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Eagle FC 44: 5 fights to look forward to



Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle Fight Club are set to make their US debut with Eagle FC 44 on January 28th in Miami, Florida.

For such a big occasion one would expect a card with the stature to match, a matter which Eagle FC have certainly delivered on, following some huge signings since Nurmagomedov aquired the organisation. With that being said, here are 5 fights you won’t want to miss.

Loik Radzhabov vs Zach Zane

Radzhabov (15-4-1) and Zane (15-9) have the honour of opening Eagle FC 44, through strategic placement or not this fight has all the ingredients needed to draw eyes, and blood for that matter.
Radzhabov is coming off two seasons in the PFL, both of which saw him impress with his fan friendly pressure boxing style. Quickly becoming one of the top lightweights the PFL had to offer, Radzhabov made the finals in both seasons, unfortunately falling short on both attempts. Tajikistans own has never been finished as a pro and will look to hone his proven skillset to get back on the board in Miami.
Taking on Radzhabov is Hawaiian finisher Zach Zane. Zane is coming off a career best performance which saw him take out MMA veteran Steven Siler with a vicious left hand just 7 seconds into their contest. His explosivness and killer instinct always makes for captivating viewing, seeing him secure victories in Bellator, Brave and even feature on the Contender Series. With an opponent as durable and dangerous as Radzhabov, this contest has real potential to steal the show.

Ramazan Nurmagomedov vs John Howard

An age old prospect vs veteran match up in this one as the undefeated Ramazan Kuramagomedov (9-0) takes on the battle tested John Howard (29-17-1).
Yet to taste defeat, Kuramagomedov has already amassed a range of impressive finishes in his young career, taking out experienced names such as Matias Juarez and Georgi Valentinov while competing under the likes of UAE warriors, ACB and the PFL. A product of Dagestan, Ramazan has already displayed an imposing ground game with a more than capable striking arsenal to match. This fight is certainly the biggest of his career and one which, with an impressive display, could be a huge breakthrough opportunity for him.

John Howard on the other hand has no shortage of experience. A 14 fight UFC veteran with the type of KO power which ensures he’s always in the fight, “Doomsday” has had his fair share of huge wins, owning victories over the likes of Uriah Hall and Ray Cooper. Although trading wins and losses in his past 9 outings, Howard picked up a huge KO over PFL welterweight King Ray Cooper III in 2019, proving to the MMA masses that he’s not done yet. Hungry to get back in the win column, a win over an undefeated Kuramagomedov will be sure to turn a few heads.

Raimond Magomedaliev vs Anthony Njokuani

Raimond Magomedaliev (8-1) vs Anthony Njokuani (17-12) is set to be the main card opener and honestly, this fight has so much potential. On paper, a strikers delight.

Magomedaliev is a very capable MMA fighter. A combat sambo and wushu world champion, he has a well versed base for MMA competition. Raimond is riding a 4 fight win streak after his stint with ONE Championship where we saw him pick people apart with that patient yet lethal striking game. His intelligent and smart approach paired with serious KO power and a strong grappling pedigree has seen him amass some vicious finish throughout his MMA career, most notably a brutal first round KO over Edson Marques where he decemated the Brazilian with a pinpoint right hand. Another Dagestani machine who looks to secure a victory over a more established name.
Anthony Njokuani, like John Howard is a more established name in the combat sports world. “The Assasin” has had stints with the UFC as well as a series of Muay Thai and kickboxing fights, all showcasing the vicious stand up game he’s come to be known for. Njokuani holds notable wins over UFC veteran John Makdessi and Muay Thai standout Elliot Compton, more recently securing a first round stoppage in Jorge Masvidals bare knuckle MMA league, Gamebred fighting championship. At 41 years of age he’s still putting guys away with that dangerous kickboxing base and I think a fight with a guy like Magomedaliev will only bring out the best in him.

Ray Borg vs Cody Gibson

First of all, Borg (14-5) and Gibson (18-7) are two superb additions to any bantamweight roster, two UFC veterans who are still very much at the peak of their powers. This is excellent matchmaking.

It’s hard to forget because he’s been at the top for so long but Ray Borg is still only 28 years old. “The Tazmexican devil” possesses a very well rounded skillset which has seen him compete for the UFC flyweight title and pick up some big wins through his MMA journey. His last outing was his first since his departure from the UFC, taking out Jesse Arnett via unanimous decision under the UAE Warriors banner. Make no mistake Borg has looked phenomenal in his recent fights, even in defeat to Ricky Simon, he showed some ridiculously fast hands, a relentless pace with a suffocating wrestling base, he’s still a top MMA bantamweight. A fight with a fellow UFC veteran in Cody Gibson gives him an opportunity to showcase the ability we all know he has against another one of the top bantamweights outside of the UFC.

Cody Gibson is also a guy who has really reminded everyone of his level in recent years since his UFC departure, winning 6 of his last 7 bouts against serious opposition. Most notable of the 6 was a huge win over UFC veteran John Dodson last October, a fight in which he showed his maturity and well rounded skill set against a UFC caliber fighter. Gibson possesses a slick, composed striking game as well as a good utilisation of his larger than average bantamweight frame to impose himself in grappling exchanges. A pro since 2008 he’s got the experience and seemingly a second wind in his MMA career, a big win over a former UFC title challenger would be huge for the continued upward trajectory of his career.

Tyrone Spong vs Sergei Kharitonov

With Eagle FC 44 being the promotions US debut, what a huge main event acquisition this is. Not only is it a captivating clash between two proven knockout artists, but its the return of kickboxing icon Tyrone Spong to the world of mixed martial arts.

Granted, we’ve only seen Spong compete in MMA twice before, but his combat sports credentials speak to what we can expect. The “King of the Ring” is undoubtably one of the most dangerous heavyweights in combat sports history. Boasting a kickboxing record of 107-7 (73KOs) and a boxing record of 14-0 (13KOs), he’s an expert at handing out non negotiable naps. Spong holds victories over the who’s who of kickboxing, scoring finishes over the likes of Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts and Zabit Samedov. Not only does he have a vast understanding of the art of striking, he has other worldly KO power, that much is clear. In 4 ounce gloves once again and coming off a very successful stint in boxing, I can’t help but think we’re in for a treat.

Spong opponent is “The Paratrooper” Sergei Kharitanov (31-8). Like Spong, Kharitanov has a reputation for his mastery of the finish. Kharitanov boasts an impressive MMA resume, holding finishes over the likes of Andre Arlovski, Alistair Overeem and even kickboxing great Semmy Schilt. Sergei also has his fair share of submission victories, but its safe to say he favours the hands, an approach would could prove to be dangerous come Friday.

If there ever was a main event which would guarantee a finish, I think we’re looking at it right here. Two big guys who are KO specialists throwing down in 4 ounce gloves. I mean you can never be certain of course, but this isn’t one you want to miss.

Eagle FC 44 goes down on Friday, January 28th and is free to watch on FLX cast.

See the full card for Eagle FC 44 below:

Tyrone Spong vs Sergei Kharitonov

Rashad Evans vs Gabriel Checco

Ray Borg vs Cody Gibson

Ramazan Kuramagomedov vs John Howard

Raimond Magomedaliev vs Anthony Njokuani

Arman Ospanov vs Dylan Salvador

Yorgan De Castro vs Shaun Asher

Miles Hunsinger vs Demarques Jackson

Shawn Bunch vs Adi Alic

Loik Radzhabov vs Zach Zane

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Fight To Watch | Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson



Fights are being booked fast and furiously for July 23rd as the UFC’s anticipated return to London approaches. With fireworks expected throughout the whole event, MMAPlay365 and VMTV have scoured through the card and selected Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson as our ‘Fight To Watch’ on the night.

Muhammad Mokaev returns to the octagon following a successful debut back at UFC London in March against Cody Durden. ‘The Punisher’ made light work of his American counter-part, submitting him in the first round via guillotine choke with very little problems. His upcoming opponent, Charles Johnson, signs with the UFC after an impressive four-fight winning streak on LFA, which saw him capture and defend flyweight gold.

His ability to mix it up on the feet and in grappling scenarios make this a much more dangerous bout for Mokaev stylistically, but it’s still nothing the 21 year old won’t be able to handle in the eyes of MMAPlay365 Founder, Adam Newsome:

“At this stage of Muhammad Mokaev’s UFC career every fight is going to be a test. And just because you haven’t heard of Charles Johnson doesn’t mean he isn’t a good fighter. Johnson was the Flyweight Champion in LFA. If you aren’t familiar with LFA it’s basically the American equivalent of Cage Warriors. You are battle tested in LFA and if you become a Champion the chances are the UFC are going to sign you.

So this is a very interesting match-up but still right now I don’t think that Mokaev gets tested enough to the point he loses. This is going to be another fight I see him doing extremely well in and I don’t see Mokaev losing a fight until he hits the top 20 of the division. But even when that time comes, he is going to have improved and developed so much that he could run through that pool of fighters at that time. If a fighter is going to beat Mokaev outside the best fighters in the division then now is the time to do it whilst he’s still developing. But even though he’s still developing he’s still a problem. I’m not sure Mokaev finds another finish here so I am predicting a dominant three round decision victory for Muhammad Mokaev.”

Cauley Quilty, Editor for VMTV, had this to say on the fight: “Muhammad Mokaev is always a treat to watch in action and his UFC debut back in March was nothing short of spectacular! He came to fight and did exactly that getting the first round finish and I see him doing the same thing when he steps back out there against Charles Johnson. His extensive amateur career and impressive run of professional performances make it almost impossible to not side with Mokaev in this bout, especially with the way he defeated Durden on his debut.

However, Charles Johnson isn’t an opponent anyone should underestimate as his resume and recent performances speak for themselves! His fight vs Carlos ‘Mota’ Tizil was a barnburner and with 8 of his 11 wins coming by way of finish you know he can get the job done when needed. Both fighters are highly touted and respected so expect the winner of this to receive a bump up in competition on their next outing.”

Who do you think leaves the ‘Fight To Watch’ with their hand raised? Be sure to let us know your predictions below!

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Sumo | Summer Tournament wide open after 10 days



The Sumo Summer Tournament has a surprise joint-leader after 10 days, but many Rikishi are in with a shout of glory with only 5 days to go.

So far, only two have managed to achieve a guaranteed winning record, with M15 ranked Ichiyamamoto and M4 Takanosho posting 8-2 records 10 days in to the basho. It remains to be seen if he can keep up his championship challenge, but Ichiyamamoto is bringing back memories of the January 2020 basho when the M17 ranked Tokushoryu took home the title in a huge surprise. Whatever happens, Ichiyamamoto should see himself catapulted up the rankings for the next tournament if he can keep up this form. It is a welcome return to form for Takanosho who has previously been a Sekiwake.

Sumo: Summer Tournament – M15 ranked Ichiyamamoto finds himself in the joint-lead after 10 days of action.

Despite his patchy form, Terunofuji has scrapped himself to a 7-3 record, which puts him 1 behind the leaders in a large chasing pack. On day 10 he managed to get by a spirited Hoshoryu who is improving all the time. The Mongolian giant will be hopeful of taking home his first championship of the year. Others in the pack on 7-3 are Kiribayama, Ura, Sadanoumi and Aoiyama. With NINE more wrestlers on 6-4, only two behind the leaders and with an outside shot, there will be an amazing 16 Rikishi who may be dreaming of lifting the Emperor’s Cup come Sunday 22nd May. The chances of there being a playoff for the win for the second tournament running are looking pretty high.

Down at the other end of the table, it has been another tournament to forget for March’s playoff runner-up, Takayasu, who has posted a losing record of 2-8 so far. After doing so well to get himself back to M1 rank, he will find himself going down the rankings ahead of the July tournament. Ozeki Shodai has continued his poor form and one more defeat will once again see him staring down the possibility of losing his rank come July. March winner Wakatakakage, alongside fellow Sanyaku ranked competitors Abi, Takakeisho and Mitakeumi, are all fighting for winning records having gone 5-5 so far.

Keep an eye out for the next update after Saturday’s day 14 when I will be recapping the standings and looking ahead to what promises to be a very exciting final-day’s action.

Remember to check out the VMTV Sumo introduction and guide here if you need a refresher of the rules and some of the words used in these articles.

You can find the full rankings and results of the tournament so far at the Japan Sumo Association’s page here.

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UFC London | Aspinall vs Blaydes Staff Predictions



The UFC will take centre stage once again in London as they return to UK shores for a second time this year on July 23rd. Following the immense success of the previous show in March, the O2 Arena will again play host to another stacked night of fights.

Headlining the card is surging heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall who will be looking to cement his name amongst the top ranked in the division with a win over #4 ranked Curtis Blaydes. It’s do or die for Darren Till when he faces Jack Hermansson in the co-main event as he aims to get his first win since 2019.

Leading up to the event, VMTV have teamed up with MMAPlay365 and our writing staff will be giving their predictions for each fight on the card as there announced. You can view details on the partnership between VMTV and MMAPlay365 here.

Tom Aspinall vs Curtis Blaydes

  • Cauley – Curtis Blaydes via KO/TKO, R4
  • Matt – Tom Aspinall via decision
  • Jamie -Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
  • Jake – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
  • Darragh – Curtis Blaydes via KO/TKO, R3
  • Harry – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
  • Colin – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R2

Darren Till vs Jack Hermansson

  • Cauley – Jack Hermansson via decision
  • Matt – Darren Till via KO/TKO, R2
  • Jamie – Darren Till via decision
  • Jake – Darren Till via decision
  • Darragh – Jack Hermansson via submission, R3
  • Harry – Jack Hermansson via decision
  • Colin – Darren Till via decision

Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson

  • Cauley – Nikita Krylov via decision
  • Matt – Nikita Krylov via KO/TKO, R1
  • Jamie – Alexander Gustafsson via decision
  • Jake – Nikita Krylov via submission, R1
  • Darragh – Nikita Krylov via decision
  • Harry – Alexander Gustafsson via decision
  • Colin – Nikita Krylov via decision

Paul Craig vs Volkan Oezdemir

  • Cauley – Paul Craig via submission, R1
  • Matt – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Jamie – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Jake – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Darragh – Paul Craig via submission, R1
  • Harry – Paul Craig via submission, R2
  • Colin – Paul Craig via submission, R2

Muhammed Mokaev vs Charles Johnson

  • Cauley – Muhammed Mokaev via KO/TKO, R2
  • Matt – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R1
  • Jamie – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R2
  • Jake – Muhammed Mokaev via decision
  • Darragh – Muhammed Mokaev via KO/TKO, R1
  • Harry – Muhammed Mokaev via decision
  • Colin – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R1

Molly McCann vs Hannah Goldy

  • Cauley – Molly McCann via KO/TKO, R3
  • Matt – Molly McCann via decision
  • Jamie – Molly McCann via KO/TKO, R2
  • Jake – Molly McCann via decision
  • Darragh – Molly McCann via decision
  • Harry – Molly McCann via decision
  • Colin – Molly McCann via decision

Mandy Bohm vs Victoria Leonardo

  • Cauley – Victoria Leonardo via KO/TKO, R2
  • Matt – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Jamie – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Jake – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Darragh – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Harry – Mandy Bohm via decision
  • Colin – Mandy Bohm via decision
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