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Latest Fantasy MMA News – UFC

The most recent UFC fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov    UFC    Lightweight
Nurmagomedov will face Tony Ferguson in a lightweight championship fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at UFC 223 on April 7, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

UFC president Dana White mentioned the matchup on the "Toucher and Rich" radio show, but refrained from stating whether this bout will be for the interim lightweight belt, which Ferguson currently owns, or the vacant undisputed championship, which would imply that Conor McGregor will be stripped of his title. Although that will be determined in the near future, for now it appears as though we will finally get a long-anticipated fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov. This marks the fourth time that the two have been in talks to face off, with the most recent iteration coming this past spring, but was cancelled 48 hours beforehand when Nurmagomedov was admitted to the hospital due to weight-cutting complications. Nurmagomedov kept his perfect record intact by taking down Edson Barboza at UFC 219 via unanimous decision in late December, while Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee in October to claim the interim title.
Tony Ferguson    UFC    Lightweight
Ferguson (elbow) will take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight championship fight on April 7 at UFC 223 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

At this point, there has been no word as to whether the bout will be for Ferguson's interim lightweight belt, or if Conor McGregor will be stripped of his title, but that is sure to be decided in due time. Ferguson claimed the interim title in October by besting Kevin Lee via submission (triangle choke) at UFC 216 in Las Vegas in early October. "El Cucuy" did undergo elbow surgery in the first week of December, but should be fully healed and operational well before this upcoming fight. Ferguson was expected to take on Nurmagomedov this past spring, but the latter failed to receive proper medical clearance, and the bout fell by the wayside after "The Eagle" wound up being hospitalized due to weight cut issues. There were also two previous occasions when talks regarding these two heated up, but injuries on each side prevented anything from coming to fruition. But now we will finally see them face off in the Octagon, as Nurmagomedov will bring his perfect 25-0 professional record up against Ferguson's 23-3 mark.
Ovince Saint Preux    UFC    Light Heavyweight
Saint Preux will not face off against Ilir Latifi at UFC on FOX 27 on Jan. 27 after Latifi was forced to withdraw with an undisclosed injury, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Currently, Saint Preux is looking for any challenger that will take Latifi's place, even stating that he would potentially go up a weight class in order to keep the bout on the card for Charlotte's fight night. At this time, the UFC has yet to find anyone to face Saint Preux, but hasn't tossed the fight out completely. We should know more in the coming days as to whether Saint Preux will get a chance at a fourth straight victory next weekend.
Ilir Latifi    UFC    Light Heavyweight
Latifi was forced to withdraw from his fight against Ovince Saint Preux on Jan. 27 due to an undisclosed injury, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

The bout was scheduled to happen at UFC on FOX 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. It appears as though the promotion is looking into finding a replacement for Saint Preux, but there has been no word on whether the scheduled bout will remain on the card at the present time. Regarding Latifi's injury, it seems to be a minor setback, as "The Sledgehammer" posted a tweet telling Saint Preux to give him a couple weeks to heal, implying that he would be ready to face off in the near future.
Maryna Moroz    UFC    strawweight
Moroz will no longer face Jamie Moyle at UFC 220 on Saturday, as Moyle has withdrawn due to an undisclosed injury, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Moroz sports a 3-2 record in the UFC, but won't get to chalk another one up in the win column during the prelims of Saturday's pay-per-view event. The injury to Moyle wasn't disclosed, but with the fight being just days away, the promotion won't attempt to find a replacement. It's unclear if this will be rebooked for a future date, but in the meantime, UFC 220 will move forward with 11 scheduled fights.
Jamie Moyle    UFC    strawweight
Moyle will be forced to withdraw from her UFC 220 matchup against Maryna Moroz due to an undisclosed injury, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Moyle defeated Kailin Curran in her UFC debut the the TUF 24 finale, but followed that up with a loss to Viviane Pereira last June at UFC 212. The 28-year-old strawweight had been scheduled for the early prelims Saturday, but the late withdrawal will cancel the fight altogether. UFC 220 will move forward with 11 scheduled bouts.
Paige VanZant    UFC    Flyweight
UFC president Dana White posted Monday on his personal Twitter account that VanZant sustained a broken right arm Sunday during her loss to Jessica Rose-Clark at UFC Fight Night in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

The flyweight suffered the injury in the second round, when she landed a spinning back fist into Clark's head. Despite landing the big blow, VanZant's (7-4) injury proved costly in the third and final round, as she struggled to defend herself while effectively fighting with one arm and ultimately lost his second consecutive fight, this time in a 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 unanimous decision. It will likely take VanZant multiple months to recover from the injury, but she should be fully healthy and ready to return to the Octagon at some point later in 2018.
Doo Ho Choi    UFC    Featherweight
Choi lost to Jeremy Stephens via TKO (punches) at : of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

Choi looked to be in control early in this fight. He was getting the better of the striking exchanges in the first round. He did particularly good work with his leg kicks. However, Stephens began landing his power strikes in the second round. Choi stepped in with a leg kick, and Stephens countered with an over hand. From there it was only a matter of time. He continued to push forward. Stephens eventually dropped Choi and continue to land strikes from the top. Choi has now dropped back-to-back fights and is expected to take a hiatus for mandatory military service in his native South Korea.
Jeremy Stephens    UFC    Featherweight
Stephens defeated Doo Ho Choi via TKO (punches) at : of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

Stephens did not start fast, but he certainly finished the fight. After dropping the first round against Choi, he stormed back in the second. He hurt his opponent with a counter right off a leg kick. He sensed that Choi was hurt and continued to move forward. Stephens eventually dropped Choi to the ground and followed up with a diving strike into the guard. The referee was forced to stop the bout. Stephens has now won back-to-back fights in the UFC.
Paige VanZant    UFC    Flyweight
VanZant lost to Jessica Rose-Clark via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

The move to the women's flyweight division was supposed to be a rebirth for VanZant. Unfortunately, she struggled in this fight and did not really inspire any confidence. She had some success on the feet, but she could not land consistently. VanZant also struggled to keep this fight on the feet. On the ground, Rose-Clark was the better grappler. VanZant appears to have abandoned her clinch-based attack for a range striking approach. She will need to go back to drawing board if she wants to continue competing at this level.
Jessica-Rose Clark    UFC    Strawweight
Rose-Clark defeated Paige VanZant via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

Rose-Clark did enough to win this fight. In the first round, she ended up on top and took half guard. She mostly camped out there and took the round. In the second, she scored a takedown and tried to pass. VanZant scrambled and Rose-Clark locked in a triangle choke and nearly finished the fight. The third round was a striking contest that was mostly even. This was a big win for Rose-Clark, and the UFC women's flyweight division is wide open.
Emil Meek    UFC    Welterweight
Meek lost to Kamaru Usman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

Meek's best chance to win this fight was a guillotine choke inside the first minute. After that, Usman took over. He continued to land takedowns and work from the top. Meek did his best to stay in the fight, but he could not stop takedowns. Usman was able to score takedowns at will, and that was the story of the fight. Meek falls to 1-1 in the UFC and 9-3 overall.
Kamaru Usman    UFC    Welterweight
Usman defeated Emil Weber Meek via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

In his previous fight against Sergio Moraes, Usman showed off improve striking. For this fight, he went back to his bread and butter. He took Meek down multiple times and ground the fight away on the ground. Usman is dominant when he is able to score takedowns. However, he will eventually end up in a fight where he can't score takedowns. Then again, there are not very many fighters in the division who can stay on their feet against a takedown artist like him. He improved to 12-1 overall with this decision victory.
Paul Felder    UFC    Lightweight
Felder is set to do battle against Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 on April 7, Peter Carroll of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Fresh off a victorious TKO against Charles Oliveira at UFC 218, Felder will now square off against his originally scheduled opponent at the event in Iaquinta, who was forced to withdraw due to injury. Felder sports a 15-3 career record but each loss has come within his last eight fights, and with Iaquinta rolling on a five match win streak, "The Irish Dragon" will need his best effort to come out victorious in Brooklyn.
Michael Johnson    UFC    Lightweight
Johnson lost to Darren Elkins via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:22 of Round 2 at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in St. Louis.

Fantasy Analysis

Johnson looked great early in his first fight in the UFC featherweight division. He was beating Elkins to the punch and preventing him from closing the distance. It was a very impressive first round. However, the second round was a different story. Elkins scored an early takedown and then took the back. From there, he worked for the choke and finished the fight. Johnson has now lost three-straight fights in the UFC, but he should be able to turn things around at this new weight.