UFC on ESPN+ 49: Brunson vs. Till Preview

UFC will present a wide range of international talent on Saturday afternoon with a nine-bout “Fight Night” card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Out of the 20 fighters on the card this weekend, 13 are representing a country that isn’t the United States. UFC reportedly first wanted this show to happen in London, England, but later had to bring it to the U.S. due to pandemic complications. Still making an effort to cater to European fans, this event will take place in the afternoon in North America, giving Europe a rare prime-time viewing.

Middleweights Darren Till and Derek Brunson are set to headline the card. Here’s a preview of the entire evening.

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

Preliminary Card (1:30PM EDT / 10:30AM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)

Bout 1: Dalcha Lungiambula (11-2) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (12-4) (Middleweight)

The prelims on Saturday night will be shorter than usual, as four fights will happen. The first in the pack is a middleweight clash between Dalcha Lungiambula and Marc-Andre Barriault.

Lungiambula made his return to action early this year, defeating Markus Perez on scorecards in January. The fight was his first appearance since 2019, where Magomed Ankalaev handed him his first UFC loss.

Barriault’s last outing resulted in his first UFC victory, stopping Abu Azaitar late in the third round with strikes. His four previous appearances in the promotion were three losses and one no contest.

Bout 2: Charles Jourdain (11-3-1) vs. Julian Erosa (25-9) (Catchweight 150 lbs)

Charles Jourdain will face veteran Julian Erosa in the second bout of the show.

Jourdain is coming off a stoppage win he earned against Marcelo Rojo in March. The Canadian prospect has had a rough UFC run thus far, putting together two wins, two losses and one draw since joining the roster in 2019.

A win on Saturday would give Jourdain a two-fight winning streak for the first time since he joined the UFC.

Erosa had a fair amount of momentum stopped recently, as he was finished in the second minute of a bout against Choi Seung-woo in June. Before then, he secured two stoppage wins in his third stint as a UFC fighter.

Bout 3: Jack Shore (14-0) vs. Liudvik Sholinian (9-1-1) (Bantamweight)

Former “Ultimate Fighter” contestant Liudvik Sholinian will get a tough test in his UFC debut, as he will face undefeated bantamweight Jack Shore on the prelims.

Sholinian took this fight on short notice, replacing Zviad Lazishvili. He competed on “TUF” earlier this year, making it to the semi-finals before being eliminated by Ricky Turcios, who went on to win in the finals.

Sholinian has fought as a pro since 2015 and walks into Saturday night on a four-fight winning streak.

Shore, a former Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion, has scored three wins since entering the UFC in 2019. Most recently, he fought to a split decision win against Hunter Azure in April.

Bout 4: Kim Ji-yeon (9-3-2) vs. Molly McCann (10-4) (Flyweight)

Flyweights will conclude the prelims, as Kim Ji-yeon and Molly McCann will face off.

Kim will be appearing for the first time after a year outside of the cage. She took a loss in her last appearance, dropping a unanimous decision to Alexa Grasso in August 2020. The bout moved her promotional record to an even three wins and three losses.

McCann will be fighting to avoid falling into a three-fight losing streak. She has gone to scorecards in her last two bouts, not being favored against Taila Santos or Lara Procopio.

Main Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)

Bout 5: Luigi Vendramini (9-2) vs. Paddy Pimblett (16-3) (Lightweight)

The long-awaited UFC debut of Paddy Pimblett will happen in the opening bout of Saturday’s main card, as he will fight Luigi Vendramini at lightweight.

Pimblett is known for his success in European promotion Cage Warriors. He first debuted for them in 2013 and has spent the majority of his career there.

He notably became the Cage Warriors Featherweight Champion in 2016, defeating now-UFC fighter Julian Erosa. While he later lost that belt, he now is joining the UFC after a two-fight winning streak up at lightweight – the weight class in which he has competed in since 2018.

Vendramini will be attempting to get back into the win column after a majority decision loss against Fares Ziam in June.

Bout 6: Khalil Rountree (8-5) vs. Modestas Bukauskas (11-4) (Light Heavyweight)

Both in a potential must-win situation, Khalil Rountree and Modestas Bukauskas will collide on Saturday night.

Rountree is currently on a two-fight losing streak. The first loss in the stint dated back to 2019, where Ion Cutelaba stopped him within a round. Much more recently, Marcin Prachnio scored a scorecard win over him at UFC 257.

If Rountree loses on Saturday, he will be on the longest losing streak of his pro career thus far.

The same goes for Bukauskas, who is on a two-fight skid of his own. He has fought twice within a year’s time, getting stopped by Jimmy Crute and losing a decision to Michal Oleksiejczuk.

Bout 7: David Zawada (17-6) vs. Alex Morono (19-7) (Welterweight)

Welterweights David Zawada and Alex Morono will fight on the main card.

Morono has been on somewhat of a veteran tour over the past year, losing a bout to Anthony Pettis and scoring a first-round stoppage win against Donald Cerrone.

Zawada has lost three of his last five and is coming off a split decision defeat he took against Ramazan Emeev early this year.

Bout 8: Tom Aspinall (10-2) vs. Serghei Spivac (13-2) (Heavyweight)

In one of the most interesting matchups that can be made at heavyweight, rising prospects Tom Aspinall and Serghei Spivac will compete in the co-main event.

This matchup wasn’t originally in the plans for Saturday night but became a pairing due to circumstances. Aspinall was first set to fight the returning Sergei Pavlovich on this card but was given Spivac after visa issues took Pavlovich out of the lineup.

Aspinall had a strong rookie year in the UFC, scoring three stoppage wins in a year’s time. After finishing Jake Collier and Alan Baudot within a round each in 2020, Aspinall defeated Andrei Arlovski with a second-round rear naked choke in February.

Spivac is on a three-fight winning streak. Similar to Aspinall, his last win was also against a veteran, defeating Aleksei Oleinik via decision in June.

Bout 9: Derek Brunson (22-7) vs. Darren Till (18-3-1) (Middleweight)

Middleweights Derek Brunson and Darren Till are expected to meet in the main event of Saturday’s lineup.

Brunson is on a strong run in the middleweight division recently currently, slowly picking up more steam with every victory. He has won his past four fights in a streak that first started in 2019.

The first two wins in Brunson’s current run were against Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch two years back. He then headlined a card in 2020, where he handed rising prospect Edmen Shahbazyan his first pro loss.

Brunson is now coming off a five-round decision win that he took over Kevin Holland in March.

The fight on Saturday night will be Till’s third since coming up to middleweight.

Till has been struggling in recent years, having failed to find his footing in the UFC since losing a title fight to Tyron Woodley in 2018. His sole middleweight win was in 2019, where he debuted in the division with a split decision win against Kelvin Gastelum.

Till’s most recent appearance was a unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker in the main event of a 2020 card. He has since been sidelined due to injuries, stopping him from fighting in a few big matchups.

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