Jack Shore Ponders Reasoning Behind UFC London Absence

Rising UFC bantamweight prospect Jack Shore has addressed why he won’t be appearing at next month’s UFC London event. In a thoroughly stacked 135-pound division, Shore has established himself as one of the most promising surging names on th…

Rising UFC bantamweight prospect Jack Shore has addressed why he won’t be appearing at next month’s UFC London event. In a thoroughly stacked 135-pound division, Shore has established himself as one of the most promising surging names on the roster. Last time out, the Welshman extended his unbeaten professional record to 16-0 with a victory…

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Khamzat Chimaev Trains With Jack Hermansson Ahead Of Darren Till Fight At UFC London

Khamzat ChimaevUndefeated UFC welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev has been pictured training alongside middleweight contender, Jack Hermansson – ahead of the former Cage Warriors champion’s UFC London clash with Chimaev’s friend and training partner, Darren Till in July – leading to speculation that there has been a rift between the duo.  Khamzat Chimaev, the current #3 ranked […]

Khamzat Chimaev

Undefeated UFC welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev has been pictured training alongside middleweight contender, Jack Hermansson – ahead of the former Cage Warriors champion’s UFC London clash with Chimaev’s friend and training partner, Darren Till in July – leading to speculation that there has been a rift between the duo. 

Khamzat Chimaev, the current #3 ranked welterweight contender, turned in his fifth consecutive victory under the UFC banner back in April at UFC 273 – defeating one-time title challenger, Gilbert Burns with a close, unanimous decision after a back-and-forth war. 

As for Hermansson, the Uddevalla-born contender is scheduled to return at The O2 Arena next month against Till – attempting to return to the win column following a February decision loss against upcoming feature, Sean Strickland. 

For Liverpool native, Till, the Team Kaobon staple has been sidelined with a series of injuries over the last two years – and attempts to snap a run of losses against both Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson in his July return against Hermansson.

Speculation has risen, however, pertaining to a potential rift between Khamzat Chimaev and Darren Till, when footage emerged this week of the undefeated Chechen-born contender, training alongside Hermansson – who is set to share the Octagon with Till next month. 

Khamzat Chimaev verbally agreed to share the Octagon with Belal Muhammad ahead of a UFC 281 card in October

Yet to book a return since his impressive win over Burns, Chimaev has been linked with a slew of matchups next in a bid to secure his status as a title challenger at welterweight, including pairings with the likes of Colby Covington, Nate Diaz, and a UFC 281 clash with Belal Muhammad in October on ‘Fight Island’.

Prior to his win over Burns, Chiamev landed a quartet of one-sided wins over Li Jingliang, Gerald Meerschaert, Rhys McKee, and John Philips – the last two of those victories, just 10 days apart.

Chael Sonnen Claims He Has Become Tom Aspinall’s Official ‘Media Representative’

Chael SonnenFormer UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen has claimed that he will handle media responsibilities and promotion for heavyweight contender, Tom Aspinall’s upcoming UFC Fight Night London main event outing against Curtis Blaydes on July 23. Aspinall, who has so far enjoyed an impressive run of five consecutive victories during his Octagon […]

Chael Sonnen

Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen has claimed that he will handle media responsibilities and promotion for heavyweight contender, Tom Aspinall’s upcoming UFC Fight Night London main event outing against Curtis Blaydes on July 23.

Aspinall, who has so far enjoyed an impressive run of five consecutive victories during his Octagon tenure, headlined the most recent UFC London edition back in March – stopping former M-1 Global and Bellator heavyweight champion, Alexander Volkov.

Taking main event status for the first time during his UFC tenure, Aspinall managed to slice through Moscow striker, Volkov in dominant fashion – submitting the Russian kickboxing talent with a first round straight armbar

Following the victory, Aspinall, who has been touted as a title challenger at heavyweight – at the very least, was paired with the afornoted, Blaydes for the promotion’s July return to the capital. 

Chael Sonnen claims he will take over promotion duties for Tom Aspinall

And according to Sonnen, who questioned Aspinall’s ability to self-promote himself, he will now take the reigns as his “media representative” for his summer Octagon return.

“I really am going to handle the media going into Tom (Aspinall) for this fight (against Curtis Blaydes),” Chael Sonnen told The Mac Life. “We’re just going to see what happens. If the audience enjoys it, then we will go from there. Tom fights and trains very well but I wanted to give him the attention he deserves.”

“When I see a guy like Tom that’s 12-2 that now only fought a former world champion (Alexander Volkov), he also stopped him, he needs to be getting attention for that,” Chael Sonnen explained. “I’ll remind you of that main event, it was completely sold out with Tom at the top of the bill.” 
According to Sonnen to boot, Aspinall is close to reaching title contender status in the UFC – which would only be bolstered by a victory over Blaydes at The O2 Arena in July.

“Tom gets the credit for that, I don’t know that Tom always goes out and demands that credit though,” Chael Sonnen explained. “I think that Tom is one fight away from being in a world championship spot and not for nothing, they’ve (the UFC) dealt him from the bottom of the deck.”

UFC Matchmaking Bulletin (6/13-6/18): Nurmagomedov, Fili, Battle Booked

MMA News has you covered with this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin, featuring fights for AKA product Abubakar Nurmagomedov, TUF winner Bryan Battle, featherweight veteran Andre Fili, City Kickboxing’s Tyson Pedro, and lightweight prospect Nasrat Haqparast. With UFC cards being held most weekends, Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby have their matchmaking work cut out if they’re to fill…

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MMA News has you covered with this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin, featuring fights for AKA product Abubakar Nurmagomedov, TUF winner Bryan Battle, featherweight veteran Andre Fili, City Kickboxing’s Tyson Pedro, and lightweight prospect Nasrat Haqparast.

With UFC cards being held most weekends, Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby have their matchmaking work cut out if they’re to fill them, meaning new bouts are confirmed each and every week.

In recent days, a number of huge fights were reported, confirmed or made official by the UFC and reputable sources. For more information on those matchups, check out the links below:

If you’ve had your fix of big announcements since last Monday, scroll down and check out this week’s matchmaking bulletin, featuring a number of bouts that may have flown under your radar between June 13 and June 18.

Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. Phil Rowe – UFC Long Island (July 16)

Abubakar Nurmagomedov will be looking to finally make his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC Long Island, where he’s been matched up with Phil Rowe.

Nurmagomedov (15-3-1), the younger cousin of MMA great Khabib, bounced back from an unsuccessful promotional debut last time out with a unanimous decision victory over Jared Gooden at UFC 260. But since the March 2021 event, the Dagestani has been absent from the cage.

The 32-year-old was initially booked to face rising welterweight Daniel Rodriguez last July, but he was forced out due to injury. Now a year on, Nurmagomedov will look to pick up from where he left off when he faces Rowe (9-3) on July 16 in New York.

“The Fresh Prince” has gone 2-1 in the Octagon since earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019. After a debut loss to Gabe Green, Rowe brought himself to a positive record with victories over Orion Cosce and Jason Witt. He’ll look to make it three in a row(e) at UFC Long Island by adding the well-renowned Nurmagomedov name to his résumé.

This addition to the July 16 card was reported by Eurosport’s Marcel Dorff.

Jai Herbert vs. Kyle Nelson – UFC London (July 23)

Lightweight Jai Herbert will be joining the likes of Tom Aspinall, Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann, Paul Craig, and Muhammad Mokaev as returning Brits on July 23. But while those names will be looking to record their second London victories of the year, “The Black Country Banger” will be targeting his first.

In March, Herbert (11-4) came close to a memorable upset victory over the unbeaten Ilia Topuria. But when the Georgian survived a first round in which he was dropped by a vicious head kick, he came out with violence on his mind, sleeping the Englishman early in the second.

While he’s faced tough competition since arriving in the Octagon, with his other two defeats coming against Renato Moicano and Francisco Trinaldo, falling to a 1-4 record next time out will be hard to bounce back from.

The man hoping to send Herbert to that promotional slate at UFC London will be Kyle Nelson (13-4). The Canadian hasn’t been in action since a knockout loss to Billy Quarantillo in September 2020. Having fallen to a 1-3 record of his own under the UFC banner, “The Monster” will be returning to lightweight on July 23 for the first time since a debut loss to Carlos Diego Ferreira.

Nelson confirmed this bout through his official Twitter account.

Bryan Battle vs. Takashi Sato – UFC Vegas 59 (August 6)

The latest test for TUF winner Bryan Battle will see him drop to welterweight to face five-fight UFC veteran Takashi Sato at UFC Vegas 59.

After defeating Gilbert Urbina last August to be crowned The Ultimate Fighter 29 middleweight victor, Battle (7-1) made a successful sophomore appearance in the Octagon in February this year, earning a unanimous decision win against fellow cast member Tresean Gore.

But despite his early success at middleweight, where all of his professional appearances have come, the 27-year-old is set to make his 170-pound debut on August 6. Looking to make it an unsuccessful arrival for “Pooh Bear” will be Sato (16-5).

The Japanese welterweight will enter his contest with Battle on the back off a two-fight skid, having fallen to defeat against Miguel Baeza in 2020 and versus the returning Gunnar Nelson at UFC London earlier this year.

While Battle will be looking to announce his arrival in a new division, former Pancrase title challenger Sato will be hoping to avoid an often fatal three-fight UFC skid.

This matchup was first reported by MMA Fighting.

Misha Cirkunov vs. Shamil Gamzatov – UFC Vegas 59 (August 6)

After an 0-2 run at middleweight, UFC veteran Misha Cirkunov is set to return to light heavyweight next time out, where he’ll hope to find form at the expense of Shamil Gamzatov.

Since wins over Ion Cu?elaba and Nikita Krylov helped him get off to a perfect 4-0 start in the Octagon, Cirkunov (15-8) has struggled. In eight fights since, the Latvian has gone 2-6, including setbacks against former champion Glover Teixeira, Volkan Oezdemir, and Johnny Walker.

After a 2021 loss to Ryan Spann, Cirkunov unsuccessfully tested the 185-pound waters, falling to further misery at the hands of Krzysztof Jotko and Wellington Turman. If he’s to avoid a four-fight skid, the 35-year-old will need to become only the second man to defeat Gamzatov (14-1).

The Dagestani entered a UFC 267 contest with Micha? Oleksiejczuk on the back off a two-year layoff, but with an unblemished 14-0 record in-tow. But after leaving Abu Dhabi with his first loss, which came via first-round TKO, Gamzatov will be looking to return to the kind of form that had him so highly touted upon his arrival in the UFC.

This August 6 bout was first reported by MMA Fight Universe.

Malcolm Gordon vs. Allan Nascimento – UFC San Diego (August 13)

The August 13 UFC Fight Night, set to go down in San Diego, will have some Canadian presence in the form of Malcolm “X” Gordon.

Gordon (14-5) had a tough start in the UFC, losing his debut outing to Amir Albazi, as well as his sophomore appearance versus Sumudaerji. But since a 44-second knockout loss to “The Tibetan Eagle,” Gordon has found form, winning consecutive fights against Francisco Figueiredo and Denys Bondar.

The former TKO Flyweight Champion will look to add a third straight win and perhaps a 12th career finish to his résumé when he shares the Octagon with the in-form Allan Nascimento (19-6).

“Pure Osso” had a tough debut assignment in the form of Tagir Ulanbekov. After falling on the wrong side of a split decision against the Russian, Nascimento found his way to the win column last month by spoiling the debut of the previously-undefeated Jake Hadley.

The 30-year-old will look to build a run of form when he meets Malcolm “X” this summer in a matchup that was first reported by MMA Junkie.

Tyson Pedro vs. Harry Hunsucker – UFC 278 (August 20)

With the main event contest between welterweight titleholder Kamaru Usman and challenger Leon Edwards confirmed, the UFC 278 card is beginning to take shape. The latest matchup to be added to the August 20 pay-per-view features light heavyweights Tyson Pedro and Harry Hunsucker.

Pedro (8-3) returned in style in April following more than three years on the sidelines. After showing early potential with wins against Khalil Rountree Jr. and Paul Craig, consecutive setbacks to Ovince Saint Preux and Mauricio Rua stalled his progress, the latter of whom Pedro lost to following a serious knee injury that left him requiring knee reconstruction.

After a difficult layoff, the Australian reminded the 205-pound roster of his presence this year when he viciously knocked Ike Villanueva out at UFC Vegas 52. If he’s to make it back-to-back in August, Pedro will have to go through Hunsucker (7-5).

After consecutive defeats to Tai Tuivasa and Justin Tafa at heavyweight, “The Hurricane” will look to save his place on the UFC roster with a venture to light heavyweight, where yet another Aussie will be awaiting him.

This Utah-bound matchup was first reported by MMA Junkie.

Nasrat Haqparast vs. John Makdessi – UFC Paris (September 3)

The UFC’s first visit to France is edging closer, and with it, a number of names are having their seats on the plane to Paris booked. The latest addition sees Afghan-born German Nasrat Haqparast meet Canadian veteran John Makdessi.

Haqparast (13-4) has shown glimpses of his potential in the Octagon, earning victories over the likes of Marc Diakiese, Alex Munoz, and Rafa Garcia. But after back-to-back losses to ranked contender Dan Hooker and 2022 main-eventer Bobby Green, the 26-year-old finds himself in need of a rebound performance next time out.

The man looking to send him on a three-fight skid instead will be Makdessi (18-7). “The Bull” has fought once a year since 2017, with his latest performance coming last April. Having edged a decision win against Ignacio Bahamondes in a memorable three-round war, the 37-year-old will look to deliver a similarly impressive performance when he makes the trip across the Atlantic on September 3.

This re-arranged bout, which was slated for February earlier this year, was first reported by Eurosport’s Marcel Dorff.

Andre Fili vs. Lando Vannata – UFC Fight Night (September 17)

An exciting featherweight matchup will go down on September 17 as UFC veterans Andre Fili and Lando Vannata collide.

“Touchy” Fili (21-9) has been a mainstay in the Octagon at 145 pounds since making his promotional debut in 2013. The 31-year-old has shared the cage with some of the best during his time on MMA’s biggest stage, including Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, and Calvin Kattar.

Having exchanged wins and losses throughout his UFC tenure, Fili finds himself in his trickiest position to date, winless in his last three. After a decision defeat to Bryce Mitchell and an unfortunate no contest against Daniel Pineda, the Washington native was given a short night at UFC Vegas 53 in April, with Joanderson Brito stopping him via TKO in just 41 seconds.

Vannata had a similar night at the office a week earlier when he met Charles Jourdain. A first-round submission loss to the Canadian meant that “Groovy” had failed to continue the momentum from his victory over Mike Grundy last May.

Now, having exchanged wins and losses across his last six outings, Vannata will be looking to build consistent form, starting against Fili on September 17.

This matchup was first reported by MMA Junkie.

Randy Costa vs. Guido Cannetti – UFC Fight Night (October 1)

Joining names like Vinc Pichel and Cheyanne Vlismas on the card, bantamweight Randy Costa is set to feature at the October 1 event, which is expected to be a UFC Fight Night.

Costa (6-3) is on a poor run of form, losing consecutive outings against Adrian Yanez and Tony Kelley, both via second-round TKOs. When he returns later this year, “The Zohan” will look to find his way back to the form that brought him a pair of first-round knockout wins against Boston Salmon and Journey Newson.

In his way of doing so will be veteran Guido Cannetti (9-6), who’s competed in the Octagon since 2014. The 42-year-old was 2-6 and riding a three-fight losing streak, including a defeat to Marlon Vera, heading into his last outing. Having likely saved his place in the promotion by stopping Kris Moutinho inside one round, the Argentine will look to make it back-to-back on October 1.

This matchup was first reported by ESPN Deportes’ Carlos Contreras Legaspi.

Who do you envision having their hands raised in these UFC matchups?

Continue Reading UFC Matchmaking Bulletin (6/13-6/18): Nurmagomedov, Fili, Battle Booked at MMA News.

Exclusive | Jordan Leavitt Predicts “A High Possibility” Of KO’ing Paddy Pimblett: “I’m Feeling Pretty Chill About It”

Jordan Leavitt, Paddy PimblettJordan Leavitt believes he has a high chance of knocking out Paddy Pimblett in their upcoming fight. ‘The Monkey King’ will take on Pimblett in his homeland at UFC Fight Night London on July 23 at the O2 Arena. Leavitt will be making his third outing to the octagon in under eight months and will […]

Jordan Leavitt, Paddy Pimblett

Jordan Leavitt believes he has a high chance of knocking out Paddy Pimblett in their upcoming fight.

‘The Monkey King’ will take on Pimblett in his homeland at UFC Fight Night London on July 23 at the O2 Arena. Leavitt will be making his third outing to the octagon in under eight months and will be going into the bout off two wins.

Pimblett has featured twice under the UFC so far and will mark his third appearance against Leavitt. In his most recent win, ‘The Baddy’ made a comeback after getting dropped to defeat Rodrigo Vargas by submission in the first round.

Jordan Leavitt predicts a knockout against Paddy Pimblett

In an exclusive interview with LowKick MMA, Jordan Leavitt predicted: “a high possibility” of knocking out Pimblett.

“I can predict that there’s a high possibility of a knockout,” said Leavitt. “We both have one real knockout, I have the slam and he has his UFC debut. Both our debuts are our only knockouts, legitimately. Then on paper, I have way better defense, and then he has better “punching power” supposedly. I don’t know I think skill pays the bill.

“He has a very good eye for the finish and I think he has legitimate power and legitimate finishing ability but I think at the end of the day, my fundamentals are a little bit more crisp and I do think I just have a few attributes he’s not prepared for.”

Talking about Pimblett’s latest fight against Vargas, Leavitt said that he was not impressed by the 27-year-old Liverpool native’s performance and believes he has fought higher competition in the past.

“I think he really won that fight more out of things Vargas did wrong as opposed to things that Paddy did right. He, Vargas did not defend the rear-naked choke, at all,” Leavitt added. “Paddy threw three punches, missed all of them, got rocked, shot a takedown, had no confidence fell to his back, so like, when you watch the fight on mute, and then the commentators are telling me how big of a deal this is.

“It’s not very impressive from my point of view, respectfully you know with all due respect but I’ve fought people with much better highlights and I don’t listen to the commentators and all the flash.”

Leavitt does not see Pimblett as a tough challenge and remains confident ahead of the bout.

“It doesn’t really seem too difficult of a matchup for me I think I’ve fought better people on the ground and better people on the feet. No one’s been close to finishing a fight against me except for one little guillotine that was a little scary. So, I’m feeling pretty chill about it.”

Do you believe Jordan Leavitt will finish Paddy Pimblett this July 23 at UFC Fight Night London?

Leavitt Expects Riots When He ‘Twerks On’ Crowd After Beating Pimblett

UFC lightweight Jordan Leavitt is relishing the opportunity to bust out some moves in front of Paddy Pimblett’s home crowd this summer. On July 23, the UFC will cross the Atlantic for its second UK-held card of 2022. The first is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events of the year so far,…

Continue Reading Leavitt Expects Riots When He ‘Twerks On’ Crowd After Beating Pimblett at MMA News.

UFC lightweight Jordan Leavitt is relishing the opportunity to bust out some moves in front of Paddy Pimblett’s home crowd this summer.

On July 23, the UFC will cross the Atlantic for its second UK-held card of 2022. The first is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events of the year so far, in large part due to the exploits of rising star Pimblett.

Making his second appearance inside the Octagon, the former Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion thrilled fans inside The O2 through his walkout, performance, and post-fight celebration.

He’ll look to repeat all of the above when he makes his way to London for the second time this year to face Leavitt. But “The Monkey King,” who knows a thing or two about post-fight dancing himself, recently gave a pretty bleak assessment of Pimblett’s skills when it comes to throwing some shapes.

When asked who has the better moves, him or “The Baddy,” during an interview with The Schmo, Leavitt suggested that the Brit is no competition to him in that regard.

“It’s gonna be, man. I just have better rhythm, I’m a little bit more loose,” said Leavitt. “But he’s got the spirit. He’s a bit confused, but he’s got the spirit. I kinda dig it.”

While The O2 crowd was graced with some ‘father of the bride on the dance floor at a wedding reception’ moves from their compatriot earlier this year, it seems they could be in for some more eccentric moves on July 23 should Leavitt have his way.

“I’m kind of excited, ’cause they’re (The O2 crowd) gonna get quiet when I finish the fight. And they’re probably gonna riot when I throw a twerk on them. So I’m excited, I’m really excited to meet him (Pimblett). I think he’s hilarious, I think he fight’s gonna be a lot of fun, and I’m intrigued to see how it’s gonna go.”

With four finishes in their five combined wins inside the Octagon, it seems likely that Leavitt and Pimblett won’t go the distance at UFC London. What’s even more likely, though, is that the victor will be putting on a memorable show for the UK crowd, both in-fight and post-fight.

Who do you think will be bringing out some victory dance moves at UFC London, Jordan Leavitt or Paddy Pimblett?

Continue Reading Leavitt Expects Riots When He ‘Twerks On’ Crowd After Beating Pimblett at MMA News.