Category Archives: UFC Fight

UFC 214 Is The Best Fight Card Of The Year

At this point, 24 years after it held its very first event, the UFC is no longer a rough-and-tumble spectacle with fighters who scrap in the hospital after their official bout and champions who shit on featured sponsors in the octagon. After being sold for $4 billion last year, the promotion has continued to try and streamline itself and smooth over its roughest edges, and even if their biggest draw is a kooky Irish madman who talks evil shit, the UFC is still trying to edge underwear fighting towards the mainstream. More money has softened the sport’s wilder personalities, but on a purely sporting level, the mixed martial arts are incredibly good right now.

There’s no better example of that than UFC 214, which takes place tomorrow in Anaheim. It’s easily the best card of the year, and probably the best since UFC 205. You likely know that the main event is the long-anticipated rivalry fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight belt and the very soul of both men. It’s going to be an incredible orgy of violence, and unlike the last time they were supposed to fight, both men made weight and neither man took off-brand Cialis for their, ahem, “huge cock.”

But that’s just one of the many fights worth giving a shit about on the card! Even after the strongest man alive had his bout with John Makdessi called off, UFC 214 Fight Card has a children’s treasury of intriguing fights on the card.

UFC 214 Is The Best Fight Card

Tyron Woodley vs Demian Maia (Welterweight Title Fight)

The co-main event is a strange little clash of styles. Maia is 39 years old, has fought most people worth fighting at welterweight and middleweight over the last eight years, and is one of the last true jiu-jitsu specialists remaining in the UFC. He’ll bob his head and catch dudes with the occasional combination, but his game is all about grappling and turning himself into the most annoying possible backpack of an opponent. When he fought Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211, each round went sort of the same: The striker would try and land as much as possible before Maia inevitably pounced on Masvidal and squeezed him like an anaconda as Masvidal tried in vain to escape. Maia didn’t get the finish, but he drained his opponent’s ability to fight back.

The difference between Woodley and someone like Masvidal is that Woodley is liable to knock Maia’s head off with a big right hand any time the Brazilian tries to shoot a takedown. The welterweight champ won the belt by making Robbie Lawler see stars, and while he’s a perfectly fine wrestler, he’s not going to outgrapple Maia. His tendency to back up against the fence helps him set up his favorite punch combo, but Maia is deadly against the edge of the cage, so Woodley might not even want to try to set one of those up.

If Woodley keeps the fight off the fence and lands the right a few times, Maia is probably fucked. If the fight goes longer than three rounds, Maia might also be fucked. Woodley is the favorite (rightly so) and seeing as how he’s already 35, he wants to leverage his championship belt into a money fight or two before he hangs his gloves up. It’s not that he doesn’t respect Maia, exactly, he just sees himself in a different stratosphere. That’ll go out the window if Maia can grab his legs and squeeze his head off, and watching him try to get close enough to do so will be entertaining as hell. Woodley’s not invincible, and there’s nothing as frustrating as fighting against a jiu-jitsu master.

Cris Cyborg vs. Tonya Evinger (Women’s Featherweight Title Fight)

Evinger is the former Invicta bantamweight champ with a 19-5 record heading into her UFC debut. She’s good! However, the point of this fight is to see Cyborg wreck shit. She’s won 17 straight fights and the last 11 have been knockouts. (I’m counting a TKO win that was later overturned after she popped a positive here.) She’s so terrifying to fight that Germaine de Randamie gave up her belt to avoid facing her.

Can Evinger counter Cyborg’s relentless, violent pursuit of a 12th knockout? I doubt it! Lot of good punches to be had in this fight.

Robbie Lawler vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (Welterweight)

Robbie Lawler has been fighting in the UFC since the Mesozoic era and yet he’s somehow never fought against fellow lifer Cowboy Cerrone, despite the UFC trying to make the fight three times and despite Cerrone having gone through years-long stretches where he fought every three weeks or so. Lawler is as liable as anyone in the company to give fans a gory splatter-fest, and his five-round war against Rory MacDonald is about as good and brutal as a MMA fight can possibly be. The most nauseating part of this nauseating sport is when a fighter is broken and clearly hurt and yet keep pushing into the fray for more. Few fighters throw themselves towards danger as lustily as Lawler does, even though he’s been doing this for 16 years.

Neither man has the chin they once did, but this is a pure action fight. Cerrone is a world-class troll and a crowd pleaser who will do cool kicks, try to keep Lawler at range, and could pull off some grappling moves much more sophisticated than you might think a guy who both is and is pretty interested in convincing you he is a brawler out of some back alley is capable of; Lawler, while he’s become a far more technically-refined striker over the years, is essentially a caveman. Simply put, they will give you what you want. This doesn’t feel like a fight that will go the distance, and given the probable density of strikes, that’ll be just fine.

Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir (Light Heavyweight)

UFC organizers slapped an extra light heavyweight fight on the card in case Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier missed the fight due to some last minute drama. Both former champions made weight, which means Manuwa and Oezdemir will fight after all, and it should be plenty entertaining on its own.

Oezdemir and Manuwa are both strikers by nature, and while Oezdemir is a very weak wrestler, Manuwa hasn’t landed a takedown in four years. Each man has a win over Ovince Saint Preux on his résumé, and the winner of this one should be in line to lose to the winner of Cormier vs. Jones sooner or later. Oezdemir only has two fights in the UFC, but he’s a dangerous kickboxer with knockout power. The last time Manuwa fought, he delivered this tremendous one-punch knockout.

For the fifth fight on a PPV card, a brawl between top-five contenders (both of whom are looking for knockouts at all times) is not bad at all.

Preliminary Card

The true depth of UFC 214, however, is the free FXX prelim card. The most entertaining MMA fights are evenly-matched bouts held between fighters who want to stay on their feet. Wrestling is fine, but it’s less thrilling to see someone grind their opponent into the mat than watch them go for head kicks and boxing combinations. This tends to happen more at the lower weight classes too, and even then, it’s more entertaining to watch smaller people throw a higher volume of strikes than it is to have to watch heavyweights lumber around. Thankfully, the four fights on the preliminary card are all just about perfect.

Three of the four fights are at featherweight and the fourth is at 140 pounds (halfway between bantamweight and featherweight), thanks to some weirdness with Renan Barão’s weight cut. Barão is the former bantamweight champ who is fighting up five pounds because the California State Athletic Commission won’t license him at 135 pounds due to of a nasty weight cut back in 2014, where he cut too much weight and was hospitalized after woozily smashing his head on a bathtub. He used to be an unrelenting pressure fighter, although he’s slowed down a bit over the past few years. Sterling has only fought above 135 pounds once, but he’s no joke. He’ll try and wrest Barão to the mat, which he’ll probably have some trouble with, since Barão has never been taken down in his UFC career and he throws hard in the pocket. Still, if Sterling can get the win, it’d be the biggest of his career.

As for the featherweights, Andre Fili and Calvin Kattar, who are both big for the weight class, kick things off before Brian Ortega and Renato Moicano square off.

Both Moiocano and Ortega are top-ten featherweights, both are still young, and, most critically, both are undefeated. Moicano is probably the better fighter and definitely the better wrestler, although Ortega has scored a pair late knockouts in his UFC career. Whichever fighter wins is probably going to earn a fight against one of the bigger names in the division.

Speaking of those bigger names in the division, the final fight of the FXX card sees Ricardo Lamas take on surging contender Jason “Hick Diaz” Knight. Lamas is wily and tough, and he’ll pounce on any openings that Knight gives him. Knight will not be shy about mixing it up, and he’s earned his nickname by taking shots and chattering at his opponents in the cage while they smack him around. He does not appear to give a fuck, and this is a fight where both men will knock the stuffing out of each other.

This fight’s free, but it could easily be on the main card. In fact, any of these four fights would be a worthy early fight on a PPV card, which is wild considering how delectable the main five fights will be. With three of them potentially slated for five rounds, this could be one of the longer events as well. If you buy one UFC card this year, make it this one. It won’t get any better.

UFC 214 Cormier vs Jones 2 odds, predictions and more

UFC President Dana White said on Sirius XM in November 2016 that former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones would never headline a main card again (h/t MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle). But here we are, just two days away from UFC 214 and the most anticipated rematch in the company’s history.

It can be argued that UFC 202’s rematch featuring Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz had more hype surrounding the fight, but Daniel Cormier vs. Jones II has taken bad blood to a whole new level. The two best 205-pound fighters in the world can’t stand the sight of one another and have gone after each other both inside and outside of the Octagon.

UFC 214 Cormier vs Jones 2

For Cormier, UFC 214 in Anaheim, California, is much more than a title defense; it’s his legacy on the line. The only man he has lost to will be on the opposite side of the cage, looking to take back the belt he never lost due to the outcome of a fight.

Jones’ checkered past has been well-documented, as has his rise from the ashes. But Cormier, even with successful title defense over Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson, needs to prove himself as the true champion of the light heavyweight division by beating Jones.

If he doesn’t succeed, his legacy will always have an asterisk next to it, with many UFC fans referring to him as a “fake champion.”

Fair or not, that is Cormier’s reality. For Jones, a win puts him back on the map after suspensions and incidents that occurred outside of the cage.

The stage is set for history to be made. And Saturday night can’t come soon enough.

Cormier vs. Jones II: UFC 214 Odds to Win

Cormier: +200 (bet $10 for $20 win)

Jones: -260 (bet $10 for $5 win)

Here’s a surprise: Cormier and Jones talk a lot of trash to one another. And in case you’ve been living under a rock, they really, really don’t like each other.

But just to jog your memory, here’s a compilation of Cormier and Jones facing off against each other over the years:

The time for fighting is now. There can only be so much trash talk that two fighters can hurl at each other. Isn’t that right, McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

Fight week’s media obligations will keep both fighters’ blood boiling heading into Saturday night, and it didn’t take long for Cormier and Jones to start going at it on Wednesday during the pre-fight press conference:

There was, however, one tidbit of information that came out of Wednesday’s shouting match, which was the revelation that Cormier underestimated Jones’ wrestling skills the first time they fought back in 2015.

Cormier, an accomplished collegiate and Olympic wrestler, had never been taken down inside of the Octagon until he grappled with Jones, who made the current champion look like a novice. Yesterday, Cormier admitted that he didn’t try hard enough in the clinch to get Jones off of him, which cost him dearly.

Whether that’s just an excuse as to why Jones dominated the fight two years ago remains to be seen. At least Cormier will have UFC 214 to prove himself right.

UFC 214 Prediction

It makes sense to pick Jones in the rematch. After all, he has never lost, with the exception of a controversial disqualification from using illegal elbows against Matt Hamill in the Ultimate Fighter Finale back in 2009. He has proved he can beat Cormier and he looks to be in the best physical shape of his life.

Having said that, I’m going with Cormier: The current, undisputed champion.

Jones is only 30-years-old and can still make up for lost time, but his fight against Ovince Saint Preux in April 2016 was bad. Like really bad. Sure he got the decision victory, but he did little to prove himself to the UFC and his fans that he was truly back. He even admitted after the fight inside of the Octagon that he wasn’t fighting like his old self.

Maybe that’s because the old Jones is long gone.

Time away from the sport, regardless how much a fighter continues to train, takes its toll. Ronda Rousey took time away from the cage after her fight against Holly Holm and was dismantled in her return against Amanda Nunes. Dominick Cruz came back successfully to regain his belt after a long time away from the fight game, but did he look 100 percent against Cody Garbrandt? Of course, Cruz had injuries to come back from, but the cage rust was real.

The jury is still out on Georges St-Pierre upon his return, but something tells me that he won’t be able to keep up with the ever-evolving world of MMA.

Jones has only had one competitive fight since beating Cormier, and that was a less-than inspiring performance against OSP. Has the world’s most talented fighter wasted his prime years? I think he has. And i think Cormier will show the world what he saw in Jones against OSP in 2016, and that’s a shell of his former self.

Look for Cormier to bring the fight to Jones this time around and take him down early and often. Cormier isn’t giving any respect to Jones Saturday night, nor should he.

Cormier will make Jones’ life inside the cage a five round, 25-minute nightmare until the fight ends with Cormier getting his hand raised with a unanimous-decision victory, cementing his legacy as one of the best light heavyweight/heavyweights in combat history.

Source : www.bleacherreport.com

UFC 214 Cormier vs Jones 2 Fight Card Complete

With the addition of Calvin Kattar, the fight card for UFC 214 later this month is set once more.

Kattar steps in and fights Andre Fili in the FXX prelim opening bout. “The Boston Finisher” is 16-2 overall in his career including nine stoppage wins. He replaces Dooho Choi, who bowed out of the featherweight tilt with an injury.

UFC 214 takes place July 29 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with a main event pitting Jon Jones against UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

UFC 214 Cormier vs Jones 2 Fight Card

Below is the complete UFC 214 fight card, which MMA News will be providing live coverage from:

MAIN CARD (Pay-Per-View/10 p.m. ET)

• Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones for UFC light heavyweight title

• Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia for UFC welterweight title

• Cris Cyborg vs. Tonya Evinger for vacant UFC female featherweight title

• Donald Cerrone vs. Robbie Lawler

• Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir

PRELIMINARY CARD (FXX/8 p.m. ET)

• Jason Knight vs. Ricardo Lamas

• Renan Barao vs. Aljamain Sterling

• Renato Moicano vs. Brian Ortega

• Andre Fili vs. Calvin Kattar

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6 p.m. ET)

• Jarred Brooks vs. Eric Shelton

• Alexandra Albu vs. Kailin Curran

• Josh Burkman vs. Drew Dober

• Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorkowski

UFC 214: 5 things to know about UFC 214 at Honda Center

Outside of its lightweight champion fitting himself with bigger gloves and longer odds and stepping into a boxing ring next month, the UFC is bringing its hottest fight to Anaheim.

Put aside the light middleweight boxing match between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. next month in Las Vegas. The light heavyweight championship rematch between champion Daniel Cormier (19-1) and former champion Jon Jones (22-1) is the UFC’s biggest fight of the year, and UFC 214 at Honda Center has been bolstered with two other title fights and several key matchups.

5 things to know about UFC 214

Bones is Back

One of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters and most controversial figures in MMA history returns to the Octagon for the first time in more than 15 months. Twice, Jon “Bones” Jones has been stripped of a UFC light heavyweight title (one interim). Twice, Jones has been suspended for a year — the last time a result of a positive drug test that blew up his fight against Cormier just three days before UFC 200 last July. Yet only once has he lost, and that was early in his UFC career when he was disqualified for illegal elbows in a fight he was easily winning. Which Jon Jones shows up at Honda Center?

Can Cormier Overcome?

The light heavyweight champion gets to avenge the only loss of his career against the only MMA fighter to take him down. The former world-class wrestler has beaten some former champs and big names at 205 pounds — Dan Henderson, Anthony Johnson twice, Alexander Gustafsson and Anderson Silva (granted, on two days’ notice vs. a much lighter Silva — and at heavyweight — Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson. Beating Jones would be his greatest victory in a decorated combat sports career.

UFC returns to OC

Anaheim will be hosting its seventh UFC card, tying Newark for third among U.S. cities to have hosted a UFC event, trailing only Atlantic City (8) and, of course, Las Vegas (111). The UFC hasn’t been at the Honda Center since Feb. 23, 2013, when Ronda Rousey defended the bantamweight title awarded to her with a first-round armbar submission of Liz Carmouche in the first women’s fight in UFC history.

UFC 214 Press Conference

When: 1 p.m. Wednesday

Where: The Novo by Microsoft, 800 W. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles

Participants:

Dana White – UFC President

Daniel Cormier – UFC light heavyweight champion

Jon Jones – former UFC light heavyweight

Tyron Woodley – UFC welterweight champion

Demian Maia – No. 1 UFC welterweight contender

Cris Cyborg – UFC women’s featherweight title challenger

Tonya Evinger – UFC women’s featherweight title challenger

UFC 214

Saturday, Honda Center

Main card (7 p.m., PPV)

Prelim card (5 p.m., FXX)

Early prelims (3:30 p.m., UFC Fight Pass)