1 – Sometimes lightning strikes in the world of MMA and this time the lightning bolt goes by the name of The Last Stylebender, Israel Adesanya. With an undefeated MMA record of 17-0, the Nigerian-born fighter has been on an unbelievable tear winning all six of his fights in the UFC; all in just a little over a year. Fighting in the Middleweight division, five of those six fights he was awarded a bonus for Performance or Fight of the Night. If you’ve never seen a ninja fight in real life tune in to Adesanya’s next fight. Precision striking at the highest level throwing spinning kicks, knees and elbows like a fully automatic rifle. Adesanya is a counter sniper when it comes to striking. And lets not sleep on his ground game; he is dangerous on his back with a stellar take down defense. With wins over the great Anderson Silva, and his most recent Interim Championship fight win, against Kelvin Gastelum, The newly crowned Middleweight king, The Last Stylebender has proven to be more than just a hype train.
2 – Mixed martial arts promotions are not only getting better at promoting their fighters, but the fighters themselves are evolving and getting much better at fighting. One fighter, who has been ripping his way through the UFC Light Heavyweight division, is Thiago Marreta Santos. Since his move up from Middleweight to Light Heavyweight, Santos has been on a four-fight tear in just a little over six months. Santos is a dangerous striker and has finished his last three opponents in a devastating manner by either knockout or TKO. When Santos throws a punch he wings it like a sledge hammer with bad intention. With the combination of speed, power and veracity, it would be a terrible idea for any fighter to stand in the pocket and trade with Santos. Santos has moved up in the rankings quick and some would argue that’s due to the slimness of the division; I disagree. Santos is a finisher, the real deal proven time and time again. With a calm demeanor he steps into each fight holding the same intention: seek and destroy. His next fight will be at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019 against the GOAT, Jon Bones Jones, for the Light Heavyweight title. Santos has what it takes to become a champion, but does he have what it takes to beat the GOAT of MMA?
3 – The UFC Bantamweight division has been up for grabs since the relinquishing of the title from former Bantamweight King, TJ Dillashaw. This division is already stacked as is and will eventually deepen if the UFC decides to do away with the Flyweight division. Standing at the very top of the Bantamweight division is Marlon Moraes, a man who has been on an absolute tear. Currently on a four-fight win streak with his most recent win avenging his loss to Raphael Assunscao. Moraes has finished his last three opponents, two of them were devastating knockouts, earning him performance of the night in those last three fights. He is set to face Olympic Gold Medalist, and current UFC Flyweight Champion, Henry Cejudo for the Bantamweight Championship title on June 8, 2019 at UFC 238. Moraes is confident he will win and shut down Cejudos claim for the Bantamweight gold. We will find out on June 8th in Chicago.
4 – Every now and then there comes a fighter who appears to have been designed by the God’s themselves. Forged with heart, determination, and the will to prevail. Blessed with a linear frame to compliment the Einstein fight IQ. You want to talk about a complete fighter with absolutely no weaknesses on a fourteen MMA fight win streak? Then your’e talking about The Nigerian Nightmare, Kamaru Usman. Usman has been an unstoppable force since he stepped foot inside the Octagon in 2015. After winning The Ultimate Fighter 21 tournament, he went on a 9 fight tear in which he crushed every opponent the UFC put in front of him. With his recent dominating win over Tyrone Woodley, Usman is now the reining UFC Welterweight Champion. The UFC Welterweight division has gotten very interesting since the crowning of the new King.
5 – Many great amateur wrestlers have crossed over into MMA and the majority have been successful. The grit, hard work, and determination instilled in wrestling practice are very similar to that of MMA. True wrestling pedigree is not something gained at a summer time wrestling camp and Ryan Darth Bader is walking proof. The two time All-American wrestler, who practically wrestled his way out his mothers womb, is on a seven-fight winning streak in his mixed marts career. He was on a two fight win streak before he left the UFC, holding an impressive MMA record with over 22 wins. Since he’s signed with Bellator, he’s been on a five-fight tear destroying his opposition. With his last win being his most notable against one of the greatest Heavyweights of all time in Fedor Emalinanenko, Bader won the Bellator Grand Prix Heavyweight Championship. This makes Bader the first two-division champ in Bellator history since he won the Light Heavyweight title on his debut bout. Will we ever see Bader on the official pound-for-pound list or does he already belong?