5 breakout stars from UFC’s inaugural ‘Fight Island’ stretch

New champions were crowned, records were broken and stars emerged in the UFC’s historic month on “Fight Island.”

The promotion kicked things off with UFC 251 on July 11, followed by UFC on ESPN 13 on July 15, then UFC on ESPN+ 30 on July 18, and, finally, UFC on ESPN 14 on July 25.

Throughout the four events, which took place at at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, new stars from all across the world were born. From highlight-reel knockouts to dominant showcases to standout personalities, plenty of fighters made their mark.

Here are the five breakout stars from “Fight Island:”

Jiri Prochazka, UFC 251

A former Rizin 205-pound champion, Jiri Prochazka drew a stern test in his UFC debut.

Prochazka (27-3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) faced former light heavyweight title challenger Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 251, for a massive opportunity to hit the rankings from the get go.

Despite Prochazka entering the fight on a 10-fight winning streak, there was a big difference in the level of competition faced between him and Oezdemir.

But Prochazka wasn’t the least bit intimidated. He came out wild and creative, throwing unique feints and fakes while taunting Oezdemir. He showed little to no respect for Oezdemir’s power by constantly dropping his hands, eventually landing a brutal right hook in the opening minute of Round 2, which knocked Oezdemir out cold.

Prochazka lived up to his hype by taking out a tough Oezdemir in emphatic fashion and he already finds himself a top 10-ranked light heavyweight.

Amanda Ribas, UFC 251

Amanda Ribas may be light-hearted and animated, but she proved that she’s all business when the cage door closes.

Ribas (10-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) remained unbeaten through four fights in the UFC when she made quick work of Paige VanZant with a first-round armbar at UFC 251.

It’s the second high-profile opponent she’s beat, having outclassed Mackenzie Dern last October before bouncing her out of the ranks of the unbeaten.

With her infectious laugh and positive attitude, Ribas is quickly becoming a fan-favorite personality that has shown serious skills in the octagon.

Mounir Lazzez, UFC on ESPN 13

Mounir Lazzez was slightly unknown entering the UFC scene, but if you took a few seconds to search his name, you would have found an array of highlight-reel finishes.

Tunisian-born Lazzez (10-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made history at UFC on ESPN 13 by becoming the first Arab-born and bred fighter to compete in the UFC. He was handed no favors when he was matched up with the highly-touted knockout artist Abdul Razak Alhassan at UFC on ESPN 13, but Lazzez passed the test with flying colors.

He withstood Alhassan’s early barrage and was able to turn the tables, showing a well-rounded game of high-level and technical striking, mixed in with numerous takedowns. He threw punches, kicks, elbows and knees, overwhelming Alhassan for an impressive decision win.

Lazzez left fans longing for more and he wasted no time by calling out the likes of Mike Perry and Niko Price after his big win.

Khamzat Chimaev, UFC on ESPN 13 and 14

<img data-attachment-id="538589" data-permalink="https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-on-espn-14-post-event-facts-khamzat-chimaev-record-untouchable/ufc-fight-night-chimaev-v-mckee" data-orig-file="http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg" data-orig-size="1000,672" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.8","credit":"Zuffa LLC via Getty Images","camera":"NIKON D5","caption":"ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Khamzat Chimaev of Czechia punches Rhys McKee of Northern Ireland in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari\/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)","created_timestamp":"1595754857","copyright":"2020 Zuffa LLC","focal_length":"23","iso":"2500","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"UFC Fight Night: Chimaev v McKee","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="UFC Fight Night: Chimaev v McKee" data-image-description="

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Khamzat Chimaev of Czechia punches Rhys McKee of Northern Ireland in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

” data-medium-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=300″ data-large-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=1000″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-538589 lazy-load” src=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-5.jpg” alt width=”1000″ height=”672″ srcset=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg 1000w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=640&h=430 640w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=300&h=202 300w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=768&h=516 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px”>

<img data-attachment-id="538589" data-permalink="https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-on-espn-14-post-event-facts-khamzat-chimaev-record-untouchable/ufc-fight-night-chimaev-v-mckee" data-orig-file="http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg" data-orig-size="1000,672" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.8","credit":"Zuffa LLC via Getty Images","camera":"NIKON D5","caption":"ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Khamzat Chimaev of Czechia punches Rhys McKee of Northern Ireland in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari\/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)","created_timestamp":"1595754857","copyright":"2020 Zuffa LLC","focal_length":"23","iso":"2500","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"UFC Fight Night: Chimaev v McKee","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="UFC Fight Night: Chimaev v McKee" data-image-description="

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Khamzat Chimaev of Czechia punches Rhys McKee of Northern Ireland in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

” data-medium-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=300″ data-large-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=1000″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-538589″ src=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-5.jpg” alt width=”1000″ height=”672″ srcset=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg 1000w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=640&h=430 640w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=300&h=202 300w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-21.jpg?w=768&h=516 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px”>

Khamzat Chimaev has made one of the biggest splashes in recent memory.

The undefeated prospect, who trains out of All Stars gym in Sweden, made a massive impression when he ran through the hard-hitting John Phillips at UFC on ESPN 13. He delivered a brutal beatdown on Phillips, by taking him down with ease and eventually submitting him in Round 2.

But that wasn’t even the most impressive part of Chimaev’s time in Abu Dhabi. After taking out Phillips, Chimaev (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) made a record-breaking 10-day turnaround and faced Rhys McKee at UFC on ESPN 14. It was more of the same as Chimaev proved to be too dominant once again, taking McKee down and smashing him for the first-round TKO. He has now finished all eight of his pro wins.

Chimaev has already drawn comparisons to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for his dominant presence on the ground, but the most impressive part is that Chimaev has great knockout power that he hasn’t gotten to show off yet in his UFC fights. The sky is the limit for Chimaev, who has remarkably out-landed his first two UFC opponents 192-2 in total strikes.

Tanner Boser, UFC on ESPN 14

<img data-attachment-id="538495" data-permalink="https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-on-espn-14-post-event-facts-khamzat-chimaev-record-untouchable/ufc-fight-night-boser-v-pessoa" data-orig-file="http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg" data-orig-size="1000,667" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.8","credit":"Zuffa LLC via Getty Images","camera":"NIKON D5","caption":"ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (R-L) Tanner Boser of Canada punches Raphael Pessoa of Brazil in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari\/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)","created_timestamp":"1595748443","copyright":"2020 Zuffa LLC","focal_length":"86","iso":"2000","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"UFC Fight Night: Boser v Pessoa","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="UFC Fight Night: Boser v Pessoa" data-image-description="

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (R-L) Tanner Boser of Canada punches Raphael Pessoa of Brazil in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

” data-medium-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=300″ data-large-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=1000″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-538495 lazy-load” src=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-6.jpg” alt width=”1000″ height=”667″ srcset=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg 1000w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=640&h=427 640w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=300&h=200 300w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=768&h=512 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px”>

<img data-attachment-id="538495" data-permalink="https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-on-espn-14-post-event-facts-khamzat-chimaev-record-untouchable/ufc-fight-night-boser-v-pessoa" data-orig-file="http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg" data-orig-size="1000,667" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"2.8","credit":"Zuffa LLC via Getty Images","camera":"NIKON D5","caption":"ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (R-L) Tanner Boser of Canada punches Raphael Pessoa of Brazil in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari\/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)","created_timestamp":"1595748443","copyright":"2020 Zuffa LLC","focal_length":"86","iso":"2000","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"UFC Fight Night: Boser v Pessoa","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="UFC Fight Night: Boser v Pessoa" data-image-description="

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (R-L) Tanner Boser of Canada punches Raphael Pessoa of Brazil in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

” data-medium-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=300″ data-large-file=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=1000″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-538495″ src=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-6.jpg” alt width=”1000″ height=”667″ srcset=”http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg 1000w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=640&h=427 640w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=300&h=200 300w, http://cboom.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/5-breakout-stars-from-ufcs-inaugural-fight-island-stretch-25.jpg?w=768&h=512 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px”>

Tanner Boser is as much fun inside the cage as he is outside of it.

After suffering a unanimous decision loss to undefeated rising star Ciryl Gane, Boser appeared to have taken a step back. But when he was matched up against former PFL champion Philipe Lins at UFC on ESPN 12 in June, Boser quickly reminded people why he’s one to watch in the heavyweight division when he knocked Lins out in the first round.

Boser (19-6-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) then took the short-notice call to step in and face Raphael Pessoa less than a month later at UFC on ESPN 14, delivering another finish and this time, the “Performance of the Night” bonus to go with it.

His honest demeanor and sense of humor is starting to catch on with the fans, as Boser may have delivered an equally impressive show in his post-fight interviews.

Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/lists/ufc-fight-island-5-breakout-stars-amanda-ribas-khamzat-chimaev/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *