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UFC Fight Island: Zombie vs Ortega - Oct 17 🇦🇪 🏝

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Saturday 17th October. Fight Island. Will it finally happen?


Chan Sung Jung vs Brian Ortega 

Jessica Andrade vs Katlyn Chookagian 

Modestas Bukauskas vs Jim Crute

Thomas Almeida vs Jonathan Martinez

Claudio Silva vs James Krause

Mateusz Gamrot vs Guram Kutateladze 

Gillian Robertson vs Poliana Botelho

Jun Yong Park vs John Phillips

Jamie Mullarkey vs Fares Ziam

Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Maxim Grishin 

Said Nurmagomedov vs Mark Striegl  


Actually love this card. The main event goes without saying. If it stays together this time, that’s almost a guaranteed barnburner. But then you’ve got an undercard filled with Andrade, Gane, exciting up and comers like Bukauskas and Lazzez are back, a couple of fascinating debuts with Gamrot and Striegl making their first Octagon appearances. This is a really good card throughout. For now anyway.



Korean Zombie vs Brian Ortega. Let’s try this again. I almost don’t even want to talk about this fight anymore because it seems like we’ve been on about it for ages now and it keeps getting delayed. Hopefully this time we’ll finally get to see it. Awesome fight on paper and I love that they have 5 rounds to play with if they need it. There’s actually a bit of history to this one. It was originally supposed to take place in December last year on the Fight Night in South Korea.



I was absolutely buzzing for it. There was a little bit of needle back and forth when the fight was first made official but there wasn’t any real hostility or bad blood. It was just a matchup between two young, creative and exciting fighters trying to get back in the title hunt. They were quite pally during the promotion of the Korea event. They were joking about at the face-offs and everything.

But just a couple of weeks out from the fight, Ortega tore his ACL and pulled out.


Gutted. Frankie Edgar stepped in on short notice to replace him and Zombie knocked him all over the cage and stopped him in the first round. A few months passed and then in March, both Ortega and Zombie were in attendance at UFC 248. A stacked card with a double header of Adesanya vs Romero and Zhang vs Jedrzejczyk topping the bill. So pretty much anyone who’s anyone in MMA was sitting cageside. Zombie was sitting with his translator and Korean rapper Jay Park. And whatever changed between the lovey-dovey face-off in December and them being sat in the crowd in March, Ortega ended up slapping Jay Park.

Not only that, he waited until the Zombie went for a piss to do it. That combined with the fact that Park isn’t a fighter and looks all of about 8st dripping wet, it wasn’t a good look for T-City.

Zombie was fuming. And understandably so.


Then Ortega’s comments here shed a bit of light on what his issue with Park was;


Still doesn’t justify him attacking him, obviously. But that was his beef with Park, I guess. Still, grow a thicker skin. They said he ‘ducked’ Zombie, which was bollocks, but that kind of talk is just standard fight promotion. It’s nothing to be slapping people over. The police were involved but from what I can gather, Park didn’t pursue further legal action. And when asked on Twitter if he was going to sue Ortega, he responded with this...



Ortega did eventually put out a lengthy apology. But it smacked of him being advised to do so more than anything genuine. Maybe he did regret it but the way he doubled down on his actions initially made me think the apology was more for PR because he realised everyone thought he came off as a massive bellend in the whole thing. He’s always so humble and nice in interviews but for a while I’ve felt like he’s a bit of a dickhead underneath it all. And the mask has slipped a couple of times. There was also that time at the Mexico card last year where him and Cain sat cageside shouting “PUTO” at Jeremy Stephens after Yair Rodriguez nearly gouged his eye out. Which is basically a homophobic slur in Spanish. That was shitty. Especially coming from two supposed ‘nice guys’ of the sport.

Anyway, nothing much happened after that because this little thing called COVID-19 decided to ground and pound the bollocks out of us. There’d been talk of both fighting other opponents but in the end, this is the one that makes sense. It needs settling and beyond all the bullshit and talk and slapping, this is a fucking tremendous fight. Both are dangerous enough that it could all be over in a round. But if it goes 3, 4 or 5 rounds I really think this could be in the running for FOTY when 2020 is in the rear view. Love the way they match up. The striking will be chaotic. Zombie isn’t the most technically pretty in the standup but he’s very effective and hits deceptively hard. And while Ortega isn’t a striker at heart, he did uppercut Frankie Edgar into the rafters that time. It’s on the ground where this gets really interesting though. So I hope they don’t just brawl it out. That would be fun as well but I hope they mix things up. Both are great to watch on the mat. Zombie pulled off the first ever twister in UFC history, for fuck’s sake. And Ortega has a habit of pulling submissions out of his arse just when it looks like he’s in trouble.

Little promo;

As you can probably tell, I’m a bit horny for this one. Phenomenal fight. Not sure how it plays out but the fact that we haven’t seen Ortega since that Max Holloway beating in 2018, plus he’s had the knee injury, I’d lean towards TKZ. But you never know. I just hope it actually happens this time.



Jessica Andrade vs Katlyn Chookagian. First time in forever I’ve not been that into an Andrade fight. Been a fan of hers for years. She’s one of those fighters it’s hard to have a shit fight with because she’s just constantly trying to knock heads off. The female version of John Lineker. Just a 5’1” little fireplug of aggression. She’s ace. Her come forward style has got her into trouble at times, most memorably when she lost the title to Zhang Weili by running right at her and getting battered in 42 seconds. But more often than not, it works for her. She needs a W badly here. And Chookagian could be an awkward and tricky opponent for her. For one, Chookagian is 8in taller. And also her style in general. She’s not the type who’s going to play Andrade’s game at all. Never enjoyed watching Chookagian much but she’s not a bad fighter. She’s 14-3 but 2 of those losses were split decisions. The only clear cut defeat she’s had was her title shot against Valentina Shevchenko in February. But even then she bounced back by beating down Val’s sister Antonina in her next fight in May. In fairness, she looked good in that one. Completely dominated it. Easily the best performance she’s had in the UFC to date. Ah, it’s an OK matchup. I think I’m just down on it because I’ve got a feeling Andrade is going to lose her third fight on the bounce.



Modestas Bukauskas vs Jim Crute. Don’t really know much about either of these two. Only seen Bukauskas once and that was his UFC debut in July. He looked good stopping Andreas Michailidis but I’d never seen Michailidis before either so I don’t know what that win means. Bukauskas looks decent though. 26 years old from Lithuania. 11-2 record with 10 finishes. He’s trained a bit with Jon Jones at Jackson’s, fought in Cage Warriors over here. He’s knocked about a bit for a relatively new face in the sport. Early days but new blood at 205 is always welcome. I’ve seen Crute a couple of times. 24 year old Aussie with a 11-1 record. He’s stopped Paul Craig, Sam Alvey and Michal Oleksiejczuk in the UFC. Again, looks decent. Not a bad fight. 



Thomas Almeida vs Jonathan Martinez has been cobbled together late in the day. Almeida was meant to fight on the Moraes vs Sandhagen card a week earlier but his opponent fell out so here we are. Almeida had totally vanished from my memory, to be honest. Talk about ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Where’s he been? At one time he looked like one of the most promising rising young fighters in the sport. In 2015 he was just 24 years old and already had a perfect 20-0 record with 19 finishes. The highlight being when he flattened Brad Pickett in the opener of the classic UFC 189 PPV with this beautiful flying knee...


He was showing all the signs of being a breakout star. Reminded me of when Jose Aldo first broke onto the US scene and was killing fuckers left and right in WEC. In 2016 though, Almeida got derailed big time. He was put in his first UFC main event, and got knocked out inside a round by Cody Garbrandt. Since then he’s fought very sporadically and has gone 1-2 in his last 3 fights. Hasn’t fought now since January 2018. Almost 3 years on the shelf. He’s had a few injuries and I read that at some point he had to have eye surgery because of issues with his vision. Not good. Martinez is 12-3 and coming off a stoppage win over Frankie Saenz in August. He’s alright to watch but he’s had a hit and miss stay in the UFC. I’d expect a fully fit Almeida to handle him without too much bother but after all the layoffs and setbacks who knows what we’re getting with Almeida at this point.



Claudio Silva vs James Krause. Muslim Salikhov dropped out apparently. Disappointed about that, always enjoy watching him. But James Krause is a very solid replacement. He’s 27-8 with 22 finishes. Some decent wins on his record over the years. In his last fight he stepped in on just one day’s notice at UFC 247 against Trevin Giles and lost by split decision. One day’s notice. He was only there because he was cornering someone and he just casually agreed to jump in when Giles’ opponent dropped out last minute. Before that he was on a 6 fight winning streak. Silva might just be one of the biggest darkhorses on the entire roster. And it’s mostly because he hardly ever fights. He’s a BJJ black-belt with a MMA record of 14-1, 11 finishes. He holds a UFC win over Leon Edwards and his only loss was a DQ in his MMA debut back in 2007. He’s never actually been beaten. But yeah, the problem has been inactivity. Think back injuries have been the main cause. He did manage to get 2 fights in last year and submitted Danny Roberts and Cole Williams. But at 38 years old now, time is of the essence. I like this matchup. Completely different ball game to the original Salikhov fight too. That was almost pure grappler vs striker on paper but Krause is a BJJ black-belt himself so that changes things big time for Silva. Not so straight forward.



Mateusz Gamrot vs Guram Kutateladze is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH***. UFC debuts for both but I’m really looking forward to seeing both in the major leagues. This was supposed to be Gamrot vs Magomed Mustafaev but Mustafaev has dropped out. Gamrot’s signing and caught a lot of people by surprise. It’s rare these days that a debuting fighter has so much hype on them but the arrival of Gamrot on the big stage feels like a long time coming. It’s time to see what he’s got at the top level. He’s Polish, 29 years old and was the KSW champ at both Lightweight and Featherweight.


He’s unbeaten at 17-0 with one No Contest due to an eye poke. He’s beat Norman Parke twice. I know he was a shithouse in those fights but I’m OK with it because I always thought Parke a bellend. He also has wins over TUF 9 finalist Andre Winner and Mansour Barnaoui who’s a solid fighter who competed in M-1 and BAMMA a few times. Kutateladze steps in on less than 2 weeks notice. He’s Georgian, 11-2 with 8 finishes and has won his last 8 straight. Trains with Khamzat Chimaev. Had a quick look at a few clips and he seems to be primarily a striker and a bit of a wildman.



Gillian Robertson vs Poliana Botelho. Not a bad little fight actually. I know MMA fans roll their eyes at a lot of the women’s fights now but they’re not all nothing happening glorified sparring sessions. These are 2 who actually go all out for the finish. Neither are in the title hunt but they’re both good to watch. Robertson is 8-4 and has finished 7 of her 8 wins, 6 via sub. Really aggressive in the grappling and with ground and pound. Don’t think she’ll ever get to title mix level, and while Shevchenko holds the gold that’s probably for the best. But she’s only 25, she’s got some time and room to improve. Trains at ATT as well so there’s no reason why she won’t get better. Botelho is predominantly a Muay Thai striker. 8-2 MMA record and has won 6 of her last 7.



Jun Yong Park vs John Phillips. Korea vs Wales. ‘The Iron Turtle’ vs ‘The Welsh Wrecking Machine’. This could be fun. I’ve only seen Park’s UFC fights but I quite like him. He lost to Anthony Hernandez in his debut in an entertaining scrap. Then beat Marc-Andre Barriault on the December show in Korea. He’s 11-4 with 8 finishes. Phillips is 22-10-0-1 and of his 22 wins, 20 of them came by knockout. The other two were submissions. He’s never won on points. He’s just a brawler really. Nothing fancy about his style. He got ran over by the Khamzat Express in his last fight in July. And he’s gone 1-4 in his last 5 now. So obviously, a win here is vital. If he can drag Park into a slobberknocker I think he can come out on top here.



Jamie Mullarkey vs Fares Ziam. I’ll give this a look purely to see Mullarkey back in action. Anyone who didn’t see his UFC debut against Brad Riddell, get over to Fight Pass and get it watched. I’ll keep recommending it until everyone watches it. One of the real forgotten gems from 2019. Mullarkey is 26, from Australia and has a record of 12-3 with 11 finishes. He lost the Riddell fight but it was such an exciting scrap that his stock probably went up. Probably a good thing that he’s had a year to recover after that one. Ziam is French, 23 years old, 10-3 with 9 finishes. Don’t think I’ve seen him fight.



Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Maxim Grishin. Some Russian on Russian violence here. Antigulov’s been in the UFC a few years now. 20-7 record, mostly finishes and he’s more of a submission artist. Nothing special and tends to lose whenever he fights anyone good. He’s hit a very rough patch of late and been finished in the first round in his last 3 fights. Grishin is 36 years old with a record of 30-8-2 with 21 finishes. Submitted Alexander Volkov way back, fought in PFL more recently. He made his UFC debut in July and dropped a decision against Marcin Tybura. He took that on short notice though, to be fair, and before that he was on a 9 fight win streak. You’d favour Grishin on recent form.



Said Nurmagomedov vs Mark Striegl. Couple of up and comers in the ever expanding Bantamweight division. Nurmagomedov is 28 years old out of that Dagestan crew of killers. I think he was first introduced as Khabib’s cousin but I don’t think they’re actually related by blood. Could be wrong though. He definitely has a different style to Khabib, much more of a striker from what I’ve seen. He’s 13-2 and was on a good little 7 fight streak before losing on points to Raoni Barcelos in December. Before that he’d beat Ricardo Ramos and Justin Scoggins and looked pretty great doing so. Striegl is a UFC newcomer. He’s Filipino, 32 years old and was a Sambo gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games. He has a MMA record of 18-2-0-1. 14 of his wins came by submission, one of them over Kai Kara-France back in 2014. He was meant to debut on the Edgar vs Munhoz card in August but he tested positive for COVID. Bit of an under the radar one this but I’m quite intrigued by it. I’ve thought Nurmagomedov has potential anyway but I’m looking forward to getting a look at Striegl now too.


Go on, Zombie! 


Edited by wandshogun09
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Nice early one tonight chaps.

Man, Bald Brian Ortega is legit. It’s like he gave up his hair in exchange for better Fight IQ and levelling up his striking. I don’t think it’s a case of Zombie not showing up. I think it’s more that

Yeah I just voted Ortega as well. Not even sure what it is it’s just a gut feeling I’ve had since the fight was announced. I’d much rather Zombie win but like you say, I think a lot of people are slee

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OK, fucking hell. Stop. Booking. This. Fight.

Just move Gane onto someone else, for fuck’s sake. This fight actually might’ve been cancelled more times than Khabib vs Ferguson now, and in a staggeringly shorter span of time. 

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Fuck sake. Oezdemir vs Krylov off now according to MMA Junkie. It only got added a couple of days ago. And I also saw something on Twitter about Gamrot’s debut being off as well. Although I think it’s Mustafaev who’s dropped out so maybe Gamrot will get a replacement. Can’t have anything can we? 

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ohhh Cage Warriors double champ Mason Jones has said he's ready to step in on Fight Island. He was questioned on The Bash podcast and was specifically interested in being a potential step in for the Gamrot fight or the RDA/Makhachev fight. Talk about wanting to go in the deepend. Why the hell not though?

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I’d be all over that. Can’t imagine there’ll be many guys wanting to jump in against Gamrot on 2 weeks notice. But Jones just fought so he’s in shape and it’s a hell of a fight if it comes off. Got to think Jones was UFC bound anyway so why not just pull the trigger now? 

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It sounds like hes 100% going to the UFC. How he did it last weekend should be a blueprint for all young fighters, took a huge chance fighting up weight, it paid off and then he cut a bit a promo, mentioned Dana White and left it at that. It was abit of a mic drop moment and it worked. Clip went viral, Ariel Helwani was praising him Monday on his show, hes getting mentioned in the same breath as Conor McGregor now too with Cage Warriors Double Champ thing. Its hows its done.

Even if he gets the call against such a name and loses it'll put him in a good position with the UFC.

I actually drove through his hometown the other day as its 10mins from me and spotted this on the side of the road, pretty cool:20200928_140731.thumb.jpg.f68c514be158635e82446a109f2e1459.jpg

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On 10/3/2020 at 1:57 PM, Egg Shen said:

It sounds like hes 100% going to the UFC. How he did it last weekend should be a blueprint for all young fighters, took a huge chance fighting up weight, it paid off and then he cut a bit a promo, mentioned Dana White and left it at that. It was abit of a mic drop moment and it worked. Clip went viral, Ariel Helwani was praising him Monday on his show, hes getting mentioned in the same breath as Conor McGregor now too with Cage Warriors Double Champ thing. Its hows its done.


Tried finding the clip on YouTube, but all I could find was some shit promo video put up by CW with too-loud music making it difficult to hear what he was saying.

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They seem to have picked up a bit on the recruiting better talent recently. I’ve noticed it doing the opening posts. Used to see a new name and look them up and they’d be some random with a 7-4 record or something. Seems like more of the new faces coming through on recent and upcoming cards actually have something about them. On this card alone the likes of Delija, Bukauskas, Gamrot, Kutateladze and Striegl have either looked promising already or sound like decent signings with potential to be great signings. We’ve had guys like Buckley, Kasanganay, Topuria, Aspinall and Du Plessis fighting over the weekend. There’s a bunch I’m forgetting as well. Mounir Lazzez is another one. They’re coming through thick and fast lately. 

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