UGD 41: Shevchenko v Brazier
It was a night filled with rematches UGD 40, but we’re back with a clean slate of fresh matchups for UGD 41. Three title fights headline a compelling main card that features strongly Underground’s Heavyweight and Featherweight divisions.
**SHW Title Fight**
Taras "Kobzar" Shevchenko (20-2, 20-2 UGD) v Conor "Gladiator" Brazier (13-3, 3-1 UGD)
A 12-fight win-streak anchors our Super Heavyweight Champion’s endless stream of promotional and career achievements. That man, Taras Shevchenko, will look to defend his title for the ninth straight time in his second run as champion when he takes on Conor Brazier in our main event. The Ukrainian champion’s dominating top game is a bit one dimensional, but razor sharp in it’s effectiveness. The English challenger’s gameplan will be to avoid the takedowns and put his excellent boxing skills to the forefront. With three straight promotional wins, Brazier looks confident and ready to stop the champion’s historic run. Shevchenko has an ice-cold resolve and a wealth of experience to draw from, however, so Brazier will need to be patient and intelligent every second of the fight.
**HW Title Fight**
"Honey" Roy Palmer (12-3, 3-0 UGD) v Bronko Buster (12-5, 1-0 UGD)
We move down ever so slightly to Heavyweight division, as our American champion Roy Palmer defends his title against Bulgaria’s Bronko Buster in the co-main event. At 6’7”, Palmer isn’t used to being the shorter man when he steps into the cage but he’ll have a 6’9” challenger waiting for him when he does on Saturday night. Despite both men being towering strikers, their approaches are much different. Palmer uses an incredibly agile kickboxing style for a man of his stature, but uses his size to wear out his opponents in the clinch and in the grappling exchanges. Buster, on the other hand, uses his unbelievably long frame to the fullest with long punches and generates surprising power in the process. I expect fireworks and a quick night for one of these gentlemen.
“Dangerous” Doc Dykstra (13-4, 7-2 UGD) v Tony O Rangers (11-5-1, 0-1 UGD)
In a featured Heavyweight bout, Doc Dykstra looks to halt his first career losing streak as he takes on a fellow American looking for his first promotional win in Tony O Rangers. Dykstra came into the promotion and delivered an almost flawless run of knockouts and Fight Night bonuses and showed of devastating power in both his hands and feet. Since then, a pair of losses to the division’s elite has put the striker in a must-win situation if he wants to keep his contender label. Tony O Rangers is also looking to rebound from a competitive loss to Roy Palmer after coming in as the Budo Rei FC Heavyweight Champion. The wrestle-boxer has sharp technical punches, which compliment his dangerous submissions on the ground. Rangers would be best to avoid any wild firefights on the feet, as that’s Dykstra’s bread and butter. The longer this fight goes, however, the more I like his chances in this one.
Silvio Crespo (13-3, 0-2 UGD) v Zang Zhai (7-2, 7-1 UGD)
Another superstar tries to halt his first career losing streak, as Silvio Crespo looks for his first promotional win when he takes on divisional stalwart, Zang Zhai. A former Generation, Slaughterhouse and ECFC champion, Crespo came into the organization with a ton of hype. A pair of competitive, yet clear, decision losses has since halted his momentum and brings the Argentinian into a must-win situation. His opponent, Zang Zhai, has been doing work in a tough division and will be looking to finally make the move into the role of title contender with a win here. Zhai will look to keep the fight at a distance with his kicks, while Crespo will look to get in close and make things physical. Expect a grinding, back-and-forth battle in this one.
**FW Title Fight**
Selfie “The Dragon” Lord (11-7, 4-0 UGD) v Shi Fu Tu (7-1-1, 3-0 UGD)
Opening our main card is a highly competitive title fight between two promotionally undefeated Featherweights. The champion, Selfie Lord, has found a home at UGD and has settled in nicely as champion to a previously chaotic division. The Indonesian striker went through the meat grinder at Havoc early in his career and seems to have learned many lessons in his seven losses there. “The Dragon” brings composure in frenzied striking exchanges and has developed his athleticism and defensive grappling nicely over the years. His opponent, Shi Fu Tu, has impressed greatly in his three promotional appearances with a similarly paced kickboxing game. With such a close matchup and style, I expect the winner here to emerge as a result of conditioning and measured aggression.