Despite being this week, there has been shockingly little promotion, media, or information published about the Road to UFC. Two weeks ago, we brought you the lowdown on the UFC’s four 8-man tournaments, with the first round scheduled as an awesome precursor to UFC 275, taking place from June 9-10 from Singapore.
Expanded Tournament Rules
Many were curious as to what would happen in the case of a draw in any of the single-elimination bouts, and it has been revealed via one of the fighter managers that in the event of a draw, the fighters would enter a sudden-death tiebreaker round. This mirrors some of the very first UFC competitions, predating the weight classes, as well as being the protocol for The Ultimate Fighter.
Bout Update – Fallen off the Wagon
It has also been announced via his manager that Xiao Long has been forced out of his tournament bout with the sitting Road FC Bantamweight Champion Min Woo Kim, due to an unspecified injury. However, despite originally being reported as the replacement, Double G FC Bantamweight Champion Young Jin Hwang will not be stepping up as a replacement. His manager has said that he is in Singapore, and has been offered the fight, but that he has not accepted the bout and that the UFC is still working on finding a replacement opponent for Min Woo Kim.
If they are not able to find a suitable replacement, it is almost certain that the UFC will again copy their TUF protocol and have Min Woo Kim simply advance to the next round. There remains no confirmation regarding the consequences of missing weight, but it is likely that the UFC would simply allow the bout to go ahead at catchweight.
#5 Ranked Lightweight in China, Balajin, is also out of his scheduled bout with Double G FC Lightweight Champion Ki Won Bin, also due to injury, and will be replaced by Rizin veteran Tetsuya Seki, who will be fighting up a weight class from his usual Featherweight. As always, this is an ever-evolving situation, and we will be sure to keep you posted on any changes to the bouts.
Sanko’s Next Steps – More Mic Time for ‘Fancy’!
The last (and most exciting) piece of news regarding the Road to the UFC is Laura Sanko‘s next steps in the company. Despite beginning her career in the MMA Sphere as a fighter who put her career on hold after her first professional fight in Invicta, Sanko transitioned to commentating for the Invicta Broadcast team, before being brought onboard the UFC as a behind-the-scenes interviewer and reporter, moving her way up onto the Weigh-In Shows, and displaying at least as much knowledge, and frequently more, than her fellow analysts.
Over the past few years, she has been an absolute mainstay on Dana White’s Contender Series, where she has been a powerhouse both in front of the camera and as a color commentator alongside Dan Hellie and Paul Felder. Now, Sanko tells us via her Instagram as she flies to Singapore alongside Jon Anik, that she will fill in as commentator alongside John Gooden during this week’s Road to the UFC.
Sanko goes on to tell us that she hopes this will convince Dana White to give her a shot on a full Fight Night sometime this year. Sanko has previously stated that it’s her eventual career goal to be a commentator, and one can only assume that if they both go well, a spot on a PPV team could be on the cards next year, and if MMA Twitter during her DWCS commentary debut is anything to go by, maybe sooner. One thing is for certain, there is no shortage of support for more mic time for ‘Fancy’ Laura Sanko.
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images