Former Bellator welterweight champion and UFC title challenger Rory Macdonald's debut with the PFL is set for April 29, an undisputed junior welterweight title fight between champions Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor has been signed for May 22, Nina Ansaroff returns against Mackenzie Dern on April 10, and much, much more — Fightful has all the latest fight announcements in one article.
Rory MacDonald's PFL debut set for April 29 against David Michaud
Former Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald will make his long-awaited debut with the Professional Fighters League on April 29 against David Michaud in the headlining bout of PFL 2, the promotion announced via their social media accounts. MacDonald and Michaud will help kickoff the 2021 PFL welterweight tournament, which starts a week after former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis makes his promotional debut against Clay Collard to start the 2021 PFL lightweight tournament on April 23 as the main event of PFL 1.
MacDonald who is 3-2-1 in his last six fights hasn't competed since October 2019 where he dropped a unanimous decision at Bellator 232 in a rematch against Douglas Lima. Michaud a former Bellator and UFC veteran himself has gone 3-2 since joining the PFL in May 2019 and last competing at PFL 10 where he lost in the 2019 PFL Welterweight Final to Ray Cooper III via a second-round TKO.
Undisputed junior welterweight title unification bout between Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor set for May 22
An enormous title unification bout in boxing finally has a date, Top Rank Boxing announced via their social media accounts that WBC and WBO junior welterweight champion Josh Ramirez will take on WBA, IBF, and The Ring junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor on May 22. The fight will air for free on ESPN and feature the two undefeated champions who have a combined record of 43-0.
Ramirez is coming off of a title defense majority decision victory over Viktor Postol back in August 2020, the Mexican champion has 17 of his 26 wins coming by way of knockout. Taylor's last appearance was also a successful title defense, knocking out Apinun Khongsong in the first-round back in September 2020, the Scottsman has 13 of his 17 wins via knockout.
Josh Taylor wasn't impressed with Jose Ramirez's last performance --— Boxing on BT Sport -- (@BTSportBoxing) March 2, 2021
He was confident as ever when speaking to Fight Night Live, last Saturday night --pic.twitter.com/U8ZIKAvU5K
Nina Ansaroff returns against Mackenzie Dern on April 10
UFC women's strawweight contender Nina Ansaroff will make her return to the Octagon on April 10 against Mackenzie Dern, reported by the promotion's Brazilian Twitter account. The UFC is yet to officially announced the event or the rest of the card.
-- Combate do peso-palha confirmado para 10 de abril!— UFC Brasil (@UFCBrasil) March 1, 2021
Ansaroff took a leave of absence from the sport in October 2019 to pursue motherhood with her wife UFC women's featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. The couple welcomed a daughter in September 2020 and now Ansaroff will look to get back into title contention at 115-pounds, going 4-1 in her last five fights only losing to Tatiana Suarez via a unanimous decision at UFC 238 in June 2019. Dern who became a mother of a daughter herself in June 2019, will try to make it four wins in a row against Ansaroff as she defeated Virna Jandiroba by a unanimous decision in her last bout at UFC 256.
Edson Barboza vs. Shane Burgos targeted for UFC 262 in May
A matchup between featherweight strikers is being targeted for UFC 262 on May 15 as Edson Barboza will take on Shane Burgos, first reported by Combate's Raphael Marinho. The promotion has yet to officially announce the event or fight. Barboza the former lightweight contender has looked to have found a new home at 145-pounds, going 1-1 in his two fights there so far and last defeating Makwan Amirkhani at UFC Fight Island 5 via a unanimous decision. Burgos a three-time Fight of the Night winner and perennial top 15 featherweight contender, will look to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to Josh Emmett at UFC Vegas 3 in one of the best fights from 2020.
Matt Brown meets Dhiego Lima at UFC event in June
Welterweights Matt Brown and Dhiego Lima are expected to meet at a yet-to-be-announced UFC fight night event on June 19, first reported by MMAFighting's Damon Martin and Guilherme Cruz. Brown will try to avoid a three-fight skid, dropping a unanimous decision to Carlos Condit at UFC Fight Island 7 in his last appearance. Lima the younger brother of Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima, is 3-1 in his last four fights losing via a unanimous decision to Belal Muhammad at UFC 258 in his last bout.
Kana Watanabe takes on Alejandra Lara at Bellator 255 in April
Undefeated prospect women's flyweight Kana Watanabe will make her second appearance with the promotion against Alejandra Lara at Bellator 255 on April 2, first reported by ESPN's Marc Raimondi. Watanabe is 9-0-1 as a professional and is coming off a third-round TKO victory over Ilara Joanne in her debut with the company at Bellator 237 in December 2019. Lara a former Bellator women's flyweight title challenger, will try to move her current winning streak to three against Watanabe, defeating Veta Arteaga via a unanimous decision at Bellator 235.
Mateusz Gamrot expected to face Scott Holtzman at UFC event in April
Polish UFC lightweight Mateusz Gamrot is expected to take on Scott Holtzman at a yet-to-be-announced UFC fight night event on April 10, first reported by MMA reporter Kuba Voranek. Gamrot will try to bounce back from the first professional defeat of his career, a unanimous decision loss in his Octagon debut against Guram Kutateladze at UFC Fight Island 6. Holtzman on the other hand will try to rebound from a devastating first-round knockout loss to Beneil Dariush back at UFC Vegas 6.
Cage Warriors 121 announced for March, features a Four-Man welterweight tournament for title
Cage Warriors 121 has officially been announced for March 19 and will take place from the York Hall in London, England, the promotion confirmed via their social media accounts. The event will feature a four-man welterweight tournament to decide who will become the next Cage Warriors welterweight champion.
--BREAKING: 4 man Welterweight Title Tournament is confirmed --— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) March 2, 2021
Rostem Akman vs Ian Garry
Jack Grant vs Madars Fleminas #CW121 // March 19th // #THETRILOGY
More info https://t.co/bIR1I74TFX pic.twitter.com/heo8fyyXWR
The semi-final matchups will see UFC veteran Rostem Akman take on undefeated Irish prospect Ian Garry and former Cage Warriors lightweight title challenger Jack Grant facing Latvia's Madars Fleminas.