Blaydes of Glory
On the main card, the PNC Arena in North Carolina is the venue for what promises to be an action-packed heavyweight showdown between Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes and Junior ‘Cigano’ Dos Santos. For the night’s headline bout, ‘Razor’ Blaydes will be looking to build on a two-fight winning streak and see off another opponent when he meets former champion, Dos Santos. Hailing from Illinois, Chicago, Blaydes will undoubtedly plan to use his strength and fight spirit to get the better of the Brazilian.
Mentored by former UFC® heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo, Cigano was flying high with a three-fight winning streak before a stoppage in his last bout against Francis Ngannou last June. The South American will be looking to bounce back here, utilising his native Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expertise to capitalise on the underdog label that he carries into this fight.
Battle of the Brits
From the hills of Suffolk, England, Arnold ‘Almighty’ Allen squares off in a featherweight bout against American Nik ‘The Carny’ Lentz. Both athletes have been paired up against each other at just two weeks’ notice after their initial opponents had to withdraw from their scheduled fights.
Despite the last-minute pairing, this is all set to be a particularly competitive encounter. Allen has repeatedly demonstrated his evolution into a well-rounded fighter and, under the wings of expert coaches at Tristar where he trains, ‘Almighty’ is expected to arrive as an improved version of his usual dominant self. As Allen’s stand-up game has developed, he has also become more conclusive with every fight and will need to trust his ability to pick up his seventh UFC victory. Lentz, coming off the back of a loss in his trilogy fight with Charles Oliveira, will be desperate to get back to winning ways. With 23 UFC fights, ‘The Carny’ will use all his experience to subdue Allen and leverage his wrestling to tie up the young Brit and grind out the win.
Fiery Welshman, Brett ‘The Pikey’ Johns also represents the UK as he faces American Tony Gravely, who makes his UFC debut after being signed via Dana White’s Contender Series. Gravely has been involved in exciting fights throughout his career, where the 28-year-old has amassed 24 fights with 8 knockouts and 3 submissions. Johns, on the other hand, will be doing his best to prevent Gravely from starting his UFC career with a win. Swansea-born Johns possesses strong submission prowess as we saw in 2017, when he stopped Joe Soto with a calf splicer. With Johns not having fought since August 2018, and Gravely making his UFC debut, this is set up for an interesting clash at bantamweight.
From Karlstad, Sweden, Lina ‘Elbow Queen’ Lansberg is coming off the back of one of the most impressive underdog victories of 2019, defeating Macy Chiasson via unanimous decision in September at UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: HERMANSSON vs. CANNONIER. If her last fight is anything to go by, the bantamweight Elbow Queen will be looking to continue her momentum and put on another strong performance against Sara McMann. Maryland-born McMann returns to the Octagon®, having not fought since February 2018. As a former Olympic silver medallist, McMann has five submissions and a TKO victory in her career and will determined to return strongly and be ready to put on a show against Lansberg.
The women continue to star in the prelims with a European showdown as Russian born, now South Carolina local Justine Kish takes on Czech Republic’s Lucie Pudilova. Only her second fight at flyweight, 31-year-old Kish looks to assert dominance early on with her potent Muay Thai fighting style and counter-punching ability. She certainly faces a challenge in the shape of Czech, Pudilova, has a huge four-inch reach and six-inch leg reach advantage and will not need a second invitation to put down the Russian.
Curtis “Razor” Blaydes vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Michael “Maverick” Chiesa
Jordan Espinosa vs. Alex Perez
Hannah “Shockwave” Cifers vs. Angela “Overkill” Hill
Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill vs. Darko Stosic
Bevon Lewis vs. Dequan “The Tarantula” Townsend
Arnold “Almighty” Allen vs. Nik “The Carny” Lentz
Justine Kish vs. Lucie Pudilova
Montel “Quik” Jackson vs. Felipe “Cabocao” Colares
Sara McMann vs. Lina “Elbow Queen” Lansberg
Brett “The Pikey” Johns vs. Tony Gravely
Herbert “The Blaze” Burns vs. Nate “The Train” Landwehr