Arianny Celeste is your "& 1" Model of the Week and BJ Penn takes on Shinya Aoki in Vs, plus thoughts on the results out of UFC 171, Bellator 112, One FC 14 and more!
Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania's MMA 5&1! This week we take a look at the results of UFC 171, Dennis Siver's drug test failure, and Bellator's recently booked main event of Rampage Jackson vs King Mo Lawal! It's an explosive edition this week, so let's get this thing underway...
Disclaimer: This work may not be ENTIRELY my own... but I did contribute... slightly...
Oh, and on an unrelated note, thanks to Remo Signori for the original (and now supposedly unrecognizable) banner-work...
COME JONES VS GUSTAFSSON II, THERE WILL BE A NEW UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! At least, that's the verdict of the Versus Community, as super Swede Alexander Gustafsson was picked to pip reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones to the tune of 51 votes to 40. Yes, 56.04% of voters believe that Gustafsson would defeat Jones in a rematch, inspired by not only his recent TKO defeat of previously unbeaten British fighter Jimi Manuwa, but also the closeness of Jones-Gustafsson I.
Gustafsson has the footwork, boxing acumen and ever-evolving wrestling game to close the gap on Jones, who was once considered another of the UFC's nigh-on invincible super Champions – but with GSP and Anderson Silva no longer sporting UFC gold, is it just a matter of time before Jones joins their ranks on the outside looking in? The Versus Community says yes, and for now, that's good enough for me!
Similarly, Johny Hendricks is expected to avenge a tight decision defeat against Georges St Pierre, obtaining a whopping 64.04 % of an 89-vote count, seeing off the French-Canadian great with a 57-32 triumph. Hendricks did indeed acquire the belt he claimed was rightfully his all along, besting Robbie Lawler this past weekend in a back-and-forth tilt – and if he can see off all comers while GSP rides out his ‘break' from MMA, who knows, maybe that fight will take place too!
This week, though, we're going for a pair of transcontinental superfights! Both these encounters have something of a historic bent, so once again we're looking at who would win if both fighters fought during their prime – and there's only one way to find out, right, Versus Community?
That's right, the first fight pits Japan's top featherweight fighter Shinya Aoki against UFC retiree BJ Penn. Both fighters are familiar with title belts, Penn being a multiple time, multiple division UFC Champion, and Aoki having picked up gold in several trans-Asian organizations. Both fighters have unbelievable Jiu Jitsu skills, with Penn potentially having an advantage on the feet – but how well would that serve him against Aoki, who has a penchant for ensnaring even top fighters in his quagmire of a ground game, where he frequently bests his foes. Let us know, Versus Community!
And while we're at it, how about this little doozy?
Yes, I'm asking you to pick between a prime Kazushi Sakuraba and current, reigning, defending UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman - and what better test for a potential future legend than by pitting him against one of the greatest of all time. Sakuraba truly is an idol in Japanese MMA, and rightly so – his well-rounded skillset was ahead of its time, with Saku rated as one of the finest grapplers of his day – much like Weidman today. So would Weidman outwit the wily veteran, or would Sakuraba reign supreme once again? You decide!
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd nooooooooooooow, the MMA 5:
Bad news for Dennis Siver fans, as the German-Russian kickboxer tested positive for a banned substance following his UFC 168 win over Manny Gamburyan. As reported right here on 411mania, Siver was found to have human chorionic gonadotropin (hGC) in his bloodstream, a substance known to be taken alongside steroids and that serves to elevate testosterone levels. Siver, 22-9 in MMA, recently dropped to featherweight and has amassed a 3-1 record in the weight class, but this latest win could yet be stripped from his record should the NSAC choose to take further action in the near future.
Siver is understood to be suspended at present, but will be given the chance to appeal whatever sentence is passed. This does, however, throw a serious wrench in his goal to become an established top 10 fighter at his new weight class, if he hadn't already done so.
So what do you make of this news? Should the 35 year old be punished severely, even though hGC is a naturally-occurring substance? Does Manny Gamburyan deserve to have his loss overturned? And where does this leave him in the 145 lb fold once his suspension(s) are complete? Leave your comments at the bottom!
Dana White recently commented on the possibility that former WWE star CM Punk could potentially, possibly, maybe one day fight in the UFC. White stated that while he has spent time with Punk, the two have never discussed either the MMA or wrestling businesses, and that the subject of Punk possibly fighting has never come up – but following the huge success of former NCAA Division I wrestler Brock Lesnar, the concept of Punk fighting in the UFC could prove too enticing to turn down for the UFC President.
Punk has long been linked with the MMA world, being both a fan of the sport and of martial arts on the whole, and has even appeared alongside Rener Gracie on the Gracie Breakdown to explain certain aspects of some of the earlier UFC fights, including the UFC 4 bout between Royce Gracie and Dan Severn. Punk is understood to have some background in Muay Thai and BJJ, but has no competitive record in MMA. That hasn't stopped the likes of Phil Baroni and Jason ‘Mayhem' Miller talking about potential fights, however...
While White did admit he would be open to giving Punk his first crack at mixed martial arts, there will be plenty of sceptics watching as this story unfolds. Punk may prove a cash cow if he can register a victory inside the octagon, but it's unclear how legitimate the long time professional wrestler really is. Dubbed as a ‘martial arts expert' by WWE commentator Michael Cole, Punk has exhibited some degree of skill in wrestling matches, but clearly that counts for very little when placed side-by-side competitive fighting. White closed his comments with a rather enigmatic response of ‘Um, I mean, yeah. I guess if he wanted to fight I'd talk to him about it' – but with nothing more concrete on that to go on, one can only speculate as to whether it will ever happen or not.
So what do YOU think? Would you like to see CM Punk compete inside the cage? And if so, how well do you think he'd fare? Is it possible he could overcome anyone in the UFC? Or is all of this just some unrealistic pipe dream? Let us know!
Bellator FC have announced a superfight of sorts will take place under their banner, as Quinton ‘Rampage' Jackson and ‘King Mo' Lawal will square off in the co-main event slot of Bellator's May 17 PPV. The main event for the PPV, featuring a third bout between rivals Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, will see the culmination of a brilliant trilogy of fights for the Bellator Lightweight title. Rampage and King Mo, meanwhile, will be competing in the semi-finals of a light heavyweight tournament after both progressed in their respective bouts against Christian M'Pumbu and Mikhail Zayats.
Jackson, 35, is now 2-0 in Bellator, having previously dispatched another former UFC veteran in Joey Beltran – and has recorded both wins by first round KO. Undoubtedly still a very live threat in the 205 lb division, Jackson left the UFC after a three-fight losing streak and several contractual disputes. His opponent, King Mo, has fought more frequently, and is presently 4-2 in the company. Both of Lawal's defeats have come against reigning Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Emmanuel Newton, who will defend his title against the winner of the tournament should he still be in possession of the title.
So, what do you think of this bout? How strong a co-main event is it for the PPV, and how does it compare to the bout the company had to fizzle in their previous PPV attempt, Rampage vs Tito? Is it a let down? Or is it a better fight?
While we're on the subject, how far do you think both men can go in Bellator? Is Rampage destined to dethrone Newton, and reign supreme? Or will he fail to make the grade?
Moreover, 5&1'ers, WHO WILL WIN?! Answers in the comments section please!
While we'll get to UFC 171 in just a moment, there were two other shows of note this past weekend, including One FC 14 and Bellator 112.
The One FC show, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia saw Japanese welterweight Nobutatsu Suzuki dominate UFC veteran Brock Larson, lighting him up with superior striking and excellent takedown defence. Suzuki (11-1-2) picked up a unanimous decision win, as well as the One FC Welterweight Championship – a shot he earned following a first round TKO of ‘New York Badass' Phil Baroni. Though he may be 36 years old already, Suzuki is undoubtedly a talented striker, and it should be fun to see who the Asian superpower line up for him next.
In the co-main event slot, unbeaten Korean Dae Hwan Kim (10-0-1) made short work of bantamweight Kevin Belingon, submitting him in the first round via rear naked choke. Kim, now 2-0 in One FC, has finished 7 of his 10 victories inside the time, half of them by submission.
Kamal Shalorus also recorded a win, outpointing Cuban Ariel Sexton on all cards.
At Bellator, Pat Curran (20-5) avenged defeat at Bellator 106 with a fifth round submission win over Daniel Straus to regain the Bellator Featherweight title. Curran and Straus put on an outstanding back-and-forth fight, but with 14 seconds left in the fifth and final round, Curran forced Straus to tap to a rear naked choke. Arguably, Straus had been leading on the cards up until that point, so the possibility of a second trilogy of title fights (after Alvarez-Chandler III) is very genuine indeed. For now, however, Straus may be forced to compete in another Bellator tournament, unless forthcoming announcements state otherwise.
In the co-main event slot, Russian Andrey Koreshkov (15-1) made short work of Strikeforce and UFC veteran Nah-Shon Burrell, dropping him with a clipping knee before pressing him his advantage with ground strikes that forced the referee to stand in. Koreshkov's only defeat came against former Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren, while he holds victories over the likes of Lyman Good, Marius Zaromskis, and Jordan Smith. He has finished 9 of his 15 wins by KO, and 12 within the distance.
Portland native Nathan Coy was also victorious, dominating UFC veteran Paul Bradley across three bloody rounds.
UFC 171 was very much centred around the welterweight division, with the coronation of new 170 lb champion Johny Hendricks taking top billing – but take nothing away from an incredibly gutsy performance from Robbie Lawler, who threatened to come from two rounds down to pick up a first UFC title. Former middleweight Lawler, who struggled to avoid Hendricks' hands for the first ten minutes of the fight, looked to spark an unlikely comeback with a left that rocked ‘Big Rigg' badly in the third round, and followed up with several shots as he began to land at will.
Hendricks hung on through the turbulent stanza, but round four saw Lawler brimming with confidence and willing to eat shots to land his own. Fans of the upset must have thought Lawler was on course for a momentous, career-best win, only for Hendricks to up the tempo late in round five, peppering Lawler with various knees, punches and leg kicks, proving his cardio can withstand 25 minutes of furious action.
It was a great fight, and Hendricks should prove a worthy champion – but the list of contenders is already stacking up, as Tyron Woodley defeated Carlos Condit after ‘The Natural Born Killer's' knee appeared to give out following a second round Woodley leg kick. Condit appeared to hurt his leg earlier in the round, possibly off a strong takedown, but it remains to be seen how serious the injury is. Nevertheless, Woodley appeared to take round one, and showed excellent hands as well as vastly superior wrestling. Woodley claimed after the fight that the injury should not lessen the importance of this victory, though Condit will be disappointed with the manner of this most recent defeat.
Hector Lombard will also be high on the list of contenders after halting Jake Shield's recent good form, using his outstanding takedown defence and devilish striking to light up the grappling great. Shields found himself consistently frustrated by the Cuban judoka, who was much the better on the feet, as well as comfortable in top position and looking the physically stronger of the two. Lombard is now 2-0 at 170 lbs, having already stopped Nate Marquardt by first round KO.
Ovince St Preux won at light heavyweight, stopping Ukrainian Nikita Krylov with a von Flue choke, the European fighter rendered unconscious by the slick submission hold. OSP now holds back-to-back wins in the UFC.
Myles Jury also caused something of an upset with a dominant decision win over Diego Sanchez, displaying an excellent technical striking game and strong wrestling to punctuate his advantages. Sanchez, who fought with heart and intensity, was largely picked apart by the slick prospect.