The UFC today announced the first three bouts to feature on the UFC Fight Night London card, the organisation’s eagerly awaited return to the capital after a two year absence.
No. 7 middleweight Michael Bisping (27-7, fighting out of Orange County, CA, USA) will return to fight on home soil for the first time since 2010 as he takes on No.8 Gegard Mousasi (37-6 -2, fighting our of Leiden, Holland) at the O2 Arena on February 27.
Bisping’s last fight at the iconic O2 Arena saw him walk away not only with a victory but also the Fight of the Night bonus for his performance. “The Count” will be looking for history to repeat itself in London this February. Standing in his way is former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi who will be no easy competitor with notable wins over Dan Henderson and Costas Philippou. One thing that can be guaranteed is there will be fireworks when these two strikers collide.
Two rising UFC talents will also battle inside the Octagon as England’s Mike Wilkinson (9-1, fighting out of Manchester, England) takes on Finland’s Makwan Amirkhani (12-2, fighting out of Stockholm, Sweden).
Wilkinson last defeated Niklas Backstrom in devastating fashion within 2 minutes of the first round, earning him the Performance of the Night bonus, before injury forced him out of competition for over a year. Amirkhani also likes to keep his battles short, ending both his UFC victories in the first round. A win for either athlete will certainly put the featherweight division on notice and show Europe continues to be a hotbed of emerging talent.
Tenacious warrior Norman Parke (22-4-1 fighting out of Bushmills, Northern Ireland) will take on a tough test in Russian Rustam Khabilov (17-3, fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico). Following a win in Dublin last month over Reza Madadi, Parke will be looking to put on a show stopping performance and climb the lightweight ladder while Khabilov hopes to prove he remains a force at 155 pounds.Check out our latest podcast episode featuring Adam Milstead & Dinis "Sweetbread" Paiva