Category Archives: MMA

Volkan Oezdemir is going back to his roots in preparation for Dominick Reyes at UFC on ESPN+ 5 on March 16.

The 29-year-old is training back home at his old gym in Switzerland and it’s not by choice. Legally, the Hard Knocks 365 member can’t enter back into the United States until his visa issues are sorted out.

“I decided to go back to do my camp back [home]” Oezedemir told MMA News. “Waiting for my return to the U.S., it’s just going to be a while waiting on my visa right now. I’m back to my roots right now, I’m training at the same gym I’ve been doing most of my fights with. It’s kind of an old school vibe around me and it’s really cool.”

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It’s enough to strike fear in fighters across the globe.

Aung La N Sang is adamant he’s more powerful than ever as he prepares to defend his ONE Middleweight World Title.

“I’m going to be the biggest, the strongest and fastest, the most explosive and most athletic I’ve ever been for this coming fight,” declared Myanmar’s Aung La, who will fight Japan’s Ken Hasegawa on the historic ONE: A New Era card in Tokyo on March 31.

“I took some time off and I worked on getting stronger and stronger and I feel I am,” said the “Burmese Python. “All my injuries have healed up and I feel sharp. In the last fight I was pretty banged up, but all my injuries have gone and I’m going to be sharp, I’m going to be fast and I’m going to be ready.”

More staggeringly, Aung La claims he hits harder than ever before.

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Interviewing a fighter multiple times across a span of months or years offers some unique opportunities. One is the chance to ask a question you’ve asked before and find out if the answer has changed. This is not out of any wish to trip the interviewee up or pick at inconsistencies, and in any event it’s hard to imagine catching Logan Storley, surely one of the straightest shooters in mixed martial arts, in a “gotcha” moment. The appeal is in finding out if the answer reveals any changes in how the fighter views himself, his team, organization, opponents or even the sport itself.

Talking to the 26-year-old South Dakota native and Bellator MMA welterweight contender for a third time as he prepared to take on Ion Pascu in the co-main event of Bellator 215 this weekend offered several chances to re-ask questions, the first of which was how he felt about his last fight. It was a bit of a surprise to hear Storley — normally a harsh critic of his own performances — admit to being happy with his last fight, a second-round ground-and-pound stoppage of A.J. Matthews at Bellator 204 last August.

“It felt good,” Storley said. “Things really clicked that night and I got to positions where I wanted to be, wore him out early and got him tired, and then got to really pick him apart. So it was a good game plan, and he definitely felt the heavy pressure on top and couldn’t really do much.”

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Antoniyar will meet Malaysian striker Audreylaura “Ice Comet” Boniface, in what will be one of the nights most explosive encounters.

The night will see the promotional and professional debut of Tial Thang.

The 25-year-old trains alongside Aung La N Sang in Florida at Hard Knocks 365 gym and is excited about putting on a show at ONE: REIGN OF GLORY.

The Chin state native will meet Cambodia’s Rin Saroth in a catch-weight 68 Kg contest. Saroth is a stand-up veteran with over 100 Kun Khmer bouts under his belt. The Cambodian joined ONE in 2015 and has accumulated both knockout and submission victories under the ONE banner.

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South Africa – South African MMA star Dricus du Plessishas cracked KSW’s best fights of 2018 list.

Du Plessis (12-2) gained recognition for his thrilling debut in the promotion against Roberto Soldic (15-3) in April last year, with their showdown coming in at number three on the six-fight selection.

‘Stillknocks’ TKO’d Soldic in the second round to win the welterweight belt after weathering an early barrage from the heavy-handed Croatian at Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Poland.

Soldic, however, returned the favour six months later with a third-round KO to reclaim the strap from Du Plessis at Wembley Arena in London, England.

READ: Dricus reflects on Soldic loss

Du Plessis, who is the EFC welterweight and middleweight champion, will next face fellow former KSW 77kg champ Borys Mankowski (19-7-1) at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland on March 23.

While based at Team CIT MMA in Pretoria, Du Plessis is currently training alongside the likes of UFC superstars Luke Rockhold (16-4) and Robbie Lawler (28-12) at Hard Knocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Aung La N Sang’s success has taken him full circle. Over the last 14 years, the Myanmar native has established himself as one of the best middleweights in the world outside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and become a promotional face for the One Championship organization. During this process, the current middleweight and light heavyweight champion has also become a sports icon in his homeland.

The son of a jade merchant and stay-at-home mother, Sang, 33, grew up in Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State. While he says they lived a middle-class life, the standards for middle-class in Myanmar and the United States are quite different.

“A lot of things you take for granted in the States we didn’t have,” Sang told Sherdog.com, “but we were middle-class. We were OK. We didn’t have nice things, but we definitely had food on the table.”

While they may have lacked certain luxuries, they were afforded the opportunity — uncommon in Myanmar — to receive above-average schooling.

“We were very blessed to have a good education,” Sang said.

That education included learning English, which made his transition to being a college student in the United States much smoother.

“There wasn’t much of a culture shock,” Sang said when asked about adjusting to life at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. The move was made easier by the reality that life in America was not as enviable as he expected. “I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I was going to be. They make it seem like everything is going to be so great in the movies and in our imagination. Then when we get there, it’s not even that nice. Our dorm beds [and] our mattresses were kind of crappy.”

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Cape Town – Dricus du Plessis’s proposed superfight with Dalcha Lungiambula looks to have fallen through.

The EFC were keen to match up both champ-champs this year, but Du Plessis (12-2) says negotiations are on ice with Lungiambula’s (9-1) camp.

“At this point, that fight is not happening right now, but you never know what happens,” Du Plessis revealed to mmaengage.com.

Du Plessis, who fights out of Team CIT MMA in Pretoria, will make his next appearance in the cage for Poland-based promotion KSW against Borys Mankowski (19-7) on March 23 at the Atlas Arena in Lodz.

As part of his preparations, ‘Stillknocks’ has just started a one-month camp in the US training with the likes of UFC superstars Luke Rockhold (16-4) and Robbie Lawler (28-12) at Hard Knocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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The Hard Knocks 365 is a training camp where life is good. Led by the very famous Henri Hooft, we find a spirit of camaraderie outstanding among all the famous athletes who train there. Luke Rockhold, Volkan Oezdemir, Michael Johnson, Kamaru Usman, Robbie Lawler, Michael Chandler, here are the most famous athletes that you will have the opportunity to meet if one day you push the doors of this room.

If this beautiful little group gets along perfectly, there is a small change of mood on the day of sparring. Indeed, during these oppositions, no question of giving gifts to his opponent. The combatants are put in a combat situation, we do not joke anymore, we hit hard. The latest video shows Luke Rockhold, former UFC middleweight champion, sending a few courtesies to Jason Jackson, a Bellator fighter.

Very strong exchanges between the two men, who do not want to let go, even in training. Images relayed to Rockhold’s Instagram account, with a little message for the UFC: “You have to renew yourself from time to time, offer Jason Jackson a fight, he’s been waiting a long time.”

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After a successful international Titan FC 51 fight card in Kazakhstan this past weekend, Titan Fighting Championship officials have announced their first card of the 2019 calendar.

The organization returns to its home at Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with Titan FC 52 on Friday, January 25 and will broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass.

Two titles are on the line to include the organization’s bantamweight and featherweight titles.

“The Speciman” Jason Soares defends the Titan FC featherweight title for the very first time when he meets challenger, Caio Uruguai.  Soares, undefeated at a 11-0, won the title in April with a  rear-naked choke over Luis Gomez. Caio Uruguai, 7-1, is coming off a win over Juan Villaseca, also on that April Titan FC 49 fight card.

The vacant bantamweight title is on the line when Edir Terry and Rudson Caliocane meet in the evening’s co-main event.  When former champion Jose “Shorty” Torres was signed to the UFC earlier this year the title was vacated.  Caliocane, 6-1, is new to the Titan organization.  The Brazilian mixed martial artist is riding a six-fight win streak.  Terry, 6-2, has one win and one loss with Titan.  His most recent, a victory over Irwin Rivera in Febraury.

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A top kickboxing star is making the move to mixed martial arts.

Robin van Roosmalen, the first-ever man to win two championships for Glory Kickboxing, will transition full-time to MMA, his new management team Paradigm announced Thursday evening. Paradigm also represents the likes of Conor McGregor, Cris Cyborg and Glory heavyweight star Rico Verhoeven.

Van Roosmalen, 29, has won 10 of his last 12 bouts in Glory, recently losing his featherweight belt in September. The Netherlands native now lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., training at Hard Knocks 365 under decorated coach Henri Hooft.

Van Roosmalen, who has a black belt in judo, is already 2-0 in MMA and boasts a 40-8 record in kickboxing. He will compete at featherweight in MMA, per the Paradigm release.

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