Watch UFC Fight Night 121 Full Fight Replay
The UFC returns to Sydney, Australia, on Saturday with a card that went from very intriguing to a downright mash-up.
The headline battle was expected to be a heavyweight affair between Aussie fan-favorite Mark Hunt and former M-1 champion Marcin Tybura. Nevertheless, Hunt was pulled from the card about a month out due to medical factors and previous UFC heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum has actioned in as a replacement. In addition, Jesse Taylor was supposed to fight Belal Muhammad, up until The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption winner popped favorable for banned substances and was changed by Tim Means. Another main-card bout was to include former TUF participants Bec Rawlings and Joanne Calderwood, but Calderwood pulled out last week, leading to the marketing launching of Jessy “Jess” Rose-Clark. Those are now the last three battles on the main card.
Werdum is coming off a submission of Walt Harris last month to go back to the win column. He terribly needs a win over the eighth-ranked Tybura to get back in any sort of title hunt. Tybura, on the other hand, went from dealing with the No. 5 heavyweight to the No. 2 heavyweight, which indicates a win over Werdum might lead straight to a title shot. This is a critical match-up for both huge males.
Rose-Clark got handed a quite sweet gift when the 7-4-1 Aussie fighter drew the replacement to handle Rawlings. Rawlings has had a rough stretch over the last 4 and a half years, going 3-5, and she gets in the cage on a two-fight losing streak. Jessy “Jess” might be making her Octagon debut, however she’s facing the uncommon unranked fighter who likewise brings a name, so it is an excellent entry into the promotion.
The other aforementioned replacement fight carries a hard load for Muhammad, who handles the exceptionally nasty Means. Means is coming off a questionable choice win over Alex Garcia. It was a change of speed for Means after losing in back-to-back battles versus Alex Oliveira. Muhammad has actually gotten 2 choices in a row. Both fighters are badly in need of a declaration win to stay pertinent in a super-stacked UFC welterweight division.
Completing the primary card, there are a clash in between welterweights Jake Matthews and Bojan Velickovic, a middleweight showdown between Canadian Elias Theodorou and Aussie judoka Dan Kelly, and, lastly, Alexander Volkanovski’s battle with UFC debutante Shane Young.
The action starts with three preliminary-card bouts on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET. From there, it’s off to Fox Sports 1 for the four staying prelim affairs at 8 p.m. ET. The action will stay on Fox Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET for the main card.