The UFC has been long dominated by fighters from the United States and Brazil.
But Australia and New Zealand are staking a claim in the world’s most popular MMA franchise. A few of the top-ranked fighters in the UFC now hail from OZ and NZ. It’s a bit of a shame that many casual fight fans down under have no idea that they can cheer for, and even bet on their compatriots —most of the top online betting sites have UFC odds. Check this BetOnline Review to see if they have what it takes to earn your patronship.Embed from Getty Images
With UFC 234 held in Melbourne on February 9th, people around the world are going to get a lot more familiar with fighters from Oz and abouts. So, who are the top fighters pounding down the doors in the UFC?
A double-whammy of representation, Whittaker was born in New Zealand but also holds Australian citizenship.Embed from Getty Images
‘Bobby Knuckles’ is 20-4 and the current middleweight champion. Those who follow the TUF series, will recognise him as one of the coaches from 2018’s season. His rival coach was none other than UFC legend, Kelvin Gastelum. As per format, the two coaches do battle either at the end of the season or shortly after. In this case, Robert Whittaker is scheduled to defend his title against in Gastelum in Melbourne at UFC 234.
Whittaker has been listed as a -255 (1.39) favorite over the top contender, Gastelum. These odds relay an implied probability of almost 72%. There is history between these two fighters.Embed from Getty Images
Both are former welterweights and TUF winners. After a bit of a skid, Gastelum has won two straight; since moving up in middleweight, Whittaker has won eight straight.
Tai and Tyson
Tai Tuivasa stated that he gets recognized more outside of Australia than he does in Sydney. The West Sydney Duo, Tai Tuivasa and Tyson Pedro are unique in the UFC. It isn’t often that you see brother-in-laws making waves in the same sport and league.Embed from Getty Images
Tai recently broke into the Top-10 in the UFCs dangerous and crowded heavyweight division. Tyson Pedro is 7-2-0 in the light heavyweight division. He is coming off from back-to-back losses. A 3rd round loss to Shogun (a UFC Legend) and a 1st round submission by Saint Preux. These were fights he asked for. He wanted a chance to beat the best of the best and although he lost in both affairs, he was fighting against elite UFC competitors. Before his loss to Saint Preux, Pedro was ranked #13. So it is safe to say that these brothers are humbly making waves in the sport.
The Shellharbour featherweight is 19-1-0 and currently rank No. 4 in his division. After winning 16 straight, with 10 knockouts, we can say that A.V. is a beast.Embed from Getty Images
His most recent fight was a battle against UFC veteran, Chad Mendes. A win over a guy like Mendes is huge and it solidifies Volkanovski as a top contender.
Bright UFC future ahead
Here we just highlighted four athletes, but we can’t forget to mention Megan Anderson or Isreal Adesanya. Back in 2012, there were just 3 fighters representing the Autralia/New Zealand region. Now there are 21 and we are likely to see the count increase as the sport grows in popularity down under.