After submitting Garret Nybakken two weeks ago to earn Unified MMA gold, Tristan “Boondock” Connelly will defend his lightweight title for the first time against UFC, WSOF veteran “Shaolin” Shane Campbell.
The news was announced on Monday.
Victoria BC’s Connelly (8-5) has won three straight victories, all via finish, in a row. In the co-main event of BFL 45, he picked up a quick knockout victory over Ash Mashreghi. He then traveled to Alberta, Canada and submitted Adam Assenza at Fight Night Medicine Hat 2. After those two wins, he picked up the third round submission win over Nybakken to win the Unified MMA lightweight title. Before he defends that title in June, he will face Lenny Wheeler in the main event of “Elite 1 MMA: Collision Course” next month.
“Boondock” has this to say about his future Unified MMA title-challenger.
“Shane is going to bring it, and I’m going to bite down on my mouthguard and swing for the fences too. It’s going to be a back-and-forth brawl, but I’m going to wear him down and take him out in the fourth or fifth round. I’m going to come out on top and bring my title back home where it belongs.”
“Shaolin” Shane Campbell (11-6) returned to Unified MMA two weeks ago after a five-fight run with the UFC. He faced Jose Rodriguez in Edmonton at Unified MMA 30 and earned a third-round TKO victory, receiving a shot at Tristan Connelly and the lightweight championship in the process.
Campbell had this to say about earning a shot at Unified MMA gold.
“This is a big opportunity for me to showcase my skills in front of Edmonton and hold it down for my city. I’ve got a big team behind me, and I’ve gotta lead by example. Tristan is just holding my belt. He’s just another body. Another stepping stone for me.”
Not only will two of Canada’s finest be competing for the world championship, but former world champion Garret “Nasty” Nybakken will also return to action on the card to face Craig Shintani.
“I’m very excited to get back in the cage and put that last fight behind me,” says Nybakken, who was previously on a five-fight win streak. “I have something to prove and Craig is a strong kid. I think it’s a great fight for me to show I’ve gotten my wrestling back in order and won’t be held down by a wrestler again.”
Adds Shintani, “I’m really excited for this opportunity to fight at home again. I’m going to put on a show for my friends, family, and all the Edmonton fight fans! This is a fight that fans want to see, and I look forward to the challenge.”
Unified MMA 31 is slated to take place on June 9 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.