Fighters of the Week

Fighters of the Week

Combat

Fighters of the Week

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  1. Sunny Edwards: The only new world boxing champion to emerge from a jam-packed boxing week (and no, Erislandy Lara’s WBA “Regular” title doesn’t count), Edwards bested Moruti Mthalane in Mthalane’s fourth defense of his IBF Flyweight title.

  2. Katie Taylor: Natasha Jonas couldn’t get by Taylor in the 2012 Olympics, and couldn’t get by her in 2021 for her undisputed lightweight crown. As I had predicted, Jonas gave Taylor all she could handle, but Taylor just had more horses.

  3. Dmitry Bivol: Craig Richards gave him more trouble than he was probably expecting, but Bivol held sway and retained his WBA Super World Light Heavyweight title.

  4. Joseph Parker: It was tight, and slightly disputed, but after they finally got the whole ring walk issue under control, Parker and Dereck Chisora had a boxing match in Manchester, with Parker winning on scorecards of 115-113, 116-111, and 113-115. Parker said he felt bad about the scorecards, so we may be seeing a rematch.

  5. Jiri Prochazka: Good god, is this man a runaway bulldozer right now. He’s just coming full steam ahead and good luck stopping him. He does things like this to knock out opponents. Or, in the words of Derrick Lewis:

6. Andy Ruiz Jr.: Took care of business in his PPV headline bout, controlling his bout with Chris Arreola, and setting himself up to get back in the world title hunt.

7. Reinier De Ridder: Has now hunted down Aung La N Sang and has won his middleweight AND light heavyweight titles in ONE, becoming a star in the process. Sang probably sees this guy in his sleep.

8. Erislandy Lara: Made quick work of woefully overmatched Thomas LaManna in the first round, earning the goddamned stupid WBA “regular” title at Middleweight.

9. Lucas Barbosa/Rafaela Guedes/Kaynan Duarte: Not only did ATOS win the eight-team SUBVERSIV team-BJJ tournament, they pitched a complete shutout over three rounds in doing so. Just a completely dominant performance.

10. Rory MacDonald: Showed he still has some go left, showing glimpses of the old Red King in a first-round submission of Curtis Millender in the main event of PFL 2.

11. Rafael Lovato Jr.: In a matchup of two first-ballot titans of BJJ, it was Lovato getting the better of Gilbert Burns by unanimous decision in the headlining bout of the latest Who’s Number One show on FloGrappling.

12. Abel Ramos: Absolutely dotted up Omar Figueroa in a WBA eliminator at welterweight before earning a stoppage in the sixth-round, in an absolutely terrific showing from the journeyman welterweight.

13. Jovanni Straffon: Owner of the biggest upset of the week, besting James Tennyson as a +850 underdog to claim the vacant IBO lightweight title, and doing it inside one round.

14. Gigo Chikadze: Cub Swanson, even today, is still a very tough out, so to throw kicks to the body and finish him in barely over a minute is quite a feat, as Chikadze did in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night. Well done and well-deserved 50k Performance bonus.

15. Ok Rae Yoon: That’s how you make a name for yourself, defeating a legend like Eddie Alvarez on TNT.

 

Honorable Mention:

Frank Tate
Josh Smith
Ray Cooper III/Joao Zeferino/Emiliano Sordi/Antonio Carlos Junior/Cezar Ferreira/Marthin Hamlet: The winners and points-bankers of PFL 2 in the welterweight and light heavyweight divisions.
Joshua Silveira

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