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Regan Gowing Believes In The Sport’s Growth

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Multiple-time Muay Thai champion Regan Gowing is gearing up for her flyweight bout against Yasmeen Salhani at Lion Fight 66. A veteran of countless Thai bouts, she’s becoming a staple among the most elite Thai organizations. Although she has had no trouble making a respectable name for herself in the sport she loves the most, she doesn’t believe the art of eight limbs is in the same realm as the UFC in terms of female representation.

“I think we’re making really good strides, but to be there, I think physical features and attractiveness would have to be off the table and it be just skills that we’re looking at,” Gowing explained.

The slow growth of the sport in general may be playing a factor in the slow representation of women. While it isn’t necessarily a “good” place to be in, Gowing is able to appreciate the noticeable efforts promotions put forth to include women, but it’s hard not to see what makes a fighter “marketable.”

“I know a lot of organizations like Lion Fight are committed to having at least one female fight on the card but I think we’re still in a time where unfortunately where if you’re an attractive female you’re going to be marketed over a less attractive female who may have more skill than you,” Gowing said.

Needless to say, the mainstream representation of women fighters in Muay Thai is a topic of concern for Gowing, but as far as the diehard fans goes, she is very happy with the way they judge fighters, male or female.

“I don’t think I’m judged, or at least I hope I’m not purely judged on how I look,” Gowing said. “Fans who are familiar with Muay Thai can see and judge people’s skill right off the bat.”

 One of the most reassuring aspects of the gender dynamic in Muay Thai is that while it’s still hard to get a far-reaching audience to see a fighter as something other than a “female fighter,” in the gym it’s a completely different ballgame.

Whether it’s in practices or teaching students of her own, Gowing has always found herself at home in the gym.

“In my group of athletes I am seen as a fighter,” Gowing said. “I’m not a ‘female fighter.’ I teach a lot of students and I’d like to think that they view me as a fighter first and not as a gendered fighter.”

What’s the solution? It’s hard to say. More eyes on the sport in general is always a factor. More money into promoting is another “easy” fix, but Gowing explains that there’s another aspect to it that may help Muay Thai catch up with MMA in terms of female representation.

“I think we’ll be there when we can see more representation of different weight classes and a whole array of different weight classes with all these skilled fighters filling up the weight classes,” Gowing said.

Difficulties like these aren’t meant to be figured out in a phone call. Outside of a collaborative effort from everybody, issues like these are impossible to resolve. It’s tough to figure out when exactly we will be at a place where multiple weight classes flourish routinely in Muay Thai, but as far as Regan Gowing goes, as long as there is a spot on a card, she’s right at home.

Things aren’t perfect but just a few short years ago they were far from perfect in the UFC.

“I think a lot of organizations only have a few weight classes for females, like one or two,” Gowing said. “More are emerging which is great, but I think that’s when I’ll feel like we’re there. Listen, we’ve made really big strides. I know the UFC has in the last few years and it’s really awesome to see so many really skilled female athletes on their roster now.”

Catch Regan Gowing at Lion Fight 66 Friday, May 21 LIVE ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Font vs Garbrandt

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Just a few weeks after Rose Namajunas returned to the throne in the strawweight division, the two-time champ’s first challenger could be determined as surging contenders Yan Xiaonan and Carla Esparza meet in this weekend’s crucial co-main event.

Over the course of six fights, Yan has quietly marched her way into title contention, stringing together unanimous decision wins over the likes of Angela Hill, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Claudia Gadelha to extende her overall unbeaten streak to 12 and put herself in the thick of the chase in the 115-pound weight class. Constant pressure and a relentless pace have been the hallmarks of the 31-year-old’s ascent and make her a handful for anyone that shares the Octagon with her.

UFC 262 FLASHBACK: Final Results | Dana White Presser | Bonus Coverage

Esparza was the first woman to wear the UFC strawweight title and has been trying to get back to the belt for the last five years. Sporting a 7-3 record since losing the title, the veteran grappler enters Saturday’s contest on a four-fight winning streak, having earned consecutive split decision victories over recent headliners Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez in 2020.

While there are no guarantees that a title shot will be next for the winner, each would be able to make a strong case for a championship opportunity by adding another win to their current streaks while simultaneously turning back another Top 5 contender. Where this fight takes place will be a key factor in how it plays out, and the battle to determine the terms of engagement combined with the championship implications make it a must-see matchup this weekend.

JUSTIN TAFA VS. JARED VANDERAA

The Scorecard | UFC 261: Oliveira vs Chandler

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It didn’t take as long as Oliveira’s trip to the top of the 155-pound weight class, but Beneil Dariush has been battling it out for over seven years in the Octagon as he waited for his “big” fight. And like Oliveira, when the opportunity came, he seized it. In Dariush’s case, that victory was a shutout over former interim champion Tony Ferguson that shocked many, but that also shouldn’t be a surprise, as Dariush is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division. And now after he welcomes his daughter into the world and gets his Tesla for his wife, it’s a brand-new day for the Californian at the top of the division.

WHAT’S NEXT? Ranked ninth in the division as of Saturday night, Dariush is likely to make a big leap into the top five when the latest UFC rankings come out, and while a shot at the new champ probably isn’t next, another big fight should be on the horizon. The question is, who will be in the opposite corner? By the time Dariush returns, that answer should be clearer.

3 – Edson Barboza

Kolton Englund Battled Through Adversity To Fight Again

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Following a dominating effort at LFA 43, Englund was 6-2 with a hefty buzz around his name. Aside from getting both losses back, getting in front of UFC President Dana White was one of the only things left for “The White Assassin” to do on the regional circuit.

After taking a few months off to prime his body for the most important fight of his life, Englund geared up to put on a show for White that would land him exactly where he was born to be, the UFC Octagon.

Despite the help from his team and his parents every step of the way, training camp was miserable. Mentally, Englund was ready to fight the entire LFA roster if he had to, but physically, things were far from okay.

“My body was hurting all the time and every two weeks my body would lock up,” Englund said. “My shoulders and my hips lost every bit of flexibility. I literally couldn’t even walk or use my arms anymore. After the one-minute run I would lay down on the treadmill and I would catch myself falling asleep for like 30 minutes at a time in the middle of the gym.”

In true warrior spirit, Englund thought now was the time to push harder. This wasn’t a sign of weakness; it was a time to step up. The weaker he got, the harder he pushed all the way up until fight night. With Dana White in attendance, a huge crowd and an electricity in the arena rarely felt outside of the UFC, Englund made weight with strong help from his mother, and he was ready to go until it was very clear he wasn’t.

“I was in the back trying to warm up and there were two fights ahead of me, live on TV,” Englund recalls. “My body just completely locked up. I threw a kick and my leg locked out and I fell and hit my head on the tile floor. I couldn’t catch myself. My arms wouldn’t work.”

His parents called the fight off in the nick of time and Englund was rushed to the hospital. What seemed like almost excessive blood work was being done before the family was given news that made pulling out of a fight in front of UFC brass seem like a breeze.

Englund was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.

“I was laying in the hospital and my parents were next to me,” Englund said. “The main doctor came in and was scared to say it in front of me, kind of whispering but then he had a scared look on his face also and he was like, ‘I don’t know how much time you have left.’”

After a second opinion confirmed Englund’s fears, he and his family were told training was over, fighting was over, it was time to let chemotherapy and a drug trial run its course.

With encouragement from his mother, Englund chose to let the chemotherapy and drug trial run its course, but the fighting days were far from over. Two outta three ain’t bad.

“She was all for it,” Englund laughed. “She was all for me going and training. Most moms would be like, ‘Hey, listen to the doctors.’ My mom was a nurse, herself. I feel like she knew what I wanted, and she wanted me to be happy.”

Immediately after visiting the doctor, Englund changed clothes and went to the gym. Every day was the same: drug trial, eat healthy, drink a couple gallons of water, train. Englund’s training didn’t slow down, it intensified. He was even able to make a trip to Brazil and get his BJJ black belt.

Something about Englund’s regimen seemed to work. Whether it was the water, the drive or the extra shot of pre-workout every day, Englund baffled everybody when he found out that he was in remission. His doctor, his dad and, of course, his mom were in utter disbelief and relieved shock.

The greatest news of his life was followed up immediately with even worse news than before. Shortly after becoming one of the fastest people to ever beat CML Englund’s life was turned upside down yet again.

“I was the first person on the trial to beat leukemia and as soon as I beat leukemia my mom passes away from having a stroke,” Englund said through tears.

She was the rare mother who not only supported her son’s venture in fighting but was excited about it. Beyond that, a huge factor in every single one of Englund’s camps.

He didn’t just lose his mother, he lost his favorite teammate and a key motivating factor. Englund was inches away from being a guy who used to fight, and she saved him.

“She always did my weight cuts,” Englund explained. “She would control my diet. She would help me with my weight. If I walked into the kitchen, she would pull me out. It would always be her waking me up early in the morning. She always pushed for me to be the best fighter that I could be.”

A year and a half after being announced cancer-free and the passing of his mother, Englund is back, full circle at Fury FC 46. Back in the cage, back in front of Dana White. As if that wasn’t poetic enough, his second audition for Dana comes only one week after Mother’s Day.

Had things went differently at all, Englund wouldn’t be here today. Had the drug trial gone wrong, he likely wouldn’t be here. Had he been hit in the spleen the night his body locked up, he likely wouldn’t be here. While it is all in front of him again, it’s very hard to say that Kolton Englund’s return to Dana White Lookin’ For A Fight “worked out nicely.”

Englund admits that the lows he’s felt in the last two years will overpower any highs that may come from Fury FC 46, but a renewed mobility and motivation puts a lot of pressure on opponent Kenn Glenn come fight night, and with the guardian angel he feels is watching over him, little will stop Englund from the performance of a lifetime.

“I’m sharper than I’ve ever been and I’m going to be the best version of myself,” Englund said. “I fight with every single thing I have. I will fight to the death. It sounds over the top, but this is everything to me.”

Catch the return of Kolton Englund at Fury FC 46 Sunday, May 16, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!

Charles Bennett Is As Real As They Come

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Despite never winning a title in any promotion throughout his career, Bennett is one of the most notable names in MMA. His presence in the minds of fans worldwide who weren’t even born when he made his professional debut and never once saw him in a major U.S. promotion acts as proof.

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With a highlight reel of follies to choose from, Bennett was never the guy to take your eyes off of when he stepped into the ring or cage and he knew it. Everything from his walkouts, to jumping over the ropes and sprinting up the ramp after a finish, to spinning opponents and slamming them into the cage, nobody has even attempted to enter the waters “Felony” swam in every time his name was called.

“They don’t have to tell me to do anything wild,” Bennett explained. “They got to tell those other guys to be wild. I’m a natural.”

UFC featherweight and MMA connoisseur Chase Hooper acknowledges the impact Bennett left on MMA. Referencing the blooming popularity of MMA, Hooper believes “Felony” was a promoter’s dream at the time.

“It was in the Tapout era, wearing jeans with the bling on them and stuff, the shiny shirts, all that,” Hooper said. “People wanted to see some crazy s**t. He definitely provided that.“

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A fan of everything Bennett put on the table throughout his career, one moment in particular Hooper points to came at PRIDE FC: Shockwave 2005.

While the ref gave the final instructions, Bennett went even further over the top in the faces he was making to the camera, resulting in the ref giving him a “pay attention” slap on the head. Bennett realized he had two people in the ring to worry about, and he handled it the only way you would expect him to.

Still fighting to this day, Bennett explains that the thought process behind his antics is simple.

“I want to be an actor, bro,” Bennett explained. “You know, I do a lot of acting in my fights. It’s real to my opponents, to me it’s just acting. I’m an actor that can fight.”

At 41 years old and still a draw, it’s clear that what Bennett does works. With over 70 professional fights and a lifetime of moments for fans to try and wrap their brains around, it’s very likely we will never see another fighter quite like him.

“I’ve got enough people watching me that stand behind me because I’m just as real as they come,” says Bennett.

Relive Bennett’s FIGHT PASS Follies, along with thousands of hours of the most entertaining combat sports action on Earth by signing up for UFC FIGHT PASS TODAY!

Official Scorecards | UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler

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For the first time in three years, a new UFC lightweight champion will be crowned as No. 3 ranked contender Charles Oliveira and No. 4 Michael Chandler vie for the vacant belt. Also co-headlining the card will be former interim UFC lightweight champion and No. 5 ranked contender Tony Ferguson and No. 9 ranked Beneil Dariush, looking to extend his six-fight win streak Saturday night.

UFC 262: OLIVEIRA vs. CHANDLER will take place Saturday, May 15 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. All bouts will be streamed on ESPN+ in English and Spanish. The early prelims begin at 6:30p ET/3:30p PT on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass. The prelims will be distributed on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ beginning at 8p ET/5p PT. The UFC 262 main card will stream exclusively on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View starting at 10p ET/7p PT.

The main event title fight is scheduled for five rounds. All other bouts scheduled for three rounds. | Live Results

UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler Official Scorecards

Christos Giagos vs Sean Soriano

UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler Results

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For the first time in three years, a new UFC lightweight champion will be crowned as No. 3 ranked contender Charles Oliveira and No. 4 Michael Chandler vie for the vacant belt. Also co-headlining the card will be former interim UFC lightweight champion and No. 5 ranked contender Tony Ferguson and No. 9 ranked Beneil Dariush, looking to extend his six-fight win streak Saturday night.

UFC 262: OLIVEIRA vs. CHANDLER will take place Saturday, May 15 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. All bouts will be streamed on ESPN+ in English and Spanish. The early prelims begin at 6:30p ET/3:30p PT on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass. The prelims will be distributed on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ beginning at 8p ET/5p PT. The UFC 262 main card will stream exclusively on ESPN+ Pay-Per-View starting at 10p ET/7p PT.

UFC submission king Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) intends to make the most of his first shot at the title by delivering another record setting performance. Owner of the most UFC Performance of the Night awards, most submissions and most finishes, he established himself as an elite contender with remarkable victories over Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee and Jim Miller. He now looks to extend his impressive win streak with his best showing yet in the biggest fight of his life.

Chandler (22-5, fighting out of Deerfield Beach, Fla.) quickly won the attention and hearts of fans with his debut first-round finish over top contender Dan Hooker earlier this year. Long seen as one of the top competitors outside of UFC, he secured wins over former champions Benson Henderson (twice) and Eddie Alvarez to earn his spot in the world’s premier MMA organization. Chandler now attempts to accomplish his main goal of strapping UFC gold around his waist by taking out Oliveira in a statement victory.

What time is UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler? 

  • Main Card: 10pm ET / 7pm PT
  • Prelims: 8pm ET / 5pm PT
  • Early Prelims: 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT

UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler Results:

UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler Early Prelims

Christos Giagos vs Sean Soriano

Kevin Aguilar vs Tucker Lutz

Gina Mazany vs Priscila Cachoeira

UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler Prelims

Jordan Wright vs Jamie Pickett

Andrea Lee vs Antonina Shevchenko

Lando Vannata vs Mike Grundy

Jacare Souza vs Andre Muniz

UFC 262: Oliveira vs Chandler Main Card

Matt Schnell vs Rogerio Bontorin

Shane Burgos vs Edson Barboza

Katlyn Chookagian vs Viviane Araujo

Co-Main Event: Tony Ferguson vs Beneil Dariush

Main Event: Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler



Shane Burgos Is A True Competitor

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“I think I got more pop from that fight than any of my other fights, and it just sucks that I didn’t get the win,” Burgos said as he shook his head. “It really pisses me off, honestly. It’s frustrating and I feel like I let it slip through my fingers. I really got caught up in the moment; it was a fun fight, and I was having a good time. I let it slip through my fingers; I got too caught up.”

RELATED: Edson Barboza’s Time Is Now

On Saturday, he’ll look to maintain his mental focus and his focus on the basics when he takes on perennial contender Edson Barboza at UFC 262. Barboza is someone that the 30-year-old New Yorker has watched for years and is definitely the type of fighter he’d like to test himself against.

“It’s fun to fight a guy like Edson. It’s a guy I’ve been watching since high school. It’s pretty weird, I’ve been watching him since before I even had my first amateur fight and now, I’m going in there and he’ll be standing across the cage from me,” Burgos said. “It’s pretty surreal, but as soon as the referee says ‘go,’ all that stuff goes out the window and he’s just another guy in my way.”

Heather Hardy Is Ready For Jessica Camara

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“I remained in the game in the sense that I’m a boxing coach, and every now and then, I’d put my headgear on and play with them and frustrate them in the backyards of our apartment buildings,” she said. “I’d line them all up, do the ‘smell my glove’ trick and frustrate the s**t out of them. (Laughs) And I’d realize, you still got it, Heat. But beyond the love of boxing, there’s the want and that push that brings you over the hump of training. Working a nine to ten-hour day and still getting up at 5 o’clock to train. We’re there at 5am for sparring, I’m running at 5:45 when it’s still dark out, just so I can have my full day of training and a full day of work. That’s the heart, that’s the love. Do I love it that much? That’s what I’m hoping this fight will tell me.”

This fight, against Montreal’s Camara, isn’t an easy one, but taking easy fights has never been Hardy’s thing, even after a year and a half away from the sport. It’s why people still care and why they’re going to tune in whenever she’s on the card. And who knows, maybe this move to 135 is the start of something that may lead to a long-awaited fight with undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor becoming a reality.

“Of course, I still want that fight; anybody would want that fight, but Katie gets to decide,” said Hardy. “Katie gets to pick the biggest fighters, and I’m coming off a loss, so I’m not the one saying, ‘I deserve this fight,’ because I kinda lost my standing and position. I can play the Brooklyn-Irish card and hope they call me for a fight out there (Laughs), but it’s not a good look for me to be saying, ‘I should fight Katie.’”

Maybe that’s the real appeal of Hardy. No nonsense, honest, and fittingly, as she makes her debut on FIGHT PASS, she’s the epitome of the UFC’s tagline, “As real as it gets.” That’s Heather Hardy, who is going to be honest with herself following the Camara fight when it comes to her fistic future.

“This isn’t really the kind of sport where you can go in without your heart, and that’s why I know that if I’m gonna step up against the big dogs with the titles, the six figures, the expectations, then I gotta really make sure that my heart and my body and my mind are into it,” she said. “That’s exactly what this test is for me. In the back of my head, I feel like, what if I already passed my prime and I’m one of those fighters that should have hung it up when they did? That’s what this fight is there to show me. Do I still have the dog in me?”

She laughs.

“I think yes. I don’t think the dog goes away.” 

UFC Unfiltered: Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, actor Ryan Guzman, and co-host TJ De Santis

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TJ De Santis joins Jim on a special jam-packed episode of UFC Unfiltered ahead of this weekend’s loaded card at UFC 262!

First, Jim and TJ discuss the beginning of their careers in radio, recap their experiences training in mixed martial arts, and look ahead to this weekend’s main card. 

Next, Tony Ferguson calls in ahead of his co-main event bout against Beneil Dariush at UFC 262. He discusses the origins of his „Olympic mentality,“ the differences between his training and the videos he posts online, and his thoughts on not yet fighting for a title. 

Then, Michael Chandler joins Jim and TJ ahead of his Lightweight title fight against Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 262. He shares why he believes Oliveira is the most dangerous opponent he’s ever faced, his reaction to being asked about getting a title shot after one fight in the UFC, and how it feels to get drop foot in the middle of a fight. 

Actor and MMA practitioner Ryan Guzman closes the show by explaining why he has decided to train and compete in an amateur MMA bout despite having a successful acting career, explaining his pick for the main event of UFC 262, and reflecting on how his history as a fighter has impacted his acting and modeling career.

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