UFC is back in Australia with a bang, with a full card that is headed by the welterweight contest between Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann. The action begins at 10.00am AEDT and we’ll have every minute of every fight covered with a live blog from the outset.
After UFC’s first two ultra-successful visits to Australia sold out venues in a matter of minutes, UFC CEO Dana White has received considerable criticism for what UFC fans perceive to be an inferior card, with tickets selling at a relative crawl this time around.
Not that White seems to mind.
“If you don’t like it, don’t watch it,” White barked to reporters at a press conference earlier in the week.
It is a question that is well worth asking, yet White does have a point. The sport’s burgeoning popularity ensures that today’s card will be watched across millions of television sets throughout the globe, regardless of the strength – or otherwise – of the match ups.
Today’s main event sees Thiago ‘Pitbull’ Alves take on Martin ‘The Hitman’ Kampmann in the highly-competitive welterweight division, with the winner looking at a potential title fight with the impregnable George St. Pierre down the track.
Alves (19-8, 11-5 in UFC) comes into this off a stoppage victory over Papy Abedi after an indifferent couple of years following his loss to St. Pierre at UFC 100, and the Brazilian will be desperate to prove to Dana White he deserves another crack at the title with a win this afternoon.
His Danish opponent Kampmann roars into this fight with a devastating win over Rick Story by unanimous decision in UFC 139 after two excruciating losses to Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez, and also boasts a memorable victory over Carlos Condit during his early days in the welterweight decision.
This shapes as a tantalising fight between two of the strikers of the UFC’s welterweight division, and there isn’t a lot between them. Kampmann’s crisp technique could definitely worry Alves but the Brazilian’s ability to land that killer shot might be enough to get him over the line. It should be an entertaining contest.
The other intriguing aspect of today’s card features the introduction of the UFC’s flyweight division to determine who fights for the vacant 125-pound championship later in the year.
Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez are both expected to make short work of their respective opponents, Ian McCall and Yashurio Urshitani respectively.
Australia is represented with James Te Huna, Anthony Perosa and Kyle Noke all fighting on the preliminary card.
A vintage card it may not be but there will be no shortage of action. It all begins with the preliminary card from 10.00am AEDT before the main event card goes off at around 1.00pm AEDT. We’ll have every fight comprehensively covered from the start, and if you’re watching, or even following along, don’t hesitate to give us your thoughts in the space underneath.
Enjoy the show!