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 Post subject: [Event] UFC 295 - Prochazka vs. Pereira - Nov 11
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2023 11:27 am 
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UFC 295: Procházka vs. Pereira is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will take place on November 11, 2023, at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States.


Fight card

Main Card


Light Heavyweight Jiří Procházka vs. Alex Pereira Vacant Light Heavyweight Championship
Heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich vs. Tom Aspinall Interim Heavyweight Championship
Strawweight Mackenzie Dern vs. Jéssica Andrade
Lightweight Matt Frevola vs. Benoît Saint-Denis
Featherweight Diego Lopes vs. Pat Sabatini


Preliminary card (ESPNews / ESPN+)

Flyweight Steve Erceg vs. Alessandro Costa
Strawweight Tabatha Ricci vs. Loopy Godinez
Lightweight Mateusz Rębecki vs. Roosevelt Roberts
Lightweight Nazim Sadykhov vs. Viacheslav Borshchev


Early preliminary card (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)

Lightweight Jared Gordon vs. Mark Madsen
Bantamweight John Castañeda vs. Kang Kyung-ho
Flyweight Joshua Van vs. Kevin Borjas
Featherweight Dennis Buzukja vs. Jamall Emmers



Background

The event will mark the promotion's seventh visit to New York City and first since UFC 281 in November 2022.

A UFC Heavyweight Championship bout between current champion (also former two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion) Jon Jones and former two-time champion Stipe Miocic was expected to headline the event. However on October 25, it was announced that the bout was scrapped after Jones sustained a pectoral muscle injury that will require surgery. As a result, the promotion opted to book an interim title bout between the originally scheduled backup fighter Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall in the co-main event.

A UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout for the vacant title between former champion Jiří Procházka (also the inaugural Rizin Light Heavyweight Champion) and former UFC Middleweight Champion Alex Pereira (also former Glory Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion) was originally expected to serve as the co-headliner, but will now serve as the main event after the previous one was cancelled. Former champion Jamahal Hill vacated the title after he ruptured his Achilles tendon.

A flyweight bout between Joshua Van and Kevin Borjas is expected to take place at the event. The pairing was previously scheduled to meet at Dana White's Contender Series 57, but Van was pulled in order to face Zhalgas Zhumagulov at UFC on ABC: Emmett vs. Topuria.

A middleweight bout between Derek Brunson and Roman Dolidze was set to take place at the event. However, Brunson parted ways with the organization and the bout was scrapped.

A flyweight bout between Matt Schnell and Steve Erceg was expected to take place at the event. However, Schnell withdrew from the bout due to unknown reasons and was replaced by Alessandro Costa.

A lightweight Mateusz Rębecki and Nurullo Aliev was scheduled for the event. However, Aliev withdrew from the event in early November due to injury. He was replaced by returning veteran Roosevelt Roberts.







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 Post subject: Re: [Event] UFC 295 - Prochazka vs. Pereira - Nov 11
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2023 11:43 am 
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Fight Coverage

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC 295: Procházka vs Pereira

Setting The Table For This Weekend’s Pay-Per-View Extravaganza In NYC

By E. Spencer Kyte, on Twitter @spencerkyte



The UFC’s previous trips to Madison Square Garden have produced so many memorable moments thus far that we highlighted a bunch of them at the end of last month in anticipation of the company’s return to Manhattan this week.

Now, the wait is over and UFC 295 is upon us, and while the original main event has been put on hold, this card remains an absolute banger with a host of high-quality matchups that will have immediate divisional ramifications.

Big fights in the city that never sleeps?

Let’s go!




Main Event: Jirí Procházka vs Alex Pereira

Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira face off in a battle of stoic, dangerous gentlemen to determine who will lead the light heavyweight division as we head into 2024.

After winning the title from Glover Teixeira last summer in Singapore, Prochazka relinquished the strap after suffering a shoulder injury ahead of their proposed rematch. Fully healthy and headed back into battle, the 31-year-old from the Czech Republic looks to build on his 3-0 mark inside the Octagon and 13-fight winning streak (with 12 finishes) as he makes his long-awaited return to action.

A November appearance at MSG has become an annual thing for Pereira, who won his debut over Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268 two years ago, and then followed it up by winning the middleweight title from Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 last year. He lost the title back to “The Last Stylebender” in their rematch earlier this year, then made the successful transition to light heavyweight with a split decision win over former champ Jan Blachowicz, setting up this clash with Prochazka.

This is a fascinating matchup between knockout artists that operate in completely different ways, as Prochazka is unpredictable and fluid, acting on instinct and feel, while Pereira is a more structured, fundamental fighter. Each carry frightening power at all times and have the weaponry to finish the other and potentially lord over this division for a considerable amount of time, though the throne has been more of a hot seat for the last eight years.

With recent champ Jamahal Hill waiting in the wings once he’s healthy and a few other names working their way into contention, this one will set the course for the 205-pound ranks heading into next year, where things should remain all kinds of interesting, even if they continue to be relatively unsettled.



Other Main Card Fights



Sergei Pavlovich vs Tom Aspinall

Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall meet in the co-main event with the interim UFC heavyweight title hanging in the balance.

The 31-year-old Pavlovich has been on an absolute tear over the last five years, posting six victories and six first-round finishes, with four of those triumphs coming in a 13-month span from March 2022 to April of this year. Boasting both power and precision, the streaking Russian is a mountain of a man with an incredible 84-inch reach, which allows him to connect with force from range and then survey the damage in order to find the finishing blow.

Aspinall might be the best all-around talent in the division — a 30-year-old standout with sharp boxing, sound wrestling, and low-key stellar grappling, with outstanding footwork and conditioning tack on for good measure. He got right back into the win column in July with a first-round trouncing of Marcin Tybura in his first appearance since suffering a knee injury the year before, and has been out of the first round only once in his six previous UFC appearances.

It was inevitable that these two were going to meet, even if Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic remained on the card and battled for the heavyweight title. They are the top two ascending talents in the division, and their paths were bound to cross at some point, and now it happens with gold on the line and an even bigger fight potentially waiting for the winner in the future.

Will Pavlovich continue banging out quick finishes and use his massive paws to put Aspinall away or will the British standout add to his collection of stoppage victories while adding a new belt to his collection on Saturday?


Diego Lopes vs Pat Sabatini

The final non-title bout of the evening takes place in the featherweight division, where Diego Lopes faces off with Pat Sabatini.

Lopes has been one of the coolest stories of the year in the UFC, as he not only helped coach Alexa Grasso to her upset win over Valentina Shevchenko in March and in retaining her title at Noche UFC, but also impressed in a pair of outings of his own. After dropping an ultra-competitive decision to unbeaten Russian Movsar Evloev on short notice in May, Lopes made quick work of Gavin Tucker in August, jumping into a triangle choke that transitioned into an armbar and brought about the end of the fight 98 seconds after it began.

Sabatini, who turns 33 two days ahead of this fight, got back into the win column with a dominant performance against Lucas Almeida in June, working to secure an arm-triangle choke finish in the second round. Now 5-1 inside the Octagon, the Philadelphia native and former CFFC standout has proven himself to be a dangerous grappler and perennial tough out on the fringes of the Top 15 in the featherweight ranks.

This is a compelling clash between two fighters with very different approaches on the ground. Lopes is more aggressive and dynamic, hunting for openings and submission opportunities at all times, while Sabatini has historically been more methodical when it comes to trying to create openings and capitalize on them. Featherweight is one of those divisions where there typically hasn’t been a great deal of movement in the rankings, but a big effort from either of these guys will have them making a push for a number next to their name.


Jessica Andrade vs Mackenzie Dern

Top 10 strawweights Jessica Andrade and Mackenzie Dern meet in a main card pairing that feels vitally important for each woman.

Saturday’s event in NYC will be Andrade’s fifth appearance of the year, with the former champion coming in on a three-fight skid. She started the year with a dominant performance at flyweight against Lauren Murphy, but has since collected stoppage losses at the hands of Erin Blanchfield, Yan Xiaonan, and Tatiana Suarez, sending her into this one in dire need of a bounce back effort and return to the win column.

While Dern arrives off a unanimous decision win over Angela Hill in May, the 30-year-old feels like she has plateaued a little, having gone 2-2 over her last four outings, falling to competitors ranked ahead of her and beating those positioned behind her in the pecking order. She continues to work on her striking and conditioning, but it’s always going to be her grappling and the ability to get fights to the canvas that have the biggest impact on her results.

Can Andrade snap out of her skid and turn back Dern or will the submission ace finally collect that key win she needs to truly establish herself as a contender in the 115-pound weight class?


Matt Frevola vs Benoît Saint Denis

The main card action kicks off in the lightweight division, as local boy Matt Frevola faces off with ascending French athlete Benoit Saint Denis.

Frevola has enjoyed a break out over the last 22 months, posting three straight first-round stoppage wins to earn a place in the Top 15. After wrapping his 2022 campaign with a knockout win over Ottman Azaitar at MSG last November, he collected the biggest victory of his career in May by dispatching Drew Dober at UFC 288.

Saint Denis has gone 4-0 with four finishes since dropping to the lightweight ranks following his debut loss at welterweight. The 27-year-old has already posted stoppage wins over Ismael Bonfim and Thiago Moises in 2023, and would like nothing more than to add a victory over Frevola to his resume to close out the year.

This is how you open a pay-per-view main card! There is very little chance this isn’t action-packed from the outset, with a very real possibility existing that it (a) doesn’t get out of the first round, and (b) ends in spectacular fashion. Every second it lasts should be wildly entertaining, and the combination of main card hype and raucous support for the Long Island native should have The Garden rocking.



Preliminary Card Fights



Steve Erceg vs Alessandro Costa

Flyweights Steve Erceg and Alessandro Costa meet in the final preliminary card bout of the evening.

Erceg made an immediate impact in his short-notice debut at UFC 289, rocking up and registering a unanimous decision win over David Dvorak to push his overall winning streak to nine. Costa, who steps in for Matt Schnell, rebounded from a loss to Amir Albazi in his debut with a second-round finish of Jimmy Flick in June.

The 125-pound ranks are loaded with talent and going to be back in the spotlight to close out the year, especially with the title on the line in the penultimate UFC clash of 2023, so this is an important bout as both Erceg and Costa look to jockey for position in the rankings heading into 2024.


Tabatha Ricci vs Loopy Godinez

Tabatha Ricci and Loopy Godinez meet in a battle of surging strawweights looking to keep their momentum rolling.

Like Saint Denis on the main card, Ricci debuted up a division, lost, and has been unbeaten since returning to her natural weight class, posting victories over Jessica Penne and Gillian Robertson already this year to extend her winning streak to four. Godinez has also done a little division-hopping at times, but has looked her best at 115 pounds, having won three straight and four of her last five.


Nazim Sadykhov vs Viacheslav Borschechev

The action moves back to the lightweight division as Nazim Sadykhov looks for his third win of 2023, while Viacheslav Borshchev aims to spoil the New York native’s homecoming.

A member of the Dana White’s Contender Series Class of ’22 and the second of three Serra-Longo Fight Team members competing on Saturday, Sadykhov has already posted stoppage wins over Evan Elder and Terrance McKinney to start his rookie campaign in the UFC. Borshchev graduated a year before his opponent here, and has split his first four fights in the Octagon, book-ending losses to Marc Diakiese and Mike Davis with victories over Dakota Bush and Maheshate.

Sadykhov has won nine straight overall, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can run that to double digits in front of a partisan crowd or if the more experienced (at least in the UFC) Borshchev will be able to halt his momentum and collect a second straight win of his own this weekend.


Dennis Buzukja vs Jamall Emmers

Dennis Buzukja and Jamall Emmers face off in a featherweight contest.

A two-time DWCS competitor and the third Serra-Longo Fight Team member on the card, Buzukja dropped his short-notice promotional debut against Sean Woodson in August, ending his seven-fight winning streak. Emmers is just 2-3 in the UFC, but many feel he did enough to merit the nod in his split decision loss to Jack Jenkins last time out.


Jared Gordon vs Mark Madsen

It’s a meeting between veteran lightweights in this prelim fixture, as Jared Gordon faces off with Mark O. Madsen.

A Queens native, Gordon competes at home in New York for the first time in his UFC career, aiming to get back into the win column after a debated loss to Paddy Pimblett last year and his most recent outing against Bobby Green ending in a no contest following an accidental clash of heads. Madsen competes for the first time in just over a year after suffering the first loss of his career last time out at the hands of Grant Dawson.


John Castaneda vs Kyung Ho Kang

In a catchweight bout, John Castañeda and Kyung Ho Kong square off.

Castaneda has gone 3-2 in his first five UFC appearances, heading into this one off a unanimous decision triumph over Muin Gafurov at the start of June. The 36-year-old Kang picked up his second straight victory a couple weeks after his opponent’s win, submitting Cristian Quiñónez midway through the opening round of their bout at the UFC APEX.


Joshua Van vs Kevin Borjas

Originally scheduled to meet on the opening week of Dana White’s Contender Series earlier this year, Joshua Van and Kevin Borjas now meet this weekend.

The 22-year-old Van jumped at a short-notice opportunity in June and made the most of it, earning a split decision win over veteran Zhalgas Zhumagulov to give himself six straight victories. Borjas impressed in the first bout of the DWCS season, earning a unanimous decision win and UFC contract while extending his record to 8-1 overall.

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 Post subject: Re: [Event] UFC 295 - Prochazka vs. Pereira - Nov 11
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2023 6:48 pm 
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Cheers Dent - Main & Co-main, are close and considering the belts are likely to be hard fought... looking forward to it!

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