One of the most promising UFC Men’s Flyweights is Dagestan’s Askar Askarov. The Russian has an impressive 14-1-1 record with his only loss coming in his last bout against top level Flyweight Kai Kara-France. The only other blemish on his record is a draw, but we’ll get into that later on. Askarov has seen Flyweight gold in his career already and hopes to one day see UFC gold, and he is currently ranked fourth in the UFC Flyweight division.
Askarov was born on October 9 1992 in the village of Kamysh-Kutan in the Akhvakhsky District of Dagestan. Askarov is an International Master of Sports of Russia in Freestyle Wrestling and Combat Sambo. Askarov is deaf and only hears 20% of the sounds most people can. He has won gold in the Deaflympics. Askarov’s handicap made it very hard for him to fight as most fighters have the helping hand of a coach in their corner, Askarov can’t hear his corner when he fights. Still this has not stopped him from having a spectacular MMA career thus far.
Askarov made his professional debut against Shamil Amirov in July of 2013. Askarov would win the bout via Submission (rear-naked Choke.) He’d then face Kvanzhakov Kantemir winning the bout by TKO (punches.) Elvin Abbasov would be next for Askarov he’d win the fight via Submission (armbar.) He would then join Absolute Championship Berkut after a TKO victory over Vakha Kadyrov. He’d win his first four fights in the ABC promotion before fighting for and winning the ACB Flyweight Championship against . José Maria Tomé. He’d defend that belt a few times before going to the UFC.
Askarov would make his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 159 Rodriguez vs. Stephens in September of 2019. His opponent would be Brandon Moreno, but unfortunately the fight would end in a draw. He’d then fight Tim Elliott he would win this fight via Unanimous Decision. Alexandre Pantoja would be next for Askarov, he’d win the fight again by unanimous decision. Askarov would next face off against Joseph Benavidez; he’d win that contest before losing in his next outing to Kai Kara France.
Askarov is set to face off against Brandon Royval in October at the UFC Apex. We wish Askarov luck.
Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña put on a Fight of the Year candidate at UFC 277 when they faced off in their second meeting. In this piece we’ll go over some of the options that Dana White and the UFC Matchmakers have for the greatest women’s fighter of all time. Could a third fight with Peña be in the cards? Could a fight with Valentina Shevchenko be in order? Or Could a matchup with someone in the Defunct Featherweight division be next for Nunes?
Peña has gone toe to toe with the GOAT multiple times now and has a 1-1 record against the champ. I think the promotion would love to make a third fight as it would definitely be a money maker, but I don’t know if it will be next for the Champ. In the seven rounds that the pair have faced off against each other Nunes has won six of them, making one think with how lopsided the fight was, is it really needed as there’s other fighters in the division that deserve a crack at 135. So I think that rematch will happen again but not right away.
Fans would love to see a matchup with Valentina Shevchenko. Since their last meeting Shevchenko has gone on a crazy title reign at 125 where she’s literally cleaned out the division much like the way Nunes did at 135 and 145. Shevchenko is 0-2 in her matchups with Amanda Nunes, but they both have run out of people to fight so it would make sense that Dana White would make this fight as it would make money and when two champions fight its something very special the fans would love to see.
Could a matchup at 145 be in the cards for Amanda Nunes. The division has a handful of fighters left on the roster. It seems like it’d be interesting to bring back the division with a new season of the Ultimate fighter where the winner takes on Amanda at the end of the season. White’s done odder things with the series, including adding divisions to the biggest MMA promotion naming champions, this would make sense to fans as they’re probably dying for another season of the Show as it just wrapped its latest season where Nunes coincidentally was a head coach of one of the teams.
These are some possibilities or ideas that would definitely work for the two division champ.
The UFC is having two interesting PPV cards this month with the second coming up at the end of the month headlined by the rematch of Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Peña at UFC 277 for the UFC Bantamweight title. The card also features other great bouts including a matchup between Light Heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev and MMA veteran Anthony Smith. Heavyweight Derrick Lewis will also be fighting in a bout with Sergei Pavlovich. The Co-Main event will be a matchup between former Men’s Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France.
A bout between Light Heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev and Anthony Smith is the first fight we’re excited for. Smith who has been fighting MMA for almost a decade and a half has compiled a career 36-16 record and is riding a three fight win streak since going through his last rough patch where he lost three out of four fights. He will be facing Magomed Ankalaev who came into the UFC in 2018 and since losing his promotional debut has not lost since with an amazing 17-1 record. Ankalaev hails from Dagestan and is a wrestler and a master of sport in combat Sambo.
Knockout artist Derrick Lewis will be facing off against Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 277. Lewis who is one of the most active fighters, lost in his last outing when he faced off against Tai Tuivasa at UFC 271. Lewis who hails from Houston is an interesting case as he doesn’t care about titles or glory he cares about knockouts and getting paid and going back to his property and his cars and living peacefully. Lewis is an entertainer and he looks to add to add to his knockout count when he stands across the Octagon against Pavlovich. Pavlovich is a talented wrestler who has heavy hands, with 12 of his 15 wins coming by way of knockout.
The Co-Main Event at UFC 277 is a matchup between former Men’s Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France. Moreno is coming off his title fight against Deiveson Figueiredo where he lost his belt to Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo. Moreno has an odd looking 19-6-2 record. Kara-France is a formidable opponent for Moreno in his last outing Kara-France beat a then undefeated Askar Askarov. Before that he had a great TKO victory over former Champion Cody Garbrandt. Kara-France hopes to beat another former UFC Champion.
The biggest upset in the MMA world was when Julianna Peña shocked the world and took the Bantamweight title from Amanda Nunes. The pair which are coaches on the Ultimate Fighter will face off again for the Bantamweight title at UFC 277. Nunes is still a favorite on every sports book for the rematch but not as heavy a favorite as she was in the last fight, where Peña showed everyone what a puncher’s chance really means.
Peña did everything she said she was going to do to Nunes, proving that she is a fierce opponent worthy of taking on any fighter in the division. Nunes, who holds her Black Belt in Judo and Jiu Jitsu and can throw her heavy hands, successfully defended the Bantamweight belt five times and won the Featherweight title in the process of defending that belt twice. We shall see if she regains the Bantamweight belt next from current champ Peña.
Rafael dos Anjos put on one of the best fights on the UFC 272 card when he faced off against Renato Moicano in a fight that went the distance, but dos Anjos really put on a clinic on why he is one of the best fighters in the UFC Lightweight division. His performance at UFC 272 was in our opinion better than what was on display in the main event. And if you look at all of RDA’s losses they were to fighters on top of their games and we think he could possibly go on another run to the top of the Lightweight division.
Rafael dos Anjos was born October 26, 1984 in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He often would get into brawls as a child. This would lead RDA to get in trouble. Dos anjos would eventually go onto train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu starting at the age of nine. Once he started training in this highly disciplined martial art his brawling in the street would cease and he’d pursue training and would eventually become a 4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Aldo “Caveirinha” Januário and Philipe “Furão” della Monica he’d also learn the art of eight limbs where he earned Black prajied in Muay Thai under Rafael Cordeiro.
dos anjos would make his professional MMA debut against Adriano Abu in September of 2004 he’d lose the contest to Abu in a Split Decision. He’d then fight João Paulo Almeida he’d win this bout by Unanimous Decision. He’d then get his first finish when he faced off against Felipe Arinelli winning the bout by TKO (doctor stoppage.) Jorge Britto would be next for RDA but unfortunately for dos anjos he’d lose the fight on the judges score cards by Split Decision. He’d win his next nine fights before ending up in the UFC.
dos Anjos would make his UFC debut against Jeremy Stephens in November of 2008. He would lose his UFC debut by KO (punches.) He’d then face Tyson Griffin and would lose the fight via Unanimous Decision. Dos Anjos would then fight Rob Emerson, RDA knew the stakes and he would get a much needed win, his first for the promotion. He’d win his next two fights against Kyle Bradley and Terry Etim before a loss to MMA veteran Clay Guida. He’d then get back in the win column with a victory over George Sotiropoulos before dropping another fight to Gleison Tibau
RDA would soon see his favor turn as he’d go on a nice five fight win streak that would include a three round war with Donald Cerrone. The streak would get snapped by and undefeated Khabib Nurmogamedov. RDA would win his next three before fighting Anthony Showtime pettis where he would win the UFC Lightweight Championship He’d defend his title once successfully against Cowboy Cerrone, but RDA would lose the belt in his next outing against Eddie Alvarez.
Since losing the Lightweight title he has gone 6-5 and will be returning to the UFC Octagon on Saturday when he will face off against Rafael Fiziev he’ll look to add another win to his record.
Usually we write about three MMA fights we’re excited for during the month ahead, but July is so jam packed with great MMA fights that we really had trouble picking fights we are super excited for, so we decided to look at some great fights during the second half of the month. Dana White and the matchmakers have put together some amazing Cards in the month of July.
Brian Ortega Vs. Yair Rodríguez UFC Fight Night Ortega Vs. Rodriquez July 16th
Brian “T-City” Ortega will make his return to the UFC octagon at UFC Fight Night Ortega Vs. Rodriquez, live from the UBS Arena, in Elmont New York. Ortega was in the fight of the year when he faced off against Alexander Volanovski, where Ortega took significant damage, but almost pulled off a bunch of amazing submissions against the Australian Featherweight Champ. Ortega has the best Jiu Jitsu in the UFC and we hope we get some crazy submission action from Ortega. Across the cage from him will be Yair Rodríguez has a 13-3(1) record and has been mostly inactive with his only fight in the last three years being a loss to Max Holloway.
Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett vs. Jordan Leavitt UFC London July 23rd
Paddy ‘The Baddy’ took the MMA world and internet world by storm when he popped up in the UFC apex last year the MMA star has been in San Diego training Judo and has gone through a spectacular weight loss transformation after a heavy bulk up after his last fight. The Liverpool lad is electric to watch, and always puts on a show. People forget how good Paddy’s amazing Jiu Jitsu is with eight of his victories coming by way of submission. Jordan Leavitt will be Pimblett’s opponent Leavitt is a 10-1 Lightweight who has six submission victories in his short MMA career. This should be an interesting fight between the pair.
Amanda Nunes Vs Julianna Peña UFC 277
The biggest gambling upset in the MMA world was when Julianna Peña shocked the world and took the Bantamweight title from the Lioness Amanda Nunes. The pair which are coaches on the Ultimate Fighter will face off again for the Bantamweight title at UFC 277. Nunes is still a favorite on every sports book for the rematch but not as heavy a favorite as she was in the last fight, we’re Peña showed everyone what a punchers chance really means. Nunes, who holds her Black Belt in Judo and Jiu Jitsu and can throw her heavy hands, successfully defended the Bantamweight belt five times and won the Featherweight title in the process of defending that belt twice. We shall see if she regains the Bantamweight belt next.
With an impressive 12-4 record T.J. Dillishaw has been to the pinnacle to the pit in terms of MMA and has climbed to the cusp of the top again and many think Dillishaw should get the next title shot in the UFC Bantamweight Division. He definitely has an amazing redemption story and I’m glad he is back fighting in the UFC beating top level competition like Cory Sandhagen.
Dillashaw was born February 7, 1986 in Sonora, California. Dillishaw would grow up in Angels Camp, CA where he’d attend Bret Harte High School. While in High School Dillashaw would wrestle under Coach Jan Schulz. He was a standout in wrestling with a record of 170–33. He’d go on to wrestle in College at Cal State Fullerton. After college Dillishaw turned his focus towards MMA. He’d start striking and training Jiu Jitsu to add to his wrestling he’d achieve a Black belt in Bang Muay Thai under Duane Ludwig and a Purple Belt in Jiu Jitsu under Philipe “Furão” Della Monica
Dillishaw would make his professional debut against Czar Sklavos winning the bout by Unanimous Decision. He would then face off against Brandon Drucker in May of 2010 winning the bout by Submission (rear-naked choke.) Mike Suarez would be next for Dillishaw he’d win the bout again by rear-naked choke. Taylor McCorriston would be next for young Dillishaw winning the bout by TKO (punches.) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller would be next for Dillishaw on the show he secured three victories, but ultimately lost to John Dodson in the finale.
Dillishaw’s Next fight would be against Walel Watson in Febuary of 2012 he’d win the bout via Unanimous Decision. He’d then get his first Submission victory against Vaughn Lee winning by a Neck Crank. He’d then get back to back Knockout victories against Issei Tamura and Hugo Viana. Raphael Assunção would be next for Dillishaw in October of 2013, unfortunately for Dillishaw he lost the tough Split Decision. He’d then fight Mike Easton in January of 2014 winning the three round bout by Unanimous Decision.
Dillishaw would win the UFC Bantamweight title in his next bout when he faced off against Renan Barão at UFC 173 in May of 2014. He’d defend the belt twice the first successful title defense was against Joe Soto at UFC 177 his second successful defense was a rematch against Renan Barão. He’d then lose his belt to Dominick Cruz losing on the judges scorecard in a Split Decision. Dillishaw would win his next two fights against Raphael Assunção and John Lineker.
Dillishaw would then face Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217 for the UFC Bantamweight title he’d win the bout and the belt and would face Garbrandt again in his next outing securing his title defense. Dillishaw would then make his Flyweight debut against Henry Cejudo For the UFC Flyweight Championship he’d lose the fight by TKO. Dillashaw would get popped though as he tested positive in pre and post-fight drug screening for erythropoietin. Cory Sandhagen would be his comeback fight on July 24, 2021 Dillishaw would win the five round contest by Split Decision
Valentina Shevchenko stepped into the UFC Octagon at UFC 275 and everyone thought this would be a typical Shevchenko title defense where Shevchenko would show how she is the most dominant Flyweight in MMA history. But to everyone’s surprise Taila Santos gave Shevchenko a very big challenge, one that Shevchenko rose above in the end but it was very close with one judge even scoring it for Santos. We decided to look ahead at what should be next for Shevchenko.
One obvious fight to make is a rematch with Santos. That fight was a great fight, and once Santos recovers from that broken orbital we think that she should face off against Shevchenko in an immediate rematch as Shevchenko has cleared out that division and it looks like no-one in that division is of the same caliber as the Bullet. If Shevchenko doesn’t move up I think it’s imperative that we see this fight run back sometime in 2023, but Shevchenko might want to be more active than that.
The Obvious other matchup in the Flyweight division is a rematch with Katlyn Chookagian. since their last matchup at UFC 247 before the Pandemic, Chookagian has put together a 5-1 record with a four fight win streak. Chookagian was supposed to face Manon Fiorot at UFC Paris, but has since pulled out of that matchup. We think the number one Flyweight contender would be a good matchup fans would like to see.
The real matchup fans would like to see is Shevchenko vs. the winner of the Julianna Peña vs Amanda Nunes Bantamweight title bout at UFC 277. Shevchenko’s only losses in her MMA career were against Amanda Nunes. I think that fans would like to see these two fight again even though Shevchenko lost both bouts. This would be a good fight if Nunes wins her bout and her belt back after she faces Peña. If Peña wins against Nunes again this sets up an interesting situation. Shevchenko won her bout against Peña in January of 2017. She’d be a heavy favorite if she went up and challenged Peña for the Bantamweight belt. Both these fights would make Shevchenko a two division champion which we’d love to see.
These matchups make sense for Shevchenko in our eyes. We can’t wait to see her in the cage again very soon.
Jessica Andrade made UFC history a few months ago when she faced off against Amanda Lemos and got the victory with the First ever Submission by Standing Arm-Triangle Choke in UFC history. Andrade the Former Strawweight Champion has many fights that i think would make sense for her on her way to fight current Champion Carla Esparza. One Possible matchup is between her and grappling ace Mackenzie Dern. Another matchup that would make sense would be between Andrade and the loser of the fight between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk. The third option which I really like is a matchup between former two time Strawweight champ Rose Namajunas.
Mackenzie Dern is a very interesting matchup for Andrade as they both have Submission skills. Dern has many grappling achievements and looked great in her last performance when she got into the win column against striking expert Tecia Torres. Dern has an impressive 12-2 record and is a few fights away from fighting for the UFC Strawweight title. It may make perfect sense for Dern’s path to the title to go through former champion Andrade.
The loser of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Weili Zhang at UFC 275 would be an interesting matchup for Andrade; former UFC Strawweight champions Jedrzejczyk and Zhang will face off in the rematch of their epic championship bout, and we think that the loser of the bout could be matched up with Andrade. A rematch bout with Jedrzejczyk would be an interesting matchup for Andrade as the two are different fighters from the first time the matched up with Joanna Jedrzecjyk improving on her already amazing striking game training everyday since her war with Zhang on the feet and Andrade also gotten better on the feet in recent outings not just relying on her Jiu Jitsu.
Rose Namajunas will always be linked to Andrade as it was Namajunas who Andrade won her belt from at UFC 237. In their second matchup Namajunas won a very close Split Decision. Namajunas is much like Andrade as she has very good ground game but also has a very good striking game. Namajunas looked rough in her last outing not doing much of anything in the fight while receiving awful coaching from her corner and fiance. On the other hand Andrade looked awesome in her last outing. We definitely think Andrade would win a matchup against Namajunas.
We can’t wait to see who Andrade will face in her next outing and whoever she faces will bring the fight.
June is already here and Bellator and the UFC have some killer fights coming up in the month of June. The first two are from the biggest MMA promotion’s first PPV in Asia since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The other fight is a matchup between Bellator Middleweights in a championship bout.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Weili Zhang UFC 275
Former UFC Strawweight champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang will face off in the UFC Octagon at UFC 275 in the rematch of their epic championship bout which has been called the greatest Women’s MMA fight of all time where Zhang inflicted so much damage on Jedrzejczyk that she had a giant hematoma on her head the size of a small Nerf football. It was a major fight for the Division which was only about 6 years old at the time. And got a lot of people that weren’t into the idea of Women’s MMA to actually enjoy female MMA. Zhang has been training with Henry Cejudo in recent camps. It is also rumored that former champion Rose Namajunas has reached out to Jedrzejczyk to help prepare her for the showdown at UFC 275.
Valentina Schevchenko vs. Taila Santos UFC 275
The second fight we’re excited for is a matchup between Flyweight Champion Valentina Schevchenko and Taila Santos for the Flyweight title. Schevchenko has shown mastery in the UFC cage throughout her UFC career with her only two losses of her career coming against Female MMA G.O.A.T. former two division champ Amanda Nunes. Schevchenko’s striking is next level and we think this is a great matchup for the fans as Santos is also a striker growing up in a house with a father who was a Muay Thai coach, she is riding a four fight win streak with wins over ‘Meatball’ Molly McCann, Submission specialist Gillian Robertson and UFC veterans Roxanne Modafferi, and Joanne Wood.
Gegard Mousasi vs Johnny Eblen Bellator 282
Former Strikeforce and UFC veteran Gegard Mousasi will return to the Bellator Cage in a few weeks at Bellator 282 live from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. In his last appearance in the Bellator cage Mousasi faced off against a then Undefeated Austin Vanderford and made quick work of the heavily tatted in his second successful title defense which extended Mousasi’s win streak to four wins in a row. Since entering Bellator, Mousasi has an impressive 7-1 promotional record. His opponent Johnny Eblen, much like Vanderford, is undefeated. Mousasi will look to put an end to Eblens run to the top of the Bellator Middleweight division.
Nina Nunes is on the coaching staff of the New season of The Ultimate Fighter behind her wife Amanda Nunes. The pair are a UFC power couple and this season has not disappointed so far. Nunes is currently ranked in the top 10 of the Women’s strawweight division and has a record of 10-7-0 and will make her return to the UFC Octagon on July 9, 2022 in the UFC Apex Center. She is looking to get back into the win column after two losses in her last outings to Tatiana Suarez and Mackenzie Dern.
Nunes was born Nina Ann Ansaroff on December 3, 1985 in Weston, Florida. Nunes started taking classes in Taekwondo at the age of 6 she would later earn a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo. Nunes wrestled in high School at Lake Region High School. Nunes would start training MMA to lose weight and stay active after a Motorcycle accident. She’d later earn a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Nunes would start her amateur MMA career in 2008 where she compiled a 3-0 record. She turned pro in September of 2010.
Nunes would make her pro debut against Catia Vitoria in the Crowbar MMA promotion; she’d win the bout by Unanimous Decision. She’d then hit the first rough patch of her career losing her first bout to future two time UFC Champion Carla Esparza by Split Decision. Nunes would then face future Invicta FC Flyweight Champion losing to Barb Honchak. She’d lose her next bout too to Casey Noland, but Nunes was not deterred; she’d face Jessica Doerner in November of 2012 winning the bout by TKO. This win by Nunes started a five fight win streak which would lead to Nunes ending up in the UFC.
Nunes would make her UFC debut against Juliana Lima Unfortunately for Nunes she lost the contest. She then would face World Muay-Thai Champion Justine Kish at UFC 195 losing the bout by Unanimous Decision. Nunes would get back in the win column in her next bout when she’d face off against Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger winning the fight by Submission (rear-naked choke) in January of 2017. She’d get her second win in the UFC against Angela Hill in November of 2017. Randa Markos would be next for Nunes and she would win the bout on the judges scorecards by Unanimous Decision. She’d then get another win against Claudia Gahdelha in December of 2018. Nunes would lose her next two bouts to Suarez and Dern.
We’re excited to see how Nune’s next fight shakes out.