Thursday, July 7, 2022

Matchmaking Bulletin (5/22-5/28): New Main Event & Paris/London Bouts

The UFC Vegas 57 main event has been confirmed, and bouts have been added to the cards slated for London and Paris later this year.

As well as two rising lightweights being granted their first appearances in the headline spotlight, four European fighters will have the chance to compete in their home continent, two of whom will be enjoying the home-crowd backing, one at UFC London, set for July 23, and the other at UFC Paris, slated for September 3.

Check below for all the latest UFC fight news:

Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot – UFC Vegas 57 Main Event (June 25)

After Arman Tsarukyan’s (18-2) made his desire to face fellow ATT-associated lightweight Mateusz Gamrot (20-1) clear following an apparent rejection from Gregor Gillespie, the bout was confirmed earlier this month for the UFC Vegas 57 event, scheduled for June 25.

Now, after some calls to grant the Russian-Armenian and the Pole their main-event debuts, the pair, and many in the MMA community, have gotten their wishes. Per Eurosport’s Marcel Dorff, the #11 and the #12-ranked 155lbers will top the UFC Vegas 57 slate next month.

With a place in the top 10 likely at stake, as well as the status of lightweight’s top rising prospect, the June 25 event looks set to bring some exciting action to the Octagon, especially with the likes of Neil Magny, Shavkat Rakhmonov, Chris Curtis, and Umar Nurmagomedov all set to make the walk.

Marc Diakiese vs. Damir Hadžović – UFC London (July 23)

As well as a recent announcement confirming Paddy Pimblett’s return to London on July 23, fellow Englishman and lightweight Marc Diakiese (15-5) is also set to lace the gloves for a home-crowd experience.

Having competed at The O2 under the UFC banner in both 2017 and 2019, the Congolese-born Brit is set to make the walk in England’s capital for the third time this summer. A week after UFC London in March, Diakiese dominantly bested Viacheslav Borschev at UFC Columbus. In his way of a second consecutive victory will be Damir Hadžović (14-6).

Like “Bonecrusher,” Hadzovic also recently rebounded from a two-fight losing skid. The 35-year-old outpointed Yancy Medeiros last June. After a lengthy layoff, “The Bosnian Bomber” will look to remind fans of his presence by spoiling Diakiese’s homecoming.

The bout was first reported by Chisanga Malata.

Cláudio Silva vs. Nicolas Dalby – UFC London (July 23)

In the 11th contest added to July 23’s UFC London card, Denmark’s Nicolas Dalby (19-4-1) will compete in Europe for the first time since emerging victorious over Alex Oliveira in his country’s capital back in 2019.

Per Combate’s Raphael Marinho, “Lokomotivo” will collide with Brazil’s Cláudio Silva (14-3). in a welterweight contest. When the pair share the Octagon, both men will be hoping to rebound from defeats last time out.

While the 37-year-old Dalby had a seven-fight unbeaten streak, which included a defeat to Jesse Ronson that was overturned to a no contest, snapped at the hands of Tim Means last June, the 39-year-old Silva fell to a two-fight skid a month prior against Court McGee, having previously been outpointed by James Krause in 2020.

Silva was initially slated to face Gunnar Nelson at UFC London earlier this year. Having fallen off that card through injury, the Brazilian will get his second chance at making the walk in The O2 on July 23.

Manon Fiorot vs. Katlyn Chookagian – UFC Paris (September 3)

Despite the UFC’s French debut only recently being confirmed, the first Paris card is beginning to take shape.

As well as a matchup between hometown heavyweight Ciryl Gane and fellow top-five contender Tai Tuivasa touted to headline the event, elite middleweights Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori have both appeared to confirm that their re-arranged clash will take place in one of Europe’s most iconic capital cities.

Now, a crucial fight in the women’s flyweight division has been added to the card. According to BoxeMag.com, #1-ranked 125lber and former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian (18-4) will enter enemy territory to take on rising contender Manon Fiorot (9-1).

Fiorot, who hails from Nice, France, has amassed an unblemished 4-0 UFC record since debuting in the promotion last January. At UFC Columbus earlier this year, “The Beast” rose to #6 in the division by outpointing Jennifer Maia.

As well as hoping to add the first defeat to Fiorot’s record since the Frenchwoman’s debut loss to Bellator‘s Leah McCourt in 2018, Chookagian will be looking to further cement her status as the top flyweight contender and secure a second crack at having the divisional gold wrapped around her waist.

On September 3, it’ll be “The Beast” versus “Blonde Fighter,” one of whom could well book a date with Valentina Shevchenko with an impressive display in Paris.

Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz – UFC Vegas 56 (June 4)

In our only rematch on this list, UFC mainstays Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz will face off in a rematch of their 2018 encounter that saw the Pole top the American as first reported by Marcel Dorff. As it happens, this would be the last time Kowalkiewicz has had her hand raised in the UFC to date.

The former title challenger is currently on a five-fight losing streak. Most recently, she lost to Jessica Penne via armbar submission at UFC 265 last August. Kowalkiewicz has also lost 7 of her last 9 fights. All things considered, another loss could very well spell the end of her seven-year run in the promotion.

Felice Herrig is also suffering the worst skid of her professional career after having lost three consecutive fights. Like Kowalkiewicz, Herrig’s most recent defeat came via armbar submission. In Herrig’s case, the loss was against submission expert Virna Jandiroba.

On Saturday, both of these women will walk into the Octagon prepared to fight for their UFC careers. And after walking out, one of them may very well not return.

Who do you envision having their hands raised in these UFC matchups?

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