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Leon Edwards has been asking for a little more respect, and with his latest victory, he’s certainly earned it. Edwards (17-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) picked up a decision win over Gunnar Nelson at this past weekend’s UFC on ESPN+ 5 event in London, giving “Rocky” a seven-fight winning streak...
Leon Edwards has been asking for a little more respect, and with his latest victory, he’s certainly earned it.
Edwards (17-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) picked up a decision win over Gunnar Nelson at this past weekend’s UFC on ESPN+ 5 event in London, giving “Rocky” a seven-fight winning streak and seeing him move up to the No. 15 spot in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA welterweight rankings. It’s a position that should get him a big fight, perhaps even against Jorge Masvidal (33-13 MMA, 10-6 UFC), who moved into the list at No. 14 with his win over Darren Till in the headlining bout of UFC on ESPN+ 5.
Dominick Reyes (11-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) also made a big move with his win in London. Check out the new look of every weight class in the latest edition of our weekly rankings.
nt" MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main event for UFC on ESPN+ 6. UFC on ESPN+ 6 takes place Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The event streams on ESPN+. Stephen Thompson (14-3-1 MMA,...
MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main event for UFC on ESPN+ 6.
UFC on ESPN+ 6 takes place Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The event streams on ESPN+.
+ Kempo karate black belt
+ 5x kickboxing world champion
+ 7 KO victories
+ 1 submission win
+ 5 first-round finishes
+ KO power
^ Knocked down 6 of past 9 opponents
+ Superb feints and footwork
^ Plays in and out of striking range
+ Accurate shot selection
^ Intercepting punches and dynamic kicks
+ Improved wrestling ability
+ Underrated clinch game
^ Good head position/strikes off breaks
+ Former UFC and WEC lightweight champ
+ Tae kwon do black belt (third degree)
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
+ 9 KO victories
+ 8 submission wins
+ 12 first-round finishes
+ Good footwork and feints
+ Improved boxing
^ Accurate counter-cross
+ Diverse kicking game
^ Dangerous body attacks
+ Improved wrestling ability
^ Defensively and offensively
+ Excellent submission grappler
The main event in Nashville features a fun pairing of two traditional martial artists who have been successful at translating their styles at the highest levels inside the octagon.
Anthony Pettis, who initially comes from a taekwondo base, has been able to bring a spectacular array of kicking techniques into the cage. Balancing out his traditional stylings under the tutelage of Duke Roufus, Pettis has rounded out his attacks with punches and feints to help set up his fight-ending kicks.
As flashy as some of the kicks on his highlight reel may be, Pettis’ body kick seems to be his bread and butter, unloading them from either stance with authority. Considering the tall stature of his opponent, I would not be surprised to see Pettis unleash a healthy amount of liver kicks – which quite possibly may be his best shot at stopping his durable foe.
The former lightweight champion also has an underrated counter cross that could come in handy when looking at the successes of his current counterpart’s past foes. However, I’m not sure how much of Pettis’ punching power will translate up a division.
Enter Stephen Thompson.
One of the other few fighters to successfully translate traditional martial arts into MMA at a high level, Thompson brings an interesting influence of both kenpo karate and point-fighting stylings to the table. The South Carolina native also incorporates some boxing fundamentals and principles that should serve him well in this matchup.
With footwork often being the quiet killer in the upper echelons of combat sports, Thompson’s switch-stance stylings afford him options in regards to taking away or reducing the threats, depending on what his opposition is doing.
In facing one of the more sound welterweight strikers in Rory MacDonald, Thompson was able to take away the Canadian’s jab using superb outside-foot awareness. Keeping his lead foot just outside of his MacDonald’s lead foot, Thompson was able to shut down the traditional striking lanes, leaving the former UFC title challenger looking hesitant.
Thompson is, of course, also known for his dynamic kicks and counters, but I’m not sure how hard he will open with those techniques given that Pettis is no stranger to traditional-style kicks (or their counters). For that reason, I suspect Thompson will be the one trying to counter the stylistic spitfire that is likely headed his way.
Next point of interest: Potential grappling stanzas
Poland’s leading MMA promotion, KSW, returns to action Saturday with “KSW 47: De Fries vs. Narkun,” which streams live on DAZN from Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland. Today, several of the card’s featured fighters came together for open workouts. In the main event, KSW heavyweight champion Phil De Fries...
Poland’s leading MMA promotion, KSW, returns to action Saturday with “KSW 47: De Fries vs. Narkun,” which streams live on DAZN from Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland.
Today, several of the card’s featured fighters came together for open workouts.
Former multi-time world’s strongest man winner Mariusz Pudzianowski (12-6) also took to the mats ahead of his co-main event with former weightlifting champion Szymon Kolecki (6-1).
Nine-time UFC veteran Norman Parke (25-6-1) also worked out for media and fans ahead of his clash with Borys Mankowski (19-7-1).
Additionally, former Olympic gold medalist judoka Satoshi Ishii (20-8-1) made an appearance of his KSW debut, where he faces Fernando Rodrigues (12-4).
The full KSW 47 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (DAZN, 2 p.m. ET)
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