Category: Fight News

Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull Preview

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On Saturday September 23 the Sap Center in San Jose California will host Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull (Patricky Freire). The card is stacked with a multitude of exciting fights including the Bellator debut of MMA Heavyweight legend Roy Nelson as well as a much anticipated bout between dynamic strikers Lorenz Larkin and Paul Daley.

Former UFC and WEC champion Benson Henderson looks for his second victory over a Freire brother after beating Patricio it is now time to take on older brother Patricky. Patricky, known for his vicious power, is a formidable opponent for the former champion Henderson as he looks to continue his path to a Bellator title fight.

The stakes are about as high as they get for Lorenz Larkin and Paul Daley. With both men coming off losses to the top tier of the division each man needs a win to stay in title contention. Larkin fought for the Welterweight belt in his Bellator debut falling to champion Douglas Lima. Daley recently succumbed to the immense pressure of Rory MacDonald in Rory’s Bellator debut. With MacDonald up next for a title shot, both men could solidify the next shot at Bellator gold by making a statement on saturday night.

As for Roy Nelson: Big Country looks to revitalize his career in his Bellator debut against Javy Ayala. Winning only 3 of his last 10 fights, Nelson looks to Bellator for a fresh start. In an interview with MMAmania.com Nelson stated:

  • “You know I’m excited. I’m excited to reunite the fans back with Roy Nelson, with Spike and myself so, I’m just excited. It’s just a breath of fresh air.”

We’re excited too. Excited and looking forward to Bellator 183 bringing us great fights this weekend.

UFC Japan: One Fighter Misses Weight

TOKYO – All fighters but one have won their first battle of UFC Japan by beating the scale. Mizuto Hirota came in four pounds over the 146 pound featherweight limit at 150 lbs. Other than Hirota all fighters seemed to make weight without any notable health consequences.  Full weigh in results listed below:

  • Yushin Okami (203.5) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (206)
  • Jessica Andrade (116) vs. Claudia Gadelha (115)
  • Takanori Gomi (156) vs. “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (156)
  • Henrique da Silva (206) vs. Gokhan Saki (205)
  • Rolando Dy (145) vs. Teruto Ishihara (145)
  • Mizuto Hirota (150)*MISSED WEIGHT* vs. Charles Rosa (145.5)
  • Alex Morono (170) vs. Keita Nakamura (170)
  • Jussier Formiga (126) vs. Ulka Sasaki (125.5)
  • Chan-Mi Jeon (116) vs. Syrui Kondo (116)
  • Shinsho Anzai (171) vs. Luke Jumeau (170)
  • Daichi Abe (171) vs. Hyun Gyu Lim (170.5)

UFC 216 Main Event: Ferguson vs. Lee

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Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee are officially set to headline UFC 216 for the Lightweight Interim Belt. The event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena on October 7, 2017.

Ferguson (23-3) has been inactive (not by choice) since November 2016 when he beat Rafael Dos Anjos by decision. Since Khabib notoriously didn’t make weight for UFC 209, Ferguson has been very vocal about wanting another Interim title shot. With Khabib allegedly not healthy enough to fight the UFC looked to fill the fight with another option.

Lee (16-2) made a lot of waves when he defeated Michael Chiesa in June. This came in the wake of a press conference that resulted in punches being thrown leading up to the fight. Aside from his talents inside the cage, Lee gained a lot of fans with his brash behavior and trash talking. In the current state of the UFC it seems the loudest mouth gets fed, in this case it led Kevin Lee straight to an interim bout with Tony Ferguson.

 

THE ODDS

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Ferguson has opened as a -260 favorite. Lee comes in at +180. Line movement is currently trending in Ferguson’s favor and Cage Prophet agrees with the trend. We’ll probably see the sharp money continue to fall on Ferguson but hope to see casual interest tighten the line as the fight approaches.

 

UFC Fight Night 119: Damian Maia vs. Colby Covington

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After UFC 214 a lot of questions arose about what would be next for the most recent Welterweight title challenger Damian Maia. Today those questions are answered. Combate reported today that Damian Maia will be fighting Colby Covington at UFN 119 in Sao Paolo, Brazil on October 28.

Covington has been making headlines recently for being outspoken about current champion Tyron Woodley calling him a “boring” fighter and claiming to be on the road to a title shot. For the most part, these claims have been met with eye rolls and disparaging twitter replies. But with the signing of a bout agreement to Maia, Covington could be on the road to a title shot with a victory over the Jiu Jitsu king.

Cage Prophet Prediction: Covington uses a grinding wrestling style to maintain top position and uses ground and pound to keep the fight down and secure rounds.  Covington’s entire game plan revolves around going to the ground, except in this instance he will be going to the ground against one of the best Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the world. It’s a bad idea and if he wants to win the fight he will have to adopt the exact game plan he criticized Tyron Woodley for. I think he’ll stick to his strengths which will be proven inferior to Maia’s legendary ground game. I’m hoping to see Maia come in as a slight favorite in the -150 range, if so I will be betting Maia heavily.

UFC 217 Looks To Impress

What does UFC 217 have in store for us? A LOT. The UFC looks to impress as it returns to Madison Square Garden in New York City to conduct it’s second card in the world’s most famous arena. This card is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated of the year very quickly.

UFC 217 will be headlined by Michael Bisping’s UFC middleweight title defense against returning former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre

Cody Garbrandt will be defending his Bantamweight Title against former champion, teammate and current nemesis TJ Dillashaw.

Stephen Thompson will meet Jorge Masvidal in a matchup of welterweight contenders. Thompson is coming off of two consecutive title shots where he failed to secure the strap while Masvidal is coming off of a loss to the most recent title challenger Damien Maia. Both men are looking to get back in the win column and as a result the winner should be in a good position to earn a shot at the Title.

These three fights alone could headline and sell a card by themselves, as more bout agreements continue to be signed this card can only get better.

 

UFC 217 Announcements: Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw

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Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw for the UFC Bantamweight Title is officially set for UFC 217. After the bout was cancelled from UFC 213 fans have waited anxiously to hear the results of Garbrandt’s back rehab. It seems that whatever the doctor has been cooking up for Garbrandt has worked and Cody will be putting his Bantamweight title on the line against former Team Alpha Male member and current nemesis: TJ Dillashaw.

With all the smack talk since TUF and the cancellation of UFC 213, it’s a relief to see these two with a date set to finally settle the score. Dominick Cruz is no doubt waiting in the wings to challenge whoever wins for a shot at redemption.

 

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series: Week 6 Recap

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Another entertaining night of fights is in the books for the Contender Series. Dana White wrapped up his sixth episode by awarding 2 more UFC contracts. This week Charles Byrd (Middleweight) and Grant Dawson (Featherweight) both earned their way into the UFC by way of rear naked choke victories. Charles Byrd’s victory also sets a record of its own, being the first and only fighter to win twice on the contender series.

As for the bets: Cage Prophet went 100% on the night. However, it was a light betting card. It’s tough with the limited tape available to make good reads on who to bet in these fights on the Contender Series. I mostly watch to get a feel for the new blood coming down the pipe, but I saw a few things I liked on this card. Alvarez is a versatile fighter with the ability to finish fights standing or grappling, he has a solid chin too. When I was looking at his opponent Martin Day, I think Day has a lot of potential and will grow, but is still green. He has gone to decision a fair bit and only has one KO win on his record, I saw Alvarez as a solid bet and it panned out for me. And for the first female fight on the Contender Series, a quick glance at these ladies’ records on paper sent me straight to the over 1.5 rounds line. Colleen takes fights into deep water, she has multiple 5 round fights, Tiffany is green and while she finishes early, her level of competition has been low. Both women performed well but as we expected well over 1.5 rounds.

I also saw a few things I didn’t like. Karl Reed at 2-0 as a professional and -310 favorite over a seasoned 8-3 pro in Cameron Olson. That’s a pass for me. Sorry to those who lost coin on betting Reed, but in the future don’t buy the hype on unproven fighters. Olson +255 was… Disrespect.

Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin set for Bellator 183

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Paul Daley (39-15-2) is set to meet Lorenz Larkin (18-6) at Bellator 183. Both fighters are looking to jump back into the win column on September 23. Daley is coming off a second round submission loss to Rory Macdonald at Bellator 179 and Larkin lost his Bellator debut on the judges score cards against current Welterweight champion Douglas Lima.

This fight is set to be a strikers delight as both men are primarily stand and bang practitioners. Larkin typically finds early success with heavy leg kicks and with little threat of Daley wanting to take this fight to the ground I expect to see dynamic striking on full display right away. However, after seeing Rory MacDonald absolutely dismantle Daley by quickly taking the fight to the floor will we see Lorenz follow a similar game plan? Only time will tell, but on paper this fight jumps out as must see TV.

Bellator 183 takes place at SAP Center in San Jose, California on September 23. The card airs on Spike.

The Bellator 183 card currently includes the following fights:

  • Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Freire
  • Javy Ayala vs. Roy Nelson
  • Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin
  • Aaron Pico vs. opponent TBA

Mayweather vs. McGregor: Public Opinion Continues to Change

Hailed by many to be the sh*t show of our generation the May Mac World tour had it’s ups and downs (Geez New York was painful). Vegas line movement has been all over the place as bettors swarm to the sports books in droves throwing money at tellers faces in hopes of cashing on what looks to be the biggest fight in decades. Conor opened at +900 and has now dipped as low as +400 in some books. But why the change? It appears the media tour has spurred a more significant change in public opinion than anyone thought. According to a Cage Prophet poll of 178 people, 28% of respondents claim the media tour changed their opinion on how the fight will go.

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That’s right. Watching Floyd and Conor talk shit for four days straight has changed the opinion of 28% of people. Pretty impressive, but the more telling stat is the 35% that are more interested even though they didn’t change their opinion. This is important because it shows that the media tour worked. It did it’s job by either changing people’s minds or making them more interested. And at the end of the day that’s all the promotion wants: to sell the fight.

Jorge Masvidal on MMA Eye Poking And Nelson-Ponzinibbio Controversy

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In a recent interview on BJ Penn Radio, Jorge Masvidal pulled no punches sharing his views on eye poking in MMA. “It’s something that they need to work on dramatically.” Masvidal stated when talking about the recent fight directly effected by eye poking between Gunnar Nelson and Santiago Ponzinibbio. Gunnar Nelson suffered a first round KO against Santiago Ponzinibbio in the main event of UFC Glasgow. What looked to be a minor eye poke in real time later proved to be multiple fight altering eye pokes that appear to be deliberately delivered. Seen Here:

Not Deliberate in any way right? Of course not. The most concerning part about eye poking is obviously health concerns, it is illegal for a reason. But secondary to that is you gain significant advantage over your opponent when you damage their vision, even accidentally. If a fighter becomes very good at camouflaging intentional eye pokes as accidental byproducts of defense or offense it can be used as a tool to gain an edge on their opponent, in other words: cheating. The rules need to be changed to protect fighters from these actions, whether it turns into automatic point deductions or more rest time to recover. Masvidal’s argument on BJ Penn Radio was a compelling one:

“If you’ve ever been poked in the eye, man, it sucks,” he said. “It sucks in practice, and it sucks even more in the fight. Depending how hard you get poked, you can man up and keep going –I’ve done things like that – but your vision is off. One eye is swollen at the time. For some reason, you’re getting that blurred double vision, because one eye is at a different focus than the other eye that didn’t get poked. That takes time [to recover from]. That’s not like, oh a second later, because the doctor looked at it and you said you’re ok. We’re only saying we’re ok because we’re fighters.

“There needs to be a legitimate rule, if anybody touches the eye, well I should be able to get five to ten minutes,” he said. “The most important thing in the fight is vision. If I can’t see, well I’m going to get beat up, you know? It’s crazy. They need to do that. They need to stay on top of that. I don’t understand what the big nonsense is.

“It’s BS. When I fought Larkin, he gave me a pretty hard eye-poke. I had to stop. The doctor came in, and asked ‘can you see?’ [I said] ‘Yeah, I can see,’ but I really couldn’t see at that time that he asked me. I had a big blur in my vision. But of course if I say I can’t see, I’m not fighting. So, I can’t see, and the doctors were like ‘ok let’s go fight.’ What do you mean ‘let’s go fight?’ Give me my fucking time. It’s not like I poked myself in the eye. What’s fair is to let me heal up. Let me say when my eye is ready. But they don’t do that. I think I had about 15 seconds, something like that, 20 seconds.”

And there-in lies the problem. The victim of the eye poke is subject to fight at a disadvantage with no time to recover, while the offender gains an upper hand with no consequences. Cage Prophet agrees that the rules need to be adjusted to prevent eye poking. How about you?