Jinh Yu Frey Retains Her Atomweight Title At Invicta FC 33

It may not have been easy, but Jinh Yu Frey reaffirmed her place on the throne and bolstered her claim as the best 105-pound female fighter on the planet. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Signs Deal With BT Sport

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Kevin Lee ‘devastated, embarrassed’ by loss to Al Iaquinta, considers welterweight

MILWAUKEE – Kevin Lee describes his loss to Al Iaquinta as a “winnable fight I let loose.” Still, though, he believes he should’ve got his hand raised in the UFC on FOX 31 headliner.

Lee (17-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) dropped a narrow unanimous decision in his rematch with Iaquinta (14-4-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) on Saturday at Fiserv Forum. The defeat came nearly five years after his loss to Iaquinta at UFC 169 in February 2014.

“The Motown Phenom” entered the fight with remarkable confidence and felt avenging his loss to Iaquinta was an inevitable part of his journey to UFC lightweight gold. He experienced a hiccup, though, and made it clear it was difficult to digest.

“Devastating, embarrassed,” Lee told reporters, including MMAjunkie, of his loss post-fight. “This sport sometimes has the lowest of lows, and it really don’t feel lower than now, but I’ll be all right. I might not get another shot at Al, but I’ve fought a lot of great fighters in my career, and he’s definitely up there amongst them. We’ll see once everything gets settled down.”

Lee never had competed in a rematch prior to UFC on FOX 31. He believed he’d grown more than Iaquinta since the first fight, but that small piece of doubt stemming from the original contest might’ve impacted him, he said.

“I think I let the mind games play into me a little bit, but honestly I can’t make no excuses,” Lee said. “I had a great camp. It was a great cut. Everything felt on fire tonight. The first three rounds I thought for sure I had them. Then I just took my foot off the gas. Those are just tactical mistakes that a guy like me shouldn’t be making, and I couldn’t be more disappointed in myself for it.”

Lee said he considers the defeat to Iaquinta as the most disappointing of his career. He came up short in a title fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 in October 2017, but he said this one is different, mainly because he believes he should’ve won and also done more.

“I know that I could’ve went a lot harder,” Lee said. “In that Tony fight I gave everything I had until my body just couldn’t take it no more. In this fight I just entered the fight feeling good, and it’s just an awful feeling.”

The loss at UFC on FOX 31 marks a setback in Lee’s career. He’s now among the odd men looking out in the 155-pound title picture, and that could spark a move up to welterweight.

“It might be time for me to make that change,” Lee said. “I knew it about a year ago, but I’m a real stubborn son of a (expletive), so I’m just going to try to make as many adjustments as I can and make it as clean as I can, but it still is very rough for me to get down to this weight. Maybe now it’s time to just go up and look at other options.

“I think I can compete very, very well at 170 and be fast in and out of the pocket, too. I don’t know. We’ll see as I kind of get healed up and everything.”

For compete coverage of UFC on FOX 31, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Al Iaquinta says he’d like Tony Ferguson next, believes he can finish him

MILWAUKEE — After his UFC on FOX 31 win, Al Iaquinta discusses the victory over Kevin Lee, the scorecards, why he believes he deserves a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov more than Conor McGregor does, wanting Tony Ferguson next and more.

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Ilima-Lei Macfarlane Submits Valerie Letourneau to Retain Flyweight Title at Bellator 213

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane was emotional as she walked down to the Bellator MMA cage and after she won, the Hawaiian said it was the best day of her life. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Lee vs Iaquinta 2 – Final Results

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Ilima-Lei Macfarlane couldn’t stop crying until cage door closed at Bellator Hawaii

HONOLULU – For Bellator women’s flyweight champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Saturday’s Bellator 213 represented the realization of a dream, defending her title on Hawaiian soil. But it also meant trying desperately to keep her emotions in check.

“Every single time I calmed myself down, then something else happened,” Macfarlane told MMAjunkie following her win over Valerie Letourneau. “It really didn’t end until the cage door closed, really. That’s when it was like, ‘All right, no more crying – you’ve got to get this fight over with first.'”

Macfarlane (9-0 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) and Letourneau (10-7 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) faced off in the headlining bout of Saturday’s DAZN-streamed event from Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

The atmosphere was electric inside the sold-out venue, and Macfarlane’s entrance to the cage was memorable, indeed, accompanied by a crew in native Hawaiian dress and backed by a photo montage of her childhood growing up in the Hawaiian Islands.

It was a beautiful scene, but one that brought the expectations of a Macfarlane win to a fever pitch in the building. Fortunately, she was able to deliver.

After some back-and-forth action on the feet, Macfarlane got the fight to the floor in the third round. As she established a dominant position and moved to the back, the entire crowd stood and cheered, bringing an incredible amount of energy with them.

Macfarlane said she felt the roar in the cage, even as she was securing the submission finish.

“They know that jiu-jitsu is my game, and I kind of had her in a position that B.J. Penn made famous where he traps the arm down with his leg,” Macfarlane explained. “I was initially going for a triangle, and you know honestly, we drill this all the time at 10th Planet San Diego – my coach ‘Boogey,’ Richie Martinez – we do this every single week. It’s called live drill Mondays. We just do it from the back take, and honestly, that is my (expletive).

“I knew that I was going to finish her once I got into that position. All credit goes to 10th Planet San Diego, 10th Planet Freaks, my jiu-jitsu teachers.”

Macfarlane’s composure in the cage was impressive, indeed. It capped off an important week for the local MMA scene, with a major promotion visiting Hawaii for the first time in 10 years. “The Ilimanator” admits it was a storybook ending but knows things could have gone a different way and says she’s appreciative of the result.

“Just relief,” Macfarlane said when asked to describe her emotions. “I think everything couldn’t be more perfect right now. Even watching some of the prelim fights and seeing some of the Hawaii boys and all the local fighters throwing down and just representing – like, everything has just been perfect, more than I could imagine. So I’m relieved. I’m so happy, and it’s time to party.”

Macfarlane’s next move isn’t clear just yet. The undefeated fighter has earned her past four wins by submission and has now defended her belt twice successfully.

Challengers will certainly come forward, but Macfarlane admits it’s going to be tough to top her experience in Honolulu.

“Probably like having a baby or something is, I think, the only thing that can top this feeling,” Macfarlane said. “I don’t know. This was my dream from the beginning, was just to fight at home, and it exceeded all my expectations, so I really don’t know how to top this as far as my fighting career goes. Oh, I know, opening up 10th Planet Oahu, having my own gym over here. That will be it.

“I’m so happy that all eyes was on Hawaii tonight, and we all won. This is a win for everybody.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 213, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Invicta FC 33 results: Jinh Yu Frey outpoints Minna Grusander again to retain atomweight title

Jinh Yu Frey was victorious again in her first title defense against Minna Grusander in the Invicta FC 33 main event Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.

The second meeting between Jinh Yu Frey and Minna Grusander was arguably even closer than the first, but the result was the same: Frey leaving the cage with Invicta gold around her waist.

Frey (8-3) successfully defended her atomweight championship for the first time in the main event of Invicta FC 33 on Saturday at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo., with a split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) win over Grusander (6-3). This was an immediate rematch of their Invicta FC 30 encounter in July that Frey won by unanimous decision.

All five rounds were extraordinarily close with both women having memorable flashes of offense. With blood gushing from her nose, Grusander proved that she was worthy of a second title opportunity, though she fell short of toppling Frey.

“I promised there’d be blood,” Frey said in her post-fight interview.

First blood was actually struck by Grusander. The Finnish fighter took a clear-cut round one after breaking through Frey’s counter-striking to score a knockdown with a short right hand. With a minute to work, Grusander chased a recovering Frey and ended the opening frame working from Frey’s guard.

Grusander’s aggression paid off again in round two as she put the pressure on Frey with knees to the body and low kicks that had Frey’s leg turning a shade of pink. However, the champion stayed composed even as Grusander appeared to be getting the better of their grappling exchanges. When they separated, Frey was able to land elbows that may have edged the round in her favor.

The champion came out strong in round three, landing harder shots in the exchanges and bullying Grusander to the mat. Her power punches were landing with consistency and she defended well when Grusander took her to the mat to slow things down. It was in round four that the damage started to show on Grusander’s face and Frey kept up the pressure, scoring a takedown and working to maintain control.

Still, the fight was up in the air going into round five and it was Grusander who came out firing first, backing Frey up against the cage with a flurry. That forced Frey to focus and rely on her counter-punches to keep Grusander honest. Both women pushed the pace at various points in the final five minutes and the judges were left with a difficult decision, which was reflected in the split call.

“I had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life, I had a lot of raw emotion that was just helping feed me through this fight,” Frey said afterwards. “The bad blood, my dog had just passed away, so really training was all I had to keep my mind off of things.”

Frey records her first title defense after winning a vacant belt by defeating Grusander in July.

In the co-main event, former UFC strawweight Danielle Taylor (10-4) made a successful Invicta debut by handing Montserrat Ruiz (8-1) her first loss. Two of the judges gave Taylor 30-27 scores, while the third scored it 29-28 in her favor.

Taylor’s counter-punching and leg kicks were key to defusing the aggressive Ruiz, who spent much of the fight searching for a way to get the fight to the ground. That made her vulnerable to the volume of Taylor. Whenever there was an opening in Ruiz’s defense, Taylor was there with short combinations that Ruiz had no answer for. The low kicks took their toll as well and she was visibly limping at the end of the fight.

Taylor was so confident in her victory that she threw up a peace sign even with Ruiz hanging off of her back as the clock ticked down in round three.

Kay Hansen (4-2) picked up one of the night’s most memorable finishes with a miraculous comeback win over Sharon Jacobson. The 19-year-old accepted Saturday’s bout on less than 10 days’ notice as a replacement for Kanako Murata and she was matched up with an expert wrestler who was also 16 years her senior. It looked like a mismatch on paper and played out that way for the majority of the fight as Jacobson easily slammed and smothered Hansen.

With less than 30 seconds remaining in round three, Jacobson attempted another throw that ended up with Hansen falling on top of her in perfect position for a belly-down armbar. Hansen wasted no time securing the submission and earning the tap-out with just 17 seconds remaining.

Diminutive atomweight Alesha Zappitella (5-0) remained undefeated with a unanimous decision nod over one-time title challenger Amber Brown, picking up a trio of 29-28 scores.

Just 4-foot-11 and 23 years old, the diminutive Zappitella proved to be a load in the wrestling department as she grounded Brown at will and completely neutralized the Invicta veteran. Though Brown was active from the bottom with attempts to manufacture submissions and scramble situations, Zappitella always found a way to stay heavy and keep Brown on her back. Even a few flashes of offense in the standup weren’t enough to stop Brown’s record from falling to 7-5.

Afterwards, Zappitella called for a matchup with the winner of Saturday’s atomweight championship main event.

In the main card opener, Brianna Van Buren (5-2) shrugged off a nine-pound weight difference to take a convincing unanimous decision over Jamie Moyle (4-4). This was an Invicta return for both fighters, with Van Buren competing for the promotion for the first time since February 2015 and Moyle stepping back into the Invicta cage after a three-fight stint in the UFC. Unfortunately for Moyle, the appearance was marred by her coming in at 125 pounds for what was originally booked as a strawweight contest.

If the extra weight gave Moyle any advantage, it wasn’t apparent in this contest that was dominated by Van Buren. Mixing up combinations on the feet and timely takedowns, Van Buren took all three rounds on the judges scorecards, including one 30-26 score.

See full Invicta FC 33 results here.

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Al Iaquinta Springs Upset on Favored Kevin Lee in Five-Round UFC on Fox 31 Headliner

Al Iaquinta bests Kevin Lee in UFC on Fox 31 rematch in Milwaukee. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Milwaukee Main Card Results

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After UFC on FOX 31 win, Al Iaquinta says Tony Ferguson ‘the guy’ to fight next

MILWAUKEE – Add another name to the list of UFC lightweights targeting Tony Ferguson.

Fresh off a win over Kevin Lee (17-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) at UFC on FOX 31, Al Iaquinta (14-4-1 MMA, 9-3 UFC) called out the former interim champ for his next bout.

“I think Ferguson’s the guy,” Iaquinta told reporters backstage at Fiserv Forum, which hosted his FOX-televised headliner on Saturday. “I think I’m a perfect style matchup to beat him. If there’s any holdup, that’s the guy I want to fight.”

The holdup, of course, is the uncertainty surrounding the lightweight title picture. With champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor facing disciplinary action for a melee at UFC 229, UFC President Dana White has been reluctant to make any fights while not knowing whether “The Eagle” will be held up by a suspension.

Although White named Dustin Poirier as a potential opponent for McGregor, he said he wouldn’t confirm anything until the Irish star and Nurmagomedov go before the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Some contenders already are getting restless with the delay. Poirier recently told MMAjunkie he’s tired of waiting for a resolution and wants to face Ferguson, who praised his skills and yet dismissed his callout.

Iaquinta, who gave it his all in a losing decision to champ Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, thinks he’s perfectly positioned to fight Ferguson and then step into a title shot. Plus, he likes the style matchup.

“He’s gets hurt in his fights,” Iaquinta said. “I think I’m a better finisher than the guys he’s fought. I think I’m getting the job done against Ferguson.”

For compete coverage of UFC on FOX 31, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC on FOX 31 bonuses: AI Iaquinta earns Performance of the Night for win over Kevin Lee

Al Iaquinta’s victory over Kevin Lee didn’t just assert his status on the short list of contenders in the UFC lightweight division.

It also enabled MMA’s favorite real estate agent to take home an extra commission.

Iaquinta rallied in the fourth and fifth rounds of his UFC on FOX 31 fight in Milwaukee on Saturday night, which made the difference in the scorecards in a unanimous-decision victory. Iaquinta got two 48-47s and a 49-46 to get the nod at Fiserv Forum.

It also earned Iaquinta a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, the first post-fight bonus of his 12-fight UFC tenure.

Also earning a performance bonus on the evening was Charles Oliveira. “Do Bronx” needed just 1:15 to earn his record 12th UFC submission victory in a rematch against Jim Miller. That marked the 13th post-fight bonus of his UFC career.

Fight of the Night went to an undercard barnburner between Joaquim Silva and Jared Gordon. The two threw down with reckless abandon before Silva scored a knockout midway through the third round. The fighters took home $50,000 each, the first post-fight bonuses of both competitors’ UFC career.

UFC on FOX 31, the final network event in the UFC’s seven-year relationship with FOX, drew a crowd of 9,010 and paying a gate of $616,633.91.

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UFC on Fox 31 Bonuses: Iaquinta, Oliveira, Silva, Gordon Earn $50K Checks

Al Iaquinta came away from UFC on Fox 31 with a 2-0 record against Kevin Lee and a $50,000 bonus check for his efforts. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Iaquinta Bests Lee Again In Milwaukee Rematch

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UFC on FOX 31 results: Rob Font spoils Sergio Pettis’ bantamweight return

Sergio Pettis believed size would not be an issue in his return to bantamweight at UFC on FOX 31. Unfortunately for him, Rob Font’s physicality made the difference in their fight.

Font (16-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) used his length on the feet and his size in the grappling exchanges to get the better of a very game Pettis (17-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) over the course of three rounds to leave with a unanimous decision.

The bantamweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC on FOX 31 event at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. It aired on FOX following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

From the outset, Font established his main weapon in the contest: his jab. He tagged Pettis with it numerous times in the opening minutes, which allowed the rest of his game to open up behind it. Pettis tried to work around it and fire back with his own jab as well as head kicks, but he was just out of range. Font then got a takedown, clearly establishing the first round in his favor.

The action picked up where it left off in the second round, with Font causing damage around the eye of Pettis due to his precise jab. He stuck firmly to his game plan, working Pettis over for the majority of the round. Pettis had moments, including a brief period in top position, but Font found a way to reverse him and once again earn a clear round on his side.

Pettis came out with much more desperation in the final stanza. He tried to push the pace on Font, but he was backed up by the jab once again. He had real struggles finding clean attacks through Pettis’ guard. Font then waited for an opening to change the pace of the fight and grounded Pettis with a takedown halfway through the last round. Font worked at a consistent rate from there, taking Pettis’ back at one point en route to grinding out the round and taking the win with 30-27 scorecards across the board.

“I got my jab going, but he was a lot slicker with the head movement and the footwork than I thought,” Font said in his post-fight interview with Jon Anik. “I didn’t get the finish or the knockout, but I got the W, some ring time, and I’m happy with the performance.”

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 31 results:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 31, visit the UFC Eventssection of the site.

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Bellator 213 Results: Macfarlane vs. Letourneau

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Valerie Letourneau will compete in the Bellator 213 main event.

MMA Fighting has Bellator 213 results for the Macfarlane vs. Letourneau fight card at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday night.

In the main event, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will defend her flyweight title against Valerie Letourneau in the main event.

Lyoto Machida will make his Bellator debut in the co-main event against Rafael Carvalho.

Check out Bellator 213 results below.

Main card (DAZN at 10 p.m. ET)

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Valerie Letourneau

Lyoto Machida vs. Rafael Carvalho

Neiman Gracie vs. Ed Ruth

Muhammad Lawal vs. Liam McGeary

Kona Oliveira vs. Nainoa Dung

Undercard (MMA Fighting at 8:30 p.m. ET)

Timothy Teves vs. Canaan Kawaihae

Ryan Dela Cruz vs. Spencer Higa

Dustin Barca vs. Isaac Hopps

Kala Hose vs. Marcus Gamble

Russell Mizuguchi vs. Michael Nakagawa

Maki Pitolo vdef. Chris Cisneros via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:40 of round 3.

Kai Kamaka III def. Shojin Miki by unanimous decision.

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