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Jessica-Rose Clark Overcomes Traumatic Week and Paige VanZant (UFC St Louis Results)

Jessica-Rose Clark overcame a traumatic week to defeat Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night 124 on Sunday night in St. Louis.

Clark came into the fight having won back-to-back split decisions, including her UFC debut victory over Bec Rawlings. VanZant was making her flyweight debut on Sunday, looking to bounce back after having lost 2 of her last 3 bouts at strawweight.

Though she looked sharp in her stand-up, VanZant wasn’t able to overcome Clark’s smothering ground attack and limped out of the fight with what appeared to be an injury to her right arm.

VanZant was darting in and out early in the fight, peppering Clark with punches and launching somewhat unorthodox skipping kicks and front leg sidekicks. 

Though VanZant’s strategy seemed to take Clark out of her stand-up rhythm, it only worked until the two clinched and the fight hit the canvas. VanZant got back to her feet quickly, but as they stood, Clark locked on a head-and-arm choke and drug the fight back to the ground.

Clark kept the hold on, although she was on the wrong side of VanZant’s body to effectively finish the fight. She kept control and fighting for the choke for the duration of the round, controlling position for the majority of the first stanza.

VanZant started much the same in round two, again showing some unorthodox striking, partially landing a spinning backfist before Clark clinched again and pulled VanZant down into her full guard. 

Clark transitioned and attacked VanZant’s leg, looking for a submission, but she escaped. As quickly as VanZant escaped, Clark grabbed hold of her legs and brought her back to the canvas, this time taking top position in VanZant’s half guard and again looking for the head-and-arm choke. 

After she couldn’t find the choke, Clark was warned by the referee to advance her position. As she tried to do so, VanZant reversed position, ending up in Clark’s full guard. Clark immediately attacked, putting VanZant into a triangle choke that appeared tight, but VanZant kept defending, eating a few punches and elbows from Clark as the round ended.

VanZant opened the third frame again attacking from distance, but this time it quickly became clear that something was wrong with her right arm, as she was only launching kicks and left hands, being careful to keep her right arm out of Clark’s grasp. 

Though it seemed obvious that VanZant was consciously choosing not to use her right arm, Clark didn’t seem to pick up on it. For some reason, she didn’t close the distance as she had earlier in the fight, instead stayed at the sharp end of VanZant’s kicks and jumping knees, trying to land counter punches. 

VanZant, however, couldn’t find a way to finish the fight either, and time ran out with Clark winning a unanimous decision from the judges.

It wasn’t a stellar performance, but a strong one from Clark, which was made all the more impressive when she revealed the emotional trauma that she had suffered in the days leading up to the fight. 

RELATED > UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi Full Results and Live Fight Stats

“It was hard. For those who don’t know, my house got robbed. They stole $30,000 worth of stuff and they killed my cat on Thursday,” Clark said.

“So this week, the weight cut and everything was really tough, trying to get that out of my head and focus on the fight, but we did what we needed to do.”

The victory moves Clark to 9-4 (1NC) overall with back-to-back wins in the UFC Octagon.

Kamaru Usman Dominates Emil Meek (UFC St. Louis Highlights)

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

Check out highlights from Kamaru Usman’s domination of Emil Meek at UFC Fight Night 124 on Sunday in St. Louis.

The fight promotion returns to Boston next on Jan. 20 for UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou. The promotion’s first pay-per-view vent of the year, UFC 220 features heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic putting his belt on the line against Francis Ngannou, while light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier looks to cement his champion status opposite Volkan Oezdemir.

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Kamaru Usman Dominates Emil Meek, Calls Out Colby Covington (UFC St Louis Results)

Kamaru Usman is gunning for a top five opponent after dishing out another dominant performance to take out Emil Meek in a featured welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night from St. Louis.

Usman had been asking the UFC for a ranked opponent, but when he could find no takers, the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner accepted the bout with Meek, while stating that he had a point to prove in the fight. Considering his performance on Sunday night, Usman definitely sent a message to the rest of the welterweight division.

Usman wasted no time showing off his grappling with a quick takedown that put Meek on the mat just seconds into the opening round. Meek attempted a guillotine choke, but it wasn’t long before Usman slipped free, as he started showing off his power and control from the top.

Kamaru Usman UFC St Louis Fight HighlightsUsman’s dominance continued throughout the first round, including a huge slam where he planted Meek on the ground, as he was relentless with his offensive onslaught. With seconds remaining, Usman began raining down shots with a ton of power behind them until the final horn sounded to signify the end of the round.

Usman was a little more willing to exchange strikes with Meek at the start of the second round, but he eventually pressed forward before landing another takedown.

Usman remained in complete control throughout, battering Meek with a barrage of punches and inside elbows.

The third round was much the same, as Usman continued to pour on the punishment, opening up several cuts on Meek’s head, as blood started to stream across his head as he tried time and time again to get up from the bottom.

Unfortunately for Meek, he was trapped as Usman mauled him on the mat, never allowing him to breathe for a second until the final horn sounded.

RELATED > UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi Full Results and Live Fight Stats

When it was over, Usman earned a dominant decision win with all the scorecards 30-27 in his favor.

“I’m the most dominant and the most well rounded welterweight on the planet. Nobody can stop me,” Usman shouted following his win.

“Colby (Covington) — you can run but you can’t hide. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is looking for you and I’m going to find you.”

Darren Elkins Sinks Fight-Ending Choke (UFC St. Louis Highlights)

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

Check out highlights from Darren Elkins’ submission finish of Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 124 on Sunday in St. Louis.

The fight promotion returns to Boston next on Jan. 20 for UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou. The promotion’s first pay-per-view vent of the year, UFC 220 features heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic putting his belt on the line against Francis Ngannou, while light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier looks to cement his champion status opposite Volkan Oezdemir.

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Dana White: Vitor Belfort Turned Down Two Fights, Wants Michael Bisping

The UFC Fight Night 124 card took a couple significant blows in the days leading up to the event, but company president Dana White said on Sunday night that one of those blows could have been softened a bit.

The UFC lost a bout for its first event in St. Louis when Zak Cummings had to withdraw from his fight with Thiago Alves because of injury on Friday, just two days out. Then, on Saturday, Uriah Hall was deemed unable to weigh-in because of medical reasons. Hall had been slated to fight Vitor Belfort in the former champion’s retirement fight.

Following the event, White revealed that Belfort could have remained on the card in St. Louis, but opted not to.

Vitor Belfort“This thing went down (with Hall dropping out), we worked quickly and we got Vitor a fight. He could have fought tonight; he chose not to. Then we got him a fight in Boston (at UFC 220); he chose not to fight then. I don’t know who the opponents were, but they told me we got him two fights. We got him a fight tonight and we got him a fight in Boston. He turned both down,” said White, who flew in for the fights in St. Louis on his return from vacation.

Whether or not Belfort will fight out the final fight on his contract remains to be seen, but White said that he expects to have a conversation with Belfort and see what they might be able to line up. 

“What I’m hearing is he wants to fight Michael Bisping in London,” White continued. “When I get back to Vegas and get back in the office, I’ll talk to Vitor, I’ll talk to Mike, we’ll see what happens.”

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Although Bisping has made a career of stepping up when the UFC needs him, he is also planning on retiring after his next fight, and hasn’t sounded too keen on his final opponent being Belfort.

He reportedly told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, “I detest Vitor. Do not want to be associated with him in the slightest,” when rumors sprung that Belfort was angling for a fight with the former UFC middleweight champion.

While Bisping may be opposed to the match-up, it has a certain appeal. Both are former UFC champions that have spent the majority of their careers fighting in the Octagon. It would be a rare sight if they both actually did retire following the bout.

Jeremy Stephens and Dooho Choi Lead the Charge on UFC St. Louis Bonuses

Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 124 card in St. Louis took some significant losses in the final 48 hours prior to the event, but still managed to deliver some big performances that netted $50,000 post-fight bonuses.

The UFC St. Louis event lost Vitor Belfort’s retirement fight on Saturday when Uriah Hall was unable to make weight, and also lost Zak Cummings vs. Thiago Alves on Friday because of an injury to Cummings.

The main event between Jeremy Stephens and Dooho Choi, however, was everything that fans expected. Choi looked sharp in the opening round, stinging Stephens with his jab and leg kicks in the early going and snapping his head back to open the second round.

Stephens then got fired up, found his shots and ended up dropping “The Korean Superboy” to the canvas, where he pummeled him until the referee stopped the fight. 

Jeremy StephensIt was a short, but exciting fight that earned them Fight of the Night honors, with each fighter taking home a $50,000 bonus check for his efforts.

In addition to a main event that punctuated the evening, Darren Elkins lived up to his reputation for making miraculous comebacks. 

Michael Johnson had been lighting Elkins up in the first round of their fight, stuffing all of his takedown attempts, and ripping him with blistering combinations. The fight looked like it might continue going in that direction as the second round opened with Johnson immediately throwing hands, but Elkins finally secured a takedown, which led to his fight-ending rear-naked choke and a Performance of the Night bonus.

RELATED > Dana White: Vitor Belfort Turned Down Two Fights, Wants Michael Bisping

The second Performance of the Night bonus went to Marco Polo Reyes, who ended Matt Frevola’s night with a blistering knockout 60 seconds into their bout.

UFC Fight Night 124 Post-Fight Bonuses

  • Fight of the Night: Jeremy Stephens vs. Dooho Choi
  •  Performance of the Night: Darren Elkins
  •  Performance of the Night: Marco Polo Reyes

UFC St. Louis Overcomes Losses to Post Strong Gate and Attendance

The Ultimate Fighting Championship finally took its show to St. Louis, Mo., for Sunday night’s UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi

UFC Fight Night 124 was headlined by an exciting bout between Jeremy Stephens and Dooho Choi, which made for some great action to close out the night at the Scottrade Center.

UFC Fight Night 124 Poster - Stephens vs ChoiIt proved to be a solid draw, accounting for an attendance of 10,052 fans that produced gate receipts of $812,995.

Choi opened strong in the main event, tagging Stephens with his jab and leg kicks, and hurt him in opening moments of round two with a kick that snapped Stephens’ head back. As he frequently does, Stephens returned fire, putting Choi on the canvas and unloading on him until the referee stopped the fight.

RELATED > Paige VanZant Shows Off Broken Arm Suffered in First Round

Their exciting fight helped take some of the sting out of the UFC St. Louis card losing Vitor Belfort’s retirement fight because of Uriah Hall being deemed medically unable to make weight on Saturday, as well as an injury to Zak Cummings forcing the cancellation of his bout with Thiago Alves on Friday.

Jeremy Stephens Lowers the Boom on Dooho Choi (UFC St. Louis Highlights)

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

Check out highlights from Jeremy Stephens’ bone-crushing finish of Dooho Choi at UFC Fight Night 124 on Sunday in St. Louis.

The fight promotion returns to Boston next on Jan. 20 for UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou. The promotion’s first pay-per-view vent of the year, UFC 220 features heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic putting his belt on the line against Francis Ngannou, while light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier looks to cement his champion status opposite Volkan Oezdemir.

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Jeremy Stephens Demolishes Dooho Choi with Vicious TKO (UFC St Louis Results)

Jeremy Stephens always warns his opponents that he has a different level of power for the fighters in the featherweight division.

He backed up that statement on Sunday night as Stephens demolished highly touted prospect Dooho Choi in the main event from the UFC’s first ever card in St. Louis.

With both fighters known as knockout strikers, Stephens and Choi had no problem charging toward the center of the Octagon and immediately winging shots at each other.

Stephens struggled with his range, coming up just short on most of his biggest punches with Choi using a stiff jab and a hard leg kick as his best weapons early.

Choi was landing with better accuracy, but he often times forgot to protect his chin on the exit and that’s when Stephens cracked him with some of his best punches in the round.

Jeremy StephensStephens also landed a hard elbow on the exit after Choi engaged in an exchange and then tried to back out on a straight line.

Choi opened the second round with a perfectly timed front kick that snapped Stephens’ head back like a rubber band, but that only seemed to wake the UFC veteran, as he immediately began returning fire with a barrage of shots that found a home.

Stephens tagged Choi time and time again with his punches, as he finally figured out his range and he made the South Korean prospect pay for standing in front of him.

Finally, Stephens uncorked a beautiful right hand that blasted Choi and sent him tumbling to the canvas, but he was immediately put into even more trouble a second later.

Stephens came crashing down on Choi like a predator trapping his prey and he unloaded a hellish punch that finished whatever he started with the previous shot on the feet. Choi rolled over to his side trying to survive the onslaught, but Stephens was relentless with his attack until the referee finally stopped the fight at 2:36 in the second round.

Afterwards, Stephens paid tribute to Choi’s toughness, while celebrating his second straight in the division. With another knockout added to his resume, Stephens turned towards a top five ranked fighter sitting in the audience as a potential opponent for later this year.

RELATED > UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi Full Results and Live Fight Stats

“Brian Ortega, I know he’s here. Where’s he at? I know he’s coming off a good win,” Stephens said following his victory. “I want to fight everybody in front of me.”

It was a very impressive outing from Stephens, who came into the fight as a slight underdog, but he proved any doubters wrong by putting a stamp on the main event with a huge finish against a very tough opponent in Choi.

Matt Hughes Makes Emotional Walk to the Octagon at UFC St. Louis (Video)

The UFC honored Hall of Famer and former welterweight champion Matt Hughes on Sunday night in St. Louis with an emotional tribute, as he continues to battle through the biggest fight of his life. 

Hughes was hospitalized for several weeks last summer after his truck collided with an oncoming train in Illinois on June 16, 2017, and he was airlifted for treatment because of severe head injuries. According to police, Hughes drove his truck across railroad tracks directly in the path of an oncoming train, which struck the passenger side of his vehicle.

Hughes was stabilized by medical personnel, but was in a coma for quite some time as a result of the car accident.

Matt HughesThe severity of the incident left many doubtful that he would recover, but Hughes’ family and friends rallied around him, holding prayer vigils and steadfastly believing that the mental fortitude that drove him to becoming one of the most storied champions in UFC history and his faith would carry him through the battle.

His friends and family were correct.

Though Hughes is obviously still struggling with some of his motor skills, his recovery has been northing short of miraculous.

The UFC’s tribute, entitled “Welcome Home Matt Hughes,” included a short video that recounted the tragic accident, Hughes’ road to recovery, and his historic career. The likes of Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn were included in the video, giving credit to Hughes for paving their way to the Octagon.

TRENDING > Dana White: Vitor Belfort Turned Down Two Fights, Wants Michael Bisping

Following the video, Hughes walked out of the tunnel with his fight music, “Country Boys Can Survive,” blaring as he made his way to through a standing ovation, shaking hands with fans before being greeted Octagonside by UFC president Dana White. 

It was a moving tribute to one of the most dominant champions the UFC has known, and one who is now winning the most important fight of his life.

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