Features

New weight class leads to improved cardio for PFL’s Chris Wade

Professional Fighters League featherweight contender Chris Wade does not like running. But after he ran more than 70 miles leading up to his decision victory over Anthony Dizy in April, he recognized the benefits of the necessary evil that came from making the 145-pound featherweight limit: namely, he felt fresh in the third round. Wade spoke to Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko about making the weight, his training camp and his upcoming fight with…

PFL’s Tyler Diamond aims to follow up ‘nearly flawless’ performance

Aside from one brief moment, Professional Fighters League featherweight contender Tyler Diamond felt like he did everything right in a decision victory over Sung Bin Jo in April. He’s hoping that momentum carries into his fight with Brendan Loughnane, scheduled as the opener to the PFL main card Thursday, June 10. The card begins at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2. “I give myself a 9.5/10. Only reason I take that half off is I got…

UFC’s Zalal approaching Woodson bout with new mentality

UFC featherweight Youssef Zalal has been in this position before. Coming off two losses in the Legacy Fighting Alliance in 2019, Zalal rebounded with a flying knee victory over Jaime Hernandez. Now in the UFC, Zalal once again has his back against the wall. Entering his Saturday, June 6, fight with Sean Woodson, Zalal has lost decisions to Ilia Topuria and Seung Woo Choi in the past year. In a 15-minute interview, Zalal spoke about…

MMA’s Seven Deadly Sins

Sins are inevitable in combat sports but serve as excellent examples of what not to do. From Paul Daley to Chuck Liddell, these are the seven deadly sins of Mixed Martial Arts. Wrath: “Let Me Bang, Bro!” The late strike, the fighter who either can’t keep it professional or is taking advantage of a controversial rule. The former being Paul Daley. After a unanimous decision victory for Josh Koshchek at UFC 113, “Semtex” decided that…

Interview: Pitbull focused on cementing MMA legacy

Bellator’s Patricio Pitbull has a clear motivation. “It’s about legacy, always,” Pitbull told Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko in a recent interview. The Bellator double-champion (featherweight, lightweight) talked about his upcoming fight with AJ McKee for the featherweight title, a potential quest for a third belt and his place in the annals of the sport’s history in a 20-minute interview. https://youtu.be/yEcUVZP96qg “My life is perfect,” said Pitbull, speaking about his two children and his…

Interview: UFC’s Ferreira wants to ‘put on show’ against Gillespie

UFC lightweight Diego Ferreira dreams of one day fighting for a belt. To get there, the 36-year-old knows he has to climb the ladder quickly. That’s why he’s eager to step back into the Octagon, just three months removed from a split decision loss to Beneil Dariush. Ferreira (17-3) also knows he has to fight in impressive fashion on his way up, starting with his bout on Saturday, May 8, against Gregor Gillespie (13-1) at…

Interview: PFL heavyweight Mohammed Usman eager to show improvements

Mohammed Usman will look a little different when he steps into the cage on Thursday, May 6, as part of the Professional Fighters League. He’s recently lost 30 pounds, moved to Denver, Colorado fulltime to train alongside the likes of Pat Barry and Rose Namajunas and polished the areas of his martial arts that lagged behind his powerful striking. Usman (7-1), a former collegiate football player, will fight Brandon Sayles (5-1) in a heavyweight bout…

Interview: UFC’s Kai Kamaka in ‘better spot mentally’ ahead of fight with TJ Brown

The last time Kai Kamaka III stepped inside the Octagon, he was in the middle of moving his family to Las Vegas from Hawaii. Despite being a moderate favorite in that November bout against Jonathan Pearce, Kamaka lost by second-round ground and pound. Six months later, Kamaka’s family has settled in Las Vegas, he has trained with some of the best fighters in the world at Xtreme Couture and feels primed to get back on…

Interview: ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor ready to make long-awaited return in PFL

Tom Lawlor’s life has always centered around “people beating the crap out of each other.” Whether it was him doing the beating or watching others do it, Lawlor and combat sports are joined at the hip. But “Filthy” Tom Lawlor’s fighting days are numbered. The 37-year-old has suggested this season in the Professional Fighter League may be his final professional fights. He has a professional wrestling career to fall back on, and perhaps a new…

Interview: Courtney Martin thrilled to make pro debut with ONE

Talented prospect Courtney Martin, of Australia, didn’t expect her professional debut to come this way: up a weight class, on two weeks notice and more than a year after she signed a contract with ONE Championship. But when opportunity arises, a fighter is going to fight. Martin will face Colbey Northcutt in the opener of the ONE on TNT 4 card on Wednesday, April 28, in Singapore. “It’s not anything I’d ever dream of but…