What's Going On?

What’s Going On? (April 21st – 27th, 2017)

A whole new week means a whole new set of MMA news and events that needs to be discussed by yours truly. So let’s get right into it with some interesting topics for this week:

Al Iaquinta bashes his employers

Based on the tweets above, Al Iaquinta is a tad bit upset that his first round knockout of The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez was not a performance of the night winner. He took to twitter to voice his displeasures (albeit vulgar) and even went on The MMA Hour to further elaborate that the money does not seem right for him to continue fighting. This is a fine choice for Iaquinta if he decides to quit the fight game because, from I’ve heard, he is a very successful real estate. Plus it is always nice to see a fighter act like the UFC does not own them because they do not own a single person. Everyone is free to take their own paths like Iaquinta has done.

John Dodson says other fighters are ducking him

John Dodson recently defeated Eddie Wineland this past Saturday in a very impressive performance. He says that his ability to finish guys and ability to avoid getting hit while still striking his opponent is a primary reason why guys do not want to fight him. He even name dropped Raphael Assuncao and Alijamain Sterling as two of the fighters who refused to fight him on multiple occasions. If I were the other fighters in the bantamweight division then I would not blame them for wanting to avoid Dodson because he has the ability to embarass you in that octagon. It’s a surefire way to lose any momentum you have real fast. Regardless though, Dodson needs an opponent soon and I still think Jimmie Rivera should face him next (read more about that here) but only time will tell.

Phil Davis replaces King Mo against Ryan Bader at Bellator 180

King Mo has informed Bellator MMA of an undisclosed injury that will force him out of his Bellator 180 showdown with Ryan Bader. Instead, Phil Davis will defend his light heavyweight belt against Bader in the “Big Apple” at Bellator 180. This is going to be a great matchup (even though many see their first bout as a snore fest). I think another title fight is always a plus for me especially since Bellator’s rival had three title fights on their first New York card. This just got me more excited for Bellator 180 and I’m sure to spend any amount of money this PPV.

Frank Mir is unhappy with his suspension

This is just sad. Frank Mir recently stated how he does not like the UFC as much anymore because of the two year suspension he was given for his failed drug test he took back in March.

I don’t think Mir has anyone to blame but himself and at this point he should just retire because two years is a long time when you are already considered old in the division. Heavyweights don’t age well anyways. That’s one reason why none of them can hold the belt for more than two title defenses. Either way, the tests do not lie. Mir is a cheater and should just live with the consequences.

Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne get engaged

The couple of Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne are getting married. This is sure to keep Rousey out of the cage even longer. Browne on the other hand has suffered defeat in his last three fights. I don’t think anybody is going to miss them for the time being. Good luck with the marriage and have a nice honeymoon. I could use this time to bash on their careers each but that would be in poor sport. so I’ll just leave this here instead:

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Other News:

What Next?

What Next? (UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov)

Fighters do not always like to think what fights they will be in next after feeling the relief of finishing their last fight. The fight game is neverending, however, and so I list ouf the best outcome for the winners and losers from the UFC event that shook Nashville up.

Jake Ellenberger:

Ok, bear with me on this one for a bit. I honestly believe that Jake Ellenberger should just throw in the towel and hang up the gloves because I do not see him doing much in this division other than what he did against his opponent this past Saturday. I do not want to pick an opponent for him because I think he’s done. The UFC was going to let him go before he changed their mind by beating Matt Brown in spectacular fashion at UFC 201. But then he was defeated twice in a row after that via KO/TKO. I know how his next fight is going to end but he more than likely won’t listen to my pleas to stop fighting and will take another fight anyways. His next opponent (if he chooses to have one) should be Bryan Barberena. That guy showed why he is force to be reckon with when he beat Sage Northcutt over a year ago. His recent knockout on, the same card that Ellenberger ate the people’s elbow, was beautifully well done. Now all he needs is a win over a veteran under his belt and he will begin to get more challenging matchups. This is the fight to make.

Next opponent: Bryan Barbarena

Mike “Platinum” Perry:

This was a tricky one to pick because of every fighter in this division and their moms being booked for a fight already. The lone fighter that is available but still at a resonable place on the rankings for Mike Perry is Ryan LaFlare who last fought at UFC 208 where he won a decision victory against Roan Carneiro. If he is down for it, there is a hungry fighter in Mike Perry wuld love to fight in what would be an interesting matchup considering the two fighters’ skill set.

Next opponent: Ryan LaFlare

Joe Lauzon:

Joe Lauzon should keep his head up after this decision loss (that I don’t think was deserved). Lauzon needs to find an opponent that will put him back into relevancy. The opponent I’m thinking of here is Will Brooks who has a record of 19 wins and 3 losses. The veteran Lauzon would see himself having the edge due to his years of experience while Brooks would think his better record is an indicator that he is the superior athlete. I would like this fight to happen because it just says fight of the night contender to me.

Next opponent: Will Brooks

Stevie “Braveheart” Ray:

Stevie Ray is sure looking for a ranked opponent after beating a veteran in the lightweight division. The lowest and most available option he has right now is Rashid Magomedov who actually fought a weekend before Ray did. This is a sign that these two paths are likely to cross in the near future. And I mean VERY near future.

Next opponent: Rashid Magomedov

Eddie Wineland:

Eddie Wineland was clearly outmatched from his much stronger and faster opponent. His best bet is to face off against a lower ranked opponent to build his skillset and technique. Iuri Alcântara is trying to move up and would be a great challenge for Wineland. Both men can look to benefit from this fight.

Next opponent: Iuri Alcântara

John “The Magician” Dodson:

Jimmie Rivera was expected to face Bryan Caraway earlier this year but never got to due to his opponent having and undisclosed injury. He turned down a fight with Marlon Vera due to Vera having a lack of rank or relevance in the division. If Rivera is looking for a rank and some relevance in his opponents then Jon Dodson is his man. Dodson would love the oppurtunnity to move up while Rivera must be hungry for a fight since having his last fight in September of last year.

Next opponent: Jimmie Revera

Marcos “Pezao” Rogerio de Lima:

It is pretty embarassing when you come in heavy and still lose the fight. It shows a lack of seriousness and responsibility in MMA. Marcos Rogerio de Lima should look to bounce back by beating another unranked light heavyweight fighter (and making weight). Devin Clark is a perfect opponent for him seeing how Clark has only suffered one loss in his nine pro fights (via knockout). This could be anyone’s fight and I would love to see who wants to move on up in this division more. Who is willing to dig deep to win this contest? Good luck predicting this one.

Next opponent: Devin Clark

Ovince Saint Preux:

If Ovince Saint Preux wants to move up the rankings quickly and easily then he should look for the fight against the man he had already beat in Shogun Rua. However since we are being fair, OSP’s next opponent should honsetly be Corey Anderson who is looking to bounce back from his knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa this past March.  It would be a great matchup for both fighters seeing as they are both highly touted as young, skilled talent in the division.

Next opponent: Corey Anderson

Diego “Lionheart” Sanchez:

I think Father Time has finally caught up to Diego Sanchez. He tries to be more patient with his strikes because brawling usually sees him getting knocked out. His timidness did not help as he still found him self going to sleep due to punches to the cranium. I want him to retire before he takes anymore serious damage but if he wants to fight and continue to get kncoked out that badly then undefeated prospect Gregor Gillespie is fresh and looking for someone to knockout to become more relevent in a very competitive division.

Next opponent: Gregor Gillespie

Al “Raging” Iaquinta:

This was another tricky one due to the fact that a lot of the fighters around Al Iaquinta’s rank are either MIA or injured. The only one available right now is Kevin Lee who Iaquinta has beaten in the past (yet Lee is somehow ahead of Iaquinta in the rankings). Beneil Dariush wouldn’t be a bad pick if he didn’t have a medical suspension due to that vicious flying knee KO he suffered from Edson Barboza. The fight between Iaquinta and Lee that first happened in 2014 needs a do-over that I’m sure both fighters would want. Lee would love to avenge that loss and Iaquinta would love to move up the rankings. That is assuming Iaquinta isn’t more interested in real estate than fighting.

Next opponent: Kevin Lee

Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov:

Artem Lobov needs to go back to facing unranked guys in the featherweight division. He can start by taking on the undefeated Shane Burgos. Both guys like to throw heavy hands and have a bit of jiu-jitsu experience. Plus knocking off an undefeated guy would put you right back into a fight with another ranked fighter. Burgos would also like to beat a guy who just had a five round main event showdown with a number four ranked fighter.

Next opponent: Shane Burgos

Cub Swanson: 

After showing why he deserves another shot at the title, you would assume Cub Swanson would get it after thiss impressive performance. However, being ranked fourth in the division and beating an unranked fighter doesn’t give you a title shot in my opinion. I believe he needs to go again with a former opponent of his in Ricardo Lamas to truly give him the credibility of a title challenger.

Next opponent: Ricardo Lamas

What Happened?

What Happened? (UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov)

Another great night of fights have ended when highly ranked UFC featherweight fighter Cub Swanson faced off against Conor McGregor’s sparring partner Artem Lobov in Nashville, Tennessee. With that said I break down the fights and explain what happened in “Music City” at UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov:

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Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger vs. Mike “Platinum” Perry

This is why I said Jake Ellenberger should just stop while he could’ve, but nope he had to just keep on fighting like a “warrior” should. I’ll give him this, the fight started well for “The Juggernaut” as he was able to use his strikes and takedowns well to take the round. He stunned the crowd when he dropped his opponent Mike Perry in the second with a well placed right. But that vicious power from “Platinum” came when it was needed as he was able to drop Ellenberger with a well placed hook punch. Then when you thought it couldn’t get any more intense, Perry hit Ellenberger with the hardest elbow strike on the feet I have ever seen. Need evidence that it was the hardest? Ellenberger di not wake up until after the commercial break and the winner was announced. Talk about “getting put to sleep.”

Winner: Mike Perry via Knockout in Round 2

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Lauzon vs Ray

Joe Lauzon vs. Stevie “Braveheart” Ray

This was another classic case of the judges making the wrong decision. Joe Lauzon started the fight off well by immediately taking Stevie Ray to the ground and working for submissions. When he couldn’t get the submission he would land sharp elbows and hard punches from the top. The second round was partly on the feet but then went back to Lauzon’s world of pain where he took Ray down and continued to control him. The last round got much more interesting. Lauzon told his corner before the round started that he was tired. He went out there anyways and put on his best poker face. “Braveheart was able to take advantage and gave Lauzon some of the hardest shots he could dish before the time limit was reached. I was pretty sure the fight would go to Lauzon’s favor due to his offense in the first two rounds. The first should have been scored a 10-8 due to Lauzon dominating his opponent for nearly the entire five minutes of the round. But you know what they say: Never leave it in the hands of the judges.

Winner: Stevie Ray via Decision

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John “The Magician” Dodson vs. Eddie Wineland

This went flawlessly for John Dodson for he gave Eddie Wineland the “too-slow treatment.” He hit Wineland with countless strikes and got hit with barely anything. The commentators said he Wineland looks like he was in a fight and Dodson looks like he just got out of the shower. Dodson could have gotten the knockout if he yielded a bit more offense but instead chose the path that involved him getting hit less. It was an easy decision win for John Dodson and I look forward to seeing him fight in the future with his great speed and power.

Winner: John Dodson via Decision

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Ovince Saint Preux vs. Marcos “Pezao” Rogerio de Lima

It appered that my prediction would come true with Marcos Rogerio de Lima leading the way with his numerous kicks and heavy punches. But that all changed when the fire nation attacked Ovince Saint Preux responded in the following round by catching one of “Pezao’s” leg kicks and pushing him to the ground for a takedown. OSP kept top control and landed some brutal elbows which caused Rogerio de Lima to hold his opponent close to him. This led to OSP to use a Von Flue Choke on his opponent (which involves pushing your shoulder down on your opponent’s neck) to pick up the much needed victory. I will never doubt OSP again.

Winner: Ovince Saint Preux via Submission in Round 2

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Al “Raging” Iaquinta vs. Diego”Lionheart” Sanchez

Al Iaquinta is back and just put the lightweight division on notice. Both fighter were being patient with their strikes which was something that “Lionheart” did not do often in his prolific career. “Raging” was able to land a hard right hand that dropped Sanchez to the mat. Sanchez was able to recover shortly before Iaquinta was able to pick his final blow which made Sanchez fold like a chair to finish the fight early for the two.

Winner: Al Iaquinta via Knockout in Round 1

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Swanson vs Lobov

Cub Swanson vs. Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov

I think th main reason these main events have become predictable for me is due to the fact that fighters in the main event are more well known. This went exactly how I imagined it going and if you want to see how I imagined it going then click here. Still, Artem Lobov showed great heart and was able to sruvive Cub Swanson’s assault he entire 25 minute fight. But surrviving should not be his only goal in the UFC. Winning is the name of the game and he was unable to land the neccessary amount of punches to put Swanson away. His strikes had power but were slow and out of range. Swanson, on the other hand, showed why he deserves a title shot and will more than likely get one in the near future. His strikes were on point and had a bunch of creativity that kept his opponent guessing what his next move will be. This was a great fight and will more than likely win fight of the night.

Winner: Cub Swanson via Decision