Leon “Rocky” Edwards challenges former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos at welterweight in the main event of the evening. Although born in Kingston, Jamaica, Edwards grew up in Birmingham and still trains in the West Midlands to this day. Wins over Gunnar Nelson and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone have propelled the Brit to number 12 in the UFC welterweight rankings, however he undoubtedly faces the toughest test of his career on Saturday night. Dos Anjos, who earned the nickname ‘jeguinho’ (little donkey) growing up in Brazil for his ability to handle the toughest of challengers, earned a victory over Kevin Lee in his last bout. A win here could place both men in the title fight conversation and Edwards will have to be at his very best to beat his far more experienced and established opponent.
Also in action this weekend are a further two European fighters on the event’s main card. No. 9 ranked UFC® heavyweight veteran Aleksei “The Boa Constrictor” Oleinik, who fights out of Moscow, Russia, will face no. 14 ranked Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris in a crucial matchup in the heavyweight division. Oleinik, who recently celebrated his 42nd birthday, will look to take this fight to the ground to counteract the power of Harris, who has knocked out 100% of his opponents to date. “The Boa Constrictor” is by far the toughest test of Harris’ young career, which he began surprisingly late, aged 28. Belarusian Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski will also fight American Ben Rothwell in their bout at heavyweight. A rematch more than 10 years in the making, Arlovski defeated Rothwell by TKO when the pair met for the first time in 2008. A lot has changed since then however, and it will be interesting to see if Arlovksi can triumph once again in Sacramento.
This weekend also showcases two female matchups in the prelims. Raquel “Rocky” Pennington will look to return to winning ways against Irene Aldana, who is currently on a 3-fight win streak. Current form, and the fact that 7 of her 8 career finishes have come inside the first round, should see Aldana listed as a slight favourite for this one. However, if Pennington can fight at her former best, she could pose a real threat to the Mexican. Also facing off are veterans Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi and Jennifer Maia in a flyweight bout. This will mark a rematch of the pair’s 2016 contest, in which Maia came out on top. Friends outside of the Octagon®, the respect Maia and “The Happy Warrior” have for one another undoubtedly adds another dynamic to this matchup.
Tune in to watch all the action live as it unfolds this weekend.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Leon “Rocky” Edwards
Aleksei “The Boa Constrictor” Oleinik vs. Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris
Greg “Prince of War” Hardy vs. Juan “The Kraken” Adams
James “The Texecutioner” Vick vs Dan “The Hangman” Hooker
Alexander “The Great” Hernandez vs. Franciso “Massaranduba” Trinaldo
Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski vs. Ben Rothwell
Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres vs. Steven “Ocho” Peterson
Raquel “Rocky” Pennington vs. Irene Aldana
Sam “Smile’n” Alvey vs. Klidson “White Bear” Abreu
Roxanne “The Happy Warrior” Modafferi vs. Jennifer Maia
Ray “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg vs. Gabriel Silva
Mario Bautista vs. Jin Soo Son
Dom “Son of Fire” Pilarte vs. Felipe “Cabocao” Colares