Who is UFC newcomer and Contender Series alum Ignacio Bahamondes?
One of the many fighters making their official UFC debut this weekend, Chile’s Ignacio Bahamondes will look to replicate his dominant performance from his appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series last year.
Bahamondes (11-3) has made a name for himself competing for various regional promotions all over North America, most notably Legacy Fighting Alliance and Combate Americas. Of his 11 wins, eight have come by way of KO/TKO, with the other three coming via decision.
“La Jaula” was invited to compete on the Contender Series and exceeded all expectations when he scored a viral knockout in the second round of his bout with Edson Gomez. Bahamondes channeled his inner Anderson Silva and threw a front kick that landed flush on the face of Gomez, sending him to the canvas unconscious. Soon thereafter, UFC president Dana White offered the 23-year-old a UFC contract and here we are five months later, awaiting his debut. Bahamondes is a flashy striker, but his upcoming opponent is also a striker, one who holds a black belt in Karate and has an arsenal of kicks he is not afraid to throw.
Bahamondes trains out of VFS Academy in Chicago, IL, and while his last fight was at welterweight, he will be dropping down to lightweight for this one.
Who will Ignacio Bahamondes take on at UFC Vegas 23?
Bahamondes will face a stiff test in his UFC debut as he takes on longtime UFC staple John Makdessi. A UFC vet since 2010, Makdessi has compiled a 10-7 record in the promotion and has beaten the likes of Ross Pearson, Abel Trujillo and Daron Cruickshank. Makdessi is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Francisco Trinaldo, but that is his first loss since 2016. Prior to that setback, Makdessi rattled off three-straight wins including one fight of the night bonus. UFC Vegas 23 will mark the return of Makdessi who has not competed since March of last year, coincidentally the final UFC event before the start of the pandemic.
As for how Bahamondes matches up with Makdessi, the oddsmakers would say his chances of going home with a victory are fairly high. Vegas has Bahamondes as the -200 favorite at the moment, with Makdessi coming back at +160. It’s not often we see a longstanding UFC veteran come in as the underdog versus a promotional newcomer, but Bahamondes is the younger, taller fighter and will have a 7.5″ reach advantage. If Bahamondes can put away Makdessi, which only few have, his stock will skyrocket and he’ll have a whole roster of lightweights ready to compete against him. However, Makdessi is still a 17-fight UFC veteran and is certainly no pushover. Bahamondes needs to keep Makdessi at bay and use his length to land those flashy strikes that he loves to throw.
The two will meet in the center of the Octagon on the preliminary card of UFC Vegas 23 this Saturday on ESPN.
UFC Vegas 23 takes place on Saturday, April 10, 2021, live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided, who is on-site, for all your live news and highlights.