vs. [#43WW] Albert Tumenov (18-4-0) via SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Last 3 Fights: Douglas Lima (2-1-0)
2016-11-10: W vs. [#19WW] Andrey Koreshkov (19-2-0) via in of round 3
2016-07-16: W vs. [#44WW] Paul Daley (39-15-2) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
2015-07-17: L vs. [#19WW] Andrey Koreshkov (19-2-0) via UD (50-45, 50-45, 48-47)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Lorenz Larkin 308, Douglas Lima 226
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 – Bellator 180: Sonnen/Silva (06-24-2017)'

Posted on June 19, 2017 by jcs

Event Previews, MMA Ranks, Upcoming Events | Comments (1)


Women Bantamweight (135)
[#6] Holly Holm (10-3-0, -608) vs. [#13] Bethe Correia (10-2-1, +430)
Holly Holm is the All-Time #17 ranked Women’s fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Holly Holm (0-3-0)
2017-02-11: L vs. [#2FW/#8DD/#10P4P] Germaine de Randamie (7-3-0) via UD (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
2016-07-23: L vs. [#2BW/#4DD/#6P4P] Valentina Shevchenko (14-2-0) via UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
2016-03-05: L vs. [*] Miesha Tate (18-7-0) via Technical Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 3:30 of round 5

Last 3 Fights: Bethe Correia (1-1-1)
2017-03-11: D vs. [#17BW] Marion Reneau (7-3-1) via in 5:00 of round 3
2016-09-10: W vs. [#21BW] Jessica Eye (11-6-0) via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
2016-04-16: L vs. [#3BW/#6DD/#7P4P] Raquel Pennington (9-5-0) via SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Holly Holm 126, Bethe Correia 98
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Holly Holm leads 3-0
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Heavyweight (265)
[#17] Andrei Arlovski (25-14-0, +197) vs. [#23] Marcin Tybura (15-2-0, -245)
Andrei Arlovski is the All-Time #16 ranked Heavyweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Andrei Arlovski (0-3-0)
2017-01-28: L vs. [#8HW+] Francis Ngannou (10-1-0) via TKO (Punches) in 1:32 of round 1
2016-09-03: L vs. [#7HW+] Josh Barnett (35-8-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 2:53 of round 3
2016-05-08: L vs. [#3HW+] Alistair Overeem (42-15-0) via TKO (Front Kick and Punches) in 1:12 of round 2

Last 3 Fights: Marcin Tybura (2-1-0)
2017-03-04: W vs. [#105HW+] Luis Henrique Barbosa de (10-3-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:46 of round 3
2016-08-06: W vs. [#104HW+] Viktor Pesta (10-4-0) via KO (Head Kick) in 0:53 of round 2
2016-04-10: L vs. [#22HW+] Timothy Johnson (11-3-0) via UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Andrei Arlovski 140, Marcin Tybura 105
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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Welterweight (170)
[#19] Dong Hyun Kim (22-3-1, +174) vs. [#25] Colby Covington (11-1-0, -214)
Dong Hyun Kim is the All-Time #40 ranked Welterweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Dong Hyun Kim (3-0-0)
2016-12-30: W vs. [#27WW] Tarec Saffiedine (16-6-0) via SD (29-28, 29-28, 27-30)
2015-11-28: W vs. [#412WW] Dominic Waters (9-5-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:11 of round 1
2015-05-23: W vs. [#85LW] Joshua Burkman (28-15-0) via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) in 2:13 of round 3

Last 3 Fights: Colby Covington (3-0-0)
2016-12-17: W vs. [#48WW] Bryan Barberena (13-4-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
2016-08-20: W vs. [#84WW] Max Griffin (13-3-0) via in 2:18 of round 3
2016-06-18: W vs. [#175WW] Jonathan Meunier (8-1-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 0:54 of round 3

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Dong Hyun Kim 169, Colby Covington 182
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 111: Holm/Correia (06-17-2017)'

Posted on June 13, 2017 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)


Heavyweight (265)
[#7] Mark Hunt (12-11-1, -102) vs. [#8] Derrick Lewis (18-4-0, -123)
Mark Hunt is the All-Time #22 ranked Heavyweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Mark Hunt (1-1-0, 1 NC)
2017-03-04: L vs. [#3HW+] Alistair Overeem (42-15-0) via KO (Knee) in 1:44 of round 3
2016-07-09: NC vs. [*] Brock Lesnar (5-3-0)
2016-03-19: W vs. [*] Frank Mir (18-11-0) via KO (Punch) in 3:01 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Derrick Lewis (3-0-0)
2017-02-19: W vs. [#11HW+] Travis Browne (18-6-1) via KO (Punches) in 3:12 of round 2
2016-12-09: W vs. [#47HW+] Shamil Abdurakhimov (17-5-0) via TKO (Punches) in 3:42 of round 4
2016-07-07: W vs. [#18HW+] Roy Nelson (22-14-0) via SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Mark Hunt 98, Derrick Lewis 111
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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Middleweight (185)
[#15] Derek Brunson (16-5-0, -260) vs. [#18] Daniel Kelly (13-1-0, +212)

Last 3 Fights: Derek Brunson (1-2-0)
2017-02-11: L vs. [#8MW] Anderson Silva (34-8-0) via UD (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
2016-11-26: L vs. [#5MW] Robert Whittaker (18-4-0) via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) in 4:07 of round 1
2016-09-17: W vs. [#20MW] Uriah Hall (12-8-0) via TKO (Punch) in 1:41 of round 1

Last 3 Fights: Daniel Kelly (3-0-0)
2017-03-04: W vs. [#28MW] Rashad Evans (21-6-1) via SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
2016-11-26: W vs. [#49MW] Chris Camozzi (24-13-0) via UD (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
2016-03-19: W vs. [#26MW] Antonio Carlos Jr. (8-2-0) via TKO (Punches) in 1:36 of round 3

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Derek Brunson 119, Daniel Kelly 98
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Derek Brunson leads 1-0
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Flyweight (125)
[#8] Tim Elliott (14-7-1) vs. [#17] Ben Nguyen (15-6-0)
Tim Elliott is the All-Time #36 ranked Flyweight fighter.

Last 3 Fights: Tim Elliott (2-1-0)
2017-04-15: W vs. [#22FLY] Louis Smolka (11-4-0) via UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
2016-12-03: L vs. [#1FLY/#4DD/#1P4P] Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) via UD (49-45, 49-46, 49-46)
2016-03-04: W vs. [#120FLY] Pedro Nobre (18-3-2) via UD (50-46, 50-45, 49-46)

Last 3 Fights: Ben Nguyen (2-1-0)
2016-11-26: W vs. [#64FLY] Geane Herrera (9-3-0) via UD (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
2016-07-13: L vs. [#22FLY] Louis Smolka (11-4-0) via TKO (Punches and Elbows) in 4:41 of round 2
2015-11-14: W vs. [#39FLY] Ryan Benoit (9-5-0) via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) in 2:35 of round 1

Days Since Last Pro Fight: Tim Elliott 56, Ben Nguyen 196
Previous Match-up Record: No previous match-ups.
Wins Against Common Opposition: Tim Elliott leads 1-0
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Continue reading 'Fight Matrix Program – UFC Fight Night 110: Hunt/Lewis (06-10-2017)'

Posted on June 5, 2017 by jcs

Event Previews, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)


Once again… it seems like a weekly segment can be written about fouls and their mishandling in the world of MMA these days.

On Sunday night, Stockholm time, a potentially very intriguing fight between Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Texeira took place. Both have been at the top of the light heavyweight division for  a long time, and this was one of the few fights between the very best in that division which had yet to be made. So, apart from the fact that they both already fought for the title and lost, it was a very interesting fight.

And the fight indeed started quite interestingly. Unfortunately, in the middle of the very first round Gustafsson apparently poked Texeira in the eye. Marc Goddard stopped the action, called in the doctor and told Texeira emphatically that he doesn’t have any time to recover and that he needs to decide immediately whether he can continue to fight or not.

Fighters are usually very reluctant to say they cannot fight. They prepare for months for these fights, their livelihood depends on these fights and it’s very important for fighters to have success in their careers to always feel like they can overcome any adversity. Plus, they usually get a lot of scrutiny from fans and promotions alike for quitting mid-fight. So while it may be the smart move for a fighter to quit for any reason that would compromise his fighting ability, most times fighters try to push through and keep fighting.

Continue reading 'Gustafsson-Texeira Eye Poke'

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Ked Becker

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