UFC

Three bouts added to UFC UK

Michael Bisping is preparing for war against Vitor Belfort.
Michael Bisping headlines UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Munoz in Manchester.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.

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The locals of Manchester, England are known as some of the rowdiest sports fans in the world, and they’ll have plenty to cheer for when UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Munoz comes to England on Oct. 26.

The UFC officially confirmed three new matchups which feature Brits in a supporting role under middleweight headliners Michael Bisping and Mark Munoz.

In terms of divisional title pictures, perhaps the most significant is a flyweight bout pitting Englishman Phil Harris against John Lineker. While Harris (22-10, 1 no contest) recently notched his first win in the octagon, he’ll be trying to keep Lineker from stretching his streak to four straight. Lineker (22-6) has been cited as a possible title contender, but even in victory has faced some out-of-the-cage troubles as he’s missed weight twice. The power-punching Brazilian has two knockouts in a row.

Also added is a light-heavyweight bout between undefeated Jimi Manuwa (13-0) and Ryan Jimmo (18-2).

Manuwa, who fights out of London, has impressed in his two UFC bouts, defeating both Cyrille Diabate and Kyle Kingsbury via TKO. He’ll be a decided crowd favorite against Ryan Jimmo, who recently rebounded from his first loss in 17 fights with a decision victory over Igor Pokrajac.

Finally, Mike Wilkinson will battle submission specialist Jimy Hettes.

Wilkinson (8-1) was a Team UK member on the recent season of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, winning his first-round matchup there before bowing out of the tournament due to an injury. Since then he’s split two fights in the UFC, winning his debut against Brandon Loughnane before losing to Rony Jason. Hettes, meanwhile, recently took the first loss of his career after a 10-0 start, dropping a decision to Marcus Brimage at last September’s UFC 152.

Other confirmed bouts include Ross Pearson vs. Melvin Guillard and Paul Taylor vs. Anthony Njokuani.

The event takes place at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester, England, marking the promotion’s first date in the city since UFC 105 in November 2009.

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