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the ultimate fighter 24

Sixteen regional champions from around the world will compete for a shot at UFC flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson on The Ultimate Fighter 24.

The promotion announced recently that cast for the season, which debuts in August. Henry Cejudo and Joseph Benavidez serve as coaches.

Below is the complete press release from the UFC:

Champions from around the world will descend upon Las Vegas for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter. This season, 16 seeded competitors, all champions in their current promotion, will be coached by two former flyweight title challengers, top-ranked Joseph Benavidez and No. 2 Henry Cejudo.

Season 24 of the long-running UFC reality show debuts Wednesday, August 31 at 10 p.m. ET on FS1. The series is the network’s highest-rated and most-watched original program since inception in August 2013. Last season’s finale, headlined by a strawweight world title bout between coaches Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha in, was the most-watched on FS1 since the first fall season in 2013.

Currently riding a five-fight winning streak, Benavidez (24-4, fighting out of Las Cruces, N.M.) has met current 125-pound kingpin Demetrious Johnson twice and will utilize the experience gained in those two encounters to help guide his squad of eight fighters from around the world. In addition to his matchups with “Mighty Mouse,” Benavidez has blown through the competition in the 125-pound division and racked up victories over the best flyweights in the world, including Zach Makovsky, Ian McCall and Jussier Formiga.

Coaching opposite Benavidez this season is Olympic gold medalist, Cejudo (10-1, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.), whose only professional loss has come at the hands of Johnson. Cejudo became the youngest American to earn gold in wrestling at the 2008 games in Beijing. After representing his country on the world’s stage, he turned his attention to MMA, where he holds victories over some of the sport’s elite, including former title challenger Chris Cariaso.

The show will feature 12 episodes airing Wednesdays on FS1. Each episode’s winner will advance in the single-elimination tournament. In a new twist from previous seasons, the two finalists will meet in the last fight in the house to determine who will receive a shot at the UFC flyweight world title at the finale in December.

bellator 159

Bantamweights Darrion Caldwell and Joe Taimanglo will go head-to-head in the main event of Bellator 159 this Friday night on Spike TV.

Set from the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, the winner of Caldwell-Taimanglo will become the No. 1 contender to the bantamweight belt.

Along with that contest, Melvin Guillard battles David Rickels and Daniel Weichel takes on Emmanuel Sanchez.

Below is the complete lineup:

MAIN CARD (Spike TV/9 p.m. ET)

Bantamweight: Darrion Caldwell vs. Joe Taimanglo

Lightweight: Melvin Guillard vs. David Rickels

Featherweight: Daniel Weichel vs. Emmanuel Sanchez

Light Heavyweight: Philipe Lins vs. Guilherme Viana

Strawweight: Bruna Ellen vs. Jessica Middleton

PRELIMINARY CARD (FightLine.com)

Strawweight: Bruna Vargas vs. Emily Ducote

Featherweight: Gaston Reyno vs. L.J. Hemreck

Middleweight: Manny Meraz vs. Trey Ogden

Welterweight: Chris Harris vs. Matt Foster

Lightweight: Marcio Navarro vs. Fernando Martinez

Bantamweight: Johnny Marigo vs. Andy Riley

Middleweight: Josh Pfeifer vs. Henry Lindsay

Featherweight: Chuka Willis vs. Brandon Phillips

rizin ff

RIZIN FF announced plans for a 16-man open-weight tournament that will include the likes of Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Cro Cop.

The promotion also confirmed future fights for Daron Cruickshank and others.

Check out a complete press release below:

RIZIN FF, the combat sports federation headed by former PRIDE Fighting Championships boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced at a press conference today that all-time great Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (MMA: 31-11-1, 1 NC; Kickboxing: 23-8, 12 KO’s) will come out of retirement and return to Japan, where his legendary career was born, to compete in the highly-anticipated, 16-man, open weight “Grand Prix” tournament that begins in Tokyo on Sunday, Sept. 25.

A former PRIDE and K-1 Grand Prix tournament champion, Filipovic earned his place as one of the greatest martial arts combatants in history with an elite set of striking skills that helped him earn the most first round finishes as well as the most head kick knockouts in PRIDE history.

It was also announced today that 4 of the 16 Grand Prix participants, including superstar Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, will receive a bye in the first stage, and automatically advance to the tournament’s second, or quarterfinal stage, which will take place at a location to be announced on Thursday, Dec. 29.

Joining Sakakibara, Filipovic and Silva at the press conference were veteran warhorse Kazuyiki Fujita (15-11) of Funabashi, Chiba, Japan and former sumo wrestling champion turned MMA upstart Baruto Kaito (1-0) of Estonia, both of whom have been tabbed for battle in the first stage of the tournament.

The round of 16 matchups will be announced at the end of July.

In other, single-fight action on September 25, two striking sensations – Daron Cruickshank (17-8, 1 NC) and Andy Souwer (MMA: 1-0, Kickboxing: 159-19, 98 KO’s) – will collide in a lightweight (155) affair.

Cruickshank of Wayne, Mich. is a 13-fight veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) who made a successful RIZIN FF debut on April 17, scoring a first round (4:36) TKO with a series of kicks on a downed Shinji Sasaki.

A longtime kickboxing icon, Souwer of Den Bosch, Netherlands, is a two-time winner of the K-1 World Max tournament and a four-time Shootboxing world champion. On December 31, 2015, he made his long-awaited MMA rules debut at the inaugural RIZIN FF event in Saitama, Japan, decimating Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima by way of first round (5:29) KO with an onslaught of punches.

Unbeaten women’s light heavyweight and nine-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Gabi Garcia (2-0) and three-time junior Olympic wrestling medalist and undefeated flyweight (125 pounds) MMA star Kanako Murata (3-0) of Ehime, Japan will each see action against an opponent to be announced soon.

Garcia of Porto Alege, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil made quick work of both of her MMA opponents to date, scoring a first round (2:36) TKO (punches) in her professional debut on Lei’d Tapa at the RIZIN FF promotional kick-off event on December 31, and submitting Anna Malyukova with an armbar in the second round (2:04) of battle at the RIZIN FF affair on April 17.

Just 22 years of age, Murata made her professional MMA debut under the promotion of RIZIN FF on April 17, notching a unanimous decision over Natalia Denisova, and has since already competed twice more, defeating Maia Kahaunaele-Stevenson via third round (3:43) TKO (punches) and Ilona Wijmans by way of first round (1:17) TKO (punches), on June 4 and July 7, respectively.

Kizaemon Saiga (2-1) of Sakai, Osaka, Japan will take on fellow upstart Asen Yamamoto at a weight to be determined.

Women’s shoot boxing champion and unbeaten MMA competitor Rena Kubota (1-0) of Osaka, Japan will make her second start under MMA rules against an opponent to be announced.

Paul Daley

Former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima went into hostile territory and topped Paul Daley, earning a decision win in the main event of Bellator 158.

The event took place earlier in the day in London and aired via tape-delay on Spike TV.

Lima, fighting for the first time since losing the belt to Andrey Koreshkov, likely positioned himself for either a rematch or a No. 1 contender match with the win.

In the co-main event, Matt Mitrione knocked out Oli Thompson in the second round, while Francis Carmont submitted Lukasz Klinger.

Michael Page continued his highlight-reel career, landing a flying knee on Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in the second round. James Gallagher, a teammate of Conor McGregor, earned a decision over Mike Cutting.

Complete results can be found below:

Douglas Lima def. Paul Daley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Matt Mitrione def. Oli Thompson via KO (strike) at 4:21 of ROund 2

Francis Carmont def. Lukasz Klinger via submission (D’arce choke) at 3:54 of Round 1

Michael Page def. Evangelista Santos via KO (flying knee) at 4:31 of Round 2

James Gallagher def. Mike Cutting via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

James Mulheron def. Neil Grove via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)

Manuel Garcia def. Alex Reid via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Luiz Henrique Tosta vs. Dean Garnett ended in a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

Pietro Menga def. Spencer Hewitt via KO (strike) at :41 of Round 1

Mike Shupman def. Dominic Clark via submission (anaconda choke) in Round 1

Jason Radcliffe def. Jack Mason via KO (knee) at :14 of Round 1

Nathaniel Wood def. Chase Morton via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:55 of Round 3

Danny Mitchell def. CJ Meeks via submission (Twister) at 4:25 of Round 1

ufc fight night 91

For the first time ever, the Octagon invaded South Dakota Wednesday night for UFC Fight Night 91.

John Lineker made a statement in the main event, knocking out former title contender Michael McDonald in the first round with a series of vicious shots. Lineker scored his fifth consecutive win and his third finish during his current streak.

Top lightweight contender Tony Ferguson survived a scare vs. Landon Vannata, earning a second round submission for his eighth consecutive win. Vannata, a standout on the regional circuit who stepped in for Michael Chiesa, nearly appeared to have Ferguson finished in the first round with a flurry of strikes.

But, the former Ultimate Fighter winner survived and thrived. Ferguson landed a Superman punch and caught Vannata with a standing choke that he tightened as he dropped to the canvas for his 21st career win. The loss was the first in Vannata’s nine-fight run.

Veteran Tim Boetsch turned back the challenge of upstart Josh Samman, finishing off The Ultimate Fighter veteran in the second round. Boetsch, who has faced several of the elite in the sport, used his experience to pick up his 19th career win.

Heavyweight Daniel Omielanczuk picked up a majority decision over Oleksiy Oliynyk, claiming two scorecards with the third ruling it a draw. With a second left, Keita Nakamura forced Kyle Noke to tap, earning himself a submission victory. Nakamura connected with a knee that rocked Noke, allowing him time to secure the choke.

Louis Smolka played the role of spoiler once again, kicking off the main card with a second round TKO over South Dakota’s Ben Nguyen. Smolka came out guns-blazing, blistering Nguyen with shot after shot. The Hawaiian landed 120 of 174 strikes compared to 8-for-12 by Nguyen, improving to 5-1 in the UFC overall.

In the prelim main event, it was Katlyn Chookagian remaining unbeaten with a decision win over Lauren Murphy. Chookagian was making her Octagon debut against the former Invicta FC bantamweight champion, who dropped to 1-3 over his last four.

Veteran Sam Alvey locked up a guillotine choke for his fourth Octagon win, submitting Eric Spicely in the first round. Alvey is now 8-3 over his last 11 fights, including five finishes.

Scott Holtzman claimed a decision over Cody Pfister to start the televised prelims, with Cortney Casey following with a first round finish of Cristina Stanciu.

Rani Yahya turned back the upset-minded Matthew Lopez, locking up a third round arm-triangle choke. Yahya improved his current win streak to three and is now 6-1 with one no-contest since 2012.

Alex Nicholson started things off with a thrilling first round finish of Devin Clark. Nicholson knocked Clark out with just three seconds left in the opening round.

Complete results can be found below:

John Lineker def. Michael McDonald via KO (strikes) at 2:43 of Round 1

Tony Ferguson def. Landon Vannata via submission (D’arce choke) at 2:22 of Round 2

Tim Boetsch def. Josh Samman via TKO (strikes) at 3:49 of Round 2

Daniel Omielanczuk def. Oleksiy Oliynyk via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Keita Nakamura def. Kyle Noke via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:59 of Round 2

Louis Smolka def. Ben Nguyen via TKO (strikes) at 4:41 of Round 2

Katlyn Chookagian def. Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Sam Alvey def. Eric Spicely via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:43 of Round 1

Cortney Casey def. Cristina Stanciu via TKO (strikes) at 2:36 of Round 1

Scott Holtzman def. Cody Pfister via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Rani Yahya def. Matthew Lopez via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:19 of Round 3

Alex Nicholson def. Devin Clark via KO (strike) at 4:57 of Round 1

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