UFC Fight Night 107 takes place at the O2 Arena in London, England this spring and despite tickets now on sale the fight card still doesn’t have an officially announced main event, which got the team here at FO thinking and speculating as to a potential option.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Ryan Bader
With all European UFC champions either on hiatus or waiting for a PPV event we have to look at some of the other major stars in the market and they don’t come any bigger than the ‘Mauler’ Alexander Gustafsson, who has headlined a fight night in London before, back in 2013.
Coming off back-to-back defeats to Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier in 2015, the Swede got back in the win column last year when he beat Jan Blachowicz in Germany. He was then scheduled to fight ‘Shogun’ Rua in Brazil at the back end of 2016, but injury forced him to withdraw.
Ryan Bader is a man in form. He’s coming off back-to-back wins over Ilir Latifi and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. However, the outlier for this fight is Bader’s current contract situation. He’s presently a free agent and has been actively testing the market.
Bellator president Scott Coker has gone on record by saying they’ve made him an offer which would scupper any ideas of fighting in London, at least under the UFC banner.
Joanne Calderwood vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Jo-Jo Calderwood doesn’t get many opportunities to fight close to home making London a good shout. Although coming off a loss, she’s consistently been one of the top tier fighters in the women’s strawweight division. With the UFC dipping their toe in at flyweight last year with her fight against Valeria Letourneau, perhaps this could take place at 125lb.
Polish star Kowalkiewicz is coming off a career highlight moment, having challenge Joanna Jedrzejczyk on the UFC 205 main card in Madison Square Garden in November. Although things didn’t go her way on the night, her stock went up and with a massive Polish contingent in London the fan base to support her comeback would be there.
Luke Rockhold vs. Robert Whittaker
With the rest of the middleweight top five tied up in fights, Rockhold is need of competition to stake his claim for a fresh shot at the 185lb belt – and he also needs minutes in the Octagon having not fought since losing to Michael Bisping in May.
The Californian was scheduled to fight Jacare Souza in November in Australia, but pulled out due to injury, and the man who stepped in to replace him at the top of the card would be an ideal choice to stand across the cage from him in the UK.
Whittaker stepped up to the main event slot in style Down Under, defeating Derek Brunson via first round knockout. Currently ranked #6 in the official rankings he’s looking to break into that top five and lay his own claim for a title chance. A London main event against Rockhold would certainly do the trick.