North Texas Teen Pays Salesman $10K For Used SUV, Then Dealership Repossess It – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth teenager had a vehicle he believed he purchased, repossessed by a Fort Worth used car dealership.

Five months after 16-year-old Johnathon Fredricks paid a part-time salesman nearly $10,000 for a compact SUV, the vehicle was towed back to the Fort Worth dealership, I Drive-DFW.

The used car dealership said the Mazda SUV was theirs and was unaware that a former part-time salesman had sold the vehicle.

Fredricks paid James Steelman directly for the vehicle because Steelman told the teenager and his grandfather the Mazda was his personal vehicle.

The I Drive-DFW manager said he sold the Mazda SUV to Steelman just months prior, but Steelman had stopped making payments on it so the dealership repossessed it.

The dealership said Steelman was working as a freelance salesman the day the Fredricks came in, but the manager said he was unaware that Steelman had sold them the Mazda.

Steelman told the CBS 11 I-Team said he owned the Mazda CX5 outright because of a prior business deal with I Drive-DFW.

While the dealership and Steelman dispute who owns the vehicle, Fredricks is left without a vehicle and the nearly $10,000 he used to pay for it.

“I worked at Chick-fil-A for about a year saving up for that car,” said the 16-year-old. “That’s the most frustrating part is how long I worked saving up for it.”

Johnathon Fredricks (CBS 11)

When Fredricks turned 16, he and his grandfather went looking for a vehicle at I Drive-DFW.

After initially not finding a vehicle they wanted, Steelman showed them his 2016 Mazda CX5.

“It looked great. It was super clean, nice, and pretty new so I was like let’s go for it,” Fredricks said.

When they went to write the check, Steelman told them it was his personal car and to make the cashier check out to him.

So they did for $9,893.

Fredricks and his grandfather said Steelman gave them a Bill of Sale of Vehicle receipt and told them he would send them the vehicle’s title.

“I believed him,” said Fredricks’ grandfather, Larry Messer. “He (Steelman) was the nicest man and I guess that’s how you get in this kind of trouble.”

Five months later, Fredricks was out shopping when he walked out and saw his vehicle being towed.

I Drive-DFW repossessed the vehicle.

“We stopped the tow truck guy and we started talking to him. We were like this is my car,” explained Fredricks. “It didn’t make sense because I paid cash.”

Steelman told the CBS 11 I-Team, “I sold the car on good intentions. It was going to be his (Fredricks) and I was perfectly willing to sign over the title as soon as I got it. All this other stuff is ridiculous.”

Steelman said because of prior business deals with I Drive-DFW, the Mazda was already paid off. He said he was just waiting for the dealership to give him the title so he could give it to Fredricks.

When the I-Team asked Steelman in an interview if he had any records showing he had paid off the vehicle, his attorney interrupted and said they were not going to get into specifics about the case.

Steelman told the I-Team he filed for bankruptcy before the dealership repossessed the car and notified the I Drive-DFW that the vehicle was a protected asset.

“I’m just trying to make it right as best I can,” Steelman told the I-Team.

In 2008, Steelman was sentenced to a year in state jail after pleading guilty to felony debit card abuse and theft by check.

Prior to that, he had been convicted four other times for white collar crimes, including deceptive trade practice and forgery.

“That was 10 years ago,” Steelman said. “Since then, I’ve been doing nothing but trying to make my life better and to better people around me. Everybody has a past. I can’t change my past. All I can do is do what I do now.”

While both Steelman and I Drive DFW told the I-Team they are doing whatever they can to make it right, the Mazda Fredricks paid for still sits on locked up at the dealership.

“I just hope this doesn’t happen again to anyone else because it’s such a frustrating experience,” Fredricks said.

Buyer Beware Tip

When buying a car through a private sale, the seller should be able to show you the title and the seller should be listed as the owner – and the only owner.

There should be no financing company listed.

If the seller has financed the car with a third-party financing company and hasn’t paid off the loan, that should be a red flag.

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Jason Whitlock on LeBron James’ graffiti incident

LeBron James
Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill

Now that justice has been served in the Jussie Smollett case, sports journalist Jason Whitlock revisits a similar incident from a few years ago. There is no proof that a racist defaced LeBron James’ property with a racial slur. Much like the Smollett case, the evidence points toward the conclusion that it was a hate crime hoax. You have to see Jason imitate and mock the Los Angeles Lakers’ star for trying to compare himself to Emmett Till:

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Nunez vs. Arrieta Tops ShoBox Tripleheader on January 7 in Orlando

ShoBox: The New Generation will kick off the 2022 boxing calendar with a tripleheader featuring six undefeated fighters Friday, January 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT from Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Fla.

The three undefeated matchups include fighters with a combined record of 80-0 and 57 knockouts and marks the first time ShoBox has featured a tripleheader in which all six fighters enter fight night without a loss in the 20-plus year history of the prospect series. The event is also the first time ShoBox will take place in Orlando as the Dominican Republic’s Luis Nunez (15-0, 11 KOs), who made his ShoBox debut in September, battles Carlos Arrieta (14-0, 8 KOs) of Puerto Rico in a 10-round lightweight main event.

The co-feature pits hard-hitting Starling Castillo (16-0, 12 KOs) against ShoBox returnee Otar Eranosyan (10-0, 6 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout. In the telecast opener, knockout artist Edwin De Los Santos (13-0, 12 KOs) battles William Foster III (12-0, 8 KOs) in an eight-round super featherweight fight. All six fighters have deep amateur pedigrees, highlighting their commitment to the sport.

There will be a new face on the ShoBox telecast as veteran combat sports reporter Brian Campbell will join former world champion Raul Marquez ringside as an expert analyst, while International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins calls the blow-by-blow action. Fellow Hall of Famer Steve Farhood will remain a part of the broadcast team remotely.

The three-fight telecast is promoted by Sampson Boxing.

“We are excited to kick off our 21st consecutive year in action with a prototypical ShoBox card that features six undefeated fighters facing the most difficult challenges of their young careers,” said Gordon Hall, executive producer for ShoBox: The New Generation. “We’re also excited to be adding the versatile combat sports reporter Brian Campbell to one of the best broadcast teams in boxing. Brian has shined in various roles during SHOWTIME assignments over the past few years and we’re looking forward to adding him to the team.”

Here is more on each of the three bouts:

Nunez vs. Arrieta – 10-Round Lightweight Main Event Bout

A decorated amateur in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata’s Luis “The Twist” Nunez started boxing at age eight and went on to win a number of national championships as a member of the Dominican national team, including gold in the 2016 Youth Championship. A fan-friendly pressure fighter with heavy hands, Nunez turned professional at 18, passing every test put in front of him in his native country. On his 22nd birthday in September, Nunez made his United States debut, upsetting then-undefeated Jayvon Garnett on ShoBox. His unblemished resume also includes a unanimous decision over then 20-3-1 Eliezer Aquino and a fourth-round KO over then once-beaten Giovanni Gutierrez.

“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone, nothing is beyond your reach as long as you are willing to work hard for it,” said Nunez. “Returning to SHOWTIME, for me, is more than a privilege because I feel that every day I am closer to achieving my dream that everyone will be able to witness. I don’t know much about my opponent, but I am sure that on January 7 I will go out through the front door, God willing! Having one more victory in my career is like climbing the ladder to go to the big leagues, which is where I want to be.”

Like Nunez, the Puerto Rican Arrieta was an accomplished amateur in his native country winning several national tournaments. The 27-year-old turned pro in 2015 campaigning mostly in Puerto Rico through the first four years of his career. He made his stateside debut in 2020, scoring a first-round KO in Biloxi, Miss. Going by the ring moniker “The Chosen One”, Arrieta is facing a stiff step-up in competition in his ShoBox debut. His last time out, he won a six-round unanimous decision over Julio Buitrago.

“Training is going very well and I will be ready,” said Arrieta. “I know my opponent is very good and I know it’s going to be a great fight, but I will take the victory home because it is a great opportunity for me to shine and go up to the next level. It’s an opportunity that I will not pass up.”

Castillo vs. Eranosyan – Eight-Round Lightweight Bout

The 26-year-old Castillo scored an emphatic knockout in his U.S. debut in July, blasting out then unbeaten Miguel Contreras in the second round. A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Castillo turned pro in 2017 and has delivered knockout wins in four of his last five fights. Castillo scored a career-best victory in September, earning a unanimous decision over former title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos. Castillo was a highly successful amateur boxer in the Dominican Republic, fighting 460 times.

“I can’t wait to get back in the squared circle doing what I love and what I work very hard on,” said “El Poli” Castillo. “I’m so excited and honored to be put on a platform like ShoBox. We expect a very gutsy, action-packed fight, due to our fighting styles. They make for a great fight recipe. This victory will catapult me into the rankings and force the fans of boxing to start noticing me.”

Ranked No. 7 by the WBA at 130 pounds, Eranosyan was a highly decorated Georgian amateur with 290 total fights who has transitioned seamlessly into the paid ranks. The 28-year-old didn’t turn professional until August 2020 but has already fought 10 times. Now based in Miami Beach, Fla., “Pitbull” owns two notable fourth-round KOs over the 32-4 Juan Carlos Pena. Eranosyan made his ShoBox debut in September, defeating the highly regarded Alejandro Guerrero via unanimous decision in Broken Arrow, Okla. Eranosyan returns to his more familiar Florida, where he has fought each of his other fights professionally. 

“It’s a great honor for me to fight on SHOWTIME and to show the world once again that I am the best in my weight division,” said Eranosyan. “My opponent is a good, undefeated boxer. I’ve seen some of his fights and I am sure we will put on a spectacular fight for the fans. Just like all my other wins in my career, this win will bring me closer to a championship fight, to become an undisputed world champion.”

De Los Santos vs. Foster – Eight-Round Super Featherweight Bout

Edwin De Los Santos began boxing in his native Dominican Republic at the age of 12, and by age 14, he had won his first amateur tournament. He turned pro in 2018 and has competed exclusively in his native country. Packing one-punch power, De Los Santos has scored stoppages in his last seven fights. Among his most impressive performances is a first-round KO over then 8-2 Juan Alberto Garcia Perez and a unanimous decision over then 31-10 Francisco Contreras.  De Los Santos will make his United States debut on January 7.

“Thanks to my preparation and commitment, I promise to give my best and, above all, a great show, so that the public can enjoy it,” said the 22-year-old De Los Santos. “It is an unexplainable feeling being on SHOWTIME for my first time because it is a great opportunity that not many get to experience. My opponent is a good, undefeated boxer. I know it’ll be a war, but I work too hard to not get the victory. You won’t want to miss it.”

William Foster III, a native of New Haven, Conn., started boxing at four years old and started competing at age 10. He had an amateur record of 64-17, advancing to the Junior Olympic Nationals, the Golden Gloves Nationals (where he was a runner-up in 2014), and the PAL Nationals. De Los Santos will be the third undefeated opponent of Foster’s young career. He already owns two wins over then 10-0 fighters in Donald Smith and Sulaiman Segawa. The 28-year-old is the younger brother of 20-0 professional light heavyweight prospect Charles Foster.

“I’m very excited about fighting on SHOWTIME and hopefully this will open the door to more opportunities,” said Foster, nicknamed “The Silent Assassin”. “I know that my opponent is young and ambitious, but he’s making a big mistake by fighting me. He’s making a big mistake if he thinks that I’m like every other fighter.  It couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s going to be a very fun night for me. A victory will put me one step closer to my goal as a fighter which is to be the most dangerous fighter who has ever lived.”

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Simon Marcus Believes He Has What It Takes

Dustin Jacoby fought Marcus twice, landing on the wrong side of the results both times. Since making a full-time move back to mixed martial arts, “The Hanyak” has earned a UFC contract and posted a 4-0-1 record inside the Octagon, establishing himself as an interesting figure in the light heavyweight division.

Last month, Marcus’ chief rival in the middleweight division, Brazilian Alex Pereira, made his UFC debut, earning a victory over Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“It does play into it in terms of understanding how well a person like myself could transition into the UFC or into MMA striking,” Marcus said of seeing the trio of familiar faces have success on the biggest stage in the sport. “Seeing Israel go into the UFC and dominate the way he’s dominated — being able to out-strike guys with ease — it’s a good measurement to understand the level of striking that we bring to the table.

“Seeing guys that I’ve fought and been in the same leagues with do well is a good way to measure what we can bring to the table in terms of the transition.”

Watch Unified 42 On UFC Fight Pass

And now that he’s readying to make his own foray into mixed martial arts, Marcus arrives with the same mindset he’s carried into every professional pursuit thus far.

“If I didn’t plan to become the world champion, I wouldn’t step foot in MMA,” he said calmly, his intentions and ambitions crystal clear in his mind. “It’s always been the same, no matter where and what sport I fought in.

“The goal was to become the best in the world in kickboxing; that is what I set out to do, and that is what I did. Now I’m making the transition to MMA, and there is no doubt, no question, no shadow of a doubt what my plans are, and that’s to become the best in the world.

“I’m not in this just to rush,” he added. “I’m in it for the long haul. Once I commit to something, I’m in it for as long as it takes, but you guys will see me with a title around my waist eventually.”

The first step towards that championship gold comes on Friday, when he steps into the cage at the River Cree Casino & Resort to face Tokarchuk in an event that airs exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS.

It’s a solid first foray into the cage for Marcus — fighting on a smaller stage, against an experienced opponent, who most recently went the distance with returning former Unified champ KB Bhullar in his first fight since exiting the UFC.

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Lakers’ timelines for returns of Kendrick Nunn & Trevor Ariza revealed

Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping that veteran forward Trevor Ariza will return within the next week or two, and it sounds like the team is also looking to get point guard Kendrick Nunn on the floor at some point in January, via Lakers Daily:

“The Lakers are hopeful forward Trevor Ariza (ankle surgery) will return within the next one to two weeks and are hopeful guard Kendrick Nunn (bone bruise, knee) will return in January, sources said. Both players were expected to have important, potential starting roles for the Lakers this season, but have yet to play as they rehab toward full recovery.”

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Richardson Hitchins vs. Malik Hawkins on The Morrell-Fox Card

Rising super lightweight contenders Richardson Hitchins and Malik Hawkins will square off in a 10-round showdown that headlines FS1 PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, December 18 from The Armory in Minneapolis.

The FS1 telecast begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and also features unbeaten Dominican Olympian Hector Luis Garcia dueling Mexico’s Isaac Avelar in an eight-round super featherweight bout and undefeated light heavyweight prospect Suray Mahmutovic taking on fellow unbeaten Pachino Hill.

Following the action on FS1, FOX PBC Fight Night will be headlined by Cuban sensation and unbeaten WBA Super Middleweight Champion David Morrell Jr. defending his title in his adopted hometown when he faces 168-pound contender Alantez Fox. The broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features exciting rising unbeaten prospect José Valenzuela taking on lightweight contender Austin Dulay in the 10-round co-main event, plus unbeaten super lightweight contender Alberto Puello dueling Minneapolis-native VeShawn Owens in a 10-round attraction.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased through The Armory at http://ArmoryMN.com/ and through Ticketmaster.

A native of Brooklyn, Hitchins (12-0, 5 KOs) turned pro in 2017 after representing Haiti at the 2016 Olympics and signed on with Mayweather Promotions. The 24-year-old has flashed impressive skills as he’s amassed an unbeaten record in the pro ranks, which is the product of his extensive amateur career. In his last outing, Hitchins scored a career-best victory, as he earned a decision over former world champion Argenis Mendez. Hitchins has increased his competition in winning 10-round decisions in his last three fights.

Another rising prospect in the Mayweather Promotions stable, Hawkins (18-1, 11 KOs) fights out of Baltimore, Maryland and is trained by Gervonta Davis’ coach Calvin Ford. The 25-year-old most recently dropped an October 2020 contest against hard-hitting contender Subriel Matias. Hawkins owns a victory over then unbeaten Darwin Price via fifth-round TKO, which he picked up during a five-win 2019 campaign that also saw him knockout tough contender All Rivera in the first round.

A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, García (13-0, 10 KOs) represented his home country at the 2016 Olympic Games. The 30-year-old owns a decision victory over previously unbeaten Anvar Yunusovin 2019, and most recently stopped Miguel Moreno in four rounds in July. He will take on the 24-year-old Avelar (16-3, 10 KOs), who has fought professionally since 2015. The Aguascalientes, Mexico-native has gone toe-to-toe with unified champion Stephen Fulton Jr. and top contender Eduardo Ramirez.

Mahmutovic (3-0, 3 KOs) began his pro career with three-straight knockout victories before he makes his U.S. debut as a pro on December 18. The 23-year-old was born in San Francisco and now resides in Daly City, California. Mahmutovic picked up all of his knockout victories in 2021, scoring wins in April, May and July. He squares off against Davenport, Iowa’s Hill (6-0, 5 KOs) in a battle of unbeatens. The 24-year-old Hill debuted in February 2020, with three-straight stoppage victories, having most recently defeated Brandt Cooper in August.

The non-televised undercard lineup will see super middleweight contender Anthony Sims Jr. (21-1, 19 KOs) in a six-round bout against Manny Woods (17-14-1, 6 KOs) and lightweight prospect Breeon Carothers (1-0, 1 KO) facing Deljerro Revello (0-2) in a four-round fight. Rounding out the action is unbeaten Mayweather Promotions fighter Adrian Benton in a six-round lightweight duel versus Raymond Chacon. 

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It's 'Do Or Die' For Charles Jourdain

Arriving on the big stage with a ton of hype after amassing a 9-1 record on the regional circuit and claiming championship gold in two weight classes with Quebec’s TKO promotion, Jourdain stumbled in his debut at lightweight against Desmond Green but made a splash upon returning to his natural weight class, venturing to Busan, South Korea and collecting a second-round stoppage win over “The Korean Superboy” Dooho Choi.

Entering last year with a ton of momentum, he struggled through the first winless year of his professional career, dropping a split decision to Andre Fili in June before battling Joshua Culibao to a split draw result four months later. After getting back into the win column with a victory over Marcelo Rojo to begin his 2021 campaign, a late shift in opponents in September landed Jourdain in a catchweight matchup with veteran Julian Erosa, who used his long arms to lace up a third-round D’Arce choke.

“People say, ‘Next time it’s going to be good,’ but me, I’m hard on myself,” said Jourdain, who carries an 11-4-1 record into his fight with Ewell on Saturday night. “I’ve been questioning myself after the Julian loss and, of course, people say a lot of things trying to console me, but I need to go through that all by myself.

MORE UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Megan Olivi Sits Down With Chris Daukaus | Derrick Lewis’ Best Mic Moments

“I’m not unsatisfied by the performance; I’m unsatisfied by the result,” continued the thoughtful and engaging 26-year-old. “He caught me with those long arms — I didn’t expect that from the position we were standing in. He didn’t have my back, he didn’t have nothing, and he just jumped on my neck from so far away. I never expected that to get sunk in, so fair play to him.

“Every time I’ve lost in the UFC, the guy has had 30-plus fights,” added Jourdain. “Experience plays a huge factor and I think I got intimidated by that. It was the first time that arriving for fight week, I was asking myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ to a point where I didn’t want to be there.”

Part of what was weighing on Jourdain was the stress and strain stemming from the myriad changes and delays he’d dealt with throughout the year.

Charles Jourdain Wins By TKO | UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs Muhammad

Charles Jourdain Wins By TKO | UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs Muhammad

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He was originally scheduled to face Steve Garcia in March, but three weeks before the fight, the New Mexico native withdrew and was replaced by Rojo. After securing that victory, he was paired off with unbeaten British up-and-comer Lerone Murphy, first for a bout in August, and then for September.

Erosa tagged in for “The Miracle” just 10 days before the bout, and while shifting dates and shuffling of opponents is par for the course in this sport, especially in the current climate, they’re hazards that no fighter wants to encounter on the way to the Octagon.

“Mentally, I was very fatigued,” said Jourdain, who admitted he was riding high following his win over Rojo and eager to share the cage with Murphy, who eventually fought Makwan Amirkhani at UFC 267, registering a second-round knockout win. “We got back in camp and then they postponed for one month, and then it was one month again, so it was a very grueling camp; very intense on the mind and the body.

“When I arrived, the opponent switched — ‘Okay, you were fighting a striker, now you’re fighting this six-one guy that is very different’ — but I was happy I had a fight. I was like, ‘Let’s have fun. I’m in the UFC. Let’s do it.’ Then I didn’t get my hand raised and it was really hard on my mind.”

View Jourdain’s Athlete Profile Here

In the time since that loss, Jourdain has been working to find ways to better navigate the ups and downs that come with competing at the highest level in the sport, trying to keep work from impacting life at home, and finding ways to remind himself that his results inside the Octagon don’t have to control how he feels about himself either.

“Coming back off a loss, everyone around me doesn’t have to suffer,” said Jourdain, explaining the work he’s doing to not allow frustrations and disappointment from his professional life to spill over and impact his personal life. “They don’t have to because it’s not about them — it’s all about me — and if I want better results, I need to work harder.

“When you win, your attitude must stay the same or get better. Sometimes you win and you think you’re the king of the world, but you’re just a human being. If you lose, it doesn’t make you less of a man, and if you win, it doesn’t make you more of a man. At the end of the day, you are how you treat other people and how you conduct yourself, more than what you achieve.

Charles Jourdain reacts after his victory over Marcelo Rojo of Argentina in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

“I was asking myself, ‘If you had a million dollars right now, what would you do?’ Of course, I would sleep in a much more comfortable bed, but I would wake up, go to the gym, have fun with the guys,” he said with a laugh. “There are so many things that I’m grateful for, and my attitude doesn’t change.”

Heading into Saturday’s final event of the year, he’s grateful to be facing a fellow striker, at least in theory.

“In theory, because every time I think that, they go for my legs right away,” he said of the pairing with Ewell, who has teased a move to featherweight for some time and finally makes the jump after missing weight ahead of his loss to Julio Arce in July. “I’m very happy about that matchup — he’s a lanky fighter; not great cardio, but great explosiveness. He has great hands, and when he’s hurt he has a tendency to smile and make you think that you didn’t hurt him, so I need to be aware of that.

“It’s a very nice matchup; I’m very happy about it,” he added. “I just hope there is no injury one week before and I have to fight someone else.”

Free Fights: Derrick Lewis vs Curtis Blaydes | Chris Daukaus vs Shamil Abdurakhimov

Provided the matchup remains in place, Jourdain offered a single word forecast of what to expect on Saturday night — “violence” — because in addition to entering off a loss, he’s also rolling the dice by stepping into the Octagon on the last fight of his contract.

“I’m playing with my job right now because I decided to do my fourth fight on the contract,” he said. “He doesn’t engage too much; he backs away and likes to hit you and go back. I hate that style — I like people that like to trade — so I have to pressure him, but we’re in the small Octagon, so that benefits me in the striking department.

“It’s going to be about damage,” he continued. “Plus, after my fight, I’m going to watch Cub Swanson fight Darren Elkins, so I need to be in shape for that, because that’s going to be intense.”

He cackled at his comment, clearly in good spirits, eager to get back into the cage and secure his future.

“I’m going in there and playing with my job,” he added. “It’s do-or-die and I’m going to be in his face. After this, I will be a free agent, so you have to expect violence.

“Violence, with less chit-chat, less touching of the hands, less smiling, and less hugs.”

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Euro News: Felix Sturm, Cullen vs. Lele Sadjo, Hermans vs. Hammer

Hungarian super middle Istvan Szili (25-2-2) squares off against 42-year old former world champ Felix Sturm (42-5-3) on March 26 of next year at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.

The fight, promoted by LIB Box Promotion, is billed as an eliminator for the IBO title. Szili already holds the IBO Intercontinental belt. 

Sturm began his comeback last year and went 2-0 fighting for Universum but the two then parted ways without any reason given.

Szili’s career seemed to be fading out after tough losses on the road to Antoine Douglas and Nuhu Lawal he scored an upset win in Australia when he beat Jayde Mitchell, then 20-1.and stopped Mate Kis (17-1-2) in his last fight.

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The EBU and Matchroom acted swiftly and Jack Cullen (20-2-1) is now facing unbeaten Frenchman Kevin Lele Sadjo (16-0) on December 18 in Manchester for the vacant super middleweight title.

Lele Sadjo was already in training for a fight for the EU crown against Gustave Tamba.(16-1).

The winner of Lele Sadjo and Cullen will inherit the injured Emre Cukur (18-1) as mandatory challenger..

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Female super middleweights Femke Hermans and Christina Hammer, both former world champs, are co-challengers for the vacant EBU title. Deadline for agreements or purse offers is January 4.

Hammer went back to the amateurs during the summer in a vain attempt to reach the Olympics but failed and then returned to the pros where she is now signed up by Wasserman Sports.

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The Ukrainian Hulk, heavyweight Igor Shevadzuskiy (8-0) makes his debut for EC Boxing December 18 in Brovary, Ukraine. The Hulk is in against tough UK-based Pole Kamil Sokolowski (11-23-2).

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Clarification: The five German judges that scored the fight between Dominic Boesel and Robin Krasniqi as a win for Krasniqi all have a past with the GBA, the German Boxing Association. 

The officials that scored Boesel as a winner October 9 are all with the BDB, Bund Deutscher Berufsboxer. The BDB also sanctioned the show (and has sanctioned all SES shows over the years).

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Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus

Headlined by heavyweight knockout artists Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus and accompanied by a host of compelling, competitive matchups with divisional ramifications, this weekend’s lineup is an entertaining way to wrap up what has been an outstanding year of action inside the Octagon.

Here’s a closer look at the pairings set to hit the cage on Saturday night.

 

Derrick Lewis vs. Chris Daukaus

Free Fight: Derrick Lewis vs Curtis Blaydes

Free Fight: Derrick Lewis vs Curtis Blaydes

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Derrick Lewis looks to maintain his place in the Top 5 while Chris Daukaus aims to establish himself as a legitimate championship contender as the proven finishers pair off in the final bout of the UFC’s 2021 campaign.

Saturday marks Lewis’ return to action after failing in his bid to claim the interim heavyweight title at home in Houston at UFC 265. “The Black Beast” had earned four straight victories ahead of that setback and is 12-4 dating back to the start of 2016.

ATHLETE PROFILES: Derrick Lewis | Chris Daukaus

Best Mic Moments | Derrick Lewis

Best Mic Moments | Derrick Lewis

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Daukaus has the opportunity to go from outside the UFC to inside the Top 5 in less than 18 months with a win this weekend. The former Philadelphia police officer has logged four stoppage wins in as many appearances since joining the UFC in August 2020, earning Performance of the Night bonuses for each of his last three victories.

Next year promises to be a busy one in the heavyweight ranks, with the championship unification bout between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane slated to take place in late January, with this one serving as a little “teaser trailer” for what’s to come. The victor will be in the thick of the title hunt and the vanquished will still maintain a place in the Top 10, and figuring out who will occupy each role promises to be exhilarating.

Stephen Thompson vs. Belal Muhammad

Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson poses for a picture during UFC 264 media day (Photo by Braydon Jackson/Zuffa LLC)

Good dudes and Top 10 welterweights Stephen Thompson and Belal Muhammad clash in the co-main event of the evening.

After closing out 2020 with a main event victory over Geoff Neal, “Wonderboy” looks to end 2021 on a high note as well by getting back into the win column this weekend. The 38-year-old karate stylist was out-grappled by Gilbert Burns last time out, but remains a permanent presence in title conversations in the 170-pound weight class.

Watch The Fights On ESPN+

2021 has already been a breakout year for Muhammad, who climbed into the Top 10 on the strength of victories over Dhiego Lima and Demian Maia, and a high-profile pairing with Leon Edwards that ended with an accidental eye poke. Unbeaten in his last six outings, a win over Thompson would be the biggest of the Chicagoland native’s career and lift him to new heights in the welterweight division.

Amanda Lemos vs. Angela Hill

Amanda Lemos of Brazil reacts after her victory over Montserrat Conejo of Mexico in their strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Amanda Lemos of Brazil reacts after her victory over Montserrat Conejo of Mexico in their strawweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Streaking Brazilian Amanda Lemos looks for her third win of the year, while Angela Hill aims to halt her momentum by getting back in the win column in this matchup of Top 15 strawweights.

Lemos is now 4-0 since moving to the strawweight division, but has used 2021 to catapult herself into the rankings. After battering Livinha Souza in March at UFC 259, the 34-year-old delivered one of the prettier finishes of the year in July, hitting Montserrat Conejo with a step-back right hand that stopped her dead in her tracks.

HIGHLIGHT: Lemos Gets The 2nd Fastest KO In Strawweight History

Entering the year off a pair of frustrating split decision losses, Hill got back in the win column in March with a unanimous decision win over Ashley Yoder. Five months later, she finally landed the Tecia Torres rematch she’d been chasing for some time, only to once again drop a decision to her fellow TUF 20 alum, leaving her with a 1-3 record over her last four heading into this one.

Raphael Assuncao vs. Ricky Simon

Chris Daukaus Sits Down With Megan Olivi | UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus

Chris Daukaus Sits Down With Megan Olivi | UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukaus

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Veteran stalwart Raphael Assuncao and former Contender Series competitor Ricky Simon square off in a meeting of bantamweights.

Assuncao arrives back in Las Vegas mired in the first three-fight losing streak of his career, having suffered consecutive defeats in marquee assignments opposite Marlon Moraes, Cory Sandhagen, and Cody Garbrandt. The 39-year-old has been a permanent presence in the Top 15 for nearly a decade and remains the dangerous veteran test hopefuls need to pass in order to land a spot in the rankings and take a big step forward in the talent-rich 135-pound weight class.

Simon touches down at the APEX on a three-fight winning streak, building on his win over Ray Borg from last year with victories over Gaetano Pirrello and Brian Kelleher at the start of this year. The former LFA champ is 6-2 inside the Octagon, but stumbled the last time he faced a test like this, so it will be interesting to see what that initial experience taught him and how he applies those lessons here.

Bantamweight is absolutely brimming with talent at the moment and competition for the 15 spots in the rankings is rugged, with each of these men focused on having a number next to their name as we head into 2021.

Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Gamrot

Free Fight: Chris Daukaus vs Shamil Abdurakhimov

Free Fight: Chris Daukaus vs Shamil Abdurakhimov

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Diego Ferreira hopes to halt a two-fight skid and secure his footing in the Top 15, while Mateusz Gamrot aims to close out an already impressive 2021 campaign with a third straight victory as these two meet in a compelling lightweight battle on Saturday’s main card.

Fortis MMA’s Ferreira entered the year on a six-fight winning streak before landing on the sour side of a split decision verdict in a rematch with Beneil Dariush that won Fight of the Night honors in February. While that setback wasn’t so bad, his follow-up effort in May stood out for all the wrong reasons, as the veteran missed weight by a considerable margin before fading hard and being finished by Gregor Gillespie in the second round.

After dropping a split decision to Guram Kutateladze in his promotional debut last fall on Fight Island, Poland’s Gamrot got things moving in the right direction again with a beautiful second-round knockout win over Scott Holtzman in April. As an encore, the former two-weight KSW world champion welcomed Jeremy Stephens back to the lightweight ranks in July, submitting the veteran in just 65 seconds to earn his 19th victory in 21 career starts.

This is a tremendous matchup where each man has an opportunity to make a statement with a victory. Everything about Ferreira’s fight with Gillespie feels like an outlier compared to what he’s shown in the past, while Gamrot returned to the form that made him such a highly regarded new arrival when he first debuted with the UFC last year, setting the stage for this critical showdown in the stacked 155-pound weight class.

Cub Swanson vs. Darren Elkins

Cub Swanson punches Kron Gracie of Brazil in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Amalie Arena on October 12, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Cub Swanson punches Kron Gracie in their featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Amalie Arena on October 12, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Featherweight veterans with a combined 44 UFC appearances finally cross paths on Saturday night as Cub Swanson and Darren Elkins share the Octagon in what is guaranteed to be an entertaining scrap.

“Killer Cub” steps into the UFC cage for the 21st time this weekend looking to rebound following a first-round stoppage loss to Giga Chikadze earlier in the year. A long-time purveyor of beautiful violence, the 38-year-old earned a victory over Daniel Pineda last December and closed out 2016 with a victory over Dooho Choi in the eventual Fight of the Year, and will look to earn a similar result against Elkins this weekend.

RELATED: Cub Swanson Career Retrospective

There are no words to accurately describe the kind of toughness, heart, and drive Elkins possesses; they are intangible qualities that are at the core of what makes the veteran such an undeniable fan favorite. In each of his last two fights, Elkins did what Elkins does, rallying while bloodied to earn stoppage wins over Eduardo Garagorri and Darrick Minner.

It’s surprising these two haven’t crossed paths before, given their shared standing as two of the longer tenured fighters in the division. Both men are incapable of being in a boring fight and Saturday’s clash should be no different. Make sure your drinks and snacks are replenished before this one starts because you’re not going to want to miss a second of the action.

Dustin Stoltzfus vs. Gerald Meerschaert

It’s a meeting of middleweights whose intended opponents were unavailable as Contender Series graduate Dustin Stoltzfus takes on submission ace Gerald Meerschaert on Saturday night.

Entering on a two-fight skid, Stoltzfus had two different opponents fall out of this weekend’s booking, as both Anthony Hernandez and Caio Borralho were slated and then scratched from Saturday’s fight card. The 30-year-old middleweight, who lives and trains in Germany, is still searching for his first UFC victory after punching his ticket to the Octagon by pushing his winning streak to 10 with a win over Joseph Pyfer in the summer of 2020.

Meerschaert has enjoyed a nice bounce-back year after ending 2020 with a pair of quick losses, earning submission wins over Bartosz Fabinski and Makmud Muradov in April and August, respectively, collecting a Performance of the Night bonus each time. It’s been more than eight years since Meerschaert won a fight by decision and only two of his 33 career wins have come on the cards, so you best believe “GM3” will be hunting for a finish from the word “Go” on Saturday night.

Will Stoltzfus get his first UFC victory in his third appearance, against his third opponent or will Meerschaert make it three straight in 2021?

Raoni Barcelos vs. Victor Henry

After having his nine-fight winning streak snapped last time out, Brazilian veteran Raoni Barcelos looks to get moving in the right direction again when he takes on veteran newcomer Victor Henry on Saturday night.

Barcelos was on the cusp of cracking the Top 15 at bantamweight heading into his June engagement with Timur Valiev, having earned five straight victories inside the Octagon to advance his record to 16-1 overall. Unfortunately for the 34-year-old from Rio, he landed on the wrong side of a majority decision verdict, sending him into Saturday’s pairing looking to start a fresh winning streak.

A catch wrestling disciple of Josh Barnett, the 34-year-old Henry has been one of the top bantamweights operating outside the major North American promotions for a number of years. He holds wins over veterans like Hideo Tokoro and Masanori Kanehara, UFC alums Anderson Dos Santos and Albert Morales, and current UFC competitor Kyler Philips, and touches down in the Octagon having won eight of his last nine fights.

This is a wildly intriguing pairing between the established Barcelos and an absolute live wire in Henry, and no one should be surprised if this ends up setting the bar for the Fight of the Night bonus extremely high on Saturday night at the UFC APEX.

Justin Tafa vs. Harry Hunsucker

Heavyweights looking to get things moving in the right direction to close out the year clash in this preliminary card fight as Justin Tafa makes his fifth UFC appearance opposite returning sophomore Harry Hunsucker.

The 27-year-old Tafa has stumbled out of the gate to start his UFC career, entering this weekend’s contest on a two-fight skid and sporting a 1-3 record inside the Octagon. While his split decision loss to Carlos Felipe in January was questionable, Australia’s “Bad Man” needs a big effort in a bad way this weekend.

After appearing on Season Four of Dana White’s Contender Series, Hunsucker got a short-notice opportunity under the UFC banner in March, filling in for Don’Tale Mayes opposite Tai Tuivasa. That outing didn’t go particularly well for “The Hurricane,” who looks to avoid a second consecutive defeat at the hands of an Australian heavyweight when he steps in with Tafa on Saturday.

Sijara Eubanks vs. Melissa Gatto

Eubanks vegas 32

After impressive performances in the summer, Sijara Eubanks and Melissa Gatto meet this weekend looking to build off those efforts and establish themselves as competitors to watch in the flyweight division in 2022.

Eubanks returned to the 125-pound weight class in July following a 2-4 stint at bantamweight, looking dominant while securing a first-round stoppage win over newcomer Elise Reed. Struggles making the flyweight limit is what got “SarJ” shipped to bantamweight in the first place, but if she can hit the mark reliably, the former TUF standout could be an intriguing contender next year having already beaten divisional stalwarts Roxanne Modafferi and Lauren Murphy.

More than two years after her initial UFC appearance was booked, Gatto finally crossed the threshold into the Octagon for the first time in August, securing a second-round stoppage win over Victoria Leonardo in a bout she dominated from start to finish. Just 25 years old and sporting a 7-0-2 record, a similar effort this weekend against Eubanks could put the promising Brazilian in position to challenge for a place in the Top 15 in the first half of next year.

There have been different question marks hovering around each woman for a number of years, but both looked outstanding in their victories earlier this year, making this a fight with potential divisional ramifications on Saturday’s fight card.

Charles Jourdain vs. Andre Ewell

Entertaining French-Canadian Charles Jourdain welcomes Andre Ewell to the featherweight division for the first time in this preliminary card clash that promises to be exciting.

A two-division champion under the TKO banner before graduating to the UFC, Jourdain has struggled to find consistency inside the Octagon through his first six appearances, arriving in Las Vegas this week with a 2-3-1 record. A technical and dangerous striker, the 26-year-old from Beloeil, Quebec earned a third-round stoppage win over Marcelo Rojo in March before succumbing to a third-round D’arce choke against Julian Erosa in September.

RELATED: It’s ‘Do Or Die’ For Charles Jourdain

The 33-year-old Ewell moves up to the 145-pound ranks after amassing a 4-4 mark in eight starts at bantamweight. An entertaining competitor who likes to sling hands, “Mr. Highlight” dropped a decision to Chris Gutierrez in February and was stopped in the second round by Julio Arce in July, prompting his relocation to featherweight.

Both men prefer to strike and would really like to end the year on a high note, so there is a very strong likelihood that Jourdain and Ewell touch gloves and then don’t stop trading punches until one of them falls over or the final horn sounds this weekend.

Raquel Pennington vs. Macy Chiasson

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 20: Macy Chiasson reacts after the conclusion of her bantamweight fight against Marion Reneau during the UFC Fight Night

Macy Chiasson reacts after the conclusion of her bantamweight fight against Marion Reneau, March 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Former title challenger Raquel Pennington goes in search of her second win of the year on Saturday night, squaring off with Macy Chiasson in a featherweight battle between ranked bantamweights.

Pennington returned from more than a year on the sidelines with a unanimous decision win over Pannie Kianzad in September, showing a more active, attacking style than she had in the past to secure her second straight victory. Currently positioned at No. 8 in the rankings, “Rocky” was originally slated to face Julia Avila this weekend before the “Raging Panda” was forced out with an undisclosed injury.

Chiasson dealt with her own set of fight cancellations earlier this year after pushing her winning streak to two with a win over Marion Reneau in March. Initially slated to face Aspen Ladd in July, the bout was rescheduled for October when the former TUF winner suffered an injury, then scrapped entirely when Ladd missed weight and was scratched due to health reasons.

Don’Tale Mayes vs. Josh Parisian

Graduates of Dana White’s Contender Series each coming off wins over Roque Martinez meet on Saturday as Don’Tale Mayes and Josh Parisian square off in heavyweight action.

Mayes needed three attempts to finally land a UFC contract, finally capturing the elusive offer from UFC President Dana White following a first-round finish of Ricardo Prasel in July 2019. After debuting with a loss to interim champ Ciryl Gane and a sophomore submission defeat against Rodrigo Nascimento, “Kong” finally captured his first win with a unanimous decision victory over Martinez in November.

Parisian also earned a pair of wins on the annual talent-search competition, with his first triumph landing him a place on TUF 28 and the second punching his ticket directly to the Octagon. He lost his debut last November against Parker Porter but rebounded with a split decision victory over Martinez in June, pushing his record to 7-1 over his last eight appearances.

Neither of these men want to head into the holidays with the bitter taste of defeat in their mouths, so expect them to come out swinging from the start, looking to end things early and earn a second straight UFC triumph.

Jordan Leavitt vs. Matt Sayles

The night’s action begins in the lightweight division, as Contender Series graduates Jordan Leavitt and Matt Sayles meet in the opener.

Leavitt followed up his contract-winning effort in August 2020 with a 22-second knockout win over veteran Matt Wiman in his promotional debut four months later, sending him into this year as one to watch in the lightweight division. Unfortunately for “The Monkey King,” he came out flat and suffered his first professional loss to Claudio Puelles in June, returning to the APEX looking to rebound this weekend.

Sayles’ last appearance came two years ago, when he suffered a first-round submission loss to Bryce Mitchell. He suffered a torn ACL in the spring of 2020 and has been working his way back since.

Each of these two have shown flashes, both on the Contender Series and inside the Octagon, and with each coming off frustrating efforts in their most recent outings, don’t be surprised if we see the best from both of them on Saturday night.

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Kosei Tanaka Bounces Back With Split-Nod Win Over Sho Ishida

Kosei Tanaka rebounded from the first loss of his career to defeat Sho Ishida by split-decision Saturday night at the International Conference Hall in his hometown of Nagoya, Japan.

One judge scored the bout 96-94 for Ishida while the other two judges scored the bout 96-94 and 96-95 for Tanaka, who improves to 16-1, 9 knockouts.

Tanaka, who had won world title belts at 105, 108, and 112 pounds, challenged WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Kazuto Ioka on December 31 of last year in an attempt to win a world title in a fourth weight class. He was stopped by Ioka in round 8.

Ishida has fought between 115 and 118 pounds throughout much of his career. In his eighth pro fight, he challenged then-WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Khalid Yafai, losing by unanimous decision.

Utilizing a four-inch height advantage, along with a long reach, Ishida won the first two rounds, connecting repeatedly with jabs to the face of Tanaka. By the middle rounds, Tanaka began to swing momentum his way by getting on the inside of Ishida’s guard and connecting vicious punches to the body. 

As the fight progressed into the later rounds, Tanaka’s punch output increased. He was able to utilize good head movement and was effective by countering Ishida’s offense. 

Ishida was game, but his punch output dropped over the last three rounds. Even though he was successful early on, Tanaka did well in the pocket, varying his offense and never allowing Ishida to land more than a steady stream of jabs to the face.

The win by Tanaka puts him back in world title contention. It would be interesting to see if he needs another fight similar to the Ishida one or would be willing to fight in a world title elimination bout.

Ishida, who resides in Osaka, Japan, drops to 29-3, 15 KOs. He has lost two of his last three bouts.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at santio89@yahoo.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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