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Luke Rockhold gets another chance to show the combat sports world why he was so highly-touted in Strikeforce ... but only if he can avoid going nighty-night against the heavy hands of Constantinos Philippou.
After suffering only his second defeat in the Octagon at the hands of Francis Carmont in his last match, will UFC Fight Night 35 headliner Costa Philippou prove this evening (Weds., Jan. 15, 2014) that he is force to be reckoned with at Middleweight at Luke Rockhold's expense?
Rising Middleweight standouts, Lorenz Larkin and Brad Tavares, will lock horns in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 35, which takes place tonight (Weds., Jan. 15, 2014) at The Arena in Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. It's a hard-hitting battle between two very good strikers with much to prove, meaning that it could spark fireworks on FOX Sports 1.
Get a detailed breakdown of the betting lines for the upcoming UFC Fight Night 35: "Rockhold vs Philippou" mixed martial arts (MMA) event that is set to hit The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., tomorrow night (Weds., Jan. 15, 2014 ), including best bets, underdogs, favorites and much more.
What does a victory mean for Luke Rockhold, Costas Philippou, Lorenz Larkin and Brad Tavares when they step inside the Octagon this Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2014) in Duluth, Ga., for UFC Fight Night 35: "Rockhold vs. Philiippou"? We explore the consequences and what each combatant could gain with a victory over their respective opponents at The Arena in Gwinnett Center below.
It promises to be a war when top-10 middleweights Luke Rockhold and Costa Philippou throw down in the headliner of tomorrow night's (Jan. 15, 2014) UFC Fight Night 35 event from Duluth, Georgia. How can each fighter hold on to their precious spot in the rankings? Read our fight preview to find out!
More free UFC fights are coming to "Fight Pass" and FOX Sports 1 this mid-week (Weds., Jan. 15, 2014) when the UFC Fight Night 35: "Rockhold vs. Philippou" event kicks off at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC Fight Night 35 "Prelims" party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part under card preview series.
MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of UFC Fight Night 35 headliner, former 185-pound Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold, who will attempt to get back in the Middleweight "mix" when he collides with Constantinos Philippou this Wednesday night (Jan. 15, 2014) at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
Before every fight card, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans toggle between possible scenarios and what to expect days before it all unfolds in front of their eyes. Probable outcomes, distinguishable facts and head-scratching theories are all apart of the mystique that surrounds the fights on any given night. We ask ourselves the same questions … and try to come out with different answers.
This Wednesday (January 15, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweights Lorenz Larkin and Brad Tavares will go to war in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 35 from The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
No. 13-ranked Larkin recently notched his first UFC win, beating Chris Camozzi at UFC Fight Night 31: "Fight for Troops 3" last November. Larkin had previously dropped his Octagon debut to No. 8-ranked Francis Carmont at UFC on Fox 7, the only official loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Tavares has quietly racked up four straight decision wins. Part of the reason he isn't getting much publicity is his lack of finishes; another part is the mid-level competition he's been facing. With only one loss on Tavares' record, Larkin should provide a nice step up in competition for him.
Both fighters are known for their impressive striking, so this bout could erupt into a war. Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Larkin and Tavares:
Record: 14-1(1) overall, 1-1 UFC
Key Wins: Robbie Lawler (Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy), Chris Camozzi (UFC Fight Night 31), Gian Villante (Strikeforce Challengers: Fodor vs. Terry)
Key Losses: Francis Carmont (UFC on Fox 7)
Record: 11-1 overall, 6-1 UFC
Key Wins: Robert McDaniel (UFC Fight Night 27), Tom Watson (UFC on Fuel TV), Phil Baroni (UFC 125)
Key Losses: Aaron Simpson (UFC 132)
Former Strikeforce contender Larkin is respected for his lethal blend of Kung Fu, kickboxing, and boxing that has translated into eight knockouts throughout his career. He'll have a tough time knocking out Tavares, whose only loss came by decision. That won't stop Larkin from trying, however. He's extremely well versed on his feet and can outlast quality fighters, evident by his decision win over current UFC welterweight title challenger Lawler.
On the other hand, Larkin rarely looks to go to the ground and has never submitted an opponent. That could present a great opportunity for Tavares, who is proficient if not spectacular on the mat. It won't be easy to control former light heavyweight Larkin on the ground, but it will be a better strategy than choosing to stand and trade with him. Tavares has been largely able to use his own standup skills to outpoint his last four opponents, but Larkin is simply a different animal. Tavares needs to stay on his toes and look to transition his strikes into some takedowns if he wants to win.
Larkin could receive a nice boost up the rankings if he can effectively derail Tavares' momentum. But, it's still unclear if Larkin can consistently defeat the well-rounded fighters in UFC. There's no doubt his knockout ability is some of the best, but pure strikers rarely last long in the Octagon. By defeating Larkin, Tavares can score the biggest win of his solid career and catapult himself into some long overdue recognition.
With middleweight suddenly becoming one of the most stacked divisions in UFC, the stakes will be high for both fighters in Georgia. Can Larkin prove he deserves a big name fight, or will Tavares win five in a row?
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing its brand of mixed martial arts (MMA) back to the Atlanta area for UFC Fight Night 35, headlined by a middleweight match-up pitting Luke Rockhold vs. Constantinos Philippou. Check out the finalized fight card, bout order and television line up below.
More free UFC fights are coming to "Fight Pass" and FOX Sports 1 this mid-week (Weds., Jan. 15, 2014) when the UFC Fight Night 35: "Rockhold vs. Philippou" event kicks off at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 35 "Prelims" party with part one of a two-part under card preview series.
This Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweights T.J. Dillashaw and Mike Easton will face off in a pivotal Top-10 showdown on the main card of UFC Fight Night 35 from The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
No. 6-ranked Dillashaw saw a recent surge slip away in his last fight, losing a close split decision to No. 3-ranked Raphael Assuncao at UFC Fight Night 29 in October 2013. Prior to the loss Dillashaw had won his previous four mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts. There's no question that Dillashaw is benefiting greatly from the tutelage of Team Alpha Male head coach Duane "Bang" Ludwig, but he has his hands full with the more experienced Easton.
No. 7-ranked Easton has made a name for himself fighting some of the best 135-pound talent in the sport. He's been through some turbulent times as of late, losing a split decision to Brad Pickett at UFC on Fuel TV 9 in his only bout of 2013. Easton is on a two-fight skid after a prior loss to Assuncao.
But, before that, Easton only had one loss on his record. "Hulk" knows he can get right back in the mix with an impressive win over Dillashaw. Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Dillashaw and Easton:
Record: 8-2 overall, 4-2 UFC
Key Wins: Hugo Viana (UFC on Fox 7), Vaughan Lee (UFC on Fuel TV 4)
Key Losses: John Dodson (The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale), Raphael Assuncao (UFC Fight Night 29)
Record: 13-3 overall, 3-2 UFC
Key Wins: John Dodson (UWC 4: Confrontation), Ivan Menjivar (UFC 148)
Key Losses: Raphael Assuncao (UFC on Fox 7), Brad Pickett (UFC on Fuel TV 9)
Dillashaw brings a solid wrestling skillset to the table, having finished tenth in the nation at 133 pounds during his senior year at Cal State Fullerton. Recently he's been relying on his new-found striking prowess, and it paid off in spades for a while. Dillashaw came back down to earth a bit against Assuncao, however.
Perhaps going back to his base skill of wrestling would play into Dillashaw's best interests here.
With seven decision wins to his name, Taekwondo black belt Easton is more of a standup fighter who prefers to pick his opponents apart. "Hulk" also has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, so Dillashaw can't get careless when looking for a takedown. Easton will most likely look to keep this fight standing. He's only been stopped once and that was due to injury, so he won't be scared of Dillashaw's power.
But, he'll need to be cautious rather than overconfident in Georgia, because the Team Alpha Male-trained product can end any bantamweight's night rather abruptly.
This fight is absolutely paramount for the career paths of both men. A win will earn the victor a fight against a Top-5 opponent while the loser will fade off into 135-pound no man's land. For Easton, it's especially important so he doesn't lose three in a row.
Dillashaw is confident in his all-around skills and Easton has been reeling a bit. It's on "Hulk" to prove he can still hang with the best in the world. Because of that, this should be a war that fully showcases the considerable talent of both fighters.
MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of UFC Fight Night 35 headliner, Constantinos Philippou, who will attempt to get back in the Middleweight "mix" when he collides with former 185-pound Strikeforce champion, Luke Rockhold, this Wednesday night (Jan. 15, 2014) at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
This Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweights Yoel Romero and Derek Brunson will clash on the main card of UFC Fight Night 35 from The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
Still new to mixed martial arts (MMA), Romero comes in on the heels of two straight knockout wins. His most recent victory was a third round stoppage of Ronny Markes at UFC Fight Night 31: "Fight for Troops 3" in Nov. 2013. Prior to that, Romero exploded onto the UFC scene with a devastating flying knee on Clifford Starks at UFC on Fox 7.
Brunson also fought at "Fight for Troops 3," submitting Brian Houston with a rear-naked choke. He remains undefeated in UFC after beating Chris Leben in his promotional debut at UFC 155. The well-rounded Brunson is looking to prove that he deserves a bout with one of the top 185-pound fighters in the world.
Romero will provide a perfect litmus test to gauge if Brunson is ready for that. Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both fighters:
Record: 6-1 overall, 2-0 UFC
Key Wins: Ronny Markes (UFC Fight Night 31), Clifford Starks (UFC on Fox 7)
Key Losses: Rafael Cavalcante (Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov)
Record: 11-2 overall, 2-0 UFC
Key Wins: Chris Leben (UFC 155), Brian Houston (UFC Fight Night 31)
Key Losses: Ronaldo Souza (Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman), Kendall Grove (ShoFight 20)
Both Romero and Brunson are highly accomplished wrestlers. Representing Cuba, Romero won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Brunson was a three-time NCAA Division II All-American at University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
But Romero has shown to be far more explosive when it comes to striking, something that could be the X-factor in this bout.
Brunson is no slouch on his feet with four knockout finishes of his own. If he wants to derail Romero's hype, he'll have to use his length to keep his explosive opponent at bay. Every single one of Romero's fights has ended via knockout, including his only loss to former Strikeforce light heavyweight champ "Feijao."
Even though Romero has a polished mat resume, Brunson may actually be better off looking for a few takedown attempts. Anything that can stop Romero from unleashing his brutal combinations will help. If Brunson engages in a slugfest, it could be a very short night.
He may not have a choice, however. The power-slugging Romero has a chance to announce himself as a future player at 185 pounds if he can notch a third impressive win in nine months.
These two are at similar points in their careers, turning this bout into a crossroads of sorts. Romero has more sheer power but it's far from wise to sleep on Brunson. Look for a brawl to favor Romero and a grinding affair to tip the scales in Brunson's favor, with the winner earning a spot in the Top-15.
Next Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight contenders John Moraga and Dustin Ortiz will square off on the main card of UFC Fight Night 35 from The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
Moraga comes into the bout off a fifth round submission loss to UFC 125-pound champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Fox 8 in July 2013. It was a tough lesson in mixed martial arts (MMA) for the young MMA Lab-trained product, but he's still ranked at No. 4.
Moraga's only losses were to the two absolute best 125-pound fighters in the world, Johnson and John Dodson.
No. 15-ranked Ortiz has his hands full, but he also has a golden opportunity to score a huge upset in Georgia. He won his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 32, finishing Jose Maria Tome with a third round technical knockout to extend his win streak to three. He'll look to explode his way onto the Top-10 with a victory over Moraga.
Let's take a look at the key details for Moraga and Ortiz:
Record: 13-2 overall, 2-1 UFC
Key Wins: Chris Cariaso (UFC 155), Ulysses Gomez (UFC on Fox 4)
Key Losses: Demetrious Johnson (UFC on Fox 8), John Dodson (Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion)
Record: 12-2 overall, 1-0 UFC
Key Wins: Jose Maria Tome (UFC Fight Night 32)
Key Losses: Ian McCall (Tachi Palace Fights 9)
Moraga brings a strong wrestling skillset to the Octagon, having attained All-American status during his time at Arizona State University. He's also shown the ability to finish the fights on the ground with six submissions. Ortiz has never been submitted or knocked out, so Moraga may look to grind out a victory by pushing the action up against the fence.
Ortiz is going to need great takedown defense to keep this fight standing. If he can, he'll open up an opportunity to unleash his knockout power.
But, Moraga has never been stopped from strikes, making this an incredibly tough bout for either fighter to finish with their preferred method. The well-rounded Ortiz is also proficient on the ground and could surprise Moraga.
This bout is going to be pivotal for the future of the UFC flyweight division. Moraga may have been fed to the wolves a bit too soon against Johnson, so Ortiz will be a good gauge of where he's at.
With Johnson maintaining an iron grip on the division for the time being, the lower-ranked contenders are left to struggle for position.
Moraga should be the favorite to control this bout with relative ease. Can Ortiz stay upright long enough to score the huge upset?
Next Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweights Cole Miller and Sam Sicilia will square off in the opening main card bout of UFC Fight Night 35 from The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia.
Miller most recently beat fellow The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) participant Andy Ogle at UFC Fight Night 30 in October, while Sicilia erased a two-fight skid by defeating Godofredo Castro at UFC Fight Night 32 in November.
This bout is going to be crucial for the mixed martial arts (MMA) careers of both fighters. Let's look a look at the key details for Miller and Sicilia:
Record: 20-8 overall, 9-6 UFC
Key Wins: Andy Ogle (UFC Fight Night 30), Ross Pearson (UFC Fight Night 22)
Key Losses: Manvel Gamburyan (UFC Fight Night 26), Jeremy Stephens (UFC Fight Night 12)
Record: 12-3 overall, 2-2 UFC
Key Wins: Godofredo Castro (UFC Fight Night 32)
Key Losses: Maximo Blanco (TUF 17 Finale), Rony Jason (UFC 153)
The 6'1" Miller was once on a roll in UFC, earning three "Submission of the Night" bonuses in five fights at one point. However, "Magrinho" soon settled back to earth and has dropped four of his past seven Octagon bouts. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will be looking to get Sicilia to the ground in Georgia. He has 14 submission wins and shouldn't mess around with Sicilia's knockout power.
Talented boxer Sicilia has had mixed results since his move down to featherweight, losing his first two bouts but defeating Castro. This bout will be a proving ground for him to make a case that he truly belongs in the tough UFC 145-pound division. Look for him to unleash a high volume of strikes at Miller, who has never tapped out in his entire career. The experienced Miller represents Sicilia's toughest test in the Octagon -- he's going to need to bring his best game to pass it.
Sicilia could be fighting for his job in Georgia. If he loses, it will mark three losses in four bouts. Miller hasn't exactly been stellar recently but his propensity for excitement and UFC track record will most likely keep him employed even if he loses.
Despite Sicilia having some solid submissions to his name, his power slugging should create an interesting contrast of striker vs. grappler here. If the fight goes to the ground, expect Miller to win handily. A kickboxing match will play directly into Sicilia's hands. With high stakes on the line, expect a war at UFC Fight Night 35.
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