Jorge Masvidal to Fight Leon Edwards at UFC 269 in December

Jorge Masvidal is preparing for a grudge match

One of the most infamous backstage scuffles in UFC history will be revisited in December, when the 36-year-old Cuban and Peruvian American mixed martial artist and fellow UFC welterweight Leon Edwards have agreed to meet inside the Octagon.

Jorge Masvidal

Edwards and Masvidal will square off at UFC 269 on December 11, UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell told ESPN. Contracts have not yet been signed, but bout agreements have been sent to both parties.

This fight has held personal implications since March 2019, when Edwards and Masvidal were involved in a backstage incident at a UFC Fight Night event in London. Masvidal struck Edwards in the face after Edwards interrupted him during a postfight interview.

Later in the night, Masvidal would infamously describe the punches he landed on Edwards as a “three-piece and soda.”

Masvidal wrote in a tweet Monday: “You’re welcome #supernecessary”

In addition to settling a long-standing grudge, the matchup will have major implications on the welterweight division. Edwards (19-3) is riding a nine-fight win streak and is a strong candidate for a title shot in 2022. Masvidal (35-15) is coming off back-to-back failed title bids against Kamaru Usman in 2020 and 2021 but has said his goal is still to claim the UFC championship.

“Despite earning the next title shot, [Edwards] has always been willing to fight Jorge first, provided the terms were correct,” Edwards’ manager, Tim Simpson, told ESPN. “We are very happy with the deal, and excited to compete in December, and then for a world title thereafter.”

As a result of the UFC adding this high-profile bout to the card, a trilogy flyweight title fight between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo has been moved to UFC 270 on January 22, according to the UFC.

UFC 270 on January 22 does not have an official location yet, but sources told ESPN the promotion is looking at Anaheim, which is only about 100 miles north of Moreno’s hometown of Tijuana, Mexico.

Yair Rodriguez In Final Talks to Fight Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night in November

Yair Rodriguez is thisclose to returning to the Octagon

The UFC is finalizing a featherweight matchup between the 28-year-old Mexican professional mixed martial artist and former champion Max Holloway.

Yair Rodriguez

Rodriguez and Holloway would headline an event on November 13, according to ESPN.

Contracts haven’t been signed, but the bout is expected to become official shortly.

It will serve as the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Yair Rodriguez

The 145-pound contest was originally supposed to take place on July 17 in Las Vegas; however, Holloway was forced to pull out due to injury. Rather than book Rodriguez another opponent, the UFC elected to keep the matchup intact until Holloway made a recovery.

According to sources, Holloway accepted the date this week.

Rodriguez (13-2) has not fought since he defeated Jeremy Stephens via decision in October 2019. He was booked to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov in August 2020, but was forced to pull out because of an injury. The Mexican featherweight has only fought three times in the last three years, but is still the UFC’s No. 3-ranked featherweight.

Holloway (22-6) is already viewed as the division’s No. 1 contender. The former champion lost his title to current champion Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision in December 2019. The bout was razor close, and the two fought again in July 2020. Volkanovski won again, by split decision in a bout many observers felt Holloway won.

The 29-year-old Hawaiian fought Calvin Kattar in January, and delivered arguably one of the best performances in UFC history. He defeated Kattar via unanimous decision, and landed 445 total strikes in the process.

The winner of the November bout is virtually guaranteed a title shot.

Marlon “Chito” Vera to Fight Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 in November

Marlon “Chito” Vera may be returning to the Octagon this fall…

The UFC is targeting a bantamweight matchup between the 28-year-old Ecuadorian mixed martial artist and Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 on November 6, according to ESPN.

Marlon “Chito” Rivera

Contracts haven’t been signed, but both sides have verbally agreed to the matchup. The pay-per-view event is expected to take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Vera (19-7-1) is riding some momentum, coming off a decision win over Davey Grant in June. He is 2-1 in his past three, including wins over Grant and Sean O’Malley. His loss in that stretch was to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. He is 7-2 over his past nine.

A former lightweight champion, Edgar (24-9) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen in February. A longtime lightweight and featherweight, Edgar has now competed in the UFC’s 135-pound division twice. He is 1-1, with a five-round decision win over Pedro Munhoz in August.

Edgar, 39, fights out of Toms River, New Jersey. This will mark his first fight in New York since 2016 and only the third overall of his storied career.

A welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington is slated to headline the UFC 268 event.

Amanda Nunes Thrashes Megan Anderson to Retain UFC Women’s Featherweight Title

Amanda Nunes keeps on dominating…

The 32-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, the most dominant female fighter in mixed martial arts history, absolutely thrashed No. 1 featherweight contender Megan Anderson.

Amanda Nunes

Nunes (21-4) forced Anderson (10-5) to tap to an armbar at 2:03 of the opening round of their featherweight title fight at UFC 259 inside the Apex. In all likelihood, she could’ve finished the fight any way she wanted. She rocked Anderson with a right hand in the opening minute, a shot that had the challenger on skates. Anderson was so hurt, she actually shot a takedown on Nunes, which led to a finish on the ground.

With the victory, Nunes defended her 145-pound title for the second time. She’s also still in control of the 135-pound bantamweight title. She is one of only three champions in UFC history to defend titles in multiple weight classes, and she holds UFC records for the women’s divisions in wins (14), finishes (10) and wins in title fights (9).

“The plan was exactly how I finished the fight,” Nunes said. “I’m here. It’s not my fault [I’m this dominant]. I know there are a lot of girls out there who want this opportunity. Who wants it?”

Anderson was a plus-700 underdog going into the fight — and that might not have been high enough. She did enough to earn a shot at Nunes in the 145-pound weight class, but she looked shell-shocked from the opening bell. Nunes slipped in a fastball overhand right early on, and it was all survival instincts from Anderson from then on. She ate several more right hands, before desperately attempting a takedown.

Nunes, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, easily stuffed the shot and moved to top position. She set up a triangle armbar attempt almost instantly and quickly produced the fourth submission win of her career. She extended her win streak to 12 overall, which is the second longest in the UFC behind only welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Amanda Nunes

Nunes and her wife, UFC strawweight Nina Ansaroff, brought their infant daughter, Raegan, into the Octagon after the win. Nunes, who was born in Brazil but trains in Florida, had Raegan at her side all fight week.

“I’m more dangerous now with my little girl,” Nunes said. “No one is stopping me.”

The UFC has not indicated any long-term plans for its 145-pound division, but there is no one in the foreseeable future for Nunes to fight at that weight. Her next move will almost assuredly be at bantamweight, where she has held the title since UFC 200 in 2016. She has defeated all of the sport’s biggest names, including Miesha TateRonda RouseyHolly HolmCris Cyborg and Germaine de Randamie.

Yoel Romero Signs New Multi-Fight Deal with Bellator

Yoel Romero is preparing to fight for a new partner…

The 43-year-old Cuban mixed martial artist and former freestyle wrestler, and a multiple-time UFC title challenger, has agreed to a new multi-fight deal with Bellator, according to ESPN.

Yoel Romero

Romero is expected to sign his new deal imminently.

The deal comes less than two weeks after the UFC released Romero after more than seven years in the promotion.

Initially, Bellator officials passed on Romero, but after further talks, the two sides were able to come to an agreement.

Romero is expected to debut at 205 pounds, which is the weight class in which he started his career. His debut fight and date are not set yet.

His most recent fight was a loss to middleweight champion Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision in March. Both Romero and Adesanya received criticism after the fight because it did not live up to expectations.

Romero won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He made his MMA debut in 2009 and his UFC debut in 2013. He won his first eight fights inside the Octagon before losing an interim middleweight title fight to Robert Whittaker in July 2017. He fought for the interim or undisputed middleweight title four times but never won the UFC belt.

Amanda Ribas in Talks to Fight Michelle Waterson in UFC 257 Bout

Amanda Ribas is thisclose to returning to the Octagon…

The UFC is close to finalizing a strawweight bout between the 27-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and Michelle Waterson for UFC 257, according to multiple sources.

Amanda Ribas

The UFC 257 pay-per-view event is the first on the company’s 2021 schedule. The promotion hasn’t announced a location for the event or a main event, although UFC president Dana White has said the event is earmarked for Conor McGregor‘s return to the Octagon against Dustin Poirier.

Ribas (10-1) is one of the most promising prospects in the division. She is undefeated since signing with the UFC last year, and has taken out the likes of Emily WhitmireMackenzie DernRanda Markos and Paige VanZant. She finished VanZant with a first-round armbar at UFC 251 in July.

Waterson (18-8) is one of the most established names of the strawweight division, with a 6-4 record in the UFC dating back to 2015. The former Invicta FC champion was knocking on the door of title contention in 2019 before she suffered back-to-back decision losses to former champions Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Carla Esparza. Fighting out of Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Waterson has since rebounded from the two-fight skid with a win over Angela Hill.

Ricardo Lamas to Face Ryan Hall in UFC Fight Night Next Month

Ricardo Lamas headed back to the Octagon…

The featherweight bout between the 38-year-old Mexican and Cuban American mixed martial artist and former UFC title challenger and Ryan Hall has been rebooked for a UFC Fight Night event on August 29, according to ESPN.

Ricardo Lamas

The 145-pound contest was originally scheduled to take place in May in Oklahoma City, but the event was scrapped because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The UFC has since picked up a consistent schedule, hosting six events in six weeks at its Apex facility in Las Vegas. The promotion is preparing to host four events this month at “Fight Island,” in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Lamas (19-8) has lost three of his past four contests, but all three of the losses were to highly ranked opposition in Calvin KattarMirsad Bektic and Josh Emmett. He fought Jose Aldo for the UFC championship in 2014, and also has faced the likes of Max HollowayChad Mendes and Charles Oliveira over the course of his career.

Hall (8-1), of Falls Church, Virginia, has fought only four times since making his UFC debut in 2015. The submission specialist has had difficulty booking opponents at times, but holds wins against former lightweight champion B.J. Penn and title challenger Gray Maynard. He is 4-0 inside the Octagon.

Junior dos Santos Reportedly Agrees to UFC Fight Against Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Junior dos Santos is heading back to the Octagon

The 36-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and a former UFC heavyweight championwill return to the cage later this summer.

Junior dos Santos

dos Santos has agreed verbally to a matchup against Jairzinho Rozenstruik for UFC 252 on August 15, according to ESPN and Combate.

dos Santos (21-7) will look to snap a two-fight losing streak. He most recently lost to Curtis Blaydes via TKO in January.

Rozenstruik (10-1) just suffered his first pro loss when he got knocked out last month by Francis Ngannou in just 20 seconds. Prior to that, the Surinamese fighter won his first four UFC fights.

The UFC has yet to finalize where the event will take place.

Henry Cejudo Open to UFC Return for Fight Against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo isn’t opposed to a UFC comeback…

The 33year-old Mexican American mixed martial artist and former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion tells TMZ that he’d consider a return to the Octagon if he were given a fight against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo wants a crack at Volkanovski’s UFC featherweight title to complete the championship trifecta — a feat no one in promotion history has ever pulled off.

“I’ve done everything in MMA,” Cejudo told TMZ.

“I’m satisfied with my career. There would only be one fight that would really bring me back — that would really wake me up in the morning. Other than [boxer] Ryan Garcia, it would be Alexander Volkanovski. That overgrown midget. I would love to make him bend the knee. He’s already halfway there.”

Cejudo, the former Olympic wrestling gold medalist, stunningly announced his retirement from MMA after successfully defending his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz last month at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida. There has been speculation, though, that Cejudo is using it as leverage to try and get a bigger contract from the UFC.

Since the retirement announcement, the UFC has removed Cejudo from the promotion’s official rankings and taken him off the website as bantamweight champion. UFC president Dana White has said that a vacant bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and former featherweight champion Jose Aldo is in the offing this summer.

Cejudo, though, acknowledged to TMZ for the first time that there was indeed a way to bring him back. That would be a chance at a third belt.

“I want to be different,” Cejudo said. “There’s a lot of champ champs. Obviously there’s only one Triple C — there’s only one Olympic champ, flyweight champ, bantamweight champion of the world. It’s just to cement it and go in the history books as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.”

Cejudo (16-2) is on a six-fight winning streak, a stretch that goes back to 2016. The Arizona resident is one of only four fighters in UFC history told hold two titles in two different weight classes at the same time. Cejudo owns wins over Cruz, TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson.

Cynthia Calvillo to Fight Jessica Eye in UFC Fight Night Bout in June

Cynthia Calvillo is heading back to the Octagon next month.

The 32-year-old Latina mixed martial artist and fellow UFC women’s flyweight Jessica Eye have agreed to fight on June 13 at UFC Fight Night, according to ESPN.

Cynthia Calvillo

The bout would headline the event, sources said, though a location wasn’t immediately known.

Eye (15-7, 1 NC) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Viviane Araujo at UFC 245 in December. It was her first fight since she challenged for the flyweight title and suffered a devastating head-kick knockout to champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 238 last June.

Eye, who is currently ESPN‘s No. 8-ranked women’s flyweight, has won four of her past five fights.

Calvillo (8-1-1) returns to the Octagon after fighting to a majority draw with Marina Rodriguez in December. That bout was fought at a catchweight after Calvillo missed the contracted strawweight limit.

Next Saturday’s UFC cardis expected to take place at the company’s Apex facility in Las Vegas. The location is subject to change until Wednesday, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission is scheduled to formally vote on reopening the state to combat sports.

NSAC officials indefinitely suspended all combat sports in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.