March not only features four title fights, it also features myriad fighters from Australia and New Zealand. A total of 10 Anzac fighters are scheduled to fight in March, including three title fights.
With that in mind, we took a look into each matchup and what’s to be expected when each Australian and New Zealander steps into the Octagon.
UFC 259 Look Ahead: Adesanya vs Blachowicz
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UFC 259 Look Ahead: Adesanya vs Blachowicz
Opponent: Jan Blachowicz
What You Need To Know: “The Last Stylebender” makes the trek up to light heavyweight in hopes of becoming UFC’s fourth simultaneous, two-weight champion. Achieving “champ champ” status requires getting past the “legendary Polish power” of Jan Blachowicz, who is coming off a dominant title fight win over Dominick Reyes on Fight Island.
Opponent: Amanda Nunes
What You Need To Know: Megan Anderson – the first Australian woman to compete for the title – makes her bid for the featherweight strap against the consensus GOAT of women’s MMA, Amanda Nunes. Anderson is coming off two first-round finishes, showing both the submission skills and one-punch power that makes her an intriguing matchup for Nunes.
Opponent: Sean Brady
What You Need To Know: Matthews, a longtime mainstay on the UFC roster since 2014, is on the best run of form of his career yet, winning six of his last seven fights. Coming off defeating the legend Diego Sanchez, he turns his eyes to up-and-comer Sean Brady, who is 3-0 in the UFC and scored his first finish in the Octagon in his most recent bout.
Opponent: Rogério Bontorin
What You Need To Know: “Don’t Blink,” who became a father recently, looks to bounce back from his loss to Brandon Royval when he takes on Bontorin, who himself is coming off a loss to Ray Borg. The defeat was Bontorin’s first of his 3-fight UFC career.
Opponent: Kennedy Nzechukwu
What You Need To Know: Carlos Ulberg became the newest member of City Kickboxing to sign his name on a UFC contract after catching Dana White’s eye last year on the Contender Series. In his debut, Ulberg faces fellow Contender Series alum Nzechukwu in a matchup of young and dangerous light heavyweights.
UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Holland
Opponent: Gregor Gillespie
What You Need To Know: Riddell, who also became a first-time father recently, faces “The Gift” after earning his third UFC win last September. Gillespie is Riddell’s toughest test to date – a top-15 fixture in the stacked lighteweight division – but hasn’t fought since his knockout loss to Kevin Lee in November 2019. This is the clearest chance yet for the 29-year-old from Christchurch to break into the rankings at 155 pounds.
Opponent: Don’Tale Mayes
What You Need To Know: “Bam Bam” earned one of the most cathartic wins of 2020, knocking out Stefan Struve at UFC 254 and snapping a 3-fight skid. He takes on Mayes, who earned his first UFC win in his third try, scoring a unanimous decision win over Roque Martinez last November. Tuivasa, who moved to Dubai for training camp, is looking to get back on track in the heavyweight division, and a win over Mayes could put him on a path back to a top-15 matchup.
Opponent: Brian Ortega
What You Need To Know: Defending his featherweight belt for the second time, Volkanovski seeks to assert himself as the champ against someone other than Max Holloway. In Brian Ortega, he faces one of the slickest jiu jitsu players on the whole roster who displays stronger striking each time out. Most recently, Ortega put on a well-rounded, dominant display against Chan Sung Jung. It’s a good chance for Volkanovski to show just how good he is after outdueling Holloway in a pair of bouts and start his own bid toward featherweight greatness.
Opponent: Omar Morales
What You Need To Know: Young is seeking to bounce back form his knockout loss at UFC 253, turning around in five months (his shortest span between fights since his first and second in the promotion) to face Omar Morales. Morales himself is coming off a Fight Island loss to Giga Chikadze.
Opponent: Khama Worthy
What You Need To Know: Mullarkey is seeking for his first UFC win after dropping his first pair of fights in the Octagon – a Fight of the Night against Brad Riddell and a decision loss to Fares Ziam. His opponent, Khama Worthy, is also coming off a loss to Ottman Azaitar after earning a pair of wins in his first two UFC fights. Both are keen to put on action-packed fights, and Mullarkey is hoping to set the tone on the night for his teammate Alexander Volkanovski.