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Middleweight Title Fight Headlines Legacy Fighting Alliance 22

Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) CEO Ed Soares announced recently that the promotion will crown a new middleweight champion in September when the promotion returns to Colorado.

The main event of LFA 22 will feature the top two middleweight prospects in the sport. Colorado’s own Ian “The Hurricane” Heinisch will face Brazilian dynamo and fellow undefeated prospect Markus “Maluko” Perez for the vacant LFA middleweight title. LFA 22 – Heinisch vs. Perez takes place Friday, September 8th at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

“LFA will crown a new middleweight champion at LFA 22 in Colorado,” stated Soares. “Ian Heinisch and Markus Perez are the top two middleweight prospects in the sport. On September 8th, only one will walk away with their perfect record intact with the LFA middleweight title wrapped around their waist.”

Heinisch (8-0) received plenty of fanfare when he signed with the LFA earlier this year. This was due to the fact that Heinisch is widely regarded as one of the top middleweight prospects in the world. The two-time Colorado state wrestling champion from Ponderosa High School lived up to media and fans’ lofty expectations, and then some, when he made his highly-anticipated LFA debut in the main event of LFA 10. Heinisch quickly dispatched the well-versed Brazilian powerhouse Lucas Rota in less than a round with a rare Ude-Garami (Keylock) from Kesa-Gatame (Scarf Hold). This positioned him at the front of the line for a title shot. The 29-year-old will now get the opportunity to fight for the vacant LFA middleweight title in front of his home crowd at LFA 22.

Perez (8-0) is perhaps the only middleweight prospect in the world that can match the intrigue surrounding Heinisch. This is due in large part to the fact that Perez has been just as dominant in his native Brazil as Heinisch has been stateside. The man known as “Maluko” will be making his highly-anticipated international MMA debut on the heels of back-to-back wins over UFC veterans Ildemar Alcântara and Paulo Thiago. Those wins saw Perez’s stock as a top prospect skyrocket as Alcântara and Thiago have a combined 20 fights in the UFC between the two of them. The 27-year-old is now eager to showcase his talents outside of Brazil for the first time. He will get that opportunity on September 8th when he fights for the vacant LFA middleweight title.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor Sets Up Two-Year Residency with Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

The co-main event of LFA 22 will feature the farewell fight of one of Colorado’s most beloved and accomplished fighters when Gilbert Smith gets his hands wrapped and throws down one last time in front of his adoring home crowd. The proud Coloradan has enjoyed an MMA career that has seen him reach the highest levels of the sport.

The U.S. Army veteran and Colorado Springs resident competed on two seasons of the UFC’s hit reality television series The Ultimate Fighter. Along with being a memorable cast member on TUF 17 and TUF 25, Smith competed for the UFC and Bellator, as well as both RFA and Legacy FC before the two promotions merged to form LFA at the beginning of the year. During his time with RFA, Smith won the welterweight world title.

The man standing across the Octagon from Smith at LFA 22 will be Andrew Kapel (11-6). Kapel is a longtime friend and teammate of Benjamin Smith, who is the man that Gilbert Smith took the RFA title from two summers ago in the main event of RFA 26. Kapel, like Benjamin Smith, is a student of Greg Nelson at The Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will look to exact a bit of revenge in the same building where Gilbert Smith submitted Benjamin Smith. The budding grudge match in Gilbert’s farewell fight has one more layer. Kapel submitted Smith’s teammate Adam Stroup last month in less than a round.

In the always exciting women’s strawweight division, Maycee Barber (1-0) will return to the LFA Octagon against RFA vet and fellow top prospect Mallory Martin (1-1) at LFA 22. Barber burst on to the MMA scene in June with a dominant professional MMA debut at LFA 14. Barber submitted undefeated prospect Itzel Esquivel via armbar in the first round of a bout that took place in her opponent’s hometown. Now Barber will return to the LFA Octagon in her home state. She will face a fellow Coloradan prospect in Martin who is no stranger to the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield. It was in this same venue where Martin submitted the Gilbert Smith trained Melissa Parker via Rear Naked Choke at RFA 34. Now the table is set for a showdown between the top two strawweights in “The Centennial State” as the 19-year-old Barber faces the 23-year-old Martin on the main card of LFA 22.

Currently Announced Main Card:

Main Event | Middleweight Title Bout
– Ian Heinisch (8-0) vs. Markus Perez (8-0)

Co-Main Event | Welterweight Bout
– Gilbert Smith (12-6) vs. Andrew Kapel (11-6)

Women’s Strawweight Bout
– Maycee Barber (1-0) vs. Mallory Martin (1-1)

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UFC Fight Night 116: Rockhold vs. Branch Fight Card

UFC Fight Night 116
Rockhold vs. Branch

Date: September 16, 2017
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Location: Pittsburgh, PA


UFC Fight Night 116 News

UFC Fight Night 116 Videos


UFC Fight Night 116 Fight Card

  • Luke Rockhold (15-3) vs. David Branch (21-3)
  • Mike Perry (10-1) vs. Thiago Alves (26-11)
  • Hector Lombard (34-7-1, 2NC) vs. Anthony Smith (27-12)
  • Anthony Hamilton (15-7) vs. Daniel Splitz (5-1)
  • Krzysztof Jotko (19-2) vs. Uriah Hall (13-8)
  • Kamaru Usman (10-1) vs. Sergio Moraes (12-3-1)
  • Justin Ledet (8-0-0, 1NC) vs. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy (10-0)
  • Gilbert Burns (11-2) vs. Jason Saggo (12-3)


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Watch Brandon Moreno Win by Submission in UFC Debut (UFC Mexico City Free Fight)

(Courtesy of UFC)

Check out Brandon Moreno‘s UFC debut – a victory over Louis Smolka at UFC Fight Night Portland last year before his main event battle with Sergio Pettis. Pettis vs. Moreno goes down Saturday, August 5 on FS1.

TRENDING > Dana White and Tyron Woodley Reportedly Squash Their Feud

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Tito Ortiz Tells Jon Jones He’s ‘the Best’ After Daniel Cormier KO (video)

(Courtesy of UFC)

See the immediate reaction of the UFC 214 title fights between Cris Cyborg and Tonya Evinger, and Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, as Jones met with Tito Ortiz and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson backstage.

TRENDING > Tyron Woodley: The Georges St-Pierre Fight ‘Was Never Going to Happen’

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Stipe Miocic Calls Out Anthony Joshua Again After Wladimir Klitschko Retires

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is still pursuing a fight with boxer Anthony Joshua but he made an even bigger push on Thursday.

Joshua was originally expected to meet former champion Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch after the two heavyweights put on an epic fight earlier this year but instead the Ukrainian heavyweight decided to retire from boxing this week.

With Klitschko out of the picture, Mioicic offered up his congratulations on a Hall of Fame career but then quickly turned his attention to Joshua again.

“Anthony Joshua — looks like your schedule is wide open,” Miocic wrote on Twitter. “No excuses. Let’s dance.”

Miocic has been pushing for a fight with Joshua for a big part of 2017 after the bout was originally suggested to him ahead of his most recent title defense against Junior dos Santos in May.

Miocic later said that he was dead serious about pursuing the fight not only because it would give him a chance to crossover into the sport of boxing similar to what Conor McGregor is doing for his bout against Floyd Mayweather but he legitimately believes he would defeat Joshua in the ring.

“Super confident,” Miocic told the Fight Society podcast earlier this year when speaking about how he matched up with Joshua. “I’m going to go out there and give it all I got. Listen, I’ve got the best coaches in the world and I’d definitely be ready for that fight.”

It’s clear Miocic still wants the fight and with no matchup currently on his radar as UFC heavyweight champion it seems the Ohio native is ready to add a boxing title to his resume.

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Eryk Anders Believes ‘The Sky Is The Limit’ After Successful UFC Debut

Heading into his UFC debut on July 22 at UFC on Fox 25, middleweight Eryk Anders wasn’t emotional one way or the other.

Having played football in college at one of the sport’s premier programs in Alabama, being on a big stage doesn’t faze him at all, and he’s able to perform as he feels he should.

“I feel I performed very well,” Anders told MMAWeekly.com of his first round TKO of Rafael Natal. “I made a few adjustments from the last fight to this fight that led me to go out there and get the finish.

“I really wasn’t nervous or excited before the fight started. It was kind of another day at the office for me. You have to take advantage of the opportunity presented to you. And then after I got the win that’s when the excitement set in.”

Now that he’s in the UFC and having defeated a 30-fight veteran in Natal, Anders believes he’s arrived at where he should be at the right time in his career.

TRENDING > Dana White Still Thinks Ronda Rousey Will Retire, but What’s Sad About That?

“I just fought a guy who just a year ago or two fights ago was in the Top 15,” said Anders. “It makes me feel pretty confident with the level of competition in the middleweight division and where I’m at right now. I think the sky is the limit.”

Eryk Anders at UFC on FOX 25Having had just one month between his win over Natal and his previous victory over Brendan Allen at Legacy Fighting Alliance 14, Anders is confident that he’ll be able to turn right back around and have another bout or two by year’s end.

“I pretty much train all day every day and it doesn’t really much change in between,” Anders said. “Whether I have a fight coming up or I don’t, I’m always in the gym training and teaching. I can take short-notice fights and feel pretty confident in my preparation.

“I’d like to fight once or twice more before the end of the year. I told them I’m ready to go at all times, and whoever they put in front of me – we’ll take them on anytime, anyplace, anywhere – anybody.”

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Chris Harris Not Looking Past LFA 18 Opponent Brendan Allen

When it comes to his unanimous decision win over Cortez Coleman in June at LFA 15, middleweight prospect Chris Harris admittedly didn’t have the kind of performance he’s capable of, but is nonetheless pleased he was able to come away with the victory.

“I didn’t get a finish, but you can’t finish everybody, and Cortez is very tough,” Harris told MMAWeekly.com. “I didn’t necessarily get the fight like I normally do because I had a back injury going into a little bit, so I didn’t perform the way that I would normally would.

“(The back injury) didn’t affect the fight as much as it could have, but other than that being a factor, I feel like I did everything else pretty good.”

Though he was coming off a loss in his first bout of 2017 to Jordan Young at Bellator 171, Harris didn’t overwhelm himself with pressure to not lose two in a row.

“I really didn’t think about that at all,” said Harris. “I don’t really put a lot of pressure on winning or losing. Obviously losing two fights in a row is a big deal as far as making it to the UFC or whatever the case may be, but those aren’t really do or die goals for me.

“I fight because I enjoy fighting, I enjoy training and living the lifestyle I live. If I was to lose two fights in a row and have to fight more locally it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to me.”

TRENDING > Dana White Likes Holly Holm as Cris Cyborg’s First Title Defense

In his next bout, Harris (9-1) will look to keep his winning ways going when he takes on Brendan Allen (7-2) in a 185-pound co-main event of LFA 18 in Shawnee, Okla.

LFA 18 Aguilar vs Rader Fight Poster“I feel like he’s pretty well-rounded,” Harris said of Allen. “I don’t think he’s the best I’ve fought. I don’t think he’s the best grappler I’ve fought. But I think he’s got the best mix of everything.

“What I have to do to beat him is just perform that night. I don’t ever try to anticipate what’s going to happen when I fight somebody. I don’t try to game plan this or that. That will all come together the night of the fight. As long as I show up and perform, I don’t think he can beat me.”

Not one to put undue pressure on himself, Harris is just looking forward to August 4, and whatever comes after that will come.

“I just enjoy doing this,” said Harris. “I enjoy the process. I do sometimes plan or have an idea of what I’m going to do next, but it’s not really set in stone. The first thing I have to do is beat Brendan Allen, and who knows what will happen after that.”

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Conor McGregor Sparring Partner Paulie Malignaggie Angry, Feels Exploited

If you’ve seen any of his interviews, you get the sense that the relationship between Conor McGregor and sparring partner, former world champion boxer Paulie Malignaggi is an uneasy one. Malignaggi has been helping McGregor prepare to face undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas in what will be McGregor’s first professional boxing match.

After a photo hit the internet on Thursday showing McGregor standing in the center of the ring while Malignaggi was on his back on the canvas, the dynamics of their relationship shifted dramatically.

The photo leaves the impression that McGregor scored a knockdown. Malignaggi seems to have gotten the same impression upon seeing the photo, and it appears to have pissed him off. 

Paulie Malignaggi and Conor McGregorIn a series of tweets on Thursday, Malignaggi ripped into McGregor’s team for the photo, indicating that it wasn’t what it looked like. He said that he ended up on the floor as a result of being pushed down not knocked down, and he wants the full video of the sparring session released to vindicate himself.

“Its not nice 2 paint a pic that isn’t true, this was a pushdown in sparring, post the whole video rounds 1 through 12 UNEDITED,” Malignaggi wrote, before adding, “I came to help this camp out, not to be exploited, now your gonna get the truth though. Post FULL UNEDITED VIDEO FROM TUES night #Ethics”

TRENDING > Conor McGregor’s Training Partner Says Sparring Knockout Rumor is BS

Malignaggi had done a series of interviews this week basically talking up McGregor, shutting down rumors that McGregor was knocked out in sparring, and generally admitting how impressed he had been by the UFC champ and his camp. 

Sounds like his opinion might be shifting just a bit.

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Floyd Mayweather Refutes Money Troubles Ahead of Massive Conor McGregor Payday

Floyd Mayweather wants you to know he’s not struggling to make ends meet.

After the 49-0 boxer was taunted by crowds with chants of “pay your taxes” for four straight days on tour to promote his fight with Conor McGregor, Mayweather is making it clear that he’s got plenty of money in the bank with a lot more to come on Aug. 26.

Mayweather, who has earned approximately $750 million during his career, asked for an extension to pay his back taxes after the fight with McGregor according to a recent filing by his attorneys to the IRS.

Mayweather reportedly owes around $22 million in back taxes, which earned him a raucous reception from the crowds as they mercilessly chanted at him over the four-day tour.

Now Mayweather is making it clear that he’s got money to burn with his next paycheck potentially putting him over $1 billion in career earnings.

“I mean, am I the highest-paid athlete out there?” Mayweather said. “And just coming back? We not talking about no contract. We not talking about no contract for no 4 years, or no contract for no 5 years.

“I can do it in 36 minutes. $300 (million) or better. In 36 minutes.”

In addition to boasting about his upcoming payday to fight McGregor in August, Mayweather also pulled out a backpack filled with cash in a clip from the new episode of “All-Access,” which airs Friday night on Showtime.

TRENDING > Stipe Miocic Calls Out Anthony Joshua Again After Wladimir Klitschko Retires

Mayweather laid down the stacks of money while touting that he’s got no financial problems despite the back taxes that are currently owed.

“I’m not hurting. I’m far from hurting. I’ve got paper,” Mayweather said. “They talking ‘Mayweather this and Mayweather that’, I’m not hurting. I got mine. I can say what Conor McGregor is doing. I can’t say what the UFC is paying him but every month I make millions. They talk about it, I be about, I already got it.

“They call me ‘Money’ Mayweather for a reason. I’m going to get it regardless.”

The past tax burden aside, Mayweather is likely on the money with a huge windfall coming his way after facing McGregor with the fight expected to generate monstrous numbers on pay-per-view and in live attendance in Las Vegas.

(Video courtesy of SHOWTIME Sports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

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Conor McGregor’s Training Partner Says Sparring Knockout Rumor is BS

(Courtesy of The Rich Eisen Show)

Two-time world champion boxer and Conor McGregor sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi tells Rich Eisen that reports of the MMA star getting knocked out while sparring are untrue. Very untrue.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor Sets Up Two-Year Residency with Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

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