Sports

UFC Returns To Philadelphia With Barboza Vs Gaethje

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to Philadelphia for the first time since August 2011 when UFC: Barboza v Gaethje is held at the Wells Fargo Centre on Sunday, 31 March 2019 live on DStv’s SS6 at 12:00am.

The event is headlined by a Lightweight match between Edson Barboza (20-6-0) and Justin Gaethje (19-2-0). Barboza, 33, is ranked sixth in the division and was last in action in December 2018, when he defeated Dan Hooker (TKO in the third round) at UFC: Lee v Iaquinta 2 in Milwaukee.

It was a return to form for the Brazilian, who had lost his two previous bouts against Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov in April 2018 and December 2017 respectively.

Gaethje, 30, is ranked seventh in the division and was last in action in August last year when he defeated James Vick (KO in the first round) at UFC: Gaethje v Vick in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Like Barboza, Gaethje had lost his two previous fights – to Dustin Poirier in April 2018 and Eddie Alvarez in December 2017 – and this battle between the Brazilian and American will be key to their respective hopes of rising up the ranks.

The co-main event is a Middleweight fight between David Branch (22-5-0) and Jack Hermansson (18-4-0). The 37-year-old Branch has lost two of his last three fights and will be eager to prove that his career still has some miles left to run, while 30-year-old Hermansson is a rising force in the division after winning four of his last five outings.

Also on the main card for the event in Philadelphia, Josh Emmett (13-2-0) takes on Michael Johnson (19-13-0) in a Featherweight match; a Women Strawweight battle sees Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-3-0) face Michelle Waterson (16-6-0); Light Heavyweights Kennedy Nzechukwu (5-0-0) and Paul Craig (10-3-0) will go to battle; and Sodiq Yusuff (8-1-0) faces Sheymon Moraes (11-2-0) in the Featherweight division.

UFC: Barboza v Gaethje – Main Card
Main event: Lightweight: Edson Barboza (20-6-0) v Justin Gaethje (19-2-0)
Co-main event: Middleweight: David Branch (22-5-0) v Jack Hermansson (18-4-0)
Featherweight: Josh Emmett (13-2-0) v Michael Johnson (19-13-0)
Women Strawweight: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (12-3-0) v Michelle Waterson (16-6-0)
Light Heavyweight: Kennedy Nzechukwu (5-0-0) v Paul Craig (10-3-0)
Featherweight: Sodiq Yusuff (8-1-0) v Sheymon Moraes (11-2-0)

Preliminary Card
Women Strawweight: Alexa Grasso (10-2-0) v Marina Rodriguez (10-0-1)
Lightweight: Ross Pearson (20-15-0, 1 NC) v Desmond Green (21-8-0)
Featherweight: Enrique Barzola (15-3-1) v Kevin Aguilar (16-1-0)
Middleweight: Kevin Holland (13-4-0) v Gerald Meerschaert (28-10-0)


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