UFC 242 is now just a few hours away and with that in mind, here are three under-the-radar showdowns that you should be excited for.
Mairbek Taisumov vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Taisumov is one of the most underrated up-and-comers in the sport. Perhaps this has been in some ways due to his stuttering run in the UFC – not in terms of form but instead activity, but even still, since 2014, he has amassed a 7-1 record with five knockouts in the toughest division in the game.
Coming up against the third-degree BJJ black-belt Carlos Diego Ferreira – who hasn’t lost since a 2015 KO at the hands of Dustin Poirier – expect the winner of this battle to move into a position to earn themselves a top-10 opponent.
It’s one devastating striker against an exceptionally skilled grappler and looking at these two guys and their resumés, do not be surprised to see a finish with this one.
Islam Makhachev vs. Davi Ramos
I’m not even overexaggerating when I say that Islam Makhachev, though not ranked, could well be amongst the five best lightweights on the planet.
There has been the feeling for quite some time now that Islam is an inevitability for the divisional top-10 – something that has made matching him up quite difficult for the UFC brass and in Davi Ramos, we’re seeing him take on a fighter who will come into this one with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
With that in mind, it’s a good thing that he’s as dangerous as he is – riding a four-fight win-streak with a trio of submissions. Now perhaps seeing Makhachev tap would be something of an outside shout but as we’ve seen in the recent past, Islam is certainly still in the process of growing and with a finisher of Ramos’ stature in front of him, the table has been set for a highly unpredictable main-card feature fight.
Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Lerone Murphy
This one may seem like a bit of a mismatch on paper and who knows, it could well turn out like that. But for those of us who have interest in the European scene, Lerone Murphy – who fights out of All Powers Gym in Stockport, England – is a highly-rated and extremely dangerous finisher who could well use this platform to upset the odds.
Of course, Zubaira has close ties to the event’s headliner Khabib Nurmagomedov and despite having lost to Renato Moicano in his last outing (all the way back in 2016), he has still been touted as a real prospect within the 145lb ranks.
I like this fight quite a bit because no matter which way it goes, one of these guys will likely make a huge statement about their divisional intentions once all is said and done.
Want to take a look at UFC 242’s full confirmed line-up? Check it out here.