UFC 253 just got even bigger for New Zealand MMA fans with the announcement that Shane Young and Brad Riddell will be returning to the Octagon.Young will take on the USA's Nate Landwehr in a featherweight bout, while Riddell will meet Brazil's Alex Da Silva in a lightweight contest.
Young is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, and last fought at UFC 234, earning a unanimous decision victory Austin Arnett. The 27-year-old, who is of Ngāti Kahungunu descent, made headlines on debut when he took a short-notice fight against future UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski in 2017. He did not get the win, but he did go the distance with the current champ.
In his second outing, he earned fight of the Night honors with a second-round TKO win over Ronaldo Dy. Young's Fight against Dy was made even more notable with Young delivering part of his post-fight speech in Te Reo.
In Landwehr, Young will be facing a veteran fighter with 17 fights under his belt and 14-3 record. This Fight will be the 32-year-old's second under the UFC banner. He lost his promotional debut when Herbet Burns stopped him in the first round, but he bounced back to score a unanimous decision over the always-durable Darren Elkins.
Riddell, comes into his bout with Da Silva on a two-fight UFC winning streak, after racking up impressive victories over Jamie Mullarkey and Magomed Mustafaev. Da Silva has fought twice in the UFC for a 1-1 record. The Brazilian's last outing saw him earn a unanimous decision victory over Rodrigo Vargas in Aug. 2019.
Young and Riddell's inclusion to the UFC 253 lineup means it will be a busy day for the City Kick Boxing team, with UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and No.7 ranked flyweight Kai Kara-France, also scheduled to compete. If you are a Kiwi MMA fan, then you should be circling the date if you have not already done so, as Sep. 27 is shaping up to be a massive day for New Zealand mixed martial arts.
Written by Michael Clifton
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