Darren Till & Jorge Masvidal agree to terms for UFC on ESPN+ 5 in London

Jorge Masvidal returns to the octagon for the first time since November 2017 to face England native Darren Till in London.

Two highly competitive strikers will meet on March 16th across the pond as welterweights Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal are both looking to get back into the win column. Till, fresh off his loss to champion Tyron Woodley and Masvidal, looking to shake off the rust of not fighting for 16 months.

Darren Till will enter the cage for the first time in March and not have an undefeated record under his name. That 0 was taken from him by welterweight champion Tyron Woodley back in September. After starting out his career 17-0-1, wins against tough veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and former title challenger Stephen Thompson garnered Till a title shot, his first fight in the states, and it didn’t go according to plan. After mulling over moving up to light heavyweight after the loss, it looks like Till has at least one more fight at welterweight.

Jorge Masvidal hasn’t fought since losing a decision to Stephen Thompson at UFC 217 in November 2017, couple that with a loss to Demian Maia months earlier, and I’m sure Masvidal wants to get the taste of that losing streak out of his mouth. Before that, Masvidal was riding a different kind of streak that included wins over Ross Pearson, Jake Ellenberger and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone before falling short of a title shot bid against Maia.

Masvidal is a friend and training partner of Colby Covington, the interim welterweight champion at the moment. Till had lobbied for a fight with Covington, but it looks like Masvidal’s request worked out better. It will be interesting to see if Masvidal’s time off shows, because Till is eager to get back in there and learn from his mistakes, as he’s back on his quest to become a champion.

UFC Fight Night: Till Vs. Masvidal will air on ESPN+ Saturday, March 16th from The O2 Arena in London, England.

Don’t Sleep On This – UFC Brooklyn Edition: Gillespie/Medeiros & Calderwood/Lipski

A new era for the UFC starts this weekend in Brooklyn, New York.

The deal with ESPN is ready to kick off with a superfight between flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw which will stream exclusively on ESPN+. In a rather stacked card, two matchups stand out to me: undefeated prospect Gregor Gillespie will take on the always exciting vet Yancy Medeiros and Joanne ‘JoJo’ Calderwood looks to make some noise in the women’s flyweight division as she takes on newcomer Ariane ‘The Violence Queen’ Lipski.

New York native Gregor ‘The Gift’ Gillespie, former ROC lightweight champion, came into the UFC with a 7-0 record and three years later is still undefeated. His last four wins coming by way of stoppage against Andrew Holbrook, Jason Gonzalez, Jordan Rinaldi and most recently Vinc Pichel at UFC Fight Night 131 back in June, Gillespie is looking to crash the lightweight title picture and should get that push from the company.

Yancy Medeiros, who has been with the promotion since 2013, started out at lightweight before moving to welterweight; is now back a lightweight for this bout after a loss to Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone just under a year ago. Ripping off three straight at welterweight, (finishes against Sean Spencer, Erick Silva and Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira, respectively) Medeiros is no stranger to fight bonuses, collecting five over his stint with the promotion. Keep an eye on the weigh-ins, as Medeiros promised his opponent a ‘rude awakening’ if he gets to close after they hit the scales.

Former kickboxing champion Joanne ‘JoJo’ Calderwood was part of the Ultimate Fighter season 20, where the first UFC strawweight champion was crowned. Calderwood lost to current champion Rose Namajunas in the quarterfinals. A lot has changed since then. The UFC implemented the women’s flyweight division in 2017 and Calderwood was eager to move up, feeling more comfortable at that weight, and it’s shown. JoJo is undefeated at flyweight, besting former strawweight title challenger Valérie Létourneau and Kalindra Faria. The only other flyweight without a loss and on a win streak is Jessica Eye, someone who Calderwood is keeping an eye on as current champ Valentina Shevchenko waits for her next opponent.

UFC newcomer Ariane ‘The Violence Queen’ Lipski is finally here. The former KSW women’s flyweight champion signed with the big show after her latest win this past March (she was scheduled to face Maryna Moroz in November before Moroz sustained an injury). Lipski is known to be a rare knockout artist among the flyweights and carries a nine-fight win streak into her upcoming bout. The Brazilian prospect was most recently seen training with former UFC women’s featherweight champion, the heavy-handed Cris Cyborg.

Gillespie versus Medeiros is an interesting fight. Gillespie is looking to crack the top 10 while Medeiros is trying to find himself back in the win column with a move back down to lightweight. If this fight manages to stay on the feet, it could be another bonus for both fighters; but if it hits the ground, I give Gillespie the advantage.

Calderwood versus Lipski is a fight very I’m excited to see. I expect both fighters to stand and bang, as this will be the toughest test yet for Lipski, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘JoJo’ brings it to the ground, as she looked rather comfortable there in her last fight.

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo Vs. Dillashaw streams live on ESPN+ which feature the early prelims (6:00PM ET/3:00PM PT) and the main card (10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT) (which feature Gillespie/Medeiros), while the preliminaries air live on ESPN (8:00PM ET/5:00 PM PT) (which feature Calderwood/Lipski).

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Junior dos Santos Vs. Derrick Lewis to headline UFC on EPSN+ 4 event in Wichita, Kansas

Derrick Lewis will look to rebound from his loss to heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in November against former champion Junior dos Santos.

Lewis and dos Santos are set to throw down as the main event on March 9th in Wichita, which will be the promotion’s first visit to Kansas. Lewis is coming off his UFC 230-saving loss to champion Daniel Cormier, as dos Santos is riding a two-fight win streak.

Derrick Lewis had won nine of his last 10 dating back to October 2015, knocking out his opponents in all but two matchups (his lone loss coming from Mark Hunt in Auckland, New Zealand).  After ripping off three straight after that (Marcin Tybura, Francis Ngannou and comeback of the year nominee against Alexander Volkov), Lewis was called upon to save UFC 230 by challenging Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight title after just fighting 28 days prior. Lewis was submitted in the second round.

Junior dos Santos is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, his first winning streak since joining the UFC where he won nine straight from 2008 to 2012 and captured the heavyweight gold. After alternating wins and losses, JDS is coming off wins against former WSOF heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov and former undefeated Australian prospect Tai Tuivasa in Adelaide just over a month ago.

Lewis is looking to get back on track after some time off and dos Santos is eager to get back in the title picture. This should be a classic stand-up war, where Lewis packs tremendous power that can put your lights out at any time and JDS’ boxing is one of, if not the best, in the heavyweight division. With Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou set to meet in February, we could see a couple rematches materialize while the heavyweight division figures itself out for the new year.

UFC Fight Night: Lewis Vs. dos Santos will air on ESPN+ Saturday, March 9th from Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – December

Bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes shocks the world and finishes featherweight champ Cris Cyborg by knockout to become the first women’s “champ champ” at UFC 232 on December 29th

Louis Taylor floors Abus Magomedov to win the middleweight title and $1 million dollars at PFL 11 on December 31st

Uriah Hall storms back in the 3rd round and drops newcomer Bevon Lewis with a right hook at UFC 232 on December 29th

Joaquim Silva puts Jared Gordon out on his feet @ UFC Fight Night: Milwaukee on December 15th

Edson Barboza wins the war against Dan Hooker @ UFC Fight Night: Milwaukee on December 15th

Alen Amedovski does it again, stopping Ibrahim Mane early @ Bellator 211 on December 1st

Dheigo Lima gets back in the win column with a walk-off KO of Chad Laprise @ UFC 231 on December 8th

 

 

 

Kent Kauppinen stuns the Italian crowd with his knockout of Alessio Sakara @ Bellator 211 on December 1st

 

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – November

My knockout of the year: Yair ‘El Pantera’ Rodríguez lands an upward elbow with 1 second left in the 5th round to finish ‘The Korean Zombie’ @ UFC Fight Night: Denver on November 10th

Kailan Hill lands knockout of the year contender, making my list for the third time @ LFA 54 on November 16th

Santiago Ponzinibbio knocks out Neil Magny in his home country @ UFC Fight Night: Argentina on November 17th

Johnny Walker with short elbows to the temple to put down Khalil Rountree, Jr. @ UFC Fight Night: Argentina on November 17th

Moses Murrietta folds Sidiah Parker @ LFA 54 on November 16th

Ronaldo ‘Jacaré’ Souza knocks out Chris Weidman @ UFC 230 on November 3rd

Austin Lingo starches Aaron Webb @ LFA 55 on November 30th

Top Knockouts of 2018 – October

Mandel Nallo with a knee to the chin of Carrington Banks @ Bellator 207 on October 12th

Don Madge debuts with a perfect head kick KO on Te Edwards @ UFC Fight Night: Moncton on October 27th

Josh ‘Cuddly Bear’ Copeland punches his way to the heavyweight finals @ PFL 8 on October 5th

When Derrick Lewis coined the phrase “My Balls Was Hot” with a come from behind knockout of Alexander Volkov @ UFC 229 on October 6th

Anthony Rocco Martin with the head kick KO to start the night off @ UFC 229 on October 6th

And finally, Khabib’s flying eagle on Dillon Danis @ UFC 229

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – September

Kailin Hill does it again, a superman punch into a flying knee knockout against Adam Fugitt @ LFA 51 on September 28th

Geoff Neal with the head kick KO on Frank Camacho @ UFC 228 on September 8th

AJ McKee deads John Macapá @ Bellator 205 on September 21st

Jéssica Andrade knocks out Karolina Kowalkiewicz @ UFC 228 on September 8th

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos lands a flying knee and follows it up with a knockout @ UFC Fight Night: Sao Paulo on September 22nd

Thiago Santos, Jan Blachowicz set to headline UFC’s first visit to the Czech Republic

The UFC has found it’s main event for the promotion’s first visit to the Czech Republic – #4-ranked Jan Blachowicz will take on #7-ranked Thiago Santos at UFC Prague on February 23rd, 2019.

Jan Blachowicz is currently riding his first winning streak in the UFC since he debuted in 2014. After losing a majority decision to Patrick Cummins at UFC 210 in April 2017, Blachowicz  has reeled off four straight; taking out Devin Clark, Jared Cannonier, getting revenge in the rematch against Jimi Manuwa and most recently spoiling Nikita Krylov’s return to the UFC with an arm-triangle choke on enemy soil just three months ago.

Thiago Santos signed the agreement for this bout fresh off a knockout win against Jimi Manuwa that took place just 13 days ago, in which many considered to be fight of the night at UFC 231. ‘Marreta’ will be searching for his third 4-fight win streak with the UFC. 7-1 in his last eight bouts (six being stoppages), Santos has taken out Eryk Anders and the aforementioned Manuwa since moving up to light heavyweight, leapfrogging in the rankings after his latest win.

Blachowicz seems to be in the prime of his fighting career, and with the light heavyweight division starting to heat up, a win here could propel him into talks for a title shot. Santos is also in his prime, and a win here against a higher ranked opponent like Blachowicz can also do the same.

UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz Vs. Santos will air on ESPN+ from the O2 Arena.

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – August

Eryk Anders with the walk-off head kick KO as the round ends against Tim Williams @ UFC Fight Night: Lincoln on August 25th

Justin Gaethje obliterates James Vick @ UFC Fight Night: Lincoln on August 25th

Ricky Bandejas knocks out James Gallagher, handing him his first professional loss @ Bellator 204 on August 17th

Alexandre ‘Popo’ Bezerra lands a flying knee to knock out Magomed Idrisov @ PFL 7 on August 30th

Sadibou Sy finishes Caio Magalhaes @ PFL 7 on August 30th

Opinion: Top Knockouts of 2018 – July

Kailin Hill lands a vicious head kick KO to start off LFA 45 on July 20th

Niko Price with the hammerfist knockout from the bottom @ UFC Fight Night: Boise on July 14th

Light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier becomes the second double champ in UFC history with his knockout of heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic @ UFC 226 on July 7th

Anthony Smith takes out a legend @ UFC Fight Night: Hamburg on July 22nd

Cristian Torres lands an uppercut from hell on Dashawn Boatwright @ LFA 46 on July 27th

Andrey Koreshkov spinning back kick’s the hell out of Vaso Bakocevic @ Bellator 203 on July 14th

Jose Aldo ends Jeremy Stephens’ night early with a liver shot @ UFC Fight Night: Calgary on July 28th

Michele Martignoni ties for fastest knockout in Bellator history @ Bellator 203 on July 14th

Raoni Barcelos is successful in his debut with a vicious combo against Kurt Holobaugh @ UFC Fight Night: Boise on July 14th