Mike Shipman plans to end Fabian Edwards’ ‘promotional push’ at Bellator Europe 6

LONDON – Mike Shipman is glad he didn’t accept Fabian Edwards’ callout two years ago, because now they get to fight on a much bigger platform at Bellator Europe 6.

“I think this is the right time,” Shipman told MMA Junkie at Bellator Europe 6 media day. “When he was first opening his mouth I didn’t know who he was. He was 3-0. Now he’s got a good promotional push, people know who he is. This wouldn’t have been a co-main event type of fight a couple of years ago. It is now. So I would say it is the perfect time for this fight.”

Shipman (13-2 MMA, 4-1 BMMA), who meets Edwards (8-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) on Saturday’s card, which takes place at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London and streams on MMA Junkie, made a valid argument about the stakes of the matchup. The middleweight pairing is crucial to the landscape of Bellator’s middleweight division.

After putting together four straight wins to begin his Bellator tenure, Shipman suffered a loss to Costello van Steenis in June. Now Edwards is the one on the rise with a Bellator winning streak, and it’s Shipman’s job to end it.

Shipman said he’s “too physical” for Edwards and is unlike anyone his fellow Brit has shared the cage with thus far. He knows Edwards, who is the younger brother of UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards, has hype behind him, though, so a win at Bellator Europe 6 is valuable.

“I’m coming off that loss to Costello, so I feel like my foot slipped off the ladder right now, but this is my opportunity to put it straight back on there and I’m back on my climb towards the title,” Shipman said. “A dominant win over Fabian, who is getting so much attention, so much push from the company, that’s really going to put me back in the picture.”

For more from Shipman, watch the video linked above.

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Wellington Turman gained ‘many followers’ after beating ‘The Joker’ at UFC Sao Paulo

UFC Fight Night Blachowicz v Jacare: Weigh-Ins

Wellington Turman (right) defeated Markus Perez (left) via unanimous decision at UFC Sao Paulo. | Alexandre Schneider/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Markus Perez dressed up as “The Joker” and became the biggest star of the UFC Sao Paulo ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday, but Wellington Turman got the last laugh on fight night.

Turman was looking for his first UFC win after dropping a split decision to Karl Roberson in his debut, and he defeated Perez via unanimous decision in an entertaining affair in Perez’s hometown.

“What he did (Friday) was funny,” Turman said after the win. “It was amazing because he gave me many followers and brought more attention to my name. People were talking a lot about him on Friday, but tonight they will talk about me because I went there and showed all that was for nothing [laughs]. Turman has arrived to save Gotham.

“Pick a character that wins next time… Good always beats evil.”

During the fight, Turman says he told Perez to “hit harder.”

“I was talking some trash at him because he did all that show on Friday, so I had to do my part tonight.

“He landed many unexpected strikes on me, but I have a hard chin and I can take it. I spar with (UFC fighter Augusto) Sakai, who’s a heavyweight. That won’t affect me. But I think I had the control of the fight, I was able to land the better strikes, I was able to take him down and dominate. He definitely wasn’t smiling tonight [laughs].”

Turman also revealed what he told Perez during the face-off at the ceremonial weigh-ins.

“He looked at me and said, ‘Why so serious?’” Turman said. “I looked at him and said, ‘I’m Batman and I’m going to beat you [laughs].’ He picked a character that is a loser. It was really funny when he showed up with that (at the weigh-ins), and that gave me a lot of media, but I was already prepared to say (the Joker always loses) in the end.”

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Cage Warriors 111 Weigh-in Results: 1 Fight Scrapped, 2 Fighters Miss Weight

The much-anticipated bout between Paddy Pimblett and Joe Giannetti will not happen at Cage Warriors 111 after all. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Michael Chiesa added to UFC Raleigh

A matchup between two top welterweights is the latest addition to UFC Raleigh.

Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos meets Michael Chiesa at the UFC’s Jan. 25 event. A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the booking with MMA Junkie after an initial report from ESPN, which came after Chiesa indicated he had a fight lined up on Twitter.

The event is scheduled to take place at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., and is expected to stream on ESPN+.

Dos Anjos (29-12 MMA, 18-10 UFC) most recently competed in July at UFC on ESPN 4, where he lost a unanimous decision to Leon Edwards. The defeat was dos Anjos’ third in four outings, having also dropped recent fights to Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington.

Conversely, Washington’s Chiesa (16-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is undefeated since moving up to welterweight. After he defeated Carlos Condit in his divisional debut at UFC 232 last December, Chiesa won a unanimous decision over Diego Sanchez at UFC 239 in July.

The latest lineup for the Jan. 25 fight card includes:

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Junior Dos Santos
  • Frankie Edgar vs. Cory Sandhagen
  • Justine Kish vs. Lucie Pudilova
  • Alen Amedovski vs. Bevon Lewis
  • Jamahal Hill vs. Darko Stosic
  • Felipe Colares vs. Montel Jackson
  • Herbert Burns vs. Nate Landwehr
  • Tony Gravely vs. Brett Johns
  • Lina Lansberg vs. Sara McMann
  • Brianna Van Buren vs. Hannah Cifers
  • Michael Chiesa vs. Rafael dos Anjos

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Video: Soren Bak explains why he decided to join Bellator rather than the UFC

DUBLIN — Regarded as one of the Europe’s top prospects, Soren Bak had a choice of suitors all vying for his attention but ultimately he decided to ink a deal to join the roster at Bellator MMA rather than pursuing a contract with the UFC or another promotion. Bak explains why he made that decision and previews his Bellator debut against Terry Brazier.

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UFC Raleigh Update: Rafael dos Anjos Agrees to Face Michael Chiesa

Fans in North Carolina will be in for quite a treat in January, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship has added a big matchup to the Raleigh card. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Joe Giannetti vs. Paddy Pimblett off Cage Warriors 111 after big weight miss

Paddy Pimblett will not be stepping into the cage on Friday after all.

The former Cage Warriors champion was scheduled to take on Joe Giannetti in a lightweight bout at Cage Warriors 111 in London. The bout was scratched from the card after Giannetti missed weight Thursday, and Pimblett refused to accept the bout at a catchweight.

Pimblett (14-3) weighed in at 154.7 pounds; Giannetti (8-2-1) tipped the scale at 163.8, more than seven pounds above the limit.

Pimblett posted the news of the cancellation on social media, which the promotion later announced.

So what an eventful weigh in🤣I step on the scales at 154.7 like a true pro my opponent then steps on the scales at 163.8& then sits down& starts eating& drinking immediately didn’t even consider going in the sauna when if he wudda got to 160lbs all this cud have been avoided….

It looks like the fight is going to be off as he was unwilling to do any sort of compromise to make any sort of weight all the best to joe in the future but my career is too important to get (expletive) over like this but he’s known he was gonna miss& not batted an eyelid sorry ppl👍🏻

Giannetti took the fight on short notice, replacing injured Donovan Desmae with just a little bit over a week until fight night. “The Ultimate Fighter” veteran was looking to build on his Keenan Raymond win in September. Giannetti is 2-1-1 since leaving the UFC in 2018.

On the other hand, Pimblett was looking compete in MMA for the first time in 2019. The Liverpool native last fought in September 2018, losing to Soren Bak for the then-vacant Cage Warriors lightweight title.

Cage Warriors 11 will go down Friday and stream on UFC Fight Pass. Three title fights headline the card in James Webb vs. Nathias Frederick, Mads Burnell vs. Steve Aimable, and Modestas Bukauskas vs. Riccardo Nosiglia.

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Video: Fabian Edwards won’t be satisfied unless he knocks Mike Shipman out: ‘I want to curl him up’

LONDON — Ahead of their co-main event clash, Fabian Edwards insisted that he has been motivated by peoples’ high opinions of Mike Shipman and explained how the Londoner has a “punchable face”. Edwards also revealed his believes Shipman is lying when he says his fame is reliant on his brother’s stock in the UFC and underlined that he will not be satisfied he scores a knockout on Saturday night.

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UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture Feels ‘Amazing’ Month After Heart Attack

Randy Couture sent shockwaves throughout the mixed martial arts community last month when news broke the former Ultimate Fighting Championship champion and hall-of-famer had suffered a heart attack. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

Chase Hooper Living “The Dream”

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Luke Rockhold opens up on MMA future: ‘I don’t have the passion I once had’

Last month, Luke Rockhold stated that he has no interest in fighting, and he apparently still feels the same way.

Rockhold’s statement was brief, but now the former UFC middleweight champion has opened up about his most recent knockout loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 and his fighting future.

“You know, it was just – it’s not exactly what it used to be for me,” Rockhold said in an interview with Submission Radio. “I feel like I rushed. I rushed things, I wasn’t as relaxed. I tried to force an issue, an easier way out of the fight, which I thought would be a lot easier, then I got caught up in that style, and I paid for it. So, I believe, obviously if I fought a different fight, it might be a different story.

“I just – I don’t have the passion I once had. There’s a lot of other things that go into fighting, politically and everything else that goes behind it. So, I don’t know. It’s not the same as it used to be. I don’t have the hunger and the passion that I used to have for fighting at this time, so I’m gonna take a break. Take a long break.”

Rockhold (16-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) will make a return to combat sports later this month, but it’s not fighting. He is expected to take part in a grappling match vs. Nick Rodriguez at Polaris 12 on Nov. 30, but insists it’s not a step towards returning to the octagon.

“I mean, this is just kind of fun for me. This little Polaris thing just happened to pop up, they kept asking about it, and it’s fun,” Rockhold said. “It’s an opportunity to go out and kind of keep myself goal-oriented. I’m gonna go train, but not take it crazy seriously. It’s jiu-jitsu. So, it’s not a fight. It’s not a fight. This is not like my comeback. This is jiu-jitsu. And everyone wants to call jiu-jitsu fighting, but it’s not fighting. It’s definitely not fighting.”

If this is it for Rockhold, who was able to capture both the Strikeforce and UFC middleweight titles, he is happy with what he has achieved in MMA. He admits it’s been hard to reignite that fire, considering that he’s reached the pinnacle in both organizations.

“It’s been going on for a while, I’d say,” Rockhold said on losing his passion for fighting. “But I think once you reach the top, once you reach your goal, and that’s in fighting especially, it’s like there’s a sense of relief. And coming down off that and trying to find the hunger and the passion to keep pursuing this lifestyle, which is fighting, it’s tough.

“I don’t know. I’ve been fighting for a long time. I was at the top of the chain with Strikeforce, but there was still that itch, the what if, all the questions that everyone had. So, to go out there and prove myself in the UFC, to obviously take a hard loss from Vitor (Belfort) and climb back up and take it, it’s a different mindset preceding and following that, and I don’t know. I just – I’d say after that, at that point it was a little different, everything was a little different.”

Rockhold, 35, did try to regain that motivation by moving up to 205 pounds, but was quickly shut down by Blachowicz. It was his third stoppage loss in four fights. The move up to light heavyweight was to prevent the depletion of his body, making that cut down to middleweight. But Rockhold admits that the gap between weight classes is a little too large.

And while he’s not completely ruling out a return to fighting, it’s all about finding the right motivation.

“Anything could happen,” Rockhold said. “It’s like, you can’t fight for the rest of your life. If things change in my mind, and I feel like I wanna pursue, if my body can take – there’s a weight problem with both weight classes being caught in between weight classes and where you wanna go, where you feel the best. So, I’m not gonna do it just to go do it. It’s, if I felt good enough to go and compete with the best guy in either respective weight class, that would happen. But otherwise, right now I’m enjoying kind of pursing other things in life. There’s a lot left for me to do. I can do a lot of things in life. And unlike the rest of these guys, who are pretty stuck in their world, I’m not trying to beat it into the ground, I don’t need to or have to.”

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Video: Michael Page on his star power in the U.K.: ‘Bellator need me in London’

LONDON — Ahead of Bellator London, Michael Page discussed finding a short notice opponent for his headline bout, his intense staredown Gianni Melillo and how he feels no pressure being the center of attention. The striking sensation also discussed why he should get a rematch with Douglas Lima on the back of a victory and his star making power for fighters on the undercard.

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Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian Set for February

Valentina Shevchenko has her third title defense set. View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

WATCH: James Gallagher and Mike Kimbel get heated at Bellator Europe 6 media day

Things got heated between James Gallagher and Mike Kimbel during Bellator Europe 6 media day.

Though neither fighter will be competing Saturday night, both were on hand for Thursday’s festivities in London. The altercation appears to have stemmed from a comment that Kimbel made on an Instagram post of Gallagher with his mother.

According to a post on Sherdogs forums, the since-deleted Instagram post was a vulgar shot at Gallagher’s mom. Kimbel also said “now let me murk him” in a separate birthday post by Bellator’s official Instagram.

At media day, Gallagher and Kimbel shouted expletives and threats at each other from across the room. They had to be restrained from the potential brawl that was brewing. Bellator Europe 6 headliner Michael Page and co-headliner Mike Shipman had to step in, according to MMA Junkie’s Simon Head, who was on the scene. Gallagher was so upset that, at one point, he turned on Page, who was simply trying to keep the peace.

You can watch the chaotic scene unfold in the video above.

While Kimbel doesn’t currently have a fight booked, James Gallagher is set to headline Bellator Europe 7 vs. Cal Ellenor on Feb. 22 in Dublin.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

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Video: James Gallagher, Mike Kimbel have to be separated at Bellator London media day

LONDON — Two fighters who aren’t even on the Bellator London 2 fight card Saturday exchanged heated words during the event’s media day Thursday. See what went down between James Gallagher and Mike Kimbel below. MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll shot video of the incidents below.

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What could’ve been: 10 of the best booked UFC fights that never happened

There have been numerous highly anticipated UFC matchups that have fallen through over the years because of unfortunate circumstances, and they easily could’ve produced fireworks.

From championship fights, to rivalries, to intriguing stylistic pairings, here are 10 of the best scheduled matchups that never ended up happening.


Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson

While it appears that another Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight booking is imminent at the time of this writing, let’s just hope the fifth time is the charm.

These two were scheduled to fight on four other occasions, but a series of unfortunate circumstances and injuries has resulted in it never happening. The first booking was during The Ultimate Fighter Finale card on Dec. 11, 2015, when Nurmagomedov was forced out due to injury and replaced by Edson Barboza. Ferguson submitted Barboza in the second round via D’Arce choke, earning both “Performance” and “Fight of the Night” bonuses.

They were then scheduled to fight at UFC on FOX 19 on April 16, 2016, but this time it was Ferguson who pulled out. Ferguson was replaced by newcomer Darrell Horcher, whom Nurmagomedov battered before earning a second-round TKO win.

Then, an interim lightweight championship fight was scheduled to take place at UFC 209 on March 4, 2017, but the fight was canceled due to Nurmagomedov falling ill from a bad weight cut.

Finally, the two were set to meet a fourth time. At UFC 223 in April 2018, Nurmagomedov and then-interim champ Ferguson were going to fight for the undisputed lightweight title. But in a freak accident, Ferguson tripped over a wire and blew out his knee. Max Holloway stepped in briefly, but the New York State Athletic Commission deemed Holloway unfit to compete due to a severe weight cut. Al Iaquinta, who was scheduled to face Paul Felder on the same night, stepped in for the massive opportunity but was dominated by Nurmagomedov in a five-round battle.

Nurmagomedov finally realized his dream of becoming the UFC lightweight champ, and here’s hoping the fight with Ferguson will finally come to fruition in early 2020 as expected.

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Morning Report: Tito Ortiz takes shot at Chael Sonnen, Sonnen responds

Bellator 170 Weigh-ins

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Tito Ortiz has made peace with many of his former foes, but there’s still one previous opponent who sticks in his craw: Chael Sonnen.

Ortiz will battle Alberto Del Rio at Combate Americas on December 7 and in advance of his fight, Ortiz has been making the media rounds. Yesterday, while speaking with Rich Eisen, Ortiz was asked about some of his previous opponents, and the former UFC light heavyweight champion was very complimentary of two of his biggest UFC rivals, Randy Couture and, surprisingly, Ken Shamrock.

“The toughest fighter I’ve ever faced would have to be Randy Couture,” Ortiz said. “I was 30 years old and I thought I was invincible and he outwrestled me and just beat me round after round…

“Ken Shamrock, I’d have to say,” Ortiz continued when asked who he like to talk crap about the most. “That was true hate. But it’s just one of those ideas, it happens in all schools, when kids fight each other they end up being best friends at the end of the day because they hash out all their problems by putting their dukes up. Me and Ken Shamrock, it was a hate, it was a true hate. There was nothing built upon, there was no fakeness at all and we battled out three times and all three times I got my hand raised but he pushed me every single time we competed against each other. I always thought that I was fighting The World’s Most Dangerous Man and I had to be The World’s Most Dangerous Man and that’s how I got my hand raised.”

Shamrock and Ortiz had a notoriously heated feud in the early and mid 2000’s, incited in large part by Ortiz’s disrespect of Shamrock’s Lion’s Den MMA team. The two fought three times (once for the light heavyweight title) and coached a season of The Ultimate Fighter against one another but all the bad blood is now water under the bridge for Ortiz.

That’s not the case with Chael Sonnen though.

Ortiz and Sonnen has a brief but memorable feud in Bellator for what was supposed to be Ortiz’s retirement fight. The feud built off of the time they wrestled each other in college and Sonnen won but, as with many Chael Sonnen endeavors, things took an ugly turn when Sonnen began talking trash beforehand. In the end, Ortiz submitted Sonnen when they fought but apparently Ortiz has still not forgiven “The American Gangster.”

“Chael Sonnen. That guy he just . . . I dislike that man,” Ortiz said. “He’s just something else. Some who talks and talks and talks and has never done anything in this sport besides talk. That’s what he does for a living. He should’ve stayed to that and I guess he is staying to it [since] he’s retired now.

“He said some very personal things about me and I’m a very emotional man, I’m a very loyal man, and when you talk about a person’s family I take it to heart. It’s my blood and I kind of let him have it a little bit. If people go on YouTube and watch Tito Ortiz Uncaged, he said a couple things about me and was talking about me putting on my championship belt and I had to let him have it, full bore. It wasn’t just a little, it was full bore. I put him out for who he really was and he never said another word about me.”

That’s not entirely accurate. While Sonnen did retire earlier this year after getting knocked out by Lyoto Machida, Sonnen has fairly regularly taken shots at Ortiz and called for a rematch, saying in a tongue-in-cheek fashion that Ortiz actually tapped to Sonnen before he locked on the fight ending submission. And true to form, Sonnen even responded yesterday to Ortiz’s interview with Eisen, once again calling into question Ortiz’s win over him as well as the legitimacy of his fight with former WWE champion Alberto Del Rio.

With Ortiz now fully unretired, perhaps this is just the incentive Sonnen needs to step back into the cage himself.


Except when you jump the cage. Khabib Nurmagomedov: Conor McGregor is ‘an idiot, we don’t pay attention to idiots’.

Charged. Suspect charged with kidnapping Walt Harris’ stepdaughter denied bond, ordered to submit to DNA testing.

Semi-retired. Luke Rockhold: ‘Right now, I’m just happy not fighting’.

Boxing. Jason Knight, Paulie Malignaggi interested in boxing match rather than bare-knuckle brawl.

Rematch. Michael ‘Venom’ Page wants Douglas Lima rematch ‘as soon as possible’.


The A-Side Live Chat.

Volkanovski fight camp.

Randy feeling okay after the heart attack.

Alberto Del Rio talking Tito.


Heavy Hands. Discussing the all-time GOATs in each division and UFC Sao Paulo.

Mookie & Crookie. Recapping UFC Sao Paulo and discussing Rich Franklin.


Jon doing MMAth.

Henry Cejudo.

Poor Aljo. He really thinks he’s getting the title shot.

Felice Herrig.

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I’ve dedicated the past 17 years of my life to fighting. I’m now 5 months into physical therapy and my therapists say I still have 4 months to go. I’ve always believed fighting was my purpose. My main reason for being on this earth. But how do you find a new purpose when everything is taken away? How do you find meaning to your life ? No matter how much you want something and how hard you work sometimes the unforeseen happens. Things beyond your control. I did not ask to get injured. But I could either be miserable or find some sort of purpose. During my time off I have realized that I am more than just a fighter. For so many years I defined myself by my job and passion. I thought the only thing that made me someone in life was being a fighter. It is a huge part of who I am but it is not ALL that I am. I am more than just a fighter. And there is more to life. In the time since my injury , aside from working really hard to get better I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with my friends and family. -I’ve continued to take sign language classes & continue in my efforts towards becoming fluent. -I’ve been learning to make chocolate , -I recently started back up with my art , Which I haven’t stayed up with since High school. I try and draw something everyday. – I started teaching a cardio boxing class . I love being able to pass down some of the knowledge I’ve learned over the years with others. And help people stay motivated to stay in shape -And I even bought my first house. And can’t wait to start decorating , making a garden & having people over. -All things I never would have made time for before. I used to put off doing anything that didn’t involve fighting or my career. I feel like I missed out on living my life in some ways. I will be back and I will fight again. I’m too passionate and determined not to. But this time I will have a whole new purpose and out look on life. I still love fighting. The time off has made me miss it. I’ve chosen to find the silver lining with my injury. Even though it hasn’t been easy & I still find myself slipping up & at times crying. Because mentally and physically it’s still a lot to deal with

A post shared by Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) on

Gohkan Saki.

Dana and Floyd being buddies.

This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.


Levy Marroquin (12-3) vs. Enrique Gonzalez (8-3); Combate Americas, Dec. 7.

Brett Johns (15-2) vs. Tony Gravely (19-5); UFC Raleigh, Jan. 25.

Sara McMann (11-5) vs. Lina Lansberg (10-4); UFC Raleigh, Jan. 25.


Tito Ortiz is a genius. He’s still a pretty great athlete for his age and so now he’s just gonna go around beating up fighters who haven’t aged as well as he has. They may have won the battles, but he’s winning the war. It’s legitimately brilliant stuff.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.

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Hannah Cifers vs. Brianna Van Buren added to UFC Raleigh

A strawweight bout is the latest addition to UFC Raleigh.

Hannah Cifers will take on Brianna Van Buren on the Jan. 25 card. A person with knowledge of the booking recently informed MMA Junkie of the contest but requested anonymity since the UFC has yet to make an announcement.

UFC Raleigh will take place at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., and is expected to stream on ESPN+.

After dropping her UFC debut, Cifers (10-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) rebounded with two straight wins over Polyana Viana, and Jodie Esquibel at UFC 241 in August, as she gets the opportunity to fight close to home when she takes on Van Buren.

A former Invicta FC strawweight champion, Van Buren (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made her UFC debut in July, defeating Livinha Renata Souza via unanimous decision, and extending her win streak to six.

The latest lineup for the Jan. 25 fight card includes:

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Junior Dos Santos
  • Frankie Edgar vs. Cory Sandhagen
  • Justine Kish vs. Lucie Pudilova
  • Alen Amedovski vs. Bevon Lewis
  • Jamahal Hill vs. Darko Stosic
  • Felipe Colares vs. Montel Jackson
  • Herbert Burns vs. Nate Landwehr
  • Tony Gravely vs. Brett Johns
  • Lina Lansberg vs. Sara McMann
  • Brianna Van Buren vs. Hannah Cifers

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Cage Warriors announce seven new dates for 2020 including inaugural Manchester event

Dolly Clew, Cage Warriors

Cage Warriors is set for its most active calendar year with to date with 15 events in 2020 and on Thursday morning the promotion announced seven more of the dates for the packed scheduled – including an inaugural Manchester event.

Following a successful return to Cork, Ireland earlier this month, the promotion announced three Irish dates between Cork and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Cage Warriors now have 10 dates solidified for next year with addition of shows in their usual stomping grounds of Cardiff, Birmingham, London as well as the Manchester bow on Mar. 7.

So far, this is what the promotion’s schedule looks like in 2020:

  • Mar. 7 – Manchester
  • Mar. 20 – London
  • Apr. 18 – Birmingham
  • May 16 – Belfast
  • Jun. 13 – Cardiff
  • Jun. 20 – London
  • Jul. 25 – Cork
  • Sept. 26 – Belfast
  • Oct. 10 – Birmingham
  • Nov. 27 – London

Newly crowned bantamweight champion and Mancunian Jack Cartwright will have a keen eye on the Manchester date, which will likely host his first title defense. The last two fighters to hold the title – Jack Shore and Nathaniel Wood – gained UFC contracts on the back of their runs with the European promotion.

“Finding and building the next biggest stars of the sport is simply what we do, and 2020 will be no different,” said Boylan, according to the press release.

“15 events is the most we’ve ever put on in a single year. It means we can return to places where we’re established to keep giving local fighters a platform to grow – and giving fans the fights they want to see – but also to break into new cities that have called for Cage Warriors shows for a while. We’re turning up the dial next year, that’s for sure.”

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Davy Gallon hopes viral rolling thunder KO of Ross Pearson leads to UFC, Bellator interest

A few days have passed, but Davy Gallon hasn’t wrapped his head around the finish to his most recent fight.

For almost nine years, Gallon (18-7-2) has competed professionally against a who’s who of European notables. Last Saturday, Gallon finally achieved something he wasn’t able to through his first 26 pro fights. He elevated himself to the forefront of MMA’s mainstream discussion.

With the clock winding down in his three-round bout against UFC veteran Ross Pearson, the French fighter threw a rolling thunder kick – a maneuver normally thrown but rarely, if ever, landed at the end of rounds. The kick cracked across Pearson’s dome, and he was knocked out on impact.

It didn’t take long for the kick to go viral. Since Saturday, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of the world’s top online publications have posted replays of the kick. Gallon is in awe.

“I’ve fought eight or nine years since I started MMA,” Gallon told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “Just to see everybody loved the fight and the millions of views, it’s really motivating. It’s crazy. I’ve trained a lot – a lot of years. It’s the fulfillment of evening training (sessions) I’ve done for many years. It’s really crazy.”

Just in case there was any doubt: The kick wasn’t “lucky.” It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment impulse that just happened to land, no. Gallon had planned for this. So much so that one day prior, Gallon and his team mapped out the exact moment he’d throw it – with less than a minute left in the third round.

“I’ve only hit it in training,” Gallon said. “I saw a kyokushin video on YouTube, and I tried maybe once or twice in training. I was in the hotel room the day before the fight with my coach. I said, ‘Oh coach, come on. I want to try this kick.’ He told me, ‘You know it’s Ross Pearson? It’s a good guy. It’s a big fighter, you know?’ I said yeah, and he told me, ‘Okay, you can try the kick. But you have to do it at the end of the fight.’”

And that’s exactly what Gallon did. Throughout the fight, Gallon gauged Pearson’s tiredness through fakes and feints. When Pearson began overreacting to his takedown threats, Gallon capitalized.

“One time, I tried to shoot (on) him, and he was reacting at my shot,” Gallon said. “At the end of the fight, I tried a jab and a shot. His hand came down. I was like, ‘OK, it’s time.’ Then, I do this heel kick, and it goes ‘boom’ right on his head. When I got up on my feet, I thought he was just blocking the kick, and I watched him go ‘boom’ on his back. I said ‘woah’ in my head. It was crazy.”

The publicity and the fame is great. However, the “visibility” is what Gallon sees as most beneficial. He hopes his newfound fame will earn him a shot in the UFC or Bellator.

“I’ve been doing this for nine years but have never had this crazy visibility,” Gallon said. “Just to take the fight against Ross Pearson. Many guys told me he’s a big guy and a strong guy. With this knockout against Ross Pearson, it’s everyone going mad. I’ve got a big visibility now.

“I hope all the work I did before will get more crazy with something like UFC or Bellator. Give me my chance and opportunity to fight a big fight against a big opponent. It’d be cool to do the same kick – only in the UFC cage.”

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