A pair of The Ultimate Fighter 19 teammates will do battle in Ireland at UFC Fight Night 46, as opposed to the TUF 19 Finale, when Irish prospect Cathal Pendred takes on Mike King in the middleweight division.
As reported by MMA Junkie, the fight will likely take place on the prelims of the Fight Pass exclusive event, which goes down July 19.
Pendred, who is 13-2-1 while competing in the European circuit, is the former Cage Warriors welterweight champion. He vacated that title to make a run in the UFC after beating the likes of UFC fighter Nico Musoke, UFC vet Che Mills and French prospect Gael Grimaud.
Pendred bypassed the elimination round after the UFC could not find a fighter to take him on for various reasons, as explained on the show. He then became the third middleweight pick of Team Penn and would go on to defeat Hector Urbina in the quarterfinals via unanimous decision. In the semifinals, he lost a razor-thin split decision to now-finalist Eddie Gordon.
Despite not making the finals, he's been given a chance to compete in the Octagon. Although hype has something to do with it, being Irish definitely probably has a hand in that.
As for King, the American is 5-0 in his pro MMA career. The talented wrestler has finished all five of his wins, including two via tapout to strikes. He is a big middleweight at 6'3" and can use his range well when he wants to.
On TUF 19, he was one of the tougher guys, showing a very stout chin and the heart of a lion. After beating Nordine Taleb in the best fight of the entire season to get into the house, King lost in the quarterfinals in a close bout to Eddie Gordon. In that bout, he suffered a gruesome eye poke but continued to fight despite the horrific injury.
When looking at this fight on paper, King is obviously the larger man. He is a big middleweight, while Pendred is a normal welterweight.
That being said, Pendred is very strong despite his lack of size against King. The Irishman has a good clinch and top game on the ground, though it will be tough to take down the solid wrestler.
Below is the fight card in Ireland so far. Stick with Bleacher Report as more information on this card becomes available.
|Featherweight||Conor McGregor (IRE)||Diego Brandao (BRA)|
|Welterweight||Gunnar Nelson (ICE)||Zak Cummings (USA)|
|Flyweight||Brad Pickett (UK)||Ian McCall (USA)|
|Light Heavyweight||Ilir Latifi (SWE)||Tom Lawlor (USA)|
|Light Heavyweight||Nikita Krylov (UKR)||Cody Donovan (USA)|
|Flyweight||Neil Seery (IRE)||Phil Harris (UK)|
|Middleweight||Tor Troeng (SWE)||Trevor Smith (USA)|
|Lightweight||Norman Parke (UK)||Naoyuki Kotani (JPN)|
|Flyweight||Patrick Holohan (IRE)||Josh Sampo (USA)|
|Middleweight||Cathal Pendred (IRE)||Mike King (USA)|