MMA News

  • Missed Fists: Dmitriy Aryshev obliterates opponent with brutal left hook knockout
    by Alexander K. Lee on January 27, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    Dmitriy Aryshev stands over Marcio Santos at an AMC Fight Nights event in Moscow on Jan. 20, 2023 | @Grabaka_Hitman, Twitter Welcome to the latest edition of Missed Fists where we shine a light on fights from across the globe that may have been overlooked in these hectic times where it seems like there’s an MMA show every other day. Heading into the last days of January, it doesn’t feel like the MMA world has quite kicked into full gear yet. Yes, the UFC had its first pay-per-view this past weekend that gave us a new light heavyweight champion, the resolution (for now) of the Brandon Moreno-Deiveson Figueiredo tetralogy, and the octagon debut of the Super Bonfim Brothers, but personally, I’m still reeling from the depressing outside-of-the-cage stories that dominated the first couple of weeks of 2023. Not to mention the fact that the Missed Fists scene is yet to deliver the classic combat sports weirdness that we’ve all grown accustomed to, though I guess I should be grateful that we can simply focus on exciting finishes as opposed to, say, I don’t know, Mongolian cattle bone breaking. Dana White could have started a Mongolian Cow Bone Breaking league which would have been amazing. Instead, we got Power Slap. pic.twitter.com/LGkKj55l8j— Blaine Henry (@BlaineHenryTFL) January 25, 2023 Anyway, you know something like chainsaw motorcycle kickboxing is going to pop up any day now, so let’s stick to wholesome knockouts and submissions while we have this time together. (Big thanks as always to @Barrelelapierna for their weekly lists of the best KOs and submissions, and to @Grabaka_Hitman for uploading many of the clips you see here. Give them a follow and chip in on Patreon if you can.) Dmitriy Aryshev vs. Marcio Santos Nothing says wholesome like a two-touch, rip-your-soul-from-your-body KO, right? Damn. Violent KO by Dmitriy Aryshev against Márcio Santos in the Fight Nights 117 main event. #AMCFightNights117 pic.twitter.com/RSytE8J9dK— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 20, 2023 In the middleweight main event of AMC Fight Nights 117 in Moscow, Dmitriy Aryshev won his fifth straight fight in brutal fashion, putting Marcio Santos on wobbly legs with a left hook and then escorting him to dream street with a second left. All of Aryshev’s wins during this stretch have come by way of knockout and according to Sherdog.com, Aryshev’s 13 wins have all come inside the distance and his eight losses have come on the scorecards. That’s the kind of consistency we like to see around these parts. Full AMC Fight Nights Global bouts are available for free on YouTube. Jarome Hatch vs. Daniel Stewart Speaking of flattening fighters, here’s veteran Jarome Hatch landing an overhand right on the button for the knockout win at Fierce FC 23 in West Valley City, Utah. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jarome Hatch Mma (@thehatchetmma) Hatch has been grinding on the regional scene since 2007 and has a couple of notable losses to Chris Curtis and Zak Ottow. He fought four times in 2023 and in 2022, but was yet to make his Missed Fists debut before today. Welcome to the party, pal. Stephen Gillespie vs. Hiroshi Fujita Last year, Oliver Enkamp scored an amazing submission that was, at first, wrongly identified as the first buggy choke in Bellator history. For reference, this is what a buggy choke actually looks like. Stephen Gillespie pone a dormir a Hiroshi Fujita con un buggy choke en Gladiator 020! pic.twitter.com/u2UuMyrOy2— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) January 22, 2023 At GLADIATOR 020 in Osaka, Stephen Gillespie made Hiroshi Fujita pay for just trying to hold him down and not minding his submission defense. Not a bad highlight in just Gillespie’s second pro fight. And no, after watching both clips again, I still can’t explain what a buggy choke is in less than three sentences. A free replay of GLADIATOR 020 is available on YouTube. Romain Debienne vs. Victor Verchere I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but for a country that has been slow to embrace MMA, France sure seems to like it’s swangin’ and bangin’ (or as they might call it, balançant et claquement). Case in point, Romain Debienne clipped Victor Verchere and didn’t let up until his opponent was turned to dust. Romain Debienne - Hexagone MMA 6 pic.twitter.com/figXeFgITs— Neo Vale Tudo (@NeoValeTudo) January 22, 2023 Check out the official highlights from Hexagone MMA 6 in Paris here: Azamat Maksum vs. Fabricio Nunes Thanks to this sweet highlight package put together by @Grabaka_Hitman, we can all appreciate flyweight prospect Azamat Maksum shining in a battle of undefeateds from this past weekend’s Octagon 39 event in Almaty, Kazakhstan (free replay available on YouTube). Amazing performance by now 16-0 (!) Azat "Kazakh" Maksum, completely dominating the also undefeated Fabricio Nunes before locking up a first round D'arce choke. Get this guy in the UFC flyweight division#OCTAGON39 pic.twitter.com/tujVOhBe7i— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) January 21, 2023 That is some aggressive grappling and it’s no surprise that the 27-year-old Maksum is now 16-0 as a pro. My only issue with him so far is that his nickname is apparently “Kazakh.” That’s like Alexander Volkanovski having the nickname “Australian” or me going by Alexander “Canadian” (“Kanadian?”) Lee. Wait, should I start doing this? Valeriu Mircea vs. Borys MankowskiLukasz Rajewski vs. Sahil SirajRoman Szymanski vs. Raul TutarauliMichael Materla vs. Kendall Grove The UFC isn’t the only major promotion back in action as KSW held its first event of the year this past Saturday in Szczecin, Poland. While KSW 78 couldn’t match the magnificence of Mamed vs. Pudzian closing out 2022, as usual, the action didn’t disappoint. Lightweight Valeriu Mircea scored the best finish of the evening with this gorgeous flying knee and swarm KO. !! !! Valeriu Mircea KNOCKS OUT Borys Mankowski!! XTB #KSW78 pic.twitter.com/TJHn5NYNw4— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023 Mircea has fought for a who’s who of promotions (Brave CF, Bellator, Venator, M-1 Global), so let’s see if he’s here to stay in KSW after that spectacular sequence. Prior to that, Lukasz Rajewski showed off his own killer instinct after crowning Sahil Siraj with a right hand. !!!! XTB #KSW78 Lukasz Rajewski with a big right hand! pic.twitter.com/3GzvBhobTI— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023 On the submission front, Roman Szymanski brought the goods, needing a little more than a minute to secure an armbar tap-out and his fourth straight victory. !!! XTB #KSW78 Roman Szymanski is on a tear! pic.twitter.com/IoV4OJn6xs— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023 Capping off the evening, we had a rematch nearly 10 years in the making as Kendall Grove booked his first MMA fight since 2019 to rematch Michael Materla. Grove previously won a decision over Materla in a championship bout that was not for the faint of heart, to put it lightly. This time, the judges wouldn’t be needed. Materla made sure of that. No doubt this time! XTB #KSW78 Michal Materla finishes a valiant Kendall Grove! pic.twitter.com/gAyTDxbJwY— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 21, 2023 This was a real treat for hardcore KSW fans and also just great matchmaking between two recognizable, veteran names that are both in the same age range. I can’t help but think that the UFC could have done something similar for Shogun Rua, rather than throw him into the cage with a relative unknown. We have guys like Ed Herman around for a reason, don’t we? makes it even worse when you see this lol pic.twitter.com/cpie3d2m1u— Dylan Glenn (@DylanG22_) January 23, 2023 And from the ICYMI department, make sure you watch Abdoul “Lazy King” Abdouraguimov’s latest submission feat as he snatched a victory out of nowhere with a kneebar of Rafal Haratyk. It was far from Abdouraguimov’s best performance (he was literally seconds away from a loss on the cards), but I’m just as impressed with fighters who can steal a win on their worst day against a game opponent than when they just run through their opposition. If you know of a recent fight or event that you think may have been overlooked, or a promotion that could use some attention, please let us know on Twitter — @AlexanderKLee — using the hashtag #MissedFists.

  • Jake Paul will now face Tommy Fury on Feb. 26 in Saudi Arabia
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on January 27, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images The Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury clash is finally official. Paul and Fury will now square off Feb. 26, a day later than previous reports, in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. The eight-round fight will be contested at 185 pounds. The date change was first reported by Ariel Helwani. It’s not the first time Paul and Fury have been scheduled to fight. The two were scheduled to clash Dec. 18, 2021, but Fury pulled out due to medical issues. Paul and Fury are scheduled to square off for the first time during the Artur Beterbiev vs Anthony Yarde fight on Saturday in London. The Paul vs. Fury pay-per-view will be televised on BT Sport and ESPN+. Tommy has no excuses now…Baby’s born. Money’s massive. Immigration no issue.Tyson promises he & Papa will make Tommy retire from boxing & change his last name if he can’t beat the YouTuber. Tmw I’m coming to London to look at all 3 Fury’s in the eye & shake on that promise. pic.twitter.com/hMBFCabMoS— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) January 27, 2023

  • Morning Report: Luke Rockhold eager to box Jake Paul: ‘UFC released me just to go f****** hunt that kid down’
    by Drake Riggs on January 27, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC Luke Rockhold is over the Jake Paul boxing fad. Combat sports free agency has gotten crazier than ever in 2023. Notable names like Nate Diaz and Francis Ngannou have now been joined by the likes of the former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion. Rockhold retired directly after his Paulo Costa unanimous decision defeat this past August. The ability to take his pick with any future opportunity imaginable has seemingly rejuvenated the brash 38-year-old and he hopes to show the newer generation a thing or two in his next time out. “I’d like to beat up all these little f****** punks that think they can box,” Rockhold told Helen Yee. “Especially one in particular. Jake [Paul] would be f****** great. The UFC kinda released me just to go f****** hunt that kid down. “I asked for the release, we were talking about after our boxing session at Churchhill [Boxing Club] with Pete Berg and he said, ‘Ah, yeah. I’ll ask Dana [White].’ And he said, yeah, Luke can go f****** fight that kid. Go beat his ass. I said, okay. I will. So, I was released to beat your f****** ass. The dog is here. The bounty man. The hitman. I’m f****** here. Answer the f****** call.” A boxing match with Rockhold would be right in line with the trajectory of Paul’s pro boxing career thus far. In “The Problem Child’s” six matches, he’s fought former MMA champions in his previous four, winning against all of them. Paul’s last bout was arguably his toughest yet, defeating Rockhold’s fellow former UFC middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva via a unanimous decision in October. Feb. 25 in Saudi Arabia is now the expected next date for Paul to compete as he and Tommy Fury will attempt to make a third booking the charm for their match. Should any issue prevent Fury from making it to fight night, Rockhold will be ready to step in. “We all know Jake. You ain’t s***,” Rockhold told The Schmo. “We all know Tommy Fury ain’t gonna make it to the fight so I might as well just f****** skip around the gym and just be ready to f****** tap dance on that kid’s f****** face come Feb. 25. “Tommy Fury should just go box Dillon Danis. I think that’s the pullout match of all time. I show up to the fights, I do my thing. Otherwise, there’s opportunities everywhere. I’m ready to f****** fight. I’m just not ready to be locked into any contracts. I enjoy this freedom. The best is yet to come.” TOP STORIES Chaos. Brandon Moreno on Brazilian fans pelting him with beer and trash at UFC 283: ‘For me, it was funny’ Return. Sage Northcutt explains lengthy absence from MMA Safety. MMA coach Duke Roufus calls for culture shift in stopping fights: ‘It’s your job to protect the fighter’ Injury. Casey O’Neill details miraculous seven-month recovery after two surgeries on damaged knee VIDEO STEW Between the Links. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Randy Couture. Free fight. UFC Milestones. Meet the challengers. Volk’s final touches. Resume review. MMA is broken. Keith Lee with the surprise. LISTEN UP Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses if Jamahal Hill is being disrespected after UFC 283 title win. SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE Okay. Big fight news coming soon— BMF.eth (@GamebredFighter) January 26, 2023 Sheesh. This still shot from #UFC283 is gnarly pic.twitter.com/wqPHbwY5qr— Shakiel Mahjouri (@Shak_Fu) January 26, 2023 Winning. Strap Season continues! Congrats to @Leon_EdwardsMMA on winning the fan-voted #UFCHonors Comeback and KO of the Year! pic.twitter.com/kU0F8OHqkK— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 26, 2023 Training. Honored to share the mats with MMA legend, pioneer and future HOFer, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She is an inspiration for me and many fighters alike, hopefully some of that talent rubbed off on me for my fight on Feb 25th #StayVicious ⚔️ @ufc pic.twitter.com/fEaDExTHnq— Jasmine Jasudavicius (@JasJasudavicius) January 26, 2023 Anyone? Anybody from bantamweight 11 March Plz — Umar Nurmagomedov (@UNmgdv) January 26, 2023 Lol. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Antonio Silva (@bigfootsilva) Can confirm. Don’t go to Portland! Bunch of hipsters like @RickySimonUFC living in that city!— Austin Arnett (@AustinArnettMMA) January 26, 2023 One more. The Last Stand One of the greatest fighters EVER to step foot in the cage.Will Fedor Emelianenko end his career as Bellator Heavyweight World Champion? Don't miss #Bellator290 on Saturday, February 4th LIVE on @CBS. pic.twitter.com/UZGcOqNtPy— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) January 26, 2023 Well, alright then. “I’ve Been Asked To Coach On TUF Against Ol’e Fathead, or Anyone Of My Choosing If That Cake-Eatin’ Sum’Bish’ Wouldn’t Show *mack* ‍♂️ What A Vagina Always Ready Anytime Anywhere,.. I Choose You McKnacker @TheNotoriousMMA See Ewe Soon- Thee ️Champ -CSO- # pic.twitter.com/oLZ1GqYBZk— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 27, 2023 Boxin’. View this post on Instagram A post shared by IRENE ALDANA (@irene.aldana) Reach out. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lisa Spangler Verzosa (@battle_angel_1232) Ouch. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ben Askren (@benaskren) Highlighty highlight. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jessy Jess (@missjessyjess) Good day. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Xiaonan Yan (@xiaonan_yan) Built differently, indeed. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Georges St-Pierre (@georgesstpierre) Ouff. Jorge Masvidal has one win over current UFC fighters since 2014.— Blaine Henry (@BlaineHenryTFL) January 27, 2023 Some day? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ricky Simon (@rickysimonufc) And new (interim)? 7 years in the making ⏳ ⏳ -See you soon Australia #ufc284 #champcamp #joshemmett pic.twitter.com/OwJAXc7L5X— JOSH EMMETT (@JoshEmmettUFC) January 26, 2023 Congrats. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jimmie Rivera (@jimmierivera) FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS Tony Gravely (23-8) vs. Victor Henry (22-6); UFC Vegas 71, March 11 Ricardo Ramos (16-4) vs. Austin Lingo (9-1); UFC Vegas 71, March 11 Vitor Petrino (7-0) vs. Anton Turkalj (8-1); UFC Vegas 71 March 11 Raquel Pennington (15-9) vs. Irene Aldana (14-6); UFC San Antonio, March 25 FINAL THOUGHTS As a longtime fan, I’m glad we’re likely getting to see Rockhold back... I just don’t care for it or want it to be in boxing. I’m not sold on him joining Bellator so PFL’s upcoming PPV events may be just what the doctor ordered. No chance he competes in the seasonal tournament. Happy Friday, all. Enjoy another UFC-less weekend before things get really crazy. Thanks for reading! EXIT POLL If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

  • MMA coach Duke Roufus calls for culture shift in stopping fights: ‘It’s your job to protect the fighter’
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on January 27, 2023 at 1:00 am

    Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images There were two fights that changed veteran MMA coach Duke Roufus’ perspective on stopping fights. Earlier in his career, Roufus, the longtime head coach and owner of Roufusport, admitted to giving his fighters too much leeway in deciding whether they were still competitive in a fight. That changed when two of his most famous students, ex-UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis and Paul Felder, were seriously injured in bouts. “Anthony broke his orbital against [Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185], and we kept trying to have a song and dance and a prayer that he pulled something out. And you know what? He ended up getting thrashed for many rounds, which was detrimental to his career at that time,” Roufus revealed in an interview with MMA on SiriusXM. “Paul Felder, when he broke his arm against Mike Perry [at UFC 226], should have stopped that fight, and I learned a lot from those experiences, when I had to live with the regret of that, and it’s something I bring now into my coaching skill set is empathy, sympathy.” Those traits can be blunted, Roufus said, because the stakes of a fight in the UFC are so high that fighters’ corners don’t feel empowered to make decisions that could hurt their career. “The title is so hard to get in MMA that sometimes our passion for glory is too strong for our wits and humanity in doing what’s the right thing,” he said. Longtime MMA coach John Hackleman said as much while reflecting on his attempt to call off the UFC 283 main event between Jamahal Hill and Glover Teixeira. Although happy that Teixeira didn’t take more damage after he tried to have the bout called off, he said he’d seen enough to stop the bout after the third round. The prospect of watching his fighters hurt was one of the reasons he resolved never to corner another fight. Hill vs. Teixeira and another brutal UFC 283 bout between Jessica Andrade and Lauren Murphy reignited the discussion about fighter safety and a corner’s responsibility to protect their fighter. Roufus said he gained a new perspective not only from his mistakes, but his experience as a professional fighter. That can be lacking, he said, in bigger gyms where fighters get less 1-1 time with their coaches, who may not put as much time into teaching defensive tactics. “What I’ve got going for me is I’ve gotten my ass kicked,” Roufus said. “I’ve been destroyed, been wrecked in fights. I know what it feels like. I think there’s a lot of coaches who’ve had some success coaching, but they’ve never gotten their heart torn out and destroyed in the ring like some of these kids are getting, and I think we’ve got to shift that culture. It’s your job to protect the fighter.” Check out Roufus’ interview below. "Sometimes our passion for glory is too strong for our wits and humanity in doing what's the right thing."One of the few who has stopped a fight, Duke Roufus shares the mistakes he's made in the corner & why he thinks there's a lack of corner stoppages in MMA w/@jimmysmithmma pic.twitter.com/7ZH0FUaz8j— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) January 27, 2023

  • UFC Fight Roundup: Bobby Green meets Jared Gordon in lightweight veterans clash on April 22
    by MMA Fighting Newswire on January 26, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    Bobby Green | Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC Fights come together fast these days, and if you blink, you can easily miss them. In Fight Roundup, we bring you the latest reported matchups to keep you up to date with what’s on the horizon. All bouts featured have been officially announced or confirmed with MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz, Mike Heck, and Damon Martin via sources with knowledge of the matchups. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Zuffa LLC Paddy Pimblett and Jared Gordon Bobby Green vs. Jared Gordon Two of the UFC’s most battle-tested lightweights are set to fight this April. Bobby Green (29-14-1) meets Jared Gordon (19-6) at the UFC’s upcoming April 22 event, with a location still to be determined. MMA Junkie was first to report the bout. Both 155-pound stalwarts look to rebound from tough losses. Green was knocked out in the second round by Drew Dober this past December after controlling the majority of the contest, a loss that sent him to his third loss in his past four fights. His UFC record fell to 10-9-1. Gordon also appeared to be having success in a high-profile bout against Paddy Pimblett at UFC 282, but the scorecards were not in his favor as he lost a controversial decision to the English star. Gordon owns a 7-5 UFC record. Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC Chris Gutierrez Chris Gutierrez vs. Pedro MunhozDustin Jacoby vs. Azamat MurzakanovBrady Hiestand vs. Danaa BatgerelBruna Brasil vs. Denise Gomes The UFC’s April 15 event doesn’t have an official location yet, but the card is already shaping up, with Chris Gutierrez facing off against Pedro Munhoz in a battle of bantamweight contenders. Gutierrez (19-3-2) is coming off of a thrilling knee knockout of legend Frankie Edgar at UFC 281, a highlight that extended Gutierrez’s current win streak to four and his unbeaten streak to eight. He hasn’t lost since being submitted by Raoni Barcelos in November 2018. His success has put him just outside the top 15 of the MMA Fighting Global Rankings. Formerly ranked but trending in the other direction is Munhoz (19-7, 2 NC), who has just one win in his past six appearances. The Brazilian veteran made one appearance in 2022, a matchup with Sean O’Malley that ended in a disappointing no contest when Munhoz was unable to continue due to an accidental eye poke. Gutierrez vs, Munhoz was first reported by ESPN Deportes. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC Dustin Jacoby Fringe light heavyweight contenders Dustin Jacoby (18-6-1) and Azamat Murzakanov (12-0) are also set to compete on April 15 (first reported by MMA Junkie). Jacoby has been on a tear in his second stint in the UFC, going 6-0-1 before dropping a split decision to Khalil Rountree this past October. Murzakanov is 12-0 as a pro with third-round knockout victories in his first two UFC appearances. “The Professional” was signed off of the Contender Series in 2021, following a first-round knockout of Mattheus Scheffel. Also added to the April 15 card, Lando Vannata (12-6-2) takes on 23-year-old prospect Daniel Zellhuber (12-1) in a lightweight bout, Brady Hiestand (6-2) fights Danaa Batgerel (12-4) in a bantamweight bout, and Bruna Brasil (8-2-1) makes her UFC debut against Denise Gomes in a strawweight bout. Vannata vs. Zellhuber was first reported by MMA Latinoamérica, Hiestand was first to announce his fight with Batgerel, and Brasil vs. Gomes was first reported by Dama de Ferro MMA. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images Kyler Phillips Kyler Phillips vs. Raphael Assuncao Another key bantamweight bout has been added to the 2023 slate as Kyler Phillips (10-2) fights longtime contender Raphael Assuncao (27-9) on March 11 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. The matchup was first announced by Phillips’ management. “The Matrix” has impressed in his five UFC appearances, going 4-1 with two Fight of the Night-winning efforts. In his most recent outing this past February, Phillips defeated Marcelo Rojo by third-round submission. Assuncao competed once in 2022, scoring a unanimous decision win over Victor Henry at UFC Vegas 62. The victory snapped a four-fight losing skid for Assuncao, who brought his UFC record up to 12-6. Four other fights have also been officially announced for the March 11 event: Featherweight: Ricardo Ramos (16-4) vs. Austin Lingo (9-1) Light Heavyweight: Vitor Petrino (7-0) vs. Anton Turkalj (8-1) Heavyweight: Karl Williams (7-1) vs. Lukasz Brzeski (8-2-1, 1 NC) Bantamweight: Victor Henry (22-6) vs. Tony Gravely (23-8) Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC Malcolm Gordon Malcolm Gordon vs. Jake Hadley Canada’s Malcolm Gordon heads into enemy territory for a bout with England’s Jake Hadley. The Gordon vs. Hadley flyweight contest has been added to UFC 286, which takes place March 18 at O2 Arena in London. TSN was first to report the matchup. Gordon (14-6) fell to 2-3 at UFC 280 this past October after being submitted by the undefeated Muhammad Mokaev. Prior to that setback, he’d put together his first UFC win streak, defeating Denys Bondar and Francisco Figueiredo in consecutive bouts. Hadley (9-1), a recent Contender Series signing, scored his first UFC victory this past November when he submitted Carlos Candelario in the second round. Also added to the March 18 card is a battle of lightweight newcomers as Sam Patterson (10-1-1) fights Yanal Ashmoz (6-0). The matchup was first reported by Eurosport. Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC Alex Caceres Alex Caceres vs. Nate Landwehr Alex Caceres could be headed for a slugfest. A veteran of 27 UFC fights, Caceres (20-13, 1 NC) next takes on Nate Landwehr (16-4) in a featherweight bout at UFC San Antonio, which takes place March 25 at AT&T Center. The matchup was first reported by BRKRZ. “Bruce Leeroy” scored a highlight-reel knockout of Julian Erosa this past December to rebound from a decision loss to Sodiq Yusuff and earn his sixth win in his past seven fights. The finish earned Caceres a Performance of the Night bonus. No stranger to bonuses himself, Landwehr is coming off of one of 2022’s best fights, a wild majority decision victory over David Onama. The former M-1 featherweight champion has won two straight and is 3-2 since joining the UFC in 2020. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC Natan Levy Natan Levy vs. Pete Rodriguez Natan Levy and Pete Rodriguez look to continue their winning ways in 2023 as they meet in a lightweight bout on April 29, with a location still to be determined. This marks Rodriguez’s first fight at 155 pounds after previously competing as a welterweight. The matchup was first reported by ESPN Deportes. Levy (8-1) has won two straight fights since debuting in the UFC with a loss to Rafa Garcia. He defeated Mike Breeden via unanimous decision this past April and then followed that up with another win on points against Genaro Valdez. Rodriguez also lost in his debut, a knockout at the hands of Jack Della Maddalena, but earned his first UFC win this past October with a first-round knockout of Mike Jackson. Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC Zac Pauga Zac Pauga vs. Jordan Wright The Ultimate Fighter 30 runner-up Zac Pauga has his first fight and it’s in a new division. Pauga drops down to light heavyweight to fight Jordan Wright (12-4) on Feb. 18 at UFC Vegas 69. The matchup was first announced by Pauga’s management. On the most recent season of TUF, Pauga was one of the favorites to win the competition, but he was upset in the finals where he suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Mohammed Usman. He is 5-1 since making his pro debut with the Legacy Fighting Alliance in 2020. Wright makes his seventh UFC appearance and seeks his first win since May 2021. “The Beverly Hills Ninja” has lost three straight fights, all by knockout or submission. His UFC record sits at 2-4.

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