Tom O’Connor tests his mettle in the top Canadian fight of 2024

May 17, 2024

EDMONTON — Tom O’Connor has never backed down from a challenge.

Whether it was growing up at the hockey rink or on the rugby field, O’Connor has always wanted to test himself against top competition. That trend has remained true in his blossoming MMA career.

O’Connor puts his sparkling 13-2 record on the line against Ramil Kamilov, who’s undefeated in his first seven trips to the cage, in the Main Event of Unified 58 on June 14 at River Cree Resort & Casino near Edmonton, LIVE worldwide on UFC Fight Pass.

O’Connor, 31, and Kamilov, 26, are widely regarded as the two best lightweights in Canada. Neither fighter will find a tougher matchup outside of the UFC than what’s waiting for them at Unified 58. Simply put, this is the biggest fight in Canada this year – perhaps in several years.

Some fighters would decline such a tough matchup when they’re so close to signing with the UFC. O’Connor is not one of those fighters.

“If I’m fighting somebody who isn’t as good as me, it doesn’t do anything for me and my growth. I’ve always had the mindset of wanting to compete against the very best in the world,” the Lethbridge, AB lightweight contender says. “On every stage of my career and growth, I’ve always wanted whoever is on the next step in that path. That’s the mindset that I’ve always had.”

O’Connor has two words that come to mind when he thinks about his return to the cage at Unified 58 – “violence” and “fireworks.”

“I know he’s coming forward from the opening bell, and I see myself getting the finish,” O’Connor says. “I’m adamant on making sure I control my distance and range, and I’m controlling the rhythm right from the start.”


Unified MMA is Canada’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, showcasing the country’s top-ranked fighters, LIVE on UFC Fight Pass. The organization has successfully promoted 56 events across Canada since it was founded in 2009, and has propelled several athletes to the UFC’s Octagon.