Rising lightweight contender Islam Makhachev will have another chance to make a statement on Saturday night when facing veteran Bobby Green. This fight wasn’t originally planned for Saturday, although it was made after Green stepped in for an injured Beneil Dariush.
The fight, which is being held at a catchweight of 160 pounds, is set to headline Saturday’s “Fight Night” card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Here’s a preview of the entire show.
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EST / 1:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 1: Victor Altamirano (10-1) vs. Carlos Hernandez (7-1) (Flyweight)
Talented flyweights Victor Altamirano and Carlos Hernandez will make their UFC debuts in the opening bout.
Both fighters joined the UFC roster last year after strong wins on TV program “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Altamirano appeared in August, fighting to a split decision against Carlos Candelario – in a fight that got both flyweights signed.
Just over a month later, Hernandez secured a split decision victory over Daniel Barez to join the UFC roster as well.
Bout 2: Ramiz Brahimaj (9-4) vs. Michael Gillmore (6-4) (Welterweight)
Moving down to welterweight, Michael Gillmore will face Ramiz Brahimaj on Saturday.
Gillmore competed on the most recent season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” joining the show as a short-notice replacement. After being eliminated from the middleweight tournament, he signed with the UFC and lost his debut to Andre Petroski last year.
Brahimaj has lost two of his three bouts in the UFC. His last fight came just last month, where Court McGee beat him via unanimous decision.
Bout 3: Alejandro Perez (22-8-1) vs. Jonathan Martinez (14-4) (Featherweight)
Featherweights will meet next, as Alejandro Perez and Jonathan Martinez will battle.
Martinez returned to the win column in October, defeating former LFA champ Zviad Lazishvili via unanimous decision.
Perez won in his return a few months back, securing a submission win over Johnny Eduardo. This was his first appearance since July 2019.
Bout 4: Terrance McKinney (11-3) vs. Fares Ziam (12-3) (Lightweight)
Flashy finisher Terrance McKinney will make his return against Fares Ziam on Saturday night. This fight was first booked for a November 2021 UFC card but was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.
McKinney had an impactful UFC debut in June 2021, stopping Matt Frevola in just six seconds with punches. This was his fourth win in the year that lasted shorter than two minutes, including two LFA appearances.
Ziam is on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC currently. His last outing saw him score a unanimous decision win against Luigi Vendramini.
Bout 5: Josiane Nunes (8-1) vs. Ramona Pascual (6-2) (Featherweight)
Ramona Pascual will make her UFC debut when facing Josiane Nunes at featherweight.
Pascual took the fight on short notice, stepping in to replace Jennifer Gonzalez. Nunes had a different opponent even before then, initially being booked to face Wu Yanan.
Pascual is getting the UFC call-up after earning a quick Invicta FC debut win last month, stopping Shamir Peshewa in just one minute with strikes.
Nunes made a statement in her UFC debut in August, stopping Bea Malecki in the first round with punches. This was her seventh consecutive victory as a pro.
Bout 6: Ignacio Bahamondes (12-4) vs. Rongzhu (19-4) (Lightweight)
The prelims are set to wrap up with a fight between Ignacio Bahamondes and Rongzhu.
Bahamondes scored his first UFC win in his last outing, landing a late wheel kick knockout against Roosevelt Roberts. This put him back into the win column after losing his UFC debut to John Makdessi.
Rongzhu is on a similar path, having lost his debut but just earned a win. His last victory saw him beat short-notice opponent Brandon Jenkins with strikes.
Rongzhu missed weight for this fight on Friday, coming in four pounds over the limit.
Main Card (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Bout 7: Gregory Rodrigues (11-3) vs. Armen Petrosyan (6-1) (Middleweight)
The UFC debut of Armen Petrosyan is scheduled to open the main card, as he will fight former LFA Middleweight Champion Gregory Rodrigues.
Petrosyan secured a UFC contract on the most recent season of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” defeating Kaloyan Kloev within a round with strikes.
Rodrigues has earned two wins since joining the UFC in 2021. He made a comeback in his most recent fight, rallying back to stop Park Jun-yong in the second round of a fight.
Bout 8: Arman Tsarukyan (17-2) vs. Joel Alvarez (19-2) (Lightweight)
Extensive lightweight winning streaks will collide in the next fight, as Arman Tsarukyan and Joel Alvarez will meet.
Tsarukyan has won four consecutive fights since 2019. His sole stoppage victory in that streak came in September 2021, finishing Christos Giagos in the first round of a fight.
Alvarez has also won four-in-a-row, although none of those fights have gone past the halfway point of a bout. He fought once in 2021, scoring a first-round finish win against Thiago Moises.
Bout 9: Priscila Cachoeira (10-4) vs. Kim Ji-yeon (9-4-2) (Flyweight)
Both fighting to get back into the win column, Priscila Cachoeira and Kim Ji-yeon will fight on the main card.
Cachoeira had a two-fight winning streak broken in December, suffering a submission loss to Gillian Robertson. Controversy came from this outcome, as it looked that Cachoeira was attempting to gouge the eyes of Robertson during the finishing sequence. She has since denied this allegation.
Kim risks the possibility of falling into a three-fight losing streak on Saturday. She has lost her last two fights, getting beat by Alexa Grasso and Molly McCann in recent years.
Bout 10: Misha Cirkunov (15-7) vs. Wellington Turman (17-5) (Middleweight)
Middleweights will take the stage for the co-main event, as Misha Cirkunov and Wellington Turman will fight.
Turman broke a two-fight skid last year with a split decision win. However, that victory came against Sam Alvey, who was making his seventh consecutive appearance that didn’t result in a win.
Bout 11: Islam Makhachev (21-1) vs. Bobby Green (29-12-1) (Catchweight 160 lbs)
The long winning streak of Islam Makhachev will be put on the line again when he faces Bobby Green on Saturday night.
Makhachev was originally scheduled to have a big challenge in Saturday’s main event, facing fellow rising lightweight Beneil Dariush in a five-round fight. But plans had to change after Dariush withdrew due to an injury earlier this month.
Up to the plate stepped Green, who just picked up a win two weeks ago against Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 271. The UFC vet of over a dozen appearances took the fight, moving it up four pounds to a catchweight of 160 pounds due to the short-notice nature of it.
This opportunity is not only a big one because of what a win could do for Green, but it’s also the first time he has ever headlined a UFC card – a shocking stat considering he has spent more than a decade in the promotion and has maintained a positive record throughout.
Makhachev is currently on one of the longest winning streaks in the UFC. He has picked up nine consecutive wins since 2016. He won his first UFC main event bout last year, submitting Thiago Moises in the fourth round of a fight. He returned later in the year to beat Dan Hooker with a kimura submission.
Makhachev’s dominant climb up the lightweights could continue on Saturday night.