UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy Preview

UFC prefers to have the main events of their high-tier cards with a championship belt attached. You see that nearly every time there’s a pay-per-view. But, sometimes, they make exceptions. Sometimes due to the main event being scrapped last minute, and other times due to large star power. This was seem in November, with Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz fighting in Madison Square Garden for an imaginary belt, “The Baddest M*****F*****” belt. Masvidal’s explosive mainstream rise in 2019 allowed him to pair himself with Diaz, and draw a fair amount of viewers.

This exception will be made yet again this weekend, with arguably the biggest UFC star in the last decade, Conor McGregor, making his octagon return against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The fight is easily the lowest-caliber one McGrgeor has seen in a long time, although a good test for a star who has lost more than he has won in recent years.

With those losses lies a question of when the diamond that is McGregor will lose his value. Can McGregor afford to lose again, better-yet to a fighter who is a gatekeeper to the division? Well, to answer that question would be getting ahead of ourselves, because it’s not a relevant question unless he actually loses. And that will be found out this weekend in the main event of UFC 246.

As it is a pay-per-view event, the card features many recognizable names to UFC fans throughout. Live this Saturday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, let’s preview this weekend’s UFC 246 card.

Bout 1: Sabina Mazo (7-1) vs. JJ Aldrich (8-3) (Flyweight)

The evening will begin at 6:30PM EST with three fights on the UFC Fight Pass early prelims. The first of the trio is between flyweights Sabina Mazo and JJ Aldrich. Two fights into her UFC career, Mazo has a 1-1 record, recently winning over Shana Dobson via decision. Aldrich has much more experience in the big leagues, with a 4-2 record since joining the UFC in 2016.

Bout 2: Ode Osbourne (8-2) vs. Brian Kelleher (19-10) (Bantamweight)

Dana White’s Contender Series winner Ode Osbourne will see his UFC debut in a fight against Brian Kelleher, who will try to break his two-fight losing streak. Osbourne finished Armando Villarreal with an armbar within a round on the Contender Series to earn his contract. Kelleher last lost to Montel Jackson in late 2018. He was absent throughout 2019, as a scheduled fight in May against Mitch Gagnon was cancelled due to an injury.

Bout 3: Aleksa Camur (5-0) vs. Justin Ledet (9-2) (Light Heavyweight)

The fight following Osbourne versus Kelleher is one that feels like the exact same scenario. Aleksa Camur, who got a UFC contract through the Contender Series will face Justin Ledet, who is on a two-fight losing streak. Camur has won all five of his pro fights via strikes, being undefeated as a pro and amateur. Ledet’s last fight saw him fall victim to the unpredictable striking of Johnny Walker, back in February.

Bout 4: Nasrat Haqparast (11-2) vs. Drew Dober (21-9) (Lightweight)

At 8PM EST, the preliminary card will switch to ESPN (TSN 3 in Canada) for four more bouts. The first of the group is a lightweight bout between Nasrat Haqparast and Drew Dober. After a road bump UFC debut against Marcin Held, Haqparast has won three in a row, most recently over Joaquim Silva. Dober has much more experience in the UFC, fighting for the promotion since 2013. His most recent win saw him stop Polo Reyes in just over a minute.

Bout 5: Tim Elliott (15-9-1) vs. Askar Askarov (10-0-1) (Flyweight)

In September, Askar Askarov made his UFC debut, wagering his undefeated record. And while he remained undefeated, he did not see the satisfaction of a win, going to a draw against Brandon Moreno. This time around he will face Tim Elliott, who has a 2-3 record in the UFC, recently losing to Deiveson Figueiredo. In a thin division like the flyweight one, a win could bring either fighter into higher relevance.

Bout 6: Andre Fili (20-6) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (10-1) (Featherweight)

Since winning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Sodiq Yusuff has been flawless in the UFC at 3-0. Now, he will see the biggest challenge of his career so far, facing Andre Fili. The now-UFC veteran has a 7-5 record within the promotion.

Bout 7: Maycee Barber (8-0) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (23-16) (Flyweight)

Still undefeated three fights into her UFC career, Maycee Barber could easily be the top flyweight prospect. However, her next matchup should be a good text, as she will face Roxanne Modafferi. “The Happy Warrior” has been fighting since 2003, with a current 2-3 record in the UFC. There’s no doubt that Modafferi’s advantage in this matchup is experience. However, experience means nothing until it’s used in competition. Many have written off Modafferi, with Vegas odds having her as a heavy underdog.

Bout 8: Anthony Pettis (22-9) vs. Diego Ferreira (16-2) (Lightweight)

Kicking off the pay-per-view portion of the card at 10PM EST will be Anthony Pettis and Diego Ferreira. Brazil’s Ferreira has been on fire lately, on a five-fight winning streak. Pettis is coming off a loss, going to decision against Nate Diaz. In the fight before that, Pettis became the first fighter to knock out Stephen Thompson, landing a superman punch in the first round.

Claudia Gadelha versus Alexa Grasso was meant to also be on the main card, but was cancelled due to the fighters not being within a three pounds of eachother. Grasso couldn’t make the 116-pound strawweight limit, coming in at 121 pounds.

Bout 10: Alexey Oleinik (57-13-1) vs. Maurice Greene (8-3) (Heavyweight)

With a 3-1 record so far in the UFC, Maurice Greene could be described as a prospect for the heavyweight division. However, similar to the Barber/Modafferi matchup earlier in the card, he will face the extremely experienced Alexey Oleinik in his next fight. Oleinik has been finished in his last two fights, those being losses to Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. After a three-fight winning streak, Greene saw his first UFC setback in October when he lost to Sergey Pavlovich.

Bout 11: Holly Holm (12-5) vs. Raquel Pennington (10-7) (Bantamweight)

The co-main event of the evening will see Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington compete. The fight is Holm’s return after losing to Amanda Nunes in July, failing to take the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Pennington got a split decision in the same month over Irene Aldana, snapping her losing streak. Like most of this card, this fight hasn’t gotten much attention in the media. That could be because there’s no real angle or explicit implications for whoever wins this.

Bout 12: Conor McGregor (21-4) vs. Donald Cerrone (36-13) (Welterweight)

Finally, the main event will be between “The Notorious” Conor McGregor and “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone. Like mentioned before, this fight is one for McGregor that skill-wise is the lowest quality opponent he’s gotten in a while. However, it’s not sure where his skill lies too, so this bout could be a good litmus test for him.

McGregor’s last fight was a failed attempt to win the UFC Lightweight Championship in October of 2018, tapping out to a rear naked choke in the fourth round. His last mixed-martial-arts fight before then was in fall of 2016, winning over Eddie Alvarez. Since his last fight, McGregor has found himself entrenched in controversy outside of the octagon. In August, McGregor plead guilty to assault, following an incident where he punched a man in a Dublin bar. He was given a 1,000 euro fine for the incident.

Also during the layoff, the New York Times reported that two investigations for sexual assault were launched on McGregor. When the allegations were brought up at a press conference on Wednesday, the crowd and panelists reacted negatively.

Cerrone has fought five times since McGregor last fought. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak, dropping to Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. Before then however, Cerrone won three in a row, notably going five rounds with Al Iaquinta.

The fight is held at welterweight, which is uncommon for McGregor. Cerrone has fought in welterweight before, but not in recent bouts.

Following UFC 246, the next UFC event will be on January 25th, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, going head-to-head with Bellator’s show in California. The next pay-per-view event by the UFC is on February 8th, with Jon Jones attempting to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Dominic Reyes.

Gian Villante To Face Ben Rothwell In Heavyweight Bout on UFC 249 Card

Fighting at the 265 pound weight class for the first time since 2011, Gian Villante will face Ben Rothwell at UFC 249, on April 18th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Broken by Mark La Monica of Newsday, it was revealed on Monday night that the matchup would be added to the undercard of the pay-per-view event.

Villante’s sole fight last year was a first-round loss to Michael Oleksiejczuk. The UFC veteran has a 7-8 record in the promotion, with his longest winning streak being two-fights long.

Rothwell recently got out of his three-fight losing streak, prevailing over Stefan Struve in December with a second-round finish.

Currently set to main event the card is Khabib Nurmagomedov defending his UFC Lightweight Championship against Tony Ferguson, a fight which has been sought after for years.

Here’s the full card for UFC 249 so far:

Bout 1: Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) vs. Tony Ferguson (25-3) (UFC Lightweight Championship)

Bout 2: Jacare Souza (26-8) vs. Uriah Hall (15-9) (Middleweight)

Bout 3: Jessica Andrade (20-7) vs. Rose Namajunas (8-4) (Strawweight)

Bout 4: Ben Rothwell (37-12) vs. Gian Villante (17-11) (Heavyweight)


Eric Spicely To Return Against Punahele Soriano on UFC on ESPN 8 Card

Punahele Soriano’s (7-0) second UFC fight will happen in March, against Eric Spicely (12-5) on the UFC on ESPN 8 card.

First reported by Farah Hannoun of MMAJunkie, it was reported on Sunday morning that the matchup was made.

Soriano made an explosive debut in the UFC at UFC 245 in December, stopping Oskar Piechota within a round. The fight extended his professional MMA record to an undefeated 7-0.

The Hawaiian fighter earned his UFC contract via TV series Dana White’s Contender Series, winning on the first episode of the third season.

Yorgan de Casto, who won on the same Dana White’s Contender Series episode of Soriano is fighting on the card as well, facing Greg Hardy.

Spicely’s last fight was a loss to Deron Winn via decision in June. The fight was his return fight to the UFC, having a two-fight stint in CES during 2019. Previously, Spicely had a 2-4 record in the UFC.

UFC on ESPN 8 is set to take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, USA, on March 28th, with Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruick headlining the card.

Here’s how the full card looks so far:

Bout 1: Francis Ngannou (14-3) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruick (10-0) (Heavyweight)

Bout 2: Raphael Assuncao (27-7) vs. Cody Garbrandt (11-3) (Bantamweight)

Bout 3: Greg Hardy (5-2) vs. Yorgan De Castro (6-0) (Heavyweight)

Bout 4: Khalil Rountree (8-4) vs. Sam Alvey (33-13) (Light Heavyweight)

Bout 5: Tecia Torres (10-5) vs. Mizuki (14-5) (Strawweight)

Bout 6: Aspen Ladd (9-1) vs. Julianna Pena (9-3) (Bantamweight)

Bout 7: Carlos Felipe (8-0) vs. Jeff Hughes (10-3) (Heavyweight)

Bout 8: Davey Grant (9-4) vs. Louis Smolka (16-6) (Bantamweight)

Bout 9: Randy Costa (5-1) vs. Martin Day (9-3) (Bantamweight)

Bout 10: Punahele Soriano (7-0) vs. Eric Spicely (12-5) (Middleweight)


Mark Madsen To Face Austin Hubbard At UFC 248

News broke Saturday that undefeated fighter Mark Madsen (9-0) will return to the UFC in March, facing Austin Hubbard (11-3) on the UFC 248 card.

First reported by Farah Hannoun of MMAJunkie, the bout is scheduled to be on the preliminary portion of the card and set at lightweight.

Madsen made his UFC debut in September, stopping Danilo Belluardo in just over a minute with strikes, co-main eventing the card.

Hubbard has a 1-1 record in the UFC, recently getting his first promotional win over Kyle Prepolec via unanimous decision.

Both fighters have competed in regional promotion LFA before, never losing under that banner.

From Denmark, Madsen has fought for recognized promotion Cage Warriors when they have toured to the country. He went 3-0 in 2019.

Schedule to headline UFC 248 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA is Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Zhang will be putting her UFC Strawweight Championship on the line, which was earned in August with a TKO victory over Jessica Andrade.

Here’s the full card for UFC 248 so far:

Bout 1: Weili Zhang (20-1) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-3) (UFC Strawweight Championship)

Bout 2: Robert Whittaker (20-5) vs. Jared Cannonier (13-4) (Middleweight)

Bout 3: Jeremy Stephens (28-17) vs. Calvin Kattar (20-4) (Featherweight)

Bout 4: Beneil Dariush (17-4-1) vs. Drakkar Klose (11-1-1) (Lightweight)

Bout 5: Neil Magny (21-7) vs. Jingliang Li (17-5) (Welterweight)

Bout 6: Emily Whitmire (4-3) vs. Polyana Viana (10-4) (Strawweight)

Bout 7: Guido Cannetti (8-4) vs. Danaa Batgerel (6-2) (Bantamweight)

Bout 8: Jose Alberto Quinones (8-3) vs. Sean O’Malley (10-0) (Bantamweight)

Bout 9: Alex Oliveira (20-8-1) vs. Max Griffin (15-7) (Welterweight)

Bout 10: Rodolfo Vieira (6-0) vs. Saparbeg Safarov (9-2) (Middleweight)

Bout 11: Mark Madsen (9-0) vs. Austin Hubbard (11-3) (Lightweight)


Mizuki vs. Tecia Torres Added To UFC Fight Night Columbus

It was announced on Saturday that Tecia Torres and Mizuki Inoue have been booked for the main card of UFC on ESPN 8, which is on March 23rd, at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Torres is currently fighting the longest losing streak of her career, with a win illuding her for her last four fights. Apart from her ongoing losing streak, Torres only has one other defeat as a pro.

Most recently, Torres lost via unanimous decision to Marina Rodriguez. Previously, she lost to Weili Zhang, who is currently the UFC Strawweight Champion.

Mizuki made a successful debut in the UFC last August, winning in a split decision contest against Yanan Wu. Before her UFC career, Mizuki notably fought in all-women’s MMA promotions like Invicta FC and DEEP Jewels.

Currently set to headline the Ohio card is heavyweights Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruick. The co-main event will see ranked bantamweights Raphael Assuncao and Cody Garbrandt try to snap their losing streaks.

Bellator 235: Barnett vs. Markes Full Report

In Bellator’s first of two evenings in Honolulu, Hawaii, they presented Bellator 235. Set to main event the card was MMA veteran Josh Barnett and Ronny Markes. During the show, people found out that Barnett was not cleared to fight, making the new main event Toby Misech and Erik Perez. Partnering up with the United Service Organizations, the theme of the show was “Salute The Troops.” Before the four-fight main card, Bellator 235 had three preliminary bouts.

Quick Results:


Bout 1: Cass Bell def. Pierre Daguzan via Unanimous Decision

Bout 2: Joseph Creer def. Ty Gwerder via Unanimous Decision

Bout 3: Hunter Ewald def. Brysen Bolohao via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 1:42)

Main Card

Bout 4: Joey Davis def. Chris Cisneros via TKO, Hammerfists (RD 1, 3:55)

Bout 5: Tywan Claxton def. Braydon Akeo via Unanimous Decision

Bout 6: Alejandra Lara def. Veta Arteaga via Unanimous Decision

Bout 7: Toby Misech def. Erik Perez via KO, Ground and Pound (RD 1, 0:54)

Bout 1: Cass Bell (4-0) vs. Pierre Daguzan (5-3) (Bantamweight)

Kicking off the preliminary card, undefeated Cass Bell fought Pierre Daguzan. The fight was the Bellator debut for Daguzan. Bell threw many kicks early on, including one which Daguzan caught. When another kick was caught in the second minute, Daguzan got a takedown from it. They got back up almost right after. While Daguzan didn’t get hurt too much, Bell did more work in the first round. There was some odd error where the first round was only three minutes long as opposed to five.

Daguzan caught another kick in the second round, getting his second takedown of the fight. He swept Bell by holding one leg while kicking the other. As they were getting back up, Bell landed a spinning back fist which hurt Daguzan. Bell landed a good counter-left straight halfway through the second round.

Daguzan caught another kick early in the final round. He took Bell down with it, but never got to the ground himself. They stood back up shortly after. Bell shot for a takedown, eventually securing it and getting on Daguzan’s back. Bell had a ton of time to work on the ground, starting to look for a rear naked choke. Daguzan got up, eventually returning to stand-up. Bell shot for another takedown halfway through the round, with Daguzan completely stopping it this time. On the way back to the feet, Bell landed another spinning back fist. They threw strikes for the rest of the round, although nothing landed clean besides a couple of punches from Bell at the end of the round. Getting the first decision victory of his young career, Cass Bell defeated Pierre Daguzan via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bell 10 10 10 30
Daguzan 9 9 9 27

Bout 2: Ty Gwerder (4-0) vs. Joseph Creer (6-1-1) (Middleweight)

In the next fight, undefeated Ty Gwerder made his Bellator debut against Joseph Creer. The two fighters went into a body lock after a minute of striking. Gwerder tried for a takedown but couldn’t get it. A pause came after Gwerder was hit in the groin while up against the cage. They resumed after a short break. They resumed in stand-up as opposed to back up against the cage. Creer landed some good knees in the clinch. Both fighters had their moments with striking. Creer got a body lock takedown as the first round ended.

Heading into the second round, this fight become the longest one yet with Gwerder’s professional career. Creer went for a single leg takedown in the first minute after coming forward with punches. He eventually secured it. Both fighters did ground and pound. Creer got on Gwerder’s back. Gwerder stopped throwing punches and prioritized fighting off a rear naked choke attempt. The choke never got under Gwerder’s chin, but he spent a long time fighting it off. Gwerder eventually flipped over, taking top position before standing up and returning to striking. Creer tagged Gwerder with a straight. As expected, both fighters were fatigued. Creer threw Gwerder back to the ground and got on his back again.

The first two minutes of the third round saw somewhat slow-paced striking. Creer got another takedown, being dominant on the ground for three minutes. He tried for a kimura, but didn’t get much progress on it before the fight clock ran out., Ending the undefeated professional MMA record of Ty Gwerder, Joseph Creer got a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27 & 29-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Gwerder 9 9 9 27
Creer 10 10 10 30

Bout 3: Hunter Ewald (0-0) vs. Brysen Bolahao (0-1) (Catchweight 180 lbs)

In the final fight of the brief preliminary card, Hunter Ewald made his pro debut against Brysen Bolahao. Ewald was putting on the pressure early, backing Bolahao up against the fence. He shot for a takedown after 30 seconds of stand-up. Still standing up, Ewald got on Bolahao’s back. He eventually got a takedown, then started to search for a rear naked choke. It didn’t take long for Ewald to secure the choke, making Bolahao tap out. Getting a quick and fast win, Hunter Ewald had a successful professional MMA debut.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 4: Joey Davis (6-0) vs. Chris Cisneros (19-10) (Welterweight)

Kicking off the main card, Joey Davis attempted to stay undefeated, facing the much more experienced Chris Cisneros. Davis got a double leg takedown in the first 10 seconds of the fight. Davis landed lots of strikes from top position, but not enough in succession to end the fight. Cisneros was cut on the forehead, bleeding quite a bit from it. Davis turned up the intensity of strikes with about a minute to go, eventually doing enough for the referee to intervene. With a dominant and bloody performance, Joey Davis advanced his record to seven wins.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 5: Tywan Claxton (5-1) vs. Braydon Akeo (3-0) (Featherweight)

Returning from his first loss as a pro, Tywan Claxton fought the still undefeated Braydon Akeo in the next bout. The first few minutes of the fight were slow, with both fighters turning up the head with two minutes to go. They went into a clinch after Claxton whiffed a wailing punch.

Akeo caught a leg early in the second round, trying to trip the other leg of Claxton. He couldn’t do it however, as Claxton recovered and went into a clinch. They returned to striking with three minutes to go.

Akeo tried for a takedown early in the third round, putting a body lock on Claxton. Going up against the fence, Claxton took control of the fight, landing strikes periodically. They got off the fencing halfway through the round. Akeo shot for a takedown, which Claxton stopped, putting Akeo up against the fence before dumping him to the floor. They got back up, but Claxton kept Akeo up against the cage. Claxton  got another takedown in the final minute of the fight. He got on Akeo’s back and tried for a rear naked choke, but ran out of time before being able to finish the fight. Bouncing back from his September loss, Tywan Claxton put on a dominant performance (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Claxton 10 10 10 30
Akeo 9 9 9 27

Bout 6: Alejandra Lara (8-3) vs. Veta Arteaga (5-3) (Flyweight)

In the co-main event slot of the evening, Alejandra Lara and Veta Arteaga faced off in a potential fight to find the next Flyweight Championship challenger. Right as the fight started, both fighters didn’t waste time to throw fists. Lara was landing good kicks to the body early on. Lara put Arteaga up against the cage for a minute or so. The next time that Lara put Arteaga up against the cage, she landed some elbows. Lara connected with many punches late in the round. Arteaga slipped and fell, which allowed Lara to take the fight to the ground.

Lara picked up where she left off at the start of the second round, landing more punches. With under two minutes left in the second round, Lara landed a head kick which dropped Arteaga. Lara stayed on her up against the cage, landing tons of punches.

Halfway through the final round, Lara had another good attack, landing elbows and punches in close range. With just over a minute left, Arteaga was cut open on the forehead by a cut. She was bleeding quite a bit. Despite being hit with everything for three rounds, Arteaga still fought like a well-conditioned fighter in the closing seconds of the bout. After 15 minutes of domination by Alejandra Lara, she got a unanimous decision win, possibly putting her next in line for another title shot (30-26, 30-26 & 30-26).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Lara 10 10 10 30
Arteaga 8 9 9 26

Bout 7: Toby Misech (11-7) vs. Erik Perez (19-6) (Bantamweight)


Just as the last fight wrapped up, former UFC fighter Liz Carmouche came to the stage to announce that she has signed with Bellator. Later on, we got a backstage report that Josh Barnett was not cleared to fight, meaning the next fight would be the main event. Obviously a disappointing result for Barnett, who last fought in 2016. In what was now the main event of the evening, Toby Misech and Erik Perez faced off in a bantamweight fight. Before the fight, the national anthem was performed. Misech came in over the bantamweight limit, being 141 pounds. This fight was the Bellator debut for Perez. Early in the fight, Misech landed a left hook that dropped Perez. He scored two more punches on the ground which knocked Perez out. Showcasing powerful one-shot hands, Toby Misech closed the show for Bellator 235.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bellator 235 Preview

On the same weekend that the UFC holds their last show of 2019, Bellator will hold two of their final three shows of the year. This weekend, Bellator travels to Honolulu, Hawaii for back-to-back nights of MMA action. In the first show of the evening, MMA veteran Josh Barnett faces Ronny Markes, along with many other fights on the card.

Bout 1: Hunter Ewald (0-0) vs. Brysen Bolohao (0-1) (Welterweight)

In the first preliminary bout of the show, Hunter Ewald will make his MMA debut against Brysen Bolohao. Ewald comes from a BJJ background, getting second place in the IBBJF 2019 American Nationals. He comes from the Longman Jiu-Jitsu gym in Kilauea, Hawaii. Bolohao made his MMA debut back in December of 2018, the last time that Bellator visited the state. He lost in that outing, getting choked out in the second round by Robson Gracie Jr. This time around he will try to get his first win as a pro.

Bout 2: Ty Gwerder (4-0) vs. Joseph Creer (6-1-1) (Middleweight)

Making his Bellator debut, undefeated Ty Gwerder will face Joseph Creer in the next bout. Previously fighting in well-known regional promotion LFA three times, Gwerder will look for his fifth win as a pro on his biggest stage yet. Creer has fought twice for Bellator, most recently losing to Austin Vanderford at Bellator 225.

Bout 3: Cass Bell (4-0) vs. Pierre Daguzan (5-3) (Bantamweight)

The brief preliminary card will conclude with undefeated Bellator prospect Cass Bell facing Pierre Daguzan. Bell has fought his whole career as a pro in Bellator, getting all four of his wins via stoppage so far. Daguzan hasn’t won since early 2018, recently losing to Federico Vento and having a no contest outing against Bill Takeuchi.

Bout 4: Joey Davis (6-0) vs. Chris Cisneros (19-10) (Welterweight)

Starting off the main card, Bellator’s undefeated Joey Davis will face the much more experienced Chris Cisneros. Davis has built his whole pro career in Bellator, earning four stoppage wins out of his six victories thus far. He’s coming off of a one-minute victory over Jeff Peterson at Bellator 229. Cisneros has fought in Bellator before, losing a bout in late 2018 to Maki Pitolo. He has recently won twice on the regionals, fighting his way back to the big stage.

Bout 5: Ty-wan Claxton (5-1) vs. Braydon Akeo (3-0) (Featherweight)

Coming off his first loss as a pro, Ty-wan Claxton will be matched up against debuting Bellator fighter Braydon Akeo. Claxton is another one of Bellator’s homegrown talent, having won his first five fights as a pro within the promotion, including four via stoppage. He tasted defeat for the first time back in September, losing to Emmanuel Sanchez in the first round of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix. His opponent, Akeo, is one of the many Hawiian fighters on the card. He debuted as a pro in late 2018, with this fight being his fourth in just over a year’s time.

Bout 6: Veta Arteaga (5-3) vs. Alejandra Lara (8-3) (Flyweight)

In the only women’s bout of the evening, longtime Bellator fighters Veta Arteaga and Alejandra Lara meet for the first time. Arteaga’s last fight was a loss to Bellator Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei MacFarlane, who fights the day after her. The loss was a doctor’s stoppage due to a cut. Lara’s last fight was at Bellator 225, winning in the first round against Taylor Turner. Lara came in at 126.8 for the flyweight fight. Because of coming over the limit, she gave up 20% of her show purse for the fight.

Bout 7: Erik Perez (19-6) vs. Toby Misech (11-7) (Bantamweight)

The co-main event of the card sees former UFC fighter Erik Perez take on Hawaii’s Toby Misech. Perez is on a five-fight winning streak which dates back to his UFC run. He went 7-2 in the promotion before going to Combate Americas for two fights. However, coming off of a one-year layoff, Perez has something to prove in this matchup. Misech is 1-1 in Bellator, having last fought at Bellator 215, losing to Edurado Dantas via decision. Misech weighed in at 141 on Thursday, missing the 136 limit for bantamweight. Because of this, he lost 20% of his show money.

Bout 8: Josh Barnett (35-8) vs. Ronny Markes (19-7) (Heavyweight)

To say we haven’t seen Josh Barnett in a little while would be an understatement. Now at 42-years-old, Barnett hasn’t fought in over three years. Last time viewers saw him was at the end of his more recent UFC run, winning over Andrei Arlovski. Outside of MMA however, you may have seen Barnett doing pro-wrestling or grappling. After a 2016 battle with USADA while in the UFC, Barnett asked for his release in 2018. His contract signing with Bellator was announced in April, with this being his first fight for the promotion.

He meets Ronny Markes in the main event of Bellator 235. Markes is coming off of an unsuccessful 2019 PFL season, competing in the promotion’s light heavyweight division. He lost his first fight to Sigi Pesaleli, then missed weight for his fight at PFL #6, losing his final chance to score points before their playoffs. His career has also included a 2011 to 2014 UFC run, going 3-2 in the promotion. He has fought as light as middleweight in the past, but is going up to heavyweight for this contest.

Bellator will return on Saturday, finishing their double-header in Hawaii with a title fight between Ilima-Lei MacFarlane and Kate Jackson.

UFC 245: Covington vs. Usman Live Report

UFC’s final pay-per-view of the year was a big one, with three championship fights on the card. Headlining the trio of fights was Colby Covington challenging Kamaru Usman for his UFC Welterweight Championship. Stay tuned throughout the night for live results.

Quick Results:

Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass / 6PM EST)

Bout 1: Punahele Soriano def. Oskar Piechota via KO (RD 1, 3:17)

Bout 2: Jessica Eye def. Viviane Araujo via Unanimous Decision

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno def. Kai Kara-France via Unanimous Decision

Bout 4: Chase Hooper def. Daniel Teymur via TKO (RD 1, 4:34)

Prelims (ESPN 2, TSN 5 / 8PM EST)

Bout 5: Matt Brown def. Ben Saunders via TKO (RD 2, 4:55)

Bout 6: Omari Akhmedov def. Ian Heinisch via Unanimous Decision

Bout 7: Irene Aldana def. Kelten Vieira via KO (RD 1, 4:51)

Bout 8: Geoff Neal def. Mike Perry via TKO (RD 1, 1:30)

Main Card (PPV / 10PM EST)

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)


Bout 1: Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)

In the first bout of the evening, undefeated Punahele Soriano made his UFC debut against Oskar Piechota. There was an exchange in the second minute of the fight where both fighters threw strikes. Piechota was hit with a left hook that dropped him. Soriano couldn’t finish on the ground with strikes. He got on Piechota’s back. As they got back up, Piechota tried for a kimura. He transitioned into a guillotine, throwing one knee while holding it. Soriano got out of it and took Piechota back down. They got back up and returned to striking with just over two minutes left in the round. Soriano was coming forward with punches, cornering Piechota up against the cage. He landed another left hook which knocked out Piechota to end the fight. Proving himself to be a good prospect, Punahele Soriano made a strong UFC debut. Piechota was emotional after the fight.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 2: Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (8-1) (Flyweight)

In the next fight, high ranked flyweights Jessica Eye and Viviane Araujo faced off. Since Eye came in over the 126 lb flyweight limit, she gave up some of her fight purse. Araujo landed a good hook in the first minute of the round. Araujo got a takedown off of catching a kick. They got back up with a minute left in the round. Eye was the more active fighter, including many strikes to the body. Araujo stopped a takedown, keeping it in stand-up.

The second round had more close striking. Araujo caught another kick, but this time she couldn’t get a takedown. Araujo got a well-timed double leg takedown with two minutes to go in the round. Eye got up after being down for only half a minute. Eye continued to be the more active and accurate striker.

The final round was similar to the ones before. Eye stopped numerous strikes throughout the round. This round was possibly the closest one for strikes. When going to the scorecard, Jessica Eye walked away with the win unanimously (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Eye 10 10 10 30
Araujo 9 9 9 27

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) (#5) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (#6) (Flyweight)

Staying in the flyweight division, two more ranked flyweights in Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France faced off. In the first few minutes of the fight, both fighters were swinging hard. Kara-France landed a good punch that hurt Moreno halfway through the round. Moreno connected with a solid head kick in the final minute. No doubt Moreno was in the fight this round, but getting clipped a few times put him behind on the scorecard.

Moreno had a good second round, coming forward with more strikes, putting pressure on Kara-France. Moreno was stringing together some great combinations. Kara-France started to show damage on his face.

The final round was, just like the rounds before, explosive. Moreno slipped backwards in the second minute. Both fighters took turns throwing combinations. Moreno kept taunting by throwing his arms up. Kara-France was pacing the outside of the octagon for most of the third round. They were swinging until the very last second of the fight. Both of them showed damage on their faces at the end. Heading to the scorecard, all three judges had it for Brandon Moreno (29-28, 29-28 & 30-27).

My Scorecard: 

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Moreno 9 10 10 29
Kara-France 10 9 9 28

Bout 4: Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Finishing off Fight Pass Early Prelims, undefeated Chase Hooper fought Daniel Teymur. The small crowd that was inside the T-Mobile Arena sounded very supportive for Hooper. Hooper tried for a takedown early on, but Teymur locked in a guillotine choke. He got out of the choke, although it looked scary for him for a second. Hooper stayed on his back on the ground. He got up later and took the back of Teymur while standing up. They went to the ground, where Hooper tried for a rear naked choke when he wasn’t throwing punches. He had the choke under the chin, but Teymur did escape it eventually. Hooper got on top of Teymur and landed elbows and punches until the referee intervened. Escaping an early guillotine, Hooper went on to give a dominant performance in his UFC debut.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 5: Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)

In the first ESPN prelim fight, veterans Matt Brown and Ben Saunders fought. Brown got a trip takedown in the first minute of the fight. Saunders threatened a triangle choke from the bottom. Brown endured the hold, eventually escaping the position. They stayed on the ground until the round ended.

Brown landed a good high kick in the first minute of the fight. Saunders was packing up against the cage. Saunders pulled guard, taking the fight to the ground. He was bleeding significantly from the head. The referee stood them up with 30 seconds left in the round due to inactivity. Saunders dropped to the ground in the final seconds. Brown landed strikes from top position until the referee intervened.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Brown 9
Saunders 10

Bout 6: Ian Heinisch (13-2) (#10) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (#14) (Middleweight)

In the next bout, up and comers Ian Heinisch and Omar Akhmedov faced off. Heinisch shot for a takedown in the first minute but didn’t get it. Akhmedov got some good punches through after that. Akhmedov secured a good double leg takedown with just over a minute left in the round. They weren’t on the ground for too long.

Akhmedov continued to succeed in the second round with his counter-puncher role. With that being said, Heinisch landed some good shots as well. Akhmedov shot for another takedown, this time not fully getting Heinisch to the ground. Heinisch had Akhmedov up against the cage as the round closed out.

A knee to the body hurt Akhmedov halfway through the final round. A hook hit Heinisch that hurt him too. Spotting Akhmedov’s momentum, Heinisch landed a takedown. They got up and stayed in a clinch up against the cage. Heinisch got another takedown, this time taking the back of Akhmedov. Heinisch landed strikes from the position. They got up for the final 30 seconds, where Heinisch got hurt by more strikes. The fight all 15 minutes, with all three judges giving the nod to Omari Akhmedov (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Heinisch 9 9 9 27
Akhmedov 10 10 10 30

Bout 7: Ketlen Vieira (10-0) (#2) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (#10) (Bantamweight)

Continuing on the prelims, undefeated bantamweight Ketlen Vieira faced Irene Aldana. The winner of this fight would presumably be next in line for a bantamweight shot. The first round had a very close striking battle. Aldana started to bleed on the lower lip near the end of the round. In the final seconds of the round, Aldana scored a left hook which floored Vieira. She landed a right hand on the ground which took her out cold. Irene Aldana moved to the front of the bantamweight line by ending Ketlen Vieira’s undefeated record with a thunderous knockout.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 8: Mike Perry (13-5) vs Geoff Neal (12-2) (#14) (Welterweight)

The final preliminary fight of the card was between Mike Perry and Geoff Neal. Perry got rocked by a head kick in the second minute of the fight. Neal dropped Perry with punches up against the cage, which was enough for the referee, stepping in and ending the fight. Perry was cut on the nose after the exchange. Handing Mike Perry his sixth loss as a pro, Geoff Neal should expect to climb up the welterweight rankings more. After the fight, Neal honestly admitted that he needs another fight or two before going for a belt.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) (#4) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (#12) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the main card, Urijah Faber came out of retirement to face Petr Yan. Faber landed a good knee early on. It was a slow and methodical start for both fighters. Faber caught a kick and initiated a clinch, but Yan spun out of it. Yan was landing good punches every once in a while.

Faber attempted a single leg takedown halfway through the second round which Yan avoided. Right after, Yan came forward with punches which sat Faber down. Faber was hit with more strikes, but recovered and got back to his feet. He landed a punch to Yan which hurt him. Yan threw an elbow which dropped Faber again. Faber was cut open badly at this point. There was huge swelling beside his left eye. He got back up again but was thrown down by Yan. The referee stopped the fight with a minute or so left so that a doctor could check on it. Boos from the crowd ended when they realized the fight would not get called off. They resumed with Yan in top position on the ground. They got back up, but Yan secured another takedown in the final seconds of the round.

In the final round. Yan hit Faber with a head kick which dropped him again and ended the bout. With dominant striking throughout the fight, Petr Yan finally ended the fight in the third round. After the fight, Yan called out Henry Cejudo.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Yan 9 10
Faber 10 8

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (#1) (Bantamweight)

The final fight of the evening that was not for a championship was between Jose Aldo and Marlon Moraes. The fight was Aldo’s official move from featherweight to bantamweight. Moraes landed a head kick in the first few seconds of the fight. He opened the fight with good strikes but calmed down once Aldo started to answer back. Moraes started to work the outside, pacing to the side or backwards. Aldo landed some solid punches in the final moments of the round. Moraes went into a clinch and threw Aldo to the ground.

Just like the round before, Aldo was the fighter constantly coming forward. Aldo had a much better second round, putting together head and body combinations. Moraes was more active in this round, but his pace had slowed down quite a bit compared to the round before.

Aldo continued to walk down Moraes in the third round, not landing much but doing the better job. He stopped a takedown attempt from Moraes in the final minute, eating a combination of punches in the exit. Going to the scorecards to find a winner, we had a split decision in favour of Marlon Moraes (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28). The crowd was upset with the decision it seemed.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Aldo 9 10 10 29
Moraes 10 9 9 28

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (#1) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

The first of three championship bouts in the evening was for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Attempting to defend one of her two belts, Amanda Nunes fought Germaine de Randamie in a rematch from 2013. Nunes caught a leg kick early on but couldn’t connect on a follow-up punch. Nunes scored a double leg takedown in the second minute of the fight. They got up shortly after, where Nunes put in a guillotine. They went back to the ground, where de Randamie popped out of the choke. They stood back up and went into a clinch against the cage. Nunes got another takedown. She did ground and pound more this time. She continued with the shots for quite a while. De Randamie threw a couple good upkicks. Nunes put in an arm triangle for a while. She let go and went back to hammerfist punches. Somehow, de Randamie survived the onslaught and made it into the second round.

At the start of the second round, de Randamie was landing some good punches. Nunes got another takedown in the second minute of the round. The referee stood them up due to inactivity eventually. De Randamie landed a good question-mark kick when they got up. In a clinch, de Randamie was throwing knees. Nunes got another takedown. From the bottom, de Randamie tried for a triangle choke. Nunes got out of it quite quickly.

Nunes got her fifth takedown in the first minute of round three. After being in a dominant position for a while, Nunes started to open up with ground and pound. When Nunes got back up, she was hit with upkicks.

Nunes got yet another takedown at the start of the fourth round. All of her takedowns were perfectly timed, right when de Randamie couldn’t stop them. From the bottom, de Randamie tried for a triangle choke. Nunes escaped then went back to her feet. Nunes threw de Randamie back to the ground. Nunes threw strikes every once in a while from top position until the round ended.

Before the final round, we were shown a crowd shot of championship boxer Claressa Shields. Similar to the rounds before, Nunes landed a takedown at the start of the final round. They stayed on the ground for many minutes. The fight ended in this position, going all 25 minutes. When consulting the scorecards, Amanda Nunes retained her UFC Bantamweight Championship (49-44, 49-46 & 49-45). After the fight, Nunes sent her condolences to Walt Harris’ family.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Nunes 10 10 10 10 10 50
De Randamie 8 9 9 9 9 44

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (#1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

In the co-main event of the evening, Alexander Volkanovski challenged for Max Holloway’s Featherweight Championship. The first round was a game of striking chess. Volkanovski shot for a takedown in the final minute of the first round, but Holloway stopped it.

Holloway’s left leg was showing quite some damage early in the second round. Volkanovski continued to chip away at it. In the fourth minute of the round, Holloway switched his lead leg to his right leg. Holloway landed a good combination of strikes in the final minute of the round. They had Holloway’s leg heavily iced in-between rounds.

Volkanovski kept coming in for a punch or two then dipping out of distance. He caught a leg from Holloway and used that to come in for a right straight. Holloway landed a good shot halfway through the round which seemingly hurt Volkanovski. Just like the left leg, Volkanovski was consistently landing kicks to the right leg. Holloway got a good knee to the body in. The fight was heating up as the round was closing out.

In the first minute of the third round, Volkanovski had some good punches. Volkanovski shot for a takedown in the second minute of the round, but Holloway stopped it again. Holloway was doing good counter-punching throughout this round. They got into a good trade of strikes in the final minute of the round, their most dangerous exchange yet.

At the start of the final round, each fighter took turns swinging on eachother. In the second minute of the final round, Holloway got a body kick that was damaging. Volkanovski had a good string of punches in the fourth minute. He failed to land a takedown. Volkanovski put on a body lock in the final few seconds of the fight. They completed all three rounds, needing judges to determine who prevailed. When going to the scorecard, Alexander Volkanovski won on every judge’s card (48-47, 48-47 & 50-45).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Holloway 10 9 9 10 9 47
Volkanovski 9 10 10 9 10 48

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Main eventing the pay-per-view, UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman attempted to make his first ever championship defence against Colby Covington. The first round saw Usman dominant with striking at the start. Covington started to turn the tides halfway through the round. The tempo of strikes in the first round was amazing. Covington connected with a good left hook in the fourth minute. Usman did a body shot which hurt Covington. One round in, nobody landed a takedown.

Just like the round before, the second round was a kickboxing battle. Real jabbing battle in the third minute of the fight. Really testing each other’s chins. There was a pause with two minutes to go in the round was Usman was accidentally kneed in the groin. The crowd was in uproar over this. Covington was retreating in the final minute.

While the pace did slow down in the third round, both fighters were still landing hard shots. In the final minute of the third round, both fighters had strong surges of striking. When Covington was coming forward with punches near the end of the round, fingers got in the eyes of Usman. They paused the fight and had a doctor check on him. He was able to continue the fight. In-between rounds, Covington told his corner that he broke his jaw.

Covington had a powerful charge forward in the first minute of the fourth round. This round was mostly Usman, although Covington had an amazing combination of punches in the second half of it. In the final minute of the round, the referee paused the action to warn both fighters to keep it clean.

Heading into the final round, the fight had yet to go to the ground yet. Covington got stunned by a punched in the final two minutes of the fight. He started to circle the outside of the cage sluggishly. Usman dropped Covington with just over a minute left in the round. He got dropped again seconds later. Usman kept on Covington with hammerfist strikes for a few moments until the referee stepped in to end the bout. In a close, fast and epic battle, Kamaru Usman finally silenced his most promising challenger, via stoppage at that, to retain his Welterweight Championship.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Usman 9 10 10 10
Covington 10 9 9 9

UFC 245: Usman vs. Covington Full Preview

In 2019 the UFC saw lots of title changes. Some were returns to power like Stipe Miocic’s win over Daniel Cormier. Others were, of course, a continuation of past success, like Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov. And of course, there were new names added to the mix like Israel Adesanya and Weili Zhang being crowned champions. Before the year concludes, the promotion will put on one last pay-per-view event, including three championship bouts.

Live from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, UFC 245 will be headlined by Colby Covington facing Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. In the co-main event of the card, Featherweight Champion Max Holloway will attempt to defend his belt against Alexander Volkanovski. Also on the main card is Amanda Nunes putting her Bantamweight belt up against Germain de Randamie. Along with the three championship fights are also 10 other fights.

Full Card:

Early Prelims (UFC Fight Pass / 6:30 PM EST)

  1. Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)
  2. Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (Flyweight)
  3. Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (Flyweight)
  4. Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Prelims (ESPN 2, TSN 5 / 8:00 PM EST)

  1. Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)
  2. Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (Middleweight)
  3. Kelten Vieira (10-0) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (Bantamweight)
  4. Mike Perry (13-5) vs. Geoff Neal (12-2) (Welterweight)

Main Card (PPV / 10:00 PM EST)

  1. Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)
  2. Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)
  3. Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
  4. Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)
  5. Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

Bout 1: Punahele Soriano (6-0) vs. Oskar Piechota (11-2-1) (Middleweight)

Kicking off the evening on the UFC Fight Pass Prelims at 6:30PM EST will be Punahele Soriano and Oskar Piechota. Undefeated Soriano will be making his UFC debut, as he previously earned his contract through the last season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He had previously competed in well-known regional promotions like PFL, LFA and Titan FC. Piechota is 2-2 in the UFC, losing his last two.

Bout 2: Jessica Eye (14-7) vs. Viviane Araujo (8-1) (Flyweight)

When Viviane Araujo faced Talita Bernardo back at UFC 237, it was a short-notice appearance. At the same time, however, it was an impressive performance, putting eyes on her despite it being an early prelim performance. She has since won again, prevailing over Alexis Davis at UFC 240. This time she will challenge Jessica Eye, who is her biggest challenge in the promotion so far. Eye recently got her three-fight winning streak broken by a failed challenge to Valentina Shevchenko’s Flyweight Championship. She lost in the second round via a brutal head kick knockout. Attempting to bounce back from the loss, Eye finds herself on the early prelims of this show. Eye missed weight by five pounds for this fight, and will be fined 30% of her purse for going over the 126 pound flyweight limit.

Bout 3: Brandon Moreno (15-5-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (20-7) (Flyweight)

Keeping it in the flyweight division, red hot Kai Kara-France faces Brandon Moreno. France has had a great run since joining the UFC a year ago, going 3-0 in his appearances. Moreno recently fought his way back into the UFC with a win in regional promotion LFA. His previous UFC run finished with a record of 3-2. His returning fight to the UFC was a draw against Askar Askarov at UFC Mexico City. Moreno will aim to break into the win column finally at UFC 245.

Bout 4: Daniel Teymur (7-3) vs. Chase Hooper (8-0-1) (Featherweight)

Finishing off the early prelims, undefeated prospect Chase Hooper faces off against Daniel Teymur. Hooper first appeared on Dana White’s Contender series at the age of 18. He has since fought in CFFC, Island Fights and Titan FC, and finally has gotten a chance in the UFC. His opponent, Teymur, recently picked up his first win in the UFC, snapping a three-fight losing streak.

Bout 5: Matt Brown (21-16) vs. Ben Saunders (22-12-2) (Welterweight)

The preliminary card will continue on ESPN 2 (TSN 5 in Canada) at 8PM EST with four more fights. The first of four is a battle between two UFC veterans that have struggled lately. Saunders is currently on a three fight losing streak, last losing to Takashi Sato. Matt Brown will be returning from a two-year layoff, with his last fight being a win over Diego Sanchez. Before then, he had his own three-fight losing streak. Brown battled back from a torn ACL this year, which pulled him from a 2018 bout against Carlos Condit.

Bout 6: Ian Heinisch (13-2) vs. Omari Akhmedov (19-4-1) (Middleweight)

In the next bout, Ian Heinisch will aim to bounce back from his first lost since joining the UFC, but it won’t be easy against someone like Omari Akhmedov. Heinisch has a 2-1 record in the promotion, recently losing via decision to Derek Brunson. Akhmedov has a far more experienced of 7-3-1, but has avoided defeat in his last five in a row.

Bout 7: Ketlen Vieira (10-0) vs. Irene Aldana (11-5) (Bantamweight)

Five fights into her UFC career, Ketlen Vieira has yet to be defeated. She will be tested yet again on Saturday, going up against Irene Aldana. Aldana has been very active this year, with this fight being her fourth in 12 months. Aldana recently got a win over Vanessa Melo in September. Vieira hasn’t fought since 2018, with her last win being over Cat Zingano.

Bout 8: Mike Perry (13-5) vs Geoff Neal (12-2) (Welterweight)

Finishing off the preliminary portion of the card will be “Platinum” Mike Perry facing Geoff Neal. Perry has been 5-5 in his last 10, which isn’t the best record ever, but his entertaining fighting style and character has kept him at a high level. Neal of the other hand has been 4-0 since joining the UFC in 2017.

Bout 9: Petr Yan (13-1) vs. Urijah Faber (35-10) (Bantamweight)

Starting off the pay-per-view main card will be up and coming Petr Yan facing Urijah Faber. Yan surpassed five-straight wins in the UFC earlier this year, defeating Jimmie Rivera. This fight is Faber’s second since his return to MMA, which started in July when he beat Ricky Simon in under a minute. Placed as a large underdog for this fight, Faber winning this fight would turn a lot of heads in MMA.

Bout 10: Jose Aldo (28-5) vs. Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) (Bantamweight)

The final non-championship fight on the card will be a high-level bantamweight clash between Jose Aldo and Marlon “Magic” Moraes. This fight is Aldo’s official move from featherweight to bantamweight. In his last fight, Aldo lost via decision to Alexander Volkanovski. Moraes is also coming off a loss, failing to capture the vacant Bantamweight Championship against Henry Cejudo.

Bout 11: Amanda Nunes (18-4) vs. Germaine de Randamie (9-3) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

The first of the triple header of fights features Amanda Nunes attempting to defend her bantamweight belt against Germaine de Randamie. Despite being the only two-division champion on the card and a fighter which many have argued is the best female mixed martial artist of all time, Nunes is being placed halfway through this main card. Nunes last defended her belt in July, defeating Holly Holm with strikes in the first round. She became a two-division champion just under a year ago, stopping Cris Cyborg with punches in under a minute.

This fight is a rematch, as de Randamie and Nunes first met in 2013 on a fight night card. In that matchup, Nunes won with elbows in the first round. However, that was the last time de Randamie has lost. She won the Featherweight Championship in 2017 against Holly Holm, but dropped it before defending it. Two wins later, de Randamie finds herself in another championship position. Whether she can follow through with the win again will be seen.

Bout 12: Max Holloway (21-4) vs. Alexander Volaknovski (20-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)

For many years now, Max Holloway has been the king of the featherweight division. Earlier this year he flew too close to the sun when trying to compete in the lightweight division as well, losing to Dustin Poirier. But, in the featherweight division, Holloway has been undefeated since 2013. His more recent wins were against Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar. In the co-main event of UFC 245, Holloway will see another challenger in Alexander Volkanovski. 

The Australian with an impressive pro record has yet to lose in the UFC, with a record of 7-0, Volkanovski has become one of the top names in the division. He most recently defeated Jose Aldo at UFC 237.

Bout 13: Kamaru Usman (15-1) vs. Colby Covington (15-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, Colby Covington gets his well overdue Welterweight Championship shot against Kamaru Usman. Covington has been known more for his character lately as opposed to his fights. Known for outwardly showing his pro-Trump politics and flaunting things like girls on Instagram, Covington has made himself either genuine or ingenuine anti-hero. But whether his character is insufferable or not, his skill is undeniable. He defeated Rafael dos Anjos in 2018 to become the interim Welterweight Champion, but had that belt taken away from him when he couldn’t compete in a June fight due to injury. After a dominant win in August against Robbie Lawler, the fight against Usman was set.

Usman has been undefeated in his UFC run thus far. He took down longtime welterweight king Tyron Woodley back in March, going five rounds with him at UFC 235. Both with very scorecards depend backgrounds in wrestling, it will be interesting to see who puts on the better performance on Saturday.

UFC 245 is UFC’s second-last show of 2019, with its season finale taking place on December 21st in Busan, Korea, with UFC on ESPN+ 23.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson Set For April 18

After reports surfaced earlier this week of a clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, it was confirmed on Friday night.  The meeting between the fighters will take place on April 18th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, it was made official last night that Nurmagomedov would defend his UFC Lightweight Championship against Ferguson. The report details a meeting between Ferguson’s team and the UFC yesterday, where they signed the contract for the fight.

Nurmagomedov’s side signed off on the fight earlier in the week, as his manager Ali Abdelaziz tweeted a photo of the contract.

Nurmagomedov has held the UFC’s Lightweight Championship since early 2018, defeating Al Iaquinta to get the vacant belt. Since then he has bested Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Ferguson currently carries a 12-fight winning streak, recently prevailing over Donald Cerrone in June.