UFC on Fuel TV: In focus
The UFC is descending upon Nottingham, England, with a card likely to provide an entertaining afternoon of action on Fuel TV. While it might not be a PPV, here are the reasons, fight by fight, why Saturday’s card should not be missed.
Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic
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 and 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 has lights-out potential, and on the ground, he is one of the most dangerous grapplers in the division. Both men have only been to a decision once in a combined career of 38 fights. You can expect this one to finish long before the scheduled 25 minutes is up!
Dan Hardy vs. Amir Sadollah
It’s two of the better technical strikers at 170 pounds 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.
John Hathaway vs. John Maguire
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 ever 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 then 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.
Brad Pickett vs. Yves Jabouin
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. That’s not to say this affair is only about national pride. Both of Pickett’s UFC appearances have been earned fight of the night honors, and he’ll be looking for a hat-trick against Yves Jabouin.
Paul Sass vs. Matt Wiman
This is an unstoppable force versus an immovable object. An incredible nine of Paul Sass’s 13 career victories have come by triangle choke submission. A further three have come by heel hook. That gives him a submission ratio of 92 percent! If this was a heavyweight boxer’s knockout ratio then we’d proclaiming him 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 20 matches. Can Paul Sass be the first to make Wiman tap or can the ‘Handsome’ one become only the second man to hear the final bell against Liverpool’s finest?
Che Mills vs. Duane Ludwig
If you’re looking for two heavy-handed bangers to stand toe-to-toe and throw down, this is your match. Between them, Mills and Ludwig have 17 first round KO/TKO victories and 13 first round defeats. Needless to say, neither of these guys buys the mantra, “Defense wins championships.” Make sure not to blink as this fight should end very quickly.
UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic airs live Saturday at 4 EST/1 PST on Fuel TV