Two titles are on the line this weekend as the featherweight and women’s strawweight title fights shine as the main and co-main event.
Competition is TUF
The two coaches from this year’s season of The Ultimate Fighter will clash once again, but this time in the Octagon, as Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski and Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega fight for the featherweight title.
On an incredible 19-win streak, Volkanovski has dominated his way to becoming champion. He has the highest strike accuracy amongst active featherweights at 55%. He took up MMA as an alternate way to build up his fitness and strength whilst playing professional rugby, but he fell in love with UFC and aspired to become a world champion. Since turning pro, he has never fought anyone with a losing record, making his 22-1 record even more remarkable.
Ortega is one of the most exciting featherweights to watch, racking up six post-fight awards – four fight of the night and two performance of the night awards. He holds a 15-1, 1NC record, and the sole defeat was a doctor’s stoppage in a title bout with Max Holloway. He has 10 finishes, seven by submission and three by KO. Aside from UFC, he teaches jiu-jitsu, which was also his full-time career before turning pro in the UFC.
The two in-form athletes of the women’s flyweight division compete for the title, as Valentina ‘Bullet’ Shevchenko looks to retain her belt against ‘Lucky’ Lauren Murphy.
Since winning the belt in 2018, Shevchenko has looked unstoppable, racking up five consecutive title defences. She has 14 career finishes, seven by submission and seven by KO, displaying her versatility. Bullet is riding a seven-win streak, and a win here would give her the record of highest win streak in women’s strawweight history.
Winning six of her last seven, including five in a row, Murphy has taken the flyweight division by storm. She finished two of those five wins, one by KO and one by submission. Her most recent bout was in June, where she defeated Joanne Calderwood in an impressive split decision victory. Before UFC she had a plethora of jobs, working as a firefighter, a cook, remodelling homes, and a night shift worker at a homeless shelter.
Seventeen-year wait is over
One of the most anticipated fights in years since its announcement sees the rematch of ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler take on Nick Diaz, after the pair first clashed in April 2004.
Lawler has stayed active since the first fight between these two, and holds a 28-15, 1NC record. He is known for his KO ability, securing 20 KO victories so far in his career. Lawler has won nine of his last 15 but will be looking to secure a first win since 2017, where he defeated Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision.
The first time Diaz faced Lawler he won by second-round KO, which was only his second appearance in the UFC. Since turning pro back in 2001 he has accrued a record of 26-9, 1NC, with 21 finishes in that time, 13 by KO and eight via submission. He has two post-fight awards which were two of the most exciting fights of his career, an epic three-round unanimous decision victory of BJ Penn for a fight of the night bonus as well as submitting Josh Neer with a Kimura for a submission of the night bonus.