UFC on ESPN+ 18: Under the Radar

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The UFC returns to Europe as they put on a card in Copenhagen, Denmark for the first time. UFC on ESPN+ 18 will be headlined by upcoming middleweight contenders Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier. The co-main event in Copenhagen will feature a distinguished Danish promotional debutante, Mark O. Madsen

There are a number of fights on this card that are not getting the recognition they deserve. We give a nod to these fights and highlight some fighters you may want to keep an eye out for.

Flashy Styles Meet on the Prelims

A fight between Marc Diakiese and Lando Vannata is criminally going under the radar. With two of the most flashy styles on the roster, why this fight isn’t getting more attention is a mystery. If you’re attending the event live, be sure to get to the arena early and if you’re watching the event, be sure to tune in from the start. Buried right down on the prelims, this fight is sure to be fireworks.

With his flashy style, Diakiese broke onto the UFC scene with three victories on the spin. Finishing two of these three victories, Diakiese seemed to be Britain’s next hope at a title belt. After a slight fall from grace, losing his next three, Diakiese got back on track in London this year. He dominated Joe Duffy over three rounds, picking up his first victory in two years.

Vannata broke into the UFC off the back of a successful run in a number of local promotions. He took on Tony Ferguson in his debut on short notice and came extremely close to an upset. Knocking Ferguson down multiple times, Vannata was eventually caught in a D’Arce choke. Following this, ‘Groovy’ scored one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history. Facing John Makdessi, Vannata was able to land a wheel kick, instantly knocking his opponent out.

If you’re a fan of flashy kicks, slick boxing and unpredictable strikes, this is the fight for you. With a combined 10 knockouts, these two men are rarely in boring fights. After both men impressed in their previous bouts, they will look to carry this momentum into UFC on ESPN+ 18. As the second fight on the entire card, be sure to tune in and not miss a minute of the action.

Exciting Light Heavyweights Collide

Khalil Rountree Jr is set to meet Ion Cutelaba on the main card at UFC on ESPN+ 18. As one of our ‘male fighters who need to make a return’, it is good to see Rountree in action again. Contested at 205lbs, this fight is set to showcase some of the most brutal power the light heavyweight division has to offer.

Rountree Jr massively impressed in his previous bout, where he showcased an extremely different style. Having been knocked out by Johnny Walker in his previous bout, Rountree travelled to Thailand to improve his game. The improvements were on show as he faced Eryk Anders at UFC 236. Constantly chopping at Anders’ legs, Rountree knocked him down four times on the way to a unanimous 30-26 victory on all scorecards.

Cutelaba is 3-3 in the UFC but has only lost to top-level opponents. He has dropped fights against Misha Cirkunov, Jared Cannonier and in his most recent bout, Glover Teixeira. Cutelaba has scary knockout power and can put anyone in the division to sleep. With only one of his 14 victories going to decision, Cutelaba knows how to finish a fight. Looking to avoid losing back-to-back fights for the first time in his career, we can expect him to be extremely motivated for this fight.

In a fight which has ‘stand up war’ written all over it, this fight is certainly going under the radar. With wins over names such as Henrique da Silva, Paul Craig and Gokhan Saki on these men’s resumes, each will again be looking to put on a show.

Fighters Looking to Impress at UFC on ESPN+ 18

Macy Chiasson

Macy Chiasson is looking for her fourth UFC win in the space of a year, having broken onto the UFC scene by winning TUF 28. Dropping down to 135lbs, she knocked out Gina Mazany in under two minutes at UFC 235. She added to this by scoring another knockout victory over Sarah Moras. She’ll be looking to continue this streak when she faces Sweden’s Lina Lansberg.

Nicolas Dalby

Nicolas Dalby returns to the UFC having been released in 2016. Having gone 1-2-1, with a draw against Darren Till in the UFC, he joined Cage Warriors following his release. Dropping his first fight, Dalby won three on the spin, all by finish to set up a fight with welterweight champion, Ross Houston. Although this ended in a no-contest due to too much blood on the surface, the UFC re-signed Dalby. He will be looking to impress on his promotional return, but it won’t be easy as he faces 15 fight UFC veteran, Alex Oliveira.

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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