The inaugural European Fighting Challenge event will take place on Saturday night (live odds) at the Espoo Metro Arena in Espoo, Finland, and is cooking up to be a solid night of mixed martial arts action. Headlining the event will be a showdown between Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Tom Niinimaki and Jonathan Brookins at a catchweight.
At Friday’s weigh-ins, everything went off without a hitch as each combatant was able to make weight, greenlighting the card.
Niinimaki, a Finnish veteran of Shooto and Titan Fighting Championships, found himself in the midst of an 11-fight winning streak before finally making it into the UFC. He won his Octagon debut, edging longtime veteran Rani Yahya via split decision on the TUF 18 Finale. But his success in the Las Vegas-based promotion was short-lived as “Stoneface” lost his next three -- all via rear-naked choke -- before being released by the UFC. Looking to turn his pro career around, Niinimaki needs to beat Brookins and at the scale, he checked in at 138 pounds.
Brookins is also in need of a victory as he’s coming off a decision loss to Shintaro Ishiwatari at Pancrase 279 in July. The veteran of Legacy Fighting Championship, World Extreme Cagefighting and Bellator MMA went just 2-3 inside the UFC and has just two wins in his last six bouts. To say a win for both men would be an understatement, which adds an additional layer of intrigue to the battle. On Friday, Brookins weighed in at 139 pounds.
Euro FC 1 Weigh-in Results:Tom Niinimaki (138) vs. Jonathan Brookins (139)
Yosef Ali Mohammad (252) vs. Fernando Rodrigues Jr. (238)
Juho Valamaa (171) vs. Karl Amoussou (170)
Alan Omer (146) vs. Hiroyuki Takaya (146)
Alexander Poppeck (185) vs. Rob Wilkinson (186)
Toni Tauru (136) vs. Marc Gomez (136)
Andreas Stahl (171) vs. Georgi Valentinov (170)
Stuart Austin (206) vs. Nills van Noord (206)
Aleksi Mantykivi (156) vs. Soren Bak (156)