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UFC 285: Prospects to Watch

UFC 285 may mark the return of Jon Jones and at heavyweight for that matter, but the card itself has some very fun fighters to watch that aren’t in the main or co-main event. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the best and why you should tune in!

Tabatha Ricci: BJJ Phenom

Tabatha Ricci is a fun fighter with a 7-1 professional record. The Brazilian has a 2-1 record in the UFC and a wicked ground game. She lost her first fight in the UFC to Manon Fiorot at flyweight, which isn’t her natural weight class. Since then, she’s beat Maria Oliveira and Polyana Viana via decision. She was supposed to fight her current opponent, Jessica Penne, in October of 2022 but Penne was out due to illness. They were rebooked for this event and now, we get a fun matchup.

Look out for slick submissions on the ground if Ricci is able to get the fight there. She started training judo at six and started training Muay Thai at 15. She started BJJ at 17, a year before her first MMA match, and quickly went on to become a black belt, her second with the first coming in judo.

Ian Machado Garry: Undefeated Irish Prospect

Ian Machado Garry is a 10-0 fighter and former Cage Warriors champion. He won that belt against the violent Jack Grant and made his UFC debut five months later when he beat Jordan Williams via first round knockout. He went on to win two more when he beat Darian Weeks at UFC 273 and Gabe Green at UFC 267, both by decision.

Machado Garry is taking on Kenan Song and has some highlight finishes with several knockouts and submissions on his record.

UFC 285 Fighter To Watch: Bo Nickal

The biggest name to watch this weekend is Bo Nickal. Nickal is only 3-0 but he’s one of the best fighters in the game right now. Nickal began his career in martial arts by winning three NCAA D1 National Championships at Penn State. He’s notched wins over Patrick Brucki, Kollin Moore, Max Dean, Gabe Dean, and many others in his college career, ending with a mind blowing 120-3 record.

In freestyle, Nickal has won a U23 World Championship and beat names like Pat Downey, Shamil Zubairov, Alex Dieringer, Zahid Valencia, and more in his time there. His MMA career has started off insanely perfect. His debut was a 33 second knockout of John Noland. After that, he was invited on Dana White’s Contender Series when he beat Zachary Borrego in the first round despite Borrego missing weight. He didn’t win the contract there and came back to face Donovan Beard on a later episode of the Contender Series and won that in 52 seconds.

Nickal is one to watch at UFC 285, perhaps the most intriguing fighter after Jon Jones being back. Don’t miss his fight. He’s a future star.

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