It’s almost that time again, for the second time this year the octagon is set to return to London for a night of caged carnage on July 23rd. Although the card has taken a hit in regard to Darren Till’s withdrawal due to injury, “The Action Man” has come to save the day and provide exactly what his nickname suggests, as Chris Curtis steps in to continue his winning ways against #8 ranked middleweight, Jack Hermansson.
Only making his long overdue UFC debut in November of last year, Chris Curtis has wasted no time making himself known and displaying 36 fights worth of skill and experience in order to start his UFC campaign in the best way possible. Riding an 8 fight win streak with his last taste of defeat being back in 2019, the 34 year old impressed right from the jump, securing a first round finish over the highly touted Phil Hawes, before going on to finish Brendan Allen less than a month later, both at the hands of his debilitating striking. His most recent outing came just last month, advancing to 3-0 in the UFC with a unanimous decision victory over BJJ ace Rodolfo Viera, a body work clinic seeing Curtis cruise through the Brazilian with his striking once more.
One can only assume this will be a classic striker vs grappler matchup, Curtis keeping a relentless Hermansson off him while picking him apart on the feet. Impressively, the former has averaged 7.23 significant strikes per minute during his UFC run so far, landing with an accuracy of 65%. While Hermansson has never been known for being a striker, more so using it as a vehicle to get in close and initiate the grappling exchanges, he does like to set a high pace with a volumous approach, something while Curtis will have to nulify, using his power and accuracy with that stifling body work to gain some respect and slow Jack down. Along with the impressive striking we’ve seen from Curtis thus far and that short range power, his takedown defence has been some of the most effective in the UFC, something I imagine will greatly be put to the test yet again this time out. He has defended 26/26 takedown attempts he has faced during his UFC run so far, a very impressive stat regardless of the caliber of wrestler he has encountered.
Hermansson on the other hand has struggled as of late to hold down a spot at the top of the rankings, going 2-3 in his last 5 outings in the UFC. His only two wins within those last 5 have been over Edmen Shahbazyan and a Kelvin Gastelum who is yet to look like the dangerous top contender he once was after a rough patch himself. The success Hermansson has found has almost always been by way of his grappling chops, initiating the clinch against the cage and getting the fight to the mat to look for a submission or some ground and pound to grind out a victory. His game used to be built around that heavy ground and pound during his ascension into the middleweight rankings, a tool which he hasn’t found too much success with since. Not only does he have an imposing top game, but his submission game is also very effective off the back, with a nasty guillotine we’ve seen him pull off many a time on his rise into the division. There’s no question, he has heart, he has a gas tank and he can fight at pace, just look at his fight with Vettori, but will this be enough to take out Curtis?
This is a must win fight for Hermansson, he’s fighting in familiar territory, against a man in Chris Curtis who is looking to use him as a path to the top 10. A loss here won’t see him fighting up the division any time soon back toward title contention, while a win for Curtis means top 5 contests aren’t too far in the future, considering the majority of the top 5 have already fought for the belt and failed, there’s no better time than now. Will Hermanssons pressure grappling approach prevail or will Curtis be able to dictate the pace and pick him apart en route to a 4-0 UFC start and a ranked spot?
Be sure to tune in on July 23rd to find out.
Magomed Umalatov & Denis Golstov OUT, Dilano Taylor & Juan Adams IN | PFL 8
Magomed Umalatov & Denis Golstov have unfortunately been ruled out of their PFL semi-final playoff this weekend against Rory MacDonald & Matheus Scheffel as they were unable to secure a visa to enter the United Kingdom. The news was announced by PFL just moments ago.
Magomed Umalatov will now be replaced by welterweight alternate Dilano Taylor, whilst Golstov will now be replaced by former UFC heavyweight Juan Adams.
BREAKING: Due to the inability to secure a visa to enter the United Kingdom, Denis Goltsov and Magomed Umalatov will be replaced by alternates @chosenjuan285 & @PostmanTaylor. #PFLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/Oj7PAfu6sy— PFL (@PFLMMA) August 11, 2022
PFL 8 will take place at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena this Saturday, August 13th. You can find the updated fight card for the event below.
PFL 8 Full Card
Post Main Card European Qualifiers:
Will Fleury vs Anthony Salamone
Nathan Kelly vs Ben Ellis
Vojto Barborík vs Maxim Radu
Francesco Nuzzi vs Moktar Benkaci
Dilano Taylor vs Magomed Umalatov
Ante Delija vs Renan Ferreira
Juan Adams vs Matheus Scheffel
Sadibou Sy vs Carlos Leal
Josh O’Connor vs Emran Sakhizaada
Mohammad Fakhreddine vs Marcin Wójcik
Chris Mixan vs Christian Stigenberg
Szymon Bajor vs Hatef Moeil
PFL Offers To Host Kayla Harrison vs Cris Cyborg
After both women were featured on yesterday’s episode of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Kayla Harrison and Cris Cyborg now have a serious offer on the table for their super fight. The founder and co-owner of the PFL Donn Davis tweeted saying that the PFL will host the fight and “handle all matters”. Offering up $1 million for each fighter’s purse and a $2 million winners bonus, the fight now has some serious money behind it.
Fans want the fight— Donn Davis (@DonnDavisPFL) August 10, 2022
Fighters want the fight
I have watched and listened … @PFLMMA will provide all money and handle all matters @KaylaH v @criscyborg
$1M each fighter + $2M winner bonus
PPV Super Fight … no more talk … decide the best inside the cage#KaylaCyborg
Whilst on the MMA Hour, both women had something to say about the fight, Kayla Harrison actually called into the show when it was about to end to tell her side of the story. She said that the last she heard from the PFL was that Cyborg was a free agent and they had reached out. Harrison also said that she would be happy to negotiate on behalf of Cyborg to get her whatever she wants, whether the fight is winner takes all or not, whether Harrison has to go through a full USADA drug testing program etc. Her only request was that they allow elbows so she can “put one through her skull”.
Cyborg, on the other hand, said that if the PFL wants to make the fight happen, they should contact Scott Coker and Bellator to make the fight a co-promotion. Despite now being a free agent, Cyborg referred to the fact that she loves working with them and considers Coker to be family and would want them to be involved. Whilst co-promotion isn’t out of the question as it’s something Bellator have done before, it does make the deal more complicated.
Also on the MMA Hour, Cyborg announced that she will be making her professional debut in boxing on September 25th. She will face Simone Silva in Curitiba, Brazil and signed her contract live on air. Harrison’s next outing in the PFL comes in less than two weeks when she faces Martina Jindrová on the 20th August at PFL 9 in London as one half of the semi-finals.
Is this a super-fight you’d like to see made in the near future? Let us know your thoughts on the situation in the comments.
Jesse Arnett vs Ali AlQaisi 2 | The Biggest Rematch in UAE Warriors History is Official!
The biggest rematch in UAE Warriors history is confirmed as Jesse Arnett (20-8) is set to defend his UAE Warriors featherweight title against rival Ali AlQaisi (12-6) in the main event of ‘UAE Warriors 33’ on Saturday, September 17 live from the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Arnett won the title from AlQaisi in an exciting and heated affair at ‘UAE Warriors 30’ this past July ending ‘The Royal Fighter’s’ triple championship reign. The bout was ended via doctor stoppage due to a cut sustained by AlQaisi in the second round. Emotions ran high and tempers flared in the aftermath, however officials quickly handled the situation and both fighters immediately agreed to a rematch.
Will Arnett retain and establish himself as the UAE Warriors featherweight champion or can AlQaisi regain his status as triple champion!? The score will officially be settled on September 17, live around the world on UFC Fight Pass.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, we will see the anticipated return of the Africa series as ‘UAE Warriors 32: Africa’ takes place the night prior on Friday, September 16.
History will be made as Kevin Oumar (8-3) and Emilio Quissua (3-0) compete become the first ever UAE Warriors Africa light heavyweight champion.
Hailing from Comoros, Oumar is based out of France where has become both a sanda and kickboxing champion. The 29-year-old is on a five-fight win-streak which includes an impressive submission win over the previously undefeated Mohamed Amine in his last fight in UAE Warriors this past March.
Oumar will once again need to be on top of his game as he faces Angola’s Emilio Quissua. A former kickboxer himself, Quissua trains out of the renowned Planet Eater gym in Germany and has won all three of his professional MMA bouts since making his debut just over a year ago.
Stay tuned for more fight announcements.
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