Three Very Interesting Non-Title Fights In Store From UFC Still This Year (Editorial)

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Sure, Ronda Rousey’s return will be hyped to the brim. And the upcoming interim featherweight title fight between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway is sure to be fireworks. Oh, and Cody Garbrandt challenging Dominick Cruz for bantamweight supremacy is awesome. But there fights that have no title on the line are really ones that I am looking forward to before we close the door on this very interesting 2016 calendar year. – First up is Donald Cerrone vs. Matt Brown at UFC 206. Honestly, Cerrone has placed himself on the short list of contenders since moving up to welterweight and could wait on the sidelines for an eliminator bout. But this is “Cowboy” we are talking about and he has not desire to waste time not competing. Brown, meanwhile, has lost two straight and four of his last five after stringing together a seven-fight win streak between 2012-14. – Next, Sage Northcutt and Mickey Gall square off at UFC on FOX 22. Northcutt showed his mental toughness when he rebounded from his first career loss in July with a decision win over Enrique Marin. In January, the uber-prospect lost to Bryan Barberena via submission. Gall, of course, ended the dream of Phil “CM Punk” Brooks in the MMA debut for the former WWE superstar. Gall did what most everyone expected him to do: dominate, submitting Brooks in the first round. – And finally, former heavyweight champions – and opponents – Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez battle it out at UFC 207. Werdum captured the first meeting when he submitted Velasquez back at UFC 188 in 2015. However, he dropped the title to Stipe Miocic this past May in his first defense before rebounding with a decision over Travis Browne. Velasquez has battled injuries over his career, but is 5-1 since a loss to Junior dos Santos in his last six. That includes finishes of Browne, dos Santos and twice vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Of course, all of this is contingent on the fighters remaining healthy and making it to their scheduled dates.

Kelvin Gastelum-Tim Kennedy Cleared For UFC 206

Tim-Kennedy

Tim Kennedy once again has a fight set up. According to a report by MMA Fighting, Kelvin Gastelum has been cleared to face Kennedy next month at UFC 206. The hold up was that the Ontario Athletic Commission planned to fulfill the suspension handed down by the New York Athletic Commission to Gastelum for missing his weigh-in earlier this month. Gastelum, though, settled on a $2,000 fine with the New York Athletic Commission and will be allowed to compete on December 10 vs. Kennedy. Kennedy has gone through two cancelled fights with Rashad Evans in recent weeks, but was always hopeful of remaining on the Canada card.

Bellator 166 Flashback With Joe Warren (Video)

Joe Warren

Before he takes on Eduardo Dantas for the bantamweight title at Bellator 166 Friday night, relive the first meeting between Joe Warren and Dantas in this Bellator: Flashback. Warren picked up a decision win over Dantas back at Bellator 128 in 2014. He has gone 2-2 since, including a September finish of Sirwan Kakai. Dantas, meanwhile, is 2-0 since that loss to Warren, topping Mike Richman and Marcos Galvao for the title in June.

UFC 206 Media Call with Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway (6 p.m. ET)

Listen to the UFC 206 media conference call wtih Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway at 6 p.m. ET.

Legacy Fighting Alliance Debuts with Bantamweight Title Bout on Jan. 13

A matchup of champions Legacy Fighting Championship and Resurrection Fighting Alliance titlists will highlight the inaugural Legacy Fighting Alliance card on Jan. 13.

After Sterling Injury, Raphael Assuncao Removed from UFC Fight Night 102 in Albany

Raphael Assuncao will not remain on the UFC Fight Night Albany card in Albany, N.Y., after proposed opponent Aljamain Sterling withdrew from the contest last week due to injury.

Coach Says UFC ‘Very Shortsighted in Stripping McGregor of Featherweight Crown

On Nov. 12, Conor McGregor become the first simultaneous two-division champion in UFC history when he defeated Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden to capture lightweight gold. Two weeks later, the 155-pound belt officially became the only UFC championship hardware in McGregor’s possession.

Anthony Pettis Focused on Max Holloway, Not Aldo or McGregor

Anthony Pettis is on a quest to eventually reclaim a world championship in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Holloway Says ‘Murky’ Featherweight Division Now Clear Heading Into UFC 206

Max Holloway isn’t too fond of current UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and he has no desire to speak about former king at 145 pounds, Conor McGregor.

Des Green: ‘I Can Overwhelm’ Martin Brown at Titan FC 42

While opponent changes made things a bit more difficult for lightweight Des Green at Titan FC 40 in August than he anticipated, he was still able to pull off a unanimous decision win over a much larger James Freeman and pick up his third victory in a row in the process.

“Considering the circumstances, things went pretty well,” Green told MMAWeekly.com. “I don’t know if people know this, but I had three opponents drop out on me within the last week. I didn’t know if I was going to be fighting.

“I didn’t know too much about (Freeman) and whatnot, but I have faith in my skills and I knew I wasn’t going to lose, so I just went out there and handled my business. I would have liked to have finished, but moving up from featherweight to welterweight isn’t easy, and I got the job done.”Desmond Green - Titan FC

Having fought much of his career before this year at 145-pounds, having an opportunity to fight heavier in 2016 has been paying off for Green. It’s a move he felt would allow him to impress enough to get him to the next stage of his career.

“I’m not killing myself on a weight cut, and showing the next day at like 60-70-percent,” said Green. “Really that’s just been the difference; me enjoying my camp, not depleting my muscle, and fighting at a much more comfortable weight.

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“I think they understood where I was going, but they wanted to see if I was as comfortable and as good as I said I am there. That’s understandable. I don’t want anything given to me. I just feel like this is a finishing touch for me proving that I belong in the UFC with the top guys.”

Green (18-5) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row when he takes on Martin Brown (10-2) in a main card 155-pound bout at Titan FC 42 on Friday in Coral Gables, Fla.

“I think he’s a good counter-striker, he has some experience, but all I’ve got to do is go out there and do I know what to do: Use my speed, use my athleticism and my wrestling,” Green said of facing Brown.

“I think if I can mix it up, I can overwhelm him and put a pressure and pace on him that he can’t keep. I feel like he likes to fight at a certain pace, so I want to up that pace and make him uncomfortable, and that will be my key to victory.”

Green believes with just a couple of key victories at lightweight, he can finally get his shot at the biggest stage of MMA.

“Realistically if I win this fight with a finish or exciting manner, and they want me to fight Freddy (Assuncao) in January, fight him and beat him in a deciding manner, with two good wins at 155lbs with a belt, it should be enough to push me into the UFC,” said Green. “I’ve seen guys get in with less.”

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