UFC Fight Night 111 fight card: Andrei Arlovski vs Marcin Tybura preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight veterans Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura will collide this Saturday (June 17, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 111 inside Singapoore Indoor Arena in Kallang, Singapoore.

Is this the end for Andrei Arlovski? To be fair, that’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at a couple different points in the last few years, but his current UFC run may stand as the final nail in his coffin. After his unexpected win streak, Arlovski has since lost four straight fights, and none of those matches saw the judges.

It’s do-or-die for the former champion.

Tybura may be a step back in competition compared to recent foes, but the former M-1 kingpin has impressed since an ugly debut. The Polish athlete has finished all but two of his victories, making him yet another dangerous foe for “The Pitbull.”

Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both men.

Andrei Arlovski

Record: 26-14 (1)

Key Wins: Travis Browne (UFC 187), Frank Mir (UFC 191), Antonio Silva (UFC Fight Night 51)

Key Losses: Stipe Miocic (UFC 195), Alistair Overeem (UFC Fight Night 87), Francis Ngannou (UFC on FOX 23)

Keys to Victory: Arlovski’s biggest attribute — even nearing the end of his career — is speed. Arlovski right hand packs deadly power, and it moves from point A to point B (his opponent’s chin) quicker than all but the very best.

That may sound pretty simple, but it’s hard to argue with 17 career knockouts.

Besides decreased durability and some loss of speed — which cannot be helped — one of Arlovski’s biggest issues has been hesitancy. If he’s not willing to let his right hand fly, and there’s not much of a path to victory for the Belarusian.

Therefore, Arlovski’s ideal strategy is pretty simply. From the outside, he needs to show some form of offense, be it the occasional kick or jab. Then, he can hunt for opportunities to step in with a cracking right hand. Frankly, it would be better for him to lunge in given the slightest chance rather than hang around and wait for the perfect shot, as waiting at range has really been a huge problem for Arlovski.

Marcin Tybura

Record: 15-2

Key Wins: Viktor Pesta (UFC Fight Night 92), Luis Henrique (UFC 209), Damian Grabowski (M-1 Challenge 50)

Key Losses: Timothy Johnson (UFC Fight Night 86)

Keys to Victory: Tybura is definitely one of the better additions to the Heavyweight roster in the last couple years. He’s a talented wrestler and, as his recent head kick victory proved, a better striker than many expected.

Tybura has some real skill and finesse behind his approach. He’s not the most athletic man in the division, but Tybura’s well-rounded game and reasonably solid conditioning make him a definite threat.

In this case, Tybura should take full advantage of his excellent lead leg kicks. At range, he can punish Arlovski, who has never been the most active striker when given few opportunities.

On the whole, Tybura’s strategy should be to stay out of the pocket, either all the way out or in the clinch. When Arlovski tries to land his big shot, Tybura can duck into close range, where he could potentially land takedowns. At the very least, it will tire Arlovski, leaving him more vulnerable on the feet.

Bottom Line: This may be Andrei Arlovski’s final UFC fight.

If he comes up short for the fifth straight time, it’s hard to see the UFC giving him another fight. Perhaps his career will continue on the regional scene (again), but there’s a fair chance he’ll retire as well.

With a win, Arlovski can keep fighting in the UFC for at least another fight, assuming that’s his goal.

As for Tybura, this is his opportunity to jump into the top 10. He’s already holding a spot at No.13, but Arlovski is still ranked very highly. It would be the biggest name win of his career, and it could really propel him into the title mix. There’s always a need for fresh faces in the Heavyweight elite, and the best way to join those ranks is to knock out a previous member.

While Tybura is fairly young and could afford a loss, there are huge benefits to having his hand raised. This is a winnable fight for him and more favorable match up than the rest of the top 10, so Tybura really needs to succeed if he’s going to make an impact.

At UFC Fight Night 111, Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura will trade heavy punches. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?

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UFC 213 extended video preview for ‘Nunes vs Shevchenko’ on July 8 in Las Vegas

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will send Amanda Nunes into her second title defense, this time against top women’s bantamweight contender Valentina Shevchenko at the upcoming UFC 213 pay-per-view (PPV) event, set for July 8, 2017 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Joining them will be longtime referee Herb Dean, while Derek Clearly, Chris Lee, and Glenn Trowbridge score the action from cageside (more on the UFC 213 referee and judging assignments here).

Nunes (14-4) and Shevchenko (14-2) first went to war at UFC 196 in March 2016. The Brazilian won a close three-round unanimous decision, then went on to capture the crown from Miesha Tate at UFC 200 before defending against Ronda Rousey at UFC 207. “Bullet,” meanwhile, rebounded from her “Lioness” loss to defeat ex-champion Holly Holm and top contender Julianna Pena.

Expect fireworks.

To see who else is fighting at UFC 213 next month in “Sin City” click here.

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Latest UFC rankings update: Mark Hunt replaces Derrick Lewis in heavyweight top 10

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently wrapped its UFC Fight Night 110: “Hunt vs. Lewis” mixed martial arts (MMA) event on FOX Sports 1 (full results here), which took place last weekend (Sat., June 10, 2017) in Auckland, New Zealand.

That’s where heavyweight power puncher and local hero Mark Hunt popped and stopped fellow 265-pound bruiser Derrick Lewis in the headlining act (see it again here). That prompted “Super Samoan” to switch places with “Black Beast” in the official rankings.

Here’s how the rankings work, courtesy of UFC.com:

Rankings were generated by a voting panel made up of media members. The media members were asked to vote for who they feel are the top fighters in the UFC by weight-class and pound-for-pound. A fighter is only eligible to be voted on if they are in active status in the UFC. A fighter can appear in more than one weight division at a time. The champion and interim champion are considered to be in the top positions of their respective divisions and therefore are not eligible for voting by weight-class. However, the champions can be voted on for the pound-for-pound rankings.

Take a look at what the latest rankings field looks like courtesy of UFC.com. Note: (+/- = movement in rankings, *NR = Not previously ranked).

POUND-FOR-POUND
1 Demetrious Johnson
2 Conor McGregor
3 Daniel Cormier
4 Stipe Miocic
5 Max Holloway
6 Cody Garbrandt
7 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
8 Dominick Cruz
9 Tyron Woodley
10 Jose Aldo
11 Michael Bisping
12 Amanda Nunes
13 TJ Dillashaw
14 Khabib Nurmagomedov
15 Frankie Edgar

FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Demetrious Johnson
1 Joseph Benavidez
2 Henry Cejudo
3 Ray Borg
4 Wilson Reis
5 Jussier Formiga
6 Sergio Pettis
7 Brandon Moreno
8 Ben Nguyen +4
9 Dustin Ortiz +1
10 John Moraga +1
11 Ian McCall -2
12 Tim Elliott -4
13 Louis Smolka
14 Alexandre Pantoja
15 Ryan Benoit

BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Cody Garbrandt
1 Dominick Cruz
2 TJ Dillashaw
3 Raphael Assuncao
4 John Lineker
5 Jimmie Rivera
6 Bryan Caraway
7 John Dodson
8 Aljamain Sterling
9 Thomas Almeida
10 Marlon Moraes
11 Pedro Munhoz
12 Eddie Wineland
13 Matthew Lopez
14 Johnny Eduardo
15 Rob Font

FEATHERWEIGHT
Champion: Max Holloway
1 Jose Aldo
2 Frankie Edgar
3 Ricardo Lamas
4 Cub Swanson
5 Chan Sung Jung
6 Anthony Pettis
7 Yair Rodriguez
8 Jeremy Stephens
9 Brian Ortega
10 Dennis Bermudez
11 Renato Moicano
12 Darren Elkins
13 Dooho Choi
14 Mirsad Bektic
15 Renan Barao

LIGHTWEIGHT
Champion: Conor McGregor
1 Khabib Nurmagomedov
2 Tony Ferguson
3 Eddie Alvarez
4 Edson Barboza
5 Rafael Dos Anjos
6 Michael Johnson
7 Michael Chiesa
8 Nate Diaz
9 Dustin Poirier
10 Beneil Dariush
11 Al Iaquinta
12 Kevin Lee
13 Evan Dunham
14 Gilbert Melendez
15 Francisco Trinaldo

WELTERWEIGHT
Champion: Tyron Woodley
1 Demian Maia
2 Stephen Thompson
3 Robbie Lawler
4 Jorge Masvidal
5 Neil Magny
6 Carlos Condit
7 Dong Hyun Kim
8 Donald Cerrone
9 Gunnar Nelson
10 Kamaru Usman
11 Tarec Saffiedine
12 Ryan LaFlare
13 Santiago Ponzinibbio
14 Leon Edwards
15 Matt Brown

MIDDLEWEIGHT
Champion: Michael Bisping
1 Yoel Romero
2 Luke Rockhold
3 Robert Whittaker
4 Gegard Mousasi
5 Jacare Souza
6 Chris Weidman
7 Anderson Silva
8 Derek Brunson
9 David Branch
10 Krzysztof Jotko
11 Vitor Belfort
12 Thales Leites
13 Uriah Hall
14 Sam Alvey
15 Elias Theodorou *NR

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Daniel Cormier
1 Alexander Gustafsson
2 Jimi Manuwa
3 Glover Teixeira
4 Volkan Oezdemir
5 Mauricio Rua
6 Corey Anderson
7 Ovince Saint Preux
8 Misha Cirkunov
9 Ilir Latifi
10 Rogerio Nogueira
11 Patrick Cummins
12 Tyson Pedro
13 Gian Villante
14 Jan Blachowicz
15 Gadzhimurad Antigulov

HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Stipe Miocic
1 Fabricio Werdum
2 Cain Velasquez
3 Alistair Overeem
4 Junior Dos Santos
5 Francis Ngannou
6 Mark Hunt +1
7 Derrick Lewis -1
8 Andrei Arlovski
9 Travis Browne
10 Alexander Volkov
10 Stefan Struve +1
12 Tim Johnson
13 Marcin Tybura
14 Aleksei Oleinik
15 Daniel Omielanczuk

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT
Champion: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
1 Claudia Gadelha
2 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
3 Rose Namajunas
4 Jessica Andrade
5 Tecia Torres
6 Michelle Waterson
7 Joanne Calderwood
8 Carla Esparza
9 Randa Markos
10 Maryna Moroz
11 Cortney Casey
12 Paige VanZant
13 Felice Herrig
14 Cynthia Calvillo
15 Jessica Aguilar

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Amanda Nunes
1 Valentina Shevchenko
2 Julianna Pena
3 Ronda Rousey
4 Raquel Pennington
5 Holly Holm
6 Sara McMann
7 Cat Zingano
8 Liz Carmouche
9 Alexis Davis
10 Germaine de Randamie
11 Bethe Correia
12 Marion Reneau
13 Katlyn Chookagian
14 Ketlen Vieira
15 Ashlee Evans-Smith

There you have it.

You can expect these standings to change in roughly one week — especially in the women’s bantamweight division — when UFC Fight Night 111: “Holm vs. Correia” takes place this weekend on UFC Fight Pass from inside Singapore Indoor Stadium (more on that fight card here).

Until then, let us know what you think of the latest rankings movement in the comments section below.

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Nevada brothels offering VIP(enis) packages for Mayweather-McGregor boxing showdown

The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing showdown is taking over the state of Nevada in the wake of last Wednesday’s blockbuster announcement, which revealed that one of the greatest pugilists of all time will throw hands against the biggest name in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

No bullshit!

Anyone else remember when we used to make fun of PRIDE for its freak-show fights?

Since this crossover contest is the talk of the town, the local brothels are getting in on the action, so to speak, because prostitution is legal in such esteemed places like The Bunny Ranch and Sheri’s Ranch.

I might actually go to one of those joints if they would stop calling themselves “ranches,” because I can’t get my plumbing to work in a place that reminds me of farm animals or even worse, “Curly” from City Slickers.

I’m not that desperate (yet).

“The world famous Bunny Ranch and Sheri’s Ranch launched super fight packages minutes after Conor and Floyd made the fight official,” the fine folks at TMZ reported on Thursday.

“Sheri’s is offering the ultimate VIP(enis) package. For a mere $ 100K, johns will get two tickets to the fight along with some pre-fight action with all 24 girls on staff. The Bunny Ranch has deals too. Owner Dennis Hof says he’s running a 2-for-1 special — two girls for the price of one.”

Bring a friend!

Mayweather vs. McGregor takes place Sat., Aug. 26, 2017 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (full details here).

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This video of Conor McGregor getting schooled by pro boxer has UFC fans worried sick

There are some mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who are convinced Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Conor McGregor possesses the skills to defeat undefeated pugilist Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a straight-up boxing match.

Probably because of comments like these.

But UFC fans will undoubtedly be worried sick when they watch the above sparring session between McGregor and South African welterweight Chris van Heerden, who toyed with the power-punching Irishman when they previously shared the ring.

“Conor showed me that he’s got some boxing background. His counter lefthand was pretty good,” van Heerden told The Washington Journal. “What chance does he have against Mayweather, the best boxer in the world? A puncher’s chance. So he swings well; he swings a big shot. Maybe he lands it. That might seal it for him. But honestly, do I see Conor beat Mayweather, no, I don’t.”

They fall out!

We’re going to find out one way or the other when “Notorious” battles “Money” in a 12-round boxing match on Aug. 26 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, a fight that came together earlier this week after months of negotiations.

For much more on this late-summer showdown click here.

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Holly Holm vs Bethe Correia staredown video from UFC Singapore media day

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Singapore on Sat., June 17, 2017, when the UFC Fight Night 111 mixed martial arts (MMA) event comes to Singapore Indoor Stadium on the UFC Fight Pass digital network.

Headlining the overseas event will be former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, as she takes on ex-division No. 1 contender Bethe Correia. Elsewhere on the card, former lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos tries his luck at welterweight against ex-Strikeforce 170-pound champion Tarec Saffiedine.

Watch them face off at Thursday’s media day in the embedded video above.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 111 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the UFC Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. ET, before the UFC Fight Pass main card start time at 8 a.m. ET.

To see the finalized UFC Fight Night 111 fight card and line up for “Holm vs. Correia” click here.

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UFC Singapore free fight video: Watch Bethe Correia demolish Shayna Baszler at UFC 177

Before Bethe Correia takes on Holly Holm this weekend (Sat., June 17, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 111 inside Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, let’s take a trip down memory lane to see Bethe handle one of Ronda Rousey’s teammates.

In 2014, Bethe found herself face-to-face with yet another member of the self-proclaimed “Four Horsewomen,” as she took on Shayna Baszler at UFC 177, four months after taking out her teammate, Jessamyn Duke.

After a competitive first round, Correria picked up the intensity in the second frame, blasting Shayna with a relentless striking attack that had Baszler reeling, After eating one strike after another to the kisser, Shayna was ultimately saved by “Big” John McCarthy.

While Bethe failed to dethrone the leader of the Horsewomen and former UFC women’s Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rosuey, in her following bout, she will look to get back on the path to title contention when she faces another ex-champion this Saturday.

UFC Fight Night 111 will also feature a co-headlining bout between Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura.

To see who else is fighting at the UFC Fight Pass event click here.

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Floyd Mayweather opens as major betting favorite against Conor McGregor

But, “Notorious” faithful are closing the gap …

The confirmation of an epic pay-per-view (PPV) showdown between boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor has sent the combat sports world into a tizzy … but the bookies were prepared.

The fine folks at Bovada opened bidding with Mayweather as a -2250 favorite, a line almost unheard-of in mixed martial arts (MMA), but about par for the course for perceived mismatches in boxing. “Notorious,” meanwhile, sat at +950. Despite the uphill battle before him, however, McGregor’s supporters quickly pushed him back to +500, with “Money” currently sitting at -800.

Obviously, there’s still two months of nonsense to wade through before they hook ‘em up inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Aug. 26, 2017, so I wouldn’t recommend putting any money down yet. I would, however, advise you to lay some dosh on Mayweather the second his odds stop dropping because we all know exactly how this fight is going to go.

Right?

MMAmania.com will have plenty of coverage of the fight in the coming weeks, so be sure to stay tuned. Meanwhile, check out all the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight details right here.

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UFC Fight Night 111 odds: Latest Vegas lines and betting guide for ‘Holm vs Correia’

Get a detailed breakdown of the betting lines for UFC Fight Night 111, which is set to hit Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, this weekend (Sat., June 17, 2017), including best bets, underdogs, favorites and much more!

No partying too hard this Friday night, Maniacs.

That’s because timezones rear their heads once again on Saturday morning (June 17, 2017) when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads to Singapore with Holly Holm and Bethe Correia in the Fight Pass-only main event. Rising Polish bruiser Marcin Tybura co-headlines against former champion Andrei Arlovski, while Colby Covington attempts to continue his Welterweight rise at the expense of “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim.

You might want compensation for getting up that early; therefore, here’s how to get it.

What Went Wrong at UFC Fight Night 110?

Yeah, Kiichi Kunimoto lost, but I think he proved my point that he shouldn’t have been a +250 underdog. He could have won that fight with a greater focus on position and some more variety in his takedown entries. No such self-aggrandizing for the Ross Pearson pick, though. Hooker improved markedly from his fight with Jason Knight and exploited Pearson’s head movement brilliantly. It will definitely be interesting to see if he can keep putting it all together against top-tier Lightweight contenders.

UFC Fight Night 111 Odds For The Undercard:

Jon Tuck (-255) vs. Takanori Gomi (+215)
Walt Harris (-300) vs. Cyril Asker (+250)
Alex Caceres (-300) vs. Rolando Dy (+250)
Justin Scoggins (-500) vs. Yuta Sasaki (+400)
Li Jingliang (-450) vs. Frank Camacho (+360)
Kwan Ho Kwak (-150) vs. Russell Doane (+130)
Naoki Inoue (-275) vs. CJ de Tomas (+235)
Lucie Pudilova (-145) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (+125)

Thoughts: Walt Harris opened at -215, which would have been gangbusters, but we can still scrape a bargain together out of him and Jon Tuck.

Harris has all the physical tools to be a monster. At 34, he’ll never manage to bring his technique up to snuff before those gifts start to fade, but they’re more than enough to carry him past Asker. The Frenchman is smaller, slower, easier to hit, and less durable, not to mention wholly unequipped to consistently bring it to the ground. While anything can happen in this sport, using Harris as the base for your parlays makes sense.

I fervently believe Takanori Gomi deserves to be mentioned among the all-time-great Lightweight legends. I’m also painfully aware that he’s done as a top-level fighter. The takedown defense isn’t there, the defensive grappling isn’t there, the chin isn’t there, and even the legendary power hasn’t shown itself in years. Tuck may have about four minutes of gas in his tank, but that’s more than enough to take down Gomi and obliterate him on the mat … just like “The Fireball Kid’s” last two foes did.

UFC Fight Night 111 Odds For The Main Card:

Holly Holm (-620) vs. Bethe Correia (+460)
Marcin Tybura (-260) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+220)
Colby Covington (-220) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (+180)
Rafael dos Anjos (-260) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (+220)

Thoughts: Colby Covington is honestly way undervalued here. He showed polished, powerful boxing against Bryan Barberena, who offers a similar sort of devil-may-care forward pressure as Kim. Covington will also have a speed advantage and, should the two wind up grappling, I have more faith in his wrestling than in Kim’s Judo.

You could stick Rafael dos Anjos, who opened at a delectable -195, in a parlay as well. Saffiedine’s lack of volume and stopping power continue to bite him in the rear against dedicated pressure fighters.

I might get grief for focusing on guys between -200 and -300, but considering only two fights have the favorite at under -200, four of the underdogs are making their UFC debuts, and five of the other underdogs have stoppage losses within their last three fights, I think I can be forgiven.

UFC Fight Night 111 Best Bets:

  • Parlay — Walt Harris and Colby Covington: Bet $ 40 to make $ 37.73
  • Parlay — Jon Tuck and Rafael dos Anjos: Bet $ 35 to make $ 32.40

Hope you’ve got coffee or amphetamines — or both — because you might need them this weekend. See you bright and early, Maniacs!

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC Fight Night 111 results on fight morning, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you’ve got riding on the sportsbook.

Initial Investment For 2017: $ 200
Current Total: $ 79.03

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The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) ‘Redemption’ results, recap, and discussion (Ep. 9)

Episode nine is titled “Killashaw.”

Episode nine of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): “Redemption” was back on FOX Sports 1 last night (Weds., June 14, 2017), featuring a cast of ex-TUF guys trying to redeem themselves and earn another crack at UFC superstardom under the tutelage of head coaches Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw.

If you missed last week’s episode click here for our complete recap.

We kick things off with a preview of the next welterweight quarterfinal fight, sending Diego Lima into battle against fellow Team Dillashaw housemate Gilbert Smith, as Hayder Hassan is the last man standing from Team Garbrandt.

Smith is rightfully concerned about Coach Dillashaw’s ability to prepare two teammates to fight one another without compromising their respective gameplans, a conundrum that has led past coaches to defer training duties to assistant coaches in previous seasons.

Dillashaw insists he’ll play it right down the middle.

Smith gets first looks inside the gym where he’s smashing pads and looking super serious. Coach Dillashaw remarks how Smith is the one contestant who doesn’t joke around or play grab-ass, instead focusing on his mission.

Win at all costs.

Team Garbrandt has nothing to do this week because all but one of its fighters has been eliminated. So, as you might expect with idle hands, things start to get troublesome as “No Love” pranks his bantamweight rival by pasting a snake tongue on Dillashaw’s poster (because of this).

Dillashaw promises retribution.

Coach Garbrandt shows up the following night to take the contestants out for a night on the town (Hibachi!) and what TUF season would be complete without drunken idiots making fools of themselves?

Case in point: Julian Lane on the stripper pole.

“Grumpy” Gilbert Smith (TUF 17) was not interested in partaking in the evening’s tomfoolery, though he seemed to have no problem chowing down at dinner. Joe Stevenson makes a non-alcoholic toast and Smith abruptly exits stage left.

Then goes into the men’s room to run (seriously).

The next day, Coach Dillashaw debuts a new round of “Killashaw” team t-shirts with giant snakes on the back. I guess if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The cameras then focus on Lima’s preparation for later in the show.

It should be noted that Lima is 5-0 in TUF elimination fights.

Both fighters make weight without incident and they bro hug to make it official. There is the usual pre-fight piano music and close-up shots of each fighter, but that’s just filler until the bout gets underway, so I’ll spare you the gory details.

170 lbs.: Gilbert Smith (12-6) vs. Dhiego Lima (12-5)

Round 1: Touch of gloves to get things started and Lima opens with a front kick. Smith returns fire. Fair amount of juking and jiving as they feel each other out and try to establish range. Lima backs him up with strikes but Smith shucks him off and they reset. Smith is flat-footed looking for power shots while Lima working jabs and kicks from range. Smith catches a kick and tries to convert it to a single-leg takedown but Lima uses the fence to give him pause. Smith settles for wall-and-stall and looks for a scoop slam but gets denied. Lima reverses and gets a takedown of his own. Smith rolls and gives up his back. Lima slinks his arm in but can’t find the choke. Smith stands up and powers out, then gets a takedown of his own. He doesn’t really do anything with it until the last few seconds when ground-and-pound finds its mark. Lima escapes just before the horn. I had it 10-9 Lima.

Round 2: Touch of gloves and we’re right back at it. Sort of a paint-by-numbers offense from both fighters as they kick, back away, punch, back away, etc. Smith rushes in with power shots and they bounce into the fence. Lima spins and looks for the takedown but Smith is having none of it. Lima backs away and they go back to the center of the cage. Smith lands a punishing combination but Lima is sure-footed. Smith starting to drop his hands and strike less robotically. Lima gets bullied into the cage and gives up his back. Smith changes levels but Lima is too tall to get pulled south. Smith starts stalking with punches, perhaps realizing that Lima is not hurting him with his fists. Smith fires off another shot and Lima goes down; however, Smith can’t hold him and gets reversed. Lima jumps up and cracks him on the jaw and Smith does the stanky leg. He quickly recovers and walks forward with punches. Lima decides a takedown is the best approach and does that Johny Hendricks head-between-the-legs-stalled-shot thingy. They separate and wing punches until the horn. My score is 10-9 Smith.

Round 3: One last touch of gloves and this will probably come down to who is less fatigued. Lima drives forward with punches and backs Smith into the fence. Smith tries to punch his way out of it but Lima using those Dhalsim arms to keep him at bay. Smith eats two hard jabs. Then a 1-2. Lima drops down and shoots, dumping an exhausted Smith to the floor and raining down punches. Smith gives up his back and rolls out, landing on top and dropping some punches of his own. Lima looks for the triangle choke but Smith is too sweaty to stay trapped. That said, he uses the hold as an excuse to rest and catch his breath. He eventually breaks free and goes back to mug-and-slug. Lima rolls free and gets back to his feet. This fight will be decided in the last 30 seconds. They punch each other in the face until time expires. I have it 10-9 Lima.

Final result: Lima def. Smith by unanimous decision

Here’s where we stand after episode nine:

Team Garbrandt

Seth Baczynski
Mehdi Baghdad
Eddie Gordon
Hayder Hassan
Julian Lane
Justin Edwards
Johnny Nunez

Team Dillashaw

James Krause
Jesse Taylor
Ramsey Nijem
Dhiego Lima
Joe Stevenson
Tom Gallicchio
Gilbert Smith

And the remaining brackets:

Quarterfinals:

Tom Gallicchio vs. Justin Edwards
Dhiego Lima vs. Gilbert Smith
Jesse Taylor vs. Hayder Hassan
James Krause vs. Ramsey Nijem

Semifinals:

Tom Gallicchio vs. TBD
Dhiego Lima vs. TBD

After the fight, Smith decides to (tearfully) retire from mixed martial arts (MMA).

Stay tuned next week for both remaining quarterfinal fights, then some more hijinks from Coach Dillashaw and Coach Garbrandt. In addition, a semifinalist gets injured and is replaced by an eliminated contestant.

See you in seven!

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