A big shoutout to Patrick Killip who gave us feedback on last week’s edition. We had a fun time putting today’s edition together as it covers a lot of different topics. Let us know what you think by sending us a DM on Instagram or Twitter. Remember, we always respond.
UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski announced on Monday that he’s the backup fighter for the Lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev at UFC 280. If either Oliveira or Makhachev can't compete, Volkanovski will get an opportunity to win his second UFC Championship, potentially making him the first male UFC Double Champion since Henry Cejudo in 2019.
Regardless of if Volkanovski competes at UFC 280 or not, this move indicates that Volkanovski is gearing up to challenge for the Lightweight title next. He’s spoken about his desire to fight for the Lightweight title many times, and it looks like the time is now. Volkanovski is ranked as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and if there’s anyone that has a claim to challenge for another title, it’s him.
The UFC announced last week that they’ll be returning to Australia for UFC 284 on February 12, 2023. This will mark the UFC’s first event in Australia since UFC 243 in 2019. Australia is a massive market for the UFC and you can expect them to stack the card for their return. What better way would there be to make an impact than to have Australian-born Alex Volkanovski who’s the pound-for-pound #1 fighter in the world challenge for the Lightweight title in the UFC's return to Australia? Whether he challenges for the Lightweight title at UFC 280 or whether it’s next year in Australia, expect Volkanovski to chase Double Champion history in his next fight.
On Tuesday, investigative sports journalist Karim Zidan tweeted pictures of Khamzat Chimaev sparring with Ramzan Kadyrov’s children with the caption “Here is UFC star Khamzat Chimaev playing the role of punching bag for Kadyrov’s teenage sons in Grozny today”. Chimaev is currently back in his homeland of Chechnya.
Ramzan Kadyrov is the head of the Chechen Republic and has committed several human rights violations while in power including torturing and executing hundreds of gay men in Chechnya. He’s a big fan of mixed martial arts and has taken a liking to UFC Superstar Khamzat Chimaev who was born and raised in Chechnya.
Khamzat sparred with Kadyrov’s teenage kids and absorbed a lot of strikes. To put this into perspective, Khamzat only absorbed 2 strikes in his first 4 fights in the UFC and didn’t absorb a single strike against Kevin Holland. It seems like this was a favor to Kadyrov to make his sons feel like they could hold their own against one of the best fighters in the world.
Remember in the 4th edition of OverUnder when we asked if the UFC is headed to the Metaverse? Well, yesterday the UFC confirmed that it’s true. The UFC has officially partnered with Meta and will now offer live and on-demand MMA events broadcasted in virtual reality through Meta’s Horizon Worlds app.
This announcement comes just days after Meta announced the launch of their new Quest Pro VR headset which will combine both virtual and mixed reality. In addition to viewing MMA events through your Oculus headset, you’ll be able to interact with fans inside the virtual events.
The first VR event to be broadcasted on Fight Pass will be this Friday’s LFA 144 event which will be produced in VR180 and will give users a 180-degree panoramic view of the event. Mark Zuckerberg’s recent attendance at the UFC Apex makes a lot more sense now.
Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira 2 is official for UFC 282.
Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White are teaming up again to bring Slap Fighting to Nevada.
Ben Askren released an autobiography covering his combat sports career.
Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva will cost $59.99 on PPV.
Aspen Ladd will make her PFL debut on November 25th against Julia Budd.
Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich is booked for the UFC Orlando Co-main event.
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