Opinion | Fights To Make After UFC Orlando: Thompson vs. Holland

UFC OrlandoUFC Orlando certainly delivered a fantastic card. A heavy hitter in the heavyweight division emerged as a potential title contender following another first-round finish. A legend of the sport rolled back the clock with a striking masterclass in the main event to reinstate himself as a contender in the welterweight division. Fresh faces also established […]

UFC Orlando

UFC Orlando certainly delivered a fantastic card. A heavy hitter in the heavyweight division emerged as a potential title contender following another first-round finish. A legend of the sport rolled back the clock with a striking masterclass in the main event to reinstate himself as a contender in the welterweight division. Fresh faces also established themselves with two very impressive victories in the opening matchups on the card.

Let us take a look at all of those who emerged victorious from the entire UFC Orlando card and plot where their next fights should take place again.

Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland provided a captivating end to a truly fantastic card in the main event of UFC Orlando. Despite being just shy of forty, Thompson rolled back time to deliver a striking masterclass on his way to a TKO finish over Kevin Holland.

Now as everyone knows, Stephen Thompson does not fair well when facing up against opponents with strong wrestling/grappling. Therefore, it seems only right that his next matchup should take place against an opponent we know for certain will be looking to stand and bang with him. Jorge Masvidal could well be that man, currently unbooked and looking to get back to winning ways in 2023!

Rafael Dos Anjos

Despite his title interest being long gone as he nears the end of his brilliant career. Rafael Dos Anjos showed he still has talent in abundance as he simply outclassed Bryan Barberena on his way to a second-round submission victory.

Now for RDA, he made this one very easy for me when he went to callout out Conor McGregor during his post-fight interview. McGregor expressed an interest in competing at 170-pound when he does return and provided, he will be back inside the octagon in early 2023, this matchup seems very fitting for both men.

Matheus Nicolau

Matheus Nicolau announced himself as a serious contender following his finish over the always-game Matt Schnell at UFC Orlando. It seems only right that Nicolau should get a crack at the top five in the flyweight division since he has built up an impressive four-fight winning streak. Provided he is willing to wait for Brandon Royval to recover from his injury I can only expect fireworks should these two eventually meet inside the octagon.

Sergei Pavlovich

We may have a serious contender in the heavyweight division in Sergei Pavlovich. Two back-to-back first-round finishes have seen him shoot up to the 5th-ranked spot in his division. Next for Pavlovich needs to be a fellow top-five contender. Given that the two were previously scheduled to fight, I’d like to see the Russian test himself with the former interim heavyweight champion, Cyril Gane.

Roman Dolidze

Roman Dolidze may have had one of the best years for a fighter following his three-fight finishing streak to cap off 2022. A short-notice bout in which many did not have him favored has now landed him in the top ten of the middleweight rankings following his finish over Jack Hermanson. Let us continue to move him up the rankings and give him a matchup against veteran fighter, Derek Brunson.

Eryk Anders

Eryk Anders took advantage of what many would consider a too-soon turnaround for Kyle Daukaus. Anders snapped a two-fight skid as he picked up a 2nd round TKO at UFC Orlando. Next for Anders comes a test in fellow hard hitter in Marc Andre Barriault.

Phillip Rowe

Phillip Rowe overcame adversity on his way to a third-round TKO over Niko Price in the headline prelim of UFC Orlando. Following this win, Rowe has gone 3/3 in his last three outings with all of his victories coming via finish. I’d like to see Rowe take on Khaos Williams in his next matchup as a final test before attempting to make his way up the welterweight rankings.

Fights To Make Following UFC Orlando: Thompson vs. Holland

Angela Hill

Angie ‘Overkill’ Hill and fights going to a decision is something that goes hand in hand. Fortunately for the 37-year-old this time the decision was in her favor. Hill was able to neutralize any threat coming from Ducote en route to her 15th professional victory. Next for Hill should be a matchup moving upwards in the strawweight rankings and that comes in the form of Amanda Ribas.

Clay Guida

Clay Guida secured an impressive victory as he entered an MMA octagon for the 60th time. As he has recently confirmed that retirement is not in his plans for any time soon, his 61st professional bout should take place against Australia-born, Jamie Mullarkey.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson made his experience count en route to his decision victory over Marc Diakese. Bouncing back from his defeat to Jamie Mullarkey, let’s see if Johnson can make it two on the bounce should he get the next matchup I would like for him, which is the winner of Bobby Green vs Drew Dober.

Jonathan Pearce

Jonathan Pearce put on a beatdown of Darren Elkins on his way to score his fourth consecutive victory in a fight in which he most certainly could have secured himself a finish. I believe it is time for Pearce to take a step up in competition and face former Olympian, Mark O. Madsen who will be looking to return to winning ways after suffering his first professional defeat back in November.

Natan Levy

Israel’s Natan Levy made it two wins in a row to end his 2022 on a high following his decision victory over Genaro Valdez at UFC Orlando.  Levy has shown a solid skillset on the ground to neutralize his opponents. Therefore, I would like to see him face a man who has nearly half of his victories via submission and comes in the form of ‘The Smile Killer’, Fares Ziam.

Francis Marshall

Francis Marshall made good on his promotional debut after securing a second-round finish against Marcelo Rojo. Marshall is only 23 years old and has plenty of time to develop himself as a fighter. It will be interesting to see how well he can do in the sport. Next for him should be a man he shared the card with, 38-fight veteran, Darren Elkins.

Yazmin Jauregui

Similarly, to Marshall, Jauregui delivered in the opening bout of UFC Orlando to extend her undefeated record to 10-0. For Jauregui’s next test I would like to see her matched up with a wrestler and therefore my final selection comes in the form of Sam ‘Sampage’ Hughes.

That concludes this round of the ‘Fights To Make’ Column from UFC Orlando. We shall return following the conclusion of the highly anticipated card coming that is UFC 282.

Be sure to let me know if you agree or disagree with any of the choices I have gone with. As well as let me know your thoughts on the UFC Orlando card as a whole.

Opinion | Fights To Make After UFC Orlando: Thompson vs. Holland

UFC OrlandoUFC Orlando certainly delivered a fantastic card. A heavy hitter in the heavyweight division emerged as a potential title contender following another first-round finish. A legend of the sport rolled back the clock with a striking masterclass in the main event to reinstate himself as a contender in the welterweight division. Fresh faces also established […]

UFC Orlando

UFC Orlando certainly delivered a fantastic card. A heavy hitter in the heavyweight division emerged as a potential title contender following another first-round finish. A legend of the sport rolled back the clock with a striking masterclass in the main event to reinstate himself as a contender in the welterweight division. Fresh faces also established themselves with two very impressive victories in the opening matchups on the card.

Let us take a look at all of those who emerged victorious from the entire UFC Orlando card and plot where their next fights should take place again.

Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland provided a captivating end to a truly fantastic card in the main event of UFC Orlando. Despite being just shy of forty, Thompson rolled back time to deliver a striking masterclass on his way to a TKO finish over Kevin Holland.

Now as everyone knows, Stephen Thompson does not fair well when facing up against opponents with strong wrestling/grappling. Therefore, it seems only right that his next matchup should take place against an opponent we know for certain will be looking to stand and bang with him. Jorge Masvidal could well be that man, currently unbooked and looking to get back to winning ways in 2023!

Rafael Dos Anjos

Despite his title interest being long gone as he nears the end of his brilliant career. Rafael Dos Anjos showed he still has talent in abundance as he simply outclassed Bryan Barberena on his way to a second-round submission victory.

Now for RDA, he made this one very easy for me when he went to callout out Conor McGregor during his post-fight interview. McGregor expressed an interest in competing at 170-pound when he does return and provided, he will be back inside the octagon in early 2023, this matchup seems very fitting for both men.

Matheus Nicolau

Matheus Nicolau announced himself as a serious contender following his finish over the always-game Matt Schnell at UFC Orlando. It seems only right that Nicolau should get a crack at the top five in the flyweight division since he has built up an impressive four-fight winning streak. Provided he is willing to wait for Brandon Royval to recover from his injury I can only expect fireworks should these two eventually meet inside the octagon.

Sergei Pavlovich

We may have a serious contender in the heavyweight division in Sergei Pavlovich. Two back-to-back first-round finishes have seen him shoot up to the 5th-ranked spot in his division. Next for Pavlovich needs to be a fellow top-five contender. Given that the two were previously scheduled to fight, I’d like to see the Russian test himself with the former interim heavyweight champion, Cyril Gane.

Roman Dolidze

Roman Dolidze may have had one of the best years for a fighter following his three-fight finishing streak to cap off 2022. A short-notice bout in which many did not have him favored has now landed him in the top ten of the middleweight rankings following his finish over Jack Hermanson. Let us continue to move him up the rankings and give him a matchup against veteran fighter, Derek Brunson.

Eryk Anders

Eryk Anders took advantage of what many would consider a too-soon turnaround for Kyle Daukaus. Anders snapped a two-fight skid as he picked up a 2nd round TKO at UFC Orlando. Next for Anders comes a test in fellow hard hitter in Marc Andre Barriault.

Phillip Rowe

Phillip Rowe overcame adversity on his way to a third-round TKO over Niko Price in the headline prelim of UFC Orlando. Following this win, Rowe has gone 3/3 in his last three outings with all of his victories coming via finish. I’d like to see Rowe take on Khaos Williams in his next matchup as a final test before attempting to make his way up the welterweight rankings.

Fights To Make Following UFC Orlando: Thompson vs. Holland

Angela Hill

Angie ‘Overkill’ Hill and fights going to a decision is something that goes hand in hand. Fortunately for the 37-year-old this time the decision was in her favor. Hill was able to neutralize any threat coming from Ducote en route to her 15th professional victory. Next for Hill should be a matchup moving upwards in the strawweight rankings and that comes in the form of Amanda Ribas.

Clay Guida

Clay Guida secured an impressive victory as he entered an MMA octagon for the 60th time. As he has recently confirmed that retirement is not in his plans for any time soon, his 61st professional bout should take place against Australia-born, Jamie Mullarkey.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson made his experience count en route to his decision victory over Marc Diakese. Bouncing back from his defeat to Jamie Mullarkey, let’s see if Johnson can make it two on the bounce should he get the next matchup I would like for him, which is the winner of Bobby Green vs Drew Dober.

Jonathan Pearce

Jonathan Pearce put on a beatdown of Darren Elkins on his way to score his fourth consecutive victory in a fight in which he most certainly could have secured himself a finish. I believe it is time for Pearce to take a step up in competition and face former Olympian, Mark O. Madsen who will be looking to return to winning ways after suffering his first professional defeat back in November.

Natan Levy

Israel’s Natan Levy made it two wins in a row to end his 2022 on a high following his decision victory over Genaro Valdez at UFC Orlando.  Levy has shown a solid skillset on the ground to neutralize his opponents. Therefore, I would like to see him face a man who has nearly half of his victories via submission and comes in the form of ‘The Smile Killer’, Fares Ziam.

Francis Marshall

Francis Marshall made good on his promotional debut after securing a second-round finish against Marcelo Rojo. Marshall is only 23 years old and has plenty of time to develop himself as a fighter. It will be interesting to see how well he can do in the sport. Next for him should be a man he shared the card with, 38-fight veteran, Darren Elkins.

Yazmin Jauregui

Similarly, to Marshall, Jauregui delivered in the opening bout of UFC Orlando to extend her undefeated record to 10-0. For Jauregui’s next test I would like to see her matched up with a wrestler and therefore my final selection comes in the form of Sam ‘Sampage’ Hughes.

That concludes this round of the ‘Fights To Make’ Column from UFC Orlando. We shall return following the conclusion of the highly anticipated card coming that is UFC 282.

Be sure to let me know if you agree or disagree with any of the choices I have gone with. As well as let me know your thoughts on the UFC Orlando card as a whole.

Cain Velasquez delivers heartfelt message at Lucha Libre AAA event following his release from jail

Cain VelasquezFormer UFC Heavyweight world champion, Cain Velasquez, addressed the crowd at a Lucha Libre AAA wrestling event following his release from jail after receiving an attempted murder charge. For a long time, Cain Velasquez was unsure whether he would ever be able to walk as a free man again after he was arrested following his […]

Cain Velasquez

Former UFC Heavyweight world champion, Cain Velasquez, addressed the crowd at a Lucha Libre AAA wrestling event following his release from jail after receiving an attempted murder charge.

For a long time, Cain Velasquez was unsure whether he would ever be able to walk as a free man again after he was arrested following his attempted murder charge of Harry Goularte. The former UFC star for the time being has been granted bail as he awaits his trial and took the time to speak to fans to share his appreciation following his release at a Lucha Libre wrestling event recently.

This is what he had to say.

“To be here, in front of you guys, right now, it’s a dream come true. I truly appreciate it all, what you guys have always done, supporting me, my family.”

Should he be charged guilty he could face a potential nine years imprisoned under California state law.

Velasquez was granted permission to appear at the event by Santa Clara County, last month, under the condition that he attended the event with a law enforcement officer.

Cain Velasquez Appears At Wrestling Event Following Bail Release

Velasquez was originally arrested back at the start of the year after he was accused of engaging in an eleven-mile chase before opening fire at a car containing Harry Goularte and his stepfather. Goularte’s stepfather was hit during the incident but made a full recovery.

Following the release of this news, many members of the MMA world came to support the UFC star with the likes of Derek Brunson raising $10,000 to support Cain Velasquez and his family through those difficult times.

UFC president, Dana White, even came to the aid of his former heavyweight world champion when he wrote a letter to the Santa Clara County Judge in the defense of his former fighter. The letter read.

“I write this reference in full knowledge of Cain Velasquez’s current charges of attempted murder and assault,” Dana White’s letter read. “II was stunned to learn of these charges against him, as they are completely out of character for the man I was proud to say was a two-time UFC heavyweight champion.

I have known Mr. Velasquez for more than 16 years, and during his time as an active athlete with UFC, he represented our company with dignity and always treated others with respect. He was a model example of how a professional athlete should carry himself, projecting a positive image to UFC’s fanbase. Mr. Velasquez was extremely professional and went above and beyond to make a connection with our fans and promote the sport of mixed martial arts – not only as an entertainment product, but also as a character – building discipline.

As a Mexican American, Mr. Velasquez was proud of his heritage and never passed up an opportunity to visit Mexico on behalf of our company and demonstrate his gratitude to the Mexican fans for their support.

People who know him best describe him as a humble soft-spoken man who was very much dedicated to his family, including his wife and his two children.

If given the opportunity, I’m sure Mr. Velasquez would like nothing more than to return to his family and continue to make a positive impact on his community.

I sincerely ask that you take this into consideration as you adjudicate next steps in this process concerning Mr. Velasquez.

If you wish for me to confirm any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Dana White, UFC President.”

How do you feel now that Cain Velasquez has been released on bail?

Natan Levy responds to Kayne West’s anti-semitic comments: “If you’ve got a problem with me or my people, come see me”

Natan LevyFollowing his UFC Orlando victory over Genaro Valdez, Natan Levy has shared his thoughts on Kayne West’s recent anti-Semitic comments. Levy was able to secure his second victory in the promotion last night when he beat Genaro Valdez via unanimous decision on the prelims of UFC Orlando. Following on from his victory, Levy, who is […]

Natan Levy

Following his UFC Orlando victory over Genaro Valdez, Natan Levy has shared his thoughts on Kayne West’s recent anti-Semitic comments.

Levy was able to secure his second victory in the promotion last night when he beat Genaro Valdez via unanimous decision on the prelims of UFC Orlando.

Following on from his victory, Levy, who is a proud native of Israel was asked to share his views on the recent comments made by Kayne West and Kyrie Irving’s promotion of antisemitism views.

“I think life is too short to hate,” Levy said. “So, to all these hateful people, sucks for you. I pity you. And other than that, Kanye West, if you’ve got a problem with me or my people, come see me, bro.”

Natan Levy Reacts To Kanye West Anti-Semitic Viewpoints

Natan Levy remained calm during the questioning; however, the 31-year-old was still able to make his stance very clear on the recent uprise of anti-Semitic viewpoints being shared by individuals with such a large following.

“Trust me, I’ve noticed it. I get a lot of lovely DMs all the time. I am Jewish. It’s what I am, it’s what I was born. I’m very proud of it, and I will fight for it. I will fight for my people in the Octagon, or wherever need be. And I will not stand for anti-Semitism. I won’t stand for any racism, not around me. Don’t bully anybody around me, or I’m gonna find you.” (Transcribed by MMANews)

Despite being faced with such difficulties given the recent growth in this type of behavior, Levy will still be able to walk away considering the year a success. His debut in the promotion did not go to plan as he was defeated by Rafa Garcia via unanimous decision. Since then, Levy has earned himself two back-to-back victories after defeating Mike Breeden earlier this year and then closing it out with his most recent victory over Valdez.

What do you make of Natan Levy’s response to Kayne West’s comments?

Alex Pereira reveals crippling addiction he battled with before combat sports success: “I drank more and more.”

Alex PereiraUFC Middleweight champion, Alex Pereira, has revealed he suffered from a crippling addiction to alcohol that he developed at just twelve. For every great champion to be exactly that, a great champion, they must face struggles in life. For Alex Pereira, the newly crowned middleweight champion, this is no different. Alex Pereira suffered extreme hardships […]

Alex Pereira

UFC Middleweight champion, Alex Pereira, has revealed he suffered from a crippling addiction to alcohol that he developed at just twelve.

For every great champion to be exactly that, a great champion, they must face struggles in life. For Alex Pereira, the newly crowned middleweight champion, this is no different.

Alex Pereira suffered extreme hardships from an early age, was raised in poverty, and was forced to work from a young age to help provide for his family, life experience is something ‘Poatan’ is not short of.

Thankfully now through his hard work and dedication, the former kickboxing world champion has been able to turn his and his family’s life around.

In recent months, Pereira touched upon just what life was like for him growing up in such a difficult environment and how it led him down the route of alcoholism.

“We weren’t living in a great situation,” Alex Pereira said. “My dad was a bricklayer, my mother was a housekeeper. So I started working early on, in a tyre shop. I was 12 years old, doing a grown man’s job… I got better and better, doing stuff that was really heavy for a 14, 15-year-old boy. So, at this time, I learned good and bad things. I learned how to drink.”

Alex Pereira opens up on struggles with alcoholism

Pereira revealed what seemed to him as harmless drinking at the time soon spiraled into something much darker. The middleweight champion continued to face this issue in the early stages before accepting that a serious change was necessary for him to better his chances in competition and life.

“I didn’t have any control over my addiction. I drank more and more. I said to myself, ‘I can quit drinking whenever I want.’ But that’s not how it works. I knew that sport was going to save my life. I discovered martial arts, mainly kickboxing. At first, I couldn’t train much and I drank a lot. After a while, I started training a lot and still drinking a lot…. Then, I finally started to train and drink a lot less. But it still wasn’t enough.

“At this time, I was already the national champion in kickboxing. My addiction was pulling my career down. I tried to drink only on weekends, but I couldn’t. It was too hard for me. (I was) 27, or something. I just drank everyday, everyday man. I could hardly stay one day off of it. At the worst times, I drank almost one litre of booze a day.” Pereira said on the Nem Me Viu Podcast. (Transcribed by MMANYTT)

Alex Pereira was able to take his life in a completely new direction and now because of this sits at the pinnacle of the middleweight division.

The next challenge he will now face comes in the form of combat foe, Israel Adesanya, who will be eager to rematch Pereira and try to reclaim the title he held for so long

Watch | Biaggio Ali Walsh, Grandson of Muhammad Ali, delivers devastating 1st round KO PFL debut

Biaggio Ali WalshBiaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of boxing icon, Muhammad Ali, made quick work of his debut into PFL after scoring a first-round knockout victory over Tom Grasser. Opening up the PFL Championships 2022 was Biaggio Ali Walsh. Grandson of Muhammad Ali you can imagine how high the expectations were on the 24-year-old to deliver on […]

Biaggio Ali Walsh

Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of boxing icon, Muhammad Ali, made quick work of his debut into PFL after scoring a first-round knockout victory over Tom Grasser.

Opening up the PFL Championships 2022 was Biaggio Ali Walsh. Grandson of Muhammad Ali you can imagine how high the expectations were on the 24-year-old to deliver on his promotional debut.

And he did just that.

Matched up against Tom Grasser who similarly to Walsh had next to no professional experience and was tasked with derailing the already hyped prospect, unfortunately for him, it just was not to be his night.

Ali Walsh made quick work of his opponent landing impactful shots within the first exchange and then going on to drop Grasser with a combination of shots just 45 seconds into the bout before referee Keith Peterson waived the contest off.

Speaking after the fight Walsh revealed his relief to secure the victory and touched upon the pressures of carrying the Ali name and legacy on into MMA.

“The pressure is going to be there, but I welcomed it,” he said.

“I wanted to knock him out early on, but anything can happen in the fight. Whether I win it’s the first second or third round, it doesn’t matter I just want to get the win.” (Transcribed by TalkSport)

Biaggio Ali Walsh Delivers In Opening Matchup of PFL 2022 Championships

Biaggio Ali Wash delivered in the opening matchup of the night which set the tempo of the rest of the card and provided seven finishes in total and one of the biggest upsets the promotion has seen when Larissa Pacheco was able to defeat the previously undefeated lightweight champion, Kayla Harrison.

Also of note, Manchester’s own Brendan Loughnane defeated Bubba Jenkins in the co-main event to secure himself the Featherweight World Title and the $1 Million dollar cheque that comes with it.

The rest of the cards results followed as such:

  • Ante Delija defeated Matheus Scheffel in the Heavyweight Finale
  • Aspen Ladd defeated Julia Budd in her promotional debut,
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeated Steve Ray in the Lightweight Finale
  • Sadibou Sy defeated Dilano Taylor in the Welterweight Finale
  • Rob Wilkinson defeated Omari Akhmedov in the Light Heavyweight Finale
  • Sheymon Moraes defeated UFC veteran Marlon Moraes
  • Natan Schulte defeated Jeremy Stephens
  • Dakota Ditcheva defeated Katherine Corgoenes

What did you make of the PFL 2022 Championship Card And Biaggio Ali Walsh’s Debut?