UFC on ESPN+ 42: Overeem vs. Volkov Preview

Heavyweights will be the main attraction on Saturday night when UFC returns to the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Saturday night’s main event is scheduled to be between multi-decade veteran Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov. As they both sit high in the rankings, the fighters will look to get one step closer to a heavyweight title shot.

Here’s a full preview of the card.

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

Preliminary Card (5:00PM EST / 2:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Ode Osbourne (8-3) vs. Jerome Rivera (10-4) (Featherweight)

Featherweights Ode Osbourne and Jerome Rivera will look for their first UFC win in the opening bout of the card.

Osbourne looks to bounce back after losing his UFC debut. Osbourne had his first UFC fight in January of 2020, where he was stopped in the first round with a guillotine choke by Brian Kelleher.

Rivera fought just a few weeks ago, dropping a decision to Francisco Figueiredo at UFC’s January 20th event. Before then, Rivera’s UFC debut saw him get stopped in the second round by Tyson Nam.

Rivera took the fight on short notice to replace Denys Bondar.

Bout 2: Timur Valiev (16-2) vs. Martin Day (8-5) (Featherweight)

Timur Valiev will make his second UFC walk on Saturday, this time being matched against Martin Day.

Valiev’s UFC debut took place in August, where he fought short-notice replacement opponent Trevin Jones. In what was a huge upset, Jones scored a second-round stoppage victory. However, the result has since been overturned due to the Nevada Athletic Commission finding marijuana in Jones’ drug tests.

Day enters the fight aiming to avoid earning his fourth consecutive UFC loss. After losing his UFC debut in 2018, Day has fought twice in 2020 and been stopped in both bouts.

Day takes the place of Julio Arce, who withdrew from the bout earlier in the week.

Bout 3: Youssef Zalal (10-3) vs. Seung Woo Choi (8-3) (Featherweight)

Concluding the trio of featherweight bouts to kick off the card, Youssef Zalal will face Seung Woo Choi.

Zalal is returning after taking his first UFC loss. Zalal had a strong run in 2020, putting together three consecutive wins since entering the promotion in February. That momentum was stopped in October, as Zalal was defeated by Ilia Topuria.

The fight will be Choi’s return to the cage. His last fight was in December of 2019, where he defeated Suman Mokhtarian via decision.

Bout 4: Molly McCann (10-3) vs. Lara Procopio (6-1) (Flyweight)

Flyweights Molly McCann and Lara Procopio are scheduled to face off on the prelims.

McCann had a three-fight win streak broken in her last fight, losing a decision to Taila Santos via in July.

Procopio is returning following a year absent from competition. Her last fight was her UFC debut, which she lost via split decision to Karol Rosa. The bout was also Procopio’s first loss as a pro.

Bout 5: Karol Rosa (13-3) vs. Joselyne Edwards (10-2) (Bantamweight)

Less than a week after becoming the first Panama-born woman to win a UFC fight, Joselyne Edwards will compete yet again, this time fighting Karol Rosa.

Edwards’ UFC debut in January saw her step in on short notice to face Wu Yanan. Edwards took the win via decision, earning her the 10th win of her career.

Rosa has won two fights since joining the UFC in 2019. Her last victory was in July, where she defeated Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision.

Bout 6: Justin Jaynes (16-6) vs. Devonte Smith (10-2) (Catchweight 160 lbs)

Returning after taking his first UFC loss a year ago, Devonte Smith has been booked to face Justin Jaynes.

Smith had a strong start to his UFC career in 2018, picking up first-round stoppage wins against Julian Erosa and Dong Hyun Ma. His first UFC loss was in August of 2019, where Khama Worthy stopped him with punches in the first round.

Jaynes is competing after a hectic 2020. Jaynes won his UFC debut in June, taking a short notice fight and stopping Frank Camacho within a minute with punches. He has since lost his last two fights, getting finished by Gavin Tucker and Gabriel Benitez.

Smith stepped in for Alex da Silva, who withdrew from the fight last week.

Bout 7: Mike Rodriguez (11-5) vs. Danilo Marques (10-2) (Light Heavyweight)

The preliminary card is scheduled to finish with a light heavyweight bout between Mike Rodriguez and Danilo Marques.

Marques is returning after earning his UFC win in his last bout. Marques earned his 10th win as a pro in September, earning a decision against Khadis Ibragimov.

Rodriguez will attempt to even his UFC record, which currently has two wins and three losses. His last bout was in September, where veteran fighter Ed Herman caught him in the third round with a kimura.

Main Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 8: Diego Ferreira (17-2) vs. Beneil Dariush (19-4-1) (Lightweight)

Two high-level lightweights in Diego Ferreira and Beneil Dariush will kick off the main card. Ferreira enters the fight on an impressive six-fight win streak. The series of wins include three stoppage victories and notable a notable victory over Anthony Pettis.

Ferreira struggled to find a fight in 2020, as two bouts against Drew Dober were cancelled in the year.

Dariush has a win streak of his own, having won the past five fights in his career. Four of those wins have come via stoppage. His most recent win was in August, where he caught Scott Holtzman with a spinning backfist to get a win.

Dariush’s previous fight was a finish victory against Drakkar Klose in March of 2020. The win for Dariush was awarded “Comeback of the Year” by the UFC at the end of the year.

Bout 9: Cody Stamann (19-3-1) vs. Askar Askar (11-1) (Featherweight)

Taking the fight on short notice, Askar Askar will fight Cody Stamann on the main card of Saturday’s event. Askar stepped in for Andre Ewell, who had to withdraw from the fight due to UFC’s COVID-19 protocol.

Askar’s last win was on the regional scene was in October, where he defeated Kevin Wirth via decision in the main event of an LFA card.

Stamann lost his last fight in July, dropping a decision to Jimmie Rivera.

Bout 10: Alexandre Pantoja (22-5) vs. Manel Kape (15-4) (Flyweight)

Former RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape will make his long-awaited UFC debut on the main card against Alexandre Pantoja.

Kape was signed to the UFC in 2020 after a three-fight win streak in Japanese MMA promotion RIZIN. Kape struggled to get a fight before the year concluded, as injured opponents caused two bookings to fall through.

He will have a tough challenge on Saturday, as he faces experienced UFC fighter Pantoja. Pantoja will be entering his 10th UFC fight. His last fight was in July, where he lost a decision to Askar Askarov.

Bout 11: Michael Johnson (19-16) vs. Clay Guida (35-20) (Lightweight)

Veterans Michael Johnson and Clay Guida are set to compete on Saturday’s main card.

Johnson is looking to snap a three-fight losing streak. The third loss in the streak was given in May, when Thiago Moises caught Johnson with an ankle lock. Another loss would put Johnson into the longest losing streak of his pro career.

Guida is on a two-fight losing streak. His last two fights have come against fellow veterans of the weight class, as he has dropped bouts to Jim Miller and Bobby Green.

Bout 12: Cory Sandhagen (13-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (24-8-1) (Bantamweight)

Former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar will have his second fight at bantamweight on Saturday, fighting in the co-main event against Cory Sandhagen.

Edgar, a former 145 and 155-pound fighter won his first fight at 135-pounds in August, picking up a split decision victory over Pedro Munhoz after a five-round fight.

Edgar made the move down to bantamweight after losing a featherweight title fight to Max Holloway and a main event bout to Chan Sung Jung AKA The Korean Zombie.

Sandhagen is returning after a big win in his last fight. Like Edgar, his last fight was in a main event. Sandhagen defeated Marlon Moraes back in October, catching him in the second round of a fight with a spinning back kick.

Sandhagen bounced back from a rear naked choke loss to Aljamain Sterling, who was handed a title shot following his win.

Bout 13: Alistair Overeem (47-18) vs. Alexander Volkov (32-8) (Heavyweight)

Two ranked heavyweights will clash in the main event.

Having fought for over two decades now, Alistair Overeem is deep into his career. At 40-years-old, Overeem is looking for a heavyweight title push.

Overeem’s current run has proven successful through 2020 as he was able to earn two main event wins. The first of the two was in May, where he defeated Walt Harris in the second round with strikes. Overeem returned in September, where he was able to take Augusto Sakai out in the fifth round.

Overeem now faces Alexander Volkov in Saturday’s main event. Volkov has remained high up in UFC’s heavyweight division since a four-fight win streak from 2016 to 2018 kickstarted his promotional run.

While Volkov has only won two of his last four, he is coming off a stoppage victory against Walt Harris from October.

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