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Jamie Mullarkey Puts Himself In The Driver’s Seat


Back in January, roughly five weeks out from his appearance at UFC 284 in Perth, the 28-year-old from Central Coast received word that his opponent, Nasrat Haqparast, would be unable to compete and was forced to withdraw, leaving him to share the Octagon with promotional newcomer Francisco Prado

Saturday’s Full Fight Card Preview

Earlier this week, Mullarkey got word that the man he was scheduled to face on Saturday, Guram Kutateladze, was out of their bout, replaced by former Dana White’s Contender Series competitor Muhammad Naimov.

“It’s just a crazy sport that we’re in,” Mullarkey said on Wednesday when asked about the recurring theme of opponent withdrawals. “I am getting pretty used to it now. I’m just stoked that they got me someone to fight so I can get paid.”

While situations arise that results in athletes being unable to make scheduled dates, the unfortunate thing for Mullarkey is that each of his last two original opponents are competitors that have struggled to find their way into the Octagon for various reasons over the course of their careers.

After being paired with Haqparast, facing Prado, and signing up to share the cage with Kutateldaze, one couldn’t blame the ascending lightweight if he went into camp half expecting that “The Georgian Viking” wouldn’t be the man standing across from him this weekend. Since debuting in the UFC with a split decision win over Mateusz Gamrot on Fight Island in October 2020, Kutateladze has been booked to compete five times, but only made it to the Octagon once, dropping a split decision to Damir Ismagulov last June.

This Week’s Fighters On The Rise

But that wasn’t the case for Mullarkey.

“That wasn’t in my head at all really because I didn’t know any of his history about withdrawing from fights,” explained Mullarkey, who enters on a two-fight winning streak. “We were just preparing for the fight, still focusing on myself, anyway, still preparing for Kutateladze.

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“It just is what it is, man; these things happen.”

Maybe Mullarkey wouldn’t be so unaffected about frequently encountering late opponent switches if he weren’t in the midst of a run of good form, but after dropping each of his first two appearances inside the Octagon, he’s put together four wins in his last five outings, with his only setback coming against Top 15 standout Jalin Turner.

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Watching his fights, tracking his progress, it’s pretty clear to see that with each successive appearance, Mullarkey has grown more comfortable competing on the biggest stage in the sport, and trusting in his abilities inside the cage.

“That’s exactly it,” he said when asked about settling in and finding a good rhythm over his last five outings. “The more I fight with the company, the more I know that I belong here. I’m fighting tough guys, and it just seems more and more familiar every time I step in here. Every time I step in here, I feel I’m getting better, and we’re gonna keep it going now.

“It’s just consistency – being consistent in my training, my belief in myself; that’s basically it,” Mullarkey answered when tasked with pinpointing what has contributed to his solid run of results. “Every single fight you’re in a new mind frame, but you have to believe in yourself and make yourself in the same mind frame that won you the last one. That’s really been it — put myself in those shoes, put myself in the driver’s seat, and really making sure that I go out there and perform.”

While you can always make records and results present whatever case you’re trying for an individual athlete, their efforts inside the Octagon — regardless of outcome — will almost always tell you who that person is and what you can expect from them each time they make the walk.

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Through seven fights, fans have come to know that when Mullarkey’s name is on the fight card, they’re going to be treated to at least one entertaining scrap, as he’s logged a pair of Fight of the Night bonuses and a Performance of the Night bonus for his stoppage win over Devonte Smith, along with registering a first-round knockout of Khama Worthy and engaging in a solid tussle with Prado earlier this year at UFC 284.

Some fighters don’t care about how they’re viewed by fans, but for Mullarkey, building a reputation as a must-see talent motivates him to go out there and deliver on those expectations.

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“It makes me want to go out there and keep doing the same thing I’m doing, because I know people want to watch me fight,” he said regarding his burgeoning reputation as a can’t-miss competitor.

And he’s confident that he’s going to give the fans something exciting on Saturday evening in Las Vegas.

“I’ve watched some of his fights — he’s good, he’s a strong little guy, but, to be honest, man, we just adapt as it goes,” Mullarkey said when asked about Naimov, a natural featherweight who lost to Collin Anglin on Season 4 of Dana White’s Contender Series, but enters on a three-fight winning streak, brandishing an 8-2 record overall.

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“I’ve watched some of the footage,” he added, clearly picking his words carefully, trying to be tactful and respectful of the man he’ll share the Octagon with this weekend. “He’s good. It should be a good scrap; that’s all I’ve got to say.”

But pressed for thoughts on how the fight will play out, Mullarkey made it clear that he envisions his second fight of 2023 being one-way traffic.

“I think it’s going to be a dominant performance, to be honest,” he offered. “Everywhere that the fight goes, I’ll be a little bit quicker, a little better, a little bit stronger, and I’ll be imposing my will.

“That is the whole mindset this fight and that is what I’m going to do.”

Trey Waters Is Hungry For More


“I’m loving it all,” laughed Waters, who looked like a seasoned Octagon vet in scoring a shutout three-round unanimous decision over Josh Quinlan on April 29. “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been visualizing it for so long. I’ve been watching the UFC, imagining myself being in there, imagining my last name on the shorts and on the fight kits. And now that it’s actually a thing, it’s just so surreal. It’s hard for me to comprehend it all, to be honest.”

It’s real, Mr. Waters. So real that now the 28-year-old from Jacksonville can look at the rest of the welterweight division and begin plotting his own path to the top.

PREVIEW SHOW: The Ultimate Fighter: Team McGregor vs Team Chandler

“It’s such an exciting thing,” he said. “It’s similar to what (UFC light heavyweight champion) Jamahal Hill said in an interview that all this time, he just wanted an opportunity. He just wanted to be able to know how good he was, and he wanted to test himself to see for himself. Is he really good enough? And to have that as a reality, it’s just unexplainable. I’m so excited to get in here and test myself, especially after fighting Josh, somebody who’s such a savage and who’s had a lot of success already at this high level. So it means a lot for me to go in there, have a performance like that against a guy like that and see where that places me now and what is to come.”

Waters is in an entirely different world than he was at the beginning of April. Then, he was preparing for his first start since a loss to Gabriel Bonfim on season six of Dana White’s Contender Series last September. That defeat was the first of his pro career, and while he knew he had the potential to compete in the UFC, he knew it was going to take a couple wins to get there.

Or maybe just one.

Waters knocked out Jalin Fuller in the second round of their LFA bout on April 14, then he waited for the next call for the next fight. He didn’t know it would come in the next week. Not that he cared about all the questions about short notice, making weight, the opponent, etc.

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“I didn’t second guess it once,” Waters said. “I was a hundred percent on board. As soon as my manager hit me up and he was asking about fighting on next Saturday’s UFC, I said, yes, a hundred percent, let’s do it. And I got off the phone with him without even asking who it is. So I looked up the card and I see that the only welterweights were Ange Loosa and Josh Quinlan. I’m like, man, I don’t care who it is. Either one.”

It was Quinlan, and in stepped Waters to replace Loosa. It turned out to be bad news for Quinlan, as “The Truth” was just that on fight night, using his 6-foot-5-inch frame to control the action from start to finish. It was the kind of UFC debut all newcomers crave, and while he admits with a laugh to now wearing the UFC gear around town, he earned it. Now he’s hungry for more.

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“Man, I really can’t wait to get back in there,” he said. “I truly can’t.”

Episode 1 Recap | The Ultimate Fighter Season 31


At the house, Jennerman shows off the one picture he brought with him to Las Vegas, getting emotional as a result of not being able to be with his wife and kids.

His home video from Sheboygan, WI rolls, with Jennerman introducing his wife, two kids, and their three-legged dog. He explains that he still works part-time at UPS, while also detailing that he and his wife have opened a gym in his hometown, and that he makes trips down to Milwaukee to train at Roufusport HQ.

He’s been part of the black and gold squad since he was 19, and made his professional debut at age 20, building a 16-5 record with 13 submission finishes. He stepped away from fighting for two-and-a-half years, returned as a lightweight and has gone 3-0 since, finishing each of those contests.

That evening, Roberts speaks with fellow veteran Cody Gibson, talking about the journaling he did after being released from the UFC as Gibson sits on the couch chronicling his thoughts. The lanky lightweight explains that he feels like he was fighting for the money, not a career, during his initial run in the UFC as highlights of his appearances roll, inducing his knockout loss to Ignacio Bahamondes.

“I should have just took it a little more seriously,” he says in a confessional interview. “My last couple fights, I kind of lost faith in myself; I kind of lost faith that I was supposed to be here. Sometimes you gotta fall down. Sometimes you gotta hit rock bottom. Rock bottom is a place where you start to recognize everything, and I just needed some time to get my mind right, believe in myself again, and now that I’m here, I feel great.”


Back at the UFC APEX, Team Chandler puts their charge through his final preparations for his fight with Jennerman.

Chandler explains why Roberts was tabbed to kick things off for the team, singing his praises about how he practices and prepares, and suggests that Jennerman is a perfect opponent for Roberts, predicting a tremendous first round for the first Team Chandler fighter to step into the cage.

Roberts sees things playing out the same way.

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Jennerman works with McGregor and the team to get ready for Roberts, with the Irishman really taking a hands-on approach to the prep, speaking highly of the Midwest hopeful.

The 30-year-old discusses the game plan and the things he needs to be aware of against Roberts, detailing the aim is to get inside, get the takedown, and find a submission from there, with Jennerman confident that he’ll get the victory.


Roberts and Holobaugh hang out by the grill, with Roberts explaining he’s moving back to Florida following the show and hopes to train with Chandler and the team at Kill Cliff FC full time.

Roberts’ home video from San Bernardino, CA, rolls, opening at Adrenaline MMA / Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He explains how he got into mixed martial arts, having taken up the sport after the birth of his daughter, and how he fell into the street life as a kid.

Roberts has two kids — a daughter and a son — and calls them the reason he changed his life, telling them on a call that they’re the reason he’s doing all this, explaining he wants to set an example for them and help change their lives going forward.


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Due to visa issues, Guram Kutateladze has been removed from his lightweight bout with Jamie Mullarkey. Replacing Kutateladze will be Dana White’s Contender Series alum Muhammad Naimov, who makes his UFC debut riding a three-fight win streak, with two of those victories coming by way of finish.

Additionally, due to injury, Mateus Mendonca has been removed from his bantamweight bout with John Castaneda. Replacing Mendonca will be Dana White’s Contender Series alum Muin Gafurov, who makes his UFC debut after capturing the LFA bantamweight championship via KO late last year.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: KARA-FRANCE vs ALBAZI takes place Saturday, June 3 from UFC Apex in Las Vegas

Amir Albazi’s Chance To Prove He’s One Of The Best


At every turn, Albazi has lobbied for the opportunity to share the Octagon with more seasoned competitors, ranked opponents, and through no fault of his own, those fights have yet to materialize. A couple have been booked, but each time, something has come up, preventing the fight from going forward, sending the surging flyweight into this weekend’s event in the strange position of headlining while not yet having faced a ranked opponent.

“A lot of people say, ‘Who has he fought? He didn’t fight any ranked opponents and now he’s fighting Kai, No. 3’ but the problem is not me,” said Albazi, who noted that he understands where the questions come from. “I was booked against both Alex Perez and Brandon Royval, and Tim Elliott before that; it’s not my fault they pulled out.

Saturday’s Full Fight Card Preview

“I’ve been trying to fight these guys from Day One,” he added, smiling. “I know what I can do. I came into the UFC on nine days’ notice and choked out a black belt with a triangle choke in the first round. I know what I can do to these guys; the opportunities just haven’t been presented to me.

“Most guys that are at the top, whenever I had a pull-out, they didn’t want to fight me.”

Part of that is competitors not wanting to fight backwards in the division.

Some of it comes from his contemporaries recognizing the threat the Iraqi-born talent presents.

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“For me, it’s about stylistic matchups,” he said. “And the good thing about Victor Altamirano, stylistically, is that it’s an exciting matchup for me and it’s a fun fight and it’s a fight where I can really go out and fight my style. I was going to fight Allan Nascimento, and it was going to be hard for me to fight the way I really want to fight and still be safe with him. So it would’ve been a more boring fight to fight, and it wouldn’t be my fault, really. It takes two guys to fight, and you have to fight him differently. So, I’m excited. I had three different opponents and three different venues and three different times, and I said yes to all of them, luckily, and then ended up getting the date that I wanted and the guy that I wanted.”

UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana Main Event Spotlight 

With that business secured and his body fight-ready, it was off to address the “dark,” which may or may not have been a series of events that included the end of a relationship, a move from his home in Missouri, and getting used to a new camp with UFC / PRIDE veteran Chris Brennan. Yes, the fighter who used to train with “Strange Little Men” is now working with “The Westside Strangler.”

Order UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana

“With the whole James Krause thing, I still talk to him,” he said of his longtime coach, who is currently suspended, forcing Elliott to find new training digs. “He’s still one of my best friends and he has been my mentor for most of my life. I asked him what he thought, and he told me this is where I needed to be. So this is where I came. I would have stayed in Kansas City. Zak Cummings has a gym up there, and Trey Ogden has a gym. They both split off from Glory and they opened their own gyms, and they have fight teams. And I was still cross training there when I’m in Kansas City, but I had to get out of Kansas City and do what was best for me. So Next Generation, this was the spot James told me about, and as soon as James told me, I packed my s**t and came this way.”

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Lins needed just 49 seconds to dispatch divisional mainstay Ovince Saint Preux, stunning the former interim title challenger with the first right hand he threw and never allowing him off the ropes from there. He kept Saint Preux pressed against the fence and covering up, hammering home heavy hooks and mixing in thudding blows to the body before a reaching left connected as Saint Preux looked to scurry to open space, ending the fight.

While you never want to put too much stock into a quick victory, especially one that comes against an aging veteran who has struggled to find positive results of late, Lins unquestionably looked good in there with Saint Preux in February. Physically, he appeared to be in great shape, and his power clearly translated much better at 205 pounds than it did in there with the big boys.

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Saturday is another opportunity for Lins to show this resurgence is real as he squares off with another veteran, Maxim Grishin, in a bout that was previously booked for last October. The Russian has split four trips into the Octagon, though it’d be understandable to give him a pass for his debut loss at heavyweight against Marcin Tybura, and he brings an abundance of experience into this pairing.

At light heavyweight, all it takes is a couple wins to start to get noticed, and putting away Saint Preux in a hurry certainly accomplished that feat for Lins. Should he push his run of success to three with a victory over Grishin on Saturday, the 37-year-old Brazilian could find himself sharing the Octagon with a ranked opponent next time out.

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi


Originally slated to open the show at UFC 288 last month in Newark, Daniel Santos now takes on Johnny Munoz here, in the middle of Saturday’s prelims. Santos earned a come-from-behind, second-round stoppage win over John Castaneda last time out, while Munoz out-hustled Liudvik Sholinian to collect his second UFC victory. Both men are action-oriented and should combine to provide an exciting battle as the evening of action progresses towards the main card.

Elise Reed vs. Jinh Yu Frey

Strawweights looking to get back into the win column share the Octagon in this one as Elise Reed faces off with Jinh Yu Frey. Reed has alternated losses and wins since entering the UFC and enters this one off a submission defeat at the hands of Loma Lookboonmee in February. The former Invicta FC atomweight champ Frey has garnered results in pairs so far through six UFC appearances, losing twice, winning twice, and then losing twice again as she readies to step in with Reed on Saturday.

ROAD TO UFC RESULTS: Episode 1 & 2 | Episode 3 & 4

Da’Mon Blackshear vs. Luan Lacerda

Da’Mon Blackshear and Luan Lacerda meet in a battle of bantamweights searching for their first UFC victory. Blackshear has gone 0-1-1 through his first two starts, battling Youssef Zalal to a draw in his short-notice debut before pushing freshman Farid Basharat hard in a losing effort last time out. Lacerda made his first appearance in the Octagon in January, losing to Cody Stamann, and looks to get back to the form that produced 10 straight victories prior to that setback.

Philipe Lins vs. Maxim Grishin

Light heavyweights open the show at the UFC APEX this weekend, as Philipe Lins takes on Maxim Grishin. Lins collected a second straight victory since returning to the division in February, blowing through Ovince Saint Preux in 49 seconds, while Grishin hasn’t fought since earning a unanimous decision win over William Knight at UFC 271. These two were scheduled to fight each other once before and should kick things off with a bang on Saturday.

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When an Olympian closes the door on their career it can leave them searching for their new identity. The luxury of being an actor, comedian or musician isn’t nearly the same as being the greatest athlete in the entire world at your sport, which leads to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

After closing out a career that included a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics, a handful of medals in the World Championships, five gold medals in the European Championships and dozens more, Kuziutina has found a seamless transition from her Olympic Judo career: the world of MMA.

She’s devoted to training and becoming the same caliber fighter she was as a judoka, but it’s hard for Kuziutina to compare the feeling of competing in the two sports.

ROAD TO UFC RESULTS: Episode 1 & 2 | Episode 3 & 4

“It’s the same, but different,” Kuziutina laughed. “Judo is like sports. MMA, for me, is like a show. It’s like before when gladiators try to kill each other and the crowd shouts, ‘Kill him! Kill him!’ It’s the same. I go into the cage and the cage closes. Opponent kills me or I will kill. It’s a little different.”

At 34 years old, Kuziutina may not see the direct correlation between Judo and MMA, but her training environment and a thirst for improvement have given her a head start most three-fight veterans would kill for.

“I understand quickly, but every day I learn new information,” Kuziutina said. “Every day I train with different fighters. I train at American Top Team in Coconut Creek. Many fighters come with us and train with me. It’s very important to train with other fighters and learn new information.”

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While there doesn’t seem to be a set in stone Judo-first fighter once Ronda Rousey retired, Kuziutina believes that it’s a skillset that can’t be mastered as fast as striking and is more dangerous than BJJ. And now, she’ll be looking to make a big enough splash to catch the eyes of the UFC at Titan FC 82.

She made quick work of her last opponent, submitting her with an armbar in only 39 seconds. Can she replicate that performance on June 2?

For the greatest action across the world of combat sports, sign up TODAY for UFC FIGHT PASS!

Road To UFC Results & Scorecards | Season 2: Episodes 3 & 4


Eight mixed martial arts athletes will compete in each of four men’s weight classes: flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight. To provide additional opportunities for MMA prospects in Asia, there will also be four non-tournament bouts. The ROAD TO UFC Season 2 opening round will be the first live, broadcast event to take place within the UFC PI Shanghai, the world’s largest, state-of-the-art MMA training and development facility.

All bouts scheduled for three rounds.

Follow us on Facebook (UFC Asia), Twitter and Instagram (@ufc), and use the official hashtag: #ROADTOUFC2.

Results From Episodes 1 & 2

Each episode of ROAD TO UFC will air in Asia primetime GMT +8, so audiences across Asia can get to know the athletes via in-event features and competitions on the following UFC broadcast partners:














Road To UFC Official Results

Episode 3

May 28, 2023 | UFC Performance Institute Shanghai 

Non-Tournament Bout: Chris Hofmann (Philippines) vs SangHoon Yoo (South Korea)

Bantamweight Bout: Xiao Long (China) vs Shohei Nose (Japan)

Lightweight Bout: Kazuma Maruyama (Japan) vs SangUk Kim (South Korea)

Bantamweight Bout: Shuya Kamikubo (Japan) vs Baergeng Jieleyisi (China)

Lightweight Bout: SeongChan Hong (South Korea) vs Rongzhu (China)

Episode 4

May 28, 2023 | UFC Performance Institute Shanghai 

Non-Tournament Bout: Sim Kai Xiong (Singapore) vs Peter Danesoe (Thailand) 

Bantamweight Bout: Eperaim Ginting (Indonesia) vs Daermisi Zhawupasi 

Lightweight Bout: Windri Patilima (Indonesia) vs Shin Haraguchi (Japan)

Bantamweight Bout: ChangHo Lee (Indonesia) vs Rana Rudra Pratap Singh (India)

Lightweight Bout: WonBin Ki (South Korea) vs Bahatebole Batebolati (China) 


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UFC Busan Results

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