3. The full debut of The Ultimate Fighter winner Juliana Miller
The much-anticipated London pay-per-view may not begin with a British fighter but that doesn’t mean that we should not have our eyes on it. Opening up the whole UFC 286 card is The Ultimate Fighter's season 30 winner Juliana "Killer" Miller (4-1), who is taking on veteran Veronica Macedo (6-4-1). Ok, yes, technically Miller’s debut was back in August 2022 when she defeated Brogdan Walker to become the newest Ultimate Fighter but you could consider this her full debut as she’s now officially part of the UFC roster.
Miller had to pull out all the stops to win by TKO in the third round of the TUF finale after a competitive first two rounds but she now heads into the fight as a sizable favorite (-460 on FanDuel) and should be able to put on another impressive performance against an opponent who is probably one loss away from being cut. Many TUF alumni have risen to become champions whilst others faded into obscurity. This Saturday, we find out which list ‘Killer’ Miller belongs to.
4. Another Cage Warrior champion joins the UFC
Throughout the history of the UFC, it can be argued that very few promotions have influenced MMA’s premier combat sports promotion as much as Cage Warriors. Not only have many former Cage Warrior champions and fighters carved themselves respectable UFC careers but we have even seen them carry their success from the UK over to the UFC, becoming world champions and some of the company’s most iconic fighters.
This weekend sees the debut of another former Cage Warriors champion Christian Leroy Duncan (7-0), the last man to hold the middleweight strap in the British-based MMA promotion. The 27-year-old fighting out of Gloucester, England showed lots of promise in his run to the 185-pound title, including finishing six of his seven professional fights, all under the Cage Warriors banner.
What separates Duncan from previous champions who made the jump across the pond into the UFC is that he actually defended his title once, proving to have championship-level and big fight experience. His deadly knockout power combined with his history as a champion could mean that Christian Leroy Duncan is a name we see for a long time under the UFC’s lights.