UFC on ABC 3: Ortega vs. Rodriguez Preview

UFC will be given a big platform to present a late-afternoon card this Saturday. This week’s show will be at the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York, USA, and will be broadcast on the U.S. TV network ABC. The event marks just the third time that UFC has broadcast on the channel since first entering into a deal with their sister network, ESPN, in 2019.

High-level featherweights Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez will headline the card. They’re both aiming to return after losing in recent high-profile fights in the division. A win this weekend for either would keep them around the title picture at 145-pounds.

Here’s a full preview of the card.

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

Preliminary Card (11:00AM EDT) (ESPN / TSN 2)

Bout 1: Jessica Penne (14-5) vs. Emily Ducote (11-6) (Strawweight)

Short-notice UFC newcomer Emily Ducote will get a big opportunity on Saturday morning, facing Jessica Penne in a strawweight bout.

Ducote reportedly took this fight to replace Brianna Fortino. She’s joining the promotion after a strong recent run in Invicta FC, earning their title in 2021 with a highlight reel knockout. Ducote’s last win came in May, when a doctor stoppage forced opponent Alesha Zappitella out of their fight.

Penne will be fighting to follow up on a strong return. Appearing for the first time since 2017, Penne picked up two wins last year. Most notably, she scored a first-round submission victory over Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Bout 2: Dwight Grant (11-5) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (13-4) (Middleweight)

Both potentially fighting to keep their UFC careers alive, Dwight Grant and Dustin Stoltzfus will fight on Saturday’s prelims.

Stoltzfus is winless in the UFC thus far. He has taken three consecutive losses since first joining the promotion in 2020. His last bout came in late 2021 when he was submitted by Gerald Meerschaert.

Grant, a seven-fight UFC vet, is currently on the only two-fight losing streak of his career. His previous defeat came in April when Sergey Khandozhko stopped in in the second round with strikes.

Bout 3: Dustin Jacoby (17-5-1) vs. Jung Da-un (15-2-1) (Light Heavyweight)

In a matchup between rising light heavyweights, Dustin Jacoby and Jung Da-un will compete.

Jacoby has quickly attained five wins and one draw since joining the UFC roster in late 2020. His last appearance came in March when he went the distance against Michal Oleksiejczuk for a decision victory.

Jung has also yet to lose since joining the UFC roster. He had picked up four wins and one draw since debuting in 2019. He is coming off a finish victory from last year, stopping Kennedy Nzechukwu in the first round with strikes.

Bout 4: Bill Algeo (15-6) vs. Herbert Bruns (11-3) (Featherweight)

Bill Algeo and Herbert Burns will fight next. This matchup was made after both of their previous matchups were removed from the card. Algeo was first scheduled to face Billy Quarantillo, and Burns was expected to battle Khussein Askhabov.

Burns is returning after nearly two years outside of the UFC cage. He took his first pro loss in his last appearance, getting stopped by veteran Daniel Pineda at UFC 252. He had some momentum before then, having put together a pair of first-round finish wins.

Algeo has earned two wins and two losses since entering the UFC. His last victory was a decision over Joanderson Brito.

Bout 5: Ricky Simon (19-3) vs. Jack Shore (16-0) (Bantamweight)

Undefeated bantamweight prospect Jack Shore will challenge Ricky Simon on Saturday night.

Shore has put together five wins since joining the UFC in 2019. His last victory came in March when he went three rounds against tough contender Timur Valiev for a unanimous decision win.

Simon has put together a solid run in recent years and is currently on a four-fight winning streak. He capped off a highly successful 2021 with a victory in December, stopping veteran Raphael Assuncao with strikes.

Bout 6: Punahele Soriano (8-2) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (11-4) (Middleweight)

Middleweights Punahele Soriano and Dalcha Lungiambula will wrap up the prelims.

Both names are due for a win. Soriano has lost two straight fights as of late, dropping decisions to Brendan Allen and Nick Maximov. A win on Saturday would take him out of the only losing streak he has faced as a pro.

Lungiambula will also be fighting to snap a two-fight skid. This losing streak includes a recent submission loss to Cody Brundage.

Main Card (2:00PM EDT) (ABC / TSN 2)

Bout 7: Lauren Murphy (15-5) vs. Miesha Tate (19-8) (Flyweight)

Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate will make her flyweight debut on Saturday night, facing Lauren Murphy in the opening bout of the main card.

Tate made her return last year, competing for the first time since retiring in 2016. She won in her first bout back, stopping Marion Reneau. But her campaign toward another bantamweight title fight came to an end later that year, as she lost a main event bout to Ketlen Vieira via decision.

Murphy is a high-up name in the flyweight division. She is appearing for the first time since losing a title fight to Valentina Shevchenko last year. Before then, she had a five-fight winning streak in the weight class.

UFC has been looking to make this fight for quite some time now. It was first set for a card in May and was moved to this show after previously being targeted for UFC 276.

Bout 8: Shane Burgos (14-3) vs. Charles Jourdain (13-4-1) (Featherweight)

Featherweight talents Shane Burgos and Charles Jourdain are scheduled to meet in the next fight.

Jourdain scored a quick victory earlier this year, submitting Lando Vannata in the opening round with a guillotine choke.

Burgos snapped a two-fight skid in his last outing, defeating Billy Quarantillo. The prior losses came against respectable names in the division, dropping fights to Edson Barboza and Josh Emmett.

Bout 9: Matt Schnell (15-7) vs. Sumudaerji (16-4) (Flyweight)

Sumudaerji will attempt to keep his winning streak alive this weekend when he faces Matt Schnell.

Sumudaerji has won a trio of fights since 2019. His last win was actually quite a while ago now, defeating Zarrukh Adashev via decision in early 2021.

Schnell has lost two straight fights, albeit against two top names in Rogerio Bontorin and Brandon Royval. That latter defeat was quite recently, getting submitted in May at UFC 274.

Bout 10: Li Jingliang (18-7) vs. Muslim Salikhov (18-2) (Welterweight)

Muslim Salikhov will return this weekend against Li Jingliang.

Salikhov has slowly put together a good winning streak. While he has only fought twice a year at most since 2018, Salikhov has now strung together five consecutive wins. His last victory came more than a year ago now, beating Francisco Trinaldo on scorecards in June 2021.

Li’s last fight saw him get submitted in the first round by super-prospect Khamzat Chimaev. Before then, he had a first-round finish victory over Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Bout 11: Michelle Waterson (18-9) vs. Amanda Lemos (11-2-1) (Strawweight)

Returning to strawweight, Michelle Waterson will face Amanda Lemos in the co-main event of Saturday’s card.

Waterson has only appeared a few times since 2020. Her last strawweight appearance was in September 2020, when she went five rounds against Angela Hill to take a razor-thin split decision win.

Waterson’s most recent appearance was a one-off at flyweight, losing a main event bout to Marina Rodriguez in May 2021.

Lemos is appearing after having a strong run in the division recently stopped. The contender headlined a card in April against former titleholder Jessica Andrade. That fight was a quick loss for Lemos, as she was submitted in the fourth minute with a standing arm triangle choke.

Lemos had an impressive run at 115-pounds before then, earning five wins since 2019 with three of them coming via stoppage.

Lemos will have the chance to start a new strawweight campaign this weekend against a veteran name.

Bout 12: Brian Ortega (15-2) vs. Yair Rodriguez (13-3) (Featherweight)

High-ranked featherweights Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez will close out the afternoon of fights. As previously mentioned in the article, both names will be appearing with the goal of bouncing back from a recent high-profile loss.

Ortega’s last appearance was as big as it could get. He challenged featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266, pushing for a championship for the second time in his career. He came up short yet again, going the distance against Volkanovski, nearly getting a submission at one point but losing a unanimous decision in the end.

Rodriguez’s last appearance came against former titleholder, Max Holloway. Like Ortega did in his last fight, he went the distance but did not prevail in the end. This loss was only his second defeat since joining the UFC roster in 2014.

Despite both recently losing Ortega and Rodriguez are undoubtedly high up in the featherweight division. The result on Saturday night will likely keep one of them in that upper echelon, but who exactly that will be is not known yet.

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