UFC 284: Who is fighting in Perth when the UFC returns to Australia? – Sporting News

For the first time since October 2019, the UFC will be holding an event in Australia.
Perth’s RAC Arena has been confirmed as the host of UFC 284 on February 12.
While the company may not have been on our shores for a few years, there’s still plenty of talent from this part of the world lighting up the sport.
We take a look at who we can expect to see fighting in Perth.
MORE: Whittaker locked in to face Costa at UFC 284
The Reaper headlined the UFC’s last visit to Australia but it didn’t go to plan on that occasion as he was dethroned as middleweight champion by Israel Adesanya.
Since then, Whittaker has shown he’s still a force at 185 pounds, separating himself from the rest of the division not named Adesanya.
Paulo Costa had been campaigning for a fight with Whittaker in what promises be a fan-friendly addition to the UFC 284 card.
when I fight whittaker it won’t be by decision, I’ll go for the knockout. I hope he doesn’t change divisions before then.
Now the number one pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, the featherweight champ looks all but certain at UFC 284.
And Aussie fight fans are in for a treat after new lightweight champion Islam Makhachev called out Volkanovski following his win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.
Volkanovski was in attendance and quickly accepted the offer, with the pair appearing to agree to fight in Australia.
MORE: ‘Can’t wait to prove people wrong’: Volkanovski ready to embrace Makhachev challenge
This one is in the wait-and-see pile.
The all-action heavyweight is locked in to face Russian Sergei Pavlovich in the co-main event at UFC Orlando on December 3.
After fighting on December 11, Tuivasa backed up on February 12 earlier this year to face Derrick Lewis, so his appearance in Perth is not out of the question but it will depend on whether he can get through the Pavlovich bout unscathed.
The light-heavyweight has now recorded two first-round knockout wins in a row since making his long-awaited return from injury earlier this year.
Pedro has been teasing a fight announcement on his Instagram but, with several more months between now and then, it’s unlikely to be a reference to Perth.
If he accepts a fight before then, he’d need a quick turnaround to appear at UFC 284.
The number 14 ranked light-heavyweight hasn’t fought since being stopped by Jamahal Hill last December.
Crute has been vocal in his wish to fight in Perth and has listed Paul Craig, Dustin Jacoby and Azamat Murzakanov as potential opponents.
Hoping to arrest a two-fight skid, Crute will no doubt be looking to make a statement on home soil.
A post shared by Jimmy Crute (@jimmycruteufc)
Already a veteran of 16 UFC fights at just 28, Matthews turned in arguably his most eye-catching performance when piecing up Andre Fialho last time out.
The Celtic Kid is another who has been campaigning for a fight on social media but it seems he’s looking to get back in there sooner than UFC 284.
Perhaps if he can’t find an opponent, he may have to be patient and wait for the Perth card, or even better, notch up another win and then fight in Australia on a quick backup.
Surely there’s no chance the Perth boy isn’t on this card?
The rising welterweight has put the division on notice with two first-round knockout victories since being picked up on the Contender Series.
Della Maddalena and his team had been hoping to find someone to fight before the end of the year and, judging by his social media, they’ve just snuck one in.
Fingers crossed Della Maddalena gets through with a clean bill of health and go again in his hometown.
A post shared by Jack Della Maddalena (@jackdellamaddalena)
The featherweight is yet to make his debut in the UFC but the timeline matches up just right to make that walk for the first time in front of his home crowd.
Jenkins recently earned a UFC contract via the Contender Series and the former Eternal MMA champion is keen to put his stamp on the division.
Could the comeback be on?
The flyweight ruptured her ACL in April but is on the comeback trail and has earmarked early 2023 as a possible return date.
A fight in Australia seems like a match made in heaven.
There is a host of other Aussies with no fights booked and you can be sure most if not all will be clamouring to be on the Perth card.
Featherweight Josh Culibao recorded a big win in Singapore earlier this year and will look to keep it rolling.
Whittaker’s training partner Jacob Malkoun has shown he’s a difficult matchup for anyone at 185lbs.
Jamie Mullarkey‘s fan-friendly style will have the RAC Arena on its feet if he’s included.
In the heavyweights, Justin Tafa has already voiced his interest to bring his heavy hands to Perth.
Women’s bantamweight Jessica-Rose Clark is another Aussie without a fight booked.
We haven’t forgotten our mates across the ditch.
Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya puts his belt on the line against Alex Pereira at UFC 281.
With Volkanovski-Makhachev the likely headliner, it seems a long shot that, assuming he gets past Pereira, Adesanya would also strut his stuff in Perth. However, stranger things have certainly happened.
His teammate Dan Hooker is also booked to fight at UFC 281, so the chances of him fighting at 284 seem slim.
And it’s a similar story for light-heavyweight Carlos Ulberg, who will also step out at Madison Square Garden next month.
Another from the City Kickboxing stable who doesn’t have a fight booked is recent flyweight title challenger Kai-Kara France.
Shane Young and Brad Riddell are also currently without a fight, so could be lining up something at UFC 284.
 

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