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SHERDOG ARTICLES DECEMBER 2021
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By The Numbers: Ben Askren The onetime Olympian retired from mixed martial arts with a 19-2 record in November 2019, having captured titles in Bellator MMA and One Championship.
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Sherdog.com’s 2021 Year-End Awards: The Complete List Another eventful 12 months have somehow come and gone in mixed martial arts, where fans returned to live-action venues, titles changed hands and...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Michael Bisping “The Count” compiled a 30-9 record with 20 finishes and masked his weaknesses with an unwavering commitment to preparation, as he became one...
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Sherdog’s 2021 Round of the Year The first round between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler at UFC 268 featured multiple momentum swings in what was an epic war of wills.
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Rivalries: Forrest Griffin “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner and former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder compiled a 19-7 record during...
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Sherdog's 2021 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year Even those who saw championship upside in Ciryl Gane a year ago might have been shocked by the speed and ease with which he navigated 2021,...
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By The Numbers: Vitor Belfort The Brazilian burst on the mixed martial arts scene as a 19-year-old wunderkind in 1996, tore through his first four opponents in a little more...
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Sherdog’s 2021 Robbery of the Year Gleison Tibau sprang a shocking upset with his controversial split decision over Rory MacDonald under the Professional Fighters League marquee...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Cole Konrad “The Polar Bear” compiled a perfect 9-0 record during a career that spanned a little more than two years and featured his reign as undisputed...
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Rivalries: Brock Lesnar When the hulking South Dakota native linked arms with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it was a match made in box-office heaven.
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Sherdog.com's 2021 Event of the Year In a field crowded with worthy contenders, UFC 268 blew the roof off of Madison Square Garden to earn its place as Sherdog's “Event of the Year.”
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The Rizin Lightweight Title: A Visual History On New Year’s Eve in Saitama Super Arena, Roberto de Souza will attempt to become just the third fighter in Rizin Fighting Federation history...
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Sherdog’s 2021 Beatdown of the Year Max Holloway was the man behind a blowout for the ages on Jan. 16, when he routed Calvin Kattar in one of the most lopsided decisions in Ultimate...
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Sherdog Prospect Watch: Genaro Valdez The undefeated Entram Gym export will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut at UFC 270 on Jan. 22.
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By The Numbers: Frank Mir The former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder spent the vast majority of his career on something of a rollercoaster ride,...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Josh Barnett The former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder remains almost universally recognized as one of the 10 greatest heavyweights of all-time.
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Kevin Randleman “The Monster” left behind a complicated legacy when he died at the age of 45 in 2016, his mixed martial arts run wrought by both achievement...
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By The Numbers: Murilo Bustamante The longtime Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was the second middleweight titleholder in Ultimate Fighting Championship history and reached the final of the 2005...
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Sherdog's 2021 Knockout of the Year Sergio Pettis lived up to his “Phenom” nickname, putting Kyoji Horiguchi to sleep with a dazzling spinning backfist at Bellator 272 to...
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Let's Improve MMA: A Better Ranking System Lev Pisarsky proposes an alternative to the often flawed and unsatisfactory opinion-based polls that MMA's biggest promotions use to rank...
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The Bottom Line: A Year in Review Some of the fighters will remember 2021 most fondly, while others will be most eager to start anew, writes Todd Martin.
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Rivalries: Matt Hughes The Hillsboro, Illinois, native retired in 2013 after a magnificent run—much of it spent tormenting welterweights in the Ultimate Fighting...
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Sherdog's 2021 Submission of the Year Andre Muniz's bone-crunching submission of a grappling legend at UFC 262 in May shocked us in more ways than one.
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Eduard Folayang The Filipino standout linked arms with the Singapore-based One Championship organization in 2012 and has spent the better part of a decade as...
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By The Numbers: Yushin Okami Even though a mixed martial arts championship has thus far eluded “Thunder,” many regard him as one of the Top 25 middleweights of...
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Rivalries: Rich Franklin Though he was ultimately overshadowed by the feats of an eight-legged freak, the onetime Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Antonio Carlos Jr. The 31-year-old Brazilian will enter his 2022 campaign with plenty of promise and a renewed sense of purpose as the defending Professional Fighters...
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By The Numbers: Sergio Pettis The reigning Bellator MMA bantamweight champion passed his most significant test to date on Dec. 3, when he zapped Kyoji Horiguchi with a spinning backfist in the fourth round of their...
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By The Numbers: Vadim Nemkov The reigning Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion will enter his 2022 campaign on a career-best run of nine consecutive wins.
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Sherdog's 2021 Fight of the Year Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler exceeded sky-high expectations with their unforgettable encounter at UFC 268 on Nov. 6 in New York.
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Sherdog’s 2021 Walkout Song of the Year The Cranberries’ “Zombie” brought Peter Queally to the cage for the Bellator 270 main event on Nov. 5, unleashing a wave of emotion that...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Yaroslav Amosov The undefeated Ukrainian sambo stylist completed his climb to the top of the Bellator MMA mountain on June 11, when his unanimous decision over...
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Rivalries: Lyoto Machida As one of the few karatekas to thrive at the sport’s highest levels, “The Dragon” was for years a headlining attraction in the Ultimate...
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Sherdog’s 2021 Upset of the Year Julianna Pena shocked the combat sports world when she dethroned Amanda Nunes in the UFC 269 co-headliner on Dec. 11 and ended the Brazilian’s historic 1,981-day reign atop the...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Raush Manfio The Brazilian entered his life-altering 2021 campaign as just another name on the Professional Fighters League’s lightweight roster and...
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By The Numbers: Alexander Volkanovski The pound-for-pound stalwart will enter his 2022 campaign with a firm grasp on the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight title.
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Rivalries: Sean Sherk “The Muscle Shark” enjoyed a long and distinguished career that covered more than a decade and saw him become the second undisputed lightweight titleholder in...
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Sherdog’s 2021 Story of the Year Starting with UFC on ABC 1, UFC on ESPN 20 and UFC 257 in the United Arab Emirates, the return of fans to the fights was met with a mixture of...
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The Bottom Line: To Sign or Not to Sign? The Ultimate Fighting Championship should only invest in Kayla Harrison if those in power believe she can be a star, with or without Amanda...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Matt Serra A former Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight titleholder and author of perhaps the most stunning upset in mixed martial arts history,...
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By The Numbers: Ray Cooper III The two-time Professional Fighters League champion will march into his 2022 campaign on the strength of a six-fight winning streak.
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Rivalries: Luke Rockhold The former Strikeforce and Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder rattled off 15 victories across his first 17 professional...
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Opinion: The UFC Keeps Spitting on its Own History Lev Pisarsky ponders why the Ultimate Fighting Championship insists on disrespecting its own storied history each time there’s a new sheriff...
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Sherdog’s 2021 Fighter of the Year Charles Oliveira’s career-defining campaign stood out above all the rest, as he captured the vacant Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight crown with a thrilling technical knockout of Michael Chandler in...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Juliana Velasquez The 35-year-old Brazilian will enter her 2022 campaign as the undisputed Bellator MMA women’s flyweight champion, having taken charge of the...
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Rivalries: Patricky Freire The 35-year-old Brazilian will enter his 2022 campaign as the undisputed Bellator MMA lightweight champion and with wins in eight of his last 10...
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Fight Facts: UFC Fight Night 199 ‘Lewis vs. Daukaus’ The Ultimate Fighting Championship said farewell to 2021 with a sneaky good card that brought violence by the barrel.
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Fight Facts: KSW 65 ‘Khalidov vs. Soldic’ KSW staged its own year-end show to preempt the final Ultimate Fighting Championship card, only to run up against it during the broadcast.
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Matches to Make After UFC Fight Night 199 Those unfortunate enough to get hit flush by Derrick Lewis tend not to remember much about the experience. Chris Daukaus can probably attest to...
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By the Numbers: UFC Fight Night 199 Derrick Lewis may not be Ultimate Fighting Championship champion, but he can now claim the top spot in another area.
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The Walkmen: All UFC Fight Night 199 Walkout Tracks The Ultimate Fighting Championship wrapped up its 2021 campaign with Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 199, a card featuring 14 bouts and 28 fighters...
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Pictures: UFC Fight Night 199 UFC Fight Night 199 was headlined by a heavyweight bout pitting Derrick Lewis against Chris Daukaus.
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Who You Got? Sherdog Staff Pick 'Em: UFC Fight Night 199 Sherdog's writers, editors and forum staff put their pride on the line, as they pick the winners for UFC Fight Night 199.
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Preview: UFC Fight Night 199 ‘Lewis vs. Daukaus’ Heavyweights take center stage for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, as Derrick Lewis squares off with Chris Daukaus on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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Prime Picks: UFC Fight Night 199 ‘Lewis vs. Daukaus’ The Ultimate Fighting Championship has one more round in the chamber to close out 2021 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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How to Watch UFC Fight Night 199 Heavyweights will provide the main course when the Ultimate Fighting Championship closes the book on its 2021 campaign, as Derrick Lewis battles...
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How to Watch KSW 65 Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki welterweight champion Roberto Soldic will attempt to become a rare simultaneous two-division titleholder when he...
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How to Watch Paul vs. Woodley II ‘Leave No Doubt’ YouTube sensation Jake Paul will put his undefeated record on the line when he boxes former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder Tyron...
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By The Numbers: Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad The welterweight contenders will face off in the UFC Fight Night 199 co-main event on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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By The Numbers: Cub Swanson vs. Darren Elkins The wo longstanding members of the Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight division will collide at UFC Fight Night 199 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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Preview: UFC Fight Night 199 Prelims A middleweight battle between Gerald Meerschaert and Dustin Stoltzfus highlights the final Ultimate Fighting Championship undercard of 2021.
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How to Watch One Championship 'Winter Warriors 2' Team Lakay export Danny Kingad will toe the line against Kairat Akhmetov in the final One Championship headliner of 2021 on Friday in Singapore.
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Rivalries: Raphael Assuncao The 39-year-old Brazilian will attempt to snap out of a troubling tailspin when he confronts Ricky Simon in a UFC Fight Night 199 bantamweight...
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5 Things You Might Not Know about Danny Kingad The 26-year-old Filipino standout will lock horns with Kairat Akhmetov in the One Championship “Winter Warriors 2” headliner on Friday in...
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Stand and Deliver: UFC Fight Night 199 Derrick Lewis and Angela Hill are just two of the fighters under a little extra pressure to perform at UFC Fight Night 199.
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Chris Daukaus The surging Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight contender will draw his most significant assignment to date when he faces Derrick Lewis in the...
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By The Numbers: Danny Kingad vs. Kairat Akhmetov The flyweight contenders will lock horns in the One Championship “Winter Warriors 2” main event on Friday in Singapore.
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The Bottom Line: Adverse Reactions Amanda Nunes’ shocking upset loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 269 leaves the former champion with much to prove in their inevitable rematch,...
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Matches to Make After UFC 269 Charles Oliveira checked all the boxes and looked like a champion with some staying power on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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The UFC Women's Bantamweight Title: A Visual History The UFC women's bantamweight division has been home to a couple of the most dominant champions the sport has ever seen, but also a couple of the...
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By The Numbers: Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus The heavyweight contenders will collide in the UFC Fight Night 199 headliner on Saturday in Las Vegas, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship...
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Rivalries: Kairat Akhmetov The 34-year-old Tiger Muay Thai rep will carry a 24-2 record into his pivotal showdown with Danny Kingad in the One Championship “Winter Warriors...
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Opinion: The Twin Demons of Complacency and Contentment In a sport as unpredictable and ever-evolving as mixed martial arts, even the greatest fighters in the world can lose their edge and fall,...
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Fight Facts: UFC 269 ‘Oliveira vs. Poirier’ UFC 269 featured an upset for the ages, the firm grip on a 155-pound throne and a bountiful buffet of bonuses.
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By The Numbers: UFC 269 It’s about time Charles Oliveira receives the respect he deserves as Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion.
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Pictures: UFC 269 UFC 269 was topped by two title fights.
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Who You Got? Sherdog Staff Pick 'Em: UFC 269 With the season winding down, Sherdog's writers, editors and forum staff pick the winners for UFC 269.
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Preview: UFC 269 ‘Oliveira vs. Poirier’ Two title fights take center stage at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s final pay-per-view of 2021 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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Prime Picks: UFC 269 ‘Oliveira vs. Poirier’ The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday will stand and deliver with a show that no major organization dares to counterprogram.
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Rivalries: Julianna Pena “The Venezuelan Vixen” will challenge Amanda Nunes for the undisputed women’s bantamweight championship when she meets the future hall of famer in the...
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By The Numbers: UFC 269 Pre-Fight Edition The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday will tie a bow on the pay-per-view portion of its 2021 campaign, as a pair of title bouts carry...
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How to Watch UFC 269 Two title bouts will shoulder the Ultimate Fighting Championship marquee on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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Preview: UFC 269 Prelims A featherweight showdown between Josh Emmett and Dan Ige highlights the Ultimate Fighting Championship undercard on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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9 Questions for Raulian Paiva As he prepares to face Sean O'Malley on the main card of UFC 269 this weekend, bantamweight up-and-comer Raulian Paiva took a moment to answer a...
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7 Questions for Andre Muniz Some seven months after a potential star-making performance, “Sergipano” returns to the Octagon to face former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Eryk Anders on the...
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By The Numbers: Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena The undisputed women’s bantamweight title will be on the line in the UFC 269 co-main event on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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Son of Dagestan and Pride of Manchester: Muhammad Mokaev Joins the UFC The Dagestani flyweight — by way of England — is one of the top prospects in his weight class, and now set to make his UFC debut in March.
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This Month’s MMA Birthdays: Maurice Smith Turns 60 The Alliance co-founder and former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder remains one of MMA’s most overlooked pioneers.
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By The Numbers: Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier The organizational mainstays will determine the fate of the undisputed lightweight championship when they lock horns in the UFC 269 headliner.
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Stand and Deliver: UFC 269 Every fight at UFC 269 matters, but some matter just a little bit more.
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Rivalries: Charles Oliveira The Brazilian gets another chance at validation in a post-Khabib Nurmagomedov world when he defends the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight crown against Dustin Poirier in the...
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The Bottom Line: Much to Lose, Much to Gain Validation could prove elusive for lightweight champion Charles Oliveira as he heads into his first title defense in the UFC 269 headliner,...
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The UFC Lightweight Title: A Visual History This weekend at UFC 269, a man who once seemed like the longest of long shots to capture UFC gold will look to defend his title for the first time.
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Bruno Silva, Armored for Battle As he prepares to face Jordan Wright this weekend at UFC 269, red-hot middleweight Bruno Silva talked to Sherdog about his nickname, the PED...
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Opinion: Retaining the Magic and Wonder of MMA As the holiday season is upon us, Lev Pisarsky spreads cheer with three sensational fights from the weekend, sure to warm the heart of even the...
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Charles Oliveira: Catching Up with the Champ Ahead of his first title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269, lightweight champ Charles Oliveira talked to Sherdog about his long road to the top, the missed chance to face...
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Fight Facts: Bellator 272 ‘Pettis vs. Horiguchi’ Bellator 272 featured a landmark spinning back fist, a grudge match paid in full and a Russian destroyer that can’t seem to get out of second...
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Matches to Make After UFC on ESPN 31 Former UFC and WEC titleholder Jose Aldo finds ways to redefine himself, even as he piles up mileage on the odometer.
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Fight Facts: UFC on ESPN 31 ‘Font vs. Aldo’ UFC on ESPN 31 featured a massive strike count discrepancy in the headliner, a spectacular kick KO and a grizzled vet who promises the best is...
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By the Numbers: UFC on ESPN 31 Don’t look now, but Jose Aldo is marching toward another title shot at 135 pounds.
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Who You Got? Sherdog Staff Pick 'Em: UFC on ESPN 31 With the season winding down, Sherdog's writers, editors and forum staff pick the winners for UFC on ESPN 31.
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How to Watch UFC on ESPN 31 Rob Font on Saturday will attempt to clear another major hurdle in his race toward title contention in the Ultimate Fighting Championship...
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Preview: UFC on ESPN 31 ‘Font vs. Aldo’ Top-shelf bantamweights collide in the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship main event, as Rob Font toes the line against Jose Aldo on Saturday...
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Pictures: One Championship 'Winter Warriors' Stamp Fairtex submitted Ritu Phogat with a second round armbar at One: Winter Warriors.
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Prime Picks: UFC on ESPN 31 ‘Font vs. Aldo’ Fight fans took a much-needed breather over Thanksgiving and come back a week later for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to the...
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How to Watch Senshi 10 On Saturday, Dec. 4, Senshi will put on a card featuring plenty of international fighters and guests.
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How to Watch Bellator 272 Sergio Pettis will put the undisputed Bellator MMA bantamweight championship on the line when he meets Kyoji Horiguchi in the main event on...
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Jimmy Crute The 25-year-old Australian will attempt to bounce back from just the second defeat of his career when he confronts Jamahal Hill in a UFC on ESPN...
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By The Numbers: Brad Riddell vs. Rafael Fiziev Two of the more promising lightweights on the Ultimate Fighting Championship roster will lock horns in the UFC on ESPN 31 co-headliner.
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Preview: UFC on ESPN 31 Prelims Middleweights Maki Pitolo and Dusko Todorovic highlight the Ultimate Fighting Championship undercard on Saturday in Las Vegas.
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How to Watch One Championship ‘Winter Warriors’ Regian Eersel will defend his One Championship kickboxing lightweight crown when he collides with Islam Murtazaev in the main event on Friday in...
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By The Numbers: Nong Stamp vs. Ritu Phogat The two 115-pound contenders will collide in the One Championship atomweight grand prix final on Friday in Singapore.
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Rivalries: Rob Font The former CES MMA champion will meet future hall of famer Jose Aldo in the UFC on ESPN 31 headliner this Saturday in Las Vegas.
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5 Things You Might Not Know About Sergio Pettis The Roufusport star will defend his undisputed Bellator MMA bantamweight championship against Kyoji Horiguchi in the Bellator 272 main event.
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5 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Stamp Fairtex’ The Fairtex Training Center rep will confront Ritu Phogat when their atomweight grand prix final co-headlines One Championship “Winter...
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Rivalries: Kyoji Horiguchi The 31-year-old American Top Team standout will challenge Sergio Pettis for the undisputed bantamweight championship in the Bellator 272 main event.


POLL

What should be the next UFC men's flyweight title fight?