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Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia confirmed for UFC Fight Night: Singapore

The official graphic released as this main event was announced. Photo credit to UFC.com

AUSTIN DENTON | SPORTS

Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia is the main event for the June 17th UFC Fight Night in Singapore after being reported as a targeted fight by mmafighting.com.

Albuquerque native Holm (10-3, 3-3 UFC) returns to the bantamweight (135) division after a brief appearance in the newly created featherweight (145) division, having lost the inaugural championship bout to Germaine de Randamie. Holm also enters the fight riding a dismal three-fight losing streak, those losses to the now retired Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko, and de Randamie. She has not won a bout in the UFC since her stunning knockout of Ronda Rousey in 2015.

As for Correia (10-2-1, 4-2-1 UFC), she enters the bout after a majority draw with Marion Reneau back in March. She had a string of losses as well to Rousey which was a championship bout, and young contender Raquel Pennington before bouncing back with a win over Jessica Eye.

The fight will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, tickets going on sale today, (April 13th). Cant’t make it out to Singapore? The fight will be available to view on UFC Fight Pass, UFC’s online streaming service. The service will offer a 7-day free trial so fans can gain access to the fight as well as archived fights from all UFC events, and other organizations.

Paul Weir hired as new Lobo Basketball coach

AUSTIN DENTON | SPORTS

Just before 4:00 pm MST on Monday, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported what many New Mexico Lobo fans thought was impossible. The Lobos were now shifting their sights on rival New Mexico State coach Paul Weir for the vacant job. James Borrego, Joe Dooley, and Steve Forbes did not want the job anymore, and the Lobos were out of options. So they turned to the unthinkable and contacted Weir with an offer.

And they succeeded.

Paul Weir encourages his team. Photo Credit to Gary Mook of New Mexico State Athletics.

LoboLair reported early Tuesday morning that Weir was hired as the head coach, and two hours later Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs confirmed. “I am excited to officially welcome Paul Weir as new head coach of the Lobos, ” Krebs said in his tweet, expressing excitement with a Lobo emoji. Weir succeeds former head coach Craig Neal who was fired on March 31st after four years at the helm. “I was able to see many of their games this season, and Paul is a bright young mind in the game. His teams play with tremendous passion and energy,” Krebs said in a later statement.

Weir developed as the top candidate for the job after James Borrego, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach, took his name out of the hat. Borrego, a New Mexico native, “informed school officials on Sunday night (Apr. 9th) that he planned to exit the search process and continue pursuit of future head-coaching opportunities in the NBA…” reported Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Joe Dooley, Florida Gulf Coast head coach, and Steve Forbes, East Tennessee State head coach, followed suit the day after. Weir came up as the next option, and it worked out.

Weir led New Mexico State to a school record 28 wins last season in his first season with the Aggies, led them to a WAC tournament championship, and a NCAA tournament berth. He also split a season series with the Lobos as the coach of the Aggies last season. He also was the associate head coach under former head coach Marvin Menzies for nine seasons.

Lobo athletic department will hold a press conference on Tuesday (the 11th) at 2:00 pm to introduce Weir as the new head coach.

 

UFC 210 Recap: Cormier retains title, controversial TKO in co-main

AUSTIN DENTON|SPORTS

Ask a fan who watched or was at UFC 210 in Buffalo, NY Saturday night, and they will most likely answer you with, “What. Just. Happened?” History was made once again and controversy could come around from the co-main event, and may very well be appealed.

The co-main event between Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi ended in controversy after referee Dan Miragliotta believed Mousasi dealt an illegal knee during a series of two knees to Weidman, proceeding to stop the fight. The second knee was the one considered illegal by Miragliotta. As some may know, there were some recent rule changes to MMA fights, which took effect on Jan. 1st, 2017 applied by the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC). One of them included criteria of what is considered a “downed opponent.”

Daniel Cormier sinks in the choke that would secure his retainment of his light heavyweight championship. Photo credit to Esther Lin of mmafighting.com

The new rules state, “A grounded fighter is defined as: Any part of the body, other than a single hand and feet touching the fighting area floor. To be grounded, both hands and feet, palm/fist down, and/or any other body part must be touching the fighting area floor. At this time, kicks or knees to the head will not be allowed.” At the time of the second knee, Weidman’s hands were up off of the ground, deeming the knee legal. A doctor entered the cage to inspect Weidman after the knee, again assuming the knee was illegal. Miragliotta conferred with officials from the New York State Athletic Commission, and Miragliotta took a look at the review video, despite that not being allowed by the NYSAC. To the dismay of Weidman though, the doctor deemed him “unfit to fight,” and the fight was waved off, giving Gegard Mousasi a TKO win at 1:47 of Round 2.

Weidman said in the post-fight press conference that he plans to appeal this decision, only mainly because Miragliotta looked at the replay. “I don’t know what’s going on with the commission. The head of the commission said there’s no replay in the state, so why the (expletive) did this happen to me?” he said. Mousasi seemed unhappy after the fight was called off as well. Ariel Helwani stating in a tweet that “Mousasi looks mad and is telling his corner not to celebrate.”

Now moving on to the main event which had plenty of anticipation behind it. The rematch between the most feared wrestler in the UFC, the Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, and one of the most feared strikers in the UFC, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. It seemed like the gameplans were set in stone for both fighters, “DC” doing his usual wrestling techniques, and Johnson putting on a striking showcase.

But the fighting world was taken by surprise.

Johnson’s gameplan was different from his usual, clinching a lot more with Cormier than their previous fight in 2015, which Cormier did win by submission. Johnson even took down Cormier once in the fight, but that was the worst mistake that Johnson could make. Cormier took Johnson’s back, and the rest is history. Cormier submitted Johnson at 1:20 of Round 2 to reclaim the title.

Cormier had lots to say after his win, including jawing with fellow light-heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa and even calling on his arch-nemesis Jon Jones, who is still on suspension for a doping violation before a fight with Cormier at the milestone UFC 200 event. “Who? Who? Is that guy even eligible yet?” Cormier said when commentator Joe Rogan pointed out that Jones was in attendance.

But the biggest surprise came before Cormier conducted his post-fight interview. Johnson announced a shocking retirement inside the Octagon. “It’s just business,” Johnson said at the post-fight press conference. “I want to do something besides going to the gym everyday punching and kicking and rolling around with another dude.” Johnson leaves behind a 22-6 record in professional MMA competition, including wins over Glover Teixeira, Jimi Manuwa, Ryan Bader, and Andrei Arlovski.

Along with Johnson, welterweight veteran of Canada, Patrick Cote, announced his retirement in the Octagon after a loss to Thiago Alves. On the main card, Cynthia Calvillo grabbed a submission win over newcomer Pearl Gonzalez in a fight that almost didn’t happen, and Charles Oliveira submitted Will Brooks in Oliveira’s return to the lightweight division.