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TUF Debut Date & Cast Revealed

The return of The Ultimate Fighter has been highly anticipated by legions of mixed martial arts fans and now we know when the punches will fly. TUF 29 will debut on ESPN+ on Tuesday, June 1, with new episodes dropping every Tuesday on the streaming service,

Season 29 will consist of 12-episodes featuring 16 fighters in the men’s bantamweight (135 lbs) and middleweight (185 lbs) divisions. UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and title challenger Brian Ortega will serve as coaches. As is tradition, the coaches will battle in the octagon at the end of the season.

The pair was originally supposed to square off in March however the bout was postponed when Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19.

Continue reading → TUF Debut Date & Cast Revealed

Lipski a Smart Play as the Underdog

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Some may forget that Valentina is not the only Shevchenko in the UFC women’s flyweight division.  Her younger sister Antonina also competes in the division, and will be taking on Ariane Lipski in the prelims of the card.  While Valentina is actually taller than her sister and exhibits some of the same flashy standup arsenal, she has nowhere near the competent ground game of her older sister.

Enter Ariane Lipski, the former KSW Women’s Flyweight Champion.  Though perhaps not gifted with the gracefulness of a Shevchenko, has a vicious standup style in her own right.  Moreover her aggressiveness carries over to the ground, as she employs an offensive ground game and has earned several submission victories in her career, including an impressive kneebar in her last fight, a 1st round submission victory over Luana Carolina.

As of the time of this entry indicates that 5dimes has Lipski as a +140 underdog.  In my estimation, Lipski, with her aggressive standup and ground game, is the most live dog on the card.  I believe she has the tools to either stop Antonina or effectively control her for 3 rounds earning a decision victory.

Note: For Entertainment Purposes Only. We’re not responsible for lost bets.

UFC 255 Preview: Flyweight Madness

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Saturday Night’s UFC 255 PPV features title fights in the men’s and women’s flyweight division.  In the main event, Deiveson Figueiredo takes on Dana White Contender’s Series (DWCS) alum Alex Perez.  Perez was not Figueiredo’s original opponent, but rather stepped up when it was announced that Cody Garbrandt had sustained injuries during training camp.  Fortunately, this is not a late notice fight, as Perez had a full camp to prepare for this title shot.  Figueiredo is coming off perhaps the most dominant title-earning victory in the history of the UFC, as he absolutely ran through perennial contender Joseph Benavidez this past summer on Fight Island, finishing him with a rear naked choke 4:48 into Round 1. 

On the post-fight podcast, I had argued that this was the first round I had ever seen that could warrant a 10-6 (if such rounds are even a possibility).  Figueiredo demonstrated sheer brilliance in both his standup and submission capabilities, knocking Benavidez down multiple times and out-scrambling him to secure the rear naked choke submission. 

Figueiredo, whose record stands at 19-1, is rather unique in the flyweight division as he truly is a finisher, irrespective of whether the fight is on the feet or on the ground.  He possesses that God-given ability to disconnect opponents from consciousness with one punch perhaps more than any flyweight in UFC history (save for a skinny John Lineker maybe!).  He’s quick, elusive, and employs a diverse stand-up game.  In my mind, I view him as a smaller version of young Jose Aldo – fearless, relentless and dangerous anywhere the fight goes.

Standing across the Octagon from Perez tomorrow will be Alex Perez, a DWCS alum (I believe the first alum to challenge for a title shot), who has since gone 6-1 in the UFC with his lone defeat at the hands of Joseph Benavidez.  In his most recent fight, Perez stopped Jussier Formiga (the only man ever to defeat Figueiredo) via TKO leg strikes. 

What Perez lacks in fight-ending power, he more than makes up for with skill and sheer tenacity.  He is a fighter that moves forward and is constantly looking to impose his offense, whether it comes in the form of strikes or takedowns to set up a potential submission.  While Perez is technically the replacement, as Cody Garbrandt was initially slated to compete in this main event, Perez is a worthy contender.

While most, including myself, doubt this fight/card will result in huge box office numbers I do think the fight will deliver in terms of spectator enjoyment, as both fighters are always game.  Ultimately, for the toughness and relentlessness that Alex Perez possesses, I think he is simply running into a talent that is coming into his own and is among the sport’s elite.  Look for Figueiredo to stop Perez with strikes in the 2nd or 3rd round of the fight.

Continue reading → UFC 255 Preview: Flyweight Madness

Conor McGregor Returns! Big Business & Great for the Sport.

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Per MacLifeOfficial and later confirmed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor has officially signed his bout agreement to take on former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 257 to take place on January 23, 2021, most likely on UFC Fight Island (Yas Island, Abu Dhabi).  This fight, which is a rematch of their UFC 178 featherweight fight taken by McGregor via 1st round TKO, marks McGregor’s first fight in approximately one year since his 45 second destruction of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246 in January of 2020.  Poirier’s last Octagon appearance was a fight of the year 5-round unanimous decision victory over Dan Hooker.

In my opinion, this is a great booking and absolutely tremendous for the sport of MMA.  Few combat sports athletes (both boxing and MMA) are able to capture the attention and imagination of the entire sports world on the night of their fight.  Pacquaio, Mayweather, Wilder, Fury, Joshua – they all need an important dance partner in a title fight for the sports world to literally stop everything in their tracks and focus on one singular event – their fight.  On the other hand, McGregor, who I believe is the most popular combat sports athlete in the world, enjoys the eyes of the entire sports world every time he fights, irrespective of his opponent and irrespective of whether the fight is for the title.  Bottom line, McGregor is big business.  His participation in an event guarantees boosts of sales, revenue and even web traffic for every radio show, podcast, blog out there, including In the Fight.  He burst onto the scene and was able to capture the imagination of his fellow countrymen and those with Irish blood all over the world with his Mystic Mac predictions and tremendous finishes.  As the man himself said, he wasn’t here to just take part, but instead quickly took over the game as its number 1 attraction.

Over time, McGregor has experienced both ups and downs.  Yet while the personal and professional setbacks of Nate Diaz, Floyd Mayweather, Khabib Nurmagomedov, dollies, buses, old men at bars, and sexual assault allegations linger in the minds of many and may have marred the air of invincibility he may have enjoyed after flatlining Jose Aldo in 14 seconds, or even after destroying Eddie Alvarez in a one-sided affair to capture his second world title, people continue to stop everything they are doing to see if McGregor still has that magic – that combination of Ali’s brash trash talk in the thick Irish accent accompanied by his thunderous left.

Early Odds on McGregor-Poirier II

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Conor McGregor is back!

“The Notorious” has officially signed his paperwork and will fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 on January 23.

Poirier had signed his paperwork last week according to MMA Junkie.

Draft KingsFanDuelFox BetBetMGMSugar House
Conor McGregor (22-4)-230184-200228-230
Dustin Poirier (26-6)+185+154+170+185+185
Lines as of 7:00 PM on November 19, 2020.

McGregor opened as an early favorite on all of the major sports books before the event was official and that trend continues.

Note: For Entertainment Purposes Only. We’re not responsible for lost bets.’s Bob Meloni’s Bob Meloni, a 15-year veteran of the regional MMA world, joins Brett & Mike in a special main event edition of In The Fight.

They discuss Bob’s “Roots of Fight,” his celebrity boxing fight against Rodney King, up-and-coming fighters in the Northeast, & the rise of amateur fighting being treated like professional fighting.

Plus they review the current state of the regional MMA scene in the Northeast with the on-going COVID-19 limitations on fans in the stands & discuss the big UFC 252 card.

Roufusports MMA’s Lenny Rufati

Fighting out of Roufusport MMA in Milwaukee, 4-2 professional MMA fighter Lenny “The Gorilla” Rufati joins Brett & Mike to discuss his MMA career.

They discuss Lenny’s journey in the world of MMA from Method MMA in Maryland to training with the world famous Duke Roufus in Wisconsin. Lenny talks about training with CM Punk, the amount of respect he has for the former pro wrestling champion, and the unbelievable amount of talent that he works with in Milwaukee.

They discuss fighting in the Northeast and how crazy the fans are in that part of the country. Lenny also reveals a fight that never was and what’s coming up for him now that COVID restrictions are being loosened.

Plus, the “Lenny Special” sandwich, pizza, & more!