Who’ll hit the big time in The Big Apple? Four reasons to watch UFC Brooklyn

Who’ll hit the big time in The Big Apple? Four reasons to watch UFC Brooklyn
The UFC returns to Brooklyn, New York this weekend for UFC Fight Night as world's leading MMA promotion makes its debut on ESPN in the United States.

Clearly the UFC are keen to make a big impression, as they have stacked the deck with a host of elite-level fighters looking to kick off 2019 with a significant win.

Here are four key reasons why you shouldn’t miss this weekend’s event:

THERE’S A WORLD TITLE ON THE LINE

You don’t often get a UFC world title fight at the top of a Fight Night card, but Saturday night’s event in Brooklyn has been treated to exactly that.

Reiging UFC flyweight world champion and former US Olympic Gold medalist Henry Cejudo will put his newly-won 125lb world title on the line against reigning bantamweight world champion TJ Dillashaw.

The fight offers Dillashaw the chance to become a two-division world champion, and should offer a fascinating clash of styles between heavy-handed wrestler Cejudo and slick striking stylist Dillashaw, who is arguably one of the best champions on the UFC roster today.

But with Cejudo dethroning the pound-for-pound great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson to win the title, the former Olympian knows he has the ability to defeat the very best technical fighters on the planet.

Their main event clash in Brooklyn should make for a spectacular matchup.

GILLESPIE LOOKS TO PROVE HE HAS “THE GIFT”

Undefeated lightweight prospect Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie is in red-hot form and hoping to secure a fight with a top-ranked opponent with victory over scrappy Hawaiian danger man Yancy Medeiros.

Gillespie is undefeated in his 12-fight MMA career to date, and is 5-0 in the UFC, with finishes in each of his last four outings.

Now lined up against Medeiros, who is one of the most dangerous fighters outside of the UFC’s Top 15, Gillespie will be aiming for another eye-catching performance as he looks to gatecrash the world title picture in the super-competitive UFC lightweight division.

COWBOY FACES ANOTHER TOP PROSPECT

Longtime fan-favorite and future UFC Hall of Famer Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is back in action once again as he takes on rising lightweight contender Alexander “The Great” Hernandez in the night’s featured preliminary bout.

Cerrone’s last octagon outing saw him defeat welterweight Mike Perry via submission in November last year. And after his victory he announced his move back down to lightweight, where he plans on making a run at the title.

He’ll face Hernandez, who is 10-1 and hasn’t lost since his third career fight, back in 2013. The American is now riding an eight-fight win streak and is perfect in the UFC so far, having picked up two wins from his first two contests. But against Cerrone he’s making a big step up in quality.

Will the hot prospect keep his winning run going or can the veteran Cowboy turn back the Hernandez hype train?

THERE ARE TWO SUPERB WOMEN’S MATCH-UPS

From the moment the UFC created women’s weight classes in the UFC, the world’s best female fighters have always delivered the goods inside the octagon and produce crowd-pleasing, exciting fights.

And Saturday night will see two superb women’s flyweight match-ups inside the octagon.

On the main card, Paige VanZant returns to action when she faces Hawaii’s Rachael Ostovich. VanZant has been out of action since January 2018 while Ostovich is making her return after allegedly being attacked by her husband.

The other flyweight fight takes place on the preliminary card, and looks set to be a potential Fight of the Night contender, as Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood takes on UFC debutante Ariane Lipski.

Brazil’s Lipski arrives in the UFC as the KSW women’s flyweight champion. The 24-year-old is known as “The Violence Queen” and will be looking to make a statement on her octagon debut.