DA-UN JUNG VS. WILLIAM KNIGHT
Promising light heavyweights meet here as South Korea’s Da-un Jung faces off with powerhouse Contender Series alum William Knight.
Unbeaten in his last 13 fights, Jung has gone 2-0-1 in his first three UFC appearances, submitting Khadis Ibragimov in his debut before registering a 64-second knockout win over Mike Rodriguez in his sophomore outing at home at the close of 2019. Last year at UFC 254, the 27-year-old Korean Top Team member battled Sam Alvey to a split draw on UFC Fight Island, giving him a five-year run without a loss.
Knight earned a developmental deal following his first appearance on the Contender Series in 2019, then got promoted to the big leagues following a first-round stoppage win over Cody Brundage last fall. Just 25 days later, he outworked Aleksa Camur to pick up a victory in his promotional debut, pushing his record to 9-1 in the process.
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There are a ton of opportunities for advancement in the light heavyweight division at the moment and both these men have shown flashes of upside to this point in their careers. The winner should receive a step up in competition coming out of this one, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see one or both of these men knocking at the door of the Top 15 in the next 18-24 months, max.
IMPA KASANGANAY VS. SASHA PALATNIKOV
Saturday night’s action gets underway in the welterweight division, as Impa Kasanganay drops to the 170-pound weight class for a meeting with UFC sophomore Sasha Palatnikov.
Kasanganay had an eventful 2020, earning a second consecutive victory on the Contender Series in August and victory in his promotional debut just a couple weeks later against fellow grad Maki Pitolo. Then in October, the 27-year-old was on the receiving end of Joaquin Buckley’s incredible jumping spinning back kick that became an immediate viral sensation.
Now training at Sanford MMA in South Florida, the raw, but talented “Tshilobo” remains one to keep an eye on as he continues to gain experience and develop his skills.
Palatnikov made quiet the impression in his promotional debut, weathering an early onslaught from Louis Cosce to rally and secure a third-round stoppage win as the biggest underdog on the card back in late November. The 32-year-old, who currently calls Las Vegas home, has fought and trained all over the world and brings a wealth of experience to the Octagon, despite a 6-2 record.