The UFC is back in Singapore for the first time in three years, and the promotion has brought a fun card with UFC 275. First, in the main event, Glover Teixeira defends his light heavyweight belt for the first time against Jiri Prochazka. Then, in the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko defends her belt for the seventh time against Brazil’s Taila Santos. Oh, and in the feature bout of the evening, the rematch is finally among us – Joanna Jedrzejczyk returns against Weili Zhang. However, if you look past these fights, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
Second fight = main card
Jack Della Maddalena is must-watch television, and he is being treated as such. In his second fight with the promotion, he will open up the main card. The Australian has only been to the judge’s scorecards once in his career, and that was on Dana White’s Contender Series in what was an absolute war with Ange Loosa. In his UFC debut, he knocked out Pete Rodriguez at UFC 270, and this weekend he will face a tough test in Ramazan Emeev.
Manel Kape could crack the top 10
When Manel Kape entered the UFC in 2020, the hype was real. He made waves in Rizin for several years, eventually winning the bantamweight title by knocking out Kai Asakura. Unfortunately, he lost his UFC debut in a lackluster affair and then lost his next fight via a controversial split decision. However, the 28-year-old found his stride late in 2021 when he knocked out Ode Osbourne. He then knocked out Zhalgas Zhumagulov to end his year. He faces Rogério Bontorin at UFC 275, and if he wins, he will take the Brazilian’s No. 8 ranking and that much close to the title shot he wants.
Quick turnaround for Andre Fialho
Since January, Andre Fialho has been in the UFC and has already fought three times. He returns to the octagon for the fourth time at UFC 275. After losing his UFC debut at UFC 270, the fighter from Portugal bounced back by knocking out Miguel Baeza. Fialho would return less than a month later at UFC 274 and starch Cameron VanCamp in the first round to win a second Performance of the Night. Immediately after the fight, he would ask Dana White to hop on UFC 275, and he got his wish. Fialho faces UFC veteran Jake Matthews.
Banger of the week
Seung Woo Choi vs. Joshua Culibao is UFC 275’s banger of the week and is a shoo-in for Fight of the Night. Both featherweights come forward and throw bombs. Culibao is coming off his first UFC win after fighting to a draw with madman Charles Jourdain in 2020. The Australian has five knockouts on his record and will be looking to get his first one in the UFC. Choi had his three-fight win streak snapped last time out, but he was piecing up Alex Caceres before he lost. After dropping his first two fights, the South Korean has really found his groove in the UFC. Choi has six knockouts in his ten wins.
Welcome to the UFC, Hayisaer Maheshate
Hayisaer Maheshate makes his UFC debut this weekend after winning a contract on season five of Dana White’s Contender Series. The Chinese fighter was a +475 underdog against Achilles Estremadura and ended up winning a unanimous decision. At just 22-years-old, a lot will be learned at UFC 275. He has not beat a lot of solid competition on the regional scene, so we will see how he does. Maheshate faces Steve Garcia.
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MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.