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Kamaru Usman
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

MMA's Fall Blockbuster Events Preview

by Ike Feldman
Updated On: September 8, 2021, 4:33 pm ET

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With the fall season right around the corner, the combat sports (MMA/ boxing) schedule is jammed packed every weekend into the winter (approx. 30 events), but let's focus on some of the blockbuster combat sports events that’ll have your jaw dropping faster than the leaves.

September:

Sept. 25th, Las Vegas, NV – UFC 266

(-180) Alexander Volkanovski vs. (+142) Brian Ortega is an awesome battle of two Mixed Martial Artists in their prime fighting years getting ready to go to war. After many long weeks of filming the reality show The Ultimate Fighter, they will finally be able to walk the walk. It’s a fantastic clash of styles with Volkanovski coming from one the most adept striking gyms in the world matching up with Ortega’s world-class jiu-jitsu background, which is from the source, the Gracie family. As always, the UFC plugs many great fights into their pay-per-view events. This card features another title fight between the hardened (+650) Lauren Murphy going against one of the greatest fighters of all time in (+1250) Valentina Shevchenko. Plus, (-105) Nick Diaz makes his long-awaited return to the octagon with a rematch 17 years in the making against former UFC champion (-120) Robbie Lawler. 


October:

• Oct. 27th, Hollywood, FL – 2021 PFL Championships

Another year, another $6 million for the Professionals Fighters League to hand out to six championship fighters. As of 2018, it’s become a combat sports spectacle to see six large checks on display as competitors who went through an “MMA season”. This year’s finals feature some familiar faces with (+180) Ray Cooper III rematching (-220) Magomed Magomedkerimov and two-time Olympic (-2500) Judoka Kayla Harrison returning against first time PFL finalist (+1200) Taylor Guardado. Some other banger fights to look out for are PFL vet (+215) Chris Wade going against the Dagestani force, (-265) Molvid Khaybulaev, and former UFC fighter (-305) Antonio Carlos Junior fighting Norway's (+240) Marthin Hamlet. Always epic when $1 million is up for grabs for each winner.

• Oct. 30th, Abu Dhabi, UAE – UFC 267

(-260) Jan Blachowicz vs. (+210) Glover Teixeira is a wonderful meeting between two late-in-their-careers fighters who’ve been knocking on the door of UFC immortality for so long. Blachowicz’s dream was first realized when he knocked out Dominic Reyes to win the UFC’s light-heavyweight title and then defended it against MMA superstar Israel Adesanya earlier this year. Now, the Polish power puncher will try to be the dream crusher against Teixeria, 41, who fought for a title in 2014 against an all-time great in Jon Jones. Expect respect from the two long-time veterans of MMA, but also expect a heart-filled, bloody fight. Before the elder statesmen take center stage, the UFC’s bantamweight title is on the line as current UFC champion (+260) Aljamain Sterling is fighting (-325) Petr Yan in an immediate rematch following a DQ loss. A lot of heat is surrounding this fight, and unlike the main event, respect is absent. Before UFC gold is handed out, there’s a couple of young and talented fighters that will look to take the next step in their careers. (-450) Islam Makhachev takes on former UFC champ (+350) Rafael Dos Anjos and (-350) Khamzat Chimaev, who was out for 13 months due to Covid-19, is fighting (+280) Li Jingliang. Should be a great afternoon of fights! 


November:

• Nov. 6th, New York, NY – UFC 268

(-275) Kamaru Usman vs. (+225) Colby Covington II seemed inevitable. Usman is a rather quiet fighter that likes to do his trash talk with his fists, and man oh man, his fists have had a lot to say. In case you guys need a quick walk down memory lane: Usman broke Covington’s jaw in their first meeting at UFC 245, yet the brash Covington still was able to talk himself into a not-really-deserved rematch (insert Leon Edwards). Since the two elite fighters met, Usman has been scorching hot, evolving from a swarming wrestler into a complete Mixed Martial Artist and the current pound-for-pound king. In the same time that Usman fought three times knocking out two top contenders, Covington only fought once – the power of the spoken word, I guess. But nonetheless, this will be a fantastically stacked card where UFC strawweight champion (-110) Rose Namajunas is rematching (+105) Weili Zhang, and beforehand, a fight of the night candidate as (-180) Justin Gaethje and (+155) Michael Chandler will no doubt put on a show.


December: 

• Dec. 11th, Las Vegas, NV – UFC 269 (rumored fights)

(-150) Dustin Poirier vs. (+135) Charles Oliviera

(-750) Amanda Nunes vs. (+500) Julianna Pena

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Ike Feldman

Ike Feldman is not only a longtime combat sports practitioner, but he is also an Edgy broadcaster that has been covering and handicapping combat sports on a high level since 2016. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @IkeFeldman to get unrivaled MMA and Boxing content, insight and entertainment.