Four fighters close to home that we'd love to see get a shot when the UFC returns to Belfast 7 years ago

Four fighters close to home that we'd love to see get a shot when the UFC returns to Belfast

In case you didn't hear, the Octagon is returning to these shores.

On November 19, Gunnar Nelson and Dong Hyun Kim will headline the UFC's second show in the SSE Arena.


And with the retirement of Paddy Holohan and Cathal Pendred, the pay-per-view exclusivity of Conor McGregor, the injury to Aisling Daly and Joe Duffy's apparent refusal to appear on the card, established Irish options are few and far between.

But everyone has to start somewhere and there is a gulf of homegrown talent breaking through that could well be given a shot on the Fight Pass prelims of the event.


Here are the four fighters close to home that we'd love to see get a chance to show their skills on the brightest stage for mixed martial arts.

Karl Moore (6-1)

Who better than a hometown fighter to get the crowd onside?

FAI's Moore is a Belfast boy through and through and bounced back from his first career defeat to submit Prince Aounallah at Venator FC last December.


The light heavyweight, who is returning from a serious injury, would be the perfect candidate to open the fight card and he'd ensure a similar turnout to the prelims' attendance at UFC Fight Night 46, when the 3Arena was packed early on to watch Paddy Holohan take to the Octagon for the first time.

Moore, who spent time this summer training at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, has only gone the distance once in his career and would guarantee fireworks at the start of the evening this November.

SBG 205lber Ben Forsyth recently told MMA Latest News that he'd be interested in fighting Moore in Belfast so why not give two homegrown fighters the chance to slug it out?



Sinead Kavanagh (3-0)

Sinead Kavanagh outright asked the UFC to reward her perfect professional record with a slot on the Belfast card.

The SBG bantamweight moved to 3-0 in style and her knockout power is quickly propelling her to the pinnacle of MMA.

Sinead Kavanagh celebrates victory 10/9/2016

"No one is going to stand in my way. I'm going to the top," Kavanagh said after finishing Kataryzna Sadura at BAMMA 26.


"That's 3-0. I should be on the card for UFC Belfast. I have the crowd, I have the wins and I have the talent."

We couldn't agree more!

Ryan Curtis (4-0)

If he keeps winning, the UFC will have no option but to start considering Ryan Curtis.

In just over a year, 'Chaos' has accrued four victories in his professional career and working under Owen Roddy looks to have aided in his development into a truly well-rounded young fighter.

You may have already seen him in photographs alongside none other than Conor McGregor and Curtis' fondness for the finer things in life are a bit reminiscent of the lifestyle of 'The Notorious'.

At BAMMA 26, the Dublin flyweight put on a smothering top display and well-drilled gameplan against a dangerous grappler in Shamsul Haque, going the distance for the first time as a pro, and the reception Curtis received during his walkout would suggest that he'd sell more than a handful of tickets if he made it on to the Belfast card.

And if he doesn't, he's got time on his side and will be knocking at the door before long.

Alan Philpott (16-8)

Another hometown favourite, Alan Philpott is known as 'The Apprentice' but that apprenticeship is almost up as he's showing a masterful presence in the cage lately.

The BAMMA bantamweight champion retained his title in his grudge match with Aaron Blackwell where his personality was on full display.

Alan Philpott celebrates defending his title 10/9/2016

His maturity in coping with the bad blood and ability to entertain the crowd with Nick Diaz-esque reactions to Blackwell's reluctance to engage showed that he's not afraid to express himself.

He's on a tear lately and has definitely earned the chance to perform under the bright UFC lights.