It looks like the UFC is headed back to the eastern hemisphere. According to a report by Raphael Marinho of Combate, the promotion scheduled UFC Fight Night 132 in Singapore, for June 23rd. By the time of the event, it will be the sixth international event hosted by the promotion in the year of 2018.
With the report, came two sets of fights planned for the upcoming event. Fights for the unannounced and upcoming Fight Night include; Nadia Kassem vs. Yan Xiaonan, and Ashkan Mokhtarian vs. Jenel Lausa.
The unannounced events city and venue are unknown at this time but an announcement is expected soon.
UFC Fight Night 132 is the third time the promotion touches down on Singapore’s soil. Also, the 17th time the UFC hosted an event in the Asian countries which include; South Korea, Japan, China, and Singapore. Both Singapore events were broadcast in the early morning via UFC Fight Pass. Currently, the expectation is, UFC Fight Night 132 will be broadcast the same way. The last time the promotion held a pay-per-view (PPV) event in the Asian continental region, UFC 144, Edgar vs. Henderson. Quite fitting for recent events, UFC 144, was the event in which Frankie Edgar lost the Lightweight championship to future Bellator champion, Benson Henderson.
Today, we are a little more than a week removed from the six-year anniversary of UFC 144. The event took place on February 26th, 2012.
It is no coincidence, fighters such as, Nadia Kassem, Ashkan Mokhtarian, Jenel Lausa, and Xiaonan Yan are reportedly booked to the upcoming Fight Night event. Kassem and Mokhtarian both fight out of South Australia, Jenel Lausa comes from the Phillipines and Xiaonan Yan is based out of China.
Mohktarian is a relative newcomer to the UFC roster. Since signing with the promotion, the Australian athlete competed twice inside the octagon and remains win-less in as many fights. The 32-year-old flyweight sits on a delicate sheet of ice, which is his employment status with the UFC. While Mohktarian is a great fighter and faced tough competition in his first two bouts, an 0-3 mark is not common within the ranks of the organization.
His opponent, Jenel Lausa finds himself in a similar position. Thus far, Lausa fought three times under the UFC banner. His record is not dissimilar to Mokhtarians at 1-2. Lausa defeated Zhikui Yao by unanimous decision in his debut with the organization. He then lost his next two bouts against Magomed Bibulatov, and Eric Shelton, respectively.
Nadia Kassem comes off an exciting UFC debut back in November of 2017, at UFC Fight Night 121: Werdum vs. Tybura. At the event held in Sydney, Australia, Kassem defeated Alex Chambers by unanimous decision, to remain undefeated. The victory was a bit unfamiliar as Kassem won her previous four bouts (the entirety of her pro experience) by way of 1st round, KO/TKO stoppage. As impressive as she seems, at 23 years young, Kassem fights outside of her home country for the first time at UFC Fight Night 132.
China’s Xiaonan Yan makes her second octagon appearance when she faces off against Kassem. In her first appearance for the organization, she defeated Kailin Curran by unanimous decision. The careers, to this point, of Kassem and Yan are vaguely similar. Yan does have a bit more experience having competed in ten professional bouts, to Kassems five. Yet, they both hold impressive records. Yan 8-1, 1 NC; Kassem 5-0. Each have one UFC bout and win under their belt.
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Rhode Island Prospect John Douma Booked for CES 49 against Zach Burhans
The New England regional MMA scene has been fairly quiet this month. Such a description won’t be apt one month from now. As the days fade away from the month of March, the two most prominent organizations of this region gear up for early April events. The CES MMA promotion holds CES 49, on the first Friday of April (April 6th). CES 49 takes place in its hub venue, Twin River Casino, in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Yesterday, CES officials announced John Douma, a highly regarded pro featherweight prospect, makes his third appearance for the MMA promotion, when he faces Zach Burhans at CES 49.
For John Douma, he looks to continue his career with an undefeated record. At 2-0, Douma owns two stoppage victories, both coming in the first round (1 KO/TKO, 1 Sub). Born and raised in Wyckoff, Rhode Island, Douma is the New England regions 18th ranked pro Featherweight (Rankings by Tapology.com). A lofty ranking for a 21-year-old with only two professional fights on his record. Especially so in the regions most prominent professional division.
Zach Burhans comes into next months match with a similar amount of experience. Burhans has four professional fights in his arsenal of experience with a record of 3-1. Twice that of his opponent, but two times a small number is still a small number. The New York fighter makes his promotional debut at next months CES 49.
Surprisingly, Burhans has not fought since his last loss, which came in March of 2011. The loss was the first of his four fight pro career. It also was the first fight for Burhans since August of 2009. At CES 49, he ends his second hiatus from professional mixed martial arts. His second and most recent break from the sport was his longest. Burhans did not compete from March 2011, until next months CES MMA card. Making the span between his most recent and upcoming, around 6 years and nine months.
CES 49 takes place at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island on April 6th. Other bouts featured on the card include, #1 ranked New England Lightweight, Nate Andrews takes on Chris Padilla for the promotions vacant Lightweight title. Kaline Medeiros attempts to bounce back following her 3rd round submission loss to rising star, Mackenzie Dern at Invicta 26, when she faces 11th ranked pound-for-pound New England women’s fighter, Jenna Serio. Also, Chris Curtis goes up against Jason Norwood in a main card Welterweight clash.
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