Fighters of the Week

Fighters of the Week

Combat

Fighters of the Week

 

  1. Oleksandr Gvozdyk: All hail our Ukranian boxing overlords! Sent Adonis Stevenson to the mat for the count in front of a shocked crowd and for the first time in five and a half years, we have a new WBC Light Heavyweight champion.

  2. Junior dos Santos: In front of a hostile crowd, JDS showed that he’s still a dangerous, dangerous fighter to be dealt with, handing Tai Tuivasa his first career MMA loss in the main event in Adelaide.

  3. Kamaru Usman: Put on an absolutely dominant performance against former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in his first main-event. A title shot isn’t far away at all.

  4. Jarrett Hurd: Jason Welborn was game, but Hurd had far too much at his disposal, putting away the Brit in the fourth-round to retain his WBA and IBF junior middleweight championships in the co-main slot of Fury-Wilder.

  5. Gabriel Varga: Varga was always a fantastic technical kickboxer, but never really had a ton of pop or excitement in his game or finishes, WELL NOT ANYMORE, FOLKS! Varga’s last three wins have been by T/KO, and he’s showing more of a snarl later in his career than he ever has before. In his last outing this Saturday in Italy, he KO’d home-country challenger Shan Cangelosi in the main event of Bellator Kickboxing 11.

6. Jeff Horn: Finished Anthony Muindine in the very first round in Australia on ESPN+ first-thing Friday morning. Horn came out aggressive and clearly wanted to end it fast and furiously, keeping his name in the title picture.

7. Mauricio Rua: He’s not dead yet! Shogun woke up the echoes with a nasty ground-and-pound of Tyson Pedro, and has won, improbably, four out of five.

8. John Salter: Salter came in on a month’s notice to replace Melvin Manhoef in the main event of Bellator 210 against Chidi Njokuani, and responded by getting a first-round submission.

9. Juan Francisco Dieppa/Macy Chiasson: Congratulations to the two newest Ultimate Fighter winners, in two divisions that desperately need fresh blood, heavyweight, and women’s featherweight. Hopefully next we get some light heavyweight fighters.

10. Miles Johns/Sarah Alpar: Both Johns and Alpar fought for vacant LFA bantamweight championships, both won by split-decision.

11. Rafael Lovato Jr.: Retained his Fight To Win Black Belt Light Heavyweight No-Gi Championship with a win over Josh Hinger in the main event of Fight To Win Pro 95 in San Diego.

12. Kent Kauppinen: Handed a brutal KO loss to Alessio Sakara in the main event in his home country of Italy at Bellator 211.

13. Joe Joyce: The next big thing in the heavyweight division was on full-display, kicking off the Wilder-Fury PPV card. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist stopped Joe Hanks in the first round, then got to show his personality and crazy martial arts moves. Sooner than later, the towering Brit is going to be a player in the division.

14. Domingos Barros: Hesdy Gerges is a consistent top-10 heavyweight kickboxer in the world, put it was Barros who TKO’d Gerges in Gerges’s MMA debut at Bellator 211.

t15. Tyson Fury: I had it 115-112 for Fury, including the knockdowns, and I had it pretty generously for Wilder. 115-111 for Wilder and a draw is absurd. Fury won the bout, but they’re both going to make crazy bank for the rematch.

t15. Mark Hunt: If that truly is a career for Hunt, it’s been a crazy, wild, improbable life. Who would have ever thought that Hunt would have had the rise he did in the UFC?

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