The first set of fights have been announced for the UFC’s February return to London, with the big matchup coming at middleweight between Michael Bisping and Gegard Mousasi.
The UFC made the announcement early UK time on Tuesday, along with confirming Norman Parke vs. Rustam Khabilov and Makwan Amirkhani vs. Mike Wilkinson. The UFC Fight Night 83 event hits London on Feb. 27. It’s likely to air on UFC Fight Pass, though an official main event and broadcast plans have not yet been announced.
Bisping returns home to England for a fight for the first time in over five years. The longtime UFC vet, winner of the third season of the Ultimate Fighter, has remained a staple since his entrance into the UFC, and saw his most recent victory come over resurgent contender Thales Leites in a five round main event in Glasgow this July.
As for Mousasi, he needs to bounce back from a somewhat shocking and disappointing TKO loss to Uriah Hall in September. The loss brought him to just 4-3 overall in his two and a half year UFC run.
Parke halted a two-fight losing skid last month, defeating Reza Madadi by decision. He’ll welcome back Khabilov, who hasn’t fought since a loss to Adriano Martins in February.
Wilkinson returns to the cage for the first time in nearly a year and a half. He’s won two of three UFC appearances, including a knockout win over Niklas Backstrom in his most recent bout last October. He meets the impressive Amirkhani, who has scored consecutive first round finishes to start his UFC career in 2015.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]