Fighter Profile: Patrício Pitbull

Photo Courtesy of Bellator

Patrício Freire better known to MMA fans as Patrício Pitbull will return to the Bellator Cage to try to win back his Featherweight title against the man who took it from him the undefeated A.J. McKee.  Freire is one of Bellator’s biggest stars  he and his older brother Patricky are two of the most feared fighters on the second biggest MMA promtion’s roster.

Freire was born July 7, 1987 in Natal, Brazil. Freire is a grappler who took interest in the art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when he was very young as a way to deal with his small size. He later achieved Black Belt in the art. Freire trained at the world famous Chute Boxe Academy to get his striking in top form while he was a teenager. It was here that Frier would train alongside notable MMA fighters including Wanderlei Silva Mauricio and Murilo Rua and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Freire would then go on to take his first MMA fight at age 16.

Freire faced off against Dida Dida in March of 2004 in his MMA debut. Freire would win the bout in round 1 by TKO by Corner Stoppage. He’d then face off against Marlon Silva he’d win the bout by Unanimous Decision. Freire would then fight Tarcisio Jardim, winning by Submission (Guillotine Choke.) Joao Paulo Rodrigues would be next for The young Pitbull who would win the Bout via Submission (Guillotine Choke.) He’d then face Rafael Gargula in April of 2006 winning by Submission(Armbar) moving his record to a perfect 5-0. Pitbull would then face Jadyson Costa winning the bout by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Freire would win his next fight with a leg attack, a Submission (Heel Hook.) He’d win his next five fights before moving to Bellator.

Freire would face William Romero in his Bellator debut, Pitbull would win the bout with a Heel Hook in the first round. He’d then face Wilson Reis by Unanimous Decision. He’d then take his first loss of his career and in Bellator to Joe Warren in a Split Decision. He’d get back into the win Column against Georgi Karakhanyan  via TKO (Punches.) He’d then face Wilson Reis winning the bout by KO (Punches.) He’d then face Daniel Straus getting the Nod from all of the judges. He’d then fight for the Bellator Featherweight title but would lose the bout in a Split Decision.

Friere would win his next four fights before fighting again for the Feather weight title he’d win the title this time against Pat Curran in September of 2014 He’d defend the belt twice before losing it to Daniel Straus in November 2015 at Bellator 145. He’d win his next fight against Henry Corrales before moving up to Lightweight to face Benson Henderson due to a Leg injury. He’d then get his rematch with Daniel Straus Winning back his Featherweight Title at Bellator 178 in April of 2017 He’d defend that belt twice before before moving up to Lightweight where he captured the Bellator Lightweight Title from Michael Chandler. He’d defend his Featherweight title twice more before losing the belt to A.J. McKee. He’d also vacate the Lightweight Title.

 He hopes to regain the Bellator Featherweight title later this month. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out of this rematch on top.  

Fighter Profile: Sean Strickland

Photo courtesy of Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

One of the Most polarizing fighters in the UFC is Sean Strickland. Strickland holds an impressive 25-3 record with one of those losses coming to rising Champion Kamaru Usman. Strickland’s past might explain why he baffles UFC fans and MMA media as a whole. I think Strickland is a great fighter who could find himself across the cage from the Middleweight Champ in the near future.

Strickland was born February 27, 1991 in New Bern, North Carolina. Strickland had a rough time in his early years as his Father was Physically and Mentally abusive. This Caused Strickland to act out in school and he would end up getting kicked out of school. He’d end up getting kicked out of many more schools after that. Strickland admits as a youth he was a “Neo-Nazi” but due to ongoing interactions with people of different races, young Strickland would soon abandon these viewpoints after interacting with people of other races. Strickland began training MMA at age 14 and started fighting professionally at 16. Strickland is a striker but also holds a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Strickland made his professional debut in March of 2008 against Tyler Pottett for The King of The Cage promotion. He’d win the bout by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Strickland would then face off against Brandon Ellsworth he’d win the bout with a first round TKO (Punches.) Strickland would then face off against William Wheeler winning via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in the first round. George Interiano would be next up for a young Strickland winning the three round contest by Unanimous Decision. Strickland would win his next three fights before facing off against Brandon Hunt for the KOTC Middleweight Championship. Strickland would win the belt by TKO and would defend the belt five times with a perfect 13-0 record. Strickland would soon get the call to fight in the UFC. 

Strickland would make his UFC debut at UFC 171 in March of 2014 when he faced off against Bubba McDaniel. Strick would win the bout via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Strickland would then go on to face Luke Barnatt he’d win this bout by Split Decision. He’d then face Santiago Ponzinibbio and would lose the three round contest by Unanimous Decision marking the first loss of his UFC and his whole career as a whole. He’d then win his next three contests against Igor Araújo, Alex Garcia, and Tom Breese. He’d then take the second loss of his career against Usman, before getting back into the win column against Court McGee. He’d then lose another contest to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.

Strickland has won his last six contests and we think he should be in a Middleweight title fight very soon. 

3 Great MMA Fights Coming in April!

Photo Courtesy of Bellator MMA

We are now in Spring and almost a quarter of the year is almost done. We think this is a prime time to look at the month ahead with some of the Killer fights that the UFC and Bellator has put together. MMA fans are in for a real treat with the fights these promotions have put together. Some are title fights with some of MMA’s biggest names, others are fights with MMA’s rising stars.

Khamzat Chimaev Vs. Gilbert Burns UFC 273

The first matchup we are excited about is a matchup between Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns. Chamiev has been taking the MMA world by storm. The Undefeated Russian born fighter has both striking and wrestling skills and has been compared to greats like Khabib Nurmogamedov and Jon Jones. Chimaev has been in camp working with fellow UFC fighter Darren Till. The duo have dubbed themselves, the “Smesh’ Brothers.”  Till will be in Chimaev’s corner at UFC 273

Chimaev will really be tested when he faces off against Gilbert Burns who is one of the best Welterweights in the world who’s grappling is through the roof. Burns has an impressive 20-4 record with a win in his last outing when he fought against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Burn’s only loss in the last four years was to current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. In the Grappling world Burns holds many achievements  including being an IBJJF World Champion both in the Gi and out of the Gi and an ADWPJJC World Cup Champion.  This is a fight I think fans will love to see.

A.J. McKee Vs. Patrício Pitbull 2

In his last outing A.J. Mckee won the Bellator Featherweight World Championship and won the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix and got a big check in the process. Mckee will be facing Patrício Pitbull the man he won the belt against in his next bout at Bellator 277. McKee has an impressive record in the Bellator cage at 18-0 and hopes to make this fight his first successful title defense Patrício Pitbull will be a tough first title defense for McKee. Pitbull is one of Bellator’s biggest stars. The Multiple time   Featherweight and Lightweight Title holder packs a powerful punch and holds an impressive 32-5 record.

Rob Font vs Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera

Massachusett’s Rob Font is coming off a loss to Jose Aldo in December of 2021 he hopes to get back into the win column when he faces off against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. Font is a Brown Belt in Brazillian Jiu jitsu and has been fighting MMA professionally since 2011. Before his loss to Aldo in December he was on a five fight win streak including wins over Sergio Pettis and Cody Garbrandt. Across the cage from him  will be another Grappling ace in Chito Vera. Vera is coming off back to back wins to Davey Grant and Frankie Edgar. Vera is a Jiu Jitsu Black Belt who’s first MMA fight was in the back of an automotive shop in a rusty cage. He has climbed far from that rusty cage to the top of the UFC Bantamweight division. We can’t wait to see how this one plays out. 

Fighter Profile: Darren Till

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Jairaj 

Although he’s having a rough patch in his career at the current moment Darren Till is still an exciting fighter to watch. The Englishman has been training in Sweden with promotional hotshot Khamzat Chimaev and hopefully the Russian Born wrestler will help Till turn this rough  patch around. Let’s face it though all of Till’s losses have been to killers at the top of their game so if he picks his next opponent carefully we think that he will get back into the win column sooner rather than later.

Till was born on Christmas Eve in 1992 in Liverpool, England. Till would end up getting in tussels, and would eventually find himself in a training room studying the “art of eight limbs,” Muay Thai. Till would soon find himself dropping out of school to focus on the art full time. He’d start fighting Muay Thai professionally and would later switch to training MMA at 17. Till would end up getting stabbed at a party after confronting a group of men. Till was advised to leave England and move to Brazil to train with Team Kaobon coach. Till would end up fighting for Astra Fight Team in Balneário Camboriú where he’d spend three years and have a child in Brazil. Till would later return to England.

Till made his Professional MMA debut in February of 2013 when he faced Luciano Oliveira Ribeiro he’d win the bout via Unanimous Decision. Muriel Giassi would be next for the young man from Liverpool. Till would win the bout by TKO (Punches.) Less than a month later he’d face Junior Dietz winning by TKO (Punches.) Paulo Batista would be next for Till he’d win the fight by KO (Punch.) Pedro Keller de Souza would be next in the Sparta MMA promotion, Till would win the fight by Knockout moving his record to a perfect 5-0. Till would win his next seven fights before making it to the UFC.

Till would make his UFC debut in May of 2015 against Wendell de Oliveira winning the Bout by Knockout. He’d then face Nicholas Dalby in a bout in Dublin Ireland the fight would end in a Majority Draw. Till would then earn a unanimous decision victory against Jessin Ayari. He’d then face Bojan Veličković winning the bout again by Unanimous Decision moving his record to an almost perfect 15-0-1. He’d then face MMA Veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Till would win the bout by TKO (Punches.) Till would then face Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and Till would get the nod from all the judges he’d then drop two in a row to Tyron Woodlet and Jorge Masvidal. He’d get back in the win column when he faced off against Kelvin Gastelum. Till would then drop two more fights to Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson.

Till is one half of the ‘Smesh Bros’ we can’t to see Till return to the Cage as soon as possible.

Fighter Profile: Casey O’Neill

Photo courtesy of Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Casey O’Neill entered the UFC in 2021 and since then has gone on a wrecking course towards the top of the Flyweight Division. She looked good in her last outing when she faced women’s MMA veteran Roxanne Modafferi, in Modafferi’s last fight in the UFC.  O’Neill is undefeated in her pro career and if she plays her cards right she could find herself in the UFC Octagon across from current Flyweight Champion Valentina Schevchenko as Women’s Flyweight is one of the UFC’s shallowest active divisions.

O’Neill was born Irvine, Scotland on October 7, 1997 to a father who was a Professional Kickboxer. O’Neill would start training in the art at age of four. She’d eventually start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Her family would eventually move to  Australia’s Gold Coast. It was here that O’neill attended Coombabah State High School. While in school her father reluctantly let her take part in her first amateur MMA fight when she was only 15 years of age. She’d lose the contest by TKO to a 19 year old woman. O’Neill would compile a 5-2 record as an amateur before turning pro.

O’Neill made her professional debut against Amira Hafizovic in April of 2019 she’d win the fight via Unanimous Decision and would win the Eternal MMA Strawweight Championship. She’d then face Jada Ketley in July of 2019 O’Neill got the victory by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Miki Motono would be next for O’Neill she’d win the bout by Unanimous Decision on the judge’s scorecards.  She’d then move up to Flyweight to fight Caitlin McEwen and would get the nod from the judges again. Christina Stelliou would be her final fight in a non major promotion. O’Neill would win the bout via Knockout, the first of her professional career. 

O’Neill’s next bout would be her first fight in the biggest MMA promotion in the world, the UFC. She’d face Shana Dobson and would win via TKO (Punches.)  She’d then face Lara Procópio winning by Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in June of 2021. She’d then face Current Flyweight Champion Valentina Schevchenko’s sister Antonina Schevchenko in October of 2021. O’Neill would win the fight by TKO (Punches.) O’Neill would then face Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 271 in Modafferi’s retirement fight. O’Neill would get the victory in a Split Decision.

O’Neill is currently ranked 12th in the UFC Flyweight division. It is not known who will be next for her.

Fighter Profile: ‘Meatball’ Molly McCann

The UFC made a big step in the right direction when they booked UFC London with a packed card in front of the U.K’s devoted MMA fan base. One of the best performances of the night was a Spinning Back Elbow Knockout by Liverpool’s ‘Meatball’ Molly McCann who put on an inspiring performance along with many of her countrymen including training partner Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett . McCann would also get the attention of fans in a hilarious move when she pranced around the UFC Octagon after her Victory with a fake UFC Belt.

McCann was born May 4th 1990 in LIverpool, England. Her father was out of the picture and her mother had substance abuse problems which made McCann end up being raised by her aunt. McCann would start martial arts at a young age first Karate, Kickboxing, and Thai boxing and eventually Boxing at age 12 she’d start training MMA around the age of 23. She also played soccer all through school and she used her athletic prowess to good use in college when she attended Liverpool John Moores University where she earned a degree in sports development and physical education.

McCann made her MMA debut  when she took on Samantha Taylor in an armature bout for the Shock and awe promotion. She’d win her next two armature bouts before making her professional bout in May 2015. In her professional debut she’d face Katy Horlick winning by TKO (Punches.) McCann would then face Vanessa Melo she’d lose the bout via unanimous decision, this would mark the first loss of her professional or armature career. She’d then face Valérie Domergue winning by Split Decision in April of 2016. Macicilia Benkhettache would be next for Meatball Molly and she’d get the win via TKO (Punches.) She’d win her next three bouts before fighting Bryony Tyrell For the Cage Warriors Flyweight title she’d win the bout and thus the title via TKO (Punches.)

After McCann would win the Cage Warriors Flyweight title she’d get the call to fight in the UFC. Her first opponent was submission expert Gillian Roberston who beat McCann via  Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Priscila Cachoeira would be next for McCann who’d get the Unanimous Decision victory and her first win in the biggest MMA promotion in the world. She’d then face Ariane Lipski winning on all the judges’ score cards, moving her record to 9-2. She’d then face Diana Belbiţă winning again by Unanimous Decision. She’d then drop two fights in a row to Taila Santos and Lara Procópio. She’d get in the win column her next outing when she’d face Ji Yeon Kim. In her last outing she’d face Luana Carolina with a KO (Spinning Back Elbow.)

Molly McCann put on a great performance at UFC London. We can’t wait to see who she fights next. 

Fighter Profile: Bryce Mitchell

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Bryce Mitchell proved at UFC 272 that he is well on his way to being one of the best fighters in the Featherweight division. Mitchell stepped in the cage and put on a great performance against Edson Barboza. He smothered Barboza much like Khabib did when he faced Barboza in 2017. Mitchell’s ground work is top level and it would be interesting to see him take on someone who’s just as good as him on the ground or a pure striker. Mitchell is exciting to watch and he wears many hats including fighter, farmer, and gun advocate. Mitchell is also a rapper and is skilled in academics earning a degree in economics from Harding University.

Mitchell was born October 4, 1994 Cabot, Arkansas. Growing up he didn’t know his father and was raised primarily by his mother. Mitchell went to Cabot High School where he played basketball and wrestled. Mitchell would place second at the 7A  state championships as a junior and fourth at the 6A state championships as a senior. After graduating he’d move to Searcy, Arkansas where he’d go to college and get his degree.  He’d eventually start training MMA in Searcy out of Barata MMA. He’d earn his Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu here and would start competing in armature MMA where he held an impressive 5-1 record.

Mitchell would make his professional debut in January 2015 when he faced off against Sheldon Smith. Mitchell would secure his professional win via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.)Mitchell would then face Jesse Sanderson in May of that year again winning by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Mitchell’s next opponent would be Tony Williams, and no surprise he’d win this again by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) He’d then face Chris Culley winning by Submission (Armbar.) Jorge Medina would be next for Mitchell in the World Series Of Fighting promotion; he’d get the victory via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) He’d win his next four fights before getting the call to compete on the Ultimate Fighter.

Mitchell would appear on the Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated. On the show he’d win his first bout against castmate Jay Cucciniello before getting knocked out of the show with a loss to Brad Katona. Mitchell faced Tyler Diamond on July 6, 2018 in his UFC debut he’d win by Majority Decision. He’d then face Bobby Moffett  in his next outing winning the contest by Unanimous Decision. Matt Sayles would be next for Mitchell, Mitchell would get the victory with an impressive and rare Twister Submission. He’d then fight Charles Rosa and Andre Fili in his next two contests winning both by unanimous decision. He’d then face MMA veteran Edson Barboza in his second most impressive outing, smothering the Brazilian fighter for three whole rounds.

Mitchell has a lot of hype behind him for good reason, his grappling is next level and it’d be interesting to see him face off against a fighter of higher rank like Calvin Kattar or Giga Chikadze.

UFC 273 Preview

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

UFC 273 is coming up on April ninth. The UFC packed the main card with some amazing fights with some of MMA’s biggest names and rising stars. Fight Fans are going to love this amazing card after some of the more mediocre cards at the beginning of the year. The first bout of note is between women’s Strawweight fighters in a classic Grappler vs Striker matchup between Mackenzie Dern and Tecia Torres. The next fight of note will be between Russian born Wrestler Khamzat Chimaev and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Gilbert Burns. The card will be topped off by two title fights.

Dern vs. Torres is the first fight fans will like on the main card. Dern is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt who sports an impressive 11-2 record in the Strawweight division.  In her last outing she didn’t come away with a win against Marina Rodriguez, but before that was riding a four fight win streak with wins against Randa Markos, Virna Jandiroba, and Nina Nunes. She hopes to get back into the win Column when she faces off against striking expert Torres. Torres is a Black Belt in Karate and Jhoon-Rhee Taekwondo. She is riding a three fight win streak with wins over Brianna Van Buren, Sam Hughes, and Angela Hill.  This is an awesome matchup I think fans will enjoy.

Chamiev has been taking the MMA world by storm. The Undefeated Russian born fighter has both striking and wrestling skills and has been compared to greats like Khabib Nurmogamedov and Jon Jones. He will really be tested when he faces off against Gilbert Burns who is one of the best Welterweights in the world who’s grappling is through the roof. Burns has an impressive 20-4 record with a win in his last outing when he fought against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Burn’s only loss in the last four years was to current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. This is a fight I think fans will love.

The card will be topped off by two title fights; the first one is a matchup between Russian Bantamweight Petr Yan and American grappling ace Aljamain Sterling. These two met last year and Sterling walked away with the title after Yan landed an illegal knee that lead to a disqualification. The pair don’t like each other and have been trading verbal barbs online.  The final title fight will be between Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and The Korean Zombie. Volkanovski is coming off a win against Brian Ortega and is riding a 20 fight win streak including two successful title defenses. The Korean Zombie is coming off a win against Dan Ige and was a fill in for Featherweight legend Max Holloway.

UFC 273 is an awesome card with some amazing fights. The PPV will be available for purchase on ESPN+

Fighter Profile: Curtis Blaydes

Photo Courtesy Of Zuffa LLC

Curtis Blaydes will make his return to the UFC Octagon on Saturday the 26th when he faces off against Chris Daukas. Blaydes will be hunting his 11th Knockout win when he steps into the Cage and faces Daukaus. Blaydes only three losses in his career are twice to Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis who are elite Heavyweights, he goes into next Saturday’s contest as a heavy betting favorite.

Blaydes was born in Naperville, Illinois on February 18, 1991 he grew up in Chicago and would get his start in Martial Arts when he would start Wrestling st De La Salle Institute where he was a standout winning a State title his senior year. He finished his High School career with a 95-18 record with an impressive 44-0 record his senior year. Blaydes would then get a full wrestling scholarship to Northern Illinois University. In his freshman year at NIU he compiled a 19-2 record. He’d then transfer to Harper College where he’d win the NJCAA National Championship. After he completed this feat he’d go on to leave school to  focus on MMA.

Blaydes compiled an impressive 5-0 armature record in MMA before making his professional debut against Lorenzo Hood winning by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) in May of 2014 in the XFO promotion. Blaydes would then face William Baptiste in October of 2014 in that same promotion again winning by TKO(Punches.)  Brad Faylor would be next for Blaydes again he’d win by TKO (Punches.) In his next two outings he’d face Allen Crowder and Luis Cortez winning both fights by TKO. Blaydes would then get the call to join the biggest MMA promotion in the world, the UFC.

Blaydes would make his UFC debut against Ngannou in April of 2016. Unfortunately for Blaydes he’d lose the contest by TKO marking the first loss of his career and in the promotion. He would then face Cody East in October of 2016 winning by TKO (Elbows) which earned him Performance of the Night honors. He’d then face Adam Milstead he’d win the contest but it would be overturned after Blaydes tested positive for Pot. He’d then go on another four fight win streak before losing another fight to Francis Ngannou. Blaydes would then go on another four fight run before dropping a fight to Knockout artist Derrick Lewis. In his last contest in September of 2021 he’d win against Jairzinho Rozenstruik. 

We hope Blaydes can make it two in a row when he steps into the Octagon on the 26th.

Fighter Profile: Marvin Vettori

Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC

One of the most exciting Middleweights to watch in the UFC is Italy’s Marvin Vettori. Vettori is coming off a win against Paulo Costa at Light Heavyweight due to Costa missing weight. Vettori is rumored to be returning to the UFC octagon in June when he faces off against Robert Whittaker. Vettori is a Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt, but also can strike with the best of the fighters in the Division. He hopes to make it two in a row when he faces Whittaker and this is probably one of the best matchups that’s not a title fight in the Middleweight division.

Vettori was born September 20, 1993 in Trento, Italy. He is the oldest of three siblings. He started his journey into the Martial Arts World when he was young, starting Kickboxing at age thirteen. He’d soon turn his focus to training MMA after watching MMA fighters on television. Vettori had a hard time training MMA at first due to the fact that he was in Italy and at the time Italy didn’t have much of an MMA scene and he had to go to six different gyms to train. He’d eventually move to London to train, but would find that the U.S. would make a better home and he’d land at King’s MMA training under Rafael Cordeiro where he still currently trains.

Vettori made his professional MMA debut against Alessandro Grandis in July of 2012 for the New Generation Tournament in Seveso, Italy. Unfortunately for Vettori he didn’t get the win. He’d then face Tom Richards in the UCMMA Promotion winning by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.)  Matt Robinson would be next for Vettori in November of 2013, he’d again get the Submission victory again by Rear-Naked Choke. Vettori would then face Luca Ronchetti winning again by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Radovan Uskrt would be next for the young Italian, but this time he’d win by slapping on a Triangle Choke. He’d fight in many other promotions, even capturing the Venator FC Welterweight Championship before it was stripped.

Alberto Uda would be Vettori’s first opponent when he stepped into the UFC Octagon for the first time. He’d get the victory with a Submission (Guillotine Choke.) He’d then face Antônio Carlos Júnior losing the three round contest by Unanimous Decision. Vitor Miranda would be next for Vettori he’d secure the victory via a Unanimous Decision. He’d then face Omari Akhmedov this fight would end in a Majority Draw. The rising MMA assassin Israel Adesanya would be next for Vettori Unfortunately it would be a Split Decision loss for Vettori. He’d go on a five fight win streak before meeting Adesanya again for the Middleweight title at UFC 263 in June of 2021 unfortunately for Vettori, Adesanya would successfully defend his title. In his next outing he faced Paulo Costa at Light Heavyweight.

Vettori is set to face Robert Whittaker at UFC 275 in Kallange, Singapore at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Hopefully he gets the win against Bobby Knuckles.