Posts Tagged ‘Maia’


MMA Fighting
Demian Maia foresees UFC title fight in 2016: 'I truly believe I can be the champion'
MMA Fighting
Demian Maia might be one win away from a shot at the UFC welterweight title, and the fact that he stopped thinking about it led to this pivotial moment of his career. Maia, a former title contender at 185 pounds, came close to fighting for the
Demian Maia confident he will become UFC Welterweight champion in 2016MMAmania.com

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Few Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweights possess the title potential that Brazilian veteran Demian Maia does. With a 7-2 divisional record since making his 170-pound debut back in 2012, the the former Middleweight standout has a lot to help his case for a title shot sometime soon.

But, according to Maia in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour,” the crafty ground specialist believes he will be champion sooner rather than later.

“Before it was too much pressure, I was just thinking, ‘I wanna win the title, I wanna win the title. If I don’t win the title I’m not gonna be happy when I finish my career’,” said Maia. “But, after I lost to Rory [MacDonald], I just relaxed. I love what I do, that’s great. I make money doing what I love, let’s see what happens. Once I relaxed, things started to flow better.”

The better flowing things that the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is referring to are recent dominant victories over the likes of Gunnar Nelson, Neil Magny and Ryan LaFlare.

“I was always very, very focused, just thinking about the title,” added Maia. “Everything I did in my life was about the title, but that’s too much pressure over me. When I relaxed more, even my performance became better. Now, it’s not like ‘I need to fight for the title, I will win’. I just relaxed, and I know I will fight for the title and I know I have a great chance to win. That’s why I want the chance, but I need to speak so I fight for the title.”

Currently scheduled to fight divisional mainstay and fan favorite Matt “The Immortal” Brown at UFC 198 on May 14, 2016, Maia will have a chance to leap frog fighters who vocalize their wants a little more than the Brazilian.

“Sometimes I don’t talk too much, that’s myself, but I truly believe I can be the champion,” said Maia. “I feel, I can visualize that. I’m gonna fight for the title this year, I visualize that. And I feel I can be the champion.”

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It was a good night for Jennifer Maia at Invicta FC 16. Not only did she capture the promotion’s interim flyweight title, but she also avenged the first loss of her career.

Maia (13-4-1) suffered a second-round submission defeat to Vanessa Porto (18-7) in October 2011. Years later they met in a rematch for Invicta FC’s interim 125-pound belt, and Maia left the cage with the last laugh, winning a unanimous decision after five thrilling rounds.

The ability to make right on the wrong of her first career setback was simply a feather in Maia’s cap, she said. Her truest and more significant achievement was the belt.

“I didn’t come here looking for a rematch; I came here looking for the title,” Maia said through an interpreter. “The rematch was not the question. I was here for the title.”

For Maia, conditioning was key in capturing the belt. She said she felt Porto fade as the rounds went on, and by the time the fourth and fifth frames occurred, the 27-year-old was confident she could continue to push and put the fight in the bag.

“I felt that Vanessa really went down in the last rounds,” Maia said. “I prepared myself for the fight, for the five rounds. My coach was always telling me that she was tired and I was good, so that really helped me a lot.”

Maia’s victory marked her sixth successful performance in her past seven bouts. The goal going forward now, however, involves dropping the “interim” tag from her championship and becoming the undisputed No. 1 in Invicta FC’s flyweight division.

The path to making that goal a reality goes through champ Barb Honchak (10-2), who has held the title for more than three years and successfully defended it twice.

Honchak is currently sidelined for an undetermined period, which forced the promotion to create an interim belt. Her return date is unknown, but once Honchak is ready, Maia said she would be ready to accept the unification contest at any time.

“If Invicta calls me I’ll be ready,” Maia said. “I admire her. I know it will be a tough fight but let’s do it.”

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After claiming championship gold in her last appearance, Ayaka Hamasaki returned to the Invicta FC cage on Friday night and picked up her first successful defense of the atomweight title with a third-round submission win over a game and gutsy Amber Brown at Trinidad Pavillion in Tropicana Las Vegas.The opening round was one of the best rounds of 2016, with Hamasaki hitting an explosive double in space early, posturing up to rain down shots on Brown before the Albuquerque native threw up a triangle choke and put the champion at risk. After defending and escaping, Hamasaki attacked with a submis … Read the Full Article Here

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Ayaka Hamasaki and Amber Brown

Ayaka Hamasaki and Amber Brown

LAS VEGAS – MMA’s leading all-women’s promotion is in Las Vegas, and you can get live updates from the latest Invicta FC card here.

Featuring Invicta atomweight champ Ayaka Hamasaki (12-1) defending her belt against Amber Brown (6-1) and Jennifer Maia (12-4-1) taking on Vanessa Porto (18-6) for the promotion’s vacant interim flyweight title, “Invicta FC 16: Hamasaki vs. Brown” takes place at Trinidad Pavilion at Tropicana Las Vegas.

The full nine-fight card streams live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Champ Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Amber Brown – for atomweight title
RESULT: Ayaka Hamasaki def. Amber Brown via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 2:52

Jennifer Maia vs. Vanessa Porto – for interim flyweight title
RESULT: Jennifer Maia def. Vanessa Porto via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)

Stephanie Eggink vs. Angela Hill
RESULT: Angela Hill def. Stephanie Eggink via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:36

Irene Aldana vs. Jessamyn Duke
RESULT: Irene Aldana def. Jessamyn Duke via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:08

DeAnna Bennett vs. Roxanne Modafferi
RESULT: Roxanne Modafferi def. DeAnna Bennett via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Jinh Yu Frey vs. Herica Tiburcio
RESULT: Jinh Yu Frey def. Herica Tiburcio via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Sarah D’Alelio vs. Andrea Lee
RESULT: Sarah D’Alelio def. Andrea Lee via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:21

Aspen Ladd vs. Kelly McGill
RESULT: Aspen Ladd def. Kelly McGill via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:47

Sarah Click vs. Ashley Greenway
RESULT: Ashley Greenway def. Sarah Click via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)

* * * *

Amber Brown (6-2) proved a capable challenger to Invicta FC atomweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki (13-1), the Japanese fighter retained her belt with a third-round submission in a thrilling grappling affair.

As the fight began, Hamasaki quickly changed levels and drove the fight to the floor. Brown held tight underneath and eventually scrambled to guard before deftly working in a triangle choke attempt that looked very tight. With Hamasaki’s head trapped, Brown elbowed away while trying to finish the choke. Brown couldn’t ever quite get the squeeze and he to let go, relinquishing side control to her opponent.

Hamasaki right attacked the right arm of her opponent an nearly secured a submission of her own in the final seconds, but Brown pulled her way to safety before the end of the frame.

Hamasaki bounced out quickly in the second, looking to work quick punches in and out of range. However, Hill eventually worked close enough to clinch and then dragged the fight to the floor. Hamasaki was able to spin underneath and then again attack the right arm in order to sweep to the top. Once there. Brown again went to work from the bottom. She again locked the triangle tight but couldn’t get the finish before the bell.

The fight hit the floor again quickly in the third, and while Brown was dangerous with her moves, it was Hamasaki whose grappling proved superior. Again looking to attack the arm, Hamasaki eventually worked herself to an armbar position. Brown refused to relent, working every possible angle to escape, but she simply couldn’t shake free and begrudgingly tapped in the end.

In the night’s co-feature, Jennifer Maia (13-4-1) claimed a hard-fought decision win over fellow Brazilian Vanessa Porto (18-7) to claim Invicta’s vacant interim flyweight title.

In the opening frame, a Porto right hand sent Maia tumbling to the floor, though she alertly grabbed a leg as she recovered and worked back to her feet. Once there, Maia successfully returned fire, though Porto still seemed to get the best of the exchanges.

Maia started to find some success on the feet in the second, before a scramble saw the action transition to the floor, where Porto immediately transitioned out for an armbar. Maia pulled the limb back to safety, but Porto then set up in top position.

Porto swarmed with punches in the third, though Maia was quick to answer. The two traded shots in rapid succession, with both finding moments of success. Porto seemed to land the cleanest shots early, though Maia battled back in the latter stages. When the action transitioned to the floor, Porto threatened with an armbar, but Maia slipped easily out and moved to the back. The choke wasn’t there, though Maia transitioned again and finished the round while holding a guillotine attempt.

Maia continued to unload on the feet in the fourth, before Porto changed levels and took the fight to the floor. Maia turned quickly for an armbar, though Porto wisely stepped over in hopes of an escape. She couldn’t quite get free, but she was able to successfully stall the position, earning her a standup from a precarious position.

The tension continued in the final round. Blood flowed freely as the two worked on the feet. Porto worked inside for a takedown, but Maia worked quickly back to get feet. Maia seemed to be the fresher fighter, but it was Porto who worked inside again for another big takedown. Working from her back, Maia again searched for a guillotine, but to no avail. Porto finished the round on top, and the action went to the judges, where Maia was awarded the win.

Angela Hill, Irene Aldana impress in devastating stoppages

In strawweight matchup, Angela Hill (4-2) stepped in on short notice and delivered a crushing finish of Stephanie Eggink (4-3).

The fighters showed excellent movement and striking as they danced around the cage and fired shots from all levels. Hill was the more active fighter in terms of movement, but Eggink countered well with a more compact approach.

Things took a turn in the second, when Hill scored a two-punch combination that staggered Eggink. Hill saw the opportunity and capitalized, landing a huge right that sent Eggink crashing to the floor. Hill followed with more big shots on the canvas to seal the impressive result.

In bantamweight action, knockout artist Irene Aldana (6-2) picked up another victory, overwhelming Jessamyn Duke (3-4) in the opening frame.

The strikers both looked to work quickly on the feet in the first. The long jab of Duke certainly found a home, but it was met with vicious combinations from Aldana, working punches to all levels and adding in low kicks, as well. Eventually, Aldana got Duke to the cage, and it marked the beginning of the end.

Vicious body shots saw Duke double over, and Aldana continued to unleash punches until she sealed the first-round finish via strikes.

In a flyweight contest, Roxanne Modafferi (19-12) picked up another impressive victory, outworking a game DeAnna Bennett (8-2) en route to a split-decision victory.

Modafferi was able to secure an early takedown, but Bennett refused to remain on her back. Instead, Bennett worked her way back to the feet and then returned fire with a powerful slam to the floor.

Modafferi looked to strike in the second, and she got the best of the early exchanges, controlling the center and striking with volume. Bennett tried to answer from the cage and looked unsuccessfully for a takedown, but it was Modafferi’s volume that earned her control.

Bennett seemed to tire a bit in the third, but she also was the one firing the more powerful punches. Modafferi continued to control the center and keep the higher volume, eventually drawing blood from her opponent’s nose. Modafferi stuffed a takedown in the closing seconds, leaving the call to the judges in an interesting contest. In the end, Modafferi was awarded a split-decision call.

In an atomweight matchup, Jinh Yu Frey (5-1) stood tall in the face Herica Tiburcio (9-4), outworking her foe for a decision win.

The longer Frey tried to use her reach on the feel in the early going, as Tiburcio tried to navigate the reach while chopping away at the lead leg.

Tiburcio kept the pressure high in the second, as both fighters started to open up a bit. Both women continued to offer leg kicks, but both had success countering over the top with punches, as well. Tiburcio remained the aggressor throughout, though she took her share of strikes in return, as well – including a left that dumped her on the floor at the bell.

Tiburcio continued to move forward on the feet in the final frame, standing firm in the face of her fore and trading leather. Tiburcio seemed to throw the bigger shots, though she didn’t throw them uncontested. She helped press her case with a takedown in the final seconds and celebrated emphatically at the final bell. It would be all for naught.

D’Alelio nets comeback, Ladd dominates in early action

In an incredible back-and-forth contest, veteran Sarah D’Alelio (9-6) struggled through some early exchanges with prospect Andrea Lee (4-2) before ultimately securing an incredible third-round submission.

The two traded strikes on the feet in the early going, with the smaller Lee working to get in and out of range while chopping at the legs. D’Alelio struggled to grab hold in the early going but began to have success with counter punches as time wore on. Still, Lee answered back with a near non-stop barrage of punches and knees that seem to do damage.

The two continued to trade on the feet on the feet in the second, through D’Alelio was able to counter with a few wrestling attacks to help turn the tide of the contest.

D’Alelio looked for more of the same in the third, but Lee was aggressive in the clinch, scoring points with big elbows and knees. Lee eventually slammed the action to the floor, but D’Alelio wisely baited her opponent and took the back, sinking in the rear-naked choke and finishing the fight in impressive fashion.

In bantamweight action, Aspen Ladd (3-0) kept her professional record with a dominating TKO win over the previously undefeated Kelly McGill (2-1).

Ladd dominated the early going, taking the action quickly to the floor and threatening to end the fight on the floor. McGill survived but had little to offer in return. It was more of the same in the second. McGill earned one standup after a slow in action, but Ladd put her quickly back on the canvas.

Ladd continued her assault in the third, bringing the action to the floor and then pounding away from top position until referee Mark Smith called a halt to the action at the 1:47 mark of the frame.

In the night’s first matchups, strawweights Ashley Greenway (1-0) and Sarah Click (0-1) each made their professional debuts. While the first round started served largely as a feeling-out process, the two picked up the pace over the final to frames. The spirited back-and-forth ended with Greenway taking him a unanimous decision.

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Forgive UFC welterweight Hector Lombard if he’s not too excited by his next matchup; it’s got a lot of negatives jabbing at the positives.

This past fall, Lombard was widely expected to fight former title challenger Rory MacDonald at the conclusion of a one-year suspension for a failed steroid test. But without explanation, the matchup was withdrawn, which denied him a good opportunity to advance his career.

“I was supposed to fight Rory, and where is he at? He said he’s not ready,” Lombard recently told MMAjunkie Radio.

Then there was a potential matchup with former middleweight title challenger and welterweight standout Demian Maia. But that, too, seemed to slip through his fingers.

“I was supposed to fight Demian, and he just got out of the fight,” Lombard said. “But I was trying to get the fight with him.”

What’s a heavy-handed fighter to do? You can’t blame fighters for trying to avoid the concussions Lombard (34-4-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) regularly deals out, but where does that leave him when it comes to getting those pivotal matchups that pave the way to a title shot?

In this case, it leads to a matchup with Neil Magny (17-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who’s as solid a fighter as anyone at 170 pounds and the owner of a seven-fight winning streak earlier in his career. The two meet up at UFC Fight Night 85.  The event, which is expected to air on FOX Sports 1, takes place on Sunday, March 20, at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Australia, but airs on March 19 in North America due to the time difference.

Lombard holds Sydney as his adopted home after emigrating there from Cuba after the 2000 Olympics. Of course, fighting for his longtime fans is a welcome job, and the bout will no doubt offer a significant paycheck. But as far as what he expects to happen in the cage, he’s anticipating it with all the excitement of a DMV visit.

“I expect him to run, as usual – try to run away and try to use his reach,” he said.

Magny is about the polar opposite of Lombard in terms of style. A long and lanky fighter, he uses his reach to frustrate opponents at distance and then controls them against the cage and on the mat. Lombard doesn’t think he’ll have much of a chance to let his hands go, which is why he’s a little salty about the whole thing.

When it comes to the reaction the UFC might have to a lackluster bout, and concurrently, what that might mean for his career, he can only hope Magny takes a different approach this time around.

He’ll fight either way, but it would be better if he didn’t have to worry about being smothered.

“One thing that really pisses me off is these guys try to run and make the fight boring, and they just put it on me,” he said. “It’s a joke.

“He’s going to try to run and win by decision and make the fight boring. I just want him to bring it, but he’s not going to have the balls to bring it.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 85, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Forgive UFC welterweight Hector Lombard if he’s not too excited by his next matchup; it’s got a lot of negatives jabbing at the positives.

This past fall, Lombard was widely expected to fight former title challenger Rory MacDonald at the conclusion of a one-year suspension for a failed steroid test. But without explanation, the matchup was withdrawn, which denied him a good opportunity to advance his career.

“I was supposed to fight Rory, and where is he at? He said he’s not ready,” Lombard recently told MMAjunkie Radio.

Then there was a potential matchup with former middleweight title challenger and welterweight standout Demian Maia. But that, too, seemed to slip through his fingers.

“I was supposed to fight Demian, and he just got out of the fight,” Lombard said. “But I was trying to get the fight with him.”

What’s a heavy-handed fighter to do? You can’t blame fighters for trying to avoid the concussions Lombard (34-4-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) regularly deals out, but where does that leave him when it comes to getting those pivotal matchups that pave the way to a title shot?

In this case, it leads to a matchup with Neil Magny (17-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who’s as solid a fighter as anyone at 170 pounds and the owner of a seven-fight winning streak earlier in his career. The two meet up at UFC Fight Night 85.  The event, which is expected to air on FOX Sports 1, takes place on Sunday, March 20, at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Australia, but airs on March 19 in North America due to the time difference.

Lombard holds Sydney as his adopted home after emigrating there from Cuba after the 2000 Olympics. Of course, fighting for his longtime fans is a welcome job, and the bout will no doubt offer a significant paycheck. But as far as what he expects to happen in the cage, he’s anticipating it with all the excitement of a DMV visit.

“I expect him to run, as usual – try to run away and try to use his reach,” he said.

Magny is about the polar opposite of Lombard in terms of style. A long and lanky fighter, he uses his reach to frustrate opponents at distance and then controls them against the cage and on the mat. Lombard doesn’t think he’ll have much of a chance to let his hands go, which is why he’s a little salty about the whole thing.

When it comes to the reaction the UFC might have to a lackluster bout, and concurrently, what that might mean for his career, he can only hope Magny takes a different approach this time around.

He’ll fight either way, but it would be better if he didn’t have to worry about being smothered.

“One thing that really pisses me off is these guys try to run and make the fight boring, and they just put it on me,” he said. “It’s a joke.

“He’s going to try to run and win by decision and make the fight boring. I just want him to bring it, but he’s not going to have the balls to bring it.”

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You may not have noticed, but Demian Maia has quietly captured four straight inside the Octagon against some rather formidable welterweight foes, including his latest win over Gunnar Nelson at UFC 194.

Recap here.

With his impressive streak intact, Maia was lobbying for a championship fight against division king Robbie Lawler next. But as he declared on The MMA Hour, a bout against a veteran like Matt Brown is a good consolation prize.

That’s because a win over “The Immortal” at UFC Fight Night 87 on May 14 will prove once and for all he’s ready for another shot at UFC gold.

“I’m good, of course, the dream was the title shot, but the next step was fighting a guy like a Matt Brown or Woodley because I know if I beat one of those guys, then I really am in the title shot. You never know with UFC, with what’s going to happen, but I think that I would be into a title shot (with a win over Brown).”

For the record, Maia says Tyron Woodley is deserving of next crack at “Ruthless.”

Of course, striking sensation Stephen Thompson made a case for himself, too, after he knocked out former 170-pound champion Johny Hendricks in a little over a minute at UFC Fight Night 82 a few weeks back.

Oh, and let’s not forget about this guy.

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MMAjunkie.com
Near title shot, Demian Maia following UFC boss Dana White's advice to 'take more risks'
MMAjunkie.com
That's exactly what Maia (22-6 MMA, 16-6 UFC), No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, plans to do to No. 7-ranked Matt Brown (20-13 MMA, 13-8 UFC) when they collide on May 14 at UFC Fight Night 88 in Brazil.

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Submission victories have become an increasingly difficult fight outcome for grappling ace Demian Maia in recent years. But in order to get his desired title shot, the UFC welterweight knows he must put people away.

That’s exactly what Maia (22-6 MMA, 16-6 UFC), No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, plans to do to No. 7-ranked Matt Brown (20-13 MMA, 13-8 UFC) when they collide on May 14 at UFC Fight Night 88 in Brazil.

UFC President Dana White encouraged the Brazilian to put himself out there a little more in his fights, Maia said, and he took that advice to heart. Although he didn’t finish Gunnar Nelson in his last fight at UFC 194 in December, he managed to put Neil Magny away with a second-round choke at UFC 190 in August for his first submission win in nearly three years.

Maia has been a force on the ground since he entered the UFC in 2007 and recorded five consecutive submission wins. As his career went on, though, Maia said his focus drifted away from stopping opponents and was more about fighting smart in order to secure a victory.

That’s until he had a conversation with White.

“I’ve started to fight tough, tough fighters and it’s hard to submit them, of course, but at the same time I was being more conservative and taking more care about losing positions,” Maia told MMAjunkie. “I was more about winning, but I remember talking to Dana White after a press conference and he said, ‘You’re doing great jiu-jitsu, you have great control, but you can take more risks. You have the jiu-jitsu to take more risks. We’re not asking you to do striking and standup. You can do your jiu-jitsu and a lot of people want to see that, but if you take more risks when you get the mount of the back, (it) would be great.’

“After that, I fought in Rio against Neil Magny and I took more risks, and because that was in my mind, it was good. It’s hard because you want to win so bad that you don’t wan to make mistakes, but I took risk and I was able to submit him in that fight. I’m taking more risks in my jiu-jitsu game.”

If there’s a fight in which Maia would appear to have a good chance of locking up a submission win, it’s his next one against Brown. “The Immortal” has suffered nine of his 13 career losses by submission and has shown flaws on the ground in other fights, such as a loss to former UFC champ Johny Hendricks at UFC 185 this past March.

Brown’s record may show a lot of submission losses, but it would require going back to UFC 139 in November 2011 to find the last time he was stopped in that fashion. Maia said Brown has made strides on the ground, he’s just not sure if it’s enough to thwart his lifetime of jiu-jitsu experience.

“Early in his career he had a lot of losses by submission, but after that the last five years he no lose by submission,” Maia said. “He learned something, he’s different and has a much better defense. I don’t think he will be a guy who will be easy to submit just because he was submitted five years ago. He’s a different fighter.

“He learned from that mistake and that’s why I’m not like, ‘He’s lost by submission so I’m going to do the same.’ Of course I want to submit him, but it doesn’t mean it will be easier because his record in recent years shows no submissions.”

A victory over Brown would give Maia a five-fight winning streak and eight victories in 10 fights since he dropped to welterweight in July 2012. The only losses in that stretch came as the result of a split decision to Jake Shields, as well as another close decision loss to Rory MacDonald, who Maia had in compromising positions early in the fight.

Maia said beating Brown should validate his worthiness as a challenger to 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler. Several others are vying for that position, though, such as Tyron Woodley, Stephen Thompson and even recent title challenger Carlos Condit.

Although there are other contenders with a valid claim at a title fight, Maia said his resume would be more impressive than the others and therefor he should be rewarded with the next fight for UFC gold.

“Everybody knows my goal right now is to fight for the title – I want to have the chance to try to win that title again that I had six years ago (at middleweight),” Maia said. “My whole career at welterweight is to go for the title shot and I think now I am getting closer. I just wanted that fight that made sense for that. I know if I win that fight there’s a big chance I fight for the title and that’s what I’m looking for.

“I think if I win I should get the title shot next. I really believe I can be the champion. I don’t want to wait. I will be in my best shape, I will do my best and I will do the best fight ever against Matt Brown. If he wins, OK. But if I win, I want to fight for that title.”

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