UFC on ESPN+ 71: Kattar vs. Allen Preview

Arnold Allen’s first-ever UFC main event appearance will come this Saturday from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The featherweight prospect will compete for up to five rounds while on the hunt for his 10th win in the promotion.

But for Allen to get that landmark win, he’ll have to get past a veteran name in Calvin Kattar.

Kattar brings with him experience in the main event spot and a history of stopping some fighters’ climb up the rankings in the division. He’ll try to shut down another dream at featherweight in his appearance this weekend.

A total of 11 fights are expected to take place on Saturday. Here’s a preview of the full card.

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

Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 4)

Bout 1: Joshua Weems (10-2) vs. Christian Rodriguez (7-1) (Bantamweight)

In the first of a few UFC debuts on this card, Joshua Weems will fight Christian Rodriguez.

Weems joined this card on short notice, stepping in to replace Garrett Armfield. He is a “Dana White’s Contender Series” alum and enters this bout on a two-fight winning streak. He earned the Fury FC Bantamweight Championship in his last showing, submitting Mo Miller in June.

Rodriguez is fighting for his first UFC win. He lost his debut in February, dropping a unanimous decision to Jonathan Pearce. He had an undefeated record of seven wins on the regional scene before then.

Bout 2: Cody Durden (13-4-1) vs. Carlos Mota (8-1) (Flyweight)

Former LFA Flyweight Champion Carlos Mota will get his first UFC appearance this Saturday, facing Cody Durden.

Like the first fight of the night, Mota is a short-notice fighter. He is replacing Kleydson Rodrigues, who was originally scheduled to face Durden.

Mota has a strong record of eight wins and one loss. He earned the LFA flyweight title in his second push for the belt recently, scoring a first-round stoppage victory against Rizvan Abuev.

Durden has an even UFC record of two wins, two losses, and one draw since entering the promotion in 2020. His last fight was a fast win, stopping JP Buys in just 68 seconds with punches.

Bout 3: Chase Hooper (11-2-1) vs. Steve Garcia (12-5) (Featherweight)

Featherweights Chase Hooper and Steve Garcia will meet in the next fight.

Hooper earned a finish victory earlier this year, stopping Felipe Colares in the third round with strikes. This put him back into the win column after losing a decision to Steven Peterson in 2021.

Garcia is coming off a loss, having been finished in just over a minute by Maheshate in June. He’ll be looking to even his UFC record to a pair of wins and losses each this Saturday.

Bout 4: Joseph Holmes (8-2) vs. Park Jun-yong (14-5) (Middleweight)

Riding the momentum of his first UFC win, Joseph Holmes will face experienced middleweight Park Jun-yong.

Holmes made a statement in his first UFC win earlier this year, catching Alen Amedovski with a rear naked choke in the first round. His prior UFC fight came in January when he dropped a decision to Jamie Pickett.

Park has much more UFC experience, having fought for the promotion six times since 2019. He notably had a three-fight winning streak at one point but had it disrupted in late 2021 when he suffered a finish defeat at the hands of Gregory Rodrigues. He has since bounced back with a win over Eryk Anders this year.

Bout 5: Andrei Arlovski (34-20) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (19-8-1) (Heavyweight)

One of the most experienced fighters in UFC history, Andrei Arlovski, will return on the prelims to face Marcos Rogerio de Lima.

Arlovski is currently tied with Donald Cerrone for the second-most fights in UFC history, at 38. The moment that the first-round timer starts for this fight on Saturday, Arlovski will be the sole holder of that position on the standings.

Arlovski is currently on a solid run of four consecutive wins. This is the best campaign of wins that he has put together since 2015, for reference. He has earned two of those wins this year, going the distance against Jared Vanderaa and Jake Collier.

Rogerio de Lima will be fighting to bounce back from a decision loss that he suffered against Blagoy Ivanov via a decision earlier this year.

Bout 6: Roman Dolidze (10-1) vs. Phil Hawes (12-3) (Middleweight)

The prelims will wrap up with a middleweight fight between Roman Dolidze and Phil Hawes.

Dolidze’s UFC run thus far has been quite strong, attaining four wins through five fights. His last victory was his quickest win in the promotion yet, putting away Kyle Daukaus in the second minute with strikes.

Hawes has similarly only lost once in the UFC thus far. He bounced back from that defeat in his last fight, overcoming Deron Winn in June.

Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 4)

Bout 7: Dustin Jacoby (18-5-1) vs. Khalil Rountree (10-5) (Light Heavyweight)

Dustin Jacoby will look to keep his light heavyweight campaign alive this Saturday when he faces Khalil Rountree.

Jacoby has seen a high level of success since kicking off his second UFC run in 2020. He has appeared seven times since then, with the only non-win result being a draw. His last appearance was only three months back when he stopped Jung Da-un in the first round with strikes.

Rountree is entering this weekend on a two-fight winning streak, with both victories coming via finish. He snapped a two-fight skid in that first appearance, defeating Modestas Bukauskas with a kick to his lead leg. Rountree then returned this year to stop Karl Roberson with punches.

Bout 8: Tresean Gore (3-2) vs. Josh Fremd (9-3) (Middleweight)

Middleweights Tresean Gore and Josh Fremd will search for their first UFC win in the next matchup.

Gore was expected to compete in the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2021 against Bryan Battle. However, after he suffered an injury, he was forced out of that tournament fight.

Gore ended up receiving that match against Battle again, this time in February 2022. Battle prevailed, winning via decision in that appearance. Gore has since dropped another fight, getting finished by Cody Brundage in July.

Fremd joined the UFC roster in 2022 after a submission win on a regional FAC card. This win came after a successful run in notable promotion LFA, where he earned four wins and appeared in a title fight.

Fremd lost his first UFC appearance in April, not getting the decision nod against Anthony Hernandez.

Bout 9: Waldo Cortes-Acosta (7-0) vs. Jared Vanderaa (12-9) (Heavyweight)

Undefeated heavyweight Waldo Cortes-Acosta will make his UFC debut on Saturday’s main card against Jared Vanderaa.

Cortes-Acosta joined the UFC roster in August after a first-round finish victory over Danilo Suzart on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Before then he had six wins as a pro, including two appearances in LFA and one fight in Bellator.

Vanderaa will be fighting to snap a heavily unsuccessful UFC run. He has lost four of his five fights since joining the roster in late 2020. His last fight, which came against Chase Sherman in July, saw him get stopped late due to punches.

Bout 10: Tim Means (32-13-1) vs. Max Griffin (18-9) (Welterweight)

Welterweights Tim Means and Max Griffin will get the co-main event spotlight of the evening. Both fighters are in a similar position, having suffered a loss in their last appearance but gaining some momentum prior to then.

Means, a UFC veteran of more than a decade now, had a three-fight winning streak snapped in June when he suffered a submission loss to Kevin Holland. His previous victories were attained in 2020 and 2021.

Griffin was on the losing side of a split decision again Neil Magny in March. He had a trio of victories prior to then, including a win against veteran Carlos Condit and two finish wins.

Bout 11: Calvin Kattar (23-6) vs. Arnold Allen (18-1) (Featherweight)

Arnold Allen will get his big test in Saturday’s main event, taking on Calvin Kattar in a main event fight.

As previously noted, this will be Allen’s first time appearing in a five-round UFC bout.

Allen has slowly but surely worked his way toward this position. He first joined the UFC roster in 2015, and has yet to lose since then. This weekend, he’ll be searching for his 10th consecutive victory in the promotion.

Allen’s last fight was a big win, putting away contender Dan Hooker within a round. Notable previous wins include outings against Sodiq Yusuff and Gilbert Melendez. Now he’ll get a new experience, competing for up to five rounds in the UFC cage.

Kattar is certainly no stranger to main event UFC fights. This weekend will be the fifth consecutive time that he headlines a card for the promotion. In recent years he has been used as a tough test for featherweights that have tried to make it up the ranks.

Early this year, Kattar stopped the momentum of rising featherweight Giga Chikadze, beating him in a five-round unanimous decision result. Things went in the opposite direction this summer, as Josh Emmett beat Kattar in a decision and continued his climb up the 145-pound ranks.

Things can go either way for Allen this weekend. He can become a name that overcomes Kattar and continues to inch near the top of a stacked division, or he can suffer a major setback in his first appearance in the main event spotlight.

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