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|Dricus du Plessis||-162
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Marlon Moraes vs Cory Sandhagen – Bantamweight Division
Cory Sandhagen -143
Edson Barboza vs Makwan Amirkhani – Featherweight Division
Edson Barboza -265
Ben Rothwell vs Marcin Tybura – Heavyweight Division
Ben Rothwell -167
Markus Perez vs Dricus du Plessis – Middleweight Division
Dricus du Plessis -162
Tom Aspinall vs Alan Baudot – Heavyweight Division
Tom Aspinall -500
|Moraes vs Sandhagen Information|
|What||UFC Fight Night: Moraes vs Sandhagen|
|Where||Flash Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi|
|When||Saturday, October 10, 6 PM EST|
|How to watch||TSN, UFC Fight Pass, Watch on ESPN+ here!|
Marlon Moraes has just two losses in the UFC, where he has gone 5-2 overall. After losing his debut to Raphael Assuncao, Moraes went on a tear that saw him win four straight fights, three of which were first-round finishes, over the likes of John Dodson, Aljamain Sterling, as well as avenging the loss to Assuncao. He was granted a title shot for his efforts against the former champ Henry Cejudo but would fall short – losing to Cejudo in the third-round via TKO. He would go on to win his next, and most recent, fight against the legend Jose Aldo. He defeated Aldo via split-decision last December at UFC 245. However, many felt that Aldo had won the fight and the UFC even granted Aldo the next bantamweight title shot. Moraes looks to silence the doubters and gets back to the magic this Saturday night.
The 32-year-old Brazilian fighter stands at 5 ft. 6 in. tall and holds a reach of 67 inches. A former student of Ricardo Almeida MMA, Moraes now trains with American Top Team. He holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Almeida as well as a black belt in muay thai. Fighting since 2007, Moraes is a former WSOF champion and is currently ranked as the number-one bantamweight in the UFC behind only the champion Petr Yan.
Cory Sandhagen rode a two-fight winning streak entering the UFC and he didn’t slow down. Sandhagen won his first five UFC bouts straight, earning wins over the likes of Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker. It was in his last fight earlier this year where he would suffer his first loss in the promotion. Last June at UFC 250, Sandhagen would succumb to a first-round rear-naked choke at the hands of top-contender Aljamain Sterling.
Several physical advantages are in Sandhagen’s favor this Saturday night, including a five-inch height advantage as well as a four-inch reach advantage. The American fighter is also three-years younger than his opponent. Currently training in Colorado with the Elevation Fight Team, Sandhagen has been fighting professionally since 2015 and holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. At the time of writing, he sits ranked as the UFC’s fourth-best bantamweight.
One could argue that Edson Barboza has not been the same since his 2017 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219. Since then, Barboza has gone just 1-4 in the UFC across two different weight classes. After a Fight of the Night loss to Justin Gaethje and a razor-thin split-decision loss to Paul Felder, Edson Barboza made the move down in weight to the featherweight division. He made his divisional debut against the tough Dan Ige this past May. Unfortunately for Barboza, he was the victim of another insanely close split-decision.
The flashy Brazilian fighter will enter the octagon at 5 ft. 11 in. tall and will possess a reach of 75 inches. Known for his muay thai striking abilities, Barboza splits his time training with Ricardo Almeida BJJ and American Top Team under head coaches Ricardo Almeida, Mark Henry, and Anderson Franca. Fighting since 2009, Barboza holds a black prajied in muay thai, and black belt in taekwondo, and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is currently ranked at number-14 in the featherweight division.
Joining the UFC in 2015, Makwan Amirkhani has had a pretty successful run in the promotion, going 6-2 with two performances of the night bonuses to his name. After a performance of the night submission over Chris Fishgold, Amirkhani would lose to Shane Burgos via TKO at UFC 244. He bounced back from the loss, most recently fighting against Danny Henry at UFC 251 this past July, defeating him via first-round anaconda choke.
The 31-year-old Finnish fighter stands one-inch shorter than Barboza. He will also be at a significant three-inch reach disadvantage against the striker. Known mostly for his wrestling and submissions, Amirkhani with SBG Ireland as well as Turku Muay Thai. He has been fighting since 2010. He also holds one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history – an eight-second KO of Andy Ogle in 2015.
Big Ben Rothwell has been on a bit of a surge lately. After a three-fight skid that saw the heavyweight loss to the likes of Junior dos Santos, Blagoy Ivanov, and Andrei Arlovski, Rothwell has found himself back in the winners’ circle after picking up two wins in a row. He snapped the losing skid with a second-round TKO finish over Stefan Struve. Most recently this past May, Rothwell eked out a split-decision over Ovince St. Preux – spoiling the fighter’s heavyweight debut.
The 38-year-old Rothwell stands at 6 ft. 4 in. tall and has a reach of 78.5 inches. The American-born fighter trains out of Wisconsin at his own gym: Rothwell MMA. He is also known to work with the Roufusport gym. He trains under coaches Thiago Veiga and Luiz Claudio and holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He has been competing since 2001 and holds notable wins over the likes of Josh Barnett, Matt Mitrione, and Alistair Overeem.
Much like Ben Rothwell, Marcin Tybura recently snapped a losing streak of his own and has managed to put together a winning streak of two. After back-to-back TKO losses, Marcin Tybura took on Sergey Spivak this past February and defeated him via unanimous decision. He followed that performance with another unanimous decision victory; this time over Maxim Grishin this past July at UFC 251.
Four-years younger than his opponent, Tybura will be at a one-inch height and a half-inch reach disadvantage this Saturday night. The Polish fighter currently trains with Syndicate MMA after spending several years at the Jackson-Wink MMA Academy. Fighting professionally since 2011, he holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and he is a former M-1 Global heavyweight champion and M-1 Grand Prix heavyweight champ.
Joining the UFC in 2017, Markus Perez hasn’t had the best of luck thus far under the banner. Losing his debut to Eryk Anders, Perez is just 2-3 in the promotion. He is a skilled and durable fighter, however, as proven by the manner in which his fights finish. He has never been finished in the UFC, with all three of his losses coming via decision. His two wins both came via submission – one by rear-naked choke and one by anaconda. His most recent fight was a unanimous decision loss to Wellington Turman last November.
The Brazilian fighter is 30-years-old and stands at 6 ft. 2 in. tall and has a reach of 73 inches. He trains out of his home country with his coach Viscardi Andradre as well as with the Veras TK team. He holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as a black prajied in muay thai. He has been competing professionally since 2013 and is a former LFA middleweight champion.
Dricus du Plessis is a decorated mixed martial artist but has yet to compete for the UFC. Saturday night will mark his debut. Plessis rode a seven-fight winning streak in EFC Africa before winning the KSW welterweight title. He lost the title in a rematch and would choose to move up to middleweight. In his last fight, taking place last December, Plessis would capture the EFC middleweight title with a fourth-round guillotine choke.
Just 26-years-old, Plessis will stand two-inches shorter than his opponent this Saturday night but will have a three-inch reach advantage. The South African trains out of his home country with Team CIT MMA. Like his opponent, he has been fighting professionally since 2013.
After winning three professional fights in a row, all by first-round finish, heavyweight Tom Aspinall made his debut for the UFC just three months ago last July. He debuted for the promotion against Jake Collier and won in stunning fashion, knocking Collier out with a right hand just 45-seconds in the bout. All eight of Aspinall’s professional wins are finishes – seven of them ending within the first round.
The English fighter stands at 6 ft. 5 in. tall and possesses a reach of 78 inches. The 27-year-old fights out of his home country with Team Kaobon Liverpool and is currently riding a four-fight winnings streak.
Alan Baudot will be making his UFC debut this Saturday night when he takes on Aspinall. Baudot last fought at TKO 47 last April. Baudot won the fight, albeit by disqualification in the third round. He had won his last fight prior to the first-round TKO. He is the biggest underdog on the main card, listed as a +375.
Born in Lyon, France, Baudot stands just one-inch shorter than his opponent at 6 ft. 4 in. and he will have a one-inch advantage in the reach department over Aspinall. Known for his judo and muay thai, Baudot currently trains out of Japan with the MMA Factory. The 32-year-old is riding a two-fight winning streak.
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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.
Email: [email protected]More info on Ryan Bristlon
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