Five Newcomers to Watch at UFC 285

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An incredibly-stacked pay-per-view for the Ultimate Fighting Championship awaits our viewing pleasure.

UFC 285 will take place this upcoming Saturday, March 4th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the night’s featured main event, former two-time UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones makes his long-awaited octagon return in search of the promotion’s vacant heavyweight strap against former heavyweight title challenger Ciryl Gane. Additionally, current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko targets her eighth defense of the 125-pound championship in the co-main event against the four-fight win streak of Alexa Grasso.

Fourteen fights are scheduled for Saturday night’s card. Early preliminaries begin at 6:15pm ET (3:15pm PT) on both ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass with regular prelims at 8:00pm ET (5:00pm PT) on ESPN and ESPN+. Five fights composing the pay-per-view portion start at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) available to purchase through ESPN+.

UFC 285: Jones vs. Gane results will be available here at MMASucka.

Some faces this Saturday, both new and young, are looking to make headway in their respected divisions as they look to make the most in the world’s leading fight promotion. In preparation for what is to come during their UFC tenures, here are five UFC newcomers to watch this weekend at UFC 285.

• Esteban Ribovics

Record: 11-0
Division: Lightweight (115 LB. – 70.3 KG.)
Height: 5 FT. 10 IN. – 178 CM.
Reach: 69 IN. – 175 CM.
Team: Alfa Team
Age: 26
Opponent: Loik Radzhabov

In UFC 285’s first fight of the night, Esteban Ribovics will make his promotional debut. The Argentinian won a UFC contract in August of last year with his 90-second knockout over Tomas Paull on Week Four of Dana White’s Contender Series. All eleven bouts thus far for Ribovics have come by way of stoppage including six fights ending inside the first round his and a current three-fight stretch totaling less than two and-a-half minutes of fight time.

With two titles in two separate regional promotions, the pressure of capitalizing on key moments should come as familiar for the UFC newcomer. The task, however, will come as tough opening the pay-per-view against two-time Professional Fighters League lightweight finalist Loik Radzhabov.

Farid Basharat

Record: 9-0
Division: Bantamweight (135 LB. – 61.2 KG.)
Height: 5 FT. 8 IN. – 173 CM.
Reach: 71 IN. – 180 CM.
Team: Xtreme Couture
Age: 25
Opponent: Da’Mon Blackshear

Farid Basharat follows in the night’s second fight on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass. A similar path to Ribovics it was with his Week Eight contract win on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2022 defeating Allan Begosso by unanimous decision. Five wins of his nine-fight undefeated run have come by submission with each by method of rear-naked choke. His signing added another sibling-fighting duo to the octagon joining his older brother Javid Basharat.

Former Cage Fury FC champion Da’Mon Blackshear looks to end Basharat’s rising success and his first hand to be raised with the UFC after his August of 2022 fight with Youssef Zalal ended in a majority draw.

Cameron Saaiman

Record: 7-0
Division: Bantamweight (135 LB. – 61.2 KG.)
Height: 5 FT. 8 IN. – 173 CM.
Reach: 67 IN. – 170 CM.
Team: CIT Performance Institute
Age: 22
Opponent: Mana Martinez

The youngest fighter to compete at UFC 285, as well as third youngest active fighter in the promotion, Cameron Saaiman, will appear in fight four on the early preliminary card. A recurring theme it is as the young talent remains professionally undefeated and a Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner, but tonight’s fight does not come as his UFC debut. Last December, Saaiman took on short-notice replacement Steven Koslow at UFC 282 and, despite an accidental illegal knee in the second round, went on to finish the fight with a barrage of strikes in round three. The former EFC bantamweight champion earned a “Performance of the Night” with his finish and now is looking to make the most of his second go.

Saaiman’s opponent, former three-time defending Fury FC champion Mana Martinez, targets his third UFC win in four outings.

Ian Garry

Record: 10-0
Division: Welterweight (170 LB. – 77.1 KG.)
Height: 6 FT. 3 IN. – 191 CM.
Reach: 74 IN. – 188 CM.
Team: Kill Cliff FC
Age: 25
Opponent: Kenan Song

Despite not being entirely new to the UFC, Ian Garry has made the most of his sub-15 month tenure. After signing a promotional contract following his five-round Cage Warriors welterweight championship victory over Jack Grant, the Irishman has accumulated three additional wins to his ten total professionally. Training alongside the likes of talents like last weekend’s main event victor Brendan Allen and UFC 285’s Shavkat Rakhmonov, Garry continues to build an arsenal dangerous for everyone in his path up the welterweight ranks.

He, alongside the always-entertaining Song Kenan, will square off in the featured bout on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass. Will Garry avoid his first career blemish, or will Kenan rebound after his near two-year hiatus from the UFC?

Bo Nickal

Record: 3-0
Division: Middleweight (185 LB. – 83.9 KG.)
Height: 6 FT. 1 IN. – 185 CM.
Reach: 76 IN. – 193 CM.
Team: American Top Team
Age: 27
Opponent: Jamie Pickett

Time has finally arrived for Bo Nickal. His beginnings in martial arts started with wrestling before finding remarkable success at Pennsylvania State University earning numerous collegiate wrestling and world freestyle wrestling championships across multiple years. Nickal would ultimately transition to the MMA scene and, after two amateur wins in 2021, made his professional debut in June of last year with a 33-second knockout. The bout was followed not long after with appearances on Dana White’s Contender Series in August and September with two more finishes under 65 seconds; the subsequent resulting in a UFC contract.

Nickal was originally planned to fight three-time Contender Series notable Jamie Pickett at UFC 282 in December until an undisclosed injury forced him out of the meeting. In turn, the fight was moved to this weekend’s UFC 285 event in Las Vegas and will open the night’s pay-per-view.


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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.

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