UFC 278 Preview

Photo Courtesy of Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/GETTY

UFC 278 Is a few weeks away and it is absolutely stacked. The first fight of interest is a matchup between José Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili. This fight will immediately be followed up by the funniest MMA fighter on the Internet Paulo Costa who will be facing off against Luke Rockhold. The Main event will be a title fight between Kamaru Usman and 19-3 Leon Edwards which is a rematch between the pair, who first faced off in December of 2015.

 José Aldo is tough as nails and was at one point considered to be the best UFC Featherweight of all time. And if you look at all of Aldo’s losses were to killers like Petr Yan, Max Holloway, and Alexander Volkanovski. Aldo has won his last three and hopes to make it four wins a row. He is set to take on Merab Dvalishvili who is riding a seven fight win streak holding a 14-4 MMA record. The Georgian has a background in Wrestling, khridoli, Sambo and Judo.

If you don’t follow Paulo Costa you probably should. The Brazilian is one of the funniest men in MMA and talks shit on the internet. The Jiu Jitsu Black Belt has a 13-2 record and is on a two fight losing streak, but hopes to get back into the win column when he faced off against Luke Rockhold. Rockhold is also a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu who has a 16-5 record with all of those loses coming against tough opposition like Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, and Jan Błachowicz. This fight is a banger.

The main event is really something to behold, a rematch seven years in the making. Kamaru Usman wasn’t the Champion back then, but now he is and the 170 pound title is on the line. Since their last meeting Edwards has gone without a loss and he hopes to get revenge from his loss against Usman with a win against the 170 pound champion.Usman looks to add another title defense to his resume when he fights against Edwards. Usman is phenomenal in the UFC Octagon with a perfect promotional record and an overall 20-1 record.

UFC 278 is a great card and will be live on ESPN+ PPV. It’s sure to be a night of great fights.

What’s Next For Colby Covington

Love him or loathe him Colby Covington has proved that he is one of the best Welterweight fighters currently. He came out on top when he faced Jorge Masvidal Saturday at UFC 272 when the pair faced off in a lopsided contest. This leads one to ask what’s next for Colby Covington. He may not be the caliber of fighter that Usman is, but could an unprecedented third fight be called for? Could a matchup with Dustin Poirier be in the cards? Would a matchup with the winner of Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimiaev be a good fight for the wrestler? We have our thoughts!

Covington has proved that he has an amazing gas tank and that he is one of the biggest personalities in the Sport, almost like he’s America’s answer to Conor McGregor. One fight that would definitely sell would be a match up between Covington and Kamaru Usman. The pairing have fought twice before with Usman winning both times, but the two don’t like each other and it would definitely sell PPV if they got together and fought for the belt sometime down the line.

Poirier and Covington do not like each other; the pair have traded verbal barbs with the former interim Lightweight Champion saying of Covington “I’ll never fight Colby (Covington) in an Octagon where there’s finances on the line. If I fight Colby, we’re both going to jail – I’m going to jail. You will never see me fight Colby Covington in the UFC.” But if the money is right this would be an interesting fight which I think Poirier comes out on top. This fight is really a no win situation for either of them.

Most likely I see Covington fighting the winner of Burns vs Chimiaev. The pair will be facing off against each other at UFC 273 in April and I think that the winner might face Covington sooner rather than later. Chimiaev is an undefeated Russian Wrestler who destroys everything in his path. The Russian who trains out of Sweden has recently become one of MMA’s biggest rising stars. He has recently become training partners with Englishman Darren Till. Covington has gone out of his way to trash talk Chimiaev referring to him as ‘c**shot.’ 

It’d be an interesting fight for sure as would a matchup with submission specialist Burns who has many achievements in the Grappling world and is currently ranked second in the welterweight division, Since Burns added Striking precision to his arsenal he has become lethal and could out strike and out grapple Covington.

What’s Next For Israel Adesanya?

Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker at UFC 271
Adesanya Lands a Knee to Robert Whittakers Jaw during their watchup at UFC 271 on Saturday Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Israel Adesanya defended his title at UFC 271 on Saturday night in Houston, and some people say it was a controversial decision. We on the other hand are looking forward to seeing who is next for the Middleweight Champion, who has dominated the division for so long. One obvious fight would be against Jared Cannonier who put on a great performance also on Saturday night. Could a fight with another champion be in the cards for Adesanya whether it be someone moving up to face him or Adesanya moving up. In this piece we go over the options for one of the best strikers in MMA history.

Jared Cannonier holds a great record at 15-5 and most think that he’d be an interesting match up for Adesanya. Cannonier is on a two fight win streak and has not faced Adesanya. Cannonier is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and might have the skills to take Adesanya down and submit him. Cannonier’s size is really his biggest advantage Cannonier has fought at Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, and now at Middleweight. He also has Knockout power with 10 of his 15 wins coming by way of Knockout.

Another fight I think fans would love to see is a matchup between Adesanya and Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. Usman has lapped his division and there’s really nothing more for him to prove at 170. I think fans would love to see these two stellar Martial Artists go head to head with each other. They’ve talked about fighting in the past, but due to their friendship, and the money issue not being correct.

 I think that they have not actually firmly said they want to get into the Octagon and see who comes out on top. Usman and Adesanya both have really good takedown defense so this would likely be two of the best strikers standing and throwing shots at each other till someone gets knocked out or the final bell rings.

Another possibility would be Adesanya moving up to Light Heavyweight to try to become a double champ. Light Heavyweight is not a very deep division since the departure of Jon Jones it has really looked for an identity. I think Adesanya trying to move up again and getting the winner of Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka which will be going down at UFC 274 in May. Adesanya recently tried to go up in weight to face former Lightweight Champion Jan Błachowicz but was unable to secure Champ Champ status.

Adesanya has some good fights to pick from, and we hope that he secures another title defense or goes after another title in his next outing.

Predicting The UFC’s Champions at the End of 2022

Valentina Shevchenko: Amanda Nunes Knows 'She Was Gifted The Victory' In  Second Fight | MiddleEasy

Before the UFC’s beginning of 2022 kickoff on Saturday we decided to take a look at what divisions we think will have new champions come the End of 2022 and which divisions will likely have the same champion by the end of this year. We think that this might be a controversial list, but I think that there are some things that definitely need to be said. 

Men’s Bantamweight: Petr Yan

Current Champion Aljamain Sterling won his belt due to an illegal knee. It truly was “The Illegal Knee Heard Around the World” and Petr Yan was winning that fight before that happened. Many people thought Sterling was faking it, but under current Unified Rules that was a valid way for Sterling to win a belt and one of the wildest ways I think a UFC title has ever been won. Yan is currently the interim champion of the Bantamweight division after fighting Cory Sandhagen for an interim title after Sterling pulled out of the Rematch. Before facing Sterling, Yan was riding a ten fight win streak and was the Bantamweight Champion and we think he will have UFC gold by the end of 2022.

Women’s Bantamweight: Valentina Schevchenko

Julianna Peña shocked the world at UFC 269 When she beat Amanda Nunes and won the Bantamweight title, a title Nunes had held since 2016 at UFC 200 when she choked out Miesha Tate. We think that Peña won’t hold UFC gold for long and will eventually lose it to either Amanda Nunes or Valentina Schevchenko We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that Schevchenko moves back to Bantamweight and goes after Champ Champ status Schevchenko literally has cleaned out the Flyweight division and the only real challenger that might come her way is former Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate who is moving down to Flyweight. But we think Schevchenko will be Champ Champ by the end of 2022.

Men’s Heavyweight: Jon Jones

Arguably the greatest  MMA fighter of all time, we predict Jon Jones will be Heavyweight Champion by the end of 2022. Jones, who was putting on weight to fight at 265 pounds before his most recent legal trouble. He  has not fought since February 2020 when he defended the Light Heavyweight title. Jones who has been M.I.A. throughout the whole pandemic and was in talks to fight Francis Ngannou after Ngannou won the title against Stipe Miocic in March. We hope that Jones fights the winner of Ngannou vs Ciryl Gane when the pair fight their unification bout later this month at UFC 270.

Champions we think will stay the same in 2022:

Women Strawweight: Rose Namajunas

Women’s Flyweight: Valentina Schevchenko

Men’s Flyweight: Brandon Moreno

Men’s Featherweight: Alexander Volkanovski

Women’s Featherweight: Amanda Nunes

Men’s Lightweight: Charles Oliveira

Men’s Welterweight: Kamaru Usman

Men’s Middleweight: Israel Adesanya 

Light Heavyweight: Glover Teixeira

Fighter Profile: Jorge Masvidal

UFC fight night picks; Jorge Masvidal wants to teach Leon Edwards a lesson  - Sports Illustrated
Masvidal before his title fight with Kamaru Usman Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Masvidal is one of the most inspiring stories in MMA. He started fighting in the streets in Miami, with nights that he slept in his car not being able to afford to eat, and then ended up being one of the biggest stars in the biggest promotion in the sport. Because of Masvidal’s success he is now running his own MMA promotion. Quite the rags to riches story that makes America great.

Masvidal was born on November 12, 1984 in Miami where he still resides to this day. Masvidal was born to Cuban and peruvian parents. His father escaped Communist Cuba via a homemade raft. Thus Masvidal takes a very anti-communist and anti-socalism stance to this day. His father would end up doing time for drug trafficking and manslaughter. Masvidal had a rough childhood often involving him getting into fights and this led to him getting a name for himself in street fights in Miami including beating one of Kimbo Slice’s protégés. Masvidal also wrestled in High School but was not able to compete due to issues with his grades this led Masvidal to end up training martial arts first karate then MMA.

Masvidal made his MMA debut in 2003 against Brandon Bledsoe back when the sport was only 10 years old. Masvidal would win by Knockout. He’d win his next four fights before taking his first loss in the sport. He’d fight for various promotions compiling a record of 16-3 before he fought in Bellator, a new promotion which he was on the first card for that promotion where he fought Nick Agallar and won via TKO(punches.) He’d fight twice more for Bellator compiling a 2-1 record at the promotion. From their Masvidal would fight in various promotions before landing at Strikeforce, his final stop before the UFC.

Masvidal made his debut against Tim Means in April of 2013, at UFC on Fox 7. He’d win via Unanimous decision. He’d then face Michael Chiesa and would win via Submission (brabo choke.) He’d then face Rustam Khabilov and would lose the fight via Unanimous decision. He’d make it to the top and then hit major roadblocks with a couple multiple loss skids but he’d pull it together before getting to one of the most interesting fights of his career against Nate Diaz for the ‘BMF’ title. Masvidal would win via TKO (doctor stoppage) due to Diaz’s immense amount of bleeding. The newly minted BMF would then face Kamaru Usman in back to back title fights losing to the second best Welterweight Champion of all time. Diaz was supposed to face Leon Edwards at UFC 269 but Unfortunately was unable to fight due to injury. 

It is not known who Masvidal will face next, but there are rumors of him facing his former best friend, roommate, and training partner Colby Covington. I think fans would love to see this matchup.

Fighter Profile: Khamzat Chimaev

Jon Anik: Khamzat Chimaev is biggest 'burning question' heading into UFC's  2022 campaign - MMA Fighting
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Over the last two years Khamzat Chimaev has created quite the name for himself. The Russian born freestyle wrestler has smashed all of his competition while in the MMA cage. Chiamaev has an interesting problem, since he has smashed all of his competition no one will take on Chiamaev. He is that good. He’s been compared to Khabib Nurmogamedov and if he can string together a string a few more wins in the UFC Octagon together he may find himself in the cage with current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.

Chimaev was born on May 1, 1994 in Beno-Yurt, Chechnya, Russia. Chimaev started wrestling at the age of five and still challenges people to wrestling matches till this day. Chimaev won a bronze medal at the Russian National Championships at the junior level.  Chimaev left Russia at the age of 18 and immigrated to Sweden where his family was.  Chimaev was often considered one of the best wrestlers in the country and he had an undefeated record in wrestling matches with a perfect 12-0 record. He also competed in Judo and Sambo where he holds a 3-0 record.

At age 23 Chimaev decided to pursue MMA and made his amauture debut in September of 2017.He’d make his professional debut eight months later after compiling an impressive perfect 3-0  amature record. He made his pro debut on May 26, 2018. His opponent was Gard Olve Sagen. Chimaev would win via TKO (punches) in round two. In his next fight he’d face Ole Magnor he’d secure the victory via Technical Submission (rear-naked choke.) He’d then face Marko Kisič and would win via TKO (punches.) Chimaev would continue his dominant ways and win his next three.

 His impressive 6-0 record caught the eye of the UFC who signed him to a deal. Chimaev made his UFC debut on July 16th, 2020 against John Phillips and would secure the victory via Submission (D’Arce choke.) He’d go on to face Rhys McKee on ten days rest and would beat him via TKO (punches.) In September of 2020 Chimaev would go on to face Gerald Meerschaert, he’d win by Knockout. Thirteen months later he’d face Li Jingliang at UFC 267 in October of 2021 where he’d win via Technical Submission (rear-naked choke.) This victory would move Chimaev to a perfect 10-0.

It is not known who Chimaev will face next. He is currently ranked 11th in the welterweight division. He is at an interesting point in his career where he is getting dodged and noone wants to face him, we’ll see who is next for him, because he is one of the promotion’s biggest upcoming stars.

What’s Next For Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 02: Jorge Masvidal poses for a portrait backstage during the UFC 244 event at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
The UFC BMF himself, Jorge Masvidal.

Jorge Masvidal was set to make his return to the UFC Octagon at UFC 269 but due to an undisclosed injury he suffered in his training camp. He was supposed to face Leon Edwards who’s been on an impressive win streak. But will that fight get rescheduled is still to be decided. Could a new opponent be better for Masvidal?  Would a fight with someone like Colby Covington sell more fights for the UFC? We’re going to look into some of the options for the American Top Team standout.

One option for Masvidal would be rescheduling the fight against Leon Edwards for a later date. Could Masvidal play spoiler to Leon Edward’s win streak. MMA fans would love to see Masvidal win as he hasn’t won a fight since he faced Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in November of 2019 for the symbolic BMF title. Masvidal faced Kamaru Usman in his last two fights for the UFC Welterweight Championship, and was unable to come away with a win.

One other option could be a rematch with Nate Diaz. Diaz fought for the first time since his loss to Masvidal when he faced Edwards in June. Unfortunately for Diaz it was a loss to Edwards.  Masvidal and Diaz both sorely need a win so it might make sense for the two 170 pounders to do a rematch in March or April. Diaz is also on the last fight of his UFC deal and if he’s not completing his Trilogy with Conor McGregor a fight with Masvidal would be a matchup fans would love to see.

The other option which MMA fans would rather see is a grudge match with Colby Covington. In the week leading up to UFC 268 Covington was throwing shade at Masvidal calling him a ‘journeyman.’ Some in the MMA world have said that Masvidal pulled out intentionally to fight Covington at a later date although it seems unlikely, it would make things more interesting if that truth came out at a later date.

The UFC matchmakers have a lot of great fights they could make. Masvidal is a fan favorite so no matter what card they put him on it will sell. It’d be great to see any of these fights happen. Masvidal would have his hands full with any of these killers. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.





What’s Next For Colby ‘Chaos’ Covington ?

Colby Covington says he 'verbally agreed' to face Tyron Woodley at UFC 233  | Sherdog Forums | UFC, MMA & Boxing Discussion
Covington pictured in his signature MAGA hat. Image via Evy Rodrigues of Combate

Colby Covington made an amazing performance against Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 268. Although Covington came up short of a win he did manage to take Usman down breaking Usman’s streak of never being taken down. If an Olympic wrestler and a Jiu Jitsu Black belt like Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan respectively think you scored a takedown then you probably scored a takedown. Covington put in a good effort, and definitely did his best for the UFC selling the PPV with his trash talk and ridiculous suit, but when it was all said and done many asked what was next for the former interim Champion.

Covington has fought some of the Welterweights biggest names but it seems like there are some obvious choices for covington to fight. One of those names is Gilbert Burns. It’d be a great fight with Covington’s wrestling versus Burn’s submission prowess. Burns has had some great fights over the last two years of the Pandemic fighting with names like Stephen Thompson and Tyron Woodley. Burn’s only loss in the last three years was to Kamaru Usman which is oddly similar to Covington. It’d be great to see these two welterweights fight.

Another possible fight would be Vicente Luque. Luque is on a four fight win streak including wins over Randy Brown, Tyron Woodley, and Michael Chiesa. Luque is another fighter that’d be interesting to see fight Covington because Luque is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Luque is currently ranked fourth in the Welterweight division and with a win over Covington it would bring him steps closer to a title fight. 

More likely and what most fans would love to see would be a fight between Jorge Masvidal and  Covington. Masvidal is coming off back to back losses to Usman and was supposed to face Leon Edwards at UFC 269 on December 11th. Masvidal had to pull out of the fight because of an undisclosed injury. In the week leading up to UFC 268 Covington was throwing shade at Masvidal calling him a ‘journeyman.’ Some in the MMA world have said that Masvidal pulled out intentionally to fight Covington at a later date although it seems unlikely it would make things interesting if that truth came out at a later date. I think the MMA world would love to see this fight happen.

Covington has an amazing gas tank with the ability to go the distance with any of the amazing fighters within the UFC Welterweight division. We hope to see the MAGA hat wearing Covington return to the UFC Octagon again. 





What’s Next For ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas?

Photo Courtesy of Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas made her return to the UFC octagon where she successfully defended her title against Weili Zhang. This was a great fight where Namajunas showed her abilities both on the feet and on the ground. Putting on a clinic for her first title defense this go around. But this brought many to question what is next for Namajunas? She has beaten most of the big names in her division and has faced and beaten all of the divisions’ former champions besides Carla Esparza.

Namajunas made her way to the UFC in 2014 when she fought for a title on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter. She was ranked 7th on the show and would earn her spot to the final fight of the season where she faced Carla Esparza. Namajunas has gone on to have an excellent career in the UFC where she’s had two stints as champion.

Namajunas really has two options I think most fans would love to see. The first one I think that makes sense is another rematch with former Strawweight Champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Rose has beaten Jędrzejczyk twice already but Jędrzejczyk is one of the best Strawweights of all time. I think it’d be great to see a third fight.  Jędrzejczyk has been removed from the rankings at the current moment, but said she was waiting to face the winner of the Strawweight Championship at UFC 268. Namajunas won so I think they could definitely make this fight.

The other option for Namajunas in my opinion would be a rematch against Carla Esparza. Esparza is coming off a victory to Yan Xiaonan at UFC Fight Night: Font vs. Garbrandt in May of 2021. Esparza is on a five fight win streak and is often talked about as one of the best Strawweights of all time. Esparza Won the inaugural UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship and also Won The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 in 2014.   Esparza lost the title to Jędrzejczyk in her next fight. This would be a great match between a current champion and a former champion. I think the fans would love to see it too. 

Dana White and the UFC matchmakers do a great job making fights. I think Namajunas with the excellent coaching of Trevor Wittman will definitely have a way longer reign than her first time as champion. She’s a truly inspirational fighter who believes they are the best then puts on dominant performances that prove she’s the best.  We will have to wait and see what is next!





Kamaru Usman says crossover mega-fight with Canelo "only makes sense" and  would be combat sports' 'biggest event ever' | DAZN News UK
Usman embraces victory. Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Kamaru Usman will face Colby Covington at UFC 268 in a rematch of their 2019 fight which was Usman’s first title defense. Usman will again be defending the 170 pound title at UFC 268 the world will be watching as these two great wrestlers face off in the UFC Octagon at Madison Square Garden. But what makes the welterweight champion and #1 pound for pound ranked fighter is his story and how he got to the UFC. 

Usman was born May 11, 1987 in Auchi, Nigeria to his parents who were both of Nigerian descent. His father was in the Nigerian army and his mother was a teacher. Usman’s father would eventually become a Pharmacist and would move his family to the US when Usman was eight years old. This would get Usman an American education.

During his sophomore year Usman would begin wrestling at Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. It would be a start of something special for young Usman who ended up with a 53–3 record and would place third at the Texas State Wrestling Championships. Usman who is the same age as Jon Jones would wrestle besides the future Light Heavyweight champion at the Senior National Tournament.

 Usman would go on to wrestle in college at William Penn University. Usman would later transfer to the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Usman would place top 3 in wrestling in the country in all his years at UNK. Usman would become a NCAA Division II national champion at 174 pounds in 2010 in Omaha. After College Usman decided to pursue Olympic Wrestling but decided not to take part after injuries derailed his dreams.

This led Usman to pursue MMA. In 2011 Usman made his first step into the MMA world when he served as the wrestling coach for Team Miller during The Ultimate Fighter season fourteen. Usman made his professional MMA debut in November of 2012 fighting for the RFA promotion he won by TKO (punches.) Usman would lose his next fight, and would fight for more times in smaller promotions and would then make his way to the UFC. He’d end up in the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter. Usman would win the show and it would be his first win in the promotion.

After The Ultimate Fighter, Usman went on a serious run, dominating the Welterweight Division. Beating fighters like Leon Edwards, Demian Maia, and Rafael dos Anjos. This would earn Usman a title shot, where he would face defending Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley. Usman would win by Unanimous decision. Since then Usman has defended the Welterweight Championship 4 times once against Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns and twice against Jorge Masvidal. Usman will be facing Colby Covington in a rematch at Madison Square Garden as the main event of UFC 268.

What makes Usman’s story all the more amazing is that when Usman was doing all of these amazing things in the cage, he had turmoil at home. His father was in Jail for most of his run due to a health care fraud and money laundering scheme. Usman’s father is now out of jail and has seen his son fight. Usman recently bought his parents a nice home for them to retire in.

We shall see if Usman retains his title after UFC 268 it is sure to be a great fight, and it should be interesting because Usman and Covington don’t really like each other which adds so much drama to the fight. We shall see!