One of the big treats from this series of Fight Night events being held on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi has been seeing some hot new talent emerging from the pack. Fight Island 2 featured breakout performances from Rafael Fiziev and Ariane Lipski. Fight Island 1 brought us Mounir Lazzez’s endless elbows down the middle and “Khabig” Khamzat Chimaev earning a legit 10-7 round en route to a dominating finish.
These are all fighters to watch, and because the UFC is feeling feisty and COVID has made last-second matchmaking an essential part of card management, we may not have to wait too long to watch them again. Take welterweight fighter Chimaev, for example. During his post fight interview he said he was ready and willing to turn right around and smesh anyone the UFC offered him. Well, they’ve offered him Rhys McKee on UFC Fight Island 3, also being referred to as UFC on ESPN 13 — but who needs an unlucky number like that attached to a pandemic card.
There’s a mere 10 days between his July 15th Fight Island 1 and July 25th Fight Island 3 fight. We’ve heard of fast turnarounds, but damn. That’s a fast turnaround!
Khamzat Chimaev est aussi un homme très violent pic.twitter.com/tw1Ak3qR0t— Rage MMA (@MMA_Rage) July 15, 2020
Chimaev’s Fight Island 1 bout was contested at 185 pounds, but he’ll be returning to his natural weight class of 170 against UFC virgin McKee. At 10-2, the Northern Irish McKee arrives in the promotion coming off a three fight win streak in Cage Warriors, with all three fights ending with finishes. Based on what we saw from Chimaev last week, he’ll have his hands full in this extremely stiff test.
UFC Fight Island 3 is headlined by a middleweight contender fight between former champ Robert Whittaker and UK star Darren Till. We hope you’re ready for a long night of fighting because barring any COVID-19 complications, there’s a whopping 15 fights set for the July 25th card.