UFC will close out their 2021 schedule on Saturday night with a busy 14-fight card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The main event will see rising heavyweight Chris Daukaus fight in his first UFC main event bout, facing two-time title challenger Derrick Lewis.
Here’s a full preview of today’s UFC “Fight Night” card.
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EST / 1:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 1: Matt Sayles (8-3) vs. Jordan Levitt (8-1) (Lightweight)
Matt Sayles will make his return to the cage when facing Jordan Leavitt in the opener of the prelims.
Sayles has fought three times in the UFC, attaining one win and two losses. His last fight was over two years ago, getting submitted by Bryce Mitchell in December 2019.
Leavitt will be fighting to bounce back from his sole UFC loss, which he took in June against Claudio Puelles. He had previously had an explosive UFC debut, stopping Matt Wiman with a slam knockout last year.
Bout 2: Don’Tale Mayes (8-4) vs. Josh Parisian (14-4) (Heavyweight)
In the first of many heavyweight bouts on the card, Don’Tale Mayes and Josh Parisian will fight.
Mayes snapped a two-fight skid in his last outing, defeating Roque Martinez on scorecards late last year.
Parisian also defeated Martinez in his last fight, but his appearance was a more recent split decision outcome in June.
Bout 3: Raquel Pennington (12-8) vs. Macy Chiasson (7-1) (Featherweight)
Raquel Pennington and Macy Chiasson will fight in a rare featherweight fight on Saturday night. They were originally set to meet at bantamweight, that was until the fight suddenly went up a weight class earlier this week.
Chiasson last fought in March, beating Marion Reneau via decision. That fight was her second consecutive win in the UFC.
Similarly, Pennington is on a two-fight winning streak at the moment. Her last fight was in September, defeating Pannie Kianzad on scorecards.
Chiasson missed weight for the bout on Friday, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the non-championship limit.
Bout 4: Charles Jourdain (11-4-1) vs. Andre Ewell (17-8) (Featherweight)
Featherweights Charles Jourdain and Andre Ewell will fight to get back into the win column on Saturday’s prelims.
Ewell has lost two bouts this year, dropping a decision to Chris Gutierrez and getting stopped by strikes from Julio Arce.
Jourdain was submitted just three months back, getting caught in a darce choke from Julian Erosa.
Bout 5: Sijara Eubanks (7-6) vs. Melissa Gatto (7-0-2) (Flyweight)
Undefeated flyweight Melissa Gatto will attempt to earn her second UFC victory when facing Sijara Eubanks.
Eubanks won her flyweight debut in July, stopping UFC newcomer Elise Reed in the first round with strikes. She was on a two-fight skid at bantamweight before then.
Gatto, a fighter with six wins and two draws, made her UFC debut in August. She picked up a win against Victoria Leonardo, as an arm injury stopped the fight after the second round.
Bout 6: Justin Tafa (4-3) vs. Harry Hunsucker (7-4) (Heavyweight)
Justin Tafa and Harry Hunsucker are both due for a win and will attempt to get that victory on Saturday night.
Tafa made history on Friday, becoming the first heavyweight in UFC history to miss weight for his bout. He came in at 267 pounds, which is one pound over the limit.
Hunsucker lost his UFC debut earlier this year, getting finished within a minute by rising contender Tai Tuivasa.
Bout 7: Raoni Barcelos (16-2) vs. Victor Henry (21-5) (Bantamweight)
Experienced bantamweight Victor Henry will make his UFC debut on Saturday night when facing Raoni Barcelos.
Henry is filling in for Trevin Jones, who was the original opponent for Barcelos. He enters the UFC having won nine of his last 10, including a win over RIZIN stand-out Yuki Motoya and now-UFC fighter Kyler Phillips.
Barcelos will be competing for the first time since his extensive five-fight winning streak was snapped in June by Timur Valiev. It will be only the second time in his career that he will be attempting to bounce back from a loss.
Bout 8: Gerald Meerschaert (33-14) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-3) (Middleweight)
The long preliminary card will close out with a middleweight fight between Gerald Meerschaert and Dustin Stoltzfus.
The fight between Meerschaert and Stoltzfus was made after both of their previous opponents fell off the card earlier in the month. Meerschaert was previously scheduled to fight Abusupiyan Magomedov, and Stoltzfus was set to meet Caio Borralho.
Meerschart has the chance to close out a successful year. After being finished twice in 2020, Meerschart has turned things around by picking up submission wins over Bartosz Fabinski and Makhmud Muradov this year.
Stoltzfus is in a potential must-win situation, having gone winless through two fights in the UFC. His last appearance was in July, where grappling ace Rodolfo Vieira submitted him with a third-round rear naked choke.
Main Card (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 9: Darren Elkins (26-9) vs. Cub Swanson (27-12) (Featherweight)
The main card is set to open with a clash between two veterans of the sport, as Darren Elkins will fight Cub Swanson.
Elkins has been on the UFC roster for over a decade, having first joined the promotion in 2010. He is currently enjoying a two-fight winning streak, as he has submitted Eduardo Garagorri and stopped Darrick Minner in his last outings.
Swanson joined the UFC in 2011 but is also known for competing in WEC for many years before the promotions merged. He took a loss last time around, getting finished in just over a minute by rising prospect Giga Chikadze in May.
Bout 10: Diego Ferreira (17-4) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (19-1) (Lightweight)
Former KSW Champion Mateusz Gamrot will attempt to close out 2021 with a third win when facing Diego Ferreria on Saturday night.
Bout 11: Raphael Assuncao (27-8) vs. Ricky Simon (18-3) (Bantamweight)
Experienced bantamweight Raphael Assuncao will fight to break a losing streak when fighting Ricky Simon on Saturday night.
Assuncao is fighting for the first time since June 2020. He has lost three consecutive fights in a skid that dates back to 2019. His last fight saw him get stopped by former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt.
On the other hand, Simon is on a rise up the bantamweight division as of late. He moved his winning streak to three straight in February, defeating Brian Kelleher. A win over Assuncao would be his biggest of the streak currently.
Bout 12: Amanda Lemos (10-1-1) vs. Angela Hill (13-10) (Strawweight)
The quick climb up the strawweight division for Amanda Lemos will either continue or come to an abrupt stop on Saturday night when she faces the experienced Angela Hill.
Lemos has picked up four straight wins since late 2019. She had her most dominant performance yet in July, stopping Montserrat Conejo in just 35 seconds with strikes.
Hill, a UFC veteran of 18 fights, will be fighting to bounce back from a decision loss she took to Tecia Torres in August.
Bout 13: Stephen Thompson (16-5-1) vs. Belal Muhammad (19-3) (Welterweight)
A big fight in the welterweight division will take place in the co-main event when Stephen Thompson faces Belal Muhammad.
Muhammad has been one of the rising names at welterweight in recent years. He has gone undefeated since 2019, scoring five wins in that time. He was set to have his biggest test in March, facing Leon Edwards in a five-round main event. However, that fight only lasted 18 seconds and ended in a no contest due to an accidental eye poke.
Muhammad has not let that result stop his momentum, as he most recently beat veteran Demian Maia via unanimous decision in June.
Thompson provides a good test for Muhammad, as he has been one of the top welterweights for roughly five years now. His last fight was a decision loss to Gilbert Burns in July, which snapped a two-fight winning streak that he had developed since 2019.
Bout 14: Derrick Lewis (25-8) vs. Chris Daukaus (12-3) (Heavyweight)
Heavyweight prospect Chris Daukaus will be given his biggest challenge yet on Saturday night, facing Derrick Lewis in the main event of a UFC “Fight Night” card.
Daukaus has earned four first-or-second-round stoppage wins since joining the UFC, quickly making him a stand-out name in the division. He scored his last victory in September, putting Shamil Abdurakhimov away in the second round with strikes. The fight was his longest appearance since joining the promotion.
Daukaus has never gone five rounds as a pro, but that scenario might present itself on Saturday night.
Lewis is appearing for the first time since losing an interim title fight against Ciryl Gane in August. The near one-sided performance saw Gane shut Lewis out with strikes, eventually finishing him in the third round.
Lewis had put together a fair bit of momentum before then, earning four wins from 2019 to 2021. This included two main event wins, defeating Aleksei Oleinik and pulling off an upset finish against Curtis Blaydes.
On Saturday night, it will either be Lewis getting back on the right track or Daukaus continuing his blazing-fast campaign towards a title shot.