John Dodson vs. Eddie Wineland Added to UFC Fight Night Nashville

A bout between ranked bantamweights John Dodson and Eddie Wineland has been added to the UFC Fight Night 108 fight card in Nashville. UFC officials announced the match-up on Tuesday.

Dodson (18-8), a former flyweight title contender, returned to the bantamweight division following his loss to champion Demetrious Johnson at at UFC 191. He knocked out Manny Gamburyan in his 135-pound return, but is coming off of a split-decision loss to John Lineker. “The Magician” hopes to start a bantamweight title run starting with defeating Wineland.

Eddie Wineland at WEC 49Wineland (23-11-1) fought for the interim bantamweight title at UFC 165. He plans to get back into contender status by defeating Dodson on April 22. Wineland is coming off back-to-back knockout wins over Frankie Saenz and Takeya Mizugaki. He hopes to continue the streak.

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UFC Fight Night 108: Swanson vs. Lobov takes place on April 22 at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. Featherweight contender Cub Swanson takes on hard-hitting Artem Lobov in the fight card’s main event.

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Two Title Fights Headline Victor Fighting Championship’s 2017 Debut

A pair of title bouts will be front and center when Victory Fighting Championship gets its 2017 schedule under way on Friday, April 14 at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, and live on UFC FIGHT PASS.

Two-division champion Rob “The Saint” Emerson puts his bantamweight belt at stake as he takes on undefeated phenom Raufeon “Supa” Stots in the main event. The co-main event will mark the first title defense for newly crowned welterweight kingpin Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf with challenger Yuri Villefort standing in the opposing corner. 

Tickets for VFC 56 will be available at www.ticketmaster.com

“These are two outstanding title fights featuring four of the very best talents on the Victory Fighting Championship roster,” said Ryan Stoddard, President & CEO of Victory Fighting Championship.

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“Rob Emerson is a veteran competitor who still has designs on competing at the highest level but to get back to the UFC, he is going to have to defend his Victory Fighting Championship belt against unquestionably one of the top prospects in Raufeon Stots.

“Kassius ‘Killa Kayne’ is great mix with enough fights to now boast veteran-level experience but he is also a high-end prospect as well. Yuri Villefort has really turned his career around and is now back to competing at level everyone has expected from him.”

Rob “The Saint” Emerson (19-11, 1 NC) vs. Raufeon “Supa” Stots (7-0)

VFC 56 fight posterEmerson returns to the VFC cage after successfully claiming his second title when added the featherweight crown at VFC 54 in December with a first-round TKO stoppage over Ryan Roberts. The Huntington Beach, California, product scored the bantamweight title last June at VFC 51 when he registered a second-round submission verdict against Shawn West. The 35-year-old has notable career wins over Joe Taimanglo and Jared Downing, and also went 3-3 with one no-contest in the UFC. Inside the Octagon, Emerson picked up decision wins over Phillipe Nover and Keita Nakamura, and also dispatched Manny Gamburyan with a 12-second knockout.

Stots, who hails from Houston, Texas, and fights out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the most highly prospects in all of MMA. His stock soared after his victory at VFC 53 when he dominated veteran Jeff Curran and took a clear-cut unanimous decision. Prior to that, Stots secured three straight finishes inside the VFC cage. He coaxed a tapout in the second round against Charlie Dubray at VFC 52, knocked out William Joplin in the first round of their meeting at VFC 49, and submitted Demetrious Wilson in the third round at VFC 47.

Kassius “Killa Kayne” Holdorf (8-3) vs. Yuri Villefort (9-5)

At VFC 52 last December, Holdorf turned in the most memorable and meaningful performance of his blossoming career. After nearly finishing arch-rival Maki Pitolo at the end of Round 1, Holdorf didn’t waste a moment in making sure a sensational verdict was in his grasp as he blasted Pitolo with an uppercut and earned a knockout win only five seconds into the second round to claim the belt. It was sweet revenge for the Omaha, Nebraska, native after he lost a heartbreaking decision to Pitolo in their original matchup – a fight he took on short notice yet went the distance in last July. In a bit of irony, Holdorf had been scheduled to face Villefort at VFC 52 before filling in against Pitolo, which ultimately led to title shot. The 30-year-old had won four of five prior to that narrow decision defeat.

Villefort, who is originally from Brasilia, Brazil, and now fights out of Boca Raton, Florida, had registered impressive finishes in seven of his nine victories, including his first-round knockout (knee) of Kenneth Glenn at VFC 47. The 25-year-old also bested Cody Carillo via decision at VFC 50. Villefort made two previous appearances in the UFC including Fight Night 28 in his home country. 

More bouts for the VFC 56 card will be announced in the very near future.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Master of Motivation? Mike Tyson (Quick Pic)

Getting ready to step in the cage with Tony Ferguson at UFC 209, Khabib Nurmagomedov is taking motivation from wherever he can get it. And what better source of motivation than former heavyweight boxing great Mike Tyson

That’s one that Nurmagomedov can check off his bucket list… now, about that UFC title…

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New York Denies Holly Holm’s UFC 208 Appeal

The New York State Athletic Commission has denied Holly Holm‘s UFC 208 appeal. 

Holm fought Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight championship on Feb. 11 in Brooklyn, N.Y., losing a unanimous decision. It was a closely contested bout that also had a bit of controversy.

de Randamie landed punches after the bell in the second and third rounds of the title fight. Holm filed an appeal with the NYSAC requesting a “review of Referee Todd Anderson’s failure to deduct one or more points from Germaine de Randamie following her repeated strikes thrown after the horn sounded to end Rounds 2 and 3.”

Holly Holm vs Germaine de Randamie UFC 208 Media Faceoff“After a review of the video footage of the bout, the New York State Athletic Commission determined that there was no clear error or violation of statute or rule by Referee Todd Anderson,” an NYSAC official told MMAFighting.com on Tuesday. “Therefore, the scoring and outcome of the bout will not be modified.”

Holm is prepared to accept the NYSAC’s decision.

“We respect their decision and will not seek anything further, except a rematch from Germaine,” Holm’s agent Lenny Fresquez told MMAFighting.com.

It’s a rematch that de Randamie is willing grant. 

“I completely understand that people want to see that fight (against Cris Cyborg), and that fight is probably going to happen. But I’m first going to fight Holly to clear everything up, to clear everything that has been said so far. I think she deserves the rematch first,” de Randamie told The MMA Hour recently.

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Although that could be the fight that gets made, it’s unclear what direction the UFC will take, as Cris “Cyborg” Justino was recently granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption which cleared her of any wrongdoing in a UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation case. She is immediately eligible to compete, and wants a crack at the belt.

Considering UFC president Dana White has admitted that the division was created in response to Cyborg’s repeated demands to do so, there is certainly an added amount of pressure to grant her a title shot.

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Demian Maia Draws Jorge Masvidal for UFC 211

A pivotal welterweight showdown between Demian Maia and Jorge Masvidal has landed at UFC 211 in Dallas.

The bout had been rumored for UFC Fight Night 108 on April 22 in Nashville, but UFC officials on Tuesday confirmed the fight, as first reported by MMAJunkie.com, for UFC 211 on May 13 in Dallas.

Maia (24-6) is in the midst of a six-fight winning streak, having defeated the likes of Carlos Condit, Neil Magny, Matt Brown, and Gunnar Nelson. It’s an impressive run that has him sitting at the No. 3 slot in the UFC welterweight division. 

TRENDING > New York Denies Holly Holm’s UFC 208 Appeal

Maia defeated Condit last August, and had been patiently awaiting a title shot. With Tyron Woodley putting the belt on the line against Stephen Thompson in November at UFC 205, and then being slated for a rematch this weekend at UFC 209, Maia has decided not to wait any longer, and will fight in Dallas.

Jorge MasvidalMasvidal (32-11) hasn’t been on quite the streak that Maia has, but has won his last three bouts, and is coming off of an impressive TKO stoppage of Donald Cerrone in January. He is currently ranked No. 6 in the division.

Though his winning streak is only at three, Masvidal is 7-3 over his last 10 bouts, with all three losses coming by way of split decision. 

The UFC 211 fight card is started to grow some teeth with the Maia vs. Masvidal bout joining a headlining bout that sees Stipe Miocic putting his heavyweight belt on the line against Junior dos Santos, and a co-main event that has strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk facing Jessica Andrade at the American Airlines Center.

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Georges St-Pierre: ‘Stephen Thompson is the Best Striker I’ve Seen in My Life’

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

Former welterweight champion and all-time pound-for-pound great Georges St-Pierre is a good friend and consistent training partner with welterweight title contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Ahead of the upcoming rematch with current champ Tyron Woodley at UFC 209, GSP talks about the unique talent possessed by Wonderboy, calling him the best striker that he’s ever seen.

TRENDING > Georges St-Pierre: ‘It’s Official, I’m Back’ (video)

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Watch Tony Ferguson Soundly Beat Josh Thomson (UFC 209 Free Fight)

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

Tony Ferguson soundly defeated Josh Thomson for his sixth consecutive victory at the time. He now looks for his 10th win in a row when he faces Khabib Nurmagomedov for the interim lightweight belt at UFC 209 live on Pay-Per-View.

RELATED > Watch Khabib Nurmagomedov Dominate Michael Johnson (UFC 209 Free Fight)

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What Khabib Nurmagomedov Said to Dana White During UFC 205 Fight (Video)

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

Top ranked UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov always makes a statement when he enters the Octagon. During his UFC 205 contest with Michael Johnson, his statements were directed at UFC President Dana White between rounds.

RELATED > Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson Promises Fireworks (UFC 209 video)

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Tyron Woodley’s Entire Life Has Been a Fight (UFC 209 Video)

(Video Courtesy of UFC)

Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley fought his way out of gang life on the streets of a dangerous neighborhood to become the best 170-pound fighter in the world. He’s always been fighting, ‘a fighter in life.”

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Marloes Coenen Believes Bellator 174 Battle with Julia Budd ‘Will Be a War’

Coming off of two straight wins, former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen was looking forward to keeping things going in 2016, but the year ended up being more frustrating than anything.

First Coenen forged ahead with a fight against late replacement Alexis Dufresne, though Dufresne came in overweight, and ended up losing the bout. Then Coenen’s next fight was cancelled when Talita Nogueira missed weight and the match was cancelled.

“I could have refused the (Dufresne) fight, and I didn’t and I paid for it,” Coenen told MMAWeekly.com. “She refused to do the rematch. She would only do a rematch if it was for the title. It showed her lack of class and respect for the game.

“Then (Nogueira) failed to make weight… and that was pretty disappointing. All this energy needs to be released, and you cannot release it, so it takes a while to digest it. But you have to suck it up and go on.”

Bellator 174 Marloes Coenen vs Julia Budd Fight PosterCoenen (23-7) takes on Julia Budd (9-2) in the featherweight championship main event of Bellator 174 on Friday in Thackerville, Okla.

“I was in Invicta doing promotion in 2013, and we were in Kansas and (Budd) was on the card fighting, and I knew I would face her someday, and that day has come,” said Coenen.

“She’s a great fighter, is very athletic, is very strong and has great endurance. I think she’s more fighting for points than for submission or KO, and that will play into my advantage.”

Though Coenen believes she has a distinct advantage in the fight, she’s by no means looking past Budd in any way.

“It will not be an easy fight,” Coenen said. “It will be a war. I know that. I’m preparing for that. (Budd) will not be able to knock me out, that will not happen, but I will not underestimate her.

“If I underestimate her, I would definitely lose. I’m expecting a war, and I’m mentally and physically prepared for that.”

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17 years into her MMA career and Coenen still views championships as essential to her career, and is putting all her efforts into claiming a belt on March 3.

“This one is very special to me,” said Coenen. “Because of the long build up, because of Scott (Coker) being in the promotion, and for me it’s confirmation that I’m still a great fighter. It really means something to me.

“It would be really stupid in my opinion if I looked beyond Julia. This is a really tough opponent. I have my work cut out for me. My focus is on the belt, and I do not have any agenda beyond March 3 yet.”

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