Features

UFC newcomer Orion Cosce fighting for himself in debut

UFC welterweight newcomer Orion Cosce draws inspiration from Dragon Ball Z, the world famous anime series, namely its main character, Goku. “Goku is super selfish,” Cosce explained in a recent interview with Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko. “He doesn’t fight for his family or his friends; he fights for himself. … That’s what I want to do.” That doesn’t mean Cosce won’t enjoy the extra paychecks that come with victory in the Octagon or…

UFC’s Ewell shifts to ‘barbarian-type mindset’

UFC bantamweight Andre Ewell is done being “Mr. Highlight.” “The Afro Monkey is back,” Ewell told Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko. “They’ll see that barbarian-type mindset come back into the cage.” The return of that mindset for Ewell begins on Saturday, July 24, at UFC Vegas 32 against Julio Arce, who drops down from featherweight to face Ewell. Ewell spoke with JHK for 20 minutes about the matchup with Arce, the bantamweight division and…

ONE champ Christian Lee dissects lightweight division

ONE Championship lightweight king Christian Lee recently turned 23 years old, but already he’s nearly cleared out the division. After three title defenses, Lee has beaten everyone inside the top five, except for one guy: Ok Rae Yoon. Lee strongly suggested in a recent interview with Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko that Yoon would be the next challenger for the lightweight belt. “I saw Ok’s respectful callout. … That’s got to be the nicest…

ONE champion Adriano Moraes eager to fight again

ONE Championship’s flyweight belt holder Adriano Moraes doesn’t bother himself with the extracurriculars of the fight game: Who does he fight next? How is he promoted? How many followers does he have on social media? “I’m just here to work,” Moraes told Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko. “I go fight, then come back home and take care of my family.” Moraes (19-3), coming off a second-round TKO of flyweight legend Demetrious Johnson, talked with…

‘Juicy J’ Erosa thriving in third UFC stint

Featherweight Julian Erosa knew another UFC chance was a longshot after he was cut for a second time following a knockout loss to Julio Arce in 2019. But when the MMA’s top promotion needed a late-notice replacement to fight Sean Woodson a year ago, they called Erosa, who filled in on three days notice and choked out “The Sniper” in the third round. He then stunned Nate Landwehr with a first-round flying knee knockout in…

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…