This Week In MMA – Rumble returns, Rodriguez outworks Waterson, and Pettis lifts gold

This Week In MMA
Mandatory Credit: Lucas Noonan – Bellator MMA & Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC & Lucas Noonan – Bellator MMA

Take a look back on a week in MMA where Sergio Pettis lifts undisputed bantamweight gold under the Bellator MMA banner against Juan Archuleta, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson rallied on the same card to stop Jose Augusto and earn a light heavyweight title challenge against Vadim Nemkov in the Grand Prix semi-final, and Marina Rodriguez displays lethal combinations to outpoint Michelle Waterson over five rounds at UFC Vegas 26. 

Beginning the week, polarizing bantamweight striker, Sean O’Malley booked his Octagon return, in the form of a UFC 264 showdown against veteran contender, Louis Smolka on July 10th.

Losing next weekend’s UFC 262 five round co-main event, the pairing of Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz has been rescheduled for UFC 263 on June 12th. in Glendale Arizona, after Diaz suffered a minor injury in the run-up to his Octagon return.

Following her brutal one-sided second round knockout win over Jessica Andrade at UFC 261 in April, Valentina Shevchenko explained that she can still foresee a future trilogy pairing with two-weight champion, Amanda Nunes, if the two continue to run roughshod through their respective divisions. 

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Speaking following successful surgery on his compound fracture he suffered against Uriah Hall at UFC 261, former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman explained that he’s still worried about the possibility of leg amputation after some prior post-operation woes. 

Also landing on UFC 264 on July 10th. from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Irene Aldana makes her first Octagon outing since last October as she matches with former Invicta FC titleholder, Yana Kunitskaya in a high-stakes bantamweight clash

In the fallout of his release from his UFC contract last week following a sixteen-year stint with the promotion, Diego Sanchez revealed that he’s fearful for his life and believes the UFC may come after him in the future for speaking out against him.

Following Jiri Prochazka’s stunning spinning back elbow win over Dominick Reyes at UFC Vegas 25 last weekend, Aleksandar Rakic claimed that he would be open to a title-eliminator against the #2 ranked contender in a bid to meet the victor of the UFC 266 title clash between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira.

Ranked at #3 in the official strawweight rankings upon her removal due to inactivity, Tatiana Suarez has noted her interest in an Octagon return at flyweight. The undefeated wrestling ace has yet to feature since a July 2019 unanimous decision win over Nina Nunes back at UFC 238. 

Headlining UFC 264 on July 10th. — former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor predicted a “flawless” performance against Dustin Poirier as he attempts to pull away in the rubber match and avenge a January knockout loss. 

In video footage emerging on Friday night across social media, School of Self Awareness leader, Joshua Fabia, the head coach and manager of the aforenoted, Sanchez can be seen punching and kicking the head and body of the Albuquerque native as he is hung inverted — with the video garnering huge backlash from the MMA community.

Making his first professional appearance since 2016, Anthony Johnson returned under the Bellator MMA banner against short notice replacement, Jose Augusto, and despite some first round adversity, in which he was dropped at the fence, the Dublin, Georgia veteran recovered to stop the Brazilian with a huge right hand in the second. The victory earned him a spot in the Grand Prix semi final bracket — opposite defending champion, Vadim Nemkov.

Headlining the Bellator 258 card, Sergio Pettis successfully dethroned Juan Archuleta in his first attempted title defence at bantamweight, taking home a unanimous decision victory — handing the Californian just his third professional loss from twenty-eight outings.

Taking main event honours on short notice in a flyweight pairing at UFC Vegas 26, top-ten strawweight contenders, Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson turned in a hugely entertaining back-and-forth over five rounds, with the former setting a blistering pace in the opening three rounds, on her way to a unanimous decision success. 


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