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'UFC 221 Embedded,' No. 2: 'The checks of the tongue are cashed by your teeth'

MMA Junkie News -

The UFC returns to pay-per-view this week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment to preview UFC 221.

The event takes place Sunday (but airs live in North America on Saturday due to the time difference) at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, former 185-pound champion Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, takes on No. 4-ranked Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC). And in the co-main event, No. 10-ranked heavyweight and fan favorite Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) meets No. 14 Curtis Blaydes (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC).

Here’s the UFC’s description of the second “Embedded” episode:

On Episode 2 of UFC 221 Embedded, middleweight title contender Luke Rockhold enjoys the Australian hospitality, treats his roommates to a piano recital, and works with breath trainer Nam Baldwin in a nearby park. Heavyweight Mark Hunt whiles away his day at the beach before hitting the gym. Headlining middleweight Yoel Romero and heavyweight Curtis Blaydes bond in the hotel lobby before heading to the official press conference at Perth Arena. The athletes are greeted by fans and reporters at the event, then face off against their opponents on stage. UFC 221 Embedded is an all-access, behind-the-scenes video blog leading up to the interim middleweight championship bout at UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold on Saturday, February 10th on Pay-Per-View.

Check out the full episode in the video above.

Also see:

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his victory against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero before fighting against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero fights against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero fights against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands a kick against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates a victory after his middleweight fight against Brad Tavares (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) fights Tim Kennedy (red gloves) during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) fights Tim Kennedy (red gloves) during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his knockout victory over Tim Kennedy during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his knockout victory over Tim Kennedy during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2014; Duluth, GA, USA; Yoel Romero ( red gloves) fights Derek Brunson during UFC Fight Night at Gwinnett Center. Romero wons. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2014; Duluth, GA, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) reacts during his fight against Derek Brunson during UFC Fight Night at Gwinnett Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-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/TjTgRbYRZNpq5FRg5jHkUd/301781", customAnalytics: true, title: "Yoel Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

A.J. McKee meets Justin Lawrence in co-headliner of 'Bellator: Primus vs. Chandler 2'

MMA Junkie News -

A featherweight bout between A.J. McKee and Justin Lawrence will serve as the co-main event for Bellator’s April fight card in Missouri.

Bellator officials tonight told MMAjunkie of the matchup between McKee (10-0 MMA, 10-0 BMMA) and Lawrence (11-4 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) at the to-be-numbered event, which takes place Apr. 13 at The Family Arena in St. Charles. Mo. It airs on Paramount following prelims streamed on MMAjunkie.

RelatedBellator 187 post-event facts: A.J. McKee sets record with 10th consecutive Bellator win

McKee, 22, is unbeaten and owner of the longest winning streak in Bellator history. He’s made all 10 of his career appearances with the organization and has won all of those fights. “The Mercenary” has finished seven of his opponents along the way, including a third-round submission of Brian Moore in November’s Bellator 187 headliner.

Lawrence will try to make good on the most significance matchup of his Bellator tenure thus far. “The American Kid” will bring a two-fight winning streak into the matchup and has won seven of his past nine bouts overall.

The latest “Bellator: Primus vs. Chandler 2” card now includes:

  • Brent Primus vs. Michael Chandler – for lightweight title
  • A.J. McKee vs. Justin Lawrence

For more on “Bellator: Primus vs. Chandler 2,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ilima Macfarlane (red gloves) reacts after defeating Emily Ducote (not pictured) during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 3, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Ryan Bader (red gloves) hugs Linton Vassell (blue gloves) following the competition of the match during Bellator 186 at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-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/AFn7yKZezjEPJNAKv2FdKn/301765", customAnalytics: true, title: "Best Bellator Photos of 2017: November-December", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Dana White promises 'moron' Mario Yamasaki will never ref again: 'He makes me sick'

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Mario Yamasaki is not UFC President Dana White’s favorite person – and that’s putting it mildly.

During an appearance on “UFC Tonight,” White said of the veteran referee, “I think he’s disgusting, and I never want to see him reffing ever again.”

Those remarks followed up White’s already searing criticism of Yamasaki on Instagram following Valentina Shevchenko’s second-round submission win over Priscila Cachoeira last weekend at UFC Fight Night 125. Yamasaki has come under fire for his reluctance to stop the bout sooner, even as Shevchenko (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) battered and bloodied Cahcoeira  (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) with 230 strikes to just three for the promotional newcomer.

RelatedFrank Trigg: Ref Mario Yamasaki 'cost me a million dollars' but did right in Shevchenko fight

Yamasaki’s explanation was that Cachoeira was responsive to his commands during the beatdown, which is why he allowed her “to be a warrior and keep fighting.” Cachoeira also could’ve tapped from strikes at any moment or had her team throw in the towel.

To White, both of those defenses are inexcusable.

Priscila Cachoeira moments after tapping out to Valentina Shevchenko.

“She didn’t tap, and that’s the thing. The reality is, when you’re a fighter – and it’s one of the reasons this sport is as big as it is, because most of you guys don’t tap,” White told hosts Michael Bisping and Kenny Florian. “Most of you guys stay in there, and she did fight like a warrior. For that idiot to say he gave her the opportunity to be a warrior – no. No, you moron. You’re in there to protect her from herself.

“He makes me sick. That guy has no business reffing fights. And I promise you, you’re never going to see him again.”

RelatedAnatomy of a bloodbath: Late stoppage wasn't the only issue with Shevchenko vs. Cachoeira

UFC executive David Shaw said after the event that the organization would work with the Brazilian Athletic Commission of MMA (CABMMA) to prevent similar situations in the future. CABMMA has acknowledged that Yamasaki should’ve stopped the fight sooner.

Cachoeira, who faces a six-month medical suspension for the beating she took, likely will be out longer because of a torn ACL and meniscus suffered in the loss.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 125, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-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/2s5k3AFUyXJrP7ndeeQaZ8/301750", customAnalytics: true, title: "Shevchenko def. Cachoeira", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Bellator 194's Ana Julaton defends against critics of new style

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Former boxing champ Ana Julaton said critics of her MMA style miss a point – she wants to be a well rounded fighter.

“A lot of people say I don’t use my hands a lot, and for me, I really took the time to learn all the different crafts,” Julaton told MMAjunkie in advance of her Bellator 194 showdown with Heather Hardy, a unique matchup in which the two face off in MMA before stepping into the squared circle for a rematch.

Julaton (2-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), a former WBO female super bantamweight champ, hasn’t shied away from engaging opponents on the ground. She might have brought into the cage expectations of dominating her opposition with her boxing, but she said fans discount the things she needs to do to make a successful transition into a new sport.

“As a professional boxer going into MMA, we don’t have the amateur program to try and develop our skills,” said Julaton, who faces Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) on the Paramount-televised main card of the Feb. 16 event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. “So I spent a couple of years in a wrestling camp trying to figure out the nuances of that. My last fight, I worked a little bit more on my kicks and also a little bit with the jiu-jitsu.”

For the last part of her camp, however, Julaton has gotten back to what she knows best, and that’s using her fists. Hardy, after all, is a former WBC international featherweight champ. The two share a budding rivalry as boxing standouts who jumped to MMA, and they want to show each other up. With less padding to protect their primary weapons, MMA might give them a chance to do so quickly.

Then again, the fighter who’s done her homework on the mat might carry the day.

Julaton claims Hardy backed out of an initial offer to fight in the Bellator cage this past October, so she’s looking forward to the opportunity. The fact she can get wins in boxing and MMA make it all the better.

For more on Bellator 194, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Report: Mike Pyle returns against Zak Ottow at UFC 222

MMA Junkie News -

After an extended layoff, veteran welterweight Mike Pyle is slated to return to the octagon at UFC 222.

The reviewjournal.com today broke the news that Pyle (27-13-1 MMA, 10-8 UFC) will face Zak Ottow (15-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at the pay-per-view event, which takes place March 3 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Although the event’s bout order has not been announced, the fight is expected to serve on the preliminary card, which airs on FS1 and streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Pyle, 42, suffered a pair of knockouts that preceded a long layoff from MMA. He was last seen in the octagon at UFC 207 in December 2016, where he was stopped in the first round by Alex Garcia. The veteran fighter is 2-5 in his past seven outings.

Ottow comes into the bout also looking for redemption after a recent setback. The UFC vet was stopped by Li Jingliang this past November at UFC Fight Night 122, dropping his octagon record to 2-2.

As MMAjunkie reported today, UFC 222 just recently added a replacement headliner after the recent injury to featherweight champ Max Holloway. UFC women’s featherweight champ Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya will serve as the main event while ex-champ Frankie Edgar will take on Brian Ortega in the featherweight co-headliner.

The latest UFC 222 card includes:

  • Champ Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya – for women’s featherweight title
  • Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega
  • C.B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Stefan Struve
  • Mackenzie Dern vs. Ashley Yoder
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Cat Zingano
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann
  • Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Bobby Green
  • John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
  • Mike Pyle vs. Zak Ottow

For more on UFC 222, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (reg gloves) fights against Sean Spencer (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) fights against Sean Spencer (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) fights against Sean Spencer (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Feb 6, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) fights against Sean Spencer (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) and Colby Covington (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Covington won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 23, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) and Colby Covington (blue gloves) fight during their welterweight bout during UFC 187 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Covington won via unanimous decision. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports May 22, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle weighs in for his welterweight bout against Colby Covington (not pictured) at MGM Grand Ballroom. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Aug 23, 2014; Tulsa, OK, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) fights Jordan Mein (blue gloves) in a Welterweight Bout at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle celebrates his win against TJ Waldburger (not pictured) after their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. Pyle won the bout by way of TKO in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) pins TJ Waldburger (blue gloves) to the mat and throws an elbow to his face during their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. Pyle won the bout by way of TKO in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) throws a kick at TJ Waldburger's (blue gloves) face during their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. Pyle won the bout by way of TKO in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Feb 22, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (red gloves) punches TJ Waldburger (blue gloves) during their UFC welterweight bout at Mandalay Bay. Pyle won the bout by way of TKO in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Mike Pyle looks on after his loss of a UFC Welterweight match at the TD Garden. Matt Brown won in one round with a knockout. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports May 25, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle punches Rick Story during UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Dec 15, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mike Pyle (left) and James Head (right) exchange jabs during their welterweight undercard bout in the Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Pyle defeated Head by TKO. Mandatory Credit: Josh Holmberg-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/oPUTNVsaAjt6px8NaGrQDQ/301722", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mike Pyle", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Robert Whittaker's UFC 221 withdrawal turned out to be a blessing in disguise

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Robert Whittaker was understandably devastated when he had to withdraw from his first scheduled title defense on home soil at UFC 221. Now that fight week is here, though, not competing has proven to be a positive.

Whittaker (19-4 MMA, 10-2 UFC) had a milestone occur today when he announced the birth of his daughter. His wife, Sofia Maree Whittaker, was induced into labor, something the UFC middleweight champion would have missed if his planned fight with Luke Rockhold had fallen through (via Instagram):

God always has a plan, I was gutted I couldn’t defend my belt at UFC Perth but I’ve just been blessed with a little girl that stole my heart. My wife did so well and I couldn’t be a prouder husband or dad.

After Whittaker pulled out of UFC 221, which takes place Saturday at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia, the UFC inserted Yoel Romero into the main event for an interim 185-pound showdown with Rockhold.

Details on Whittaker’s condition were originally scarce, but “The Reaper” recently revealed an injured hamstring, staph infection and chicken pox were the cause. Perhaps it was all meant to be, though, because not fighting at UFC 221 allowed Whitaker to be present for his family at a crucial time.

For complete coverage of UFC 221, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) is awarded the belt from UFC president Dana White after defeating Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) walks to the octagon to fight Yoel Romero (not pictured) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) celebrates after fighting Yoel Romero (red gloves) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports July 8, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Robert Whittaker (blue gloves) leaves the octagon with wife Sofia Whittaker (left) after defeating Yoel Romero (not pictured) during UFC 213 at T-Mobile Arena. Whittaker def. Romero via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47). Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ronaldo Souza (Red Gloves) fights Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Apr 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Robert Whittaker (Blue Gloves) reacts to fight against Alexander Volkov (Red Gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) competes against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) celebrates winning his bout against Derek Brunson (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 27, 2016; Melbourne, Australia; Robert Whittaker (red gloves) celebrates with fans after winning his bout against Derek Brunson (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-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/BhQBf9KhhmkmxUUyXybkMR/301697", customAnalytics: true, title: "Robert Whittaker", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya set for UFC 222 main event; Frankie Edgar-Brian Ortega co-main

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With less than one month to go, a headliner has been found for next month’s UFC 222.

UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg (18-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Invicta FC bantamweight champ Yana Kunitskaya (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is set for the March 3 pay-per-view event, a person with knowledge of the situation told MMAjunkie. The person spoke on a condition of anonymity because the bout has yet to be made official.

Also co-headlining the event is a featherweight title between ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) and surging contender Brian Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC), who agreed to step in for injured champ Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC). Edgar-Ortega will be a title eliminator, not an interim title fight.

The news was first reported by MMAFighting.com and subsequently confirmed by UFC President Dana White on tonight’s episode of “UFC Tonight.”

Kunitskaya and Ortega also announced the bouts for UFC 222, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The event’s main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The event was thrown into disarray last week when Holloway was forced to withdraw because of injury. Without a headliner, the promotion considered canceling the event before the Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya fight was booked.

Cyborg will return to the octagon three months after outpointing ex-bantamweight champ Holly Holm to notch her first title defense of the featherweight title. Still undefeated since her professional debut in 2005, she is widely considered the most dominant female fighter in MMA.

Kunitskaya was scheduled to face Leah Letson in her octagon debut at the event after initially announcing a fight with Sara McMann for UFC on FOX 28. She now gets a huge upgrade in competition.

Kunitskaya picked up the title on her second try, defeating Raquel Pa’aluhi this past August after a submission at the hands of Tonya Evinger, who was badly beaten by Cyborg this past July in a bout for the vacant UFC women’s featherweight belt.

Before receiving another title shot at featherweight, two-time challenger Edgar beat down up-and-comer Yair Rodriguez this past May for his second straight win. He is 7-0 in non-title fights over the past five years.

Edgar recently was called out by ex-bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt, who failed to get an immediate rematch with current titleholder T.J. Dillashaw for UFC 222.

Ortega looks to snap Edgar’s streak by continuing his own. “T-City” wowed UFC fans this past December with a submission of top contender Cub Swanson, extending his unbeaten streak to 13 fights.

The latest UFC 222 card includes:

  • Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya – for women’s featherweight title
  • Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega
  • C.B. Dollaway vs. Hector Lombard
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Stefan Struve
  • Mackenzie Dern vs. Ashley Yoder
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Cat Zingano
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Cody Stamann
  • Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Milstead
  • Beneil Dariush vs. Bobby Green
  • John Dodson vs. Pedro Munhoz
  • Mike Pyle vs. Zak Ottow

For more on UFC 222, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Cris Cyborg is declared the winner by TKO and champion against Tonya Evinger during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Cris Cyborg pins Tonya Evinger to the cage during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Cris Cyborg lands a kick against Tonya Evinger during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Cris Cyborg reacts following her victory against Tonya Evinger during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports July 29, 2017; Anaheim, CA, USA; Cris Cyborg reacts following her victory against Tonya Evinger during UFC 214 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) awaits the start of her fight against Leslie Smith during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) lands a punch to the face of Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) throws a kick defended by Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) fights against Leslie Smith (blue) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts for the fans and cameras after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts for the fans and cameras after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports May 14, 2016; Curitiba, Brazil; Cris Justino (red) reacts after defending Leslie Smith (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Arena Atletico Paranaense. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) before her fight against Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) fights Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Sep 24, 2016; Brasilia, Brazil; Cris Cyborg (red gloves) celebrates defeating Lina Lansberg (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-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/y5eH9VBEbCKAge5sGWfVGJ/301689", customAnalytics: true, title: "Cris Cyborg", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Yoel Romero to make interim title history at UFC 221 with a rare twist

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Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) takes down and defeats Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Chris Weidman (red gloves) during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his victory against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero before fighting against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero fights against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero fights against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands punches against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports December 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero lands a kick against Ronaldo Souza during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Apr 19, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates a victory after his middleweight fight against Brad Tavares (not pictured) during UFC on FOX 11 at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) fights Tim Kennedy (red gloves) during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero (blue gloves) fights Tim Kennedy (red gloves) during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his knockout victory over Tim Kennedy during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Yoel Romero celebrates his knockout victory over Tim Kennedy during a middleweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2014; Duluth, GA, USA; Yoel Romero ( red gloves) fights Derek Brunson during UFC Fight Night at Gwinnett Center. Romero wons. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports Jan 15, 2014; Duluth, GA, USA; Yoel Romero (red gloves) reacts during his fight against Derek Brunson during UFC Fight Night at Gwinnett Center. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-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/TjTgRbYRZNpq5FRg5jHkUd/301487", customAnalytics: true, title: "Yoel Romero", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The rate of interim title fights in the UFC has taken a sharp increase in recent years. UFC middleweight contender and UFC 221 headliner Yoel Romero has been among the beneficiaries.

Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) meets Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) for the interim 185-pound belt on Saturday at UFC 221, which takes place at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. The main card, including the Romero vs. Rockhold title fights, airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

It’s Romero’s second straight UFC interim title fight. He fell short to Robert Whittaker at UFC 213 this past July, but after series of injuries forced the now-champ Whittaker out of a UFC 221 defense against Rockhold, the organization opted to create another interim title.

Related'UFC 221 Countdown' full episode with Romero-Rockhold, Hunt-Blaydes

Only two other fighters in UFC history have competed in consecutive interim title fights, but Romero’s counterparts had a different path to those bouts.

With then-bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz sidelined by injury, Renan Barao (34-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) fought Urijah Faber for the interim 135-pound belt at UFC 149 in July 2012. The extent of Cruz’s injuries prevented him from coming back for an immediate unification match, though, and Barao instead defended the interim belt not once, but twice, before being promoted to undisputed champ.

Years prior to that, after Frank Mir was involved in a motorcycle accident, Andrei Arlovski (26-15 MMA, 15-9 UFC) submitted Tim Sylvia to win the interim UFC heavyweight title at UFC 51 in February 2005. Mir’s timeline for recovery was longer than expected, so Arlovski defended the interim belt once – against Justin Eilers at UFC 53.

RelatedLuke Rockhold: Yoel Romero not ready for deep, dark world that awaits at UFC 221

Romero, though, is fighting for an unclaimed interim belt in back-to-back fights.

“The Solider of God” gets a rare opportunity at UFC 221. Beating Rockhold would not only be the biggest win of his career, but it would also position him to avenge the only loss of his career in a unification showdown with Whittaker later this year.

For complete coverage of UFC 221, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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UFC 221 pre-event facts: Can 43-year-old Mark Hunt become one of UFC's oldest winners?

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The UFC expands its reach to a new section of Australia on Saturday when UFC 221 takes place at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia, with a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

An interim middleweight championship fight headlines the UFC’s first PPV event in Western Australia. With titleholder Robert Whittaker sidelined with medical issues, Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) meets Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) for the interim 185-pound belt.

Many other local fighters are scheduled to compete at the UFC’s 12th trip “Down Under.” For more on the numbers behind the UFC 221 lineup, check below for 50 pre-event facts.

* * * *

Main event

Yoel Romero

Romero is the first fighter in UFC history to compete in consecutive vacant interim title fights.

Romero is one of eight fighters in UFC history to earn eight consecutive octagon victories to start a career with the organization.

Romero has earned 10 of his 12 career victories by knockout. That includes six of his eight UFC wins.

Romero’s five third-round stoppage victories in UFC competition are third most in company history behind featherweight champ Max Holloway (six) and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture (six).

Romero is one of three fighters in UFC history to earn back-to-back victories by third-round knockout. He’s accomplished the feat twice in his career.

Romero is one of two fighters in UFC history to earn two knockout victories stemming from a flying knee. Diego Sanchez also accomplished the feat.

Romero is one of three fighters in UFC history to earn a knockout victory stemming from elbow strikes to the body. He accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 35.

Luke Rockhold

Rockhold has earned 14 of his 16 career victories by stoppage. That includes all six of his wins under the UFC banner.

Rockhold’s 13 stoppage victories in UFC/Strikeforce middleweight competition are the most in combined divisional history.

Rockhold’s nine first-round stoppage victories in UFC/Strikeforce competition since the inception of the five-minute round are second most in the combined history of the two organizations behind former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir (10).

Rockhold’s nine knockdowns landed in UFC/Strikeforce middleweight competition are tied for fourth most in combined divisional history behind former champs Anderson Silva (13), Nate Marquardt (12) and Cung Le (11).

Luke Rockhold

Rockhold’s seven submission victories in UFC/Strikeforce middleweight competition are tied with Ronaldo Souza for most in combined divisional history.

Rockhold lands 61 percent of all significant strike attempts in UFC middleweight competition, the second best rate in divisional history behind behind Silva (61.4 percent).

Rockhold lands 5.16 significant strikes per minute in UFC middleweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Martin Kampmann (5.35).

Rockhold’s 126 significant strikes landed against Chris Weidman at UFC 194 are the second most in a UFC middleweight fight behind Rich Franklin’s 127 against David Loiseau at UFC 58.

Co-main event

Mark Hunt

Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC), 43, is the oldest active fighter on the UFC roster.

Hunt has earned all 10 of his career stoppage victories by knockout. That includes seven of his eight wins under the UFC banner.

Hunt’s seven fight-night bonuses for UFC heavyweight bouts are tied with Travis Browne for second most in divisional history behind champ Stipe Miocic (eight).

Hunt has suffered all 11 of his career losses by stoppage.

Curtis Blaydes’ (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) four-fight UFC unbeaten streak in heavyweight competition is the second longest active streak in the division behind Miocic (six).

Blaydes completes 48.7 percent of all his takedown attempts in UFC heavyweight competition, the highest rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Remaining main card

Tai Tuivasa

Tai Tuivasa (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned all six of his career victories by first-round knockout.

Tuivasa is one of two heavyweights in UFC history to earn a knockout stemming from a flying knee. Ex-champ Fabricio Werdum also accomplished the feat.

Jake Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), 23, is the youngest of the 24 fighters scheduled to compete at the event.

Matthews was successful in his UFC welterweight debut when he defeated Bojan Velickovic at UFC Fight Night 121 in November.

Li Jingliang

Li Jingliang’s (14-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) four-fight UFC winning streak in welterweight competition is tied for the fourth longest active streak in the division behind Kamaru Usman (seven), Santiago Ponzinibbio (six) and Colby Covington (five).

Jingliang has earned all four of his UFC stoppage victories by knockout.

Jingliang’s four knockout victories since 2014 in UFC competition are tied with Ponzinibbio, Neil Magny and Mike Perry for most in the division.

Tyson Pedro (6-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned all six of his career victories by first-round stoppage.

Pedro is one of seven fighters in UFC history to earn a stoppage from the crucifix position. He accomplished the feat at UFC 209.

Saparbek Safarov (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) competes in just his fourth professional bout since December 2012.

Preliminary card

“Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim

”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is 2-1 since he dropped to the UFC lightweight division in June 2016.

Israel Adesanya (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has earned all of his career victories by knockout.

Alex Volkanovski (15-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) enters the event on a 13-fight winning streak. He hasn’t suffered a defeat since May 2013.

Jeremy Kennedy (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has earned all three of his UFC victories by decision.

Kennedy has completed 21 total takedowns in his three UFC appearances.

Ben Nguyen

Ben Nguyen’s (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) 49-second submission of Tim Elliott at UFC Fight Night 110 is the fastest submission win in UFC flyweight history.

Nguyen lands 4.54 significant strikes per minute in UFC flyweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the weight class.

Jussier Formiga’s (20-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) two submission victories in UFC flyweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind champ Demetrious Johnson (five) and John Moraga (three).

Formiga defends 85.2 percent of all opponent takedown attempts in UFC flyweight competition, the second highest rate in divisional history behind Ian McCall (90 percent).

Ross Pearson

Ross Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) makes his 13th UFC appearance since 2014, the third most among all UFC fighters behind Donald Cerrone (15) and Magny (15).

Pearson’s four-fight losing skid is the longest of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since March 2016.

Pearson is 6-7 (with one no-contest) since he returned to the UFC lightweight division in December 2012.

Pearson’s five knockout victories in UFC lightweight competition are tied for fourth most in divisional history behind Melvin Guillard (seven), B.J. Penn (six) and Edson Barboza (six).

Pearson’s three split-decision losses in UFC competition are tied for second most in company history behind Jorge Masvidal (four).

Mizuto Hirota

Mizuto Hirota (18-8-2 MMA, 1-3-1 UFC) moves up to the UFC lightweight division after spending his previous five octagon appearances at featherweight.

Hirota has suffered seven of his eight career losses by decision.

Jose Quinonez’s (6-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) three-fight UFC winning streak in bantamweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Jimmie Rivera (five) and Pedro Munhoz (four).

Teruto Ishihara (10-4-2 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC) returns to the bantamweight division for the first time since June 2014. His previous six UFC appearances were at featherweight.

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) and Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Overeem won via third round KO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) and Alistair Overeem (red gloves) fight during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Overeem won via third round KO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) looks on against Alistair Overeem (not pictured) during their bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena. Overeem won via third round KO. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) fights Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) fights Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Mark Hunt (blue gloves) dodges a punch from Brock Lesnar (red gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jul 9, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brock Lesnar (red gloves) reacts to his win against Mark Hunt (blue gloves) during UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) walks into the arena before his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) prepares for his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) acknowledges the crowd in his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) competes against Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2015; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) walks to his corner after knocking out Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) looks on in his bout against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Mar 20, 2016; Brisbane, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Frank Mir (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Mark Hunt (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Antonio "Bigfoot' Silva (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-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/H3ZJdpafTPEB3ZDXn6CqcQ/301630", customAnalytics: true, title: "Mark Hunt", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Quintet 1: Sakuraba's 5-on-5 team grappling event set to feature Josh Barnett, other MMA stars - Bloody Elbow

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Bloody Elbow

Quintet 1: Sakuraba's 5-on-5 team grappling event set to feature Josh Barnett, other MMA stars
Bloody Elbow
... banner including Dan Strauss, Craig Jones, Gregor Gracie, Charles Negromonte and one individual to be named. Teams representing Sambo and Judo will also be featured with top competitors in those disciplines such as Satoshi Ishii and Marius ...

Frank Trigg: Ref Mario Yamasaki 'cost me a million dollars' but did right in Shevchenko fight

MMA Junkie News -

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Frank Trigg believes he has as good a reason as anyone to further bury referee Mario Yamasaki for his much-maligned performance in this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 125 co-main event, but he won’t.

Trigg (21-9 MMA, 2-5 UFC), a retired fighter who earned a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame, now serves as a referee, and he’s been involved in one of Yamasaki’s poorly officiated fights in the past – specifically, a UFC welterweight title fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 52 in April 2005.

Yamasaki failed to identify a low blow in the title fight, and ultimately Hughes won by submission. This past Saturday, Yamasaki allowed Valentina Shevchenko (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) to put a prolonged beating on Priscila Cachoeira (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) that many agree should have ended far earlier than it did.

RelatedJoe Rogan: Mario Yamasaki should've stopped Valentina Shevchenko fight '15 or 20 times'

Trigg, who has the rare perspective of being a former fighter and now a colleague of Yamasaki, said he has every reason to pile on, but after watching the fight, he’s reluctant to do so.

“I think Mario did a fine job, and believe me, Mario and I have no love lost between each other,” Trigg said while guest-hosting MMAjunkie Radio. “This fool cost me a million dollars. Let’s be very clear: It’s not like, ‘Oh, it’s ‘Big’ John McCarthy, it’s Mike Bell, and it’s Mike Beltran.’ I’ll defend those guys all day long no matter what they do. These are my boys. This guy (Yamasaki), we don’t disagree when we meet with each other, but he cost me a lot of money, and it’s his fault I’m not a millionaire now – back to that one instance he should have stopped the fight and he didn’t (against Hughes). But that’s the way it goes. What he did on Saturday night, I’m totally OK with.”

Trigg said things played out poorly with Shevchenko vs. Cachoeira but said the amount of hate directed at Yamasaki is unjust. He re-watched the fight, and though he would have waved off the action prior to Shevchenko’s fight-ending rear-naked choke, he said Yamasaki handled himself appropriately.

RelatedAnatomy of a bloodbath: Late stoppage wasn't the only issue with Shevchenko vs. Cachoeira

“I would have stopped it a minute earlier, but that’s because I already know the result of the fight; I already know what’s going to happen,” Trigg said. “I wasn’t in the cage. I wasn’t doing it live. From what I watched on Mario, he did everything correct. No sound, but I assume he’s talking to her. Every time she got spoken to she moved. I assume everything he did was exactly within the mechanics of the way I was taught. He was doing it correct.

“It’s his style. He’s always a little bit laid back and delayed when it comes to the stoppages. That’s just how his style is. You have your opponent, but you also have to worry about the ref. It’s getting better obviously not, but you still have to worry about the ref. When you have Mario, you know he’s coming in a little late, and you’ve got to keep going.”

Trigg also said that in the given situation, Cachoeira’s corner could have called off the fight. The Brazilian was out-struck by a staggering 227 total strikes, and she suffered a serious knee injury in the process. Trigg said there’s a responsibility that falls on Cachoeira’s team, as well.

RelatedDana White: Mario Yamasaki should 'never set foot in octagon again' after Shevchenko-Cachoeira

“There’s a lot of stuff that went on,” Trigg said. “The corner could have stopped it at any time, told the inspector, ‘Hey, stop this fight.’ Could’ve easily told her between rounds, ‘Hey, don’t get up because your knee is jacked up.’ Hindsight, we know she had a torn MCL and torn meniscus. Have her stay on the seat between rounds; fight’s over. Let’s get her out of this thing. There’s a lot of ways for that fight to end way before it ended. It could have happened at any of these sequences.”

Trigg said any criticism of Cachoeira herself should be immediately disregarded, though. As a former fighter, Trigg knows it’s unreasonable to expect Cachoeira to give up in the octagon regardless of injuries or damage sustained. But that’s what cornerman, referees and doctors are for.

“Fighters are dumb,” Trigg said. “They’ll continue to fight no matter what. That’s why referees are there – for fighter safety. That’s why corners are supposed to be better – for fighter safety. You’re supposed to be there for your fighter and know when your fighter’s in deep water.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 125, check out the UFC Events 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.

Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) defeats Priscila Cachoeira (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-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/2s5k3AFUyXJrP7ndeeQaZ8/301586", customAnalytics: true, title: "Shevchenko def. Cachoeira", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Abu Dhabi Invites Every Past Champion For New Mega Event 'King of the Mats' - FloGrappling

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FloGrappling

Abu Dhabi Invites Every Past Champion For New Mega Event 'King of the Mats'
FloGrappling
The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation announced a new feature for this year's 10th edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. “King of the Mat” is a move that will see all previous black belt champions invited to the event in order to ...

and more »

Nate Diaz 'sick of not fighting,' wants UFC champ Tyron Woodley this year

MMA Junkie News -

Nate Diaz has broken his silence about the specific next steps in his career.

Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC), a UFC vet who hasn’t competed since a majority-decision loss to Conor McGregor in their rematch at UFC 202 in August 2016, posted on social media this past month that he’s ready to return to the octagon, likely in early summer. Since then, however, there hasn’t been much progress.

Now “The Ultimate Fighter 5” winner and fan-favorite has publicly said his plans, and they include a championship showdown with UFC welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) this year.

“I’m getting to the point where I’m sick of not fighting; I’m not getting any younger,” Diaz told ESPN.com‘s Brett Okamoto on Tuesday. “I put that tweet out saying I wanted to fight in May or June, but I didn’t say who because I was weighing my options. And now, Woodley is my best option.

RelatedRafael dos Anjos to UFC champ Tyron Woodley: 'Shame on you' for wanting Nate Diaz fight

“I see him on TMZ every week, talking about me. I’m like, ‘What the (expletive)? If that’s what you want to do.’ It’s not really my weight class, but I’m with it. I think it’s my title we’re fighting for. If he’s the one calling me out, whose title are we fighting for? Who’s the real champion here?”

Woodley has said for several months that he’s open to and interested in a matchup with Diaz – despite the latter’s lack of recent credentials at 170 pounds. Outside of his submission win over McGregor in their first meeting – at UFC 196 in March 2016 – Diaz hasn’t won a fight at welterweight in more than seven years.

Nevertheless, Diaz’s name value could potentially slide him into the fight he wants, likely much to the dismay of Rafael dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC), who has already been promised the next title shot and has pestered Woodley for pursuing a fight against Diaz.

RelatedTyron Woodley's UFC welterweight title and its possible suitors

Diaz said he’s ready to share the octagon with Woodley at any time, as long as he can come to financial terms with UFC officials and get a “two- or three-month” training camp in first.

“We’ll figure it out,” Diaz said. “There’s definitely going to be something. I’m trying to fight. … I told them I’d fight him on shorter notice but would send them what I wanted in the contract. It was nothing out of the norm. My boxing coach said something about $15 million in an interview, but that was never the number.”

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

Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Jan. 30, 2009; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz flexes at the weigh ins for his fight against Clay Guida (not pictured) for the lightweight bout in UFC 94 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Guida defeated Diaz on a split decision. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Jan. 31, 2009; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Clay Guida (white trunks) raises his arms after knocking down Nate Diaz (red trunks) during the lightweight bout in UFC 94 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Guida defeated Diaz on a split decision. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec. 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (bottom) with brother Nick Diaz during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (right) against Donald Cerrone during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec. 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz (left) talks with UFC president Dana White after winning a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Nate Diaz leaves the octagon after defeating Donald Cerrone (not pictured) during a lightweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Nate Diaz before his lightweight bout against Jim Miller during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Nate Diaz wins by submission in round two Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports Dec 8, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Ben Henderson (left) fights Nate Diaz (right) during their first round Championship lightweight bout at MMA on FOX 5 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports Dec 8, 2012, Seattle, WA, USA; Ben Henderson (not pictured) fights Nate Diaz during their second round Championship lightweight bout at MMA on FOX 5 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Nate Diaz (left) fights Josh Thomson (right) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Apr 20, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Nate Diaz fights Josh Thomson (not pictured) during the lightweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Dec 12, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Rafael dos Anjos (left) and Nate Diaz (right) face off during weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night at Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz against Rafael dos Anjos (not pictured) during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Rafael dos Anjos kicks Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz hits Rafael dos Anjos during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Rafael dos Anjos (top) against Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz cut while fighting Rafael dos Anjos during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 13, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Nate Diaz reacts following his fight against Rafael dos Anjos during UFC Fight Night at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz on the mat following his fight against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Nate Diaz against Michael Johnson during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports December 19, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Michael Johnson against Nate Diaz during UFC Fight Night at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC president Dana White (center) attempts to separate Conor McGregor (left) from Nate Diaz during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Mar 4, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz reacts with a middle finger to Conor McGregor (not pictured) during weigh-ins for UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz lands a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz moves in with a punch against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor moves in for a punch against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz is tended to by trainers during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz reacts against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (right) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Nate Diaz punches Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz applies a chokehold against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports March 5, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (top) against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Nate Diaz applies a choke hold to win by submission against Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 5: Nate Diaz celebrates after defeating Conor McGregor during UFC 196 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves ) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves ) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves ) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Nate Diaz wipes blood from his eyes during his welterweight mixed martial arts bout against Conor McGregor at UFC 202 on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Las Vegas. McGregor won by split decision. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken) Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Nate Diaz (red gloves) competes against Conor McGregor (blue gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports Conor McGregor, right, and Nate Diaz embrace following their welterweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 202 on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Las Vegas. McGregor won by split decision. 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Marcus Meira ensina raspagem da guarda fechada com armlock na Action Jiu-Jitsu

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Professor Marcus Meira mostra os detalhes da sua raspagem da guarda fechada. Foto: Reprodução

Professor na Action Jiu-Jitsu School, nossa GMI na Barra da Tijuca, no Rio de Janeiro, o faixa-preta Marcus Meira tem à sua disposição algumas posições de fácil aplicação e funcionalidade justa, que podem cair como uma luva no seu jogo.

Na posição de hoje, Marcus escalou o amigo Luiz Alves, e mostrou uma raspagem da guarda fechada que termina com um armlock sorrateiro após cair na montada. Para executar a inversão, o professor laça o braço adversário dominando a gola cruzada. Depois, usa as pernas da guarda fechada para puxar o oponente e criar espaço para aplicar o ganchos, para depois pendular e cair montado. Sem soltar a pegada no braço, o professor ajusta no cotovelo inimigo, levanta a perna oposta e cria a alavanca necessária para finalizar.

Veja os detalhes da movimentação, pegadas e posições com o Marcus Meira e coloque mais esta opção no seu jogo da guarda fechada!

'UFC 221 Embedded,' No. 1: Curtis Blaydes on how Mark Hunt fight came together

MMA Junkie News -

The UFC returns to pay-per-view this week, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment to preview UFC 221.

The event takes place Sunday (but airs live in North America on Saturday due to the time difference) at Perth Arena in Perth, Western Australia. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

In the headliner, heavyweight champion Luke Rockhold (16-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who’s No. 3 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, takes on No. 4-ranked Yoel Romero (12-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC). And in the co-main event, No. 10-ranked heavyweight and fan favorite Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) meets No. 14 Curtis Blaydes (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC).

Here’s the UFC’s description of the first “Embedded” episode:

“On Episode 1 of UFC 221 Embedded, middleweight title contender Luke Rockhold braves the traffic patterns down under as he arrives in Perth to a traditional Australian meal. Opponent Yoel Romero braces himself for a week of media before his title showdown. Heavyweight Curtis Blaydes takes in the Big Game and recounts how he landed his big fight against local legend Mark Hunt. “The Super Samoan” moves into his fight week home, looks back on his career and hits the gym. Rockhold shops for organic produce and get Ali-inspired advice in the sauna.”

Check out the full episode in the video above.

For more on UFC 221, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports Nov 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Curtis Blaydes (blue gloves) fights Aleksei Oleinik (red gloves) during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-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/2vTBQeNZPSbmU4nNFBDsZW/301631", customAnalytics: true, title: "Blaydes def. Oleinik", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Valentina Shevchenko, Matt Mitrione, Ben Saunders, Dominique Steele, Kyle Stewart

MMA Junkie News -

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Valentina Shevchenko, Matt Mitrione, Ben Saunders, Dominique Steele and Kyle Stewart.

Shevchenko defeated Priscila Cachoeira this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 125 and sparked an industry-wide discussion about officiating and late stoppages. Mitrione meets Roy Nelson on Feb. 16 at Bellator 194 in the opening round of the Bellator heavyweight grand prix. Saunders fights Alan Jouban on Feb. 24 at UFC on FOX 28. Steele fights Nikolay Aleksakhin on Feb. 22 at Fight Nights Global 83. Stewart meets Jaleel Willis in the LFA 33 headliner on Feb. 16.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2616 with Roy Nelson, Josh Emmett

MMA Junkie News -

Stream or download Tuesday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Roy Nelson and Josh Emmett.

Nelson, who rematches Matt Mitrione at next week’s Bellator 194, is confident ahead of the upcoming heavyweight grand prix and is excited at the prospect of becoming a world champion for the first time since his IFL days. Emmett, who headlines UFC on FOX 28 against Jeremy Stephens later this month, believes he’s worthy of his quick rise up the featherweight rankings and thinks with another big win, a title shot should come sooner rather than later.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

Rafael dos Anjos to UFC champ Tyron Woodley: 'Shame on you' for wanting Nate Diaz fight

MMA Junkie News -

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Rafael dos Anjos is sick and tired of Tyron Woodley mentioning Nate Diaz as a potential challenger to his UFC welterweight title.

Dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC) has been deemed the next challenger to the UFC welterweight title since his unanimous-decision win over fellow ex-champ Robbie Lawler at UFC on FOX 26 in December (check out his post-fight interview above). Champ Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) however, has purposefully disregarded the matchup, hoping for a “bigger” fight instead.

First, it was Woodley angling for a matchup with former two-division UFC titleholder Georges St-Pierre (26-2 MMA, 20-2 UFC). When that started to look bleak due to St-Pierre’s medical condition, “The Chosen One” turned his attention to Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC), who hasn’t fought since his majority-decision loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in August 2016.

RelatedColby Covington: Tyron Woodley vs. Rafael dos Anjos would mean lowest PPV ever for UFC

Woodley told ESPN.com this week he thinks there’s a good chance Diaz will be his next opponent when he returns to the octagon in the summer following a recent shoulder surgery.

Naturally, this frustrated former 155-pound champ dos Anjos, who’s 3-0 since moving up to welterweight (via Twitter):

@TWooodley man up and stop talk about fight that make no sense, everyone know that I'm the real contender. You want to fight a guy that has never beat a real welterweight in his whole life. Shame on you…

— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 7, 2018

Outside of his high-profile pair of fights against McGregor in 2016, Diaz hasn’t fought in the welterweight division since April 2011. His last win over someone other than “The Notorious” was against Marcus Davis at UFC 118 in August 2010.

RelatedTyron Woodley's UFC welterweight title and its possible suitors

Dos Anjos has made it clear he’ll be livid if the UFC grants Diaz a title shot ahead of him. The Brazilian has beaten Lawler, Neil Magny and Tarec Saffiedine during his stint at 170 pounds, and despite UFC President Dana White’s continued assurance a title shot is on the horizon, Woodley keeps looking elsewhere for his next foe (via Twitter):

0

— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 6, 2018

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

Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos celebrates defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler fights Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Robbie Lawler after losing to Rafael Dos Santos during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos celebrates defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos celebrates defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports Dec 16, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, USA; Rafael Dos Santos after defeating Robbie Lawler during UFC Fight Night at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-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/eqhQXmqAeMUy2HjMDp4ock/301622", customAnalytics: true, title: "Dos Anjos def. Lawler", feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == "undefined") ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

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