When the news broke that Conor McGregor (19-3) would be staying at welterweight to rematch Nate Diaz (19-10) in the UFC 200 main event, the MMA world got confirmation of something they already knew. But now its official, on July 9th the Irishman will look to avenge his UFC 196 submission loss to Diaz.

In the first meeting, McGregor was successful early on with his striking. He opened up a cut on Nate but he never really had him in any danger. Diaz proved to be difficult to discourage as the Stockton, California native kept moving forward.  Eventually in the second round he caught McGregor with solid punches on the feet and stunned the 145lb champion.  It forced Conor to look for a takedown and that was the beginning of the end.  Diaz was able to lock in a rear-naked choke and finish the fight at 4:12 of the second round.

It seemed at the time that Conor McGregor’s next step would be to defend his UFC featherweight title and that was likely to happen at UFC 200. Well the loss must not be sitting well with “The Notorious” because he’s decided to leave that division behind for the time being.  Staying at welterweight will at least give him the opportunity to get used to the extra weight and be ready for a five round fight.  The first matchup was on 12 days’ notice, and McGregor had been preparing to fight at 155lbs.  It could be a much different fight the next time around, but we must keep in mind that Diaz will likely improve his gameplan as well.

Either way, it would appear that “The Notorious” Conor McGregor gets whatever he wants as long he keeps making the UFC boatloads of money and Nate Diaz is just along for the ride. Don’t miss this fight, July 9th, available on pay per view.  For more coverage on UFC 200 keep checking back with profightingfans.com.

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

After every UFC event we here at Pro Fighting Fans love to play matchmaker. In this column we’ll tell you who we think the winners and losers of each fight should face next.  So check back with Pro Fighting Fans after a UFC event to see what we think the next step is.

Amanda Nunes (12-4)

Who she should face next: Holly Holm (10-1) or Julianna Pena (7-2)

Amanda Nunes is a legitimate contender in the women’s bantamweight division, there is no doubt about that.  However, since she’s right near the top of the pack at 135lbs, her future really depends on who new champion Miesha Tate faces next.

Dana White made it clear that Ronda Rousey would be Miesha Tate’s title defense.  But, as we know all too well in MMA, plans don’t always work out the way we want.  Maybe Ronda gets injured or retires and Holly Holm gets a rematch with Tate.  If Holly Holm doesn’t get the rematch, instead of waiting around for the winner of Tate vs. Rousey, she should face Amanda Nunes for the number one contender spot.

Let’s say Ronda doesn’t fight Tate next, then Nunes’ best option is to face another ranked opponent.  I think putting her up against Julianna Pena would make for an incredible matchup.  Both women are strong on the ground and neither of them ever seems to back down from a challenge.  The options are plenty for Nunes and let’s hope her next fight is against one of these two women.

 

Corey Anderson (8-1)

Who he should face next: Ilir Latifi (12-4)

Although Corey Anderson wasn’t overly impressive in his victory over Tom Lawlor at UFC 196, he is still on a three fight winning streak.  That alone should earn him an opponent near the top ten in the light heavyweight division.  However, Anderson only has nine professional fights, so matchmakers will likely keep in that in mind when they are booking his next fight.

Another guy riding a three fight winning streak is Swedish fighter Ilir Latifi.  It just so happens that Latifi fought right after Anderson on Saturday night and picked up a decent win of his own when he earned a unanimous decision over Gian Villante.  Anderson and Latifi are both headed in the same direction and a fight between them would separate the middle of the pack fighter from the contender.

 

Ilir Latifi (12-4)

Who he should face next: See above

 

Miesha Tate (18-5)

Who she should face next: Ronda Rousey (12-1)

Miesha Tate picked up the biggest victory of her MMA career at UFC 196 when she captured the women’s bantamweight title in thrilling come from behind fashion against Holly Holm.  It was a once in a lifetime type of win and one that won’t soon be forgotten.

Dana White has already said Ronda Rousey will get the first shot at Tate and there is no reason to argue with that.  Unless of course Ronda isn’t able to fight, or doesn’t want to and in that case Tate should give Holly Holm a rematch.

As we all know Tate and Rousey have a rivalry that goes all the way back to their Strikeforce days.  They’ve fought once since they joined the UFC and Rousey won both fights by submission.  However things become different when the title is around the other person’s waist.  Tate is now a UFC champion and the mentality that comes along with it could be what she needs to beat Ronda Rousey once and for all.

 

Nate Diaz (19-10)

Who he should face next: Eddie Alvarez (27-4)

Not many people gave Nate Diaz a chance at beating Conor McGregor when he stepped in on short notice to face the cocky Irishman.  He had less than two weeks to prepare for the fight of his life.  Diaz once again proved that he and his brother are usually at their best when they are put in terrible positions.  Diaz took everything McGregor threw at him and kept moving forward until he hurt the featherweight champ then submitted him with a rear-naked choke.

Dana White suggested that Diaz might get a welterweight title shot after his win Saturday night.  But let’s be realistic about this.  Diaz is a lightweight who was fighting a featherweight, at welterweight on short notice.  He really has no business jumping the line and challenging for Robbie Lawler’s welterweight title.

However, Diaz does deserve a big (lightweight) fight the next time we see him in the octagon.  Eddie Alvarez would definitely be a suitable opponent for Nate and if he could earn a victory he might be next in line for a lightweight title fight.  Anthony Pettis is another good option but he’s currently scheduled to fight Edson Barboza next.  So Alvarez vs. Diaz should be the fight that the UFC makes and they may as well make it a number one contender fight.  Because everyone knows, especially after UFC 196, that Nate Diaz is the man!

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

 

 

 

Not many people thought Nate Diaz had a chance to knock off Conor McGregor on Saturday night at UFC 196. The Irishman was jumping up two weight classes and taking on a legitimate contender in Diaz, however it was expected that Conor’s quickness and accuracy would win him the fight.

In the opening frame McGregor looked great. He controlled the center of the octagon and was the aggressor for the majority of the round.  Conor was able to land some solid punches, he didn’t wobble Nate but he definitely gained the veteran’s attention.  That was also the case when McGregor opened up a cut over Nate’s right eye.

Unlike all of McGregor’s other UFC opponents Nate Diaz didn’t allow him to get into his head. Diaz stayed focused and got a late takedown to make the first round close but McGregor probably won it on the scorecards.

In the second Nate continued to pump a strong jab while blood ran down his face and his right eye was nearly swollen shut. Conor landed a few more decent punches but with just over two minutes left in the round all hell broke loose.

Diaz caught Conor with a right-left combination that stumbled him and right at that moment it became a matter of how and when Nate would win the fight. Conor never backed down and kept throwing shots of his own until he’d had enough and made a weak shot for a takedown which allowed Diaz to gain top control.  He is a BJJ blackbelt and McGregor isn’t, it was so obvious when the fight hit the mat.  Nate ran right through McGregor and with just a minute left in the second round he forced the featherweight champion to tapout with a rear-naked choke.

It wasn’t the outcome McGregor or most of the world had predicted and it sent shockwaves through the MMA community. With just eleven days worth of preparation Nate Diaz put on the performance of a lifetime and it likely earned him an even bigger payday the next time he steps into the octagon.  It was a great way to cap off a night of major upsets, including Miesha Tate winning the women’s bantamweight title when she came from behind to choke out Holly Holm in the fifth and final round.

For more coverage of UFC 196 continue to check back with Pro Fighting Fans.

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

This week we’ll take a good look at the UFC 196 main event between Conor Mcgregor and Nate Diaz. We know the history, we know the talk, now we just want to see the fight.  Will McGregor run right through Diaz?  Or will Diaz use his length and strong boxing skills to keep out of harm’s way?  Each guy has things he can do in the cage that will give him a distinct advantage over his opponent.  The winner will be the one who puts together all of the keys to victory.

Nate Diaz:

  • Use a strong jab

When he is on, Nate Diaz is capable of beating anyone the UFC puts in front of him. When he’s off, like he was against Rafael dos Anjos, it can get ugly.  Diaz is a great all around fighter, but one of his biggest strengths are his boxing skills.  He has a great jab and that was evident in his last fight with Michael Johnson.  That matchup was southpaw vs. southpaw, much like the one on Saturday night, and Nate was able to keep Johnson honest.  Obviously McGregor is a completely different striker than anyone Diaz has ever faced, but if Nate can keep the fight at his preferred distance he would have a good chance of  earning a decision victory.

  • Be willing to look for a takedown at the first sign of danger

Both Nate and his brother Nick love to go toe to toe with their opponents, they rarely take a backwards step inside the octagon. However, Conor McGregor is not the kind of guy you can stalk around the cage.  His kicking game is on another level and Nate Diaz will definitely get hit on Saturday night.  The outcome of the fight will be determined by what Diaz does after he gets hit.  He needs to remember that his Judo and BJJ skills likely give him an advantage in those areas of the fight.  He can’t be afraid to it to the ground and look for submissions, it is probably his best option to win the fight.

  • Find the balance between trash talking and following the gameplan.

To be effective at welterweight against Conor McGregor, Diaz has to do what he does best, talk some smack. He just needs to make sure that he’s also focused on what he needs to do to win the fight.  It will be hard to resist the temptation to talk when McGregor is also trash talking.  But when McGregor is talking is when Diaz needs to stay focused and pressure the Irishman to make a mistake.

 

Conor McGregor:

  • Keep doing what you are doing, it is working

Maybe it’s his mysterious movement coach or his incredible ability to back up his talk but Conor McGregor is definitely doing something right every time he steps in the octagon. It’s likely a combination of many things, regardless it’s working and McGregor is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

  • Kicks, kicks and more kicks

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor might be the most creative kicker we’ve ever seen in the cage. When he’s throwing a kick his body is so fluid, the movements so natural yet completely unpredictable to his opponents.  He uses kicks as a jab to setup other strikes and it’s a gameplan that would likely work well against Diaz.  Plus, Josh Thomson knocked out Nate Diaz with a head kick and surely Conor McGregor kicks as hard as if not harder than “The Punk”.  It could be an early night for Diaz.

  • Have fun out there

March 5th was supposed to be the night Conor McGregor attempted to become the first man to hold two UFC titles simultaneously.  Instead lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos dropped out of the fight with a broken foot and once again the UFC was scrambling to find someone willing to step in the cage with McGregor.  Surprisingly there were a lot of volunteers but it was Nate Diaz who got the short notice call.  Now McGregor is going to be fighting two weight classes up from 145lbs where he is the current champion, and it’s against a natural 155lb fighter.  The fight means nothing, so there really shouldn’t be any pressure on either one of them, especially McGregor.  He has nothing to lose and he needs to fight that way, if he’s going to win he may as well make it entertaining.

 

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

        

The last time we saw Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0) inside the octagon he was manhandling current UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. That was way back in April 2014, but it seems as though MMA fans won’t have to wait much longer for his return.

Nurmagomedov made it official on Twitter that he is signed once more to fight fellow top contender Tony Ferguson (20-3). The two men were supposed to face off this past December at the TUF 22 Finale.  Unfortunately Nurmagomedov had to pull out of that bout with yet another injury.  Ferguson of course went on to fight Edson Barboza and won by submission in the second round.

Overall Ferguson has won seven straight and has only suffered one defeat in his past fifteen fights. The only loss came at the hands of Michael Johnson in 2012.  The two were ready for a rematch later this year before Johnson became injured.  It’s probably the best scenario for Tony Ferguson, because the fight with Nurmagomedov will most certainly be a 5 round title eliminator.  The winner will face off against the winner of UFC 196’s main event between Conor McGregor and Rafael Dos Anjos.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is looking to hold on to his perfect professional MMA record and finally get the title shot that has eluded him for some time. Getting past Ferguson will be no easy task and the Russian will need to shake off the cage rust early if he wants a shot at gold.  When he is healthy he is one of the best fighters in the world, his stellar grappling makes him a tough fight for anyone at 155lbs.

Hopefully the UFC will make this official in the next few days but as long as they do this just became one of the biggest fights of 2016 so far! For continued coverage on UFC on FOX 19 and other MMA events keep checking back with Profightingfans.com

Brent Haugh

Pro Fighting Fans Editor/Writer

No preliminary card fighter in the history of the sport has received the kind of attention that Dublin’s own Conor McGregor has enjoyed during the past month.  From cruising the Vegas Strip in Dana White’s soft top Ferrari, to his own prefight television segment.  The bearded Irishman has captivated our imaginations with his charisma and sheer likability.

Going into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 26 card, McGregor carried a respectable record of 13-2 with only one win coming inside the UFC.  Yet when the lights dimmed, and the walk-out sequence began, you would have sworn Anderson Silva or George St. Pierre were about to enter.  The crowd went into a frenzy, transferring their energy and excitement through TVs into sports bars and living rooms around the country.

And there he was.  Looking less like 5’8’’ and more like 7’0’’ Conor McGregor meandered towards the cage, draped in a tri-color Irish flag, as the sea of green fans swarmed and writhed around him.

McGregor came out in the first round throwing unorthodox switch kicks, front leg hook kicks, and lead hand uppercuts.  His style bewildered opponent Max Holloway, who spent most of the round backing up and circling away from the offensive onslaught.

The fight took a turn late in the second round when McGregor injured his knee during a transition attempt from half guard.  Showing adaptability, Conor took the fight to the ground implementing strong position control as Holloway showcased his defensive guard work.

The verdict came in a one-sided decision victory, the first of McGregor’s career.  Following the fight, McGregor continually insisted the victory felt more like loss.  With extra “Fight of the Night” bonuses being handed out left and right, it was clear the Irishman was upset after stating, “I hype myself of big, yeah.  I hype myself up so big, that everyone else hypes me up.  But nobody criticizes/critiques me more than I critique myself.  I plan on stealing the show every time.  I plan on finishing everyone.”

Though the bonus didn’t come for McGregor, he gained further admiration from President Dana White and also the fans.  As we wait for news of the knee injury, many fun potential match-ups lay in wait for the 25 year old.  TUF vets Steven Siler, Diego Brandao, and Akira Corassani are all on win streaks, and would provide McGregor with appropriate competition for his growing stature.

With the money the UFC is pouring into marketing young McGregor, we’ll likely see him fast tracked towards a title shot in only two or three more victories.  He’s the charismatic figure Ireland has been waiting for ever since the days of Steve Collins.  The young phenom has the killer instinct and boyish charm to become a superstar.  Stay tuned folks.

Mica Koefod

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

You wouldn’t have to search very hard to find an example of a weak UFC fight card.  In fact, next weekend’s UFC 161 fits the bill perfectly.  After a couple of injuries the event is now being headlined by Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson.  It is a decent main event, but after that the lineup resembles a free TV card, except it’s airing on pay-per-view.  This isn’t the first time this has happened, we all remember UFC 151.

So it was a relief when Dana White and company began announcing August’s UFC on FOX Sports 1:1 fight card.  Not only will it be free, it is also stacked with exciting matchups.  As long as the fighters stay healthy the event could set matchmaking standards for future UFC events.

UFC on FOX Sports 1:1 will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC) and Chael Sonnen (27-13-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC).  Rua was supposed to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 161, but an injury forced “Little Nog” to withdraw.  Sonnen did offer his services as a late replacement, unfortunately visa issues made him unavailable.  Instead of rescheduling the original matchup, the UFC decided to have Sonnen vs. Rua headline the UFC on FOX Sports 1 debut.

The bout should end up being very competitive.  It will pit the elite wrestling skills of Sonnen against Shogun’s elite striking.  If for some reason the fight is boring, at least we’ll get two months of Chael Sonnen trash talk leading up to it.  You’ve got to admit, the guy knows how to sell a fight.

The co-main event will be a heavyweight showdown, with Travis Browne (14-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) facing Alistair Overeem (36-12-1NC MMA, 1-1 UFC).  Browne is coming off a first round TKO victory over Gabriel Gonzaga, while Overeem was knocked out by Antonio Silva the last time he was in the octagon.  Both of these men are excellent strikers, so fans should expect a standup war.  Overeem definitely has more experience, but I have to give the speed advantage to Browne.  Whoever is victorious will move themselves closer to contender status in the UFC heavyweight division.

Urijah Faber (28-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) will lend whatever star power he has left to the Fox Sports 1 card, when he takes on dangerous Brazilian Yuri Alcantara (28-4-1NC MMA, 3-1-1NC UFC).  Although casual fans won’t be too familiar with Alcantara, he should be a good challenge for Faber.  It will be interesting to see how “The California Kid” deals with the size of his opponent, who is a very large bantamweight.

If Matt Brown (17-11 MMA, 10-5 UFC) vs. Thiago Alves (19-9 MMA, 11-6 UFC) does not end up being a bloodbath, I’ll be very disappointed.  It should be Brown’s biggest challenge yet and a win over Alves will confirm his status as a legitimate welterweight contender.  Meanwhile, if Thiago Alves can bring an end to Matt Brown’s incredible winning streak, it would be a major statement to the rest of the 170lb division.

There are still two fights left on the main card.  TUF 17 finalist Uriah Hall (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will make his official UFC debut against Nick Ring (13-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC).  The fact that Hall is a human highlight reel is the only reason you need to watch this fight.

Joe Lauzon (22-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Michael Johnson (12-8 MMA, 5-4 UFC) will kick off the main card broadcast with a lightweight matchup.  Lauzon could change his nickname to “Mr. Bonus” and no one would complain.  Obviously Joe is a bonus machine, but Michael Johnson’s athleticism should keep him in the fight.  If Johnson can defeat Joe Lauzon it would be the biggest victory of his career.  However, Lauzon is coming off a loss against Jim Mille and he’ll be hungry to get back in the win column.

In addition to the main card the prelims will feature a bantamweight fight between contenders Michael McDonald and Brad Pickett.  Former Cage Warriors two division champion Conor McGregor, Mike Brown and Diego Brandao are among the other fighters on the preliminary card.

UFC on FOX Sports 1:1 is stacked from top to bottom.  It’s too bad it won’t happen until August.  We’ll just have to patiently wait for what could be the summer’s best MMA event.  To see the entire fight card click here and keep checking back with Profightingfans.com for further updates.

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

(PRESS RELEASE) London, England – THE BIGGEST mixed martial arts event ever to hit Wales will take place at the 5,000-capacity Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, May 4, 2013, when Cage Warriors Fighting Championship returns to Cardiff.

Cage Warriors 54 will feature two CWFC title fights, as well as a host of other exciting bouts involving some of the top fighters from the UK and beyond.
 
Swansea’s John Phillips is set to have massive home support in the Welsh capital as he challenges for the CWFC middleweight belt against Jesse Taylor.
 
Phillips (16-5-0-1nc), who has taken all 16 of his wins by stoppage, had a frustrating second-half of 2012 after being ruled out of action due to a succession of hand injuries.
 
The 27-year-old Welshman had secured a shot at the CWFC middleweight strap by defeating Chris Fields in the main event at Cage Warriors 48 last July, but an injury picked up in that bout forced him out of a meeting with Pavel Kusch in the organisation’s title tournament final.
 
Taylor (24-9), who fights out of Team Quest in California, is a UFC, Strikeforce and Dream veteran who holds notable victories over the likes of Tom Watson and Chris Camozzi.
 
The 29-year-old was crowned CWFC middleweight champion at Cage Warriors 51 in Dublin on New Year’s Eve when he submitted Chris Fields by second-round rear-naked choke.
 
Cage Warriors 54 will also see the return to action of Conor McGregor, who’ll be defending his CWFC lightweight belt for the first time against a soon-to-be-revealed opponent.
 
The Irishman, who also holds the organisation’s featherweight strap, recently made history by becoming the first double-CWFC champion and the talk of the MMA world courtesy of his stunning KO victory over Ivan Buchinger at Cage Warriors 51.
 
Tickets for Cage Warriors 54, priced from just £25, are available to purchase HERE.