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Contender Profiles | Thomas Paull

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Name: Thomas “Juggernaut” Paull
Age: 27
Weight: Lightweight
Nationality: English
Record: 11-3-0

The Story so far

Fighting on the global stage is one thing, but doing it while deaf is something not many can attest to. GTFP Lightweight champion, Thomas Paull hopes to become the second deaf fighter on the UFC’s current roster, alongside top 5 flyweight contender Askar Askerov. His opportunity has come sooner rather than later, as the “Juggernaut” prepares for a matchup against undefeated Argentinian finisher, Esteban Ribovics in week 4 of Dana White’s Contender Series.

Paull was deaf from birth and used martial arts as an outlet after experiencing bullying from a young age. As the man says himself, he can break people in the cage but he wants to be able to break down barriers outside the cage in regards to the deaf community. Paull has expressed his desire to be the person to merge mainstream sports and the deaf community, believing they have so much potential and that they just need to be given the opportunities.

The 27 year old trains out of Team Underground MMA in London, England, alongside ONE flyweight Muay Thai standout Jonathan Haggerty. With a record of 11 wins and 3 losses, every one of Paull’s victories has come by way of KO/TKO, while his 3 losses have also come by way of finish, an all action fighter sure to garner a wealth of excitement should he make it to the big leagues.

After slowly working his way through the regional competition, through a pro career that only began in 2015, Paull most recently ran through what on paper should have been his toughest tests yet, in the form of Cage Warriors veteran Perry Goodwin and regional UK mainstay, Mario Saeed. After a gruelling contest with Saeed, Paull clutched victory from the Jaws of defeat, a couple of knees forcing two knockdowns early in the third with the vicious ground and pound forcing the stoppage. The Goodwin fight was his most recent outing and arguably his most impressive, with Paull putting “The Predator” to sleep with a crushing left hook early in the first.

The Style

Paull’s style is certainly very fan friendly, it’s almost like a more reckless adaptation of the dutch kickboxing approach. He marches forward, applying pressure, inhibiting his opponents lateral movement with heavy low kicks before meeting them in the pocket with his heavy hands. He favours the striking, backs his chin and loves to tear it up on the inside with hooks. Paull is a guy who is always working for a better position or trying to output some form of aggression. He rarely accepts bottom position and when he does find himself there, will try to deal as much damage as he can with elbows and punches, all while trying constantly trying to get to his feet. The grappling side of the game tends to be where he finds the most resistance, but its making the most of the time he gets back to his feet that counts, something he does very well, often with a reassuring urgency. He’s big, strong and explosive and there are definitely some exciting matchups to be made for him in the UFC.

The Matchup

Paull draws Argentinian finisher, Esteban Ribovics in the Contender Series. This is a man who seems to firmly fight by the MMA saying that you don’t get paid for overtime. Although he hasn’t faced excellent competition, he has multiple sub 30 second finishes which are a product of his ultra aggressive style. Ribovics is 10-0-0, and like Paull every one of his victories have been via finish. Often, Ribovics flies out of the gate with pace, a very fast starter, he has fast hands, a range of dynamic strikes in his arsenal and a solid workrate with big explosive striking combos and movements. Although like Paull he favours the striking, he has a range of submissions on his resume, seemingly favouring the Kimura, not just as a submission but as a takedown deterrent and vehicle for a sweep.

Ribovics has a style that pairs with Paull’s brilliantly, he’s primarily a defensive grappler, sets a pace on his opponents, comes out with pace and aggression with his limbs to put his opponents away. Paull is hard nosed, won’t back down from a scrap on the inside, favours an opportunity to settle things on the feet and can take a shot, either this is going to end early or it will be a crazy stand up war.

A tough test for sure and a contest that promises to be fireworks, but secure the UFC contract or not, there’s no question that Thomas Paull earning an opportunity like this will instil a great deal of hope within the deaf community in sports no matter what they may compete In.

Be sure to tune in for week 4 of Dana White’s Contender Series on August 16th to catch Thomas Paull in action.

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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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