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2017 MMAThread Awards

2017 has been a big year for MMA, and here are the MMAThread Awards.

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2017 gave us some massive fights – Jon Jones took on Daniel Cormier to win back the title he never lost, TJ Dillashaw and Cody Gardbant finally threw down, Max Holloway finally cemented himself as the true king of the Featherweight division and the legend that is Georges St-Pierre returned to become the fourth UFC fighter to win belts at multiple weight classes – And this was just from the UFC – Other promotions that killed it this year include Bellator, Cage Warriors and KSW.

MMAThread’s staff have all come together and agreed that the following fighters should receive these awards.

Submission of the Year
Jonno Mears – Boston Crab – FCC 19 – September 30th

FCC or Full Contact Contender is a relatively small regional promotion, but in late 2017 the promotion got a massive amount of publicity thanks to an incredible submission pulled off by Manchester’s Jonno MearsMears entered his second pro fight coming off a TKO win over Will Cairns in his first pro outing – but it was on this September evening in the Macron Stadium in Bolton where he would cement his name in MMA history forever – Mears pulled off a Boston Crab, or as some would remember it has “The Walls of Jerrico”, becoming an instant viral sensation in doing so, the submission brought back many memories for people who used to enjoy the golden days of the WWF/E – The submission is a first in MMA, and incredibly difficult to pull off.

Knockout of the Year
Paul Daley – Jumping Knee – Bellator 170 

Paul Daley is a knockout artist, that is something most MMA fans will know, but normally he gets the KO with his fists, not this time around! Instead after being stalled on the cage wall, Daley managed to catch a break and then came running with a brutal jumping knee that knocked out Brennan Ward cold – Ward is now scarred for life!

Picking the KO of the year was a very tough choice, which so many brutal knockouts this year – but it was Daley’s KO early on in the year that continues to stick out.

Rise of the Year
Francis N’Gannou

There have been many fighters in 2017 who have stood out from the crowd, but none as loud or as hard as N’Gannou. Although only fighting twice in 2017, N’Gannou has turned from contender to challenger and could be one of the biggest challenges for heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic to date – N’Gannou started the year off with a literal bang by TKO’ing former champion Andrei Arlovski, he then finished out the year with a massive knockout win over Alistair Overeem in a fight which would earn him a shot at UFC gold. In between these fights N’Gannou has made Las Vegas and the UFC Performance Centre his new home, living, eating and breathing MMA.

UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou official promo

👊 BADDEST MEN ON THE PLANET 👊Your official Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou UFC promo has dropped!What. A. Fight! 🔥#UFC220

Posted by BT Sport on Saturday, 30 December 2017

Fall of the Year
Michael Bisping

Bisping had the year of his life in 2016, he defeated former Middleweight Champion and UFC legend Anderson Silva in London, before replacing Chris Weidman on three weeks notice to take on Luke Rockhold – the fight with Rockhold was for all the marbles, after so many years of fighting Bisping finally got his UFC title shot and he took it with both hands, he knockout Rockhold in the first to not only avenge a loss but to become the UK’s first UFC Champion. He then ended 2016 with a win over former rival Dan Henderson to avenge a devastating knockout years earlier.

2017 was the polar opposite to such an amazing 2017 for BispingBisping was out injured for the start of 2017, then in March we heard rumours of a potential matchup against a returning GSP, that fight was eventually called off and Bisping was again sidelined, in this time Australian standout Robert Whittikar became the new Interim Champion after taking out Yoel Romero. Bisping would finally return to the Octagon in November after a year away he was to finally take on Georges St-Pierre, GSP dominated much of the fight and submitted Bisping in the third round – Just three weeks later Bisping, not one to shy away from an opportunity, took on Kelvin Gastelum as a late minute replacement after Anderson Silva was removed due to a flagged USADA test. At 2 minutes 30 seconds of round one Bisping’s lights were shut out by Gastelum, marking an end to a miserable 2017 for the Brit. Bisping still refused to retire, and here’s hoping we see him back on the winning side of things in 2018.

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Male Fighters of the Year
Max Holloway

Since Max Holloway lost to Conor McGregor back in 2013 he has gone on a 10 fight winning streak, tearing through the Featherweight division to get to the goal, a shot at the UFC Featherweight Title. The fight wouldn’t be a rematch with McGregor of course, McGregor was stripped of the Featherweight Title in late 2016 after winning the Lightweight Title – Instead Jose Aldo had once again reclaimed his spot as the king of the division, something Holloway was keen to put an end to, Holloway came into the fight the Interim Champion, winning the title back in 2016 against Anthony Pettis. In June 2017 Aldo and Holloway faced off to unify the division, after some early back and forth, Holloway put away Aldo in the 3rd round to become the Undisputed Champion.

Holloway was scheduled to face off against Frankie Edgar in his first title defence on December 2nd, however, Edgar became injured and former champion Jose Aldo was brought in as a replacement – this second fight played out much the same as the first and Holloway again put Aldo away in the 3rd to cement himself as the number one Featherweight. 2018 should be a bright year for Holloway, we expect him to face off with Edgar.

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Female Fighter of the Year
Rose Namajunas

Thug Rose! Thug Rose! Thug Rose! – That’s all the word Daniel Cormier could muster up after Rose Namajunas pulled off the almost unthinkable in 2017, she stopped reigning Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Rose started that year with a submission over Michelle Waterson to become the number one contender, before finally taking on the Champion in the latter half of 2017. Rose dominated Joanna forcing her to tap to strikes and become the new Strawweight Champion – Rose’s post-fight interview will be one of the most standout moments of 2017, not for being controversial, but for being so humble.

One to Watch
Darren Till

Before Till took on Donald Cerrone in October, many Welterweights were asking just who this guy was, well after he dominated the always durable Cowboy, stopping him in the first round during their showdown in Poland, there was very little doubt that everyone knew who he was now! Darren Till has now put the entire Welterweight division on notice as he looks to establish himself as a top contender in 2018.

Till is undefeated and a very hard hitter, he is definitely a fighter to keep an eye on during 2018, don’t be surprised if he fights for a title before the end of the year, or will at the very least earn a shot by the end of the year.

Gym of the Year
Next Generation MMA – Liverpool

Next Generation based out of Liverpool is home to fighters such as Chris Fishgold, Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann, it is also the home for many upcoming amateur talents. – 2017 has been a great year for the gym, Chris Fishgold returned to the cage at Cage Warriors 88 to defeat Alexander Jacobson, defending his title for the third time and the year was topped off when Molly McCann was named as Cage Warriors Fighter of the Year – 2018 is looking to be a big year as it may potentially see several fighters from the gym moving on to the UFC.

Fight Predictions 

Conor McGregor vs Georges St-Pierre
Conor McGregor had just one fight in 2017, and it wasn’t even in the Octagon, he has yet to defend his 155lb title and many are calling him to be stripped, which is why this fight prediction makes the most sense. GSP made his UFC return, submitting Michael Bisping to become the Middleweight Champion, he soon vacated the title and will drop back to Welterweight (170lbs).

McGregor is now all about the money fight, and it would take one big offer to lure him back, the only true money fight to be made would be a showdown with GSP – It is why this prediction (and it is just that, a prediction) suggests that Conor will be stripped of the belt and Khabib and Ferguson will fight for the unified Lightweight Title in March.

Conor will then return titleless around August time to take on GSP in a PPV extravaganza, after this fight – win or lose, it would be down to Conor to decide whether he wants to fight again.

Special Mentions

Cris Cyborg 

Cyborg was a serious consideration for the female Fighter of the Year award, Cyborg’s biggest fight in 2017 was with the UFC and the way the promotion was mistreating her, at one point pleading with the UFC to just let her fight – She was finally supposed to fight for the 145lb title, but her opponent Germaine de Randamie refused to fight her, branding her a cheat – for this refusal the UFC stripped Randamie and this is where things finally started to look up for Cyborg, she fought Tonya Evinger in July to finaly get the title she’d long been yerning for – Cyborg’s time is NOW!. To top of her tremendous year Cyborg dominated Holy Holm to a decision win at UFC 119, Cyborg showed she isn’t just a big hitter, she stuck to a game plan and proved that she is an all-around fighter. 2018 is already set to be another big year for the Brazilian, word is that she’ll take on Amanda Nunes next in a super fight.

Demetrious Johnson 

Might Mouse is clearly the number one pound for pound fighter in the world, he has been such a dominant fighter and in 2017 he made UFC history – he officially defended his Flyweight title 11 times, surpassing the 10 title defences made by former Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. It was during this title defense, Mighty Mouse decided to remind everyone just why he’s one of the greatest fighters to ever step inside the Octagon, in the 5th round of his title match against Ray Borg, he suplexed Borg and quickly (in mid-air) transition into what can only be described as one of the best armbars you will ever see.

Congratulations to all the winners and heres hoping 2018 is a big year for MMA.

 

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UFC 241 Preview & Predictions

A look ahead to UFC 241 which sees the rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic

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The UFC returns this weekend for another stacked pay-per-view card headlined by a Heavyweight Title rematch between Daniel Cormier and former champion Stipe Miocic.

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The Main Event

DC is returning to action to defend his UFC Heavyweight title for the second time after previously defending against Derrick Lewis at UFC 230.

Cormier got the better of Lewis in that fight very early on and ended up securing a second round rear naked choke to make the first defense of his title.

Former Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic makes his return to the Octagon since losing his title to DC back in July last year, marking 13 months since he last fought.

DC knocked out the former champion in thier first ‘Superfight’ encounter. Looking back at the fight it was evidently clear that the need to no longer cut weight was a huge factor for DC heading into the bout.

DC who has never lost at Heavyweight looked sensational, keeping Miocic at bay with jabs before coming in close to setup the eventual knockout blow, which Miocic had no chance of seeing.

Looking ahead to this rematch, on paper things are once again even, Stipe dispite the knockout loss to DC has a granite chin. DC has that olympic wrestling pedigree and at Heavyweight I believe DC can knock almost anyone out.

So what will be the deciding factor in this fight? I believe the time out for Stipe will play a major role in this bout, Stipe hasn’t fought since he lost his title and losing in the fashion that he did must be in the back of his mind.

DC on the other hand has already defended the title once, and were it not for the on again then off again negotiations in getting Brock Lesnar back into the UFC, he probably would have defended the belt again a lot sooner.

With all this being said, I believe DC will be victourious in this rematch, I believe DC wears out Stipe over the first 2 rounds to secure a knockout in the third.

Nate Diaz returns!

In the co-main event is a matchup only dreams are made of! and thankfully them dreams have come true. Nate Diaz finally makes his return to fighting after a long 3 years out.

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We last seen Diaz back at UFC 202 where he lost a very close decision to Conor McGregor. Diaz was originally inked to fight Dustin Poirier in November last year, but after disagreements with the UFC over McGregor fighting Khabib, the fight never happened.

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Thankfully now, however, it appears as though Diaz and the UFC have patched up their differences and finally Diaz returns.

Welcoming back Diaz is the former UFC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis. Pettis’ last outing was a second round knockout over Stephen Thompson, a knockout which will forerver be cermented in his highlight reel alongside the running cage kick.

Pettis also fought Tony Ferguson back in October of last year in a fight that was an absolute brawl whilst it lasted, unfortunately for Pettis his broke his hand during the bout and had to retire at the end of the seconding round.

Pettis is now 2-2 in his last four UFC fights and is looking for a big win over Nate Diaz. Diaz is also 2-2 in his last four, the big factor going into this fight is the time off for Diaz.

3 years out has got to be a huge issue for Diaz, and whilst it’s known that Diaz is always keeping fit all year round running triathalons, the cage rust will likely be an issue.

This fight is a real treat for UFC fans, however I feel that Pettis will get the job done in the third round, I believe Pettis’ recent fighting time will allow him to take over late in the fight and secure a stoppage win.

Rest of the Card

The rest of UFC 241 is also stacked, we see a middleweight encounter between the always dangerous Yoel Romero and the undefeated Paulo Costa.

Yoel hasn’t fought inside the Octagon since a split decision loss to current UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 225 back in June last year.

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Paulo Costa last fought in July last year knocking out Uriah Hall, coincidently his last fight was on the Miocic vs Cormier undercard.

Looking at this fight, this is Costa’s first true big test, he has never fought anyone with the power that Yoel posses, if he can make it past the second however, I believe he can nap a decision win. A win for Paulo sets him up for title contention, he will likely have to face either Gastelum or the loser of Whittaker/Stylebender first, but a win over either of them will see him as the next 185lb challenger.

Sodiq Yusuff who is 2-0 in the UFC will take on Gabriel Benitez, looking at this fight I can see Sodiq grinding out a decision win.

Ian Heinisch makes his third UFC appearence taking on Derek Brunson. Heinisch is 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Antonio Carlos Junior and Cezar Ferreira, both by way of decision.

Brunson who is 2-2 in his last four UFC fights is returning after beating Elias Theodorou back in May, before that Brunson was knocked out in the first round during his previous two bouts. Ronaldo Souza knocked him out in January last year, followed by Israel Adesanya knocking him out in November last year.

Looking ahead to this fight, I think it’ll be a tough night for Brunson, who really needs a win here to keep his place in the UFC, Brunson is now 4-4 in his last eight UFC appearences.

With all this being said, I feel Henisch will grind out a deicsion win over Brunson.

The full UFC 241 card looks as follows

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

Women’s Flyweight
Sabina Mazo vs Shana Dobson

Bantamweight
Kyung Ho Kang vs Brandon Davis

Women’s Strawweight
Hannah Cifers vs Jodie Esquibel

Prelims – ESPN/BT Sport

Bantamweight
Manny Bermudez vs Casey Kenney

Lightweight
Christos Glagos vs Drakkar Klose

Bantamweight
Raphael Assuncao vs Cory Sandhagen

Lightweight
Devonte Smith vs Khama Worthy

Main Card – PPV / BT Sport

Middleweight
Derek Brunson vs Ian Heinisch

Featherweight
Gabriel Benitez vs Sodiq Yusuff

Middleweight
Yoel Romero vs Paulo Costa

Co-Main Event – Welterweight
Anthony Pettis vs Nate Diaz

Main Event – UFC Heavyweight Title Bout
Daniel Cormier (C) vs Stipe Miocic

What do you think of UFC 241? Sound off in the comments below and be sure to check back with MMAThread for all your latest MMA News.

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MMA stars react to Mike Perry’s broken nose

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UFC on ESPN+ 14 took place last night and whilst it was headlined by a title bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Liz Carmouche, it was Mike Perry and Vincente Luque who stole the show!

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Late in the third round of what was an epic encouter between the pair of Welterweights, Mike Perry was caught by a knee which lead to one of the nose breaks we’ve ever witnessed.

Below is how the MMA community reacted to the bloody brawl.

What did you think of the fight? Sound off in the comments below and be sure to check back with MMAThread for all your fight news.

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LIVE! UFC 238 Weigh-In

WATCH! Live weigh-ins for UFC 238 as Henry Cejudo takes on Marlon Moraes for the vacant Bantamweight Title

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Tomorrow night (or Sunday morning if you’re in the UK) the UFC is back!

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UFC Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo is set to face off against Marlon Moraes for the vacant Bantamweight title.

Cejudo was originally supposed to be in a much-rumoured rematch with T.J Dillashaw, after being T.J back in January to successfully defend his 125lb title.

However, things changed in March when T.J vacated his 135lb title after being flagged by USADA for a failed drug test.

In steps Marlon Moraes in what is expected to be a barn burner of a fight, and one in which Cejudo could become the next two-weight champion in the UFC.

In the co-main event UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko makes the first defense of her 125lb title after beating Joanna Jedrzejczyk in December for the then-vacant title.

Plus Tony Ferguson returns after some much-publicised personal issues outside of the cage to take on Donald Cerrone in what is expected to be a fight for the number one contender’s spot.

The winner is expected to face off against the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier which is set to take place at UFC 242 in September.

Watch the Weigh-Ins LIVE below

Full Fight Card:

EARLY PRELIMS (UFC Fight Pass)

Women’s Flyweight (125lb)
Katlyn Chookagain vs Joanne Calderwood

Bantamweight (135lb)
Eddie Wineland vs Grigory Popov

Middleweight (185lb)
Bevon Lewis vs Darren Stewart

Women’s Strawweight (115lb)
Xiaonan Yan vs Angela Hill

PRELIMS (ESPN / BT SPORT 1)

Featherweight (145lb)
Ricardo Lamas vs Calvin Kattar

Women’s Strawweight (115lb)
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Alexa Grasso

Bantamweight (135lb)
Aljamain Sterling vs Pedro Munhoz

Women’s Strawweight (115lb)
Tatiana Suarez vs Nina Ansaroff

MAIN CARD (PPV / BT SPORT 1)

Heavyweight (265lb)
Tai Tuivasa vs Blagoy Ivanov

Bantamweight (135lb)
Jimmie Rivera vs Petr Yan

Lightweight (155lb)
Tony Ferguson vs Donald Cerrone

UFC Women’s Flyweight Title (125lb)
Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Eye

UFC Bantamweight Title (135lb)
Henry Cejudo vs Marlon Moraes

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Andy Ruiz Jr. wants $50 million to face Anthony Joshua in the U.K for rematch.

Andy Ruiz Jr. demands $50 million to face Anthony Joshua in U.K rematch

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Andy Ruiz Jr. is on top of the world after defeating Anthony Joshua this past Saturday, and now he’s calling all the shots.

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Currently it is unclear where or when, if at all, a rematch will happen. AJ has stated in the post-fight press conference that he “didn’t has about a rematch clause” because he was so confident he’d beat the Mexican heavyweight.

However, despite Joshua’s comments his promoter Eddie Hearn insists there is a rematch clause and they reckon the fight will take place in November, December.

This is however, all based on whether Matchroom can get a deal with the newly crowned champion. The ball is now of course in Andy Ruiz Jr’s. hands.

In an interview with Fight Hub Ruiz has recently stated that he will take the rematch, but if AJ & Hearn want it in the UK then they are going to have to dig deep in their pockets to make it happen!

“I think they said November, December but right now my team are negotiating. I gotta stay busy, healthy and be ready for the rematch”.

“I would love it to be in Mexico or the United States, but it all depends on what we negotiate. If they want me to go over there (U.K) then they have to give me $50 million dollars”.

Ruiz also stated that he expects Joshua to fight differently but he will once again come out victorious.

“I have the faster hands and I can take a punch” said Ruiz.

So what do you think? Will Anthony Joshua face Ruiz in the U.K or will Mexico get a star studded night of action? Sound off in the comments below and be sure to check back with MMAThread for all the latest MMA & Fighting News.

 

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