The world of MMA never stops turning. With countless large promotions rivaling the UFC there’s is always juicy news bites to sink our teeth into. Here is a round up of all the goings on in the sport over the last Seven Days
Covington vs Lawlor a done deal
The announcement that this fight will main event the UFC fight night Newark card on August 3rd was met with open arms by the majority of MMA fans. The match up comes as a shock to most, with Covington reportedly waiting in the wings for a title shot against the now welterweight champion Kamaro Usmann. However with contenders such as Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren knocking on Dana’s door it seems as the pressure was on for this trash talking contender to secure his position as next in line. There is no better man to do this against than the legendary Robbie lawlor. A man looking to rebound from a controversial loss to one of the UFC most valuable commodities Ben Askren, there’s is no doubt that a win over Covington would propel this icon right back into title contention. The smash mouth style of Lawlor matches well with the wrestling approach adopted by Covington, making this an intriguing match up inside the Octagon. As for outside of the cage, the heelish antics of Covington and alleged reports of the trumps sitting ringside for the fight ensures a wild ride fitting for a main event slot.
Rafael Lovato Jr. becomes Bellator middleweight champion
This past Saturday, Bellator travelled to London for an event stacked with European talent. In the cards featured bout, Rafael Lovato Junior defeated Gegard Mousasi by majority decision in an enthralling back and forth contest to become the new Bellator middleweight champion. This fight was a war of attrition with Lovado Jr. being hurt on a number of occasions with big strikes by Mousasi. However a battered and bloodied Lovado was able to get the fight to the ground and control Mousasi to pick up a narrow decision win against one of the most accomplished Bellator fighters in history. Among other notable wins on Saturday was young Irish prospect James Gallagher, English born veteran Paul ‘semtex’ Daly and Aaron Chalmers via second round triangle choke.
Artem Lobov defeats Paulie Malignaggi at BKFC5
In a bout that can only be described as a budget Mayweather vs Mcgreggor, former UFC fighter, ‘The GOAT’ Artem Lobov shocked the world by gaining a huge upset win over former two time boxing world champ Paulie Malignaggi. The fight was built around tensions between Paulie and Connor Mcgreggors boxing camp (Which included Artem) over varying accounts of a sparring session between Paulie and Mcgreggor. The bad blood continued in the build up to this fight with Paulie slapping Artem at a promotional event, sending the MMA media into a frenzy. The fight was close, with Malignaggi out boxing Lobov for much of it. However there was no comparison when it came to damage done as Lobov stalked Paulie for the majority of the contest, landing blows that wobbled him on a few occasions over its course.
This fight helped BKFC gain a foothold in the public eye of the combat sports world and the question left unanswered is what they will do with this momentum. As for the fighters it appears Malignaggi will return to retirement where as Artem will look to pursue more big money fights, proclaiming himself to be ‘a prizefighter’ in the post fight press conference. The event also saw an unexpected return to fighting for long time retired UFC veteran Chris ‘the crippler’ Leben. Living up to his reputation the 38 year old dispatched of Justin Basemen in classic Leben style, in under a minute with an onslaught, ending in a barrage of uppercuts in the clinch.
UFC announces multiple bouts for Vancouver card
The recently announce UFC Fight Night Vancouver card will take place the 14th of September and is already beginning to fill out. Among the most notable bouts announced were Nikita Krylov (7-4 in the UFC) Vs Glover Teixeira (12-5 in the UFC) and Todd Duffee (3-2 in the UFC) Vs Jeff Hughes (0-1 in the UFC) both taking place at heavyweight. Urijah Hall vs Antonio Carlos Junior and David Branch Vs Andrew Sanchez has also been booked at middleweight. Although some of these fights may catch the eye, particularly the battle between long time UFC combatants Teixeira and Krylov, this card certainly needs an eye catching main event to get the fans attention.
Dan hardy hints at UFC return
Dan Hardy once again suggested that he will someday be back in the UFC Octagon. Speaking on the MMA hour with Luke Thomas, Hardy stated that he’s ‘always mulling a return’ and wouldn’t we love to see this charismatic color commentator and analyst step back in the octagon to put his knowledge and skill set to the test, if only for one more fight.
‘I would love to fight again, I absolutely would, I’ve got ideas in my head of who I would like to fight and where I would like to fight but none of that is relevant right now. What I need to do is get myself into a position where my body is moving well over a couple of months and the USADA testing pool will give me that time’