UFC 120: Jiu-Jitsu versus undefeated Englishman

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Stage to concerts by biggest musical acts in the world, the O2 Arena again receives the UFC after 75, 85 and 95. Photo: Publicity.

Three of England’s best fighters at present – Michael Bisping, Dan Hardy, and John Hathaway – will do battle at UFC 120 this Saturday the 16th in London. With tickets already sold out and the O2 soccer stadium reconfigured for the occasion, the show promises to set alight the English capital.

“The choice of eight MMA fighters from the UK for Saturday’s event made UFC 120 the biggest martial arts event ever seen in these parts. The event boasting the cream of the combat crop will feature eleven fights and will serve as a showcase for many of the main athletes,” said Marshall Zelaznik, director manager of UFC international development.

Michael Bisping (20w, 3l), who is well known in his homeland and the winner of the third season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, faces Japanese judo master Yoshihiro kiyama (13w, 2l, 2NC).

Welterweight Dan ‘The Outlaw’ Hardy (23w, 7l, 1NC) seeks another shot at the divisional belt. In March of this year at UFC 111, he became the first Englishman to dispute a UFC title. On the occasion, the champion went the full five rounds before beating Hardy by unanimous decision. This time around, Dan will face the USA’s Carlos Condit, who is coming off of two wins – against Rory McDonald and Jake Ellenberger. Condit was the champion of the now-retired WEC welterweight division.

Another English welterweight in the event, twenty-three-year-old, unbeaten John ‘Hitman’ Hathaway (14w, 0l) faces off with Las Vegas native Mike Pyle (19-7-1), a thirty-five-year-old Jiu-Jitsu specialist with knockout power. He event further features Cheick Kongo against Travis Browne and James Wilks against Claude Patrick.

On the preliminary card, two Brazilians will be making their organizational debut: Vinicius Queiroz and Fábio Maldonado. Vinicius belongs to Curitiba, Brazil’s Chute Boxe academy, famous for producing major MMA stars like Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, and Mauricio Shogun. He faces seasoned English heavyweight Rob Broughton. Vinicius up until now has only fought in Brazilian domestoc events and won his last four appearances by first-round knockout.

Now middleweight Fábio Maldonado is a professional boxer with an impressive twenty-two knockout wins in twenty-two bouts. In MMA, he has racked up seventeen wins and three losses. Maldonado is known for his heavy hands and steel chin capable of absorbing extraordinary punishment. On his debut in the biggest MMA promotion in the world, he faces standup specialst James McSweeney, a participant in TUF 10.

Undefeated Hathaway at UFC 93, against Thomas Egan. Photo: Josh Hedges.

UFC 120

Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit
John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle
Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne
James Wilks vs. Claude Patrick

Preliminary card (not on live TV broadcast)

Fabio Maldonado vs. James McSweeney
Spencer Fisher vs. Kurt Warburton
Paul Sass vs. Mark Holst
Steve Cantwell vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Rob Broughton vs. Vinicius Queiroz

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