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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020
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5 reasons why you should tune in for today's UFC Glasgow card

The UFC’s first ever event in Scotland kicks off this afternoon at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow.

– Paul Dollery reports from Glasgow

wp_ss_20150528_0002 2 Source: Ultimate Fighting Championship

Michael Bisping makes another run at the title

One of the original trailblazers for European fighters in the UFC, English veteran Michael Bisping still hasn’t given up on his dream of earning a shot at the organisation’s middleweight title. Bisping has slipped up whenever he’s been on the edge of contention in the past, losing to the likes of Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Tim Kennedy and — most recently — Luke Rockhold.

The Manchester native bounced back in April by defeating CB Dollaway but he has failed to win consecutive bouts since 2011. If Bisping doesn’t change that today, it’s difficult to see how, at 36, he can revive his hopes of getting his hands on a UFC belt.

Similar to Conor McGregor, Bisping is not everyone’s cup of tea. But love him or loathe him, you’re going to want to watch him. ‘The Count’ goes into today’s main event against Thales Leites as the favourite, but the Brazilian is no pushover. Leites is undefeated in the UFC and ranked 10th — just one place behind Bisping — so an impressive victory would also move the Nova Uniao product closer to the title picture.

Ross Pearson returns after an impressive win

He may not be a UFC title challenger but Ross Pearson has often shown himself to be one of the most entertaining fighters in the 155lbs division. Pearson collides with Evan Dunham in today’s co-main event, in which he’ll be looking to build on this superb KO of Sam Stout in his most recent outing.

Source: SportingFocus/YouTube

It’s a big event for the Irish

Three fighters are flying the Irish flag today in Glasgow. Donegal lightweight Joseph Duffy and Dublin flyweight Paddy Holohan will both be aiming for back-to-back wins when they take on Ivan Jorge and Vaughan Lee respectively, while Robert Whiteford stands between Dublin featherweight Paul Redmond and a first taste of victory in the UFC. Duffy, Holohan and Redmond all face tricky tests but if they can pass them, some big fights are likely to be on the agenda for the trio when the UFC returns to Ireland on 24 October.

We’ll see more of the man responsible for one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history

The UK isn’t producing many top prospects at the highest level these days but Leon Edwards is certainly one of a select few. The Birmingham welterweight picked up his first UFC win in Poland back in April and he took just eight seconds to get it. Edwards’ KO of Seth Baczynski in Krakow was the second-fastest in the history of the 170lbs division.
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Today, Edwards faces another Polish opponent in Pawel Pawlak, and it’s a fight Ireland’s Cathal Pendred might be interested in. In his exclusive column here on The42, SBG coach John Kavanagh recently mentioned the possibility of the winner of Edwards versus Pawlak facing Pendred later this year.

It’s the UFC’s long-awaited Scottish debut

Scottish fans have been calling for a UFC event for a long time and the wait finally ends today. Joanne Calderwood, Stevie Ray and Robert Whiteford represent the hosts this afternoon at the SSE Hydro Arena. Ray and Whiteford are coming in on the back of wins, but despite suffering a shock defeat to Maryna Moroz in her last outing, Calderwood is still the big star in these parts. A win over Moroz was expected to secure Calderwood a title shot against 115lbs champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at this event, but the Kilmarnock native will need to pick up another couple of wins at least — starting today against Cortney Casey — to get herself back into title contention.

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 10.33.07 Source: Ultimate Fighting Championship

Calderwood, a former Muay Thai world champion, is perhaps the only UFC strawweight with the stand-up skills to live with Jedrzejczyk, so it’s a fight the MMA world will be eager to see.

Today’s event will be a sell-out and the Scottish fans are sure to generate a raucous atmosphere, but will it rival UFC Dublin? We’ll soon find out.

For viewers in Ireland, UFCFightPass.com is the only place to see UFC Glasgow live from 3pm today.

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Paul Dollery

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