UFC in Nottingham may not be the highest profile UFC card ever but it promises fight fans watching on FUEL TV an entertaining afternoon of action. Will Cooling looks at the reasons to watch all six main card fights.
Reason to Watch: For a heavyweight fight the main event promises to be a surprisingly technical affair with Stefan Struve being highly skilled in jiu-jitsu and kickboxing while Stipe Miocic is a former Golden Gloves boxing champion NCAA Division 1 wrestler. The clash in styles makes it a fight that is genuinely too close to call. Miocic stands undefeated while Struve has too often been knocked out at the hands of smaller men he’s failed to keep at a distance. On the other hand Struve has shown repeatedly that when he concentrates he can knock people out and on the ground is one of the most dangerous grapplers in the division. Whoever wins, with both men have only been to a decision once in a combined career of thirty-eight fights you can expect this one to finish long before the scheduled twenty-five minutes is up!
Reason to Watch: It’s two of the better technical strikers at 170Ibs squaring off in what should be a high-quality kickboxing battle. But more than that, it should prove to be an emotional homecoming for ‘The Outlaw’ who has not fought in England since 2010 and has not fought in his hometown since April 2008. Given that Hardy must have been legitimately worried about never fighting in the UFC again before snapping his four-fight losing streak at UFC 145, the sound of ‘England Belongs To Me’ and the cheers of his Nottingham fans will be all the sweeter to Dan Hardy this Saturday night.
Reason to Watch: Not only is this the highest profile ‘Battle of Britain’ the UFC has ever booked but it’s a chance for a man who was at one point seen as the most promising British prospect to continue his comeback. John Hathaway entered UFC 120 with a ton of momentum following his wrestling-led demolition of Diego Sanchez but the limitations of the youngster were exposed by the veteran Mike Pyle. He’s only fought twice since ten as he’s alternated between retooling his game and rehabbing various injuries. He’s shown glimpses of quality in his recent UFC fights but needs a dominant victory over John Maguire to get his career moving again.
Reason to Watch: It’s a chance for one of Britain’s best fighters to properly introduce himself to the UK UFC audience after losing in the first-round to Renan Barao in Birmingham last November and his victory over Damacio Page in Sweden being edited off the British broadcast. Additionally both of his UFC appearances have been in the Fight of the Night, and he’ll be looking for a hat-trick against Yves Jabouin.
Reason to Watch: This is the unstoppable force versus the immoveable object. An incredible nine of Paul Sass’s thirteen career victories have come by triangle choke submission. A further three have come by heel hook. That gives him a submission ratio of 92%! If this was a heavyweight boxer’s knockout ratio then we’d proclaiming them the new Mike Tyson. And yet Britain’s own grappling maestro is coming up against a man in Matt Wiman who has never been submitted in a career spanning twenty matches. Can Paul Sass be the first to make Wiman tap or can ‘Handsome’ become only the second man to hear the final bell against Liverpool’s finest?
Reason to Watch: Not for the last time on this show we can look forward to two heavy-handed bangers throwing down in what should be a very entertaining brawl. Between them they have seventeen first round KO/TKO victories and thirteen first round defeats. So make sure not to blink as this fight should be ending very quickly.