Three Biggest Rumors in MMA Right Now

By: Timothy Wheaton

MMA has always been a sport of who heard what? Especially in the age of social media where rumors can spread so quickly and widely. Some of the best stories in MMA are just rumors; Did ‘Krazy Horse’ Bennet knockout Wanderlei Silva backstage in 2005? Does Frank Shamrock owe Dana White money? Did the Nogueira brothers feed a carrot to a bus? Some of these we’ll never know. We’re going to break down and discuss some of the biggest rumors spreading right now. Jake Paul vs Conor McGregor? Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones? Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Chechen Dictator Kadyrov?

Jake Paul vs MMA? Jake Paul vs Conor McGregor?

If you are an MMA fighter with fledgling career success or just need money, calling out Jake Paul might be the right move for you. Ben Askren made approximately $800,000 over three UFC fights but got a guaranteed $500,000 plus a cut of sales for his one-round fight the Paul brother. Fighting YouTube stars may be a lucrative industry.

But who will Paul fight next? The biggest rumor spreading is Conor McGregor. The Irish fighter last year was preparing for a boxing match with legend Manny Pacquiao when he was side-lined by getting knocked out by Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. McGregor is the biggest selling MMA fighter in history according to his UFC pay-per-view sales, plus his massive blockbuster fight with Floyd Mayweather.

McGregor recently called out Jake Paul on Twitter saying “UFC high level fighting > Blogger jackass boxing.” The YouTube star had already called out McGregor several times on video, even going as far as offering the Irishman $50 Million for the fight. It is a massive money fight, and it is a massive rumor.

In addition to Mcgregor, most MMA stars have now called out Paul including Chuck Liddell, Kamaru Usman, Chris Leben, and many others.

Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones?

The timeline of this fight has been a saga. Ten years ago when Jon Jones became the light heavyweight champion he teased that he would move up to challenge at heavyweight. In those ten years, he never did. But within those ten years, Francis Ngannou left his Cameroonian home, was imprisoned in Morocco, homeless in Paris, and became a UFC champion. Now, Jones claims he’s ready to move up to heavyweight.

However, this fight is still in rumor status. From what we understand Ngannou has accepted this match but Jones is holding out for more money. Jones recently ditched his long-time management company. This management company also manages heavyweight top contender Derrick Lewis. So now Dana White, UFC President, is trying to angle Jones vs former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, and Ngannou vs Lewis because Lewis openly has said he’ll fight for less money. “I’ll do it for 8 million shiiiittt”

This situation has devolved into Jones arguing with White & UFC on Twitter, and also Jones and Ngannou arguing on Twitter. It seems the fans are arguing and negotiating on Twitter as well. But is anyone arguing and negotiating for this fight in the backroom, or has progressed stalled on these talks? We don’t know at this time. By the sounds of Jones on Twitter, this fight may not have legs.

It’s a great match-up with a huge swell of hype and excitement behind it. Unfortunately, this fight may end up like St-Pierre vs Silva, or Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov, or Emelianenko vs Couture, the great fights that never were.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Chechen Dictator Kadyrov?

Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, and the first Russian-born UFC champion in history Khabib Nurmagomedov, of Dagestan, were once the best of friends. Photos together, dinners together, visiting gyms together, the best friend activities. But recently their relationship has fallen. Kadyrov recently had some words for the undefeated 29-0 fighter Nurmagomedov.

“Khabib is a good athlete, but he is a UFC project. He is 100 percent a project because they have a good relationship with Dana White. If someone misses a fight, they are immediately removed from the rating, and Khabib has never been removed from the rating. And he also knows that he is a UFC project. If it is not a project, then I have never seen our brother Khabib perform with the flag of the Russian Federation, the flag of Dagestan.” Kadyrov said during the Instagram live chat recently. But, what happened to their best friendship?

“While Kadyrov and Nurmagomedov maintained friendly ties for several years, their relationship soured in August 2019 when Kadyrov claimed that Imam Shamil—the Dagestani native who served as the leader of the Caucasian resistance to Imperial Russia in the 1800s— and the resistance he mounted against Russia led to the “annihilation of the Chechen people.” Kadyrov’s comments drew outrage across Dagestan and led to increased tension between the two Caucasian republics.”

According to Karim Zidan https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2021/5/18/22440668/khabib-nurmagomedov-ramzan-kadyrov-imam-shamil-chechnya-mma-politics-feature

Kadyrov continues, “I am ready to pay Khabib any fee if he performs at Akhmat,” Akhmat is his MMA organization. “I am ready to give any money and see if he breaks anyone in Akhmat. I am ready to pay him more than in the UFC if he fights in Akhmat against one of our fighters. Let’s see who will win it.” Khamzat Chimaev even offered to “Smash” Khabib on behalf of Kadyrov.

So, where will this go? Will the two ever work out their differences and become friends again? Will Khabib compete in Akhmat or with Chimaev? These are questions we do not know the answer to.

MMA as a sport is a busy rumor mill sometimes and can be some work to keep on all the happenings. What fights are rumored, who called out who, and who’s fighting who? We’ll keep you up to date on the biggest rumors.

“The only thing I can do is fight,” The Legacy of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

By: Timothy Wheaton

2009 at WEC 45, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone headlined in a non-title fight, against Ed Ratcliff, there were only 1,700 fans in attendance, and yet, Cerrone made that fight feel larger than life. He and Ratcliff went to war for the screaming audience. Even though it was a small event every fan that night got a show they were happy to pay for. This is the legacy of Cowboy Cerrone. He’s a man who likes fighting and wants to put on a show. “I don’t care where I fight on the card, but to get people motivated or excited, like, ‘Cowboy’s fighting!’ that’s my overall goal.” Even if damages him. He never won a major title and yet holds one of the largest followings in the sport.

The Young Cowboy

I didn’t really have intentions of fighting in MMA; it just kind of fell into place. Once I started fighting, though, I loved it.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone began his career fighting in the WEC. It was a match made in heaven. The WEC was targeting smaller weight classes with a smaller cage in an effort to push the action. Cerrone was a standup focused fighter, Muay Thai based, with a great knowledge of Jiu-jitsu. The WEC and Cerrone worked incredibly well together. Even today, a decade on from the end of the WEC, many people still largely recognize him for his fights in the organization. And for good reason.

Cowboy Cerrone cut his teeth in the WEC and every fight out he was willing to go to war. He fought standout fighters such as Benson Henderson, future UFC champion, Jamie Varner, James Krause, Chris Horodecki, and others. Even though he never won a major title within the organization he left a major mark in the WEC.

Out of his ten appearances in the WEC he won fight of the night honors in five of them. In fact, he got fight of the year 2009 in his title shot against Benson Henderson, according to Sherdog, Sports Illustrated, and MMAFighting.com. This bout was a back and forth memorable war. Here is the play-by-play of just the last few minutes of this fight of the year, “Cerrone looks fresher at this point, with 3:30 to go. Henderson misses a left to the body and loses his balance. Cerrone engages him on the ground, but Henderson rolls out and reverses, though Cerrone immediately tries an omoplata from his back. Cerrone then goes to a triangle and an armbar. Henderson escapes the armbar but falls back into an omoplata. The attempt doesn’t finish Henderson, but it controls him. Cerrone then torques a kimura. Henderson escapes again and struggles for a double against the cage. Cerrone goes to his back and immediately returns to the triangle choke and then an omoplata to a straight armbar as the bell rings.”

The UFC

If you’re in the UFC, you’re one of the baddest dudes around.

Without ever holding a title Cowboy Cerrone may be the most recognizable name within the UFC. Anyone who has casually watched a UFC of Fox, or UFC on ESPN, or a UFC Pay-Per-View, or even a UFC on Fuel TV has had the honor of watching him compete. Donal Cerrone currently holds many records in the UFC. Most wins in UFC history with 23, most finishes in UFC history with 16, Most post-fight bonus awards in UFC history with 18, Tied for most bouts in UFC history with 37 (tied with Jim Miller who he defeated in 2014), Tied for most bouts in a 12-month period in UFC history with six, and Most knockdowns in UFC history with 20.

The man fought frequently and would fight anyone. Between his times at welterweight and lightweight, he’s fought in the UFC for 37 bouts in his ten years with the organization. That’s averaging more than three fights per year. “You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready, alright? I’m always in the gym, always training, all the time.

His coach John Wood said of the man, “He’s game, man,” He told MMA Fighting, “I don’t think there’s anyone more in the sport that’s ready to fight whenever you make the phone call. If you told him he had to drive out there tomorrow to do it, he would. He’s just that kind of guy.”

In his home state of Colorado, the UFC celebrated its 25th anniversary. Cerrone picked up an armbar victory against Mike Perry at this event. Even though Cerrone wasn’t the main event, he made it seem like he was. The crowd loved and celebrated him. The submission “Brought the announced crowd of 11,426 into rapture.” According to the Denver Post in 2018.

I live a wild and crazy life.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone always lives up to his name. He’s a man who lives on a ranch, snowboards, ATVs, hunts, rock climbs, snowmobiles, among many other activities. But he’s also a man who remembers where he comes from.

He was raised in Colorado by his grandparents. The man even picked up a win after his grandfather had passed at UFC 126. Cerrone’s grandfather, “Who had been instrumental in his pursuit of a fighting career and been to all of his grandson’s fights, had fallen ill and was in the hospital in the time leading up to this bout,” UFC.com reported, “As Cerrone started making the walk to the Octagon, his friend and teammate Leonard Garcia was on FaceTime with Cerrone’s family back home in Denver when “Cowboy” saw his friend’s face drop. His grandfather had passed. With a heavy heart, Cerrone crossed the threshold into the Octagon for the first time and picked up the first of his 23 victories to date. And if you wanted to know just how big a part of his life his family is, understand that Grandma Jerry might be even more beloved within the MMA community than her grandson, and remains a constant presence at every one of his fights.”

Here is Donald with his Grandma

And Conor McGregor embraces Cerrone’s Grandma also:

At what cost?

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is hugely celebrated and beloved in the MMA community because of his great fights and great wars he’s been through. His losses, though, are often brutal. He may hold the most wins in UFC history but he is also a record holder of one of the top fight losses in UFC history.

Cerrone absorbed 238 significant strikes in his 2011 loss to Nate Diaz. UFC Champions Anthony Pettis, Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje & Rafael dos Anjos knocked him out in the first round. Additionally, Leon Edwards, Darren Till, Robbie Lawler, & Jorge Masvidal, all battered the man with many strikes. As much as Cerrone could win in exciting, emphatic fashion his losses were brutal and savage.

After 54 fights, aged 38, Cerrone has lost five of his last six fights, all by KO/TKO. Going as far back as 2017 his MMA record is 4-9 1 NC. Is it time for the Cowboy to hang em up?

It’s just a rough day in the office,” Cerrone told ESPN after his most recent fight. “This game can get changed, all it takes is one big shot. He hit me with a good one, set me back. Hit me with another one.” Cerrone, like many fighters, are too tough for their own health. Fighters love fighting, and they want to continue at all costs. “The only thing I can do is fight,”

Heartbroken for sure … There’s no way I’d end like this. I couldn’t let my legacy end like this.”

UFC on ESPN 24: Rodriguez vs. Waterson Preview

By: Timothy Wheaton

This Saturday’s UFC Fight Night has been filled with injuries, late replacements, and roster cuts. The headlines coming into the event may be bigger than the headlining fight. This Fight Night will be broadcasting live from the UFC Apex Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this Saturday, May 8th (UFC on ESPN 24 and UFC Vegas 26) and we will be breaking down and previewing all the confirmed and announced fights, in addition to the scrapped fights.

Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw and Scrapped Fights

This upcoming UFC Fight Night was initially headlined by a competitive bantamweight showdown. Cory Sandhagen, currently ranked number 2 at bantamweight, is on a two-fight knockout streak winning his last two bouts emphatically via spinning heel kick and a flying knee. He was meant to face off against the former three-time defending champion in TJ Dillashaw. This bout was slated as Dillashaw’s comeback fight since losing in early 2019. This was until a facial cut was received for Dillashaw, during training, and therefore was not cleared to fight. Originally reported by Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, only ten days before the scheduled fight. This fight has yet to be rescheduled.

To add to the oddity of this Fight Night, reported on April 29th, a scheduled bout between TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez and UFC legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone was canceled due to Sanchez being cut by the UFC. After a 16 year long career with the organization, Sanchez took to Instagram and voice his relief of being cut from the UFC. “Free at last,” he said. It was reported that the UFC brass let Sanchez go due to health and coaching concerns. Just four days before the event we’ve learned Cerrone will instead be facing Alex Morono.

Lastly, former champion Holly Holm was scheduled to fight top 10 ranked Julianna Peña. But on March 9th it was revealed Holm could not compete as she was diagnosed with a kidney condition hydronephrosis. Pena instead will now face the multi-division champion, Amanda Nunes, at UFC 265.

Main Event UFC on ESPN 24: Rodriguez vs. Waterson

Filling in for the main event will be the battle of two top ten ranked strawweights in Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2) versus Michelle Waterson (18-8). While the two are ranked at 115 lb strawweight, this five-round main event will instead take place at flyweight 125 lb. This is due to the short notice booking of this match. “I was excited about the challenge, I was excited for the opportunity to step up to the plate, go into Vegas, five rounds, 125, let’s go,” Waterson said in an interview.

“The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson was scheduled to fight Amanda Ribas earlier this year at UFC 257. Waterson was forced out of this bout due to an unreported incident, Rodriguez filled in as a late replacement and defeated Ribas via 2nd round TKO.

Michelle Waterson is best known for being the Invicta FC Atomweight 105 lb champion. She entered the UFC in 2015 and competed in a larger weight class as a strawweight. With a karate background, Waterson uses long-range front kicks as her primary offense. She is a great, well-rounded fighter as she has 14 takedowns in her UFC fights, plus is ranked fourth in her division for all-time submission attempts, 50% of her victories are by way of submission. Waterson, age 35, mixes her style with long kicks, takedowns, and submissions. Additionally, Waterson has experience in a five-round fight.

Most recently Waterson won a close-fought five-round split decision over Angie Hill (13-9), in September of 2020. This fight showed the versatility and diversity of Waterson’s output. She threw 324 strikes in this 25-minute fight plus attempted 18 takedowns. In her career, Waterson averages 5.66 significant strikes landed per minute.

Born in Brazil, Marina Rodriguez only began MMA training in 2013. She was previously a graphic designer and started Muay Thai training as a way to stay in shape. Since then she has had an impressive run in the UFC, going 13-1 in MMA, and has earned a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Rodriguez, age 34, impressively has won 47% of her fight by way of KO/TKO. Most recently at UFC 257 finishing Ribas in just the second round. Rodriguez is ranked third for all-time knockdowns per 15 minutes in her weight class. She is ranked 6th and victory on May 8th would move her much closer to her title aspirations.

While Rodriguez has less overall MMA experience and less experience in five-round fights, she will have a height and reach advantage over Waterson coming into this fight. Both fighters enter this bout on a one-fight victory streak, with Rodriguez being a slight betting favorite.

UFC on ESPN 24: The Main Card

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Alex Morono

The May 8th UFC Fight Night main card will be broadcast on ESPN. The co-main event of the card will see UFC legend Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15) facing Alex Morono (18-7). US-born Cerrone has been fighting professionally since 2006 and fought for titles in the UFC and WEC. This upcoming bout will be his 54th fight, and he will tie the record for most UFC fights, at 37, with Jim Miller. Cerrone, age 38, holds the record for most wins and most finishes in UFC history. His most recent bout was a No-Contest, due to Niko Price testing positive for marijuana. Previous to that Cerrone is 2-4 since 2019, with all four losses coming notably from former champions Pettis, McGregor, Gaethje, and Ferguson. Alex Morono is 7-4 in his UFC run. Most recently he had a loss to former champion Anthony Pettis. Texas-born Morono is looking to get back in the win column against the veteran Cerrone. With a victory, this fight would also move Morono into the top 15 at welterweight.

Neil Magny vs. Geoff Neal

Two top ten welterweights will be fighting to make their case on May 8th in Neil Magny (24-8) vs. Geoff Neal (13-3). These two are ranked 9 and 10 at welterweight, both coming off losses most recently, the stakes are high coming into this fight. Magny will come into this bout with a height and reach advantage. In 2020 he “The Haitian Sensation” defeated former champion, Robbie Lawler, then most recently has a decision loss to Michael Chiesa. Neal was a six-fight win streak in the UFC before meeting former title challenger Stephen Thompson. The 2020 bout saw Thompson out land “Handz of Steel” Neal 171-85 in this five-round meeting. Both fighters are US-born and will be looking to take a prominent position at welterweight with a win.

Marcos Rogério de Lima vs. American Maurice Greene

Heavyweights will also be featured on this main card. Brazilian Marcos Rogério de Lima (17-7) will face off against American Maurice Greene (9-5). With a victory, either of these heavyweights could move to a top 15 position. Both fighters are coming off stoppage losses in their last bouts.

Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Gregor Gillespie

Top 15 ranked lightweights will also be featured in Carlos Diego Ferreira (17-3) vs. Gregor Gillespie (13-1). Gillespie’s lone MMA loss was an impressive head kick KO from Kevin Lee. Ferreira had a split decision loss to Beneil Dariush in 2021. Ferreira, from Brazil, is a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilina Jiu-Jitsu. And Gillespie was an NCAA Division I wrestling champion in 2007. Both men, in their 30’s, are hungry to get back in the win column and potentially move to lightweight’s top 10.

Amanda Ribas vs. Angie Hill

Blackbelt in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Amanda Ribas (10-2) will be hungry to get back in the win column against American Muay Thai striker Angie Hill (13-9). Ribas sustained a loss in 2021 to the headlining Rodriguez. Ribas, 27, previously has held titles in IMMAF Worlds, Jungle Fight, and Max Fight. She is looking to add a UFC title to her resume. In just March of this year Hill, 36, won a decision over Yoder. Hill is a focused Muay Thai striker who uses distance and strikes to control her fights. She holds rank 10 in the UFC among all fighters for Significant Strikes Landed with 1322 in her UFC career.

UFC on ESPN 24: The Prelims

ESPN+ will be broadcasting the UFC Fight Night Preliminary fights. Former IFL heavyweight Champion Ben Rothwell (38-13) will be looking to get a win when he faces Philipe Lins (14-5). Rothwell, 39, will have a slight weight and height advantage. Both men are coming off losses. Phil Hawes (10-2) will be looking to extend his middleweight win streak in the UFC against southpaw Kyle Daukaus (10-1). Young Featherweights Ludovit Klein (17-2) and Michael Trizano (9-1) will try to make their case or moving into the top 15 in the competitive division. Ryan Benoit (10-7) will meet fellow flyweight Zarrukh Adashev (3-3). Korean-born Junyong Park (12-4) will hope to give the first loss of his career against Cameroonian-fighter Tafon Nchukwi (5-0), competing at light heavyweight. And kicking off the fight night will be Christian Aguilera (14-7) facing welterweight Carlston Harris (15-4) in Harris’ UFC debut.

Main Card
Michelle Waterson vs. Marina Rodriguez
Donald Cerrone vs. Alex Morono
Neil Magny vs. Geoff Neal
Marcos Rogério de Lima vs. Maurice Greene
Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Gregor Gillespie
Amanda Ribas vs. Angela Hill

Preliminary Card
Ben Rothwell vs. Philipe Lins
Phil Hawes vs. Kyle Daukaus
Ľudovít Klein vs. Michael Trizano
Ryan Benoit vs. Zarrukh Adashev
Jun Yong Park vs. Tafon Nchukwi
Christian Aguilera vs. Carlston Harris

This Saturday’s UFC Fight Night, UFC on ESPN 24, will be broadcast on May 8th on ESPN and ESPN+. The card will be an exciting mix of hungry fighters looking to get back in the win column and prove they belong in the UFC. We are still only four days away from this event so we will keep our eyes locked on news in case of more injuries and cancellations on this card. Rodriguez vs. Waterson will be the five-round main event competing at flyweight.

UFC vegas 25 preview + Fight breakdown

By: Kenny Lee

UFC Vegas 25 will take place this Saturday back in the UFC APEX in Las Vegas headlined by two of the most exciting light heavyweight contenders in the upper echelons of the division.

Former title challenger Dominick Reyes will take on the surging Jiří Procházka in what is expected to be an explosive main event. Both fighters have proved they possess the power to knock out anyone in the division with a single punch as they look to gain a title shot at the light heavyweight belt in this potential title eliminator.

In the co-main event, UFC veteran Cub Swanson will be taking on the rising Giga Chikadze who is riding a five fight winning streak and will be looking to earn his win in what will be his biggest fight to date against a high profile in Swanson.

Here is a preview of the main event between these two top five light heavyweights.

Dominic Reyes

The last time we saw Reyes (12-2) in the octagon, he was soundly defeated by the current UFC light heavyweight champion of the world, Jan Blachowicz back in September last year for the vacant light heavyweight belt. In hindsight, looking back on the shock KO defeat to the Polishman, the defeat doesn’t look as bad as it did back then as Blachowicz went on to defend his belt against the then undefeated Israel Adesanya in convincing fashion proving to the world time and time again that no matter how big of an underdog he is, he comes out with a victory.

Prior to the loss to Blachowicz, Reyes was coming off a controversial loss to arguably one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time against Jon Jones. The fight was razor close with many believing Reyes won that fight arguing that he won at least three rounds by outstriking Jones throughout most of the contest. However the judges awarded the victory to Jones much to Reyes’s dismay.

That was his first professional loss, a loss that had elevated his status as he gave Jones his toughest fight in recent years. Nevertheless, Reyes had lost his precious undefeated status though many saw him as some sort of uncrowned champion as he went into the vacant light heavyweight title fight as a massive favourite against Blachowicz. Sadly, he was defeated but here he has a chance against Procházka to really make a statement that he is of the elite class and to show the world that his fight against Jones was no fluke but he has all the attributes and athleticism to become a champion. A win here could propel either man to a title shot.

Before he had beaten the likes of Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preux and Chris Weidman. His biggest profile win was against Weidman when he knocked out the former UFC middleweight champion in the first round. Competing professionally since 2014, Reyes is still very much in the prime of his career at the age of 31 and has potential to become champion.

Jiří Procházka

Procházka (27-3-1) had a lot of hype when he joined the UFC and the man from Czech Republic showed everyone why people were so high on him when he knocked out Volkan Oezdemir in his UFC debut.

At UFC 251 back in July 2020, Prochazka made his highly anticipated UFC debut facing off against a top 10 elite fighter in Oezdemir. Oezdemir was a former title challenger and had beaten top fighters against the likes of Aleksandar Rakić, Ilir Latifi and Jimi Manuwa. Very durable as a fighter, Oezdemir had never been knocked out in his professional career. Procházka knocked him out with one punch.

And just like that Procházka welcomed himself into the top 5 in the light heavyweight division. Prior to joining the UFC, Procházka was the former RIZIN FF light heavyweight champion when he finished Muhammed Lawal in April 2019. Currently riding a 11 fight winning streak, the man hasn’t loss since 2015 and has finished 9 of his last 11 wins by KO/TKO by punches.

He was also the GCF light heavyweight champion in his local promotion back in Czech Republic in 2013 and defended it successfully. Procházka also has a win over current Bellator light heavyweight champion, Vadim Nemkov, the protege of legendary MMA Heavyweight and Sambo master Fedor Emilianenko.

A veteran of over 30 fights, Procházka may have the advantage in experience over Reyes. He rejected the UFC call up a few years ago as he did not feel he was ready for the big premier league until he was ready to challenge the elite of the elites of the UFC light heavyweight division. Now he has been thrown into the deep end and is relishing the challenges ahead. A win here would certainly earn him a title shot at the UFC belt. He has been champion in other promotions, now it’s time for the big league. He will carry the champion mentality into these upcoming fights.

The Breakdown

Procházka is wild and unpredictable. He throws punches from all sorts of angles and has shown throughout his career that he can knock anyone out in the 205 pound division. The different angles he shows with his offence is very difficult to read and combine that with the fact he has a reach advantage over most of his opponents including Reyes, makes Procházka a very formidable foe.

His defence is where things start to get questionable. Procházka uses his unorthodox movement to evade attacks which sometimes leaves him quite open, especially when he is moving forward. This is where Reyes does his best work. Reyes is great at drawing his opponents into boxing exchanges, and shooting that quick left straight down the pipe. Procházka needs to be careful when applying the pressure against a sniper like Reyes.

Reyes also uses effective leg kicks to the opponent’s lead leg to pick them apart. Reyes could use the leg kicks to take away Procházka power from his hands. Procházka has shown in the past to be heavy on the lead leg and open to such leg kicks. Usually this results in Procházka crowding his opponent to take away the leg kicks all together.

However you can never count out the unpredictability of Procházka. In a sport where the unpredictable happens all too often, Procházka seems to fit in. The key to victory in this fight for either man would be who could manage the striking exchanges better.

Atlantic City: PFL MMA 2021 #2 Preview

By: Jon Husler

PFL 2021 #2 REGULAR SEASON
Thursday 29th April 2021
Ocean Casino Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey

The PFL returns tomorrow night with the welterweight and light heavyweights set for action in Atlantic City. With a wealth of experience and talent on show, this year’s competition sees a glut of former UFC veterans take to the PFL stage for the first time as the likes of Rory MacDonald, Curtis Millender, Gleison Tibau, Tom Lawlor, Cezar Ferreira, Antonio Carlos Jr., and Chris Camozzi join the ranks.

In the main event, former Bellator welterweight champion and UFC title contender, Rory MacDonald makes his long-awaited PFL debut against another debutant in Curtis Millender. After losing the Bellator title in his last outing against Douglas Lima back in October 2019, PFL announced the signing of the Canadian BJJ black belt two months after his defeat to Lima but due PFL not running any events in 2020, MacDonald has had to bide his time for his debut.

After stepping in as an alternative in this year’s welterweight tournament, Curtis Millender is handed a baptism of fire against MacDonald in the opening round of fights. Replacing David Michaud, Millender comes into this one with three defeats in his last four fights including a unanimous decision defeat to Sabah Homasi in his last outing at Bellator 243 in August of last year.  

The co-main event sees returning PFL champion Ray Cooper III begins the defense of his title against Frenchman Jason Ponet. Following his 2019 welterweight success, Cooper III will look to continue his impressive finishing streak with all twenty of his professional wins coming by way of a finish (14 KO/TKO and 6 submissions).  

Elsewhere, the current PFL light heavyweight champion Emiliano Sordi begins the defense of his crown against Chris Camozzi. On a five-fight finishing streak, Argentine Sordi has only experienced defeat on just occasion but hasn’t looked back since a first-round defeat to the Russian, Bozogit Ataev during the PFL 2018 campaign. With the second-fastest KO in PFL history, Sordi meets the highly experienced Chris Camozzi who will be making his PFL debut.

With twenty UFC performances under his belt, including a TUF Finale appearance, Chris Camozzi certainly has the experience to be a dangerous opening-round competitor for the reigning champion. With thirty-nine professional fights in the bag, Camozzi got back to winning ways last time out with an arm-triangle choke submission over Tony Lopez on the SCL 76 card in 2019. Prior to that, Camozzi was riding a four-fight losing streak which ultimately cost him his place in the UFC.

Watch all the action live from Atlantic City tomorrow night on ESPN+ from 5.30pm ET and ESPN2 from 9pm ET.

Full Card

Welterweight: Rory MacDonald (21-6-1) vs Curtis Millender (18-6)

Welterweight: Ray Cooper III (20-7-1) vs Jason Ponet (20-12-1) 

Welterwight: João Zeferino (24-9) vs Gleison Tibau (34-14)

Light Heavyweight: Emiliano Sordi (22-8) vs Chris Camozzi (25-14) 

Light Heavyweight: Antônio Carlos Júnior (10-5) vs Tom Lawlor (10-7) 

Light Heavyweight: Vinny Magalhães (19-12) vs Jordan Young (11-1)   

Light Heavyweight: Cezar Ferreira (13-8) vs Nick Roehrick (9-1)             

Welterweight: Sadibou Sy (8-5-2) vs Nikolay Aleksakhin (26-5)                  

Light Heavyweight: Dan Spohn (18-7) vs Mathin Hamlet Nielsen (6-1)          

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