UFC 280 Preview

Graphic by Zuffa inc

The UFC 280 card is absolutely stacked but we’ve picked some key fights for you to tune into and maybe put some wagers on. The first fight we’re really excited for is a matchup between a wrestler in Belal Muhammad and Undefeated Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Contender Sean Brady.  The Next fight we’re really excited for is a matchup between Sean O’Malley and Petr Yan. This is an odd matchup with many fans and trolls alike wondering what the outcome will be when the American faces off the Russian Striking sensation. The final matchup we are super excited for is a the Main event where Charles Oliveira will face off against Khabib’s pupil Islam Makhachev.

Sean Brady has been undefeated in his MMA career so far. Although some call his game one dimensional we find his fighting style to be very fun to watch and unique. Brady who is a Black Belt under Professor Daniel Gracie has submission skills that could neutralize Huhamads wrestling. In his last three fights he’s had two submission victories and in his last performance he went to a decision against Michael Chiesa . I have to say Belal Muhammad wins a lot of his fights but they way he does it is quite boring how he just smothers people and waits for each round to pass and he controls his opponent to get a decision. Effective, but boring.

The Next matchup we’re really excited for is matchup between Sean O’Malley and striking wizard Petr Yan. It appears that Dana White is done giving the Suga show easy fights to grow his  and is throwing the young American to the wolves when he matches up with Petr Yan. The former champ is scary good and opened as a heavy favorite on the sportsbook. Yan should make quick work of O’Malley. We don’t see this one going the distance in any way, but we are looking forward to seeing how it goes down.

The champion has a name and it’s Charles Oliveira. Oliveira put on a great performance recently when he faced off against Former interim Champion Justin Gaethje with a quick round one submission victory where he outclassed his opponent and every way. What should of been a title defense for Oliveira was not so this will be interesting to see If Oliveira regains his belt. Across the cage from him will be islam Makhachev who is the best combat Sambo fighter out of Dagestan not named Khabib. Makhachev has vicious sambo skills which would scare even the most talented Grapplers as he can control you and pummel you with strikes and eventually get the submission.

The UFC 280 card is a banger Dana White shows why he is the best promoter in combat sports history with fights like these. What an amazing lineup You can catch this card on ESPN+ PPV.

What’s Next For Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera After UFC San Diego

Marlon “Chito” Vera put on one hell of a show when he faced off against Dominic Cruz in the UFC Octagon at UFC San Diego over the former champion with a vicious Knockout of the former Bantamweight champion. Vera has many options at 135 in our opinion. In this piece we’re going over the matchups that make sense for the rising Bantamweight. It all depends on who wins matchups at the top of the division in coming months.

The first fight I think that makes sense for Vera is the winner of the matchup between Petr Yan & Sean O’Malley. Yan is a striking master with a background in Boxing and Muay Thai the former Champion has been training hard since his title bout that he lost against current champ  Aljamain Sterling. The Yan O’Malley matchup doesn’t really make sense but a matchup between Vera and Yan would definitely make more sense. As would a rematch between Vera and O’Malley the pair definitely have unfinished business.

Jose Aldo faces off against Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278. I think the winner of that matchup would also make sense for Vera. Aldo is one of the best fighters in the lower weight classes in UFC history with 7 title defenses of his 145 pound belt. Vera could be an interesting matchup for Aldo because they both can Grapple, but both have striking games so it’d be interesting to see where the fight would end up.  Dvalishvili is a black belt in Judo, but the majority of his wins come from the Judges so it would be cool to see Vera try to Submit or Knockout the Georgian.

One matchup I really like for vera is Cory Sandhagen. Sandhagen has an impressive 14-4 I think Sandhagens striking and grappling would be put to the test with Vera. as Chito can go toe to toe and I think the grappling exchanges would go in Vera’s direction I want to see this matchup. But it all depends on Sandhagen’s next performance when he faces off against Song Yadong who is a really tough matchup for the 135er but I think Vera vs Sandhagen is really the fight to make if the matchups above don’t work out.

I’m super excited to see who Vera takes on next as he is definitely on his way to a title fight.

Fighter Profile: Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera

UFC 268 results: Marlon 'Chito' Vera crushes Frankie Edgar with brutal  front kick knockout - MMA Fighting
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera is a fascinating Fighter. From his first fight in a rusty cage in the back of a mechanic’s shop to fighting in the UFC he’s made a name for himself as an amazing submission specialist, but he also has knockout power finishing seven of his 18 wins by Knockout. Vera is sweet to watch and every time he fights it is must see TV. He has climbed into the top ten of one of the most talented divisions in the sport.

Vera was born on December 2, 1992 in Chone, Ecuador. Vera is the youngest of three children. Vera would often get into fights even at the young age of five and his siblings “taught” him how to fight, but it wasn’t until he was older that he really saw his potential, by stepping into a Jiu Jitsu gym. From that point on Vera never stopped training martial arts. And due to excelling in the gentle art Vera decided to fight MMA. He tricked his mother into signing consent for the fight because he was underage, telling her it was for a Jiu Jitsu tournament. From that point on Vera had one goal and that was going to the UFC.

Vera made his MMA debut against Cesar Moreno for the EMMA 2 – Extreme FC: Conflicto promotion in June of 2011. He secured the victory by Unanimous Decision.  He then faced Jack Guzman and won via Submission (Triangle Choke) in February 2012. Vera then took on Javier Umana Munoz and again secured the victory via Submission (Triangle Choke.) He then would face Joel Iglesias and would earn himself a knockout victory. He’d fight four more times before getting called by the UFC, to fight on ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America’ he got sent to Jacksonwink to train for the show and won on the show’s quarterfinals via knockout, but had to leave the competition due to a skin infection.

Vera made his UFC debut against fellow Ultimate Fighter castmate Marco Beltrán in November of 2014 at UFC 180. Vera would then fight Roman Salazar and would win via Submission (Triangle Choke.) He’d then face Davey Grant and lose via Unanimous Decision. He’d then string a three fight win streak together beating Ning Guangyou, Brad Pickett, and Brian Kelleher. He’d lose his next two fights, but would go on to win his next five bouts. He’d then face Song Yadong at Featherweight, unfortunately Vera would not secure the victory. He’d then beat Sean O’Malley by TKO (elbows and punches.) He’d then face former Featherweight King José Aldo he would lose by decision, but Vera would not be deterred as he’d secure victories over Davey Grant and former Lightweight Champion, Frankie Edgar. 

Vera has beaten a lot of great fighters and finds himself in the top 10 in the Bantamweight Division, one of the most talented divisions in the promotion.

UFC 269 Preview

UFC 269

UFC 269 is approaching fast and it’s sure to be a great night of fights. It will be the UFC’s last big card of the year and let’s just say this card is full of nice holiday treats. The first fight will be between bantamweights Sean O’Malley and number 15 ranked Raulian Piava. It will be followed by another fight in the flyweight division between Cody Garbrandt and Kai Kara France. A bout between welterweights will follow between Geoff Neal and Santiago Ponzinibbio. The night will be capped off with two title fights, the first being between Amanda Nunes and Juliana Pena for the Women’s Bantamweight title. The second championship fight will be between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier for the Lightweight strap.

Sean O’Malley is a fan favorite and will kick off the UFC 269 main card. He will be facing Raulian Piava. Piava has won his last three fights earning him being ranked in the Top 15 in the Division. Piava is Black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and fights out of Team Alpha Male an MMA gym run by UFC and WEC veteran, Urijah Faber. O’Malley has won his last two fights with his only loss coming against Marlon Vera by TKO at UFC 252 Miocic vs. Cormier 3. O’Malley is also a grappler with a Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Augusto Mendes so it’ll be interesting to see how this matchup will play out.

 The Flyweight bout between Cody Garbrandt and Kai Kara France is the next fight of note. Garbrandt is a former UFC Bantamweight Champion and is moving down to Flyweight. Garbrandt has lost four of his last five including tough losses to tough opponents like T.J. Dillashaw and Massachusetts native Rob Font. France has won two of his last four fights and before that was on an eight fight win streak. France is fighting out of City Kickboxing, home of UFC Champions Alex Volkanovski and Israel Adesanya.  It’s sure to be a good fight between these 125 pounders.

The next fight of note is between MMA GWOAT, Amanda Nunes and Juliana Pena. The five round championship bout  which was originally scheduled for August 7th at UFC 265 had to be rescheduled after Nunes was unfortunately diagnosed with Covid-19. Nunes has been on an amazing 12 fight win streak, and is the only Woman to ever hold two belts as the reigning UFC Bantamweight and Featherweight champion. She is the only UFC fighter male or female to attempt to and successfully defend both their titles. During her run, Nunes has taken on and beaten a who’s who of the greatest women fighters of all time including multiple wins over Valentina Schevchenko, and victories over Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey.

The final fight of the night will be between reigning Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier. This will be Oliveira’s first title defense and he’s riding a nine fight win streak. Oliveira has a strong submission game and does everything right. He is a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ericson Cardoso and Jorge “Macaco” Patino and will be a hard night at the office for Poirier. Poirier is on a streak himself winning his last three fights including back to back wins against former two division champion Conor McGregor.  Poiriers only loss in the last five years was to the greatest Lightweight of all time Khabib Nurmagomedov. This is sure to be an amazing fight. 

UFC 269 is available for purchase on the ESPN+ app.






Sean O'Malley notches 14th win with TKO against Moutinho

If you’re in the MMA world and haven’t heard of UFC Bantamweight, Sean O’Malley you need to get out from under the rock you’ve been living under. The 26 year old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt has taken the MMA world by storm and in a world where Conor Mcgregor’s stock is trending down it appears O’Malley’s is definitely going up, and is poised to be the UFC’s next star. Whether it’s his 6ix9ine-like rainbow hair, him actually hanging with 6ix9ine and getting a ‘69’ tattoo, or him getting a tattoo of himself. O’Malley polarizes MMA fans like no other star in the sport of recent memory.

O’Malley was born in Helena, Montana on October 24, 1994 where he grew up and started fighting. O’Malley got his nickname ‘Sugar’ from a coach in Montana who said it was because O’Malley was “Sweet to watch. The name stuck and O’Malley Currently sells merchandise that sports the ‘Sugar’ name.

 O’Malley moved from Montana after his first five fights to South Dakota, and eventually found himself in Arizona where he now resides and trains. O’Malley trains at the MMA Lab under head trainer John Crouch. O’malley got his start on Dana White’s contender series where he won via Knockout and was offered a UFC contract by UFC boss, Dana White. White was blown away by O’Malley and has used the UFC’s marketing machine to promote the fighter, putting him on the best cards, giving the young fighter as much exposure as he can.

Most recently White put O’Malley on the UFC 264 card which was headlined by the biggest fight of the year, McGregor vs. Poirier 3. O’Malley was supposed to face Louis Smolka but Smolka pulled out due to injury. Kris Muhtino filled in making his UFC debut. O’Malley put on a dominating performance eventually winning by TKO in round three, and earning the fight of the night bonus. O’Malley landed a whopping 230 strikes, tripling Muhtino’s 70 strikes. A True offensive clinic.

We have yet to really see what O’Malley can do, but the young fighter definitely has a bright career in front of him.





Why Are Dana White’s Contender Series and The Ultimate Fighter Important To The Sport of MMA?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 18: (R-L) Sean O'Malley punches Alfred Khashakyan in their bantamweight bout during Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series at the TUF Gym on July 18, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/DWTNCS)

Why are Dana White’s Contender Series and The Ultimate Fighter important to the sport of MMA? Well, the answer is quite complicated and simple at the same time. The UFC was struggling at certain points of the organization’s early history. First off it wasn’t in the mainstream, and due to the PPV model wasn’t free. The Ultimate Fighter started as a gamble and that gamble paid off. It literally launched the UFC into the stratosphere by putting fights on to peoples TV every week in an easily digestible format called, reality TV. 

During the Ultimate Fighter, fighters would live together in a house, and fights would happen every week. People were already enjoying the show, but no one really knew how much the gamble would pay off until the live finale of season one. The finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonnar is said to be one of the most influential fights in the young organization’s history. UFC president Dana White, signed a deal to renew The Ultimate Fighter series in an alley behind the Las Vegas arena where the fight took place, as it was such a landmark moment in the organization’s history with ratings off the chart.

Along with the fun coaches challenges and other games played. The audience got to really see how these fighters were actually world class athletes and not just brawlers. One of the main ways the show did this was by showing the fighters training and the coaches working with the fighters of each season.  In a time before Instagram and instagram stories where you can watch your favorite MMA fighters train in the gym at your leisure. It solidified to the viewer the athletic prowess of the UFC fighter.

Since then we’ve seen so many careers launched off of the series including future champions Michael Bisping, Rose Namajunas, and Kamaru Usman.  Stockton’s own Nate Diaz also got his start on the show. Most Recently we saw Bryan Battle and Ricky Turcios win the show in its latest installment in their respective divisions.

Dana White’s Contender series being the younger of the two show’s came at a different time in the sport’s history. The show which premiered as Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series on UFC Fight Pass in July 2017 features multiple weekly fights where fresh faced MMA fighters face each other in three round bouts in hopes to win a contract from Dana White and the UFC. The show which is in its fifth season and now on ESPN+ started on Tuesday August 31st and it is off to a good start with multiple contracts handed out.

Most notably the contender series launched the career of Bantamweight Sean O’Malley who has been launched into super stardom in the fight world after his season one appearance on the show.

These two shows let MMA fans that there’s always a fresh crop of young fighters ready to come up much like how minor league baseball or college football work. Giving the MMA fan a preview of tomorrow’s stars, and watching these young men and women’s dreams and aspirations come to life .