Does Lauren Murphy deserve a title shot after UFC 254?

Lauren Murphy, UFC

One of the more vocal fighters after UFC 254 was flyweight contender, Lauren Murphy (14-4). Murphy was originally supposed to take on Cynthia Calvillo, but at the last minute she ended up fighting Lilya Shakirova at UFC 254.

The flyweight contender looked really solid in all areas on Saturday. Murphy looked solid on the feet, and she showed good skills on the ground. Murphy said she wanted to lock up her first submission victory and she was able to do just that.

UFC 254 marked the fourth straight time that Murphy has made the walk successfully. She’s taken on ranked opponents in the division and finished two of her last four opponents. Murphy was very vocal about wanting a title shot in her post-fight interview.

Later on at the post-fight press conference, Murphy continued to show frustrations of getting passed up. She talked about Jennifer Maia. getting the next shot at Valentina Shevchenko. Let’s just say that Murphy is not thrilled with Maia’s title shot.

What should the UFC do?

For context, JoJo Calderwood was originally supposed to face Valentina Shevchenko in June. However, the UFC champion sustained an injury that would cause the fight to be delayed. Calderwood decided to roll the dice and fight Maia.

Maia went on to finish Calderwood by submission in the first round. Because of the finish of the top contender, the UFC decided to give Maia the shot. However, her resume doesn’t really scream top contender as she’s just 3-2 in her last five fights.

Granted, her two losses were to former title challengers. Murphy does have a point in that she’s won four in a row against ranked caliber opponents. So what should the UFC do? Obviously, the promotion isn’t going to take away the title fight from Maia.

I also don’t think sitting and waiting is going to help Murphy. Instead, I think the UFC should book her against who’s probably the front runner for the next title shot, Jessica Andrade. Andrade made her flyweight debut at UFC Fight Island 6 and finished top contender Katlyn Chookagian. 

The former strawweight champion is finally competing in what she believes is her natural weight class. Andrade just fought and Murphy just fought. The logical move to me is to have the UFC pair both of them together and the winner should fight the flyweight champion early next year.

Did Jessica Andrade earn a title shot at UFC Fight Island 6?

This past weekend at UFC Fight Island 6, former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (21-8), moved up to flyweight for the first time. Andrade had competed at bantamweight and became the champion at strawweight during her UFC career.

Despite the success at strawweight, many people believed that flyweight was the best natural weight class for the former champion. She jumped right into the deep end of the pool taking on top ranked contender, Katlyn Chookagian (14-4).

Chookagian was coming off a dominant win and was just one fight removed from a UFC title shot. Many believed that the winner could be in good position to cash in on a UFC title shot. Well, Andrade made a massive statement on Saturday.

Andrade showed off her superior strength despite being the much smaller fighter. She threw Chookagian to the ground twice. Andrade then landed some vicious hooks to the body that crumbled Chookagian giving Andrade the first round TKO victory.

UFC title shot next?

Andrade was the second UFC strawweight to move up this year to take on the top contender at flyweight. Cynthia Calvillo did the same thing against Jessica Eye. That night, Calvillo also defeated the previously top ranked contender.

However, that fight was a grinding decision with a lot of wrestling. Andrade made a massive statement with the way that she was able to win on Saturday night. She completed dominated and finished the former title challenger.

Given the way that she won and her status as a former UFC champion, I think Andrade is definitely next in line to face the winner of the UFC 255 title match. In the most likely scenario that Valentina Shevchenko retains her title, I would be very excited to see the matchup between Shevchenko and Andrade.

Shevchenko would still be a sizable favorite in that potential UFC matchup. Many people believe that she might be the best female fighter in the world. I personally thought she beat Amanda Nunes the last time they fought. A Shevchenko – Andrade title fight would be very exciting for the division.

UFC books JoJo Calderwood – Jessica Eye

The UFC is planning on a big time women’s flyweight fight on their January 23rd fight night card. First reported by MMA DNA, JoJo Calderwood (14-5) will take on Jessica Eye (15-8, 1 NC) in a battle of two top six UFC flyweights.

For Calderwood, the fight against Eye is going to be a big chance for her to bounce back. Calderwood was originally supposed to get a UFC title shot back in June. However, due to an injury to the champion, the fight was called off.

Calderwood wanted to stay active so she took a short notice fight against Jennifer Maia. This proved to be a big mistake as Maia submitted her in the first round. Maia was awarded Calderwood’s UFC title shot for her submission victory.

This fight is also a big chance for Jessica Eye to bounce back. Eye is just a couple of fights removed from her shot at Valentina Shevchenko. Eye won against Viviane Araujo, however, she was not successful in her last outing.

She welcomed Cynthia Calvillo to the UFC‘s flyweight division back in June. Calvillo used a steady wrestling attack to stifle and defeat Eye by decision. It was a bad loss for the former top contender who also failed to make weight for the fight.

Sizing up this UFC matchup

This has all the makings for a really fun contest in the UFC‘s flyweight division. Calderwood has really good standup and she uses a variety of kicks and spinning techniques. Her style is pretty entertaining to watch when fights are standing.

Eye has very solid boxing of her own. Whenever she feels comfortable and in range, she’s a very tough opponent for anyone in the UFC‘s flyweight division. She’s going to have to be very active with her hands in this contest.

Whoever wins this fight could be right back in title contention. However, the loser of this contest is going to be looking at a steep climb to get back to the top. This should be a fantastic matchup with a lot on the line for both contenders.

UFC Fight Island 6 could be it for Katlyn Chookagian

The top ranked contender in the flyweight division could be calling it a quits after this weekend’s UFC Fight Island 6 event. Katlyn Chookagian (14-3) is considering hanging up her gloves for good following this weekend’s event.

Chookagian will be welcoming former UFC strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (20-8), to the flyweight division this Saturday night. It’s a big time fight for the flyweight division and it could determine who’s going to get the next shot at Valentina Schevchenko.

Shevchenko will defend her title at UFC 255, but she will be a massive favorite over challenger, Jennifer Maia. Whoever wins at UFC Fight Island 6 would have a clear argument as the top contender in the flyweight division.

However, Chookagian might not be interested in rematching with the champion. The top UFC flyweight contender has been itching to start a family over. She told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that she’s taking her career fight by fight, but this Saturday could be it.

A lot riding on UFC Fight Island 6

It’s very interesting to see a fighter in Chookagian’s position take the stance she is. It’s extremely admirable, but it’s rare that a fighter would walk away right before getting a UFC title shot. However, if she wins Saturday, she could do just that.

Chookagian fought the champion back at UFC 247. Shevchenko walked away with her hand raised that night. A very motivated Chookagian bounced back by dominating Shevchenko’s sister, Antonina, at UFC on ESPN 9.

Chookagian looked like she could once again be a formattable challenger for the UFC title following that victory. However, she might not take that chance given the way she’s currently talking.

On the other side of the cage is Jessica Andrade. The former champion is coming off a razor close loss to Rose Namajunas back at UFC 251. Many people believe Andrade is finally fighting in her natural weight class which is scary. This should be a fantastic matchup with multiple storylines on Saturday.

Cynthia Calvillo – Lauren Murphy targeted for UFC 254

UFC 254 is getting a fight between two top five women’s flyweight contenders. Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) and Lauren Murphy (13-4) are expected to throw down per MMA Fighting.

Fight for the next UFC title shot?

Cynthia Calvillo didn’t mess around when she made the move up to flyweight this year. After struggling with her weight to stay at strawweight, Calvillo moved up to what’s more of her natural weight class.

In her first fight in the division, she took on the number one ranked contender at the time, Jessica Eye. Eye had only lost one fight in the division and that was to the current UFC champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

Calvillo and Eye got a main event slot at UFC on ESPN 10, and Calvillo put on quite the performance. She used her strong grappling base to neutralize Eye and get the unanimous decision victory.

Because she moved right in and took out the number one contender, she made her flyweight rankings debut at number two. Her impressive victory in her first fight proved that she could hang, and some thought she could be ready for a title shot.

We now know that Jennifer Maia is getting the next shot at the champion, Shevchenko at UFC 255. With that, Calvillo will need one more fight to get to a title shot.

That is where the fourth ranked fighter in the UFC‘s flyweight division, Murphy, steps in. Murphy is no joke herself and she’s coming into this contest riding a three fight winning streak.

In her last fight, Murphy put on an excellent performance over the tough Roxanne Modafferi. That win put Murphy squarely in the top five, perhaps just a win away from the title shot.

These two ladies are likely next in line for a shot at the title. We do not know what this means for Katelyn Chookagian. However, these two will face at UFC 254 and the winner will likely have their eyes focused on the UFC 255 co-main event.

BREAKING: UFC 255 headlined by Figuiredo – Garbrandt and Shevchenko – Maia flyweight title fights

The UFC news is coming fast and furious today. Dana White told ESPN today that the promotion is going to have two flyweight title fights at UFC 255. Deiveson Figuiredo (19-1) will be taking on Cody Garbrandt (12-3) and for the women, Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) will be taking on Jennifer Maia (18-6-1).

Two UFC Flyweight Title Fights

This is massive news for the promotion. The UFC has said that they were working on Figuiredo’s first title defense, and he has a tall order. The former bantamweight champion, Garbrandt has teased moving down to flyweight.

He said recently in an interview that he wanted to go down and claim a second title. Figuiredo is coming off of a dominant victory over Garbrandt’s former teammate, Joseph Benavidez at UFC Fight Island 2.

This is a massive matchup and a very interesting one. TJ Dillashaw tried doing what Garbrand’s doing and showed a diminished chin in a first round TKO loss to Henry Cejudo. Will Garbrandt fair better?

Figuiredo looks like he can become a dominant champion in the UFC that can reign for a long time. However, Garbrandt is by far the biggest challenge that he could face at flyweight. This will be a fantastic matchup.

One of the most dominant fighters in the UFC is flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. She has walked through who has stood in her way outside of Amanda Nunes.

She was scheduled to fight JoJo Calderwood back in June, but an injury forced the UFC champion to withdraw. Jennifer Maia defeated Calderwood last week to earn her title shot. The victory prompted a callout from the champion.

Two massive flyweight title fights headline a very impressive card from the UFC. The promotion is going to really be kicked into high gear for the rest of 2020. Who do you think will walk away from UFC 255 with flyweight gold?

 

Three fights to make after UFC Vegas 5

UFC, Dana White

Last night, the UFC returned home to Las Vegas with an event at the APEX. The main card didn’t disappoint and there were several story lines that came out of last night.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three fights the UFC should move to make following UFC Vegas 5.

Derek Brunson vs Jack Hermansson

Derek Brunson (21-7) made a massive statement last night. Everyone (including myself) thought that Brunson was going to get run over like he did against Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.

However, Brunson was composed and put on arguably the best performance of his career in stopping Edmen Shahbazyan. Now the question becomes, what’s next for Brunson.

In looking at the rankings, a match that makes a ton of sense is a fight with Jack Hermansson (21-5). The Joker is also coming off of a big win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Island 2.

Hermansson has been vocal about wanting to fight Darren Till next, but with Till’s injury, I think Brunson makes a lot more sense. Plus the two men are both coming off big wins.

If the UFC were to pair these two up against each other, the winner could be next in line to fight for the title. Obviously the title is booked up for a while as Adesanya fights Costa and Whittaker fights Cannonier for the next shot, but a Brunson/Hermansson winner wouldn’t be far behind.

Valentina Shevchenko vs Jennifer Maia for the UFC Flyweight Championship

Despite the impressive performance last night from Derek Brunson, the star of UFC Vegas 5 for me was Jennifer Maia (18-6-1). Maia took on JoJo Calderwood who was supposed to fight Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) for the title.

Shevchenko got hurt so the UFC title fight with Calderwood was called off. Calderwood didn’t want to wait around so she decided to take a fight against top contender Jennifer Maia. This has proved to be a massive mistake.

Maia looked tremendous last night. She was winning the stand up battle and when Calderwood took her down, it didn’t take long for the BJJ blackbelt to throw up a slick arm bar. The champion tweeted out her thoughts after the fight.

Maia poses an interesting challenge given her skills, but she will be a massive underdog against Shevchenko. Shevchenko is head and shoulders ahead of anyone in her division. However, Maia proved last night that she’s a game opponent and she’ll be willing to bring the fight to the champ.

Edmen Shahbazyan vs Ian Heinisch

Last night we saw the Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) hype train hit a wall. The Golden Boy was being touted as the next big thing. However, after he wasn’t able to finish Brunson early, it appeared that Shahbazyan still had miles to go in development.

The UFC is in an interesting spot trying to book Shahbazyan’s next fight. He definitely needs a top 15 opponent. In looking at the rankings, I think a fun matchup could be with Ian Heinisch (14-3).

Heinisch bounced back big time after back-to-back losses back in June with a first round TKO over Gerald Meerschaert. Heinisch is currently ranked as the thirteenth best middleweight in the UFC.

These two would make sense from a rankings perspective and it would be a really fun fight for fight fans. I think the style matchup would be a lot of fun. If the UFC would rather aim lower to build Shahbazyan back up, another option could be Antonio Carlos Junior.

I believe that Shahbazyan will work his way back up eventually. He’s still extremely young and has all the talent in the world. Last night was a humbling fight and a reminder of just how special young Jon Jones was.

UFC: Jessica Eye welcomes Jessica Andrade to the flyweight division on Oct. 17

The former UFC strawweight champion has decided to move up in weight. Jessica Andrade (20-8) is moving up to flyweight and taking on former title challenger Jessica Eye (15-8, 1 NC) on October 17th per ESPN.

As Okamoto’s tweet says, Andrade will be competing in her third weight class in the UFC. After starting her career at 135 pounds, she dropped to 115 when that weight class started. Now, it’s on to flyweight.

Eye welcomes another to the UFC flyweight division

For the second consecutive fight, Jessica Eye is going to welcome a former strawweight contender to the flyweight division. She took on Cynthia Calvillo back in June.

In that fight, Eye was not able to get past the wrestling of Calvillo. It was just Eye’s second loss since she had moved to flyweight back in 2018. The other of course being the knockout loss to current UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

For Andrade, she’s jumping right into the deep end of the UFC‘s flyweight division taking on the fifth ranked contender. We last saw Andrade compete at UFC 251 on Fight Island.

Andrade took a tough loss against former champion, Rose Namajunas. Despite being outclassed early on, Andrade came on strong and really put on a clinic late. However, it was a little too late.

Many people believe that 125 pounds is the ideal weight class for Andrade. She carries a lot of muscle from her days of competing at 135 pounds. Now, she won’t have to worry about cutting the 10 extra pounds.

Andrade might become the best version of herself in the UFC‘s flyweight division. A win for either her or Eye has a big impact on the flyweight division. While I don’t think the winner will be next in line, I think the winner will get a title eliminator in their next outing.

 

UFC: Germaine de Randamie – Juliana Pena on tap October 3rd fight night

The UFC is close to finalizing a key women’s bantamweight matchup for their October 3rd fight night card. Per MMA Fighting, Germaine de Randamie (9-4) will take on Juliana Pena (9-3) in a matchup of top five bantamweights.

Next UFC title challenger?

The winner of this matchup could determine who will get the next shot at the UFC‘s bantamweight title. For de Randamie, she’s gone 6-2 in her UFC career with her two losses coming against the champion, Amanda Nunes.

The two ladies fought back in December for the bantamweight title with Nunes taking the unanimous decision victory. De Randamie did have some bright spots in the last fight.

It will be interesting to see what the UFC does if de Randamie goes on to win this fight. She’s already ranked at the top of the division, but she does have two losses to the current champion so it would be difficult booking a third matchup.

For Pena, the October 3rd fight will be her first fight of 2020 and just her second fight since the beginning of 2017. In her UFC career, she’s gone 5-1 with her lone loss coming to UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

Both of these women are elite and it’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. De Randamie is arguably the most decorated striker in the division while Pena is very good on the ground. A clash of styles for the October 3rd Fight Night.

UFC: JoJo Calderwood accepts replacement fight against Jennifer Maia

The UFC‘s top contender in the women’s flyweight division is not waiting around for the champ to get healthy.

Top contender, Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (14-4) has decided to take a short notice fight against Jennifer Maia (17-6-1) on the UFC‘s upcoming August 1st card.

Calderwood was scheduled to fight the undisputed queen, Valentina Shevchenko (19-3), back in June. However, the champ has been healthy and there haven’t been any updates on when she’ll be ready to return.

Instead of waiting around, Calderwood is stepping up to take a fight next week. Calderwood would enter the contest 3-1 in her last four fights with the lone loss coming against Katlyn Chookagian.

Huge UFC flyweight implications

This fight is presenting itself to be a massive opportunity for Maia. Maia will come into this fight ranked sixth in the UFC‘s flyweight rankings whereas Calderwood is ranked third.

If Maia is able to pull off the victory, it would vault her right into title contention. This is a massively risky fight when you think about it for Calderwood.

Maia is coming off a loss to Chookagian, but prior to that, she had won two consecutive fights against former UFC title challengers Alexis Davis and Roxanne Modafferi. Maia is no joke.

Whoever wins this fight on August 1st might be next in line for a crack at Shevchenko. Although, if Maia wins, you might see the UFC pivot to Cynthia Calvillo who won her flyweight debut back in June.