Laura Sanchez ready to make a statement when PFL resumes

Laura Sanchez - PFL Prep Point

(Video courtesy of PFL MMA)


During an amateur career that saw her spend more time waiting than actually fighting, for lightweight Laura Sanchez, to finally make her pro debut this past January against Miranda Barber at Chosen Few FC 18 was almost as exhilarating as picking up the win itself was.

Perhaps releasing all her pent up frustration, Sanchez used her reach advantage to break down Barber before finishing her off just under a minute left in the first round to pick up a victory in her pro debut.

“I can tell you it was about time,” Barber told MMAWeekly.com. “In my amateur career it was really hard to get fights. Each fight was maybe a year in between. It was only a very short span when I had two fights within a couple months of each other. Fights just kept calling through.

“By the time I got my pro debut I was just ready to go. I wanted to go in there, get the finish, and make a statement because I had been waiting a long time for it.”


TRENDING > Kelvin Gastelum relies on his immigrant mentality: ‘Always grinding, always working’


Unfortunately for Sanchez, the novel coronavirus put a halt to her momentum as it was just starting. Still, she chooses to focus on the things she can do during the downtime rather than be down.

“Finally I thought I was going to be on a roll,” said Sanchez. “When the virus happened it was a bummer. But I realize throughout my career, even in basketball before fighting, that even though it’s cliché, everything does happen for a reason.

“You work so hard for something, and it’s your big break, and everything comes to a halt. You have to realize you’re not the only person. It was the whole world was on hold. I just take it as it comes. I just focus on keep on improving and keep working on myself.”

While Sanchez’s PFL fighting debut may be delayed, she is still nonetheless a focus for the promotion, as she is featured in this week’s Prep Point digital series with Lilian Garcia.

“It means a lot (to be featured on Prep Point),” Sanchez said. “They didn’t bring me into the promotion for nothing. They see something in me. They’re going to help push me. It’s encouraging.

“People watch you while you’re in the cage and want to see you perform, but it’s fun when you can actually connect with fans. As people get to know me, maybe it will help me outside of fighting. People will get to know me for the heart that I have and what I want to do for others.”

When Sanchez’s PFL career kicks off proper and she finally gets a chance to step into competition again, just like every time before it, it’s going to be statement time.

“I think every time you step into the cage it’s going to be statement,” said Sanchez. “If you show everything that you have in one fight, you’re easy for people to prepare for, so every time I go in there I want to show something new and make a statement for myself.

“I’m going to be on the biggest stage yet. They’re going to invest in me, and I’m going to take that opportunity and give everything that I’ve got and let everybody know who I am. I can’t wait for the season to come, because when I step on that stage everyone is going to know who I am.”

Colby Covington attended Presidential Debate as guest of President Donald Trump

Colby Covington and Donald Trump

UFC welterweight contender Colby Covington was in attendance at Tuesday night’s Presidential Debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Covington, alongside UFC president Dana White, has long been a vocal supporter of President Trump.

When Covington was the interim UFC welterweight champion, he accompanied White to the White House, where he presented President Trump with his UFC championship belt.

He has also often worn President Trump’s electoral garb during Fight Week and after his bouts. Covington stumped for Trump after his recent victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC Vegas 11, saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, the silent majority is ready to make some noise. If you though that was a beating, just wait until Nov. 3 when Donald Trump gets his hands on Sleepy Joe (Biden). That’s gonna be a landslide.”

President Trump called Covington following his win over Woodley to personally congratulate him. A call that was aired live on ESPN+.

Covington has also attended Trump rallies, including a recent event in Las Vegas. He was in attendance at the first Presidential Debate as a special guest of President Trump.


TRENDING > Video: US President Donald Trump calls Colby Covington to congratulate him after UFC Vegas 11 win



Related Video > Colby Covington trashes LeBron James and ‘woke athletes’ as ‘spineless cowards’

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Watch Holly Holm’s head-kick KO of Bethe Correia ahead of UFC on ESPN 16

Holly Holm vs Bethe Correia UFC Singapore weigh-in


Holly Holm scored an impressive head kick knockout over Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night Singapore in 2017.

Holm faces Irene Aldana in the main event of UFC on ESPN 16 (aka UFC Fight Island 4) on Saturday, October 3.

(Video courtesy of UFC)


TRENDING > UFC Fight Island Behind the Scenes: Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana


Trending Video > UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa Recap

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Warrior star Andrew Koji proud to be part of Bruce Lee’s legacy

Andrew Koji - Warrior Season 2

When the announcement came that a TV series would be based off the works of Bruce Lee, the attention turned to who would be playing the main character and if he’d be an imitation of his inspiration. When Andrew Koji was cast as Warrior lead, Ah Sahm, it became clear that while he’d homage Lee, he would by no means be a copy, but instead rather make the character his own.

In anticipation of Friday’s season two premier of Warrior on Cinemax, Koji spoke to MMAWeekly.com about landing the project of his career so far, the way his experience on the series has changed him, and getting to kick a former UFC champion in the face several times in the process.

MMAWeekly.com: Firstly, Andrew, how did you get involved with Warrior and become the series’ lead, Ah Sahm?

Andrew Koji: I didn’t know what it would turn into. I didn’t know it would be as well written and clever as it is. I had no idea. I’d been a struggling actor for 10 years, working a part-time job and auditioning, so I didn’t have much time watching American TV. At the time, I had been thinking about leaving acting for a while, and my mom basically convinced me to audition.

I did it and I met the guys (behind the series); it was a gradual process to realizing what it was. At the time, it was just auditioning for a job, giving my take on this character, and what I was going to do with it. Then I started to see the writing, see the world that Jonathan Tropper had created, and then it became something (more).

MMAWeekly.com: What is it like taking on the lead in a series based on Bruce Lee’s works, and how does his influence impact the series?

Andrew Koji: It was a feeling of this role has been given to me for a reason and at least people will see that I’m right for it, even though I didn’t think I was. It was kind of stepping  up to the plate and being like they put me in this role, I’ve got to do my absolute best, because this kind of opportunity doesn’t happen to many people.

It’s part that, then along the way we start seeing on set, then production offices, Bruce Lee banners and logos, quotes plastered everywhere, it was kind of a gradual process. At first I didn’t really know the significance of it, and then it was something… (Warrior castmate) Dean Jagger and I were going for a walk, going through lines and stuff, we kind of realized we are part of his legacy. We wouldn’t be working or had met if it wasn’t for him.

He inspired all these people, like Jonathan Tropper, growing up, and we had this huge feeling that this is a part of his legacy, a vision he had, and if it weren’t for that vision my life wouldn’t have changed. It became a personal feeling of gratitude towards him for how it has impacted me, and the impact he’s had on the whole world.

MMAWeekly.com: The role of Ah Sahm is extremely physical, with lots of fight scenes throughout the series. What was that training like and how has it impacted you?

Andrew Koji: When I was younger I trained in martial arts from like 10 to 20 years old. I had a very different relationship with martial arts when I was young. I was competitive. I was hot-headed. I trained unhealthily. I had an unhealthy relationship with martial arts. I wanted to be the best and this and that. I got injured quite early on and that changed my whole outlook.


TRENDING > Dana White says Colby Covington, not Nate Diaz, likely next for Jorge Masvidal


Coming back to it after 10 years away from it and trying to push it away, coming back to it was such a – especially with the philosophy of Bruce Lee – it impacted my life that’s still here, now, even after we’ve wrapped and finished (filming) and all that. I think just from fitness, to mentality and mindset, I managed to train harder and reach things that I didn’t think I’d be able to do or ever thought I would be in a position to do.

MMAWeekly.com: Tell us a bit how Ah’s journey from season one leads into season two, and what can we look forward to from him in this upcoming season?

Andrew Koji: He’s been this stranger, this person on the outside, figuring out what he can be in this world; what his personal status is and position. In season two, he’s figured out the rules of the game, the laws of the land, and is trying to make that work.

What I’m excited for (fans) to see, in season two, we found the show. I remember talking to (castmate) Hoon Lee about this, he was saying season one of any TV show you’re finding the tone, the world building, finding where your performance should land and be, who the characters are; I wanted to prove him wrong. I was like, in season one we’ll find it by the end of episode one, but I think in season two we’ve really found it, and (my character) found himself in the show.

It’s going to get more complex. The relationships are going to get more complex. I think exploring that, especially towards the end of the season, when it all builds up to those last two episodes, I’m really excited for (fans) to see those last two episodes in particular.

MMAWeekly.com: In terms of action, what is it like on season two with everything elevated? And what was it like to have former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping guest on the show?

Andrew Koji: I think the action, just like the rest of the show, we’ve found out how to work together and communication, and pull off shots that just wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the great team and the trust we have for each other.

In terms of the characters, they’re fighting for a lot more; there’s more at stake. I think we’re having more fun and manage to pull off more technical, difficult shots than season one. It’s bigger, better, brutal, flashier, and the characters are starting to evolve and I think maybe become more brutal.

Michael Bisping comes along, helping us. He did a great job with his role. He’s a good sport. He’s such a cool guy. I get to kick him in the face, multiple times, as well. When he’s running up to me in the fight, Andrew is bricking himself, but (in character) staying calm and cool.

MMAWeekly.com: Thanks for taking time out for us, Andrew. Is there anything you would like to add in closing?

Andrew Koji: I think this show is not only important in terms of representation, but it has this eerie kind of relevance to attitudes at the time to the current day. I think also, for Bruce Lee’s legacy, as somebody who has made an impact on so many people’s lives, I think we had to try to tell this story. I think that this is more than a TV show, like entertainment, this is like an important (thing). It feels like it’s becoming something bigger than a TV show. If people want more, please be vocal about it and we’ll try to get it done.


Warrior Season 2 Official Trailer

(Video courtesy of Cinemax)

Carlos Condit wants to welcome Nick Diaz back to the UFC

Carlos Condit Post UFC 195


Carlos Condit wants to welcome Nick Diaz back to the Octagon in a rematch of their bout from UFC 143. Condit won that bout via unanimous decision, but believes there is more fight to be had between the two veterans.

Before that happens, however, Condit will first square off with Court McGee this Saturday at UFC on ESPN 16 (aka UFC Fight Island 4) in Abu Dhabi.

It has been close to two years since he last fought and he’s currently on a five-fight skid, but the former interim UFC welterweight champion believes he still has more to give.

(Video courtesy of TheMacLife)


TRENDING > Colby Covington attended Presidential Debate as guest of President Donald Trump


Trending Video > UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa Recap

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Holly Holm always aiming for a UFC title: ‘What are you fighting for?’

Holly Holm at UFC 225 Media Luncheon


Holly Holm has always had a very specific goal when fighting: a world title. In her mind, why else would you be fighting?

“If you’re not trying to fight for a world title, what are you fighting for?”

A former championship boxer, Holm won her first UFC title by defeating Ronda Rousey with a spectacular head-kick knockout at UFC 193. She hopes to get back on track to another title shot with a win over Irene Aldana in the UFC on ESPN 16 main event on Saturday on UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

(Video courtesy of MMA Junkie)


TRENDING > Colby Covington attended Presidential Debate as guest of President Donald Trump


Trending Video > UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa Recap

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Casey Kenny plans quick win at UFC on ESPN 16, then wants a second Fight Island bout

Casey Kenny cracks Manny Bermudez at UFC 241

Following just his second career loss to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC on ESPN+ 25 this past February, bantamweight Casey Kenny was looking to rebound with a strong performance against Louis Smolka in his follow-up bout three months later at UFC Fight Night.

For Kenny, his fight versus Smolka went just about as well as he could have hoped, picking up a first-round submission just three minutes into the fight.

“I think it was honestly one of my best performances,” Kenney told MMAWeekly.com. “Even though it was short notice, I came out and did what I was supposed to do. I started off with a leg kick, landed my shot, rocked him and submitted him, so it was about as perfect as you can get.”

Coming into the bout with Smolka off the heels of the coronavirus lockdown, Kenney admits it was a bit of a different feel than he normally has going into fights, but he persevered as he feels he usually does.

“I think that’s one thing I do pretty well, no matter what happens I’m going to weather the storm and come out on top,” said Kenney. “It was definitely a different experience.

“There wasn’t really any camp. Even in the training beforehand it was just doing little groups, doing stuff on my own mainly. Then the fight, we were kind of locked down to the hotel, no fans, but it was all great experience. Part of this sport is being able to roll with the punches and make adjustments.”

On Saturday on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, Kenney (14-2-1) will look to pick up his second straight win when he faces Heili Alateng (14-7-1) in a UFC on ESPN 16: Holm vs. Aldana preliminary bantamweight bout.


TRENDING > UFC Fight Island Behind the Scenes: Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana


“He’s a tough guy who is going to come forward, throw a big right hand, going to wrestle hard, but I think he’s pretty basic in his approach,” Kenney said of Alateng. “I think I just have too many weapons for him.

“I’ll pick my shots, be creative when I need to, be strong with my basics when I need to, and wherever the fight goes I think I can beat him. I think I’m just overall too well-rounded on the feet and on the ground.”

Should he come out healthy versus Alateng, Kenney is looking to get back into the Octagon right away, even while still on Fight Island if possible.

“I want to get rich back in there,” said Kenney. “I’m going to try to petition to stay on Fight Island and get another in as quick as possible if everything goes well.

“This will be my fifth UFC fight, and I’ve been pretty unscathed in my all four. I’m grateful for all the fights that I’m getting, but I’d like to make one more before the end of the year to cap off the year.”


Trending Video > UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa Recap

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

The UFC is thriving during pandemic

Dana White

While most sports saw a jump in viewership in their return during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was short-lived for many. Several factors could be playing a role like so many sports taking place on television and streaming devices at the same time. There are so many options: the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, PGA, WNBA, NASCAR, UFC, Bellator, etc.

The first major sport to return to scheduled events was the UFC. Two months into the national lock down, the UFC returned with UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje on May 9 at in Jacksonville, Fla. The event was originally scheduled to take place on April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The state of New York banned sporting events in early March and several UFC events were postponed and rescheduled.

The fight promotion moved their events to Florida after governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on April 9 declaring professional sports as an essential service. The organization held three events in eight days at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena between May 9 and May 16.

In front of an empty arena, the UFC returned and people tuned in. Since the three events in Florida, UFC president Dana White says that their viewership and social media footprint has grown tremendously.

“The UFC is on fire right now,” said White during the UFC 253 Post-Fight Press Conference. “Every time we’re doing fights now, they’re big. Our social media in the last year, the UFC social media has gained 8 million followers in the last year. 2.5 million since Florida. Mine has gained a million since Florida. The whole sport, it’s on fire right now. Our numbers keep going up. Our ratings keep going up.”

The fight promotion moved their events to Las Vegas following their run in Florida. The next five fight cards took place at UFC APEX. Enforcing social distancing and mask mandates, while employing regular testing, the organization successfully functioned during rapidly changing circumstances.

While the fights were taking place in Florida and Las Vegas, construction was underway in Abu Dhabi to create an isolated environment that could house fighters as well as host events and handle production needs. The Flash Forum aka “UFC Fight Island” held its first fight card on June 12. The venue hosted four events in 14 days.

The fight promotion has had several fighters and cornermen test positive to COVID-19, but they were able to quarantine those athletes and camp members and move forward without a major outbreak or disruption.

The UFC volunteered to be the litmus test for professional sports returning to the field, the court, the track, etc., and set the standard. It hasn’t been perfect, but it has worked.

Being the first sport to return was a calculated gamble and it paid off. Sports fans starved of sports for months tuned in that had never watched the sport.

“I didn’t listen to any of the bulls*** from the media, and I went. And I think people liked it and I think people who never watched the sport before got in to it and started to watch. The growth has been phenomenal,” White said.

“There’s no – it’s not a coincidence that all these numbers have gone up since Florida.”


TRENDING > Colby Covington attended Presidential Debate as guest of President Donald Trump


Trending Video > UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa Recap

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

Leon Edwards Claims Jorge Masvidal Turned Him Down To Get A Rematch With Nate Diaz

Leon Edwards has claimed Jorge Masvidal turned down a fight with him to pursue the Nate Diaz rematch instead. Ever since Masvidal gave Edwards the ‘three-piece and a soda’ backstage at UFC London in March of 2019 many fans wanted to see that fight happen. Yet, “Gamebred” went on to fight Ben Askren, Nate Diaz, […]

The post Leon Edwards Claims Jorge Masvidal Turned Him Down To Get A Rematch With Nate Diaz appeared first on MMA News.

Carlos Condit Interested In Nick Diaz Rematch

Carlos Condit is interested in welcoming Nick Diaz back to the Octagon to finally have their rematch. Condit and Diaz first fought back at UFC 143 in 2011. There, it was Condit who won by decision to win the UFC’s interim welterweight title. Since then, both men have gone opposite ways. Diaz has not competed […]

The post Carlos Condit Interested In Nick Diaz Rematch appeared first on MMA News.