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Once again the injury bug has struck, this time for the first UFC visit to Seoul, South Korea.

The card is laden with local fighters and a few recognisable names for a Saturday morning rarity that could turn out to be a real barnburner. 5Dimes will be providing you with the odds and I’ll be reviewing the main action.

Choi v Sicilia

The Korean Superboy, Doo Ho Choi makes just his second appearance in the UFC this weekend with an 18 second debut win still a lasting memory. One of a number of South Korean fighters on the card, this chap may just be the one with the ability to go the furthest, surpassing the current marquee fighter for the country, Dong Hyun Kim, who appears later in the card. With 10 stoppage wins from 13 fights he brings an electrifying and extremely violent element to the card and is a real contender for Fight of the Night, if it goes that far.

Sam Sicilia has pretty much limped through his octagon career after taking part in TUF 15. Just about holding a positive record at 5-4 is hardly the foundation from which solid structures are built and there is a feeling that he may have already reached his ceiling. But Sicilia has something huge in his favour; his fights are rarely boring and violence is all but guaranteed.

Favouritism is clear and it’s for the Korean fighter but I don’t think that the margin should be so wide. Sicilia can, and has been stopped but he has been in the deep end for some way longer and that exposes him to a higher calibre of fighter; albeit he has struggled against many of them. I do favour Choi but not at the quoted odds so I’ll test the durability of Sicilia and take a small play on this reaching the second half of the fight.

Recommendation: Over 1.5 Rounds - 2 units at -120 (4/5) @ 5Dimes

Akiyama v Mina

Yoshihiro ‘Sexyama’ Akiyama makes his first Octagon appearance in a little more than a year. That fight, you may remember, marked his first appearance in more than two years and allowed him to claim a victory for the first time since 2009. The win over Amir Sadollah was the first win in five and surely gave a small stay of execution. At 40 years old and with Father Time very much in his opponent’s corner this could be the last time we see the Japanese sensation inside the cage.

Alberto Mina refers to himself as the ‘Soldier of God’, which is just silly since Yoel Romero already has that title. Romero is far bigger and scarier than Mina so I’m, sure he’ll be looking for him to change that soon. Mina enters the fight with a successful debut in the Macau card adding to an impressive unbeaten record that now stretches now to 11. That fight, against Shinsho Anzai, wasn’t particularly impressive as Mina was tagged repeatedly and his cardio had all but gone by the end of the first round.

I’m really torn on this one. Akiyama at his peak is the better fighter hands down. But his peak has long gone and such a period of inactivity doesn’t enhance the skills. Mina is unbeaten but was bested for the best part of the round by a fighter of a far lower calibre than Sexy. Still torn, I’m taking the fight to go the distance. Mina does appear to have very poor cardio but Akiyama hasn’t finished a fight in seven years. He struggled to put away Amir Sadollah and this could be a snoozer that kills the momentum created by the opener. I’m not hugely confident so this will be only a small play.

Recommendation: Mina / Akiyama goes 3 round distance - 1 unit at +130 (13/10) @ 5Dimes

Kim v Waters

If you’ve already cast your eyes over the prelims then no, your eyes are not deceiving you; this is the second Dong Hyun Kim fighting on this card. This Kim is the better-known version also referred to as The Stun Gun and is something of a UFC veteran. Kim has faced a murders row of talent at 170lb, taking wins over Matt Brown, Nate Diaz and Erick Silva while coming up short against legitimate title challengers in Carlos Condit, Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. All have been by TKO, one of them due to freak injury. He can be stopped but it takes extreme violence to achieve it.

Dominic Waters finds himself in a strange and rather unenviable position as one half of the co-main event. Strange, because he hasn’t faced anyone or done anything of note to get there, yet unenviable as this is an enormous step up in class from his usual level of opponent. With a single appearance in the UFC ending in defeat on the Fight Pass prelims of a TUF card he feels like a strange choice for a heavy-handed veteran to face.

With Kim the biggest name at present in Korean MMA this feels like an exhibition bout of sorts; something that’s made to showcase the talents of Kim to a local television audience. The mismatch is clear for all to see and it is surely a matter of time before it ends. Waters has never been stopped in his brief career but Kim’s power should see that stat change on Saturday morning.

Recommendation: Kim wins inside distance - 2 units at +138 (11/8) @ 5Dimes

Henderson v Masvidal

Ever the company man Benson Henderson headlines for the UFC in its first appearance in South Korea and in the last deal of his current contract. It was a risky move against original opponent Thiago Alves and one that has not exactly been mitigated with Masvidal. On the surface a strange choice to headline, particularly with Kim on the card, the American fighter is of Korean and American heritage and both his name and reputation should resonate well with fans. Since losing his title to Anthony Pettis he has displayed a reckless regard to fight anyone, a move that has seen him step up to 170lb for his last two fights.

Stepping in for the injured Thiago Alves as a late replacement is the always-game Jorge Masvidal. What Alves brought with prospective violence Masvidal counters with experience and durability. The 38-fight veteran makes his 9th appearance for the UFC and looks to maintain an impressive record that has seen him win six of his eight. Losses to Rustam Khabilov and Al Iaquinta are the only black marks, the latter of which was a highly contentious split-decision loss. He is a different beast to Alves, one that is likely to hit a little softer but push back a little longer.

Although Henderson dropped two straight, and three of his last six he remains a formidable opponent. Written off against the much larger Brandon Thatch he took care of business late into the fourth round. A similar story can be expected against Masvidal with the Miami native going to a decision in 13 of his last 15 fights, only a single submission and knockout win have upset that sequence which suggests that Benson is in for a hard night. Hard nights are what make Benson the fighter he is and this could be tailor made for him to point fight his way to a hard earned win. Five rounds should be expected but Henderson could sneak in a submission late on.

Recommendation: Henderson wins by 5 round decision - 2 units at +106 (21/20) @ 5Dimes

Former UFC lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard has confirmed he will fight again. But, this time, he'll be entering the Octagon as a featherweight.

A rematch between Brazilian MMA veterans Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort is reportedly being eyed for UFC 197 next year. The card is set for March 5th in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

The TUF Latin America 2 Finale took place on Saturday November 21st in Monterrey, Mexico. The card was headlined by a welterweight bout between Neil Magny and Kelvin Gastelum.

Bellator 146 took place on Friday November 20th. The event was headlined by a bout between Melvin Manhoef and Hisaki Kato.

One Championship 33 took place on Friday November 20th at the Singapore Indoor Arena in Singapore, China. The card was headlined by a featherweight title bout between Marat Gafurov and Narantungalag Jadambaa.

One Championship bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes' story of his rise through MMA is one of the most inspirational stories in a sport filled with inspiring characters. Hear him tell of his journey in this new video.

British UFC veteran Dan 'The Outlaw' Hardy will swap the Octagon for the Atlantic ocean as a crew member of the Great Britain team for its 5,300-mile month-long opening leg of the famous Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, from London, England to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

UFC welterweight champion 'Ruthless' Robbie Lawler is among the most destructive fighters in his division, so it's no surprise he's a big fan of action movies. Lawler explained his love for action-packed blockbusters in a recent interview with Fighters Only.

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson recently took a break from dominating the 125lb weight class to discuss his favorite TV shows, music and other aspects of his lifestyle in an exclusive interview with Fighters Only magazine.

UFC middleweight contender Luke Rockhold is currently on a collision course with former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, as the two are set to fight at UFC on Fox 15 on April 18th.

But following a recent appearance on US reality show Millionaire Matchmaker, Luke's personal life (and more specifically, his love life) has been of even more interest than his fighting career. In an exclusive interview with the former Strikeforce middleweight champ in the current issue of Fighters Only, Rockhold discusses the movies and TV shows he enjoys when not training and, of course, talks a little about the ladies. Read below for a special preview.

Despite the haters, the profile of Irish UFC featherweight Conor McGregor continues to rise as it was announced yesterday that the one they call 'The Notorious' has inked a deal with top sports equipment brand Reebok. 

“Can you smell that money?" Conor joked with UFC Tonight host Kenny Florian. "I’ve partnered with Reebok. It’s a big step forward in my career and I’m honored to be with this brand... I’m honored to be one of the athletes that Reebok has chosen to get behind. I will prove that by going out and performing in phenomenal style.”

The deal comes roughly one-and-a-half months after the UFC confirmed an exclusive apparel deal with the brand.

McGregor will face his next challenge in Dennis Siver this Sunday in the main event at UFC Fight Night 59. With a win the Irishman will get the next shot at Jose Aldo's featherweight title. He has stated numerous times in the build-up to his next contest that he believes he will stop the fight within the first two minutes.

“I enjoy pressure," he said when asked if he has put more pressure on himself with his bold prediction. "I like the feeling and illusion of pressure. Where the prediction has come from, I analyze my opponent. The shot I need to put him away will happen four or five times over within the first two minutes. So I feel two minutes is a fair prediction for Dennis. I feel it could even be the first exchange. The way he moves, he will not take what I give.”

Watch Conor's full UFC Tonight interview below. 


Former UFC women's bantamweight champ Ronday Rousey's long-time coach, Edmond Tarverdyan, has received a great deal of criticism for his coaching of Rousey between rounds when she lost her title to Holly Holm at UFC 193.

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is the latest high-profile fighter to weigh-in on the Holly Holm-Ronda Rousey fallout following Holm's KO win over Rousey at UFC 193.

Veteran kickboxer and MMA fighter Melvin Manhoef will look to get back on the winning track when he meets Hisaki Kato in the Bellator 146 main event this Friday.

Invicta FC featherweight champ and long-time nemesis of Ronda Rousey, Cris 'Cyborg' Justino, doesn't think the former UFC bantamweight champ will do well in a rematch with Holly Holm.

Former UFC women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey experienced the lowest point of her MMA career last weekend at UFC 193 when she was knocked out by Holly Holm in front of a record-breaking Melbourne crowd.

Holly Holm shocked the world when she pulled off the biggest upset in MMA history this past weekend, KO'ing Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 to claim the UFC women's bantamweight title. However, there were at least two men on the night who weren't all that surprised, those being Holm's coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.


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Promoters, not fighters, rule MMA – just like they’ve ruled the fight game since Ancient Rome.

The uneducated masses were puzzled when they watched Mike Tyson-like Ronda Rousey get knocked out by Holly Holm in the UFC 193 main event.

MMA fans in the US will have plenty more chances to catch the 7th annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards as the event is set to re-air on the Fox Sports 2 network over the next nine days.

Full re-airing schedule (times: ET)

  • Wednesday Feb. 4th, 9pm
  • Friday Feb. 6th, 11pm
  • Sunday Feb. 8th, 11pm
  • Wednesday Feb. 11th, 10am & 12am
  • Thursday Feb. 12th, 4pm

This year's show, sponsored by Bodybuilding.com, RDX Sports and MusclePharm, was hosted on Friday January 30th at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. It was hosted by Nicole Dabeau and retired MMA and military veteran Brian Stann.

Among the winners at the event were UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, who bagged the coveted 'Fighter of the Year' award, and UFC 135b champ TJ Dillashaw who took home the newly-introduced 'Upset of the Year' for his title win over Renan Barao at UFC 173.

Former boxing champion Holly Holm became the top female fighter in the sport of MMA just days ago when she took the UFC women's bantamweight title from Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. But it's been a long road for the Jackson Wink MMA fighter.


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