UFC 'Fight Island' - 10 Fights You Can't Miss This Month
UFC's fight festival is finally upon as 'Fight Island' is primed for four huge events with mouth-watering clashes on deck.
The famed Octagon has set up shop on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi with title fights and No.1 contender bouts scheduled in the Middle East.
Usman :vs: Masvidal
Volkanovski :vs: Holloway
Yan :vs: Aldo
Kattar :vs: Ige
Figueiredo :vs: Benavidez
Whittaker :vs: Till
15 days of mixed martial arts madness is almost upon us :raised_hands: #UFCFightIsland pic.twitter.com/31O2QAJFce
- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 7, 2020
Over forty matches will take place on 'Fight island' but here at SPORTbible we've highlighted the 10 fights you can't miss this month.
10. Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka - UFC 251, July 11
Introducing UFC's newest light-heavyweight contender Jiri Prochazka, who's riding an impressive 10-fight winning streak.
The Czech makes his Octagon debut against No.7 ranked Volkan Oezdemir.
The strikers plan on throwing leather and it could result in a slug-fest the way many fans are anticipating.
9. Alexander Gustafsson vs. Fabricio Werdum - UFC Fight Night 174, July 25
Swedish stand-out Alexander Gustafsson will get a formidable test when he makes his UFC heavyweight debut as he faces former champion Fabricio Werdum.
Gustafsson briefly retired from MMA after his brutal loss to Anthony Smith, but the man who nearly dethroned Jon Jones back in 2016 is fully prepared for his UFC comeback.
Werdum, on the other hand, is on a two-fight losing skid yet a win over Gustafsson would propel him back into the title picture.
Will 'The Mauler' maul his way to victory? Or will 'Vai Cavalo's ground game prove too much?
8. Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas - UFC 251, July 11
The UFC women's strawweight division might see a new title challenger emerge when Rose Namajunas faces Jessica Andrade at UFC 251.
Namajunas hasn't fought since losing the UFC women's strawweight title to Andrade, who then went onto lose the belt to current champ Zhang Weili.
Which women will return to title contention?
7. Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo - UFC Fight Night 173, July 19
The UFC flyweight title will be on the line when Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo clash for a second time following their explosive first fight.
Figueiredo stopped Benavidez when they met in February, though the Brazilian wasn't awarded with UFC gold after failing to make championship weight.
They'll run it back and if both fighters make weight, then a new UFC flyweight champion will be crowned.
Will Benavidez finally get his hands on a UFC belt? Or will Figueiredo reign victorious?
6. Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum - UFC Fight Night 173, July 19
In a must-win fight for both men, Jack Hermansson and Kelvin Gastelum will look to return to the win column.
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The pair of UFC middleweight contenders will collide on 'Fight Island' for a spot in the crowded 185lbs title chase.
It will be fascinating to see how each fighter approaches this fight, but neither one can afford to walk away with a loss. A lot riding on this one.
5. Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo - UFC 251, July 11
The UFC bantamweight title is on the line at UFC 251 as Russian phenom Petr Yan takes on former UFC featherweight king Jose Aldo for the vacant championship.
Yan, 6-0 in the UFC, packs some serious power at bantamweight yet he faces his toughest challenge to date against Aldo.
The Brazilian legend has only had one fight at 135lbs which ended in a controversial split decision defeat, but he has the chance to join an elite group as he eyes a second UFC title.
4. Calvin Kattar vs. Dan Ige - UFC Fight Night 172, July 16
Two exiting featherweight contenders in Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige will meet in the main-event of the second 'Fight Island' show in what should be a critical fight in the 145lbs division.
Kattar is coming off a huge win at UFC 249. He destroyed Jeremy Stephens with a devastating elbow to record the biggest win of his budding career.
Ige is on six-fight win streak which includes victories over Mirsad Bektic and Edson Barboza. The Hawaiian will be looking to extend his win streak.
Whoever ultimately emerges victorious from the featherweight battle will likely be just a fight away from a UFC title shot.
3. Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway II - UFC 251, July 11
Repeat or revenge? Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway run it back following their 2019 clash which saw the Australian outpoint the Hawaiian to become the UFC featherweight king.
One of the most highly anticipated rematches of the year goes down on 'Fight Island' and fans are in store for a potential 'Fight of the Year' contender.
Holloway has the chance to regain the UFC featherweight title, but his rematch is a double-edged sword. Why? Well, because he could return to his 145lbs throne while a loss puts him in a precarious position within the division if he has two defeats to the champion.
Volkanovski will look to prove his critics wrong and show fans his first win wasn't a fluke.
This is a showdown where everyone watching will be on the edge of their seat from start to finish.
2. Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till - UFC Fight Night 174, July 25
A slobber-knocker between Whittaker and Till will round off 'Fight Island' and both contenders want their shot at UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya.
Till rebounded from his back-to-back UFC defeats when he outpointed former title challenger Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244. He's back on course for a second title shot but at a new weight as he guns for a dream clash versus 'The Last Stylebender'.
Whittaker has already fought Adesanya, but it didn't go to plan. In fact, he hasn't fought since surrendering his title to the Nigerian-born Kiwi fighter.
The UFC's middleweight division is brimmed with talent, but Whittaker and Till both have the types of style that help them stand above the rest of the chasing pack and the winner would likely punch their ticket to a UFC title shot.
1. Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal - UFC 251, July 11
Usman vs. Masvidal is reminiscent of McGregor vs. Diaz, where the new main-event is much more anticipated than the original. Sorry, Gilbert.
Of course, at UFC 196, Diaz stepped in on short notice to replace Rafael dos Anjos to fight McGregor and Masvidal's gangster move is eerily reminiscent to that of his BMF counterpart.
The excitement for Usman vs. Masvidal has been off the charts. The incredible turn of events sees one of the biggest stars in the sport return to action against an undefeated UFC champion who harbours ambitions of becoming a pound-for-pound star.
Don't miss it.
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