UFC Manila has added three fights to its October card, most notably, a heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Marcin Tybura.
Also added to UFC Manila was a women's strawweight bout between Danielle Taylor and Seo Hee Ham, and a featherweight bout between Mizuto Hirota. Both fights were officially announced by the promotion.
Derrick Lewis took announcing his bout into his own hands on Instagram, and it's a great fight. "The Black Beast" is a knockout artist through and through, but earned a decision victory for the first time in his 20-fight career against Roy Nelson. In between the many takedowns of Nelson, Lewis battered Nelson on the feet on his way to a close split decision.
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Lewis was not happy with the performance, and wanted a rematch with Nelson. He will face dangerous up-and-comer Marcin Tybura instead. Tybura earned his first Octagon victory in Salt Lake City last month with a brutal head kick against Viktor Pesta.
Some may say this is a step down in competition for Lewis, considering he is ranked 10th and just beat the 11th ranked heavyweight. However, the entirety of the top-10 in the heavyweight division is either injured, booked, or Mark Hunt (whose UFC career seems to have come to a bitter end). This is a fun striking matchup that fans will get to sit back and enjoy while heavyweight sorts itself out.
The strawweight fight that was announced is also a fun striker-based matchup. Danielle Taylor is a powerful five-foot tall striker with three of her seven wins coming via knockout. She lost a pretty bland fight against Maryna Moroz in Salt Lake City earlier this month (only 34 strikes were landed total in 15 minutes).
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Now she gets the chance to truly show off her game against pure brawler, Seo Hee Ham. The South Korean has been entertaining every time she has stepped in the Octagon. After losing to the much bigger Joanne Calderwood in her promotional debut, Ham bounced back with a "Fight of the Night" win over Cortney Casey. Ham fell to 1-2 with the UFC after losing a close decision to Bec Rawlings in her last appearance.
After a timid performance in her promotional debut, the striking of Taylor will be put on display against Ham, who always brings the fight relentlessly. This will also be a rare fight where Ham is the bigger woman with a two-inch height advantage at five-foot two-inches.
Lastly, long-time veteran Cole Miller will face Mizuto Hirota. Cole Miller will look to get out of his funk, as he has just three wins in his last nine appearances. He was briefly linked to a fight with UFC Manila headliner, BJ Penn, before Penn fell victim to injury and was replaced by Alex Caceres, who put a beat-down on Miller at UFC 199.
Mizuto Hirota is on his second run in the Octagon after going 0-2 his first time. Hirota went 3-0 in Japanese promotions after getting cut, then was a finalist on Road to UFC: Japan, in which he fought to a draw with Teruto Ishihara in September.
UFC Manila is headlined by the return of BJ Penn as he takes on Ricardo Lamas. The event will take place in the SM Mall of Asia Arena of Manila, Philippines, on October 15. Top flyweights Kyoji Horiguchi and Ali Bagautinov will also do battle that night.
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