Following the news that Alex Reyes has been forced to withdraw from UFC London due to an unknown injury, the UFC have been hit with a problem, but not necessarily a bad one.
As is mostly the case, when a late notice opportunity comes up in the largest MMA promotion in the world, many fighters jump at the chance to step foot into that famous cage. The problem usually is, many of the fighters asking for the shot, really don’t deserve it.
The UFC’s problem this time around is different, though, as they have two elite competitors campaigning for the fight, but they can only choose one. Names that will be familiar to UK MMA supporters and likely some supporters around the world are Brendan Loughnane and Mike Grundy.
Brendan Loughnane and Mike Grundy looking for shot at UFC London
Loughnane (15-3) has stepped into the UFC octagon before, where he faced Mike Wilkinson after competing on the TUF: Smashes season. He lost that night, but has since went on to win 10 of 12 bouts, which includes a convincing KO win over the aforementioned Wilkinson. After exciting fans and showcasing his skill under the BAMMA promotion, the Mancunian moved on to ACB, where has gone 2-1. After debuting with a win (over Wilkinson), he lost a close split decision to UFC veteran Pat Healy, before rebounding, and most recently stopping Paata Tsxapelia, whilst suffering from a broken arm. Loughnane has competed at both 145lbs and 155lbs.
Grundy (11-1) has time and time again proved himself as one of, if not the best wrestler on the UK MMA circuit. With eight finishes in his 11 wins, the Team Kaobon product has impressed every time out. After losing to Damian Stasiak in his fourth professional fight, Grundy has managed to string together an eight fight win streak, with wins under the BAMMA, ACB, and Aspera FC banner. Most recently was his debut under the Brazilian promotion Aspera banner, where he took a decision win over Fernando Bruno to capture the featherweight championship. The Wigan man is an accomplished wrestler, managing to medal in the commonwealth games in 2014. Usually, he fights at featherweight, but with him being large for the weight class and this fight being on short notice, 155lbs shouldn’t be an issue for him.
If either of these men are chosen to step in on late notice, it will be a massive boost for UK MMA fighters and fans alike, as we’ll see a staple of the scene move on to bigger and better things.