Last week was full of drama as titles were retained and lost, streaks were ended and plenty of action was had. It is another exciting card this week as we stay in Las Vegas for a headline event that sees the return of UK athlete Leon Edwards.
On an eight-win streak, Edwards has been desperate to get back in the Octagon®, and now he finally has his bout. He is known for utilising his versatility as he looks to control bouts, often winning via decisions after going the distance to the end of the final round. ‘Rocky’ has never been finished in a bout in his professional career, showing his resilience and determination to win.
Belal Muhammad is also in great form having won four bouts consecutively and will be confident of causing an upset. He also tends to win bouts via decision only finishing five of his 18 professional victories, so this bout will be a tactical clash between two of the most patient welterweight athletes. With both Edwards and Muhammad holding an 18-3 record this is sure to be an unmissable fight.
WELTERWEIGHT COMPETITORS: LEON EDWARDS AND BELAL MUHAMMAD CLASH IN A THRILLING MAIN EVENT
- Leon Edwards (18-3, fighting out of Birmingham, England) makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon with hopes of declaring himself the next title challenger
- No. 3 ranked UFC welterweight contender
- Six wins by KO, three via submission
- Second-longest active win streak in the welterweight division
- On an eight-fight win streak
- Holds wins over Vicente Luque, Gunnar Nelson and former champion Rafael Dos Anjos.
- Belal Muhammad (18-3, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) plans to make waves in his first-ever UFC main event by snapping Edwards’ momentum
- No. 13 ranked UFC welterweight contender
- Four wins by KO, one by submission
- Winner of eight of his last nine bouts
- Holds wins over Dhiego Lima, Lyman Good and Takashi Sato
Superman looks to bounce back
This clash in the light heavyweight division will be a battle to break into the top 10 as Misha Cirkunov and Ryan Spann are the no.11 and no.13 ranked contenders respectively.
Hoping to act as a kryptonite, Misha Cirkunov is striving to find consistency after only winning two of his last five bouts. He won his most recent bout via submission, using the Peruvian necktie to finish Jimmy Crute. Regardless of whether he wins or loses, Cirkunov very rarely needs to go the distance, with only two of his 20 professional bouts coming down to decisions, both of which he won.
His last bout saw him suffer defeat after an eight-bout win streak, Ryan Spann will be looking for redemption. On his win streak, he recorded five first-round finishes and will be looking to get off to an explosive start here to give himself the advantage. He has won 11 bouts via submission, his favoured lock being the guillotine which he has utilised to win seven bouts.
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT FINISHERS: MISHA CIRKUNOV TAKES ON RYAN SPANN IN A CO-MAIN EVENT GUARANTEED TO DELIVER ACTION
- Misha Cirkunov (15-5, fighting out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada) looks to build another impressive win streak and continue his climb up the light heavyweight ladder
- No. 10 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender
- Nine wins by submission, four via KO
- Finished all six of his UFC wins by stoppage
- 11 first-round finishes
- Holds wins over Ion Cutelaba, Nikita Krylov, and Jimmy Crute
- Ryan Spann (20-6, fighting out of Beaumont, Texas) seeks to break into the top 10 by taking out Cirkunov
- No. 13 ranked UFC light heavyweight contender
- 11 wins by submission, four via KO
- Winner of eight of his last nine bouts
- A veteran of Dana White’s Contender Series
- Holds wins over Devin Clark, Sam Alvey and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Dragon in danger
This bout sees two featherweight athletes come into this one off the back of two consecutive victories. A win for either fighter here would go a long way in landing them a bout with one of the top contenders.
After a hot 7-0 start to his MMA career, Jonathon Martinez has registered a respectable 6-3 since. He is a fierce striker and has recorded seven career KOs, both his fists and knees are lethal. He is yet to be finished in his career, two of his career defeats were via decisions, the other was a DQ.
The second Brit on the main card, and hot off the back of two convincing wins, Davey Grant will be confident of getting a victory here. He is primarily a grappler, winning eight of his professional bouts by submitting his opponents. However, his last bout saw him win via strikes. As much as his grapple is his main strength offensively it is his biggest defensive flaw, all four of his career defeats were via submission. If he can get the upper hand when grappling he should be able to tame the dragon.
OTHER FIGHTS ON THE CARD INCLUDE
- An exciting featherweight bout sees No. 9 ranked Dan Ige (14-3, fighting out of Haleiwa, Hawaii) take on Gavin Tucker (13-1, fighting out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
- A bantamweight bout sees Jonathan Martinez (13-3, fighting out of Plainview, Texas) matchup with Davey Grant (12-4, fighting out of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England)
- Manel Kape (15-5, fighting out of Phuket, Thailand by way of Porto, Portugal) steps in for the injured Tagir Ulanbekov looking to secure his first UFC win against Matheus Nicolau (13-3-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at flyweight
- Eryk Anders (13-5, fighting out of Birmingham, Ala.) looks to bounce back into the winner’s column against Darren Stewart (12-6, 1 NC, fighting out of London, England) at middleweight
- No. 12 ranked women’s strawweight Angela Hill (12-9, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) intends to defend her spot in the rankings against submission specialist Ashley Yoder (8-6, fighting out of Temecula, Calif.)
- Featherweight Canadian standout Charles Jourdain (10-3-1, fighting out of Beloeil, Quebec, Canada) aims to spoil the debut of Marcelo Rojo (16-7, fighting out of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico)
- Submission expert Rani Yahya (26-10-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil) returns against Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Ray Rodriguez (16-6, fighting out of San Antonio, Texas)
- Nasrat Haqparast (12-3, fighting out of Hamburg, Germany) locks horns with short notice replacement undefeated Rafa Garcia (12-0, fighting out of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico) in a lightweight bout
- Cortney Casey (9-8, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.) and JJ Aldrich (8-4, fighting out of Westminster, Colo.) intend to put on a show in the women’s flyweight division
- Dana White’s Contender Series signee Gloria de Paula (5-2, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) makes her UFC debut against Jinh Yu Frey (9-6, fighting out of Arlington, Texas) at strawweight
- Welterweight hopefuls collide as Matthew Semelsberger (7-2, fighting out of Ijamsville, Md.) takes on Jason Witt (18-6, fighting out of Overland Park, Kan.)