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Three new fights added to ONE: Defending Honor on November 11

Jim Edwards

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ONE: Defending Honor is nicely taking shape for November 11 and is set to be one of ONE Championships biggest cards of the year. The event is set to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a main event featuring ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki facing Eduard Folayang. In the co-main event, ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov takes on former champion Narantungalag Jadambaa in a highly-anticipated rematch.

Today a series of undercard fights were announced via press release – the fight card is now as follows:

ONE: Defending Honor Fight Card:

Shinya Aoki vs. Eduard Folayang
Marat Gafurov vs. Narantungalag Jadambaa
Eddie Ng vs. Adrian Pang
Timofey Nastyukhin vs. Kotetsu Boku
Amir Kahn vs. Samir Mrabet,
Michelle Nicolini vs. Mona Samir
Tiffany Teo vs. Walaa Abbas
Benedict Ang vs. Ahmed Mujtaba
Niko Soe vs. Muhammad Haidar

Press release:

26-year-old Tiffany “Soul Crusher” Teo is a female mixed martial artist who is set to make her ONE Championship debut in the promotion’s flyweight division. She holds an unblemished professional record of three wins and no losses, knocking out two opponents and submitting one. Born in Brunei and raised in Singapore, Teo began training in Taekwondo at age 19 before moving on to compete in Muay Thai and eventually transitioning to MMA. Teo is set to make her first appearance inside the ONE Championship cage against Walaa Abbas.

“It is an honor for me to compete in ONE Championship. I am very blessed to be in the position that I am, ready to give it my all and take it one fight at a time. I’m also excited to perform in front of my friends and family in Singapore,” Teo stated.

Walaa “Katyusha” Abbas of Cairo, Egypt is a 32-year-old female fighter currently competing in ONE Championship’s flyweight division. She is a former Egyptian Boxing Champion who made the transition to mixed martial arts in 2012, joining ONE a few years later to take on top contenders Ana Julaton and Ann Osman. She now returns to the ONE Championship cage to go up against Singaporean female MMA prospect Tiffany Teo, who is making her promotional debut.

Unbeaten young Singaporean mixed martial arts prospect Benedict Ang owns a professional record of three wins and no losses. The 20-year-old hones his craft with world-class teammates as a member of the mighty Evolve Fight Team based in Singapore. At his best, Ang is a dynamic striker with a solid grappling skill set. In his last bout, Ang stopped Filipino Jimmy Yabo via third round technical knockout. He now takes on Ahmed Mujtaba in a featherweight contest.

Ahmed “The Wolverine” Mujtaba is a Pakistani mixed martial artist set to compete in ONE Championship’s stacked featherweight division. He owns a professional record of five wins and no losses, with all of his wins coming by spectacular finish. He is known for his tremendous grappling technique which has led to four submissions out of five total victories. Mujtaba is ready to make his ONE Championship promotional debut against local hero Benedict Ang.

Singaporean flyweight prospect Niko Soe is 23-year-old with a 2-1 professional mixed martial arts record. He possesses a well-rounded skill set complete with a great kickboxing base and a capable ground game. Making his first appearance inside the ONE Championship cage, Soe will look to impress his hometown crowd by claiming victory in spectacular fashion. Soe is set to do battle against Malaysia’s Muhamad Haidar.

22-year-old Muhamad “The Rising” Haidar of Selangor, Malaysia is a professional mixed martial artist competing in ONE Championship’s deep flyweight division. He is a Selangor State Boxer who has trained extensively in boxing, Muay Thai and wrestling. Haidar will make his return to the ONE Championship cage opposite local fighter, Singaporean Niko Soe in a three-round flyweight contest.

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UFC 222 Re-Worked with Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya, and Frankie Edgar vs. Brian Ortega

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UFC 222 has been saved, and it didn’t take a superhero to lift the burning boulder which was Max Holloway’s injury and withdrawal. All it took was a female named Cyborg and a man with a demeanor so smooth, he could be mistaken for an alter-ego. Cris Cyborg now serves as the UFC 222 main event when she defends her featherweight belt against Yana Kunitskaya. Frankie Edgar bumped down to the co-main event to face Brian Ortega in what is likely a title eliminator. The news of the UFC 222 revival originally stemmed from a report by MMAFighting.com and confirmed later in the evening by the UFC.

Over the course of the week, reports surrounded the Las Vegas card and whether it would survive. Multiple options were reportedly being mulled over; cancelling the card outright, changing the pay-per-view (PPV) to a ‘Fight Night’ with an Edgar vs. Ortega main event, Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2 main event, among others. Ultimately, the promotion landed on Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya as the new main event, while also booking Brian Ortega.

This adjustment of the card places their women’s Featherweight champion in the second PPV main event in three months. Cris Cyborg recently put her undisputed Featherweight title on the line against Holly Holm at the year ending card, UFC 219. She successfully defended her belt by unanimous decision, in what was an amazing technical display from the Brazilian. In her octagon career, Cyborg is undefeated in her four appearances with three KO/TKO stoppages.

The second half of the new main event, Yana Kunitskaya, makes her UFC debut against the scariest women on the roster. If the 145 lb. champion was not enough of a challenge, Kunitskaya also makes her first appearance in the division since defeating Cindy Dandois in December of 2010. Of Russia descent, her most recent performances came inside the Invicta FC cage. At the female-only promotion, she posted a record of 1-1, with 1 No Contest. Her loss and no contest, both came at the hands of former UFC Featherweight title challenger, Tonya Evinger.

Turning to the co-main event, both fighters have been relatively inactive but, for good reason. Brian Ortega amazingly forced perennial men’s Featherweight contender, Cub Swanson, to tap in the second round of their ‘Fight Night: Fresno’ contest. Ortega fought twice in 2017, but more-so stayed inactive following his stoppage victory over Swanson. The Californian contender announced his desire to wait in line for the next title shot following the recent victory.

For Frankie Edgar, his last fight took place at UFC 211 when he absolutely demolished young and rising star, Yair Rodriguez. A card which took place last May. While Ortega holds an undefeated record, Edgar is undefeated in his previous 9 fights, excluding people named Jose Aldo.

UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd.

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UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker Announces Birth of Third Child

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Times seem dull and dreary for the UFC’s Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand born fighter withdrew from the promotions event debut in the eastern region of his residence, Australia. UFC 221, which takes place this Saturday, booked Whittaker to defend his title for the first time against former division champion, Luke Rockhold. His withdrawal was due to mistreatment of a serious staph infection inside of the Australians stomach.

It couldn’t get much worse, having to disappoint fans, and missing the first UFC event in eastern Australia. As it turns out, it could not get worse for Whittaker. Life only got better, as he had the pleasure of announcing the birth of his third child.

His new child is the champions third and first girl. Information regarding his child is limited as this moment is a tender and special time for the Whittaker family.

UFC 221 takes place in Perth, Australia at Perth Arena on February 11th. The cards main event features Whittakers short notice replacement, Yoel Romero taking on Luke Rockhold. Much to the satiety of fans, an interim belt is not in the equation in this instance.

Thank God. Excuse me, thank Dana White.

UFC 221 also features the ‘Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes, Tai Tuivasa faces Cyril Asker, Alexander Volkanovski vs. Jeremy Kennedy and more.

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Dhiego Lima vs. Yushin Okami added to Glendale, Arizona card

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Fights, fights, fights, the world-wide leader in MMA added another fan-friendly bout to the already exciting ‘Fight Night: Glendale’ card. Two time ‘Ultimate Fighter’ finalist, Dhiego Lima takes on veteran Yushin Okami. Lima took to Instagram earlier today to announce the news.

Four days after adding an important Heavyweight clash to UFC Glendale, the promotion booked another crucial bout, in the Welterweight division. While, neither fighter ranks inside the top 15 of the Welterweight division, both sit at pivotal points in their career. In the case of Lima, he comes off a second appearance on the reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. Much like his first appearance, the Welterweight made the competition finals.

Lima first appeared on the reality series during Season 19: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn. In the preliminary round, he defeated Adam Stroup via unanimous decision (2 rounds), to earn a place in the house. From there, he submitted both his quarter-final and semi-final opponents. Lima left the Ultimate Fighter house undefeated, down the line, he did a similar thing on the 25th season of the show. He defeated Hayder Hassan, Gilbert Smith, and Tom Gallicchio, all by unanimous decision leaving the house undefeated for a second time.

Unfortunately, the inverse of his performances in the ‘TUF’ house came to fruition in the finals. In two Ultimate Fighter Finale’s, his record fell to 0-2, following Ultimate Fighter Finale Season 25. What happened to be even more unfortunate, Lima’s opponent at, The Ultimate Fighter Finale Season 25, Jesse Taylor, tested positive for the anti-estrogen agent clomiphene. The sample collected for the failed drug test was in an out-of-competition setting, therefor Lima’s loss to Taylor stands. The loss puts his record with the UFC at, 1-4.

A loss shouldn’t place Lima near the chopping block but, a win would greatly improve his standing with the promotion. The other half of the newly announced bout, is in a similar position.

Yushin Okami made his first appearance for the promotion at UFC 62. Okami earned the victory in his debut. The win marked his third consecutive win in the midst of a six fight win-streak. Over the course of those six victories, Okami defeated Alan Belcher (UFC 62), Kalib Starnes (UFC 64), Rory Singer (UFC 66), and Mike Swick (UFC 69). The Japanese born mixed martial artist remained on the roster for seven more years before being cut following a first round TKO loss to Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.

Okami fought for various organizations following his release, while also dropping down to Welterweight. When, in the latter part of 2017, he was called upon as a short-notice injury replacement by the UFC. Seven days before UFC Fight Night 117: St. Preux vs. Rua, one half of the main event, Maurico Rua, withdrew due to an apparent knee injury. Okami answered the call, giving him seven days to prepare for rising Light Heavyweight contender, Ovince St. Preux. The Japanese native lost the contest by submission in the opening round.

UFC Fight Night Glendale takes place in Glendale Arizona at the Gila River Arena on April 14th. The main event features Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirer.

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