EXCLUSIVE | Mackenzie Dern Picks Zhang Weili To Defeat Rose Namajunas At UFC 261

DernOff the back of her stunning armbar success against Nina Nunes at UFC Vegas 23 last weekend, Mackenzie Dern catapulted herself into title contention at strawweight. The victory marked the Arizona native’s fourth consecutively, and ahead of UFC 261 on April 24. — she predicted defending champion, Zhang Weili will knock back challenger and former […]

Dern

Off the back of her stunning armbar success against Nina Nunes at UFC Vegas 23 last weekend, Mackenzie Dern catapulted herself into title contention at strawweight. The victory marked the Arizona native’s fourth consecutively, and ahead of UFC 261 on April 24. — she predicted defending champion, Zhang Weili will knock back challenger and former titleholder, Rose Namajunas to retain her crown. 

Upon the release of the official UFC rankings this week, Dern landed at #5 in the strawweight pile — priming herself for a potential title-eliminator in her next outing.

Following her victory over the returning Nunes at the UFC Apex facility event, speculation began to mount in regards to possible next opponents for the multiple-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, with the likes of former champions, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza, as well as Yan Xiaonan all suggested as potential opponents for Dern. 

Both before and after her matchup with Nunes, Dern had explained how she believes a strawweight title challenge could await her at the end of year, however, hoped to score one, if not two more outings prior to any sort of championship tilt.

I’m ready for the top girls, but maybe fight for the belt, maybe at the end of the year,” Dern said during a post-fight interview with ESPN MMA. “A couple more fights, because the belt you want to be one-hundred percent, and I’m not one-hundred percent on what I need to do.

I just need to be one-hundred percent on the go time, and that’s being able to be calm and to think. I’m getting there, but a first-round submission, you don’t really get to see those other parts. But I know that even if I submit my next (opponent) in the first round, I want to know that when I fight the champ, I’m ready even if I go the whole five rounds.

Speaking recently with LowKick MMA reporter, James Lynch, Dern gave her thoughts on the upcoming UFC 261 co-headlining, title clash between Weili and Namajunas — predicting a successful title defence for the former.

Yeah, I think Weili Zhang, you know,” Dern replied when asked who does she think will come out on top between the two. “I think she’s just got a (sic) good momentum right now, and I think Rose (Namajunas) — and I don’t know, I don’t know them personally so. I think Rose, she looks like she’s kinda — I see her traveling all the time and doing these things, and Zhang Weili is just posting training, training, training, training, training. And I say, ‘Man, I don’t think she does anything besides train’, you know.

She just seems like she’s (Weili) really motivated right now,” Dern explained. “I don’t know —  I don’t know how much motivation you get right? You get the belt, then you lose it and you come back again and it’s a lot to keep putting your body through that. Mentally-wise, it’s draining, you know. So I don’t know how mentally-wise Rose is prepared for this fight — not just for this fight but to go back at all (sic) you 100% for the belt again.

Tying UFC flyweight contender, Gillian Robertson for the most submission wins in the history of the UFC’s women’s divisions, Dern scored her fourth submission win last weekend. Improving her Octagon record to 6-1, the 28-year-old has notched wins over Ashley Yoder, Amanda Cooper, Hannah Cifers, Randa Markos, Virna Jandiroba, and the aforenoted, Nunes — with her sole loss coming against fellow grappler, Amanda Ribas.

EXCLUSIVE | Adriano Moraes Ready For Whatever Challenge Is Next

Adriano MoraesAdriano Moraes is down for a rematch with Demetrius Johnson, but it’s not the only fight that interests him. The MMA world was shocked last week, as Moraes, the One Championship Featherweight Champion, finished Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in the second round of their title fight. The first man to ever stop Johnson, Moraes believes […]

Adriano Moraes

Adriano Moraes is down for a rematch with Demetrius Johnson, but it’s not the only fight that interests him.

The MMA world was shocked last week, as Moraes, the One Championship Featherweight Champion, finished Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in the second round of their title fight. The first man to ever stop Johnson, Moraes believes that he has multiple options as far as his next opponent.

In an interview with LowKickMMA, Moraes talked about a rematch with Johnson and other fights that interest him.

“Right now I’m waiting for the answer from the company. We have some issues to resolve because it was my last fight for my contract. Let’s see what’s gonna happen,” Moraes shared. “Maybe you can do a rematch, Moraes versus Johnson 2. I’m also looking forward to a trilogy match with Kairat Akhmetov.”

There’s no shortage of challenges for the champ, who understands the enormity of having new sets of eyes on him now that One Championship is on TNT. With his status currently in limbo with the organization, Moraes opened up about other matchups in the UFC and Bellator that he would find challenging.

“Figueiredo’s gonna be a good fight, you know, in the flyweight division. Aljamain Sterling, um, I would like to, to punch him in the face also. Um, I think those two guys gonna be good in their divisions. You have the Bellator champ Archuleta, the 135 champion, it’s gonna be good.”

When asked to elaborate on why he’d like to fight Sterling, Moraes made it clear that there are no personal issues between the two.

“No, I don’t have nothing against him, you know. I like, I think it would be a good match, you know. I like to challenge myself. I don’t, like, worry about what they think. But, um, I think it would be a good one. You know like, he has a good reach also he’s heavy for the Bantamweight division. He’s tough,he has many good wins against my teammates. I think it would be a good one.”

Who do you want to see Adriano Moraes fight next?

Mackenzie Dern Talks Excitement Of Facing Fellow Mom Nina Ansaroff

Mackenzie Dern looks to break into the top ten ranked UFC strawweights with a win over Nina Ansaroff on Saturday. Dern faces the number five ranked UFC strawweight in Ansaroff and the two women share the common bond of being young mothers that are also…

Mackenzie Dern looks to break into the top ten ranked UFC strawweights with a win over Nina Ansaroff on Saturday. Dern faces the number five ranked UFC strawweight in Ansaroff and the two women share the common bond of being young mothers that are also fighters. While Ansaroff may be above Dern in the rankings, […]

EXCLUSIVE | Reug Reug ‘Ready’ To Take On Francis Ngannou Or Brandon Vera

Reug ReugOumar Kane, or as he is more commonly referred to in MMA, Reug Reug, is set to compete in his third professional MMA on April 7th. He is set to face off against Iranian power puncher, Mehdi Barghi, at ONE on TNT I. Reug Reug recently sat down with LowKick MMA’s Frank Bonada to discuss […]

Reug Reug

Oumar Kane, or as he is more commonly referred to in MMA, Reug Reug, is set to compete in his third professional MMA on April 7th. He is set to face off against Iranian power puncher, Mehdi Barghi, at ONE on TNT I.

Reug Reug recently sat down with LowKick MMA’s Frank Bonada to discuss his MMA career as well as his future plans in the sport.

Before MMA, Oumar Kane was a Senegalese wrestling champion. Like many other practitioners of a single martial art, he made the choice to transition over the MMA. He currently holds two (T)KO finishes in two fights. He had the following to say about the move to mixed martial arts:

“I’m a young man. I know I’m from a Senegalese wrestling background. But for the kickboxing and the muay thai, I have my coach who is always with me. Trying to push me, trying to give me advice. That’s why I don’t think I’ll have problems, even in the future.”

“I’m somebody who likes combat sports. It was very important for me to practise MMA, to practise a lot of sports. If there was no MMA, maybe I would try to find another combat sports to do.”

To say Reug Reug has high aspirations for his future career would be somewhat of an understatement. The Senegalese heavyweight wishes to pick up the belt in every organisation, regardless of who the champions are. He stated the following:

“Like I used to say, I don’t have any problem fighting anyone. So all the fighters, the MMA fighters around the world, I’m ready to fight them. My goal, my main target is to get the world belt. Where ever it is, I will take it from there. From Ngannou, that champion at ONE, anywhere else. Where ever there is a world belt, I will take it. And at any time, because I am ready.

How do you think Reug Reug would fair against the HW elite around the world? Let us know in the comments.

Exclusive: BRAVE CF President Talks About The State Of MMA ‘The Industry Needs A Complete Reform’

Image of Brave CF PresidentBRAVE CF is gearing up this week to celebrate its 50th event. BRAVE CF 50 will take place on Thursday, April 1, inside Bahrain’s Arad Fort and features a pair of title fights in the main and co-main events. For a company that only launched in 2016, it is an impressive achievement, especially when you […]

Image of Brave CF President

BRAVE CF is gearing up this week to celebrate its 50th event. BRAVE CF 50 will take place on Thursday, April 1, inside Bahrain’s Arad Fort and features a pair of title fights in the main and co-main events.

For a company that only launched in 2016, it is an impressive achievement, especially when you factor in that BRAVE CF has staged events on five continents and 21 different countries. One of the founding goals of the promotion was to help transform MMA into a fully-fledged globally recognized sport, with national bodies working together to create pathways for MMA to progress.

A reshaping of the structure of the sport is no small feat. However, BRAVE CF President Mohammad Shahid feels that not only is it achievable, but it is also vital if MMA wishes to continue expanding in the future.

“The industry needs a complete reform. We are in the event business focused on revenue per event, no different from a concert or anything else. With BRAVE CF, our goal is to bring it to the sports business. Similar to football, cricket, basketball,” Shahid said, speaking to LowkickMMA.

” It’s not easy, and any sport is too big for one country, one person, or one company to handle. If it could be, then you can know there is a big hole in the structure, and it will end up dead in the next 10 or 15 years waiting for some superstar to come and save us.

” We need to change it now, and we have the format. We need to bring the MMA industry together to open their eyes and see the need for it and start the work together, and it will create opportunities for athletes to business opportunities for all who love MMA.”

BRAVE CF has already started this transformation by creating an extensive scouting network throughout the world. The company has over 70 experts working to locate new talent, a staggering number when considering that BRAVE CF did not even exist five years ago.

The following 12-months look set to be pivotal for BRAVE CF. The promotion has recently partnered with MMAON, a company working to help enhance the viewing experience for fans through digital tools. It will also be looking to work and collaborate with other MMA stakeholders to help advance the sport.

“In the next year, it’s time to let the industry of MMA enter the true sports business and create the global ecosystem in at least three continents and six countries, ” Shahid explained.

“The global ecosystem [is a] sports development program that allows a boy with a dream to be a fighter, one that has a national structure that will allow him to reach the top of the food chain and become a national and global star if he has the talent.

“This ecosystem will require a global regulation body and local promotions, and national federations to unite to be able to take this next step in sport and bring the private sectors to invest in MMA in their countries more than just one brand. Finally, to showcase the sport’s values, MMA can provide a nation,”

BRAVE CF is not the only MMA promotion looking to establish itself on the world stage. Still, it is one of the few companies openly looking into what needs to happen for MMA to see itself more in the sports business and less in the event business.Time will tell if Shahid succeeds in his aim or not, but it will certainly be an interesting ride for fans to follow.

Patricio Pitbull Sizes up Emmanuel Sanchez Ahead of Bellator 255

Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (31-4) faces Emmanuel Sanchez (20-4) at Bellator 255 Friday, April 2 and he expects more of the same from Sanchez. Just before they face off on the first event broadcast on their new home on SHOWTIME, the current f…

Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (31-4) faces Emmanuel Sanchez (20-4) at Bellator 255 Friday, April 2 and he expects more of the same from Sanchez. Just before they face off on the first event broadcast on their new home on SHOWTIME, the current featherweight and lightweight champ spoke with MMA News and it seems he and Sanchez […]