Canadian Gavin Tucker looks to grind down Justin Jaynes on UFC card

Justin (The Guitar Hero) Jaynes has wasted little time returning to action after needing just 41 seconds to win his UFC debut on short notice June 20.

Canadian featherweight Gavin Tucker, in contrast, has spent the last year honing his skills in the wake of beating South Korean Seung Woo Choi at UFC 240 in July 2019 in Edmonton.

The different approaches will be tested Saturday when the two face off on a UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas. The main event at the UFC’s Apex production facility sees 35-year-old Derrick (The Black Beast) Lewis, ranked fourth among UFC heavyweight contenders, take on No. 10 Aleksei Oleinik, a 43-year-old Russian.

Tucker (11-1-0) was slated to fight Billy Quarantillo in April, only to have the card scrapped due to the global pandemic. But the 34-year-old believes he has used the time wisely since his last outing.

“I just took a little bit of time off to improve,” said the native of Ship Cove, N.L. who fights out of Halifax. “Every time you see me, I bring something different in the cage … I don’t think anyone out there has outworked me — in the gym, through COVID, through everything. I’m ready.”

Against Choi, a talented striker, Tucker showed his improved grappling. While not always successful — he landed five of 13 takedown attempts — Tucker blunted Choi’s weapons while building a 37-23 edge in significant strikes.

The fight ended via rear-naked choke at 3:17 of the third round.

The Choi win was especially sweet coming after a 22-month absence following a lopsided loss to Rick (The Gladiator) Glenn at UFC 215, also in Edmonton. Tucker showed his toughness, enduring a beating that was painful to watch in the later rounds.

Glenn held a 142-23 edge in significant strikes, outlanding him

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ONE champ Brandon Vera gets boost from newborn son

MANILA, Philippines—Brandon Vera can count the moments in his life that have left him speechless.

First was taking a victory inside the ONE Championship cage, and the other was welcoming his son Atreyu Timothy into the world.

Vera announced the birth of son to the world last month and the already energetic heavyweight champion found himself another source of motivation.

“I can’t describe how Atreyu was born just like I can’t describe what it’s like to win in the ONE Circle. It’s two peas in the same pod, no words would ever do that justice,” said Vera. “There was one moment when Atreyu first came out, I was in such joy that I threw my arms up in the air and looked straight up at the ceiling and started crying and smiling, thinking, ‘Wow, this is what everyone talks about.’”

Vera is an accomplished mixed martial artist having competed both in the UFC and ONE Championship. He became ONE’s inaugural heavyweight champion in just his second fight in the company when he knocked out Paul Cheng in just 26 seconds.

And being a career MMA fighter takes a lot out of one’s day, but Vera has additional motivation with his son always waiting for him to come home.

“It is easier to wake up. I can agree with this statement. I feel more motivated. I get tired less. I don’t know how and why, but that happened,” said Vera.

“Everybody keeps saying priorities change, I am not of that same mindset. Family has always been number one for me. I have been waiting for a long time to change diapers, feed the baby, and train with my child in the gym. All plans are still the same. We’re the World Champ, WE act accordingly and WE keep our title until

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Big E becoming a submission machine? | Aftermath

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