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Fight Night Sao Paulo: Media Day Faceoffs

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The stars of UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Anders faced off after media day on Thursday in Brazil.

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TUF Heavy Hitters: Episode 4 Preview

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By Damon Martin
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It's been a rough start to the TUF Heavy Hitters competition for Team Whittaker after losing the first three fights of the season, including bouts in both the men's heavyweight division and the women's featherweight division.

The latest setback may have been one of the most painful to experience, as middleweight champion Robert Whittaker put his No. 1 pick Anderson da Silva against Justin Frazier in a fight that was supposed to showcase his top heavyweight against arguably one of the weaker links on Team Gastelum.

Frazier ended up surprising everybody with a durable gas tank during the fight after experiencing serious conditioning issues throughout the entire show, and he ultimately used a heavy ground attack to stifle da Silva's potent striking arsenal. With the win, Frazier moved forward in the competition while Whittaker had to say goodbye to his top pick.

This week will see Whittaker try again, with another No. 1 selection going up against one of Kelvin Gastelum‘s final picks, with Lithuanian submission specialist Julija Stoliarenko taking on Marciea Allen.

Stoliarenko definitely impressed Whittaker during the initial workouts, when the coaches were able to evaluate the fighters on their overall skill sets. Whittaker ended up taking her as his No. 1 featherweight, and she will try to live up to that honor with her performance this week.

Stoliarenko comes to the show touting that she's the only women's mixed martial artist from her native Lithuania to make it this far in the sport. She definitely endured some growing pains when she first started out in her career, going 1-2-1 through her first four fights.

Since that time, Stoliarenko has found some stability in her career with three straight wins while she's proved to be something of a specialist, with all of her victories coming by way of armbar. In fact, Stoliarenko's last two fights have been blistering fast finishes as she's submitted her opponents by armbar less than a minute into the first round each time.

MORE TUF: Episode 3 Recap |  Episode 2 Recap

That means Stoliarenko definitely won't mind taking this fight to the ground, and that's probably where she'll prefer to put Allen as the Team Gastelum featherweight comes into the contest with an impressive overall skill set but definitely shows off some dangerous striking.
On paper, Allen might have been the more appealing top pick based on her resume and experience when compared to Stoliarenko.

Allen was already fighting in Invicta Fighting Championships very early in her career, and she's faced a long list of tough opponents. Her second pro fight came against former Ultimate Fighter and UFC veteran Jessamyn Duke, while she holds wins over the likes of Carina Damm and Jan Finney, who are both long time veterans in women's mixed martial arts.

She also trains under a well-respected coach named Mike Valle, who grew up learning under Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn. Valle has worked with numerous UFC athletes in the past, including a pair of Ultimate Fighter winners and top 15 ranked fighters in Julianna Pena and Yair Rodriguez.

Now in terms of matchup, Allen actually has more submission wins than she does knockouts, but considering Stoliarenko's specialty on the ground, she might want to avoid a grappling battle in this fight. Allen will possess a whopping seven-inch reach advantage over Stoliarenko, so that could definitely come into play if these two fighters start trading shots.

Considering the resume she possesses, Allen might just be one of the best dark horses in the competition this season.

Elsewhere this week — Leah Letson will continue to struggle under her current coaching situation, as she is the only American member of Team Whittaker.

While international competitors are nothing new to The Ultimate Fighter, only in recent years has the language barrier between some athletes and their teammates ever become an issue. Hiromasa Ogikubo famously couldn't speak any English when he arrived at The Ultimate Fighter season 24, but he found a way to communicate with head coach Joseph Benavidez just through the motions of fighting.

Unfortunately, it seems that Letson isn't having nearly as much luck after she experienced some problems communicating with her teammates last week, and that will only continue into her training in the new episode.

Letson is considered one of the best featherweight prospects on the show this season, but struggling to communicate with her teammates and coaches certainly won't do her any favors as she awaits the call for her first fight. Letson obviously has a great team around her, but with most of the fighters and even some of the coaches speaking primarily Spanish or Portuguese, it's going to give her some problems during those sessions.

TUF BLOGS: Marciea Allen |  Josh Parisian

It's safe to say that problems with one teammate can quickly spiral out to create tension amongst everybody working on Team Whittaker, so it will be interesting to see how Letson handles her situation this week and beyond.

This week will also bring some special training for Team Gastelum, as the top ranked middleweight contender will bring in some of the coaches who have been with him throughout his entire career to help the fighters. Once upon a time, Gastelum was the last pick on his season of The Ultimate Fighter, so he definitely knows what it takes to overcome those odds, and bringing in the coaches that helped him get there might be the perfect inspiration for Allen this week.

Once it's all said and done, it will be time for the next fight in the women's featherweight division as Stoliarenko attempts to put Team Whittaker on the board for the first time while Allen hopes to keep Team Gastelum rolling with their fourth straight win.

Don't miss a minute of the action as The Ultimate Fighter: Heavy Hitters returns tonight at 10pm ET on FS1.

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By Damon Martin
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Oliveira’s game plan for Sao Paulo: “Make people happy & put on a show”

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By E. Spencer Kyte
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“If it were up to me, I would fight four or five times a year. This year, I’ve only been offered two fights and I’m ready for this one.”

That “ready for whomever, whenever” approach is another part of the shared sensibilities between the UFC’s two Cowboys and just as Cerrone has made good on his word many times over by taking on all comers and frequently agreeing to short-notice assignments, so too has Oliveira.

He’s played the role of the late replacement on four occasions, including his bouts with Cerrone and Condit, and this weekend, Oliveira is the one welcoming a new opponent into the Octagon with little advance notice.

Originally booked to square off with Neil Magny, the eighth-ranked American was pulled from the matchup in late August and re-assigned to face Santiago Ponzinibbio in the main event of the promotion’s inaugural show in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Stepping in for the Elevation Fight Team member is Italian welterweight Carlo Pedersoli Jr., who is becoming a frequent short-notice substitute himself after signing on to face Brad Scott in his promotional debut in Liverpool 10 days prior to stepping into the cage.

“I’m ready for everyone,” said Oliveira when asked about the impact shifting from Magny to Pedersoli had on his preparations. “Obviously, it was a short-notice change and I had been preparing for Neil Magny, but it doesn’t change my preparation. I’m ready for everything.”

(Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)After just breaking into the Top 15 himself with his victory over Condit in April, losing a chance to compete against a Top 10 fixture like Magny could be frustrating or disappointing for Oliveira.

But once again, his thoughts on the subject and his overall approach to what matters most to him inside the cage runs in lock step with Cerrone.

“Being able to bring people happiness and being on the biggest stage in the biggest MMA organization in the world is what makes me happy and what keeps me moving forward,” said Oliveira. “I just want to keep making people happy and making myself happy.

“I’m the 14th-ranked welterweight right now and that is special to me, but I just want to keep making people happy.”

One way he does differ from his American counterpart, however, is that while Cerrone genuinely doesn’t feel any particular way whether he’s fighting in Poland, Singapore or Las Vegas, the opportunity to compete at home in his native Brazil remains special to Oliveira and an experience he can wait to enjoy again this weekend.

“There isn’t anything better than fighting at home,” said Oliveira, who competed in his home country three times in his first four Octagon appearances, but has only fought there once in his last eight outings. “I love hearing the crowd chanting, ‘Uh Vai Morrer!’ It’s an amazing feeling to fight in front of my home crowd, so obviously, it’s still very special to get to do this and I love the opportunity.”

Coming off the biggest win of his career in April and having finally cracked the Top 15 in the deep and competitive welterweight ranks, you would understand if the usually aggressive, all-action fighter opted to ease off a little this weekend and play it a little safe, especially now that he’s facing Pedersoli in a high-risk, low-reward type of matchup.

But that’s just not “The Cowboy Way,” now is it?

“I need to do what I do best, which is put on a show,” he said when asked about balancing his exciting style with his desire to continue making progress up the divisional ladder. “If he wants to fight on the ground, I’ll beat him and if he wants to come and fight, I’ll be ready.

“I just want to make people happy and I will put on a show; that’s what I’m great at.”

Apparently, that’s just what the UFC’s “Cowboys” do.

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By E. Spencer Kyte
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Contender Series Brazil’s signees reflect on their UFC debut in Sao Paulo 

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By Vinícius Giglio
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This Day in Bellator History – Phil Davis

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On this day, in 2015, Phil Davis made his debut at #Bellator142 Dynamite, defeating Emanuel Newton and Francis Carmont in a one-night tournament. Make sure to watch his upcoming fight on November, 15th in Israel! #Bellator209

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

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Omaze: Join Dana White at UFC 229

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Join Dana White for one of the biggest events in UFC history at UFC 229: Khabib vs McGregor for an all-expenses paid VIP experience through Omaze!

Go to www.omaze.com/ufc for a chance to win!

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Bellator 206 Media Conference Call

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THE LION’S DEN: The Story of the First Mixed Martial Arts Team – Now Live on UFC FIGHT PASS

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In 1994, Ken Shamrock assembled the first ever MMA team – the Lion’s Den – and showed success in the ultimate individual sport was a team effort.

Full Film: https://www.ufc.tv/video/the-lions-den-the-story-of-the-first-mixed-martial-arts-team

UFC 25 Years in Short is a 25-part documentary series celebrating the UFC silver anniversary. This compilation of short films presents 25 captivating UFC stories, one for each year of existence, and every piece stands alone as an independent feature. Viewed as a whole, these films form a larger, mosaic narrative of the UFC’s amazing evolution, fascinating characters and lasting influence.

Keep up with the entire series EXCLUSIVELY on UFC FIGHT PASS starting Sept.19.

New films every Monday, Wednesday, Friday through Nov. 12: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-25-years-in-short

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Unfiltered: Tyron Woodley, Shaun Cooper, Mark O’Connell, Nicky Knuckles & Moscow Recap

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UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley joins the show and talks about his dominant UFC 228 title defense against Darren Till, who he thinks his next opponent will be, his new single “I'll Beat Yo Ass!” and much more. Before that, Jim and Matt are joined in-studio by Shaun Cooper and Mark O'Connell of Taking Back Sunday and Matt Serra BJJ brown belt, Nicky Knuckles. Plus, the guys break down the action from Moscow, including Merab Dvalishvili's first win inside the Octagon.

Full Episode

Tyron on his gameplan against Darren Till, now that the fight's over

Tyron on receiving his BJJ black belt from Din Thomas at UFC 228

Tyron says his BJJ was his biggest advantage over Darren Till

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Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto 1977-2018

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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By Thomas Gerbasi
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Fight Night Sao Paulo: Media Day Faceoffs

The stars of UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Anders faced off after media day on Thursday in Brazil. Powered by WPeMatico

TUF Heavy Hitters: Episode 4 Preview

**This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS Feed** This is the original article: http://www.ufc.com/news/TUF-Heavy-Hitters-Episode-4-Preview By Damon Martin **This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS...

Oliveira’s game plan for Sao Paulo: “Make people happy & put on a show”

**This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com RSS Feed** This is the original article: http://www.ufc.com/news/Oliveira-s-game-plan-for-Sao-Paulo-Make-people-happy-put-on-a-show By E. Spencer Kyte **This post was automatically retrieved from the UFC.com...