Fighter Profile: Robert Whittaker

Photo Courtesy of USATSI

Former UFC Champion Robert Whittaker hopes to regain his title at UFC 271 in February against Israel Adesanya whom he lost the belt to at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia in 2019 before the pandemic. Whittaker is an all around threat to anyone he faces in the UFC octagon and sports an impressive 23-5 record three of those career losses in the UFC the highest level of competition in the sport.

Whittaker was born on December 20th, 1990 in Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand. He is of Australian, European, Māori and Samoan lineage. He got his start in martial arts when his father enrolled him into Goju-ryu Karate which he would earn his Black Belt in after eight years. He’d then switch to Hapkido which he’d also earn the rank of Black Belt his Hapkido gym would turn into an MMA gym and Whittaker would start training MMA. Whittaker would later earn A Black Belt in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. Whittaker is truly a triple threat.

Whittaker made his MMA debut on March 14, 2009 against Chris Tallowin he’d win by TKO(punches.) He’d then face Richard Walsh in the Cage Fighting Championships promotion, Whittaker would win by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) He’d then go on to face Nick Ariel in March of 2010 he’d win by Knockout (punch) in round one. Whittaker was now 3-0 with three first round finishes. He’d win his next four fights also by quick finishes in the first round. He’d then face Hoon Kim losing by Submission (triangle choke.) He’d then go on to fight three more fights before getting the call from the UFC to be on The Ultimate Fighter.

Whittaker made his UFC debut in December of 2012 against Brad Scott he would win by Unanimous Decision and thus winning The Ultimate Fighter. He’d then go on to fight Colton Smith winning by TKO (punches)  in the third round. He’d then drop two in a row to Court McGee and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. He’d then fight Mike Rhodes, winning by Unanimous Decision. It would be Whittakers last fight at Welterweight.

Whittaker would make his Middleweight debut against Clint Hester he’d win by TKO (knee and punches.) He’d win his next five fights before fighting Yoel Romero for the Interim Middleweight title. Whittaker would beat Romero by Unanimous Decision. This would later be promoted to an undisputed title. Romero was then given a rematch but would miss weight and it wouldn’t be a title fight. Whittaker would win by split decision. Whittaker would lose his next bout to Israel Adesanya at UFC 243. Whittaker would win his next three fights earning him a rematch against Adesanya in Febuary of 2022 at UFC 271.

We hope Whittaker can reclaim his title. Also if you’re a gamer you can find Whittaker in Skyrim where he is a NPC.

Interview: Former UFC Strawweight Claudia Gadelha

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Claudia Gadelha after her victory against Randa Markos Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since The UFC introduced women’s MMA to the UFC Octagon in 2013 we’ve seen some amazing athletes take part of MMA’s biggest stage. One of the most exciting females to show their skills in the Octagon is Brazil’s Claudia Gadelha. Gadelha competed in the Strawweight division where she was ranked number eight when she retired.

We sit down with former Strawweight title challenger and Ultimate Fighter Coach Claudia Gadelha to talk about her retirement, her future plans, and took a look back at her MMA career. Check out our interview below.

Fighter Profile: Tony Ferguson

UFC news: Dana White says Tony Ferguson not eager to fight right now
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Although he is currently on a three fight losing streak, the former interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson is still one of the best fighters in that division. Let’s face it he’s one of the most entertaining fighters in that division in and outside the cage. Ferguson who is a Black Belt Under 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu’s founder and conspiracy expert Eddie Bravo. Needless to say he has many submission victories, but most of his wins have come by Knockout, pretty impressive for a grappling expert.

Ferguson was born February 12, 1984 In Oxnard, California. Ferguson would later relocate with his family to Michigan where he would grow up. He is of Mexican and Scottish descent. He would attend high school at Muskegon Catholic Central High School. He would compete in three sports while in school including football, baseball, and wrestling. In wrestling he was an All-State Selection and in football he started and won the state championship. Ferguson would go on to wrestle in college and would win the 2006 National Collegiate Wrestling Association national wrestling championship. 

Ferguson would go back to California after college and began working in Marketing and bartending at night. It was at this point he started training MMA after a patron at the bar he was working at saw his cauliflower ear and invited him to his MMA gym. Ferguson would start training and would make his MMA debut against Steve Avalos for the California Xtreme Fighting: Anarchy at the Arena promotion in April of 2008 Ferguson would win via TKO (submission to punches). He’d then go on to face Brandon Adams winning by TKO (Punches) in July of 2008. He’d then face Joe Schilling winning by Submission (rear-naked choke) Ferguson would then go on to compile a 10-2 professional record before getting the call to go on The Ultimate Fighter.

Ferguson would win season 13 of The Ultimate Fighter making his official debut for the promotion on the show’s live finale in June of 2011 with a Knockout win over Ramsey Nijem. He’d then face Aaron Riley at UFC 135 he would win via TKO (jaw injury.) He’d then fight Yves Edwards winning by Unanimous Decision. He’d then face David Johnson which would lead to Ferguson’s first loss in the promotion He’d then go on a 12 fight win streak including victory over Kevin Lee for the Lightweight Interim Title, this title would later be stripped due to injury. Ferguson has not been lucky as of late in his last three fights he’s lost to assassins in the Lightweight Division with names like Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, and Beneil Dariush.

It is not known who Ferguson will face next, but we hope he returns to his winning ways as soon as possible.

Fighter Profile: Chan Sung Jung ‘The Korean Zombie’

Will shoulder tear affect Chan Sung Jung's ability to fight Volkanovski? -
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Chan Sung Jung who goes by the name “The Korean Zombie” is one of the best Featherweights in The UFC. His road to the UFC is quite fascinating and when he steps into the UFC Octagon he shows everyone why he is where he is in the division with Knockout power and submission skills. Jung Is currently in talks to replace Max Holloway in his title fight against current champ Alexander Volkanovski.

Jung was born on March 17, 1987 in Pohang, South Korea. Due to being a smaller individual he was often bullied and due to this his aunt intervened and took him to a Hapkido gym and he also studied kickboxing. Eventually he would also take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo. Jung would eventually join the Navy and would take up Taekwondo and would eventually take to Sambo which he won a tournament in. At age 20 Jung would take a step towards his destination of the UFC when he would start training MMA.

Jung made his MMA debut in June of 2007 against Hyung-Geol Lee, he’d win by Submission (reverse armbar.) Jung would then fight in the Pancrase: 2007 Korea Neo-Blood Tournament where he’d fight twice in one night winning both fights and the tournament. Jung would then fight in the Korea FC tournament winning three fights in one night and thus winning the tournament. He’d fight seven more fights including two losses in the WEC before ending up in the UFC due to the merger with that organization. 

Jung would make his UFC debut against Leonard Garcia and earned the victory by performing the first twister submission in UFC history. He’d then fight Mark Hominick in December of 2011. He’d then face Dustin Poirier winning by Technical Submission (D’Arce choke.)  Jung would then drop a fight to José Aldo, one of the best featherweights in UFC history. He’d then knockout Dennis Bermudez in the first round. In his next fight he’d drop to a Knockout by Yair Rodríguez. Jung would then win back to back fights against Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar. He’d then face Brian Ortega and would lose by Unanimous decision. In his last outing Jung would face Dan Ige winning by Unanimous decision moving his record to 17-6.

Jung is an ideal Mixed Martial Artist with striking and grappling proficiency. We can’t wait to see him fight again, it would be cool to see him pull off another awesome twister Submission. 

What’s Next For Dustin Poirier?

Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor quarrel over $500K donation

Dustin Poirier had a monster year headlining the three of the Biggest UFC cards in a post pandemic world. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to win the Lightweight title, but he does have many fights that could be in the cards. A possible fight with Welterweight Colby Covington could be in the cards. A possible fourth fight with Conor McGregor could happen if Poirier wanted to take some time off and wait for the Irish former two division champion. Another possible matchup could be between Poirier and Nate Diaz.

Poirier and Covington have exchanged verbal barbs over the internet recently with Poirier hoping that Covington didn’t have a nice Christmas, and Covington saying that when the pair sparred at their old gym American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL Poirier would leave crying. Needless to say this bickering adds to the hype of what would be an awesome fight. Covington is coming off a loss to Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 268. Much like Poirier, his last loss was in a title fight. It would definitely make sense to pair the two together especially with Poirier saying that he doesn’t want to make the weight cut to 155 any longer.

Poirier being one of the promotion’s biggest stars makes one think he will go after money fights. And one of the big money fights that he could go for, would be a matchup with Diaz. It’d be a grappler vs. grappler matchup but one would think fans would look past that and want to see these two guys throwing shots at each other and see who reigns supreme as both of them are adequate strikers too. Both Poirier and Diaz have beef with McGregor so this potentially sets the stage for either one of them to fight McGregor again. I think Poirier would destroy a rusty Diaz who didn’t look good in his last outing, and made fans think he was only there for a payday.

Another unlikely option would be a fourth fight with McGregor. I know the end of the last fight in their trilogy made people go into shock and even though Poirier won, it didn’t seem like this ended things between the pair. I think fans would like to see this fight at some point down the road if not immediately. For Poirier this only makes sense in the financial department. He’s already proved that 2021 Poirier can top McGregor, something that 2014 Poirier could not do. I think fans would love to see this and I think it would make the UFC money so why couldn’t a fourth fight happen.

We shall see how this plays out, it’ll be interesting to see how this works out.

Update 01/04/22: Poirier came out publicly saying that he will face Nate Diaz in a short notice fight within the next six weeks. Considering both of their star power one would expect the UFC to put this fight on a numbered PPV card. We shall see!

Fighter Profile: Gillian ‘The Savage’ Robertson

UFC 260: Gillian Robertson's plan for Miranda Maverick fight - Sports  Illustrated
Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

One of the best Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the UFC is Gillian Robertson. A star pupil of Din Thomas Robertson has been training Jiu Jitsu with Thomas since she was sixteen years old and it shows as she now holds the record for the most submission wins by a woman in UFC history with five. This is an amazing feat considering how many submission experts are on the UFC women’s roster past and present.

Robertson was born on May 17, 1995 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. She had no experience with martial arts growing up, but started taking Cardio Kickboxing at age 15. She’d then switch to MMA training and would learn her submission game from Thomas who was a trainer at American Top Team where Robertson was taking the classes. She is a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu under Thomas and regularly competes in both Jiu Jitsu and combat Jiu Jitsu when not in an MMA cage. 

Robertson made her professional MMA debut in March of 2016 when she faced Hannah Goldy. Unfortunately for Robertson it would be a loss, but she was not discouraged as she faced Monica Medina in August of that year and would win by unanimous decision. She’d win her next fight against Miki Rogers, securing the victory via Armbar. She’d then face Cynthia Calvillo and would lose by unanimous decision. She’d then face Hannah Cifers and would win via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in the second round. She’d then get the call to compete in the Ultimate Fighter. She’d fight once on the show against Barb Honchak and would lose via TKO (Punches and Elbows.) 

Robertson would make her official UFC debut against Emily Whitmire on December 1, 2017. Robertson would win her debut, via Submission (Armbar.) She’d then face Molly McCann and would secure the win via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) She’d then face Mayra Bueno Silva unfortunately for Robertson this would be her first loss in the UFC she’d lose by Submission (Ambar) in round one. She’d win her next two before taking another loss to Maycee Barber by TKO.

 Robertson would then get back to her winning ways, securing two victories against Cortney Casey via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) and against Poliana Botelho via unanimous decision. She’d then drop two in a row before getting another win at UFC 269 earlier this month against Priscila Cachoeira via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) securing the victory even after receiving a nasty eye gouge while grappling. 

Robertson is an exciting fighter to watch and hopefully she can build on the momentum off the last fight was a nice win. We hope we see her continued success for years to come.

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.

What’s Next For Nate Diaz?

Diaz a Reminder of U.F.C.'s Star Challenge - The New York Times
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Stockton, CA native and overall badass Nate Diaz Returned to the Octagon at UFC 263 when he faced off against Leon Edwards. It was Diaz’s first fight since he fought Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244 for the BMF title. Diaz is quite the character and his Twitter game calling out opponents on the platform is second to only the Notorious one in the MMA world. It’d be great to see Diaz come back to the UFC Octagon sooner rather than later, and these are fights we think make sense for Diaz who has put on so many amazing showings in the UFC Octagon during his career.

Poirier just lost his title shot against champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 earlier this month. After the fight many fans wondered what was Next for Poirier. Some even wondered if Lafyette’s own would retire. I doubt Poirier retires and I think that him being one of the promotion’s biggest stars he will go after money fights. And one of the big money fights that he could go for would be a matchup with Diaz. It’d be a grappler vs. grappler matchup but one would think fans would look past that and want to see these two guys throwing shots at each other and see who reigns supreme. Both Poirier and Diaz have beef with McGregor so this potentially sets the stage for our next fight option.

The Second  fight that fans would really want to see Diaz fight would be his final fight in his trilogy with Conor McGregor. McGregor just wrapped up his trilogy with Poirier, losing two consecutive fights to Poirier. This would be a great matchup for the two fighters as Diaz lost both his last two fights also so they both need wins. This trilogy would also sell a lot of PPV’s so it’s really a no brainer for the Promotion to entertain this fight. Even though Diaz says he’s not a fan of the idea of the fight, I think turning down that type of money isn’t a great move when you only have a couple fights in the sport’s biggest promotion left.

The other fight that fans would love to see would be a rematch of the ‘BMF’ title between Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal has also lost his two last fights which happened to be title fights against Kamaru Usman at UFC 251 and 261. This again is a no brainer for the promotion as the original BMF title was won by TKO (doctor stoppage.) So fans would flock in droves to the venue and to buy the PPV event if it were to go down.

No matter which fight Diaz chooses, you know it’ll be electric. A fight with Poirier would be great as would rematches with McGregor and Masvidal. We shall see how this shakes out!

What’s Next For Cody Garbrandt?

Cody Garbrandt is a fan favorite, but Garbrandt fans may have come to realize that maybe Garbrandt’s best days are behind him. The former Bantamweight Champion has a rough decision ahead of him, he has now lost five of his last six contests and just doesn’t look right and the move down to Flyweight definitely did Garbrandt no favors. Now I’m not Dana White and I certainly don’t think that I know everything that goes into the decision whether or not to keep a fighter on the UFC Roster. I think we need to look at how we got here in the first place. 

Garbrandt made his UFC debut at UFC 182 Jones vs. Cormier against Marcus Brimage in 2015. From this point Garbrandt would keep winning, and eventually would earn a title shot against Dominick Cruz at UFC 207. Garbrandt would beat Cruz and win the UFC Bantamweight Championship.Garbrandt would then lose the belt to T.J. Dillashaw in his next fight marking the first loss of Garbrandt’s career. Garbrandt would lose the immediate rematch at UFC 217. 

After losing to Dillashaw twice he faced Pedro Munhoz at UFC 235. Garbrandt would lose by KO (Punches.) He’d then go on to face Raphael Assunção he’d win by KO and win Performance of the Night. His woes were temporarily over but would return. He’d face Rob Font next, and would lose by unanimous decision. His rough patch would continue on Saturday night when he’d drop down to Flyweight. He looked unhealthy at 125 pounds at the weigh in and rumors are his weight cut was really tough but he hired a good chef to make him his meals and did the weight cut healthily but it was not successful as he lost to Kai Kara-France by TKO (Punches.) 

 Garbrandt is a fan favorite, but I think it’s time for him to take a step back and evaluate his career. It’s hard for anyone let alone himself to admit it, but it seems like time has caught up to him and his chin hasn’t kept up to the demands of being an MMA fighter. Maybe it’s time for him to fight in a smaller promotion like Bellator or PFL. Or maybe for Garbrandt its time to fight someone that’s unranked in the UFC, but honestly it might be time to hang up the gloves.

What’s Next For Julianna Peña?

Amanda Nunes (left) was unbeaten since 2014 before her defeat by Julianna Pena (right)

This past Saturday Night at UFC 269 Julianna Pena shocked the world. Her hard work and determination paid off and she pulled off an amazing victory. But what is next for Peña? We’re not the UFC matchmakers and they definitely don’t care what we think, but we definitely think that there are some amazing matchups that they could make. One possibility would be running it back with an immediate rematch with Amanda Nunes. Another fight that would be a rematch against Germaine de Randamie Peña. Then there’s another rematch that I think the UFC would love to put on and that’s a rematch against Valentina Schevchenko.

The MMA world was shaken up when Peña beat Amanda Nunes. The Lioness had been dethroned and one of her belts was now on the challenger. Nunes came out yesterday on her instagram and said she’d take the rematch eventually. I think fans want to see this fight. The fans love the idea that Nunes in her current form is beatable and this might sell a lot of PPV cards so it’d be interesting to see these two fighters run it back. This also gives Peña the opportunity to solidify herself as a champion making a title defense against the female G.O.A.T.

Germaine de Randamie and Peña fought in October of 2020 de Randamie got the win by Submission (Guillotine Choke.) At her post fight press conferences  Peña suggested that they run this fight back.  de Randamie is a tough opponent; her only losses in the last ten years have been to Amanda Nunes. It makes sense that de Randamie would be in the mix to get a title shot now that Nunes is not holding the title. I think fans would like to see this matchup but I don’t know if it will sell PPV cards like a fight with Nunes or Shevchenko would. Remember the fight game is actually a business and they’re more apt to  pick fights that would sell cards.

Peña faced Valentina Shevchenko in January of 2017. Schevchenko has since gone on to move down to Flyweight and won the title in that division and has made six successful title defenses. This would be an interesting fight because it could take place at two different weight classes.   Peña could go down to 125 and fight Shevchenko at Flyweight or Shevchenko could come back to Bantamweight and fight for the 135 pound strap. Shevchenko might be more likely to go up and fight at 135 to possibly become a two division champ if she were to beat Peña.

Peña is the new Bantamweight Champion we think she has many options open for her. Whether it be with Nunes, de Randamie, or Shevchenko we hope the best for her.