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Fight Night Boise: Fantasy Rewind

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By Damon Martin
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It was a dominant return to the Octagon for former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, as he came back from more than a year away to dish out a unanimous decision victory in his main event fight against newcomer Blagoy Ivanov.

Over the course of five rounds, Dos Santos looked like he hadn't missed a step in his time off, as the Brazilian used his boxing arsenal to land punches at range on Ivanov all night long.

Despite his best efforts to return fire with some counter shots, Ivanov just couldn't seem to land his best punches and instead found himself eating straight shots from Dos Santos all night long.

When it was over, Dos Santos had earned a lopsided decision victory, with each of the judges handing him 50-45 scorecards as he gets back in the win column in his first fight since May 2017.

Heading into Saturday night, Dos Santos was definitely a decided favorite according to fantasy players, with a whopping 82 percent picking the former champion, and he certainly came through with a strong performance.

In the co-main event, Sage Northcutt finally got his first win as a welterweight with a stunning knockout against Zak Ottow. Northcutt had to endure a scary exchange in the opening round as he got dropped with one of the first punches thrown by Ottow.

Still, Northcutt survived and came back guns blazing in the second round to earn the knockout victory as the 22-year old prospect continues to evolve in his UFC career.

In identical fashion to the main event, Northcutt was selected by 82 percent of fantasy players in an overwhelming margin as he gets the job done in Idaho.

In one of the biggest upsets all night, Rick Glenn pulled off a split decision victory over Dennis Bermudez in a featherweight fight on the main card. It was a back and forth battle throughout, but Glenn gutted out the victory with just 14 percent of fantasy players picking him to win.

Niko Price pulled off a stunning knockout to finish Randy Brown in a welterweight showdown. Price actually finished the fight from the bottom with a series of hammerfists that separated Brown from consciousness in one of the most unique knockouts in UFC history.

Price pulled through as the favorite with 65 percent of fantasy players picking him to win while also earning an extra 120 points because this was such a tight matchup on paper.

Former title challenger Chad Mendes came back from more than two years away and made short work of Myles Jury in a featherweight bout on Saturday night. Mendes slammed home a huge left hand in the opening round that floored Jury before the Team Alpha Male fighter got the finish a few seconds later with some vicious ground-and-pound.

Despite his long layoff, Mendes was heavily favored in the fight, with 81 percent of fantasy players picking him to win as he gets his first victory since 2015.

Cat Zingano also got back in the win column with a very impressive outing against fellow top 10 ranked women's bantamweight contender Marion Reneau. Zingano earned the unanimous decision with 79 percent of fantasy players picking her to win while also taking home an extra 120 point bonus because it was such a close matchup going into Saturday night.

On the preliminary card, Alejandro Perez picked up yet another win, this time over former WEC champion Eddie Wineland. Despite several victories in a row, Perez was a decided underdog going into the fight, with just 37 percent of fantasy players selecting him, but the former Ultimate Fighter competitor came through with a winning performance.

In another upset, Australian powerhouse Alexander Volkanovski took out Darren Elkins in a three-round battle, with just 39 percent of fantasy players picking him. With the win, Volkanovski will undoubtedly find himself ranked very soon as he looked strong against Elkins over all three rounds.

Earlier in the night, former title contender Liz Carmouche got her first win in the UFC women's flyweight division as she took out former Invicta FC champion Jennifer Maia in a three-round decision. Carmouche was the favorite going in, with 77 percent of fantasy players picking her to get the victory while also earning an extra 120 points because the matchup was expected to be so closely contested.

When the night was over, nine favorites were victorious, with just four upsets taking place according to the selections made by fantasy players for UFC Fight Night from Boise, Idaho.

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By Damon Martin
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Fight Night Boise Scorecard

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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5 – Chad Mendes
Two years and seven months is a long way to be away from anything, but in the fight game, it’s usually a death sentence. Chad Mendes may have something to say about that, though, as the three-time featherweight title challenger returned from a two-year USADA suspension to not just beat the always tough Myles Jury, but to knock him out in the first round. Talk about jumping right back into the mix.

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On the Rise: Hamburg Edition

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By E. Spencer Kyte
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July is one of those months where there are no weekends off, so following a fun night of fights in Boise, Idaho, the Octagon is making a transatlantic journey and settling down in Hamburg, Germany for UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Smith this weekend at Barclaycard Arena.

The sixth UFC event to be held in Germany and second to take place in Hamburg, Sunday’s 13-fight lineup is capped by a pair of contests in the light heavyweight division, both of which underwent last-minute changes, but remain compelling contests, as former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua looks to extend his winning streak to four against Anthony Smith, while veteran contender Glover Teixeira squares off with former TUF winner Corey “Overtime” Anderson in the co-main event.

In addition to the familiar faces closing out the show, Sunday’s return to Hamburg also offers up an opportunity to see a handful of talented newcomers in action for the first time, including a pair of featherweight neophytes who face off against one another on the preliminary portion of the card.

Here’s a closer look at that trio of first-timers.

This is On the Rise: Hamburg Edition.

A 32-year-old newcomer with a 13-1-1, 1NC record, Azaitar was initially expected to make his promotional debut last September in Rotterdam, Netherlands opposite Siyar Bahadurzada, but an injury forced the Moroccan-German middleweight off the card. Now 10 months removed from that event, the surging “Gladiator” is ready to step into the Octagon for the first time against Brazilian veteran Vitor Miranda this weekend.

Azaitar has had a cup of coffee in several prominent secondary promotions, collecting victories in KSW, Cage Warriors, ACB and World Series of Fighting during his current nine-fight unbeaten streak, which includes a first-round knockout win over current UFC fighter Jack Marshman. Because of the injury that kept him from debuting last fall, he hasn’t fought since October 2016, but with a home game for his UFC debut, you can be sure he’ll be fired up and ready to go this weekend.

Miranda is a solid opening assignment for Azaitar, a durable, experienced talent who has gone 3-3 in the Octagon and brandishes legitimate fight-changing power. Though he’s dropped his last two appearances, the 40-year-old veteran earned three straight stoppages before that and has the skill and savvy to spoil Azaitar’s debut.

This is a tough test right out of the chute for Azaitar, but with the division currently in a state of flux, it’s an opportunity to make a statement in front of a partisan crowd and set himself up for bigger and better next time out.

Nad Narimani and Khalid Taha

 (L-R) Nad Narimani and Khalid TahaNewcomers to the featherweight division meet on Sunday’s preliminary card as the 31-year-old Bristol native Narimani takes on the Dortmund man Taha in what promises to be an entertaining affair.

Narimani was scheduled to make his UFC debut earlier this year when the organization ventured to London in March, but his bout with Nasrat Haqparast was pulled from the card at the 11th hour when Haqparast was diagnosed with an eye infection and declared unable to compete. After a brief delay, the former Cage Warriors featherweight champion returns this weekend, fighting on the same card as Haqparast, but squaring off with Taha instead.

Riding a three-fight winning streak that includes a pair of stoppages and dethroning Paddy Pimblett from the CW featherweight throne, Narimani is a seasoned veteran equally capable of ending your night standing up or on the ground.

On the other side of the cage, Taha is a hulking youngster who has competed in three divisions thus far during his 13-fight career, going 1-for-1 at lightweight, 8-1 at bantamweight and 3-0 at featherweight, including a second-round submission win last time out following the first loss of his professional career.

The 25-year-old has yet to face an opponent as polished and professional as Narimani, but bolstered by a supportive crowd and the excitement that comes with stepping into the Octagon for the first time, don’t be surprised if fans in attendance and those watching at home see the best version of Taha yet on Sunday.

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By E. Spencer Kyte
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Bellator 202: Julia Budd TKO finish

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Take a look at Julia Budd's impressive TKO finish from her title defense at #Bellator202!

Upcoming events: http://www.bellator.com/events

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Week 4 Highlights | Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series

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Check out the highlights from Week 4 of Season 2 of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series on UFC FIGHT PASS.

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London’s Top 10 crazy submissions!

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We count down the top 10 submissions from the Indigo at the O2 arena, before we return for CW95 on July 21st.

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London’s top 10 huge KOs!

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We count down the top 10 knockouts from the Indigo at the O2 arena, before we return for CW95 on July 21st.

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UFC Connected: Episode 7 – Joe Duffy, Jan Blachowicz, Danny Roberts

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In this episode Polish light heavyweight contender Jan Blachowicz hits the shooting range for some alternative training methods, and reflects on his decision to move back to his old team in Warsaw.

We go ‘Front Row’ with UFC lightweight ‘Irish’ Joe Duffy as he watches his team mate Arnold Allen take on Mads Burnell.

And British welterweight Danny Roberts joins Layla in the studio to discuss his recent run of form in one of the UFC’s most hotly contested divisions.

UFC Connected is a monthly magazine show that profiles the fighters and events from the world’s leading MMA promotion.

With a heavy emphasis on fighters from the Europe, Middle East and Asia regions, UFC Connected gives fans a unique look inside the UFC with exclusive access to fighters, teams and events from around the globe.

Fronted by widely respected sports presenter Layla Anna-Lee, each episode includes regular segments and features that cover a diverse range of all aspects within the UFC.

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Volkanovski, Perez extend win-streaks on Boise prelims

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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 PEREZ vs WINELAND

Mexico’s Alejandro Perez extended his unbeaten streak to seven at CenturyLink Arena in Boise on Saturday night, as he took a close three-round unanimous decision win over veteran bantamweight contender Eddie Wineland.

Wineland was the aggressor throughout the opening round, but that cost him on a few occasions when Perez landed crisp counter right hands. But Wineland did score with the biggest punch of the frame when he scored a flash knockdown with a right hand of his own with a little over a minute left.

The second and third rounds remained close as Wineland advanced and Perez sought to counter, and as the former WEC champion ended the fight bloodied, Perez ended it with a victory, as he took the nod by three scores of 29-28.

With the win, the No. 13-ranked Perez moves to 22-6-1. The No. 15-ranked Wineland falls to 23-13-1.

VOLKANOVSKI vs ELKINS

Featherweight contender Darren Elkins saw his six-fight winning streak snapped by Australian up and comer Alex Volkanovski, who scored a three-round unanimous decision victory in his first UFC trip to the United States.

A missed takedown by Elkins allowed Volkanovski to take the top position, and then an ensuing scramble saw the Aussie lock up a guillotine choke on another takedown attempt by “The Damage,” who escaped but emerged with a cut over his eye. With a little over a minute left, Volkanovski dropped Elkins with a right hand and went for the choke again, but again Elkins eluded danger and rose to his feet, only to be dropped with another right hand just before the horn.

The right hand struck again early in round two, but this time Elkins was able to stay upright. And while the Indiana native got back into the fight, Volkanovski remained a step ahead on the feet and kept pressuring his bloodied foe throughout. Of course, Elkins’ heart could not be questioned, and that went the same for the decision, which went to Volkanovski via scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.

Windang’s Volkanovski improves to 18-1 with the win. The No. 10-ranked Elkins falls to 25-6.

NURMAGOMEDOV vs SCOGGINS

Flyweight newcomer Said Nurmagomedov took home a win in his first trip to the Octagon, as he scored a three-round split decision victory over Justin Scoggins.

Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for Nurmagomedov, now 12-1. Scoggins falls to 11-5.

Scoggins looked confident at the start, and that confidence in his standup game only grew as the fight progressed. In the second minute of round two, Scoggins scored a flash knockdown with a flush left hand, but Nurmagomedov shot right back up and looked for a takedown, only to be rebuffed by Scoggins, who continued to look sharp with his strikes.

Early in round three, Nurmagomedov got the takedown and went to work, but a surprising restart from referee Rulon Day put the fight back on the feet with three minutes to go. That early third round surge was apparently enough for Nurmagomedov, though, with the Dagestani debutant emerging with the win on the scorecards.

BARCELOS vs HOLOBAUGH

Featherweights Raoni Barcelos and Kurt Holobaugh delivered an exciting scrap in their prelim bout before Brazil’s Barcelos ended matters with a third-round knockout.

Swinging hard from the outset, Barcelos and Holobaugh both landed flush shots but weren’t able to hurt each other with them, leading to more heated exchanges. A late takedown by Barcelos was an effective tool to switch things up, and he did the same thing in the closing stages of round two. In the third, though, Barcelos finally stunned Holobaugh, and three more punches, punctuated by a right uppercut, put the Louisianan down, with referee Herb Dean stepping in to stop the fight at the 1:29 mark of round three.

With the win, Rio de Janeiro’s Barcelos moves to 12-1. Amite’s Holobaugh falls to 17-5 with 1 NC.

CARMOUCHE vs MAIA

No. 7-ranked flyweight contender Liz Carmouche turned in a disciplined and effective performance against former Invicta FC champ Jennifer Maia en route to a three-round unanimous decision victory.

There wasn’t a lot of consistent action in the opening round, but the most effective attacks were turned in by Carmouche (11-6) both on the feet and the mat, even though Maia (15-5-1) began finding a rhythm with her strikes late in the frame.

It was close and tactical again in round two, at least until the final minute, when Carmouche exploded with a takedown followed by a move to mount, some elbows and an armbar attempt before the horn, effectively diluting the good work Maia did before then.

Carmouche took the fight right back to the mat to start the final frame and she dominated there until Maia was able to find daylight with 45 seconds left. It wasn’t enough time for the Brazilian standout to turn things around, though, and she wound up on the short end of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 scores.

DE LA ROSA vs GARCIA

Mark De La Rosa made it two for two for the family in flyweight action, as he submitted previously unbeaten Elias Garcia in the second round, eight days after his wife Montana won her own UFC fight.

Picking up his first Octagon victory, Fort Worth’s De La Rosa got a spirited fight out of Milwaukee’s Garcia, but in the second stanza, the “Bumblebee” amped up his work rate, and once he got Garcia to the mat, he ended the fight, with a rear naked choke prompting a tap out at 2:00 of round two.

AGUILAR vs ESQUIBEL

Veteran strawweight standout Jessica Aguilar earned her first UFC victory in the opener, taking a close, but unanimous, decision over Jodie Esquibel.

The first round was competitive throughout, but a takedown by Aguilar and some sharp strikes late in the frame allowed “Jag” to take it. Esquibel appeared to even the score in the second, putting everything up for grabs in the final frame, but it was the busier Aguilar closing the show strong to take the nod by scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

With the win, Aguilar moves to 20-6. Esquibel falls to 6-4.

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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Mendes, Price and Northcutt score finishes at Fight Night Boise

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 NORTHCUTT vs OTTOW

Sage Northcutt’s return to the welterweight division Saturday night wasn’t without its rocky moments, but when the Texan was able to let his hands go at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, he was impossible for Zak Ottow to stop, with the result being a second-round stoppage win for Northcutt.

Ottow opened the fight with a flush right hand that put Northcutt on the deck, and “The Barbarian” kept his opponent there until Northcutt escaped to his feet with a minute left. Once standing, Northcutt went on the attack with his strikes and then locked in a guillotine choke, ut Ottow was able to survive and make it out of the round.

Ottow went back to his grappling game again in round two, which was a wise move considering how sharp and fast Northcutt’s strikes were when he was out of the clutches of the Milwaukee native. With a little over two minutes remaining, a left hand dropped Ottow, and while Ottow rose, Northcutt kept the heat on, eventually putting his foe out with three hammerfists that brought referee Jason Herzog in to halt the contest at 3:13 of the second frame.

Northcutt moves to 11-2 with the win. Ottow falls to 16-6.

GLENN vs BERMUDEZ

In a meeting of featherweight veterans, Rick Glenn took split decision victory over Dennis Bermudez.

Scores were 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29 for Glenn, now 21-5-1. Bermudez, who has now lost four in a row, falls to 17-9.

Glenn did a solid job of keeping off the mat in the opening round, eluding Bermudez’ takedown attempts while peppering the New Yorker with kicks and jabs from long range, leading Bermudez to start making some risky rushes in order to close the distance.

Bermudez got the takedown in the first minute of round two, allowing him to start working his ground game. But in the second minute, Glenn fought his way back to his feet and went about the business of getting those points back, but he was dumped back on the mat for a short spell. While standing, Glenn remained effective, but the takedowns from Bermudez were adding up.

Bermudez continued to have success with his wrestling attack in the third, but two of the judges apparently disagreed, as the verdict went to Glenn, handing Bermudez his third consecutive split decision defeat.

PRICE vs BROWN

Welterweight prospect Niko Price scored one of the most unique knockouts in UFC history, as hammerfists from the bottom position halted Randy Brown in the second round.

Not surprisingly, the first round went all over the place, with Price doing good work on the mat while Brown worked his grappling game on the feet before both engaged in a heated exchange late in the frame.

In the second, it was more of the same, but as the two scrambled on the mat in the second minute, the grounded Price was able to use his foot to catch the side of Brown’s head and hold it there for a series of hammerfists that knocked Brown out and brought a halt to the fight 1:09 into round two.

Price moves to 12-1 with 1 NC. Brown falls to 10-3.

MENDES vs JURY

In his first fight since December 2015, three-time featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes returned in impressive style, halting No. 12-ranked contender Myles Jury in the first round.

Mendes had some difficulty closing the distance on his taller foe in the early going, but a left hand to the jaw solved that problem as he knocked Jury down midway through the opening round. Mendes kept the pressure on with a series of unanswered right hands on the mat, leaving referee Jason Herzog no choice but to stop the fight at the 2:52 mark of round one.

Mendes, who was coming off a two-year USADA suspension, improves to 18-4. Jury falls to 17-3.

ZINGANO vs RENEAU

Former world title challenger Cat Zingano snapped a three-fight losing streak in the main card opener, using a consistent ground attack to win a shutout unanimous decision over Marion Reneau.

Scores were 30-27 twice and 30-26.

Reneau landed a couple solid right hands in the opening minute, prompting Zingano to score a takedown. The two spent a brief spell on the mat before rising, and it was Reneau then controlling the action against the fence. Midway through the round, Reneau pulled guard and landed an elbow before Zingano put her on her back. Again, the two rose quickly, and after some good back and forth action, Zingano delivered another takedown just before the horn.

Zingano continued to use her wrestling to great effect in round two, as she grounded Reneau several times, and nothing changed in the third, as Zingano’s takedowns and mat control proved to be the difference in the fight.

The No. 6-ranked Zingano moves to 10-3 with the win, The No. 7-ranked Reneau falls to 9-4-1.

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Fight Night Boise: Fantasy Rewind

**This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS Feed** This is the original article: http://www.ufc.com/news/Fight-Night-Boise-Fantasy-Rewind By Damon Martin **This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS...

Fight Night Boise Scorecard

**This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS Feed** This is the original article: http://www.ufc.com/news/Fight-Night-Boise-Scorecard By Thomas Gerbasi **This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS...

On the Rise: Hamburg Edition

**This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS Feed** This is the original article: http://www.ufc.com/news/On-the-Rise-Hamburg-Edition-2018 By E. Spencer Kyte **This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com...