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Shogun Rua is out, Ovince Saint Preux gets a new opponent

Shogun Rua is out, Ovince Saint Preux gets a new opponent

By: Chris Taylor (Kalapaki Joe’s Staff Writer)

Last weekend news broke that former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Shogun Rua was forced out of his scheduled rematch with Ovince Saint Preux due to an undisclosed injury.

With that said, “OSP” will remain in the UFC Fight Night 117 main event as the UFC has brought back former middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami to fight on short notice.

Okami is currently riding a four-fight win streak which includes two stoppage victories.

As for Saint Preux, the former interim title challenger is coming off a submission win over Marcos Rogério de Lima.

UFC Fight Night 117 takes place tonight from Japan.

UFC 215 Fight Card and Start Time

UFC 215 Fight Card and Start Time

By: Chris Taylor (Kalapaki Joe’s Staff Writer)

The UFC will invade Edmonton, Alberta, Canada next weekend for UFC 215.

The pay-per-view event is headlined by a flyweight title fight featuring long-time champion Demetrious Johnson taking on Ray Borg.

This is it, folks. This is one of the reasons he declined a fight with T.J. Dillashaw. “Mighty Mouse” will attempt to make UFC history at the event by breaking the record for the most successful title defenses by a UFC champion with 11, beating out Anderson Silva. Johnson was last seen in action at April’s UFC on FOX event, where he scored a third-round submission victory over Wilson Reis.

As for the “Tazmexican Devil”, Ray Borg has strung together back-to-back decision victories over Jussier Formiga and Louis Smolka.

In the co-main event of UFC 215, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will look to earn her second title defense when she rematches top division contender Valentina Shevchenko. “The Lioness” and “The Bullet” first met at UFC 196 in March of 2016, with Nunes emerging victorious via a close judges decision. 

Nunes and Shevchenko were initially booked to rematch at July’s UFC 213 event in Las Vegas. Unfortunately for fights fans, Nunes fell ill in the days leading up to the fight card and was forced to withdraw from the event entirely.

Amanda Nunes was last seen in action this past December at UFC 207 in Las Vegas, where she earned a first-round TKO victory over former title holder Ronda Rousey

As for Shevchenko, “The Bullet” is coming off a submission victory over Julianna Pena which she earned at January’s UFC on FOX event in Denver.

Check out the full UFC 215 pay-per-view lineup below:

Main Card (10 PM EST, PPV)

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg
Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Neil Magny
Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens

Preliminary Card (8 PM EST, FS1)

Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker

Preliminary Card (6:30 PM EST, Fight Pass)

Mitch Clarke vs. Alex White
Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins

Be sure to come watch UFC 215 live at one of Kauai’s Kalapaki Joe’s locations, the Westernmost Sports Bar in the U.S.A!

UFC Fighter Charged With Fixing His Own Fight!

UFC Fighter Charged With Fixing His Own Fight!

By: Chris Taylor (Kalapaki Joe’s Staff Writer)

Back in November of 2015, Tae Hyun Bang stepped onto the canvas with Leo Kuntz. He did so on the undercard of a UFC Fight Night in Seoul, in his native South Korea.

In the end, Bang and Kuntz’s fight went down as a fairly forgettable one, with Bang earning a close, split decision win. The final hours before this fight, however, stand out in the memory as some seriously suspect ones.

If you had your finger on the pulse of the fight game back then, you’ll remember that, in the hours leading up to Bang and Kuntz’s fights, there was a massive swing in the odds in Kuntz’s favor. This wasn’t a small, last-minute change, but an unprecedented transformation in the odds, which immediately raised eyebrows amongst the more discerning members of the MMA community.

While there was no way to prove that we were witnessing the signs of fight-fixing at the time, it sure seemed that way. It seemed as though somebody, or perhaps many people, with inside knowledge of the situation – knowing perhaps that Bang was badly injured or that he was going  to throw the fight – were putting massive sums down on Kuntz. This drastically changed the complexion of the betting odds, as they were adjusted to reflect new confidence in a Kuntz win.

There were red flags everywhere.

But then Bang won the fight, which immediately clashed with all of the fight-fixing accusations that had burbled to the surface in the buildup to his fight. The odds had swung in Kuntz’s favor, which meant that if anybody was going to throw the fight, it was going to be Bang. But he won, and so suddenly, there was far less reason to cry fix.

In April, it was reported by multiple sources that a nameless South Korean UFC fighter is currently involved in a police investigation stemming from this card. BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor was first to confirm that this fighter was indeed Tae Hyun Bang. Taylor also acquired some new details on the situation.

In the buildup to the fight, Bang got involved with some gangsters, who convinced him to throw the fight. These gangsters, who the South Korean police are calling “gambling brokers”, then bet a massive 2 billion Won (almost $2 million USD) on Kuntz. Bang, meanwhile, was paid 100 million Won to take the fall. He then bet half of this sum (roughly $44,000 USD) on Kuntz. All in all, it is estimated that the nefarious parties involved in this underhanded betting scandal wagered close to $2 million USD on Kuntz. This massive betting on Kuntz is what swung the odds so significantly in his favor.

Unsurprisingly, this shady, last-minute odds-shift caught the attention of the UFC, who quickly began questioning Bang. Realizing that he was essentially screwed either way, Bang then decided to fight to win, rather than throw the fight. The result of this change of heart was his split decision defeat of Kuntz.

In the fallout of this ugly ordeal, Bang has reportedly received multiple death threats from the shadowy villains who pushed him into taking a fall, who are unsurprisingly not pleased that he didn’t hold up his end of the deal. As a result, he came clean to South Korean police, and was embroiled in an investigation surrounding the incident.

Today, The Sports Integrity reported that Bang had been indicted on alleged match-fixing charges.

South Korean prosecutors have indicted mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Bang Tae-hyun for alleged involvement in match-fixing, reports Yonhap news agency.

Main and Co-Main Event Fights Announced For UFC 216

Main and Co-Main Event Fights Announced For UFC 216

By: Chris Taylor (Kalapaki Joe’s Staff Writer)

The octagon will return to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this October for UFC 216.

The pay-per-view fight card, which takes place Saturday October 7, will be headlined by a previously announced interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee.

Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is currently riding a five-fight win streak, his latest being a first-round submission victory over Michael Chiesa this past June in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, Tony Ferguson has won nine fights in a row, his latest being a unanimous decision victory over former division title holder Rafael dos Anjos.

In the evenings co-main event, former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will square off with perennial contender Derrick Lewis.

Werdum is coming off a decision loss to Alistair Overeem which occurred at last month’s UFC 213 event. Prior to that, the Brazilian had defeated Travis Browne via decision.

As for “The Black Beast”, Derrick Lewis is coming off of a TKO loss to knockout artist Mark Hunt. That setback snapped a six fight winning streak for Lewis, which included wins over Travis Browne and Roy Nelson.

Derrick Lewis recently made headlines outside of fighting after helping aid some of the floods victims in Houston, Texas.

Also featured on the UFC 216 pay-per-view card will be a women’s flyweight bout between Paige VanZant and Jessica Eye.

Come check out the event this October at Kalapaki Joe’s, the Westernmost Sports Bar in the U.S.