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Interview: UFC co-creator Campbell McLaren

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

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

UFC 159 Main Card Results - Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen

Jon Jones defeats Chael Sonnen by TKO Round 1, 4.33

by Ben Heather @benheather

Jon Jones proved once again that he seemingly has no weaknesses, mixing great wrestling with dangerous striking and as he put it "Chael Sonnened Chael Sonnen". In doing so he is now tied with Tito Ortiz's record for 5 consecutive title defenses in the UFC light heavyweight division.

However, he has yet to win back all the fans he lost after the UFC 151 incident. Sonnen is one of MMA's biggest characters and by far one of the best trash talkers, who again like Jones most fans either love him for it or hate him. That aside Sonnen is a very good wrestler, he is still the only person to dominate Anderson Silva during their first title fight in the middleweight division before he ultimately got submitted in the 5th round. However, few believe he had any chance against Jones. He had no UFC wins at light heavyweight going in to this title fight but the fight was made and both Jones and Sonnen became the new coaches opposite one another on the latest series of The Ultimate Fighter.

The fight began and Sonnen presses forward, Jones changes levels and straight away takes Sonnen down. Sonnen makes his way back up and goes all out, they exchange punches from the clinch and Chael seems to connect with some good shots before they separated. They clinch again and Jones takes Sonnen down again. This time Sonnen gets his legs in to the butterfly guard near the cage and from this Sonnen works his way back up and they clinch next to the cage.

 Jones goes for what seems to be a now trademark spinning back elbow but it misses. Jones moves in and slams Sonnen back down and now begins throwing punches and elbows from inside Sonnen's guard. Jones continues to drop down elbows and locks down Sonnen's arm. Sonnen covers up but Jones doesn't let up and then the referee steps in to prevent Sonnen taking anymore damage.

After the fight Jones was about to do his post fight interview when he realised he had a nasty broken toe. Sonnen said he had no problems with the decision to stop the fight and that Jones was the better fighter in his interview after the fight.

UFC 159: What's Next For The Winners?

UFC 159: What's Next For The Winners
by Chris Houten - @houts4thewin

Jon Jones 

Jones will most-likely be out now for 6 to 8 weeks while his toe heals. From there I'd love to see the Jones vs Silva superfight, but I think its more-likely we will see Jones vs Gustaffson or Machida. 

Personally I want to see Machida have another shot at Jones, purely for selfish reasons because I think Machida has the best chance of beating Jones with the style he employs - see round 1 of their previous fight, but realistically Gustaffson deserves the next shot.  

Michael Bisping

Bisping was simply brilliant on Saturday night. His cardio looked fantastic as always, he looked to be hitting harder than normal, and beat a solid striker in Belcher to the punch everytime. 

Bisping will be taking some time off following his win over Belcher to go under the knife, to correct a trapped nerve in his neck. Following the surgery I think a fight against the winner of Phillipou vs Souza should be next for Bisping. The winner of Bisping vs Phillipou / Souza would have a real claim at a title shot in a division which would be crying out for a challenger should Silva be victorious over Weidman........... if the mysterious superfight does not happen. 

Roy Nelson

According to Dana White, Daniel Cormier is most-likely next for Roy Nelson. 

Not gonna lie, I like it, I like it alot. Cormier's hand speed vs Nelson's one punch KO power, Cormier's wrestling vs Roy Nelson's Jui-Jitsu - awesome fight, end of!  

Phil Davis

Phil Davis' striking looked better than ever on Saturday...... but its still not quite there - yet!

I'd like Davis to fight the winner of Texeria / Te Huna next, with the winner in the mix for a title shot.  

Pat Healy

I was really impressed with Pat Healy on Saturday night, not only did he beat a tough opponent in Jim Miller, he finished him - a feat only previously achieved by Nate Diaz in Jim Millers 27 fights. 

Last week in "Fights to make after Fox 7" I wrote I would like to see Josh Thomson take on the winner of Miller and Healy, and I would still like to see that fight happen. It just makes sense - both guys coming over from Strikeforce, both are coming off impressive finish victories over top 10 UFC lightweights, and both seem hungry to carve a place in the top 10 of the UFC lightweight division.

Monday, 29 April 2013

UFC 159 Main Card Results - Vinny Magalhaes vs Phil Davis

Phil Davis defeats Vinny Magalhaes by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Both men talked a lot in the build up to this one but the fight itself left a lot to be desired. Going into the fight the whole MMA world knew the key to Magalhaes winning this fight was his ability to take this fight to the ground. Whether that be a trip or even pulling guard to execute his outstanding Jiu Jitsu game.

Davis stifled him brilliantly but was clearly petrified of getting into a grappling match with Vinny so boxed beautifully from the outside and kept distance very well. He was in and out of range all night landing his combos then taking evasive action to get out again. He executed his gameplan superbly.

Magalhaes really struggled to implement his game plan and couldn't get close enough to Davis for his game to be effective. He briefly had Davis back but an uncharacteristic mistake let Davis of the hook. It wasn't the best fight in the world from either guy but Davis did what he had to do to nullify a world class Jiu Jitsu exponent and will move on a step closer to getting back towards the top of the division.

UFC 159 Main Card Results - Michael Bisping vs Alan Belcher

Michael Bisping defeats Alan Belcher by Technical Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

by John Haigh @JohnBjayHaigh

This fight had massive hype before the fight with both fighters showing a big disliking of one another. Often with fights that have been hyped up like this they usually turn in to a bit of an anti climax, as was the case in this fight.

This fight went “just about” three rounds, more on that later. All three rounds were just about identical. The two men set out very different in this fight, Belcher tried to establish his power punches immediately while Bisping used his hand speed, superior movement and technique.

Bisping quickly took control of the fight, every time Belcher would swing for the fences Bisping would slip out of the way and counter landing every time.

As the fight continued Belcher started to gas with his hands dropped almost showing no respect for Bisping’s striking. Bisping as usual showed no sign off slowing down and continued to push the fight countering and every time landing decent combinations.

Late in the third round Bisping accidentally caught Belcher in the eye with a thumb. This sent Belcher to the mat clearly in significant pain. The doctor was called in and when he finally was able to open his eye it was actually bleeding. This was a very bad sign considering Belcher has already had surgeries on this right eye before and was kept out of the octagon for 16 months, hopefully this is not the case this time.

The fight was stopped there and went to the judges scorecards. Bisping had easily done enough and to no surprise got the decision.

After the fight Bisping was very apologetic about the accidental eye poke and said he has nothing against Belcher and was just promoting the fight with his trash talk pre fight.

UFC 159 Main Card Results - Roy Nelson vs Cheick Kongo

Roy Nelson defeats Cheick Kongo by KO Round 1, 2:03

by John Haigh @JohnBjayHaigh

Despite looking completely different, more like a before and after picture in a diet advert. This was a good match up with both fighters being well rounded possessing KO power.

Round one stated with Kongo trying to keep Nelson at bay with his jab. Nelson was patient and walked his opponent down towards the cage. There was a brief clinch and a few meaningless kicks were exchanged.

Then out of nowhere Nelson landed a sloppy overhand right that dropped Kongo face first to the mat. Nelson swarmed and the landed another big shot finishing Kongo. Nelson didn’t even connect with the first punch properly showing the devastating KO power he has in his right hand.

Nelson won KO of the night and this was his third straight first round KO victory.
When Joe Rogan asked where he got his power from “I get it all from the fans,” “The fans energise me. They’re the reason I knock people out.” Nelson responded.

When asked the ever-looming question posed to all victorious fighters, “What’s next?” Nelson replied, “All I do is, they set ’em up, and I knock ’em down. I want that gold. At UFC 160, whoever wins that, I want ’em!”

After his current run he can’t be far away from getting his wish.

Segio Pettis vs Jeff Curran Headlines RFA 8

Sergio Pettis Meets Jeff Curran in RFA 8 Main Event


This year fight fans can celebrate the first day of summer the MMA way, as Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) announced today that two title fights will be on the line as RFA brings its action-packed, exciting live event to the state of Wisconsin. RFA 8: Pettis vs. Curran, featuring Milwaukee’s best Sergio Pettis and Chicago’s hope Jeff Curran, will take place Friday, June 21 inside the historic The Rave/Eagles Club Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event will also be televised in homes across America live on AXS TV starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

“With two title fights at RFA 8, we are aggressively moving forward with our goal to build RFA as a developmental organization for fighters who want to be in the UFC,” said RFA President Ed Soares. “At RFA 8 we are introducing a new champion at flyweight with a title fight between rising star Sergio Pettis and UFC veteran Jeff Curran. Also, our featherweight champion Jared Downing will attempt his first title defense against decorated wrestler Lance Palmer. We are excited to bring RFA to Milwaukee and honored to work with AXS TV to present our fights on live national television across the U.S.” 

 The RFA 8 main event will feature Sergio "The Phenom" Pettis (7-0) and Jeff "Big Frog" Curran (33-15-1). The two will square off in a much-anticipated battle for the inaugural RFA flyweight title.

Pettis vs. Curran is a contrast of two fighters who represent entirely separate eras in MMA. Pettis is still a teenager and is widely considered the next big thing at 125-pounds, while Curran is a 50-fight veteran who made his MMA debut when Pettis was only four-years-old. Pettis is a flashy kickboxer, he is unbeaten in 7 pro fights, and has a penchant for delivering devastating knockouts. Curran is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and is the only man ever to fight for the six promotions now owned by Zuffa: UFC, PRIDE, WFA, IFL, WEC, and Strikeforce.

“It’s an honor to be fighting Jeff Curran, because I grew up watching him on TV and I know he’s fought the best in every top MMA organization out there, including former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra,” said Pettis. “It's awesome knowing that I’m fighting him for the first-ever RFA flyweight title in the main event of the RFA in my home town.” 

The tale of the tape shows these two fighters share identical measurements as they both stand 5’6”, weigh 125 lbs. and have a 69-inch reach. Living roughly 80-miles apart, they represent a traditional sports rivalry between the cities of Milwaukee and Chicago. The “I-94 Rivalry” will be in full-effect at RFA 8.

Over the course of Curran's storied career, he has fought the who's who of MMA in the world's biggest organizations, but the opportunity to fight Pettis for the RFA flyweight title really intrigues him.

“The chance to fight a young guy like Sergio is really exciting to me,” said Curran. “His pedigree, where he trains, the fact that Anthony Pettis is his big brother, and all of their success is really impressive. I know this will be a fun fight for everyone.” 

The co-main event of RFA 8 is also a title fight, as RFA featherweight champion Jared "Demon Eyes" Downing (10-1) attempts to defend his title for the first time against four-time All-American wrestler turned undefeated MMA fighter Lance "The Party" Palmer (5-0).

 Downing is a standout fighter at Hard Drive MMA in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At RFA 1, he defeated TUF 14 alumni Eric Marriott. Three months later, he would fight and defeat highly-touted Brazilian prospect Alessandro "Zoio" Ferreira at RFA 2. That win earned Downing a shot at the RFA featherweight title last November as the main event of RFA 5. He gave the unbeaten TUF 15 alum Jordan Rinaldi his first loss in a dominant five-round unanimous decision.

 Downing is now ready to defend his title against one of the most talented featherweight prospects in the sport.

"I'm happy that I get to fight Lance, who comes from a great camp like Team Alpha Male. He is a really good wrestler, but he has to bring more to the table in this fight. This will be an exciting fight, but I'm bringing my belt back home to Iowa," said RFA featherweight champion Downing. 

Downing's stifling wrestling base and relentless cage control will be put to the test against Palmer, who is one of the most decorated wrestlers in Ohio's state history. His time at wrestling powerhouse St. Edward High School, where he won four state titles, was the centerpiece of the award-winning documentary Pinned. Palmer was also voted one of the "Top 50 Athletes of the Decade" by, Ohio's leading source of high school sports. Palmer went on to become a four-time NCAA Division I All-American in wrestling at The Ohio State University.

Now Palmer is looking forward to adding the RFA featherweight title to his long list of athletic accolades.

“I don't know much about Jared Downing, but I have watched tape on him and know he likes to move forward and go hard,” said Palmer. “I'm definitely looking to bring it. It's going to be a fun fight, but ultimately I'm leaving with the win and the belt.” 

RFA 8 will also feature three famous siblings. Along with Sergio Pettis, who is the younger brother of UFC #1 featherweight contender Anthony Pettis, RFA 8 will also feature the promotional debut of Keoni Koch (5-0) and Chinzo Machida (1-2). Koch is the older brother of former UFC #1 featherweight contender Erik Koch, while Machida is the older brother of former UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

Koch and Machida will be dropping down to their natural weight classes for the first time in their respective careers.

Koch will fight Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Pedro Munhoz (7-0) at bantamweight, while the Karate master Machida will face Milwaukee native James Barber (2-0) at featherweight.

Also on the main card, hometown favorite and Roufusport standout Mike "Biggie" Rhodes (4-1) battles Wisconsin native and Minnesota Martial Arts Academy representative Benjamin Smith (6-1) at welterweight. Meanwhile, Smith's undefeated teammate Dan "The Hitman" Moret (4-0) will face local standout Jose Pacheco (7-3) in a featherweight bout.

The main card of RFA 8: Pettis vs. Curran will be televised live on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Friday, June 21

UFC 159 Main Card Results - Jim Miller vs Pat Healy

Pat Healy defeats Jim Miller by Rear Naked Choke Round 3, 4:02

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

In the battle of the beards Pat Healy took his chance to prove he belongs in the UFC in his return to the octagon. The fight opened up the PPV and many expected an exciting battle that could potentially win Fight of the night. That's exactly what we got.

Jim Miller coming off an exciting fight of the year contender with Joe Lauzon, came out very aggressive in the 1st round. He went after Healy trying to end the fight early with power strikes. Healy however had the know how to survive the early onslaught.

As clearly as Healy knew he lost the 1st round he also knew he tuned the tables on a tiring Miller in the second with an effective ground game. As the old saying goes styles make fights and this stylistic clash was great. In a topsy turvey fight where both men found success,  Healy eventually took control of the fight in the 3rd and final round.

The effective ground game on a tiring Miller finally paid dividends with a late submission. Healy managed to sneak his hooks in to complete a rear naked choke after a long battle. Miller is as tough as they come and you could tell he was never going to tap out. Healy squeezed it in and put Miller to sleep to win a brilliant fight.

Healy was on quite a tear in Strikeforce before the promotion folded He will be pleased to prove he belongs in the upper echelons of the Lightweigt division after beating a perennial contender like Jim Miller. He has always been in contention himself though. He was twice scheduled to fight the ex Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez before the fights fell through due to injury.

Gilbert Melendez would be a logical fight for the UFC to make next for Healy but I believe the UFC will want to avoid putting Strikeforce fighters in with each other too early. Not that Healy will care who he gets next. He won impressively on his return to the UFC after a long 7 year absence. That's all that mattered to him. In his words "All the 155ers out there, I'm putting you on blast,"

Did Anderson Silva Call Dana White and Ask for Jon Jones Following UFC 159?

Could A Super Fight Actually Happen?

by John Haigh @JohnBjayHaigh

A potential super fight in the UFC is never far away from the news at the moment and after about two years of talking it might finally happen with a bombshell dropped at the UFC 159 post fight press conference.

Chael Sonnen was sounding off about a potential super fight between his former nemesis long time Middleweight champion Anderson Silva and his most recent conqueror Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

“If you’re gonna go fight a guy, go fight a guy. It drives me crazy, man. People are out talking about Anderson and Jon – these guys, right now, should be begging (Dana White) to fight each other,” proclaimed a heated Sonnen."
“But it’s not gonna go that way. You got these two guys, and they’re great, but they’re a couple of chickens. They should be calling each other out."

“They should be grabbing the mic and saying, ‘Hey, I want to fight that guy! I don’t want the debate. I want this figured out. Dana, give me a date. I want this figured out. Give me the fight.’"

“But it won’t happen that way. Dana’s gonna have to call these guys, and they’re gonna have to dangle a carrot. And then they’re gonna want to negotiate. We’re in the fight business, if you don’t want to fight, then don’t raise your hand.”

That’s when UFC President Dana White dropped a bombshell

“It actually did happen tonight. Anderson called and he wants the fight tonight.”
Wait, what? am I hearing this right?
Dana continued “It did happen. Anderson called and he wants the fight, and I’m not going to tell you which one it is, but I’m going to get to work on it as soon as possible.”

It may not be that hard to work out with GSP all but ruling himself out of any potential super fight with the spider.

If Silva gets past his next opponent Chris Weidman at UFC 162 in July uninjured it wouldn’t be that hard to make the fight happen as Jones will be out for a few months with his nasty broken toe and by the time he’s good to go again Silva will have fought Weidman.

If the fight does happen it will be the biggest fight in the UFC’s 20 year history and will likely take place in a huge venue given is marketability.

Nothing is being confirmed yet but there has finally been a massive step toward it actually happening in the not to distant future.

Keep checking Kingdom MMA for any further updates on this evolving story.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Norman Parke vs Kazuki Tokudome Added to UFC 162

TUF Smashes Winner Norman Parke Meets Kazuki Tokudome at UFC 162
by Chris Houten - @houts4thewin

A Lightweight match up between British fighter Norman Parke and Japanese prospect Kazuki Tokudome has been added to UFC 162.

Featuring a UFC middleweight title fight between current champion Anderson Silva and undefeated contender Chris Weidman, UFC 162 takes place July 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Parke (17-2, 1-0 UFC) winner of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes will be entering the cage for this first time since his December victory over Colin Fletcher to earn him The Smashes title. Parke was previously scheduled to face John Tuck at this past weekends UFC on Fox 7 card, however Parke was pulled from the card when Tuck withdraw from injury on 1 weeks notice, and The UFC was unable to find a replacement.

7-1 in his past eight fights, his opponent Tokudome (12-3, 1-0 UFC), a Pancrase and Sengoku veteran, made his UFC debut in his native Japan at March's UFC on Fuel 8 where beat Christiano Marcello by unanimous decision. 

The UFC 162 matchup marks just the second time, 26-year-old Tokudome has fought outside of Japan.

With the addition to the card, UFC 162 now includes:
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman - For The UFC Middleweight Title 
Chan Sung Jung vs. Ricardo Lamas
Tim Boetsch vs. Mark Munoz
Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira
Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson
Roger Gracie vs. Tim Kennedy
Andrew Craig vs. Chris Leben
Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon
Shane Del Rosario vs. Dave Herman
Edson Barboza vs. John Makdessi
Norman Parke vs. Kazuki Tokudome
David Mitchell vs. Mike Pierce*

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Merits of Super Fights

Super fights, should they happen??

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

Are there any real super fights?
This has suddenly become quite a big topic. GSP vs Anderson Silva has always been Mooted and more recently everyone wants to see Jon Jones vs Anderson Silva. But now we also have Benson Henderson wanting to step up to fight GSP. Aldo wants to go up to 155. GSP possibly wants to avoid Hendricks again to finally fight Anderson.

This should not be allowed in my opinion. People like Hendricks fully deserves his title shot. Where is the incentive to take difficult fights if you are not rewarded? If you can just trash talk your way to a title shot instead of actually earning one.

It makes a mockery of the sport if people that earn title shots don't actually get them. If Henderson or St Pierre want to test themselves against another champion then that's fine, but you have to vacate the belt. Without a full ranking system implemented that seems the only fair option to me. Super fights should only occur when there is no viable contender to give the division time to work itself out.

GSP was out for 18 months recovering from injury. This put the division on hold. He came back and legitimately defended against Carlos Condit. He then held up the division again by taking the Nick Diaz fight who did not deserve a title shot. If he decides to fight Anderson next he's putting the division on hold again for another year. How can this possibly be fair?

I think the UFC need to put in place some rules for its champions. We all want to see the best fighting the best. That is the UFC's major pulling point over boxing, we don't want politics to affect title shots. At a push I can understand how team mates don't want to fight each other, but if that's the case then they should go up or down in weight to avoid that happening. That is where the politics should end in my opinion.

In my opinion the UFC also need to look at a rule for its champions in case of injuries. The fact Dominic Cruz is coming up to 2 years out and is still the UFC Bantamweight champion, is in my book ridiculous. At the minute no one knows where we stand though. I believe going forward with a rule in place it would be better for everyone involved and lead to people thinking one fighter is being treated differently to another if they are both in the same position.

Video: Cage Warriors 54: Cardiff (Preview)

Video: Cage Warriors 54: Cardiff (Preview)

CAGE Warriors Fighting Championship returns to Cardiff on Saturday, May 4, to stage the biggest mixed martial arts event ever to come to Wales.

Cage Warriors 54, which takes place at the Motorpoint Arena, will be headlined by a CWFC middleweight title bout between champion Jesse Taylor and Welsh favourite John Phillips.
The event’s main card will stream live, worldwide and free of charge on (USA & Canada), (Ireland), (Italy) and (rest of the world) at 9pm local time (4pm ET/1pm PT).

Several bouts on the preliminary card will also stream live on Facebook. Further details will be available shortly.

Tickets for Cage Warriors 54, priced from just £25 (plus booking fee), are available to purchase HERE.

Jesse Taylor (champion) v John Phillips - middleweight title bout
Diego Gonzalez v Danny Roberts
Jason Ball v Ivan Buchinger
Mark Glover v Lew Long
Martin McDonough v TBA
Matt Inman v TBA
Kris Edwards v Shaj Haque
Brett Johns v James MacAlister
Steve McCombe v Joe Orrey
Jamie Rogers v Brad Wheeler
Rob Leybourne v Owain Parry

Cage Warriors Adds Petrescu, Hewitt, Griffiths to Their Roster

Cage Warriors Adds to its Talented Roster
by Chris Houten - @houts4thewin

Leading European promotion Cage Warriors has added talented English-based trio Valentino Petrescu, Spencer Hewitt and Chad Griffiths to its roster.

Petrescu (pictured) who holds a 12-3 professional record is most famous for his stink on TUF Smashes. Widely considered in the top 15 of UK Middleweights, the Romanian born fighters only losses have come to high level fighters in Jimi Manuwa, Beslan Isaev, and Lee Chadwick

All of Petrescu's victories have come by first round stoppage. 

Hewitt, a former UCMMA interim-bantamweight champion joins Cage Warriors with 10-5 record which included 9 first round stoppages.

Having previously fought for Bamma and UCMMA, BJJ Blackbelt Hewitt holds notable wins over Cory Tait,  CWFC veteran Ben Hajir.

Finally, unbeaten prospect Chad Griffiths makes the drop to featherweight to join Cage Warriors.

Undefeated in 4 outings, Griffiths has won all of his fights by stoppage, finishing three of his four opponents inside the first round.

Petrescu, Hewitt, and Griffiths all join on five-fight deals, committing them exclusively to the organisation for the next 18 months.

Friday, 26 April 2013

UFC 159: Weigh In Results

Weigh in Results for UFC 159

by Ben Heather @benheather

Tomorrow will see UFC 159 live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The main event will see Jon Jones attempt to defend his UFC World Light Heavyweight title when he faces Chael Sonnen.

The two have recently been opposing coaches on the latest series of The Ultimate Fighter and now its time for the talking to stop and time for them to get in to the octagon to see who is the better fighter. Earlier today they both stepped on to the scales and made weight to make the fight official.

Also on the card is the fights between Michael Bisping vs Alan Belcher and Vinny Magalhaes vs Phil Davis both of these fights have become personal with insults going back and forth between the fighters. This will hopefully lead to some good fights for all of us fans to watch.

UFC 159 Full Weigh-in Results:

Jon Jones (205) vs Chael Sonnen (205)

Alan Belcher (185) vs Michael Bisping (186)

Cheick Kongo (237) vs Roy Nelson (258)

Phil Davis (205) vs Vinny Magalhaes (205.5)

Pat Healy (155.5) vs Jim Miller (155)

Johnny Bedford (136) vs Bryan Caraway (136)

Ovince St. Preux (206) vs Gian Villante (206)

Sheila Gaff  (133) vs Sara McMann (134)

Rustam Khabilov (156) vs Yancy Medeiros (155.5)

Leonard Garcia (145) vs Cody McKenzie (145)

Nick Catone (173) vs James Head (170.25)*

Kurt Holobaugh (145) vs Steven Siler (145.25)

*Catone will forfeit 20 percent of his fight purse after coming in 2 lbs overweight.

Vladimir Matysushenko Signs for Bellator

Bellator Sign UFC Vet Vladimir Matysushenko 

At 42 years old, Vladimir Matyushenko has seen it all. From earning three submission victories in one night, to taking down opponents like Antônio “Little Nog” Nogueira, Travis Wiuff, Pedro Rizzo and Jason Lambert. Armed with one of the best wrestling backgrounds in the sport, “The Janitor” has signed with Bellator MMA, and will debut soon live on Spike TV.

“Vladimir is a fighter I’ve watched for years.  He’s an exciting fighter with an incredible wrestling background and a great pedigree in our sport.  When the opportunity presented itself and we had the chance to have him join the Bellator family it was a very easy decision to make,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “With our Champion Attila Vegh sitting at the top of the mountain right now, and with guys like Emanuel Newton, Mikhail Zayats and King Mo coming on strong, the light heavyweight division for Bellator continues to evolve and Vladimir should fit in perfectly to that mix.”

“Bellator is one of the biggest promotions in the world, and to be associated with them is an honor,” Matyushenko said. “I am optimistic and excited to work with Bellator. The amount of respect and honor I felt from Bjorn and the entire Bellator team was tremendous, and getting into the Bellator cage and cementing my legacy as a Bellator World Champion is the only thing on my mind.”

Matyushenko will make his promotional debut live on Spike in a non-tournament fight that will be announced shortly.

Matt Mitrione returns to work

Matt Mitrione Returns From Suspension to Face Brendan Schaub at UFC on Fox 8

 by John Haigh @JohnBjayHaigh

On Wednesday several bouts were added to UFC on Fox 8, in one Matt Mitrione returns from suspension to fight another former NFL player in Brendan Schaub.

After an impressive 19 second KO of Phil De Fries in his last fight, Mitrione quickly landed himself in trouble with UFC officials over comments he made about the transgender fighter Fallon Fox on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour. He was suspended for breach of contract and was hit with a heavy fine. However just two weeks after the incident Mitrione is back from suspension and booked to fight.

The two fighters both made there way to the octagon by the way of TUF 10: The Heavyweights, as part of Team Evans they never fought on the show but that changes on July 27th in Seattle.

Both fighters won there last fight after back to back losses in the cage and both will be keen to turn it in to back to back wins come fight night.

UFC 159 - UK Betting Odds

UFC 159 - UK Betting Odds

With UFC 159 approaching at a rapid pace, we team up with partners William Hill to bring those who fancy a little flutter the latest clear cut, betting odds - Good Luck, and don't miss out on your free £25 bet below!

Main Card

1/9 Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen 11/2 - For The UFC Light-Heavyweight Title
4/7 Michael Bisping vs Alan Belecher 11/8
4/9 Roy Nelson vs Cheick Kongo 7/4
3/10 Phil Davis vs Vinny Magalhaes 5/2
2/7 Jim Miller vs Pat Healy 5/2

Preliminary Card

1/7 Sara McMann vs Shelia Gaff 4/1
13/8 Gian Villante vs Ovince St. Preux 4/9
1/3 Rustam Khabilov vs Yancy Medeiros 9/4
6/5 Nick Catone vs James Head 8/13
8/15 Leonard Garcia vs Cody McKenzie 11/8
4/6 Steven Siler vs Kurt Holobaugh 11/10

* Blue denotes The Favourite

William Hill Sports

Two more fights added to UFC on FOX 8

Flyweight Title fight to headline UFC on FOX 8

by Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

UFC on FOX 8 takes place July 27 in Seattle, Washington and it look like we have our complete card with the announcement of the headline fight.

Demetrious Johnson (17-2-1 MMA 5-1-1 UFC) and current UFC Flyweight Champion  is back from injury. He meets John Moraga (12-1 MMA 2-0 UFC) as his number 1 contender in a match that was briefly linked to the TUF17 Finale before injury scuppered that after surgery was needed to fix a torn labrum on Johnson's right shoulder.

This is a bit of a filler fight as the flyweight division searches for some order and gives a chance for new contenders to emerge. Johnson is the first and only UFC flyweight champion after coming through the tournament to kick the division off with a win over Ian McCall in the semis and defeating the highly rated Joseph Benavidez for the title. He defended his title for the 1st time at a previous FOX event UFC on Fox 6 where he beat John Dodson via decision.

 The card also got a boost with another intriguing fight added. Miesha Tate will try to get back on the title trail after her knockout loss to Cat Zingano with a fight against Liz Carmouche a former contender who was beaten by Ronda Rousey last time out. The division is very shallow at the moment so a win for either fighter puts them straight back into contention.

Edwards and Fisher to meet at UFC on FOX 8

Lightweight Veterans to meet at UFC on FOX 8

by Tommy Strong @Strong_tea

Two lightweight veterans Yves Edwards & Spencer Fisher will face off in the octagon at UFC on Fox 8, which is to take place at Key Arena in Seattle Washington on June 27th 2013.

Edwards (42-19-1) will be looking to bounce back after a tight split decision loss to Isaac Vallie-Flagg at UFC 156. Before that he won knockout of the night at UFC On FOX 5 in December, when he knocked out Jeremy Stephens within 2 minutes. If the form of his previous 6 fights are anything to go by then he should win this fight. He is 3-3 in his last 6 fights with a win being followed by a loss every time. He will be hoping that continues with a win over Fisher.

His opponent Fisher (24-9) has lost his last 3 fights and has only won one 1 fight in his last 6, he really has his back up against the wall to save his UFC career. By the time the fight comes around it would've been a year since Fisher last fought, in which was a 'fight of the night' defeat to Sam Stout.

Another defeat for Fisher would surely see the curtain brought down on his MMA career, if not his MMA career I imagine it will for his UFC career.

Writer vs Fighter - UFC 159 Main Card Picks Challenge - Heather vs Barnatt

UFC fighter Luke Barnatt challenges Kingdom MMA in a picks challenge

by Ben Heather @benheather

Welcome to Kingdom MMA's inaugural writer vs fighter challenge.

For this challenge we will be challenging some big names from the world of MMA to give us their picks and fight outcomes for specific MMA events. Then they will be challenged by one of our writers, who will make their own predictions.

For this first event we will be predicting the fight outcomes from UFC 159 which is headlined by Chael Sonnen challenging Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship. As this is the coaches fight at the end of the latest series of TUF, there was only one person we wanted to do the writer vs fighter challenge against.... As we said earlier we will be challenging some big names from the world of MMA and coming in at 6'6 there are not many guys bigger than "Bigslow" himself Luke Barnatt.

Luke Barnatt was part of Team Sonnen on the latest series of TUF where he made the quarter finals on the show. After filming for the show finished he spent the next few months training with Chael to prepare for his fight with Collin Hart at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale as well as helping Chael prepare for his fight this weekend against Jon Jones.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Luke this past week and he gave us one of the most open and in depth interviews Kingdom MMA has had, which can be read here. At the same time he provided us with his predictions for UFC 159.

The Scoring 

If you predict the correct winner of the fight you will get one point and if you predict the correct method of victory you will get an extra bonus point and if the fight ends in a stoppage and you predict the round as well you could earn a third point. If the fight goes the distance you can only earn a maximum of two points.

The predictions:

Main Event: Jon Jones vs Chael Sonnen

Luke: Mr Chael P Sonnen via devastating beatdown... pretty much a sequel of the Silva beating... but with a much happier ending.

Prediction: Sonnen

Ben: I cant look past Jon Jones in this fight, realistically he should still be undefeated and nobody has still looked like testing him. For that reason I can't predict anything other than a Jones win. However I do think Chael will put up one of the hardest tests that Jones has had yet.

Prediction: Jones by TKO Round 4

Co Main Event: Michael Bisping vs Alan Belcher

Luke: Michael has Alan beat everywhere... I see this being a 1st round stoppage. Bisping has fire brewing inside from the Belfort fight. he'll come out fast and hard.

Prediction: Bisping by TKO Round 1

Ben: I agree with Luke, I think Bisping wants to win this fight more than any other in his career so far. Yes obviously he wanted to win his last one which would have got him a title shot but if he losses this weekend he may struggle to get back up the ranks again. A win is vital and I predict Bisping to win on points.

Prediction: Bisping by Unanimous Decision

Roy Nelson vs Cheick Kongo

Luke: Who Cares??

Prediction: N/A

Ben: I think this is another fight where Nelson will finish the fight early, Kongo has had his chin tested a few times and buckled and nobody hits harder than Nelson.

Prediction: Nelson by KO Round 1

Phil Davis vs Vinny Magalhaes

Luke: Vinny Magalhaes via 2nd round Leg Lock ;)

Prediction: Magalhaes by Submission Round 2

Ben: I again agree with Luke on this fight I think the underdog will come through and pick up the win. Davis is a good fighter and his record shows that but I think Vinny has enough to be in a position at some point to get hold of a limb and keep hold of it long enough to finish the fight. Most likely via an armbar.

Prediction: Magalhaes by Submission Round 3

Jim Miller vs Pat Healy

Luke: This is a tough one... but after what Miller did to Lauzon, I can't see a way he can lose this fight.

Prediction: Miller

Ben: Miller wins this fight for me 9/10 and I don't think Saturday will be the exception. Healy has been on a great run lately and should have had his chance to fight for the Strikeforce title but against Miller I don't think he will be able to enforce his game plan and Miller will be able to pick up a tough, hard fought Unanimous Decision victory.

If its anything like his fight with Lauzon we will be in for a treat.

Prediction: Miller by Unanimous Decision

So that's our predictions for this fights, we will be live tweeting on Saturday night as always and we will keep you all informed as to how the challenge is going with latest scores throughout the main card.

Thanks again to Luke for providing us with his picks for this weekends fights and it just leaves me to say.... May the best man win!!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

UFC 159 Main Card Predictions

Kingdom MMA: UFC 159 Main Card Predictions

by Tommy Strong @strong_tea and Jack Broadey @J3cK_b

On Saturday night we will finally be able to put an end to the legacy of UFC 151 as Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen meet in the octagon at UFC 159. The two have recently been coaches on the latest series of The Ultimate Fighter in which Kelvin Gastelum from Team Sonnen won the contract to the UFC.

A lot of people have got an opinion as to whether or not Chael deserves this title shot but the talking will end on Saturday night and we will find out who the better man is.

Below you will find the predictions from some of the guys at Kingdom MMA for the main card.

Jon Jones (17-1) LHW Champ vs Chael Sonnen (27-12-1) #9 MW

Tommy: I feel this match up was more to do with boosting the TUF series ratings than it was to do with the fight, one in which Chael shouldn't be anywhere near. But that's a different topic altogether.

We all know Chael is the most entertaining fighter in the UFC and certainly has brought more hype to this fight. He may have won the battle of the TUF series, but it will be Jon Jones that wins the war!

Chael's wrestling is one of the best in the UFC, but Jones has shown he's very hard to take down with a 100% take down defence in all of his UFC fights. I find it impossible to find a way that Chael can win this fight. Even if Chael can get him to the ground, he's very vulnerable to submissions.

Prediction: Jones by TKO Round 2

Jack: I believe this could get more interesting than people think. Sonnen without doubt has the game to put Jones on his back. Although Rashad struggled to take there fight to the ground I believe Sonnen is the better wrestler. That being said Jones should work his way up and deal with Sonnen. Not as quickly or as easily as some think though.

Prediction: Jones by Submission Round 3

Michael Bisping (23-5) #4 MW vs Alan Belcher (18-7) #10 MW

Jack: I think this is a good fight for Bisping. Belcher is actually quite good everywhere and probably has the edge in jiu jitsu. For that advantage to come into play though he has to get Bisping down or rock him. I don't see either happening. Belcher doesn't deal well with pressure.  Something Bisping happens to be excellent at with his gas tank.

I think we see the old Bisping pressure style here maybe looking for a clinch for some Knees.

Prediction: Bisping by TKO from Ground and Pound following knees in the clinch Round 3

Tommy: I feel this really is the last chance saloon for Bisping to get the title shot he probably deserves.

Belcher will prove a very stern test for him on Saturday night. Belcher has a brilliant ground game and that was shown against Palhares, that he can submit very good fighters. Though Bisping has proved time and time again he has one of the best take down defences, and showed against Sonnen he's difficult to take down and keep down.

Bisping has a lot to prove after his loss to Belfort and after a lot of trash talking I feel he's going to back up and stop Belcher for the first time in his career.

Prediction: Bisping by TKO Round 2

Roy Nelson (18-7) #6 HW vs Cheick Kongo (18-7-2)

Tommy: Not ashamed to admit it, but I'm a massive Roy Nelson fan. Since winning the Ultimate Fighter back in 2009, I've really taken to him. He has a granite chin, and power that can knock out any heavyweight fighter!

I don't think Kongo has the power to knockout 'Big Country' and would be wise to keep the fight at range and pick his way to victory.  But at some point Roy will get close to him and land something heavy on Cheick and knock him out.

Prediction: Roy Nelson by KO Round 1

Jack: This fight to me should be easy to pick and see how it plays out. Of course we all know this is MMA and anything can happen though. I will keep this one brief. Both men hit hard. Only Nelson has a good chin. That points to one thing for me.

Prediction: Nelson by KO Round 2

Phil Davis (10-1-1) #8 LHW vs Vinny Magalhães (10-5-1)

Jack: This is classic wrestler vs grappler match up. What's the best weapon Wrestling or BJJ?

I'm a firm believer that a solid wrestling practitioner with some solid defensive BJJ should be able to shutdown the offensive BJJ side with good positioning and strikes. Although Vinny is a threat here I see Davis having enough know how to keep out of submissions.

Prediction: Davis by Decision

Tommy: Both fighters seem to have a dislike for each other after a war of words over twitter. Magalhaes is brilliant on the ground with 8 out his 10 wins coming from submission. Though getting a world class wrestler like Davis to the ground will be near on impossible. Giving Davis a huge advantage on their feet.

This is not really a fight I'm looking forward too and I find Davis one of the most boring fighters in the UFC, but he is a tough fighter to beat and will dictate where the fight goes. For this reason I can see Davis winning a UD.

Prediction: Davis by Unanimous Decision

Jim Miller (22-4) #4 LW vs Pat Healy (29-16)

Tommy: Jim Miller really impressed me in his fight of the night (year) win against Joe Lauzon back in December.

Pat Healy comes into the fight on a 6 fight win streak, and since moving down to lightweight he's looked a top contender, with only injuries to Gilbert Melendez costing him the opportunity to fight for the StrikeForce Lightweight belt.

This could have fight of the night written all over it. Both very tough and pressure fighters who come to fight. I think Miller has a more rounded game than Healy and will just edge this. Though I wouldn't be surprised at all if Pat Healy was to get a decision in a very close fight.

Prediction: Jim Miler by Split Decision

Jack: This fight really excites me and is my pick for fight of the night. Great fight to open the card with and it's a tough one. Healy is on a role of late coming in from Strikeforce. Miller is always tough whoever he's put in with. I see a lot of action on the mat and Miller should be able to control the majority of rounds.

Prediction: Miller by Decision

Dana White speaks about a Tyson Fury vs Cain Velasquez fight

Could Tyson Fury fight in the UFC 

by Ben Heather @benheather

Tyson Fury vs Cain Velasquez in the UFC may not be as much of a long shot match up as everyone expected it to be after all.

Dana White today told Tyson Fury to "Come on over, we'll make a deal"

Before his fight on Saturday night which Fury won to give him a professional boxing record of 21-0, he gave an interview with ESPN where he described MMA as "rubbish". He also told them that he has called out Cain Velasquez three times but nothing has come from it..... yet.

So today Dana White took matters in to his own hands and said that he would accept the offer on behalf of his fighter and current UFC heavyweight champion.

"You want to fight Cain? Come on over her" "You will get smashed" White said during the fans Q and A ahead of this weekends UFC 159 event in New Jersey.

Could Tyson Fury become the next James Toney and go from champion boxer to MMA fighter, if he is he will certainly have his hands full by calling out the UFC Heavyweight champion. Velasquez, destroyed Junior Dos Santos in his last fight to recapture the belt.

Keep checking Kingdom MMA for the latest news on this story as well as all the news from the world of MMA.

Joanne Calderwood talks win at Cage Warriors 53 and fighting again for Invicta

Kingdom MMA Interview Joanne Calderwood after her Cage Warriors 53 win

by Ben Heather @benheather

At Cage Warriors 53 Joanne Calderwood improved her MMA record to 6-0 with a devastating TKO victory against Sally Krumdiack and today Kingdom MMA again got the privilege to ask Joanne some questions, this time about her fight and her future.

Firstly Joanne congratulations to you on your win at cage warriors 53, did you feel any emotions when you made your way to the cage in your hometown on Saturday night?
Every time I make my way to the cage/ ring its usually always the same drill, I just listen to my song and try to stay calm. I actually hate the walk in but there is no emotions at that point or in the fight for me. I only feel stuff after the fight, there's no place in a fight for emotion.

What did you make of the crowd? It sounded to me like the whole arena was shaking when you made your entrance.
I knew there was going to be a lot of support there but tried not to concentrate on that. I always look forward to catching up with everyone after the fight when I don't need to focus and be in the zone. I was actually surprised talking to people that i didn't know after the show that they were there just to see me fight because they are following my career. Any support other than my family and gym family is a bonus so I was even happier Saturday night. I've heard the atmosphere was crazy for my fight but I'm not the type to notice it at the time.

How did you rate your performance?
On a scale of 1-10.......6 it's cool I got to show case my boxing in this one, that was new but I've still got a lot of show.

Did Krumdiack fight how you expected and how you had trained for in the cage?
No she didn't, but like I always say I expect everything when I go in there. You can think about the fight to go a hundred million different ways and it could still be different. My coaches expected Sally to rush forward and try hold or take me down against the fence sooner, the one time she did rush I caught her.

Just before the end of the fight Krumdiack made her first and only mistake by missing with a spinning back fist, you made her pay for this and got the stoppage.
Can you talk us through the end of the fight?
I backed Sally up to the fence and as she tried to spin for the Backfist I teeped her off balance, basic Muay Thai, Sally scrambled up and rushed forward punching, I adjusted my range and dropped her with a check uppercut, I knew Mark Goddard was a bit away so I followed her down and hit her until he stopped it in case Sally recovered.

At the time I thought there was a gap in the knock down and the next few shots but when I seen it back I was on her pretty quick which I'm happy about, killer instinct is never anything I've been lacking I like when that shows.

Do you pride yourself on the fact that it only took one mistake by your opponent for you to finish the fight?
I think at this level it only takes one mistake by either fighter,I think one mistake will be the difference between winning and losing, that's why there's no place in my fights for emotions and concentration is so important. I fight doing my best to not make mistakes if the other girl does I'll jump on it.

Have you watched the fight back, if so did you spot any areas for you to improve on?
Yeah I've watched it back, I was back in gym the Monday going over things and I found out on the Wednesday that there was a grappling competition on in the town I was going to for a wedding so I jumped in on that and won my division which was cool as I didn't get to grapple during the Cage Warriors fight.

I love the quote and I've took it on for the way I'm looking at my future....'Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. ' goals obviously being fights ;) I'm always going to be looking to improve every area of my game.

Did you come away fit and healthy from the fight?
Yeah although after a few days off the diet now I don't know about healthy ;)

Your next fight has just been announced, what do you make of your opponent and how many fights away from a title fight possibly with Carla Esparza are you?
My next fight is at Invicta 6 against a great Brazilian fighter Claudia Gahdela who's 9-0, a BJJ blackbelt and from nova unioa, Jose Aldo's team so that's all I will be focusing on for now. Claudia was meant to fight Carla at Invicta 4 but got injured training, I guess the winner of this fight will be next in line for who ever has the belt after Invicta 6. What's for me won't go by me.

Do you think the Krumdiack fight could be the last time you get to fight in the UK for a while, if so are you happy you got to put on a great show in your home town as a parting gift to the UK scene?
I enjoy fighting abroad so I can stay in hotels and steal the wee soaps, towels and bath robes to sell them back in the scheme. ( my team mates Paul and carpet wanted to help with this interview and l promised I'd keep at least one of their answers in).

I'm going to be tied to Invicta which keeps me in the US but if a big opportunity came up I'm sure Invicta would let me fight in the UK, there is nothing in the foreseeable future so it could be a long time before I fight in Glasgow again. I suppose if it was to be my last home fight it couldn't have gone much better. KO of the night on a big international show.

Would you like to say thanks to anyone?
Thank you for the interview. Thanks to Cage Warriors for having me on and Invicta for giving me permission to stay active I can't wait to get back there though its starting to feel like home.

If anyone is looking to sponsor me for my next 6 fights in USA please get in touch with your support would be much appreciated.

Thank you again for your time Joanne and we all at Kingdom MMA look forward to seeing you fight at Invicta 6.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Lightweight battle added to UFC on FOX 8

UFC on FOX 8 adds a Lightweight battle

by Jack Broadey @J3ck_b

Another lightweight fight has been added to July's UFC on FOX 8 event, as Michael Chiesa (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) meets Reza Madadi (13-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC). UFC on FOX 8 takes place July 27. With the headline fight still to be announced.

Chiesa was the surprise winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 15" upsetting Al Iaquinta with a superb submission win at the shows live finale. He returned to action in February with yet another submission win over Finland's Anton Kuivanen.

Meanwhile, Swedish fighter Madadi fights for the first time on US soil. Madadi has fought on both of the UFCs visits to his home country of Sweden so far. Fighting an excellent fight over the durable Michael Johnson earlier this month coming back to win after nearly being knocked out himself and a submission victory over Yoislandy Izquierdo in 2012.

In between those contests, he fought in Brazil at UFC 153 where he was handed a dubious split-decision loss to Cristiano Marcello where many believe he did enough to take home the victory.

New TUF series reported TUF Canada vs Australia

The Ultimate Fighter: Canada Vs Australia

by John Haigh @JohnBjayHaigh

It has been reported today that the TUF Team Canada vs. Team Australia is in the works. According to a report on FUEL TV’s “UFC Tonight,” “TUF: Team Canada vs. Team Australia is expected later this year.”

Few details have been confirmed as of yet but try outs are expected to be held over the next couple of months.

Apart from “TUF Brazil”, “TUF The Smashes” is the only other international version of the show to be held out of the United States and the only one to have fighters competing from their respective countries.

UFC officials have long hinted at other international versions of the show and Canada has often been mentioned as a participant. Canada has one of the UFC’s biggest followings holding several pay per views a year now for the last couple of years.

There has been no speculation over the coaches for this season yet but keep checking Kingdom MMA for any updates on this story.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Luke Barnatt Interview "I want Francis Carmont"

Kingdom MMA: Exclusive Interview with Luke Barnatt

by Ben Heather @benheather

Kingdom MMA recently had the pleasure of asking Luke Barnatt some questions about his time in The Ultimate Fighter house, his fight at the Ultimate Fighter Finale and what happened between the two.

Luke made it to the the quarter finals on the show losing to Dylan Andrews in the fight of the series but was still rewarded with a fight in the UFC after the show. Luke made his UFC debut at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale as part of the prelims just over a week ago where he beat Collin Hart.

Ben: What was it like to leave the UK behind and live in Vegas for 6 weeks with a house full of guys wanting to stop your dream from coming true?
Barnatt: I've always been a bit of a lone wolf and moved around... lived all over the UK and left home at a young age... so it was easy. I was a bit naive when it came to the house, I thought it would be a lot easier than it turned out to be... but I was living out my dream and would love to do it all over again it was a life changing experience.

Ben: Was TUF as hard as Chael described it, "The Toughest tournament in sport"?
Barnatt: 100%... there is nothing in reality that comes close to matching the TUF house, eating breakfast with a group of trained fighters who are all willing to beat the hell outta you to get where they want to be.. having to fight 4 times in 6 weeks as well as be cut off from the world and all support networks is TUF...

Ben: Have you kept in touch with any of the guys from the house?
Barnatt: I made some amazing friends in that house, and we will all have a special bond for the rest of our lives, because there is no one else on the planet who can understand what happened apart from us. I speak to Jimmy Q and Thor the most outta everyone, but I tweet pretty much the whole group every now and then.

Ben: Was it hard not being able to talk to anyone once you were back about the whole series of TUF, even though you knew all the details?
Barnatt: Everyone tried to trick me into telling them things... trying to be smart, but I'm built like Fort Knox.

Ben: I met you in the bar in the Hilton after UFC on Fuel 7 and during our chat you told me I had to watch your next fight on the show as it was a great fight. We later found out that fight was the fight vs Dylan (Which won FOTS and earned you $25k)
Going in to the last round of that fight did you think the fight was yours to be won?
Barnatt: Fighting Dylan was a very important part of my career so far, its the first time I've been 3 rounds with a man who's willing to do as much as I am to win, we had a back and forth fight that was a high pace... but going into the 3rd I remember thinking I had what it took in me to take Dylan out, I searched for a FINISH... not just to win the round and I think that was my mistake... but Dylan is a tough competitor and come out stronger than I did, he was the better man on the night.

Ben: After Losing that fight, did you learn anything from it and work on in training?
Barnatt: I'm always trying to improve and have so much to get better at, I don't think there was anything specifically that let me down against Dylan so I didn't come away with anything I had to 100% get better at, it was a fight and sometimes you lose, I learnt from it that I had more fight in me, and next time I'm in that situation again you'll see that... Unless you've had to reach deep down into the depths of your soul before you won't understand, but I didn't reach far enough against Dylan, I thought I did at the time... but after the fact you realise you have more to give... so next time I'll be able to reach even deeper.

Ben: Do you think it was an advantage for you to have a fight like that and learn from it without the loss going on your record?
Barnatt: 100% I had the best possible outcome a fighter could ask for... I lost in the Quarter Finals got FOTS against a guy who's had 4x the amount of fights as me (16-4) and took him to a 3rd round, it taught me a lot and made me realise after a very short period of time I've really gained some skills and deserve to be in the UFC.

Ben: You met some true warriors while in the house not only Chael and Jon but people like Ronda Rousey and Mike Tyson. Which person did you think was great to have met?
Barnatt: Everyone was great to meet all in their own way. But Chael was the biggest person for me personally, even now when I've spent nearly half a year training with the guy every day he still holds that star power. the man is a true inspiration.

Ben: In my opinion Chael has to go down as the best coach in TUF history, some of the speeches he gave were incredible. Do you think that you have changed not only as a fighter but as a person after that experience?
Barnatt: I don't know about best TUF Coach in history I've not seen every coach to comment, but he definitely had an impact on me as a fighter, I have a very similar outlook on fighting to Chael... a fights a fight, you don't always win but you show up and fight every time. So having his point of view on things was very eye opening I changed as a fighter but not drastically.. it sort of excelled what I was already becoming.

Ben: After you had finished fighting on TUF, it seemed that you and John Maguire were travelling around America training with some really top level fighters in Chael, Vinny Maghalaes and Michael Bisping, who do you think you learnt the most from?
Barnatt: Probably from John... I mean the guys I've been training with are unreal and talented, but fighters are fighters not coaches... I've been getting great sparring and work in with the guys but John is the one who takes the time with me to break things down, talk about technique and really improve...

John Maguire is a World Class fighter with talent in every area of the game... hes not made his impact on the UFC scene yet because he's been fighting above his weight at 170... when he is clearly a 155er so at UFC 161 you'll get to see what John is all about.

Ben: Once the series was finished it was announced you would fight Collin Hart at the TUF Finale, What was the plan going in to your fight at the ultimate fighter 17 finale?
Barnatt: Don't get taken down... I worked religiously with Chael and the wrestling guys over here in Tualatin at defending the body lock take downs and scrambling to my feet...

Colin is a very talented athlete and strong in certain positions, so I avoided them and told myself I was going to work harder than him everywhere and push the pace so he would break. Collin's strengths are his grappling and his endurance, I pride myself on my conditioning and really feel I have some of the best conditioning at 185 there is, so when I hit Collin 119 times in 15 minutes and pushed the pace harder than him, I could feel him dwindle off and need more rest than me, It felt great... Chael has the best work rate in the UFC and I aspire to be the same way. 

Ben: I believe you have been working with Mike Dolce ahead of this fight, what changes to your diet has he made?
Barnatt: I worked very closely with Dolce for this camp, following the Dolce Diet 100% and he helped me cut the weight required for the fight. If you want to know what I ate... then go buy a Dolce Diet copy of Living Lean, because the grocery list is in it... that's all I had for 8 weeks leading up to the fight and now I'm doing it all year round.

Ben: You had Chael in your corner on Saturday night, was that a surreal moment for you?
Barnatt: I see Chael as a team mate now, so Surreal is the wrong word, but when I look at photos etc it does seem strange, if you had told me 6 months ago that Chael P Sonnen would be cornering me for my UFC debut on my Birthday... well you get my point!

The moment that I'll remember most is when I was walking into the octagon and Chael put his hand on my shoulder and said "I believe in you" that was a very powerful message.

Ben: How great did it feel when Bruce Buffer announced you as the winner of the fight at the end and do you think you did enough to edge the decision?
Barnatt: I thought I won all 3 rounds pretty convincingly... but that was because I knew I was fighting my fight, I dictated what was happening.

Collin did not want to stand he wanted it on the canvas, he couldn't get me there so he was forced to stand, he hit me a lot... but he punched like my mother so I was happy to take the shots and hit him back, I landed the more vicious blows and out struck him, so I knew I'd won the fight.... but you never do know with those bloody Judges... Collin was a tough guy and fought a great fight, I honestly felt the UFC should reward him with another fight. 

Ben: After winning your first UFC fight, who would you like to fight next and when would you next like to get back in the octagon?
Barnatt: I want Francis Carmont... Especially after this weekends tragic 15 minutes. He lost to Tom Lawlor and to Larkin but somehow stole two decision victories, he's on a 5 fight win streak in the UFC and people seem to be afraid of him.. that's who I want!

But being realistic the UFC aren't going to give me someone who's 5-0 in the organisation so I'd like to get out of the TUF circuit and beat the piss out of another European Middleweight... like Magnus Calenblad, who's been hiding for over a year telling the world hes a UFC fighter when he's not even won a fight yet... give me him and I'll get rid of him for you.

As for when... I'd fight in the UFC tomorrow. 

Ben: Would you like to say thanks to anyone?
Barnatt: Anyone who has ever watched MMA, spent money on MMA or spoken highly of MMA.

Thank you very much for your time and all the guys at Kingdom MMA can't wait to see back in the octagon fighting for the UFC again.

UFC on Fox 7 - A final thought - Fights to make after UFC on FOX 7

Fights to make after UFC on FOX 7

by Ben Heather @benheather and Chris Houten @Houts4thewin

Benson Henderson

Benson Henderson vs winner of TJ Grant vs Gray Maynard has been announced so we expect this to be the next time we see Henderson defend his belt in the octagon.

However, I want to see Henderson vs Melendez 2. Although the winner of TJ Grant and Gray Maynard is expected to get the next shot at the lightweight belt, this is the fight to make at the top of the lightweight pile now. Why, because it was so damn close – the fans just need to see it again.

Don't get me wrong, I'm the last guy you will hear saying that champ/ challenger should get an immediate title shot, they clog the division up and kill off top contenders – just see what happened with Pettis vs Guida, but as a fan how can we all be happy with Melendez going away to fight his way back up the contender ladder when he should actually be the champion right now depending on who you ask.

 For me this fights a no brainer and I'm sorry for the Grant vs Maynard winner but you are simply going to have to get in line with the Pettis' of this world and wait for your shot.

Gilbert Melendez

If Melendez doesn't get the rematch (which at this time is looking very unlikely) then I think that Melendez should fight another champion, this time the former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez.

Yes, I know what you are all thinking Alvarez has not signed with the UFC yet and I agree at this point in time it needs everything to align perfectly for this fight to happen but I think not only could it happen it has the name power to easily headline a UFC event.

In any other division the thought of putting two legitimate contenders in the cage together could be thought of as lunacy as your eliminating a top name from the title picture but in a stacked division like the lightweight division anything could happen.

Daniel Cormier vs A Top Light-Heavyweight

Cormier's victory over Frank Mir was impressive, not so much for the way he won the fight, but for the way he was able to control the two time UFC heavyweight champion Mir for most of the fight. But one has to think “Cormier isn't prepared to fight Cain Velasquez that is the frigging point”!

If anything the Mir fight has introduced Cormier to a larger audience and that's about it. I feel now is the time to either step up and say “I'll fight anyone” Jon Jones style when presented with the possibility of fighting Rashad Evans or get on the phone to Mike Dolce, and work out how your gonna get down to 205, while avoiding the same problems with his Kidneys he did during the Olympics.

All things at present indicate to the latter, which if I'm honest suits me, Jon Jones is crying out for challengers at the moment (and not those that fight at MW). I'd like to see Cormier take on the winners of either Henderson vs Evans or Shogun vs lil Nog. Both options would give Cormier a real telling warm fight whether he deserves a shot at the Light Heavyweight belt.

If Daniel Cormier stays at Heavyweight

If however Cormier stays at heavyweight and agrees in the long run that him and Cain would fight I want to see him fight the winner of the Werdum vs Big Nog fight. The winner of that fight should then become the next heavyweight number 1 contender.

Frank Mir

The next time we see Frank Mir enter the octagon a fight vs Overeem would makes sense, both are coming of losses but are still very marketable guys. In a styles vs styles match up the winner of Mir vs Overeem would be back on track at making a run in the heavyweight division. This fight would make a great co-main of any numbered event.

Josh Thomson

Although I predicted a Josh Thomson victory on Saturday night, the manor in which it came was far from to be expected.

Thomson looked awesome, and of all the Strikeforce guys on the card that night he quite possibly showed himself to be the biggest stand out going into the so called big leagues.

The Lightweight division is a stacked division right now and a fight between the winner of Miller vs Healy would not only work in terms to scheduling, it would also be a fight which would take the winner one step closer to a title fight.

Realistically Thomson has just beat the #4 ranked guy in Nate Diaz and a fight versus the winner of this weekends showdown could be made for the next number 1 contender. If Henderson is set to fight either Maynard or Grant than this could be made on the same card to make the next challenger. If not, Thomson vs Miller would make a great fuel headliner if you ask me.

Nate Diaz

For me I can only see one fight which has to be made next for Nate Diaz, that's Diego Sanchez.

Diego started calling for the fight with Nate after he beat Takanori Gomi in Japan saying how he has already beat Nick and wants to be the first person to beat both Diaz brothers. Plus, if both turn up and bring their A games then it will be an incredible fight!! The fact that Nate is now coming off back to back losses makes this fight a possibility again. When Sanchez called him out it didn't look likely but now I really want to see this fight.

However Chris would like to see, Nate Diaz vs Matt Wiman.
I know Diaz has flirted with a move to welterweight citing their are no challenges for him at the weight anymore, but that excuse doesn't go down to well after you get knocked out. Diaz didn't really look himself on Saturday and maybe that can be attributed to the fact that two of his training partners have had the biggest fights of their careers just weeks apart of each other.

No doubt about it Diaz is one of the best lightweights in the world, but at this stage he is on a two fight losing streak and should take a step down in competition. Enter the fighter formally known as handsome - Matt Wiman.

 A fight with Wiman makes a lot of sense. Both guys would enter the fight coming off loses, Wiman gives Diaz the step down in competition he needs right now but still has a good enough record to make the fight sellable. This fight feels like a war!

Matt Brown

I want to see Matt Brown fight Dong Hyun Kim in a rematch of their UFC 88 battle which finished in a split decision win for Kim. The fact Kim has only lost to Condit and Maia and is now on a 2 fight winning streak makes the timing for this fight very good and could easily push the winner in to contendership and well inside the top 10.

Another possibility would be for Brown to fight the Hathaway vs Erik Silva winner.
I had a little chuckle on Saturday night when Bruce buffer introduced Matt Brown as a technical brawler, but damn that dude is on a tear! Now on a 5 fight winning streak having bounced back from losing 3 on a bounce, Matt brown is proof that the UFC should stick by their fight.

Matt brown has knocked out his last 3 opponents as part of his win streak and in any other division it's be hard to argue with a title shot, but if Johnny Hendricks can't get a title shot what hope does Matt Brown have? I'd like to see Matt Brown take on the winner of next months welterweight match up between prospects John Hathaway and Erik Silva.

The winner of this fight will prove a stern test for Brown as he looks towards a title fight, and likewise a fight with Matt Brown will show what the future will hold in the careers of either Hathaway or Silva.

Jordan Mein

Jordan Mein vs Brian Ebersole, Jordan Mein was expected to beat Matt Brown on Saturday and unfortunately it looks like the hype train has been derailed ever-so-slightly. He's young and there is still plenty of time to break the top 10. It's likely Mein will find himself on the undercard of PPV even, or possibly the main card of a fuel / fx card and a fight with Brain Ebersole would make sense - similar skillsets, position in the rankings and both coming off losses.


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