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Latest Fantasy MMA News

The most recent fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.

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Injuries

Augusto Mendes    Other    Bantamweight
Mendes elected to leave the UFC on Friday despite having one fight left on his deal, Guilherme Cruz of mmafighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Mendes was recently handed a suspension for a failed drug test, and while he was in the process of appealing the suspension, he has ultimately elected to not wait to take part in one last fight with the UFC. The Absolute Championship Berkut announced Thursday that they had signed a deal with Mendes, and his departure from the UFC confirms that. In four years as an MMA fighter, Mendes boasts a 6-2 record.
Ian McCall    Other    Flyweight
McCall announced Monday in an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that he has retired from professional fighting.

Fantasy Analysis

McCall distinguished himself as one of the top flyweights during his 15-year career, compiling a 13-7-1 record across 21 bouts. The 33-year-old first rose to prominence in 2011 for the Tachi Palace Fights promotion and immediately became one of the premier 125-pound fighters in the UFC when it added the flyweight division in 2012. McCall had seen his career take a downhill turn in recent years after leaving UFC for the Rizin promotion, with his final bout coming earlier this month when he was knocked out by Kyoji Horiguchi in nine seconds. McCall didn't dismiss the possibility of fighting again if a lucrative offer came his way, but it seems unlikely that a major payday would be in the cards for a fighter in decline and approaching his mid-30s.
Pearl Gonzalez    Other    Strawweight
Gonzalez defeated Barbara Acioly via submission (armbar) at 1:30 of Round 1 at Invicta FC 29 on Friday in Kansas City.

Fantasy Analysis

Gonzalez has now won back-to-back contests since joining Invicta FC, starting with a unanimous decision over Kali Robbins in March, and most recently this first-round stoppage. Though Gonzalez came up empty in her UFC opportunity, the 31-year-old could get a chance to make another run if she's able to keep up the current winning streak.
Sarah Kaufman    Other    Bantamweight
Kaufman defeated Katharina Lehner via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:30 of Round 3 to earn the bantamweight championship at Invicta FC 29 on Friday in Kansas City.

Fantasy Analysis

Kaufman ended her UFC tenure with back-to-back losses to Valentina Shevchenko and Alexis Davis, and proceeded to take more than a year off. She's been able to get back on track since, defeating Jessica-Rose Clark while competing for Battlefield Fighting Championship, and then picking up consecutive wins under the all-female Invicta FC banner. At 32 years old, Kaufman seemingly has room for another run in her, though it remains to be seen when she might get that opportunity. Though she has victories over several UFC bantamweights on her resume, Kaufman has never faced current champion Amanda Nunes.
Leslie Smith    Other    Bantamweight
Smith is no longer under contract with the UFC after the promotion chose to buy out her contract, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Smith was scheduled to face Aspen Ladd at UFC Atlantic City last Saturday, but Ladd missed weight by 1.8 pounds, which began intense negotiations between Smith and the promotion. According to Smith, she proposed to the UFC that she would still accept the fight if the promotion chose to extend her deal. Instead, Smith says the UFC paid her both show money and a win bonus on her current contract, and now considers her a free agent. Smith has long been a figurehead for fighter rights, and is the interim president of Project Spearhead -- the most recent organization formed in an effort to unionize MMA fighters. The 35-year-old bantamweight, who had won back-to-back fights, does not believe she received a fair shake, and intends to take legal action against the UFC. Despite the small winning streak, it would be surprising to see her compete in a sanctioned event any time soon as she shifts her focus to the courtroom.
Leslie Smith    Other    Bantamweight
Smith has declined to fight Aspen Ladd at UFC Atlantic City after Ladd failed to make weight Friday, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Smith was offered 20 percent of Ladd's purse and an extra $5,000 after Ladd failed to make weight Friday, but Smith declined the offer and the fight is officially off.
Leslie Smith    Other    Bantamweight
Smith's opponent for UFC Atlantic City on Saturday, Aspen Ladd, missed weight Friday morning, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Ladd came in 2.8 pounds over the required 135. It's still undecided at this time whether or not the fight will continue.
Pearl Gonzalez    Other    Strawweight
Gonzalez will fight Barbara Acioly on May 4 at Invicta FC 29, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Gonzalez fought against Kali Robbins in March at Invicta FC 28 and won by unanimous decision to bring her professional record to 7-3. The former UFC strawweight will have a quick turnaround of just six weeks before facing off with Acioly on May 4.
Bec Rawlings    Other    strawweight
Rawlings lost to Ashlee Evans-Smith via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at UFC 223 on Saturday in New York City.

Fantasy Analysis

Rawlings really struggled in this fight. She landed her share of strikes, but she was behind the entire time. Whenever she landed a strike, she also absorbed multiple strikes. It is hard to imagine how she keeps her job in the UFC. She is now riding a four-fight losing streak and has lost five of her last seven fights.
Bec Rawlings    Other    strawweight
Rawlings will face Ashlee Evans-Smith in a flyweight matchup during the Fight Pass early prelims of UFC 223 on Saturday in Brooklyn.

Fantasy Analysis

Rawlings will be coming up from the strawweight division, while Evans-Smith is moving down from the bantamweight division, so it's not surprising to see the latter with a two-inch height and three-inch reach advantage. Furthermore, neither has secured a victory in 2017, so each could be fighting with their UFC future on the line. Over relatively short sample sizes, Rawlings averages a slightly higher striking output, while Evans-Smith is the more careful striker, owning the better striking differential. As of Wednesday afternoon, Rawlings finds herself approximately a (+170) betting underdog.
Godofredo Pepey    Other    Featherweight
Pepey has left the UFC after his contract expired following his loss to Mirsad Bektic in January, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Pepey (13-6) originally joined the UFC via the first edition of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil back in 2012 -- going 3-0 during the reality show. In fewer than six years as a UFC fighter, he went 5-6 and will end his UFC career on a two-fight losing streak.
Augusto Mendes    Other    Bantamweight
Mendes released a statement Wednesday that says he intends to appeal his recent suspension for a positive drug test, MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Like many fighters put in this situation, Mendes asserted his innocence and says he intends to thoroughly examine every recent supplement he's taken. There's at least precedent here, as multiple fighters have gotten their two-year suspensions successfully reduced to six months by proving a contamination in a supplement that they regularly take. The likelihood of this happening is a bit dependent on the specific substance Mendes tested positive for, which he failed to disclose in the statement.
Augusto Mendes    Other    Bantamweight
Mendes failed a USADA out-of-competition drug test and will not fight at UFC Atlantic City on April 21, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

UFC will seek a replacement fight for Merab Dvalishvili, who was suppose to take on Mendes next month. Mendes has not competed since April 2017, a unanimous decision loss to Aljamain Sterling at UFC on FOX 24.
Fernando Gonzalez    Other    Welterweight
Gonzalez will no longer compete under the Bellator MMA banner, as the promotion confirmed a long list of roster cuts that included the veteran early this week, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

It's unclear if Gonzalez had his contract expire or was simply given his release papers, but he's one of the most prominent of 13 fighters to be removed from the roster this week. Gonzalez, 34, sports a 7-2 record under the Bellator banner, with his only losses coming to very respectable opponents in Michael Page, and most recently, Lorenz Larkin. He even has a win against top UFC prospect Curtis Millender back in 2015. Gonzalez and the remainder of the jobless fighters will look to catch on with other promotions, with one of the most attractive options being PFL's upcoming tournaments that award a $1 million prize to the winner. Other fighters left without a roster spot after the announcement include Alexis Dufresne, Ben Reiter, Francis Carmont, Francisco France, Georgi Karakhanyan, Kendall Grove, Kevin Casey, L.C. Davis, Mike Rhode, Philipe Lins, Steve Garcia and Steve Kozola.
Oskar Piechota    Other    Middleweight
Piechota defeated Tim Williams via TKO (punches) at 1:54 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Sunday in Austin.

Fantasy Analysis

The fight started with good exchanges where both fighters landed. Piechota was able to land an overhand right that dropped Williams. "Imadlo" capitalized on the opportunity with follow-up punches and the ref stepped in to award the Polish middleweight the TKO victory.