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UFC calls up ‘The Thundercat’ Craig White for short-notice debut at UFC Liverpool

Cage Warriors’ top welterweight contender Craig White steps in on short notice to face Neil Magny in Liverpool

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Dolly Clew / Cage Warriors

With Gunnar Nelson injured and out of UFC Liverpool later this month, the UFC has called for ‘The Thundercat’.

Cage Warriors welterweight favourite Craig ‘The Thundercat’ White was seemingly preparing for a shot at the Cage Warriors welterweight title before the phone rang with an offer he simply couldn’t refuse.

Now, following the late April news of Nelson’s knee surgery, the affable 27-year-old from Exmouth’s next appearance will be in the UFC octagon – and in the co-main event of the evening, no less.

White has been called up to replace the injured Gunnar Nelson and face longtime welterweight campaigner Neil Magny in the co-main attraction at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Till at The Echo Arena in Liverpool on Sunday, 27 May.

And while many outside of the UK’s hardcore MMA fanbase may know little about White, they can rest easy knowing that another Brit is heading into the UFC, and he’s doing so in stellar form at European level.

All 14 of White’s career wins have come via stoppage, with nine submissions and five KO/TKO finishes to his name.

Fighting under the Cage Warriors banner, White has reeled off four wins in his last four outings, with all four coming inside the distance, and three coming inside the opening round.

Wins over respected European opposition including Thomas Robertson, Hakon Foss, Matt Inman and Alex Montagnani positioned him perfectly for a shot at the vacant Cage Warriors welterweight title.

Cage Warriors confirmed only last month that White would indeed fight for the vacant 170lb title at Cage Warriors 95 in London on 21 July. But Tuesday’s UFC call-up changed all that, and the man known as ‘The Thundercat’ is all set to step in on just 12 days’ notice looking to spring a surprise against ranked opposition on his octagon debut.

Headlining the 27 May event on Merseyside is Liverpool’s own Darren Till, who will be looking to extend his perfect professional record and catapult himself into world title contention with victory over two-time welterweight title challenger and current No.1 contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.

He even received a message of support from fellow Scouser, Everton striker Wayne Rooney.

Till will be joined on the card by fellow Brits Arnold Allen, Davey Grant, Darren Stewart, Tom Breese, Molly McCann and Brad Scott.

And now, thanks to the arrival of ‘The Thundercat’, the British contingent at UFC Liverpool increases to eight.

UFC Liverpool: Updated Fight Card

Main Card

Stephen Thompson vs Darren Till
Neil Magny vs Craig White
Arnold Allen vs Mads Burnell
Makwan Amirkhani vs Jason Knight
Manny Bermudez vs Davey Grant
Eric Spicely vs Darren Stewart

Prelims

Claudio Henrique da Silva vs Nordine Taleb
Tom Breese vs Daniel Kelly
Don Madge vs David Teymur
Molly McCann vs Gillian Robertson

Fight Pass Prelims

Trevor Smith vs Elias Theodorou
Brad Scott vs Salim Touahri
Lina Lansberg vs Gina Mazany

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 20 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

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