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ufc 196

In just over two weeks, Fabricio Werdum will try to retain the UFC heavyweight title when he defends the belt against Cain Velasquez at UFC 196.

Set for February 6 from Las Vegas, the event also features a co-headline bout pitting former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks against Stephen Thompson.

Other planned fights include Roy Nelson-Jared Rosholt, Ovince Saint Preux-Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Joseph Benavidez-Zach Makovsky.

A special attraction is set for the UFC Fight Pass prelims, as Mickey Gall debuts against Mike Jackson. If Gall wins, he will be matched up with former WWE superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks later this year in the Octagon debut of Brooks.

Check out the complete lineup and an extended video preview on the main event below:

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

UFC Heavyweight Championship
Fabricio Werdum (c) vs. Cain Velasquez

Welterweight: Johny Hendricks vs. Stephen Thompson

Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt

Light Heavyweight: Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante vs. Ovince Saint Preux

Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez vs. Zach Makovsky

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/8 pm. ET)

Lightweight: Josh Burkman vs. KJ Noons

Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis vs. Damian Grabowski

Welterweight: Mike Pyle vs. Sean Spencer

Light Heavyweight: Misha Cirkunov vs. Alex Nicholson

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

Welterweight: Mickey Gall vs. Mike Jackson

Featherweight: Artem Lobov vs. Alex White

Flyweight: Ray Borg vs. Justin Scoggins

Featherweight: Noad Lahat vs. Diego Rivas

ufc 197

Sparks are sure to fly today when the main and co-main events for March’s UFC 197 event get together for a pre-fight press conference.

FightLine will bring you all the action beginning at 2 p.m. ET from the MGM Grand in Studios A and B.

Along with UFC president Dana White, lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and his challenger, featherweight titleholder Conor McGregor, will be joined by Miesha Tate and female bantamweight champion Holly Holm.

The press conference coincides with ticket sales for the March 5 event beginning today. UFC Fight Club members can purchase tickets starting a noon PT, while newsletter subscribers can on Thursday with the same start time.

For general public ticket sales, those will begin Friday at noon PT.

Tickets range in price from $204-$1,454.

eddie alvarez

Fresh off reclaiming the bantamweight belt, Dominick Cruz finds himself ranked ninth in the latest UFC pound-for-pound Top-15.

Cruz, who bested T.J. Dillashaw over the weekend, joins a Top-10 that features all champions except No. 1 Jon Jones and eighth-ranked Jose Aldo.

Dillashaw fell to 12th overall.

There is also a new No. 1 contender in the lightweight division, as Eddie Alvarez jumped three spots after defeating Anthony Pettis. Alvarez has now scored back-to-back decisions over Pettis and Gilbert Melendez.

The former Bellator champion moved ahead of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Pettis and Donald Cerrone.

joanna jedrzejczyk

The UFC confirmed on Sunday night that strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and top contender Claudia Gadelha will meet on the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 23 after coaching on the upcoming season of the reality series.

It will take place July 8, going down a day ahead of UFC 200 in Las Vegas.

The two will coach light heavyweights and strawweights on the season of TUF, which premiers April 20 on FOX Sports 1.

Jedrzejczyk defeated Gadelha via decision in a close bout to become the top contender. She went on to win the title and has defended it twice since.

Below is the complete press release:

The Ultimate Fighter will put mixed martial arts’ global dominance on display again as UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will coach opposite No. 1 contender Claudia Gadelha. The coaches will lead a group of eight light heavyweights and eight strawweights who will compete for a UFC contract and the title of The Ultimate Fighter.

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia will kick-off on FS1 on Wednesday, April 20 with a two-hour season premiere airing at 10 p.m. ET as 32 competitors fight for one of 16 slots – eight in each weight class – available to be coached by two of the sport’s best. The season will continue with 11 one-hour shows Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET. The series is the highest rated and most watched original program since the network’s inception in August 2013.

Poland’s first UFC champion, Jedrzejczyk (11-0, fighting out of Olsztyn, Poland) stormed onto the scene in 2014 with her first Octagon® appearance. Since then, she’s gone on to win five straight, won the strawweight title, cemented her place on the top pound-for-pound list and is widely considered as one of the best strikers in the sport. She’ll now lend her expertise to the next generation of athletes who hope to follow in her footsteps and one day wear UFC gold themselves.

Gadelha (13-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) trains at the renowned Nova Uniao gym, home to former champions Jose Aldo & Renan Barao. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist hopes to get another crack at current strawweight champion, Jedrzejczyk, who provided Gadelha with the only blemish on her record – a three-round split decision loss in late 2014. Their contrasting styles should provide for an entertaining season between the two teams. The Brazilian’s comfort zone is on the canvas and will provide a stark contrast to the Pole’s highly skilled striking attack brings a completely different skillset to the show.

The series culminates on live on FS1 Friday, July 8 in Las Vegas as part of International Fight Week and will be headlined by Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha in a championship bout for the strawweight world title.

ufc fight night 81

The Octagon touched down from “Beantown” for a special Sunday night edition of UFC Fight Night 81.

Six takedowns and a strong third round helped Eddie Alvarez claim a decision victory over Anthony Pettis in the co-main event. Alvarez, a former Bellator champion, earned his second victory since signing with the UFC by taking a page from the book of Rafael dos Anjos.

Travis Browne got back in the win column with a third round TKO over Matt Mitrione. After going 1-2 over his last three entering the fight, “Hapa” was able to find a home for his right hand in the third, following up with vicious ground-and-pound for the victory.

Two alums of The Ultimate Fighter, Ross Pearson and Francisco Trinaldo, kicked off the FOX Sports 1 main card with a three-round battle. In the end, it was Trinaldo – a member of TUF: Brazil’s first season – picking up the decision over Pearson – a winner in 2009 on the reality show.

To conclude the prelims, former middleweight title contender Patrick Cote improved to 6-1 over his last seven with a second round TKO vs. Ben Saunders. Cote has now picked up three straight, including two via stoppage.

Fighting at 205 pounds for the first time, Ed Herman showed his power remains with a second round finish of Tim Boetsch. The Ultimate Fighter veteran connected with a knee and followed up, prompting the finish. Chris Wade pushed his win streak to six, including four with the UFC, by scoring a first round submission vs. Mehdi Baghdad. The submission was the second among Wade’s Octagon appearances.

It’s taken Luke Sanders a long time to get to the UFC, but he made the most of his opportunity. After a thrilling opening few minutes, Sanders caught Maximo Blanco with a left to begin the televised action, immediately locking up a rear-naked choke and earning the win.

Coming off a pair of tough decision losses, Paul Felder earned his 11th victory – and first via submission – with a rear-naked choke win over Daron Cruickshank to complete the UFC Fight Pass prelims.

Finishes are becoming the norm for Sweden’s Ilir Latifi, as he knocked Sean O’Connell out in just 30 seconds of their light heavyweight contest affair. Kyle Bochniak stepped up on four days notice and pushed Charles Rosa to the distance. Rosa, though, pulled out the decision victory.

Boston’s Rob Font got the first finish of the night, dropping Joey Gomez and handing him his first career loss in the second round. It was the first bout for Font since 2014 due to injuries. Francimar Barroso opened the night with a decision over UFC newcomer Elvis Mutapcic.

Cruz and Dillashaw were awarded $50,000 each for “Fight of the Night,” while Herman and Sanders claimed the same after winning “Performance of the Night” bonuses. The attendance was announced at 12,022 for a live gate of $1.3 million.

Check out complete play-by-play on FightLine, with quick results below:

Dominick Cruz def. T.J. Dillashaw via split decision (48-47, 46-49, 49-46) to become new UFC bantamweight champion

Eddie Alvarez def. Anthony Pettis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Travis Browne def. Matt Mitrione via TKO (strikes) at 4:09 of Round 3

Francisco Trinaldo def. Ross Pearson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Patrick Cote def. Ben Saunders via TKO (strikes) at 1:14 of Round 2

Ed Herman def. Tim Boetsch via TKO (knee/strikes) at 1:39 of Round 2

Chris Wade def. Medhi Baghdad via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:30 of Round 1

Luke Sanders def. Maximo Blanco via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:38 of Round 1

Paul Felder def. Daron Cruickshank via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:56 of Round 3

Ilir Latifi def. Sean O’Connell via KO (strike) at :30 of Round 1

Charles Rosa def. Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Rob Font def. Joey Gomez via TKO (strikes) at 4:13 of Round 2

Francimar Barroso def. Elvis Mutapcic via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

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