The first ever UFC Scotland Fight Night boasts a stacked card, as Pundit Arena previews the night’s action.
The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland sees various British and Irish stars compete for glory as Scotland makes it’s debut in the UFC’s rotation.
Main Card (BT Sport)
Michael Bisping vs. Thales Leites (Middleweight)
Ross Pearson vs. Evan Dunham (Lightweight)
Joseph Duffy vs. Ivan Jorge (LW)
Joanne Calderwood vs. Cortney Casey-Sanchez (Women’s Strawweight)
Leon Edwards vs. Pawel Pawlak (Welterweight)
Steven Ray vs. Leonardo Mafra (LW)
Preliminary Card (BT Sport)
Patrick Holohan vs. Vaughan Lee (Flyweight)
Ilir Latifi vs. Hans Stringer (Light Heavyweight)
Mickael Lebout vs. Teemu Packalén (LW)
Robert Whiteford vs. Paul Redmond (Featherweight)
Established stars such as Michael Bisping, Ross Pearson and JoJo Calderwood do battle, while the Irish trio of Joseph Duffy, Paddy Holohan and Paul Redmond are also in action.
Michael Bisping vs. Thales Leites
Perennial contender Michael Bisping (26-7) takes on former title challenger Thales Leites (25-4) in the main event. Bisping’s strongest suit – his cardio – remains intact at the age of 36. Some superb kickboxing skills ensure that the Manchester man can hold his own in the stand-up, although he does lack knockout power. Bisping beat C.B. Dollaway in his most recent outing, but hasn’t strung together multiple wins since 2011.
Leites is riding a superb eight fight win streak stretching back to 2010. The Brazilian fought and lost to compatriot Anderson Silva in 2009, and left the UFC soon after. Predominantly a submission fighter at the time, Leites returned to the Octagon in 2013 with vastly improved striking.
The stats below give a good indication of how both fighters operate.
This one should go the distance. We’re backing Bisping as he often only loses to the very top fighters in the division.
John Gooden and Dan Hardy give a great breakdown of both the main event and the co-main event featuring Ross Pearson and Evan Dunham.
Prediction: Michael Bisping by Decision
Joseph Duffy vs. Ivan Jorge
Best known for being the last man to defeat Conor McGregor, Joseph Duffy (13-1) is in the process of shaking off that moniker, having won on his UFC debut in spectacular fashion via headkick.
A 14-year veteran, Ivan Jorge is 2-1 in the Octagon (26-4 overall). The BJJ black belt represents a very real threat to Duffy’s momentum. His last eleven fights before joining the UFC saw him go 10-1 – all ten of those wins came by submission. Rear-naked chokes dominate his record, so ‘Irish Joe’ would ordinarily be well advised to keep the fight standing. Duffy, however, is a submission specialist himself – seven of his first eight wins came by submission.
He left MMA in 2013 to switch his attention to pro boxing. After compiling a 7-0 record, Duffy returned to Mixed Martial Arts with much improved striking credentials. Couple this with his last two wins coming by knockout, and that’s where Duffy will take advantage.
Prediction: Joseph Duffy by K.O – 2nd round
Joanne Calderwood vs. Cortney Casey-Sanchez
The No.9 ranked UFC women’s strawweight (9-1) was expected to face Bec Rawlings at her home event, but Rawlings pulled out of the fight on July 10 due to an injury and was replaced by Cortney Casey-Sanchez on a week’s notice. JoJo has gained a cult following due to the juxtaposition of her affable, soft-spoken nature and vicious Muai Thai.
The highly regarded striker suffered a disappointing submission loss to Maryna Moroz in just ninety seconds back in April.
Casey-Sanchez is 4-1 in her MMA career , having stopped her opponents in each of those wins. She brings a three-fight win streak into the clash against the home favourite. If JoJo can showcase her renowned striking as she did against Seohee Ham, though, Dr.Kneevil will most likely prevail among the fervent Scottish report.
Prediction: Joanne Calderwood by K.O – 1st round
Patrick Holohan vs. Vaughan Lee
‘The Hooligan’s (11-1-1) prowess lies within the ground game, with a purple belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu aiding his eight submission wins. 2-1 in the Octagon, Paddy should be filled with confidence having watched training partner Conor McGregor’s incredible victory last week.
Vaughan Lee (14-10-1) is 3-4 in the UFC thus far, losing out to high quality opposition such as current Bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw and again to former title challenger Chris Cariaso. Another loss here could leave Lee on the brink of being cut from the roster.
Six of Lee’s ten losses have seen him forced to tap, so Holohan should capitalise and continue his decent run at Flyweight.
Prediction: Paddy Holohan by Submission – 3rd round
Robert Whiteford vs. Paul Redmond
Paul Redmond of Dublin (10-5) has stopped three previous opponents by toe hold submission, but lost his only UFC bout to date, against Mirsad Bektic, by decision.
Just like this fight, Redmond also moved down from his previous weight class of lightweight (155lbs) to featherweight (145lbs) for his fight with Bektic, and Whiteford (11-2) told The Herald Scotland that it’ll be to his advantage:
“You can bet your house he started cutting weight 10 weeks ago, It’s an easier weight cut for me, I’m a natural 145lb-er. He will try to push the pace early like he did at 155lbs, but it’s not going to work. He knows that.”
The Scotsman has two UFC bouts under his belt, with an impressive win in his last outing over Daniel Pineda under his belt. Redmond is very much up against it.
Prediction: Robert Whiteford by Decision