UFC Fight Night 101 Preview

ufc-fn101Mixed martial arts was once the fastest growing sport in the world and the UFC was always the leader of that growth.

Many still like to claim that it is the fastest growing sport but the reality is that the UFC has reached a new height but it still hangs just outside the major sports.

There is still room to grow but reaching that point alongside the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL is a tough thing to do for any sport on the outside.

Still, they are right there and it has never been bigger as the UFC continues to lead spreading the sport to every location it can think of.

During a long period, the UFC ignored other markets, much like other combat sports, and kept their fights in the USA.

As they looked to grow they realised that the U.S. will only make them so big and they began looking outside of those borders travelling to the United Kingdom and then to Europe.

These trips became a lot more frequent in 2010 and in that year they made their first trip to Sydney, Australia in February 2010.

It was the start of what would become a regular trip on the UFC calendar as the love of sports in the country has morphed into a love of MMA.

Of course, any time that the UFC travels to another country they do so with a number of fighters from that country.

It is an attempt to give the fans someone to cheer for right off the bat even if they are unknown fighters.

When the home fans have a fellow countryman to cheer for it creates a little more excitement throughout the stadium

That commitment to bringing in fighters from the country eventually leads to local stars that become heroes in their own countries.

Once they get a following they become stars throughout the world and it only lets the sports grow when aspiring fighters see that they can make it just like someone from the same place as them.

Australia has been a hotbed for the sport for such a long time but their production of stars has been lacking in recent years.

It wasn’t long ago that Australians were some of the top prospects throughout the UFC and many are still around.

Except now almost none of them are considered top fighters in any division leaving many to wonder what happened to these fighters.

One of the most popular and promising prospects was Robert Whittaker who came into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter: Nations.

When he won the tournament finals he looked like someone who could make his way through the middleweight division towards a championship.mma-sidebar.fw

It didn’t quite work that way though as he wasn’t as great as most thought through the first part of his career.

He couldn’t find any consistency until 2014 when he finally started to win and string together a good win streak.

That is where the other issue with most Australian fighters came in though as he has not fought nearly as much as he needs to in order to keep his name in the rotation.

In just over two years Whittaker has fought five times and all but one of them has been in Australia.

He has not been seen by the American audience and worse than that he has barely been seen by people watching fights.

Generally, to move up the rankings a fighter needs to fight three times a year, every three months, but Whittaker hasn’t been able to do that.

He has been forgotten but he will get his chance to put on a show in the latest FS1 Fight Night as he headlines the latest trip to Australia.

Whittaker is currently ranked seventh but has only fought once this year and this will be his last fight this year making it only two times in 12 months.

If he can get a win in the main event he may be able to head into 2017 on a good note and if he can find more fights he could move up.

It won’t be an easy task though as he takes on Derek Brunson who is on his own five-fight win streak and is launching himself up the rankings.

Whittaker looks to make an impression and get back to being a name to watch in the middleweight division.

He will need to take the first step and take a win in front of a home crowd as UFC Fight Night 101.


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