Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.

Ryan LaFlare off the UFC card in Dublin

Ryan LaFlare poses for a photo at Long

(Credit: Mike Stobe)

Ryan LaFlare told Newsday that a knee injury forced him to pull out his co-main event bout against Gunnar Nelson at  UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin on July 19.

The UFC announced the fight switch on Wednesday morning but did not indicate the nature of the injury.

LaFlare, co-owner of Long Island MMA in Farmingdale, said he expects to be out for six to nine months.

LaFlare (11-0,...

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New Zealand, new opponent for Gian Villante

Gian Villante, at bottom, practices jiu-jitsu with William

(Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

An injury caused Anthony Perosh to pull out of his June 28 fight in New Zealand, leaving the UFC's Gian Villante opponent-less for a bit.

In steps Sean O'Connell to replace Perosh on the UFC Fight Night card, the UFC announced Tuesday.

O'Connell (15-5) debuted in the UFC in March and was knocked out in the first round by Ryan Jimmo.

Villante (11-5, 1-2 UFC), from Levittown, is...

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Another UFC fight, another country for Ryan LaFlare

Ryan LaFlare poses for a photo at Long

(Credit: Mike Stobe)

Carmen San Diego ain't got nothing on Ryan LaFlare.

Next up in LaFlare's tour of the world, compliments of Zuffa LLC, will be Dublin, Ireland. There, on July 19, the Lindenhurst native will fight Gunnar Nelson at the O2 Arena on UFC Fight Night.

"Big fight for me," the undefeated LaFlare told Newsday. "This will separate me from prospect to contender."

LaFlare cracked the UFC's...

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Aljamain Sterling books next UFC fight

Uniondale's Aljamain Sterling during a training session at

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

Next up for the “Funkmaster” will be the “Wolverine.”

Aljamain Sterling, a Serra-Longo fighter from Uniondale, will fight Hugo Viana at UFC Fight Night in Atlantic City on July 16, Newsday has confirmed. Combate.com first reported the booking.

Sterling (9-0, 1-0 UFC), a bantamweight, won his UFC debut in February with a unanimous decision over Cody Gibson at UFC 170. Viana (8-2, 3-1)...

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Which Long Islanders could be on UFC's Atlantic City card on July 16?

UFC featherweight Dennis Bermudez, who trains at Bellmore

The UFC has a pretty solid track record of putting a few local fighters on their cards when they travel outside the home base of Las Vegas.

So, when the top MMA promotion announced over the weekend that they would put on a fight night at the Revel in Atlantic City, N.J., on July 16, the immediate thoughts around here focused on who from Long Island might be on that card. (Since New York remains...

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Gian Villante, UFC fighter and heartthrob?

Sweat drips off Gian Villante after a jiu-jitsu

(Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

The actual, more traditional journalism story advancing Gian Villante’s fight on Sunday against Fabio Maldonado at UFC Fight Night will arrive on the Internet later this week and perhaps in Sunday’s newspaper as well.

For now, here’s a little bonus material from our interview last week. Just too funny to keep out of public view.

Most fighters use a nickname to help establish, ironically,...

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Costas Philippou gets Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night

Costa Philippou of Long Island reacts after the

(Credit: AP)

Since his upset win over Tim Boetsch at the end of 2012, Costas Philippou has dropped his last two fights.

The Massapequa Park resident, ranked No. 10 in the UFC middleweight division, gets his next chance to climb back up the ladder. Philippou (12-4, 5-3 UFC) will fight Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night in Cincinnati on May 10. Both parties have verbally agreed to the bout, the UFC said Sunday.

Larkin...

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Ryan LaFlare's next fight in Abu Dhabi

Ryan LaFlare poses for a photo at Long

(Credit: Mike Stobe)

Ryan LaFlare's first year in the UFC has taken him to new levels -- on frequent flyer programs.

His first fight was in Sweden, his second in Brazil and his third in California. And that was just in 2013.

LaFlare, from Lindenhurst has his next fight booked now and, yes, he's taking another big trip. LaFlare (10-0, 3-0 UFC) will fight welterweight John Howard at UFC Fight Night in Abu...

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Gian Villante's next UFC fight in Brazil

Gian Villante argues with the referee after a

(Credit: Newsday/Mario Gonzalez)

Gian Villante had been itching to fight in the octagon again. Sparring with the likes of UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and 10th-ranked middleweight Costas Philippou for the past six weeks is nice and all, but that's just training.

The Levittown-raised Villante will do the same over the next eight weeks but with a different end goal. He'll be the one fighting in the cage against light...

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Fun food quotes from Costas Philippou

UFC fighter Costa Philippou prepares to spar

(Credit: James Escher)

Costas Philippou associates most things in life with food. Tired during a workout when there's no fight to train for? Take a break and eat something. A fun night with friends? Hey, where's the food? Celebrating an accomplishment? Let's eat!

That's all well and good . . . except when he's training for a fight and it's the holiday season and he needs to drop to 186 pounds by Jan. 14.

“People...

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