Former Invicta FC atomweight champion Jessica Penne moved up a weight class to appear on The Ultimate Fighter 20 as a strawweight. She advanced to the semifinals before losing to the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight titleholder Carla Esparza.
Riding back-to-back wins, the 32-year-old will attempt to capture the UFC title on Saturday when she takes on 115-pound champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the UFC Fight Night 69 main event in Berlin.
Penne believes her grappling ability will negate Jedrzejczyk’s lethal striking. In fact, Penne predicts that she’ll upset the champion by submission.
Hear what else the title contender had to say below…
Bibiano Fernandes will make the third defense of his bantamweight title when he faces Finland’s Toni Tauru at ONE: Kingdom of Warriors. The event is set for July 18 and will take place at the Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium in Yangon.
It will be ONE Championship’s first ever card in Myanmar, a country that has undergone seismic changes recently. The Southeast Asian nation currently has the fourth fastest growing economy in the entire world and is developing at an unprecedented rate.
The main event sees Fernandes (17-3) look to extend his nine-fight winning streak against an opponent who has won his last ten. Tauru (10-1-1) is the reigning CWFC bantamweight champion and hasn’t lost a fight in four years.
Fernandes won an interim version of the ONE title by defeating Koetsu Okazaki by decision and then unified the belts with another decision win, this time at the expense of inaugural champion Soo Chul Kim. He submitted the previously undefeated Dae Hwan Kim in the second round of his most recent title defense.
Tauru won the CWFC 135-pound title last September by submitting Cory Tait late in the fourth round. His last seven wins have all come courtesy of a submission, six of them via rear naked choke, but in Fernandes he faces an opponent who is a multiple time BJJ world champion.
Last year saw ONE Championship move into new territories such as Dubai, Taiwan, Phnom Penh, and China, and CEO Victor Cui is excited to be adding Myanmar to the list of country’s his promotion has visited.
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“ONE Championship is the first major world class event in Myanmar with the invitation and support from the Ministry of Sports and we are delighted to finally get the chance to bring our unique brand of adrenaline-pumping mixed martial arts action, live to fight fans in Myanmar.”
It was something of a surprise to see the promotion put one of its most marketable champions on this card, and Cui promises that will be more big fights announced in the coming weeks.
“It is part of our growth plan to bring opportunities to countries with a rich history in martial arts and combat sports such as Myanmar. Hence, we’re building an absolutely explosive fight card and it is our goal to leave a lasting impression with fans across the country.”
Next up for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion is ONE: Dynasty of Champions, which is set for Guangzhou this Saturday and will be headlined by a featherweight fight between Timofey Nastyukhin and Yusuke Kawanago.
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It’s been five years since Ken Shamrock last fought. In that time, he’s aged from 46 to 51 years old, but the UFC Hall of Fame inductee says that he will not disappoint when he faces Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson in the Bellator 138 main event on Friday night.
The road back hasn’t been an easy one for Shamrock. He’s been humbled in the gym. He’s had to accept that he’s not the same fighter that he used be.
“I’ve been away from the ring for four or five years. Coming back, I believe that I’ve really tested my character, and tested my training and everything. I have been tested more than I have ever been tested,” he said during a recent media conference call.
“Come June 19, people are going to get to see the results of that. And I promise you, with everything that I am, with my career on the line, they will not be disappointed.”
Heading into his return fight, Shamrock believes that the fight will come down to game plan execution.
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“I don’t think it’s a secret that Kimbo Slice brings the fight. Everything I know about him and respect about him is that when he gets in the ring, he brings it. I don’t think there’s any question about what kind of fight this is going to be,” said the mixed martial arts pioneer.
“There’s a strategy on the mind of both men in a fight, and they come in to see which one will work best. Right now there is no tomorrow, I’m focused on Kimbo and that’s it.”
Before the 22 fighters competing on the UFC Fight Night 69 fight card step inside the octagon on Saturday, they had to officially weigh-in on Friday in Berlin, Germany. Watch the fighters as they stepped on the scales and faced off 24 hours before they throw down.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to O2 World in Berlin, Germany, this week for UFC Fight Night 69: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne. Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will put her newly minted belt on the line against Jessica Penne after they and the rest of the fighters on the card weighed in on Friday.
Penne, meanwhile, has two blemishes on her record, but both came to two of the top female fighters in the world: Michelle Waterson and Zoile Frausto Gurgel. She hopes to make up for those black marks on her resume by adding an asterisk next to her fight with Jedrzejczyk that says “won UFC strawweight championship.”
After weighing in, Jedrzejczyk and Penne faced off for photographers and things got a little heated. They went forehead-to-forehead then made a snide attempt at exchanging gifts, but ended with Jedrzejczyk smacking Penne arm away from her face before things settled down.
“It’s gonna be a war,” said Jedrzejczyk.
While Penne believes it’s her time to take the belt, saying, “I’m prepared for anything and I’ll end it with my hand raised.”
The co-main event features German fighter Denis Siver battling Japanese MMA legend Tatsuya Kawajiri, who got on and off the scale without incident.
None of the fighter on the card had any issues making weight.UFC Fight Night 69: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne Weigh-in Results
Main Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (114) vs. Jessica Penne (114)
Dennis Siver (145) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (146)
Peter Sobotta (171) vs. Steve Kennedy (170)
Nick Hein (155) vs. Lukasz Sajewski (155)
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Makwan Amirkhani (145) vs. Masio Fullen (145)
Mairbek Taisumov (155) vs. Alan Patrick (154)
Alan Omer (146) vs. Arnold Allen (144)
Niklas Backstrom (146) vs. Noah Lahat (145)
Scott Askham (185) vs. Antonio dos Santos Jr. (185)
Piotr Hallmann (154) vs. Magomed Mustafaev (155)
Taylor Lapilus (135) vs. Yuta “Ulka” Sasaki (135)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk has no plans to give up her throne.
The 24 fighters competing on the Bellator 138 fight card officially weighed in at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday. Watch the fighters as they stepped on the scales and faced off with their opponents.
UFC women’s strawweight Jessica Penne talks about her development as a fighter, her black belt, and starting over with a new coach. Watch Penne take on champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the first ever UFC title fight on UFC FIGHT PASS at Fight Night Berlin on Saturday.
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Watch the official weigh-in for UFC Fight Night 69: Jedrzejczyk vs. Penne streaming live from Berlin, Germany, on Friday at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT.
More than six years after their first fight fell through, Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock will finally have their day in the cage.