The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20 will be the first ever all-female-fighter cast. The season welcomes a new women's division, the Strawweights. The coaches, (late February 23rd, 2014) were announced. UFC Lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis would coach one team, opposite of newly resigned, Gilbert Melendez.
(photo via: Zuffa, LLC)
Just hours prior to this big news, it was uncertain if Melendez would fight for the UFC again, following his octagon war with fellow Lightweight, Diego Sanchez, back in October of 2013.
With Dana White and Melendez unable to come to an agreement, White gave up and told Melendez he's "done" and to find somewhere else to go. BellatorMMA would quickly show interest and also propose an offer to regarded as one of the best Lightweights, Melendez. UFC, due to contract had opportunity to match any organizations offer made for Gilbert Melendez.
Lorenzo Fertitta would call Melendez and set things right; coming to an agreements for UFC contract.
TUF 20 begins filming in May, 2014. The new Women's Strawweight cast consists of - Carla Esparza, Alex Chambers, Claudia Gadelha, Felice Herrig, Bec Hyatt, Emily Kagan, Juliana Lima, Rose Namajunas, Tecia Torres, Paige VanZant and Joanne Calderwood. Winner of this season of The Ulimate Fighter will become the new UFC Strawweight champion.
Article by: Adam LeBarr - Be sure to check out Adam's FightersBlog
UFC 170, the second PPV (Pay-Per-View) of 2014 was anything but lack luster, as you could argue with the last few shows. With an exciting preliminary fight card, tonight (Saturday 22nd, 2014) showed no signs of slowing down. The first fight of the main-card featured Stephan Thompson putting the smack-down on TUF Smashes winner, Robert Whittaker, nearing the final minute of round #1. The fight to follow, a MMA chess match between Mike Pyle and TJ Waldburger. With the fight leading into the 3rd round OF a back and forth battle, the final around Pyle looked to have opened up, landing almost anything he threw at Waldburger and ultimately finishing him in devastating fashion via: TKO (ground and pound).
(poster via: Zuffa, LLC)
The next fight held on the main-card was Rory MacDonald taking on Damian Maia, where Rory would prove he's worthy of not only top Welterweight contenders, but also a shot at the gold.
Round #1 was a dominant one for Maia. Scoring a big take-down on MacDonald and then proceeding to control Rory while working the ground and pound. MacDonald would make it back to his feet as round one was over. After being taken down and dominated, MacDonald looked to have had fire in his eyes. The following rounds were his to take, as he opened up with a wide variety of strikes. With big body shots landing, also jabs by the truck load, Maia was slowly gassing, almost allowing Rory to strike as he pleased. In the end, with impressive rounds 2 and 3, MacDonald was victorious via: Unanimous decision.
Your co-main event (probably one of the most hyped on the UFC 170 card) was Daniel Cormier delivering pay-back to Patrick Cummins for breaking the "wrestlers code".
As the fight started (Cormier/Cummins), Cormier wasted no time in rushing Cummins and overwhelming him with speed and strikes once in the clinch. Though Cummins was looking to land with some bombs, it was Cormier who landed the big shot, putting Cummins to the mat where Cormier would finish him and then push him away as the referee was stopping the fight.
Cormier's follow-up with Joe Rogan, he states: "I'm surprised I let him hit me even twice" as he proceeded to call-out the "shit talking" Cummins did about their past while wrestling. Daniel Cormier also feels he should be in the mix with the top guys at Light Heavyweight, if not receiving a title shot with an impressive run inside the UFC octagon.
Your main-event, Ronda Rousey would defend her championship in a way we've never seen her finish before, against Sara McMann (Battle of the Olympians).
Rousey vs. McMann was in many eyes more then just a fight, it was to see who was the better all around athlete. As referee Herb Dean gave the rules and the "go" to fight, as always, Rousey quickly got in McMann's face. While doing so, Rousey took a little punishment; McMann landed with some big shots as Rousey looked to corner her against the cage. Once McMann had her back to the wall, Rousey opened up with some devastating strikes; one of which would put McMann to the floor and end the fight. Ronda Rousey landed with a huge knee to the liver of McMann, instantly dropping her. Rousey went to follow up with some ground and pound as the fight was stopped.
Ronda Rousey's UFC 170 victory over Sara McMann was her first ever fight won by anything other then her world class, famous arm-bar.
This weekend (Saturday, February 22nd) the UFC heads home; back to Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 170 where champion, Ronda Rousey defends her title against Sara McMann. Over the last week, last minute changes have been made to this PPV (Pay-Per-View) fight card; before we get to the last minute adjustment, Rory MacDonald takes on Damian Maia in the Welterweight division -
(Article by Adam LeBarr, poster via: Zuffa, LLC)
Damian Maia, a submission specialist has looked nothing but impressive in his move to the 170lbs division. He holds big victory finishes over Jon Fitch, Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim. Maia in his last bout with Jake Shields fell short in a 5 round split decision in favor for Shields. His opponent is in the same boat; Rory MacDonald before his most recent fall to Robbie Lawler was on a dominant streak, walking through whoever was put in front of him. It was thought that with a victory over Lawler, he would be given a title shot against friend and training partner, George St-Pierre. MacDonald stated many times he wouldn’t fight GSP, Dana White said differently, saying: “They will fight (St-Pierre/MacDonald).
MacDonald lost his bout to Lawler at UFC 167, the same event St-Pierre looked to have “robbed” the victory away from Johny Hendricks, he followed up with a leave from the UFC. St-Pierre vacated his title, leaving Hendricks vs. Lawler, winner to be crowned the new Welterweight champion, something we haven’t seen since December of 2007. It’s thought that with St-Pierre gone, MacDonald will be able to focus more on working his way to the top, not having to worry about fighting a friend for the championship gold.
Daniel Cormier, former Heavyweight was set to make his long awaited debut to the LHW (Light Heavyweight) division against TUF 2 winner, Rashad Evans. Both working hard in the gym, both also attended the UFC 170 pre-fight conference call…
Hours later, it was reported that Rashad Evans had injured his knee and is out of UFC 170. With reports saying that Cormier/Evans would reschedule for UFC 172, Cormier was devistated to have worked to hard, cut so much weight and now not being able to fight. Scrambling to find a fight, the ‘American Gangster’ Chael Sonnen stepped up as always, saying he’s ready to fight if need be. That was quickly shut down. Recently, there has been a lot of talk around Patrick Cummins, an undefeated (4-0) LHW contender who was not yet signed to the UFC. As news spread about Evans withdrawling from his bout against Cormier due to injury, Cummins took to Twitter, offering his service. The UFC heard his offer loud and clear; Patrick Cummins now co-headlines UFC 170 against Daniel Cormier.
Both Cormier and Cummins now former friends and training partners, talk leading up to their bout has shut down any friendship they once had. Though Cormier feels ready, a confident and undefeated Cummins won’t be a “walk in the park”, come this Saturday.
Your main-event of the evening is more then just a “fight”. Ronda Rousey is set to defend her championship against Sara McMann. Both these 135lbers are Olympic medalists and this weekend is a test to find out who’s the better all around athlete, as Rousey stated.
Ronda Rousey throughout her MMA career inside the UFC and out has displayed nothing but dominance. Could this weekend provide a true challenge for Rousey, as McMann is also undefeated and holds a great amount of wrestling experiance? McMann feels this title shot came a little early, fans feel the same aswell. Despite that, McMann says she’s ready for this weekend when she headlines against Rousey.
Rousey vs. McMann will not only be an action packed fight, but a display of pure talent and technique. Both undefeated, only one walks out with a perfect record come this Saturday at UFC 170.
(Pictured above: Patrick Cummins will just be here working on his swag until fight time...image via BreakingMuscle.com)
Looks like the co-main event for UFC 170 was saved after all. After Rashad Evans fell victim to injury 2 weeks from the fight, it left opponent Daniel Cormier without a dance partner for the event. Understandably upset Cormier pleaded with UFC brass to find a replacement opponent. Finding someone to take a fight against Cormier and his Olympic level credentials seemed a daunting task until UFC newcomer Patrick Cummins stepped up to the challenge. Cummins has a 4-0 record and a strong wrestling base. Having wrestled for the Penn State Nittany Lions and former training partner for “King Mo” Lawal, Mark Munoz, and Emanuel Newton, Cummins is no stranger to mixing it up with elite level MMA athletes. Known for his relentless pace and work ethic at his home camp Reign MMA, finding an opponent to match up with at the regional level was proving to be a challenge. He gets his wish granted and then some as he will face a hungry Daniel Cormier who makes his debut at the light heavyweight division. Cormier has cleaned out all of the heavyweight opponents put in front of him and is only dropping a weight class to avoid a match up with his close friend and training partner, UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez.
Will Cummins serve as the sacrificial lamb thrown to the wolves in order to save the fight at UFC 170 or will he make the most of his new time in the spotlight and spoil the light heavyweight rankings with an upset win over Cormier? That remains to be seen. Along with Ronda Rousey defending her bantamweight title against Olympic silver medal winner Sara McMann, UFC 170 just got a lot more interesting!