Tatiana Suarez: Her Own Worst Critic

When Tatiana Suarez dominated and defeated Carla Esparza at UFC228, the MMA world almost unanimously stood up and took notice. Having already defeated fellow prospect Alexa Grasso inside a round, Suarez took on a former Champion that had pushed perennial contender Claudia Gadelha to the brink and arguably should have got the nod only 3 months prior.

Ricardo Ramos: Mental Strength

Ricardo Ramos had just turned 14 when he first began training in the art of jiu-jitsu; he was introduced to the practice by a friend of his father and he explained that the gym let him train for free in exchange for helping out around the place with cleaning and other jobs where required.

Jesse Taylor: Ready to Go

Following the contrasting suspensions of Jon Jones and Fabricio Werdum, USADA have been in the news for all the wrong reasons as of late. It is worth noting though that for every case like the one with Jon Jones, there are many other fighters that have been unable to go through the process in the way that he has and have been left to accept what they believe to be an injustice.

Tyler Diamond: Kill or Be Killed

A featherweight showpiece will take place at UFC Fight Night: Adelaide with TUF27’s Tyler Diamond stepping into the octagon to face Suman Mokhtarian. Shortly before the fight was announced, SpitballingPod caught up with Tyler to reflect on his experience in the TUF house and his MMA journey so far.

Gerald Meerschaert: Fighting Smart

On July 6th, Gerald Meerschaert defeated highly touted prospect Oskar Piechota and claimed his 4th victory under the UFC banner (28-9 overall, 4-1 UFC).

‘It does feel nice to be the guy to be the decided underdog and then get the victory. I’d watched his fights previously, but I didn’t know he was this huge prospect until I spoke to all of the interviewers on fight week’ Meerschaert said, when speaking with SpitballingPod recently.

Cortney Casey: No Complaints

Cortney Casey steps into the UFC Fight Night 135 octagon tomorrow evening to square off against Angela Hill in a clash that promises to promote the victor back into contention at the top of the Straw Weight division.

SpitballingPod’s Brad Dobbing caught up with Casey to see how she is preparing to put a frustrating year behind her.

Eryk Anders: Tremendous Upside

‘I feel like if you go the distance then you should still always be hunting for the finish, my heart rate was barely up and I could’ve used cardio as a weapon’ – hindsight is a wonderful thing, and Eryk Anders left Brazil following his controversial loss to Lyoto Machida with the sense that he perhaps could have done more.

Alex Perez: No Backward Steps

Since I last spoke to Alex Perez, he has defeated Eric Shelton (who he called out in our last interview), returned to training and been scheduled to fight Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres as the featured bout on the Fight Pass prelims at UFC227 this weekend.

Anthony 'Fluffy' Hernandez: Open Season

If you were to see Anthony Hernandez now, you’d find it hard to believe that he once weighed 250lbs aged fifteen and earned the nickname ‘Fluffy’. Fast forward to now and he has just earned a UFC contract in spectacular fashion and has the world at his feet.

Ricky Simon: Prospect Killer

Back in April, 25 year old Ricky Simon travelled to Atlantic City to compete in his UFC debut as part of the undercard to Kevin Lee vs. Edson Barboza. At the end of 3 rounds, Simon emerged victorious in controversial circumstances, recording the latest submission victory in UFC history. In what should have been the happiest moment of his professional career, the night was blighted by the controversy surrounding the finish and Simon feeling like he didn’t fight to his fullest potential.

Stephen Thompson: Say Hello To The Bad Guy

Two weeks ago, I sat up at 2am hotly anticipating an arranged telephone interview with the UFC’s number one Welterweight Contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. As a long-time fan of Thompsons, we exchanged formalities to begin our conversation and I had been instantly captivated by the sheer charm of the 35 year old from South Carolina. At a time when trash talking is a formality, it was refreshing to hear someone remain true to themselves, particularly when the opposite characteristics have proven to be so successful with a certain contender that fights for an interim belt at UFC225.

Curtis Blaydes: No Surprises

When Curtis Blaydes signed to fight MMA legend Mark Hunt at the beginning of this year, he admitted that he was a little surprised to get the call. Having come through the Hunt fight as victor, he now says that there will be no more surprises when it comes to future opponents.

Aljamain Sterling: Slaying the Dragon

‘I could lose this fight, it’s the fight game, but I feel large, I’m Matt Serra powerful and I feel back to my old ways’. Aljamain Sterling appeared to be in good spirits when speaking to SpitballingPod late last week ahead of his clash this weekend in Atlantic City against Brett Johns.

Sam Alvey: The Art of the Callout

On February 24th 2018, Sam Alvey bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Ramazan Emeev with a soul-stealing knockout against Marcin Prachnio. Following the fight, Alvey would callout Gian Villante and set up a fan-friendly clash on June 1st at UFC Fight Night 131 in Utica, New York.

Matthew Lopez: Be Yourself

Away from the many controversies at the top of the UFC, there are a plethora of fighters who quietly get on with their business, with stories waiting to be told, as and when the opportunities are presented to them. Recently SpitballingPod caught up with Matthew Lopez as he prepares to face Alejandro Perez at UFC Glendale this weekend.

Calvin Kattar: Pay Attention Alexa

Calvin Kattar jokes that neither ‘Alexa from Google’ or ‘the rest of the top 15’ know who he is, but a victory against Renato Moicano on April 7th should be enough to finally make everyone stand up and take notice.

Artem Lobov: Home is Where the Heart is

They say ‘Home is where the heart is’ and the saying couldn’t be truer for Artem Lobov, the Russian naturalized Irish UFC featherweight contender. The SBG Ireland team-member travels to Brooklyn on April 7th to face Alex Caceres and ahead of that match up he took some time out to speak with us here at SpitballingPod.