At first glance, UFC Fight Island 4 isn’t the most stacked card. But taking a deeper look, this card is critical for title contention in a faceoff against the female GOAT Amanda Nunes. This fight highlights the Women’s Bantamweight division and offers crucial crossroads for many on this card.
Main Event: Title Hopes
One the line for Irene Aldana, this is the first time in her career that she is in direct title contention. With a win tonight, she will be next up to fight Amanda Nunes for the Bantamweight title. Her boxing and dominance she’s shown in 5 of her last 6 fights have put her in this spot against a legend of the division, Holly Holmes. For Holly, this is very familiar territory but no less very significant. After knocking out Rhonda Rousey, Holmes was thrust into UFC greatness. She comes in with 6 title fights winning her first two. She’s lost her last 4 championship fights and for her, this is a streak she is itching to get out of. Holmes needs this win to get herself another shot vs Amanda Nunes as a much more polished fighter
Co-Main Event: Ranking Contention
On the line for these two heavyweights, they’re a far way from title contention but the next step would be getting into those rankings. Both Yorgan and Carlos are ranked the high 40s but both only have 1 loss on their record. If Yorgan De Castro wants to make a title push someday, it’s going to have to be starting today. At 33, a loss here would be detrimental especially at his age. For Carlos Felipe, he’s only 25, so he has a lot more room to grow and to make mistakes on his way up. Still, having only one loss on his record makes him a lot more appealing as a ranked fighter hopeful. If he’s to lose this one and continue to take losses, his appeal to one day fight for the title would be diminished. For Yorgan, this fight is almost a must-win if he one day hopes to fight for the belt. For Carlos, he’s going to need to keep his record clean if he ever has dreams of one day becoming champion.
#1 Germaine de Randamie vs #4 Julianna Pena: Title Hopes
On the line for these fighters is a shot at the title as well. Being ranked #1, Germaine de Randamie has shown a championship pedigree of her own. She was the inaugural Women’s Bantamweight champion and also fought Amanda Nunes for the belt. Her striking is world-class and it shows in each of her fights. For de Randamie, she needs to impressively win here to propel her name back to title contention. After her loss to Amanda Nunes, she needs to show a different side of her to make her an appealing challenger again. For Julianna Pena, this is a big step up in competition for her. Her last opponent is currently ranked 19th and Germaine is ranked #1. She has title aspirations of her own giving comments that she is the clear cut title challenger if she does win this fight. With such a big step up in competition, she needs to show the boss that she can hang at this level and is worthy of a date with Amanda Nunes
Kyler Phillips vs Cameron Else: Good Impression
On the line for these young fighters is the impression they will leave early in their UFC career. For Else, this is his first UFC bout and for Kyler, this is his second. They say you only have one chance to make a first impression and for Cameron Else, coming in on a 6 fight win streak leaves a lot to pay attention to. Early in their careers, on UFC Fight Island, the stage is set for them to make their name. Just look at Khamzat Chimaev; 3 months ago, no one knew his name, and now after just 3 UFC Fights his name is already being talked about in title discussions. For Philips and Else, they have this shot tonight to leave an impression for everyone to talk about
Dequan Townsend vs Duško Todorović: Fighting for Job vs Staying Perfect
On the line for Dequan Townsend is something I’m sure is weighing heavily on him. After starting his UFC career 0-3, Townsend is on the chopping block. A loss tonight means he no longer has a Job at the UFC. For him, a win is feeding his family tomorrow so look for him to come out with some passion. On the other hand, on the line for Todorovic is entering the UFC with a bang. Entering the UFC 9-0 is coming in with a huge advantage. That 0 at the end of the record is always an eye catcher. If Todorovic is able to keep his record flawless, his ability to shoot his way up the rankings into a title shot increases exponentially. Two fighters with a lot on the line in this one.