The UFC continues its second Fight Island series with UFC Fight Island 5 on October 10, 2020, at the Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
For this installment, the promotion will feature bantamweight contenders Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen in a bout that will determine the first challenger for UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan who is coming off a big win over Jose Aldo. Moraes is currently the no.1 contender in the promotion while Sandhagen is the 4th best bantamweight in the UFC.
The event also features featherweight contender Edson Barboza who will take on Makwan Amirkhani. Heavyweights Ben Rothwell and Marcin Tybura are also set to throw down in the main card. Before the main show, there is a seven-fight prelims undercard that will show that will showcase some of the UFC’s new international prospects.
Here are the fights in the prelims undercard of UFC Fight Island 5:
Tom Breese is the former BAMMA welterweight champion who also fought for CWFC. The 29-year old from Birmingham, England won his first three UFC bouts but is 1-2 in his last three octagon assignments. Breese is 11-2 with four knockouts and six wins via submission. He stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 73 inches and is a southpaw fighter.
KB Bhullar fought for AFC and Unified MMA and was set for an appearance at the Contender Series this coming November. But after Russian Roman Kopylov pulled out of his bout against Tom Breese, Bhullar got the call and will step in on short notice. He is undefeated at 8-0 with four knockouts and two wins via submission. Bhullar is a switch hitter who stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 78 inches.
Bhullar is a well-rounded prospect but his striking defense still has a long way to go. That’s going to be an issue against Breese who has sharp boxing. I think more than his opponent, the problem for Breese will be his mindset because he is coming off a beating in his last bout. Both these fighters are equal on the ground so this will be decided on the feet where Breese has a big edge. For as long as he is near his best shape, Breese should control a striking battle.
Prediction: Tom Breese
Chris Daukaus fought mostly for CFFC but also had stints with the XFE and ROC. The 31-year old from Philadelphia scored a first-round knockout win over Parker Porter at UFC 252. Daukaus has a record of 9-3 with 8 knockouts. He stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 76 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Rodrigo Nascimento fought in Brazil before joining the Contender Series Season 3 last year where he submitted Michal Martinek inside one round. In his UFC debut, the 27-year old Brazilian submitted Don’Tale Mayes last May. Nascimento has a record of 8-0 with two knockouts and six wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-2 tall with a reach of 80 inches.
I’m surprised why Nascimento is a sizeable favorite here. Sure, he has a four-inch advantage in reach but Daukaus is a good striker in his own right. Nascimento looked solid on the feet against Mayes but Daukaus has more to offer. Nascimento is only 27-year old and is still improving. But based on what we’ve seen in their recent outings, I prefer Daukaus power and boxing. Give me the plus money here.
Prediction: Chris Daukaus
Impa Kasanganay fought for KOTC and LFA before making an appearance at the Contender Series 2020 week 2 where he picked up a unanimous decision win over Anthony Adams. After earning his UFC contract on August 11th, he made his UFC debut on August 29th, where he defeated Maki Pitolo. Kasanganay is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 75 inches. He has a record of 8-0 with two wins via submission.
Joaquin Buckley had a five-fight stint with Bellator after starting his MMA career with Shamrock FC. The 26-year old from St. Louis, Missouri made his UFC debut last August and lost via knockout to Kevin Holland. He has a record of 10-3 with seven wins via knockouts. Buckley is a southpaw who stands 5-10 tall and has a reach of 76 inches.
Kasanganay has the superior arsenal and athleticism here. He is also the bigger man in this bout with Buckley doing his best work at welterweight. I’m not discounting the possibility that Buckley gets a knockout here. But I think that Kasanganay is sharp enough to avoid Buckley’s haymakers and take advantage of the openings Buckley will leave. I’ll go with Kasanganay’s more effective striking over Buckley’s offensive bursts.
Prediction: Impa Kasanganay
Ali Alqaisi is a veteran of Desert Force and Phoenix Fighting in the Middle East. This 30-year old Jordanian picked up three straight wins at Brave FC before joining the UFC. He lost via split decision to Irwin Rivera at UFC Fight Night 174 last August. He stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 68 inches and is an orthodox fighter. The Royal Fighter has a record of 8-4 with one knockout and four wins via submission.
Tony Kelley fought for Legacy FC and Legacy kickboxing before making his octagon debut at UFC 252. The 33-year old from Shreveport, Louisiana lost to Kai Kamaka in his first UFC bout. He has a record of 5-2 with one knockout and three wins via submission. Kelley stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 70 inches and is a switch hitter.
Kelley’s length, output, movement, and vast striking arsenal have him in a good spot in his bantamweight debut. He was taken down five times in his last bout so Alqaisi could be thinking of getting this fight to the mat. However, I think that Kelley wins this fight wherever it goes. Alqaisi has limited offense and unless he catches Kelley with a big shot, this is a tough fight for him. The only way Kelley loses this is if he runs out os gas. I’m going with the favorite here.
Prediction: Tony Kelley
Georgia’s Giga Chikadze fought for Gladiator Challenge and made an appearance at the Contender Series in 2018. The 32-year old joined the UFC last year and is 3-0 inside the octagon. He is coming off a decision win over Irwin Rivera and 10-2 with six knockouts and one win via submission. Chikadze is 6-0 tall with a reach of 74 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Omar Morales appeared in Fight Time and Bellator before picking up a TKO win over Harvey Park at the Contender Series 3. The 34-year old Venezuelan Fighter is 2-0 inside the octagon. He has a record of 10-0 with two knockouts and five wins via submission. Morales is 5-11 tall with a reach of 73 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Although this is the Venezuelan Fighter’s first foray at featherweight, Morales is a step-up in level of opposition for Chikadze. Based on his first fight, Morales may have enough ground games to cause problems for Chikadze. However, Morales’ strength is his striking and Chikadze is one of the elite stand-up fighters at this weight class. It will be hard for Morales to win if what he does is what Chikadze exactly wants to do too. I like Chikadze to win a kicking battle here.
Prediction: Giga Chikadze
Tracy Cortez fought for the WFF and Combate Americas and has a good experience at Invicta FC. The 26-year old from Phoenix, Arizona defeated Mariya Agapova at the Contender Series Season 3 and won her Octagon debut against Vanessa Melo at UFC Fight Night 164. Cortez is 7-1 with one knockout and one submission. She stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 65 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Stephanie Egger appeared at Invicta FC, Rizin, and Buddy MMA. The 32-year old from Switzerland will be making her UFC debut in this bout. Egger is 5-1 with two knockouts and two wins via submission. She stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 68 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.
Egger is a standout judoka who owns a win over Ronda Rousey but on her feet, she doesn’t have enough striking chops to compete with Cortez here. Cortez relies more on her aggression than her technique but with Egger’s struggles on her feet, I think she will be able to bully her opponent here. Cortez also has good wrestling so she should hold her own on the mat. As long as Egger doesn’t get her caught in a body lock, Cortez should beat up Egger and win this fight convincingly.
Prediction: Tracy Cortez
Bruno Silva appeared in Aspera Fighting Championship and WFF before joining the UFC in 2019. After a no-contest against Khalid Taha, he lost a decision to David Dvorak last March. Silva has a record of 10-4 with 3 knockouts and 3 wins via submission. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-4 tall with a reach of 65 inches.
Tagir Ulanbekov is a veteran of EFN, Fight Night Global, and Gorilla Fighting Championship. The 29-year old from Dagestan will be making his UFC debut here. Ulanbekov is a southpaw who stands 5-7 tall and has a reach of 70 inches. He has a record of 10-1 with one knockout and five wins via submission.
Silva has a dangerous stand-up game but Ulanbekov has a snappy jab and the edge in length that should help neutralize the Brazilian’s striking assets. Silva’s BJJ is dangerous but Ulanbekov is a high-level grappler and a very skilled wrestler. I think that Ulanbekov will take this fight to the mat where he will grind out a physical win over Silva. Ulanbekov controls this fight from top position and batters Silva from there.
Prediction: Tagir Ulanbekov
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