Tuesday, August 16, 2022

UFC Matchmaking Bulletin (7/25-7/30): 279 & 280 Cards Deepen

MMA News has you covered with this week’s UFC matchmaking bulletin, featuring fights for hard-hitting flyweight Tyson Nam, entertaining heavyweight Chris Barnett, and in-form middleweight prospect Caio Borralho. 

With UFC cards being held most weekends, Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby have their matchmaking work cut out if they’re to fill them, meaning new bouts are confirmed each and every week.

In recent days, a number of huge fights were reported, confirmed or made official by the UFC and reputable sources. For more information on those matchups, check out the links below:

But it wasn’t all positive, with a number of fights falling through in recent days. For those failed pairings, see the list below:

  • Shamil Gamzatov (OUT through visa issues) vs. Misha Cirkunov – UFC Vegas 59 (August 6)
  • Malcom Gordon (OUT through injury) vs. Allan Nascimento – UFC San Diego (August 13)

For information on a host of bouts that may have flown under your radar between July 25 and July 30, scroll down and check out this week’s matchmaking bulletin.

Ode’ Osbourne vs. Tyson Nam – UFC San Diego (August 13)

In a late addition to the UFC’s return to San Diego, two exciting flyweights are set to collide on August 13.

Ode’ Osbourne (11-4) had a slow start to his Octagon career, going 1-2 after earning a contract on Dana White‘s Contender Series. But since a knockout loss to former Rizin champion Manel Kape, the Jamaican has won back-to-back contests for the first time in the UFC, outpointing CJ Vergara before knocking Zarrukh Adashev out at UFC Vegas 56 in June.

If “The Jamaican Sensation” is to make it three on the bounce, he’ll have to get past Tyson Nam (20-12-1). Like Osbourne, the Hawaiian boasts victories over Adashev and Jerome Rivera. Having finished both, Nam’s streak was snapped on the scorecards by Matt Schnell last January. After a few failed matchups, the MMA veteran will return in search of a 13th career KO on August 13.

This UFC San Diego addition was first reported by MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck.

Chris Barnett vs. Jake Collier – UFC 279 (September 10)

Heavyweights Chris Barnett and Jack Collier have been paired together and will collide at UFC 279.

Barnett (22-8) stole headlines in his sophomore outing under the UFC banner with one of the most memorable moments of 2021. After being submitted on debut by Ben Rothwell, “Beastboy” entered the Octagon win column for the first time at UFC 268 courtesy of a spinning wheel kick against Gian Villante.

After suffering a technical decision loss to Martin Buday earlier this year, Barnett will be looking to bring his promotional record back to even on September 10.

Also looking to rebound will be Collier (13-7). Remarkably, “The Prototype” has traded wins and losses across his entire 11-fight UFC career.

Most recently, the 33-year-old failed to capitalize on the momentum gained from a submission victory over Chase Sherman, with former champion Andrei Arlovski falling on the right side of a split decision in their clash earlier this year.

This matchup was confirmed by ESPN.

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Julian Erosa – UFC 279 (September 10)

Also heading to UFC 279 to form a set of undercard bouts that look to set the stage for a blockbuster main event will be featherweights Hakeem Dawodu and Julian Erosa.

Dawodu (13-2-1) has gone 6-2 since his Octagon debut, recording wins over the likes of Julio Arce, Kyle Bochniak, and Zubaira Tukhugov. After he fell short in his chance to rise further against Movsar Evloev last June, “Mean” Hakeem rebounded this past February, outpointing Michael Trizano.

In the way of the Canadian returning to a win streak on September 10 will be Erosa (27-9). Since beginning his UFC career with an 0-3 skid, “Juicy J” has found his feet on MMA’s biggest stage, winning five of his last six. That run includes submission wins over Sean Woodson and Charles Jourdain, and a memorable flying-knee knockout of Nate Landwehr.

This UFC 279 featherweight fight was first reported by MMA Junkie’s Nolan King.

Joe Pyfer vs. Alen Amedovski – UFC Fight Night (September 17)

Just days after securing a contract on DWCS, middleweight Joe Pyfer has his promotional debut set.

After a gruesome dislocated elbow cut short his first attempt to impress Dana White in 2020, Pyfer (9-2) returned to the talent-finding series this past week looking to secure a path to the Octagon at the second time of trying. And with a memorable left hook versus Ozzy Diaz, “Bodybagz” did just that.

Having been the only one to earn a contract on Tuesday, Pyfer has been rewarded with a quick debut booking, which will come on September 17 versus Alen Amedovski (8-3). The former Bellator standout went 0-2 in the UFC before a three-year layoff. His return earlier this year didn’t bring with it a change in fortune, with Joseph Holmes submitting the Macedonian in one round.

This matchup was announced during the UFC 277 broadcast.

Makhmud Muradov vs. Caio Borralho – UFC 280 (October 22)

Just a week after pulling out of his scheduled UFC Paris appearance against Abusupiyan Magomedov, Makhmud Muradov has been booked again, and he’s swapped the Parisian streets for the Abu Dhabi deserts.

Muradov (25-7) entered the UFC in 2019 on an 11-fight win streak. He quickly made that 13 with a decision win against Alessio Di Chirico and a knockout of Trevor Smith. After COVID-19 kept “Mach” out of action in 2020, he picked up where he left off last January, finishing Andrew Sanchez in Abu Dhabi. But having been submitted by Gerald Meerschaert in August, which marked his first loss since 2015, the Tajik-born Uzbek is looking to return to the win column at UFC 280.

If Muradov is to do so, he’ll have to halt the charge of rising contender Caio Borralho (12-1). “The Natural” broke onto the scene with back-to-back wins on DWCS, the second of which secured his entry into the UFC. After an illegal knee somewhat took the shine off a solid debut win against Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, Borralho impressed in his sophomore outing, outpointing fellow prospect Armen Petrosyan.

This matchup was announced on Muradov’s official Instagram account.

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

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