UFC 286 | United Kingdom Hot Bath vs. Leon Edwards Kamaru Usman 3

UFC 38: Brawl in the Hall (2002)

On July 13, 2002, the UFC set foot in Europe for the first time. This happened during UFC 38: Fight in the Hall. The event took place in Royal Albert Hall, which was generally used for concerts. The main event of the evening was dominated by the title fight 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 were disappointed in the evening, it was these two who restored respect to the home crowd.


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Mark Weir wowed the crowd with one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history. In ten seconds he tackled Eugene Jackson. This warmed up the crowd for the main fight between Ian Freeman and up-and-coming talent Frank Mir. Mir entered the fight as a favorite and was known for his superior qualities on the ground. However, Freeman was able to fend off ground attacks and dominate the young player. At the end of the first round, the American was hit so badly that he could not stand on his feet when the referee wanted to change his bit. That was reason enough for referee McCarthy to stop the fight.

With this, England had its first MMA icons. In retrospect, Freeman and Weir are known as the founders of contemporary English MMA. Without their decisive victories and a happy crowd in the room, it’s questionable whether UFC 286 would have taken place at the O2.

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UFC 70 (2007)

The next event in England is definitely not to be missed from this perspective. during the day UFC 70: Nations Collide Brand new TV star Michael Bisping made an appearance in his native Manchester. Bisping only got his UFC contract through a television show Ultimate Fighter to succeed. Bisping was lucky. In his third fight for the UFC, the organization has already plunged him into a hot bath. This hot bath is famous Manchester Arena. It was the spectators who dragged Bisping through the abyss as the Englishman headed for defeat in the second round.

Opponent Chinozic almost had Bisping in a kimura submission and then took the back. Bisping worked his way free and worked a ground-and-pound into the frenzied crowd that gave him the win. Also, icons like Lyoto Machida, Andrei Arlovski and Fabrico Werdum could be graced at the event, indicating that England’s value to the UFC has grown. In the main event, Gabriel Gonzaga shocked everyone by knocking out Mirco Gro Cop. Everyone expected Cro Cop to reach this final result.

UFC 75 (2007)

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

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The American was known as one of the favorites to win the show. That’s why eventual winner Michael Bisping wanted to make a point. He did not do this very admirably. Bisping won one of the most controversial split-decisions in UFC history. Later, Bisping saw an opportunity to emphasize that he was the only true winner of TUF. Besides crowd favorite Bisping, Crowe also returned to England. He faced Cheick Kongo at UFC 70. And this time, the Croatian was knocked out, so he will look back on his performance in England with a heavy heart. At the main party, Quinton reckoned’MadnessJackson left with Dan Henderson. Thus, another successful evening was completed in England.

UFC 204 (2016)

We take a leap to the next event. Michael Bisping is now the champion after defeating Luke Rockholt at UFC 199. He was allowed to defend his title for the first time in his beloved Manchester against Dan Henderson. The rematch took place seven years after the first fight between the two. At that point, Bisping had lost, and the Briton had even more at stake.

Michael Bisping successfully defended his title in Manchester at the UFC’s final PPV event in England.

Photo: Getty Images

In the end it turned out to be a titanic battle won by the “home team”. The judges unanimously declared Bisping the winner, and then the celebrations could begin. It didn’t last long, as the event didn’t start until late at night. This event could sell well in the US. Bisping admits to being worried about the atmosphere there, but of course the Englishman didn’t disappoint. Additionally, the event had a Dutch touch. Our very own Stefan Struve won against Daniel Omylanchuk on the same evening, and Gegard Mousasi impressed with a win over Vitor Belfort.

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UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Aspinall (2022)

Last year, the UFC returned to London for the first time since 2019. The biggest difference from the events organized in England was that it was filled with English fighters. One that left the local fans even more ecstatic than before.

The good news for Eurosport is that this is the first event to be broadcast live on location. It certainly did not disappoint. Molly McCann, Paddy Pimblett, Arnold Allen and Tom Aspinall managed to win. They got their wings from the crowd. This is best demonstrated by the outings of Paddy “The Paddy” and “Meatball” Molly.

Honorable mention

Finally, Darren Till’s walkout is allowed UFC Fight Night: Thompson Vs. up to Not to be missed in Liverpool. No one from An echo chamber Then I was able to stay calm Sweet Caroline Boom through the speakers. Dill’s Way to the Octagon shows exactly what to prepare at that time UFC 286: Edwards vs. Osman 3. The frenzied Englishmen love to cheer their compatriots on.

You can watch UFC 286 live on Eurosport 1 and Discovery+ on Saturday night. The preview starts at 21:00 The O2 Arena London. The main card starts at 22:00.


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