Max Holloway [1296x729]
Max Holloway [1296x729] (Credit: Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Catterall eyes Taylor knockout in heated rematch

As the year rolls forward, news and rumors will commence with updates on potential matchmaking, promotion news and fight locations across UFC, PFL, Bellator and more. As such, we'll have it all covered right here, with analysis and insight from our reporters and writers.

Check out our latest updates now and refresh often for the latest as the year unfolds.

Key links: MMA schedule | P4P rankings

April 2: Mark Coleman to present BMF belt at UFC 300

ESPN staff: Max Holloway said he wanted to see UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman back in the Octagon at UFC 300, but in a different role.

Holloway, the former featherweight champion who will challenge BMF champ Justin Gaethje for his title at the April 13 pay-per-view event, called for Coleman to wrap the belt around the winner of the fight. And, according to Coleman's most recent post on Instagram, the UFC obliged. Coleman said the UFC has offered him and his daughters tickets to UFC 300 in Las Vegas.

Coleman, who in 1997 became the first UFC heavyweight champion, recently was hospitalized after saving his parents from a house fire, though unfortunately he could not save his family dog, Hammer. Following Coleman's apparent recovery, Holloway sees no better candidate to present the belt to whichever fighter gets their hand raised. In the previous two BMF title fights, the belt was presented by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jorge Masvidal, respectively.

When asked who should present the title -- prior to Coleman announcing he will be at the event -- Holloway told MMA Junkie, "The only correct answer is Mark Coleman."

"Especially with what he went through recently with his dog and his dog waking him to go save his stuff and he goes in there and runs for his dog? The guy's a G. That's a real-life BMF. That would be sick if he did it. It would be an honor to get him to do it."

March 31: Fiorot's win earns next shot at women's flyweight belt

Brett Okamoto: This main event was booked to determine the next contender at 125 pounds, and it did just that. Manon Fiorot didn't finish Erin Blanchfield, but she dominated her in a way that left little doubt. She's next to fight for the title.

Since entering the UFC, Fiorot (12-1) has looked like a title challenger. Honestly, the UFC could have put her on hold after her last win against former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas and no one would have complained. Instead, the promotion decided to have flyweight champ Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko coach on "The Ultimate Fighter," presumably before booking them to fight again. So it made sense to have Fiorot fight again.

It would be surprising to see Fiorot fight anyone else at this point. The Grasso-Shevchenko trilogy should culminate in the next six months. There's no reason to book Fiorot until her title shot. Even if something crazy were to happen in Grasso-Shevchenko 3, it's hard to envision any scenario in which the UFC would book a fourth consecutive fight. So, Fiorot will face the winner. The fact she has a French fanbase behind her certainly doesn't hurt.

For Blanchfield, it's far from the end of the world. She's just 24 years old. She has skills to develop. That was clear throughout this 25-minute shutout. If I were the UFC, I would do Blanchfield vs. Amanda Ribas.

March 31: Landwehr among fighters to earn 50K bonus at UFC Fight Night

ESPN staff: Four fighters took home bonuses for their performances at UFC Fight Night on Saturday. Nate Landwehr and Dennis Buzukja claimed "Performance of the Night" for their knockout wins over Jamall Emmers and Connor Matthews, respectively. Meanwhile, light heavyweights Ibo Aslan and Anton Turkalj earned "Fight of the Night."

March 26: O'Malley announces next title defense will be against Dvalishvili

ESPN staff: UFC bantamweight champion "Suga" Sean O'Malley will be back in the Octagon soon, and he seems to know who his next opponent will be.

Following his successful title defense against Marlon Vera at UFC 299, O'Malley (18-1, 1 NC) stated aspirations of fighting featherweight champ Ilia Topuria in his next bout during his postfight interview. However, it doesn't seem that will be the next opponent for O'Malley. Instead, his attention now appears to be on a bout with No. 1 bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili.

"Merab's next," O'Malley said on his podcast, TimboSugarShow. "Merab is f---ing next. Your wish is granted."

Dvalishvili (17-4) has certainly done enough to earn a shot at the belt. "The Machine" is No. 2 in ESPN's bantamweight rankings and is on a 10-fight win streak, and his last three were all unanimous decision wins over former UFC bantamweight champions.

The UFC has not officially announced this fight yet.

March 26: Moreno takes time off, says 'results aren't there'

ESPN staff: Brandon Moreno hopped on Instagram on Monday to share that he will be taking some time away from MMA to rest and reset.

"I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I'm putting in the work, I'm dedicated, but the results just aren't there, and it's very frustrating," Moreno said. "This is something that makes me very sad, but something that makes me who I am is that I always find a way to come back."

Moreno is one of the most decorated flyweights in the history of MMA, as he is a two-time UFC flyweight champion and is the first Mexican champion in the promotion's history.

"I think with all the technical aspect things aside, I think I'm just tired," Moreno said. "I'm tired of the media, the same questions, the vibe, the constant pressure. I don't even think it's a single moment anymore. I think it's everything I've piled on my shoulders in the last few years. I've reached a point where my mind is stressed, and I just want to rest a bit. I'm not saying I'm 100% stepping away from MMA, but I do want to take a break to rest, be with my family and just be a normal person, be with my daughters, and just do new things."

Moreno, currently No. 3 in ESPN's flyweight rankings, is coming off of consecutive losses to current champion Alexandre Pantoja and No. 2 ranked Brandon Royval. 

"This is by no means a goodbye," Moreno said. "Just wait for me, have patience, let my body and my mind recover, and we'll come back to do things well."

March 24: Can Namajunas beat top contenders at women's flyweight?

ESPN staff: "I'm the best."

Those were the words Rose Namajunas repeated to herself as she walked toward the Octagon for Saturday's UFC main event. It's a mantra she had used before, especially during her second reign as strawweight champion. But on this night, she might have needed self-assurance more than ever, as she was entering the cage on a two-fight skid.

The losing streak is over now, but Namajunas still has some convincing to do. She outstruck and outwrestled Amanda Ribas on her way to winning a comfortable decision, but the Brazilian is, like Namajunas, a former 115-pounder. Questions remain about how the power of "Thug Rose" will translate against full-size flyweights. And conversely, will she be better able to use her speed against the bigger women?

The bottom line is that, two fights into her run at 125 pounds, there is still much to learn about the flyweight version of Namajunas. She lost her debut last September against Manon Fiorot, but Namajunas dislocated a finger on her right hand early in that bout, diminishing her striking threat and not providing a clear picture of where she is in her career.

With Namajunas, motivation is always a factor. When she was champion, she struggled emotionally under the spotlight. That did not come into play Saturday on the small stage of UFC Apex, but as the stakes and stages get bigger moving forward, how will she handle things?

And will Namajunas be making that flyweight run without master coach Trevor Wittman, who was missing from her corner for a second straight fight? She said during fight week that she would address Wittman's absence after the fight, but she did not do so at the post-fight press conference. If Wittman is permanently gone, and her primary coach is her fiancé, Pat Barry, that will be a downgrade. Barry has always been around to support Namajunas, but Wittman is one of the best in the game, the kind of coach who is necessary if you intend to tell yourself, "I'm the best."

March 24: Lima gets bite mark tattooed, earns 50K bonus

ESPN staff: People often get tattoos to commemorate special moments. Loved ones, special dates and even their favorite sports teams and athletes' performances. Apparently, the bite from a DQ win over Igor Severino was a moment Andre Lima never wants to forget. After the fight, Lima went backstage at UFC Fight Night and got the bite mark on his right arm tattooed with the phrase "I got f---ing bit bonus" written around it. Special moments, right?

Lima was one of the five fighters on Saturday's fight card to earn a bonus. The 25-year-old Brazilian won "Bite of the Night". Fernando Padilla and Payton Talbott took home "Performance of the Night" bonuses, and featherweights Jarno Errens and Steven Nguyen were awarded bonuses for "Fight of the Night".

Wagenheim: Igor Severino released by UFC for biting opponent in debut

March 18: Topuria's post-title celebration continues in Georgia

ESPN staff: One month after dethroning Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC featherweight championship, Ilia Topuria has been on a celebration tour. 

After enjoying the 145-pound title victory in Southern California, Topuria took his title back to Spain, where he was raised for much of his youth. There, he was hailed at the legendary Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, home of the 35-time domestic league champions Real Madrid.

His next stop would be another 3,000 miles east to Georgia, where his family originates from. Topuria flew into Tblisi International Airport on Monday, and was greeted by thousands of fans who came to celebrate his victory. 

During his post-fight interview after his win at UFC 298, Topuria called out Conor McGregor for a fight. Volkanovski will likely be in consideration as well for a rematch, but there's also the possibility of Max Holloway getting the call -- if he can beat Justin Gaethje at UFC 300 for the BMF title. Topuria's name also came out of the mouth of Sean O'Malley at UFC 299 as O'Malley said he wanted to challenge for the featherweight title next. 

There are plenty of fighters who want to challenge the rising star, but there's also one other thing to consider: Where the fight would be held? Topuria and UFC president Dana White have clamored for Spain to get their first fight card, but after today's festivities, maybe Georgia should get some consideration...maybe a Fight Night in Tbilisi? 

March 17: Della Maddalena expects to face Rakhmonov next in No. 1 contender fight

Okamoto: Jack Della Maddalena believes a welterweight fight between himself and Shavkat Rakhmonov will be the "biggest title eliminator to ever go down in the UFC," and Della Maddalena would like to see it happen in August.

Della Maddalena (17-2) is slated to undergo surgery this week on his left arm. The Australian contender broke his forearm in his UFC 299 win against Gilbert Burns on March 9. Once that's healed, he's expecting a date with the undefeated Rakhmonov.

"I think [the UFC] knows it's inevitable, to be honest," Della Maddalena said of a Rakhmonov matchup. "I think they're trying to make it happen at the right time. My thoughts are that this is the right time. He's like a James Bond villain, so I'm happy to be James Bond."

Della Maddalena's win over Burns was one of the more impressive performances of the year, thus far. He finished Burns via TKO in the third round, after losing the first two frames. The fact he did it with a broken left forearm made it even more memorable.

The 27-year-old has actually called Rakhmonov out before, but it seems to have captured much more attention this time. Rakhmonov has finished all 18 of his pro fights and would almost certainly be favored to beat Della Maddalena if they were matched up.

"I think I'll finish him," Della Maddalena said. "I think I go in there and shock the world. A lot of people count me out, but I reckon I can spark him and get the title shot."

Okamoto's Take: Della Maddalena claiming that this is "the biggest title eliminator ever" is intriguing. Is he right? What are some of the biggest true No. 1 contender fights in UFC history? The ones that come to mind would be Georges St-Pierre vs. BJ Penn at UFC 58, Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 158, Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 264 (that wasn't necessarily promoted as a title eliminator, but it probably was one) and Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes at the TUF 22 Finale.