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Top 5 European fighters in the UFC middleweight division

UFC middleweight contender Darren Till
UFC middleweight contender Darren Till
ANALYST
Modified 27 Mar 2021
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At UFC on ABC 2, England’s Darren Till faces Italy’s Martin Vettori in what could be a number one contender’s bout to challenge champion Israel Adesanya next.

Ahead of the all-European UFC middleweight main event in April, let’s take a closer look at the best European fighters in the division. Here are the top five European middleweight fighters in the UFC.

#5 Khamzat Chimaev

UFC Fight Night: Chimaev v McKee
UFC Fight Night: Chimaev v McKee

The breakout UFC fighter of the pandemic era, Khamzat Chimaev burst onto the scene with three dominant UFC wins. The undefeated Russian-born fighter destroyed John Phillips at middleweight, choking him out in the first round. He then fought again just 10 days later to knockout Rhys McKee in the first round at welterweight.

Chimaev’s most impressive UFC win was his 17 second knockout of UFC middleweight veteran Gerald Meerschart. The Swedish-based fighter’s future may lie at welterweight, but "The Chechen Wolf" has shown he’s a force at 185 pounds. Let’s hope he can recover from his COVID-19 related symptoms and return to the UFC soon.

#4 Omari Akmedov

UFC middleweight Omari Akhmedov
UFC middleweight Omari Akhmedov

The 13th ranked UFC middleweight Omari Akhmedov has been fighting in the UFC since 2013. He holds notable UFC wins over Tom Breese, Ian Heinisch, Tim Boetsch and Zak Cummings.

The Russian also fought to a draw with top contender Martin Vettori and pushed former UFC champion Chris Weidman in a split decision defeat.

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Akhmedov is scheduled to face UFC veteran Brad Tavares at UFC 264 in July.

#3 Jack Hermansson

UFC Fight Night: Hermansson v Vettori
UFC Fight Night: Hermansson v Vettori

Swedish-born and Norweigan-based Hermansson has a professional MMA record of 21-6. He has fought in the UFC octagon 13 times since 2016. Hermansson is currently ranked 7th in the division and holds UFC victories over Kevin Gastelum, David Branch, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, and Thales Leites.

After losing his last fight to Martin Vettori, "The Joker" will be looking to bounce back against prospect Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 262 in May.

#2 Martin Vettori

UFC Fight Night: Hermansson v Vettori
UFC Fight Night: Hermansson v Vettori

Italian middleweight Martin Vettori is on a four-fight win streak in the UFC. Since his split-decision loss to current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in 2018, Vettori has been on a tear.

He’s beaten Jack Hermansson, Cezar Ferreira, Karl Roberson and Andrew Sanchez. ‘The Italian Dream’ is on the verge of his first UFC title shot.

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Vettori faces Liverpool’s Darren Till at UFC on ABC 2 in a key middleweight matchup with the winner in line for a shot at the UFC middleweight belt.

#1 Darren Till

UFC Fight Night: Whittaker v Till Weigh-in
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker v Till Weigh-in

Outspoken Englishman Darren Till is currently the top-ranked European middleweight in the UFC at number five. "The Gorilla" challenged for the UFC welterweight title in 2018 and has beaten Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, and top middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum.

Current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has publicly welcomed a title fight with Darren Till. The top European UFC middleweight will be decided on April 10th when Till matches up against Italy’s Martin Vettori in the main event of UFC on ABC 2.

Published 27 Mar 2021, 07:38 IST
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