Following a victorious performance of Melbourne welterweight Jake Matthews, who defeated Diego Sanchez last weekend at UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa, five fighters from New South Wales are set to represent Australia on “Fight Island” across the following three cards taking place at Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The list includes featherweight Joshua Culibao, light heavyweight Jimmy Crute, lightweight Jamie Mullarkey, heavyweight Tai Tuivasa, and former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
Joshua Culibao faces Charles Jourdain at UFC Fight Island 4, Oct 4
The first up is Sydney mixed martial artist Joshua Culibao (8-1), who faces Canadian Charles Jourdain (10-3) at featherweight. The pair squares off on the preliminary card at UFC Fight Island 4 this coming Sunday, October 4 (start time here).
Culibao made his UFC debut in February, but failed to take the win against Jalin Turner, who stopped him in the second round. Jourdain was in action in June, suffering the defeat by split decision against Andre Fili.
Jimmy Crute takes on Modestas Bukauskas at UFC Fight Island 5, Oct 18
Two weeks later Jimmy Crute (11-1) of Bendigo, New South Wales takes on Lithuanian Modestas Bukauskas (11-2) at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie on October 18. The pair squares off at light heavyweight.
Crute was in action in February, when he submitted Michal Oleksiejczuk in the first round. Bukauskas made his UFC debut mid July, taking the win via first-round TKO (retirement) over Andreas Michailidis.
Jamie Mullarkey meets Fares Ziam at UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. The Korean Zombie, Oct 18
Also on October 18 at UFC Fight Island 5, lightweights Jamie Mullarkey (12-3) and Fares Ziam (10-3), both make their second appearance inside the Octagon. Both are also looking to avenge the defeats suffered in their previous bouts.
Mullarkey of Central Coast, NSW made his promotional debut at in a blockbuster fight against Brad Riddell, who earned a UD at UFC 243 in Melbourne last October. French MMA fighter Fares Ziam also fought a year ago, also suffering the defeat by unanimous decision against Don Madge.
Tai Tuivasa goes up against Stefan Struve at UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje, Oct 25
Culminating “Return to Fight Island” – looking to avenge the defeats suffered in the previous outings, Australian Tai Tuivasa (9-3) battles it out against Dutch Stefan Struve (29-12). The pair meets on the preliminary card at UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje on October 25.
After making a knockout debut in February 2018 against Cyril Asker and taking a UD against former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in the following bout, Sydney heavyweight Tuivasa suffered three defeats in a row. In his previous bout last October he was submitted by Sergey Spivak in the second round.
Struve last fought late last year. He was stopped by Ben Rothwell in Round 2.
Rob Whittaker squares off against Jared Cannonier in UFC 254 co-main event, Oct 25
In conclusion – topping up the “Green and Gold” lineup, NZ-born representative of Australia Rob Whittaker (21-5) takes on American Jared Cannonier (13-4). The pair battles it out in the co-headliner of UFC 254 pay-per-view fight card headlined by undisputed lightweight championship bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje.
Fighting out of Sydney, NSW, Whittaker is fresh off the win by unanimous decision against Darren Till. With the win scored this past July, former UFC middleweight champion avenged the defeat suffered last October against Israel Adesanya who claimed the belt.
Cannonier hasn’t fought in over a year. Nevertheless he brings to the table three straight victories earned prior to the final horn. A trio of TKO includes stoppages of Jack Hermansson, Anderson Silva and David Branch.