The main and co-main events for UFC Fight Night 72 in Scotland have finally been announced with British UFC veterans Michael Bisping and Ross Pearson lined up to headline in Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena on July 18th, and as expected, all three of Scotland’s UFC stars will step inside the Octagon on home soil. So far the card reads as follows:
Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping vs Thales Leites ( main event )
Bisping (26-7 MMA, 16-7 UFC) is looking to get his middleweight title challenge back on track and a victory over the very dangerous Brazillian, Thales Leites (25-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) will certainly be a step in the right direction for the former Cage Warriors light heavyweight champion. Leites, however, is unbeaten in 5 years having racked up 8 straight victories, 5 of which in the UFC, so The Count will need to be at the very top of his game to take home the win come July 18th.
Ross Pearson vs Evan Dunham ( co-main event )
Sunderland’s Ross Pearson (17-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) is coming off the back of an impressive second round KO win over Sam Stout back at UFC 185 in March and will be the bookies favourite to see off American grappler Evan Dunham (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC). Dunham was once acknowledged as one of the lightweight division’s top prospects however the 3 time Fight of The Night winner could be fighting for his UFC career following a poor recent record of 1 win and 3 losses.
Joanne Calderwood vs. Bec Rawlings
This is a potential fight of the night bout as Scotland’s most hight profile UFC star Joanne Calderwood (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) squares off against Australian Bec Rawlings (6-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in the women’s strawweight division. Both ladies were on opposite teams on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter and the intense rivalry we seen on the show will no doubt be reignited on the lead up to this event. Rawlings is known for her trash talk and has already took to social media to tell the world she will “eat her soul” in Glasgow. Considered the UK’s most likely chance of winning UFC gold, Calderwood will look to do her talking in the Octagon and an impressive win over a tough opponent like Rawlings will catapult Joanne back into title contention.
Robert Whiteford vs. Paul Redmond
In the featherweight division, West Lothian’s Robert Whiteford (11-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will meet Ireland’s Paul Redmond (10-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Whiteford was the first Scottish fighter to be signed to the UFC but he has not fought since his decision win over Daniel Pineda at UFC 171 back in March 2014. However, the prospect of returning to action on home soil should be motivation enough to ensure there is no ring rust for the Scottish fans favourite. Redmond has plenty MMA experience and will prove a tough test for Robert having amassed an impressive 7-1 record for Cage Warriors.
Steven Ray vs. Leonardo Mafra
Fife’s Steven Ray (17-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is set to face Brazilian Leonardo Mafra (12-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC). Former Cage Warriors lightweight champion Ray only made his UFC debut in April this year, picking up an impressive second-round TKO over Marcin Bandel at UFC Fight Night 63 in Poland, despite taking the fight on only two week’s notice. Whilst his opponent, Mafra, lost his UFC debut to Rick Story he has since picked up a points victory over Cain Carrizosa in Brazil in March. Mafra has secured 9 of his 12 wins by stoppage.
Joseph Duffy vs. Ivan Jorge
Joseph Duffy (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is widely known for being the ‘last man to beat Conor Mcgregor’, albeit 5 years ago during their Cage Warriors time, but with 12 of his 13 wins coming via stoppage fight fans have big expectations of the Irishman. Another impressive showing in Glasgow will probably see him shoot up the rankings.
Leon Edwards vs. Pawel Pawlak
Edwards has one of the fastest finishes in UFC history when it took him only eight seconds to earn a performance of the night knock out of Seth Baczynski at Fight Night Poland in April. Pawlak was on the same card in Krakow taking home a unanimous decision win over Sheldon Westcott at UFC Fight Night 64.
Ilir Latifi vs. Hans Stringer
Swedish star Ilir Latifi (9-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is set to take on Holland’s Hans Stringer (22-6-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in a light heavyweight bout. Both men have had a mixed bag in their UFC careers thus far so will be eager to rack up another fight in the win column to keep their careers on track. This should make for an entertaining fight for the fans.
Paddy Holohan vs. Vaughan Lee
Paddy ‘The Hooligan’ Holohan (11-1-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is set to fight Birmingham’s Vaughan Lee (14-10-1 MMA, 3-4 UFC). Paddy is fast becoming one of Ireland’s most popular fighters and with fellow countryman Joseph Duffy also on the card Glasgow can now be sure of Irish fans invasion. Both Holohan and Lee are submission specialists so we can expect this bout to be contested on the canvas.
Tickets go on sale Friday 29th May.