Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set to stage its second to last event on “Fight Island” of 2020 as UFC Fight Island 6 goes down TONIGHT (Sat., Oct. 17, 2020) inside Flash Forum located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Headlining the event is a Featherweight bout between Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung, which could produce the next title challenger in the division. In the revamped co-main event, Jessica Andrade will face Katlyn Chookagian in women’s Flyweight action.
Ortega and “Korean Zombie” will finally get to settle their beef inside the Octagon after almost one full year of trying to do so. The promotion was close to making it happen in Dec. 2019 before “T-City” was forced out with an ACL injury. In turn, “Korean Zombie” wrecked Frankie Edgar (see it), securing his fight against Ortega. Believe it or not, this will be “T-City’s” first fight in nearly two years, as multiple injuries have prevented him from mounting his comeback after getting stopped by Max Holloway in late 2018. Now that he is healthy again and unloaded some excess baggage from his life, Ortega is looking to remind the combat world just what he has to offer. Unfortunately for the talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, he will have to do it without the aide of his long-time coach Rener Gracie, who was grounded because of testing positive for COVID-19.
Since returning to UFC after fulfilling his mandated duties in the South Korean army, Jung has been on a tear, winning three of his four bouts, including knockout wins over the aforementioned Edgar, Dennis Bermudez and Renato Moicano. Had it not been for a Hail Mary knockout shot Yair Rodriguez landed on “Korean Zombie” at the buzzer (see it again here), Jung would be undefeated (4-0) since making his return from mandatory military service. Nevertheless, back-to-back first round knockout victories have put him at the front of the championship line. And if he can take out Ortega it should be a lock that he get a shot at division kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski.
The same goes for Ortega.
It’s an intriguing match up all the way around since both men possess great striking, knockout power and their submission skills are through the roof. As much as I want to give Ortega the advantage on the ground, I simply can’t because Jung is right up there with him. It’s an even fight in all areas, which should make for one hell of a fight.
This card was hit pretty hard with multiple positive COVID-19 tests, injuries and even contract issues. As a result, what started off as a decent card is now left with just a handful of intriguing match ups. There is simply nothing that can be done and it’s hard to complain because “these things happen in MMA,” now more so than ever because of the ongoing worldwide pandemic.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
Alejandro Perez tested positive for COVID-19, prompting his removal from his fight against Thomas Almeida. Jonathan Martinez agreed to step in and take the fight on short notice. Moicano was set to make his return at this event against Magomed Mustafaev, but was forced out of the bout for undisclosed reasons. Mustafaev was then set to face Mateusz Gamrot before he was forced out, as well. Now, Gamrot will take on Guram Kutateladze.
Furthermore, James Krause once again agreed to step in on short notice, this time to face off against Claudio Silva after Muslim Salikhov was forced out of the “Fight Island” event for undisclosed reasons. Also, Mounir Lazzez tested positive for the coronavirus and was forced out of his scheduled bout against David Zawada, who was removed from the event altogether. In addition, Ante Delija was forced to bow out of his scheduled UFC debut against Ciryl Gane — which was supposed to co-headline the event — as a result of ongoing contract issues with Professional Fighters League (PFL).
Volkan Oezdemir was set to make his Light Heavyweight return against Nikita Krylov, but was ultimately forced out of the bout with a knee injury. In turn, Krylov was removed from the card altogether.
Former KSW Lightweight champion Mateusz Gamrot will bring his undefeated record (17-0) to the Octagon to when he faces Guram Kutateladze, who hasn’t lost a fight in over five years. With nine finishes on his record, Gamrot has proven to be a well-rounded fighter and even has a couple of wins over a former UFC fighter, Norman Parke.
Kutateladze will also be making his Octagon debut after reeling off nine straight wins on the international circuit. Five of those nine victories have come via stoppage by way of strikes, so the man possesses some legit knockout power which could put Gamrot in danger of suffering his first loss.
Mark Striegl will finally get the chance to make his UFC debut after it was postponed earlier this year after testing positive for COVID-19. Winner of four straight, he will face off against Said Nurmagomedov, who is hungry to get back in the win column after having his seven-fight win streak snapped in his last outing.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
Gillian Robertson is in search of her second straight win when she takes on Poliana Botelho — who is also looking for her second straight victory — in women’s Flyweight action, while Jun Yong Park takes on John Phillips. After coming up short in his UFC debut against Anthony Hernandez, Park bounced back with a great win over Marc-Andre Barriault nearly one year ago. Phillips, meanwhile, will look to turn it around after a rough stretch that has seen him drop four of his first five fights inside the Octagon. He is perhaps best known for getting smashed by Khamzat Chimaev on “Fight Island” this past July.
Said Nurmagomedov will look to earn his third win under the UFC umbrella when he takes on Mark Striegl. Nurmagomedov is coming off a tough loss to Raoni Barcelos, which snapped his seven-fight win streak. Striegl, on the other hand, is making his UFC debut after his first attempt to do so was halted due to COVID-19.
In Light Heavyweight action, Maxim Grishin looks to right his ship after losing to Marcin Tybura in his previous bout. He will gave to get through Gadzhimurad Antigulov who is in dire need of a win. Indeed, the Russian-born fighter has dropped three in a row, bringing his UFC record to a paltry 2-3. Another loss for the the big man and it could be all she wrote for his time inside the Octagon.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Remember when Thomas Almeida was considered a legit contender to one day become Bantamweight champion? It seems so long ago that the up-and-coming Brazilian prospect was on everyone’s radar. But after getting knocked out by Cody Garbrandt in 2016 (watch it), Almeida has looked anything but stellar. Since getting smashed by Garbrandt four years ago, he has only competed three times, losing any momentum he had going. And when you couple that with sub-par performances, the Brazilian bomber has work to do if he ever wants to get back in the spotlight. He will now face Jonathan Martinez after Alejandro Perez was forced out of the fight. Martinez is coming off a win over Frankie Saenz, and though he hasn’t exactly lit the MMA world on fire during his career, he has shown flashes of brilliance that could give Almeida some trouble.
Interest Level: 6.5 of 10
Again, the card took several hits, which is the reason I can’t give it a higher score. But, let’s not get it twisted, the main event itself is one fight fans have been looking forward to for some time now. I can only pray we get a full 25-minute fight between Ortega and “Korean Zombie.”
The co-main event will now feature Jessica Andrade vs. Katlyn Chookagian. Andrade will be making the move up to 125 pounds after spending the majority of her career competing at Strawweight, where she was champion for a short time before getting waxed by Weili Zhang. Chookagian, meanwhile, is looking to earn her second straight win after previously defeating Antonina Shevchenko this past summer. The division is far from stacked so an impressive win here for either one puts them in title contention.
In further main card action Jimmy Crute will face Modestas Bukauskas in a Light Heavyweight affair. Crute has won 11 of his first 12 pro fights, with his lone defeat coming at the hands of Misha Cirkunov last year. Bukauskas, meanwhile, has been on quite a tear by winning seven straight, including making a successful UFC debut at UFC Fight Island 1 last July by knocking out Andreas Michailidis in one round.
Also, as mentioned earlier James Krause will look to get back in the win column after having his six-fight win streak snapped by Trevin Giles this past February. He will once again fight at Middleweight to face Claudio Silva on short notice. It’s a tough match up for Krause to say the least since Silvia is on a 14-fight win streak, including winning all five of his fights under the UFC banner. Silva also has a win over top 170-pound contender Leon Edwards, so to say he is the real deal is an understatement. With a win over Krause, hopefully Silva starts getting the spotlight he truly deserves.
Enjoy the fights!
Full Fight Card:
UFC Fight Island 6 Main Event:
145 lbs.: Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung Jung
UFC Fight Island 6 Main Card ESPN+ (7 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Ciryl Gane vs. Ante Delija — CANCELED (Details Here)
125 lbs.: Jessica Andrade vs. Katlyn Chookagian
205 lbs.: Modestas Bukauskas vs. Jimmy Crute
145 lbs.: Thomas Almeida vs. Jonathan Martinez
170 lbs.: Claudio Silva vs. James Krause
UFC Fight Island 6 Prelims Card ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET):
155 lbs.: Mateusz Gamrot vs. Guram Kutateladze
125 lbs.: Poliana Botelho vs. Gillian Robertson
185 lbs.: Yong Jin Park vs. John Phillips
205 lbs.: Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Maxim Grishin
135 lbs.: Said Nurmagomedov vs. Mark Striegl
155 lbs.: Jamie Mullarkey vs. Fares Ziam
***Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to drastic change because of the various global quarantine restrictions.***
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Island 6 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance at 7 p.m. ET (also on ESPN+).
For more upcoming UFC events in both Abu Dhabi and Las Vegas click here.