Following Title Defeat, Cerrone Moves Up A Division

PHOTO CREDITS: (John Locher, The Associated Press)

Donald Cerrone just took New Years resolutions to a new meaning. Cowboy moved up from the 155 pound division to the 170 pound division. Cerrone fought for the UFC lightweight title back on December 19th in an early defeat against Rafael Dos Anjos.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced the move and that Donald already has a lock on an opponent.

On Feburary 21, 2016, Donald Cerrone will meet Tim Means at UFC Fight Night 82 in Pittsburgh. The card already has names such as Cody Garbrandt, Derek Brunson, and John Lineker. The full card so far is as follows.

~Donald Cerrone vs. Tim Means
~Cody Garbrandt vs. John Lineker
~Sarah Moras vs. Lauren Murphy
~Derek Brunson vs. Roan Carneiro
~Chris Camozzi vs. Joe Riggs
~Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Brandon Thatch
~Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Anthony Hamilton
~Shane Campbell vs. James Krause
~Alex Garcia vs. Sean Strickland
~Trevor Smith vs. Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes
~Daniel Sarafian vs. opponent TBA
~Bryan Barberena vs. Jonavin Webb

In his post-fight interview, Cerrone gave no clear hints on the weight change, but I have a suspicion for why he decided to do this.

There are rumours flying around that Conor McGregor will fight Rafael Dos Anjos in the foreseeable future, meaning a longer wait time. Plus, Cerrone already lost twice to Dos Anjos, if you take a look at Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, it was looking as if Tate was never going to get another shot. It is easy to make a third fight if the first two was split in half, but is very difficult if one fighter took the first too. It gets boring as a fan.

With that thought, Cowboy would be fighting more fighters that he feels he has already taken out. A move to welterweight gives him more challenges and keeps him on his toes for fights.

His opponent, Tim Means, is a winner of his last 5 of 6 fights, and has a professional record of 25-7-1.

Maximizing MMA’s 2015 Awards

PHOTO CREDITS: (Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com)

As 2015 is coming to a close in not only the real world, but in the fight world as well, it is time for Maximizing MMA’s awards for 2015.

FIGHTER OF THE YEAR:

WINNER: Conor McGregor. This may seem that everyone single writer across the MMA landscape is putting Conor McGregor as the fighter of the year, but come on, it’s Conor McGregor. With four UFC victories entering 2015, Conor McGregor started off by finishing Dennis Siver by KO. Then, he made his image. McGregor began picking his shots mentally, and sometimes physically, at Jose Aldo. At media conferences, at world tours, anytime, anywhere. It built up the biggest featherweight fight of all time. Then, injuries happened. Jose Aldo injured his ribs and was forced out of the fight. In comes Chad Mendes. On only a few weeks notice, Chad Mendes took the opportunity for the Interim Championship. Conor finished Chad in round 2, in a good fight. Finally, in about a year’s wait, Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo would be locked in the Octagon on December 12th. In 13 seconds, Conor McGregor knocked out Aldo. I chose McGregor for fighter of the year because he made a name for himself and became champion in such a small amount of time.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

FIGHT OF THE YEAR:

WINNER: Robbie Lawler vs Rory MacDonald 2 – UFC 189. This was the hardest choice for me due to the fact that there were so many good fights in 2015. Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald went into UFC 189 confident and intact. Just about 25 minutes later, both fighters were cut, bloodied, bruised, and no doubt, damaged both physically and mentally. MacDonald hit Lawler with 87 strikes, 86 of them significant. Lawler otherwise, hit MacDonald with 76 strikes, 70 significant. Lawler would defend the belt with one final strike to finish Rory. The fight was phenomenal and is my fight of 2015.

MMA: UFC 189-Lawler vs MacDonald

PHOTO CREDITS: (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR:

WINNER: Holly Holm def Ronda Rousey – UFC 193. The head kick heard around the world. Holly Holm dominated the entire fight. She was faster, stronger, and more calm inside the Octagon. Rousey seemed unsure of herself, she seemed tired and after only a few minutes, she looked like she had lost all of her so-called “confidence”. After moving out of the way of a Ronda takedown, Holm hit Rousey with a few punches, just to get her back and land a beautiful left leg head kick to drop Ronda like a tree. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. I still can’t believe it to this day.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Esther Lin – MMA Fighting)

SUBMISSION OF THE YEAR:

WINNER: Fabricio Werdum def Cain Velasquez – UFC 188. Possibly the most dominate UFC heavyweight of all time, Cain Velasquez, was simply out fought at UFC 188 in Mexico City, Mexico. He lost the first two rounds on the feet. When you lose the first two rounds of a fight standing up, you want to bring the fight to the ground. Cain hit 4 takedowns on Werdum, the last one he gave up his neck and the Brazilian JiuJitsu technician Fabricio Werdum locked on like an anaconda. Velasquez tapped in front of his home country. We now see the rematch of these two early in 2016.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (thebloodyelbow.com)

*All fight stats are courtesy of FightMetric LLC. 

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Stacked UFC Card Makes Its Way To Orlando

PHOTO CREDITS: (mmaweekly.com)

#UFCOrlando is our next stop for the December To Remember tour. December 19th will be headlined by a third title match in just 7 days. Rafael Dos Anjos will defend his lightweight belt against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a rematch of a 2013 match. For an in depth preview on the main event, CLICK HERE.

The main event is of course the main attraction of a UFC card, but this card has some fantastic fights leading up to it.

UFC Fight Pass Prelims 3:30pm ET

~F. Ngannou vs L. Henrique – heavyweight

~H. Hassan vs V. Luque – welterweight

~K. Usman vs L. Edwards – welterweight

FS1 Prelims 5pm ET 

~C. Miller vs J. Alers – featherweight

~N. Lentz vs D. Castillo – lightweight

~J. Samman vs T. McCrory – middleweight

~S. Kaufman vs V. Shevchenko – woman’s bantamweight

~C. Dolloway vs N. Marquardt – middleweight

~C. Oliveria vs M. Jury – featherweight

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PHOTO CREDITS: (combatbear.com)

FOX Main Card 8pm ET

 

#7 Randa Markos vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz. This fight is a woman’s strawweight bout between two scary females. Markos, (5-3), is 1-1 in the UFC, her first loss coming in the Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned on one of the main card fights. She fought a great fight, but lost in a fight of the night decision. Markos quickly redeemed herself with a decision win at UFC 186 over Aisling Daly. Across from her is the 7-0 fighter from Poland making her UFC debut on Saturday. She has a strong mental game and the will to win. Randa Markos has the experience and will leave victorious via decision. 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (mmarocks.pl) Kowalkiewicz (left) vs Markos (right).

#6 Michael Johnson vs #15 Nate Diaz. Michael Johnson lost his last fight after going on a 4-fight win streak. Johnson picked up wins over Joe Lauzon, Gleison Tibau, Melvin Guillard, and Edson Barbosa during his winning ways. Nate Diaz is a veteran of MMA with great boxing and slick Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With 18 wins on his record over fighters such as Donald Cerrone, Jim Miller, and Gray Maynard. In his most recent affair, Diaz lost a decision to the current champ, Rafael Dos Anjos. Michael Johnson is up-and-coming and will take a close decision. 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (foxsports.com) Johnson (left) vs Diaz (right).

#2 Junior Dos Santos vs #9 Alistar Overeem. The former UFC heavyweight champion Dos Santos is looking to make his way back to a title shot against Cain Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum. “Cigano” has only three defeats on his record, two of which versus Velasquez. His opponent, Alistar Overeem is a former StrikeForce champion and is on a two-fight win streak over Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson. Junior Dos Santos will return to old form and win via 3rd round TKO.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (thebloodiestofelbows.wordpress.com) Dos Santos (left) vs Overeem (right).

*The main event evaluation can be found from the link at the top of the page.

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What’s Next For The Featherweight Division?

PHOTO CREDITS: (ufc.com)

The biggest featherweight fight, if not the biggest fight ever was only :13 seconds long and it shocked the entire fight world. Conor McGregor is the new king of the 145 pound division, and has many more guys waiting in line. Below are the 3 fights that I see happening soon.

3. Max “Blessed” Holloway. Holloway, (15-3) is on a 8 fight winning streak, 6 finishes. His last fight was at the UFC 194 PPV and took home a decision win over a game Jeremy Stephens. Holloway landed 10 more strikes than Stephens and put in a takedown. Although, McGregor gained a victory over Max before in a dominant decision win. Of course, Holloway has improved his game since then and I think it would make a great fight.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (mmaviking.com)

2. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar. Friday night marked his 5th consecutive fight that Frankie’s hand was raised. Many neglected the former UFC lightweight champion after he lost his title and lost the rematch with Benson Henderson. Immediately after those two defeats, Edgar dropped a division to fight in featherweight. Just so happens that his first fight at 145 was against Jose Aldo for the belt. He obviously lost, but you have to cut him some slack, it was his first time cutting that weight. Ever since then, “The Answer” has been victorious over Charles Oliveria, BJ Penn, Cub Swanson, Urijah Faber, and Chad Mendes. Frankie Edgar is no doubt a worthy contender for Conor McGregor and it would bring a lot of exciting action to UFC fans.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (themmacommunity.com)

1.  Jose Aldo Junior. Jose Aldo went 10 years undefeated, defended his championship 7 times in the UFC, all against top fighters. Aldo has had years of success with vicious leg kicks, solid punches, and the will to win. Jose has 3 fight of the night and 3 knockout of the night honours in his career. Many may disagree, but Jose Aldo has proven himself and is deserving of a rematch. Another point, Dana White announced that Ronda Rousey will get a rematch, so you have to assume that Aldo will get one as well.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (foxsports.com)

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Joe Rogan Gone From UFC?

PHOTO CREDITS: (livenation.com)

UFC commentator and comedian Joe Rogan has announced that he might not return to commentating after his contract ends this upcoming August.

“I don’t know. My contract’s up in August. I might leave in August. It’s possible,” Rogan announced. “I like doing s**t that scares me. I like taking chances. I like walking away from things. I like doing that, I like experiencing new things. You open up new doors, your mind starts firing in a different way. I’m not a big fan of doing the same s**t over and over and over again.

“I think you’ve got to experience different things in life and I like to plan those things out. I’ve been doing the UFC for a long time. I will never stop being a UFC fan, that’s not going to happen, I love the sport, but there’s probably going to come a time where I don’t do commentary anymore and it might be sooner than later or it might not,” Rogan said. “August might roll around and I might say ‘you know what I f**king love this, let’s keep doing this’ but I might not too. I don’t know.”

Rogan is known all over the MMA world as the man who sits along side Mike Goldberg to talk about some of the biggest fights in the world today. The colour TV and PPV employee joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship way back in 1997 as a backstage interviewer at UFC 12.

joe-rogan

PHOTO CREDITS: (reddit.com)

At UFC 37.5 on June 22nd, 2002, Joe made his official debut as a commentator. From here-on-out, he was known as one of the best to do so.

Many people don’t realize that Joe Rogan was a martial artist as a teenager, winning the US Open Taekwon-do championship at age 19. He began MMA practice at 13 years of age.

We have seen other commentators such as Jon Anik, Brian Stann, and Kenny Florian step to the plate for smaller event cards, but none match Mr. Rogan. I sure hope that Joe will decide to remain apart of the UFC going forward, but I guess we will have to just have to wait to find out.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (fightnetwork.com)

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Another Female Fight To Look Forward To

PHOTO CREDITS: (hngn.com)

The female fighting landscape has, of course, changed ever since Ronda Rousey appeared on the scene. Now that Holly Holm has taken the crown away from the queen, it has taken an impact. The other female division has also proven some high quality talent. The champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk is no doubt full of skill. Our next fight in the Woman’s Strawweight title picture, takes place on Thursday, December 10th.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (lowkickmma.com)

#7 Paige VanZant (6-1) steps into the caged octagon to take on #3 Rose Namajunas (4-2). Each fighter fought in the past few months, both getting wins. Paige picked up a dominant win, topped off with an armbar finish. VanZant is on a 3-fight winning streak in the UFC, picking up a fight of the night in her debut. Paige’s style includes strikes, takedowns, ground transitions, and submissions. She uses all of her skills effectively to win fights.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (dailymail.co.uk)

“Thug” Rose Namajunas has picked up only one victory inside the octagon, last October. She fought that fight smartly, winning in the first round via submission. Namajunas was on season 20 of the Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned on Team Melendez. Rose made it to the finale but was defeated by Carla Esparza by submission. Although she has only fought in two UFC bouts, she showed a solid ground game and proved in her last bout just how good it is.

MMA: UFC 192-Namajunas vs Hill

 PHOTO CREDITS: (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

MY PREDICTION: Paige VanZant has soaked up the spotlight and camera flashes quite well and she can back up her words with her fighting way. I have to say that Paige VanZant will win by decision.

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UFC 193: Rousey Vs Holm. Main Card Predictions.

PHOTO CREDITS: (bjpenn.com)

The greatest female fighter of all time will take on possibly the toughest test of her title reign. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey defendes her women’s bantamweight championship against Holly Holm.

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS: 6:15PM ET

~B. Nguyen vs R. Benoit – flyweight

~J. Moontasri vs A. Zafir – welterweight

~R. Walsh vs S. Kennedy – welterweight

~D. Kelly vs S. Montgomery – middleweight

TSN PRELIMS: 8PM ET

~R. Vaculik vs D. Martinez – flyweight

~A. Perosh vs G. Villante – light-heavyweight

~K. Noke vs P. Sobotta – welterwight

~J. Matthews vs A. Arreola – lightweight

MAIN CARD LIVE ON PPV: 10ET

#14 Stefan Struve (30-7) vs Jared Rosholt (13-2). These two massive heavyweight have only 9 losses combined and are both coming off decision victories. Stefan Struve knows he needs to put up more than one win at a time if he ever wants to get to a title match. A win of Rosholt would do so. Jared Rosholt has won back-to-back fights over Josh Copeland and Timothy Johnson. MY PREDICTION: Struve will use his height to his advantage and leave Melbourne with another decision win. 

PHOTO CREDITS: (sherdog.com) Stefan Struve (left) vs Jared Rosholt (right).

#10 Uriah Hall (13-5) vs #14 Robert Whittaker (14-4). This is a short notice fight for Uriah as he is replacing an injured Michael Bisping. Hall won a thrilling KO win over Gegard Mousasi back in September. The Ultimate Fighter 17 runner-up is looking to once again jump up the middleweight rankings with an impressive win. Now Robert Whittaker may look as though he is the underdog going into this fight, but he shouldn’t be counted out. The New Zealand native is currently on a 3-fight winning streak, two by TKO. He just might surprise many Saturday night. MY PREDICTION: Uriah Hall has looked stellar and I see him winning by TKO in round 2. 

PHOTO CREDITS: (mmajunkie.com) Uriah Hall.

#8 Mark Hunt (10-9-1) vs #11 Antonio Silva (19-7 1NC). The third fight is another heavyweight clash in a second fight. Antonio Silva and Mark Hunt put out one of the best fights in the history of the UFC in their first fight. A bloody battle saw a draw in a five-round affair. Both men are feared in the division. MY PREDICTION: Bigfoot Silva is a beast but so is Hunt and that will be the difference. Mark Hunt will win by 3rd round TKO. 

PHOTO CREDITS: (o.canada.com) Mark Hunt (left) vs Antonio Silva (right) in their first fight.

C Joanna Jedrzejczyk (10-0) vs #8 Valerie Letourneau (8-3). Joanna Jedrzejczyk is arguably the most vicious striker in the UFC and MMA. She has left her victims bruised and bloodied after her punches, elbows, kicks, and knees. On the other side, Valerie Letourneau is known to be very tough. This Canadian also has some solid muay thai but has shown that she has the ability to take her opponent down. Both are in their prime and it should make a good title bout. MY PREDICTION: Joanna Jedrzejczyk is just too good for the rest of the division currently. She will win via 1st round KO.

PHOTO CREDITS: (mmajinkie.com) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (left) vs Valerie Letourneau (right).

C Ronda Rousey (12-0) vs #7 Holly Holm (9-0). An olympic judo medalist versus a world champion boxer. That alone sounds like a good fight. I honestly can see this fight going past round 1 at least. We all know that Ronda Rousey scares every person in the world and has very good reason to. Her takedowns, her armbars, and even her striking as shown in her last win. One thing I’d like to point out is that I noticed that Rousey’s stance was flatfooted and her punches were too wild. She can’t do that against Holly Holm. Holm is a former boxing champion and has a deadly head kick with some brutal beatdowns capable. MY PREDICTION: Although I would like to see a longer fight, I don’t see it happening tomorrow night. Rousey will win in round 1 by submission. 

PHOTO CREDITS: (sherdog.com) Ronda Rousey (left) vs Holly Holm (right).

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