Knockdown Daily 10/4/21: A Look At The Week Ahead
We take a look at the week ahead in the Monday edition
Welcome to the Monday edition of the Knockdown Daily. Today’s issue will provide a preview of the upcoming week, and also recap the top MMA stories as of late.
Three fights have recently been reported for UFC’s January 15th event. The new matchups include a promotional debut, a big matchup at flyweight, and the appearance of a former CFFC Champion.
The new fights join a UFC card that doesn’t have a confirmed location at the moment.
Ranked Flyweights Royval and Bontorin Paired Up
Top-10 ranked flyweight fighters Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin will face off in January, per a report from Guilherme Cruz and Mike Heck of MMA Fighting.
Royval will be looking to get back into the win column after two losses at a high level in the division.
Royval was finished for the first time in his career in late 2020, losing a title eliminator bout to now-UFC Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno. Royval was most recently submitted by Alexandre Pantoja in August.
Bontorin snapped a two-fight losing streak in May, defeating Matt Schnell on scorecards at UFC 262. The win moved his promotional record to a positive three wins and one loss.
Kakhramonov Returns Against Kelleher
Former CFFC Bantamweight Champion Saidyokub Kakhramonov will look to notch his second UFC victory when fighting Brian Kelleher. The matchup was first reported by Jamal Boussenaf of MMA DNA.
Kakhramonov had a strong UFC debut in August, scoring a third-round submission victory over a rising name in Trevin Jones. He had claimed CFFC’s 135-pound belt just a few months before then, defeating Tycen Lynn at CFFC 92.
Kelleher, a 12-fight UFC vet, is riding the momentum of a unanimous decision win he earned against Domingo Pilarte in August.
Jasudavicius To Make UFC Debut Against Hansen
Jasmine Jasudavicius will get her first UFC fight in early 2022, facing Kay Hansen at flyweight. News of the matchup was first reported by MMA Island earlier in the week.
Jasudavicius secured a UFC contract on a September episode of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” defeating Julia Polastri via decision.
Hansen will be making the move up by a weight class, as her two previous UFC appearances took place at strawweight. He took her first loss in the promotion in late 2020, losing on scorecards to Cory McKenna.
RIZIN Featherweight Champion Yutaka Saito To Defend Belt For First Time Against Juntaro Ushiku At October 24th Event
RIZIN Featherweight Champion Yutaka Saito will look to defend his belt for the first time on October 24th when facing regional champ Juntaro Ushiku at RIZIN 31. The fight will take place as part of a card that will happen at the Pia Arena MM in Yokohama, Japan.
The title fight was confirmed during a press conference held Monday.
Saito became RIZIN’s inaugural 145-pound champ in November of last year, going five rounds against promotional star Mikuru Asakura to win via unanimous decision.
Saito has appeared once since then, earning a close split decision victory over Vugar Karamov in June in a non-championship fight.
Ushiku, one of Japan’s top featherweight talents, will be making his RIZIN debut in the fight. He became DEEP Impact’s featherweight champ last year with a majority decision victory against Satoshi Yamasu.
Ushiku’s last fight was just three months ago, where he retained his belt in a split decision over Daisuke Nakamura – avenging a loss he took earlier in the year.
Sudario Looks To Rebound From First Loss Against Ace
Sumo wrestler turned MMA fighter Tsuyoshi Sudario will aim to bounce back from his first pro loss when fighting RIZIN newcomer Saint.
Sudario turned pro last year and quickly attained three wins in MMA, defeating two pro wrestlers and veteran Minowaman. He had his three-fight win streak broken in June, as Shoma Shibisai scored a third-round submission over him at RIZIN 28.
Saint is getting his RIZIN shot after two wins in regional promotion DEEP Impact this year. He won his pro debut in under a minute, then returned in September to get a decision nod over Seigo Mizuguchi.
A series of regional shows weren’t able to be covered over at Knockdown News this weekend. For anyone who wants information on the events, links from other publications are provided here:
MMASucka: Cage Warriors 129 Results
MMASucka: CFFC 101 Results
A Look At The Week Ahead
It’s a somewhat slow week in MMA, as not much is going on outside of two events that UFC will be hosting in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Here’s what to look out for in the coming days.
Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 5 Episode 6
In the search for fighters to join the UFC roster, episode six of “Dana White’s Contender Series” will air Tuesday. In the main event, CFFC alum Mike Mallott will look to ride the momentum of a late-2020 return victory when facing Bellator alum Shimon Smotritsky.
As is the case every week on the show, the lineup is full of prospects. This week includes LFA veteran Fernie Garcia, former HFC Flyweight Champion Carlos Hernandez, undefeated lightweight Genaro Valdez, and more.
Location: UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)
Bout 5: Shimon Smotritsky (7-0) vs. Mike Malott (6-1-1) (Welterweight)
Bout 4: Daniel Barez (12-4) vs. Carlos Hernandez (6-1) (Flyweight)
Bout 3: Joshua Weems (8-1) vs. Fernie Garcia (9-1) (Bantamweight)
Bout 2: Shonte Barnes (6-1-1) vs. Joseph Holmes (5-1) (Light Heavyweight)
Bout 1: Patrik White (9-1) vs. Genaro Valdez (9-0) (Lightweight)
UFC on ESPN+ 52: Dern vs. Rodriguez
UFC’s strawweight division has a big matchup this weekend, as rising contenders Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez will headline a “Fight Night” card on Saturday night.
Both appearing in their first UFC main event, Dern and Rodriguez will get the chance to become one of the top names in the 115-pound division. They’re currently ranked within the top six fighters in the weight class, with three of the four names ahead of them being former champions.
Location: UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Main Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)
Bout 11: Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) vs. Mackenzie Dern (11-1) (Strawweight)
Bout 10: Randy Brown (13-4) vs. Jared Gooden (18-6) (Welterweight)
Bout 9: Tim Elliott (17-11-1) vs. Matheus Nicolau (16-2-1) (Flyweight)
Bout 8: Mariya Agapova (9-2) vs. Sabina Mazo (9-2) (Flyweight)
Bout 7: Phil Hawes (11-2) vs. Deron Winn (7-2) (Middleweight)
Preliminary Card (1:00PM EDT / 10:00AM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 6: Chris Gutierrez (16-3-2) vs. Felipe Colares (10-2) (Bantamweight)
Bout 5: Laureano Staropoli (9-4) vs. Jamie Pickett (11-6) (Middleweight)
Bout 4: Alexander Romanov (14-0) vs. Jared Vanderaa (12-5) (Heavyweight)
Bout 3: Charles Rosa (14-5) vs. Damon Jackson (18-4-1) (Featherweight)
Bout 2: Lupita Godinez (5-1) vs. Sam Hughes (5-3) (Strawweight)
Bout 1: Charlie Ontiveros (11-7) vs. Steve Garcia (11-4) (Lightweight)
ONE Returns To Japan For ‘Road To’ Card: ONE Championship will hold a small “Road To ONE” card in Japan on Tuesday, showcasing five MMA bouts in Tokyo. The main event of the evening will see promotional veterans Tatsumitsu Wada and Daichi Takenaka face off. The show will also see an exhibition grappling match between Shinya Aoki and Shooto Japan vet Shutaro Debana.
MMA Veterans Riggs and Guillard Headline BKFC Card: Experienced MMA fighters Joe Riggs and Kelvin Guillard will headline a bare-knuckle boxing event held by BKFC on Saturday night. Both fighters, who have a combined MMA record of over 100 fighters, will be aiming to score their first win in BKFC.
Undefeated Prospect Onama Returns At FAC: Rising lightweight prospect David Onama will look for his eighth pro win when fighting Bellator alum Brad Robison at FAC 10 on Friday. Onama has fought as a pro since 2019 and has only gone the distance once in his seven appearances.
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