Stepping in on about a week’s notice, Marvin Vettori will fight Jack Hermansson in the headlining bout of Saturday’s UFC card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The fight tops an 11-fight card which is scheduled to be broadcasted on TV. Here’s a preview of the event.
Preliminary Card (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Bout 1: Gian Villante (17-12) vs. Jake Collier (11-5) (Heavyweight)
Both looking to return to the win column, heavyweights Gian Villante and Jake Collier will kick off Saturday’s card. Collier made his return to action in July, where he fought for the first time in nearly three years and moved up from light heavyweight. He lost his fight to Tom Aspinall quickly, being stopped within a minute with punches.
Villante has lost his last two appearances. Following up from a 2019 loss to Michal Oleksiejczuk, Villante lost a fight in June of 2020 to Maurice Greene, being submitted in the third round.
Bout 2: Damon Jackson (18-3-1) vs. Ilia Topuria (9-0) (Featherweight)
After both having successful UFC debuts, Damon Jackson and Ilia Topuria will meet on Saturday. Jackson made his UFC debut in September, ending a run in regional promotion LFA which lasted from 2017 to 2020. He won his fight, stopping Mirsad Bektic in the third round with a guillotine choke.
Topuria remained undefeated in his own UFC debut, defeating Youssef Zalal on the scorecards back in October.
Bout 3: Jimmy Flick (15-5) vs. Cody Durden (11-2-1) (Flyweight)
After earning his UFC contract on “Dana White’s Contender Series,” Jimmy Flick will make his UFC debut on Saturday against Cody Durden. Flick, a former LFA Flyweight Champion, had a strong performance on the “Contender Series” in September, defeating Nate Smith with an arm triangle choke.
Durden had an unsatisfying UFC debut in August, where he fought to a draw against Chris Gutierrez. He entered the matchup on a seven-fight win streak.
Bout 4: Matt Wiman (16-9) vs. Jordan Leavitt (7-0) (Lightweight)
Jordan Leavitt will be tested in his UFC debut against veteran fighter Matt Wiman. Leavitt, a former LFA fighter, won on “Dana White’s Contender Series” in August after stopping Jose Flores within a round with an arm triangle choke. Leavitt was the first fighter to be signed in the 2020 season.
Wiman will look to snap a two-fight skid on Saturday. His last two fights were losses to Luis Pena and Joe Solecki in 2019.
Bout 5: Louis Smolka (16-7) vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez (8-4) (Bantamweight)
Both returning after a loss, high-level bantamweights Louis Smolka and Jose Alberto Quinonez will fight on the prelims. This fight was first targeted for a November 14th card, although it was removed from the lineup after a botched weight cut took Smolka out.
Quinonez’s last fight dates back to March, where then-undefeated prospect Sean O’Malley stopped him in the first round with strikes.
Smolka got caught by a guillotine choke in his last fight, giving Casey Kenney a win back in May.
Bout 6: Gabriel Benitez (21-8) vs. Justin Jaynes (16-5) (Lightweight)
A lightweight fight between Gabriel Benitez and Justin Jaynes will finish off the prelims. Like the fight that goes before it, the Benitez and Jaynes clash was first meant for a November 14th event. In this case, the bout had to be moved after Benitez tested positive for COVID-19.
Benitez is currently on a two-fight losing streak. His last fight was in May, where he dropped a decision to undefeated fighter Omar Morales.
Jaynes took his first UFC loss in August, being caught by a rear naked choke from Gavin Tucker in the third round of action. Jaynes’ previous fight, his promotional debut, was a quick win over Frank Camacho.
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 7: Movsar Evloev (13-0) vs. Nate Landwehr (14-3) (Featherweight)
Two former M-1 Challenge champions will fight on the main card when undefeated featherweight Movsar Evloev fights Nate Landwehr.
Evloev has had a strong run in the UFC, now having three wins in total within the promotion. His last fight was in July, where he took Mike Grundy to a unanimous decision.
Landwehr picked up his first UFC win in May, defeating Darren Elkins via decision. The back-and-forth slugging battle on the feet saw Landwehr as the better striker throughout.
Bout 8: Roman Dolidze (7-0) vs. John Allan (13-5) (Light Heavyweight)
In his first fight back since serving a one-year USADA suspension, John Allan will fight undefeated light heavyweight Roman Dolidze. Allan won his UFC debut in July of 2019 against Mike Rodriguez, however, the fight was later overturned to a no-contest after USADA handed Allan a suspension.
Dolidze won his UFC debut in July, stopping Khadis Ibragimov within a round with strikes.
Bout 9: Taila Santos (16-1) vs. Montana De La Rosa (11-6) (Flyweight)
Flyweights Taila Santos and Montana De La Rosa have been paired for a main card fight. Santos picked up her first UFC victory in July, defeating Molly McCann on scorecards. Her previous fight was a loss in 2019 to Mara Romero Borella.
De La Rosa is coming off of a loss from three months ago, as she lost a decision to Viviane Araujo.
Bout 10: Ovince St. Preux (25-14) vs. Jamahal Hill (7-0) (Light Heavyweight)
Undefeated light heavyweight Jamahal Hill will be tested by veteran fighter Ovince St. Preux in Saturday’s co-main event.
Hill won his UFC debut in January, defeating Darko Stosic via decision. While he finished Klidson Abreu within a round back in May, the fight has since been overturned to a no-contest after the Nevada Athletic Commission found marijuana in his systems.
St. Preux won in explosive fashion in September, stopping Alonzo Menifield in the second round with a left hook. The win saw him bounce back from a heavyweight bout against Ben Rothwell that he took earlier in the year.
Bout 11: Jack Hermansson (21-5) vs. Marvin Vettori (15-3-1) (Middleweight)
Both high ranked fighters in the middleweight division, Jack Hermansson and Marvin Vettori have a high stakes fight in Saturday’s main event.
Vettori enters the fight on a three-fight win streak. After decision wins over Cezar Ferreira and Andrew Sanchez, Vettori picked up a finish win in June, stopping Karl Roberson within a round.
After having a rocky start to his UFC career that saw him pick up two wins, two losses and one draw, Vettori has seemingly found his footing in the division heading into Saturday.
Hermansson had a four-fight streak concluded in 2019 by Jared Cannonier, who stopped him within two rounds. He bounced back in the summer, earning a quick heel hook win against Kelvin Gastelum.
Hermansson has undergone numerous opponent changes for Saturday, with previous matchups seeing him pout against Darren Till and Kevin Holland.