Photo Credit: @UFC on Instagram

The Week That Was In Combat Sports

As usual, the combat sports world had a lot of fights to enjoy over the past week. UFC Winnipeg brought some fantastic match-ups that made the card quite enjoyable. Bellator 191 was a good card with a couple former UFC title contenders making their promotional debuts. Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO Middleweight title and so much more! 

The UFC Winnipeg card brought fireworks with a main card that didn’t disappoint. In the main event we saw two former UFC champions go toe-to-toe in what turned out to be an absolute battle in the Octagon. Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler put on a great fight for the fans in attendance and for fans around the world in what was an instant classic scrap between two great champions of the sport. Although dos Anjos would win the fight, the former champion didn’t win easily as Lawler put up a fight for five rounds. These are the kinds of scraps that turn champions into legends and if dos Anjos gets a title shot, then wins a second UFC title in a second division, he will have to be in the top echelon of fighters under the greatest of all time banner.

Santiago Ponzinibbio and Mike Perry put on a helluva fight. The now #9 ranked welterweight Ponzinibbio would win by decision but Perry left it all in the cage on this night. This was a bloody battle that surprisingly went the full three rounds.

An unranked fighter beat a #3 ranked title contender in what might be the most shocking knockout in MMA this year. Josh Emmett, an unranked featherweight, that took the fight on under three weeks notice against the third ranked featherweight, Ricardo Lamas, scored a brutal one-punch knockout in the first round of the fight. Most had Emmett losing to Lamas and most were wrong. With the KO, Emmett surges up the UFC featherweight rankings to #5 in the division and Lamas went down from #3 to #6. I look forward to seeing how far Emmett can take his talent in a division full of young, hungry fighters.

  • I’m not sure how this pertains to UFC Winnipeg but I’m not mad.

Former UFC title contenders Michael MacDonald and Valerie Letourneau made their Bellator debuts on Friday evening at Bellator 191. Both won by unanimous decision and both looked good in the cage. I think it’s safe to say that both fighters will make runs at their respective divisions title belts as they both are talented fighters.

All of the hype coming out of BAMMA Newcastle was the fantastic finish and win by Aaron Chalmers. But let’s be real, the guy he fought was 0-1 in amateur fights and had a white collar boxing record of 3-89. Chalmers was dealt an easy card on this night. There is not question that Chalmers is a star in the UK and potentially has the talent, but BAMMA needs to put guys in front of him that will test the guy.

The fighter that needs to be talked about is new BAMMA lightweight champion Ryan Scope. Although he won by split-decision, the fight was in Scope’s control the entire time. He got tagged a few times but nothing too serious. It’s too bad he left ACB and went back to BAMMA, I thought he had a shot at doing something great in a very good fight promotion, ACB, nonetheless, Scope is a guy to keep your eyes and keep on your radar.

How Vitaly Minakov isn’t in the UFC, or at the very least back in Bellator, is beyond me, but this guy is the real deal. Minakov is now 21-0 and running through Fight Nights Global‘s heavyweight division. Maybe Bellator should have brought Minakov back for their heavyweight Grand Prix? Or will ACB come calling? Hopefully we can see Minakov on a bigger level, sooner rather than later because the sky is truly the limit for this guy. Catch up on all of FNG 82’s news HERE!

Fight Nights Global was busy this weekend, as they held two events, one on Friday (FNG 81) and the other on Saturday (FNG 82). The 81’st running of Fight Nights Global had the promotions talented featherweight champion Alexander Matmuratov retaining his strap against a game last minute opponent in Evgeny Ignatiev. You can read more on FNG 81 HERE!

WBO welterweight champion Billy Joe Saunders defended his title against David Lemieux on Saturday night. Saunders dominated the bout the entire 12 rounds. He was quick on his timing, fast to move out of the way of Lemieux’s punches and smart all the way through. Billy Joe Saunders proved he’s ready for a big fight against either Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez. Unfortunately the two will probably fight in May for the second time, leaving Saunders to wait. Whatever happens, Saunders should be on the radar of Golovkin and Alvarez.

Titan FC 47 crowned a new Featherweight champion in Luis Gomez. You can watch how he won the strap below.

UFC third ranked welterweight, Colby Covington, is staying relevant by running nonsense on Twitter. The guy is taking the pages out of Conor McGregor’s book but isn’t doing it as well. Covington keeps pushing for a fight against welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, but that won’t be happening anytime soon since the champion had surgery on his shoulder. Now Covington has set his sights on former lightweight champion and current #2 ranked Middleweight Rafael dos Anjos. This is a match I would love to see since dos Anjos is one of the best in all of MMA and Covington is not, even though he talks like he is. Plain and simple, Covington needs to be humbled and I believe Rafael dos Anjos can do it and should be given the opportunity to do so.

After nearly four months Showtime has finally announced the pay-per-view buys for the Floyd Mayweather Jr versus Conor McGregor boxing match. The fight brought in 4.3 million PPV buys and generated $600 million in revenue. These are fantastic numbers considering Mayweather came out of retirement after a two year layoff and his opponent McGregor had never fought inside the squared circle. This fight may have been a circus but combat sports fans all over the world watched and spent their hard earned money on the fight. McGregor showed more than most would have expected and Mayweather finished the fight via knockout in the 10’th round. There was basically everything in this boxing match for the fight fan, making it a match that was a win for the sport of boxing and its fans. You can read more about the fight HERE!

With a heavy heart, I would like to send my condolences to the MMA community affected by the passing of former Team Quest and XTreme Couture coach Robert Follis. By all accounts, Follis was an amazing coach, a great friend and an incredible human being. I hope he rests easily and my heart is with his family, friends, teammates and all of the fighters who were in Robert Follis’ life.

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