UFC 286 |  Leon Edwards UK Warm Bath vs.  Camaro Usman 3

UFC 286 | Leon Edwards UK Warm Bath vs. Camaro Usman 3

UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall (2002)

On July 13, 2002, the UFC set foot in Europe for the first time. This happened during UFC 38: Brawl in the Hall. event occurred in Royal Albert Hall, which were generally used for concerts. The main match was dominated by the title match between American Matt Hughes and Canadian Carlos Newton. However, the crowd was drawn in by local heroes Mark Weir and Ian Freeman. Where the English had disappointed earlier in the evening, it was these two who restored honor to the home crowd.


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Mark Weir wowed the crowd with one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history. Within ten seconds he dealt with Eugene Jackson. This galvanized the crowd for the co-headlining fight between Ian Freeman and up-and-coming talent Frank Mir. Mir entered the fight as the favourite, and was known for his excellent qualities on the ground. However, Freeman was able to block ground attacks and was able to subdue the young man. At the end of the first round, the American was so badly beaten that he could barely stand on his feet when the referee wanted to replace his bite. This was reason enough for referee McCarthy to stop the fight.

With this, England had its first MMA icons. In retrospect, Freeman and Ware are known as the founders of contemporary English MMA. Without their decisive victories and the cheering crowd in the room, it is questionable if UFC 286 would have taken place at the O2 Arena.

UFC 70 (2007)

The subsequent action in England certainly cannot be missed in this overview. During the day UFC 70: Nations Clash New TV star Michael Bisping debuted in Manchester. Bisping had just landed a UFC contract with the TV show The ultimate fighter to win. Bisping was lucky. In his third fight for the UFC, the organization has already dipped him in a warm bath. This warm bath lives up to the name Manchester Arena. It was the spectators who pulled Bisping through a deep ravine, because in the second round the Englishman was heading for defeat.

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Opponent Sinosic nearly had Bisping into Kimura’s submission and then grabbed his back. Bisping worked his way up freely and worked his ground and pound through a frenzied crowd that gave him the win. Moreover, icons like Lyoto Machida, Andrei Arlovski, and Fabrico Werdum can all be admired at the event, indicating that England’s stature has grown for the UFC. In the main match, Gabriel Gonzaga shocked everything and everyone by eliminating a Mirco Crew Cup. This is while everyone expected Cro Cop to achieve this end result.

UFC 75 (2007)

In the same year, the UFC returned to the UK twice. First in Belfast, and then it was London’s turn UFC 75: Champion vs. hero. The event took place at the O2 Arena, which is hosting UFC 286 on Saturday. This was an opportunity that Michael Bisping could not miss and regained his place in an event in England. This time his opponent was Matt Hamill. An old acquaintance of Bisping’s, as Hamill was on the same season of The Ultimate Fighter. They were going to even meet on the show, but Hamill had to pull out due to an injury.

The American was known as one of the favorites to win the show. That’s why the eventual winner, Michael Bisping, wanted to make a point. This did not do it the desired way. Bisping won in one of the most controversial split decisions in UFC history. Then, Bisping saw an opportunity to assert himself as TUF’s only true winner. In addition to crowd favorite Bisping, Cro Cop also returned to England. He faced Cheick Kongo, who also played in UFC 70. This time too, the Croatian failed, so he will look back on his performance in England with pain in his heart. In the main party counts Quinton’commotionJackson hangs out with Dan Henderson. Thus, another successful evening in England was completed.

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UFC 204 (2016)

For the next event, we’re pretty much skipping a beat. Michael Bisping was now a champion by defeating Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. He was allowed to defend his title for the first time in his beloved Manchester against Dan Henderson. A rematch that took place seven years after the first fight between the two. At that time, Bisping lost, which put the Briton on the line even more.

Michael Bisping successfully defended his title in Manchester at the recent UFC PPV event in England.

Photo: Getty Images

In the end it became a titanic battle which was won by the ‘home team’. The judges unanimously judge the winner, after which the festivities begin. This did not last long because the event only started at night. This is to be able to better sell the event in America. Bisping admitted to worrying about the atmosphere there would be, but of course the English were not disappointed. In addition, the event had a Dutch touch. Our team Stefan Struve beat Daniel Umelajczuk the same night, and Gegard Musasi impressed with his win over Vitor Belfort.

UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Aspinal (2022)

Last year, the UFC returned to London for the first time since 2019. The biggest difference from the events that were being held in England was that it was packed with English fighters. Something that brought the local fans into ecstasy even more than before.

Good news for Eurosport, as this was also the first event to be covered live on site. This certainly did not disappoint. Molly McCann, Paddy Pemblett, Arnold Allen and Tom Aspinall all managed to win. They got wings from the crowd. This was best illustrated by the exits of Buddy “The Baddie” and “Meatball” Molly.

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Finally, he is allowed to leave Darren Tail while he’s gone UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. until Definitely not to be missed in Liverpool. Nobody from Echo Arena I managed to calm down after that Sweet Caroline boomed through the speakers. Till’s Road to the Octagon shows exactly what to prepare for while on the road UFC 286: Edwards vs. Othman 3. A frenzied mass of Englishmen who want to shout to their countrymen for victory.

You can watch UFC 286 live on Eurosport 1 and discovery+ on Saturday night. Preview show starts at 21:00 O2 Arena in London. The main card will start at 22:00.


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