Rumored over the past several months the UFC has been planning a return trip to the United Kingdom, home to some of the most loyal fans in the sport in Europe. Earlier this year hopes for a return to the UK were doubtful as the UFC continued to have difficulty making sure a suitable venue was available and that the card could be broadcasted to the British audience. Announced earlier this month the UFC will deliver a card for the loyal British fans as they present UFC On FUEL TV 5 in the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham, England. This card will be the first event in the UK since early November 2011. As usual when visiting a market outside the United States the UFC is already stacking the card with talent from both the UK and other European countries which so far includes the Netherlands and Sweden.
Bouts announced at this time:
- Main Event: the headlining bout will be contested in the Heavyweight division pitting young Dutch star Stefan Struve against Ohio born competitor Stipe Miocic who is of Croatian heritage. Struve will come into the bout riding a three fight win streak with all coming via form of stoppage including a Rnd2 Submission victory over Pat Barry that earned Submission of the Night, a Rnd2 TKO over Dave Herman and a Rnd1 Submission over Lavar Johnson most recently in late May as part of UFC 146. Miocic will come into the bout unbeaten in his nine professional bouts with the last three coming inside the octagon including a Unanimous Decision over Joey Beltran in his debut, a 43 second Rnd1 KO over Phil De Fries that earned KO of the Night, and most recently a Rnd2 TKO handing Shane del Rosario his first professional defeat also at UFC 146.
- Also slated for this card so far is a Bantamweight bout pitting entertaining British slugger Brad Pickett against Haitian born Yves Jabouin, which could result in a probable contender among the top ten rankings for the weight class. Pickett will come into the bout off a rebounding victory earning a Rnd2 Submission over Damacio Page to earn his first victory in the UFC. Jabouin will come into the bout riding three straight wins including a Split Decision over Ian Loveland in his debut at Bantamweight and for his first win in the UFC, a Split Decision over Walel Watson, and most recently earning a Unanimous Decision over Jeff Hougland.
- In a bout of new additions TUF15 alumni and British prospect Andy Ogle takes on TUF14 alumni and Swedish prospect Akira Corassani. Ogle will debut in the octagon with a professional record of 8-1 and rides a seven fight win streak coming into the bout. Corassani will debut in the octagon with a professional record of 9-3(1) coming off a loss via Rnd2 TKO in February 2011. Ogle progressed in TUF15 earning his way into the house earning a Unanimous Decision in a single round bout and earned the upset victory taking a Rnd2 Submission victory over a superior wrestler in the preliminary bouts, but was eliminated in the semifinals via Rnd1 KO which prevented him from competing on the finale card. Corassani earned his way into the house for TUF14 with a Rnd1 KO and took a Majority Decision in the quarterfinals, but was eliminated in the semifinals via Rnd1 Submission.
- In a meeting contested at Lightweight unbeaten British grappling specialist Paul Sass will take on TUF5 alumni Matt Wiman. Sass will come into the bout unbeaten in his thirteen professional bouts with the last three coming inside the octagon including a Rnd1 Submission over Mark Holst earning both his first victory in the octagon and Submission of the Night, a Rnd1 Submission over TUF12 finalist Michael Johnson, and most recently a Rnd1 Submission over Jacob Volkmann that also earned Submission of the Night. Wiman will come into the bout off a rebounding victory earning a Unanimous Decision over Mac Danzig in a rematch that earned both fighters Fight of the Night.
- A bout contested at Welterweight will include pitting the hard hitting Englishman Che Mills against veteran striker and owner of the fastest KO victory in UFC history Duane Ludwig. Mills will come into the bout following a Rnd2 TKO delivered by Rory MacDonald making his record in the promotion 1-1. Ludwig will come into the bout riding a two fight losing streak with a Rnd1 Submission delivered by Josh Neer and Rnd1 KO delivered by Dan Hardy.
- Announced late June 19 another Welterweight contest was slated for the card as British star and former title challenger Dan Hardy takes on TUF7 winner Amir Sadollah. Hardy will come into the bout off an impressive Rnd1 KO victory over Duane Ludwig that snapped a four fight losing streak with his last victory coming in November 2009. Sadollah will come into the bout off a Split Decision win over Jorge Lopez, which was preceded by a Unanimous Decision loss to Duane Ludwig.
- Announced June 20 a Featherweight contest was added as British competitor Jason Young takes on striker Roberto Peralta. Young will come into the bout off his first win in the octagon taking a Unanimous Decision over Erik Wisely which snapped a two fight losing streak with both bouts being his first in the promotion. Peralta will come into the bout riding an unbeaten streak going 8-0(1) with the last three including a Split Decision over Hiroyuki Takaya in Strikeforce, a Unanimous Decision over Mike Lullo, and originally taking a Rnd3 TKO over Makens Semerzier which was overturned to a No Contest after the commission ruled that an accidental headbutt by Peralta led to stoppage.
Currently no other competitors on the UFC roster either from the UK or other European countries have been confirmed for this card. Although other names are not yet announced or available at this time, the UFC does use events in certain regions to give local talent a shot at earning a place in the promotion.
Written by @MMAFanHQ