Aussie fans will be able to enjoy some fights with their breakfast this Sunday with the UFC main card set to start at 9 AM.
Two featherweights looking to get back into the winning column will headline the card as Renato Moicano takes on Chan Sung Jung in the main event.
Both fighters are coming off heavy defeats with Moicano recently falling to Jose Aldo while Chang Sung Jung is looking to rebound after his vicious last second knockout loss at the hands of Yair Rodríguez.
Queensland based 18-year-old Alma Juniku went strike for strike with champion Stamp Fairtex before losing a hard-fought decision at One Championship: Legendary Quest on Saturday night.
The atomweight women’s Muay Thai title fight headlined the card which took place in Shanghai, China.
Showing experience and technique well beyond her years, Juniku brought the pressure throughout the five rounds but Stamp, who herself is only 21-years-old, dug deep in the championship rounds as she countered nicely on the outside to try and keep the forward pressing Juniku at bay.
Stamp Fairtex vs. Alma Juniku | ONE Full Fight | Thrilling Muay Thai Duel | June 2019 - YouTube
The ONE Super Series bout was a closely contested battle however it would be Stamp who walk away with a unanimous decision and in the process defend her title for the first time.
Don’t be surprised if we see these two fight more than a few times.
It was a hard day in the office for fellow Australian Tyler Hardcastle who in his ONE Super Series kickboxing bout, was put down in the first round by a beautiful lead right from his Chinese opponent Zhang Chenglong.
Full Results (ONE Super Series Muay Thai):
Stamp Fairtex def. Alma Juniku via Decision (Unanimous) – Women’s atomweight Title
Han Zi Hao def. Andrew Miller via KO, Rd 2, 2:36
Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym def. Liam Harrison via Decision (Unanimous)
Full Results (ONE Super Series Kickboxing):
Zhang Chenglong def. Tyler Hardcastle via KO, Rd 1, 1:54
Tarik Khbabez def. Anderson Silva via Decision (Unanimous)
Full Results (MMA):
Agilan Thani def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via Decision (Unanimous)
Koyomi Matsushima def. Kwon Won Il via Decision (Unanimous)
Reinier De Ridder def. Gilberto Galvao via Verbal Submission (Strikes), Rd 2, 0:57
Chen Lei def. Anthony Engelen via Decision (Unanimous)
Fan Rong def. Sherif Mohamed via TKO, Rd 2, 3:50
Niu Kang Kang def. Eric Kelly vi Decision (Unanimous)
Yoon Chang Min def. Trestle Tan via TKO, Rd 1, 4:05
The fight capital, Las Vegas is being shopped around as a possible venue for the Robert Whittaker versus Israel Adesanya title fight, according to a report by The Daily Telegraph.
The switch to Las Vegas is being suggested due to a clash with the NRL Grand Final on October 6, just a suburb away from the Sydney’s new Bankwest Stadium. This is where Whittaker is hoping the fight takes place.
The report quoted Whittaker’s agent Titus Day as saying the October 6 date was “extremely likely” with Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium the other favourite, though officials from both Bankwest Stadium and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium are also hopeful in attracting the middleweight title fight.
It should be noted that the Rugby League Grand Final won’t likely begin until after 7 pm local time, well after the UFC has concluded.
Whittaker is riding a nine-fight winning streak having last competed back in June 2018 against Yoel Romero. The 28-year-old was scheduled to defend his title earlier this year at UFC 234 but was struck down with a hernia hours before a fight against Kelvin Gatstelum.
His opponent, New Zealand based Israel Adesanya has capitalised, defeating Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 234. He then went on to win a decision against Kelvin Gastelum to earn himself a title shot.
The Daily Telegraph indicated that the UFC is likely to make a venue decision in the coming weeks.
Sydney’s Tai Tuivasa lost for the second consecutive time in the Octagon earlier today, with Bulgarian Blagov Ivanov taking a unanimous decision.
The heavyweight bout started the main card of UFC 238 which took place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Neither fighter took a backward step early before Tuivasa rushed forward with a barrage of strikes. The two clinched against the cage and as they separated, Tuivasa came forward but got caught behind the ear with a swinging right that dropped the 26-year-old. Ivanov tried to capitalise, pouncing on Tuivasa before switching to a guillotine choke. Tuivasa escaped and returned fire with a short elbow.
The 32-year-old Ivanov wasn’t scared in exchanging with Tuivasa as the two increased the tempo for the rest of the round.
A straight right from Tuivasa clobbered Ivanov and sent his legs wobbling. Tuivasa attempted to put Ivanov away but his opponent had enough in him to clinch where he gathered his senses.
With the high tempo of the bout, both heavyweights were starting to deplete their gas tanks while continuing to throw heavy shots.
Tuivasa’s powerful leg kicks where starting to take their toll on Ivanov who had front foot kicked out from him in the opening seconds of the last round. Ivanov again tied his opponent against the cage where he landed what appeared to be low-blow. Tuivasa winced in pain and complained to the referee Dan Miragliotta, who told the Aboriginal fighter to continue.
Ivanov continued to look for that standing guillotine but it never really came close to being locked up as the two traded positions against the cage.
Ultimately, the fight was closer than the judges indicated, with scorecards of 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all to Ivanov who moves his record to 18-2 (UFC 3-1).
UFC 238 hits Chicago’s United Center this weekend and we take a closer look at the main card which is headlined by UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo as he moves up a division to face Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight championship.
A high stakes bantamweight match up for the recently vacated belt.
Cejudo is coming off two of the most impressive victories of his career with wins against former champions Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw, so the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist will be at the epitome of self-confidence. There’s no question Cejudo has faced higher level competition than ‘Magic’ Marlon in the UFC and will be holding the advantage in the speed and wrestling department, although we haven’t seen Cejudo utilise much of his ground-and-pound and wrestling within the octagon, I expect him to be intelligent and pressure Moraes with speed and feints to set up his takedowns.
Moraes will be the bigger man on the night and is a physical specimen in the bantamweight division, holding KO power in his vast arsenal of strikes. Moraes has shown incredible maturity and patience in his UFC run evident in his avenged loss against durable veteran Raphael Assuncao. He has proven extremely dangerous against opponents that would like to take him down, timing perfect head-kicks and knees. Moraes is the superior striker in this matchup and would be wise to use his kicks to chop down the legs of Cejudo early in the fight to take away Cejudo’s mobility and speed.
Must See Moments: Henry Cejudo - YouTube
Moraes’ striking and ability to slip just out of range and counter is so dangerous that it’s obvious even the best are in danger of being knocked out or hurt to the point that he can earn a submission finish.
If Cejudo is sharp on the night, he will be well prepared to takedown Moraes avoiding the counter knees & kicks, something Moraes has dropped previous opponents with, to take the fight via decision.
Prediction: Henry Cejudo
Valentina Shevchenko vs Jessica Eye
I really feel as if Valentina Shevchenko is the best women’s flyweight in the world will hold on tightly to that belt. She is on a whole different level than Jessica Eye in my opinion and has so many tools in her game utilising a variety of strikes from her Muay Thai background. She is capable of grinding opponents in the clinch and against the fence, with the ability to take down and submit her opponents should the opportunity arise.
Jessica Eye will be the heavy underdog in this fight. She is one of the divisions best boxers with toughness that is second to none. She truly believes in herself and is constantly improving on her strengths and weaknesses. Eye will be coming forward and aggressively looking for opportunities, but I believe Shevchenko is too much for Eye and will be the more technical all-rounder that outworks Eye to a unanimous decision.
Prediction: Valentina Shevchenko
Tony Ferguson vs Donald Cerrone
The stars align on Saturday night for this dream fight that could easily have been the headliner of most cards. Rumours had Cerrone vs McGregor but I’m just as ecstatic about this matchup.
This is the pick of the fights on the card as we finally get the return of number one contender Tony Ferguson, who has been riddled with setbacks, both physically and within his personal life. He will be facing off against a hungry Cerrone who has won the last three of his fights in what would have been just as many finishes if ‘Raging’ Al Iaquinta wasn’t one of the toughest contenders on the roster. What is most impressive was the fashion in which Cerrone won these fights, with him being the underdog on all occasions.
Ferguson hasn’t fought since October whilst Cerrone has three fights this year so Cerrone will be carrying the momentum in this one despite Ferguson’s nothing short of his impressive 11 fight win streak.
Ferguson’s last fight played out like many of his fights often do, he got dropped by creative striker Anthony Pettis and came back to dominate with his relentless tenacity. No matter what, against all odds Ferguson shows his heart and comes back from adversity and where other fighters wouldn’t, he always finds a way to win. Ferguson does have a habit of walking into big shots and counters, because of his unparalleled pressure which plays well for Cerrone who likes to stand his ground and exchange strikes in the centre of the Octagon. This will be Cerrone’s greatest advantage and if he cannot put away or significantly hurt Ferguson, his opponent will take over the fight as he has shown time and time again. Taking Cerrone by a decision or Ferguson with a submission. It’s a pick’em but leaning towards Tony Ferguson. This fight is going to be a barn burner.
Tony Ferguson Top 5 Finishes - YouTube
Prediction: Tony Ferguson
Jimmie Rivera vs Petr Yan
This fight could easily steal the show as both fighters are wild men. Yan is the more measured and cleaner striker whilst Rivera is the better wrestler and all-rounder. Yan will definitely have more confidence and momentum on his side coming off four UFC wins and a seven-fight undefeated run, dominating the fast and craft John Dodson in his last outing. Rivera has lost two of his last three fights and was dominated by Aljamain Sterling in his last outing. His back is against the wall in this fight and has stated himself that if he feels like the gatekeeper of the division. If Rivera wants to remain relevant in the rankings he needs a win!
I feel as if this is Yan’s first real test in the UFC as the rising Russian is yet to show his wrestling and ground pedigree. Rivera’s best chances are to level change while his opponent is pressing forward to take this fight to the ground, avoiding the striking of Yan who has always been the bully on the feet. I expect Yan will rise to the occasion and prove his legitimacy within the division keeping this fight standing and earning a KO/TKO or convincing decision.
Prediction: Petr Yan
Tai Tuivasa vs Ivanov Blagoy
We could see fireworks as these two heavyweights clash in the opening fight of the main card.
Sydney’s Tai Tuivasa was riding a lot of momentum coming into his last fight and the overwhelming confidence may have ultimately led to his demise, as he overcommitted to a punch against the former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, in which he paid for in spades. Despite this loss, he was looking like he belonged in the top echelon of the heavyweight division and was having more success than Blagoy Ivanov who also notably has a loss to Junior Dos Santos.
Tuivasa is a true KO artist and will be coming forward with one intention and that’s to knock his opponents head off. Despite his loss against Dos Santos, Tuivasa’s personality is as laid back as it comes and I believe he will come back with confidence and tenacity. At the ripe age of 26, he’s one of brightest prospects of the heavyweight division and a true KO artist.
Ivanov does well against aggressive fighters as shown in his last outing, a decision against Ben Rothwell. Ivanov is comfortable moving backward, staying on the outside and countering with combinations. He has a solid gas tank and is no stranger to heavy hitters trying to put him away.
Ivanov’s credentials are confusing at times, since he has the capability to employ his judo and wrestling background but he has yet to do so within his two UFC appearances. I would hope that Ivanov saw the holes in Tuivasa’s game last time around, where the Sydney fighter struggled on the ground, albeit under the heavy mount of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt.
I give Tuivasa the KO/TKO in this fight but as we saw in the boxing last weekend, anything can happen in the heavyweight division.
While songs from Linkin Park and Eminem may be regular walkout tunes chosen by UFC fighters, Australian heavyweight Tai Tuivasa is certainly bucking the ‘heavy metal’ and ‘rap’ trend with his distinctive choices.
“I’m just having fun,” Tuivasa told Main Event TV in a recent video.
“It’s my jam. I jam out to this music when I’m at home so why not walk out to it in front of the world”.
The four songs Tuivasa has come out to in his UFC career thus far are:
Vanessa Carlton – “A Thousand Miles”
Daryl Braithwaite – “The Horses”
Celine Dion – “My Heart Will Go On”
Shannon Noll – “What About Me”
“That was for Australia. If you have been to a pub in Australia, then you know Horses,” he explained about the popular Daryl Braithwaite hit.
He went into small detail about UFC president Dana White originally banning the Sydneysider from coming out to “My Heart Will Go On” and how he refused to go out unless that song was played.
The 26-year-old gets to add another peculiar song to the list this weekend when he faces Blagoy Ivanov on UFC 238.
Check out the short episode of “Octagon Karaoke” below.
After a 6-month layoff, New Zealand’s Dan Hooker is set to return to the Octagon.
The Hangman will take on James Vick at the upcoming UFC San Antonio card on July 21 (AEST). The news was first reported by the New Zealand Herald.
James Vick will be returning after back-to-back losses at the hands of Justin Gaethje and Paul Felder. Hooker has not fought since his brutal loss to Edson Barboza in December of last year. Hooker sustained a concussion in the fight as well as a broken orbital. The defeat ended Hooker’s four-fight winning streak.
Despite the loss, Hooker showed a level of toughness and resilience beyond comprehension which earned him the admiration of fighters and fans alike. Hooker was forced to take an extended period of time off because of the injuries but insists he is now rearing to go.
“That was a shit performance,” Hooker told the New Zealand Herald.
“I’m not proud of that performance, but that’s not a fight I would take back.
“It’s just the fight game, man. This is something I’ve been doing for a very long time; it’s the way I’ve been making money for most of my adult life so this is not new to me. That’s not going to deter me one bit.”