After a relatively quiet month for MMA in June, we come to the cluster bomb that is the MMA world in July. This month, we are going to do something a little different with this article. Due to the volume of events, boosted by the UFC’s massive International Fight Week, this article will deal with 5 MMA fights not to miss EXCLUDING the three International Fight Week cards, with an additional piece on our pick of the fights for those events to come in the build up to those events. That being said, let’s get on with this list.
1.) July 8th, Cage Warriors 77 – Paddy Pimblett vs Teddy Violet
One of England’s big hopes for the future in Paddy Pimblett opens our list with his July 8th clash at Cage Warriors 77 against Teddy Violet. Pimblett currently holds an impressive 10 – 1 record at the tender age of just 21, with 5 submissions and 2 knockouts. Pimblett is one of the great personalities of not only British, but European MMA, and will be hoping to continue his march towards a Cage Warriors featherweight title shot on July 8th. Standing in his way will be another young European fighter in 24-year-old Teddy Violet. The Frenchman has a similar record to Pimblett at 10 – 2, also with 5 submissions and 2 knockouts. Violet fights in Cage Warriors for the first time after a brief stint with World Series of Fighting and is without doubt the stiffest test of Pimblett’s career so far. Which one of these promising Europeans will leave Cage Warriors 77 with their 11th professional victory? Tune in on July 8th to find out.
2.) July 16th, Bellator 158 – James Gallagher vs Mike Cutting
Bellator will host their first event in London, England on July 16th and, despite a plethora of issues with the card, there are some intriguing fights to look forward to. SBG Ireland prospect James Gallagher is certainly one of the names to watch on the night. At just 19-years-old, “The Strabanimal” has already compiled a perfect 3 – 0 professional MMA record with 3 first round submission victories. The Irishman is hotly tipped to be a big star in the future and will be looking to improve his fledgling record to 4- 0 in what will be his Bellator debut at Bellator 158. His opponent will be Mike Cutting, a man who is no stranger to submission wins himself, with all 6 of his own professional wins coming by that method. With both men so accomplished in the submission game, it would certainly be no shock to see this fight hit the mat quickly, and if it does, be prepared for these featherweights to steal the show.
3.) July 23rd, UFC on Fox 20 – Francis Ngannou vs Bojan Mihaljovic
Heavyweight Francis Ngannou has just 2 UFC bouts to his name thus far, but he has already emerged as a serious contender to watch in his division. The Frenchman knocked out fellow UFC newcomer Luis Henrique in his debut last December in brutal fashion and followed that up by beating on Curtis Blaydes for two rounds, leaving the doctor with no alternative but to stop the fight as Blaydes eye had completely swollen shut. Ngannou’s striking is crisp, clean and delivered with devastating power, so it is no surprise that his crowd pleasing style has become must watch MMA. His opponent at UFC on Fox 20 will be Bojan Mihaljovic, a Serbian also known for his finishing capabilities. The two were originally supposed to meet at UFC Zagreb, but Mihalkovic was forced to withdraw, resulting in Ngannou’s aforementioned fight with Blaydes. After losing the first 3 fights of his professional career, Mihaljovic has gone on a 10-fight tear, finishing 6 of his opponents along the way to signing with the UFC. At UFC on Fox 20 we could see the continued rise of one of the most feared heavyweight contenders in Ngannou, or we could see Mihaljovic steal his considerable hype and put it firmly behind himself. Either way, it seems likely that the judges will not be required.
4.) July 29th, Invicta FC 18 – Megan Anderson vs Peggy Morgan
Invicta FC host their 18th event on July 29th in its familiar home of Kansas, which is also now the home of Australian featherweight star, Megan Anderson. Anderson has impressed in her most recent 2 fights under the Invicta banner, earning TKO stoppages of both Amber Leibrock and Amanda Bell, the latter of which earned her Performance of the Night honours. Anderson is just 26-years-old and is viewed as a potential challenger to current Invicta FC featherweight champion, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. However, the popular Aussie has a tough hurdle to overcome on July 29th in Peggy Morgan. Morgan was featured on the first ever all-female series of The Ultimate Fighter in 2013 and is a 3-fight Invicta veteran. In Anderson, Morgan faces a high-profile opponent on her Invicta return following a win over Jessica Miele at CES 30, and a win on July 29th would mark a huge statement of intent from the 36-year-old.
5.) July 30th, UFC 201 – Rose Namajunas vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Rounding off the list we have a women’s strawweight bout that will likely see the next number 1 contender for UFC gold decided as Rose Namajunas takes on unbeaten the unbeaten Pole, Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Namajunas is one of the more popular figures in the division and is currently riding a 3-fight winning streak. Those wins for the TUF 20 finalist were over the now-Invicta FC strawweight champion Angela Hill, Tecia Torres and a Performance of the Night winning fifth round submission of Paige VanZant. At just 24, many see Namajunas as the future of the division. However, the same could be said about Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Having come into the UFC with a perfect 7 – 0 record, the Polish strawweight has reeled off consecutive decision victories over TUF 20 competitors Randa Markos and Heather Jo Clark. A win over another TUF 20 alum in Rose Namajunas could very easily set her up for a potential all-Polish UFC title fight with current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, should she also get by Claudia Gadelha. The UFC’s female fighters, particularly in the 115 pound division, are renowned for putting on a show, and this one could very easily end up being the Fight of the Night.
So there we have it, five MMA fights not to miss in July. Do you agree with the list? Is there any other fight in particular you are looking forward to this month? Get in touch and let us know on Twitter @MMALatestNws or tell me personally @KeefeMcKenna.
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Exclusive: Jalin Turner vs Noah Tillis set for Bellator LA in January
Bellator LA: Douglas Lima vs Rory MacDonald, has just had another entertaining fight added as two talented prospects Jalin Turner and Noah Tillis are set to meet in a lightweight bout. Sources close to the fight confirmed the news to MMA Latest earlier this morning.
Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner makes his return to the Bellator cage for the first time since January 2017, where he defeated Gabriel Green by knockout, in an exciting fight that only lasted 36 seconds. Since the fight, Turner has gone 2-1 where he defeated Paradise Vaovasa by KO, at Tachi PF 31, before dropping his next fight to Richard LeRoy by TKO, at CFX 8. Turner bounced back from the loss by beating Vytautas Sadauskas by submission, at KOTC: Never Quit, back in September.
Noah Tillis is currently coming off of a 9-second submission victory against Jeff Carson, at Gladiator Challenge: American Pride, back in July. The “Submission Magician” has amassed a professional record of 3-2 with three victories coming by submission, DQ, and a TKO due to injury. His two losses coming by way of TKO and decision.
It is unclear where the fight will be featured, but it is assumed it will take place on the undercard. The potential brawl represents a stiff challenge for either man, as well as an opportunity to make some noise in an always deep lightweight division.
The only other fight currently announced on the card is the main event between current Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima and former UFC title challenger, Rory MacDonald. Bellator LA: Lima vs MacDonald is set to take place on Saturday, January 20th, in Los Angeles, Calfornia, at the Forum.
Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor wants to knockout Trey Branch then fight Brian Moore in Bellator on St. Patricks Day
Going from postlim fights in Bellator to a co-main event and then a main card fight after with such little professional experience isn’t something you’d hear of very often in the slightest. In this case Anthony “PrettyBoy” Taylor is the exception, who in only his third professional fight went to Ireland as part of the co-main event for a fight with James Gallagher. Taylor became well known to many in the build-up to that fight for being so outspoken and quite an entertainer, something he carries with him to the cage.
Anthony Taylor now has himself a fight lined up in a regional show near his home in California at California Fighting Championships. This will be his first time fighting back in America since May 2016. His last two bouts were in Europe as part of Bellator’s expansion into Europe. Following two losses he now hopes to get back in the win column in front of a home crowd. Taking this fight as a tune off fight Anthony is confident he won’t be touched by his opponent Trey Branch.
“Well, I’m taking this fight because Bellator said I’ll be fighting next year for overseas and it will be a good tune off fight for me. I think of trey like any other fighter. Just a guy who’s not going to touch me nor beat me.”
His opponent Trey Branch is jumping up from flyweight for this fight, Anthony believes he’s going to dominate his opponent and knock him out with ease. Now having 3 career losses coming via submission, he is not worried about his ground game, guaranteeing it was improved from training with some of the top fighters in Bellator.
“I believe I’m going to overpower him and KO him. He’s coming up from 125lb to fight me which I stated to the world on Bellator that I’m the strongest 45er in the world!! And as far as my ground game, it’d be covered and it’s great. Thanks to AJ McKee, Baby Slice, Joey Davis and Aaron Pico. My ground game is great and up there to the level, as there’s”
Looking ahead to next year when he competes in Bellator again, Taylor has his eyes set on a big fight in a return to Irish soil.
“Well Bellator loves me and I proved them that I belong there. I haven’t been told when I was fighting but I hope it’s back in Ireland, and maybe on St. Patricks day and hopefully I’ll fight Brian Moore because me and him been wanting to fight the longest.”
As a training partner for AJ McKee, Taylor was very pleased with how the fight went down, claiming it was a simple enough fight for his teammate that apparently didn’t train much for the fight. Suffering a loss on the initial trip to the emerald isle, “PrettyBoy” wants to come back and take home a win next time around.
“Oh man it was an easy fight for AJ, he only trained 2 weeks for that Brian Moore fight” he laughs “but absolutely it would be a great show if I was also on the show me and James alone still holds the record of views internationally and I’m looking to come back and taking what’s mines which is that W”
The win against Brian Moore could now potentially line up a fight between McKee and James Gallagher, fight fans have long sought after. Having fought against James and training with McKee on the regular Taylor isn’t convinced that Gallagher is ready for the AJ just yet. He also had some words about SBG fighters who were calling out Baby Slice.
“James is not ready for AJ. And people calling out slice since he’s new in the game. Why are sbg guys not calling out Joey Davis?? They are all talk and think that they’re better than everyone.”
With a win on Saturday, Anthony Taylor thinks it will kick him off to a series of consecutive wins that could ultimately land him in a fight with Emmanuel Sanchez.
“Yes it will start off (Saturday) and I believe it will set me up tremendously. I’m only getting better and I plan on winning fights in Bellator and then taking out Emanuel Sanchez. I do not like him, I hate him”
“I don’t like his style and he’s always hating on my teammates so I want his head” he added
Away from the fight scene, Anthony is pleased with the life that he’s got set up for himself with his newfound love since joining Bellator as he now aims to break into the movie industry too.
“Man it’s been great I now have a wonderful woman in my life so I’m happy. I’m acting too, trying to get into the movies industry and God has blessed me which so much love”
You can follow Anthony Taylor on all his social media accounts to keep an eye out for all his upcoming fight information and results.
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