UFC on Fuel 5: Previewing Every Debuting Fighter on the Card
September plays host to a very underrated card, as UFC on Fuel: Struve vs. Miocic comes to you on September 29.
As with most of the Fuel cards so far, there are a number of fighters debuting on this particular card. With this card, several of Europe's best talents that were not in the UFC yet will get to show the MMA world what they got.
Here is a preview of every debuting fighter on the card in Nottingham.
Sweden's Jorgen Kruth was set to debut in his homeland at UFC on Fuel in April, but he was injured and has yet to participate in his first fight.
Kruth is a Muay Thai champion with K-1 and professional boxing experience. His kickboxing record stands at 71-14-2, while owning a 1-0 boxing record.
He has transitioned nicely into MMA, compiling a 5-0 record. He has finished every fight by knockout or submission, showing that he has added a submission game to his arsenal.
He is set to face Fabio Maldonado, another man with pro boxing experience. This will likely be a striking fan's delight, with a kickboxer fighting a boxer.
This fight will be close.
Iceland's Gunnar Nelson is one of the most hyped prospects coming out of Europe, as the Renzo Gracie disciple has high grappling credentials and a great MMA record to his name.
Nelson has a black belt in Goju-ryu, showing that he can do more than just grapple. His well-rounded skills will allow him to be a plater at 170.
The Icelandic prospect is 9-0-1, with the one draw coming in his pro debut. He has finished every fight by knockout or submission, accrediting his dangerous all-around game.
Nelson will be facing German prospect Pascal Krauss. Nelson will obviously hold the grappling advantage, so he would be well-advised to drag Krauss to the ground and work for a submission.
I have been calling for Tom Watson's signing by the UFC for some time now, and finally, the talented British middleweight will get his shot.
The former BAMMA champion is a great Muay Thai practitioner and trains with some of the best in the world. He is a Greg Jackson and Firas Zahabi disciple, showing that he will be well prepared.
He holds notable wins over John Maguire and Murilo Rua. Seven of his wins have come by knockout and one by submission.
He debuts against Brad Tavares, a tough and dangerous opponent. Watson will have his chin tested, as Tavares is powerful and aggressive.
Andy Ogle/Akira Corassani
Former Ultimate Fighter contestants will meet in the featherweight division, as Sweden's Akira Corassani will square off with the UK's Andy Ogle.
Corassani is a big personality with the fighting to back it up. The power striker is 9-3 in his career, using his karate black belt and jiu-jitsu brown belt to control opponents.
Ogle is almost the opposite, as he is humble but dangerous. He is also a striker that will look to throw hands with the Swede, which could make this fight exciting.
If this fight is a traditional first TUF vs. TUF matchup, the winner will stay with the company and the loser will be released from his contract. With their backs against the wall, this one may be good.
Making his long-awaited debut after several contract offers in the past is Jimi Manuwa, one of the most highly-touted British prospects in a long time.
Manuwa, a big, skilled light heavyweight, has the privilege to go up against exciting opponent Kyle Kingsbury, who always puts on a show. Manuwa loves to strike and Kingsbury will be more than happy to stand toe-to-toe with the American.
Manuwa is 11-0, finishing 10 wins by knockout and one by submission. Only two of his wins have come outside the first round, showing his impressive firepower.