UFC on ESPN+ 24: Edgar vs. Korean Zombie Full Preview

In 2019, UFC hosted 42 MMA events across the world. They touched down in well established markets like New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Brazil and more, but they also visited growing markets like Denmark, Mexico and Singapore. In the final event of the year, and decade, UFC heads to Korea for the second time in its history. 

The country has a niche MMA market, including regional promotions like ROAD FC and Angel’s Fighting Championship. No doubt they have produced prominent names in MMA, including the “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim, A Sol Kwon and Seo Hee Ham. Arguably the most well-known however is Chan Sung Jung, better known as “The Korean Zombie.” After serving his mandatory military time in South Korea, Jung started his second UFC run in 2017. Now 2-1 in his campaign, he goes up against Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC Busan.

Live from the Sajik Arena (사직실내체육관), in Busan (부산시), Korea (한국), UFC concludes it’s action-packed 2019 with UFC on ESPN+ 23. Starting at the ripe time of 2AM EST, the prelims for UFC Busan features seven bouts.

Bout 1: Heili Alateng (알라탕 헬리) (13-7-1) vs. Ryan Benoit (라이언 브누아) (10-5) (Bantamweight)

In the first bout of the show, Ryan Benoit will make a return to the UFC after a two-year layoff to face Heili Alateng. Benoit is 3-3 in the UFC, being absent since 2017, where he defeated Ashkan Mokhatarian with a head kick. Alateng is familiar to Korea, having been a frequent fighter in ROAD FC prior to being scouted by the UFC. He won his UFC debut against Danaa Batgerel back in August, going the distance with the Mongolian fighter.

Bout 2: Amanda Lemos (아만다 레모스) (6-1-1) vs. Miranda Granger (미란다 그레인저) (7-0) (Flyweight)

Similar to the first fight of the evening, Amanda Lemos comes back from an extensive break to face Miranda Granger in this fight. Lemos last fought in 2017, losing to Leslie Smith. That was Lemos’ first fight in the UFC, attempting to bounce back from whatever negative momentum still is there from the dated loss. Granger got her debut jitters out of the way in August, getting a win over Hannah Goldy. Granger had previously fought in regional promotion CFFC. She has stayed undefeated throughout her professional and amateur career.

Bout 3: Said Nurmagomedov (사이드 누르마고메도프) (13-1) vs. Raoni Barcelos (라오니 바르셀로스) (14-1) (Bantamweight)

In a fight that feels buried deep down this card, up-and-coming Said Nurmagomedov and Raoni Barcelos are pitted against each other in a bantamweight bout. Nurmagomedov is 2-0 in the UFC, prevailing over Justin Scoggins and Ricardo Ramos. Barcelos is 3-0, having recently defeated Carlos Huachin via punches.

Bout 4: Alexandre Pantoja (21-4) (알렉산드레 판토자) vs. Matt Schnell (14-4) (맷 슈넬) (Flyweight)

Matt Schnell took a little time to get on his feet in the UFC. He lost to Tim Elliott on The Ultimate Fighter Season 24, then lost two times on other shows. But, in late 2017, he snapped his losing streak and started what is now a four-fight winning streak. Attempting to move it to five, Schnell goes up against Alexandre Pantoja. “The Cannibal” most recently lost to Deiveson Figueiredo via decision at UFC 240, breaking a three-fight winning streak he had before. Pantoja has a solid 5-2 record in the UFC.

Bout 5: Omar Morales (오마르 모랄레스) (8-0) vs. Dong Hyun Ma (마동현) (16-10-3) (Lightweight)

The first Korean fighter on the card, Dong Hyun Ma, has a tall order: end Omar Morales’ undefeated streak. Morales is a Dana White’s Contender Series winner, making his debut on this card. He has also fought in Bellator in the past, taking out Troy Nawrocki in under a minute at Bellator 204. Ma has fought in the UFC since 2015, going 3-4 in the promotion. “The Maestro” will walk into this fight on a two-fight losing streak, recently getting stopped by Scott Holtzman in August.

Bout 6: Suman Mokhtarian (수만 모크타리안) (8-1) vs. Seung Woo Choi (최승우) (7-3) (Featherweight)

As the prelims near their end, two fighters will compete who have never tasted victory in the UFC. Suman Mokhatarian lost in The Ultimate Fighter Season 27, and most recently lost in the first round to Sodiq Yusuff. Korean fighter Seung Woo Choi debuted earlier this year, losing to Movsar Evloev and Gavin Tucker. He had previously been successful in Korean promotion TFC.

Bout 7: Ciryl Gane (시릴 가네) (5-0) vs. Tanner Boser (태너 보저) (17-5-1) (Heavyweight)

In the featured fight of the preliminary card, undefeated Ciryl Gane faces Tanner Boser. Gane debuted earlier this year, prevailing over Raphael Pessoa and Dontale Mayes. He had previously fought in Canadian promotion TKO. Boser won his UFC debut two months back, going the distance against Daniel Spitz. Before then, he had competed many times in ACB.

Bout 8: Kyung Ho Kang (강경호) (16-8) vs. Pingyuan Liu (리우 핑유안) (15-5) (Bantamweight)

Kicking off the main card, “Mr. Perfect” Kyung Ho Kang will face Pingyuan Liu. Coming from recognized Korean gym “Team MAD,” Kang has been a part of the UFC since 2013. A win at this show would give him a three-fight winning streak. That would make a three-way tie with his two other three-fight winning streaks for most consecutive wins in his career. But that’s looking quite ahead of time. First, he has to defeat Liu, who is no walk-through opponent. While he recently lost to Jonathan Martinez in July, the fight ended his 10-fight winning streak which dates back to his career in WLF.

Bout 9: Jun Yong Park (박준용) (10-4) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (마크-안드레 바리올트) (11-3) (Middleweight)

The next fight sees Jun Yong Park and Marc-Andre Barriault battle for their first win in the promotion. Park lost his debut to Anthony Hernandez in August, getting caught in an anaconda choke in the second minute. Barriault lost twice this year, more recently in a split decision to Krzysztof Jotko. He wrapped up a six-fight undefeated stint in TKO before being signed by the UFC.

Bout 10: Da Un Jung (정다운) (12-2) vs. Mike Rodriguez (10-4) (마이크 로드리게스) (Light Heavyweight)

Following a strong debut in August from Da Un Jung, he returns on this card to face Mike Rodriguez. Jung’s UFC debut saw him choke Khadis Ibragimov to win the fight. He had previously fought in many promotions, mainly Japanese promotion HEAT. Rodriguez recently lost to John Allan via decision, making him 1-2 in the promotion. He found himself in the UFC after getting a stoppage victory in the first season of Dana White’s Contender Series.

Bout 11: Doo Ho Choi (최두호) (14-3) vs. Charles Jourdain (찰스 조르단) (9-2) (Featherweight)

A couple of fights after gym-mate Kyung Ho Kang fights, Doo Ho Choi will be put up against Charles “Air” Jourdain in a featherweight class. Choi has been out of the spotlight lately, recently losing to Jeremy Stephens via punches in early 2018. Before then, his most recent fight was a loss to Cub Swanson in 2016. Attempting to break his streak, “The Korean Superboy” will be put up against Jourdain, who lost in his UFC debut against Des Green back in May. Coincidentally, like many other fighters on this card, Jourdain fought frequently in Canadian promotion TKO before being signed to the UFC.

Bout 12: Volkan Oezdemir (볼칸 우즈데미르) (16-4) v.s Aleksandar Rakic (알렉산더 라키치) (12-1) (Light Heavyweight)

The co-main event of the show sees light heavyweight contender Aleksandar Rakic get put up against one of the weight classes gatekeepers, Volkan Oezdemir. Rakic is 4-0 since debuting in the UFC, more recently getting a win over Jimi Manuwa in under a minute due to a head kick. Oezdemir recently put an ending to a three-fight losing streak, stopping Ilir Latifi in two rounds. To be absolutely fair, Oezdemir’s losses came against title challengers like Daniel Cormier, Anthony Smith and Dominick Reyes. Whether he will allow Rakic to add his name to the list of winners will be seen on Saturday.

Bout 13: Chan Sung Jung (정찬성) (15-5) vs. Frankie Edgar (프랭키 에드가) (23-7-1) (Featherweight)

The main event of the evening sees Chan Sung Jung, or, “The Korean Zombie” face Frankie Edgar in a five-round fight. This matchup only came together in recent weeks, as Jung’s original opponent was Brian Ortega. He pulled out of the fight recently however, citing a torn ACL taking him out of action. Edgar stepped up to the plate, and here we are. Jung left the UFC limelight in 2014 to undergo two years of military service in Korea. He returned in 2017, stopping Dennis Bermudez in under three minutes with punches. His first lost in his recent run came against Yair Rodriguez, who landed a literal last-second elbow to knock Jung out in a five-round bout. Jung bounced back however, recently defeating Renato Moicano in just under a minute with strikes.

Edgar’s last fight was for the Featherweight Championship. While he went all 25 minutes with now-former champion Max Holloway, he did not prevail. Before then, he beat Cub Swanson. He was originally slated to face Jung in 2018, but was replaced due to a torn bicep. Edgar is one of the most experienced fighters in UFC’s history, with a record of 17-7-1 in the promotion.

After this event, UFC will be absent from events for four weeks. When returning, UFC will present UFC 246. Currently scheduled to headline the card is Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone in a five-round non-championship fight. In the meantime however, there will most certainly still be MMA. Bellator will debut in Japan on the 28th, with Fedor Emelianenko and Rampage Jackson main eventing the card. New Year’s Eve will have a double header with RIZIN in Japan and PFL having their grand finals in New York. ONE Championship will also hold a big card in Thailand to kick off the new year’s tour of MMA events.

 

UFC on ESPN+ 14: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2 Full Report

In a rare fight night that includes a championship fight, UFC went to Montevideo, Uruguay for a ESPN+ card. In the main event, Liz Carmouche challenged Valentina Shevchenko, in an attempt to take Shevchenko’s flyweight championship.

Bout 1: Polyana Viana (10-3) vs. Veronica Macedo (5-3-1) (Flyweight)

Before the flyweight championship fight, the night started with a normal three round flyweight bout. Polyana Viana and Veronica Macedo kicked off the card. Right off the bat, Viana landed a trip takedown and took top position on the ground. Macedo was able to get an armbar after a minute, getting a win in quick fashion.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Viana
Macedo

Bout 2: Alex da Silva (20-2) vs. Kazula Vargas (10-2) (Lightweight)

Moving to the flyweight division, Alex da Silva fought Kazula Vargas. Early on, Vargas came out aggressively. Silva took him down to stop his momentum. Silva got on his back and was starting to fight for a rear naked choke. Silva was in the better position until the final 30 seconds where Vargas flipped over and stood up, landing strikes from above. Silva got in the top position once again early in the second. He didn’t do much on the ground, but stayed in the dominant position. The final round had two minutes of stand-up before the fight went to the ground yet again. Just like the rounds before, not much happened on the ground. The fight went the distance with the judges giving the fight to Alex da Silva unanimously (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Da Silva 10 10 10 30
Vargas 9 9 9 27

Bout 3: Chris Gutierrez (13-3-1) vs. Geraldo de Freitas (12-4) (Bantamweight)

Finishing off the early prelims was Chris “El Guapo” Gutierrez versus Geraldo de Freitas. Both fighters had some close striking in the first few minutes of the fight. De Freitas tried for a takedown but couldn’t really get it. In the closing seconds of the first round, de Freitas landed a trip takedown after being clinched against the cage. De Freitas got another takedown in the second round. Gutierrez was able to flip around the position and get off the ground. Gutierrez had an explosive start to the final round, stopping takedowns and throwing tons of kicks and punches. Both fighters got cut on the face. Gutierrez was targeting the legs of Freitas, who seemingly was hurting from it. On replay, we saw a cut came from both fighters clashing heads. In the second half of the closing round, de Freitas started to connect with hard punches. The fight went all three rounds, with the final one being the most fast-paced one. The judges had a split decision, with two of the three favouring Chris Gutierrez (29-28 Gutierrez, 30-27 Freitas & 29-28 Gutierrez).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Gutierrez 10 9 9 28
Freitas 9 10 10 29

Bout 4: Raulian Paiva (18-2) (#14) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (15-1 1 NC) (#8) (Flyweight)

The next fight showcased two success stories from the Brazilian edition of The Dana White Contender Series. Flyweights Raulian Paiva and Rogerio Bontorin faced off as the prelims continued. Bontorin got a cut below the left eye early in the first round, causing the doctors to check on him. They went back to fighting, and despite being on the ground before, resumed in stand-up. A second later, they went back to the ground through the ref’s decision. Bontorin was blowing his nose, which sometimes can inflate the bruises on your face. When they stood back up, Bontorin was landing good punches. After Bontorin score a takedown, a dcotor came in to check a cut again, this time on Paiva’s face. It was a brutal cut, which was opened through a knee that landed during Bontorin’s flurry of strikes. The fight was ended due to the cut, with Rogerio Bontorin being the winner.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Paiva
Bontorin

Bout 5: Marina Rodriguez (11-0-1) vs. Tecia Torres (10-4) (#8) (Strawweight)

In the lightest weight fight of the evening, strawweight fighters Marina Rodriguez and Tecia Torres fought. The first few minutes of the fight was some pretty close striking. Torres tried for a takedown but it didn’t work. While neither fighter was really landing well with their strikes, Rodriguez looked like she had more success. Torres caught a kick and put Rodriguez up against the cage as the round was closing out. They exited clinch, where Rodriguez landed a few good punches. Back in clinch, she got good knees in. The second round was purely close stand-up. Rodriguez continued to have the edge in the fight through the third round. The judges all gave the win to Marina Rodriguez (30-27, 30-27 & 30-26). Rodriguez continues to be undefeated.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Rodriguez 10 10 10 30
Torres 9 9 9 27

Bout 6: Raphael Pessoa (9-0) vs. Ciryl Gane (3-0) (Heavyweight)

In the next fight, we had two heavyweights put their undefeated streaks on the record. Pessoa did a trip takedown but it was Gane in the top position. Gane put in an arm triangle choke which made Pessoa tap out quickly. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Pessoa
Gane

Bout 7: Aleksei Kunchenko (20-0) vs. Gilbert Burns (15-3) (Welterweight)

Closing out the prelims was undefeated Aleksei Kunchenko facing Gilbert Burns. In the first round, Burns had a great start. After showcasing great striking, he took Kunchenko to the ground. Burns kept Kunchenko up against the cage for the whole round, not really doing much. Burns dove for a takedown after three minutes of stand-up in the second round. Early in the final round, Burns had Kunchenko against the cage. Burns kept trying for the takedown but couldn’t get it. Nonetheless, Kunchenko was on the defence the whole time. The fight went the distance, with Kunchenko never really having a dominant moment in the fight. The judges all decided on Gilbert Burns is the winner, breaking the 20-0 undefeated record of Aleksei Kunchenko (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Kunchenko 9 9 9 27
Burns 10 10 10 30

Bout 8: Bobby Moffett (14-4) vs. Enrique Barzola (16-4-1) (Featherweight)

Starting off the main card was a featherweight showdown between Bobby Moffett and Enrique Barzola. The first round had a consistently fast-pace of striking from both fighters. The first takedown of the fight came from Barzola in the final seconds of the round. Barzola tried for takedowns early in the second round but couldn’t land them. Moffett tried for one as well, but Barzola defended it. Barzola started to come forward with good combinations. There was a pause with 90 seconds left in the second round because Moffett kicked Barzola in the groin. After another fast-paced round, the striking from both fighters even sped up near the end. Barzola got another takedown as the second round ended. The final round was continued slugging from both fighters. The fight went the distance, with a split decision going in favour of Enrique Barzola (29-28 Moffett, 30-27 Barzola & 29-28 Barzola).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Moffett 10 10 9 29
Barzola 9 9 10 28

Bout 9: Oskar Piechota (11-1-1) vs. Rodolfo Vieira (5-0) (Middleweight)

In the next fight, Oskar Piechota, who has more MMA experience, faced Rodolfo Vieira, who has been perfect in his career thus far. Vieira got a takedown halfway through the first round. Vieira was dominant on the ground for a long time, although Piechota was able to get up against the cage and land elbows to the head. After a minute in the second round, Vieira got another takedown. Later on in the final minute of the second round, Vieira put in a head and arm choke which made Piechota tap out. His dominant ground game was more than showcased in this bout. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Piechota 9
Vieira 10

Bout 10: Ilir Latifi (15-6 1 NC) (#9) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (15-4) (#7) (Light Heavyweight)

In the next fight, we had a clash of two ranked fighters in Ilir Latifi and Volkan Oezdemir. Latifi had a great slam takedown after a minute of the first round, almost dumping Oezdemir on his head. Oezdemir was back up moments later. Apart from that, it was mostly Oezdemir doing the work in this fight, out-striking Latifi in the first round. Both fighters were trading stand-up, with a knee to the head dropping Latifi. They got back up, with Oezdemir trying to close out the fight. Oezdemir landed a left hook that took down Latifi once again, with the fight ending after a few more strikes. Oezdemir showed composure and patience, chasing a finish but not rushing it.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Latifi 9
Oezdemir 10

Bout 11: Humberto Bandernay (14-6 1 NC) vs. Eduardo Garagorri (12-0) (Featherweight)

The next fight featured the only fighter from Uruguay on this card, in Eduardo Garagorri. The crowd was completely behind Garagorri. Also, he went into this fight with an undefeated record. Bandenay got a double leg takedown after a minute of uneventful stand-up. Garagorri got up quite quickly. Garagorri got a takedown off his own with a trip. Garagorri got up, but Bandenay wanted to stay on the ground. Jokingly, Garagorri offered his hand to help him up. The referee stood up Bandernay. Garagorri strung together some great punches, but Badenay landed a takedown to stop the momentum. Early in the second round, Bandenay had a stand-out combination of punches and knees. Bandenay got a takedown as the second round ended. The last round was an intense one, with both fighters swinging as it closed out. The fight went the distance with Eduardo Garagorri getting the unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27). The crowd was overwhelmingly loud for Garagorri.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Bandernay 9 10 10 29
Garagorri 10 9 9 28

Bout 12: Mike Perry (13-4) vs. Vicente Luque (16-6-1) (Welterweight)

In the co-main event, we had the fan-friendly fighter “Platinum” Mike Perry face Vicente Luque. The first round of stand-up gave Perry a cut around his left eye. He had a good charge of punches near the end of the first. Perry seemed to be the more aggressive fighter in the second round. The tempo of the second round was much quicker than the first. Perry was showing the damage much more at the end of the second round. Heading into the final round, Perry’s corner told him he was up 2-0. Luque landed a good knee and then tried for a rear naked choke on the ground with 90 seconds left. Perry was bleeding profusely on the ground. After fighting for a while he finally escaped the hold. They stayed on the ground as the fight ended. Perry’s nose was all sorts of messed up by the time the fight was over. Hard to even describe it really. In a split decision, Vicente Luque walked away with the win from this fight (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Perry 9 10 9 28
Luque 10 9 10 29

Bout 13: Liz Carmouche (13-6) (#3) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (17-3) (C) (UFC Flyweight Championship)

In the main event of the evening, Valentina Shevchenko attempted to defend her Flyweight Championship against #3 ranked Liz Carmouche. The first round didn’t have much action from either fighter. In the third round, Shevchenko dropped Carmouche after a combination, with Carmouche standing up shortly after. With over a minute left in the third round, Shevchenko landed a trip takedown. Shevchenko took advantage of a takedown attempt by Carmouche in the fourth round, getting top position. The referee eventually stood them up as not much was happening on the ground. Shevchenko blocked another takedown before the fourth round ended. The final round had Shevchenko in top position for most of the round. The crowd had a pretty lukewarm reaction to the final horn sounding. All three judges were in agreement for the fight, with Valentina Shevchenko getting a clean sweep (50-45, 50-45 & 50-45). This became Shevchenko’s second defence of the belt.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Carmouche 9 9 9 9 9 45
Shevchenko 10 10 10 10 10 50

UFC returns next week with a PPV featuring Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic in the main event. The fight will be a rematch, as Cormier won the championship from Miocic a year ago with a first round KO. Also on the card is the return of Nate Diaz. A preview of the full card will be put on the site later this week.

UFC on ESPN+ 14: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2 Preview

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.