Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

Campbell McLaren talks to Kingdom MMA 'I would have never sold the UFC'

Saturday, 25 October 2014

UFC 179: Aldo vs Mendes II Main card Preview

By Alex Dillon @ADillon_

UFC 179 Aldo vs Mendes II takes place this Saturday from Ginasio do Maracanazinho in Rio De Janerio, Brazil. The main event for the featherweight title is a rematch of the UFC 142 main event which saw Jose Aldo TKO Chad Mendes with a brutal knee in the 1st round of an event which also took place in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.

Other bouts on the evening include a light heavyweight showdown in the co-main event slot between Glover Teixeria and Phil Davis whilst Fabio Maldonado squares off against Hans Stringer.

Jose Aldo (c) (24-1) vs Chad Mendes (16-1)
Back at UFC 142, some believed Chad Mendes had one attribute which could be used to dethrone Aldo and win the featherweight belt, his wrestling. Aldo would successfully thwart a takedown attempt and counter another into a brutal knee which ended the challenge of Mendes deep in the first round of the contest. Fast forward to Saturday’s main event and Mendes has re built himself by KO’ing fighters such as Clay Guida and Darren Elkins to earn himself another shot at Aldo’s belt. The champion Aldo has had two lackluster decisions and a TKO to an injured Korean Zombie since defeating Mendes. You could attribute Aldo’s lackluster performances to his awful weight cut before each fight which really symbols that he should move up and fight at 155. Mendes now has refine KO power thanks to Duane Ludwig but really his wrestling is still his biggest asset coming into this clash. If he lasts past round three it would give him a better chance of winning as Aldo notoriously slows down in the later rounds which opponents can never seem to capitalize on. One thing’s for sure, come Saturday night it will be once again the battle of wrestler vs striker. The big questions are has Chad Mendes improved enough since last time and has Aldo still got it at 145?

Phil Davis (12-2) vs Glover Teixeira (22-3)
This light heavyweight showdown pits two fighters that essentially fall at the final hurdle. Davis has by far the best wrestling in the division but never seems to have a plan B if the Rumble Johnson and Rashad Evans fights are anything to go by. Glover has indeed finished many on his UFC stint but also leaves himself open to being caught. His title match against Jon Jones had lots of promise going in but ultimately, he disappointed and in turn was dominated by the champion. One would suggest that if Davis can get this fight to the ground it’s his fight to lose even with Glover sub expertise Davis also has submissions in his arsenal. If Glover can defend the takedowns then Davis could be in for a rough night.

Fabio Maldonado (21-7) vs Hans Stringer (22-5-3)  
Before his late step in against Stipe Miocic, Maldonado was on a 3 fight winning streak (all coming via decision) in the light heavyweight division. Opponent Hans Stringer is currently 1-0 in the UFC as he picked up the split decision victory against Francimar Barroso this past March. Fabio Maldonado is well known for being able to absorb punishment in large quantities and the former pro boxer will be looking to finish Stringer in this one for sure. With both fighters being durable this one could go either way however and possibly the full 3 rounds.

Lucas Martins (15-1) vs Darren Elkins (17-4)
Since his TKO (retirement) loss to Edson Barboza back in 2013, featherweight sensation Lucas Martins has been on a tear. He is currently on a 3 fight winning streak with all coming by finish. Elkins has had different fortunes, losing to Jeremy Stephens and Chad Mendes in two of his last three bouts. Martins, is highly regarded in the featherweight ranks and he should continue his run Saturday night against Elkins.

Carlos Diego Ferreira (11-0) vs Beneil Dariush (8-1)
This lightweight bout was originally meant to be Alan Patrick vs Beneil Dariush before Patrick pulled out with a horrific broken jaw suffered in training so the undefeated Ferreira stepped in.  Ferreira and Dariush are both known for their submission expertise so don’t be surprised if this one goes to the ground come fight night. Interestingly enough coming into this scrap they have both faced the same opponent before in the UFC, Ramsey Nijem. Ferreira defeated Nijem where as Dariush lost to him. The winner of this bout arguably goes onto bigger things judging by the calibre of fighters they have already faced.        

Kountermove predictions for our UFC 179 tournament

Check out how to join our Kountermove "pick 'em" tournament for UFC 179

By Connor Hutton - @ConnorHutton94 

Kingdom MMA brings you its latest Kountermove tournament this weekend, but for any newcomers who have a few questions, here is the essential information. Kountermove is simply fantasy MMA, pick a team of fighters who you think will win and your chosen fighters are awarded points based on strikes, takedowns and rounds won etc.

You can join our Kountermove tournament for UFC 179 and be in with a chance to win $25 right here:

If you want to win a bit of money but you need some guidance then take a look at Kingdom MMA’s predictions, our ‘favourite five’ below, a few fighters who you may fancy picking.

1. Chad Mendes - ($4600) 'Money' Mendes (16-1) finally gets the chance to avenge his only loss to Jose Aldo (24-1) as he continues his quest for the featherweight title. The Team Alpha Male fighter rides a five-fight winning streak since his defeat to Aldo at UFC 142, four of which coming via TKO. Whereas the champion Aldo will be the favourite to extend his now nine year unbeaten run inside the cage.

The result of the first battle was smeared with controversy after Aldo illegally grabbed the cage to prevent a takedown, inadvertently leading to the flash KO. This time round Aldo has a whole new world of problems to deal with, if Mendes' freakishly athletic wrestling ability doesn't grind out a win, then he is more than capable of ending the fight on his feet at any moment with his vastly improved striking. For the first time in years there is a strong feeling of uncertainly around a usually dominant Aldo and for the cheap price of $4600 you could be in for a bargain with Chad Mendes on your Kountermove team.

2. Phil Davis - ($4200) The co-main event of the evening holds a heavy impact on the future of the light heavyweight division as both men attempt to rebound from damaging defeats. Phil Davis (12-2-1) looks to erase the hiccup against Anthony Johnson when he takes on Glover Teixeira (22-3). The Brazilian most recently tasted defeat for the first time in nine years when he was on the wrong end of a decision loss against the champ Jon Jones back in April.

The key to success for 'Mr. Wonderful' is undoubtedly his wrestling ability, in Glover's title challenge the general expectation was that Jones would impose his takedown skills, but we saw quite the opposite. If Davis can close the distance with the high level wrestling he is capable of and land some ground and pound, he could edge his way back into the title picture. Lets not forget, it was Davis who handed Alexander Gustafsson his first loss, not to mention a stand out victory over Lyoto Machida. The American is certainly capable of delivering the goods and he will no doubt deliver you a solid points return for great value.

3. Carlos Diego Ferreira - ($5400) Former Legacy FC lightweight champion Ferreira (11-0) has made a perfect start to his UFC career since he was signed back in May, with two finishes and two post-fight bonuses, most recently a knockout triumph over Ramsey Nijem. Whilst his opponent Beneil Dariush (8-1) recovered from his first professional loss earlier this year with an arm-triangle choke against Tony Martin.

The Brazilian is a sizeable favourite going into the fight and for good reason, Ferreira's 2nd degree jiu-jitsu black belt has handed him six submission victories, three of which coming in the first round. However Dariush will be a stern test with five sub wins on his own record, yet the undefeated man is considered to be a level to high for the Iranian. Ferreira is more than capable of scoring big points with a finish and should certainly be considered for your Kountermove team.

4. Neil Magny - ($5300) Heading up the Fox Sports 1 card is a welterweight bout between the ever improving Neil Magny (12-3) and Brazilian prospect William 'Daffy Duck' Macario (7-1). Magny has rebounded from a disappointing start to his UFC career where he went 1-2 before embarking on a four-fight win streak, whereas Macario is fresh off his first win in the UFC after losing the finale of TUF: Brazil 2.

The criticism that some UFC fighters suffer is accusations of inactivity, but in Magny's case we see the complete opposite as he approaches his fifth fight of 2014. Three dominant decisions and a TKO victory against Rodrigo de Lima have put him in good stead for yet another win. Magny is the undeniable favourite considering his top level experience and his proven durability will offer up plenty of points across all three rounds.

5. Lucas Martins - ($5100) Knockout artist Lucas 'Miniero' Martins (15-1) continues his run through the featherweight division against Darren 'The Damage' Elkins (17-4) at the Mini Maracana. Martins currently rides a three-fight win streak, most recently picking up a third-round KO against Alex White. However Elkins will attempt to escape his current dip in form which has seen him go 1-2 in his last three fights, including a decision loss to Jeremy Stephens back in January.

An outstanding 14 of Martins' 15 victories have come inside the distance, with an even more impressive 10 KO's to his resume. Elkins may carry more UFC experience but it is Martins who storms into this fight with the momentum. Expect big points from potentially big finish when the hometown favourite steps into the cage, an easy choice to round off your Kountermove team.

So don’t forget to join in with UFC 179 in our exclusive Kountermove tournament:

Friday, 24 October 2014

UFC 179 Aldo vs Mendes 2 Betting Tips

by Will Martin @BIGBILBAR7MMA

After a much needed three week break the UFC returns and Brazil's very own Featherweight champion Jose Aldo will attempt to defend his title for a seventh time in a rematch against the number one contender and Team Alpha Male standout Chad "Money" Mendes. So I'm back to give you a bit of guidance and some bets which I am confident will come in.

Note, these tips are for guidance only. Please bet sensibly and only if you can afford to lose - I will not be held responsible, if you lose you house, wife, dignity or self respect.

Bet 1

A £5 stake will pay back approximately £56

Gilbert Burns 2/7
Fabricio Camoes 4/5
Andre Fili 5/6
Diego Ferreira 8/15
Fabio Maldonado 8/11

This parlay has a particularly Brazilian theme to it, apart from Andre Fili and it pays a nice profit too. First up is a fighter I have huge hopes for in the future and that is Gilbert Burns. A former world champion in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who's striking skills are coming up to par with his ground skills. A drop down to his natural weight class will see dividends here as he should beat UFC debutant and former RFA Lightweight champion Christos Giagos, but keep your eyes on Giagos in the future as he will beat top competition within his stint in the UFC.

Up next we have Fabricio Camoes who returns to fight in his native homeland for the first time in over eight years and may appreciate the drop down in competition. The third degree BJJ black belt under Royler Gracie has faced stiff opposition in his four previous fights within the organisation with losses to Jim Miller and Melvin Guillard. However, he now faces Tony Martin who to me is not UFC quality at all and is coming of two losses himself and a loss here should see him receive the pink slip. In Martin's last fight he gassed badly against Beneil Dariush and I think he will get caught in a submission inside two rounds.

Rolling into Rio is Team Alpha Male's Andre Fili who is looking to get back in the win column as he faces Felipe Arantes in a featherweight clash. Fili who has a very aggressive striking style matched with a ever improving ground game looks to take the fight to Arantes in a match up I think could be a sleeper for fight of the night. Both guys love to excite the crowd and come forward but when this happens I expect Fili to get the better shots off because of his better movement and hurt Arantes in the process. This will be a back and forth affair but in the end I like Fili by decision.

In this next match up we have two fighters who have been very active this year as Diego Ferriera looks to keep his unbeaten record against Beneil Dariush. This will be Ferriera's third fight in four months and in his previous two fights he has looked impeccable stopping his foes by TKO and Submission. Dariush is coming off a nice finish but it was only after Tony Martin gassed badly he got the stoppage. In a match up of two BJJ black belts I think Ferriera is the better grappler and when he takes the fight to the ground he will finish the fight from there. Also keep in mind that Dariush has been knocked out with one punch before and I believe Ferriera has the potential to do this again but I think he will win by submission here.

Last up is light heavyweight slugger Fabio Maldonado as he faces Dutchmen Hans Stringer in a fight which I think will finish in a stoppage. Maldonado will be returning to his natural weight class after an unsuccessful journey to the big hitting Heavyweight division to face Stipe Miocic, which ended in a quick knockout. However, in his real division Fabio is on a three fight win streak all of which have been via decision. Maldonado's Strengths lie within his technical boxing and ever dependable chin. His game plan will be to get Stringer against the cage and unload from there and I expect him to do this later on in the fight.

Bet 2

William Macario 15/8
Lucas Martins 5/4
Jose Aldo 2/5

This right here is a bet I really like and have already got money on myself. It has two great looking underdogs with a firm favourite in the Champion Jose Aldo.

William "Patolino" Macario returns to the octagon, against in my opinion 2014's most improved fighter in Neil Magny in a welterweight bout. Macario is coming off a dominant performance against Bobby Voelker in which he looked like the star he did on the TUF Brazil show. A fighter who plants his feet and throws with solid power but he has to get inside Magny's long reach if he wants to be successful. Magny is coming off four straight wins in 2014 and has shown improvements everywhere within his game. His August victory over Alex Garcia showed his vast improvements but I think this is a fight too much for him and Macario should get the decision victory.

In the Martins/Elkins match up if Martins can stop Elkins aggressive takedown attempts he will finish this fight late on in my opinion but you can never take an opponent like Elkins lightly who works for everything. However, I see a Martins finish here. In the main event I like Jose Aldo even though I think his days are numbered as champion. I don't see the improvements in Mendes game to take the belt away from him and Aldo can finish him at any time but in my opinion he more likely takes a decisive decision here.

Some nice little bets to keep an eye on are:

Diego Ferriera via Sub 4/1
Phil Davies via Points 10/3
Yan Cabral via KO 11/2

So that was a few bets I like, I wish you all the best with any bets you put on. Good luck!

Conor McGregor vs Dennis Siver to headline UFC Fight Night in Boston, Jan.18

By Alex Dillon @ADillon_

It looks like Conor McGregor will have to wait for his title shot after all.

It was first reported on Thursday that the popular featherweight was in line to face Dennis Siver for a Fight Night in Boston, Massachusetts. The UFC have now made it official as McGregor and Siver will square off in a five-round main event at the TD Garden on Jan. 18.

It will be the second headlining spot in 4 months for McGregor, who first headlined against Brazilian Diego Brandao in his native Dublin, Ireland, this past July at UFC Fight Night 46. McGregor is coming off the most impressive performance of his career after wiping out Dustin Poirier via TKO in the first round back at UFC 178 in September. He has gone 4-0 in the UFC since debuting against Marcus Brimage in 2013 at UFC Stockholm.

With McGregor in Brazil this weekend for UFC 179, which is headlined by Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo for the featherweight title, there had been increased speculation that he might be in line to face the winner. Instead he'll return to Boston, where he defeated Max Holloway via decision back in August 2013 for the inaugural FOX Sports 1 event.

In facing Siver, McGregor will come up against the most experienced fighter he's faced in the UFC.
Siver is currently 11-6-1 in the UFC and has won seven of his last ten fights. With his most recent victory coming over Charles Rosa via Unanimous decision at UFC FIght Night 53 in Stockholm, Sweden.

This bout may not come as a surprise to many as the two ranked featherweights went back and forth over social media after Siver’s victory.

UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver will air on FOX Sports 1.

Loughnane vs Shah & Douglas vs Radman added to BAMMA 17 line up

By Alex Dillon @ADillon_

Credit: BAMMA/Richard Blackburn

BAMMA have today announced two further Featherweight bouts that will feature on the prelims for the stacked BAMMA 17 card at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester on 6th December. Recently signed Zi Shah takes on Brendan Loughnane & Paul Douglas makes his pro debut against Khalad Radman.

Tickets are available here

Zi Shah Vs. Brendan Loughnane (Featherweight)

Zi Shah holds a 6-1 Professional record and the UCFC Featherweight title. He has finished all his winning fights within the first round. Shah's only loss took place at BAMMA 14 where he lost to Andy Craven.

Shah said:

"I have a lot of respect for Brendan as a fighter. I'm training hard & look forward to showcasing my skills against him on 6th December. I wish him well."

Brendan Loughnane is riding high on a current 8-1 record, most recently beating the resilient Ali Maclean via way of TKO in the 2nd round at Full Contact Contender 11.  Brendan fights out of the Manchester Predators, also home to BAMMA legend Rob 'C4' Sinclair.

This will be Brendan's first foray down to Featherweight and he had the following to say: "I decided to drop down as I've always been a small lightweight and now I want to carry my success down to featherweight

"Don't really know anything about him. Hope he's coming prepared because I'm ready to fight!"

Paul Douglas Vs. Khalad Radman (Featherweight)

Paul Douglas fights out of SBG Mainline in Manchester and is making his pro debut at BAMMA 17.  Douglas went undefeated as an amateur with a 6-0 record.  With an aggressive boxing style that he describes as well rounded, Douglas had the following to say:

 "Great to make my Pro debut on a big show like BAMMA in my home city of Manchester.  I promise the fans an explosive performance come fight night."

Khalad Radman currently has an even 1-1 record with his only loss suffered at the hands of BAMMA fighter Zi Shah.  The Featherweight fights out of Team Mushin with a self described 'Unpredictable & Dangerous' style.  Radman said on his fight with Douglas:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles."


Colin Fletcher vs. Michael Brightmon

Walter Gahadza vs. Mickael Lebout

Martin Stapleton vs. Jeremy Petley

Oli Thompson vs. Brett McDermott


Andy Craven vs. Greg Severs

Lee Chadwick Vs. Conor Cooke

Mark Diakiese vs. Kane Mousah

Zi Shah Vs. Brendan Loughnane

Jack McGann Vs. Kayvan Fallah

Khalad Radman Vs. Paul Douglas

Michael Cutting vs. Mike Grundy

Sam Creasey vs. Mick Gerrard

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Swedish UFC fighter Tor Troeng retires from MMA

By Alex Dillon @ADillon_

Credit :BT Sport

Swedish fighter Tor Troeng has decided to call it quits on his MMA career and hang up his gloves.

The TUF 17 vet, who is currently on a three-fight losing streak, took to Facebook page on Wednesday evening to announce the decision.

“After almost 10 years as a professional MMA fighter, it’s time for me to move on,” Troeng stated in his native Swedish. “I have decided to put the gloves on the shelf. The joy and motivation needed to perform at the highest level is no longer with me.

“I love MMA. MMA has given me many memorable moments, hard training, meetings with amazing people, and above all a lot of joy.”

After starting his career in Europe and amassing 11 stoppages along the way, Troeng got his shot in the UFC via Season 17 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” where he fought under coach Chael Sonnen after a submission win over Scott Rosa to get into the house.

In his first fight in the house, he was knocked out by Josh Samman. Still, he got his chance in the UFC and at UFC on FUEL TV 9, he submitted Adam Cella in front of his home fans in Sweden.

Since then, he has dropped 3 unanimous decisions in a row, first was a “Fight of the Night” winner against Rafael Natal in 2013 then after a layoff of about 10 months, he returned in July for UFC Dublin but was outpointed by Trevor Smith. Earlier this month in Stockholm, he dropped a decision to Krzysztof Jotko in what will be his final bout.

After the loss to Jotko, Troeng did seem to contemplate fighting again in his post fight interview so it may not come as a surprise to many.

Audio: Lewis Long looks to prove himself against Matt Inman at Cage Warriors 73

 by Andreas Georgiou - @AGeorgiouMMA

Lewis Long (8-3) revealed his admiration for opponent Matt Inman (13-6) ahead of their welterweight clash at Cage Warriors 73, November 1st at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, in this exclusive interview with Kingdom MMA.

The Mat Academy man will make his second appearance at welterweight, after an impressive 170lb debut against Steve Dinsdale at Cage Warriors 72.  He will now face SBG Manchester’s Inman, who is largely considered one of the toughest fights in the division.

“He’s a good fighter all round, but there are not a lot of specifics I’ve had to work on to be honest.” He added: “I just want to beat him, I’m not thinking about the future, every fights a big fight, just one step at a time… I’ve always wanted to fight Matt.”

The winner of this fight will arguably put themselves in a good position at the top of the welterweight ladder for a future title shot against Nicolas Dalby. However the Welshman stated: “Whoever he is, I don’t really care about him.”

Long also emphasised how much the sport of MMA means to him: “Fighting has given me the life I have now, I don’t want a different life, I love my life, the more I fight the happier I get.”

You can listen the entire interview right here, Long talks more about fight with Inman, moving up to welterweight, his year away from the cage and potential Lew Long merchandise.