Knockdown Daily 1/6/22: Volkanovski vs. Holloway Trilogy, Sterling vs. Yan Rematch Targeted For UFC 272
The two new title fights set for UFC 272 lead the MMA headlines for Thursday.
Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Knockdown Daily. In today’s issue, we have a few short stories about recent fights that have been booked.
UFC 272 gained two title fights recently, as it was reported that the bantamweight and featherweight division’s top players will compete on March 12th.
The event is expected to include a trilogy fight between UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway, and it is also scheduled to have a rematch between UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling and interim titleholder Petr Yan, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
The fights join a card that is set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Holloway Gets Trilogy Following Strong 2021 Run
Holloway, a former champion in his own right, will get the chance to earn his first win over Volkanovski.
Holloway dropped his belt to Volkanovski in late 2019, losing via unanimous decision. They fought again in 2020, where Volkanovski prevailed through another five rounds – although this time he won via split decision.
Holloway is back in the title picture after winning two main event bouts in 2021. First, he kicked off his year with a dominant five-round win over Calvin Kattar. Months later, he went the distance against the returning Yair Rodriguez for another win.
Volkanovski defended his belt for the first time in September, defeating Brian Ortega via decision.
Yan To Unify Belts With Sterling
Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Yan gets his much-anticipated fight against Sterling on the card.
Yan first lost his belt in March 2021, as he landed an illegal knee in the fourth round that disqualified him from the action.
UFC has since attempted to book a rematch between Yan and Sterling, although it has fallen off two separate cards. The last time they were booked against one another, the fight was canceled due to Sterling suffering an injury.
Yan remained on that card in October and defeated Cory Sandhagen via unanimous decision to claim the interim UFC Bantamweight Championship.
The UFC debut of Victor Henry has been moved to the promotion’s next pay-per-view event. His fight against Raoni Barcelos has been rebooked to UFC 270 on January 22nd, per a report from Mike Heck of MMA Fighting.
Henry was originally called upon in December as a short-notice opponent for Barcelos. He was stepping in to replace Trevin Jones in a bantamweight fight.
Their first booking was later thrown out after Henry tested positive for COVID-19.
Henry is joining the UFC roster after an extensive 26-fight run as a pro. He has excelled in recent years, having won nine of his last 10 bouts. This includes two appearances in notable Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN.
Barcelos will be fighting to bounce back from his sole UFC loss. He dropped a majority decision to Timur Valiev in June last year, ending a five-fight winning streak that he put together in the promotion.
Bantamweight winning streaks will collide on March 26th, as Montel Jackson and Danaa Batgerel will meet on a UFC card. The new pairing was confirmed by Jackson’s management team, Iridium Sports Agency, on Tuesday.
Batgerel has strung together a strong winning streak whilst in the UFC. While he lost his promotional debut, he has since scored three first-round victories. His last appearance was in October, where he stopped Brandon Davis in just over two minutes with strikes.
UFC veteran Drew Dober will fight to break a losing streak when facing Ricky Glenn at the promotion’s March 12th event, per an announcement by Glenn’s management team.
Dober developed a two-fight skid last year after taking a couple of big losses at lightweight.
Dober has broken a two-fight losing streak in his career before. His UFC run actually started with two losses, although he was able to turn things around in 2014 with a win over Jamie Varner.
Glenn made his return last year, competing after being absent in 2019 and 2020.
The long-awaited UFC debut of Nikolas Motta has a new date, yet again. Motta is now booked to face Drakkar Klose on April 16th, as first reported by Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting.
The fight is the first to be booked for an April 16th event. It is reportedly expected to happen at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Motta has struggled to find a debut fight in the UFC for a long time now. He was booked in three UFC bouts last year, with all of them being canceled due to varying reasons.
Motta, a former CFFC Lightweight Champion, earned a UFC contract in 2020 after a win on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
Klose has a lot in common with Motta. Just like the debuting fighter, Klose has been sidelined since 2020, with three different fights getting withdrawn in 2021.
Klose last fought in March 2020, where Beneil Dariush finished him with strikes and broke a three-fight winning streak.
As part of the new “Throwback Thursday” series at Knockdown News, we will be watching old MMA events in chronological order. We begin this week with Pride FC’s “Bad Blood” card, which took place on February 24th, 2002.
The event took place at the legendary Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and was headlined by Don Frye and Ken Shamrock - two fighters who had a rivalry, at least heading into their fight.
The card also includes real legends of the early Pride FC days like Wanderlei Silva, Igor Vovchanchyn, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and others.
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