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UFC's stacked July schedule opens with impressive card – News-Daily.com

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Last weekend’s card in Jacksonville was worthy of its billing on ABC.
In the main event, Ilia Topouria cemented himself as likely the next title challenger in the featherweight division. Topouria put on a near flawless performance with his speed and boxing ability. Despite Josh Emmett showing incredible heart and toughness, Topouria improved to 6-0 in the UFC, and 14-0 overall by way of a lopsided decision. Judge Chris Lee even scored the bout 50-42 in favor of Topouria with a 10-7 scorecard round 4.
According to ESPN stats and info, Saturday’s main event marked just the fourth time in UFC history that a bout was scored 50-42. The last time being when Max Holloway battered Calvin Kattar at UFC on ABC one back in January 2021.
For Topouria, in the middleweight division, the question is not if he’s going to be a champion, it’s when.
This weekend, the UFC returns to Las Vegas in the UFC Apex to open its stacked July schedule with a UFC Vegas 76 card headlined by a fascinating middleweight clash between number seven ranked Sean Strickland and surging Russian finisher Abus Magomedov. Strickland has been a mainstay in the middleweight division since moving up from welterweight early in his UFC tenure. Since returning from a horrific motorcycle accident in October 2020, the 32-year-old California native has amassed an 8-2 record at middleweight according to MMA on point.
Most recently, Strickland rebounded from consecutive losses to Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier by picking up a decision win over Nassourdine Imavov in January. Strickland comes into Saturday night looking to prove he is still in the title picture. Strickland is an excellent boxer who is always moving forward. Strickland is effective working behind his jab, landing nearly 6 significant strikes per minute. Strickland’s style, along with his brash personality, make him a fan favorite.
Magomedov is a more unknown commodity compared to Strickland. Magomedov has recorded 20 of his 25 wins by finish with 14 knockouts and 6 wins by submission. After having success in the Professional Fighter’s League, the 32-year-old made a splash in his UFC debut knocking out Dustin Stoltzfus in just 19 seconds last September at UFC Paris. Magomedov looks to improve to 2-0 in the UFC Saturday night. Magomedov comes in riding a 3-fight win streak, the Russian hasn’t lost in five years since he was knocked out by Louis Taylor in December 2018. Against a devastating finisher like Magomedov, look for Strickland to mix in his wresting with his striking. In his very limited time with the UFC, Magomedov has shown technical striking, as well as a solid front kick. Magomedov is getting thrown in the deep end of the middleweight pool. Saturday night we will find out if he sinks or swims. A win for Magomedov could certainly vault him towards the top of the division.
Saturday’s co-main event features a top 15 clash in the lightweight division as number 15 ranked Grant Dawson looks for his third consecutive victory as he faces number 12 ranked Damir Ismagulov. Since coming off Dana White’s Contender Series, Dawson is 7-0-1 in the UFC. Most recently, Dawson earned consecutive submission victories, by rear naked choke over Jared Gordon and Mark O Madsen. The 29-year-old Nebraska native has a strong wrestling background from his time at Cross County Community School where Dawson earned a 40-8 record in his senior season. Recently, Dawson has only gotten better at American Top Team in Florida. Dawson averages more than 3 takedowns per fight, and has secured 13 of his 19 overall wins by submission.
Ismagulov returns to the octagon after a brief retirement due to an undisclosed health issue. Ismagulov looks to bounce back after having his 19-fight win streak snapped against Arman Tsarukyan last December. Prior to that loss, the 32-year-old Kazakhstan native was a perfect 5-0 in the UFC with wins over Thiago Moises and Guram Kutateladze.
Currently Ismagulov, a former M-1 global champion is 24-2 overall. Ismagulov is a good striker landing nearly 4 significant strikes per minute. Ismagulov also has substantial knockout power, with half of his wins coming by knockout. Outside of the cage, there are certainly questions about Ismagulov’s commitment to the sport, but he is still a very skilled, well-rounded fighter.
Look for Dawson to mainly use his striking as a way to get inside and land takedowns. In the standup, Dawson can be hit easily. On the ground, the issue for Dawson is sometimes he can get over aggressive and lose position. The biggest concern for Dawson coming into this fight is his cardio and tendency to gas late in fights. This striker versus grappler matchup is an extremely tough test for Dawson as he looks to remain unbeaten in the UFC. Both men look to take a step closer to the top 10 with a win Saturday night.
Also, on the main card at welterweight, Top Prospect, Michael Morales put his undefeated record on the line against resurgent veteran Max “pain” Griffin. Despite being 37 years old, Griffin is hitting his stride. The California native comes into Saturday night having won four out of his last five fights. This recent run of success include wins over Tim Means and UFC legend, the natural born killer, Carlos Condit. Griffin’s only loss in this recent stretch came against Neil Magny last March at UFC Columbus. As he prepares to make his 15th walk to the UFC octagon, Griffin’s UFC record stands at 7-7. Griffin aims to teach Morales a lesson on Saturday night. Griffin told ufc.com, “I kind of have a chip on my shoulder about this. I’m not the one. I’m not the guy that’s gonna let this new kid beat me. Yeah, Michael Morales is 14-0, he’s young, they like him, but he hasn’t fought anybody. The last two guys he fought Trevin Giles and Adam Fuggit, they’re weaksauce.” Since coming off Dana White Contender’s Series, the 24-year-old Morales has been impressive with consecutive knockouts to open his UFC career. The native of Ecuador looks to improve to 3-0 on Saturday night. 
Morales has plenty of potential to have success in the UFC. Morales has a devastating, right hand and excellent leg kicks to maintain distance. Morales is extremely dangerous in his striking with 11 of his 14 wins coming by knockout. Both men land more than four significant strikes per minute. In the stand up, Morales is vulnerable to getting hit because he leaves his chin too high. In the grappling exchanges, Morales is susceptible to being taken down, which could spell trouble against a savvy veteran like Griffin. Griffin has slick boxing and movement. Will Morales stay undefeated? or will Griffin pull the upset? Find out Saturday night.
On the main card at women’s flyweight, Ariane Lipski looks to build off her win versus JJ Aldrich in March, as she faces Melissa Gatto. Gatto enters the octagon Saturday night looking to rebound from her first career loss back at UFC 274 against Tracy Cortez. Despite winning in her last octagon appearance, Lipski the 29-year-old queen of violence has struggled going 4-5 in her nine UFC appearances. Lipski enters Saturday night looking to win two in a row for the first time in nearly three years. Lipski is a powerful striker with six career knockouts. With that being said, Lipski struggles in grappling, and can be vulnerable in the standup. Lipski has been knocked out four times in her career. We will have to see if Lipski’s recent move to train with Amanda and Nina Nunes pays off. Before losing to Cortez, the 27-year-old Gatto showed impressive power, scoring consecutive knockouts to open her UFC career. Gatto’s biggest advantage in this fight may be on the ground as she averages nearly 2 takedowns per fight. This should be a very competitive fight on the main card.
At lightweight, Benoit Saint Denis meets Ismael Bonfim. This fight should be pure violence from the opening bell. Both men come into the octagon Saturday night looking to build upon recent success. A Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Bonfim is riding a 13-fight win streak including his debut in January at UFC 283 in January where Bonfim landed a spectacular flying knee in the second round to knockout Terrance McKinney. Saint Denis has won two in a row in his own right. The 27-year-old “god of war” has responded nicely from a lackluster debut in 2021. The Frenchman is 2-0 at lightweight in the UFC with consecutive finishes of Niklas Stolze and Gabriel Miranda. The most recent of which came against Miranda at UFC Paris last September by knockout. Saint Denis’ quest for his third consecutive win will be a difficult one against Bonfim. Saint Denis was originally scheduled to face Vinc Pichel, but Pichel was forced out due to injury. Bonfim is an extremely well-rounded fighter, despite being just 27 years old. Bonfim is able to overwhelm his opponents with both power and volume. Bonfim is a technical striker who lands more than five significant strikes per minute. Bonfim also has nine career knockouts, in his 19 wins overall. On the ground, Bonfim is a submission threat with four career wins by submission. For Saint Denis, the path to victory will be on the ground. Eight of Saint Denis’ 10 career wins, have come by submission. Look for the Frenchman to use his body kicks in order to get inside and land takedowns to avoid the power of Bonfim. Although Saint Denis is an improving striker, the biggest concern for him in this fight is that defensively he lacks head movement, which could be a massive issue against Bonfim. This fight has fight of the night written all over it.
We head back to the middleweight division in Saturday’s main card opener as Dana White’s Contender Series alum Bruno Ferreira looks to remain undefeated versus short notice opponent Nursulton Ruziboev. Ruziboev steps in for Abdul Razak-Alhassan. Ferreira looks to build off this shocking knockout of RoboCop Gregory Rodrigues in his debut. Ferreira’s last four wins have come by knockout. Ferreira has lived up to his Hulk nickname with seven career wins by knockout and three by submission. Ruziboev comes into Saturday night riding an 8-fight win streak. The 29-year-old Uzbekistan native has an overall record of 34-8-2 according to sherdog.com. Ferreira has been really impressive in his young career; the Brazilian has a devastating left hand. His power is complemented by his leg kicks. Facing Ferreira is a big up in competition for Ruziboev. The movement and striking of Ferreira could give Ruziboev trouble given his susceptibility to leg kicks. Ferreira lands more than six significant strikes per minute. Ruziboev is good on the ground, but has a tendency to be over aggressive and lose position. We’ll have to see if training in Philadelphia with Elite Grappler Pat Sabatini has helped Ruziboev. This is an extremely intriguing fight between two talented prospects.
In Saturday’s featured prelim, former interim title challenger, Kevin Lee makes his highly anticipated return to the UFC for the first time in two years facing Rinat Fakhretdinov. The Motown phenom returns to the UFC after a brief stint with Eagle FC. In his first stint with the UFC, Lee was always a contender in the lightweight division, holding wins over Edson Barboza, Michael Chiesa, and Gregor Gillespie. However, Lee’s first run with UFC ended poorly as the Michigan native went just 2-5 after coming up short in his interim title opportunity against Tony Ferguson at UFC 216 in October 2017. Lee expressed his displeasure with this fight being at the Apex. Lee told the media this week “I don’t know what we’re doing. It’s kind of stupid, the pandemic is over”. The 30-year-old Lee will have his hands full with Fakhretdinov. In his return Saturday night. Fakhretdinov is one of the most impressive prospects in recent history. The 31-year-old Russian is riding a 19-fight win streak that includes two consecutive wins to open his UFC career. Most recently, Fakhretdinov had his way with former Ultimate Fighter season 29 champion Bryan Battle in a lopsided decision in December to improve to 20-1 overall. Fakhretdinov has 10 knockouts, and six wins by submission in his career. The Russian is most deadly with his wrestling as he averages six takedowns per fight. Lee has a wrestling pedigree of his own as he was 37-0 as a sophomore at Grand Valley State University. With that being said, look for Lee to use his 3-inch reach advantage in an effort to try to keep Fakhretdinov at range. Lee lands nearly 4 significant strikes per minute. The biggest question mark for Lee is his cardio. In order for him to have success in his second run in the UFC, his gas tank must be sured up, Lee has plenty of weapons, but has yet to be clicking on all cylinders in his career. Can Fakhretdinov make a statement and earn his 20th consecutive victory? Or will Lee finally put it all together in his return? Find out Saturday night.
On the prelims at featherweight, Dana White’s Contender Series alum Joanderson Brito faces short notice opponent Westin Wilson. Brito was originally scheduled to fight Khusein Askhabov. Brito enters Saturday night looking for his third consecutive win after lightning-fast finishes of Lucas Alexander and Andre Fili improved his UFC record to 2-1. Wilson steps in on two weeks’ notice. The 34-year-old Utah native is looking to shock the world. Wilson’s record stands at 16-7 overall. Wilson has secured 14 first round finishes in his 16 wins overall. The 34-year-old veteran has 11 wins by submission and five by knockout. Wilson is tall, long fighter, who tries to keep his opponents at distance with his jab and kicks. The concern for Wilson in this fight is his lack of speed and head movement against a very athletic opponent like Brito. The 28-year-old Brazilian has shown both power, and a slick submission game throughout his career. Brito has six wins by knockout and six wins by submission in his 14 wins overall. Brito will most certainly be looking for a finish Saturday night as he looks to secure his 15th career win.
In the women’s featherweight division, a top 10 clash between former title challenger number six ranked Yana Santos and number nine ranked Karol Rosa takes place. Both women look to get back in the win column Saturday night. Santos fell back to 500 in the UFC after suffering a decision loss against Holly Holm at UFC San Antonio in March. Santos is badly in need of a win Saturday night after losing two in a row. Rosa is 5-2 in the UFC. In her last octagon appearance, the 28-year-old Brazilian dropped her featherweight debut to Norma Dumont by decision in April. Look for Santos to try to push the pace in order to initiate the clinch and land elbows and knees. The biggest problem for Santos in her career has been her chin. Santos has a tendency to get rocked in some of her fights. Santos is a good striker with substantial power, the 33-year-old Russian has earned seven of her 14 wins by knockout. Rosa is a well-rounded fighter, the Brazilian lands nearly 6 significant strikes per minute, while also boasting a takedown accuracy percentage of 45%. Rosa is always looking to push the pace. The longer this fight goes, the more it favors Rosa. The future for both these women is unclear due to the fact that the women’s featherweight division is on life-support after the retirement of Amanda Nunes.
Moving further down the card, at lightweight the Georgian Viking, Guram Kuteladze returns to the octagon to face Dana White’s Contender Series alum Elves Brener. Kutateladze was originally scheduled in June against Jamie Mullarkey, but now he has the opportunity to step in on short notice for Jordan Leavitt, and fight Brener. Brener will be looking to build off his close decision win in his debut over Zubaria Tukhugov at UFC 284 in February. Kuteladze has been hampered by both injury and visa issues. The Georgian has only fought twice in the UFC. Kutateladze looks to get back on track Saturday night, after coming up on the wrong end of a decision against Damir Ismagulov in June 2022 at UFC Austin. Kutateladze is an excellent fighter, as evidenced by his win over Mateusz Gamrot. Kutateladze blends together, his strikes very nicely. In the clinch, Kutateladze can be lethal with his knees and elbows. Look for Brener to use his leg kicks to close the distance and land takedowns. One thing to monitor during this fight will be the cardio of Kuteladze and how he handles his long layoff. In the women’s flyweight division, highly touted prospect Ivana Petrovic makes her UFC debut versus Luana Carolina. Petrovic comes into Saturday night with a perfect 6-0 record. The 29-year-old former ARES champion has recorded three knockouts, and two wins by submission. Carolina enters Saturday night looking to snap her 2-fight skid after losses to Molly McCann and Joanne Wood. The 30-year-old Brazilian will be looking to get over 500 after posting a 3-3 record in her first six UFC appearances. Petrovic is an improving striker with a good left hand, she also uses her kicks as a complementary piece in her striker. On the ground, Petrovic is aggressive in her effort to advance position. Carolina is a massive step up in competition for Petrovic. Carolina is an excellent striker with slick movement. Carolina lands nearly 5 significant strikes per minute. She also has developing power with two career knockouts.
Saturday’s card kicks off with a top 15 clash in the heavyweight division between Number 14 ranked Alexandr Romanov and number 15 ranked Blagoy Ivanov. After entering UFC, in 2020, Romanov ran his overall record to 16-0 with five consecutive victories. Recently, Romanov has run into trouble with back-to-back losses to Alexander Volkov and Marcin Tybura. In the fight with Tybura, Romanov’s cardio issues were glaring as he gassed out down the stretch, allowing Tybura to secure a victory by decision. Ivanov comes into the octagon, having lost three out of his last four fights. His only win in this recent stretch came against Marcus Rogerio de Lima last May. Both men will have a lot to prove when the octagon door locks Saturday night. Romanov is a devastating grappler who likes to use throws and slams to gain control. Look for Romanov to possibly have a more measured approach to his wrestling as he looks for his 10th career win by submission. Even though Romanov averages nearly 5 takedowns per fight, it will be interesting to see how he adjust his game plan, given the fact that Ivanov has a 70% takedown defense percentage, according to ufc.com. The 36-year-old Ivanov is a well-rounded, durable fighter. The Bulgarian does excellent work primarily in the clinch, landing 45% of his strikes. This fight is an intriguing matchup between two skilled fighters, looking to hold on to their top 15 ranking, and prove they are still contenders. Saturday’s 12-fight card is an excellent appetizer for next week’s stacked UFC 290 card that headlines international fight week.
This Saturday’s card can be seen in its entirety on ESPN, the prelims start at 4 PM ET and the main card begins at 7 PM ET.
Stacker compiled 20 facts about popular 1960s movies from articles and interviews with filmmakers as well as from the Oscars, the Smithsonian, and IMDb. Click for more.20 factoids from the top movies of the ’60s
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Police investigate fight during Hamilton performance in Manchester – The Guardian

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Officers were called to altercation between two audience members at touring hit show at Palace Theatre
Police are investigating after a fight broke out between theatregoers during a performance of Hamilton in Manchester.
Officers were called to an altercation between two audience members on Friday night, just days after the hit musical opened at the Palace Theatre at the start of a nationwide tour.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester police said: “Officers were called to Oxford Street in the city centre at about 10.30pm on Friday 24 November 2023 to a report of an assault. An investigation is ongoing at this time with no arrests made.
“Thankfully, injuries sustained are not believed to be life-threatening.”
One report of the incident posted online said “staff were desperately trying to keep them apart” and commended the cast on stage for “not letting it distract them”.
In April, a performance of The Bodyguard at the same theatre was halted after several members of the audience refused to remain seated and refrain from loudly singing, leading to them being “forcibly removed”.
The Bodyguard was reportedly briefly paused during its first act to evict a handful of people, and then shortly before the finale of the show, “mini riots” and “fights” broke out among several people.
A front of house supervisor on the night said police were called because of the “unprecedented level of violence” staff received when asking the audience members to stop.
A report from the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre union earlier this year found nearly one-third of theatre staff said they had been involved in or witnessed an incident where a venue had to call the police, with 20% having feared for their safety at least once.
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More than 70% believed the issue had worsened since the Covid pandemic.
Greater Manchester police urged anyone with information about the fight during Hamilton to get in touch: “Anyone with information that may help officers with their inquiries are asked to call 101 quoting incident 3783 of 24 November 2023.”

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Chargers News: Fight Erupts Between Bolts and Ravens After Late Hit on Justin Herbert – Sports Illustrated

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Chargers News: Fight Erupts Between Bolts and Ravens After Late Hit on Justin Herbert  Sports Illustrated
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UFC news: Erin Blanchfield gives update on next fight, title hopes – MMA Junkie

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Erin Blanchfield patiently awaits her next UFC assignment.
Although it’s not totally clear what that will be, Blanchfield (12-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) assumes an important matchup with Manon Fiorot (11-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) is likely. The two flyweight combatants have established themselves as top contenders in a division that awaits a championship rematch between champion Alexa Grasso and former champion Valentina Shevchenko while they both recover from injury.
“Yeah, it’s definitely stalling,” Blanchfield recently said during an online live stream for digital wallet platform HUMBL. “I feel like I’ve had a couple No. 1 contender fights now. But you know, I’m still pretty young and gained valuable experience in those fights. … Whether it’s an interim or not, I’ll beat (Fiorot), and then I should definitely get a title next.”
Although UFC CEO Dana White has indicated it’s next, no timeline has been revealed for Grasso (16-3-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) vs. Shevchenko (23-4-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC). Shevchenko had hand surgery in mid-September. Coincidentally, Grasso underwent hand surgery in early October.
Should there be further delays, Blanchfield wouldn’t mind seeing an interim title implemented. She’s healthy and ready to go, following a slight nasal fracture suffered in a unanimous decision win over Taila Santos in August.
“I haven’t been told about that yet,” Blanchfield said. I would definitely push for that. That’s something I’d definitely be interested in. I’m not sure when Valentina and Alexa are going to be ready to fight again. I know I think they’re on a similar timeline in their recovery. I would hope that if it ends up being longer, they’d have me and Manon fight for an interim.”

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