The UFC returns to Ireland on Saturday, October 24th and will be available exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. While this card doesn’t hold many “big names” in the sense that many of the UFC’s recent cards have, it does have some quality fights throughout, including some potential wars on the prelims. The prelims for the card begin at 1 pm Eastern Time and consists of 7 fights between fighters who all possess fairly impressive records going into the fights.
Garreth McLellan vs Bubba Bush
The first fight of the card is a middleweight bout between two fighters who are stepping into the Octagon in the UFC for only the 2nd time in their careers. Gareth “Soldier Boy” McLellan (12-3) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Bartosz Fabinski at UFC Fight Night 64 but prior to that, the South African fighter had put together a 6 fight win streak which included 5 submission victories, 4 of which had come in the 1st round. McAllen will seemingly be looking to get this fight to the ground early.
Bubba Bush (8-2-1) suffered a brutal TKO loss at the hands of Kevin Casey at UFC 175 in his UFC debut, however that loss was changed to a no contest after Casey tested positive for anabolic steroids. Prior to that fight, Bush had put together a 4 fight win streak, finishing all 4 fights in the 1st or 2nd round. With 4 KO/TKO wins and 3 submission wins to his name, Bush seems to be comfortable no matter where the fight ends up, although he may try to keep it standing against a dangerous submission fighter like McLellan
Darren Elkins vs Robert Whiteford
In a battle of featherweights, the 14th ranked Featherweight Darren Elkins (18-5) will be looking to get back on the right track following a decision loss to Hacran Dias at UFC Fight Night 58. With 12 fights in the UFC Elkins is one of the more seasoned octagon veterans with a record of 8-4 inside the octagon. He is 2-3 in his last 5 fights however and hasn’t finished a fight since a TKO victory in 2013 over Antonio Carvalho. Elkins will be trying to return to his winning ways and will most likely be looking to send a message over a fighter looking to break into the rankings in the featherweight division.
Robert Whiteford (12-2) is 2-1 in the UFC, winning his last 2 fights including a 1st round KO of Paul Redmond at UFC Fight Night 72 earlier this year. The Scottish fighter has looked good in his last 2 fights but faces a major step up in competition against Elkins. While Elkins seems to be fairly comfortable anywhere the fight takes place, Whiteford will most likely attempt to keep the fight standing as half of his wins have come by way of KO/TKO. If Whiteford is able to come away with a win he may just get that jump into the rankings that he’s been searching for.
Cathal Pendred vs Tom Breese
Probably the most recognizable name on the prelims, Cathal “The Punisher” Pendred (17-3) will return to his home country looking to rebound from his 1st UFC loss, a split decision loss to John Howard at UFC 189. This will be Pendred’s 4th fight in 2015 and his 6th fight in 2 years, so he is anything but inactive as far as fighters go. Pendred hasn’t finished a fight since his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 46 however and has taken some flack from fans for being a “boring” fighter. Pendred has been quoted lately as saying that he agrees with the fans to an extent and that he is working to rectify that view point. He’ll get that opportunity in front of his home crowd.
Tom Breese (8-0) is stepping into the UFC octagon for the 2nd time following a 1st round TKO victory over Luiz Jorge Dutra Jr at UFC Fight Night 67. The undefeated Englishman has finished every fight he’s been in with only 3 of those fights getting past the 1st round. The Tristar fighter has shown that he possesses knockout ability but seems to be most comfortable on the ground with 6 of his 8 wins coming by submission. He faces his biggest test yet in Pendred, but a win against The Punisher could propel him into the thick of the welterweight division contender hunt.
Scott Askham vs Krzysztof Jotko
Scott Askham (13-1) returns to the octagon for a 3rd time following his 1st round KO of Antonio Dos Santos Jr at UFC Fight Night 69. With a 1-1 record inside the Octagon, the English fighter has shown himself to have impressive striking as well as a decent ground game. With his only loss coming by decision to Magnus Cedenblad at UFC Fight Night 53, Askham is looking to make a name for himself in the Middleweight division.
Krzysztof Jotko (15-1) will step into the octagon for his 4th UFC fight after a unanimous decision over Tor Troeng at UFC Fight Night 53. Jot has a 2-1 record in the UFC, with his only loss also coming at the hands of Magnus Cedenblad via guillotine choke at UFC Fight Night 41. The Polish fighter has shown the ability to win fights whether standing or on the ground but hasn’t finished a fight since 2012. He will seemingly be looking to alter that fact on Saturday as long as he can keep Askham from landing any of his significant knockout shots.
Aisling Daly vs Ericka Almeida
The women’s strawweight division will see some action in Ireland as well. Aisling Daly (15-6) is a former North American Allied Fight Series champion and has fought in nearly every major promotion before entering the UFC. This will be her 3rd fight inside the UFC, with a 1-1 record in the octagon, Daly will be looking to rebound from her decision loss to Randa Markos at UFC 186. With 13 of her 15 wins coming by either KO/TKO or submission, Daly is capable of finishing the fight no matter where it ends up.
Stepping into the octagon for the 2nd time, Ericka Almeida (7-1) will be looking to come back from her 1st ever loss, a decision loss to Juliana de Lima Carneiro at UFC Fight Night 67. A dangerous submission artist, the Brazilian fighter has finished all of her fights except 1 inside of the 1st round and 6 of them by submission. A victory over the #14 strawweight in the UFC will go a long way towards making the case that she is a legitimate threat in the division.
Neil Seery vs Jon Delos Reyes
Irish fan favorite Neil Seery (15-11) returns to Ireland attempting to return to the win column after dropping his last fight to Louis Smolka at UFC 189. The well-rounded flyweight is 2-2 in the UFC and was on a 2 fight win streak prior to the decision loss to Smolka. He hasn’t finished a fight since 2013 but has shown that he is more than capable of finishing the fight whether on the feet or on the mat. The 36-year-old is always entertaining and will be looking to continue that trend of exciting fights with a victory in front of his hometown Dublin crowd.
Jon Delos Reyes (8-4) makes this his 4th fight in the UFC, he is 1-2 in the UFC with his last fight ending with him choking out Roldan Sangcha-an in the 2nd round at UFC Fight Night 66. Reyes isn’t a fighter that likes to let fights go to decision, win or lose, only 1 of his fights have gone the distance and he has shown that he can easily finish a fight via strikes or submissions. When you combine Seery’s never say die attitude in fights with Reyes’ proclivity for finishing fights, this match up has all the makings of an all out war.
Stevie Ray vs Mickael Lebout
Stevie “Braveheart” Ray (18-5) is stepping into the octagon for the 3rd time riding a 4 fight win streak, including 2 tko victories in his 2 UFC fights. With 14 of his 18 wins coming by way of KO/TKO or submission, Ray has proven to be a well rounded finisher who likes to end fights quickly. The Scottish fighter will be looking to add Lebout to his highlight reel of finishes and make a name for himself in the UFC Lightweight division.
Mickael Lebout (14-4) will also be in his 3rd UFC fight on Saturday following a unanimous decision win over Teemu Packalen at UFC Fight Night 72. Lebout is 1-1 in the UFC and has proven himself to be a danger on the ground with 6 wins by submission to his name. While he’s only finished 1 of his last 5 fights, he has proven to be a tough fight for opponents and will look to be so for Ray. Ray would seem to be the favorite in this fight but you can’t count Lebout out.
While there isn’t as much name recognition for the casual fan, the prelims for UFC Dublin provide a variety of interesting and exciting match ups full of up and coming fighters looking to prove themselves to the UFC brass. Be sure to tune in to UFC Fight Pass at 1 pm ET on Saturday, October 24th for the prelims and at 4 pm ET for the main card of UFC Fight Night: Dubli
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
Mackenzie Dern victorious in Invicta debut
Late Friday night, Mackenzie Dern (5-0, 1-0 Invicta FC) won her co-main event booking, defeating Kaline Medieros (8-6, 2-2 Invicta FC), at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz, via submission (armbar) with only fifteen seconds remaining in the fight.
Much of the fight was controlled by Dern. The heralded prospect displayed her power, visibly damaging her opponent with multiple overhand rights. Striking is an under-developed aspect of her attack, only when compared to the twenty-four-year-olds black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above all, she showed a progression of her striking skills. Dern looked to be bigger and physically stronger than her veteran opponent. She utilized forward pressure and found the proper timing for her overhand right throughout.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) December 9, 2017
The veteran Medeiros showed her toughness throughout the fight. She defended and scrambled out of some bad positions during the grappling exchanges. Ultimately, she tapped when caught in a deeply planted armbar. While Medeiros did earn a few hard trip takedowns, it factored minimally in the result as she refused to follow Dern to the mat. The Boston native suffered her second straight loss, Friday night. Her first was to, former Invicta strawweight champion, Angela Hill.
Dern made her professional debut in July of 2016 with Legacy Fighting Alliance (previously: Legacy Fighting Championship). In her debut, she defeated Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. The Phoenix-born fighter won her next three bouts. Before her MMA career began, Dern won the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) championship at 60 kg. She was the first American born female to become champion at the weight. Her grappling resume boasts many more incredible accomplishments. Justifiably, a growing spotlight now hangs over her, her skills, and potential in the sport of MMA.
Elsewhere on the Invicta 26 card, Jennifer Maia defeated Agnieszka Niedzweidz by unanimous decision. Maia retained her Invicta flyweight belt, defending it for the second time. Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz, took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Missouri.
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