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Preliminary Card Fighters Take Home UFC on FOX 26 Bonuses

The Ultimate Fighting Championship released the winners of the fighter bonuses stemming from Saturday’s UFC on FOX 26 fight card in Winnipeg, Canada.  Alessio Di Chirico, Nordine Taleb, Julian Marquez, and Darren Stewart took home the $50,000 performance incentives.

Fight of the Night honors went to Marquez and Darren Stewart for their middleweight war.  Marquez earned his UFC contract with a devastating head kick knockout on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.  He showed on Saturday that he belongs in the big show.  Midway through the second frame, Marquez landed a elbow on Stewart that caused Stewart to look for a takedown.  Marquez quickly slapped on a guillotine choke that forced Stewart to tap out.

RELATED > UFC on FOX 26: Lawler vs. dos Anjos Live Results

Taleb earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his first-round knockout over Danny Roberts.  It took Taleb less than a minute to finish Roberts.  Taleb landed a head kick that hurt Roberts.  He quickly followed up with a right hand that forced the referee to step in and stop the action just 59 seconds into the fight. 

Di Chirico banked the second Performance of the Night bonus for his second-round knockout of Oluwale Bamgbose.  During a wild exchange, Di Chirico landed a knee that left Bamgbose face-first on the canvas.  It was a walk-off KO and worth a bonus. 

UFC on FOX 26 featured 11 bouts.  Five fights ended in knockout, five went the distance, and one ended with a submission. 

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Colby Covington Calls for Interim Title Fight with ‘Filthy Animal’ Rafael dos Anjos

Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos logged his third consecutive win as a welterweight on Saturday by dismantling former titleholder Robbie Lawler in the UFC on FOX 26 main event in Winnipeg, Canada. Following the win, dos Anjos called fora title shot against champion Tyron Woodley, but No. 3 ranked Colby Covington has a different plan.

Woodley will be out of most of 2018 due to shoulder surgery and Covington wants to fight dos Anjos for an interim belt in Brazil. Covington took to Twitter immediately following Saturday’s event and criticized those on the fight card by calling them the “JV squad.” He characterized Lawler as an “old man.”

“Sad Performance by the JV Squad on FOX for #UFCWinnipeg.  RDA couldn’t even finish a broken old man!  Tyron’s faking injuries.  I’m here to make this division great again.  Rafael dos Anjos step up and defend that dump you call home and fight me for the interim title you filthy animal,” read Covington’s tweet. 

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Following his last win over Demian Maia in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Oct. 28 Covington insulted Brazil as a nation and its citizens. “Brazil, you’re a dump! All you filthy animals suck,” he said during his in-Octagon interview. He issued a public apology the following day to any ‘filthy animals’ who were offended by him comparing them to Brazilians.

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Rafael dos Anjos Dominates Robbie Lawler (UFC on FOX 26 Highlights)

(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out highlights from the UFC on FOX 26 main event between Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos on Saturday in Winnipeg, Canada.

The fight promotion next returns home to Las Vegas for its year-end blowout. UFC 219 features the women’s featherweight championship between titleholder Cris Cyborg and challenger Holly Holm, as well as a pivotal lightweight battle between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza.

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Rafael dos Anjos Dismantles Robbie Lawler, Calls for Title Shot Against Tyron Woodley

Rafael dos Anjos is ready to fight for his second UFC title.

On Saturday night in Canada, dos Anjos put on a five round clinic to defeat former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in the main event at UFC Fight Night from Winnipeg.

Dos Anjos, who previously reigned as lightweight champion, has looked unstoppable since moving to 170 pounds but there was no doubt that Lawler would be his biggest test by far, but he passed with flying colors after a picture perfect performance against arguably one of the biggest knockout threats in the history of the sport.

Dos Anjos definitely had the right strategy to stay on the outside early, staying away from Lawler’s power punches and then blasting the former champion with leg kicks.

The barrage of kicks actually began showing damage on Lawler’s lead leg during the first round with redness and swelling growing with each shot landed.

That didn’t slow down Lawler, however, as he pressed forward and did his best work against the cage where he trapped dos Anjos with his weight and started to pepper away with short inside punches and knees.

Lawler came out more aggressive in the second round, almost immediately opening up with a barrage of punches that pushed dos Anjos back again the cage.

The initial exchange got dos Anjos’ attention but he was able to weather the storm and slip away without taking too much damage. In return, dos Anjos tagged Lawler with a hard punch that seemingly wobbled the former welterweight champion, which signaled the Brazilian to go for the kill.

Dos Anjos came forward with a flurry of punches — targeting the body and then going back to the head — and he managed to throw an incredible 48 strikes over the course of that sequence. A second after dos Anjos finally slowed down, Lawler smiled at him before circling away from the cage before returning fire.

In the third round, dos Anjos altered his attack by taking Lawler to the ground with an early takedown before the fighters worked their way back to the feet, once again getting locked against the cage throwing strikes.

Dos Anjos never seemed phased when caught in those exchanges with Lawler, who was trying to blast away with punches to the body. When Lawler finally backed away, dos Anjos quickly pushed forward, managing to put Lawler on his back and he once again jumped to the ground.

Dos Anjos bludgeoned Lawler with a series of stinging punches and elbows that dropped like sledgehammers until time ran out as he seemed to wrap up yet another round on the scorecards.

Lawler’s legs were definitely bothering him as time ticked away in the fight because he wasn’t planting much on any of his punches and that opened the door for dos Anjos to come forward aggressively without fearing much retribution.

Dos Anjos was dominant with Lawler trapped against the cage as he started digging to the body with punches and then going up high to the head with every combination doing damage. Late in the fourth round, dos Anjos even managed to land a huge jumping knee strike that tagged Lawler but somehow the former welterweight champion was able to absorb the shot and survive until the horn sounded.

With less than five minutes to go, dos Anjos knew he was in control but he wasn’t finished running up the score with a barrage of punches and knees from inside the clinch. Lawler showed incredible toughness but he just ran out of steam and couldn’t find a way fight his way out of a bad situation with dos Anjos absolutely pouring on the punishment round after round.

RELATED > UFC on FOX 26: Lawler vs. dos Anjos Live Results

When it was all over, all three judges scored the fight 50-45 in favor of dos Anjos, who picks up a huge win over a former champion in Lawler.

Now dos Anjos has his sights set on welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who he hopes to fight next following his third straight win in the welterweight division.

“On my opinion, I just beat the toughest guy in the division,” dos Anjos said. “I think I did enough tonight to deserve that title shot and I’m sure I’ll get that belt.”

Now the question remains who actually gets the next title shot. Dos Anjos certainly made his case with the win on Saturday night but fellow welterweight contender Colby Covington has made plenty of noise lately with rumors swirling that the UFC has approached him about coaching opposite Woodley, who is expected to be out for several months following shoulder surgery.

It’s not a bad spot for the UFC with two legitimate title contenders waiting in the wings with Woodley waiting to find out who his next opponent will be.

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Josh Emmett Knocked Ricardo Lamas Stiff (UFC on FOX 26 Highlights)

(Video courtesy of UFC on FOX | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out highlights from the UFC on FOX 26 co-main event between Ricardo Lamas and Josh Emmett on Saturday in Winnipeg, Canada.

The fight promotion next returns home to Las Vegas for its year-end blowout. UFC 219 features the women’s featherweight championship between titleholder Cris Cyborg and challenger Holly Holm, as well as a pivotal lightweight battle between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza.

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Robert Whittaker: ‘I Am the Real Champ’

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will get his chance put his stamp on the title when he faces former titleholder Luke Rockhold on Feb. 11 in the UFC 221 main event.

The 26-year-old New Zealander is on eight-fight winning streak and captured the interim belt by defeating top contender Yoel Romero at UFC 213 in July.  Three months earlier he knocked out highly regarded contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.  In the fight prior to the Souza knockout, Whittaker finished Derek Brunson. While Whittaker was defeating contenders, then-champion Michael Bisping was either fighting non-contenders or sidelined with injuries.

After a 13-month period of inactivity, Bisping returned at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 and was defeated by former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.   St-Pierre had been away from the sport for four years and had never fought as a middleweight.  On Dec. 7, St-Pierre relinquished the title, and Whittaker was elevated to unified champion, but the Aussie fighter says that he was the real champion all along.

“I don’t think there was a doubt in anyone’s mind who the real champ was. I fought my way up through some hard dudes to get to where I am, and yeah, I am the champ, I was the champ,” Whittaker told Submission Radio.

Facing the former champion in the first defense of the belt will be the biggest fight of Whittaker’s career, but a fight against St-Pierre would have been something special to “The Reaper.”  Whittaker used to idolize St-Pierre. 

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“I wanted to fight Georges out of respect more than anything. I idolized him as a child coming up and as a young man coming up in my career.  He was always one of my biggest idols. To be able to fight him would’ve been great. To put him on my resume and say I fought Georges St-Pierre, that would have been great,” he said. 

While St-Pierre’s legacy is set in stone as one of the greatest fighters to ever compete inside the Octagon, Whittaker believes he would have been too much for “Rush.”  In fact, he never really thought St-Pierre would actually fight him. 

“I don’t think I ever really convinced myself that he would fight me. I think it was a dangerous fight for him, a hard fight for him and it is what it is.”

Now that St-Pierre has vacated, Whittaker and the division can move on, starting with Whittaker’s showdown with Rockhold in Perth, Western Australia.

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Rafael dos Anjos Willing to Wait for Tyron Woodley, Refuses to Address Colby Covington

Rafael dos Anjos only wants what UFC president Dana White promised him.

Following an impressive five round decision win against former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler on Saturday night, dos Anjos now expects to face 170-pound king Tyron Woodley in his next fight.

Ahead of the latest UFC on FOX card this weekend, White had declared the winner would get the next shot at Woodley with the welterweight championship on the line.

Now dos Anjos is ready and willing to face the champion, even if it means taking off a little extra time while Woodley recovers from shoulder surgery.

“I just beat a former champion. Dana White said whoever wins the fight will fight for the belt,” dos Anjos said at the post fight press conference. “That was my third fight in six months. I’ve been in fight camp for the last six months. Just fight camp, straight. I need some time off, too. Time to go back home, get better and have like a little longer camp to prepare for a title fight.

“I hope he gets the surgery done because he was about to have the surgery to fight some other guy but he was about to fight [Nate] Diaz. So he says he don’t need surgery to fight one guy but he needs surgery to fight a different guy. I don’t get it but I’m willing to wait.”

It sounds like dos Anjos is happy to take an extended break after a very busy 2017 if it means getting a shot at Woodley next year.

As far as entertaining any other fights, dos Anjos prefers to wait for Woodley and he has no interest in even addressing a comment from No. 3 ranked contender Colby Covington on Twitter where he called the Brazilian a ‘filthy animal’ following his win.

“I have no comments about that guy,” dos Anjos said about Covington. “That guy has 6,000 followers on Twitter. He’s just talking crap about people and he’s showed nothing on the division. He beat nobody. He beat Demian Maia but Demian Maia looked really bad when he fought Demian and I have no comments on that guy.”

Tyron Woodley Responds to Rafael dos Anjos’ Calling for Next Title Shot

After watching Rafael dos Anjos defeat Robbie Lawler on Saturday night, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is more that confident that his title isn’t going anywhere.

Woodley was in Winnipeg to witness first hand the fight that was supposed to determine the next contender in the welterweight division as dos Anjos put on a five round clinic to beat Lawler in the main event.

Woodley took nothing away from dos Anjos’ performance as he picked up the biggest win of his career at 170 pounds, but the reigning champion still didn’t see anything all that special that would make him feel threatened if that was his next opponent.

“In my opinion what I saw tonight, if any of those two guys in that bout would fight me, one of those guys is going to get knocked out,” Woodley said on the FS1 post fight show. “I saw the IQ wasn’t as high as I would like for a guy in a No. 1 contendership fight. Both of those guys talked about pushing the pace and they were going to do this and they were going to do that. I saw a ton of openings for myself in both of those fights.

“Obviously, I don’t want to steal the shine. RDA (Rafael dos Anjos) had a great moment, he went out there and did his job. Robbie Lawler’s a very dangerous opponent and he’s knocked out so many different people but just being honest and keeping it 100-percent, I’m the champion for a reason.”

While Woodley seemed more than confident in his ability to beat dos Anjos, he didn’t try to discredit his win by saying that Lawler was suddenly missing a step after more than 40 professional fights.

That being said, Woodley added that dos Anjos had openings to finish the fight and still couldn’t put Lawler away, which is one of the reasons why he wasn’t ultimately all that impressed by the performance.

“I don’t think Robbie Lawler slowed down. I think his game plan was appropriate but he didn’t come off with the rope-a-dope. He blocked the shots, he had the pressure, but he never came off punching,” Woodley said about Lawler. “I also think RDA had some opportunities in that second round where he was teeing off. During the replay we saw what some of those body shots, he actually saw the shots through.

“If you have someone against the Octagon cage like that in this division of power, you’ve got to take them out.”

As of now, the UFC hasn’t said if dos Anjos is actually going to get the title shot or if they may opt for another opponent like No. 3 ranked Colby Covington, who has gone on a very public campaign to face Woodley next.

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UFC on FOX 26 Gate & Attendance Figures from Winnipeg, Canada

The Ultimate Fighting Championship released the attendance and gate figures stemming from Saturday’s UFC on FOX 26 event in Winnipeg, Canada.  8,862 spectators attended the 11-fight card at Bell MTS Place geneUFC on FOX 26 Lawler vs dos Anjos Fight Posterrating $1,005,273.75 CAD in gate receipts. 

Those in attendance witnessed former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos defeat former welterweight titleholder Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision in the fight card’s main event.  Dos Anjos pressured Lawler with a varied attack of punches, kicks and takedown attempts.  He hurt Lawler on a couple of occasions but was unable to put “Rushless” away.  The fight ended up being one-sided with all three judges scoring it 50-45 for dos Anjos. 

RELATED > UFC on FOX 26: Lawler vs. dos Anjos Live Results

In the co-main event, Josh Emmett emerged as a new contender in the 145-pound division by knocking out No. 3 ranked Ricardo Lamas.  Emmett put everything behind each of his strikes and flattened Lamas late in the opening round.  Lamas hand thrown a right hand and Emmett planted and fired back with a left-hand counter that left Lamas unconscious and stiff on the canvas. 

The fight card was the second the fight promotion has hosted in Winnipeg. 

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LFA 29 Results & Fight Highlights: Closing Out the Year with a Bang!

(Video courtesy of AXS TV Fights | Viewing may be limited due to broadcast rights restrictions)

Closing out an action-packed year, Ricky Simon (11-1) won a back-and-forth battle against Chico Camus (18-8, 1 NC) to claim the Legacy Fighting Alliance Bantamweight Title live on AXS TV FIGHTS: LFA 29.

AXS TV FIGHTS launches its stacked 2018 schedule on Friday, Jan. 12 at 10pE/7pP with LFA’s record-breaking 30th televised event, which makes them the fastest promotion in MMA history to hold 30 events. Broadcast live from the Costa Mesa Hall at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, California, LFA 30 features a main event welterweight battle between top contenders Curtis Millender (13-3) and Nick Barnes (12-2).

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LFA 29: Camus vs. Simon Full Results

  • Main Event – Bantamweight Title Fight – Ricky Simon (11-1) defeated Chico Camus (18-8, 1 NC) by unanimous decision (48-46, 50-45, 49-45)
  • Co-Main Event – Lightweight Fight – Jeff Peterson (9-4) scored a unanimous decision victory over Mike Richman (18-8) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
  • Featherweight Fight – Nate Jennerman (10-3) submitted Sam Toomer (11-2, 1 NC) with an arm triangle at 2:41 in round two.
  • Welterweight Fight – Jason Witt (12-4) outlasted Ty Freeman (10-7) to win by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
  • Lightweight Fight – Brandon Jenkins (11-5) defeated Carl Wittsock (9-3) in an back-and-forth fight, winning by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
  • Light Heavyweight Fight – Cameron Olson (9-3, 1 NC) submitted Jaquis Williams (7-7) with a rear-naked choke at 2:52 in round two.
  • Middleweight Fight – Alton Cunningham (4-0) knocked down Dominic Garcia (4-2) to win by TKO (Punches) at 4;58 in round one.

(Photo courtesy of Jesse Kelley /Legacy Fighting Alliance)

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