Light heavyweight title contenders
The main event is a heavy hitting light heavyweight bout that sees two of the top three ranked athletes go head-to-head with Jan Blachowicz taking on Alexander ‘Rocket’ Rakić. The winner is sure to be eyeing a title shot.
Poland’s own Jan Blachowicz is the no.1 ranked contender and holds an impressive 28-9 record and is the only athlete in the UFC to hold a victory over Israel Adesanya. Blachowicz has a prolific record since turning professional in 2007 – one of his greatest strengths is his versatility holding eight knockouts and nine submissions. Outside of the Octagon, he enjoys reading fantasy novels citing The Witcher as his favourite and he walked out to The Witcher 3 Battle Song ahead of his bout against Jimi Manuwa.
Alexander ‘Rocket’ Rakić is looking to make it three wins in a row, hoping it will take him to the top of the light heavyweight division. He holds a 14-2 record, nine of which came by knockout. It has been a year since his last bout but a win on Saturday could put him into position for his first title shot. Rocket has been kickboxing since the age of 12 and worked as a waiter to make ends meet before achieving his life’s goal of getting signed to the UFC.
Dangerous Davey and Da Last Samurai
Grappling galore is expected to be on display between two bantamweights who like to make their opponents tap. Britain’s ‘Dangerous’ Davey Grant takes on Louis ‘Da Last Samurai’ Smolka.
Grant, fighting out of SBG Manchester, will be looking to add to his tally of 13-6. Living up to his moniker, Dangerous Davey is a submission specialist, securing eight submissions in his pro career, half of those coming by way of rear naked choke. A contestant on The Ultimate Fighter: 18 he was coached by UFC legend Ronda Rousey. Davey began training in 2001 as a way to keep fit but grew into a deep passion for MMA which he has dedicated his life to.
Louis ‘Da Last Samurai’ Smolka fighting out of Hawaii Elite MMA, is a diverse finisher – a submission artist who holds knockout power. Having tapped seven and stopped eight of his opponents, it’s anyone’s guess what the game plan will be against Davey Grant. Smolka has been training martial arts since the age of five when he began karate. Before his career as a professional fighter watched by millions of UFC fans, he held a job that was a little more incognito – a mascot for Papa John’s Pizza.
Fight of the flyweights
The top ranked women’s flyweight Katlyn ‘Blonde Fighter’ Chookagian will be looking to prove herself as the no.1 contender for the flyweight belt. Her opponent, Amanda Ribas, will be looking to move up swiftly and fast track a title shot with a win.
Blonde Fighter has staked her claim in the flyweight division as she looks to make it a four-win hot streak. She is a regimented trainer with 15 sessions per week which involves travelling around in order to train at the best boxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling gyms in New Jersey. Her heroes include team captain of her gym, Frankie Edgar. A determined martial artist, Chookagian doesn’t believe in ‘fight camps’ or ‘off season’ and stays Octagon ready all year round.
Amanda Ribas is looking to launch herself through the women’s flyweight division and a victory over the top ranked opponent could well put her in title talks having won six of her last seven bouts. The Brazilian has many strings to her bow having started training in Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu at the age of five at her family’s gym where she felt right at home. Crediting her experience dancing with helping develop her footwork and rhythm, she then began training in judo where she excelled.
White Kong debuts against Pure Bone
There are no warmup fights necessary for Birmingham’s Jake ‘White Kong’ Hadley as the 25-year-old will be making his UFC debut against a 24-fight veteran, Allan ‘Puro Osso’ Nascimento.
Hadley holds a perfect 8-0 record as a professional. A favourite move of the up and comer is the rear naked choke which he has utilised to win half of his bouts. After turning professional in 2018 with a resounding first-round knockout in the opening minute, White Kong has been rising through the ranks and will be eager to reach the status of the next generation of UK fighters in the UFC.
Brazilian Allan Nascinmento, also known as Puro Osso, which translates to Pure Bone due to his slim stature, holds 18 professional wins and will be looking to be the first blemish on his opponent’s record. 13 of Nascinmento’s victories have come by submission with 11 first-round finishes. He previously featured as a contestant on Dana White’s Contender Series, Brazil.