UFC Fight Night 72 Preview

ufc_fn72The UFC continues to find new places to get to and continues to find fighters from around the world to feature in these new places.

This time it will be Scotland as the UFC travels just north of England to bring the people of Glasgow their own fight card.

It will truly be their own as well with a number of Scottish fighters on the card that represent the home favourites.

Scottish fighting is still in its infancy, at least in the octagon, as only recently have a number of fighters emerged from the region.

British fighting has always been one of the consistent producers of good fighters but often these British fighters represent England rather than their cousins to the north.

Now it is beginning to change though as a few Scottish fighters have emerged as potential contenders.

Three of those fighters will represent their country at home for the first time at UFC Fight Night 72 as Rob Whiteford, Stevie Ray, and Joanne Calderwood get their chance in front of a home crowd.

Whiteford is looking to climb up the ladder in the Featherweight division after a sporadic and inconsistent start to his UFC career.

He began with a loss to Jimmy Hettes but followed up with a win against Daniel Pineda but saw an injury keep him out since that fight in March of 2014.

Now he looks to make his comeback in front of his home crowd against Paul Redmond who is sure to have some support from the neighbours across the Irish Sea.

Ray is more of a revelation in the UFC as he was known well in local fights but not really on the radar for UFC fans.

He was barely on the UFC’s radar until UFC Fight Night 64 in Poland when Jason Saggo was forced to drop out of his fight against Marcin Bandal.

The UFC looked for a quick replacement and needed a fighter from Europe so they called Ray who was ready and willing to take the fight on short notice.

He did just that and showed the UFC that he was ready by knocking out his opponent after short notice and immediately asking the UFC for a spot on the card in Glasgow.

He got his wish as he takes on Leonardo Mafra to kick off the main card in hopes that he can get the crowd going with a win over the Muay Thai specialist with his great striking ability.

Ray will not be alone on the card though as the UFC also sees Calderwood compete once again as she represents the most ell known Scottish fighter.

Calderwood was a top contender in Invicta for the strawweight title when she entered the TUF house to determine the first UFC strawweight champion.

She didn’t win the show and won her first official UFC fight in The Ultimate Fighter Finale against Seohee Ham but dropped her second fight against Maryna Moroz.

That second loss put a lot of doubt in the minds of many about how good Calderwood could be and if she could ever challenge for a title.

She gets a chance to prove that she belongs in the UFC when she takes on a late replacement in Cortney Casey-Sanchez who replaced Bec Rawlings only a week ago.mma-sidebar.fw

Calderwood will try to ensure that she doesn’t let two new UFC fighters beat her after losing against Moroz in Moroz’s UFC debut.

All three of these Scottish fighters will get an experience they have never had before in fighting in front of a home crowd.

Although the fans will squarely be for all of their Scottish fighters but they will also be cheering for an English fighter in a rare show of support for their neighbours to the south.

That will be because that fighter is Michael Bisping, a fan favourite wherever he goes, takes on Thales Leites in the main event.

It is an important fight for Bisping who is in the latter half of his career but is looking to prove that he still belongs among the middleweight elite.

He made it back to the top ten after beating C.B. Dollaway in April and is trying to move closer to the title in what could end up being his last run at a title.

Leites represents a top 10 challenger also looking to try to find his way to the top of the division as he tries to beat a legend.

The match-up is a classic as the boxing Bisping tries to keep the fight on the feet against a world-class jiu jitsu practitioner in Leites.

Leites clearly prefers to take the fight to the ground where Bisping has not shown a lot of skill and can be submitted.

Both fighters will attempt to put the fight where they want to and wherever the fight goes will determine the winner.

That being said taking the fight to the ground has proven effective before against Bisping and Leites is one of the best.

Once the fight goes to the ground Leites will take the win with a second round submission putting the future of Bisping’s career in doubt.

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