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Matchmaker Monday – UFC Vegas 34

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UFC Vegas 34 concluded filled with highlights and unforgettable moments. Now, after the fact, we can break down what’s next for the athletes who competed. Let’s take a closer look!

DISCLAIMER: this is purely opinion based, feel free to disagree!

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Jared Cannonier (14-5) – #3 UFC middleweight

Returning to the ring after a beatdown at the hands of Robert Whittaker, ‘Tha Killa Gorilla’ Jared Cannonier put on a great fight in the main event. Proving once again that he’s a threat in the title picture at 185lbs, his earth-shattering power will continue to be a problem to fellow contenders. I’d like to see Cannonier matched up with the winner of Paulo Costa vs Marvin Vettori in a title eliminator bout in early 2021. Both fights are stylistically fun and create a clear contender in the winner.

Kelvin Gastelum (16-8, 1 NC) – #9 UFC middleweight

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 21: (L-R) Kelvin Gastelum punches Jared Cannonier in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Though he made a strong account of himself, Kelvin Gastelum once again fell short in his decision loss to Jared Cannonier. This leaves him at 1-5 in his last 6 bouts. I have no doubts that Gastelum can hang with the elite – as be showed at UFC Vegas 34 – but it’s time for a sustained step-down in competition. Brad Tavares has racked up 2 straight wins, but lies just outside the top ten. A win for both men would be wildly beneficial.

Mark Madsen (11-0) – UFC lightweight

A split decision with over Clay Guida will continue Danish Olympian Mark Madsen on his path up the lightweight ladder. Though the decision may have been disputed by some, there’s no argument that Madsen didn’t look impressive. If their timelines work, I’d love to see a fight between Madsen and Drew Dober. A true striker vs grappler matchup that places the winner in contention for a top 15 spot at lightweight.

Clay Guida (36-21) – UFC lightweight

As he always does, veteran Clay Guida made a great account of himself at UFC Vegas 34. ‘The Carpenter’ is still more than capable of bringing the fight to the younger prospects at 155lbs. John Makdessi picked up an exciting win over Igancio Bahamondes back in April, and a fight with Guida would be fireworks. That would be a guaranteed slugfest.

Parker Porter (11-6) – UFC heavyweight

Improving to 2-1 over the weekend, Parker Porter showed he still has high hopes for his UFC run. The 36 year old picked up a win over Chase Sherman, going all 3 rounds to secure the unanimous decision. A fight with Greg Hardy provides both men with an opportunity to score an important win for advancing their careers. It also has the potential for quick heavyweight KO, and who’s gonna complain about that?

Chase Sherman (15-8) – UFC heavyweight

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 17: Chase Sherman prepares to fight Andrei Arlovski in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 17, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Dropping to 1-2 in his second stint with the UFC, the road ahead looks rocky for Chase Sherman. In my opinion, however, he still has potential. A fight with Justin Tafa presents an all-action war that will show that the winner is still UFC-quality. Sherman needs an impressive win if he wants to keep his spot at heavyweight.

Alexandre Pantoja (24-5) – #3 UFC flyweight

Quietly becoming one of the top fighters at 125lbs for years now, it seems like people are starting to put respect on Alexandre Pantoja’s name. His submission win over the weekend placed him firmly into the title picture, and it looks as if he’s going to get that opportunity. If Askar Askarov is still injured, I see no reason why we shouldn’t get Brandon Moreno (a man he holds two wins over) vs Pantoja for the title in December.

Brandon Royval (12-6) – #6 UFC flyweight

Though his record in the UFC sits at 2-2, make no mistake, Brandon Royval is one of the best that flyweight has to offer. He has made a very good account of himself in 4 outings against top contenders with a wealth more of high-level experience. A scrap with Rogerio Bontorin later this year or early next year would be a fun fight between well-rounded prospects.

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How would you matchmake these fighters? Do you disagree with my picks? Let me know in the comments!

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Sumo: Kyushu Tournament Day 14 – Can Terunofuji seal the championship?

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The penultimate day of the Kyushu tournament gives Terunofuji the chance to take glory as the 13-0 wrestler takes on his nearest challenger Abi who is on 12-1.

Before we dive into day 14, lets see how the leaderboard has developed since the last article. Abi faced Takakeisho yesterday in a battle between two wrestlers with 11-1 records. The former won the battle to move on to 12-1 in his first top division appearance since his suspension. Takakeisho moved to 11-2 and only has an outside chance of being involved in a playoff. Ura, in fourth place and the only other man to hit double figures so far, has no chance of winning the tournament as he sits on 10-3. Here is the top of the table at the end of day 13;

Terunofuji (Y) 13-0

Abi (M15) 12-1

Takakeisho (O) 11-2

Ura (M7) 10-3

Day 14

Day 14 promises to be full of action and drama as the top two men, Terunofuji and Abi finally face each other. If Terunofuji wins it, then he will take the tournament victory with an uncatchable 14 wins. 9 fighters on 7 defeats will be looking to avoid a losing record and both Endo and Chiyoshoma were looking to secure their winning records. Let’s see what went down on the penultimate day of the last tournament of the year.

It was an intense matchup between Yokozuna Terunofuji and Abi. Abi used his pushing and thrusting technique to great effect to back Terunofuji against the rope, but the big Yokozuna held on and managed to fend off the attack, finishing Abi with an oshitaoshi. Terunofuji moves to 14-0 and HE IS THE KYUSHU TOURNAMENT CHAMPION. He wins his 6th title, can he go 15-0 for the first time? It’s hard to see any other result.

https://twitter.com/MasakiKudo59/status/1464518250708881410?s=20

Such is the nature of a league-style tournament like this, at day 14 there are quite a few dead-rubber matches. Lots of wrestlers have already confirmed winning or losing records and are fighting for pride alone. However, aside from the championship race, there was still a lot to play for on the dohyo.

There was a showdown between the two Ozeki ranked fighters, Shodai and Takakeisho. Until yesterday’s defeat to Abi, Takakeisho was in with a chance of the title win. The disappointment of defeat didn’t seem to affect him though, as he beat Ozeki Shodai with ease. Shodai is not fighting like an Ozeki of late but is continuing to achieve winning records to maintain his rank. Can Takakeisho make another run on the Yokozuna rank in 2022?

Chiyoshoma produced a nice uwatenage finish to achieve winning record against Yutakayama. Out of all the wrestlers on 7 defeats, only Okinoumi and Yutakama confirmed their losing records, with their defeats to Ishiura and Chiyoshoma. It means there are many fighters left on 7-7 records, and so there it lots to play for on the final day.

Takanosho, Hokutofuji and Mitakeumi all managed to achieve double figures as they each improved their records to 10-4. Ura, who had a 10-3 record going into day 14, was defeated by Meisei and is the fourth man on 10-4. Both Komosubis were defeated as Ichinojo went down to Hokutofuji and Kiribayama to the young star Hoshoryu.

Full Results

Winners in italics, record after day 14 shown

Keisei (M17e) 7-7 vs Chiyonokuni (M14w) 8-6 – Oshidashi

Kotonowaka (M11e) 6-8 vs Tochinoshin (M13w) 6-5-3 – Yorikiri

Akua (M16e) 8-6 vs Terutsuyoshi (M11w) 6-8 – Shitatenage

Chiyotairyu (M10e) 6-8 vs Shohozan (M17w) 3-11 – Tsukidashi

Aoiyama (M9e) 4-10 vs Chiyomaru (M15e) 7-7 – Hatakikomi

Sadanoumi (M16w) 8-6 vs Tobizaru (M8w) 7-7 – Hikiotoshi

Yutakayama (M13e) 6-8 vs Chiyoshoma (M7w) 8-6 – Uwatenage

Shimanoumi (M6e) 5-9 vs Kagayaki (M14e) 4-10 – Tsukidashi

Takarafuji (M4e) 5-9 vs Kotoeko (M8e) 3-11 – Oshidashi

Okinoumi (M3e) 6-8 vs Ishiura (M12e) 7-7 – Yorikiri

Onosho (M2e) 5-9 vs Myogiryu (M3w) 2-12 – Hatakikomi

Hidenoumi (M9w) 8-6 vs Takanosho (M2w) 10-4 – Yorikiri

Daieisho (M1e) 7-7 vs Takayasu (M5e) 5-9 – Tsukiotoshi

Endo (M4w) 7-7 vs Wakatakakage (M1w) 7-7 – Yorikiri

Ichinojo (Ke) 5-9 vs Hokutofuji (M12w) 10-4 – Tsukiotoshi

Hoshoryu (M5w) 6-8 vs Kiribayama (Kw) 5-9 – Yorikiri

Mitakeumi (Se) 10-4 vs Tamawashi (M6w) 9-5 – Hatakikomi

Ura (M7e) 10-4 vs Meisei (Sw) 6-8 – Oshidashi

Shodai (Oe) 9-5 vs Takakeisho (Ow) 12-2 – Tsukidashi

Terunofuji (Ye) 14-0 vs Abi (M15w) 12-2 – Oshitaoshi

Watch the matches from today here. Find the VMTV Sumo Guide here. Stay with us to find out what happens on day 15!

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ONE: NEXTGEN III Final Weight and Hydration Results

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ONE Championship™ (ONE) today released the ONE: NEXTGEN III Final Weight and Hydration Results. In todays event, former UFC athlete Jarred Brooks squares off against Lito Adiwang in a highly anticipated strawweight match-up which could see the victor earn a spot in the divisional rankings. A Bantamweight Muay Thai bout between Alaverdi Ramazanov and Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym will take place as the co-main event.

ONE: NEXTGEN III Final Weight and Hydration Results

Mixed Martial Arts – Strawweight (52.3 KG – 56.7 KG)
Lito Adiwang (56.70 KG, 1.0053) vs. Jarred Brooks (56.00 KG, 1.0027)

Muay Thai – Bantamweight (61.3 KG – 65.8 KG)
Alaverdi Ramazanov (65.55 KG, 1.0207) vs. Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym (65.80 KG, 1.0244)

Mixed Martial Arts – Strawweight (52.3 KG – 56.7 KG)
Alex Silva (56.70 KG, 1.0103) vs. Rene Catalan (56.60 KG, 1.0066)

Kickboxing – Flyweight (56.8 KG – 61.2 KG)
Panpayak Jitmuangnon (61.20 KG, 1.0160) vs. Daniel Puertas (61.20 KG, 1.0168)

Mixed Martial Arts – Lightweight (70.4 KG – 77.1 KG)
Pieter Buist (77.10 KG, 1.0222) vs. Ruslan Emilbek Uulu (76.40 KG, 1.0070)

Kickboxing – Bantamweight (61.3 KG – 65.8 KG)
Felipe Lobo (65.60 KG, 1.0156) vs. Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym (65.80 KG, 1.0078)

Hydration values less than or equal to 1.0250 earn a passing mark, while values greater than or equal to 1.0251 earn a failing mark. Athletes who failed weight and hydration tests on Day 1 or Day 2 are given another chance to clear tests on the morning of the event.

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Sumo: Kyushu Day 11 of 15 – who will take glory?

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Kyushu Day 11, Fukuoka, Japan. The Kyushu tournament heads into day 11 of 15 and we are two-thirds through. Who is going to take the tournament victory?

The story so far

Yokozuna Terunofuji is the only undefeated wrestler left after Takakeisho was defeated by Meisei on day 10. Abi got back to winning ways and joins Takakeisho sitting on 9-1. Whatever happens, Abi is in for a huge surge up the ranks for the first 2022 tournament in January. It looks very likely that the winner of the tournament will come from one of these three rikishi, but Mitakeumi and Ura are among four wrestlers who have an outside chance currently holding 8-2 records. Here are the leaders going into day 11;

Terunofuji (Y) 10-0

Takakeisho (O) 9-1

Abi (M15) 9-1

Mitakeumi (S) 8-2

Tamawashi (M6) 8-2

Ura (M7) 8-2

Hokutofuji (M12) 8-2

All of the above wrestlers in the Maegashira rank have also confirmed a winning record for this tournament and can expect to move up the rankings for the next tournament. Myogiryu, Kotoeko and Shohozan already have 8 defeats and can no longer post a winning record. Shohozan will likely be demoted for the next tournament.

Day 11

Such are the records after day 10, no rikishi can achieve a guaranteed winning record as none of them currently sit on 7 wins. However, there are seven wrestlers including Komosubi Kiribayama and high-ranking Maegashira Daieisho and Wakatakakage are in danger of securing a losing record and moving down in the rankings for next tournament.

Terunofuji was put to the test by Ichinojo who managed to find some fighting spirit. After a long and hard battle, Terunofuji came through with the victory and extended his run to 11-0 to continue leading the tournament by 1.

Abi faced Ura in a highly-anticipated matchup between two of the most exciting rikishi in the sport. It was a quick affair in the end as Abi continued his fine form on his return to the top division. The M15 ranked fighter moves to 10-1, Ura moves to 8-3, his winning record already confirmed. Ozeki Takakeisho joins Abi on 10-1 after seeing off a spirited effort from Endo.

Kiribayama again managed to hold off the losing record with an impressive liftout victory against Myogiryu. Kiribayama remains on 7 defeats for another day, after going 0-6 from the start it would be an incredible feat to end up with a winning record.

Aoiyama continued his poor form, after winning the first 3 matches, he has now lost 8 in a row. Maegashira ranked Hokutofuji and Tamawashi both moved to 9-2 records alongside Sekiwake Mitakeumi.

An exciting battle between two of the smaller wrestlers saw hot prospect Hoshoryu overcome the flying monkey Tobizaru.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Ozeki Shodai over Sekiwake Meisei, and former tournament winner Daieisho against Onosho. To watch the matches from Kyushu Day 11, click here (all credit to NattoSumo and NHK). For a guide to Sumo and some of the words used, click here. See the full list of results from Day 11 below.

Full Results

Winners in italics, record shown after day 11

Chiyomaru (M15e) 5-6 vs Hokutofuji (M12w) 9-2 – Okuridashi

Ishiura (M12e) 5-6 vs Sadanoumi (M16w) 7-4 – Yoritaoshi

Kagayaki (M14e) 3-8 vs Terutsuyoshi (M11w) 5-6 – Oshidashi

Kotonowaka (M11e) 4-7 vs Akua (M16e) 6-5 – Yoritaoshi

Kaisei (M17e) 5-6 vs Hidenoumi (M9w) 6-5 – Yorikiri

Aoiyama (M9e) 3-8 vs Chiyonokuni (M14w) 6-5 – Tsukitaoshi

Kotoeko (M8e) 2-9 vs Shohozan (M17w) 3-8 – Yorikiri

Tochinoshin (M13w) 4-4-3 vs Chiyoshoma (M7w) 6-5 – Yorikiri

Ura (M7e) 8-3 vs Abi (M15w) 10-1 – Tsukitaoshi

Chiyotairyu (M10e) 5-6 vs Tamawashi (M6w) 9-2 – Tsukiotoshi

Shimanoumi (M6e) 5-6 vs Yutakayama (M13e) 4-7 – Oshidashi

Tobizaru (M8w) 5-6 vs Hoshoryu (M5w) 5-6 – Yorikiri

Takarafuji (M4e) 4-7 vs Takanosho (M2w) 7-4 – Yorikiri

Okinoumi (M3e) 4-7 vs Wakatakakage (M1w) 4-7 – Hikiotoshi

Daieisho (M1e) 4-7 vs Onosho (M2e) 4-7 – Hatakikomi

Myogiryu (M3w) 2-9 vs Kiribayama (Kw) 4-7 – Tsuridashi

Mitakeumi (Se) 9-2 vs Takayasu (M5e) 5-6 – Yorikiri

Endo (M4w) 5-6 vs Takakeisho (Ow) 10-1 – Oshidashi

Shodai (Oe) 7-4 vs Meisei (Sw) 5-6 – Yorikiri

Terunofuji (Ye) 11-0 vs Ichinojo (Ke) 4-7 – Yoritaoshi

Stick with VMTV to see how the rest of the tournament plays out!

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