After an action-packed two weeks, here we are at our last stop on fight island; for now at least. With our final stop, comes a brilliant fight night card with plenty of great match-ups and exciting names. You likely will not need it, but if you do need more convincing to stay up on Saturday night for this event, here are 5 reasons to do so.
Honourable mentions: Though maybe not as attention grabbing as the other fights on this list, Alex Oliveira vs Peter Sobotta and Mike Grundy vs Movsar Evloev are two great match-ups to keep an eye on.
- Two of Europe’s most exciting fighters return
Why not start at the bottom and make our way up. The whole event kicks off with one of the UK’s very best in Nathaniel Wood as he looks to get back in the win column following his loss to John Dodson. A bit further up on the card and we get the second fight of his second run in the UFC from Nicolas Dalby, another one of Europe’s favourites who always brings the action. Though both had previously scheduled opponents in Said Nurmagomedov and Danny Roberts that would’ve made for insanely good match-ups, we’re just happy we still get to see both men perform.
2. Two former Cage Warriors prelim debuts
This card has just about everything and exciting debuts are definitely a part of that. Making his first walk to the octagon right after his teammate Mike Grundy, Tom Aspinall is one of the most promising heavyweights around. As one of Darren Till’s main training partners and with a record of 7-2, Aspinall has been one to watch on many’s radars for some time. Also making the switch from Cage Warriors to the octagon is the former CW lightweight champion Jai Herbert. Originally scheduled to be taking on Marc Diakiese on late notice in London, Herbert finally gets his shot this weekend. He gets his debut against Francisco Trinaldo, a very tough first UFC match-up, on the featured prelim.
3. History and hype on the line in the main card opener
Opening up the main card is a guy who’s making his UFC debut and a guy who made his debut last Wednesday. Yes you read that correctly. Khamzat Chimaev dominated John Phillips in his first octagon outing and gets another bout under his belt on fight island. If he wins, he breaks the UFC record for fastest back-to-back wins. Coming up against Chimaev, who has a ton of hype behind him, is another former cage warriors fighter in Ireland’s Rhys McKee. McKee signed to the UFC and took this fight on six days notice and though this match-up is a very tough one, McKee has been on a great run since moving up to welterweight. Though it’s a shame to see two excting and promosing guys get matched up at this point in their careers, it’s still one you have to watch.
4. The Mauler is back!… and this time he’s a heavyweight
Alexander Gustafsson has always been and always will be a fan favourite fighter. Though his retirement last year was emotional, no one every stays retired for long in MMA and just like that, the big Swede is back and as a heavyweight. This would be enough to get everyone excited but you can add to that he’s taking on a former champion and future hall of famer in Fabricio Werdum. Enough said.
5. A main event that has absolutely everything
This fight has more hype than most title fights and that says it all. Darren Till and Robert Whittaker are two of the most beloved fighters in the UFC, with both having such engaging UFC careers to this point and being great personalities. It’s a great match-up which will see the winner in pole position to watch how Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa plays out. There are endless things to talk about with this fight and why it’s great and we haven’t even spoken about the social media back-and-forth. This main event is unmissable. Period.