Following last week’s event that featured some spectacular striking, the UFC makes its way to Singapore with a stacked card featuring two championship bouts as well as a rematch of 2020’s Fight of the Year, between two veterans of the women’s strawweight division.
The light heavyweight legacy
Topping the bill in Singapore is a classic matchup between jiu-jitsu specialist versus striker as Glover Teixeira defends his title against Jiří ‘BJP’ Procházka in one of the most exciting divisions that has produced some of the sport’s greatest icons.
Glover Teixeira holds the record as the second oldest champion in UFC history at 42 years old and emphasises that dreams can be accomplished at any age if the work is put in. The 20-year veteran holds a record of 33-7 and will be looking for another victory as he makes his first title defence. His hero is light heavyweight legend Chuck Liddell and the only athlete to be an older champion is another legend of the division – Randy Couture.
Looking to become the first ever UFC champion from Czech Republic is Jiří ‘BJP’ Procházka. A blockbuster striker that always excites with his trademark flying knees and samurai style hairstyle. The 29-year-old holds a record of 28-3 and is on an astonishing 12 fight win streak with 10 of those coming by knockout. Procházka is a firm believer in the philosophy of combat and adheres to the warrior’s code featured in ancient Bushido texts.
Flyweight championship gold
The co-main event is another championship bout between the title holder and the women’s pound for pound best, Valentina Shevchenko, defends her title against Taila Santos.
Hailing from a rural town in Kyrgyzstan, Valentina ‘Bullet’ Shevchenko has climbed to the dizzying heights of the women’s division throughout her 22-3 career. The 33-year-old made her professional debut aged 14. Although coming from a Muay Thai background, her submission skillset has won her almost a third of her bouts. Her striking pedigree is evident from her 17 Muay Thai world championship medals. Martial arts runs in the Shevchenko family as her mother is a black belt in Taekwondo. Outside of the Octagon, she holds an undergrad degree in film making.
Looking to de-thrown Bullet is no.4 ranked Taila Santos. The Brazilian comes equipped with a 19-1 record and will looking to make her 20th victory count for gold. The Muay Thai specialist also has family roots in striking as her father is a Muay Thai trainer. Over half of her victories have come by knockout with 12 of her bouts not making it past the first round. When she is not in training, she enjoys playing soccer.
2020’s Fight of the Year rematch
If the two championship bouts were not enough, Saturday’s card sees a rematch of one of the greatest fights in UFC history, as Zhang ‘Magnum’ Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk return to the Octagon.
Weili holds a record of 21-3 since turning professional in 2013. A well-rounded mixed martial artist, she has 10 wins by knockout, seven by submission and has won 21 of her last 23 bouts. Her illustrious career earned her the accolade of the UFC’s first champion from China. Prior to turning professional, Magnum worked as a fitness instructor. She cites Ronda Rousey as an inspiration for women becoming more well known in the world of MMA.
Joanna Jędrzejczyk will be seeking to avenge her closely contested split decision loss in a legendary bout in March 2020. Her mixed martial arts journey began taking Muay Thai classes to stay in shape and has evolved into becoming a former world champion who had five successful title defences. She holds a record of 16-4 and has been competing in professional MMA since 2012. When she’s not in training, Jedrzejczyk runs a small business with her mother and loves playing the piano.