Sugar Shane Young is set to make his sixth UFC walk in Perth, Australia at UFC 284. The New Zealander will clash with promotional newcomer, Blake Bilder and is potentially staring down the barrel of being cut from the promotion with a loss. The featherweight scrapper hasn’t had it easy in the UFC, sporting a record of 2-3, with his last two bouts being losses. Young is in desperate need of a victory to not only cement his spot in the organisation but to kick on a make a run at 145lbs.
Young is, without a doubt a phenomenal talent. He made his UFC debut against the man who will be headlining UFC 284, Alexander Volkanovski. What’s even more impressive is that, although he lost his debut against Volkanovski, he went the full 15-minute distance. He took the fight on two weeks’ notice and the fight was contested at a catchweight of 150lbs. It’s a testament to Young that Volkanovski, who is predominantly a striker, looked to ground Young as often as possible. The future champ took Young down five times, clocking up 8:22 control time and ultimately got the unanimous decision victory.
Next, he was matched with Rolando Dy. This played into Young’s hands much more. He was able to get the victory via elbow in the second round, however, he also outstruck Dy 116-58 across just 9:40. It was a similar story against Austin Arnett in his next fight. He outstruck Arnett 121-78, this time over three rounds. Enjoying a two-fight winning run, Young was matched with promotional newcomer, Ludovit Klein.
At the weigh-ins, Klein missed weight by four pounds and the fight was forced to be a catchweight bout. Klein would go on to finish Young via KO in the first round. After a seven-month layoff, Young returned against Omar Morales. Unfortunately for the New Zealander, he was defeated. In a reasonably close fight, Morales won 30-27 on all scorecards, knocking Young to 2-3 in his UFC career.
UFC 284 marks the first time that Young will have competed since March 2021. After almost two years out, Young will be raring to go. He will take on the undefeated, Blake Bilder. ‘El Animal’ won a contract in August on Dana White’s Contender Series finishing Alex Morgan via first-round submission. He’s undefeated at 7-0-1 and will be looking to make a name for himself when he steps into UFC 284.
Young needs a win here or he could be staring down the barrel of being cut from the UFC.