UFC 304 Preview: Manchester’s Co-op Live Hosts Its First UFC Event

Tom Aspinall - UFC 295 Undercard
Tom Aspinall - UFC 295 Undercard

Manchester’s lavish new venue is here; the Co-op Live is set to be hosting the next UFC event on July 27th and a here’s everything to expect from the 304th live UFC show.

Paddy Pimblett vs Bobby Green

This is one of the most anticipated UFC matches partly because of all the trash talking that has gone on beforehand. Paddy Pimblett or ‘Paddy The Baddy’ has made a name for himself over the past couple of years for his impressive win streak and his natural charisma that has often gone viral in the media.

Pimblett made a strong comeback following his loss to Jared Gordon. Following a year-long recovery from an ankle injury, he made a triumphant return in December by defeating Tony Ferguson.

Many believe that the Scouser is facing a tough challenge in his upcoming fight against Bobby Green, who is ranked 15th, while Pimblett is ranked 27th. Green is coming into the fight with an impressive seven-fight win streak.

Despite exchanging numerous insults, both fighters will put an end to the talking and showcase their skills in Manchester on April 27th.

Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad 2

Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad are set to have a rematch following their initial fight ending in a ‘no contest’. It has been over three years since the two last met and since then Edwards has won the welterweight championship from Kamaru Usman.

The first fight was deemed a ‘no contest’ after Edwards accidentally poked Muhammad in the eye just 18 seconds into the second round. Despite Muhammad having a slightly better win record, Edwards is considered the favorite for the rematch.

Edwards boasts an impressive 12-fight win streak, while Muhammad has nine victories under his belt. Muhammad has been vocal in the lead-up to the fight, describing Edwards as “awkward” and “weird”, and expressing his determination to “break” Edwards in the rematch.

In this upcoming match, Edwards will be defending his welterweight title in what is expected to be a closely contested battle. Spectators attending the event in UK’s largest indoor arena will have to wait until 3am, as the fight is geared towards an American audience.

Tom Aspinall v Curtis Blaydes 2

UFC 304 is set to feature another highly anticipated rematch between Tom Aspinall and Curtis Blaydes, who will be facing off for the first time in two years. Their previous encounter was cut short due to a knee injury sustained by Aspinall, lasting only 15 seconds.

Since then, Aspinall has secured the interim heavyweight title by knocking out Sergei Pavlovich, boasting an impressive record of 14 wins and three losses, with eight of those wins coming by way of stoppage. On the other hand, Blaydes holds a four-win streak and is considered the underdog in the upcoming fight.

Aspinall has recently been honored with a mural in his hometown of Manchester, with hopes that he will make the locals proud and serve as an inspiration to the next generation of English fighters.

Manchester Councillor Stuart Gerrard expressed his support, stating, “It’s giving Tom his accolade. We hope he becomes champion again in his next fight. Long may it continue. We hope it inspires the youth, like Keely has done and Elle across the border in Tyldesley. They are all positive role models and that’s needed.”

Full UFC 304 Card

Main Card:

  • Leon Edwards (C) vs. Belal Muhammad (welterweight championship main event)
  • Tom Aspinall (C) vs. Curtis Blaydes  (interim heavyweight championship co-main event)
  • Bobby Green vs. Paddy Pimblett (lightweight)
  • Muhammad Mokaev vs. Manel Kape (flyweight)
  • Arnold Allen vs. Giga Chikadze (featherweight)

Preliminary Card:

  • Nathaniel Wood vs. Daniel Pineda (featherweight)
  • Molly McCann vs. Bruna Brasil (women’s strawweight)
  • Caolán Loughran vs. Ramon Tavares (bantamweight)
  • Mick Parkin vs. Łukasz Brzeski (heavyweight)

Early Preliminary Card:

  • Oban Elliott vs. Preston Parsons (welterweight)
  • Christian Leroy Duncan vs. Gregory Rodrigues (middleweight)
  • Sam Patterson vs. Kiefer Crosbie (welterweight)
  • Shauna Bannon vs. Ravena Oliveira (women’s strawweight)
  • Modestas Bukauskas vs. Marcin Prachnio (light heavyweight)
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