It’s not often that we get a Championship bout on a UFC Fight Night show. As a matter of fact, it has only happened once before in 2019, that being Henry Cejudo versus TJ Dillashaw for the UFC Flyweight Championship, and that was UFC’s debut on the ESPN+ platform. A championship fight on TV will happen for the second time in 2019 and the ESPN era on Saturday, when Valentina Shevchenko attempts to retain her Flyweight Championship against Liz Carmouche. It will main event a 13 fight card from Montevideo, Uruguay, with the show kicking off at 5 PM Eastern Time. Let’s look at the whole card, starting with the prelims.
Bout 1: Polyana Viana (10-3) vs. Veronica Macedo (5-3-1) (Flyweight)
Long before the Flyweight Championship will be on the line, the evening will kick off with another flyweight fight. Polyana Viana and Veronica Macedo both haven’t won in a while. Vaina hasn’t seen a win in over a year, losing her last two fights. It’s much worse for Macedo, as she hasn’t won in over three years, with a record of 0-3-1 since then. While both not long into their careers, a loss for either fighter could call an end to their UFC stint. It’s a potential do or die fight to start off the show on Saturday. Worth noting that Viana took the fight on short notice, as the original opponent for Macedo, Rachel Ostovich, pulled out due to injury.
Bout 2: Alex da Silva (20-2) vs. Rodrigo Vargas (11-2) (Lightweight)
The third fight of the evening will be between two fighters who haven’t seen success in the UFC yet. Alex da Silva came into the UFC with a 20-1 record, and took a loss to Alexander Yakolev three months ago ago in his debut. He will look to turn around his tough first impression in the UFC when he faes Rodrigo Vargas, who has yet to make an impression within the promotion. He fought a few times in the Hispanic MMA promotion Combate Americas prior to his fight on Saturday.
Bout 3: Geraldo de Freitas (12-4) vs. Chris Gutierrez (13-3-1) (Bantamweight)
In the fourth fight of the show, two similar fighters in Geraldo de Freitas and Chris Gutierrez will compete. Both have similar amounts of fights and are still getting used to being in the UFC. Six months ago, de Freitas lost his promotional debut against undefeated Felipe Colares. Gutierrez is 1-1 in the UFC, with his stint in the promotion beginning under a year ago.
Bout 4: Raulian Paiva (18-2) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (15-1) (Flyweight)
In an all Brazilian matchup, rookie UFC flyweights Raulian Paiva and Rogerio Bontorin will face off. Both coming from the Brazilian spinoff of Dana White’s Contender Series, each fighter has fought once in the UFC before this meeting. Both going to decision, Paiva won his fight while Bontorin lost his. With finishes coming frequently from both fighters in the past, they’ll try to do so for the first time in the UFC on Saturday.
Bout 5: Tecia Torres (10-4) vs. Marina Rodriguez (11-0-1) (Strawweight)
Tecia Torres has had a rough year and a half. Losing three times in a row, all via decision, Torres will look to snap her losing streak against undefeated Marina Rodriguez. The Brazilian earned her stay in the UFC via the Contender Series, and has since picked up a win and a rare draw. While experience in the promotion weighs in favour of Torres, Rodriguez has yet to be bested by an opponent.
Bout 6: Ciryl Gane (3-0) vs. Raphael Pessoa (9-0) (Heavyweight)
In the next bout of the evening, it will be a classic “two O’s, one’s got to go” situation. Undefeated heavyweights in Ciryl Gane and Raphael Pessoa will face off, putting their flawless records on the line. Gane will be making his UFC debut, with his three pro wins coming from the French-Canadian MMA promotion TKO. Pessoa has never had loyalties to a promotion, but he has definitely been dominant everywhere he’s went, whether it’s LFA, Shooto Brazil or other places.
Bout 7: Gilbert Burns (15-3) vs. Alexey Kunchenko (20-0) (Welterweight)
Alexey Kunchenko has gotten big tests in his UFC run so far, yet he has stayed undefeated. In what should be yet another test for the Russian fighter, Kunchenko will face Gilbert Burns. The original bout for Kunchenko was against Laureano Staropoli, who has a less experienced record of 9-1 compared to Burns.
Bout 8: Enrique Barzola (15-4-1) vs. Bobby Moffett (14-4) (Featherweight)
Starting off the main card will be a featherweight clash between Enrique Barzola and Bobby Moffett. Training out of American Top Team, Barzola has had an extensive career in the UFC, despite holding a similar record to Moffett, who will be entering his third UFC fight. In his seventh UFC fight back in March, Barzola suffered his loss since his 2015 entrance into the promotion. Bobby Moffett was scouted through the Contender Series, and has since had a 1-1 record in the UFC. Back in March, he lost to Kevin Aguilar via decision. On Saturday, one fighter will come back from a loss, while the other will likely continue to struggle.
Bout 9: Oskar Piechota (11-1-1) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (5-0) (Middleweight)
One of the many undefeated fighters on the card is Rodolfo Vieira, who will make his UFC debut with a record of 5-0. A few of those fights were in the Russian MMA promotion ACB. His recent win was a first round rear naked choke, which ended the undefeated 10-0 pro run of Vitaliy Nemchinov. “The Black Belt Hunter” will see a challenge in his matchup with Oskar Piechota, who has a 2-1 record in the UFC. Piechota’s wins come from both striking and submissions, which differs himself from the BJJ focused Vieira. His first career loss came to Gerald Meerschaert in his last bout.
Bout 10: Volkan Oezdemir (15-4) (#7) vs. Ilir Latifi (14-6) (#9) (Light Heavyweight)
With three fights left on the card, names that are familiar to most UFC fans start to appear. The next bout is Volkan Oezdemir versus Ilir Latifi. Oezdemir came into the UFC with three straight wins, two of those via first round, sorry, first minute punches. But since then, the Swiss fighter has found himself in a losing streak, dropping to big names in Dominick Reyes, Anthony Smith and Daniel Cormier. He will try to turn around his misfortunes on Saturday, facing Ilir Latifi, who has had a consistent amount of wins with intermittent losses. He took a decision loss on the last 2018 show for UFC, losing to Corey Anderson. A win for either individual will advance them up the light heavyweight rankings, which they have already established themselves in.
Bout 11: Humberto Bandenay (14-6) vs. Luiz Eduardo Garagorri (12-0) (Featherweight)
Luiz Eduardo Garagorri will attempt to extend his undefeated record to 13-0 on Saturday when he faces Humberto Bandenay. Being the only fighter on the card from Uruguay, Garagorri will have the crowd behind him when he makes his UFC debut. His opponent, Humberto Bandenay is on a two fight losing streak. He won in his UFC debut against Martin Bravo with a head kick, but since then he has lost twice.
Bout 12: Vicente Luque (16-6-1) vs. Mike Perry (13-4) (Welterweight)
In the co-main event of the show, Vicente Luque will face fellow welterweight Mike Perry. Despite being on a five-fight winning streak, with all of those wins coming via stoppage, Luque is an unranked welterweight. On the absolute edge of the rankings, another victory could put him into the list. “Platinum” Mike Perry hasn’t had as flawless of a record as of late (8-4 since Luque started his winning streak, 6-4 in the UFC), his personality and fighting style has made him a fan favourite. His face-off with Luque earlier in the week included his significant other who is referred to as the “Platinum Princess” in the crowd taunting Luque with comments like “He lookin’ nervous” and “He not ready” And, like many Perry incidents before, he let out a loud shriek to express intensity before he left the stage. His radiating energy as a person, and his explosive style as a fighter is what has put him so high on cards as of late, despite being 2-3 in his last five. Similar to Luque, if he wins this bout, chances are he will crash the welterweight rankings.
Bout 13: Valentina Shevchenko (17-3) © vs. Liz Carmouche (13-6) (#3) (UFC Flyweight Championship)
The main event of the card is Valentina Shevchenko attempting to defend her UFC Flyweight Championship against #3 ranked flyweight Liz Carmouche. Both fighters have faced off before, with that fight taking place back in 2010 before either fighter stepped foot in the UFC. Carmouche came out of the fight as the winner, breaking Shevchenko’s 10-0 undefeated record at the time. A lot of things have changed since then. Carmouche went through Strikeforce and Invicta, and made her UFC debut in a title fight against Ronda Rousey, where Rousey came out as the victor in one of her biggest fights of her career. Shevchenko entered the UFC in 2015, going undefeated besides her two losses to Amanda Nunes, who currently holds the bantamweight and featherweight championships.
“Bullet” Valentina Shevchenko won her belt back in December at UFC 231, defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the co-main event of the evening. Just two months ago she made her first defense of the title, stopping Jessica Eye in the second round with a head kick. Carmouche’s last two wins have come against Jennifer Maia and Lucie Pudilova, both via decision. A win for Shevchenko would let her overtake Nicco Montano for longest time to hold the flyweight belt. Montano had it for 280 days in total, with Shevchenko marking the 245th day tomorrow.
Next week, UFC will hold UFC 241, including another rematch in the main event slot. Heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier will face Stipe Miocic after defeating him via KO back in July of last year. Miocic will aim to reclaim his heavyweight belt, which he defended three times prior to losing. The co-main will see the long awaited return of Nate Diaz, as he faces Anthony Pettis.