Headliner Tom Aspinall, social media sensations Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann and feared former novice champion Muhammad Mokaev are among the many UK stars of the present when UFC motion returns to the English capital on Saturday.
UFC London options Salford powerhouse Aspinall’s heavyweight bout with Curtis Blaydes on the prime of the invoice, with Scottish scrapper Paul Craig additionally taking up Volkan Oezdemir on the primary card.
The cardboard is the second time a UFC occasion has been held within the UK this 12 months after Aspinall scored a formidable first-round win over Alexander Volkov on the O2 Enviornment on March 19.
As essentially the most high-profile MMA promotion returns to the venue, The Sporting Information takes a take a look at how Pimblett and McCann are extending Liverpool and the UK’s combating fame.
Do Scousers have one of the best chins within the UFC?
Liverpudlians have suffered the bottom proportion of knockout defeats of any UK metropolis, in keeping with knowledge from LiveScore Wager.
With simply 13% of their losses coming by way of KO or TKO, the document places Scouse fighters forward of counterparts from Nottingham, London and Birmingham.
Paddy Pimblett: The Scouse Conor McGregor?
Pimblett’s knockout-free profession has continued for the reason that 27-year-old knocked out Luigi Vendramini on his UFC debut in September 2021.
One other first-round win adopted in his scrap for the promotion since then, beating Rodrigo Vargas by submission on the undercard of Aspinall’s victory.
Light-weight Pimblett made his full bow at bantamweight in 2012 and has suffered three defeats in 21 MMA fights on his option to accumulating greater than one million Instagram followers because of his devil-may-care allure and outrageous antics.
Extra: Paddy Pimblett on ‘divvy’ Rishi Sunak, Jake Paul, Darwin Nunez and why bout with Jordan Leavitt at UFC London will likely be his final UK battle ‘for years’
Pimblett is often assured about his UFC future, predicting this week that he’s already an enormous pay-per-view star who may have an prolonged absence from the UK till he returns to battle at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium.
Victory over Jordan Leavitt is the following goal for the newcomer who rejects comparisons with Conor McGregor — nonetheless the best-known fighter within the sport — this 12 months.
“Youngsters take a look at McGregor and see a giant, laborious fella with a great deal of tattoos,” Pimblett informed the Guardian. “Youngsters have gotten lengthy, floppy hair, they have not received tattoos. They’ll determine with me.”
Molly McCann: ‘Meatball’ MMA star concentrating on champions
McCann and Pimblett have identified one another for many years and practice collectively on the Subsequent Technology MMA health club within the heart of Liverpool.
The pair passionately help one another inside and outdoors the cage, seeing themselves as ambassadors for the town they’re happy with and function fashions for kids from humble backgrounds.
Extra: UFC London: Molly McCann on Conor McGregor, Everton pitch invasion and KOs forward of sharing one other O2 Enviornment card with finest good friend Paddy Pimblett
Flyweight McCann began combating at totally fledged degree in 2015, successful a Cage Warriors title in her last battle earlier than becoming a member of the UFC in 2018.
A brutal spinning elbow knockout of Luana Carolina in March despatched McCann’s already excessive profile rocketing. Of her three defeats in eight fights for the promotion, two have come by choice and one by submission.
McCann sees Valentina Shevchenko as the lady to beat by a substantial distance however mentioned this week that she is set to earn the belt, beginning with a gathering with Hannah Goldy on the O2.
Which UK fighters have lit up the UFC?
A well-recognized face as a commentator now, Mancunian Michael Bisping stays the one British fighter to have gained a UK title, knocking out Luke Rockhold in 2016 to win the middleweight belt.
Bisping was later inducted into the UFC Corridor of Fame and has watched on as quite a few entertaining fighters have tried to emulate him.
In addition to McCann, Pimblett, Mokaev and Aspinall are among the many fighters whose possibilities of changing into the second UK champion will draw nearer with a win on Saturday.
Leon Edwards has hammered Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz and is repeatedly talked about as a would-be challenger for Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title.
After successful The Final Fighter in 2009, Ross Pearson turned identified for tear-ups with the likes of Edson Barboza throughout a nine-year UFC spell.
One of many fighters who has impressed UFC London combatant Nathaniel Wooden, Brad Pickett, was often feted by the president of the promotion, Dana White.
The routinely provocative Darren Until challenged Tyron Woodley and Dan Hardy carried out creditably in opposition to all-time nice Georges St-Pierre, whereas Joanne Wooden was a trailblazer, changing into the primary Scottish UFC fighter in December 2013.