MMA Junkie News

Rory MacDonald's swollen shin on the path to victory at Bellator 192 was incredibly gross

Rory MacDonald is the new Bellator welterweight champion, but he had to put his body through hell to get that title.

That’s not necessarily new for MacDonald (20-4 MMA, 2-0 BMMA). You watch him fight, you’ve got to be prepared for the inevitable moment when his nose starts gushing blood. But against Douglas Lima (29-7 MMA, 11-3 BMMA) at Bellator 192, the damage spread to his lower body as well, and it was somehow even more gruesome.

A little past the midway point in this five-round title fight, the effects of Lima’s low leg kicks started to show itself on MacDonald’s shin. And by show itself, I mean his leg started to blow up in full public view.

Rory MacDonald. (Dave Mandel, MMAjunkie)

That leg swole#Bellator192 pic.twitter.com/HWgmzJwNJH

— Jonnyboy (@JBNeverDies) January 21, 2018

Hey why is Rory MacDonald allowed to wear shinguards into the … oh. Oh no. That’s his skin. Dear god. pic.twitter.com/3rgHkhthvk

— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) January 21, 2018

MacDonald would tough it out and spend much of the final round on top of Lima, grinding away with ground-and-pound from inside Lima’s guard as his nose poured blood all over both men.

It turns out that maybe MacDonald needed to keep it on the mat by that point, because standing up on his rapidly swelling left leg wasn’t so easy. In fact, according to MMAjunkie’s John Morgan, MacDonald had to be carried out after his unanimous-decision victory was announced.

MacDonald is being carried to the back by his corner. Can’t stand on that leg at all.

— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) January 21, 2018

Still, MacDonald got the job done even if it left him in bad shape. He edged out Lima in a gritty slog of a fight, and he walks away as the new Bellator champ. Well, maybe “walks” is the wrong word here, but you get the point.

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Bellator 192 results: Chael Sonnen grinds out 'Rampage' to advance in heavyweight grand prix

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_e4J0THY4_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/e4J0THY4.json","ph":2} );

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Chael Sonnen became the first fighter to advance to the semifinal round of the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament when he defeated Quinton Jackson in the Bellator 192 main event.

As usual, Sonnen (30-15-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) relied on his wrestling to get him through the fight. Despite being at a 31-pound weight disadvantage, he outworked “Rampage” Jackson (37-13 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) over three rounds to take a unanimous decision, and he will fight the winner of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir in the next round.

The bout, which was part of the opening round of the Bellator heavyweight grand prix, headlined today’s Bellator 192 event. It took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and aired on Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Chael Sonnen and “Rampage” Jackson. (Dave Mandel, MMAjunkie)

The fight began with Sonnen showing no hesitation to engage on the feet. He had an evident speed advantage, and used that to sneak in several left hands on Jackson, who didn’t seem affected. Sonnen finally went for a takedown in the final 30 seconds, putting Jackson his back until the bell.

Sonnen went wrestling-heavy in Round 2. He quickly shot in for a takedown on Jackson and was able to get the fight where he wanted. Jackson was essentially hopeless in getting up, struggling to stop Sonnen from being active enough to prevent a referee standup.

Jackson’s sense of frustration was obvious in the final round. He pointed to the center of the cage and implored Sonnen to exchange with him after landing some solid shots, but Sonnen didn’t take the bait. He once again waited for the opening to shoot for a takedown, and managed to put Jackson on his back without much difficulty.

It wasn’t the most exciting affair, but Sonnen for the unanimous decision with 29-28 scorecards across the board. Afterward, he sent a message to the winner of Emelianenko and Mir.

“God made 6 billion men and he didn’t make any of them as good as Chael Sonnen,” Sonnen said in his post-fight interview. “Fedor Emelianenko, Frank Mir, one of you is next.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 192 results include:

For more on Bellator 192 check out the MMA Events section of the site.

(John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Inglewood.)

Bellator 192 results: Rory MacDonald edges Douglas Lima to claim welterweight gold

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Rory MacDonald’s mission when he joined Bellator was to claim championship gold. He did that at Bellator 192.

MacDonald (20-4 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) endured a potentially broken nose and a badly damaged leg over the course of five rounds to beat Douglas Lima (29-7 MMA, 11-3 BMMA) by unanimous decision for the 170-pound title.

The title fight co-headlined tonight’s Bellator 192 event. It took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and aired on Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The opening round was very much a feeling-out process. MacDonald put the pressure on Lima with his trademark jab, but the Brazilian answered back with some of his leg kicks. Eventually MacDonald got a good position in the clinch and was able to drag Lima to the ground, working closely from inside the guard until a referee standup in the final 10 seconds.

MacDonald shifted to a far more tactical strategy in Round 2. After taking a few hard low kicks from Lima, he decided to move into the clinch and push his opponent against the cage. The pace slowed to a grinding halt at that point, but MacDonald was able to stay busy enough to stay in position for more the decisive portion of the stanza. Lima, however, managed to land a shot, which bloodied MacDonald’s nose.

The Canadian didn’t veer from his grappling approach in the third. He went back to the clinch position against the fence, patiently waiting for his opening to take Lima down. He did, but similar to the first, was unable to advance to inflict any significant damage before a referee standup.

It was after that third-round standup where the tide turned in Lima’s favor. He landed a series of crushing low kicks to MacDonald, one of which put the “Red King” on the canvas. Unfortunately for the champion, though, he couldn’t turn the situation into a finish.

Lima had the advantage on his side going into the fourth, because MacDonald’s leg swelled badly, and it was clear he was feeling it. Lima attempted to inflict further damage, but MacDonald wisely avoided more punishment and forced grappling exchanges where he couldn’t be kicked.

With the fight razor-close going into the fifth round, MacDonald showed his poise against Lima, who appeared to be the more fatigued fighter. Who grounded Lima once more and got off his best ground-and-pound shots of the fight. He opened a cut around Lima’s eye, making it even more difficult for him to get off his back.

MacDonald kept top position for almost the entire fifth round, securing him the victory and the 170-pound belt by scores of 49-48, 49-45, 49-46.

“He’s the best guy I’ve ever fought,” MacDonald said in his post-fight interview.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 192 results include:

For more on Bellator 192 check out the MMA Events section of the site.

(John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Inglewood.)

UFC 220 results: Calvin Kattar holds true to nickname, takes out Shane Burgos in third

Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Calvin Kattar (red gloves) fights Shane Burgos (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA;Shane Burgos (blue gloves) is examined by medical staff after his loss to Calvin Kattar (not sen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/jVScFdzHbb6gdUUeVfB4bE/297741", customAnalytics: true, title: "Kattar def. Burgos", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

BOSTON – In a closely contested fight, Calvin Kattar lived up to his nickname and handed Shane Burgos the first loss of his career.

Kattar (18-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) – “The Boston Finisher” – finished off Burgos (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) 32 seconds into the third round with a TKO after planting Burgos on the canvas with a pair of big right uppercuts.

The featherweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

Kattar stung Burgos several times with straight right hands. And though Burgos tried to shake his head like it wasn’t much, the shots almost certainly had to give Kattar confidence. Burgos stayed right in the pocket with Kattar, though, and tried to put together body-head combinations. But Kattar kept landing his jab and just missed a flush uppercut that glanced off, instead. With 10 seconds left in the round, Kattar landed a kick right up the middle that drilled Burgos in the chin, though he stayed upright.

The second round was much the same as the first. Burgos had his moemnts, but also had a lot of moments in which his head was snapping back from a Kattar straight jab. Still, Burgos pressed ahead hoping to get some kind of sustained offense together rather than one-offs. With 90 seconds, he started to get something going – but he soon found himself back on the end of Kattar’s solid accuracy yet again.

In the third, Burgos wanted to come out like a bat out of hell. And he did. But Kattar made him pay in a hurry. He landed a massive right uppercut, then a combination when Burgos wobbled backward. That put Burgos on the canvas. Kattar followed him down and landed several big punches on the mat to finish the job.

Kattar ran his winning streak to 10 fights, including his first two in the UFC. Burgos suffered the first loss of his pro career after a 10-0 start.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

UFC 220 results: Gian Villante outworks Francimar Barroso to snap two-fight skid

Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Gian Villante (red gloves) fights Francimar Barroso (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/EsBedrnmBUE9H3MrrcnFze/297739", customAnalytics: true, title: "Villante def. Barroso", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

BOSTON – It wasn’t a “Fight of the Night” candidate, but Gian Villante picked up a crucial win to get back on track.

Villante (16-9 MMA, 6-6 UFC) took a split decision from Francimar Barroso (19-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC) in a fight that saw him pressing forward much of the fight, but seldom putting together enough offense in any sustained flurry to put Barroso in too much trouble. Villante won with a pair of 30-27 scores. Oddly, a dissenting judge gave the fight to Barroso, 29-28.

The light heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

Villante pressed forward right away and 45 seconds in wobbled Barroso with a right hand. He stayed patient and continued to stalk the Brazilian down. He landed a combination, then another and kept Barroso backpedaling. Barroso tried a spinning attack with 90 seconds to go, but it was off the mark. His offense consisted mainly of looking for low kicks to try to keep Villante from pushing inside.

In the second, the big men started swinging for the fences early. Both connected, but it was Villante who kept pressing the pace. Barroso got a break in the action when Villante caught him with a low kick, but the Brazilian wanted to get going again quickly. Both fighters landed here and there throughout the round, but nothing of any major consequence to build on for momentum.

In the first minute of the third, Barroso landed a big body kick that echoed through the arena. Villante seemed to work through it, though, and 30 seconds later stumbled Barroso with a right hand. The Brazilian stayed in the fight, though, and bloodied Villante’s nose up. But later in the fight, he was mostly just on the end of Villante’s punches rather than getting hit flush with them.

Villante snapped a two-fight skid for his first win in 13 months. Barroso lost for the second straight time.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

Bellator 192 results: Michael Chandler dominates Goiti Yamauchi, ties record for most Bellator wins

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Michael Chandler tied Patricio Freire for the most victories in Bellator history on Saturday with a one-sided performance at Bellator 192.

After losing the lightweight title to Brent Primus at Bellator NYC in June, Chandler (17-4 MMA, 14-4 BMMA) returned to the cage and put on a dominant performance against Goiti Yamauchi (22-4 MMA, 8-3 BMMA) for a unanimous decision victory and his record-tying 14th Bellator win.

The bout lightweight fight was part today’s Bellator 192 main card. It took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and aired on Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The opening round wasn’t particularly exciting, but it went Chandler’s way. He took the fight to the ground and kept pressure on Yamauchi, who was unable to create space for his dangerous submissions.

Chandler somewhat veered from his risk-averse strategy in the second round, and he nearly paid for it. Yamauchi blindsided him with a question mark kick that caused the former champion to stumble. Chandler regained his wits, though, and immediately took Yamauchi back to the ground.

With his path to victory clearly established, Chandler took Yamauchi back to the ground not long into the third round. Yamauchi attempted to isolate limps for a submission or scramble into freedom, but Chandler wasn’t letting him out of his grip.

Chandler turned up the volume on his offense in a big way in the final 90 seconds of the third round, opening a cut on Yamauchi and nearly finishing the fight. He couldn’t get the stoppage, but the 30-26, 30-26, 30-25 scorecards reflected his dominance.

“Hat’s off to Yamauchi, probably the toughest guy I’ve ever fought,” Chandler said in his post-fight interview.

Afterward, Chandler addressed the possibility of a rematch.

“That’s not what I want,” Chandler said. “If that’s what Scott (Coker) wants, I’ll do it because I’m a company man.”

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 192 results include:

For more on Bellator 192 check out the MMA Events section of the site.

(John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Inglewood.)

UFC 220 results: Rob Font thrills home Boston fans, TKOs Thomas Almeida

Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Rob Font (blue gloves) after defeating Thomas Almeida (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) is examined by medical staff after his loss to Rob Font (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Thomas Almeida (red gloves) fights Rob Font (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/ijpXQwBKTbhzF6QnzHZafS/297737", customAnalytics: true, title: "Font def. Almeida", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

BOSTON – Rob Font picked up the biggest win of his career, and got it done in front of a raucous crowd of his home fans.

Font (15-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) took out Thomas Almeida (22-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) with a second-round TKO, systematically taking the Brazilian apart not long after hurting him with a big right hand. The stoppage came at the 2:24 mark of the middle frame.

The bantamweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

Almeida kicked low early, and in response Font dropped low to work for a takedown along the fence. When it wasn’t there, he broke away and tried to keep Almeida’s back to the fence with threats of his striking. Midway through, they got together in the center of the cage and kept after each other, but neither was able to land a defining shot to take an edge.

But in the second, everything change. Font landed a right hand to the temple to crack Almeida. And a couple seconds later, he landed again and put Almeida on the canvas. He dropped down with him and went after the finish. Almeida got back to his feet, but clearly was hurt. Font stayed after him while his home fans cheered wildly. Ninety seconds in, he took Almeida to the canvas, but soon found himself back on the feet hoping the Brazilian hadn’t had time to recover.

But just ahead of the midway point of the round, Font found another opening and sent his Boston faithful fans into their biggest frenzy of the night. He hit Almeida with a glancing right hand, then landed a head kick. He was right on top of that with a few more punches to put Almeida on the canvas, and then hit the turf with him to finish it off.

Font avoided the first losing skid of his career and is back in the win column. He has victories in three of his past four fights. Almeida suffered his second straight loss for the first losing skid of his career. He has dropped three of his past four fights after starting a perfect 20-0.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

Aaron Pico pulls off body-shot finish even nastier and faster than earlier one at Bellator 192

It’s almost as if Aaron Pico saw the body shot finish from earlier in the night at Bellator 192 and thought, “Yeah, that looks fun, but I wonder if I could do it even faster.”

And so Pico (2-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) went out against Shane Kruchten and hammered left hooks to the liver until Kruchten crumpled up against the cage, earning Pico a TKO finish that was two seconds faster than the one recorded earlier in the night by Joey Davis.

Via Twitter:

Aaron Pico vs Shane Kruchten #Bellator192 pic.twitter.com/VfAjH3YWu6

— Fancy Combat (@FancyCombat) January 21, 2018

That brutal finishing blow wasn’t the first time in the fight that Pico ripped Kruchten to the body. In fact, it kind of seemed like it was a big part of Pico’s plan, what with the way he immediately attacked the midsection of Kruchten with punches.

None of them seemed particularly pleasant to be on the receiving end of, but the final one was positively nasty. The way Kruchten went down, it was immediately clear that he wasn’t getting up any time soon, and wasn’t going to feel great once he did.

Now Pico has two straight wins after losing his much-hyped pro debut to Zach Freeman at another Bellator “tentpole” event last summer. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of challenge Bellator comes up with for his next outing.

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Bellator 192 results: Henry Corrales decisions Georgi Karakhanyan in first bout in Paramount history

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Henry Corrales made history on Saturday, becoming the first to win a fight televised by the newly launched Paramount Network.

Corrales (15-3 MMA, 3-3 BMMA) was forced to dig deep against Georgi Karakhanyan (27-8-1 MMA, 6-6 BMMA) over the course of three rounds to pull it out, but ultimately he was rewarded with a unanimous decision in the Bellator 192 main card opener, which took place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and aired on Paramount following prelims on MMAjunkie.

The first round of the 145-pound contest delivered plenty of action. Corrales and Karakhanyan stood toe-to-toe and exchanges punches from inside the pocket. Corrales’ face sported some damage, but it didn’t stop him from being effective and utilizing his offense.

Corrales got the momentum on his side in a big way in the second round, capitalizing on a failed guillotine choke attempt from Karakhanyan to establish top control for the majority of the round.

It was much of the same in the final frame. Karakhanyan was unable to get anything going off his back, and when he finally got up in the latter portion of the round, he didn’t have enough time to alter the course of the fight.

Corrales was awarded the victory by scores of 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, giving him three consecutive wins since he changes camps to The MMA Lab in Arizona.

Up-to-the-minute Bellator 192 results include:

  • Henry Corrales def. Georgi Karakhanyan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

For more on Bellator 192 check out the MMA Events section of the site.

(John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Inglewood.)

UFC 220 results: Abdul Razak Alhassan leaves no doubt in rematch with Sabah Homasi

Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Sabah Homasi (red gloves) fights Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Sabah Homasi (red gloves) fights Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Sabah Homasi (red gloves) fights Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Sabah Homasi (red gloves) fights Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Sabah Homasi (red gloves) fights Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) celebrates his win over Sabah Homasi (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) celebrates his win over Sabah Homasi (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) celebrates his win over Sabah Homasi (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Abdul Razak Alhassan (blue gloves) celebrates his win over Sabah Homasi (not seen) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/vFVSxtsHVtoUf2CGJrmMSd/297733", customAnalytics: true, title: "Alhassan def. Homasi", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

BOSTON – In a rematch from an early December fight that was universally decried as stopped too early in favor of Abdul Razak Alhassan, he left no doubt in the second go’round with Sabah Homasi.

Alhassan (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) put Homasi (11-8 MMA, 0-3 UFC) out cold in the first round thanks to a massive right uppercut. The two were fighting again after Alhassan won a TKO at UFC 218 that most believed was stopped too early.

The welterweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

There seemed to be a little bad blood from Homasi, given the way their first meeting played out. He swung with bad intentions – but so did Alhassan to counter. Midway through the first round, Homasi got the fight to the canvas and wrapped Alhassan up – but had to eat his share of punches for the effort. Homasi appeared to be just stalling, so he was stood up with 100 seconds left. And on the feet, he ate a massive right hand from Alhassan that stunned him, and seconds later, a right uppercut put Homasi completely out on the canvas.

Alhassan used that bad blood to stand over the top of Homasi yelling down in a combination of jubilation and anger after the clean KO.

Alhassan won for the second straight time – both against Homasi. Homasi dropped his third straight, all in the UFC.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

UFC 220 results: Dustin Ortiz rallies to take unanimous decision from Alexandre Pantoja

Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Jan 20, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Dustin Ortiz (red gloves) fights Alexandre Pantoja (blue gloves) during UFC 220 at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/fMggAPymqcPsy4uPxyoHCd/297731", customAnalytics: true, title: "Ortiz def. Pantoja", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

BOSTON – It was quite a difference for Dustin Ortiz between his Saturday fight and his prior performance.

Ortiz (18-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) had to work hard to grind out a unanimous decision win over Alexandre Pantoja (18-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC). He took a trio of 29-28 scores after a rough first round that saw him on the cusp of being finished with a choke. The win came on the heels of a 15-second knockout win for Ortiz, who experienced a study in extremes in victory over a two-fight span.

The flyweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

Pantoja was all over Ortiz early and got the fight to the canvas. He kept Ortiz stifled there for most of the round and finally put him in serious danger with a rear-naked choke. But Ortiz seemed to win the crowd back over by fighting his way out of it, and even had top position in the closing seconds of the round.

In the second, Ortiz was able to keep the fight on the feet for the first couple minutes. Then he turned the tide on Pantoja by forcing him up against the fence and working knees. With 75 seconds left, Pantoja broke away to get back to the center and traded punches with Ortiz. They hit the deck with 45 seconds left with Ortiz on top, but he couldn’t pose a serious threat to finish.

The two traded punches quickly in the third, then scrambled to the canvas and traded positions there until Pantoja got on top. Ortiz pushed his way over to the fence to attempt to walk his way back up, but Pantoja was intent on holding him down. He was warned by Dan Miragliotta twice to do more than hold Ortiz. When Ortiz tried to scramble up 90 seconds into the round, Pantoja worked to try to take his back. But he couldn’t keep it and Ortiz got to his feet.

But Pantoja dragged him back down and took his back. A body triangle ensured Ortiz wasn’t going to go anywhere without a struggle. Struggle, he did. But Ortiz finally got loose enough to get on top, and with 80 seconds left he got back to his feet desperate to get a finish. He threw heavy hands at Pantoja, and inside a mintue worked for his own takedown. Ortiz took Pantoja’s back and landed punches and knees for the remainder of the round hoping to win the judges over.

Pantoja had an 11-fight winning streak snapped and suffered his first UFC loss. Ortiz won for the second straight time.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

UFC 220 results: Julio Arce outworks Dan Ige for decision in fight between DWCS products

<p>Gleison Tibau</p> <p>Islam Makhachev</p> <p>Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau</p> <p>Enrique Barzola</p> <p>Matt Bessette</p> <p>Matt Bessette vs. Enrique Barzola</p> <p>Julio Arce</p> <p>Dan Ige</p> <p>Dan Ige vs. Julio Arce</p> <p>Alexandre Pantoja</p> <p>Dustin Ortiz</p> <p>Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja</p> <p>Abdul Razak Alhassan</p> <p>Sabah Homasi</p> <p>Sabah Homasi vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan</p> <p>Brandon Davis</p> <p>Kyle Bochniak</p> <p>Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis</p> <p>Rob Font</p> <p>Thomas Almeida</p> <p>Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font</p> <p>Francimar Barroso</p> <p>Gian Villante</p> <p>Gian Villante vs. Francimar Barroso</p> <p>Shane Burgos</p> <p>Calvin Kattar</p> <p>Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos</p> <p>Volkan Oezdemir</p> <p>Daniel Cormier</p> <p>Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir</p> <p>Francis Ngannou</p> <p>Stipe Miocic</p> <p>Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou</p> jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/M6MaH4fTTHZhxb7QtZ2Mtc/297729", customAnalytics: true, title: "UFC 220 Ceremonial Weigh-ins", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

BOSTON – In a fight between a pair of opponents who got their UFC shots courtesy of Dana White’s Contender Series, Julio Arce just had more in the tank and took advantage more often than Dan Ige.

Arce (14-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) took a unanimous decision from Ige (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with a pair of 30-27 scores and a 29-28. When the fight was over, Ige’s face was wearing the effects of the times Arce was able to get through with his fists.

The featherweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It aired on FS1 following additional prelims on UFC Fight Pass and ahead of a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

A scramble 45 seconds in led to a near takedown, but Ige couldn’t get Arce to the canvas. An Arce kick nearly two minutes in didn’t work in his favor when Ige used it to press him to the cage. But Arce forced his way out and back to the center of the cage. With 90 seconds left in the round, Arce caught Ige flush with a punch and wobbled him. He briefly got him to the canvas and landed a hanmmer fist, but couldn’t get the job done. Back on the feet, though, he threatened with a minute left – but again, Ige survived and got to the second round.

Midway through the second, the two mixed it up briefly before Ige dropped low for a takedown that Arce easily sprawled out of. Ige’s face looked way more worse for the wear than Arce’s, and Arce’s energy level seemed to be just a step ahead, too. But with about a minute left, Ige caught Arce with a punch that briefly backed him up. But when he moved in to take advantage, he was forced into a clinch.

Arce put a good combination together 30 seconds into the third and had Ige scrambling to stay upright. They scrambled several more times through the third, but Ige never was able to put anything together to put Arce in any danger – though he did his best to stay in there swinging.

Arce won for the sixth straight time. Ige had a six-fight winning streak snapped with the loss.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

Bellator 192 results: Khonry Gracie, son of Royce Gracie, hesitant in lackluster decision loss

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Khonry Gracie (0-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), the son of UFC Hall of Famer and MMA legend Royce Gracie, was largely ineffective over the course of 15 minutes, falling short in a unanimous decision to fellow debuting fighter Devon Brock (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).

The welterweight contest took place on the MMAjunkie-streamed preliminary card of Saturday’s Bellator 192 event at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Brock took the center of the cage to start, and the taller Gracie circled on the outside, landing a few low kicks in the early going before partially landing a glancing high kick, as well. With Brock generally the one moving forward, Gracie elected to retreat and counter from range before finally shooting inside at the halfway mark of the round. Brock defended well against the cage before circling off and landing an uppercut on the break. A second Gracie takedown attempt saw him move inside and pull guard, where he quickly worked his legs high for a triangle choke attempt. Brock was never in trouble in the hold, and he smoothly escaped a subsequent armbar attempt, as well, finishing the round with strikes from the top.

RelatedWatch Joey Davis wreck his opponent's liver with a spinning back kick at Bellator 192

Brock again took the center in the second, with Gracie looking to stay at range and strike on the outside. Brock remained patient on the outside and countered with low kicks and sharp jabs. A Gracie takedown attempt late in the round again came up short, and Brock seemed unconcerned with anything his opponent offered on the feet. At the bell, it was actually Brock who scored a takedown, though the round ended before he could do anything with the position.

The crowd was restless at the start of the third, booing a lack of action between the two. Gracie shot inside 90 seconds into the frame but was pushed away with relative ease. Referee Mike Beltran verbally encouraged the fighters to engage, but it was Brock who got the best of the strikes and easily defended any takedown attempts. Gracie simply couldn’t get anything going on the feet and was unable to take the fight to the floor, leaving him little opportunities for offense. Brock again punctuated the final bell with a successful takedown attempt and cruised to a decision win, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Watch Joey Davis wreck his opponent's liver with a spinning back kick at Bellator 192

How do you get yourself noticed in a Bellator prelim fight on an already busy night in the world of MMA? Finishing your opponent with a spinning back kick to the liver is a pretty good bet.

Joey Davis pulled off that feat in the first minute of his fight with Ian Butler at Bellator 192 in Inglewood, Calif., on Saturday night.

While Butler (3-3 MMA, 0-3 BMMA) may have been more worried about the takedowns coming from a standout college wrestler like Davis (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), the kick snuck in just below his defenses, with the full impact sinking in a moment later.

Via Twitter:

And THIS is how we "kick off" #Bellator192 Prelims. Dance it off @Joeyblackice! Tune in now on our mobile app! pic.twitter.com/vMa3FJ748u

— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 21, 2018

Joey Davis, an NCAA wrestler, just won with a spinning back kick to the liver. GOODNESS. #Bellator192 pic.twitter.com/nDb2jnDevT

— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) January 21, 2018

Once Butler’s body had decided to go into full shutdown mode, as often happens as a result of a good liver shot, Davis rushed in to finish him off with right hands, then stood there over his crumpled body like he was almost annoyed that the fight was over so quickly.

If you want to get a sense of why Butler couldn’t stay on his feet after that kick, go ahead and turn your speakers up as you watch that replay. The sound of the kick hammering the area of his vital organs sounds a lot like Rocky Balboa beating up on sides of beef, and it’s nothing you’d want to be on the receiving end of.

For more on Bellator 192, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

UFC 220 results: Takedowns help Enrique Barzola to unanimous decision over Matt Bessette

BOSTON – Matt Bessette was a game opponent who presented some challenges for Enrique Barzola – when he wasn’t getting dropped to the canvas.

Barzola (14-3-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) won a unanimous decision against Bessette (22-8 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who was making his UFC debut. Barzola won with a pair of 29-28 scores and a 30-27 against the Connecticut-based Bessette, who came over as the former CES MMA featherweight champion.

The featherweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

Bessette tried to get his jab working after the early feeling-out process, and Barzola looked for low kicks. Bessette mixed in some kick attempts up high and to the body, as well, and 90 seconds in briefly backed Barzola to the cage with a short combination. But the Peruvian didn’t seem hurt much by it and worked his way out. Once back in the center, he had to contend with the increasing confidence Bessette brought with kicks and he again backed Barzola up. But Barzola stayed right in the pocket to exchange while cautiously shifting side to side.

With 90 seconds left in the round, Barzola was able to change levels to scoop Bessette up for a slam. Bessette worked back to his feet 50 seconds later, then avoided Barzola’s second takedown attempt late in the frame and landed a head kick that Barzola smiled at before showboating with his arms down.

Bessette came out more aggressively in the second. When he backed Barzola to the cage and fired off a combination, Barzola again put his hands down and gestured Bessette’s way – so Bessette did it right back to him. Just ahead of 90 seconds into the round, a big Barzola low kick took Bessette right off his feet, and he landed some punches to the face when Bessette got up.

Midway through the round, Barzola again dropped for a takedown, and again pretty easily scooped Bessette up to drop him in the center of the cage. He didn’t fully drop to the canvas with him, but landed some punches while Bessette tried to work for a leg lock. Bessette got up with 80 seconds left in the frame, but again found himself fending off a takedown attempt that Barzola eventually landed. A third big slam came for Barzola just before the horn at the end of the round.

Bessette’s corner implored him at the start of the third to give “everything you’ve got,” no doubt believing he was down two rounds thanks to the takedowns. Bessette landed early, but it was nothing heavy enough to pose a true threat. Instead, it was Barzola who landed cleanly 90 seconds in and popped Bessette’s head back with a left. Midway through, Barzola put a good combination on Bessette just to remind him he wasn’t all takedowns. But with a minute left in the round, Barzola again picked Bessette up for a slam to put a cap on the solid performance.

Barzola won for the third straight time and fifth time in his past six fights. Bessette had a seven-fight winning streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

UFC 220 results: Islam Makhachev KOs Gleison Tibau in 57 seconds, calls out Kevin Lee

<p>Gleison Tibau</p> <p>Islam Makhachev</p> <p>Islam Makhachev vs. Gleison Tibau</p> <p>Enrique Barzola</p> <p>Matt Bessette</p> <p>Matt Bessette vs. Enrique Barzola</p> <p>Julio Arce</p> <p>Dan Ige</p> <p>Dan Ige vs. Julio Arce</p> <p>Alexandre Pantoja</p> <p>Dustin Ortiz</p> <p>Dustin Ortiz vs. Alexandre Pantoja</p> <p>Abdul Razak Alhassan</p> <p>Sabah Homasi</p> <p>Sabah Homasi vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan</p> <p>Brandon Davis</p> <p>Kyle Bochniak</p> <p>Kyle Bochniak vs. Brandon Davis</p> <p>Rob Font</p> <p>Thomas Almeida</p> <p>Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font</p> <p>Francimar Barroso</p> <p>Gian Villante</p> <p>Gian Villante vs. Francimar Barroso</p> <p>Shane Burgos</p> <p>Calvin Kattar</p> <p>Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos</p> <p>Volkan Oezdemir</p> <p>Daniel Cormier</p> <p>Daniel Cormier vs. Volkan Oezdemir</p> <p>Francis Ngannou</p> <p>Stipe Miocic</p> <p>Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou</p> jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/M6MaH4fTTHZhxb7QtZ2Mtc/297725", customAnalytics: true, title: "UFC 220 Ceremonial Weigh-ins", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

BOSTON – Islam Makhachev’s welcome-back present for Gleison Tibau wasn’t a very nice one.

Makhachev (15-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) knocked out Tibau (33-13 MMA, 16-11 UFC) quickly into the first round with a left hand that was right on the money, putting a quick end to Tibau’s first fight in more than two years.

The lightweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC 220 event at TD Garden in Boston. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on pay-per-view.

RelatedUFC 220 play-by-play and live results

Makhachev kicked high up the middle 20 seconds in and just missed. The two continued to feel each other out looking for openings, and when Makhachev found his, he found it in a major, major way.

He faked a right hand, then came right behind it with a left that was on the button and dropped Tibau to the canvas. It was Makhachev’s first actual punch of the fight.

He followed the Brazilian to the mat and dropped a couple extra punches down before referee Dan Miragliotta was able to get in and shut things down just 57 seconds into the fight. The knockout finish was his first finish with his hands since the third fight of his career, in Russia, in 2011.

OUT OF NOWHERE!@MakhachevMMA opens up #UFC220 with a BANG! pic.twitter.com/gz3bS2lY6a

— UFC (@ufc) January 21, 2018

“Gleison is a tough opponent,” Makhachev said. “This is the UFC, with small gloves. One punch and I can lose – but today I won. Gleison Tibau is a legend and I respect him very much. He has a lot of fights in the UFC. He’s beat a lot of tough guys.

“In the top 15, there are a lot of bum opponents. I think the No. 1 bum opponent is Kevin Lee. UFC, give me Kevin Lee.”

The win was the third straight for Makhachev, who himself was returning after nearly a year away from the cage. The loss for Tibau was his third straight.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 220 results include:

  • Islam Makhachev def. Gleison Tibau via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:57

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Boston.)

MMA's week out of the cage: Georges St-Pierre dines with John Kavanagh, Kevin Lee signs with CAA

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

* * * *

Animals of Instagram

Weekly eats

The life of “The Notorious”

1 2

LFA 34 heads to Minnesota with lightweight title fight and Kelly Kobold

LFA 34 will feature a lightweight championship headliner.

Officials recently announced 155-pound champion Robert Watley (9-1) will meet challenger Brandon Jenkins (10-4) at the event.

LFA 34 takes place March 2 at Mystic Lake Center in Prior Lake, Minn., and the main card airs on AXS TV.

RelatedLFA 31 results and highlight: Thanh Le wins interim title, but was it an early stoppage?

Watley, a 28-year-old riding a nine-fight winning streak, won the belt with a decision victory over Thiago Moises in July and then defended it with a November TKO victory over Daryl Wilson.

He looks for his 10th straight victory when he fights Jenkins, a 26-year-old Mystic Lake security guard who’s coming off an entertaining decision victory over Carl Wittstock at a December LFA event. It moved him to 4-1 in his past five fights. Overall, he has seven knockouts in 10 career wins.

In the co-headliner, lightweights contenders Travis Perzynski (22-9) and Trey Ogden (9-2) square off.

Additionally, the card features women’s MMA pioneer Kelly Kobold (18-3-2), who returned from a six-year layoff in August and fought Christine Stanley to a split draw at LFA 20. An opponent hasn’t been determined for the 34-year-old EliteXC and BodogFIGHT vet.

The latest LFA 34 card includes:

For more on LFA 34, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

UFC's Stephen Thompson has eye on 'monsters' at welterweight while he recovers

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_M62pTAHu_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/M62pTAHu.json","ph":2} );

UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson still has trouble making a fist, which is problematic for his UFC title aspirations.

He’s still willing to ignore a doctor’s recommendation that would help him heal. It would also keep him from making that fist, which he can’t abide.

“I want to be able to fight,” he told MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m not done yet. I’m a young 34-year-old. I can make a fist, I just can’t tighten it up.”

During a fight with Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) at UFC 217, Thompson (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) knew he had injured both of his thumbs. He managed to win, but a fight with surging welterweight contender Darren Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) was shelved.

When he went to get his hands checked out, he discovered one his left thumb was broken and his right had a badly torn ligament. A doctor wanted to put a pin in his right hand to stabilize it.

Rather than immobilize his hand, Thompson hopes he can rebuild its strength through physical therapy. He expects to be ready to fight this spring. It’s not an easy process.

“Hitting stuff is pretty painful right now,” said the decorated striker. “That’s why I’m doing physical therapy so I can at least make it stronger so I can do those things. I think the pain will always be there. But as an MMA fighter, I’m used to that.”

RelatedDarren Till: Stephen Thompson can't run, has to 'fight me sooner than later'

With six knee surgeries in the books, Thompson has good days and bad days with his body. But he hasn’t given up on eventually fighting Till, or any of the top welterweights in the division. Two misses at the title haven’t convinced him his days as a top contender are over.

“I think I’m doing pretty good at 34 when it comes to the injury part,” he said. “Not any severe injuries yet, especially to the head. I try not to take those shots. Those shots are the ones that really end guy’s careers.”

Late March or early April is the timeframe Thompson is hoping to meet for a return to the octagon. He isn’t writing off Till as a potential fight.

“You never know what can happen,” he said. “Darren Till is a tough opponent. You’ve got a lot of guys, like Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington and Mike Perry. These are monsters coming up in the division, and I’ve got my eye on every one of them.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Stephen Thompson leaves the octagon after his welterweight championship bout against Tyron Woodley at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Stephen Thompson enters the arena to face Tyron Woodley (not pictured) for their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Stephen Thompson enters the octagon to face Tyron Woodley (not pictured) for their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) and Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) and Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) and Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) and Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) and Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Stephen Thompson reacts after being defeated by Tyron Woodley in their welterweight championship bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Woodley won via majority decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) fights against Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) in their welterweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) fights against Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) in their welterweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Blood drips from the face of Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) during his welterweight title bout against Tyron Woodley during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Blood drips from the face of Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) during his welterweight title bout against Tyron Woodley during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) reacts after fighting Tyron Woodley in their welterweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Tyron Woodley (red gloves) hugs Stephen Thompson (blue gloves) after their welterweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: "https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets", analyticsCallback: "galleryAnalytics", fullscreenUrl: "http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/ZJRgJKEqzzkE2zTHpiteBD/297031", customAnalytics: true, title: "Stephen Thompson", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Invicta FC's Shannon Knapp talks decision to bring UFC champ Amanda Nunes on board

if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_qbMtv6Ho_FLu19iir_div').setup( {"playlist":"http:\/\/content.jwplatform.com\/feeds\/qbMtv6Ho.json","ph":2} );

Last week, Invicta FC announced a major reinforcement to their team: UFC champ Amanda Nunes.

This, of course, wasn’t Nunes’ (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC) first contact with the promotion. Years before their recent Invicta FC 26 event, in which the Brazilian fighter stepped into the cage to translate for headlining winner Jennifer Maia, “The Lioness” had a two-fight stint under their banner.

From there, she went to the UFC, where she’s won the 135-pound belt and defended it twice. Now, as one of the biggest stars in women’s MMA, Nunes will use her expertise to assist with matchmaking and talent-scouting duties for the all-female promotion.

“I love to be the matchmaker for Invicta, from my experience, and I have a lot of good talents in Brazil,” Nunes said. “I love to try to find new talent, and I think my friend talked to (Invicta FC President) Shannon (Knapp) about it, then Shannon texted me and offered me to be part of the team. I was very happy, and now I’m here. I love to do something with women’s MMA.”

Speaking to MMAjunkie Radio after the announcement, Knapp confirmed she’d first heard of Nunes’ interest from a mutual friend. With her past dealings with the champ taken into account, it seemed like a great fit. So Knapp reached out.

Knapp is now optimistic about what Nunes can bring to the table, especially when it comes to bridging a gap that has been an issue in a promotion that features a hefty number of the champ’s compatriots.

“I’ve had some struggles lately with communications with the athletes that come from Brazil,” Knapp said. “There’s been some shady stuff down that way with management. And it’s tough to communicate. And to give an athlete that safe zone where they can communicate. It’s been on my mind.”

The chat with MMAjunkie Radio happened the day before their most recent Invicta FC 27 event, which featured the victorious return of Canadian vet Sarah Kaufman as a headliner. And, from what Knapp could see in Nunes’ dealings with the athletes throughout the week, she felt good about her choice.

“I can tell that they just felt connected,” Knapp said, “and are able to feel like they can communicate. I like that. That’s probably one of the biggest reasons I wanted to make this move. I want everybody to feel good when they get here. And I think having somebody like Amanda, that genuinely does care.”

This is the type of concern that Knapp applies to her entire roster. Had the scenario of women’s MMA been similar to what it is now when she was in high school, Knapp answered when asked, she would have most likely gone down that road herself.

Now 50, that particular ship has somewhat sailed. But, in an evolution that Knapp has certainly played a part of, opportunities that weren’t available then are now. And she takes pride in helping other, starry-eyed young girls get to live out their dreams in an environment that’s welcoming and nurturing.

“Honestly, that’s really, I think, why I do this,” Knapp said. “To help them achieve that goal and that dream. It’s cool to be part of that. You know, give them a safe environment to get their legs under them in the sport. Help them grow into the complete athlete and go on to be superstars somewhere. That’s kind of a cool thing.”

Still, especially in dealing with young women, making sure fighters thrive athletically is not Knapp’s sole concern.

“But, with full disclosure as I say that, I always try to make sure that the athletes think about the future as well,” Knapp said. “I have some athletes that go to college and fight here, and I want them to stay in college. Because this is a tough gig, it’s a tough sport.

“I just want them to succeed all around in life, not just when it comes to fighting. Because some day, that career ends.”

April 28 will mark the six-year anniversary of Invicta FC’s first show. Since then, multiple stars have passed through its stage – including three of four UFC women’s champions: Nunes, Cris Cyborg and Rose Namajunas. Not to mention former title challengers like Tonya Evinger, Cat Zingano, Sara McMann, and Liz Carmouche.

Invicta FC’s track record is certainly a testament to the commitment that Knapp made when she decided to direct the expertise she’d gained working for promotions like the UFC and now-defunct Strikeforce into an effort geared exclusively toward women.

“We are all about the female athlete,” Knapp said. “And I think that we are able to make stars quicker here for some reason. We can turn it around. There’s a ton of young athletes coming through.

“And, to be honest with you, that’s really the commitment I made when I stepped into this spot. It’s that it’s going to build these divisions out and provide these opportunities and change the game for the women. Hopefully, that’s what we’re doing every day.”

To hear from Knapp, check out the video above.

And for more on the Invicta FC schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

Pages