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ufc fight night 56

Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC Fight Night 56: Shogun vs. St. Preux.

Tonight’s card comes to us live from the Ginasio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlandia, Brazil. All of the action airs on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.

Now, on to the fights! Remember to keep hitting refresh for the latest results.

PRELIMINARY CARD

Colby Covington vs. Wagner Silva

We begin the night in the welterweight division, as former NCAA wrestling standout Colby Covington (6-0) takes on Wagner Silva (3-1).

Round 1: Nice body shot with the leg from Covington to start, working out of the southpaw stance. Short elbow lands by the former wrestler and he goes to the body once again. Silva throws a huge right counter that just misses. Both men missing with wild, knockout-intended blows. Halfway through the round and Covington shoots for a takedown, scoring with ease. He quickly moves to mount, switching to side-control. Covington works a choke, has an arm triangle there, but Silva slips free and they scramble to their feet. Covington with a right, but he does eat a kick at the same time. Deep in on another takedown, but Silva peppers him with elbows to fight it off. Covington with a takedown in the final seconds to secure the round.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Covington

Round 2: Silva comes firing out with everything, and Covington responds with a takedown to stop his onslaught. The Brazilian gets back to his feet, only to get taken down once more with ease. Silva doing a much better job of fending off the repeated takedown attempts, and we have a break in action after Covington lands a low blow. Counter left connects for Covington, who shoots for a takedown with a minute left. He drops down to the canvas, but is unable to secure it.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Covington

Round 3: Great left hook for Silva, but Covington immediately resorts to his wrestling and lands a takedown seconds into the round. Working from the half-guard, Covington is very active and constantly looking to better his position. Silva trying to fight off his back and possibly lock up a submission, but it’s allowing Covington to posture up and hammer down. Covington transitions to the back, locks up the rear-naked choke and gets it.

Colby Covington def. Wagner Silva via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:26 of Round 3

Thomas Almeida vs. Tim Gorman

We’ll drop down to the bantamweight ranks next, as another unbeaten fighter, Thomas Almeida (17-0) meets Tim Gorman (8-3).

Round 1: This marks the Octagon debut for Almeida, who many are hyping as a future superstar. Gorman comes right out and takes the center of the cage, shooting for a takedown and getting it. Gorman bullies his way out of a possible choke, but Almeida is able to get to his feet. Another choke attempt allows Gorman to get the takedown. He jumps on the back, locks in both hooks and has a modified neck crank working now. Almeida calmly breaks the hands and is working to free himself from the hooks. He does and goes to work with his strikes, landing a huge combo. Elbow connects, a knee and Gorman fires back with his own right. Each time Gorman comes in with a quick right, Almeida throws a huge overhand shot that is just missing. Almeida senses blood and is cutting of Gorman. A big right sends him fleeing and Almeida with another shot, but he eats one as well. Almeida teeing off now as we go under a minute, and Gorman with a takedown. Right back to his feet is Almeida, landing more heavy knees to the face and body.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Almeida

Round 2: Through the first minute, Almeida’s been able to keep this one standing. He’s got some rapidly developing swelling around the right eye, and it’s almost completely closed. Another liver punch by Almeida connects, but Gorman won’t go down. Gorman’s jab is landing and doing damage, but Almeida is hitting him with swooping lefts and rights that are doing much more damage. One thing about Almeida, he’ll string together two or three strikes, but then back away. It appears as if he could do more, but maybe he’s concerned with the takedown threat. An inside leg kick is followed up by several knees and shots from Almeida. Almeida knocks out his mouthpiece and we have a break. Another shot to the body and he presses forward soon after. Gorman gets a late takedown, but is unable to do any damage with it.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Almeida

Round 3: Gorman comes firing out after Almeida, pressuring him with a series of lefts and rights. More offense by the underdog, and it would appear as if Gorman is the fresher fighter. Good uppercut-knee combo from Almeida, as his corner tries to get the Brazilian fans chanting. He follows up an inside leg kick with another big-time right, sending Gorman pedaling. Another solid combo by Almeida, as it would appear Gorman slipped between the canvas and fence. High knee connects for the newcomer. Several shots by Almeida at the end of the round, but Gorman survives and we go to the judges for the first time.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Almeida

Thomas Almeida def. Tim Gorman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Charlie Brenneman vs. Leandro Silva

Our first – and only – lightweight contest is next, as Charlie Brenneman (19-7) battles Leandro Silva (16-2).

Round 1: Brenneman comes out and backs Silva down with kicks, but he finds himself caught in a choke. They separate and exchange, and Brenneman again goes for the takedown. This time, he is successful. Silva already has a hematoma forming over his right eye from the punishment of Brenneman on top. Silva scrambles, gets to his feet and counters with a takedown of his own as we approach two minutes. We have our third takedown of the match, this time it’s Brenneman scoring. Another reversal by Silva and it’s an all-out wrestling affair. Silva takes the back, gets his hooks in and rolls for a rear-naked choke. And he gets it, as this one is all over.

Leandro Silva def. Charlie Brenneman via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:15 of Round 1

vitor belfort

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will have been preparing for almost a full-year to fight Vitor Belfort by the time the two actually collide.

And Weidman is honestly worried all of that prep and training will go to waste.

The two are set to meet in February at UFC 184 from Los Angeles and the Staples Center. Belfort, though, must pass a series of blood and urine tests to show that he is not on TRT before he will be allowed to compete.

During a pre-fight press conference in Australia earlier this week, Weidman, Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold were all asked about Belfort.

“Vitor’s a joke to me,” said Rockhold, who lost to Belfort when he was on TRT. “Let’s see what comes out (of the tests). I’m very interested to see what he turns up and I’m interested to see what happens to the drug test he took the other day.”

Weidman, who mentioned on Twitter that he had yet to hear of any testing being given to Belfort just moments before it was confirmed, responded to Rockhold’s comments by saying, “Yeah, I’m worried about that.”

Bisping, another victim of Belfort inside the Octagon, stated “Vitor was juiced to the gills for many years and now he’s not. Is he going to be the same person? That’s the question that everybody’s asking and only he knows. We shall see.”

ufc fight night 55

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman stopped by the UFC Fight Night 55 pre-fight press conference in Australia recently and was asked his thoughts on Friday’s main event between Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping.

Weidman, who will face Vitor Belfort in 2015, didn’t shy away from making a prediction on the bout despite both fighters being right there with him.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting (fight),” Weidman said. “You know Bisping doesn’t go away, he’s a tough guy with great heart. It’s going to be hard to finish him, but, I’m going to have to say I think Rockhold wins this fight.”

Bisping, never one to back away from a verbal encounter, fired back, saying “Of course the Yanks. They stick together. You need all the help you can get (pointing to Rockhold).”

Weidman added that he hopes for a “good fight. I wanna watch a good fight and I’m hoping that it is. As long as the ‘Tim Kennedy’ Bisping doesn’t show up, it could be a great fight.”

Bisping lost a decision to Kennedy earlier this year in his return after an eye injury. He rebounded with a finish vs. Cung Le more recently.

“Hey, that guy’s never showing up again, but shut up Chris,” Bisping responded. “This is our press conference.”

Thanks to Submission Radio for the video and quotes.

ufc 180

Mark Hunt has the opportunity of a lifetime next Saturday night when he steps foot inside the Octagon to meet Fabricio Werdum for the interim UFC heavyweight title.

The two will collide in the main event of UFC 180 from Mexico, and Hunt has gotten himself situated in the country for the past several days to prepare for battle.

After finishing Roy Nelson earlier this year, officials tabbed “The Super Samoan” to replace Cain Velasquez in the headline bout. He strung together a four-fight win streak from 2011-13 before falling to Junior dos Santos and scoring a draw with Antonio Silva.

Now, matched up with Werdum, Hunt told Submission Radio out of Australia recently that he has the exact answer to Werdum’s excellent ground game.

“Everyone’s a world-class ground fighter until they get a punch in the face,” he said. “That’s hod I deal with all these ground fighters. I hit’em in the head and there goes your (expletive) black belt.

“His game will be to push the pace and try to get me tired, to try and shoot the takedown, so I’m on the ground. If he tries to stand and bang, then good for me. If he doesn’t then he’s gotta work his game plan.”

Prior to the Nelson bout, rumors were circulating that Hunt would not make the heavyweight limit to weigh-in. He says there will be no issues with that this time around, as reason for his decision to get to Mexico early.

“I’ve got no excuse about not making weight,” he said. “Even 10-and-a-half kilos. I gotta talk to (UFC president) Dana (White) about a few things, but if you can’t make weight, don’t take the fight. We’ll just chew an arm off. I’ve got a lot of weight on me I can lose.

“I’m making weight so there’s no problem.”

He expanded on the weight-cut surrounding the Nelson bout, stating it was “my third weight cut ever. I’m just starting to get used to how this all works.

“I’m a fat guy with a lot of fat on me, so it’s easy for me to lose it,” he added. “I’m getting used to these things. I know how far I’m at and what I can cut, so I think the media exaggerates a bit about certain things.”

After going from almost being out of the UFC to a title shot, Hunt isn’t surprised by his string of excellent performances. He holds just an overall record of 10-8-1, but is 5-1-1 in his last seven.

“Well it’s no surprise to me. Like I said before, I always felt like I was the best fighter on the planet and I think this is just another example of what I’m saying is right,” he said. “This is for the No. 1 spot to fight the champ. I mean I do feel Fabricio Werdum would be upset about it, and I would be upset about it too if I had my shot at the world champ and then had to step back to fight someone else. It’s my opportunity regardless, and hey, I’m taking my opportunity and that’s it. That’s all I’m interested in doing.”

ufc fight night 55

UFC Fight Night 55 main event fighters Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold have done a tremendous job building the hype for their bout this coming Friday night on Fight Pass.

Bisping, coming off a finish of former Strikeforce champion Cung Le, appeared on a recent edition of “UFC Tonight” to try and keep the spark going. And, as usual, “The Count” did just that.

Rockhold, also an ex-Strikeforce champion, has made comments in the past that he would be willing to place a large sum of money on the line that he stops Bisping within the first round. The Brit has been finished just twice, with both happening in the second to Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson.

“This is another delusionary comment from Luke Rockhold,” Bisping said. “He comes out with nonsense day after day. Just yesterday he said he’s going to beat me because he has a better beard than me.

“I’ve fathered three children. This is a prepubescent teenager. I’m more of a man than he’ll ever be.”

Bisping (25-6) kept his string of never losing two straight active by dominating Le for three-plus rounds in August before putting the finishing touches on him. He’s gone 3-2 in his last five overall, adding wins over Alan Belcher and Brian Stan to his resume.

That added aggression and power put on display vs. Le is something Bisping has been working on in training, he said.

“When you start working with a new coach, you see the progress in the gym, then to sparring and into fights. I believe that started happen,” he said. “When I came back from my layoff, I had a bad match up with Tim Kennedy. I feel like I’ve progressed more now. I’m generating more power with the punches and kicks. I’m mentally and physically better than ever. I’m going into this fight in a good place.”

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