This weekend’s fight is going to be big!
UFC’s third visit to Australia will take place this Saturday, at Allphones Arena in Sydney. While many are excited, there has been considerable discussion about the quality of the card. Many believe the event lacks the big names of previous events.
The main event of the night would be generally be an early main card fight in your average UFC event. Accordingly, ticket sales have been poor. This contrasts with the previous UFC Australia events, which were both sold out.
The UFC are sports promoters and their job is to put together cards that will sell out and be entertaining for fans. There is no need to bring the big name fighters to a show where they thought they would sell out before the release of the card itself.
Organisers were clearly more worried about the turnout in Japan and stacked that card with the big names. The slight cockiness has backfired and the Australian fans have retaliated with low tickets sales, a torrent of abuse on UFC social pages and the demand for top fighters to come down under.
This has been acknowledged by UFC CEO Dana White who has promised to bring a big card to the UFC Brisbane event later this year.
The main event of the night features a welterweight battle between Thiago ‘Pitbull’ Alves and Martin ‘Hitman’ Kampann.
The first challenge for Thiago will be making weight as he has had some trouble in the past. He would be hoping that the ‘Dolce Diet’ will help him cut the weight more cleanly than previous fights.
When the two enter the octagon, it is going to be an all-out-war. Odds are on a bloody affair with a KO or TKO victory to one of the fighters.
Both are strikers with Thiago being primarily a Muay Thai fighter and Kampmann a Danish kickboxing champion. I think we will be able to tell in the first round who is going to win as this fight will be all about octagon control, intent and aggression.
I will be sitting in Section C in the first ten rows. I will not be satisfied unless I get sprayed with blood.
We will also see the introduction of the flyweight division and a competition setup to determine the first holder of the belt.
Two of these fights will feature on the card with Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson heavily favoured to beat Ian ‘Uncle Creepy’ McCall. Joseph Benavitez is also heavily favoured to beat UFC debutant Yasuhiro Urushitani. These fight are bound to be entertaining as the lighter the fighters, the quicker the strikes, and the more exciting the moves.
All I can say for these two fights is: don’t blink!
The first main card event will be Constantinos Phillippou v Court ‘Crusher’ McGee. Court won The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) series 11 while Constantinos lost his first fight to enter the house during the same series.
Don’t let this fool you as Constantino is a Golden Gloves champion that has piled up some big wins over Jorge Rivera and Jared Hamman in his last two outings. With Team Serra/Longo behind him he is looking to climb the middleweight ladder and become a contender for the belt in years to come.
His opponent is the heavily favoured Court ‘Crusher’ McGee. McGee has a clean record of 14-1 and is cornered by John Hackleman, trainer of UFC Hall of Famer Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell. Both fighters are strikers and if it remains standing I cannot go past the underdog Constantinos finishing the fight early.
Another fight worth watching is a featherweight match-up featuring Cole Miller v Steven Siler.
Both are TUF vets, but this fight means much more than climbing up the ranks in the division. Both fighters have had their ups and downs and both get their wins from either decisions or submissions. However this time Cole is out to finish Siler and avenge a loss suffered by his brother Micah.
In the first episode of the latest TUF series Siler beat the heavily favoured Micah by submission to get into the TUF house and compete in the series.
Hopefully I will see you all at the event!