Unmissable Combat Sports Events in Las Vegas

MMA

In addition to its plethora of world-class hotels and casinos, Las Vegas is famed for staging some of the biggest combat sports events on the planet.

The city will be at the forefront of the fight action over the next few weeks, with major mixed martial arts and boxing events scheduled to take place there. Whether you are a fan of combat sports or prefer the cut and thrust of playing online roulette, Las Vegas is undoubtedly a gambler’s paradise.

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Away from the allure of the spinning wheel, the city’s wide range of hotels and arenas undoubtedly provide a fitting backdrop for fighters from different disciplines to showcase their talents.

Legendary boxers such as Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali have famously competed in Sin City, while Floyd Mayweather Jr was a regular fixture there during his illustrious career.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which has its headquarters in Las Vegas, has enjoyed massive success with the mixed martial events it has promoted there in recent years.

Professional wrestling has also made its mark in Las Vegas, with the WWE regularly staging major events featuring some of the world’s biggest superstars.

WrestleMania IX remains one of the most exciting wrestling events held in Vegas, with star names such as Mr Perfect, Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan part of a stellar line-up.

Many other combat sports promotions regularly stage events in Las Vegas, helping the city live up to its status as the ‘fight capital of the world’.

With that in mind, we look at some of the upcoming combat sports events taking place in Las Vegas, starting with one which is being eagerly anticipated by fight fans.

UFC 303 – June 29

Injury has delayed Conor McGregor’s return to action against Michael Chandler, but the UFC have quickly filled the void with an eye-catching match-up.

Light-heavyweight champion Alex Pereira and former 205-pound title holder Jiri Prochazka will go head-to-head, having previously faced each other last November.

Pereira claimed the vacant title on that occasion courtesy of a second-round TKO victory over the former champion and he is the favourite to retain the belt.

He subsequently recorded a first-round knockout victory over Jamahal Hill and will be confident about his chances of securing a second success against Prochazka.

Away from the Main Event, fans will still have the chance to interact with Chandler after he confirmed he will be showing up at UFC 303. He published an impassioned video on social media platform Instagram, which included what appeared to be a not-so-subtle dig at McGregor’s withdrawal from the event.

“McGregor vs Chandler - it’s my card,” Chandler said. “It was my card when I signed the bout agreement - signed my name to a piece of paper stating that I would be at UFC 303.

“I made a promise - I made a commitment and that commitment still stands. Because your word is your bond. And without your word, you are no good.

“If you cannot be relied upon - if people don’t believe that you’re going to follow through with what you say you’re going to do? The definition of ‘integrity’ is doing what you say you’re going to do, without fail.”

Janibek Alimkhanuly vs Andrei Mikhailovich – July 13

Janibek Alimkhanuly will face Andrei Mikhailovich Palms Casino Resort on July 13 with the IBF and WBO middleweight belts on the line.

Alimkhanuly is unbeaten in 15 professional fights, while Mikhailovich has racked up a perfect 21-fight winning streak. However, Alimkhanuly is long odds-on to win the bout.

He has a reputation as one of the most dangerous men in boxing and his clever punch selection, angles and lightning speed are a mesmerising combination.

The Kazakhstani fighter is making the first defence of his IBF and WBO belts. He retained the WBO title and claimed the IBF version by stopping Vincenzo Gualtieri in the sixth round last October.

The other current world middleweight champions have been eager to avoid the 31-year-old, handing Mikhailovich the opportunity to challenge for the belts. He is confident he can get the job done. “Janibek is just another guy - another test on my way to greatness,” Mikhailovich told Top Rank Boxing.

“Others will say this is a big deal, but to me, this is fate. I was born for this. Since day one, I have planned to dominate, take over and control my destiny.

“I train relentlessly, eat right and always maintain a warrior’s mindset, so I don’t need any extra motivation because the two belts are on the line.”

While Alimkhanuly is on a mission to unify the middleweight division, he would be well advised not to underestimate the threat posed by his talented opponent.

Las Vegas fight fans and casino players know that the oddsmakers sometimes get things wrong, which adds to the intrigue of what promises to be a memorable contest.

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