This Week In MMA – Israel Adesanya defends title, Brandon Moreno lifts gold, Leon Edwards bloodies Nate Diaz

Adesanya
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

Take a look back on a week in MMA where Israel Adesanya takes another victory over Marvin Vettori — successfully lodging his third middleweight title defence this time, while Brandon Moreno becomes the first Mexican-born UFC champion, via a third round rear-naked choke win over Deiveson Figueiredo. And likely earning his welterweight title shot, the #3 ranked Leon Edwards managed to bloody and batter Nate Diaz from the opening buzzer throughout, before surviving a late, last-minute rally and maintaining his standing despite two wobbles. 

Following his eye-catching unanimous decision win over Miguel Baeza last Saturday at UFC Vegas 28 — Argentine contender, Santiago Ponzinibbio noted his interest in a possible bout against Vicente Luque next. And wants to keep eyes on the outcome of Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson on July 10th. 

Expected to make his Bellator light heavyweight debut back in May, former UFC middleweight title challenger, Yoel Romero has claimed that he’s currently shooting for an August promotional bow, and failed to rule out a stay at the middleweight division. 

Following his reported withdrawal from a UFC Fight Night main event against Jared Cannonier on August 21st. — Paulo Costa, according to UFC president, Dana White is in no position to talk about “crazy money off the back of his September knockout loss against Israel Adesanya.

Former UFC heavyweight title challenger, Alistair Overeem is slated to make his return to professional kickboxing for the first time since 2011 — as he penned a multi-fight deal with GLORY Kickboxing following his release from the UFC earlier this year. 

Despite replying “soon” to an Instagram user who asked him if the UFC were planning on implementing future health benefits for fighters, promotional president, White claimed he made a mistake and actually meant to reply “soon” to a different message, effectively denying the promotion would be implementing some long term health benefits for fighters. 

In the same interview, White appeared to have changed his tune on a possible return of Nick Diaz, claiming that he now believes the 37-year-old would make his highly-anticipated Octagon return this year following some earlier question marks raised over his intentions to actually make a return. 

Supporting Costa’s decision to step away from their planning August matchup, Cannonier claimed that “somebody” needs to step up and attempt to help the fighters secure a higher percentage of the overall revenue earned by promotions and organizations. 

Booked for UFC 266, an eye-catching potential flyweight title-eliminator, as most recent title challenger, former strawweight division best, Jessica Andrade, and the #5 ranked contender, Cynthia Calvillo meet on September 25th. 

Set to land on July 29th. — finally, the featherweight Bellator Grand Prix final clash between two-weight titleholder, Patricio Pitbull, and the promotional mainstay, the undefeated 17-0 surging contender, A.J. McKee

Scoring five dominant rounds of significant strikes against Nate Diaz, Leon Edwards looks to have finally secured his spot as a title challenger, likely after Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington II — however, it wasn’t completely plain sailing, particularly in the final minute of the fight, with Edwards finding himself on the receiving end of some notable shots from Diaz, resulting in a pair of worrying wobbles. 

Clinching the undisputed UFC flyweight championship, Brandon Moreno turned in the performance of his professional career against Deiveson Figueiredo in their co-headlining title re-run — dropping the Brazilian first, before eventually locking up a third round rear-naked choke, forcing a tap from the Para native. 

Solidifying his status as the king of the middleweights once again, Israel Adesanya countered Marvin Vettori expertly for five rounds on route to a 50-45 (x3) decision shutout and even swept on occasion when he found himself on his back, which occurred four times, in fact. Following his rematch win, in which he moved to 2-0 over Vettori, Adesanya welcomed another re-run, in the form of a second clash with former champion, Robert Whittaker.

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