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Fighter Misses Weight At UFC 228, But It Wasn’t Darren Till

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Without question, concern surrounded Friday’s UFC 228 weigh-ins and the result that would be posted by Darren Till.

But the unbeaten Till had no troubles, weighing in at 169 pounds.

Instead, it was UFC champions Tyron Woodley and Nicco Montano who gave reason for concern.

While Woodley was able to make 170 pounds on his second attempt after weighing in a pound heavy, Montano never made it to the scales. The reigning UFC female flyweight champion was transported to the hospital and her co-main event fight with Valentina Shevchenko scrapped.

Shevchenko made weight, coming in at 124.5 pounds.

The UFC offered a statement on the matter: “As a precautionary measure, UFC flyweight Nicco Montaño was transported to a medical facility Friday morning due to health concerns. The scheduled championship bout between Montaño and Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228 has been cancelled.”

Woodley and Till are official, along with the rest of the card, which begins Saturday night from Dallas live on UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET with Diego Sanchez and Jim Miller in separate bouts. Sanchez meets Craig White and Miller takes on Alex White.

Till had previously missed weight for his fight with Stephen Thompson earlier this year, which left many questioning the move by the UFC to place him in a championship match despite earning the victory vs. “Wonderboy.”

The prelims head over to FX at 8 p.m. ET before finishing out on pay-per-view starting at 10 p.m. ET.

A live stream of the ceremonial weigh-ins will begin at 6 p.m. ET in the video above.

Check out complete weigh-in results below:

MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)

  • Tyron Woodley (170 lbs.) vs. Darren Till (169) for Woodley’s UFC welterweight title
  • Zabit Magomedsharipov (146) vs. Brandon Davis (146)
  • Jessica Andrade (116) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (115)
  • Abdul Razak Alhassan (170.5) vs. Niko Price (170.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (FX/8 p.m. ET)

  • Carla Esparza (115.5) vs. Tatiana Suarez (115)
  • Aljamain Sterling (135.5) vs. Cody Stamann (135.5)
  • Jimmie Rivera (136) vs. John Dodson (135.5)
  • Charles Byrd (185) vs. Darren Stewart (185.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6 p.m. ET)

  • Diego Sanchez (171) vs. Craig White (171)
  • Jim Miller (155) vs. Alex White (155)
  • Irene Aldana (135) vs. Lucie Pudilova (134)
  • Jarred Brooks (125.5) vs. Roberto Sanchez (126)
  • Geoff Neal (170.5) vs. Frank Camacho (171)

Legacy Fighting Alliance 48: Raufeon Stots Ready To Rock Kearney

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Raufeon Stots gets the marquee billing on Friday night when he takes on Ryan Lilley in a bantamweight bout at Legacy Fighting Alliance 48.

The event takes place from the Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska, with the main card airing live on AXS TV. It marks the return of the Ed Soares-led promotion to the birthplace of Resurrection Fighting Alliance, which combined with Legacy FC.

“RFA started in Kearney, Nebraska back in 2011. Four of the first five RFA events took place in the central Nebraska town and we are excited to retrace our history by bringing LFA to the birthplace of RFA at LFA 48,” Soares said. “The homecoming will be similar for Raufeon Stots. He is a local legend having won two national championships in wrestling at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He will be fighting Ryan Lilley in a top-tier bantamweight match-up. Lilley is coming off a huge knockout win in the co-main event of LFA 45. Stots and Lilley are two of the top 135-pounders in the world and will give our fans in Kearney a fantastic main event on September 7th.”

Stots, a 29-year-old from Roufusport, has won nine of his 10 career fights, including a recent December submission of Arnold Berdon. Of those nine victories, one back in 2015 came under the Legacy FC banner when he topped Mitch White.

Since that time, Stots has fought for Victory Fighting Championship and Ring of Combat, earning wins over the likes of Robert Emerson, Jeff Curran and William Joplin.

Stots told MMA Weekly recently that he’s been forced to sit on the sidelines awaiting a fight, which has been “frustrating.” But the former two-time NCAA Div. II national champion understands that’s part of it all.

“I thought I was scheduled to fight on (Dana White’s) Contender Series but that fell through,” he said. “I had some other fights fall through. It’s just been frustrating playing the waiting game.

“Fights falling through maybe sucks more; I feel like you’re expecting that income, you’re expecting that fight, so you’re planning for that. You’ve made sacrifices to get to that point, but you don’t get it. It’s not as frustrating just waiting, but it’s frustrating too.”

Lilley is a formidable foe, as the 28-year-old trains out of the Bas Rutten Elite MMA gym and is 9-3 in his career. Since a split decision loss to Vince Cachero in late 2017, he has been active, winning three fights – all via first round finish.

That includes a July TKO vs. Jordan Winski in his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut. Of his nine career wins, eight have been finishes, four via strikes and four more via submission.

Other fights planned for the night include Brandon Royval vs. Charles Johnson, Kassius Holdorf vs. Calen Born, Ryan MacDonald vs. Trevor Ward and Darrick Minner vs. Kevin Croom.

MacDonald, a Nebraska native, is 9-0 in his career with five finishes. He’ll be making his debut for Legacy Fighting Alliance.

Minner, another Nebraska resident, sports a record of 21-8 with 18 wins via submission. The Premier Combat Center fighter is looking for his first win under the LFA banner after three losses, including a decision with UFC veteran Chico Camus.

Below is the main card, which begins at 9 p.m. ET:

Main Event | Bantamweight Bout (135 lb.)
* Raufeon Stots (9-1) vs. Ryan Lilley (9-3)

Co-Main Event | Flyweight Bout (125 lb.)
* Brandon Royval (7-3) vs. Charles Johnson (7-1)

Welterweight Bout (170 lb.)
* Kassius Kayne (12-5) vs. Calen Born (5-0)

Bantamweight Bout (135 lb.)
* Ryan MacDonald (9-0) vs. Trevor Ward (5-4)

Featherweight Bout (145 lb.)
* Darrick Minner (21-8) vs. Kevin Croom (18-9)

MMA 101: That Dirty Word “Intensity”

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Intensity is a word that conjures up images of a high school football coach in short shorts screaming “Intensity, give me some intensity!” between whistle blasts. It’s associated with going hard, sending it, getting after it, top speed and #beastmode. All of that sucks in combat sports. The folks that train with that level of maximum intensity all the time make for the worst training partners. The spazzy white belt and the new power punch king in the gym share a common quality, and sparring with them is an intense experience. Intensity is an infinitely variable thing, a point that most people miss. You can be more or less intense depending on the circumstance. All out intensity all the time is a solid way to either injure yourself, injure others, or have others injure you ‘cause they can’t stand training with someone who is always at the redline all the time. I know it’s not supposed to happen in our all-inclusive pillows and unicorns fantasy land gyms, but we have all seen that one guy who goes hell bent for leather each and every time get choked near unconscious over and over ‘cause he’s not getting the memo. Each time an overly intense person gets taught a hard lesson a paralyzed kitten learns to walk, it’s a beautiful thing.

When To Be INTENSE

If you’re gearing up for a fight, or a competition, or your partner is, it’s time to dial it up. Competing is a nerve wracking, adrenal gland draining experience. You have to train as you plan on competing, and that means pushing the pace and matching as closely as possible the fury of a head to head battle with a stranger. It’s ok to go all out, as long as you’re doing it with purpose. Don’t be the guy who’s throwing soft jabs and flow rolling while your partner is trying to sharpen his edge. Get in and get after it. It’s how you expose holes in people’s games, and make them better ahead of a competition. You can also crank up the go hard when you or your partner are trying to improve conditioning. I’m a big proponent of using all means necessary to improve overall cardiovascular condition. One of the most readily available ways to do that is to up the intensity whilst you train. If you’re trying to get into better shape, or train for longer durations, screw moderation and put the pedal to the wood. You’ll find that with consistent hard goes, your ability to train harder longer will improve. Max effort has a place in training, undeniably. It’s knowing when to do it that’s important.

When Not To Be Intense

The short answer is, most of the time. Training should be about improving your skill sets and getting better, not racking up bodies in the gym. Modulating the intensity will allow you to see things more clearly and execute techniques with perfect mechanics. Think about it this way – what would happen if, on your first day of driving, you simply hammered the throttle down and hoped for the best? Likely you’d maul an unoffending roadside ditch, and have some real serious explaining to do. Slowing things down and going lighter in any combat sport will make the next hard session that much clearer. Our brains and bodies take time to learn how and when to move. If all you do is go as hard as possible as often as possible you’re missing out on opportunities to see things develop in front of you. You’ll miss the nuance of things if everything has to happen RIGHT NOW. Most of your training should be done a few notches below balls out.

Intensity doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It’s a noun that can be modified to fit your goals. Know what your goals are and ratchet up the intensity to meet them, and don’t be the guy everybody hates to train with.

UFC Fight Night 135 Results: Big-Time Win By Justin Gaethje

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Justin Gaethje promised to silence James Vick.

The former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion did just that Saturday night, scoring a first round knockout over Vick in the main event of UFC Fight Night 135.

Gaethje landed with a power shot on FOX Sports 1 from Lincoln, Nebraska, ending the night with a bang.

Michael Johnson picked up a split decision over Andre Fili in the co-main event, Cortney Casey downed Angela Hill and Bryan Barberena sent Jake Ellenberger into retirement with a first round TKO.

Complete results are below:

  • Justin Gaethje def. James Vick via KO (strike) at 1:27 of Round 1
  • Michael Johnson def. Andre Fili via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
  • Cortney Casey def. Angela Hill via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Bryan Barberena def. Jake Ellenberger via TKO (strikes) at 2:26 of Round 1
  • Deiveson Figueiredo def. John Moraga via TKO (strikes) at 3:08 of Round 2
  • Eryk Anders def. Tim Williams via KO (head-kick) at 4:42 of Round 3
  • James Krause def. Warlley Alves via TKO (strikes) at 2:28 of Round 2
  • Cory Sandhagen def. Iuri Alcantara via TKO (strikes) at 1:01 of Round 2
  • Andrew Sanchez def. Markus Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Mickey Gall def. George Sullivan via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:09 of Round 1
  • Joanne Calderwood def. Kalindra Faria submission (triangle armbar) at 4:57 of Round 1
  • Drew Dober def. Jon Tuck via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Rani Yahya def. Luke Sanders via submission (heel hook) at 1:31 of Round 1

Nebraska’s Own Jake Ellenberger Calls It A Career

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Saturday night marked the end of the MMA career of Jake Ellenberger.

A former United States Marine who shined for the University of Nebraska-Kearney on the wrestling mats, announced his retirement following a fourth consecutive loss inside the Octagon.

Ellenberger was finished by Bryan Barberena in one of the featured bout at UFC Fight Night 135 in his home-state of Nebraska.

After 46 professional fights, with 31 of those resulting in victory, Ellenberger decided enough was enough. As someone who always let his skills do the talking, “The Juggernaut” was simple with his retirement speech.

“It is what it is,” he said on FOX Sports 1 during a post-fight interview. “I gotta say, there’s no better place to set the gloves down and call it a career than here in Nebraska.”

And with that, Ellenberger left the Octagon with his head held high.

Back in 2016, Ellenberger finished Matt Brown with a nasty body kick. He also choked out Josh Koscheck, KO’ed Nate Marquardt and put together a six-fight win streak between 2010-12 that includes wins over Diego Sanchez, Jake Shields and John Howard.

Barberena was respectful of his opponent, saying “I respect the hell out of this guy and his brother (Joe) and all of them. They’ve done so much for the sport.”

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