UFC 275 Preview

UFC 275 is right  around the corner in June which is headlined by two major title fights. We have three fights that we are really excited about. The first fight we’re excited for is a rematch between Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Zhang Weili, the first fight between the pair was one of the craziest female UFC fights of all time. The next fight we’re excited for is between Flyweight Champion Valentina Schevchenko and Taila Santos for the title. The final fight we’re very excited for is a matchup between Light Heavyweight Champion Glover Teixeira and Jiří Procházka for the belt in one of the most interesting divisions since it was left by former Champion Jon Jones.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Zhang Weili faced off at UFC 248 in March of 2022 for the Strawweight title. The pair put on one hell of a show, with Zhang Weili doing a significant amount of damage on Jędrzejczyk causing a giant hematoma on Jędrzejczyk’s head the size of a Nerf Football. Jędrzejczyk has some of the best striking in Women’s MMA and looks to win this rematch with hopes of getting back to wearing the Strawweight title by the end of this year. It is Rumored Former Two time Strawweight Champion, and former rival Rose Namajunas will be helping Jędrzejczyk with her camp. It should be interesting to see how this one goes down.

The next fight  that night 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.

The next fight is a matchup between Light Heavyweight Champion Glover Texieira and Jiří Procházka. Teixeira shocked the MMA world when he won the Light Heavyweight strap in October at UFC 267 at the age of 42 making him the oldest first time Champion in the UFC. The victory, which came by Submission (rear-naked choke,) won  Teixeira Fight of the Night Honors. Procházka is riding a 12 fight win streak and is undefeated in his two fights in the UFC. Procházka is no stranger to big fights as he won the inaugural Rizin Light Heavyweight Championship and defended his belt once. 25 of  Procházka’s 28 wins have come by means of Knockout. It will be interesting to see who comes out of this title fight on top.

We’re excited for this card. It should be awesome to see who wins.

Fighter Profile: Maycee Barber

Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC

One of the most promising fighters to ever come off of Dana White’s Contender Series is Maycee “The Future” Barber who is riding a two fight win streak after her win against Montana De La Rosa at UFC Vegas 53 a few weeks ago and sports an impressive 10-2 record in her young MMA career and is currently ranked in the top 15 of the Flyweight division, and she could be at the top of the division in the very near future if she chooses the right fights.

Barber was born in Greeley, Colorado on May 18, 1998. When Barber was younger she had one dream of becoming an MMA fighter. Her parents got behind her dream and let her pursue it with the best training imaginable driving her and her brother who is signed with Bellator all over the country to train with the hopes of them getting skilled enough to take the least amount of Damage. Barber would earn her Black Belt in Karate and currently holds a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After securing one amateur MMA victory Barber would turn her sights on making MMA her profession

Barber would make her Professional MMA debut in June of 2017 in The Legacy Fighting Alliance. She’d earn the victory against Itzel Esquivel via Submission (armbar.) She’d then face Mallory Martin in September of 2017  winning the bout via Unanimous Decision. Kaila Thompson would be next for Barber who would secure the victory via Submission (rear-naked choke) at LFA 33. Barber would then face Audrey Perkins in May of 2018,  at LFA 39 by way of TKO (punches and elbows.) She’d then get the call to fight on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Barber debuted on the National stage when she’d fight Jamie Colleen winning the three round contest by TKO (elbows.) She’d make her official UFC debut in November of 2018 when she’d face off against Hannah Cifers, winning the bout by TKO (elbows and punches) in the second round. She’d then face JJ Aldrich winning the bout by TKO (Knees and punches) in March of 2019. Barber would then face Submission Specialist Gillian Robertson, barber would win  the contest by TKO (punches.)  She’d then drop two contests in a row, the first to MMA veteran Roxanne Modafferi and the second to Alexa Grasso. She’d win her next two bouts to Miranda Maverick and Montana De La Rosa both by Decision.

Barber is set to take on Jessica Eye at UFC 276 in Las Vegas. We’re excited to see how this one shakes out for Barber.

What’s Next For Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera?

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera and Massachusetts native Rob Font  Gave UFC fans an amazing performance on Saturday when they faced off against each other in the UFC Octagon. We think that there are some clear fights that make sense for Vera. One fight I think makes a lot of Sense is a bout with Cory Sandhagen. Another matchup that makes sense for Chito is with Russian Striking ace Petr Yan would also make sense as Yan. A matchup I think the fans would love to see would be a rematch between Vera and Jose Aldo. The Bantamweight Division is full of interesting matchups.

Sandhagen Is coming off a loss to Petr Yan for the interim UFC Bantamweight Championship at UFC 267 which won him Fight of the Night honors. Sandhagen is a striker but also holds a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I think this matchup makes sense for Chito as he’d be able to bring it to the ground and hopefully get a submission as he is a grappler and 8 of his 19 mins have come from his submission game.

Petr Yan is a very good matchup for Vera. Yan looked very uncomfortable on the ground in his rematch Championship bout against current Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling. Chito holds the advantage in the grappling department, but on the feet Yan could make things interesting, all MMA fights start on the feet. Seven of Yans victories come by way of Knockout making this one of those striker vs. grappler matchups that the UFC loves to make, it’s one of the most entertaining fights I think makes sense. 

Two fights that I think fans would like to see, and matchups that Vera has called for. One is a rematch with former Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. The other is with former Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. Aldo is an interesting matchup for Vera as they both have already met in the Octagon so they know each other well. Both have amazing submission skills so this may actually stay on the feet. The matchup with Dominick Cruz actually makes more sense for Vera in my opinion, Vera has a huge advantage on the ground with years of grappling experience. 

It’ll be interesting to see what is next for Vera. We think he is climbing his way to the top of this stacked division.

UFC 274 Preview

Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC

UFC 274 is right around the corner, and the main card is must watch TV. The first fight of the night features MMA veteran and all around badass Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone facing off against another badass UFC veteran Joe Lauzon. The next fight of note is between former interim Champ Tony Ferguson and former Bellator Champ Michael Chandler. Both Ferguson and Chandler are both in need of a win.  The Card is then headlined by two title fights the first title fight is between Strawweights former champ Carla Esparza will face current champ Rose Namajunas. The final fight of the night will be between Justin Gaethje and Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira.

Donald Cowboy Cerrone has made a career out of taking short notice fights and fighting all comers. Some think that this will be Cerrone’s last fight in the UFC cage. Cerrone has had a couple of rough outings over the last three years most notably a Knockout loss to Conor McGregor. Joe Lauzon is on the back nine of his career; he got back in the win column in his last outing when he faced off against Jonathan Pearce winning by TKO. This was after a very rough patch in his career when he dropped three in a row to Stevie Ray, Clay Guida, and Chris Gruetzemacher. It will be Lauzon’s first bout in the UFC since before the Pandemic in 2019.

The next bout we’re really excited for is a matchup between Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson. Chandler put on one of the best fights last year when he squared up against Justin Gaethje in the UFC Octagon. The pair traded shots for a long time with Gaethje coming up the victor in the end. Chandler is now set to face Tony Ferguson with the pair being on losing streaks both are hoping to get back to their winning ways. Ferguson in his last three outings has faced top tier competition but was unable to secure victories against Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, and Beneil Dariush. It should be interesting to see who comes out of this matchup with a win.

The final two bouts on this card are title fights. The first being a rematch between Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas. The pair faced off during The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned Finale for the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship. Esparza walked away with the belt in their first meeting and will hope to reclaim the title from Namajunas. Namajunas is on her second stint as UFC Champion and hopes to make her second title defense this go around when she faces off against Esparza.

The final bout of UFC 274 is for The Lightweight title and will feature Justin Gaethje facing off with Submission Specialist Charles Oliveira. Gaethje is no stranger to big fights as he is the Former World Series of Fighting Lightweight Champion and is also a former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion he hopes to take Oliveiras belt. Oliveira will do everything in his power to stop this. The Brazilian grappler has been on an awesome ten fight winning streak two of those wins were title fights where he beat  Michael Chandler vacant UFC Lightweight Championship. Broke the UFC record for most finishes (17). And a great title defense against one of the best Lightweights in the world Dustin Poirier. This matchup between Gaethje and Oliveira is going to be must-see TV and we are excited to watch how this goes down.

You can catch UFC 274 on ESPN+ PPV on May 7th.

Update: Charles Oliveira missed weight and has been stripped of his UFC Lightweight title and will not be eligible to win the Lightweight title if he is victorious at UFC 274

Fighter Profile Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson

Photo courtesy of ONE Championship

One of the oddest moves in UFC history from a fans perspective was when they sent Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson to ONE Championship after he Lost his UFC Flyweight Title to Henry Cejudo in 2018 for Ben Askren. Johnson was one of the best MMA fighters in the promotion who had eleven successful title defenses. At the time Askren was The One Welterweight Champion, but once he entered the UFC he wasn’t very good, winning his first bout but losing his next to bouts to Jorge Masvidal in a highlight real Knockout via an amazing Flying Knee and Technical Submission to Demian Maia. Needless to say Askren was a dud when it came to the UFC making some wonder why it happened as some people in the MMA community especially Joe Rogan consider Johnson to be the one of the greatest of all time.

 Johnson was born on August 13, 1986 in Madisonville, Kentucky but would grow up in Parkland, Washington. Johnson had a rough childhood as he was raised by his deaf mother and an abusive stepfather. Johnson never met his biological father. Johnson was a standout athlete while in school he ran cross country, track and wrestled, but he only did the first two to increase his cardio for Wrestling which was his main focus. After attending Pierce College Johnson decided it was time to pursue a career in Mixed Martial Arts.

In 2007 he made his MMA professional MMA debut when he faced off against  Brandon Fieds. Johnson would win the bout by Knockout in the first round. Jeff Bourgeois would be next for Johnson he’d win this bout by Unanimous Decision. He’d then face Eric Alvarez and again would win when he got the nod on all the Judges score cards. Johnson would then take on Louis Contreras, Johnson would win the bout via Submission (keylock.) Jose Garza would be next for Mighty Mouse he’d get the victory  via Submission (armbar.) He’d win his next five fights before dropping his first fight to Brad Pickett.  He’d win his next two fights over Nick Pace and Damacio Page.

Johnson would soon enter the UFC when the promotion he was fighting with merged with the UFC.  He’d make his UFC debut against Norifumi Yamamoto winning the fight by Unanimous Decision. Johnson would take on Miguel Torres He’d again win the fight by Unanimous Decision. He’d then face Dominick Cruz For the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Unfortunately he would not win the title.

 He’d then face Ian McCall in his Flyweight debut in the UFC Flyweight Tournament Semi-final this contest would be ruled a Majority draw Fight of the Night. He’d get an immediate rematch with Ian McCall which he’d win which brought him to the finals of The Flyweight Tournament for the belt, He’d face Joseph Benavidez in the bout and would win the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship.

Johnson would defend his UFC Flyweight belt eleven times before losing it to Henry Cejudo in their re-match at UFC 227. The trade mentioned earlier would go through and Mighty  Mouse would be sent to One Championship where he’d return to 135 pounds. He’d make his One debut against Yuya Wakamatsu winning by  Submission (guillotine choke.) Johnson would then face Tatsumitsu Wada winning by Unanimous Decision. Danny Kingad would be next for Johnson he’d win this fight again by Unanimous Decision winning the ONE Championship Flyweight (135 lb) Grand-Prix.. He’d then face Adriano Moraes but would lose the bout by KO (knee.)

We can’t wait to see who Johnson faces next, and hope it will be a win for him. 

Fighter Profile: Shavkat Rakhmonov

Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC

If you follow MMA you’ve definitely been following the Meteoric rise of Khamzat Chimaev, if you’re paying attention you’ll realize the fighter most people mention right after Chimaev is Kazakhstani and Uzbekistani fighter Shavkat Rakhmonov. Rakhmonov is an undefeated fighter much like Chimaev, and hopefully these two undefeated fighters will meet in a fight very soon because these two fighters and Sean Brady are the future of the UFC Welterweight division and MMA as a whole.

Rakhmonov was born October 23, 1994 in Shurchi District, Uzbekistan to a father who is a Kazakh, a mother who is a Kazakh-Konyrat. Rakhmonov learned about MMA by watching MMA fights on DVD. After watching MMA he decided to pursue Martial Arts at first with boxing, but would eventually switch to Combat Sambo where he’d become a Master of Sport in and Master of Sport in MMA. Rakhmonov is an excellent wrestler who’s wrestling and submissions are on par with the Dagestanis.

Rakhmonov made his Professional MMA debut in October of 2012 when faced off against Adam Tsurov in Nazran, Russia for the M-1 Challenge promotion. Rakhmononov would win the bout via Submission (triangle choke.) He’d then face off against Marcus Vinicios winning the bout via TKO (punches.) He’d then face Bartosz Chyrek in May of 2015 winning by KO (punches.)

Rakhmonov would win his next five fights before fighting Faridun Odilov for the KZMMAF Welterweight title he’d win said belt by TKO (punches.) He’d defend this title once against Rinat Sayakbaev. He’d then face off against Daniil Prikaza for the vacant M-1 Welterweight Championship He’d win the strap, and he’d defend that belt once before getting the call to fight in the UFC.

Rakhmonov would make his UFC debut in October of 2020 when he faced off against Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira.  Rakhmonov would win the bout in the first round with a Submission by way of the guillotine choke. He’d then face Michel Prazeres in June of 2021 Rakhmonov would win the bout via Submission (rear-naked choke.) In his next outing he’d face Carlston Harris he’d win the bout via KO (spinning hook kick and punches) in February 2022. Rakhmonov would win the Performance of the Night with this highlight reel knockout.

Rakhmonov is set to face Neil Magny in a UFC Fight Night Main Event on June 25th. It’ll be interesting to see how this one shakes out.

Fighter Profile: Pat Sabatini

Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC

Pat Sabatini is one of the best new fighters the UFC has signed in the last year he has started his UFC career a perfect 3-0 and has an impressive 16-3 record for his professional MMA career. The former two time Cage Fury Featherweight Champion is no stranger to big fights and will soon be in for some of the biggest fights of his career as he scales the summit of the UFC Featherweight division.

Sabatini was born November 9, 1990 in Bristol, PA he still trains out of his native Pennsylvania. Sabatini played sports growing up including hockey, but would take to Martial Arts after being bullied and getting his head stuck in a urinal by said bully. Sabatini would start with Karate and then would switch to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He’d later achieve a Black Belt under Daniel Gracie. Sabatini would later take up Wrestling and Sambo and would eventually transition to Mixed Martial Arts.
Sabatini would make his amateur debut in 2008. During his amateur career he’d have a perfect record. Sabatini would make his professional debut in April of 2014 against Jacob Bohn in The Cage Fury Fighting Championship promotion. He’d win his professional debut in the first round with a Submission (rear-naked choke.) Sabatini would go on to face Shelby Graham, in October of that same year he’d again get the victory with a Submission (rear-naked choke.) Sabatini would get a loss in his next outing, but this did not phase him as he’d go on to win his next five in a row including the Cage Fury Fighting Championship with a Submission (Heel Hook.)

On Saturday Sabatini is facing off against T.J. Laramie at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas hopefully he comes away with a win.

Fighter Profile: Tom Aspinall

Photo Courtesy of Chris Unger-Handout Photo

The UFC booked a great card in London last Month that featured some of English MMA’s biggest names. One of the best performances of the night was that of Tom Aspinall who continued his eight fight win streak with a first round Submission victory over Russian, Alexander Volkov.  

Aspinall was born on April 11, 1993 in Atherton, Greater Manchester, England. He started training in MArtial arts at a young age first with boxing and wrestling before switching to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as his father was a Grappler. He was a standout in BJJ and would win the British Open in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in all belt classes except black belt. An amazing feat for the young Grappler. His father would eventually become the BJJ instructor for Team Kaobon, one of England’s premiere MMA gyms. This would cause young Aspinall to become interested in MMA and he’d transition to the sport at this time.

Aspinall would make his MMA debut in December 2014 when he faced off against Michał Piszczek. Aspinall would win the bout by TKO (submission to punches.) He’d then face Ricky King and his grappling would come into full display as he’d earn the victory with a Submission (heel hook.) He’d then face  Satisch Jhamai  earning a victory via TKO (punches.) Stuart Austin would be next for Aspinall, unfortunately he was unable to secure a victory marking his first loss of his career. He’d get back into the win column when he faced off against Adrian Ruskac, but would lose his next bout  Łukasz Parobiec moving him to 4-2. He’d win his next three bouts before moving to the UFC.

Aspinall would make his UFC debut in July of 2020 where he’d secure the victory over Jake Collier via TKO (knee and punches.) He’d then face Alan Baudot again winning the bout via TKO (elbows and punches.) For his next fight he’d show his grappling prowess when he faced off against Andrei Arlovski earning the victory via Submission (rear-naked choke.)  Sergey Spivak would be next for Aspinall in September of 2021 winning the bout via TKO (elbow and punches.) He’d then face Alexander Volkov in the biggest fight of his career in the main event at UFC London he’d win the bout via Submission (straight armbar.)

Aspinall is off to an impressive start to his UFC career. The Grappler is on pace to be atop the Heavyweight division very soon.

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.