Joaquin Buckley is slated to return Fight Island, the very place that his life would change forever after he was on the right side of what many call the best knockout in UFC history — Fightful has you covered on Buckley's Fight Island return and recent fight announcements from around the world of combat sports.
Joaquin Buckley vs. Alessio Di Chirico Slated For UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar
Joaquin Buckley will look to push his winning streak to three-in-a-row when he stands across the Octagon against Alessio Di Chirico at UFC Fight Island 7 on January 16, according to MMA Junkie.
Buckley (12-3) would have his life change forever during his last trip to Fight Island after he would land what many say is the best knockout in UFC history on Impa Kasanganay in October. He would follow that victory up with a second-round knockout of Jordan Phillips just a month later at UFC 255.
Di Chirico (12-5) may be fighting for his UFC career as he's currently on a three-fight skid, most recently dropping a unanimous decision against Zak Cummings in August.
Devonte Smith vs. Alex da Silva Set For UFC's February 6 Event
A pair of UFC prospects in the form of Devonte Smith and Alex da Silva are set to throwdown at the promotion's February 6 event, per MMA Fighting.
Smith (10-2) hasn't competed since getting KO'd by Khama Worthy in August 2019 and then suffered a torn achilles when preparing for a return. Da Silva (21-3) last fought at UFC 253 where he dropped a unanimous decision to Brad Riddell.
Makhmud Muradov Steps In To Face Andrew Sanchez On Short Notice At UFC 257
Floyd Mayweather's protege Makhmud Muradov is set to replace Andre Muniz against Andrew Sanchez at UFC 257.
Muradov, 20, has had four consecutive bouts canceled but reportedly will finally be making his return to the octagon at UFC 257 where he'll put his 13-fight win streak on the line. Sanchez, 32, has won three of his last four bouts and most recently KO'd Wellington Thurman in August.
Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov Set For UFC Fight Island 7
A pair of middleweight prospects are set to square off in UFC Fight Island 7 on January 16 when Phil Hawes takes on Nassourdine Imavov.
Hawes (9-2) made his octagon debut at UFC 254 where he needed just 17 seconds to knockout Jacob Malkoun. Imavov (9-2) won his debut in October when he took a unanimous decision from Jordan Williams at UFC on ESPN 16.
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Manel Kape Slated For UFC's February 6 Event
Former RIZIN bantamweight champion Manel Kape will make his UFC debut against Alexandre Pantoja at the promotion's February event.
Kape (15-4) signed with the UFC in March but has had multiple fights canceled due to a myriad of reasons. Pantoja (22-5) last fought in July where he dropped a unanimous decision against Askar Askarov.
Julianna Pena vs. Sara McMann Scheduled For UFC 257
Julianna Pena and Sara McMann were set to square off at UFC Fight Island 7. The fight has now been postponed for a week for undisclosed reasons and will take place at UFC 257.
Pena (9-4) most recently competed at the UFC's Halloween card where she was submitted by former UFc women's featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie. McMann (12-5) is coming off of a unanimous decision victory against Lina Lansberg in January.
Scott Coker Aiming For MVP vs. Neiman Gracie Welterweight Title Eliminator
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker recently spoke with MMA Junkie and had the following to say about wanting to book Michael "Venom" Page vs. Neiman Gracie in a number one contender's bout.
“When I think about ‘MVP,’ you’re talking about one of the most talented fighters that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “He’s so fast, so explosive, and when I think about him honestly, I think about him and maybe Neiman Gracie fighting each other at some point and then maybe the winner can fight Douglas Lima. That’s, kind of in my mind, what I’m thinking.”
“I’m sure ‘MVP’ had a lot of stuff in his arsenal that he wanted to do that he couldn’t do because of the canvas,” he continued. “Originally, I thought it might be ring rust, but I don’t think so after talking to all the fighters that fought that night.”
Nick Browne vs. Arthur Estrazulas Set For LFA 97
LFA officials made the announcement that Nick Brown and Arthur Estazulas will headline LF 97 on January 15. The pair were set to fight in November but problems with LFA's COVID-19 procedures nixed those plans.
Browne (10-1) will head into fight night riding a two-fight win streak while Estrazulas (12-4) is on a two-fight win streak in his own right.
Complete RIZIN 26 Card Announced
RIZIN 26 is set for December 31 and will air LIVE on PPV at www.live-now.com.
Check-out the full card below:
Kai Asakura vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
Tenshin Nasukawa vs. Kumandoi Phetjaroenvit — Kickboxing
Mikuru Asakura vs. Satoshi Yamasu
Takanori Gomi vs. Koji Tanaka — "Special standing bout rules"
Ayaka Hamasaki vs. Miyuu Yamamoto
Yuki Motoyo vs. Naoki Inoue
Kyle Aguon vs. Kleber Koike
Kyohei Hagiwara vs. Ren Hiramoto
Hideo Tokoro vs. Shinobu Ota
Yoshinari Nadaka vs. Petmalai Phetjaroenvit — Kickboxing
Ulka Sasaki vs. Kenta Takizawa
Kanna Asakura vs. Ai Shimizu
Taiyo Nakahara vs. Kazuma Kuramoto
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Tsuyoshi Sudario
Sakura Mori vs. Eru Takebayashi