Mitch Raposo plans to beat Raymond Yanez at Cage Titans 45 and fight on Dana White’s Contender Series

Coming off a highly successful amateur career that saw him go undefeated and capture multiple titles, flyweight prospect Mitch Raposo kept things going in his pro debut this past April at Cage Titans 43 versus Rob Fuller.

In just over a minute and a half, Raposo was able to submit Fuller, and pick up his first pro win in his debut.

“I was stoked,” Raposo told MMAWeekly.com. “I put a lot of… not to say unnecessary pressure… but it was my pro debut, I had a 6-0 record, a belt, and I felt I had a lot to live up to. I think I went out there, handled it like a professional, and took care of business like I was supposed to.”

For Raposo, the amateur experience he picked up was invaluable toward helping him make a successful jump to the pro ranks.

“I needed the rounds,” said Raposo. “A lot of people said I have a UFC-level skillset, but that doesn’t mean much because if I don’t have the experience and being comfortable in the cage, it’s completely different.

“You see that in each performance, you see a little bit more from me. It’s the idea that from being an amateur to a pro where the work in the gym is showing up in the cage, in the beginning it’s not necessarily like that because you’re hesitant to do things and stuff like that.”

TRENDING > Ronda Rousey nearly loses finger while filming (WARNING: Graphic Image)

On Saturday in Plymouth, Mass., Raposo (1-0) will look to remain undefeated when he takes on Raymond Yanez (5-14) in a main card 125-pound bout at Cage Titans 45.

“He’s like a veteran,” Raposo said of Yanez. “A lot of prospects have fought him. My expectations are to finish him and beat him more impressively than anybody has.”

While Raposo wants to take things one fight at a time, he does have a clear-cut goal he’d like to achieve sometime next year.

“I’m definitely focused more on fight by fight, but I still have my plans,” said Raposo. “I’m a 20-year-old kid and young in the game, but my goal is to be 4-0, maybe 5-0, going into the Contender Series next year.

“I was bulking up to 135, but now the UFC is building back up the 125s, so that’s the opportunity next year; the Contender Series in Las Vegas at 125 or 135; that’s the plan.”

David Rickels looking forward to handing undefeated Bellator 225 opponent his first loss

David Rickels at Bellator 130

After picking up a win in his last fight of 2018, welterweight David Rickels was looking to build some momentum with a victory in his first bout of 2019 when he faced AJ Mathews at Bellator 219 in March.

Halfway through the second round it became clear that Mathews could not continue due to injury. Thus, Rickles picked up a TKO win for his first back-to-back victories since 2017.

“It was good to get a couple (wins) in a row,” Rickels told MMAWeekly.com. “Beating AJ, it’s a fight that was talked about for a long time and finally got to happen. It played out kind of how I expected; a lot of Muay Thai back and forth until somebody lost.”

Twelve years and nearly 30 fights into his career, Rickels still has a desire for fighting that he’s carrying with him through his 2019 campaign.

“One of the things about fighting is, I am a veteran, I have the most fights in Bellator and this and that, but I’m still very passionate about finding my place amongst the greats in Bellator and kind of solidifying that,” Rickels told MMAWeekly.com.

“The training has been hard, of course, we always train hard, but I’ve been pushing it and have been good on my diet and doing my best to get this (upcoming) win.”

This Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn., Rickels (21-5) will seek to pick up his third win in a row when he faces Yaroslav Amosov (21-0) in a Bellator 225 main card 175-pound catchweight bout.

TRENDING > Joe Rogan after old guy punch: ‘Conor McGregor is living like you’re supposed to live if you’re Conor McGregor’

“I feel like getting a 21-0 fighter and knocking them off and being the first to give them a loss is really important and has fired me up,” Rickels said of facing Amosov.

“He likes to slow the fight down with his grappling and force his will on you; make guys tired by carrying around his weight. He’s good at stuff like that. We’re preparing my gas tank for a really hard three-round fight. I think putting some volume on him and make him respect me early will be a pretty important thing.”

For Rickels, the main goal is to keep his winning ways going and see where it takes him to close out this year and carry him into 2020.

“The thing for me I’d really love to get a good little streak going here,” said Rickels. “Getting a third win would be really important to me.

“I could definitely fight before the year’s up. The big thing is making sure my body is healthy as well. I have to make sure I get through this fight in a healthy manner, and after that we can go from there.”

Kam Arnold game plan is to apply ‘pressure and intensity’ in Cage Titans 45 main event

Looking back on his first round TKO win over Henry Clark at NEF 38 this past April, bantamweight Kam Arnold gives a lot of credit to his opponent, but feels the outcome was a direct result of his opponent’s ability.

Knowing Clark would be a difficult task if he let the fight ride out, Arnold sprung immediately to action, picking up a 21-second victory in the process.

“That was a really big fight for me on many levels,” Arnold told MMAWeekly.com. “Henry is a really tough guy. He can go pro at any time. He’s very well-rounded. He’s very smart and has a very high fight IQ.

“Needless to say I had to make that fight into my fight and turn it into a brawl. I had to turn it up a notch and I had to show him what I’m about and what I’m going to bring. I ended it fairly quickly; a lot quicker than I thought it was going to happen.”

While some fighters might lament the lack of cage time that getting a series of first round finishes produces, such as Arnold has done, he doesn’t see it as a negative.

“Honestly I don’t care how much time I have in that cage,” said Arnold. “My job is to get in, get out, to finish somebody.

“I didn’t get really any trouble at all until I fought Killian Murphy (in June, 2018). Even though I knocked him out in the fourth, I know that I can last. Me going in there and doing my job and finishing people as viciously and violently and quickly as possible is good my eyes.”

This Saturday in Plymouth, Mass., Arnold (5-0) will look to add another title to his collection when he faces Jeff Joy (3-0) in the 135-pound championship main event of Cage Titans 45.

TRENDING > Dana White: Henry Cejudo needs to defend UFC flyweight title or vacate

“(Being from Maine) we know down in Massachusetts decisions don’t go our way,” Arnold said. “I’m going to go in there and finish (Joy) in the first round, second round, whatever it may be.

“He’s not going to be able to maintain my pressure or my intensity.”

Approaching double digits in fights, with possibly multiple titles in toe, a move up to the next level could be right around the corner for Arnold, but that’s not where his focus is at this time.

“This is another step on the ladder, another notch on the ladder,” said Arnold. “I take fights one fight at a time. But that doesn’t negate the fact that we have a schedule in place as well.

“Barring injuries and stuff like that we have a set schedule and know where we’d like me to be next year or by the end of this year.”

Nick Newell intends to be ‘aggressive and mean’ at Bellator 225

Following a 10-month layoff, lightweight Nick Newell returned to fighting this past May with a first-round submission win over Antonio Castillo Jr. at CES 56.

For Newell, the time off didn’t hinder his performance. He was able to come back off his second career loss in his fight prior to getting himself back on track with the win over Castillo.

“Props to (Castillo), he stepped on short notice,” Newell told MMAWeekly.com. “It was a different fight than what I was supposed (to have). I was just so well prepared and so ready that I was ready to do what I did, which was finish the fight in the first round.

“I’m not the type of guy who when he takes time off he stops training. I have a huge stable of fighters at my gym and people who are getting ready for fights, and I’m training with them all the time and getting them ready. I’m always in shape (and ready to fight).”

Now a decade into his pro fighting career, the 33-year-old Newell feels like his maturation not only as a fighter but as a man has been the biggest area of growth he’s seen in himself over the recent past.

“A lot of the time before I was still a little boy, and I’m not gonna lie, but I’m still a little childish in some of the things I do and some of the things I find funny, but that’s just how I am, but as a man as far as responsibility as a human I have stepped things up,” said Newell.

“I have a lot of stuff going on in my life and I’m really trying to kill everything I’m doing, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job of it. It’s seeing different things and your attitude. I’ve matured a lot as a man.”

At Bellator 225 on Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn., Newell (15-2) will look for his second straight win when he faces Corey Browning (5-2) in a preliminary 155-pound bout.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor admits he was ‘in the wrong’ punching a pub patron; addresses retirement comments

“I just have to do my thing and be myself,” Newell said. “Be that aggressive fighter that got me to where I am.

“I know how good I am, but I think people have only seen a fraction what I’m capable. I’m going to go out there, be aggressive, be smart, be mean and be a lot for him to deal with – it’s going to be a lot for anyone to deal with.”

For Newell, his upcoming fight in Bellator is an opportunity to start a new chapter in his career, and it’s definitely something he plans to capitalize on.

“I’m going to defeat Cory and from there talk to Bellator,” said Newell. “I appreciate the chance and would like to negotiate a long term contract with them for some opportunities to fight some of the bigger names in the division, but also really don’t want to get ahead of myself.”

Chael Sonnen Responds To Daniel Cormier’s Statement After UFC 241

Daniel Cormier apologized after his UFC 241 loss and Chael Sonnen says it wasn’t needed. Cormier stepped inside the Octagon at UFC 241 in hopes of successfully defending his heavyweight title a second time. To do so, he needed to defeat Stipe Miocic again. Cormier holds a knockout victory over the Cleveland native, but Miocic […]

The post Chael Sonnen Responds To Daniel Cormier’s Statement After UFC 241 appeared first on MMA News.

Video: Referee Ignores MMA Fighter Tapping Out At Titan FC 56

Sometimes referees make honest mistakes, but other times officials such as Jorge Alonso simply cannot be defended. Last night (Aug. 23), Titan FC 56 took place inside the Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Landon Quinones and Calvin Glover shared the cage on the card. Quinones delivered a barrage of strikes on the ground, […]

The post Video: Referee Ignores MMA Fighter Tapping Out At Titan FC 56 appeared first on MMA News.

Bellator 225 Live Stream & Results Tonight (Aug. 24)

 UPDATE # 1: Javy Ayala has been pulled from his bout with Vitaly Minakov. He’s been replaced by Timothy Johnson. Report first surfaced via David McGrath. The time has arrived for Bellator 225. The card will take place tonight (Aug. 24) inside the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The main card will air […]

The post Bellator 225 Live Stream & Results Tonight (Aug. 24) appeared first on MMA News.

Justin Gaethje On Fighting Donald Cerrone: ‘This Is Pure Violence’

Justin Gaethje believes fight fans are in for a treat when he shares the Octagon with Donald Cerrone. Gaethje and Cerrone are scheduled to throw down on Sept. 14. The lightweight tilt will headline UFC Vancouver. Gaethje hopes to snag his third win in a row, while Cerrone wants to rebound from his TKO loss […]

The post Justin Gaethje On Fighting Donald Cerrone: ‘This Is Pure Violence’ appeared first on MMA News.

Bellator 225 Bout Undergoes Last-Minute Change

Vitaly Minakov remains on the Bellator 225 card, but he will not be facing Javy Ayala. Minakov and Ayala were scheduled to do battle tonight (Aug. 24) in a heavyweight clash. The bout would’ve served as Bellator 225’s co-main event. Ayala was pulled from the card and is being replaced by Timothy Johnson. David McGrath […]

The post Bellator 225 Bout Undergoes Last-Minute Change appeared first on MMA News.

Daniel Cormier’s Stepfather Passes Away After Battle With Cancer

Former UFC two-division champion Daniel Cormier has lost his stepfather. Cormier broke the news on his Instagram account. Percy Benoit passed away after battling cancer. At the age of seven, Cormier’s biological father was shot and killed. Benoit ended up serving as a father figure for “DC,” and the former UFC “champ-champ” hasn’t been shy […]

The post Daniel Cormier’s Stepfather Passes Away After Battle With Cancer appeared first on MMA News.