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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019

7 reasons to watch Ireland's top female MMA star in UFC action tonight

Aisling Daly will take on Randa Markos in Canada on Saturday.

IRISH STRAWWEIGHT FIGHTER Aisling Daly is set to return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s octagon this evening.

Having made a successful debut back in December, the 27-year-old Dubliner will be aiming for her second UFC win when she kicks off the action against home favourite Randa Markos at UFC 186 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

It’s a very important bout for Daly, and here’s why we think you should be tuning in…

1. Win or lose, she always entertains

Ais Daly’s fights are never boring. There might be five defeats on her record (15-5), but she’s only been stopped once during a professional career that began eight years ago. And only twice in 15 wins has she needed the nod from the judges. She may have been edged out via decision, but her 2012 bout against fellow UFC veteran Rosi Sexton was a classic.

Source: Cage Warriors TV/YouTube

2. She’s the only Irish female in the UFC

Daly made her professional mixed martial arts debut way back in May 2007 so her journey to the sport’s leading organisation has been long and arduous. When the UFC announced the introduction of a strawweight (115lbs) division in November 2013, Daly was a prime candidate for inclusion. She earned her spot via an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter last year, during which she defeated Angela Magana. Daly is currently ranked 10th in the division.

3. She’s training with some of the best in the business

Another member of Dublin’s Straight Blast Gym team, Daly has no shortage of world-class training partners. Under the guidance of top coach John Kavanagh, she’s one of five UFC athletes currently representing SBG, alongside Conor McGregor, Gunnar Nelson, Cathal Pendred and Paddy Holohan.

CW51 John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor, Aisling Daly and Cathal Pendred. Source: Dolly Clew

4. She’s already fought many of the top fighters in the game

Daly has plenty of notable wins on her record, with fellow UFC fighters Jessica Eye and Alex Chambers among her previous victims. Her five losses have only come against other UFC veterans — Lisa Ellis, Sheila Gaff and Rosi Sexton — or current Invicta FC champions — Barb Honchak and Katja Kankaanpaa. In other words, it takes something special to beat Ais Daly.

5. She looked great in her UFC debut

Australia’s Alex Chambers stood between Daly and a successful debut for the UFC last December in Las Vegas, but the Irishwoman finished her opponent inside the first round with a clinically-executed armbar submission.

6. She’s closing in on a title shot

With Joanne Calderwood slipping up last week at UFC Krakow, there’s a vacancy in the number one contender slot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s strawweight division. A victory against Randa Markos tonight might not be enough to secure Daly a shot at reigning champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk just yet, but it’ll certainly bring her to within touching distance.

7. You can watch the fight live and still be a functioning member of society tomorrow

Aisling Daly versus Randa Markos is the very first fight on tonight’s UFC 186 bill, so you won’t have to stay awake throughout the night to watch the action. The bout will feature on the preliminary card, which kicks off at 11.30pm Irish time. If you’re not planning to stay up to watch the rest of the event live, Ais ‘The Bash’ should hopefully be 2-0 in the UFC before midnight, leaving you free to head off to the leaba at a civilised hour. That means you should still be feeling as fresh as a daisy by the time Where In The World? starts on Sunday evening.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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