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UFC 277: Peña vs Nunes 2 – Preview

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The UFC will touch back down in Dallas for UFC 277, a pay-per-view card with big title implications. In the main event, bantamweight champion Julianna Peña will try to prove her status in a rematch with reigning featherweight titleholder Amanda Nunes. The co-main event will see another title rematch, this time in the flyweight division. Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France will run their 2019 instant classic back, this time with the interim 125lb belt on the line.

Let’s taker a closer look at this card!

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(c) Julianna Peña (12-4) vs (c – FTW) Amanda Nunes (21-5) – UFC bantamweight championship bout

The new queen of the bantamweights looks to make it two-nil over the greatest of all time in the main event.

There are very few people on Earth who can say that they predicted a win for Julianna Penlña in her last bout. The champ persevered though a tough opening round to claim a massive upset win, coming by way of submission. Peña absorbs the least amount of significant strikes per minute of anyone in her division, which will help her against a power-punching Nunes. She also stacks up third on the bantamweight takedown greats. It will be a big task, but the guts of the ‘The Venezuelan Vixen’ could lead her to a second win.

No woman to have stepped foot in the Octagon is more accomplished against top competition as Amanda Nunes. Her last fight snapped a 12-fight win-streak, which spanned seven years and included nine title wins. Nunes’ tops the record books for finishes and knockouts, proving how dangerous of a task she is for everyone she shares the cage with. Should she abandon the reckless nature she brought into the first fight, there is a very real possibility that revenge is on the cards. ‘The Lioness’ is missing her second title, and she is not one to be denied.

(#1) Brandon Moreno (19-6-2) vs (#2) Kai Kara-France (24-9, 1 NC) – interim UFC flyweight championship bout

A piece of the flyweight title will be on the line in a rematch between a superstar former champ and an elite knockout artist.

The second UFC stint of Brandon Moreno has brought the Mexican star to the forefront of the flyweight division. Following his razor thin title loss to Deiveson Figueiredo in their trilogy bout, Moreno is looking to get back on track and regain a world title. He has shown vast improvements in his striking game, but the real threat lies within his grappling arsenal. Eleven career submissions could present a danger to Kara-France, who is primarily a striker. If ‘The Assassin Baby’ can repeat his 2019 performance and claim the interim title, the highly anticipated quadrilogy with Figueiredo will be on the slate.

In the past year, New Zealand’s Kai Kara-France has truly hit his stride at 125lbs. It’s currently three on the spin for the Kiwi, including a knockout of Cody Garbrandt and decision over then-undefeated Askar Askarov. The knockout power he prides himself on has really started to show itself in his recent performances. An 87% takedown defense rate is also an encouraging sign for Kara-France, if Moreno chooses to go down the grappling route. Bringing a third world title to City Kickboxing would be massive for ‘Don’t Blink’.

(#5) Derrick Lewis (26-9, 1 NC) vs (#11) Sergei Pavlovich (15-1) – heavyweight bout

A top-five spot in the heavyweight division is up for grabs in the UFC 277 feature bout.

The championship aspirations of Houston’s Derrick Lewis have fallen drastically recently. Still, at 37 years old, he’s competing in the hopes of climbing the ladder. His notorious punching power has earned him the distinction of the UFC’s KO king, topping the leaderboards for knockouts. Despite his losses to top five competition in recent outings, Lewis still remains a threat to the title picture, purely based on his ability to end a fight with one punch. ‘The Black Beast’ should never be counted out.

Splashing back onto the scene with a knockout of Shamil Abdurakhimov, the UFC was reintroduced to Sergei Pavlovich back at UFC London. The former FNG champion had been out of action since 2019, but his explosive hands helped him to crack the top 15 of his division. The single loss on his career came to the legendary Alistair Overeem, who he drew in his debut. Since that bout in 2018, it’s been three-straight first-round knockouts for Pavlovich. Smashing his way into the top five at UFC 277 would be massive for the Russian striker.

(#4) Alexandre Pantoja (24-5) vs (#6) Alex Perez (24-6)

The right to fight for the title could be on the line in this fiery flyweight encounter.

Is there a more underappreciated fighter than Alexandre Pantoja? Since 2018, the only losses he has suffered have come from champion Deiveson Figueiredo and contender Askar Askarov. Despite those losses, the well-rounded skillset brought to the ring by Pantoja has reeked havoc on promising contenders. Brandon Royval, Manel Kape and former champ Brandon Moreno have all fallen victim to Pantoja’s game. The title opportunity he has lost out on in 2021 could be back on the table, should ‘The Cannibal’ pick up his third straight win.

It seems that Alex Perez cannot find his way back into the Octagon. Sidelined since 2020, this will be the first outing for the contender since coming up short in his first title shot at UFC 255. The DWCS alum has gone 6-2 in the UFC since his debut, only losing to Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez. A combo of furious leg kicks, fast hands and sneaky submission game make him a truly dangerous fight for everybody in his weight class. The title discussion at 125lbs is full, but a win for Perez puts him firmly back into the discussion.

(#4) Magomed Ankalaev (17-1) vs (#5) Anthony Smith (36-16) – light-heavyweight bout

A pivotal light-heavyweight clash that will shake up the title picture is set to open up the main card.

Long considered the dark horse of 205lbs, Magomed Ankalaev is slowly establishing himself as a danger at light-heavyweight. His lone career loss came to Paul Craig, in a fight he was winning up until the literal last second. Ankalaev is a threat on both the feet and on the ground, holding the distinction of Master of Sport in combat sambo. A tenth knockout for this Russian contender could catapult him into a title bout later this year.

Earning a second title opportunity has been the main objective for Anthony Smith since he came up short against Jon Jones in 2019. It seems that the veteran is rejuvinated and ready for a second crack at the belt. He’s currently riding a three-fight win-streak, all by first-round finish. Smith possesses a dangerous submission arsenal and a stinging jab, which could cause lots of problems for his opponents. ‘Lionheart’ wants to fight the best, and he’ll have his work cut out for him at UFC 277.

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Who will walk away with the titles? Who are you picking on the main card? Let us know in the comments!

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Magomed Umalatov & Denis Golstov OUT, Dilano Taylor & Juan Adams IN | PFL 8

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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.

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

Main card

Dilano Taylor vs Magomed Umalatov

Ante Delija vs Renan Ferreira

Juan Adams vs Matheus Scheffel

Sadibou Sy vs Carlos Leal

Preliminary Card

Josh O’Connor vs Emran Sakhizaada

Mohammad Fakhreddine vs Marcin Wójcik

Chris Mixan vs Christian Stigenberg

Szymon Bajor vs Hatef Moeil

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PFL Offers To Host Kayla Harrison vs Cris Cyborg

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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.

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.

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Jesse Arnett vs Ali AlQaisi 2 | The Biggest Rematch in UAE Warriors History is Official!

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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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