UFC down-under is challenge of a lifetime for Thompson

Oli Thompson (left) takes on Ben Smith
Oli Thompson (left) takes on Ben Smith

Eastbourne Heavyweight fighter Oli Thompson is set to make his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut when he comes toe-to-toe with Shawn Jordan in Sydney tomorrow morning.

The Hastings-born heavyweight and former British strongman champion, started mixed martial arts in 2009 and has since won nine of his 11 bouts.

His American opponent, however, has chalked 12 victories out of 15, including eight by knock-out, as he also looks to make his debut on the biggest fighting stage.

The fight is due to get under-way on Saturday morning, around 9.30am local time, and will be broadcast live via Oli’s Facebook at around 2am British time.

Thompson revealed earlier this week he ‘can’t wait for the fight’, especially after he had to pull out of his initial debut with Phil De Fries in Birmingham due to injury, meaning he’s had to wait just a little bit longer before he can make his mark on the UFC scene.

Prior to joining the UFC, Thompson was a professional strongman, taking the crown of Britain’s Strongest Man in 2006.

He also took the ZT Heavyweight MMA title in 2011 and defeated ‘The Only Way is Essex’ doorman Ben Smith on his way to victory in the UCMMA Cage Rage Heavyweight competition.

The British fighter vacated this title in order to join the UFC. He does so on the back on five consecutive victories.

His opponent, ‘Shawn ‘The Savage’ Jordan, also started his stint in the MMA in 2009 after previously being a fullback for a LSU university football team.

Despite not having any titles to his name, Jordan goes into the clash with the higher number of victories under his belt.

He’s competed in promotions such as Bellator, Atlas Fights and Strikeforce, where he was last seen in action taking on Lavar Johnson.

Of his British opponent, Jordan said, “He seems to be a great guy. He’s another athlete who understands that we’re just competing, it’s not a life or death thing.

“It’s a competition and I think it should be a fun fight.”

The card is headlined by a welterweight fight between Martin Kampmann and Thiago Alves.

Oli Thompson travelled to Australia early last week to begin his training and preparation for the fight, which is being held in the Allphones Arena in Sydney.

Ahead of the bout, Oli said, “Jordan looks tough and he’s a decent wrestler. He seems to have good cardio too.”

The fight will be an important test for both competitors, who will be looking to prove themselves on the biggest MMA stage.

People who link or subscribe to Oli Thompson’s Facebook page will be able to watch the action unfold via live broadcast, or follow @OliThompsonMMA on Twitter for continual updates.

The card is also being shown on ESPN, starting at 1:30am on Saturday. morning.