‘Don’t Sleep on This’ is a new segment I’m going to pump out leading up to every card about a fighter and/or matchup that should not be missed (a/k/a slept on). The UFC will visit Argentina for the first time in the promotion’s history, as native Santiago Ponzinibbio will face off against Neil Magny in the main event.
The UFC celebrates it’s 25 year anniversary this week and to mark the occasion the promotion went back to where it began all those years ago, in Denver, Colorado.
It was a momentous occasion for both the promotion and the sport as a whole and the anniversary fight card certainly did not disappoint. The main event alone felt like the perfect fight to celebrate a quarter of a century of the Ultimate Fighting Championship with Yair Rodríguez and Chan Sung Jung putting on a fight of the year worthy performance before Rodríguez ended the fight with arguably one of the single greatest knockouts of all time.
Let’s take a look at what could be next for ‘El Pantera’, ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and the other main card winners following an entertaining evening in Denver.
Despite the recent rumblings speculating that the UFC is poised to dissolve the promotion’s men’s flyweight division before the end of the year, we are set for an apparent “Bon Voyage” fight between recently crowned champion, Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. It is confirmed the two champions will fight for the 125lbs title at UFC 233, with Dillashaw attempting to join Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier as the organisation’s only other “Champ Champ”. Continue reading “Report: Henry Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw official for UFC 233”
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.
Once again, a reported middleweight clash between perennial contender Yoel Romero and rising challenger Paulo Costa has fallen out.
Both behemoths at 185lbs were scheduled to meet at the recent UFC 230 event in Madison Square Garden, with Cuban wrestler Romero opting to recover from multiple injuries sustained against Robert Whittaker, leaving the undefeated Belo Horizonte native without a dance partner in New York.
The promotion were believed to have eyed an eventual clash between the pair at their premier ESPN+ 1 event on the 19th of January in the new year, but Paulo Costa has picked up an injury, ruling him out of the expected headlining slot.
Romero sustained a nasty broken orbital bone in his rematch with current middleweight best Robert Whittaker in the second round of their back and forth clash. After yet another botched weight cut to 185lbs, the now 41 year-old former Olympian was widely expected to make the leap to a more comfortable home of 205lbs, with a clash alongside Alexander Gustafsson momentarily suggested for an Interim crown at UFC 230 failing to materialize.
Romero has seen weight issues prevent him from clinching a UFC title on multiple occasions, namely his UFC 221 Interim middleweight title knockout win over Luke Rockhold and his UFC 224 split decision loss to Whittaker in which many had the Pinar del Rio favourite narrowly edging out the Aussie. In both match ups, #1 ranked Yoel failed to make weight successfully.
Fast approaching the top five of 185lbs, Paulo Costa has so far displayed unparalleled striking power at middleweight maybe only matched by Romero himself in his first four walks to the Octagon. The Brazilian made hard work of the hot and cold Uriah Hall in his most recent fight, eventually finishing the flashy kickboxer in the second round, earning him the #8 rank in the murderers row that is 185lbs.
In a somewhat bizarre ply to earn a fourth tilt at championship honours, the explosive Romero has issued a challenge to the iconic former division king Anderson Silva who recently served a reduced suspension after a USADA test returned positive for hydrochlorothiazide and methyltestosterone, later discovered to be present in a contaminated substance consumed by the Curitiba counter striker. This subsequently allowed him to return to active competition in November 2018.
‘The Spider’ last competed at the controversial UFC 208 in Brooklyn, scoring a unanimous decision win over Derek Brunson. Silva, who will turn 44 next April, has recently dropped losses to Daniel Cormier on short notice and a razor thin decision defeat to Michael Bisping, which ultimately earned the British striker his successful siege of the middleweight crown against Luke Rockhold.
UFC Fight Night 143 takes place at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York on January 19th, and currently features a welterweight match up between Belal Muhammed and Geoff Neal, and a Women’s flyweigth clash between prospects Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich-Berdon.
‘Don’t Sleep on This’ is a new segment I’m going to pump out leading up to every card about a fighter and/or matchup that should not be missed (a/k/a slept on). Continue reading “Opinion: ‘Don’t Sleep On This’ – UFC Denver Edition”
Speculation that the UFC were on the brink of closing down their flyweight division began last month with the news that long time champion Demetrious Johnson had been ‘traded’ to ONE Championship with undefeated welterweight Ben Askren coming the other way.
Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson may not be done with fighting after all.
The popular 34-year-old left the sport following a failed title challenge against UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in April 2017.
Johnson (22-6-0) has confirmed he intends to come out of retirement and return to MMA, this time at heavyweight, provided one sizable condition is met by the UFC.
An interesting women’s flyweight clash makes its way onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s premier event of 2019 and their ESPN network debut. The exciting Paige VanZant features alongside The Ultimate Fighter competitor Rachael Ostovich on January 19th in Brooklyn. Continue reading “News: Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich meet at UFC on ESPN”
It appears in late January of 2019, “the Funky one” goes against one of the top UFC welterweights, Robbie Lawler.
Askren has been causing a storm of press engaging and challenging with well-known UFC fighters on Twitter.
As reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the former ONE champion will make his debut in UFC 233, the first pay-per-view of next year and will have a chance to showcase his liberally boasted skill against one of the UFC’s most popular stars.
There is no word from Robbie Lawler or his gym about the news. In fact, there has been little to no conversation between Askren and Lawler, either in person or in social media, prior or during this development. This caused those in the MMA community to criticize Askren once the news came.
Ruthless’s last fight was last year was a main event bout against Rafael dos Anjos, which makes this his return after a year off. As of today, this is the first match of the Anaheim card that is confirmed, and will continue to fill as 2018 closes out.