Tonight the first every ARES Fighting Championship event takes place from Dakar, Senegal. The promotion was formed by giant media corporation Vivendi under the Vivendi Sports branch and with their first foray into MMA the promotion are looking to make a statement with an unusually stellar card for a debut promotion.
The fight card is filled with known MMA veterans, top prospects, and even a somewhat freakshow in the main event, all of which will add to the excitement of the 12-fight card which will air on UFC Fight Pass.
The main event will feature UFC veteran Ildemar Alcanatara (26-13) as he meets promising light heavyweight Laurynas Urbonavicius (12-1) otherwise known as ‘Captain Lithuania’. Alcantara posted a 4-3 record inside the UFC and had some big wins over the likes of Wagner Prado and Albert Tumenov but ultimately the promotion released him. After which he went on a slide albeit against tough opposition around the world. However, the 37-year-old seems to have found a new lease for life and is now on a four-fight-win-streak and will be aiming to keep this going at ARES 1.
Lithuania’s Urbonavicius might not be a well known entity in the world of MMA but this 31-year-old possesses a dangerous arsenal of attacks. He is exciting and finishes his opponents, in fact he has a finishing ratio of 84%. A win over Alcantara could result in the UFC swooping in for him to help bolster their thin 205 lb division. Oh and did I mention he is a champion firefighter who saves lives outside the cage. This fight will be fire.
As exciting as the man event will be, a lot of eyes are tuning into this card to see the MMA debut of ‘Reug Reug’, real name Oumar Kane, the undefeated heavyweight champion of Senegalese wrestling. This form of wrestling is brutal in the sense that strikes are allowed and you have these behemoth monsters all competing against each other. King of these monsters is Reug Rueg. A superstar in his native Senegal, he faces the vastly more experience Sofiane Boukichou in an incredibly intriguing match-up.
Boukichou will no doubt possess more skill, sharpness and fight IQ but Reug Reug with his size, frame (6-foot-5, 265 lb), and strength could win the fight with this alone. If he grabs a hold of Boukichou it could be a bad night for the Frenchman. An Intriguing fight to say the least.
The people’s main event however is the thrilling fight between France’s Taylor Lapilus and Brazilian prospect Marcos Breno. This is one of the most potentially exciting fights you’ll see anywhere this weekend. Lapilus posted a 3-1 record in the UFC before leaving the promotion (that’s right, with a winning record) and finding success elsewhere becoming TKO champion in Canada. At just 27-years-old, we could see the UFC vying to pick up Lapilus again in 2020.
But first he must get past Marcos Breno, a 22-year-old exciting prodigy who has finished all but one of his opponents. This is a big step up in competition for the Brazilian. Either way this will only be good for the youngster, a win and his stock goes through the rough and we could be looking at one of the hottest prospects in the sport or, if he loses, it will be an invaluable experience for him developing in the sport. The fight itself should be action-packed and extremely fast paced.
If these three fights were not enough for you throughout the card we have Finland’s experienced nomad Glenn Sparv vs. Gregory Babene who went 3-0 in Bellator, former BAMMA champion Damien Lapilus meets UFC vet Lukasz Sajewski, Olympian Rizlen Zouak takes on undefeated Brazilian model Jamila Sandora, and Canada’s Jonathan Meunier and American heavyweight Josh Parisian also feature on the card.
ARES 1 Fight Card Main Card – UFC Fight Pass – 7pm CET/2pm EST
Light Heavyweight Ildemar Alcantara (26-13) vs. Laurynas Urbonavicius (12-1)
Co-Main Event Heavyweight Sofiane Boukichou (6-3) vs. Oumar Kane (0-0) Bantamweight Marcos Breno (12-1) vs. Taylor Lapilus (15-3)
Middleweight Gregory Babane (19-11) vs. Glenn Sparv (21-6)
Noussourdine Imavov (7-2) vs. Jonathan Meunier (9-1)
Lightweight Damien Lapilus (16-12-2) vs. Lukasz Sajewski (14-4)
Prelims – Facebook Live Stream – 10:15pm GMT/5:15pm EST(Prelims will take place after main card) Heavyweight:Marat Aliaskhabov (2-1-1) vs. Moussa Togola (0-0) Catchweight 72kg: Asikerbai Jinensibieke (19-8) vs. Joanderson Sa De Brito (11-2-1)
Women’s Bantamweight: Rizlen Zouak (3-1) vs. Jamila Sandora (5-0)
Heavyweight: Matunga Djikasa (3-1) vs. Josh Parisian (10-3)
Early Prelims – Facebook Live Stream – 5:50pm GMT/12:50pm EST Middleweight: Eslam Syaha (9-1) vs. Djati Melan (6-0) Lightweight: Baba Nadjombe (7-1) vs. Mairon Santos (7-0)