UFC has today confirmed that Scottish mixed martial artist, Steven Ray, has signed with the organisation and will make his Octagon® debut against Polish fighter Marcin Bandel, when the UFC heads to Krakow next month.
Ray, a former Cage Warriors world champion, steps in after Jason Saggo, who was originally slated to face Bandel on April 11, was forced to pull out after rupturing his Achilles tendon in training.
Speaking as the news of his fight was announced, Ray, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, said; “This means the world to me. It’s been my main goal ever since I started training MMA, so now I’ve reached it, the new goal is to get some wins and to start climbing those ranks and work my way to the top. I like to be the best at everything I do, so I’ll be working towards that every day.
“It’s a short lead in to a fight but I have two weeks to train as hard as possible and get prepared! I’ve been smashing the sparring rounds in every week though anyway as I help my team mates in their fight camps, so come April 11 I’ll be ready.”
Making his prediction for the fight, Ray added; “I’ve seen this coming for a long time and I predict a win for me in any way possible!”
Discussing the UFC’s first visit to Scotland scheduled for later this year, Ray said; “It would mean a lot to me to make it on to the Glasgow card. I have a lot of fans that sometimes can’t make it to my fights as I haven’t fought in Scotland for years now. They would be mega excited if I was on the card and I’d love to put on a great performance for them.”
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2 is the first UFC event ever to take place in Poland. The stacked fight card will culminate in a five round heavyweight rematch between Brazil’s Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga and Croatia’s Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2 will be available on free to air channel, Pick TV, in the UK and is available to view on Sky (152), Freeview (11) Freesat (144) and Virgin Media (123) plus on UPC CH 133 in Ireland.
Tickets to UFC FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2 are available now via www.eventim.pl.
UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: GONZAGA vs. CRO COP 2
April 11 Krakow, Poland
Rocky Lee VS Taylor Lapilus
Stevie Ray VS Marcin Bandel
Women’s Strawweight Bout
Aleksandra Albu VS Izabela Badurek
Anthony Hamilton VS Daniel Omielanczuk
Mickael Lebout VS Sergio Moraes
Leon Edwards VS Seth Baczynski
Garreth McLellen VS Bartosz Fabinski
Women’s Strawweight Bout
Maryna Moroz VS Joanne Calderwood
Sheldon Westcott VS Pawel Pawlak
Light Heavyweight Bout
Jan Blachowicz VS Jimi Manuwa
5 RD Main Event
Mirko Cro Cop VS Gabriel Gonzaga
(photo courtesy of cage warriors)