5 under-the-radar fighters to keep an eye on at UFC 275

Manel Kape may well move closer to a flyweight title shot with a win this weekend
Manel Kape may well move closer to a flyweight title shot with a win this weekend

This weekend sees UFC 275 take place in Singapore. With two title fights on tap, the event promises to be one of the bigger ones of 2022.

Most of the focus at UFC 275 is going to be on those two title bouts, as well as the rematch between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Weili Zhang. But there’s much more to look forward to.

Namely, a number of excellent fighters competing on this weekend’s event are flying under the radar, but they’ll definitely be hoping to impress and capitalize on the spotlight that they’re bound to be in.

Here are five under-the-radar fighters to keep an eye on at UFC 275.


#5. Andre Fialho – UFC welterweight

Andre Fialho has already picked up two octagon wins via knockout this year
Andre Fialho has already picked up two octagon wins via knockout this year

It’s a testament to the depth of UFC 275 on a whole that not only is welterweight prospect Andre Fialho flying under the radar, but he’s actually competing on the preliminary card at the event.

After debuting in the octagon with a loss to Michel Pereira in January, Fialho has quickly become one of the hotter contenders at 170 pounds thanks to his stunning knockouts of Miguel Baeza and Cameron VanCamp, which took place just three weeks apart in April and May.

With a flashy striking style and plenty of knockout power, it’s easy to understand why the Portuguese fighter has quickly become popular with the fans, particularly as he’s already displayed a pretty crazy willingness to fight as often as possible, garnering comparisons to the likes of Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.

Fialho’s fight this weekend will see him face off against longtime octagon veteran Jake Matthews. The Australian hasn’t quite turned out to be the high-level contender that some observers figured he would become, but with 15 appearances in the octagon under his belt, he’s got far more experience than the Portuguese.

If Fialho can turn the lights out on ‘The Celtic Kid’ as he did Baeza and VanCamp, then it’ll be impossible for him to fly under the radar any longer. For now, though, the focus simply isn’t on him coming into this weekend’s event.

#4. Brendan Allen – UFC middleweight

Brendan Allen is one of the middleweight division's most talented prospects
Brendan Allen is one of the middleweight division's most talented prospects

One of the more underrated fighters set to compete at UFC 275 this weekend is middleweight Brendan Allen. ‘All In’ is set to headline the preliminary portion of the card, facing off with Australia’s Jacob Malkoun in what could be an intriguing bout.

It doesn’t feel like Allen has been around all that long, but 2022 is actually his third year inside the octagon. He debuted way back in October 2019 with a rear-naked choke victory over Kevin Holland.

Since then, Allen has picked up a further five victories in the promotion, most recently submitting veteran Sam Alvey. However, his losses to Sean Strickland and, in particular, Chris Curtis have kept him from really breaking through into the upper echelon at 185 pounds.

Despite those losses, Allen does have the potential to become an elite-level fighter. He’s got finishing skills in all areas, with five of his career wins coming via knockout and 10 via submission. At the age of 26, he’s probably just about reaching his athletic prime.

A win over Malkoun won’t move ‘All In’ into the middleweight top 15, but it would definitely put him in line for a bigger fight that could move him into the rankings in the future, meaning he’s a man to watch this weekend.


#3. Danaa Batgerel – UFC bantamweight

Mongolia's Danaa Batgerel possesses dangerous knockout power
Mongolia's Danaa Batgerel possesses dangerous knockout power

Okay, so after three years inside the octagon, it’s probably safe to say that Danaa Batgerel is probably not going to develop into a contender for the UFC bantamweight title any time soon. However, he’s still an under-the-radar fighter to keep an eye on this weekend.

Why is this? Simply put, ‘Storm’ is one of the more exciting fighters on the current roster, with his aggressive striking style tending to lead to plenty of finishes inside the octagon.

Last time we saw Batgerel in action, he came out on the wrong end of a bad knockout as Chris Gutierrez leveled him with one of the best spinning backfists in UFC history. Prior to that, though, the Mongolian had reeled off three victories via KO or TKO.

This weekend will see ‘Storm’ face off with Korea’s Kang Hyo Kung, an aggressive and dangerous fighter in his own right, although he’s more of a grappler than a striker. In fact, 11 of his 17 career wins have come via tapout.

With that considered, it’s likely that this fight will produce a finish of some kind, making it hugely watchable. If Batgerel can land his trademark heavy hands, then all eyes will be on him after all is said and done.

#2. Jack Della Maddalena – UFC welterweight

Jack Della Maddalena looks like a serious prospect in the welterweight division
Jack Della Maddalena looks like a serious prospect in the welterweight division

UFC 275’s main card opener is set to see one of the most intriguing welterweight prospects in some time go to war, as Australia’s Jack Della Maddalena returns to the octagon for the second time to take on Russian veteran Ramazan Emeev.

Maddalena was largely an unknown fighter prior to his octagon debut in January, but his stoppage of Pete Rodriguez was so vicious that it was hard not to see him as a possible future star. The Aussie needed just three minutes to dispatch Rodriguez, using a nasty jab to set up a big fight-ending combination.

Emeev is likely to provide him with a tougher test this weekend, as he’s more battle-tested and experienced, holding five wins inside the octagon, including victories over Sam Alvey and David Zawada.

However, he’s had issues with more explosive foes before, and judging by his debut, Maddalena is a very explosive fighter indeed. Therefore, it’s likely that the Australian will be able to pick up another big win, making him an under-the-radar fighter to watch closely this weekend.


#1. Manel Kape – UFC flyweight

Manel Kape's explosive striking makes him a man to watch this weekend
Manel Kape's explosive striking makes him a man to watch this weekend

Arguably the fighter closest to a title shot outside of the top three fights this weekend, current flyweight contender Manel Kape is largely flying under the radar going into his fight with Rogerio Bontorin.

Quite why fans are largely ignoring Kape is hard to say, given what he’s recently done inside the octagon. The native of Angola has won his last two bouts with vicious knockouts, most notably turning out the lights of Ode' Osbourne with an incredible flying knee last August.

Currently ranked at No.14 in the flyweight division, ‘Starboy’ does have a pair of recent losses that are probably going to keep him out of outright contention even if he wins here. But a big win over Bontorin, particularly if it comes via knockout, will elevate him towards that area.

So can he win? Bontorin is a solid fighter in his own right, but he hasn’t officially won a bout since August 2019 and he was also knocked out violently by Kai Kara-France in their clash in 2021, which should give Kape hope.

With that considered, then, if ‘Starboy’ can deliver the kind of knockout that he’s shown himself to be capable of, he might even steal the show altogether, making him a fighter to keep a close eye on this weekend.

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