UFC on ESPN+ 35: Waterson vs. Hill Preview

Continuing their residency at the “UFC APEX” in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, the UFC will hold a 12-fight “Fight Night” card on Saturday night. Headlining the card is strawweights Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill.

The five-round fight will be history for the UFC, as Hill will become the first Black woman to headline a UFC card. Here’s a preview of that fight, along with the 11 other contests set for the evening.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (5:00PM EDT / 2:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Sabina Mazo (8-1) vs. Justine Kish (7-2) (Flyweight)

Kicking off the preliminary card will be flyweights Sabina Mazo and Justine Kish. Both fighters will look for their second win in 2020 with the fight. Mazo last fought in January, defeating JJ Aldrich at UFC 246. She had a previous UFC fight before, picking up a win against Shana Dobson.

Kish snapped a two-fight losing streak in her last fight, defeating Lucie Pudilova last January on a “Fight Night” card. The win was her first in over three years.

Bout 2: Bryan Barberena (14-7) vs. Anthony Ivy (8-3) (Welterweight)

Welterweights Bryan Barberena and Anthony Ivy will aim to join the win column on Saturday. Ivy made his UFC debut last June, being booked against Christian Aguilera. Ivy lost the bout, being finished in just under a minute by Aguilera. Before the fight, Ivy put together five consecutive wins on the regional scene.

Barberena, a UFC fighter since 2014, has fallen into a two-fight losing streak for the first time in his career. The streak happened in 2019, as Barberena lost a fight against Vicente Luque and Randy Brown each.

Bout 3: Brok Weaver (15-5) vs. Jalin Turner (9-5) (Catchweight 165 lbs)

Entering the octagon for the third time, “Dana White’s Contender Series” alum Brok Weaver will fight Jalin Turner. While Weaver has won one of his two fights in the UFC, he has yet to put on a satisfying performance. His debut last February against Rodrigo Vargas was ruled a win, but only due to an illegal knee from Vargas disqualifying him.

Weaver last fought in May, dropping a loss to Roosevelt Roberts via rear naked choke.

Turner’s last fight was back in February, defeating Joshua Culibao with strikes. He is a replacement opponent for Weaver, who was previously scheduled to fight Frank Camacho. Turner was scheduled for a September 5th card, although his opponent, Thiago Moises, pulled out of the fight.

Bout 4: Alexander Romanov (11-0) vs. Roque Martinez (15-5-2) (Heavyweight)

Both set to make their UFC debuts, Alexander Romanov and Roque Martinez will fight on the prelims on Saturday. Romanov, an undefeated heavyweight, will look to extend his ongoing streak of finish victories that dates back to his 2016 debut as a pro.

Martinez will enter the UFC after a career in Japan’s MMA scene. Having fought in RIZIN four times, the largest MMA promotion in Japan currently, Martinez also became the DEEP Openweight Champion on the regional scene.

The fight is Romanov’s fourth UFC booking, although it may be the first to actually happen. Previous bouts were thrown out due to COVID-19 related problems.

Bout 5: Roosevelt Roberts (10-2) vs. Kevin Croom (21-12) (Lightweight)

Roosevelt Roberts will welcome Kevin Croom to the UFC on Saturday. Roberts was meant to fight Matt Frevola originally, although plans changed after Frevola became injured.

Croom, a former LFA and Bellator fighter, will enter the cage on a three-fight winning streak. His most notable win comes from February, defeating Adil Benjilany at Bellator 239. He has remained active amid COVID-19, picking up a win on the regional scene last month.

Roberts will attempt to bounce back from a June loss to Jim Miller, where he lost in the first round via armbar.

Bout 6: Julia Avila (8-1) vs. Sijara Eubanks (5-4) (Bantamweight)

Looking to continue her streak of wins in the UFC, Julia Avila will fight Sijara Eubanks on the preliminary card on Saturday. Avila made her UFC debut in 2019, defeating Pannie Kianzad via decision. She returned last June, stopping Gina Mazany in the first minute with strikes.

Eubanks snapped a two-fight losing streak last May with a win over Sarah Moras.

Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 7: Billy Quarantillo (14-2) vs. Kyle Nelson (13-3) (Featherweight)

Rising featherweight Billy Quarantillo will meet Kyle Nelson on Saturday’s fight card. Quarantillo has won his first two UFC bouts since the TV series “Dana White’s Contender Series” scouted him in 2019. After a December win over Jacob Kilburn, Quarantillo fought last May to a decision win over Spike Carlyle.

Nelson will see his first fight in 2020 on Saturday. His last fight came just under a year ago, where he stopped Polo Reyes in the second minute with punches. The fight concluded a two-fight losing streak and awarded Nelson his first UFC win. Nelson was pulled from a bout last June against Sean Woodson due to visa issues.

Bout 8: Alan Patrick (15-2) vs. Bobby Green (26-10-1) (Lightweight)

Looking to piece together a trio of victories, veteran fighter Bobby Green will fight Alan Patrick on Saturday. Green has had a successful run in 2020, picking up wins over Clay Guida and Lando Vannata on cards. A third consecutive win for Green would be his longest winning streak since his eight-fight run that concluded in 2014.

The fight will see Patrick’s return to action following an absence from action. His last fight was in the fall of 2018, losing to Scott Holtzman at UFC 229. Before then, Patrick had a three-fight streak of wins.

Bout 9: Ed Herman (24-14) vs. Mike Rodriguez (11-4) (Light Heavyweight)

Light heavyweights Ed Herman and Mike Rodriguez are set to battle on Saturday’s main card. Rodriguez will look for his second win in under a month, as back in August he picked up a quick stoppage win over Marcin Prachnio.

The year has been rough on Herman, who has had numerous bookings cancelled due to complications involved with events or opponents. Herman had a strong 2019, competing twice in the year, getting a win over Patrick Cummins and Khadis Ibragimov.

Bout 10: Andrea Lee (11-4) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (24-17) (Flyweight)

Attempting to avoid a three-fight losing streak, Andrea Lee will face veteran flyweight Roxanne Modafferi. Lee’s career in the UFC started strong, picking up three-straight wins from 2018 through to 2019. She got her first loss a year ago, dropping a split decision to Joanne Calderwood. Her last fight, a bout against Lauren Murphy last February, was a split decision loss again.

Modafferi will attempt to bounce back from a June loss to Murphy as well. Her previous fight saw her get a decision win over Maycee Barber, ending Barber’s eight-fight undefeated record. Modafferi was a large underdog in the fight, being listed at +525.

Bout 11: Khama Worthy (16-6) vs. Ottman Azaitar (12-0) (Lightweight)

Two rising lightweights in Khama Worthy and Ottmain Azaiter will put their winning streaks on the line on Saturday.

Worthy has competed twice in the UFC, with both wins being successful outings. His UFC debut came in August of 2019, stopping Devonte Smith in the first round with punches. He returned last June with a win over Luis Pena, stopping Pena with a guillotine choke in the 14th minute.

Undefeated through 12 fights as a pro, Azaitar is scheduled to get his second UFC assignment come Saturday. His debut took place a year ago, defeating Teemu Packalen at UFC 242. Before his entrance into the UFC, Azaitar had four wins in the notable regional promotion Brave CF.

This matchup was first scheduled for April, although it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Bout 12: Michelle Waterson (17-8) vs. Angela Hill (12-8) (Strawweight)

The main event sees Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill face off in a five-round strawweight bout. The fight was originally meant to be a three-round co-main event, although after the show lost it’s original main event between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira, the matchup was promoted.

Waterson had risen up the strawweight rankings in 2018 and 2019, putting together three consecutive wins in the division. In what was an unofficial title eliminator, Waterson lost a decision last fall to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Her last fight, a matchup in may at UFC 249, was another loss, not being favoured in a split decision to Carla Esparza. Waterson will attempt to end her streak of losses on Saturday.

Through 2019 and 2020, Hill was a name in the UFC to watch. While she has had a record of four wins and three losses through those two years, Hill’s work-rate and talent in the cage has made her a big name. Hill was on a run through late 2019 and early 2020, putting together three-straight wins in the UFC. The streak of wins was stopped last May when hill lost via split decision to Claudia Gadelha. She now looks to get back to her winning ways against Waterson.

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