Here are five good reasons to park yourself in front of the TV this Saturday and watch the UFC’s back-to-back Fight Night events.
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Fights on fights on fights
How does the UFC follow up the biggest fight card of the year? With 25 fights in one day, that’s how. On Saturday morning, the UFC hits Belfast, Northern Ireland for a middleweight rematch between Uriah Hall and Gegard Mousasi. That card also features former flyweight title challengers Kyoji Horiguchi and Ali Bagautinov, as well as rising lightweight prospects Kevin Lee and Magomed Mustafaev.
The afternoon card, a UFC Fight Night from Sao Paulo, is headlined by another rematch as Ryan Bader faces off against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira while the rest of the card features a ton of budding Brazilian talent.
You know we’ll have you covered for all the action, so be sure to stick with us through tomorrow’s full day of fights.
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Bader bets big
Ryan Bader not only accepted a short-notice fight against the always-dangerous Lil’ Nog, he did so with just one fight left on his current UFC contract. Bader says he was offered an extension before this fight, but figured he could make that deal a bit sweeter with a strong performance on Saturday night.
Bader, who has fought in the UFC his entire professional career, assures fans that he isn’t looking to make the move to another promotion, but he’s eager to prove to the UFC that he deserves top dollar.
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The future of Brazilian MMA
Brazilian MMA greats like Anderson Silva, Demian Maia and Cris “Cyborg” may be nearing the end of their respective careers, but rest assured, their legacies are in good hands as long as fighters like Claudia Gadelha and Thomas Almeida are around.
Gadelha, 27, is the No. 1 contender in the UFC strawweight division and is coming off a close title fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Almeida, 25, won his first 21 professional fights before suffering a setback against Cody Garbrandt. Outside of that loss, however, he’s scored knockouts and Performance of the Night bonuses in all four of his UFC wins.
Both fighters take the Octagon on Saturday in front of a home country crowd and they likely won’t disappoint.
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Revenge is sweet
Since the beginning of 2016, Gegard Mousasi has won three straight fights, including two by KO/TKO and cracked the middleweight top 5. But it’s his last loss that brings him to the main event of UFC Fight Night in Belfast.
Entering his bout against Uriah Hall last September, Mousasi had reeled off back-to-back victories, only to have his title hopes dashed by a then-unranked Hall. Mousasi has called that loss a fluke and promises to prove such to the “idiots” who “don’t know anything about MMA.”
Hall, easily one of the most dynamic fighters on the roster, has cautioned Mousasi against overlooking him and has problem uncorking another one of those spinning back kicks to show fans just how much of a “fluke” the first time was.
“I love all my b*tches” was the last thing fans heard from Teruto Ishihara after his first UFC win back in March, and since then, he’s gone on to score another knockout win and acquire even more fans along the way thanks to aggressive fighting style. Ishihara is exciting as he is unpredictable, and you really have no idea what he’s going to say after a fight. That’s enough reason alone to tune it.