Report: Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou Set For UFC Beijing

A truly massive heavyweight showdown is reportedly set for UFC Beijing.

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Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou is reportedly set for the UFC’s first foray into Beijing.

Sources told ESPN that the fight will headline the event on November 24, 2018. Both camps have agreed to the fight.

The bout is also a rematch of their 2016 fight which Ngannou won by TKO via doctor’s stoppage.

The surging “Razor” comes into the bout off of by far his biggest win. He finished former title challenger Alistair Overeem via brutal TKO at UFC 225 earlier this year. Blaydes has won five of his six UFC bouts since. The lone blemish was a no contest in his original TKO win over Milstead. That result was overturned when Blaydes tested positive for cannabis.

Ngannou, meanwhile, will come into the fight off a concerning two-fight skid. The once-touted challenger was on top of the MMA world as recently as this January. He knocked out Overeem with one of the more brutal uppercuts MMA has ever seen to earn a shot at then-champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 220. Miocic proceeded to throttle Ngannou over the course of five rounds.

He then went on to face Derrick Lewis in one of the summer’s most anticipated fights at UFC 226 in July. The bout was one of the most jaw-droppingly boring fights in UFC heavyweight history. Ngannou lost by unanimous decision to put his future in question.

“The Predator” had knocked out or submitted six straight foes prior to the losing streak.

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Video: Michael Bisping Destroys “Empty-Handed” Colby Covington

Michael Bisping just laid into Colby Covington – all while drinking a beer.

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Earlier this week, the UFC made the call to grant Darren Till the next UFC welterweight title shot over interim champion Colby Covington.

The loudmouthed “Chaos” insisted he needed more time off to recover from sinus surgery following his decision win over Rafael dos Anjos at June 9’s UFC 225, a call that obviously didn’t sit well with his employers, who needed a headliner for September 8’s UFC 228 pay-per-view (PPV).

It was a somewhat strange (although not wholly surprising) set of circumstances that elicited a sport-wide reaction suggesting the many interim titles created by the UFC are simply worthless. Few felt sorry for the over-the-top, at-times offensive Covington, however, and that not surprisingly includes former UFCmmiddleweight champion Michael Bisping.

“The Count” sounded off on Covington, with whom he had a highly-publicized on-air spat with following UFC 225, in a video from MMAjunkie:

“That’s why I told Colby Covington to take a long walk off a short pier when he talked **** on that thing. Everyone was like, ‘Oh, he just won the belt, how can you talk ****?’ I said, ‘No he didn’t just win the belt!’ Is he the champion right now? No! Colby Covington, good luck going to President Trump with empty hands. At least I’m holding a beer, what are you holding, dumb (expletive)?”

Love him or hate him, Bisping may have won this leg of his ongoing feud with Covington, because “Chaos” doesn’t have a belt anymore – right or wrong.

What are your thoughts on the messy welterweight title picture?

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Quote: Robert Whittaker May Not Be The Same After Yoel Romero Wars

Will Robert Whittaker bounce back from his wars with Yoel Romero?

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Following two grueling wars with Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker will defend his UFC middleweight championship against Kelvin Gastelum after the two coach The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 28.

Gastelum recently discussed Whittaker’s current state during a media scrum (via MMA Fighting), noting that there’s a good chance the champion may not be the same after two back-and-forth brawls with one of MMA’s heaviest hitters:

“I don’t know if he’s going to be the same fighter after these fights. These wars that he’s been in, it takes a toll on the body, so we’ll see how he comes out after this hand surgery.”

Although “Bobby Knuckles” emerged victorious in both five-round fights, there’s no denying the damage he took in both fights, as he was sidelined for 11 months due to knee surgery after the first bout and will now get hand surgery before he returns to meet Gastelum.

We’ve seen fighters engage in brutal battles where, despite perhaps emerging victorious, they aren’t quite the same afterward. Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit’s respective declines following their classic battle at UFC 196 comes to mind, as does Dan Henderson’s fall after his five-round classic with Shogun at UFC 139.

But Whittaker has far fewer miles on his tires compared to those longtime vets, so even though he’s required surgeries after his two bouts with Romero, he could also bounce back more than the older fighters who fell following similar contests.

What do you think? Will Whittaker bounce back strong to take out a surging young contender in Gastelum, or will he show the wear of the wars?

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Breaking: Robert Whittaker & Kelvin Gastelum Set To Fight After Coaching TUF 28

Robert Whittaker has his next opponent set:

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Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has his next opponent set.

Almost a month after he outlasted Yoel Romero in the main event of June 9’s UFC 225, it was revealed that “The Reaper” will coach the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 28 opposite top contender Kelvin Gastelum during tonight’s (Fri., July 6, 2018) TUF 27 Finale from Paradise, Nevada.

Gastelum has won four of his last six fights, with his last win a closely-contested split decision over longtime veteran and former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the co-main event of May 12’s UFC 224 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He would have five wins in his last six fights if his TKO win over Vitor Belfort in March 2017 had not been overturned due to Gastelum testing positive for *********.

The lone blemish on his record in that span is a submission loss to former champion Chris Weidman last July. There was talk, especially from Whittaker’s manager, that Weidman would be the next challenger for the belt, but with Weidman out of action since beating Gastelum and also losing his prior three fights to his win over the TUF 17 champ, the title shot was given to the much more active fighter.

Whittaker has won his last nine fights in a row, earning a well-deserved reputation as not only one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC, but also one of its most iron-chinned as well after he was rocked by Romero on numerous occasions only to survive and win on sheer pace and volume at UFC 225.

The two will face off later this year, but an official date and venue has not been announced.

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Rising Middleweight Calls Out ‘Cheating’ Yoel Romero: F**k That

One of the UFC’s fastest-rising stars thinks Yoel Romero is trying to cheat the system in a way.

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One of the UFC middleweight division’s fastest-rising future stars isn’t fond of top-ranked veteran Yoel Romero.

Set to meet Brad Tavares in the main event of Friday night’s (July 6, 2018) The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 27 Finale from the Pearl Theatre in Paradise, Nevada, touted Israel Adesanya spoke out against “The Soldier of God’s” recent failure to make weight to MMA Fighting, something that happened prior to his UFC 221 knockout of Luke Rockhold and his five-round war with Robert Whittaker at June 9’s UFC 225.

“The Last Stylebender” doesn’t agree with how Romero has repeatedly missed, and although it didn’t matter at UFC 225 because the fight ended up being amazing, it is a form of cheating the system according to Adesanya:

“Look at Romero in his last fight. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really care in the end because it was such a good fight, but regardless of what happened I didn’t want Romero to win,” he said.

“F*ck that, the guy missed weight and it’s not even the first time he missed weight. And he’s been caught doing other stuff in the past too. I think there’s an element of gaming the system there, it’s almost cheating to be honest.”

Adesanya made his long-awaited UFC debut at March’s UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, so he witnessed Romero’s first weight miss of 2018 first hand. He claimed some sort of conspiracy theory was shrouding Romero’s weight cut at the event:

“I was there in Perth and I still don’t fully understand what happened, it’s a bit of a conspiracy theory. I can remember I saw him going into the sauna that time, but they were cleaning the sauna so he wasn’t able to go in to cut more weight.”

In his opinion, the conspiracy was that Romero gave up on cutting the final three pounds, instead choosing to not deplete himself while giving up part of his purse to earn a title shot versus Whittaker:

“Regardless of all that, the conspiracy theory is that Yoel Romero didn’t try to lose weight again after he weighed in the first time in Perth. Why would he deplete himself more by trying to lose that further three pounds? I think he just thought, ‘F*ck that, I’m going to win this fight. He can take my purse, but at the end of the day, I know I’m fighting for the world title.’”

Adesanya will face by far the biggest test of his UFC career when he meets Tavares this weekend. With a win, he should steamroll onto the Top 10 of the official rankings by defeating the No. 8 fighter, and the sky will be the limit for the undefeated kickboxing wiz.

From the looks of it, he’d like to get a shot at Romero soon thereafter.

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Kelvin Gastelum Was “Dumbfounded” By Dana White’s Post-UFC 225 Comments

For Kelvin Gastelum, UFC President Dana White’s comments about him after UFC 225 came out of left field. The main event of UFC 225 was scheduled to be a middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. Unfortunately Romero misse…

For Kelvin Gastelum, UFC President Dana White’s comments about him after UFC 225 came out of left field. The main event of UFC 225 was scheduled to be a middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. Unfortunately Romero missed weight and the fight was no longer for the title, becoming a five round […]

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