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Another head kick by Belfort KOs Hendo

Only as two veterans would, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson circled each other for two minutes without really doing much of anything. Both were waiting for their opponent to make a move, take a step one direction and react the other. But after those first two minutes Belfort shot out like a cannon, kicked Henderson in the side of the head and the punches to the head after were just a formality before Mario Yamasaki jumped in and stopped the fight at 2:07 in the first round.

“The Phenom” still looked incredible quick and agile. Henderson did not even see it coming. Only nine total strikes were landed, but the six landed by Belfort were devastating and led to his record 12th UFC knockout win, surpassing former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. It was the same way Belfort stopped Henderson the last time; a high kick to he head with mostly foot landing straight on the temple. Henderson staggered back to the cage, Belfort swarmed in and continued his assault with a barrage of left hooks and knocked his opponent out. After a very poor performance against Chris Weidman at UFC 187, there was reason to believe Belfort should consider calling it quits, but the 38-year-old looked incredible. Not only was his kick massively powerful but his jolt to Henderson after it and the speed of his punches when on top of him were like lightning.

It was his first win in two years — the last being against Henderson on Nov. 9, 2013. This one won’t get Belfort a title shot, but certainly he still has some left in the tank. As for Henderson, it’s tough to really say about him. He did not have a chance to show what he can still do at 45-years-old, but it was his sixth loss in his last eight fights. Clearly, he is not even close to the title picture, and after he knocked Tim Boetsch out in the first round in June, he said he has no plans other than to at least finish out his UFC contract, which has two fights remaining, and left the door open for a possible continuation after that. But at least for this rivalry of two future Hall of Famers, the book is closed. Henderson took the one when both were in their prime but Belfort made quick ends to him twice in the latter stages of their career.

Teixeira knocks out Cummins in second after being manhandled in the first 

 

Patrick Cummins was a man on a mission against Glover Teixeira, looking for the biggest win of his career. The 34-year-old, who was ranked No. 9 in the light heavyweight division heading into his bout with fourth-ranked Teixeira, took the Brazilian down four times and twice in the first minute. There was little doubt he took the first round. He manhandled the powerful Teixeira.

But he gassed himself out. Cummins came out much slower in the second round and did not do much of anything. He was swinging wildly, he was unable to finish his only takedown attempt and while that happened, Teixeira tee-d, landing a barrage of punches to his face. At 3:47 in the second, Cummins was barely standing there with his back to the cage. He face was battered, his right eye was swollen. He hands were not even up as he looks like a punching bag for Teixeira. Herb Dean has no choice but to stop the fight, giving Teixeira his second-straight win by stoppage.

The 36-year-old might still need one more win before getting another title shot, but clearly he is fighting like a different man than who lost back-to-back fights to Jon Jones and Phil Davis.

Almeida scores brutal knockout of Birchak

If Thomas Almeida wasn’t on your radar before, put him on it right now. the eighth-ranked bantamweight knocked out his 14th opponent in his last 15 fights and it was a devastating one. In just over four minutes of non-stop action, Almeida hit Birchak with a spinning back elbow, followed it up with a left hook, a straight right, another left and finally a right straight to the chin that sent his opponent to the mat like a bag of bricks.

At just 24-years-old, Almeida is 20-0 with 16 wins by knockout and three more by submission. Only four opponents have ever escaped the first round against him. Birchak would not become the fifth, especially not at the rate they were going. The two combined for 51 significant strikes in 4:36 with 43 of them hitting their opponents had.

Oliveira KOs Hallmann to end back-and-forth battle 

 

No doubt, Alex Oliveira beat Piotr Hallmann in the first round. The two fights exchanged punched but Oliveira was pushing him around the Octagon with relative ease. In the second round, the script flipped. Hallmann rocked Oliveira with a barrage of punches, more than doubling the number his opponent landed and taking him down and controlling him on the mat.

Then we got to the third round. It took barely any time before Oliveira ended it with one punch. Hallmann was attacking him in the center of the Octagon, forcing Oliveira to dip down to avoid his shots, but on his way up he connected with an over-hand right that landed direct on the chin and Hallmann fell back like a tree.

It was Oliveira’s third-straight win since his UFC debut loss to Gibert Burns in March of this year. Oliveira has been very active, already with five fights this year. He previously beat Joe Merritt by a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 70 in Jun and K.J. Noons with a rear-naked choke at UFC Fight Night 67 in May. It should not take long for him to get ranked at this rate.

Magomedov controls Burns from the start for unanimous decision win

Magomedov

When face-to-face with Gilbert Burns, Rashid Magomedov was clearly the smaller guy. They both weight 155-pounds, but Burns looked bigger and stronger, but that did not matter.

While Burns was able to utilize his strength to take Magomedov down twice in the first round, the Russian proved to be way too quick the next two. In the second round, Magomedov out-punched Burns 43-9, landing 37 significant strike, knocking his opponent down once and taking him to the mat another time. In the third round, he solidified his victory with another active round, out-punching Burns 24-9 in that one and taking him down again.

Magomedov earns his 12th-straight victory to improve to 19-1. He was on the cusp of being a top-15 ranked lightweight before the fight and after picking Burns apart, it will be very hard to keep him away.

Corey Anderson picks Maldonado apart for win

Corey Anderson

Corey Anderson has been on a nice little role. He won The Ultimate fighter in his official UFC debut and has won three of his last four fights by unanimous decision since. He does have a TKO loss in there, but it was a Fight of the Night performance against Gian Villante. To kick off the main card at UFC Fight Night 77, Anderson dominated Maldonado. There was no doubt in the victory.

Right from the jump Anderson showed he was just quicker and more aggressive than the 12th-ranked light heavyweight. He hlanded 44 strikes in the opening round, 29 of which were significant and most of them were to the head. Maldonado landed only 15, just eight significant strikes and he was taken down twice.

Maldonado picked things up in the second round but another two takedowns by Anderson left Maldonado baffled. He could not stop the guy and another two takedowns in the third with 31 strikes to nine landed sealed the deal.

After a win over Jan Blachowics in September on the UFC 191 card being followed by a win over Maldonado, Anderson is proving he deserves a chance against a top light heavyweight, perhaps a guy like Jimi Manuwa or Ovince Saint Preux could be coming next.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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