UFC on ESPN+ 72: Rodriguez vs. Lemos Preview

High-ranked strawweights Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Lemos will look to get one step closer to a title shot in this Saturday’s UFC “Fight Night” main event. Their bout is headlining a 12-fight card that is scheduled to take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Here’s a full preview of the night.

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

Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 3)

Bout 1: Ramona Pascual (6-4) vs. Tamires Vidal (6-1) (Bantamweight)

UFC newcomer Tamires Vidal will face Ramona Pascual in the first fight of the evening.

Pascual is joining the UFC roster on a five-fight winning streak. She notably appeared on an LFA card earlier this year, scoring a second-round heel hook submission over Queila Braga.

Pascual is currently on the hunt for her first UFC win. She has competed twice up at featherweight for the promotion, losing to Josiane Nunes and Joselyne Edwards this year.

Pascual missed weight in an attempt at reaching bantamweight on Friday, coming in one pound over the non-championship limit.

Bout 2: Jake Hadley (8-1) vs. Carlos Candelario (8-2) (Flyweight)

Flyweights Jake Hadley and Carlos Candelario will look to bounce back from unsuccessful UFC debuts when they meet this weekend.

Hadley suffered his only pro defeat thus far in his first UFC fight, losing a unanimous decision to Allan Nascimento in May. He had eight wins before then, including appearances in Cage Warriors and a fight for Bellator.

Candelario’s UFC debut saw him lose to Tatsuro Taira in May. That fight was his second consecutive loss. Previously, he lost a split decision to Victor Altamirano on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” While he was unsuccessful in that fight, the competitive nature of the contest earned him a UFC contract in 2021.

Candelario missed weight for the fight, coming in two-and-a-half pounds over the flyweight limit.

Bout 3: Johnny Munoz Jr. (11-2) vs. Liudvik Sholinian (9-2-1) (Bantamweight)

Over at bantamweight, Liudvik Sholinian and Johnny Munoz Jr. will face off.

Munoz Jr. currently holds a UFC record of one win and two losses. He had a quick defeat in his last showing, getting put away in just over a minute by Tony Gravely.

Sholinian joined the UFC roster last year after competing in season 29 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” He lost in his first appearance, suffering a unanimous decision defeat against then-undefeated prospect Jack Shore.

Bout 4: Jinh Yu Frey (11-7) vs. Polyana Viana (12-5) (Strawweight)

Jinh Yu Frey and Polyana Viana will look to return to the win column in a strawweight meeting.

Viana had a two-fight winning streak broken in her last appearance, taking a unanimous decision loss to prospect Tabatha Ricci.

Similarly, Frey’s streak of two wins came to an end in June when former LFA Strawweight Champion Vanessa Demopoulos beat her on scorecards.

Bout 5: Mario Bautista (10-2) vs. Benito Lopez (10-1) (Bantamweight)

Benito Lopez will make his return this weekend, facing Mario Bautista in a bantamweight fight.

Lopez will be making his first appearance in over three years. His last fight dates back to July 2019, when he defeated Vince Morales on scorecards. That was his second win through three appearances in the promotion.

Bautista will be aiming to cap off a successful 2022 with a third win. His previous victories this year saw him beat Jay Perrin on scorecards and submit Brian Kelleher early.

Lopez’s return already comes with a blemish: the bantamweight missed weight on Friday, weighing in 138.5 pounds, which is two-and-a-half pounds over the limit.

Bout 6: Miranda Maverick (10-4) vs. Shanna Young (8-4) (Flyweight)

The prelims will wrap up with a flyweight fight between Miranda Maverick and Shanna Young.

Young scored her first UFC win in April, stopping Gina Mazany with strikes. She had a pair of losses in the promotion before then.

Maverick snapped a two-fight losing streak in her last fight, submitting Sabina Mazo in March. Her UFC record is a combined three wins and two losses since debuting in 2020.

Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 3)

Bout 7: Darrick Minner (26-13) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (37-10) (Featherweight)

Experienced featherweights Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke will kick off the main card.

Minner will be fighting to avoid falling into a three-fight losing streak. His two defeats in this current run came in 2021, getting finished by Darren Elkins and not being favored on scorecards against Ryan Hall.

On the other hand, Shayilan is on a winning streak currently. He picked up his second straight victory in June, beating TJ Brown on scorcards.

Bout 8: Mark Madsen (12-0) vs. Grant Dawson (18-1-1) (Lightweight)

Rising lightweights Mark Madsen and Grant Dawson will meet as part of Saturday night’s show.

Both Madsen and Dawson have yet to lose since joining the UFC roster.

Dawson made his UFC debut in 2019. He quickly shot up the lightweight ranks, scoring five wins in his first few years. That streak was broken in October 2021, when he settled for a draw result against Ricky Glenn.

Dawson has since picked up another victory, submitting Jared Gordon in April.

Madsen, an undefeated fighter through 12 fights, has had a shorter UFC run. He has picked up four wins since joining the promotion in 2019. Madsen beat veterans in his last two fights, overcoming Clay Guida and Vinc Pichel on scorecards.

Dawson was one of the many names that missed weight for their fight this weekend. He came in one-and-a-half pounds over the contract limit at lightweight.

Bout 9: Tagir Ulanbekov (13-2) vs. Nate Maness (14-2) (Flyweight)

Nate Maness will make his flyweight debut this weekend against Tagir Ulanbekov.

Maness previously competed as high as featherweight in the UFC. He started his promotional run with three consecutive victories, including two finishes. He is moving weight classes after taking his first UFC loss, being given a decision defeat against Umar Nurmagomedov in June.

While not moving weight classes, Ulanbekov is similarly coming off his first UFC loss. That bout came in March, when Tim Elliott prevailed in a decision result.

Ulanbekov previously beat Bruno Silva and Allan Nascimento in the UFC.

Bout 10: Josh Parisian (15-5) vs. Chase Sherman (16-10) (Heavyweight)

The sole heavyweight bout of the evening will see Josh Parisian and Chase Sherman collide.

Parisian has yet to put together two consecutive wins since he joined the UFC roster in 2020. However, that can end this weekend, as he is coming off a finish victory against Alan Baudot from June. Parisian’s UFC record is currently two wins and two losses.

Sherman snapped an extensive four-fight losing streak in his last fight, earning a late finish victory against Jared Vanderaa.

Bout 11: Neil Magny (26-9) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (17-2) (Welterweight)

Veteran Neil Magny will make an appearance in the co-main event against rising talent Daniel Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has put together some momentum in recent years, having earned four consecutive wins since early 2021. His last win was against Li Jingliang in September, a fight that was notably made on less than a day’s notice after a big change to the UFC 279 lineup that week.

Rodriguez’s most notable win arguably remains his August 2021 decision victory against Kevin Lee.

Magny’s last fight was a submission loss to undefeated contender Shavkat Rakhmonov. Prior fights saw him beat Max Griffin and Geoff Neal on scorecards.

Bout 12: Marina Rodriguez (16-1-2) vs. Amanda Lemos (12-2-1) (Strawweight)

Strawweights Marina Rodriguez and Amanda Lemos will get the main event spotlight this Saturday.

Rodriguez and Lemos weren’t originally scheduled to headline this card. However, after a fight between undefeated featherweights Bryce Mitchell and Movsar Evloev departed the lineup, this matchup was elevated to headliner status.

The booking gives Lemos a chance to earn her first UFC main event victory. She appeared in her first UFC five-round bout in April against former champion Jessica Andrade. That fight didn’t go her way at all, as she was caught in an arm triangle choke in the first round to force a finish.

Apart from that one loss, Lemos has been on fire as of late. The strawweight has won six of her seven fights since 2019, including a recent submission against veteran Michelle Waterson-Gomez.

Rodriguez has been on a roll since 2021. Her current winning streak kicked off with a big win at UFC 257, earning a stoppage win against Amanda Ribas.

Rodriguez then picked up two consecutive main event wins later that year, going the distance against Waterson-Gomez and Mackenzie Dern to win in both instances.

She’s now entering this weekend after beating Yan Xiaonan via split decision earlier this year.

Rodriguez and Lemos both enter this card with a strong resume in the UFC. One of them will further elevate themselves this weekend, putting them one step closer to a title shot.

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