3 Under-the-Radar Bouts: UFC Adelaide
With the UFC’s annual, early-December double-header of events looming this upcoming weekend, the world’s premier MMA organization is set to head to the land down under for UFC Adelaide. Headlining this event is local heavyweight favorite Tai Tuivasa battling the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos, the toughest test of his young career. The remainder of the card features many local ANZAC talents and an opportunity to deliver for the fans worldwide. Here are three fights that are flying under the radar for the UFC Adelaide card.
Damir Ismagulov vs. Alex Gorgees
In one of those classic examples of injuries derailing original matchups to yield two new contenders, former M-1 Lightweight Champion Damir Ismagulov (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his highly-anticipated UFC debut against fellow newcomer Alex Gorgees (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Originally slated for a lightweight tilt between Joe Duffy and Ross Pearson, injuries have opened the doors for a lightweight showcase between these two. While Ismagulov is the far more established and experienced fighter, the Aussie Gorgees has an impressive resume of six finishes and will certainly be the homecrowd favorite. Which UFC newcomer will get their careers off on the right foot?
Jake Matthews vs. Anthony Rocco Martin
A growing trend in the sport has seen fighters move up closer to their “natural” weight-class. Many have benefited from this trend including former lightweights Jake Matthews (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) and Anthony Rocco Martin (14-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC). Since moving up to welterweight, both are undefeated (Matthews 3-0, Martin 2-0) and have looked their best. The Aussie Matthews is bound to have the home crowd behind him but Martin is no stranger to going on the road to fight. With both welterweights on such an upward trajectory, the stakes are high to try and crack the top-15 rankings. With such high stakes, expect both fighters to be absolutely well-prepared and put on a classic showcase for the Australian fans.
Tony Martin (14-4) scores the first KO win of his career, clattering Ryan LaFlare with a third-round head kick! Now 2-0 as a UFC welterweight, the 28-year-old is 5-1 in his last six. #UFC229 pic.twitter.com/QpV5kxcI4b
— Tanuki Usman (@Hamderlei) October 6, 2018
Mark Hunt vs. Justin Willis
For only the third time in his last 14 bouts, Mark Hunt (13-13-1 (1 NC) MMA, 8-7-1 (1 NC) UFC) is not in the main-event or co-main-event of a fight card. Instead, he’ll be looking to showcase some of that devasting, one-punch power in UFC Adelaide’s main-card curtain-jerker against AKA’s Justin Willis (7-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC). Everyone knows the book on Hunt and his highlight-reel of walk-off knockouts. However “Big Pretty” has emerged as a rising contender in the heavyweight division with a toolbox of good movement, boxing combinations and athleticism. While both heavy-handed soldiers might start slow and get the feel for one another, expect the action to pick up eventually and in exciting fashion. If the up-and-comer can execute his gameplan, then he could find himself fast-tracked to the top of the division. However, that’s a mighty tough order to knock off the Kiwi Hunt near his home country.
— Justin Willis (@BigPrettyMMA) October 3, 2018