Undefeated UFC bantamweight Manny Bermudez signs new contract

LAS VEGAS – Manny Bermudez is feeling pretty appreciated right now.

It’s no wonder, as the undefeated UFC bantamweight recently signed a new four-fight contract that could extend his impressive streak.

“I feel like they like me,” Bermudez told MMA Junkie on Wednesday.

Bermudez (14-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been working at the UFC Performance Institute to shore up a few nagging injuries with an eye on returning this summer. He’s also reevaluating the caloric side of his job after a weight miss in his previous outing, a first-round submission of the previously unbeaten Benito Lopez in February.

“It sounds like it’s going to have to be a dietary, lifestyle change,” Bermudez said. “I like my food, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Before he pumped the brakes on his competitive schedule, Bermudez sought to steal the zero of another up-and-coming bantamweight, Sean O’Malley. But O’Malley remains in limbo with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency after a positive marijuana test.

“I think International Fight Week would have been awesome,” Bermudez said. “I was looking at fighting Sean. I thought it would be cool to have two undefeated guys fighting each other. I think a lot of times, two guys like that don’t get put up against each other.

“That’s what was cool about me and Benito. Somebody’s got to lose. I think that’s more interesting than having one guy that’s undefeated and one guy that has a couple losses. I think it makes it seem like the guy with a couple losses is going to lose.”

If Bermudez is looking for unbeaten competition, there aren’t any other options besides O’Malley and “The Ultimate Fighter 27” winner Brad Katona. But either of those fights sound just fine to him.

And with four more fights to burn, he’s got time to get to both.

To hear our full one-on-one interview with Bermudez, watch the video above.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Invicta FC signs Brazilian atomweight Monique Adriane

Monique Adriane recently beat Vanessa Santos by second-round TKO at Future FC.

Brazilian atomweight Monique Adriane has signed with Invicta Fighting Championship, the fighter announced on social media.

Adriane (4-1), who suffered her only defeat last September, losing a split decision under the Shooto Brazil banner, bounced back with a second-round TKO victory, scoring her first stoppage as a professional fighter at March’s Future FC 3 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Invicta FC has yet to book her promotional debut.

Watch Adriane’s recent TKO win below.

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Report: Deron Winn to Make UFC Debut Against Markus Perez at UFC Greenville

Deron Winn is slated to make his much-anticipated Ultimate Fighting Championship debut this June, when he faces Markus Perez in the promotion’s first jaunt to South Carolina. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Five Questions with Roxanne Modafferi

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Anderson Silva doesn’t rule out new stab at UFC middleweight title, but fine if it doesn’t happen

RIO DE JANEIRO – Anderson Silva has a few fights left on his UFC contract – three or four, he said, though he couldn’t say for sure – and he intends to complete them.

But speaking to reporters in Rio de Janeiro about his UFC 237 homecoming against Jared Cannonier, Silva acknowledged the end of his career is approaching.

The former middleweight champion, who turned 44 this month, doesn’t rule out a new stab at the title in this final stretch. “Anything is possible,” Silva said, and “every fighter who’s in the UFC thinks about the title.” It was, after all, with the title in mind that Silva agreed to take on Israel Adesanya back in February.

But after defending the belt 10 times throughout an almost seven-year long reign, Silva says he’s “absolutely” comfortable with the idea of retiring without touching UFC gold again.

“I never put something in my mind like, ‘Oh I need to fight again for the belt,’” Silva told reporters, including MMA Junkie, in English. “No. That’s a part in my life I passed. But I continue to fight. But I don’t know – maybe I have a new opportunity to fight for the belt. I don’t know. 

“But I’m not putting my whole energy like, ‘Oh, I need to get back to fight for the title.’ No. That’s the (second) point for me, the first point is just continue to fight, continue to put my heart in the sport, then maybe I have a chance to fight for the belt again.”

Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-5 UFC) meets Cannonier (11-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) on May 11 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The main card of UFC 237 airs on pay-per-view, following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

Silva comes into the match off the applauded, but unsuccessful effort against Adesanya at UFC 234. Cannonier, in turn, comes off a knockout win over former WSOF champion David Branch this past November. The bout was Cannonier’s first at middleweight after UFC fights at both the 205-pound and heavyweight divisions.

Despite Cannonier’s momentum, it’s fair to say his name isn’t quite as high-profile as the ones that Silva had been requesting – namely, fellow ex-UFC-champ Conor McGregor and former opponent Nick Diaz. So what led the former champion to say yes?

Speaking to reporters earlier, in the Portuguese portion of the interview, Silva said it was a decision made after “months of negotiation” with UFC president Dana White, motivated by both business and something that he offer refers to as “the challenge.”

Later asked about what that challenge is, specifically, Silva said he sees Cannonier as a “very strong” opponent, who’s had “a lot of experience in this sport.” But, also, Silva also says there’s more to it than the name on the contract.

“Everybody talk about ‘fight this guy or this guy,’ but for me I think it’s more important you make something special for the fans,” Silva said. “In my opinion and my position now I’m trying to do something very special for my fans. When I fight Israel (Adesanya) everybody talk about, ‘Why you fight him? Why you take the fight?’ Because it’s a good challenge for myself, for my mind.”

Asked directly how many fights he has left on his current UFC contract, Silva said he’d have to check, but that it’s either three or four, probably four.

I feel good – I intend to do all of them,” Silva said, before adding with a laugh. “For the joy of some and sadness of others, I intend to keep bothering people.”

Whether they will involve a title shot or not is not in the forefront of Silva’s mind at the moment. But despite his recent 1-5 run and the scenario atop the 185-pound division, involving veterans like Yoel Romero and up-and-comers like Paulo Costa, Silva doesn’t think it’s entirely out of the picture.

“I think everyone has their space,” Silva said. “What happens a lot is – everyone has their space, but everyone has created a different legacy in this sport. They’re just coming in. Romero not so much, but ‘Borrachinha’ (Costa) and many others, they’re coming in. They don’t understand that there’s a business behind all of this. 

“So when it comes time to choose someone to fight who’ll really make a difference, they’re going to pick the one who sells more. Regardless of whether the guy’s last in the rankings, it’s the guy who sells more against the guy who’s first in the rankings. This rankings thing doesn’t come into play that much when it comes to business, and that’s what some athletes need to understand.”

To hear more from Silva, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC 237, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Ray Borg vows to leave MMA if he misses weight again

Ray Borg

Ray Borg’s struggles with the scale have been well-documented, and if he loses that battle again, it could be for the last time.

That’s what the 25-year-old UFC fighter suggested on Twitter on Wednesday evening, vowing that if he ever missed weight for a fight again or was forced to withdraw for any reason besides a “serious injury,” he “will leave the sport of MMA forever.”

Borg’s full statement can be read below (edited for grammar):

“Since arriving home after my last fight, I have made some drastic changes to my lifestyle habits. I used to be very careless with my diet and stopped spending time in the gym in between fights, which turned fight camps into weight-cut camps. I have taken my career to a whole new level mentally and have started taking the steps to go from dieting/fight camps to lifestyle.

“With this lifestyle change I believe that the world will finally see my true talent and potential, I also want it to go on record that if I ever miss weight again or miss a fight due to anything other than a serious injury I will leave the sport of MMA forever. I’m coming back better than ever.”

Borg’s last fight took place on March 30, 2019 at UFC Philadelphia. He was supposed to be competing at 135 pounds for the first time inside the Octagon after a successful run at flyweight that saw him once challenge Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight championship. However, Borg came in a pound over the bantamweight limit before losing a unanimous decision to Casey Kenney. It was his third official miss after previously coming in heavy for a pair of 125-pound bouts. He has also withdrawn from several bouts just days before fight night due to illnesses and other undisclosed medical issues.

In his statement, Borg does not elaborate on the lifestyle changes he is making, only describing them as “drastic” and admitting that he was “very careless” with his diet. He closed by writing, “I’m coming back better than ever.”

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UFC Featherweight Dan Ige Mistakenly Gives Blood to Non-USADA Collectors

A strange situation in the world of MMA developed this morning, when Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight Dan Ige gave blood to a tester unaffiliated with the promotion or U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Tybura Looks To Begin A New Era In Russia

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UFC vet Tim Means on why you need to follow him on Instagram (hint: It involves Diego Sanchez)

LAS VEGAS – Tim Means wants you to follow him on Instagram, because that might be the only way he’ll get an eventual fight with Diego Sanchez.


“All I’m looking for is to get a few more Instagram followers because Diego Sanchez says I need Instagram followers to fight him because Mickey Gall and Craig White are bigger names than I am,” Means told MMA Junkie this week at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas. “I’m about to have 20 fights in the UFC.”

(Naturally, we feel at least somewhat obligated to steer you toward Means’ Instagram account, given the potential stakes. He has a little more than 3,500 followers. Sanchez has north of 267,000. Gall has 171,000.)

By his tone, it’s pretty clear Means (28-11-1 MMA, 10-8 UFC) is more than slightly annoyed a fellow longtime UFC fighter like Sanchez (29-11 MMA, 18-11 UFC) would make such a request. Sanchez is coming off a second-round TKO of Gall at UFC 235 in March.

“At the end of the day, I’m a fighter,” Means said. “I might not be one of the big superstars or whatever, but when people see me on the card, they talk about it. … That’s another dude who barks from a distance, but when it comes time to really glove up and get after it, he tends to go a different way. For me: Instagram. Follow me so I can beat up Diego. That’s the key. Maybe not. We’ll see.”

If Means gets a fight with Sanchez, it’ll have to be down the road. At UFC on ESPN+ 4 in March, he was doing well against Niko Price (13-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC). Then he injured his foot, and things went downhill from there. Price finished him with a TKO with 10 seconds left in the opening round.

But the injury, Means said, actually stemmed from older issues with the foot – and the loss was the impetus he needed to get surgery. Had he beaten Price, he said he probably would have continued to push through despite the problems it was causing him.

“I had him hurt a couple times early in the fight – had him wobbled twice,” Means said. “Then I wobbled him for a third time and thought I heard that 10-second count. I’m usually pretty good at telling my range and where I’m at. I hit him with a shot that knocked him into the fence, and I came running in to put a finishing touch on him and he hit me with that hook and knocked me over.

“And when I was falling, I thought I’d be able to do a backwards roll like I’ve done in the past, and when I was rolling my foot got stuck and popped twice. I set to grab my foot once it popped and he started kicking my ass again. … I’ve been having a lot of problems with this foot anyway, and if I’d won I’d have toughed it out and went on to the next one. It was something that needed to happen, and here we are.”

Means said he’s been utilizing the UFC PI after the surgery – and also taking advantage of an opportunity to not be as strict with his diet.

Down the road, he said, a move to middleweight almost certainly is in his future. But when he returns, he plans to be back at welterweight. And he hopes that’s by the time fall rolls around.

“I might fight next week if I could,” he said “… They’re telling me late September, early October, maybe. … At least one more fight, maybe two by the end of the year (is what I want). Adversity is my name of the game. If there’s not adversity, there’s no damn fun, so here we are.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC’s Dan Ige explains how he mistakenly gave blood sample to someone not with USADA

The scenario has been repeated over and over again for the last four years. A UFC fighter will get a knock at the door at around 6 a.m. The people or person coming calling at that hour wants to take a urine or blood sample to be tested. The protocol is part of the UFC’s anti-doping program under USADA and has become the norm for athletes in the promotion since 2015.

That exact situation happened Thursday morning to UFC featherweight Dan Ige. Except he found out afterward that the person taking his blood was not affiliated with USADA in any way.

Ige told MMA Fighting that a woman rang his doorbell at least six times around 6:30 a.m. local time in Las Vegas on Thursday morning. He answered the door and the woman, who had a foreign accent, said she wanted to take his blood. Still half asleep, Ige said he agreed, because he has done that numerous times for USADA as part of the process to prove he is a clean athlete.

“I’m used to that,” Ige said. “They usually show up, take my urine or take my blood. So I’m just kind of going through with it.”

So, the woman took Ige’s blood. Several vials of it, he said. Ige said he started to get suspicious when after she was done he asked her about filling out some forms, which is normal procedure with USADA.

“I was like, ‘Alright, are we gonna do some paperwork?’” Ige said. “Because normally USADA will come and do everything on the iPad. My declaration of whatever supplements I’m taking. She was like, ‘Oh, no paperwork. Everything is digital.’ I thought, maybe she’s new or something.”

Before the woman left, Ige said she asked him his last name. Then his first. Neither seemed to match up with the list she had.

“She was like, ‘You’re not John?’” Ige said. “John? No, I’m not John.”

As it turned out, the woman went to the wrong address. Ige said it’s easy to mistake his address for one across the street in the cul de sac. Ige said he got flustered at that point and asked her to leave — but forgot to get the vials of his blood back.

“She just took all my blood and at this point I’m like, ‘OK, get the f*ck out of my house,’” Ige said. “She took [my blood]. I didn’t even think like, hey at least give me my vials of blood. She took my blood. She had like a creepy little smile. She was joking. But she was so nice, to be honest. I didn’t want to curse her out or anything. I was like, ‘alright, you can leave now.’ It’s just so weird, what are the odds that they came to my house where I’m used to getting early wakeup calls with blood or urine tests?”

Ige said when he gets home Thursday from training he’s going to go to the address the woman was supposed to go to and see if he can get more information about who now has his blood.

“It’s just kind of crazy,” Ige said. “I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else. I don’t know if they need to change something. When USADA shows up, they don’t have like USADA uniforms. Sometimes they have their badges or whatever, but typically not.”

Ige said when doping control officers come to take his urine samples in Las Vegas, it’s usually the same two people. But when someone comes to take blood, it’s usually someone different. So, he didn’t think much of this, especially in his half-asleep state.

“It was kind of messed up,” said Ige, who tweeted about the crazy story Thursday morning. “Everyone is calling me stupid or whatever. I’m just following protocol. Yes, I should have asked for maybe ID or something.”

Getting those 6 a.m. wakeup calls from people wanting urine or blood samples is basically a way of life now for UFC fighters. It’s an inconvenience, but one that many make willingly in order to be part of what they desire to be a clean sport.

“I always cooperate,” said Ige, who is on a three-fight winning streak and seemingly about to break out in the 145-pound division. “I usually don’t question the people, like, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’ I kind of expect them every time my doorbell is ringing that early. I’m like, ‘OK. Get in and get out’. I just want to be left alone.”

This time, though, it wasn’t USADA at all. Ige is still searching for answers.

“Someone f*cked up here,” Ige said. “I might have f*cked up, but they shouldn’t have done that.”

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Angela Magana Awakens from Coma

After a coma that lasted two days following complications from surgery, Angela Magana has woken up and appears to be recovering. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Oleinik Eyeing Electric Finish For Home Fans

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Awkward but accurate, Roxanne Modafferi hoping for all-out war at UFC St. Petersburg

Sure, a quick victory would be great, but if Roxanne Modafferi has her way, she’s going to endure a crowd-pleasing battle on Saturday.

“I’m frankly excited to fight somebody who’s not a short, muscular grappler girl who’s going to, like, take me down and not let me back up again,” Modafferi told MMA Junkie. “I’m stylistically excited about the matchup. I feel like it’s going to be a good fight – all around an exciting war and battle. I think that’s what the fans want to see, and it’s what I want.”

Modafferi (22-15 MMA, 1-3 UFC) faces undefeated prospect Antonina Shevchenko (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 7, which streams live on ESPN+ from Yubileyniy Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia. The women’s flyweight matchup takes place on the night’s main card.

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A 15-year veteran of the sport, Modafferi said she’s anxious to get back in the cage. She last saw action in November, when Sijara Eubanks missed weight for their UFC 230 clash and then used a smothering top game to grind her way to a decision win.

“I don’t regret taking the fight; I was just very disappointed in how it turned out because I don’t really feel like I made any glaring mistakes in the fight,” Modafferi said.” I didn’t get beat up. She just got top position, and even though she didn’t land a lot of ground and pound, I just couldn’t stand up, and it looked bad in the eyes of the judges.

“I lost a decision, and that was super disappointing to me because it’s hard for me to analyze. I didn’t really do badly, but she just did a little better. I thought it was close, and I was just really bummed out in general about that, so I’m looking forward to rebounding with a victory in this next fight.”

Modafferi will face a very different opponent in Shevchenko, a long, lean striking specialist who despite being a relative neophyte in MMA is well versed in kickboxing and muay Thai.

Modafferi said she was thrilled when presented with the matchup.

“I don’t even care where she’s ranked right now,” Modafferi said. “I just want to be able to fight. I want to show what I can do.

“I’m guessing it’s probably going to be a striker vs. grappler situation, but I think that people, including myself sometimes, don’t give me credit for my striking,” she said. “I’m pretty accurate, if you look at the pictures. I just look really awkward. It would be really cool if I could showcase some of my striking ability, as well as my grappling.”

Shevchenko, of course, is the sister of current UFC women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, so she steps into the cage with a bit of aura behind her name. But Modafferi insists her opponent’s bloodlines play no factor in the contest.

“They’re two different people, two different styles,” Modafferi said. “I didn’t even watch her sister – only her videos. For example, by best friend Serena DeJesus, just because we train together doesn’t make us good at what each other is good at. We’re two different people.”

Modafferi said she is impressed by some of Shevchenko’s abilities but certainly isn’t intimidated. Having previously defeated the likes of DeAnna Bennett, Marloes Coenen, Sarah D’Alelio, Barb Honchak, Tara LaRosa, Andrea Lee and Vanessa Porto, among others, Modafferi believes she’s capable of dealing with whatever comes her way.

“She’s good at what she’s good at,” Modafferi said. “She’s good at clinching. She’s good at knees. She’s good at hooks, movement. We trained for a lot of different scenarios, and I’m excited to see what she’s going to throw at me and what I’m going to do. I’m going to try not to think about it and just use the force and do Roxy. That’s what (Syndicate MMA head coach) John (Wood) said. He said, ‘Stop thinking about stuff and just do Roxy.’”

A win over Shevchenko would go an awful long way toward erasing the frustration of the loss to Eubanks. It would most likely earn her another big name, as well, and that’s ultimately what “The Happy Warrior” is hoping for with a positive result.

“I want to be a contender, but first and foremost I want to just prove to myself that I can do the techniques that I’ve been training in live competition,” Modafferi said. “That’s always my motivation every day for getting up in the morning. I want to show that I can do it. I want to get the win, and I want to show people that I’m not a journeyman or journeywoman. I’m improving. They say in Dragon Ball Z the Saiyans always get stronger after every loss.”

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 7, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC 236 Rewind: Holloway vs. Poirier

After UFC 236, MMA Fighting’s Casey Leydon takes a look back at the Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier fight week and an exciting card from Atlanta. In the co-main event, Israel Adesanya beat Kelvin Gastelum to win the UFC interim middleweight title.

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Francis Ngannou Confident A Win Over Junior Dos Santos Earns Him Another Title Shot

Francis Ngannou may be only a fight away from another title shot after back-to-back finishes over Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez. The former heavyweight title challenger now has his sights set on former champ Junior dos Santos, whom he’ll face on July 6 at UFC 239. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

UFC Unfiltered: Episode 288

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DEFY® BEGINNERS GEL Boxing Gloves Leather Punch Training Kickboxing MMA Yellow

End Date: Friday Apr-19-2019 22:50:50 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $18.99
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Why Bellator champion Ilima Lei-Macfarlane believes ‘I’m going to lose every fight’

One could hardly blame Ilima Lei-Macfarlane if she was confident on the verge of arrogant at this stage of her career.

After all, she’s made a sport as difficult as mixed martial arts look as easy as can possibly be during her four years as a pro. The proud Hawaiian is 9-0 as she heads into her flyweight title defense againstVeta Arteaga at Bellator 220 in San Jose, Calif. on April 27.

And yet, not only has the undefeated champion managed to stay grounded, but she’s used an unusual psychological approach to get maintain her success.

On Tuesday’s edition of MMA Junkie Radio, Lei-MacFarlane explained that she manages to convince herself that every time she steps into the cage, she’s going to lose, and that this helps her to be her best.

“I actually think that I’m going to lose every fight,” the San Diego-based fighter said. “Every fight I go into I think I’m going to lose. But that’s just a mindset and a strategy that I have. Because I think that, it keeps me grounded, it keeps me realistic. We have those fighters who truly think they are going to go undefeated, and they end up crashing the hardest when it does happen.”

This approach certainly has worked for Lei-Macfarlane thus far. She’s earned submissions in each of her past four fights, which brings her total in the Bellator cage at six, which is tied with former lightweight title challenger Marcin Held for the company record. 

Lei-Macfarlane (9-0 MMA; 8-0 BMMA) can set the submission record – and extend a remarkable streak – with another submission victory when she meets Arteaga (5-2 MMA; 4-2 BMMA) but in this case, she says the secret to her success is that she doesn’t actually go out looking for the finishes. They just come to her. 

“I guess I’m tied for the most submissions in Bellator history, so everyone is like ‘yeah, if you get the finish in this fight, you’re going to be the record holder’ but I’ve never been one to chase records or anything,” Lei-MacFarlane said, “I don’t fish for moves, I don’t go searching for submission finishes. I just take what’s given to me. So, but I think that would be cool though. It’s not super high on my priority list, the priority is getting my hand raised at the end of the day, and an opponent like Veta we think it’s going to go all five rounds.”

In the meantime, she’ll go back to simply assuming she’s going to lose the fight. And why not? The strategy hasn’t failed her yet. 

“I think it’s what sets me apart from a lot of people,” Lei-Macfarlane said. “I’m not looking forward to the day that I lose, but I know that when it happens, it’s meant to happen, and it’s how I respond to that loss that is truly going to define what tpe of fighter and what type of person I am.” 

For more on the upcoming schedule, check out the Rumors section of the site.

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Raymond Daniels gets new opponent, faces Wilker Barros at Bellator Birmingham 

raymond daniels

Kickboxing legend Raymond Daniels has a new assignment for his Bellator debut and his second mixed martial arts bout on the Bellator Birmingham card on May. 4.

Bellator confirmed to MMA Fighting that Daniels’ initial opponent Jon Durrant had been forced from the welterweight contest due to injury and will be replaced by MMA debutant and decorated U.K.-based striker, Wilker Barros. Bellator also noted that the bout would remain on the event’s main card.

Daniels (0-1-0 MMA) is considered one of the greatest kickboxers of all time. His celebrated 13-year kickboxing career has seen him compete for the biggest promotions in the sport including K-1, Glory, World Combat League, and Bellator Kickboxing. He is 8-0 under the Bellator Kickboxing banner and currently holds the promotion’s welterweight championship.

“The Real Deal” suffered a defeat to Jeremiah Metcalf in his sole MMA outing thus far, succumbing to a second-round rear-naked choke at a Strikeforce event in July 2008.

Barros will make his MMA debut on the night, but boasts a competitive striking record of 17-5-2. Formerly signed to Glory Kickboxing, “The Black Panther” is based in London and fights out of the KO Next Generation gym.

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Ali Abdelaziz Offers Conor McGregor A Fight Against Justin Gaethje On Twitter

Controversial manager Ali Abdelaziz is back in the spotlight, this time offering former lightweight champion Conor McGregor a fight against Justin Gaethje in a post on Twitter. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

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