(Oli Thompson, back when he used to lift heavy shit for a living. Photo via powershotsmag.com)
UFC 138‘s main event might be a little underwhelming, but there will be more than enough local talent to keep the Birmingham, England crowd engaged. In addition to well-known names like Paul Taylor, John Hathaway, Brad Pickett, and Terry Etim, there will be at least four U.K. fighters making their UFC debuts at the November 5th event. Here’s a quick rundown, with some videos after the jump…
Philip De Fries and Oli Thompson: The two heavyweight fight-finishers will be facing off against each other. De Fries is an undefeated BJJ specialist from Sunderland whose seven victories have all come by way of submission, with six in the first-round. Earlier this month, the 25-year-old choked out Stav Economou at an Ultimate Warrior Challenge event in Essex. Thompson is a former strongman competitor who won first place in the 2006 Britain’s Strongest Man tournament, and qualified for the 2008 World’s Strongest Man championships. As an MMA fighter, his 9-2 record includes five submissions and three KO/TKOs. He is the reigning heavyweight champion of the London-based Ultimate Challenge MMA promotion.
Che Mills: The former British Welterweight Champion of Cage Rage, Mills might be best known for the pair of victories he earned against Marius Zaromskis earlier in his career. He has won his last four fights in four different promotions, most recently knocking out Marcio Cesar at BAMMA 6 in May. Mills will reportedly be fighting TUF 13 vet Chris “Woo!” Cope, who’s coming off his decision win over Chuck O’Neil at the TUF 13 Finale. Che Mills actually appeared in the elimination round of TUF 9, but was quickly heel-hooked by eventual welterweight winner James Wilks, and never officially competed for the UFC.
Vaughan Lee: Fighting out of Birmingham’s Ultimate Training Centre, Lee is an 11-6-1 bantamweight who has ended his last three fights in the first round. He’ll be facing Chris Cariaso, whose 2-2 stint in the UFC/WEC includes decision victories over Rafael Rebello and Will Campuzano.
(Philip De Fries vs. Colin Robinson, 5/29/11)
(Oli Thompson vs. Mark Potter, 6/26/11)
(Che Mills vs. Marius Zaromskis, 8/20/06)
(Vaughan Lee vs. Ian Cox, 6/5/11)