UFC on ESPN+ 41: Felder vs. dos Anjos Preview

Stepping in on short notice, Paul Felder will fight Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of Saturday’s UFC “Fight Night” card. Here’s a preview of that fight, along with the 10 other bouts scheduled to happen at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

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

Preliminary Card (4:00PM EST / 1:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Don’Tale Mayes (7-4) vs. Roque Martinez (15-6-2) (Heavyweight)

A heavyweight bout will kick off the evening, as Don’Tale Mayes will fight Roque Martinez. Mayes has struggled in the UFC through two fights, being finished in both of his appearances in the octagon so far. His last fight, a May bout against Rodrigo Nascimento, saw him get tapped in the second round with a rear naked choke.

Martinez, a former RIZIN fighter, made his UFC debut in September, being caught in an arm triangle choke by Alexander Romanov in the second round.

Bout 2: Tony Gravely (19-6) vs. Geraldo de Freitas (12-5) (Bantamweight)

Tony Gravely and Geraldo de Freitas will both look to come back from losses on the prelims. Gravely lost his UFC debut in January, being caught in the third round with a rear naked choke by Brett Johns. The former CES Bantamweight Champion had a streak of seven-straight wins prior to the loss.

De Freitas last fought in August of 2019, losing a split decision to Chris Gutierrez. His previous fight, his UFC debut, was a win over Felipe Colares.

Bout 3: Randa Markos (10-9-1) vs. Kanako Murata (11-1) (Strawweight)

Former Invicta FC Strawweight Champion Kanako Murata will make her UFC debut on the prelims when she fights Randa Markos. Murata had a strong run in the Japanese MMA scene early in her career, picking up numerous wins in RIZIN. Her last fight was in November of 2019, where she won a split decision over Emily Ducote to claim the Invicta FC belt.

Markos took her fight on short notice, replacing Livinha Souza. Markos has competed twice in 2020, losing both of her prior fights. After a loss in March to Amanda Ribas, Markos was stopped within a round by Mackenzie Dern in September.

Bout 4: Louis Smolka (16-7) vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez (8-4) (Bantamweight)

Bantamweights Louis Smolka and Jose Alberto Quinonez will return on the prelims, both aiming to return to the win column. Smolka last competed in May, losing to Casey Kenney via guillotine choke. Smolka’s current UFC run, the second of his career, has consisted of one win and two losses.

Quinonez last competed in March, when he was finished within a round by Sean O’Malley with strikes.

Smolka missed weight for the fight, coming in three-pounds over the bantamweight non-championship limit, per MMA Junkie.

Bout 5: Alex Morono (17-6) vs. Rhys McKee (10-3-1) (Welterweight)

Looking for his first UFC win, Rhys McKee will return on the prelims to fight Alex Morono. McKee’s first UFC fight was in July, where he lost a quick and one-sided performance to Khamzat Chimaev.

Morono had a three-fight streak of wins snapped in his last fight, having his momentum taken away in only 27 seconds, as Khaos Williams stopped him early with punches at UFC 247.

Bout 6: Ashley Yoder (7-6) vs. Miranda Granger (7-1) (Strawweight)

In the sixth and final fight on the prelims, Ashley Yoder will fight fellow strawweight Miranda Granger. Yoder finds herself in a tough position, as a loss on Saturday would start a three-fight losing streak for the second time in her career. Her record in the UFC is currently two wins and five losses. Yoder last competed in August, losing a decision to Livinha Souza.

Granger’s last fight saw her take her first loss as a pro, being stopped within a round from a rear naked choke by Amanda Lemos. The former CFFC Strawweight Champion had one UFC win prior to her loss, as she defeated Hannah Goldy via decision in 2019.

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

Bout 7: Antonio Arroyo (9-3) vs. Eryk Anders (13-5) (Middleweight)

A fight between Antonio Arroyo and Eryk Anders will kick off the main card on Saturday. The last time Anders fought was in May, losing a decision to Krzysztof Jotko. He had a win over Vinicius Moreira and Gerald Meerschaert prior to the loss.

Arroyo lost his UFC debut in 2019, dropping a decision to Andre Muniz.

Anders missed weight for the middleweight bout, weighing in at 187.5 pounds on Friday.

Bout 8: Brendan Allen (15-3) vs. Sean Strickland (21-3) (Catchweight 195 lbs)

Looking to extend his win-streak to eight-straight, Brendan Allen will fight Sean Strickland on the main card.

Allen’s rookie year in the UFC was a strong one, picking up three-straight wins. His debut fight was in October of 2019, stopping Kevin Holland in the second round with a rear naked choke. He came back four months later, defeating Tom Breese within a round on a February card. His last fight was in June, going to scorecards to defeat Kyle Daukaus.

Strickland made his return to MMA just half-a-month ago, defeating Jack Marshman via decision. The fight was his first since October of 2018.

Bout 9: Kay Hansen (7-3) vs. Cory McKenna (5-1) (Strawweight)

After a strong performance on “Dana White’s Contender Series,” Cory McKenna will make her UFC debut on the main card against Kay Hansen. McKenna’s win came in August, defeating LFA Strawweight Champion Vanessa Demopoulos via decision. McKenna had four wins and one loss in regional promotion Cage Warriors prior to her “Contender Series” fight.

Hansen, a former Invicta FC fighter, won her UFC debut in June, catching former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion Jinh Yu Frey with a traingle-armbar in the third round.

Bout 10: Abdul Razak Alhassan (10-2) vs. Khaos Williams (10-1) (Welterweight)

After an explosive UFC debut in February, Khaos Williams will return on Saturday in the co-main event against Abdul Razak Alhassan. Williams won his UFC debut in February, stopping Alex Morono in only 27 seconds with punches. He had six-straight wins on the regional scene before being signed to the UFC.

Alhassan returned to action in July, losing a decision to Mounir Lazzez. Alhassan had a three-fight win streak from 2017 to 2018 before then.

Alhassan missed the welterweight limit by one-and-a-half pounds at Friday’s weigh-ins.

Bout 11: Paul Felder (17-5) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (29-13) (Lightweight)

Only a few days ago, fans were expecting the Saturday night card to have a main event between Rafael dos Anjos and Islam Makhachev. However, plans changed, as Makhachev pulled from the fight due to weight cut issues.

With the fate of the main event hanging in the balance, Paul Felder stepped up to the occasion. Agreeing to undergo a weight cut on only a few day’s notice, and also signing on to a five-round fight, Felder salvaged the main event.

Felder’s last fight was also a main event, losing a split decision to Dan Hooker in February. He previously had wins over Edson Barboza and James Vick in 2019.

Dos Anjos will aim to end a two-fight skid with the fight. He last fought in January, where he lost on scorecards to Michael Chiesa. His previous fight was to Leon Edwards, losing via decision on that occasion as well.

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