Light heavyweight contenders Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic headline the UFC’s Ohio return.
The Octagon will head to Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, March 26 for the event. The card takes place from the Nationwide Arena.
Along with Blachowicz vs. Rakic, No. 2 ranked flyweight Askar Askarov battles Kai Kara-France and Matt Brown meets Bryan Barberena.
No. 14-ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter Blachowicz (28-9, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland) aims to kick off his 2022 campaign with another spectacular KO victory.
During his UFC run, he has delivered memorable wins against Israel Adesanya, Dominick Reyes and Luke Rockhold.
Rakic (14-2, fighting out of Vienna, Austria) hopes to keep his momentum going following consecutive victories over former title challengers Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith.
A well-rounded competitor with KO power, he has also secured notable stoppage victories over Jimi Manuwa and Devin Clark.
Undefeated Askarov (14-0-1, fighting out of Khasavyurt, Dagestan, Russia) has wasted no time turning heads since joining the UFC roster in 2019. Kara-France (23-9 1NC, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand) is coming off a sensational KO victory against former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt last month.
Additional bouts on the card include
- MMA legend Matt Brown (25-8, fighting out of Columbus, Ohio) looks to steal the show in front of his hometown fans when he faces Bryan Barberena (16-8, fighting out of Gastonia, N.C. by way of Knoxville, Tenn.) in a welterweight bout guaranteed to deliver action
- No. 8 ranked women’s strawweight contender Michelle Waterson (18-9, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) squares off with No. 9 Amanda Ribas (11-2, fighting out of Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
- Nate Landwehr (14-5, fighting out of Clarksville, Tenn.) locks horns with unbeaten Lerone Murphy (11-0-1, fighting out of Manchester, England) in an intriguing featherweight bout
- No. 7 ranked women’s flyweight contender Joanne Wood (15-7, fighting out of Glasgow, Scotland) battles No. 11 Alexa Grasso (13-3, fighting out of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico)
- Tucker Lutz (12-2, fighting out of Baltimore, Md.) takes on SeungWoo Choi (10-4, fighting out of Gangneung, South Korea) in a featherweight matchup
- No. 9 ranked women’s bantamweight contender Sara McMann (12-6, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) meets No. 13 Karol Rosa (15-3, fighting out of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
- Rising bantamweight prospects collide when Montel Jackson (12-2, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) faces Danaa Batgerel (10-2, fighting out of Erdenetsagaan, Sukhbaatar, Mongolia)
- No. 8 ranked flyweight contender Matheus Nicolau (15-3-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) takes on No. 10 David Dvorak (20-3, fighting out of Horice, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic)
- Dana White’s Contender Series signee Aliaskhab Khizriev (13-0, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) squares off with Abus Magomedov (24-4-1, fighting out of Düsseldorf, Germany) in a clash of debuting middleweights