Key ThemesLast week we saw new champions crowned with Brandon Moreno as the new interim flyweight champion and the reclaiming of her dual champ status for Amanda Nunes in front of a roaring Dallas crowd. This week the UFC returns to Las Vegas for The Ultimate Fighter finale and a light heavyweight clash between contenders, Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill.
Marreta vs Sweet Dreams
There’s always excitement when ranked light heavyweights face off in the UFC’s glamour division. The no.6 ranked Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos takes on no.10 Jamahal ‘Sweet Dreams’ Hill, with both athletes looking to edge closer to title shot contention.
Thiago Santos has an impressive record of 22-10, with 15 knockouts, one submission and eight first round finishes. The 38-year-old turned professional in 2010 and competed in season two of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Before becoming a full-time martial artist, Marreta was a Brazilian army paratrooper.
Looking to earn his place further up the light heavyweight division is Jamahal Hill who holds a record of 10-1 with six knockouts and four first round finishes, including “Performance of the Night” in his last victory against Johnny Walker. The 31-year-old turned professional in 2017 and was a competitor on season three of Dana White’s Contender Series. Sweet Dreams seemed destined to play college basketball but decided to pivot to mixed martial arts after seeing the great Anderson Silva’s bout with Forest Griffin.
The Ultimate Fighter – heavyweight finale
Season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter comes to a close with heavyweights Mohammed ‘The Motor’ Usman and Zac ‘The Ripper’ Pauga facing off to decide who will take home this year’s crown.
Usman, representing Team Nunes has a record of 8-2, with three knockouts, two submissions and five first round finishes. Fighting out of Arlington, Texas by way of Auchi, Nigeria, the 33-year-old is looking to join his older brother Kamaru Usman as a household name in the UFC.
Pauga, from Team Peña has a perfect professional record of 6-0. The Ripper began martial arts as a way to defend himself while he worked as a patrol officer. Prior to turning professional, he earned a degree in sociology.
The Ultimate Fighter – flyweight finale
Another decider for this season’s The Ultimate Fighter top prize features two flyweights facing off as Brogan ‘The Bear’ Walker takes on Juliana ‘Killer’ Miller.
Walker has a record of 7-2 since turning professional in 2014. The Guam native is representing Team Nunes in this year’s final. Her hero is Michael Jordan for his championship mentality. Outside of MMA, she holds a degree in education and worked as a teacher.
Miller, from Team Peña, holds a record of 3-1 with all of her victories coming by way of submission. Hailing from San Diego, she has been a professional since 2019. She began martial arts as a way to protect herself and aims to set up a women’s self-defence course.
Poppins vs. Danger
Two women’s strawweights face off as Cory ‘Poppins’ McKenna takes on Miranda ‘Danger’ Granger, both of whom are lifelong practitioners of MMA.
McKenna holds a record of 6-2 with two knockouts, one submission and two first round finishes. The Welsh martial artist is the youngest female athlete in the roster and fourth youngest overall at 23 years old.Poppins has won four of her last five and is hoping to make it three in a row on Saturday night. She has been training since the age of 10 and dedicated her life to pursuing her dream of turning professional after leaving school. Her hero is her trainer at Team Alpha Male, Urijah Faber.
Miranda ‘Danger’ Granger has a record of 7-2 with one knockout, five submissions and five first round finishes since turning professional in 2017. She began training at four years of age and was undefeated as an amateur kickboxer. Before swinging strikes in the Octagon, she was swinging clubs working at a golf course.