Plenty of things can happen in the world of MMA in seven days.
From event announcements and the fights on the weekend to the best tweets and latest trash talk between fighters, we’ll keep you in the know at the end of each week with the latest happenings in the sport.
But first off, make sure you buy this year’s Holiday Issue of Fighters Only Magazine! It’s now available on all good newsstands and on the Fighters Only app, featuring the likes of Tyron Woodley, Michael “Venom” Page, Weili Zhang, Demetrious Johnson and more:
OUT NOW! This years' Fighters Only Holiday Issue is in stores and online on the Fighters Only App!
Featuring our ground-breaking cover star, @MmaWeili, this article is packed with features with @Michaelpage247 , @TWooodley and @MightyMouse
— Fighters Only (@FightersOnly) November 25, 2019
UFC 245: Kamaru Usman breaks Colby Covington’s jaw to defend welterweight title
— SMH (@BTCballer1) December 15, 2019
UFC 245 – the promotion’s last pay-per-view show of 2019 and this decade – was headlined by one of the most enthralling UFC welterweight title fights in history.
Grudge fights seldom produce fireworks in the cage or ring, but the scrap between rivals Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington certainly delivered.
Both men boast top-level wrestling credentials, but opted to swing for the fences instead. Covington landed plenty of punches at volume, Usman threw everything with bad intentions.
The fight’s turning point came in the third round when Usman’s one-two combination caught an open-mouthed Covington, breaking his jaw.
Tough as old boots, Covington fought on and arguably won the following round.
But Usman capitalised on his hurt opponent in the fifth round, scoring multiple knockdowns en-route to securing the first defence of his UFC welterweight championship with a TKO win.
Awesome, well-matched fight and one I think many fans would love to see run back some time in the future.
UFC 245: Alexander Volkanovski is your new UFC featherweight king, earns decision against Max Holloway
— SMH (@BTCballer1) December 15, 2019
Elsewhere, Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski became Australia’s second-ever UFC champion after he bested Max Holloway, one of the finest 145-pounders the sport has ever seen, over five rounds.
Volkanovski fought the perfect gameplan and never allowed Holloway to ever truly establish a rhythm.
The Aussie’s leg kicks at range and solid inside boxing did the trick with his cerebral approach to the contest. He has looked so impressive since joining the UFC roster in 2016 and now has the opportunity to establish himself as a legendary UFC featherweight champion.
We’re sure Holloway will be back to try and win back his belt. In fact, UFC President Dana White has already hinted at setting up an automatic rematch.
UFC 245: Amanda Nunes retains UFC women’s bantamweight gold against Germaine de Randamie
Amanda Nunes may be considered by many to be the greatest female to ever compete in MMA, but it wasn’t all plain sailing at UFC 245 in her rematch against the Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie.
The Brazilian sought to take the fight down to the floor for much of the contest’s five rounds.
De Randamie showed some impressive resilience to survive the first round after enduring plenty of brutal ground and pound from her opponent.
Over 25 minutes, the fight was largely dictated by Nunes, but “The Iron Lady” also had her moments. An upkick from her back seemed to have stunned Nunes at one point, while she also looked to have snatched a triangle choke from nowhere at another stage.
However, Nunes was rightly awarded the unanimous decision from the judges sat cageside to retain her title.
ARES 1: The rise of Reug Reug
— ARES Fighting Championship (@ares_fighting) December 14, 2019
Last week, we wrote about the beginning of a new Afro-European MMA promotion making its debut on the weekend.
ARES Fighting Championship hosted ARES 1 in Dakar, Senegal, on Saturday night and it garnered plenty of attention.
The main event was cut short due to the Dakar heat and humidity making for unsafe fighting conditions. However, a certain Senegalese superstar in Oumar Kane. better known as “Reug Reug,” absolutely stole the show and more than made up for the show’s abrupt end with his performance in the co-main event.
Reug Reug is a wrestling champion in Senegal, undefeated in the country’s laamb wrestling discipline which also incorporates a degree of striking.
The hulking 6-foot-5 heavyweight made his MMA debut on Saturday and made light work of the comparably experienced Sofiane Boukichou.
Reug Reug dominated the early round and continued his assault in the second to earn a TKO victory.
You could argue his striking isn’t exactly the most technically solid judging by this display, but his frenetic fighting style has already won him plenty of admirers across the world.
Check out the fight’s finish in the video below:
We can’t wait to see what ARES FC and Reug Reug do next.
UFC 246: UFC releases official Conor McGregor vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone poster
UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy official poster pic.twitter.com/fe9L2DHPq5
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) December 14, 2019
Some fans were left slightly underwhelmed by the efforts of the UFC’s creative team.
UFC 246 has taken shape: Anthony Pettis, Holly Holm, Claudia Gadelha and more announced
2020 is getting off to a flyer with this UFC 246 card.
UFC Columbus: Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik announced
This is a heavyweight fight you will not want to miss. Don’t blink!
UFC Columbus: Cody Garbrandt to return to the cage against Raphael Assuncao
Cody “No Love” Garbrandt is back! His return sees him fight in his home state and against one tough opponent in Raphael Assuncao.
Best Social Media of the Week
Colby Covington (NSFW)
Normally people do their fucking in the bedroom, not the octagon @marcgoddard_uk! I go in there to kill or be killed. You robbed me of that. You robbed the people of a fair fight. You should be ashamed of yourself. Fake nut shot. Fake eye poke. Fake stoppage. Fake ref. #ufc245
— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) December 15, 2019
Colby Covington stayed in character after his knockout loss against Kamaru Usman at UFC 245. It appears he wasn’t happy with the stoppage from referee Marc Goddard.
Raw emotion & the highest of stakes, fighting is like nothing else on earth. I respect each & every person I stand between & I will give you all I’ve got. I am a human being. Thank you to all who understand what I have put into this game, that will never stop. God bless. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/QryagWadpi
— Marc Goddard (@marcgoddard_uk) December 15, 2019
Respected referee Marc Goddard indirectly responded to Covington’s complaints in the classiest way possible.
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) December 15, 2019
Could this be the beginning of the most unlikely friendship in recent MMA history? PART ONE.
Sometimes life kicks your butt when you least expect it. Make no excuses and move on. https://t.co/7yfFVoXlsi
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 16, 2019
Could this be the beginning of the most unlikely friendship in recent MMA history? PART TWO.
Another Reug Reug gem from ARES 1
Well… that’s one way to escape a kimura attempt.