After suffering his first UFC loss, what’s next for Sodiq Yusuff?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 23, Sodiq Yusuff (11-2) and Arnold Allen (17-1) went head-to-head in the co-main event. This featherweight matchup paired up two of the division’s most exciting prospects.

Both of these contenders entered the octagon on Saturday unbeaten in the UFC. They were ranked 10th and 11th in the division. Whoever won was poised to take a step up in competition against some of the best in the featherweight division.

The fight at UFC Vegas 23 was extremely competitive. Both men had their moments and Yusuff did some solid work in the fight. However, there were two big moments in the first couple of rounds that swung the fight.

In the first and second rounds, Arnold Allen was able to land big shots that dropped Yusuff. While the striking numbers were extremely close overall and actually favored Yusuff, these two moments swung those two rounds.

Had Yusuff not been dropped, there is a strong chance he could have won a decision at UFC Vegas 23. He won the third round on all three scorecards, but all three judges gave Allen the first two rounds. Allen remained unbeaten inside the octagon while Yusuff suffered his first UFC loss.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 23?

This was a tough loss for Yusuff because it was such a close fight. However, with the way he lost at UFC Vegas 23, it’s not going to set him back a ton. In my opinion, the loss was more of a speed bump opposed to completely throwing him off course.

With that in mind, what’s next after UFC Vegas 23? For “Super” Sodiq’s next matchup, my attention turns to a featherweight contest that takes place in May. At UFC 262, Edson Barboza (21-9) and Shane Burgos (13-2) will battle it out.

Both of these contenders rank just below Yusuff in the UFC rankings as of today. I think the perfect next fight for Yusuff would be taking on the loser of that matchup. I don’t think the loser of that fight loses much ground just like Yusuff didn’t lose much ground.

Given the styles of all parties involved, I believe either man against Yusuff would be a fight that fans would be excited for. Time will tell what the UFC decides to do, but I would be shocked to see Yusuff get paired with the loser of that matchup.

UFC books Edson Barboza – Shane Burgos

Edson Barboza

Just this week we learned that Edson Barboza (21-9) had signed a new deal with the UFC. After being frustrated for a couple of months with the promotion, Barboza was able to come to terms on a new deal that’ll keep him in the UFC for several more fights.

The promotion had already been working on Barboza’s next matchup when the deal was agreed to. There had been rumors out there about potential matchup and now we know exactly who Edson Barboza will be fighting and when.

Combate was the first to report that the UFC was booking Edson Barboza against Shane Burgos (13-2). The matchup will take place at UFC 252 which occurs on May 15th. It will be Barboza’s third matchup at featherweight.

Barboza has always had championship potential. One of the flashiest strikers in the UFC with incredible power and speed. However, he’s always ran into roadblocks at lightweight on his journey to a title.

Barboza decided to drop down to 145 pounds last year. He made his debut back in May of 2020 at featherweight and lost a razor thin split decision to Dan Ige. He followed that up by defeating Makwan Amirkhani and now he’s in the UFC‘s top 15 at featherweight.

Fun matchup at UFC 262

Barboza is currently ranked 14th and his next opponent comes in at 12th in the UFC’s featherweight rankings. Shane Burgos has been sensational since he joined the promotion back in 2016.

Since signing with the UFC, only two men have defeated Burgos and they’re both top contenders at featherweight. Outside of those two losses, it’s been smooth sailing for Burgos and that includes a decision win over veteran, Cub Swanson

Burgos always brings the fight and he showed that in his last fight against Josh Emmett. While he didn’t get his hand raised, the fight was on the shortlist of Fights of the Year for the UFC in 2020. This matchup between Barboza and Burgos promises to be fireworks on May 15th.

Edson Barboza inks a new deal with the UFC

Edson Barboza

One of the more exciting strikers in the UFC isn’t going anywhere. Today, MMA Fighting was the first to report that Edson Barboza (21-9) has inked a new deal with the promotion that he’s called home for more than ten years.

According to Barboza’s management, the new deal is a multiple fight deal that will likely keep him in the UFC for the rest of his career. Barboza had one fight left on his current contract, but the UFC was able to renew the deal before Barboza hit the open market.

Earlier this month, Barboza had expressed his frustrations with the promotion. He’s been waiting to fight for months and there’s been nothing on the table. The 35 year old has been in a state of limbo over the past few months.

Last year, Barboza dropped down to the UFC‘s featherweight division after spending his career at lightweight. He felt that this would be the best move for his career and it would lead to a world title.

However, Barboza dropped his first fight to Dan Ige by split decision. He did bounce back in October to pick up his first win at 145 pounds. Barboza is currently 14th in the UFC‘s featherweight rankings and with a new deal in hand, Barboza is anxious to get back to work.

What’s next for Barboza in the UFC?

Now that the contract situation is figured out, the question becomes, who will Barboza face? The UFC is currently exploring options for his next fight and Barboza is getting anxious to get back into the octagon.

There have been a couple of names that have been thrown out there that I’m a fan of. One of those names is Jeremy Stephens (28-18, 1 NC). Stephens is just 0-4, 1 NC in his last five fights, however, he’s still ranked eighth in the featherweight division.

The UFC attempted to make this fight in 2020, however, Stephens had to pull out of the fight. The promotion still likes this fight and it’s certainly a possibility. Another name I’ve seen thrown out there is Shane Burgos (13-2).

Burgos had an incredible fight against Josh Emmett back in June. Ultimately, Burgos came up short, but he didn’t really lose any steam despite the loss. The only two men who have defeated Burgos are Emmett and Calvin Kattar.

Burgos and Barboza are in similar positions in terms of the UFC rankings. This would be another fun matchup for fight fans. Given the new contract and Barboza’s urgency to fight, I would expect a fight announcement sooner than later.

2020 UFC Fight of the Year

It’s been a crazy year for the world and a crazy year for the UFC. The promotion started on a high note back in January when Conor McGregor headlined a card that sold over one million PPVs. The promotion was off and running.

However, in March, production had to be shutdown by the UFC due to the global pandemic. COVID-19 shut the entire world down and the UFC was no exception. However, the promotion worked hard to get back on track.

After just over a month off, the UFC was back open for business in May. They were the first professional sport league to come back in full force and they delivered. Despite the lack of live crowds, the fighters delivered all the way since May.

There have been so many incredible fights this year inside the octagon. One of the fights that was on the shortlist for fight of the year was Josh Emmett (16-2) and Shane Burgos (13-2) from back in June.

This was a featherweight shootout where both men were trading serious shots back and forth. Both are extremely powerful and Burgos was able to holdup and survive the ungodly power from Josh Emmett.

Another candidate just took place at UFC 256. The flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2). An absolute back-and-forth war between the two best flyweights in the world that resulted in a draw.

All year long, I believed that one fight in particular would be the UFC‘s fight of the year. However, the Figueiredo – Moreno fight made me start hedging my bets. However, in the end, I’m sticking to the one fight that I think truly deserves to be the fight of the year.

UFC’s Fight of the Year

In a crazy 2020, the UFC‘s Fight of the Year has to be the strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang (21-1) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4). This title fight took place at UFC 248 which was the last PPV event with fans in 2020.

The fans that were in attendance that night should thank their lucky stars they got to witness this fight in person. This UFC strawweight title fight had it all and it was such a perfect fight for that division.

In Jedrzejczyk, you had the greatest strawweight in UFC history. In Zhang, you had the new champion who appeared to be a force that would become the greatest strawweight in the promotions history.

What ensued was a back-and-forth high level war over five rounds. These two ladies didn’t stop the entire time. The pace was incredible and the technique from both of these fighters was just perfect.

They both hurt each other numerous times throughout the fight. After the fight was over, Jedrzejczyk was not even recognizable. Ultimately, Zhang walked away retaining her UFC title after a hard fought five rounds.

In a year that has truly been remarkable, this fight stands out to me as the most remarkable. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this fight, I would suggest trying anyway you can to sitting down and watching this classic from UFC 248. You won’t regret it.

What’s next for Bryce Mitchell after UFC Vegas 12

Bryce Mitchell

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 12, Bryce “Thug Nasty” Mitchell (14-0) took on Andre “Touchy” Fili (21-8) in the co-main event. It was a tough test for Mitchell who seems to becoming an increasingly popular figure in the UFC‘s featherweight division.

As expected, Fili proved to be one of the toughest tests of Mitchell’s career. Thug Nasty used his strong grappling to win rounds one and three decisively, but Fili had his moments which pushed Mitchell. Mitchell was not able to storm through Fili on the ground.

The takedowns were the key to the victory for Mitchell. However, his striking did look much improved on Saturday night. In fact, he actually won a lot of the striking exchanges. However, it was still his grappling that sealed with win at UFC Vegas 12.

After the fight, Mitchell revealed that he broke his left hand. He said he wasn’t sure how long he’d be out, but he did want to take a little time to recover. My guess is that it’ll be a few months before we see Thug Nasty back in a UFC cage.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 12?

Mitchell entered the cage Saturday night as the 15th ranked featherweight in the UFC. The win was his fifth with the promotion, and again, it was his toughest opponent yet. Mitchell will definitely need someone with a ranking for his next fight.

I think a fun matchup for the UFC could be a matchup with Ryan Hall. Hall is currently ranked 13th in the division and he’s a ground wizard himself. I mean he’s the only man in UFC history to submit Hall of Famer, BJ Penn.

Hall is looking for his next fight, and a matchup with Mitchell could be fun. If you love the ground game, this would be the fight for you. This might be one of the few UFC matchups where you could see Mitchell look to do more standing.

Another route the UFC could go is pairing him up with a guy like Shane Burgos. Burgos is just outside the top ten and he’s coming off of an incredible fight against Josh Emmett. This would be the more dangerous fight, but one that could lead to a big jump for Thug Nasty.

UFC: Josh Emmett suffers complete ACL tear in Saturday’s fight against Shane Burgos

The winner of last Saturday’s co-headlining fight at UFC on ESPN 11 received some really tough news today. Per multiple reports, Josh Emmett suffered a complete tear of his ACL and a number of different injuries caused in the first round of his fight against Shane Burgos.

This is absolutely devastating for Emmett. I wrote earlier today that Emmett was ready for a top five opponent after the performance he put on Saturday night. Now, you would have to think that he’s going to be out for at least the next year. Emmett really came into his own on Saturday which makes this news even tougher to hear. Emmett expressed his frustrations with his lack of push from the UFC. He feels that he’s one of the best featherweights in the world, but he hasn’t felt respected by the company or the media to this point. Emmett tore the ACL just seconds into the fight. The fact that he was able to put on the performance of his career with all of those injuries is just remarkable. It makes the performance even more memerable.

UFC Featherweight Outlook

There is a little bit of a log jam right now at featherweight. Most of the top contenders are currently booked for their next fights which would have caused frustrations for Emmett had he been healthy. There was not a clear next step for Emmett given the landscape of the top five. Maybe once he returns from his lengthy layoff due to this injury, there will be a clear path for him. I just hope that the UFC does right by him in giving him a top five opponent when he returns. Emmett has put in the work, and he definitely deserves to be a contender in the UFC‘s featherweight division.

UFC on ESPN 11 Recap: Curtis Blaydes’ heavy wrestling attack neutralizes Volkov

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

UFC on ESPN 11 was the fourth event hosted at the APEX, and the main event of the evening featured a heavyweight contest between Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (13-2, 1 NC) and Alexander Volkov (31-7). The UFC stacked the deck tonight, and the card did not disappoint fight fans.

Curtis Blaydes stifles Alexander Volkov

Blaydes entered the main event on a three fight winning streak while Volkov entered the Octagon looking for his second consecutive win. This fight was a massive fight for both men as they looked to get closer to a UFC heavyweight title shot. There were no doubts to the strategies in this fight. Volkov wanted to keep the fight standing while Blaydes wanted to get the fight to the ground. Blaydes even Tweeted this week that he plans on ragdolling Volkov. It didn’t take long for Blaydes to get the fight to the ground. Volkov was taken down within ten seconds of the first round. Volkov was able to get back up, but Blaydes got to Volkov’s back, and continued to stay on the Russian. Every time Volkov would get to his feet, Blaydes would drag him right back down. There was no damage done in the first round, but it was a dominant round for Blaydes.

In the second round, Blaydes elected to stand up with Volkov to start. Both men landed some clean shots, but Blaydes got the better of the exchanges. After a solid overhand right, Blaydes took Volkov back to the ground. After not doing much on top, Blaydes unleashed a few nasty elbows with about one minute left in the round. In the third round, Blaydes was not able to get the fight to the ground easily. Volkov successfully defended the first two big time takedown attempts from Blaydes. However, the third time was the charm as Blaydes again got Volkov to the ground. The rest of the round, Blaydes controlled Volkov, but again, Blaydes did no damage on the ground.

The fourth round went the exact same way that the first three did. Blaydes was able to secure a takedown within the first ten seconds of the round. Volkov was able to get back to his feet after spending some time on his back. Volkov landed a nice uppercut, but then Blaydes took him right back down. Blaydes laid in top position doing nothing for a few minutes before Herb Dean stood the fight up. Once it was up, Volkov landed some clean shots and took down Blaydes who looked exhausted. In the fifth round, Volkov landed some big shots, but again, Blaydes was able to land a takedown. Volkov was able to get back up to his feet, but it wouldn’t be for long. Blaydes was able to land another takedown late in the round. Blaydes just laid on Volkov the rest of the round in a fight that didn’t impress anyone. Curtis Blaydes was given the unanimous decision by the judges (

Emmett decisions Burgos in an absolute war

The co-main event of the evening was the fight that everyone was talking about going into the evening. The matchup featured the exciting UFC featherweights Josh Emmett (15-2) and Shane Burgos (13-1). A win for either man would likely mean a shot at someone inside the top five in their next fight. Early on in the fight, Emmett looked like he tweaked his knee, but it didn’t stop him from throwing bombs. Burgos started patient, but Emmett was swinging with everything right from the beginning. Throughout the round, Emmett landed some serious shots up top, but Burgos landed some nasty calf kicks. Emmett appeared to be trying to end things whereas Burgos was playing the long-game. The one thing I was the most impressed with after the first round was Burgos’ chin. Emmett landed some clean haymakers, but Burgos took everything he had.

Early in the second round, it appeared that Emmett was still having issues with his knee. Burgos was landing some clean jabs and leg kicks early. However, Emmett countered with some massive power shots. As the second round went on, Burgos continued to land some really good straight shots. Emmett would explode and land some haymakers, but Burgos landed at a higher clip in the second. In the last minute, Burgos marched forward landing some big straight shots, but Emmett was able to counter with a massive right hand. The chins on both of these men cannot be questioned after this one.

The the third round started with Emmett pushing forward with some big shots. About a minute into the round, a massive left finally put Burgos on the mat. Burgos was able to get back up, but Emmett was doing a fantastic job of going to the body and then the head in this round. With about two and a half minutes left in the round, Emmett dropped Burgos for the second time in the round with a massive left hook. Again, Burgos was able to get back to his feet without being finished. Both men continued to swing for the fences down the stretch. This fight went to the scorecards after exceeding it’s lofty expectations. In the end, the judges gave the fight to Josh Emmett (29-28, 29-28, 29-27). Emmett has now won three in a row and he should be in line for a top five opponent.

Pennington earns a grueling decision

The third fight of the main card featured former UFC title challenger, Raquel Pennington (10-8), and Marion Reneau (9-5-1). Both of these ladies came into the fight needing a win with Pennington losing in her last fight, and Reneau having a two fight losing streak. Early on in the fight, both fighters were exchanging some big shots. Throughout the round, Pennington would engage in a clinch where she was able to land some flush knees. With about a minute left in the round, Reneau was able to get Pennington’s back from the clinch position. The rest of the round saw Reneau control that position.

The action was heating up to start the second round as both ladies were exchanging some big shots before they engaged in another clinch. Reneau was landing some solid shots before a knee went below the belt which stopped the action. When the fight resumed, Pennington went right after Reneau with some big shot. The two once again engaged in the clinch, and Reneau landed some good knees. Pennington was able to secure a Muay Thai clinch, and land some really good knees. Reneau caught one of the knees and used it to secure a takedown. However, a quick scramble saw Pennington end up on top. Reneau worked her way back to the feet, but Pennington immediately shot in again resulting in another clinch. Both ladies exchanged some big shots in the clinch as the round came to an end.

Early in the third round, Reneau came out looking for a takedown. She was able to get Pennington down for a second, but Pennington bounced right up resulting in another clinch. Pennington was able to secure another Thai clinch where she landed some massive knees to the body. Anytime the two separated, Pennington landed some really solid shots, but would immediately look to clinch after. Pennington got another Thai clinch towards the end of the round where she landed some massive knees. It was pretty clear on who won this one. The judges agreed giving the fight to Pennington by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Belal Muhammad takes the UD over Lyman Good

The second fight featured an anticipated UFC welterweight matchup between Belal Muhammad (16-3) and Lyman Good (21-5, 1 NC). Everyone watching this evening had to have their hearts rooting for Good who was fighting the night before Father’s Day after the recent death of his father. Good came out immediately trying to put pressure on Muhammad. Throughout the first round, Good continued to try to put pressure on Muhammad on the feet, but Muhammad was getting the best of the striking exchanges. Muhammad did a fantastic job at constantly switch stances which made it hard for Good to feel comfortable. Muhammad threw combinations while Good was plotting forward throwing one shot at a time. Surprisingly, there were no takedown attempts from Muhammad in the first round.

Muhammad started the second round landing some good shots, then shot for his first takedown about a minute into the round. Good was able to successfully defended a couple of takedown attempts to keep the fight standing. However, Good just seemed very stiff in his striking. Good landed some solid shots in the second, but they were not in succession. Muhammad continued to do a really good job in the second round of throwing combinations while Good was looking for one big shot. Muhammad controlled most of the round, but Good was able to land some massive shots near the end of the round which seemingly rocked Muhammad for a second. Muhammad was winning the round, but those big shots at the end might sway the judges into giving that one to Good.

The shots at the end of the second seemed to click with Good. He started the round throwing a lot more shots finally putting together some combinations. Good was able to drop Muhammad early in the third round. Good finally loosened up after the stiff start. Good appeared to fight the entire third round as if he needed a finish to win the fight. With about 90 seconds left in the round, Muhammad was able to land a takedown, but Good bounced right back up. The two men exchanged some big shots, but Muhammad was able to land another takedown. Muhammad was able to get Good’s back, and that is where he ended the fight. The fight was incredibly close, but I saw the decision going for Muhammad 29-28. In the end, the judges agreed scoring the fight for Muhammad (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Huge win for Muhammad getting his third win in a row, but your heart has to go out to Lyman Good after that one.

Jim Miller armbars Roosevelt Roberts in the first

The opening fight of the main card was contested at a catchweight between Jim Miller (32-14, 1 NC) and Roosevelt Roberts (10-2). Miller tied Donald Cerrone tonight for the most UFC appearances in history at 35. Roberts just fought three weeks ago where he defeated Brok Weaver at UFC on ESPN 9. Roberts came out looking like he wanted to strike from range, but found himself on his back just a few seconds into the fight after Miller landed a big low kick which swept Roberts off his feet. Miller, who has a great top game, controlled Roberts for the next couple of minutes. After a scramble, Miller found himself on Roberts back before transitioning to an armbar. After initially defending, Roberts was forced to verbally tap from the armbar. With this win, Miller is now 3-1 in his last four fights. It’s a tough loss for Roberts who was looking to break into the top 15 with a win.

Final Takeaways from UFC on ESPN 11

The UFC‘s fourth card at the APEX lived up to the hype. There were great fights all night long from the prelims to the main event. I came away from tonight incredibly impressed with Josh Emmett. I will not deny the fact that I considered him just a power guy before tonight, but he proved me wrong with his performance. Curtis Blaydes dominated the main event, but he really didn’t impress at all. Blaydes is in a very tough spot because if you look at his resume, he’s deserving of a title shot. However, with two losses to top contender, Francis Ngannou, and a performance like he had tonight, I can’t see the UFC giving him a title shot anytime soon. Overall, it was a very solid night of fights, and I’m already counting down the seconds until next weekend’s card.

UFC on ESPN 11 Preview: Curtis Blaydes & Alexander Volkov look to take a step towards the title

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

UFC on ESPN 11 will mark the fourth consecutive Saturday night where we’ve had a UFC card from the APEX. The main event of the evening pairs two top ten heavyweights against each other as Curtis Blaydes (13-2, 1) takes on Alexander Volkov (31-7). The card is stacked from the prelims all the way through the main card. Let’s dive into the card that fight fans will be tuning into this Saturday night on ESPN.

Curtis Blaydes vs Alexander Volkov

Curtis Blaydes is one of the best heavyweights in the world. Since joining the UFC back in 2016, Blaydes has an impressive record of 8-2 with one no contest. He’s got ever-improving striking skills, elite wrestling, and a ground attack that is vicious. The problem for Blaydes in the heavyweight division is the fact that he’s lost twice to top contender, Francis Ngannou, and neither fight was competitive. Earlier this week, I wrote about the problem that Blaydes is facing. He said he wants to wait for a title shot if he wins against Volkov, but he might be waiting a while.

If it wasn’t for a last minute rally by Derrick Lewis back at UFC 229, Alexander Volkov might have fought for a UFC title by now. Volkov has an impressive record of 5-1 in the UFC with wins over guys like Roy Nelson and former heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum. Volkov has really good striking technique, and presents multiple different looks on his feet. He’s got great kicks, and his accuracy does nothing but help his power. However, Volkov’s weakness is Blaydes’ strength. Volkov does not historically do well against grapplers. Volkov is better when he can use range and pick his opponents apart on the feet. Blaydes is going to try to take this fight to the ground almost immediately. Another big disadvantage Volkov has is the smaller cage. With this fight being at the UFC‘s APEX, the cage is 30% smaller. That’s a big advantage for a guy like Blaydes who wants to close the distance. Blaydes is a massive betting favorite for these reasons, and I think it’s pretty safe money. Volkov is one of the best, but this is an awful matchup for him.

Prediction: Curtis Blaydes by TKO – Round 3

Josh Emmett vs Shane Burgos

The co-main event of the evening is the fight that I’m the most excited about when it comes to Saturday’s card. Two top ten featherweights will be going head-to-head as Josh Emmett (15-2) takes on “Hurricane” Shane Burgos (13-1). Any time you see Josh Emmett fight, you have to tell yourself, “Don’t blink.” Emmett has incredible power for the featherweight division. If he connects flush, I’m not sure anyone in the division can take it. Emmett also has really good wrestling and grappling skills, but he seems to be content with standing and trading with his opponents. In this matchup, he might be wise to look to mix in some of the grappling just to give Burgos something to think about.

Shane Burgos is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC‘s featherweight division. His lone career loss came to Calvin Kattar back in 2018, but since then, Burgos has rattled off three impressive victories. Burgos has incredible foot-work and speed which will help him greatly in this matchup. Going into this fight, I think Burgos has the clear advantage when it comes to the overall striking game. Burgos is the faster guy with cleaner boxing. However, Burgos likes to get inside with some of his shots, and that can leave him open to a massive shot from Emmett. My gut is telling me to go with Burgos due to the advantage on the feet, but it’s hard to pick against a guy who is always one shot away from winning the fight. I’m going to go with my gut on this one, but it’s truly a toss-up.

Prediction: Shane Burgos by Unanimous Decision

Raquel Pennington vs Marion Reneau

The third fight on the main card is a very intriguing matchup between two top ten bantamweights as former title challenger, Raquel Pennington (10-8), takes on Marion Reneau (9-5-1). Pennington has had a very up and down last five years if you just look at her record. Since 2016, Pennington is just 4-3, but those losses have all come against either current or former UFC champions. Pennington is as tough as they come in the bantamweight division. She doesn’t have any skills that will wow you, but she will always come forward, and push the pace. Pennington has decent wrestling, okay hands, and does okay in the clinch. However, she’s able to bring the skills she does have together to put on pretty good performances.

Across from Pennington will be the oldest fighter on the card. At 42-years-old, Marion Reneau is coming off of back-to-back decision losses. Prior to those losses, Reneau had gone 3-0-1 in her previous four fights including three finishes. Reneau has really good punching power, and an incredible ground game from the top position. She has struggled at times on her back, but on top, she’s one of the better practitioners in the division. She has multiple ways of winning the fight on Saturday night. Reneau has the power advantage, and she’ll possess the grappling advantage. However, we have seen Reneau lose some decisions due to lack of activity. She has big moments in fights, but then she’s been susceptible to taking her foot off the gas. If this fight gets finished, I think Reneau is going to be the winner. However, if the fight goes to the scorecards, I think Pennington’s forward pressure and activity will get her the nod. I think it’s a close fight, but I think this one is going to the scorecards.

Prediction: Raquel Pennington by Split Decision

Belal Muhammad vs Lyman Good

The second fight on the main card is a classic stylistic matchup that features former Bellator champ, Lyman Good (21-5, 1 NC), and Belal Muhammad (16-3). Lyman Good is going into this fight we a pretty decent advantage on the feet. In his 21 career victories, 11 of those have come via KO/TKO. The last time we saw Good was back in November at UFC 244 where he stopped Chance Rencountre in the third round. Good has some serious power in his hands, but he does have a weakness, and that’s his defensive grappling. In his two UFC losses to Demian Maia and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, Good was controlled on the ground. If he can’t keep this fight with Muhammad standing, it could be a long night.

As you probably are guessing, Muhammad is going to have a very predictable strategy in this fight. Do not expect Muhammad to try to keep this fight standing. From the opening bell, expect Muhammad to use his grappling to try to get the fight to the ground. Muhammad is a specialist with really good top control. He’s got a pretty decent chin too only being finished once in his professional career. Muhammad fights like a wet blanket which is the exact style that can give a fighter like Lyman Good some problems. While Good is capable of putting almost anyone away, I think Muhammad is going to be able to use his grappling to nullify any advantage that Good has on the feet.

Prediction: Belal Muhammad by Unanimous Decision

Jim Miller vs Roosevelt Roberts

Kicking off the main card is a lightweight matchup between veteran Jim Miller (31-14, 1 NC), and Roosevelt Roberts (10-1). For Roberts, Miller is the biggest name that he’s fought so far in his UFC career. After coming out of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Roberts has a 4-1 record in the UFC. Roberts looked sensational in his fight against Brok Weaver back on May 30th at UFC on ESPN 9. Roberts has really good submissions skills, and his striking his progressing nicely. This is a true test to see where Roberts is in his development. If he’s able to beat Miller with flying colors, you would have to think he’s ready for a top 15 opponent. However, Miller is the type of guy who will be able to show you any weaknesses that Roberts might have in his game.

In this fight, Jim Miller will tie Cowboy Cerrone with the most fights in UFC history at 35. Miller has fought the who’s who in the UFC over 12 years. While he’s never received a title shot, Miller is widely known as one of the better fighters in the world. Before losing a close decision to Scott Holtzman back in February, Miller had won two fights in a row. Miller is as tough as they come, and you have to know that he’s going to push the prospect, Roberts. I think Roberts has all the tools he needs to win this fight, but do not expect Miller to get steam-rolled here. I think Miller will have his moments, but I think you’re going to see Roberts take another step in the right development direction, and defeat Jim Miller.

Prediction: Roosevelt Roberts by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 3

UFC on ESPN 11 Outlook

The UFC is putting on one helluva show this Saturday night. In addition the five main card fights, the prelims have some really intriguing matchups. Clay Guida, Tecia Torres, Roxanne Modafferi, and undefeated submission ace, Max Rohskopf, are just some of the names on the under card. While the UFC’s card last week caught a lot of criticism, the fans shouldn’t be saying a negative word about this one.

UFC Announces fight cards for June 20th & 27th

UFC, Dana White

UFC President, Dana White, went on ESPN early this afternoon to confirm and announce the full cards for the planned UFC Fight Nights on June 20th and 27th. Both cards will be taking place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The June 20th card will be headlined by heavyweights, Curtis Blaydes (13-2) and Alexander Volkov (31-7). That fight was announced earlier this month. The June 27th card is being headlined by a highly anticipated lightweight matchup between Dustin Poirier (25-6) and Dan Hooker (20-8). Let’s dive into some of the fights that were confirmed by White this afternoon.

UFC Fight Night – June 20th

Next Saturday night, the UFC has a pretty stacked card that will air on ESPN and ESPN+. One of the fights that I’m looking forward to is the co-main event of the evening between featherweights Josh Emmett (15-2) and Shane Burgos (13-1). Both of these two men are finishers, and bring multiple fight winning streaks into the event. A win for either guy could net them a top-five opponent in the featherweight division. Emmett is one of the more powerful punchers in the featherweight division, so anytime he’s booked, you might get to see a highlight reel knockout.

Another fight that stands out on the main card is Jim Miller (31-14) and Roosevelt Roberts (10-1). That fight will kick-off the UFC’s main card on ESPN. A quick turn around for Roberts, as he just competed back on May 30th against Brok Weaver. If Roberts is able to take out the veteran, Jim Miller, you could see a ranking in his future. This fight is being fought at a catchweight of 160 pounds. There are several very solid fights on the card next Saturday, and you can view the entire fight card here.

UFC Fight Night – June 27th

A huge main event is scheduled for this fight night in the UFC’s lightweight division, but there are solid fights up and down the card. The card is not 100% complete, so there will be additional fights added to this card as we get closer to the 27th. One of the fights that has caught my eye is Aspen Ladd (9-1) taking on former title challenger, Sara McMann (12-5). Ladd suffered her first career loss at the hands of Germaine de Randamie, but bounced back big-time with a third round TKO victory over Yana Kunitskaya at UFC on ESPN 7. Ladd has really good grappling skills, but it’ll be interesting to see her go up against the Olympic silver medalist, McMann.

The co-main event of the evening should be action packed between the always entertaining, Mike “Platinum” Perry (13-6), and Mickey Gall (6-2). Look for Perry to fight with a ton of urgency in this one. Perry is coming into the night after going 1-3 in his last four fights. A win over a solid guy like Mickey Gall would really get him back on track. For Gall, he’s trying to win his second consecutive fight after he was finished by Diego Sanchez. More prelims will be added to the card, but you can view the card as is right here.