Take a look back on a week in MMA where Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor III gets its official landing pad for their UFC 264 clash on July 10th. — two-weight UFC champion, Amanda Nunes books her next fight in a bantamweight return, and Robert Whittaker earns his middleweight title rematch against Israel Adesanya with a masterful win against Kelvin Gastelum.
Following the verbal scuffle between the above-mentioned, Poirier and McGregor on social media this past Monday, former interim lightweight title challenger, Kevin Lee insisted he would be ready to slot in on July 10th. at UFC 264 in a matchup against McGregor — who himself claimed he wouldn’t be fighting Poirier this summer.
Scoring her fourth consecutive victory at UFC Vegas 23 last Saturday, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Mackenzie Dern, who landed at #5 in the official strawweight pile, called for a potential title-eliminator against her upper-echelon peers. The Arizona-born grappler managed to earn her fourth straight success via an opening round armbar over the returning, Nina Nunes.
Involved in a rivalry with polarizing bantamweight peer, Sean O’Malley — Team Oyama standout, Marlon Vera claimed that the Montana native rejected the prospect of scoring a rematch against him following their UFC 252 co-main event last August, where Vera handed O’Malley his sole professional loss.
Reflecting on a disappointing last annum, former interim lightweight best, Tony Ferguson admitted he became “too one dimensional” — resulting in the snapping of his division-tying twelve-fight winning spree, with a pair of relatively one-sided losses to Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira.
Briefly asking the Twitter community whom he should fight instead of Poirier on July 10th. McGregor eventually saw his pairing with the Louisiana native nailed down for July 10th. — in the UFC’s return to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for the first time since UFC 248 in March of last year — with 20,000 fans in attendance, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahead of next weekend’s strawweight title matchup between Zhang Weili and former titleholder, Rose Namajunas, the latter shot down a narrative painted prior by UFC president, Dana White that Namajunas was avoiding Weili and didn’t necessarily want another title shot. Refuting those claims, Namajunas claimed that White isn’t always truthful.
On September 4th. at UFC 266 — a light heavyweight title matchup between defending gold holder, Jan Blachowicz will attempt his second title defence as he draws the #1 ranked veteran favourite, Glover Teixeira.
Following his controversial ONE on TNT I disqualification loss to Iuri Lapicus at the beginning of the month, former UFC and Bellator lightweight best, Eddie Alvarez claimed that “serious talks” were underway for him to compete in a boxing match against former world champion, Oscar De La Hoya in July.
Charges were dropped against the aforenoted, McGregor in relation to an alleged attempted sexual assault and alledged sexual exhibition at a bar in the port town of Calvi in Corsica last September against a young married woman — with a police investigation unable to find sufficient evidence to proceed following the examination of DNA evidence provided by the Dubliner.
Turning in an eye-catching performance at ONE on TNT II — defending lightweight kingpin, Christian Lee managed another successful title defence, stopping Timofey Nastyukhin with an impressive opening round knockout.
Returning on May 8th. at Bellator 258 in a rescheduled matchup, welterweight striker, Michael ‘Venom’ Page clashes with Derek ‘The Barbaric’ Anderson — in what could prove to be a potential title-eliminator at 170-pounds.
Also returning on June 11th. in the main event of Bellator 260 — defending welterweight champion, Douglas Lima attempts to score the first successful defence of his third title reign as he draws the undefeated three-time Sambo champion, Dynamo native, Yaroslav Amosov.
Making her bantamweight comeback for the first time since December of 2019, the above-mentioned two-division queen, Nunes matches with The Ultimate Fighter 18 victor, Julianna Pena on August 7th. at UFC 265 — with the latter stoking the flames for what promises to be a heated buildup prior to fight night.
Off the back of a headlining tilt in Dublin in February of last year, Bellator featherweight contender, Leah McCourt scores a rebooking against Janay Harding for Bellator 259 on May 21st.
Making a quick turnaround following his previously noted DQ loss, Alvarez is slated to meet the victor of Murat Gufurov and Ok Rae-yoon at ONE on TNT IV on April 29th. Gufurov and Rae-yoon have already fought, however third pairing is set to air on tape delay at ONE on TNT III on April 21st. — with the victor awaiting Alvarez.
Headlining a quick frankly, lacklustre, UFC Vegas 24 event at the UFC Apex facility, former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker turned in a vintage, collected and precise performance over five rounds to score a dominant 50-46 (x3) unanimous judging success against former interim title chaser, Kelvin Gastelum in a reworked, short-notice main event.
The victor of three on the trot, fan favourite, Whittaker suggested a September rematch against defending 185-pound pack leader, Adesanya — at a stadium show in either New Zealand or Australia.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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