This Week In MMA – A.J. McKee clinches Bellator crown, Justin Gaethje x Michael Chandler slated for UFC 268

McKee
Mandatory Credit: Lucas Noonan – Bellator MMA

Take a look back on a week in MMA where surging Bellator MMA standout, A.J. McKee realised his dream and secured the undisputed featherweight championship on home California soil and secured the World Grand Prix final victory, via a standing guillotine stoppage over Patricio Pitbull. In other major news, a mouth-watering, highly-anticipated lightweight matchup between former interim champion, Justin Gaethje and recent title challenger, Michael Chandler has been agreed to for UFC 268 on November 6th. at Madison Square Garden.

Beginning the week, a massive welterweight championship rematch between current undisputed gold holder, Kamaru Usman and former interim champion, the #1 ranked, Colby Covington was reported as the headlining bout for UFC 268 on November 6th. — with Madison Square Garden targeted to host the re-run of the two arch-rivals.

Receiving mass criticism, former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor posted and deleted a tweet appearing to mock the passing of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in response to former gold holder, Khabib Nurmagomedov who had reacted to the Dubliner’s doctor’s stoppage defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.

Off the back of close, barnburner return against Cory Sandhagen, former two-time UFC bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw entered the official 135lbs rankings at #2, while the defeated Sandhagen faltered to the #3 position at bantamweight

Set to return to London in October, Bellator MMA announced an important welterweight rematch between former division champion Douglas Lima, and the surging karate striker, Michael Page.

Forced out of her UFC 266 return against flyweight veteran, Roxanne Modafferi, wrestling talent, Tatiana Suarez continues to be plagued by injury woes, with a “major” knee injury that requires a surgical procedure, ruling her from a first Octagon outing since July of 2019

Expected to potentially return to London for a UFC Fight Night event in September, the kibosh appears to have been put on the potential comeback to the UK — with reports confirming that the promotion is likely to relocate the event to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Set to return to the featherweight limit on October 16th. — a matchup between former bantamweight gold holder, Holly Holm and Brazil’s, Norma Dumont has been booked for a Fight Night billed event. 

Former undisputed middleweight champion, Chris Weidman confirmed this week that he is now expected to undergo another surgical procedure in August as the bones in his right legs are currently experiencing a non-union following his gruesome compound fracture back in April at UFC 261. 

Out of next weekend’s UFC 265 co-headliner, two-weight champion, Amanda Nunes returned a positive COVID-19 test result, ruling her from another attempted bantamweight title defence against Julianna Pena

UFC featherweight alum and The Ultimate Fighter 22 lightweight tournament finalist, Artem ‘The Russian Hammer’ Lobov also confirmed his official retirement from professional combat sports this week following a recent bare knuckle boxing loss to Olympic silver medalist, Denys Berinchyk. 

Inaugural UFC flyweight champion, Nicco Montano tipped the bantamweight scales by a whopping seven pounds — coming in at 143lbs for her UFC Vegas 33 clash with Wu Yanan — resulting in the bout’s official cancellation.

A massive lightweight bout between former interim lightweight gold holder, Justin Gaethje and one-time title challenger, Michael Chandler has been agreed to for UFC 268 on November 6th. in a long-awaited pairing

On October 16th. in Phoenix, Arizona — a Bellator light heavyweight title fight between reigning titleholder, Vadim Nemkov and Rumble Johnson has been confirmed as the event’s headlining tilt in the light heavyweight World Grand Prix semi final bracket. 

Wexford native, Brian Moore managed to lodge a unanimous decision win over Jordan Winski to kick off Bellator 263, while Straight Blast Gym stablemate, Kiefer Crosbie suffered a first round arm-triangle loss to veteran finisher, Georgi Karakhanyan.

Headlining UFC Vegas 33, Sean Strickland snapped Uriah Hall’s four fight undefeated skid in a main event tilt, as well as establishing his own five fight undefeated run with a comfortable unanimous decision victory. 
Rounding out Bellator 263, A.J. McKee scored his 18th. straight professional victory, the undisputed featherweight championship, and the World Grand Prix win with a first round standing guillotine stoppage over two-weight gold holder, Patricio Pitbull.

Cork native, Patrick ‘The Leech’ Lehane made his professional debut at Combate Global in Miami, Florida on Sunday night — claiming the one-night tournament victory with a pair of wins over Sebas Santana Guedes and Maxime, Giacalone. 

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