Fighter pay prompted Corey Anderson to ask for UFC release

Corey Anderson

Last week there was shocking news in the UFC when it was announced that the fourth ranked light heavyweight contender, Corey Anderson (13-5), had signed with Bellator. Many were left scratching their heads.

One of the main reasons for confusion was the fact that Anderson still had a few fights left on his deal. This was not some tomato can who had lost a bunch of fights in a row, this was one of the top contenders in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division.

Almost a week after the signing was announced, we are starting to learn a little more about what happened between Anderson and the UFC.

Rough 2020 for Corey Anderson

It has been a very rough year for Anderson. After he lost to Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 167 by knockout, Anderson collapsed in his friend’s driveway. Anderson suffered multiple injuries and had to undergo multiple procedures due to a heart condition.

In an interview with ESPN, Anderson stated that the UFC was wanting to move quickly after he came out of recovery. He stated that he had a contract waiting for him right after.

“I literally came out of the last procedure, rolled into my waiting room and turned my phone on, and had a contract from the UFC for a fight,” Anderson said. “I agreed to the fight, but then my opponent got hurt. They were doing the same thing they did in the past. Offering me fights that didn’t make sense for the money I was making…”

Anderson went on to talk about the fact that he’s the fourth ranked fighter in the world, but he was being paid like a newcomer. The top contender decided to ask the UFC for a little more money considering everything and they promptly said no.

Bellator paying a lot more than the UFC

Anderson told his manager to request a release to see if they could find a better deal elsewhere. He said it took “20 seconds” for the UFC to agree to release him from his current deal.

It wasn’t long after that, that Anderson signed with Bellator. Anderson said that, “Bellator was offering me money like I was the number four guy in the world.”

Needless to say, Anderson is getting a massive pay bump to go over to Bellator. Not surprising considering Bellator’s interest in poaching top talent from the UFC. Bellator usually has to overpay a little to draw away talent.

Anderson will definitely be one of the top contenders immediately in Bellator’s light heavyweight division. I would expect him to get a title shot sooner than later, perhaps in his first Bellator fight.

Will it be the UFC or Bellator for Michael Chandler?

Michael Chandler

Last Friday evening, Iron Michael Chandler (21-5) put on the perfect performance in the final fight of his Bellator contract. At Bellator 243, Chandler starched former UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, in the first round.

Chandler was set to test free agency for the first time in his career. It was a dangerous fight for Chandler to take, but it says a lot about him as a fighter. He took the most dangerous opponent he could in his final fight on his contract.

It was dangerous, but Chandler had arguably the most impressive win of his career. Now, the 34 year old lightweight walks into free agency with a ton of momentum.

Will it be the UFC or Bellator?

When the fight was over, Chandler sounded like a fighter that might have a foot out the door with his current promotion. While he did say to Scott Coker, “Let’s get something done,” he also made it very clear that it could be his final fight in Bellator.

In the post-fight press conference, you could see the UFC wheels turning for Chandler. The media was asking him about potential matchups with guys like Conor McGregor and more.

As a competitor, there is a clear choice for Chandler. If he wants to prove that he is truly at the highest level, he needs to make the jump to the UFC. No disrespect to Bellator, but the competition is just not there.

Sure, there is Patricio Pitbull. Pitbull is definitely one of the best in the world, but the UFC‘s lightweight division is shark infested waters. The division is the most stacked division in the world, and I think that’s very appealing to Chandler.

I’ve wanted to see Chandler make the UFC jump for years now. I’ve always felt that he’s been one of the best lightweights in the world, but he never got the respect he deserved because he fought in Bellator.

This is his chance to prove himself. There is not a single easy fight in the UFC‘s top ten of the lightweight division. If Chandler makes the jump, I could see the promotion giving him someone like Dan Hooker out of the gate.

Unless they want to build him up a little inside the octagon. However, given Chandler’s background and history, I think he’d jump right into the deep end. My prediction is that by the November or December, we are going to be seeing Michael Chandler make the walk in the UFC.

Bellator 243 Recap: Michael Chandler KO’s Benson Henderson in the first

Bellator returned this evening for their second event since opening back up after the pandemic shut things down earlier this year. In the main event of the evening, Benson Henderson (28-8) took on Michael Chandler (20-5). A very solid night of fights from Bellator.

Michael Chandler KO’s Henderson in the First

The main event of the evening was a rematch a few years in the making as the two former lightweight world champions squared off. Chandler entered this fight in the last fight of his current deal with Bellator.

As the main event kicked off, Chandler immediately charged over to Henderson. Henderson started with a big body kick. Chandler countered with a big body kick of his own.

Henderson continued his steady onslaught of body work early on. Big body kicks and solid hooks. Chandler kept pushing forward, but Henderson looked very crisp early on.

Out of no where, Chandler landed a massive left hook which floored Henderson. Chandler followed up with some massive shots and the fight was over. Massive win for Michael Chandler as he heads into free agency.

Accidental headbutt leads to TKO for Tim Johnson

The co-main event of the evening featured Bellator heavyweights Matt Mitrione (13-7, 1 NC) and Tim Johnson (13-6) going head-to-head.

As the fight started, Mitrione refused to touch gloves as he circled around the outside of the cage. A brief exchange led to an accidental headbutt which dropped Mitrione and gave Johnson top position.

Johnson was able to work his way to side control a couple of minutes into the round. Mitrione tried to scramble, but Johnson was doing a good job of holding top position. Mitrione tried another scramble, but took a couple of big shots from Johnson.

Johnson started pouring on big shots and Mitrione looked really hurt. After Mitrione showed nothing in terms of defense, the referee called a stop to the action. A big TKO win for Johnson, but it won’t come without an asterisk due to that headbutt.

Myles Jury edges Georgi Karakhanyan

The second fight on the main card featured a lightweight contest between Myles Jury (18-5) and Georgi Karakhanyan (29-10-1). Both of these guys were looking to make it two in a row inside the Bellator cage after coming off multiple fight losing streaks.

As the first round started, Karakhanyan threw a big looping right hand that clipped Jury. Didn’t land flush, but it got Jury’s attention. Jury landed a couple of good shots before getting turned around by a powerful leg kick.

Karakhanyan was looking very powerful early on. Halfway through the round, Karakhanyan drove Jury to the cage and started delivering knees the thighs. Jury was able to separate with about two minutes left.

Jury landed a couple of good shots before Karakhanyan drove him right back to the cage. He was able to cut Karakhanyan late in the round.

Upon another separation, Jury landed a couple of good shots, but Karakhanyan countered with a power shot. Close round, but I lean Karakhanyan.

Jury immediately started the third with more power shots, but couldn’t land much. The pace was really being picked up by Jury to start the second. Karakhanyan seemed a lot slower to start.

After taking the first minute off, Karakhanyan did throw a couple of looping shots that didn’t land. Jury was doing a much better job in the second at working his strikes from distance.

Myles Jury was starting to really touch Karakhanyan constantly halfway through the round. Good jabs, solid combinations and a steady diet of kicks to the body. Karakhanyan tried for a desperate takedown but couldn’t get Jury down.

Karakhanyan landed a massive right hand as Jury tried to get away. He used the right to transition to another takedown. After being down for a second, Jury worked his way up and pushed Karakhanyan against the cage.

Karakhanyan was able to reverse and get another brief takedown late in the round. Very close second round, but due to the clean shots, I would give it to Jury.

Jury started the third round trying to work his jab again. A weird moment occured about thirty seconds in. Jury was poked in the eye, but the action didn’t stop. After the action didn’t stop Karakhanyan stopped then Jury pushed forward.

Fortunately nothing significant landed. Jury landed a solid elbow before looking for a takedown. Karakhanyan reversed the position and was able to secure a brief takedown. Jury immediately got up and separated.

Jury was able to land a couple of solid shots pushing forward. Karakhanyan pulled Jury into a guillotine, but couldn’t lock it in. Jury secured top position after the failed submission.

Karakhanyan tried to work his way up, but Jury did a good job of holding the top. Jury briefly took Karakhanyan’s back before a scramble found him back in guard. Jury landed a couple of really nice elbows late.

Karakhanyan did get back up, but it was a little too late. Close fight overall, but I give the third round to Jury which gives him the fight on my scorecard 29-28.

The judges were split on this one scoring the fight (30-27, 27-30, 29-28). Odd scores, but Jury wins his second Bellator fight.

Homasi survives Millender’s late rally

Opening up Bellator 243 was a catchweight contest between Curtis Millender (18-5) and Sabah Homasi (13-8). Both of these men were coming off of wins in their return to Bellator.

When the first round started both men exchanged leg kicks before throwing haymakers at each other. Homasi continued to look for a giant overhand right early on.

Millender appeared to be stalking Homasi just looking for his shots. A couple of stiff jabs were landing from Millender while Homasi continued to look to land a bomb. With two minutes left in the round, Homasi was able to shoot in and land a takedown.

Once he had top position, Homasi was able to land some solid elbows. Close round early on, but the takedown seals the first for Homasi.

Millender opened the second round landing a massive jab that backed up Homasi. Homasi was getting backed up by Millender, but he threw a few body kicks to keep the distance. Homasi tried for a takedown about a minute into the round.

Millender was able to defend for a bit, but eventually Homasi was able to get Millender to the ground. Homasi was able to hold solid top position for the majority of the round.

With about a minute left in the round, Homasi was able to take Millender’s back. However, he got a little high in the position and Millender was able to secure top position. Millender tried for a d’arce choke but he ended up back on his back. Another clear round for Homasi.

Millender pressed forward to start round three, but he pressured Homasi right into a clinch. The two men broke from the clinch, and Millender continued to press forward. Homasi seemed fatigued to start the final round.

As soon as Millender started to gain some momentum on the feet, he tried again for a d’arce choke. He couldn’t lock it up and ended up on his back again. Millender worked his way back up to his feet halfway through the round.

After landing a couple of solid shots, Millender just laid against Homasi against the cage. Millender was clearly gassed himself. Homasi landed another easy takedown. Millender did reverse position to gain top position before the end of the round.

I would give the last round to Millender, but the fight to Homasi 29-28. The judges ended up scoring the fight unanimously for Homasi (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Final Takeaways from Bellator 243

Bellator successfully hosted it’s second event tonight and there were some solid fights up and down the card. The promotion will be back in a couple of weeks when light heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader defends his title.

Michael Chandler could not have asked for a better performance heading into free agency. A dominant knockout of a former UFC champion. It’ll be interesting to see if he remains with Bellator or moves on to another promotion.

 

BREAKING: Corey Anderson has signed with Bellator MMA

Corey Anderson

There has been a massive shakeup in the light heavyweight division for both the UFC and for Bellator. News just broke via Ariel Helwani that Corey Anderson (13-5) asked for his release from the UFC and has signed with Bellator.

What’s it mean for Bellator and the UFC?

The move is a bit of a head scratcher. Anderson was currently ranked as the fourth best light heavyweight in the UFC. There had been no recent news of rifts between Anderson and the UFC.

After UFC 244, Anderson did come out and say that he wanted to be released if he didn’t receive a title shot. Anderson took a fight with Jan Blachowicz instead and he was knocked out in the first round.

After hitting that roadblock, it looks like Anderson was ready to move on. The UFC’s loss is Bellator‘s gain. Bellator doesn’t have the deepest talent in the division, but Anderson will truly bolster their roster.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Anderson get a shot at the title in his first fight with the promotion. Bellator is known for rushing former UFC fighters.

If not his first fight, you might see him take on someone like the winner of Phil Davis/Lyoto Machida in his first fight. The Bellator champion, Ryan Bader, is currently scheduled to fight Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 244.

Given the timeline of the Machida – Davis fight, don’t be shocked if Anderson gets a shot right out of the gate. What do you think of Corey Anderson’s move to sign with Bellator?

Bellator 243 Preview: Can Benson Henderson avenge his loss to Michael Chandler?

Benson Henderson

Bellator MMA will make it’s return tomorrow night. This will be the second card that the promotion has put on since starting back up after the pandemic halted events in February.

In the main event of the evening, we will see a rematch between former UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson (28-8), and former Bellator lightweight champion, Michael Chandler (20-5). Let’s take a look at the main card for Bellator 243.

Chandler – Henderson rematch at Bellator 243

The main event of the evening is one of the Bellator fights that I was looking forward to the most this year. Personally, I think the promotion should have returned with this fight as the headliner.

In the first fight between Chandler and Henderson, Chandler walked away with a split decision. Re-watching the fight, I thought it was pretty clear that Chandler took three of the five rounds. Since that fight, Chandler has gone 4-2 while Henderson has gone 4-1.

Both men are former world champions. For the former UFC lightweight champion, Henderson, the Bellator crown has evaded him. He’s tried at welterweight and he’s tried at lightweight, but couldn’t get it done.

Henderson is very well rounded. He’s got pretty decent standup, good wrestling, and great skills on the ground. However, Henderson has a tendency to be very patient and point fight which is why six of his eight Bellator fights have gone to the scorecards.

Michael Chandler is a legend in Bellator. He’s nearing ten years with the promotion and he’s the former lightweight champion. Chandler has a wrestling base, but he’s got really crisp boxing and good speed to go with it.

Chandler is set to become a free agent after the fight tomorrow so it’s a big fight for him. Henderson enters this contest on a four fight winning streak while Chandler is 4-1 in his last five with the only loss coming to the double champion, Patricio Pitbull.

I think Chandler is just a bad matchup for Henderson. I think the speed and striking advantage will help Chandler on the feet, and I think Chandler is good enough to avoid submissions on the ground. Henderson will have moments, but I think Chandler gets the win here.

Prediction: Michael Chandler by Unanimous Decision

Matt Mitrione vs Timothy Johnson

The co-main event of the evening is a heavyweight contest between Matt Mitrione (13-7, 1 NC) and Timothy Johnson (13-6).

For Mitrione, he will be making the Bellator walk for the eighth time tomorrow night. Mitrione stared 4-0 in Bellator with wins over Fedor Emelianenko and Roy Nelson. However, Mitrione has gone 0-2, 1 NC in his last three.

Mitrione is known for his good power and really good footwork. The former football player is extremely athletic. His natural athleticism combined with his striking skills make him dangerous for anyone.

Johnson didn’t get off to the best start in Bellator. The former UFC heavyweight made the jump and promptly was knocked out twice in the first round. He did bounce back knocking out Tyrell Fortune in the first round back in February.

Johnson has decent wrestling and he’s got good power in his hands. I can’t see him winning a stand up fight so he will need to use his wrestling to get Mitrione down.

In the past, we’ve seen Mitrione’s weakness is getting taken down and held there. If Johnson can do that, I think he can win a decision. However, I think his chin is suspect, and I think Mitrone is going to catch him with something in the second.

Prediction: Matt Mitrione by TKO – Round 2

Myles Jury vs Georgi Karakhanyan

An interesting lightweight contest is on the main card which pairs Myles Jury (18-5) and Georgi Karakhanyan (29-10-1). To be honest, this is a fight that would have been really highly anticipated if it came back in 2014.

Back in 2014, Jury was riding high in the UFC at 15-0. A lot of people were pointing to this guy as a future champion. Jury was also the first person who would tell you just how good he was. However, Jury was humbled by Cowboy Cerrone.

Starting with the Cerrone fight, Jury has gone 3-5 in his last eight contest. Jury made his Bellator debut last September against Benson Henderson and dropped a decision. He did bounce back against Brandon Girtz back in February.

Back in 2014, Karakhanyan was 23-3-1. A lot of analysts were really high on Karakhanyan, but his career took a downturn. Since that impressive record, Karakhanyan has gone 6-7 with one no contest in his last 14 fights.

Karakhanyan did win his last time out against Paul Redmond in February, but that was coming off of an eight second knockout loss to AJ McKee.

In looking at both of these guys, I’m just not sure where Karakhanyan wins this fight. I think Jury is just a little better in almost every aspect. I don’t really see a finish coming here so I’m going with Jury to get it done by points.

Prediction: Myles Jury by Unanimous Decision

Curtis Millender vs Sabah Homasi

A fun catchweight contest at 175 pounds between Curtis Millender (18-5) and Sabah Homasi (13-8) will also be on the main card tomorrow night.

Millender was looking like a pretty bright welterweight prospect when he was in the UFC entering 2019. Millender was 17-3 holding wins over guys like Thiago Alves. However, two straight losses got him the hook from the promotion.

Millender signed with Bellator in late 2019 and made his debut back in January where he won a unanimous decision over Moses Murrietta. Millender is a really good striker, but is usually content with point fighting his way to a victory.

Hamasi enters this contest after back-to-back wins in Bellator including a 17 second knockout over Micah Terrill. It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen Hamasi compete.

Hamasi was also in the UFC but was cut after he was finished in three consecutive fights prompting his promotional switch. Hamasi has 11 finishes in 13 wins and the American Top Team fighter has shown crisp striking.

While Hamasi has looked good, I don’t like this matchup for him. I think Millender will be able to use his length and accuracy to get the better of the striking exchanges.

Prediction: Curtis Millender by Unanimous Decision

Bellator 243 Outlook

This is a very solid card for Bellator. I would have really liked this to be the first card back as I said above, no disrespect to Sergio Pettis or Ricky Bandejas. Two former world champions in a big rematch is something that will tune a lot of folks in, and I’m excited to watch it play out.

Michael Chandler could walk away from Bellator after his fight with Benson Henderson

One of the biggest stars that Bellator has had in the last decade is Michael Chandler (20-5). The 34 year old veteran made his promotional debut when he was just 24 years old.

Almost ten years after his run with the promotion kicked off, Chandler is set to test the open market after Bellator 243. Chandler has widely been considered one of the better lightweights in the world regardless of where he fights.

Chandler has been very vocal about his feelings regarding Bellator. The promotion he’s called home for 22 of his 25 fights has treated him very well. He’s never become a free agent so this will be a new experience for him.

“I never actually became a free agent,” Chandler said to MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “It was reported wrong in the media. I’ve never been a free agent. This will be the first time in my career I’ll be a free agent.”

Will Chandler leave Bellator?

This is a question that is on everyone’s mind. While Chandler isn’t the current lightweight champion in Bellator, there is no questioning his talent and skill. If he wins tomorrow night, there are going to be calls coming his way.

“I’m not really worried about whatever happens after this fight,” Chandler said. “This a big fight for me and an important fight for me. I’m a free agent after this fight. As soon as I get done with this, we’ll speak to Bellator.”

“I’d be just happy as to already have signed a new deal with Bellator and do a ten fight deal…I also am not afraid to take a chance on this fight and take a gamble on myself…I know there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t get reached out to by thousands and thousands of people about the exciting matchups,” Chandler said.

Of course, many of those fans are probably referring to the matchups that could come under the UFC banner. The UFC’s lightweight division is stacked with the elite of the elite.

I believe that Bellator will try to go all out to keep Chandler since he’s been a poster boy for the promotion. However, as a competitor, the draw of the UFC will be strong. If he really wants to test himself, there’s no better proving ground.

The competition is much greater in the UFC than it is in Bellator. Bellator has great fighters don’t get me wrong, but the UFC’s lightweight division is on another level. It’ll be interesting to see where Chandler ends up after tomorrow night.

Paige VanZant close to deal with Bare Knuckle FC?

Paige VanZant

Bare Knuckle FC is reportedly close to landing a deal which would secure their most main stream star yet. According to MMA reporter, Mike Russell, Paige VanZant is nearing a deal with Bare Knuckle FC.

Shortly after that news came out, Eric Kowal, who works for Bare Knuckle FC said on Twitter that he could confirm talks, but nothing was close at this time.

Bare Knuckle FC and PVZ is an odd marriage

If the deal comes together between VanZant and Bare Knuckle, I would be incredible surprised. PVZ is coming off of a loss to Amanda Ribas back at UFC 251 in the last fight of her contract.

UFC president Dana White said that it would be wise for VanZant to test the free agent market. PVZ had been vocal about getting paid more for Instagram posts versus her UFC fights.

Bare Knuckle FC was founded back in 2018. Since the promotion has opened it’s doors, it has welcomed many UFC veterans from Chris Leben to Hector Lombard to Artem Lobov. They even featured former boxing champion, Paulie Malignaggi.

Signing VanZant would be a smart move by Bare Knuckle as they attempt to become a little more mainstream. While PVZ is not one of the best in the world, she would bring additional eyes to Bare Knuckle.

When VanZan’s contract ran up, I made the assumption that she would sign with Bellator given the interest from Scott Coker and the fact that her husband, Austin Vanderford, also fights for Bellator.

We don’t know any of the details at this time, but if Bare Knuckle is getting close to a deal, my guess is they are offering a very high number for PVZ.

Ryan Bader – Vadim Nemkov targeted for Bellator 244

Ryan Bader

Bellator‘s light heavyweight champion is picking right up where he left off before the pandemic threw everything off in 2020. Ryan Bader (27-5, 1 NC) will be defending his light heavyweight title against Vadim Nemkov (11-2) per ESPN.

These two men were initially scheduled to fight at the original Bellator 242 which was scheduled for May. However, once Bellator shut down operations due to COVID-19 the fight was scrapped.

Now that Bellator has held it’s first successful event in Connecticut, they are ready to resume action. Bader will be defending his light heavyweight title for the first time in three years.

Bader’s Bellator Journey

Ryan Bader was always one of the best fighters in the UFC, but he was one that couldn’t quite climb all the way to the top. After winning back-to-back fights in 2016 by knockout, Badar left for Bellator.

Once in Bellator, Bader defeated Phil Davis to become the Bellator light heavyweight champion. Bader would defend the title once against Linton Vassell. Since then, Bader has competed at heavyweight.

Bader would go on to become Bellator‘s heavyweight champion, and a double champion in the promotion. Now, Bader will move back down to his original weight class and defend his title.

If Bader is able to defeat Nemkov in August, I’m expecting him to defend his heavyweight title towards the end of the year. Perhaps defending it against a former UFC heavyweight champion.

Nemkov is coming into this fight riding a six fight winning streak with wins over guys like Phil David and Rafael Carvalho. Nemkov is looking to prove to the world that he’s one of the best on August 21st.

Four fights to make after UFC Fight Island 3

UFC, Dana White

The UFC hosted it’s fourth and final event from Final Island last night, and the card completely delivered from top to bottom. After the card was over, it’s always time to start pondering what’s next. Here are four fights that should be made following last night.

Robert Whittaker vs Winner of Adesanya/Costa

This is one of the easier ones when you think about it. The former UFC middleweight champion looked very impressive last night defeating world class striker, Darren Till.

Whittaker was hurt very early in the fight, but went on to win three of the next four rounds on his way to a unanimous decision. Whittaker improved to 10-1 since moving to the middleweight division.

Bobby Knuckles lost his title to Israel Adesanya back in October of last year at UFC 243. Getting a win over a guy like Till puts him right back in the top contender status.

If you look at the middleweight division, there really is not another fight for Whittaker. I expect Bobby Knuckles to sit back and watch the September title fight with Adesanya and Paulo Costa.

Whoever wins that fight will likely get a fight with Whittaker in early 2021 or even perhaps by the end of this year.

Fabricio Werdum vs Ryan Bader

I know you might be thinking, “Why is a Bellator matchup in a UFC article?” Well it’s no secret that last night was the last fight on Fabricio Werdum‘s current contract.

The former champion has made it known that he’s interested in moving on from the UFC. The logical next step for Werdum would be to move to Bellator.

Bellator has a history of pushing UFC vets straight to the top when they jump ship. I expect Werdum to get the same treatment given his resume. The heavyweight division in Bellator is not very strong.

With that, Werdum could go right into a title shot in Bellator. He poses some interesting problems for Ryan Bader. If the Werdum that fought last night shows up, it’s not out of the question that he becomes the Bellator heavyweight champion this year.

Carla Esparza vs Jessica Andrade

Carla Esparza was able to capture her fourth consecutive win last night at UFC Fight Island 3 defeating Marina Rodriguez. With that win, Esparza looks to be ready to challenge one of the divisions best.

In looking at the logical next opponents for her, there are only two opponents that make sense from a divisional standpoint and that’s Tatiana Suarez and Jessica Andrade.

Suarez just finished Esparza two years ago so I can’t see the UFC making that fight. Andrade is coming off of a close loss to Rose Namajunas back at UFC 251.

This fight would pair two former champions against each other as both look to get back to the top. Andrade has lost two in a row, but they were to the two best women in the world. Esparza needs a win over someone like Andrade to prove she’s still one of the very best.

Khamzat Chimaev vs Top 15 UFC opponent

For all of the fighters that took part in Fight Island, the one that UFC fans should be the most excited about is Khamzat Chimaev. The guy is an absolute monster. His dominance can be illustrated with one tweet.

Chimaev resembles a larger version of the UFC’s lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“Borz” is a frightening matchup for anyone in the welterweight division. He’s so exciting because unlike some wrestlers who just take their opponents down, Chimaev is constantly looking to “Smash” his opponents.

Seeing how polished he is already, I would not be surprised to see him fast-tracked. Chimaev’s wrestling base can allow him to move quicker than some prospects would in the UFC.

Perhaps a good fight for Chimaev would be taking on the winner of next week’s Randy Brown – Vicente Luque fight. Either way, Chimaev is going to get a quick turnaround. I expect to see Borz fight one or even two more times before 2021.

 

UFC: What’s next for Fabricio Werdum?

Last night, Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1) turned back the clock at UFC Fight Island 3. Many (including myself) were doubting the former heavyweight champion ahead of his fight with Alexander Gustafsson.

Werdum returned back in May and looked horrendous against Alexey Oleynik. Werdum was on the final fight of his UFC contract, and he fought like a man with something to prove last night.

UFC or Bellator?

Werdum was able to get Gustafsson’s back early and submit him with an arm bar. A huge win for Werdum who will now enter MMA free agency.

The former UFC champion has recently indicated that he would be walking away from the promotion after last night. Werdum’s legacy is secure inside the UFC after he defeated Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title at UFC 188.

The logical career move for Werdum would be to go to Bellator MMA. There is no path forward for Werdum inside the UFC‘s heavyweight division. However, Bellator would welcome him right to the top of the division.

Bellator’s heavyweight division lacks star power, Werdum is still a big name. Assuming Werdum makes the jump to Bellator, I wouldn’t be shocked if they gave him the heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader, in his first fight.

Bellator usually likes to push the UFC vets they sign immediately due to the drawing power. Especially former UFC champions that sign with the promotion. No matter what, Werdum can walk away from the promotion with his head held high after last night’s performance.