Sam Alvey not worried about rankings but only wanting “To make all the MMA fans in the world love watching me fight.”

On Saturday January 28, 2017 the UFC heads to the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado for UFC on Fox 23. The featured preliminary fight will be a pivotal middleweight bout between Sam “Smile’n” Alvey (29-8) and Nate “The Great” Marquardt (35-16-2). Alvey comes into the bout on a 3-fight win streak and is facing arguably the toughest test in his career in former UFC middleweight title challenger and former Strikeforce Welterweight champion Nate Marquardt. Alvey was kind enough to sit down with us to discuss his upcoming fight.

How is your training camp coming along? The fight will take place in Denver, Colorado at high altitude, did you do any special preparation for the fight conditions?

“Training is going wonderfully; I’ve had some great training partners and a lot of coaching going into this fight. My last fight was in Mexico City about 1000 feet higher than Denver and I didn’t feel the altitude affect me that much. I’ve just made an effort to spend lots of extra time on my conditioning for this camp.”

The fight will take place in Nate Marquardt’s hometown; do you think the home field advantage for him? How do prepare mentally going into another fighter’s hometown knowing he may have strong crowd support?

“Going to somebody’s hometown is fairly easy for me. I’ve spent most of my UFC career traveling to other people’s hometown and I’ve been doing pretty well so far. I suspect the crowd will be very similar as everywhere else they’ll be quiet for me on my walk to the Cage and cheer for me on my walk out. “

What’s your take on everything Nate has accomplished in his MMA career? Nate has fought for the UFC middleweight title and even has a win over the current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, how excited are you to be facing a guy with such an impressive resume? 

“Nate Marquardt is one of those legends in the sport that are very few and far between. He’s been fighting for a decade longer than I have and he’s accomplished almost everything every MMA fighter wishes they could. I could not be more excited about this opportunity.” 

You are currently on a 3 fight win streak and have great momentum coming into this fight. How impactful would a win over Nate mean for your raking in the middleweight division?

“A win over Nate Marquardt would easily be my biggest win to date. It would put me on a four fight win streak and really help launch me into that mainstream of in the UFC.”

 

With a win over Nate do you see yourself ranked in the top 15 in the middleweight division?

“I really don’t know if I will become a ranked fighter with this win. It’s never been that important to me, I’ll get there when I get there until then I just want to make all the MMA fans in the world love watching me fight.”

Between you and Nate Marquardt you have 29 KO/TKO wins; do you anticipate this being a stand up fight? 

“I hope it’s a standup fight that’s what the fans like watching. Both of us are pretty experienced grapplers as well though so it wouldn’t surprise me if we tried to get it to the ground once or twice as well.”

This fight marks your fourth fight in a time frame of about six months. What is your secret to staying healthy and active?

“My big secret is to just ignore the injuries. If I hurt something I will use something else. That has always been my philosophy with fighting.”

How do you see the fight playing out and what can fans anticipate from Sam Alvey on Saturday January 28th, 2017?

“I see this fight being a fight of the night kind of fight. I think everybody is going to be on their feet by the end of our fight and I see myself getting my hand raised.”

The Post-Rousey Era: Who to Watch in the New Women’s Bantamweight Division

At UFC 207 Amanda Nunes defeated Ronda Rousey  and ushered in a new era of the women’s bantamweight division. 

Prior to UFC 207 Ronda Rousey spent the better part of a year away from the sport of MMA. After her loss to Holly Holm and how badly she took it, many wondered when and if she would ever come back. In the time that she was gone the division that she helped create has seen two new champions crowned an a pair of top contenders leave the division all together.

The women’s bantamweight division had been Rousey’s playground for almost three years but in the 13 months that she was away an influx of change has occurred. Rousey’s long time rival Miehsa Tate has retired from the sport and Holm is slated to fight for the inaugural UFC’s women’s featherweight championship in 2017. With Rousey’s future in the sport being highly questionable and a reigning champion who seems to be just entering her stride let us take a look and the fighters who are leading the new era of the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division.

Amanda Nunes (14-4): Bantamweight ChampionImage result for amanda nunes ufc

Nunes has defeated Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey in consecutive bouts to win and defend the bantamweight championship. She debuted in the UFC in 2013 and has been quietly been one of the most consistent fighters in the division. She has fought a total of eight times since debuting for the UFC and has compiled a 7-1 record with only one of those wins going to a decision.

Nunes can now sit back and let the rest of the division play out to see who will be next in line to challenge for her title. With the high-profile win over Rousey hopefully Nunes can parlay her success inside the octagon to more opportunities outside of it.

Valentina Shevchenko (13-2): #1 Ranked BantamweightImage result for valentina shevchenko

Shevchenko is the only fighter in the UFC to go the distance with Nunes and most recently scored an upset win over former champion Holly Holm. Those two reasons are why she is currently ranked the number one contender. She has had a quick rise with no easy fights since her debut in December of 2015. She won her debut against former Strikeforce women’s champion Sarah Kaufmann, then she lost to current champion Nunes, and recently out classed former champion Holm en route to a decision victory. The UFC has taken notice of the quality of performances and of opponents Shevchenko has had in her short run and a win over her next opponent may put her back inside the octagon with Nunes.

Julianna Pena (8-2): #2 Ranked BantamweightImage result for julianna pena

Shevchenko’s next opponent will be Julianna Pena and should be a title eliminator with the winner getting a shot at Amanda Nunes. Pena has the honor of being the first woman to ever win a season of the “Ultimate Fighter” and she did so when she was only 24 years old. At such a young age many within the MMA community thought she would be poised to have a great head start en route to a UFC championship one day. Unfortunately a freak accident while training took almost two years of Pena’s career away. Upon her return from injury Pena scored consecutive wins over Milana Dudieva and Jessica Eye.

Pena ran into a bit of legal trouble outside of the octagon that saw her arrested after an incident at a bar. Her most recent outing saw her defeat former title challenger Cat Zingano at UFC 200. As long as she can avoid an more serious injuries or any incidents outside of the octagon Pena may be a regular in the post-Rousey title picture.

Raquel Pennington (9-5): #5 Ranked BantamweightImage result for raquel pennington ufc

Pennington has the distinct honor of being the fighter who put Miesha Tate in retirement. The win over Tate was Pennington’s biggest to date and was her sixth win overall in the UFC. Just like the champion Nunes, Pennington has been a constant in the bantamweight division. Since debuting in 2013, Pennington has fought a total of eight times and six times she has had her hand raised in victory.

She is currently on a four fight win streak with wins over Tate and former title challenger Bethe Correia. Her last lost came to Holly Holm and that came via a split decision. Pennington has an impressive resume in the UFC already and if she can capitalize on her big win over Tate she may be seeing her name in the title picture in 2017.

Ashlee Evans-Smith (5-1): #11 Ranked BantamweightImage result for ashlee evans-smith ufc

Smith made her UFC debut as a late replacement for Holly Holm in 2014. She would lose the bout against Raquel Pennington but being prepared to fight at the drop of a hat is an attribute that is highly thought of in the UFC. Smith only had three professional bouts before making her UFC debut but she was undefeated and two of those wins were via TKO. After losing to Pennington, Smith has rolled off consecutive victories over Marion Reneau and Veronica Macaedo.

Veronica Macaedo (5-1): Unranked BantamweightHAMBURG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 02:  Veronica Macedo of Venezuela is pictured during the UFC Fight Night Weigh-in held at Barclaycard Arena on September 2, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany.  Andrei 'The Pit Bull' Arlovski and Josh 'The Warmaster' Barnett will fight in the main event on Saturday the 3rd of September, 2016 in this location.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Macaedo has been a professional mixed martial artist for less than an year but she has already fought a total of seven times. That alone is a testament to how much women’s MMA has grown in the recent years. It was not uncommon for some female fighters to go a year without a fight simply because of the lack of opponents and organizations willing to put women bouts on their events.

Macaedo, a native of Venezuela, made her UFC debut this past September where she dropped the bout via TKO to Ashlee Evans-Smith. Macaedo took the bout on short notice and was noticeably smaller than Smith. At only 21 years only Macaedo has time and potential to make a real impact. If the UFC were to create a women’s flyweight division in the near future she may become a staple of it but for now she has to compete at 135-pounds.

Irene Aldana (7-3): Unranked BantamweightRelated image

Aldana was a veteran of five Invicta FC bouts prior to making her UFC debut in December of 2016. Altogether she is has 10 professional bouts and has been actively competing since 2012. She has competed for the Jungle Fight bantamweight championship as well as the Invicta FC bantamweight championship. Though she was unsuccessful in both bouts those big fight experiences will go along way in the UFC.

Aldana was defeated in her UFC debut against Leslie Smith but the bout won “Fight of the Night” award and was a back and forth affair with a ton of action. Aldana has actually won four post fight bonuses for her performances inside the cage. She is a native of Mexico and definitely carries with her that never say die Mexican heart that so many combat sports fans are aware of. The UFC is always on the lookout for stars to push in the Mexican markets and with her fighting style Aldana may just exactly what they are looking for.

 

Roy Nelson vs. Bigfoot Silva Set for Fight Night Event in Brazil

UFC officials confirmed a heavyweight bout between Roy “Big Country” Nelson and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will take place on September 24 in Brazil.

Nelson (21-13) has been one of the most active fighters in the heavyweight division since debuting for the UFC in 2009. He has fought an average of 3 times a years since winning the “Ultimate Fighter” and has gained a solid fan base for his all out style of fighting. The bout with Silva will the Nelson’s third bout of 2016. He is 1-1 so far in the year and is coming off a decision loss to up and coming heavyweight Derrick Lewis in early July.

Silva (19-9) has felt with suspensions and injuries since 2013 when he failed a post fight drug test. On top of all the outside issues going one, Silva only has one win in his last five bouts. Even worse is that all of the loses have come by way of knockout. Silva received a title shot in 2013 but lost in the first round to then champion Cain Velasquez.

The track record for both men make the chances of a knockout highly likely for this bout. While both men seem to be on the bubble of being released from the UFC, a thin heavyweight division benefits the loser of this bout as there has not been an influx of young heavyweight talent to push fighters like Nelson and Silva out of the UFC.

 

Watch: Nate Diaz Sneak Up on Haters

Nate Diaz has been doing his fair share of promotion for his upcoming rematch with Conor McGregor at UFC 202 on August 20th. He was seen last week on the Conan O’Brien show when he was interrupted by McGregor but this time Diaz was able to turn the tables, well at least on McGregor’s fan base.

Below is a video segment from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in which Diaz would sneak up on unsuspecting fight fans as they give their predictions for the UFC 202 main event. Check out the hilarious video below.

Randa Markos vs. Cortney Casey Added to UFC 202

With less than a month left before UFC 202 takes place, a final bout has been announced for the August 20th event. A women’s strawweight bout between Randa Markos and Cortney Casey has been made official by the UFC today.

Both Markos and Casey will be making quick turn around as both women have already fought once this summer. Marcos last fought on June 18th while Casey competed less than a month ago on July 13th.

Markos (6-3) is coming off a win in her June 18th bout. She defeated Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger via a unanimous decision. Markos is 2-2 in the UFC after a deep run in the Ultimate Fighter.

Casey (5-3) earned her first victory in the UFC when she defeated Cristina Stannic via a first round TKO. It was the third KO/TKO win for Casey in her career.

UFC 202 will be headlined by the rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz. The event will be held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and air live on pay-per-view.

UFC Fight Night in Portland Lands a Pair of Lightweight Bouts

The UFC will return to Portland, Oregon on October 1 and the organization is already starting to fill out the fight card. Today it was announced that a pair of lightweight bouts will be added to the night, one of which will feature a former world champion.

UFC newcomer and former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks will face the Brazilian standout Alex Oliveira and Bobby Green will take on Josh Burkman.

Brooks (18-1) is coming off a successful UFC debut that saw him defeat former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ross Pearson via a unanimous decision in early July. Brooks had called for a fight with Edson Barboza but the UFC obviously has different plans for both fighters. Brooks is currently riding a nine-fight win streak. Oliveira (14-4) is known as “Cowboy” bounced back from a submission loss to Donald Cerrone by defeating James Moontasri at the UFC on Fox card held on July 23rd. Oliveira is 5-1 in his last six bouts.

Bobby Green (23-7) seemed like he was on the verge of receiving a title shot back in 2014. He defeated former Strikeforce fighter Josh Thomson which pushed his win streak to eight in a row but then after a string of rescheduled bouts he was bit hard by the injury bug. Green missed all of 2015 and only recently made his return at UFC 199 this past June. He lost that fight to Dustin Poirier via a first round knockout. His opponent Josh Burkman (28-13) is 1-3-1 since returning to the UFC in 2015. He is coming off a decision loss to Paul Felder during a Fight Night event this past May.

More bouts are expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks. UFC Fight Night in Portland is expected to air live on Fox Sports 1.

 

Lawler’s Reign Comes to an End: UFC 201 Results

When history looks back at the welterweight championship reign of Robbie Lawler one word will undoubtedly come up, violent. His title fights have been as action packed as any bouts in recent memory and sooner rather than later the impact of all the action would come back to haunt him. Saturday night turned out to be the night that all that violence came back to hit Lawler head on. Lawler would take on Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 which took place at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

Coming into UFC 201 many expected the bout between Lawler and Woodley to be as action packed as Lawler’s past bouts with Johny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald, and Carlos Condit. All three of those previous bout went a grueling 20 plus minutes of non-stop striking. Lawler was able to outlast all three men but on Saturday he was stopped early and violently by Woodley.

The main event to UFC 201 lasted only two minutes and 12 seconds as Woodley landed a right hook that sent Lalwer falling back to the cage. Woodley quickly pounced and landed a few strikes on the ground before the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. It was a far contrast to the bouts UFC fans have gotten used to seeing Lawler in. This bout was quick but still had all the violence and action that fans of Lawler had come to expect.

Below are the full results from UFC 201.

MAIN CARD RESULTS:

  • Tyron Woodley def. Robbie Lawler via knockout in Round 1 at 2:12
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Rose Namajunas via split decision 
  • Jake Ellenberger def. Matt Brown via TKO in Round 1 at 1:46
  • Erik Perez def. Francisco Rivera via unanimous decision 
  • Ryan Benoit def. Fredy Serrano via split decision 

PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS:

  • Nikita Krylov def. Ed Herman via knockout in Round 2 at 0:40
  • Jorge Masvidal def. Ross Pearson via unanimous decision
  • Anthony Hamilton def. Damian Grabowski via knockout in Round 1 at 0:14
  • Wilson Reis def. Hector Sandoval via submission in Round 1 at 1:49
  • Michael Graves vs. Bojan Velickovic declared majority draw
  • Damien Brown def. Cesar Arzamendia via knockout in Round 1 at 2:27

A Different View To MMA