Aldo Decisions Mendes at UFC 179 ; Golovkin Gets Murray Next

aldo vs mendes

JOSE ALDO KEEPS FEATHERWEIGHT CROWN, DECISIONS CHAD MENDES IN UFC 179 MAIN EVENT
BY BRIAN KNAPP
www.sherdog.com
Jose Aldo held on to his title Saturday at UFC 179. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com

Chad Mendes brought out the best in Jose Aldo.

Aldo leaned on accurate, high-velocity punches to retain the Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight crown with a unanimous decision in the UFC 179 “Aldo vs. Mendes 2” headliner on Saturday at Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro. All three judges scored it 49-46 for Aldo (25-1, 7-0 UFC), who has rattled off 18 consecutive victories.

Mendes (16-2, 7-2 UFC) made him work for it. The Team Alpha Male representative pushed a brutal pace, swarming Aldo with power punches from the start. Mendes sat down the Brazilian juggernaut with a clean left hook in the first round, only to later absorb some heavy return fire. The champion had the challenger on wobbly legs at the end of the frame, landing a scorching right hand well after the bell. Mendes recovered between rounds and continued to keep the pressure on.

Aldo was too quick, too technical and too skilled. Mendes made an impression — he jarred the Nova Uniao ace with an uppercut and left hook in the third round — but the finish he needed never came to fruition. Long criticized for a suspect gas tank, Aldo refused to back down despite suffering substantial damage to his left eye from an accumulation of blows. The 28-year-old champion has not lost a fight in almost nine years.
‘Mr. Wonderful’ Overwhelms Teixeira

Davis bested a sloppy Teixeira.
Repeated takedowns and steady ground-and-pound spurred Alliance MMA’s Phil Davis to a unanimous decision over the favored Glover Teixeira in the light heavyweight co-main event. Davis (13-2, 9-2 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27 marks from the judges, bouncing back from a lopsided loss to Anthony Johnson in April.

“Mr. Wonderful” kept Teixeira (22-4, 5-2 UFC) at a safe distance with his length and athleticism, blending together his kicks and punches. He struck for the first of multiple takedowns with roughly two minutes remaining in the first round and began blasting away with punches.

Davis slowly chipped away at the Brazilian’s resolve over the course of the next two rounds and even transitioned to full mount late in the fight.

Teixeira, 34, has suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in his career.
Maldonado Breaks Down Stringer

Maldonado punched out Stringer.
Fabio Maldonado won for the fourth time in five fights, as he stopped Blackzilians export Hans Stringer with second-round ground-and-pound in a light heavyweight showcase. Maldonado (22-7, 5-4 UFC) finished it 4:06 into round two.

Stringer (22-6-3, 1-1 UFC), who entered the cage on a seven-fight unbeaten streak, enjoyed some early success. He struck for a takedown inside the first 10 seconds, dropped elbows on the Brazilian and eventually shifted to full mount. However, the notoriously durable Maldonado survived to see a second round.

There, he shrugged off a takedown from the Dutch grappler, settled in top position and unleashed a barrage of punches to the body and head that forced referee Marc Goddard to act.

The defeat was Stringer’s first since November 2010.
Elkins Outduels Chute Boxe’s Martins

Elkins earned a split decision againt Martins.
Duneland Vale Tudo representative Darren Elkins leaned on relentless work in the clinch, as he took a split decision from Lucas Martins in a featured featherweight scrap. All three cageside judges turned in 30-27 scorecards, two of them siding with Elkins (18-4, 8-3 UFC).

Martins (15-2, 3-2 UFC) seemed tentative throughout the three-round battle, perhaps out of respect for the wrestling base of his opponent. Elkins routinely closed the distance and tore into the Chute Boxe standout with winging punches in close quarters.

Martins staggered him with a head kick in the second round and cracked him with repeated knees in the third, but Elkins’ chin passed the test and allowed him to operate in tight spaces.

Kings MMA’s Dariush Downs Ferreira

Grinding clinches, tactical takedowns and effective ground-and-pound carried Kings MMA representative Beneil Dariush to a unanimous decision over former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Carlos Diego Ferreira in a lightweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it 30-27 for Dariush (9-1, 3-1 UFC).

Ferreira (11-1, 2-1 UFC) never established a foothold in the match. Dariush stifled his offense in close quarters, steered clear of his looping punches and capitalized on the opportunities with which he was presented. By the time their 15 minutes was up, the promising 25-year-old Rafael Cordeiro protégé had left his stamp on the fight.

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martin murray

Golovkin-Murray slated for Feb. 21
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Middleweight world titleholder Gennady Golovkin, decked out in a tuxedo and a maroon bow tie one week removed from a big knockout victory, got an up close look at his next opponent Saturday at the Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo.

Golovkin, sitting with K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler, watched as England’s Martin Murray came through with a victory to set up a shot at GGG’s 160-pound world title on Feb. 21 (HBO), also in Monte Carlo, where Golovkin has fought twice before and where Murray has had his last two fights.

Murray (29-1-1, 12 KOs), 31, won a seventh-round technical decision against Italy’s Domenico Spada (39-6, 19 KOs), 34, on scores of 69-67, 68-63 and 67-66 in a rather sloppy fight.

Loeffler told ESPN.com that he and Murray promoter Rodney Berman, as well as the fighters, came to terms for the February fight about a month ago and recently signed contracts pending victories by Golovkin on Oct. 18 and Murray on Saturday.

“This is the first time I’ve seen a fighter win in front of a sold-out house in California and a week later we’re announcing his next fight in Monte Carlo,” Loeffler said of Golovkin. “It speaks to the activity he has and to Gennady’s position in the sport now.”

Golovkin and Loeffler watched as referee Daniel Van de Wiele, on the advice of the ringside doctor, called off the fight at 1 minute, 19 seconds of the seventh round because of a bloody cut in the corner of Spada’s right eye that was caused by an accidental head butt in the third round.

Van de Wiele called timeout during the third, sixth and seventh rounds to have the doctor examine the cut, and after the third time the doctor recommended that the fight be stopped. Spada was upset, as the cut did not appear too severe and was not in a place in which the blood was running into his eye.

Murray knew he was ahead on all three scorecards after the fourth round because open scoring was used, although he had been docked a point because of an unpopular WBC rule that forces a point to be taken away from the uncut fighter in the event that an accidental head clash cuts one of the boxers.

Murray was surprised by how close two of the scorecards were but said, “We just did what we had to do. We knew what Spada was like. Dirty fighter. We showed we are a class above. We did what we had to do and, yeah, we showed we’re world class and on to bigger and better things. I’m looking forward to fighting (in Monte Carlo) again in February.”

Golovkin undoubtedly will be a much more difficult assignment than Spada, who was knocked out in the 10th round of a vacant interim title bout by Marco Antonio Rubio in April. Golovkin blew away Rubio in the second round to retain his world title (and win the interim belt) at the sold-out StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Oct. 18.

Golovkin (31-0, 28 KOs) has scored 18 knockouts in a row, made 12 title defenses and owns the highest knockout ratio of any active world titleholder (90.3 percent).

With the plan to fight four times in 2015 and unable to lure any major names into the ring for a pay-per-view-level fight, Golovkin is going back to Europe for his next fight, and Murray fits the bill since he is a top contender and also is unable to fight in the United States. A past criminal history has prevented him from securing a visa for several years.

“Murray is a strong guy and he had a good win,” Golovkin told ESPN.com. “Domenico Spada is an ugly opponent to fight. He has a style that is not the easiest to fight against but (Murray) did his job and won the fight. I think this fight with Murray is a good fight for us.

“We couldn’t get (Julio Cesar) Chavez Jr., Miguel Cotto or Canelo (Alvarez) to fight us next. We have to wait until after the (likely) Cotto-Canelo fight is done, so Murray is the best available opponent for me.”

Murray, who has won four fights in a row, is also battle-tested against quality opponents. In April 2013, he traveled to Argentina to challenge then-world champion Sergio Martinez in his homecoming fight. Murray dropped the champion but lost a very close decision. In 2011, Murray traveled to Germany to challenge then-titleholder Felix Sturm and came away with a disputed draw.

“We feel Martin Murray is the best challenger possible,” Loeffler said. “We feel he beat Sergio Martinez in Argentina and Sturm in Germany and we think he beats the other champions. I’d say Martin Murray would beat (titleholder) Jermain Taylor and (champion) Miguel Cotto. Gennady against Murray is a fight between the two best middleweights. (But) I think Gennady’s knockout streak will continue.”

The fight with Golovkin was one Murray said he wanted when asked about it repeatedly during the buildup to his fight with Spada. He said it again afterward.

“I think he’s a top fighter. He’s crushed everybody he’s been in with, but I’ve got the tools to beat any middleweight out there,” Murray said. “I wouldn’t be taking the fight if I didn’t think I could win. A lot of his opponents have gone into the fight already beat. You won’t get that with me. I’m gonna go in there and stand up to him.”

“Murray is generally regarded as the best middleweight outside the world champions,” Berman said. “As we all know, he’s a world champion without a belt. He won’t be intimidated for one second fighting GGG, unlike all of Golovkin’s challengers.

“I have the highest regard for Golovkin, but the truth is his opponents have been sitting ducks. Out of fear, they lose the fight before they step into the ring.

“They’re intimidated and scared. You look at Murray’s background and just know he won’t be cowered. He’s the first guy I’ve seen who will create angles, who won’t stand in front of Golovkin waiting to be hit. Murray will make Golovkin work. He has the ability to outhustle him.”

Also on Saturday’s undercard:

• Randy Caballero (22-0, 13 KOs), 24, of Coachella, California, won a unanimous decision against England’s Stuart Hall (16-4-2, 7 KOs), 34, a former titleholder, to win a vacant bantamweight world title in a competitive and action-packed match. Caballero knocked Hall down with a left-right combination in the second and went on to win by scores of 118-110, 116-111 and 116-111.

• In another world title bout, South Africa’s Hekkie Budler (27-1, 9 KOs), 26, retained his strawweight belt for the second time as he outpointed former titleholder Xiong Zhao Zhong (24-6-1, 14 KOs), 32, of China, on scores of 118-108, 114-112 and 114-112. Budler survived a second-round knockdown and Zhong was on the deck in the third round of a competitive fight but one in which Budler seemed to pull away in the later rounds.

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