Gustafsson Supreme in Fight Nght 38 ; Canelo Pounds Angulo

alexander gustafson

 

Alexander Gustafsson Zaps Jimi Manuwa in UFC Fight Night 38 Main Event

By Brian Knapp www.sherdog.com

Alexander Gustafsson swarmed on Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 38.

Alexander Gustafsson made his case for a rematch with Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones with resounding clarity.

Gustafsson — who failed in his bid to unseat Jones in September — stopped the previously undefeated Jimi Manuwa with a second-round knee strike from the clinch and follow-up punches in the UFC Fight Night 38 headliner on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London. Manuwa (14-1, 3-1 UFC) met his end 78 seconds into round two, his 14-fight winning streak a thing of the past.

Under duress from an aggressive and confident adversary, Gustafsson turned to his wrestling in the first round. He struck for a takedown inside the first minute and tagged Manuwa with mild ground-and-pound in full guard. Little damage was done, but Gustafsson had effectively neutralized the knockout-minded Brit. Early in round two, the Swede zapped Manuwa with a brutal knee from the Thai plum, followed with a pair of crushing right uppercuts and polished off his latest conquest with hammerfists on the mat.

“It feels amazing. We’ve been working so hard,” Gustafsson said. “This guy was so dangerous, I thought maybe I should take him down, but I felt good standing, too.”

Blackzilians’ Johnson Bests Guillard

In the co-main event, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 finalist Michael Johnson won for the third time in as many appearances, as he earned a unanimous nod over Melvin Guillard. All three cageside judges scored it for Johnson (15-8, 7-4 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

Guillard (31-13-2, 12-9 UFC) surrendered the center of the cage to the Blackzilians representative and spent a majority of his time circling on the outside. Johnson eventually established his range and seized control of the bout. He staggered Guillard with a knee strike from the Thai plum and follow-up left hook in the second round and forced him to retreat again in the third, swarming him with punches with roughly a minute remaining.

“I’m extremely frustrated,” said Johnson, who replaced the injured Ross Pearson on short notice. “For all the BS he was talking before the fight, I thought he would come out here and try to finish me, but he was pretty much running the whole time. I wasn’t going to leave myself open. I think I have the best standup in this division, and I’m willing to show that against anybody in this division. I tried to stay disciplined and win the fight.”

Pickett Successful in Flyweight Debut

American Top Team’s Brad Pickett made a successful flyweight debut, as he took a unanimous decision over reigning Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Neil Seery. All three judges scored it for Pickett (24-8, 4-3 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

A replacement for the injured Ian McCall, Seery (13-10, 0-1 UFC) proved he belonged in the Octagon. The 34-year-old Irishman worked punches to the body, countered effectively to the head and had Pickett reeling with a striking burst in the third round. However, Seery had issues staying upright. Pickett struck for takedowns in all three rounds and exacted enough of an advantage on the ground to overshadow what his game opponent had done on the feet.

“He’s a tough guy. I appreciate him taking the fight. He was a very tough opponent,” Pickett said. “I knew my wrestling would be [on] a different level than his. For MMA, my wrestling is pretty good, I think. I tried to let the fans have a bit of a brawl. I felt great making weight.”

Nelson Choke Dismisses Akhmedov

Surging Icelandic export Gunnar Nelson submitted Omari Akhmedov with a first-round guillotine choke in a one-sided welterweight showcase. Nelson (12-0-1, 3-0 UFC) drew the curtain 4:36 into round one, as he posted his 12th straight victory.

Akhmedov (12-2, 1-1 UFC) was never a factor. Nelson drove the Dagestani fighter to the canvas behind a stiff straight left, moved immediately to mount and tore into him with a series of wicked elbows. Akhmedov was virtually defenseless. Nelson snatched the guillotine during a subsequent scramble, forcing the tapout.

“I feel lovely. I love to fight here in England. It feels amazing,” Nelson said. “Like always, I didn’t have a strict game plan. I kind of take the fight where it goes and [improvise]. I was confident [I would finish once I had the guillotine].”

Latifi Guillotine Submits Diabate

Swedish powerhouse Ilir Latifi submitted Cyrille Diabate with a crushing first-round guillotine choke in an undercard matchup at 205 pounds. His neck contorted at a nightmarish angle, Diabate (19-10-1, 4-4 UFC) asked out of the cage 3:02 into round one.

Latifi (8-3, 1-1 UFC) swooped in for a double-leg takedown a little more than a minute into the bout. From there, the 30-year-old went to work from top position, threatening Diabate with a brabo choke before transitioning to the power guillotine for the finish. Latifi has recorded four wins in his last five appearances, losing only to former Dream and Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi.

Unbeaten Barnatt Stops Nilsson

“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 quarterfinalist Luke Barnatt dispatched Mats Nilsson with a first-round head kick and follow-up punches in a preliminary middleweight duel. Nilsson (11-3-1, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to the blows 3:24 into round one.

Barnatt (8-0, 3-0 UFC) kept the Swedish grappler on the end of a stiff jab and straight punching combinations throughout their brief encounter. The undefeated 25-year-old rattled Nilsson with a left head kick, pursued him to the cage and finished it there with a volley of punches to the head and body.

The loss halted Nilsson’s two-fight winning streak.

Da Silva Wins 10th Straight

Decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Claudio Henrique da Silva recorded his 10th consecutive victory with a unanimous verdict over “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” winner Brad Scott in an undercard clash at 185 pounds. Da Silva (10-1, 1-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with identical 29-28 marks.

Da Silva controlled rounds one and three through takedowns and superior topside grappling. Scott (9-3, 1-2 UFC) did his best work in the middle frame, where he utilized an effective sprawl to keep the fight standing. The 24-year-old MMA Lab representative assaulted the London-based Brazilian’s body with high-impact punches and kicks, seizing control of the match. However, Scott failed to maintain the momentum. Despite fatigue and a badly damaged left eye, da Silva kept the Brit bottled up over the final five minutes.

Araujo Downs Newcomer Mitchell

Takedowns, ground-and-pound and an active top game carried Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts export Igor Araujo to a unanimous decision over Danny Mitchell in a preliminary welterweight affair. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Araujo (25-6, 2-0 UFC), who has won 14 of his last 15 fights.

Mitchell (14-5-1, 0-1 UFC) always seemed a step behind, his offense limited to occasional upkicks and a few ill-advised submission attempts. Araujo assumed top position in all three rounds, moving briefly to mount in the first and scoring with effective ground-and-pound in the second. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt did not scale back his attack in round three, where he threatened Mitchell with a triangle choke before exchanging a series of wild Donkey Kong punches with the Englishman.

Gaudinot Guillotine Finishes Harris

Former Ring of Combat champion Louis Gaudinot submitted Phil Harris with a first-round guillotine choke in an undercard scrap at 125 pounds. Harris (22-12, 1-3 UFC) conceded defeat 1:13 into round one, losing for the third time in four appearances.

Patience paid for Gaudinot (7-3, 2-2 UFC). Harris pressed into the clinch in search of a takedown and wandered carelessly into the guillotine. Once Gaudinot was confident he had the choke secured, the Team Tiger Schulmann representative jumped to full guard and nodded his head. Harris attempted to roll free from danger, only to find himself mounted with no choice but to tap out.

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canelo vs angulo

Canelo Alvarez gets TKO in 10th

By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

 

Alvarez Dispatches Angulo

Canelo Alvarez defeated Alfredo Angulo by tenth-round TKO to earn his 43rd victory.

LAS VEGAS — Canelo Alvarez turned things around Saturday night against the perfect opponent in Alfredo Angulo, stopping his Mexican countryman in the 10th round of a brutally one-sided fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Facing pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their record-breaking fight in September, Alvarez was was taken to school in their junior middleweight unification fight.   Alvarez couldn’t land a thing that time.   But Mayweather is the best fighter on the planet with speed and one of the best defenses in boxing history.

Angulo, however, is the opposite — a tough brawler lacking in defense and speed.   Alvarez took advantage, big time, dishing out a brutal beating to Angulo, as the fight was stopped by the referee with 47 seconds left in the 10th round before a raucous crowd of 14,610.

“Tonight I was the best fighter,” Alvarez said. “I definitely rebounded from the Mayweather fight with a strong performance. I’m very happy. I came here and did my job.”   It was an impressive performance from Alvarez and certainly set him up for more big business. At the time of the stoppage, Alvarez was ahead 89-82 on two scorecards and 88-83 on the third. ESPN.com had him winning by shutout, 90-91.

Alvarez came out extremely fast and hammered Angulo — also looking to rebound from a defeat — throughout the opening round. He immediately landed a clean left hook and then a right hand. He landed 37 of 62 punches to the head and body as the crowd quickly broke out into chants of “Canelo! Canelo! Canelo!”   Angulo looked so slow and Alvarez could not miss.   Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KOs), 23, continued to thrash Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs), 31, in the second round, splitting his guard with hard uppercuts and lashing him to the head with hooks.   Angulo could not get out of the way of anything and what he managed to throw, Alvarez was picking off with his gloves. He rocked Angulo with a left hook at the end of the round.

The abuse continued in the third round as Alvarez landed long right hands and left hooks, not to mention three-punch combinations, and Angulo offered nothing in return.   By the fifth round, Angulo’s left eye was swelling — the same eye that was damaged in his 10th-round knockout loss to Erislandy Lara in June. The bad swelling around his eye was why Angulo retired during the 10th round.

Angulo finally found some offense in the eighth round, luring Alvarez into a toe-to-toe battle. He landed his best punches of the fight to that point, but Alvarez answered everything as the crowd rose to its feet, finally getting the two-way action many expected, especially since Golden Boy had named the fight “Toe To Toe.”

“I fought his way of fighting in his territory and I was happy fighting toe to toe with him,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez snapped Angulo’s head back with a clean left hook in the center of the ring in the ninth round, after which referee Tony Weeks and the ringside doctor had an intense discussion near Angulo’s corner.   Sure enough, as soon as Alvarez began to land against Angulo again in the 10th round, including landing a hard left uppercut, Weeks stepped in and waved off the fight at 47 seconds.   The crowd heavily booed the stoppage.

“The referee stopped the fight. He’s the law of the ring. I could have fought another 10 rounds, but referee stopped the fight,” Alvarez said. “It’s not my problem.”   Angulo was not happy with the stoppage.   “I told Tony he did the wrong job tonight,” Angulo said. “The referee tells us to take care of ourselves at all times. I can take care of myself. My plan was to work harder in the final four or three rounds. I had good preparation for this fight.”

Said Virgil Hunter, Angulo’s trainer: “I’m very upset. I told the referee and the doctor that if Canelo put two or three shots together that I would stop the fight. He landed one punch. Everyone knows Alfredo was coming on strong, everyone knows that.”

Alvarez came into the fight under a cloud of some controversy. Knowing he would be unable to make the 154-pound contract weight at Friday’s weigh-in, he negotiated the limit up to 155 pounds. He made the weight, paid Angulo $100,000 and agreed to a Saturday weight check at 3 p.m. PT, at which he was not permitted to weight more than 168 pounds.   The weight check was closed but according to a Golden Boy Promotions official, Alvarez, who earned a minimum of $1.15 million, was 166 pounds. Angulo, who made $850,000 (including the additional $100,000) did not have to weigh in again.

By fight night, Alvarez weighed 174 pounds on Showtime’s scale and Angulo was 170 — light heavyweights. But Alvarez looked sharp, fast and powerful as he abused Angulo, even though the crowd was not happy with the stoppage and booed throughout Alvarez’s post-fight in-ring interview.

The fight was the first of what is supposed to be three pay-per-view fights for Alvarez this year with the next one targeted for July 26 and another on Nov. 22, although there are no set opponents.   But based on Alvarez’s drawing power, it might not matter who he faces.   “That’s the medicine the doctor ordered,” Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer said. “I think it was a great performance.   “He threw great combinations, he fought a very smart fight and he dominated the fight. It was a beautiful display of talent.”

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