Las Vegas – UFC returns to UFC APEX in Las Vegas with a striking fans’ dream fight, as No. 9 ranked featherweight contender Edson Barboza clashes with No. 10 Giga Chikadze. Also on the card, The Return of the Ultimate Fighter middleweight and bantamweight tournament winners will be crowned.
UFC on ESPN 30: Barboza vs Chikadze will take place Saturday, August 28 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The main card will be available on ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. The prelims will kick off exclusively on ESPN+ in English and Spanish at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.
KO artist Barboza (22-9) fighting out of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has been thrilling fans for years with highlight-reel finishes. Throughout his UFC career, he has delivered memorable victories against Beneil Dariush, Terry Etim and, most recently, Shane Burgos. Barboza now aims to keep his momentum going by becoming the first fighter to stop Chikadze in the UFC.
Rising contender and former kickboxer Chikadze (13-2) fighting out of Tbilisi, Georgia quickly climbed the featherweight ranks upon joining the UFC roster in 2019. Since then, he is undefeated in the Octagon with wins over Cub Swanson, Jamey Simmons and Omar Morales. Chikadze now goes for the biggest win of his career to continue his ascent up the 145-pound ladder.
This event will also feature the exciting finals of The Return of the Ultimate Fighter. The groundbreaking reality series made its triumphant return in June, featuring UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and No. 2 ranked contender Brian Ortega as coaches.
The Return of the Ultimate Fighter will conclude with an all Team Volkanovski finale. The final middleweight bout will see Bryan Battle (5-1) fighting out of Charlotte, N.C. take on Gilbert Urbina (6-1) fighting out of Weslaco, Texas, who is replacing Team Ortega’s Tresean Gore due to injury. Also, Ricky Turcios (10-2) fighting out of Sacramento, Calif. faces Brady Hiestand (5-1) fighting out of Spokane Valley, Wash. at bantamweight.
Kevin Lee (18-6) fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev. returns to welterweight to take on rising star Daniel Rodriguez (15-2, fighting out of Alhambra, Calif. Team Ortega middleweights collide when Andre Petroski (5-1) fighting out of Springfield Township, Pennsylvania faces Micheal Gillmore (6-3) fighting out of Charlotte, Michigan.
Makhmud Muradov (25-6) fighting out of Bukhara, Uzbekistan looks for another highlight-reel finish when he faces gritty veteran Gerald Meerschaert (32-14) fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc. in a middleweight bout. Antonio Braga Neto (9-3, 1 NC) fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil intends to stop Abdul Razak Alhassan (10-4) fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas from reaching his first win at middleweight.
Fan favorite Sam Alvey (33-15-1 1NC) fighting out of Temecula, Calif. returns against Wellington Turman (16-5) fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil in a middleweight bout. Dustin Jacoby (14-5-1) fighting out of Englewood, Colo. faces Darren Stewart (12-7 2NC) fighting out of London, England in an exciting matchup of light heavyweight strikers. Featherweight prospects collide when Jamall Emmers (18-5) fighting out of Redlands, Calif. squares off with Pat Sabatini (14-3) fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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