UFC on ESPN+ 40: Santos vs. Teixeira Preview

The UFC will present an 11-fight card on Saturday night which includes ranked light heavyweights Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira in the main event. Here’s a preview of the card, which is scheduled to take place from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

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

Preliminary Card (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Gustavo Lopez (11-5) vs. Anthony Birchak (15-6) (Bantamweight)

The evening will kick off with Gustavo Lopez and Anthony Birchak looking for their first win in the UFC. Lopez made his UFC debut in June, taking a short-notice fight against Merab Dvalishvili. Lopez lost the fight via unanimous decision in the end.

The script has been flipped in this instance, as Lopez now finds himself against a short-notice opponent in Birchak, who stepped in to replace Felipe Colares, who tested positive for COVID-19.

Bout 2: Max Griffin (15-8) vs. Ramiz Brahimaj (8-2) (Welterweight)

Ramiz Brahimaj will get his UFC debut on the prelims when matched with Max Griffin. Brahimaj was first set to fight in June against Takashi Sato, although plans changed after a cornerman for Brahimaj tested positive for COVID-19.

Brahimaj enters the UFC after a six-fight run in LFA that resulted in four wins and two losses.

Griffin will look to snap a two-fight skid with the bout. His last fight was in March, dropping a split decision to Alex Oliveira.

Bout 3: Darren Elkins (24-9) vs. Eduardo Garagorri (13-1) (Featherweight)

Aiming to break a four-fight skid, UFC veteran Darren Elkins will fight Eduardo Garagorri on the prelims. Elkins has fought in the UFC for a decade. He fell into his losing streak in 2018, losing a decision to Alexander Volkanovski that broke a six-fight streak of wins.

Elkins’ last fight was in May, losing a decision to Nate Landwehr.

Garagorri will be returning for his first fight of 2020 on the show. His last fight was his first loss as a pro, being stopped in the first round with a rear naked choke by Ricardo Ramos.

Bout 4: Marcos Rogerio de Lima (17-6-1) vs. Alexander Romanov (12-0) (Heavyweight)

The 12-fight undefeated record of Alexander Romanov will be tested on Saturday, as he will fight Marcos Rogerio de Lima. Romanov made his UFC debut in September, stopping Roque Martinez in the second round with an arm triangle choke.

Romanov was meant to meet Lima in September originally, however, plans changed due to Lima testing positive for COVID-19.

Lima’s last fight was a win, stopping Ben Sosoli in the second minute of action with punches.

Bout 5: Giga Chikadze (11-2) vs. Jamey Simmons (7-2) (Featherweight)

Only a month after his last fight, Giga Chikadze will return on the prelims against Jamey Simmons. Chikadze has three wins in 2020, all via decision. His last was against Omar Morales, taking the fighter’s 10-fight undefeated streak.

Simmons will make his UFC debut in the fight. He has attained a three-fight streak of wins from 2019 to 2020, including a fight less than a month ago, defeating Shawn West.

Bout 6: Trevin Giles (12-2) vs. Bevon Lewis (7-2) (Middleweight)

Finishing off the prelims, Trevin Giles and Bevon Lewis will compete. The fighters have something in common, as both of them won their last fight, snapping a previous two-fight skid each.

Giles earned his win all the way in February, defeating James Krause via split decision. He has had trouble getting a fight in 2020, as bouts against Jun Yong Park and Kevin Holland have fallen through.

Lewis last fought in January, picking up a decision victory over Dequan Townsend.

Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 7: Claudia Gadelha (18-4) vs. Yan Xiaonan (12-1) (Strawweight)

The main card will kick off with a strawweight bout between Claudia Gadelha and Yan Xiaonan. Xiaonan has been on a tear since her 2017 UFC debut. Now with five-straight UFC wins, including a victory over Karolina Kowalkiewicz in February, Xiaonan will look for her sixth on Saturday.

Gadelha won a split decision in her last fight, defeating Angela Hill in May.

This fight was first scheduled for September, although it was moved after an injury to Gadelha took her off the card.

Bout 8: Ian Heinisch (14-3) vs. Brendan Allen (15-3) (Middleweight)

Looking for his fourth-straight UFC win, Brendan Allen will be matched with Ian Heinisch on the main card. Allen, a former LFA Middleweight Champion, had a strong rookie year in the UFC, defeating Kevin Holland, Tom Breese and Kyle Daukaus.

Heinisch returned to the cage in June, stopping Gerald Meerschaert in the second minute with punches. The fight snapped a two-fight skid that developed in 2019.

Bout 9: Raoni Barcelos (15-1) vs. Khalid Taha (13-2) (Bantamweight)

Khalid Taha has a tough return from a one-year suspension on Saturday, fighting Raoni Barcelos. Taha’s last fight was in October of 2019, defeating Bruno Silva at UFC 243. After a failed drug test, Taha’s win was overturned and he was taken out of action for a year.

He will now fight Barcelos, who has won all four of his UFC fights since debuting in 2018. HIs last fight was his first decision in his UFC career, winning over Said Nurmagomedov.

Bout 10: Andrei Arlovski (29-19) vs. Tanner Boser (19-6-1) (Heavyweight)

UFC veteran Andrei Arlovski will attempt to stop Tanner Boser’s strong 2020 run in the co-main event. Boser bounced back from a 2019 loss to Ciryl Gane with two wins in 2020, stopping Philipe Lins and Raphael Pessoa.

Arlovski returned to the win column in his last fight, getting a decision over Philipe Lins.

Bout 11: Thiago Santos (21-7) vs. Glover Teixeira (31-7) (Light Heavyweight)

The main event sees high-ranked light heavyweights Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira compete in what could be a five-round fight.

The fight will be Santos’ first since losing an airtight split decision to then-UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. Prior to the loss, Santos had three-straight finish victories at light heavyweight.

Teixeira is currently on a four-fight run of victories. The 41-year-old won a main event fight in May, stopping Anthony Smith in the fifth round with punches after what was a pummeling performance.

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