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(March 12-March 18)
Rose Namajunas vs Carla Esparza announced as the co-main event of UFC 274 for the strawweight title. The second time these fighters have fought for the belt, having fought for the inaugural belt back 2014. Esparza came out on top in that contest via rear naked choke. Namajunas is coming off a tough title defense in her last fight against Zhang Weili. A fight that she went into as the underdog despite being the champion. Esparza comes into this fight as the clear number one contender as she is on a five fight win streak dating back to 2019 with wins over big names such as Michelle Waterson and Alexa Grasso. Fans should expect both fighters to be much improved since their first matchup.
Yancy Medeiros set to make his Bellator debut on home soil against Emmanuel Sanchez. Medeiros campaigned heavy to be put on this card after it was announced that it was taking place in Hawaii. He will be definitely be looking to be put on a show for the hometown crowd. Meanwhile, Sanchez is without a doubt looking to spoil the homecoming.
Meisha Tate’s 125 pound debut against Lauren Murphy has been moved back to UFC 276 in July. It was originally due to take place on May 14th. Quite the tough test for a new weight class for Tate. Lauren Murphy is coming off her title shot against 125 pound champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out.
No fights announced for this event yet to my knowledge. But the UFC did announce it would be returning to Abu Dhabi in October for UFC 281.
Yancy Medeiros signs with Bellator. Really cool how it all went down with the Hawaii connection and what not. Would not be surprised to see him crack the Bellator top 5 lightweights at all. Or even welterweight if he decides to go that route later on.
Greg Hardy was cut from the UFC after his third straight stoppage loss. He said on Instagram that he was “far from done” in MMA. So time will tell if another promotion takes a chance on him.
Jared Gooden and Davi Ramos were also cut from the UFC earlier this week.
Things That Caught My Eye
Petr Yan will unfortunately be without any of his regular cornermen for his title defense against Aljamain Sterling. Due to some visa issues, his corner will not make it into the country in time for the fight. However, if you ever wonder how strong the MMA community is, look no further than this story. Former double champ Henry Cejudo and rising star “Suga” Sean O’Malley have reached out to be in the corner for Yan. Unsure how serious the offers are, but certainly would not surprise me if we saw the two of them is his corner come fight night.
Over 30 current and former UFC fighters and even Dana White write letters of support for Cain Velasquez. Velasquez is currently in jail on an attempted murder charge along with 9 other counts.
Conor McGregor vows that he will return and his first fight back will be against Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title. First and foremost if Conor McGregor gets a shot at Usman before Leon Edwards, that would be an all time travesty. Unfortunately, you can never put it past the UFC when it comes to McGregor. Really hoping for Vegas to drop some “hypothetical lines” for that matchup. I have a feeling they would be comical.
What’s This Weekend?
The UFC is finally making their long awaited return to London. Headlining will be rising British heavyweight Tom Aspinall taking on UFC veteran Alexander Volkov. Also on the card will be the second time we see Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett in the UFC octagon. He’ll be taking on Rodrigo Vargas. This will without a doubt be an electric atmosphere. The British crowds also deliver and support their guys, so this card is definitely a must watch!
I miss any news this week? Let me know on Twitter @mike__wilson11