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Insider Scoop: Erin Blanchfield gets a jump start, UFC Seoul cancels, Brandon Moreno, BKFC expands, and more

Before we get into the meat of why you all came here (news), we’d like to reintroduce you to the “Insider’s Scoop.”
When enough noteworthy developments have accumulated, our reporters will release news in an easy-to-digest roundup for the MMA Junkie audience every now and then.
Every time “Insider’s Scoop” is released, various tidbits and under-the-radar pieces of news will be featured, ranging from fight rumblings to event locations and dates to roster departures and more.
So, without further ado, here is the most recent instalment of “Insider’s Scoop.”

The UFC announced its early 2023 schedule during the pre-fight news conference for UFC 282 on Thursday. While there were a few new dates and locations announced, the previously announced Feb. 4 event in Seoul, South Korea was noticeably absent.
According to two sources, fighters scheduled for the card were notified on Wednesday that the location had been changed from Korea to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Derrick Lewis vs. Serghei Spivac was announced as the main event on Thursday by the promotion.
While it is unclear why the event was rescheduled, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung recently announced that he would not be competing on the card as hoped due to a shoulder injury. As he is clearly the biggest draw in his home country, it makes sense that the promotion would postpone its South Korean return to a later date.

When BKFC emerged from the shadows and into the national spotlight in 2018, everyone had something to say. Five years later, they’re producing events at a faster rate than ever before.
Part of this is due to commissions’ acceptance of bareknuckle fighting as a sport. Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, New Hampshire, Nebraska, New Mexico, Vermont, South Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado are among the fifteen states that have formal approval.
Expect more first-time BKFC locations in 2023 as state commissions sanction the sport. South Carolina is already on the schedule, and I’m hearing Virginia could be next.

Erin Blanchfield made headlines last November when she destroyed popular Molly McCann at UFC 281 in New York. If she wasn’t already on people’s radars, she is now. Blanchfield, one of the most highly touted prospects in MMA, is ranked in the top 10 by the UFC at the age of 23.
So, how does her matchmaking progress from here? There are two schools of thought: slow and steady, or whatever the quickest way to the top is.
According to a source, both the promotion and Blanchfield believe she is ready for the top of the women’s flyweight rankings. Blanchfield could face a top five contender next or even find herself in a title eliminator situation with a matchup already planned for the coming weeks.

Bellator MMA is headquartered in San Jose. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, its appearances have been less frequent. Bellator’s locations and dates are a little more fluid than other promotions’, but I’m hearing it hopes to hold a show there in March. If everything goes as planned, it will be the third Bellator event at SAP Center since the pandemic.

Zion Clark, a former All-American high school wrestler and motivational speaker with over 1 million Instagram followers, will make his MMA debut for Gladiator Challenge in California on Saturday. Clark was born without legs due to a rare birth defect known as caudal regression syndrome. In his first MMA fight, he hopes to overcome adversity once more. In a pro fight, he’ll face Eugene Murray (0-4).

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