This weekend sees the biggest couple of days in British MMA history with two big cards coming to the UK.
Bellator 200 takes place on Friday 25th May and sees British MMA star Michael “Venom” Page look to go 13-0, whilst the former reality TV star turned pro fighter, Aaron “The Joker” Chalmers, looks to extend his records to 4-0 on the biggest stage of his career so far.
Then, two days later, the UFC heads to Liverpool for the first time ever as Darren Till takes on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the main event, while Craig “Thundercat” White makes his UFC debut on just 12 days notice when he fights Neil Magny. Also on the card, former Cage Warriors Women’s Flyweight champion “Meatball” Molly McCann makes her debut on the Fight Pass prelims against Gillian Robertson.
Here is a breakdown of the must see British fighters this weekend.
Darren Till looks to show the UFC that he should be the top guy in the welterweight division when he takes on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in front of his home fans at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
Till is currently ranked number seven in the ratings whilst “Wonderboy” is number one and this fight could determine who fights for the welterweight title once the interim and “proper” titles have been unified.
Wonderboy’s karate striking could be a tough challenge for the undefeated scouser, but a first round KO win over Donald Cerrone that saw him take home “Performance of the Night” honours in his last fight will mean Till will come into this fight full of confidence.
Craig “Thundercat” White makes his debut on just 12 days notice in a fight against established UFC middleweight Neil Magny.
White, who is 14-7, will look to show that pulling out of a fight for the Cage Warriors Middleweight title shot in order to take this fight wasn’t a mistake and that he deserves his shot in the UFC.
White has demonstrated great striking and an even better ground game during his time in Cage Warriors, but comes up against Neil Magny, a UFC veteran who will be looking to follow up on his decision win against Carlos Condit with another win over a up and coming prospect.
“Meatball” Molly McCann makes her UFC debut in front of her home crowd on the fight pass prelims when she looks to defeat Gillian Robertson.
McCann, who is 7-1, is the maiden Cage Warriors Women’s Flyweight champion and had to vacate the belt in order to make the jump to the UFC.
The native scouser has great stand up skills and has knockout power in her punches and can hold her own on the ground too, which she will need against Robertson, who is 4-2, and has won her last two fights via submission.
This fight is a must win for McCann if she is hoping to get into the Women’s Flyweight title picure.
Michael “Venom” Page is set to take on David Rickels in the co-main event of Bellator’s landmark event. Page is known for his vicious striking ability and has seven wins via KO/TKO, as well as a well-rounded ground game that has seen him submit opponents, but he is pitted against a fighter with great cardio in Rickels, who comes in on a three fight winning streak.
Page will definitely have the home field advantage in this fight, and the pressure to perform in front of his home audience could be the difference between Page winning or losing this fight.
Further down on the card, Aaron “The Joker” Chalmers will look to go 4-0 against gate-keeper Ash Griffiths.
Chalmers has impressed the MMA community since transitioning from reality TV star to MMA fighter, and has finished each of his three fights.
However, the standard of opponents he has come up against has drawn criticism and Chalmers has been scrutinised by fans and fighters for using his fame to get him onto big cards.
Griffiths, meanwhile, comes in 4-6 and will be looking to show that Bellator is his yard and that Chalmers has made the jump into the big leagues far too soon.
Ryan Scope, who will take on Martyn Harris on the Bellator 200 prelims, is also a name to look out for.
Scope is currently 11-1, and has shown his well rounded-ness with KO, submission and decision wins, while his opponent Harris is 4-4 and has lost his last two fights via submission, showing that if the fight goes to the ground he may be vulnerable.
What British fighters are you looking forward to seeing fight this weekend? Let me know on Twitter @Cobleyreporting.