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10 potential fighters that may...
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10 potential fighters that may feature on UFC's return to Dublin

The World's premier MMA organisation announced their return to the Emerald Isle for the first time in five years earlier this week. 

UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard have been inundated with requests from fighters asking to feature on the Dublin card.

It's highly unlikely all of these names will contest on the card but this preview looks at some of the fighter that may compete on the promotion's return to Dublin in August.

Paul Felder:

The "Irish Dragon" headlines next week's UFC Auckland against hometown boy Dan Hooker. Felder is ranked #6 in the UFC rankings and could solidify a number one contender fight with a victory over the 30-year-old Kiwi.

UFC analyst and contending at 155 lbs Felder will be attending the Dublin event regardless of the outcome of next Saturday's headliner. I can confirm the South Philadelphia native would like to fight on the card but will be on colour analyst duties if he doesn't compete on the night.

Felder has a strong Irish following and has strong links to the country from his mother Marian's family lineage.

Joseph Duffy:

Donegal's Duffy is desperate to fight on the August card after being forced off the 2015 scheduled main event against Dustin Poirier due to concussion issues that were revealed in a scan.

The Tristar fighter hasn't been in action since last year's London UFC event where he dropped a decision to Marc Diakiese.

Duffy is one of two active Irish fighters on the UFC roster along with the man he holds a victory over, Conor McGregor.

It would be a no-brainer not to have the popular Burtonport man compete on the card.

 

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Great being back in Vegas @ufcpi and hanging out with @aliabdelaziz000 this man has treated me like family from day one 🙏🏼

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Molly McCann:

One of the most popular UK fighters in the promotion. Liverpool's McCann has a fight booked against American Ashlee Evans-Smith next month at the UFC London card. The Everton supporter is looking to make it four wins on-the-bounce.

She reiterated her desire to potentially compete on the card earlier last week on social media. The flyweight has strong links to Ireland.

The Next Generation Liverpool fighter may be in line for a shot at Shevchenko's gold if she keeps her unbeaten streak going. She often trains with Bellator's Leah McCourt in Owen Roddy's SBG Charlestown facility.

 

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Huge news, UFC returns to Dublin August 15th #UFC #UFCDublin #MMA

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Rhys McKee:

Ballymena's McKee fights for the Cage Warriors welterweight championship in Belfast this May after Ross Huston vacated the title (Opponent TBC).

The promotion has produced nearly 100 fighters for the World's Premier MMA promotion and the Northern Irishman could very well be on his way to the big show with an impressive win.

The former BAMMA lightweight champion may well follow in the footsteps of Jai Herbert. McKee holds a win over the Birmingham man who has gone on to sign for the UFC.

No doubt the pressure will be on Rodney Moore's fighter but it certainly wouldn't be the first time he has overcome adversary in his career.

UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard's eyes will be on Belfast's SSE Arena come May 16.

Darren Till:

Yet another Liverpudlian on the list. Till made an impressive move to 185lbs late last year defeating Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244.

The brash Scouser has never refrained from his admiration for the Irish audience. The Portuguese speaking fighter fought Nicolas Dalby on the 2015 card in Dublin.

A  proposed bout with Jarod Cannonier at UFC 248 looks to have fallen by the wayside after the American revealed he tore a pectoral muscle in training.

The former welterweight challenger would relish an opportunity to compete once again in Dublin's capital.


Tai Tuivasa:

Australia's Tuivasa dropped his last three UFC contests after winning his opening three bouts with the promotion.

Yet he remains a popular fighter amongst the MMA community. Tuivasa also reiterated his desire via social media to fight on the August 15th card.

Despite his three-fight-skid, the entertaining heavyweight fighter would be a welcome addition for the fans.

 

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Joe McColgan:

Another Northern Irish fighter that makes the list. "Fat Joe" has only dropped one of his last six fights, and that loss came against former Cage Warriors lightweight champion Jai Herbert.

McColgan is booked to fight Rafael Machedo on March 20 at CWFC 113. The FAI man says he will complete a quick turn around with a fight on the promotion's Belfast card in May.

Belfast's McColgan is coming off Cagewarrior's 'fight of the year' where he drew with Medhi Ben Lakhtar in one of the greatest contests in promotional history.

He's definitely a fighter that can catch the attention of UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard with a couple of impressive wins.

Valentina Shevchenko:

One of the greatest female mixed martial artists of all-time could potentially headline the Dublin event. The reigning 125lbs champion is coming off an emphatic title defence last weekend against Kaitlyn Chookagian at UFC 243.

The Kyrgyzstan fighter doesn't have any stand out contenders or challengers that she hasn't already fought in the 125lbs division.

UFC brass may consider putting on a title fight for the Dublin fans. Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Jessica Penne contested the strawweight title at 'UFC Fight Night 69: Berlin' title back in 2015.

It may not be beyond the realms of possibility.

Gunnar Nelson:

Iceland's 'Gunni' is no stranger to Dublin. The 170lbs fighter fought on the McGregor vs. Brandoa card back in 2014. He is more or less an adopted Irishman at this point. The Mjolnir and SBG fighter commands a big Irish fanbase.

Nelson dropped this last two bouts in the welterweight division and is coming off a decision loss to Gilbert Burns at UFC Copenhagen last September.

The Renzo Gracie black belt would be a perfect addition for the card in front of familiar surroundings in Dublin's 3Arena to try get back to winning ways.

Alexander Gustafsson: 

The former UFC light-heavyweight title challenger hasn't fought in the Octagon since announcing his retirement from the sport after a loss to Anthony Smith last June.

Swedish outlet MMANytt.com has reported that 'The Mauler" may have decided to u-turn on his decision to walk away from the sport.

It remains to be seen if the Swede will confirm his return to the Octagon but Gustafsson would be a huge addition to any card.

Tickets for UFC Dublin go on General Sale on June 26th.

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Alexander Gustafsson Darren Till Gunni Nelson Joe McColgan Joseph Duffy MIXED MARTIAL ARTS Mma Molly Mccann Niall Mcgrath Paul Felder Rhys Mckee Ufc Valentina Shevchenko

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