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Matchmaker Monday – UFC 267

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With the dust settled after UFC 267, it’s time to look at what’s next for the winners and losers from the latest journey to Abu Dhabi.

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

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(c) Glover Teixeira (33-7) – UFC light-heavyweight champion

After 20 years in the sport, Glover Teixiera can finally call himself the best light-heavyweight on the planet. Taking out Jan Blachowicz in the second round, the 42 year old proved he can still put the best of the best away. Confirming it himself in the cage, contender Jiri Prochazka is next in line for a cracking at Teixiera’s newly minted belt. This will truly be the old guard vs the new wave.

(#1) Jan Blachowicz (28-9) – former UFC light-heavyweight champion

Having fallen short in his bid to collect a second title defense, it wasn’t an easy night for Poland’s Jan Blachowicz. Nevertheless, he remains one of the strongest forces at 205lbs, with power in both hands that were briefly on display. If Blachowicz is aimed on getting back to the title, a title eliminator with Magomed Ankalaev would get the fans excited.

(ic) Petr Yan (16-2) – interim UFC bantamweight champion

Once again showing his power in an instant classic bout, Petr Yan can call himself a UFC champion again. Though it was for an interim title, many still see the Russian as the best 135lb fighter on Earth. I don’t want to see any other fighter except champ Aljamain Sterling opposite Yan in his next outing. It’s the fight the world wants, and the one to unify the titles.

(#3) Cory Sandhagen (14-4) – UFC bantamweight contender

Making a strong account of himself in a losing effort, Cory Sandhagen’s stock has done nothing but rise in 2021. Having only lost in the UFC to the top 3 bantamweights in the title discussion, he remains one of the very best contenders at 135lbs. I don’t think anyone could say no to a 5-round fight with Merab Dvalishvili, which would produce fireworks.

(#5) Islam Makhachev (21-1) – UFC lightweight contender

It’s time to start looking at Islam Makhachev as a true title threat. The manner in which he ran through Dan Hooker proved that he belongs with the elite at 155lbs. If the promotion truly want to see Makhachev’s potential, I’d like to see him in there with the winner of Justin Gaethje vs Michael Chandler. The winner of Makhachev vs Gaethje/Chandler would be the clear number-one contender.

(#6) Dan Hooker (21-11) – UFC lightweight contender

Even though he came up short at UFC 267, everyone must respect Dan Hooker. Taking the fight on short notice was a move very few would be brave enough to go with. Depending on his timeframe for a return, I think a fight with Rafael dos Anjos makes a lot of sense. A main event with Hooker and RDA is a guaranteed barnbruner.

(#5) Alexander Volkov (34-9) – UFC heavyweight contender

Collecting his 3rd win in his last 4 fights, Alexander Volkov simply cannot be moved from the upper echelon of the heavyweight division. With a win over Marcin Tybura under his belt, there isn’t too many opponents that stick out for ‘Drago‘. Due to the majority of top 10 being booked up, perhaps a fight with the rising Sergei Pavlovich could be done in a return to Russia.

(#9) Marcin Tybura (22-7) – UFC heavyweight contender

Having his 5-fight win-streak snapped over the weekend, Marcin Tybura is in a sticky spot at heavyweight. As I said with Volkov, not too many stick out for his next bout, especially with a lot of fights being booked. A rematch with Augusto Sakai makes sense for the division’s landscape, and that’s my pick.

Khamzat Chimaev (10-0) – UFC welterweight contender

Wow. What else is there to say except – wow. Khamzat Chimaev proved his worth with a smashing performance against Li Jingliang, and he wants to fight everybody next. If the UFC is truly as eager to push him as they were when they matched him up with Leon Edwards, I think Chimaev could get a top 5 opponent. Gilbert Burns is looking for a fight, and I have no doubts that he’d answer the call to fight ‘Borz‘.

(#11) Li Jingliang (18-7) – UFC welterweight contender

Though his momentum may have been halted, Li Jingliang still deserves to be talked about in the top 15 discussion at welterweight. No names spring off the page as a clear fight to make for ‘The Leech‘, but every fight he’s in is a fun one. Throw him in with a fellow contender in Muslim Salikhov and watch all hell break loose.

(#7) Magomed Ankalaev (16-1) – UFC light-heavyweight contender

With his winning-streak now stood at 7, Magomed Ankalaev put on one of the best performances at UFC 267. Solidified as a top contender now, I think it’s time that we see him against top 5 competition. Though some might see this as rushing him, a title eliminator with former champion Jan Blachowicz makes sense to me. It’s time to see if Ankalaev can truly hang with the elite at 205lbs.

(#8) Volkan Oezdemir (17-6) – UFC light-heavyweight contender

Now dropping two-straight to Jiri Prochazka and Magomed Ankalaev, it’s time for Volkan Oezdemir to look at his spot in the division. He is beginning to lose more than he wins in recent times, and he has to break that chain. Another guy who’s found himself like that is Johnny Walker. Who would say no to that fiery matchup?

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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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