By Caoilte de Barra
Last week was significant for IMMAF World medalists competing in the pro ranks. Gase Sanita (New Zealand) and Nadine Abbott-Bissett (Ireland) picked up their first pro victories, while Cecilie Bolander (Norway) won her first pro title in signature fashion with an armbar.
The week ahead sees alumni in action across some of the world’s top promotions.
Melissa Dixon (England) has the opportunity to win a title and remain undefeated at Ares FC 14 on Friday, April 7, when she takes on an experienced Gisele Moreira for the bantamweight belt. The 2019 European silver medalist has been in fine form since turning pro, and a victory over Moreira could be her ticket to the UFC.
2016 All Africa Championships gold medalist Luthando Biko (South Africa) opens up the main card against former Cage Warriors flyweight champion Samir Faiddine. Biko has enjoyed a successful pro career, winning and defending the EFC flyweight championship. A win for either athlete could earn them a shot at the Ares FC flyweight title. For fans looking to tune in, the card will be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
On Saturday, April 8, the youngest athlete on the UFC roster, Raul Rosas Jr. will open up the main card of UFC 287. The card is headlined by a rematch between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship. The 2019 youth world gold medalist is the first athlete to have competed in an IMMAF youth event and go on to earn a UFC contract.
Rosas Jr. is undefeated as a pro, with his record standing at 7-0. He made his UFC debut at UFC 282, submitting Jay Perrin in less than three minutes. A finish that earned him a performance of the night bonus of $50k. His upcoming bout is against another young up-and-comer, Christian Rodriguez, and it is expected to be his toughest test to date.