UFC Connected - Episode 10Dec 1
BT Sport Fight Club takes over in July as Frank Warren's Queensbury boxing returns and the UFC heads to Fight Island
The first of a new series of intimate Queensbury boxing events will take place at the BT Sport studios on Friday before we head to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for a monster UFC 251 card.
Jorge Masvidal returns to rescue the main event at UFC 251 after Frank Warren brings Queemsbury boxing back to BT Sport screens on Friday
Fight fans have been spoiled with week after week of pulsating action from inside the Octagon since the UFC sprang back into life more than two months ago.
Now it is boxing’s turn to take centre stage as Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren brings the pugilistic arts back to BT Sport screens on Friday night, in what will be the UK’s first televised fight night since lockdown began.
Coverage gets underway on BT Sport 1HD from 7pm, with every fight available to watch on TV and live stream via the BT Sport app or bt.com/sport.
Topping the bill at the BT Sport studios, the British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight titles will be on the line as champion Brad Foster, 12-0-2, defends against Midlands rival James Beech Jr, 12-0.
Highly-rated rising super-welterweight star Hamzah Sheeraz also features on Friday night in what is certain to be a stern test of his credentials as he takes on 12-1 Scotsman Paul Kean.
Sheeraz, who recently signed a co-management bond with MTK Global to join the likes of Tyson Fury, Carl Frampton and the Edwards brothers, will be defending his WBO European crown in search of an 11th straight win in his unbeaten career.
And more young talent will be on display as promising heavyweight David Adeleye graces the ring after vital learning experiences sparring the likes of Fury and Daniel Dubois, with another one to watch in Mark Chamberlain also set to feature.
Your summer of boxing
All fights live and exclusive on BT Sport
25 July: Joe Joyce vs Michael Wallisch
31 July: Lyndon Arthur vs Dec Spelman
20 August: Archie Sharp v Troy Williamson
29 August: Daniel Dubois v Erik Pfeifer
Queensbury Promotions have also announced four more stacked fight cards in what is sure to be an unforgettable summer of live boxing.
Saturday 25 July sees Joe ‘The Juggernaut’ Joyce return to the ring as he takes on German heavyweight Michael Wallisch in a ten-round contest.
Six days later, champion Lyndon Arthur and challenger Dec Spelman will go toe-to-toe with the Commonwealth light heavyweight championship at stake.
Following a brief break, when BT Sport will continue its coverage of the knockout stages of the Champions League and Europa League, Warren will bring boxing back to the BT Sport Studio again on Thursday 20 August.
That show will be headlined by a WBO European super-featherweight title clash between champion Archie Sharp and challenger Jeff Ofori.
The feast of summer boxing concludes with the return of the hottest property in the sport right now, as Dubois puts his WBO heavyweight title on the line against Russian-born bruiser, Erik Pfeifer.
Croydon's Sunny Edwards also defends his IBF super-flyweight belt on the same night against Thomas Essomba.
It’s a great opportunity for these young fighters to get out there and make a name for themselves
- Frank Warren
Speaking exclusively to BT Sport last month, promoter Warren said he hoped the next generation of fighters will capitalise on the increased exposure that current circumstances will bring to Queensbury’s summer of boxing.
“This is an opportunity,” the 68-year-old said.
“When we get back to normality, whatever that is, and the shows are back, those fighters are going to be known. They’re not going to have to work their way up, they won’t be buried down the card.
“They’re going to get some good exposure, so for these young fighters, it’s a great opportunity to get out there and make a name for themselves.”
The fights will keep coming after Friday night too, with two more British title tilts confirmed to take place live on BT Sport this summer.
Anthony Cacace will make the first defence of his British super-featherweight crown against Lyon Woodstock, while Lerrone Richards puts his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles up for grabs against Umar Sadiq.
Dates for both fight nights will be confirmed in due course.
UFC Fight Island
Take a peek inside the grounds of the facility, as work continues to ready to purpose-built arena.
They will all be there.
Kamaru Usman, Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, Darren Till, Robert Whittaker and many, many more.
In the meantime, the wait is finally over as the UFC heads to the eagerly-anticipated Fight Island.
Throughout July there will be a spectacular four-card MMA showcase beginning with UFC 251 this weekend.
No fewer than three world championships will be on the line at the purpose-built arena on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, while there is British interest with England’s Davey Grant and Scotland’s Danny Henry in action on opening night.
However, it is the main event that will have captured fight fans’ imaginations this week, as MMA pioneer Jorge Masvidal looks finally set to compete for a UFC title after stepping in as a last-minute replacement for Gilbert Burns to face Kamaru Usman for welterweight honours.
Featherweight king Alexander Volkanvoski is out to prove his dominant win over Max Holloway last time out was no fluke, as the pair rematch for the 145lb strap, and Jose Aldo goes toe-to-toe with Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight championship in another salivating showdown to kick Fight Island off on Saturday night.
July 15th sees Scouse duo Molly McCann and Chris Fishgold head for Fight Island, with both in action on the second card of the tour headlined by featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar v Dan Ige.
“Meatball” Molly is currently riding a hot streak of three straight wins following her debut defeat at UFC Liverpool in May 2018 – but Fishgold will be aiming to bounce back after disappointment on his last outing against Makwan Amirkhani.
Three days later, the flyweights take centre stage as familiar foes Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez clash once again for the 125lb title.
Middleweights Jack Hermansson and Kelvin Gastelum will tee the action up in the co-main event, while Doncaster lightweight Mark Diakiese also features on the main card in search of his third straight win against Rafael Fiziev.
All roads will lead to July 25th for the big one, as Darren Till will be granted his wish to face “The Reaper” Robert Whittaker in a compelling middleweight match-up.
Whittaker has not fought since being dethroned via stoppage against Israel Adesanya in October while Till will be keen to show he belongs in the 185lb division after his debut win against Kelvin Gastelum in November.
And if that is not enough to get you excited, head to the revamped BT Sport app for even more UFC content throughout the month.
Check out our fighter hub to relive some of the most memorable moments from inside the Octagon, complete with free highlights and interviews featuring some of the biggest names in the sport.
With so many live fights to look forward to over the summer weeks ahead, there’s never been a better time to be a fight fan and BT Sport subscriber.