In their largest card since their initial return from a COVID-19 hiatus, UFC presents UFC 250 on Saturday. The headlining spot on the card showcases Amanda Nunes, the top women’s pound-for-pound fighter, putting her UFC Featherweight Championship on the line against Felicia Spencer. Here’s a preview of the evening to come.
Early Prelims (6PM EDT / 3PM PDT) (UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 1: Evan Dunham (18-8-1) vs. Herbert Burns (10-2) (Catchweight 150 lbs)
A week after his brother, Gilbert Burns, won a UFC main event fight, Herbert Burns will take the stage to fight Evan Dunham. Burns, who made his UFC debut in his last fight, defeated Nate Landwehr in the first round with strikes. In a 150-pound catchweight match, he returns to fight Evan Dunham. Dunham has been absent from the fight game for a while, last competing in 2018. He attempts to get his first win since 2016.
Bout 2: Alonzo Menifield (9-0) vs. Devin Clark (11-4) (Light Heavyweight)
Alonzo Menifield has been one of the rising starts of the light heavyweight division lately. Returning for his third UFC appearance, Menifield will look to remain undefeated, fighting Devin Clark. While Clark is the more experienced of the two, he has went 5-4 in his UFC career so far. Trading wins and losses in recent years, Clark looks to break that pattern on Saturday.
Bout 3: Jussier Formiga (23-7) vs. Alex Perez (23-5) (Flyweight)
The flyweight division, which is known for having high-ranked fights buried low on cards, has another hidden gem this weekend in Jussier Formiga facing Alex Perez. 5-1 in the UFC, Perez is gaining momentum rapidly in the division. He now gets matched against Formiga, who, while having the same number of wins as Perez, has been in the UFC for a much longer time. Making his UFC debut in 2012, Formiga has went 9-6 since then.
Prelims (7PM EDT / 4PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 1, 4 & 5)
Bout 4: Charles Byrd (10-6) vs. Maki Pitolo (12-5) (Middleweight)
As the show moves to ESPN, two middleweights in Charles Byrd and Maki Pitolo will have the chance to prove themselves. Making his UFC debut last October, Pitolo went to scorecards against Callan Porter, being unsuccessful. His opponent, Byrd, has went 1-2 since joining the UFC. After winning his debut, Byrd took two rough losses, being finished by Darren Stewart and Edmen Shahbazyan.
Bout 5: Cody Stamann (18-2-1) vs. Brian Kelleher (21-10) (Featherweight)
Brian Kelleher has kept himself busy since the UFC, with his upcoming battle against Cody Stamann being his second in under a month. In May, “Boom” got a win over Hunter Azure, stopping him with punches in the second round. His opponent this time around, Stamann, is making his first appearance in 2020. His last fight was a draw against Song Yadong, moving his UFC record to 4-1-1.
Bout 6: Ian Heinisch (13-3) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (31-12) (Middleweight)
In a fight that died and came back to life, Ian Heinisch will battle Gerald Meerschaert. The fight was reportedly cancelled earlier in the week, as a positive test for a cornerman of Heinisch took him off the card. However, he’s now been placed back on the card. For a short amount of time, the plan was for Anthony Ivy to step in, making his UFC debut against Meerschaert. Heinisch lost his last two, evening his UFC record to 2-2. He looked to get his third win, as Meerschaert will aim to build upon his March win over Deron Winn.
Bout 7: Chase Hooper (9-0-1) vs. Alex Caceres (15-12) (Featherweight)
Before the show switches to PPV, up-and-coming featherweight prospect Chase Hooper will be matched against the veteran Alex Caceres. Hooper’s last fight, his UFC debut, was a strong one, stopping Daniel Teymur in the first round with strikes. At 20-years-old, Hooper looks like a promising name in the 145-pound division. To put things in perspective, when Caceres appeared on season 10 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Hooper was 10-years-old. Caceres has spent the majority of his career in the UFC, with a 10-10-1 record in his time there.
Main Card (10PM EDT / 7PM PDT) (PPV)
Bout 8: Sean O’Malley (11-0) vs. Eddie Wineland (24-13-1) (Bantamweight)
The pay-per-view starts off with “The Sugar Show,” as Sean O’Malley fights Eddie Wineland. Undefeated, O’Malley made his highly anticipated return to MMA in March, defeating Jose Alberto Quinonez in the first round. Wineland on paper is easily the biggest challenge O’Malley has been given so far, and should be a good litmus test to see if O’Malley is ready to face some of the bigger names in the 135-pound weight class. An experienced UFC fighter, Wineland last defeated Grigorii Popov in 2019 with strikes.
Bout 9: Neil Magny (22-7) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (17-5) (Welterweight)
In the ninth spot of the evening, Neil Magny and Anthony Rocco Martin aim to build off of their recent wins. Magny made his return in late 2019, defeating Li Jingliang via decision. Martin’s last fight was a decision win against Ramazan Emeev, bouncing back from a loss earlier in the year.
Bout 10: Aljamain Sterling (18-3) vs. Cory Sandhagen (12-1) (Bantamweight)
Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen have two things in common. They both have extended winning streaks, and because of that, both have something to lose on Saturday. Sterling, who has been in the UFC since 2014, has went on a tear as of late, picking up four-straight victories. Making it five would mean he breaks Sandhagen’s seven-fight winning streak, which includes five fights in the UFC. His latest win is easily his most notable, going to scorecards against Raphael Assuncao.
Bout 11: Raphael Assuncao (27-7) vs. Cody Garbrandt (11-3) (Bantamweight)
The co-main event slot goes to two highly touted bantamweights that look to get back in the winning column. Cody Garbrandt, who has been absent from competition for over a year, has lost his last three via stoppage. Going back to 2017, Garbrandt lost his UFC Bantamweight Championship to TJ Dillashaw, getting finished by punches in the first round. In 2018, he was stopped a round earlier to Dillashaw in a rematch. 2019 saw a rock-em-sock-em battle favour Pedro Munhoz, finishing just before the round closed out. He now faces a challenger in Raphael Assuncao.
Assuncao had a strong four-fight streak from 2017 to 2018, including wins over Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling. 2019 wasn’t his best year, losing via stoppage to Moraes and going to a scorecard loss against Cory Sandhagen. Wanting to stay up in the top 10 for the bantamweight division, Assuncao will try to avoid a third-straight loss on Saturday.
Bout 12: Amanda Nunes (19-4) vs. Felicia Spencer (8-1) (UFC Featherweight Championship)
The idea of a “double champ” is one that many people discuss and even aim for, but not many attain. And amoung those who have reached “champ-champ” status in MMA, many have not had the run that would entail much success.
This weekend, Amanda Nunes has the chance to stand out from the many examples of fighters who didn’t live up to the hype of having two championships. Putting her UFC Featherweight Championship on the line, Nunes will face Canadian prospect Felicia Spencer.
Nunes won the belt back in December, storming Cris Cyborg with punches, finishing her in under one minute. Since then, Nunes has went back to bantamweight, defending her belt there twice.
While the excitement of Nunes attracts many to this show, the matchup against Spencer outlines the small size the 145-pound weight class. The featherweight division has six fighters listed on UFC.com, making it the smallest division in the UFC.
Spencer, who has nine professional fights, has a 2-1 record in the UFC. After a rear naked choke win over Megan Anderson gave her a debut, Spencer was matched up against the legendary Cris Cyborg. The win went to the Brazilian, getting a unanimous decision win.
Back in February, a UFC Fight Night saw two women’s featherweight matchups. In one, Spencer bounced back from her loss, stopping Zarah Fairn with ground and pound. Also on the show, the former opponent of Spencer, Anderson, defeated Norma Dumont. Between the two featherweights who have had similar recent experience in the UFC, Spencer was chosen to be given a title shot.
If Spencer were to win on Saturday, it would be a large upset that would end the 10-fight streak of wins Nunes is on.
After UFC 250, the promotion’s next event is on June 13th, with flyweights Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo in the headlining spot.