clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs Ige complete prelim preview

New, comment

So here’s a bunch of fights, you know? Just... there.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Folks, I’m gonna make this quick, easy and painless: these prelims won’t be great. Not bad, and they might be quite good, but not great. This event is a keep-busy affair to shuffle things around and sort out fighters as all Fight Night events tend to do. Don’t expect anyone to make a major leap in their respective divisions with a win, no matter how spectacular it may be.

Likewise, don’t expect too many of these fighters to be cut with a loss unless they’re on a losing streak. And even then, it’ll be hard to predict what any outcome will bring for anyone, at least for now.

And you know what? That’s perfectly fine. None of this is a knock on the card, and definitely not on the fighters. They’re just in an odd situation for a Wednesday card after being owed fights amidst a pandemic, so we just need to understand the realities of what we’re expecting here.

The only other item of note here is that Kenneth Bergh will not be on the card against Jorge Gonzalez, as Bergh has withdrawn due to weight cutting complications.

Other than that, let’s look at some fights!

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige PRELIMS:

John Phillips vs Khamzat Chimaev

Philllips (22-9) is an odd case, seeing as he found some success in Europe and was a great addition to the UFC’s middleweight division upon being signed. After dropping his first three UFC fights, he nuked Alen Amedovski in what must have felt like sweet, sweet vindication. Maybe he finally found his stride and is back to his winning ways. He’s a very tough vet that loves to get into fun fights.

The real fun is when you look at who his opponent is. Chimaev (6-0) is a BRAVE CF vet, and he’s relentless. He hits pretty hard and lacks some polish, but the guy’s physicality, trip takedown game and submission skills are really going to get him far. He’s gotten by so far taking on similarly inexperienced opposition, but can really make waves in the UFC whether he wins this fight or not. He’s not usually a slow starter, and his confidence explodes as soon as the fight hits the ground, for good reason. This should be either surprisingly good violence or another sloppy middleweight pile of meh that clouds an already nebulous middle pack of the middleweight division. Make of that what you will.

Ricardo Ramos vs Lerone Murphy

At 5-1 in the UFC, Ramos is quietly amassing a nice record to put him at 14-2 overall as a professional, and he turned some heads when he nailed Aiemann Zahabi with a killer spinning back elbow for a knockout. His only blemish under that banner is a loss to Said Nurmagomedov, but he’s won two straight since then including a submission against Eduardo Garragorri. A striker that likes to use his reach and loves latching on to chokes, he can be bullied by larger and stronger opponents but is also still growing at only 24 years of age.

Lerone Murphy (8-0, 1 draw) didn’t have the UFC debut he dreamed of, but he has a habit of making guys quit. And that left hand? It’s money. He does well with defensive wrestling, to a degree, considering he hasn’t fought very dangerous wrestlers yet. Will his cardio hold up against Ramos? Will Murphy be able to get past the midrange to do damage in close, or will Ramos keep the fight where he needs it and wear him down? The longer this fight goes on, the more questions about both fighters we’ll see answered.

Modestas Bukauskas vs Andreas Michailidis

This fight is actually the one to look out for most, mostly because light heavyweight has been, much like middleweight (or perhaps worse), in desperate need of new talent. Good, reliable talent with a heavy degree of upside. Bukauskas (10-2) is the Cage Warriors light heavyweight champ and has only won by decision once. Every other time it’s him doing stuff like this. He’s a fresh top prospect for good reason that loves to strike, uses distance well and paces himself before turning up the heat and pouncing on dudes.

Michailidis (12-3) is a little beefier, faster, and even more aggressive. Watch how he ruined Marcel Fortuna. This guy knows how to hurt people. He knows he doesn’t get paid by the hour, and has a very determined takedown game with little flash to it. Expect this one to be a fight of the night candidate.

Jared Gordon vs Chris Fishgold

While being only 3-3 in his UFC run, Jared Gordon is an absolute certified Tough Dude™, he’s another rough one that came mostly from the very tough NJ scene. A wrestleboxer with some good reads but who also finds more success with his ground game, he’s a threat at any point in a fight.

Chris Fishgold (18-3, 1 draw) is known for his aggressive and precise submission game, but can also be caught by the right kind of submission fighter, like his most recent loss to Makwan Amirkhani. It’s his submission wins that make him shine, though. His ability to slap on chokes has served him well, as he’s good at establishing and keeping control for enough time to accomplish his task. Will he hang standing long enough with Jared to make that happen? We’re gonna have to watch and find out.

Liana Jojua vs Diana Belbita

Liana Jojua (7-3) has only won by decision once, and the rest of her wins have been submissions except one by TKO. She looked like a prospect that could make an immediate impact but lost to Sarah Moras due to strikes in her UFC debut. Now she gets a chance to set things straight against Diana Belbita (13-5), whom also had some good wins on the Euro circuit. Unfortunately, some of those were against severely overmatched opposition.

Belbita also fell short in her UFC debut, a unanimous decision loss to Molly McCann (also on this card!). She’s got an established ceiling, with losses against every notable opponent to date. These include Cristina Stanciu, Iony Razafiarison and Ariane Lipski.

Again, make of that what you will.

Aaron Phillips vs Jack Shore

Aaron Phillips (12-3) returns to the UFC after five years in the wilderness outside of it, and got back to his finishing ways. A fighter that has deceptive power in his punches, Phillips has shored up some of his liabilities and become a more efficient fighter with better defense.

Now it’s a question of whether or not it’ll be enough against Jack Shore (12-0), the former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion and certified finishing machine. Shore deals well with takedown defense and is not one to stay on his back if put there, plus his strike selection and accuracy are exceptional. His submission game? Aggressive. He gets the job done at any cost.

Shore should be the heavy favorite, but expect this to be a fun scrap with Phillips attempting to prove a lot in his UFC return.