Maycee “The Future” Barber is fighting for the first time in the UFC this Saturday at UFC Denver and we should all be excited! She is one of the new waves of next-gen fighters who are elite everywhere and have trained every discipline of martial arts since they had the ability to walk. Barber has one goal, to become the youngest ever UFC champion, and at the age of 20 she has the time to do it, but it needs to be quick to beat Jon Jones’ current record.
Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson showed the world again last night that he is one of the very best in the world and cemented himself as one of the greatest lightweights in the game after beating Anthony Pettis via TKO (corner stoppage). Ferguson’s dominant performance was made even more impressive as just six months prior he underwent major knee surgery which usually takes a minimum of 10 months to heal fully. As always, “El Cucuy” was very complimentary of his opposing lightweights when he said: ” Where you at McNugget’s you f*****g piece of s**t?” before more pleasantries were exchanged.
Following the main event where Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor, Khabib proceeded to leap out of the cage and attack Dillon Danis (a teammate of McGregor’s) making his future inside the UFC unclear. It may be Ferguson who comes out of all this smelling of roses as he was the UFC interim lightweight champion before being stripped due to an injury forcing him out of the fight with the champion. But “El Cucuy” is unbeaten in 11 outing’s and consistently performs beyond expectations.
Ferguson is one of the more deserving fighters in the UFC for a title shot, but with everything so unclear at the moment at the top of the lightweight division, we will have to wait and see if the American gets the shot he desires.
So what are the possible outcomes for Ferguson?
1. Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov
The more logical outcome would be for the UFC to book Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov. However, if the Nevada State Athletic Commission were to ban the Russian the UFC may strip him leaving the prospect of this fight in jeopardy.
2. Ferguson vs McGregor
Should the UFC strip Nurmagomedov, they may book Ferguson vs McGregor for the vacant title. The two have a certain amount of hatred for each other so the fight would sell well and would make the best out of a bad situation.
3. Ferguson vs Diaz/Poirier winner
The ranked outside option would be if Nurmagomedov was stripped and Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier move into the main event spot at UFC 230 and fight for the vacant belt. This is an option as some mud has been thrown at the UFC for booking the woman’s flyweight title fight at the main event, after promising something huge. Diaz vs Poirier for the belt would fit the bill, with Ferguson waiting patiently for the winner.
So the future of “El Cucuy” is unclear at this time, but I’m sure whatever is in store for the 34-year-old will be special, and Ferguson could well end up as the king at 155lbs!
Despite Jon Jones’ USADA ban being lifted next month, Dana White has claimed that former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will not be headlining UFC 230 in his home state of New York City, despite rampant speculation that he would.
At UFC 228, welterweight’s front-runner Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley has defended his belt successfully for the fourth time, against the #1 contender from England Darren Till. Woodley made the fight look easy and landed a right hook to drop Till in the second round, forcing ground and pound upon him before sinking in a D’arce choke and getting the job done in style.
“The Chosen One” has been under criticism for his recent performances after claiming the belt from Robbie Lawler, when he knocked out Lawler in explosive fashion. Many people think he fights too safe for it to be entertaining. However, Woodley banks over $500k per title defence so who can blame him? But let’s take a look at Woodley’s title defences and see why he has played it so “safe”.
Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 1&2
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is a striking maestro of the highest order. A legit karate expert who has converted to MMA and become one of the best fighters on the MMA leaders roster. Before he met Woodley had a 13-1 record and was riding a six-fight win streak where he beat the likes of Robert Whittaker, Johnny Hendricks and Rory McDonald.
In both of the fights, it was slow and calculated with both athletes trying to find their way in to strike each other. Made slower by the fact they are both predominately counter strikers. What we saw was two of the UFC’s top strikers in a chess match of striking without the risk of getting clouted on the chin with a knockout counter shot. The first fight was a majority draw (meaning Woodley retained the belt) and the second fight Woodley won the decision.
Tyron Woodley vs Demian Maia
Demian Maia is possibly the greatest submission expert we have seen inside the UFC since Royce Gracie. There is something quite incredible when you watch Maia get his opponent to the ground and wrap himself around them in a boa constrictor fashion and sink in an unforgiving submission to offer his opponent two options, tap or say goodnight. Prior to fighting Woodley, Maia was on a six-fight win streak where he submitted Niel Magny, Carlos Condit and Matt Brown all by rear naked choke.
So in this fight, it was clear Woodley wanted to avoid the ground game by all costs, a fact that somewhat suppressed his striking prowess as takedowns are much easier to secure on a wild swinging opponent. Despite what seemed like four million takedown attempts, Maia was unable to take down the champion and was forced to show his CM Punk style striking skills where Woodley was able to counter effectively and secure another title defence over a top contender.
So Woodley felt like he had a point to prove against Darren Till and he did just that as previously stated. I think we can all appreciate what an outstanding champion Woodley is. Explosive striking, legit wrestling and now a Brazilian Ju-jitsu black belt are all weapons “The Chosen One” has in his arsenal and he reads the fight game better than anyone in the welterweight division.
I think we will see Woodley as the welterweight champion for a long time and am very excited to see him defend the belt and compete for years to come!
I think all MMA fans have a similar idea of the strengths both lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor posses and each fighters key to victory is quite clear, Khabib has the advantage on the floor and wrestling and “The Notorious” has an advantage in the striking department.
Kevin Lee has had his say on the upcoming encounter: “I think Conor’s probably going to sleep him,” Lee said on MMAjunkie Radio. “I’m just looking at the matchup and how the styles is, and especially with someone like Khabib. Khabib’s just got the same holes that I’ve been seeing for years and years and years. And I know Conor’s been seeing them, too. So, when you see those holes, and they’re not getting at least a little closed, then he’s going to get slept.”
Lee pointed out that he sees holes in the Russians game which appeared when the champion fought Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Despite a very dominant performance, the mauling Russian was met with significate criticism with regards to his striking arsenal and how a stand-up fighter could pose significant damage to the champion.
“Khabib misses a lot of shots, too,” said Lee. “(If) you look at his film, his actual stand-up wrestling and transition game is trash.”
Will Nurmagomedov’s weaknesses be used against a striker like McGregor? That is the biggest question right now. Lee doesn’t hesitate to describe what will happen if the champ is successful in taking down McGregor.
“I don’t see him finishing him. He’s going to beat the hell out of him, and he might break Conor’s spirit, because Conor can be broken, but I think Conor might be already kind of expecting that. And when something like that happens and you expect it, I don’t think it breaks you as easily.”
Lee did, however point out how McGregor has not been too serious in MMA recently and training boxing and having holidays but nobody knows what happens behind closed doors.
“There are some x-factors in there, with Conor having just trained for a boxing match and that being his focus for a long time,” Lee said. “That’s a different type of pressure than when someone’s really trying to take you down. You can’t just swing at his head. You can’t just swing all out. But, I don’t know, I still think Conor’s going to catch him at one point.”
We are not far away from getting the answers to the questions every MMA fan in the world has and the biggest fight in UFC lightweight history will in fact finally go down!
Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa was scheduled to fight the ever-fleeing Glover Teixeira at UFC Sao Paulo on September 22nd but Teixeira had to withdraw from the fight due to a shoulder injury leaving the fifth-ranked light heavyweight without a dancing partner for the main event. Continue reading “News: Jimi Manuwa had to be persuaded to take Santos fight”
Season two of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series has come to a close and once again we have been treated to a tremendous summer of fights to dwindle away our Tuesday evenings. Over the duration of eight weeks, 33 of the 40 scheduled bouts ended before the judges were called into play, smashing last seasons record of 25 finishes. As we know, Dana White cannot sign every fighter who wins to the ever growing roster of the UFC, but a staggering 23 fighters where handed immediate contracts and others have been called up on short notice opportunities. In this article we will take a look at the 23 fighters who won contracts directly after the show, and I have even been fortunate enough to catch up with some of the fighters for a quick interview to see how they are feeling after achieving the dream of every mixed martial artist on the planet!
Two years after Tyron Woodley shocked the world and obliterated the former UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler, he has his fourth opportunity to defend his belt against the English brawler Darren Till. In this article, we will take a look at both fighters as we wait patiently for UFC 228.
Prior to the ceremonial weigh-ins, the UFC held their seasonal press conference to announce the fights coming up in 2018.
Yes, you read the title correctly, at UFC 229 in Las Vegas the current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Numagomedov will face off against “The Notorious Conor Mcgregor on October 6th.
Another week in the crazy world of MMA, we have had UFC Calgary with a crazy card, Conor Mcgregor has had his court hearing, Bellator adding multiple fighters to their roster and Dana Whites Tuesday Night Contender Series once again lives up to expectations. In this article, we will take a quick look at the main things that happened in mixed martial arts last week.