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ufc 197

Welcome to FightLine’s live coverage of UFC 197.

Tonight’s card comes to us from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, with bouts airing on UFC Fight Pass, FOX Sports 1 and pay-per-view.

In the main event, Jon Jones returns from a year-plus long hiatus to face Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight title.

Jones (21-1) was scheduled to meet Daniel Cormier for the belt before an injury knocked Cormier out. Instead of waiting for “DC” to heal, “Bones” opted to remain on the card and in the headline role.

He’ll meet Saint Preux (19-7), who has gone 3-1 over his last four including a finish of former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

The co-main features another championship match, as Demetrious Johnson defends his flyweight belt against Henry Cejudo.

Johnson (23-2-1) is the only fighter to wear the UFC 125-pound belt, while Cejudo (10-0) won gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in freestyle wrestling for the U.S.

The other main card bouts include Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza, Robert Whittaker vs. Rafael Natal and Yair Rodriguez vs. Andre Fili.

Another Pettis brother, Sergio, will headline the FS1 prelims against Chris Kelades. The other FS1 fights include Danny Roberts-Dominique Steele, Carla Esparza-Juliana Lima and Glaico Franca-James Vick.

All the action kicks off on Fight Pass with Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee, Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Clint Hester and Walt Harris vs. Cody East.

Let’s get started!


Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee

We kick things off on Fight Pass with lightweights Efrain Escudero (24-10) and Kevin Lee (11-2). And UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier is serving as the third-man in the booth with Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg.

Round 1: Good feeling out process here in the early going, as both men are finding their range with the jab. Lee is finding a home more than Escudero, though, as the former TUF winner is looking for the takedown to his advantage. Escudero with a duck-under to the back, gaining a takedown for a brief second. Lee is right back up and switches positions, working for his own takedown now and he scores. Big-time uppercut finds a home for Escudero and allows him to score with a power takedown. He stunned Lee with the shots, which were the biggest blows of the round and come right here in the final minute.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Escudero

Round 2: Escudero very calm and relaxed, getting in deep and scoring with another takedown. His striking out put there in the second likely gave him loads of confidence. The right lands for Lee, but Escudero walks right through it and shoots for a single-leg. Lee with some elbows to the head while Escudero tries for the takedown against the fence. Escudero stuns him with a right, as Lee isn’t ducking or defending at all.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lee

Round 3: We have a brief delay after a low blow, but Lee is good to go and we’ll continue. Lee missing with wild strikes, as he looks like his might be going for a desperation shot. Escudero picking and choosing his punches, landing almost everything. Lee defends the takedown, turns and scores with a scoop and a slam. Lee is all over him and has an opening with a guillotine. Escudero slipping free and he does, grabbing the leg at the same time. Lee reigning down with hammer-fists.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Lee

Kevin Lee def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima

Another Ultimate Fighter alum steps inside the cage next, as Clint Hester (11-5) takes on Marcos Rogerio de Lima (13-3-1). Hester is moving up from middleweight, while Rogerio de Lima was a contestant on TUF: Brazil 3.

Round 1: These two like to finish fights and they are both going for it right off the bat. Nasty, nasty leg kicks by Rogerio de Lima to begin. The Brazilian connects with a right and floors Hester, looking for his 11th career first round finish. He’s on top with four-plus minutes to work, but in this position, it’s allowing Hester to recover. Mount gained for Rogerio de Lima, but Hester is tying him up to avoid any damage. Quick shots coming through by Rogerio de Lima. As we go under a minute, Rogerio de Lima is teeing off with big-time strikes. Hester looks to be in a lot of pain and here comes more elbows. Rogerio de Lima locks up a quick arm-triangle and this one is over.

Marcos Rogerio de Lima def. Clint Hester via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:35 of Round 1

UFC Updates Video Promo For UFC 197 With Ovince Saint Preux

Two of the best in the world will be in action this Saturday night at UFC 197, as Demetrious Johnson defends his flyweight title and Jon Jones chases down a piece of the light heavyweight gold.

After replacing Anderson Silva atop the pound-for-pound charts, Jones found himself off most lists after his legal battles. That opened the door for “Mighty Mouse” to claim the No. 1 billing.

So, with “Bones” back, who is indeed No. 1?

Here’s a breakdown of both fighters:

ufc 200

After a couple of days of “radio silence,” UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has disclosed his side of the story.

In an extended post on his official Facebook page, McGregor stated that he is willing to fly to New York for UFC 200-related media and that he is not retired.

The entire statement can be found below:

I am just trying to do my job and fight here.
I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.
I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.
There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.
50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.
Nothing else was going through my mind.
It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life.
Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Conneticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a fuck morning show did not get me this life.
Talking to some lady that deep down doesn’t give a fuck about what I’m doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I’m cool with that too, I’ve been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.
I’m coming for my revenge here.
I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep.
With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight.
I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.
I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.
But it was denied.
There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me.
So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them.
And all with one tweet.
Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good.
I must isolate myself now.
I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.
I can not dance for you this time.
It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I’ve danced us all the way here.
Nate’s little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.
He came in with no shit to do that last one. I’d already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out.
Maybe I’ll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation.
I’m doing what I need for me now.
It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way.
I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.
I am still ready to go for UFC 200.
I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions.
If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don’t know what to say.
For the record also –
For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations –

ufc 197

It’s not Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier 2, but UFC 197 still has plenty to offer this Saturday night.

In the main event, Jones returns from a year-long hiatus to face Ovince Saint Preux for the interim light heavyweight title live on pay-per-view. He was slated to meet Cormier before an injury knocked the reigning UFC champion out.

Also, Henry Cejudo challenges Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight belt in the co-main event, while Anthony Pettis battles Edson Barboza and Rafael Natal faces Robert Whittaker from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Below is the current lineup:

MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)

Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux

UFC Flyweight Championship
Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Henry Cejudo

Lightweight: Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza

Middleweight: Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker

Featherweight: Yair Rodriguez vs. Andre Fili


Flyweight: Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis

Strawweight: Carla Esparza vs. Juliana Lima

Welterweight: Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele

Lightweight: James Vick vs. Glaico Franca

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)

Light Heavyweight: Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima

Lightweight: Kevin Lee vs. Efrain Escudero

benson henderson

Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson tries to make history by capturing the welterweight title at Bellator 153 this Friday night.

Henderson makes his promotional debut vs. champion Andrey Koreshkov in the main event on Spike TV from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Following his UFC contract expiring, Henderson opted to sign with Bellator instead of remaining a contender inside the Octagon.

Along with Koreshkov-Henderson, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire tries to remain on a path back to the featherweight title when he meets Henry Corrales, who replaced John Teixeira in the co-main event.

Brennan Ward battles Evangelista Santos, Michael Page meets Jeremie Holloway and Brent Primus takes on Glierstone Santos to round out the main card.

Below is the current card:

MAIN CARD (Spike TV/8 p.m. ET)

Bellator Welterweight Championship
Andrey Koreshkov (c) vs. Benson Henderson

Featherweight: Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. Henry Corrales

Welterweight: Brennan Ward vs. Evangelista Santos

Welterweight: Michael Page vs. Jeremie Holloway

Lightweight: Brent Primus vs. Gleristone Santos


Welterweight: Chris Honeycutt vs. Matt Secor

Welterweight: Djamil Chan vs. Richard Patishnock

Lightweight: Sam Watford vs. Dean Hancock

Featherweight: Chris Foster vs. Felipe Lavandoski

Lightweight: Jason Bakanowski vs. T.J. Hepburn

Featherweight: Pete Rogers vs. Mike Mangan

Light Heavyweight: Mike Zichelle vs. Joe Cronin

Featherweight: Matt Bessette vs. Keith Richardson

Middleweight: Tim Caron vs. Justin Sumter

Bantamweight: Blair Tugman vs. Jay Perrin

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