Las Vegas – UFC kicks off its third run on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with two pivotal main event clashes guaranteed to deliver action. First, two of the best featherweights on the planet face off, as former champion and No. 1 ranked contender Max Holloway looks to earn another shot at the title by taking out No. 6 Calvin Kattar. Next, top welterweight contenders collide looking to break into the top 5 as No. 8 ranked Michael Chiesa meets No. 9 Neil Magny.
This event will take place on Saturday, January 16 on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. For the first time ever, the main card will be televised live on ABC and simulcast on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes (Spanish), beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. The prelims will kick things off at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, exclusively on ESPN+.
Holloway (21-6) fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii intends to start the New Year by delivering another vintage performance and returning to the winner’s circle. Arguably the greatest featherweight in UFC history, he owns the division’s records for most stoppage victories, most wins and the longest win streak. During his reign as champion, Holloway defeated Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar in dominant fashion. He now aims to cement himself as the clear No. 1 contender by becoming the first person to stop Kattar in the UFC.
Fan favorite Kattar (22-4) fighting out of Methuen, Mass. looks to step up and impress in the biggest fight of his career and inject himself into the title conversation. An exciting and dangerous striker, Kattar rose through the featherweight ranks with memorable knockouts over Shane Burgos, Ricardo Lamas and Jeremy Stephens. He now looks to stay undefeated on UFC FIGHT ISLAND and prove that he is one of the best in the world against his first former champion.
Additional bouts on the card include, Welterweight veterans finally meet as former interim champion Carlos Condit (31-13) fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M. faces off with Matt Brown (24-17) fighting out of Denver, Colo. Welterweight standout Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-3) fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. returns to action for the first time in over two years when he takes on the durable Li Jingliang (17-6) fighting out of Beijing, China.
2020 breakout star Joaquin Buckley (12-3) fighting out of St. Louis, Mo. intends to keep his momentum going when he battles Alessio Di Chirico (12-5) fighting out of Rome, Italy at middleweight. Undefeated Dana White’s Contender Seriesveterans lock horns as Punahele Soriano (6-0) fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. faces Dusko Todorovic (10-0) fighting out of Belgrade, Serbia in a middleweight contest.
Rising women’s bantamweight prospect Wu Yanan (10-3) fighting out of Xi’an, China looks to deliver her most impressive performance yet against newcomer Joselyne Edwards (9-2) fighting out of Panama City, Panama. Dana White’s Contender Series standout Phil Hawes (9-2) fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M. seeks to hand Nassourdine Imavov (9-2) fighting out of Paris, France) his first UFC loss.
No. 13 ranked middleweight Omari Akhmedov (20-5-1) fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia plans to defend his place in the rankings when he battles Tom Breese (12-2) fighting out of Birmingham, England. Heavyweights Carlos Felipe (9-1) fighting out of Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil and Justin Tafa (4-1) fighting out of Brisbane, Australia intend to steal the show.
Featherweight grapplers go to war as Nik Lentz (30-11-2, 1 NC) fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. and Mike Grundy (12-2) fighting out of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England look to bounce back into the win column. Jacob Kilburn (8-3) fighting out of Woodlawn, Tenn. and Austin Lingo (7-1) fighting out of Mesquite, Texas battle to secure their first UFC wins in a featherweight bout.
Women’s bantamweight veteran Sarah Moras (6-7) fighting out of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada intends to stop Vanessa Melo (10-8) fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil from achieving her first UFC victory. David Zawada (17-5) fighting out of Düsseldorf, Germany and Ramazan Emeev (19-4) fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia clash in an exciting welterweight bout.