Now it’s time for me to look at the fights on the main card for the first of three fight night cards during the UFC Fight Island event. I’ve looked at the prelims over two pieces and they’re filled with some very interesting newcomers to the UFC, and some guys that are looking to get closer to the rankings but it’s time for the ranked fights!
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Mounir Lazzez – Welterweight Bout
The main card kicks off with a welterweight contest between Abdul Razak Alhassan and Mounir Lazzez. Abdul has enjoyed a great stint in the UFC so far, making his debut in 2016, Abdul went on to win 4 of his 5 fights and is currently on a 3 fight win streak. We haven’t seen Abdul in the octagon since late 2018, so it’ll be interesting to see where the KO artist is and whether he’s developed further or gained any new skills.
Mounir Lazzez is making his debut with the UFC in this fight and has made his name across multiple promotions. His record currently stands at 9 wins and 1 loss, with 8 of his wins coming via KO. Mounir will relish the chance of fighting Abdul as both are KO artists so far in their career and getting an impressive win, on a main card of a UFC event during your debut will start his time in the big league perfectly.
This fight may not seem much when you read the names, but when you look into it further, it has the chance of being a seriously quality fight between two fighters who love nothing more than to stand and bang. Although we haven’t seen Abdul for close to 2 years, he is my pick for the fight but don’t be surprised if the newcomer picks up a scalp in his debut.
#15 Molly McCann vs Taila Santos – Women’s Flyweight Bout
The women take control at this stage of the main card and it sees ranked contender Molly McCann take on Taila Santos. Molly McCann has captured the hearts of UK MMA fans with her brilliant personality and urge to just throw down with everyone that stands in front of her. She’s 3-1 in the UFC and has moved her way up into the rankings with some impressive wins, including one that I saw live back at UFC London last year. Molly doesn’t have serious power in her strikes but she has a way of never slowing down and winning fights via decision.
Taila Santos came into the UFC as an undefeated fighter early last year and there was a lot of hype behind her, winning all 15 of her professional fights, 10 by KO. However, the hype train was derailed when she lost her UFC debut via decision. Now she looks to bounce back against a ranked contender, and she has a great chance to restore the hype fans had in her initially. She’s just like Molly, apart from she has a little more power in her strikes.
This fight will be a very interesting one, Molly has been on a roll since I saw her live in London last year and has made a real name for herself. Taila came into the UFC with a lot of hype, and even though she lost her debut bout, she’s still a quality prospect who will love this fight. I’m going with my girl Molly of course; I think she’s set for stardom!
#9 Jimmie Rivera vs #10 Cody Stamann – Featherweight Bout
Ranked featherweights doing battle is next up on the card and its features two of the top 10 featherweight in Jimmie Rivera and Cody Stamann. Jimmie Rivera is a fantastic featherweight fighter, who may have seemed to discard since he’s on a 2-fight losing streak. However, he lost to Sterling, who’s everyone’s #1 contender for the title, and current featherweight champion Petr Yan. Rivera has freakish cardio and stamina and loves to win some right wars via decision, Stamann should be ready for the fight of his life.
Cody Stamann has been a pretty impressive fighter in the past few years, he’s won 4 of his last 6 fights and only lost once, and just like Rivera it was against Sterling. Just like his opponent, Stamann is a decision win machine and loves to get into 3 round wars with his opponents, so he will be relishing this fight just as much as Rivera will be.
This fight is so close to call, it’s pretty unbelievable. Both guys have stamina for days and they have solid chins, both possess the power to KO the other and are pretty equal with eachother all around. Picking a winner is difficult, I know the fans are in for an absolute treat with this one though. If I had to pick someone, I’ll take Rivera as he’s been the distance with Yan, Sterling and Faber.
#12 Tim Elliott vs Ryan Benoit – Flyweight Bout
Flyweights do battle in this fight before the main event and it features ranked contender Tim Elliott and Ryan Benoit. Tim Elliott is a flyweight division legend who has been there from pretty much the start of the division in the UFC, he even fought for the belt back in 2016. Elliott was impressive back then but he took almost a 2-year break from 2017-2019 and since returning hasn’t scored a win, losing his last 3 fights. Elliott is a solid all-round fighter, however, he’s been open to submissions since he returned and that could be an issue in this fight.
Ryan Benoit has been there or thereabouts in the UFC flyweight division and he finds himself in that place again with this fight. Benoit is an interesting fighter at flyweight, having some serious KO power in his strikes and that will help him a lot in this fight against Elliott. Benoit has struggled with consistency over the years and is coming off a loss in his last fight back in December 2019, so he could do with a win in this fight.
This fight, on paper, doesn’t offer much, you have a guy who’s lost his last 3 fights and a guy who’s never really wowed fans for a consistent period of time. I think Benoit gets the win here though, Elliott hasn’t looked the same since coming back from that 2-year break and I don’t think he gets back in the winning margin with this fight.
#6 Calvin Kattar vs #10 Dan Ige – Featherweight Bout
Main event time ladies and gentlemen and what a fight we have in store as top-ranked contenders Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige got head to head. Calbin Kattar has been on a meteoric rise recently and its becoming quite clear to everyone that we have a serious contender in him. The last time we saw Kattar was his fight against Jeremy Stephens, a fight that Kattar won with a spectacular KO and really established himself as a star in the making. With a win here tonight, he can’t be too far off being in the title picture.
Dan Ige has also enjoyed a fantastic rise in the featherweight division since making his debut in 2018, which is the only fight he’s ever lost in the promotion. I witnessed Ige’s quick demolishing of Danny Henry live at UFC London last year and since then he has gone on to win all of his fights, including his latest victory over UFC legend Edson Barboza, a decision that many questioned at the time, including myself. Make no mistake though, Ige is very impressive, he can throw hands with most and loves a submission win on the ground, he’s very well rounded and poses a threat to anyone in the division.
This main event really is going to be on to watch, both guys have been nothing short of phenomenal in recent times and possess some fantastic wins and performances. Both guys will probably meet eachother for years to come, however, at this moment in time, I think Kattar is the better fight and will beat Ige in the main event. Either way, the fans are going to love this one, trust me!
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports