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UFC 265: Lewis vs Gane – Preview

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The UFC will touch down in Houston this weekend for a stellar pay-per-view event. The main attraction will see hometown heavyweight hero Derrick Lewis look to take the interim title against surging Frenchman Cyril Gane. That caps off a card that’s set to deliver on all cylinders.

Let’s take a closer look!

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(#2) Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) vs (#3) Cyril Gane (9-0) – interim heavyweight championship bout

With Francis Ngannou seemingly on the sidelines, either Derrick Lewis or Cyril Gane will leave the Octagon with 12lbs of interim heavyweight gold.

Riding 4 straight wins since his first failed title attempt, Derrick Lewis is determined to finally realise a UFC belt. He’ll be hoping to connect with his patented KO power this weekend. His heavy hands have given him the distinction of the promotion’s KO king, with 12 under his belt in the Octagon. ‘The Black Beast‘ carries his power up to the final seconds, so don’t be surprised by a comeback knockout.

Quickly shifting from a hot prospect to title contender, France’s Cyril Gane appears to be on a meteoric rise for superstardom. With high-level kickboxing backed by a solid ground game, he has amassed a perfect 9-0 record thus far. His 5 round shutout of Alexander Volkov proved he is more than capable of hanging with the elite. ‘Bon Gamin‘ could very well be walking away with a world championship in just his 10th pro outing.

(#5) Jose Aldo (29-7) vs (#8) Pedro Muhnoz (19-5, 1 NC) – bantamweight bout

Jose Aldo continues his climb up bantamweight ladder when he takes on dangerous Pedro Muhnoz.

Already established as one of the all-time greats in MMA, Jose Aldo has his eyes set on 135lb gold. To do that, he’ll have to show up in prime form against his opponent this Saturday. ‘Scarface‘ possesses lethal leg kicks and impeccable takedown defense that have made him a legend of the sport.

A staple of the division for years now, Brazil’s Pedro Muhnoz has similar goals to his fellow countryman’s. Always ready to put on a show, Muhnoz possesses an aggressive, brutalizing Muay Thai style. A win over a top 5 opponent could easily place ‘The Young Punisher‘ into title contention.5

(#5) Michael Chiesa (18-4) vs (#6) Vicente Luque (20-7-1) – welterweight bout

Two top welterweight prospects will meet in the featured bout with a potential title shot at stake.

Going undefeated since his move to 170lbs, Michael Chiesa is now an established name at welterweight. With wins over the like of Rafael dos Anjos and Neil Magny, he is edging closer to challenging for the world title. His suffocating grappling is a nightmare for anyone and everyone at welterweight.

Vicente Luque got a big test in Tyron Woodley last time out, and absolutely capitalised. His power and aggressiveness once again proved to be too much for his opponent. If he can implement the gameplan that got him to where he is now against Chiesa, we may be talking about ‘The Silent Assassin‘ in title contention.

Song Yadong (16-5-1, 1 NC) vs Casey Kenney (16-3-1) – bantamweight bout

Courtesy of MMADNA

Exciting bantamweights Song Yadong and Casey Kenney will look to get back into win column in the opening bout.

China’s Song Yadong has become known as one of the most entertaining 135lb fighters on the roster. Always ready to push the pace and pour on the pressure, he blends traditional martial arts with modern MMA techniques in his striking. At only 23 years old, ‘The Kung Fu Monkey‘ still has the potential to realise a title in the future.

Also hoping to pick up a win is Arizona’s Casey Kenney. A credentialed grappler with experience in judo, BJJ and wrestling, Kenney has made a name for himself as an action fighter. If he can continue to combine his evolving striking with his grappling, we may see the 26 year old in the title picture.

Bobby Green (27-11-1) vs Rafael Fiziev (9-1) – lightweight bout

Courtesy of MMADNA

155lb veteran Bobby Green will look to hold back the oncoming forces of surging kickboxer Rafael Fiziev.

A lightweight mainstay since 2013, Bobby Green is most well-known for his all-out wars. He uses volume boxing, backed by a solid ground game, to ware his opponents down until the KO comes. ‘King’ Green is hoping to make it 4-1 in his last 5 with a win on Saturday.

Becoming one of the most respected prospects on the roster, Rafael Fiziev has all the hype in the world coming into UFC 265. His all-action style, combined with almost flawless defense, have made him a fan favourite after only 2 UFC appearances. A win over a name like Green will mean big things for the young Kyrgyzstani.

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What fight are you most excited for? Make sure to let us know in the comment section!

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PFL 4 | Clay Collard and Alexander Martinez look to pick up another 3 points

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‘Cassius’ Clay Collard once again steps into the PFL Cage on June 17th, this time, facing off against Alexander Martinez, who himself, picked up 3 points in his first season outing. The 4th event of the season will take place at the Overtime Elite Arena, in Atlanta, Georgia.

In Collard’s first bout of the 2022 season, he took on PFL newcomer, Jeremy Stephens, and not only picked up the unanimous decision 3 point win, he dominated in what was a fight of the year contender. In round 1 of their bout, Collard weathered the storm, as he was caught with a few of ‘Lil Heathen’s’ big signature strikes.

(Credit: MMAJunkie.usatoday.com): Clay Collard lands a big left hand on Jeremy Stephens

After round 1, the Team Bonafide product started to find his rhythm and began striking in combinations, putting Stephens on the back foot.

Collard managed to bounce back from last seasons semi final loss to Manfio, picking up the 3 points, whereas Stephens fell to a 6 fight losing skid, coming up short in his PFL debut.

Alex Martinez also picked up 3 points in the first Lightweight bouts of the season. He defeated Stevie Ray via unanimous decision, getting himself back into the winning column. Martinez’s 2022 season has already equaled his last in which he only picked up 3 points in his 3 season bouts.

PFL’s 2021 Lightweight season champion, Manfio, is also on the card, facing off against Aubin-Mercier, who himself, picked up 3 points, but is sitting at 5th place. Manfio will hope to get the job done early, and will be keeping a look out for the Collard vs Martinez result, in anticipation of a rematch with ‘Cassius’ Clay Collard.

Another man who will be keeping a close eye is ‘Showtime Pettis’. The human highlight reel is currently sitting top of the Lightweight ladder after scoring a first round triangle choke over Myles Price in early May.

Clay Collard will look to put the pressure on as per usual, adding more points to his tally, securing his place in the post season tournament.

UK fans can catch the action as always on Channel 4 from 2:00am, with the prelims live and available on the Channel 4 YouTube channel. How do you see this one playing out?

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Frans Mlambo Out, Arturo Vergara In For May 29 Combate Global Event

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Frans Mlambo, the number one contender in Combate Global’s bantamweight division, will be replaced by hard-hitting Arturo Vergara (2-0 MMA; 3-1 Kickboxing) of Los Andes, Chile via Miami.  Vergara will challenge Martinez of Mexico City, Mexico in a bantamweight non-title bout.

Combate Global today announced a new main event for its show on Sunday, May 29 in Miami, Fla., due to an abdominal injury sustained by Ireland’s Frans “The Zulu Irishman” Mlambo (13-5), who had been scheduled to challenge reigning Combate Global World Bantamweight (135 pounds) Champion David “The Black Spartan” Martinez (6-1) for Martinez’s title.

Combate Global will announce television programming details as well as the complete fight card for the event on Tuesday, May 24.

“We wish Frans a full and speedy recovery,” said Combate Global CEO Campbell McLaren, “and are excited to debut Chile’s Arturo Vergara, who is coming off an incredible, nine-second knockout!  I have a lot of respect for Arturo stepping up because David Martinez is as tough an opponent as they come.”

Unbeaten to date under MMA rules, Vergara produced a stunning, nine-second knockout via a flying knee strike of Cody Schieve on May 6. The speedy win followed another first round (2:21) TKO (strikes) that Vergara notched in his MMA rules debut against Steven Orozco on February 19.

Prior to his first MMA start, Vergara had competed exclusively under kickboxing rules, amassing over 80 bouts as an amateur, and a 3-1 record as a professional. The 23-year-old Martinez of Mexico City will enter La Jaula, the Combate Global competition cage, for the first time since he was crowned world champion one year ago, on May 29, 2021.

A member of Team Bonebreakers, Martinez defeated three consecutive opponents – including championship round adversary Francisco “Cisco” Rivera, Jr. via second round (0:17) TKO (head kick and punches) – in one night, to become world champion.

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UFC London | 5 Fighters Who Have To Be On The Card

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Immediately after UFC London earlier in the year, the ball started rolling towards a second UK event in 2022 after Dana White made it clear he wanted to come back soon. Whilst the year’s first event at the O2 Arena delivered one of the best non-PPV events in recent history, there’s still more ground to cover. Aspinall vs Volkov was stacked with home fighters but there are still a handful that missed out on fighting in front of the UK.

Here are five UK fighters that deserve a chance to fight at the O2 Arena after missing out the first time. Not that we’re complaining if the likes of Paddy Pimblett and Jai Herbert show up on this card also.

5. Dom Wooding

Yes it is true, we will never stop banging this drum. After defending his Cage Warriors bantamweight title in December of last year, we had our fingers crossed that London would come around in time for Dom Wooding. The ‘Black Panther’ didn’t get the call up on that occasion but absence has only made the heart grow fonder. This is the time for Dom Wooding to fight in the UFC and if you don’t believe us, maybe ‘The Last Stylebender’ can change your mind.

4. Mason Jones

Mason ‘The Dragon’ Jones has had quite a stop and start UFC career since joining the promotion as a double champion in Cage Warriors. The Welshman is 1-1-1 in the UFC so far and would have picked up some decent momentum if his fight with Alan Patrick hadn’t been stopped due to an accidental eye poke in a fight he was winning comfortably. A win over late notice replacement David Onama, who recently picked up a first UFC win of his own, has got Jones back on the right path after a tough introduction to the UFC against Mike Davis. Jones always delivers great fights due to his high pressure and output style and a win in London could be exactly the kind of moment he needs to really put the past behind him and push on in the UFC.

3. Lerone Murphy

For the vast majority of UK fight fans, Lerone Murphy came out of nowhere when he debuted in the UFC. Now on a 3-fight win streak after his debut resulted in a draw at UFC 242, Murphy has been putting on increasingly impressive performances every time he has stepped foot in the Octagon. Still yet to fight in front of UK fans, ‘The Miracle’ will have a huge fight on his hands in his next outing as he looks to step foot in the rankings of the stacked featherweight division.

2. Davey Grant

Davey Grant has really made a name for himself in recent times as a must watch fighter who will steal a main card. After chaining back-to-back finishes, Grant may have lost two of his last three fights but his stock in the UFC has risen massively. His fights with Marlon Vera and Adrian Yanez put Grant on the map when it comes to value for money fighters. Now back in the win column after his 3rd round finish over Louis Smolka at the weekend, Grant said in his post fight interview about making a quick turn around and potentially fighting in London. We know we are asking for a lot with the card already being incredibly busy but Davey Grant opening the main card with a barnburner is sure to blow the roof off of the O2 just like the last time the UFC came calling.

1. Nathaniel Wood

Luck has not been on Nathaniel Wood’s side as of late. Three cancelled fights in a row meant he missed out on the first London card even after he was found a replacement opponent. An illness forced Vince Morales out of their bout which seemed to be opening the event and setting the tone for the evening with the return of ‘The Prospect’ in front of his people. After going 4-2 as a bantamweight in the UFC but losing to two top fighters in John Dodson and Casey Kenney, Wood has announced he is moving up a weight class since his fight in London fell off. Nathaniel Wood deserves this chance to fight in London after losing out at such short notice last time around and we can’t wait to see how he stacks up amongst the rest of the 145 pound division.

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