UFC on ESPN 28: Hall vs. Strickland Preview

Sean Strickland is no doubt an experienced MMA fighter, although he has never fought in a five-round UFC bout. That will change on Saturday night when he faces Uriah Hall in the main event of a UFC “Fight Night” card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Here’s a full preview of the show.

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

Preliminary Card (6:00PM EDT / 3:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Orion Cosce (7-0) vs. Phillip Rowe (7-3) (Welterweight)

Orion Cosce will make his UFC debut in the opening bout of the card against Phillip Rowe.

Cosce got signed to the promotion last year after a stoppage win over Matt Dixon on TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He was picked up along with his brother, Louis Cosce.

Cosce has an undefeated record of seven wins and has scored a stoppage victory in every appearance.

Rowe will be fighting to battle back from his first UFC loss. He last fought earlier this year, where Gabe Green scored a decision win over him.

Rowe missed weight for Saturday’s fight, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship limit. This weight issue caused him to forfeit 30 percent of his fight purse to Cosce.

Bout 2: Ryan Benoit (10-7) vs. Zarrukh Adashev (3-3) (Flyweight)

Fighting for his first UFC win, Zarrukh Adashev will take on Ryan Benoit.

Adashev joined the UFC roster on short notice last year, replacing Benoit in a fight against Tyson Nam. That fight was a quick victory for Nam, who stopped Adashev in just 32 seconds with strikes.

Adahsev has since lost again, dropping a unanimous decision to Su Mudaerji earlier this year.

Benoit will also be fighting to avoid heading into a three-fight losing streak. He has gone to scorecards in his past two bouts, falling to Alatengheili and Tim Elliott.

Bout 3: Ashley Yoder (8-7) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (10-6) (Strawweight)

Coming back after scoring her first UFC win, Jinh Yu Frey will meet Ashley Yoder.

Frey, a former Invicta FC Atomweight Champion, earned her first UFC win four months back when defeating Gloria de Paula. The win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Frey.

Yoder has been on the UFC roster since 2016 and currently has a negative promotional record of six losses and three wins. She last fought earlier this year, where Angela Hill put on a dominant striking performance against her for a decision win.

Bout 4: Danny Chavez (11-4) vs. Kai Kamaka III (8-4) (Featherweight)

Danny Chavez and Kai Kamaka III will look to return to the win column during Saturday’s prelims.

Chavez took his first UFC loss earlier this year, not being favoured in a unanimous decision against Jared Gordon. Before then he defeated TJ Brown in his UFC debut.

Kamaka III has lost his past two, including a razor-thin fight against Brown and a stoppage loss to Jonathan Pearce.

Bout 5: Chris Gruetzemacher (14-4) vs. Rafa Garcia (12-1) (Lightweight)

Hoping to bounce back from his sole pro loss and UFC debut, Rafa Garcia will take on Chris Gruetzemacher.

Garcia lost his UFC debut earlier this year, as Nasrat Haqparast took him to a unanimous decision. Prior to then, Garcia had scored 12 consecutive wins and had just been crowned the Combate Global Lightweight Champion (then known as Combate Americas).

Gruetzematcher will be trying to even his UFC record to three wins and three losses. He was stopped quickly in his last fight, as Alexander Hernandez took him out in the second minute last fall.

Bout 6: Collin Anglin (8-1) vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan (5-1) (Featherweight)

A double debut will finish the prelims, as Collin Anglin and Melsik Baghdasaryan will face off.

Both fighters are in the UFC after scoring a victory on TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.”

Collin went the distance against previously undefeated Muhammadjon Naimov to defeat him on scorecards. The fight added to a win streak for Anglin that consists of fights in the regional Michigan scene, among other places.

Baghdasaryan also went the distance in his “Contender Series” fight, defeating Dennis Buzukja. He got the opportunity after a wild 2019 run that saw him score four consecutive stoppage wins within a minute each.

Main Card (9:00PM EDT / 6:00PM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 5)

Bout 7: Bryan Barberena (15-7) vs. Jason Witt (18-7) (Welterweight)

In the first of two welterweight fights on the main card, Bryan Barberena will take on Jason Witt.

Barberena snapped a two-fight losing streak last year with a win over Anthony Ivy.

Witt was stopped quickly earlier this year, as Matthew Semelsberger put him away in just 16 seconds with strikes.

Bout 8: Niklas Stolze (12-4) vs. Jared Gooden (17-6) (Welterweight)

Niklas Stolze will fight short-notice opponent Jared Gooden in the next fight.

It was reported just earlier this week that Gooden would step in to replace Mounir Lazzez, who had to withdraw from the card due to visa issues.

Gooden will be looking for his first UFC win after coming up unsuccessful in his past two fights. His two previous UFC bouts have seen him go to scorecards and lose to Alan Jouban and Abubakar Nurmagomedov.

Stolze lost his UFC debut last year via unanimous decision against Ramazan Emeev.

Bout 9: Gloria de Paula (5-3) vs. Cheyanne Buys (5-2) (Strawweight)

Gloria de Paula and Cheyanne Buys have had a similar past year or so. After being successful on the regional scene, they were both offered a fight on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Both successful in the bout, they joined the UFC roster. However, they both then lost their UFC debut earlier this year via unanimous decision.

While that has been their story thus far, their paths will differ after they meet on Saturday.

Bout 10: Kang Kyung-ho (17-8) vs. Rani Yahya (27-10-1) (Bantamweight)

Korean fighter Kang Kyung-ho will make his return in the co-main event when facing Rani Yahya.

Kang has been a successful member of the UFC roster since 2013, having scored six wins through nine appearances. However, his last fight dates back to late 2019 when UFC traveled to South Korea.

While he is coming back after a long break, a win for Kang would extend his win streak to four-in-a-row.

Yahya, a fellow veteran of the UFC, has walked away with a draw and a submission win in his past two appearances.

Bout 11: Uriah Hall (17-9) vs. Sean Strickland (23-3) (Middleweight)

Sean Strickland has been on an explosive run since his return last year. Since returning in October, Strickland has picked up three wins against big names in the UFC like Brendan Allen and Krzysztof Jotko. Now, he will get his first UFC main event bout when facing Uriah Hall.

Hall is currently on a four-fight win streak that dates back to 2018. The most recent of the streak was a gruesome win he got over Chris Weidman, which came to an end only 17 seconds in due to a hard-to-watch leg injury.

Hall picked up a main event victory in his prior bout, defeating former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in October. The fight was Silva’s last in the UFC.

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