The UFC wraps up a three-week home stand in Las Vegas with a return to the UFC APEX for a card headlined by bantamweight contenders Holly Holm and Mayra Bueno Silva.
Here’s a look at this weekend’s playlist.
Main Event: Holly Holm vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
Location: UFC APEX — Las Vegas, NV
Where to Watch: ESPN / ESPN+
Other Main Card Matches:
- Albert Duraev vs. Junyong Park
- Walt Harris vs. Josh Parisian
- Norma Dumont vs. Chelsea Chandler
- Ottman Azaitar vs. Francisco Prado
- Nazim Sadykhov vs. Terrance McKinney
- Tucker Lutz vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan
- Viktoriia Dudakova vs. Istela Nunes
- Austin Lingo vs. Melquizael Costa
- Evan Elder vs. Genaro Valdez
- Tyson Nam vs. Azat Maksum
- Alexander Munoz vs. Carl Deaton
- Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Ailin Perez
Main Event: Holly Holm vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
Former champ Holly Holm looks to cement her position at the top of the division while streaking contender Mayra Bueno Silva aims to make a major statement in her first UFC main event on Saturday night.
Holm has been a steady, consistent presence at the top of the bantamweight division since her rookie campaign, which she capped by claiming UFC gold in dramatic fashion. Though she’s been unable to get a belt back around her waist, “The Preacher’s Daughter” is still the veteran anyone hoping to establish themselves as a legitimate title threat needs to beat in order to take that next step.
Bueno Silva went 2-2-1 as a flyweight but has quickly established herself as a threat in the 135-pound ranks, posting three straight wins and consecutive submission finishes over Stephanie Egger and Lina Lansberg. Now, “Sheetara” gets the step up in competition that she’s been after, and we’ll find out if she made a mistake asking for such a serious test.
With the title currently vacant and no details on a bout to crown a new champion confirmed as of yet, it’s not unreasonable to think that a strong outing from either woman here could put them in the mix for a championship opportunity next time out.
Other Main Card Fights
Albert Duraev vs. Junyong Park
Middleweights angling to take another step forward early in the second half of the year clash in the co-main event, as Albert Duraev faces off with Junyong Park.
A member of the Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) Class of ’21, Duraev has alternated wins and losses since landing on the roster, rebounding from a stoppage loss to Joaquin Buckley last summer with a split decision win over Chidi Njokuani earlier this year. Brandishing a 16-4 record overall and having won 11 of his last 12 fights, it’ll be interesting to see if Duraev can finally begin building a winning streak in the UFC.
Park has quietly put together three straight victories and a 6-1 mark over his last seven inside the Octagon, with his lone setback coming in a bonkers back-and-forth fight with Gregory Rodrigues in October 2021. “The Iron Turtle” has collected consecutive submission wins and is starting to look like a potential late bloomer of note in the 185-pound weight class.
Middleweight is always in need of new names working forward and whoever emerges victorious here should find themselves moving closer to cracking the rankings and facing an even more formidable name in the back half of the year.
Walt Harris vs. Josh Parisian
Walt Harris returns from a two-year hiatus, eager to snap a three-fight slide when he steps in with Josh Parisian this weekend.
“The Big Ticket” has been out of action since his June 2021 loss to Marcin Tybura, which followed stoppage losses to Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov. Harris seemed primed to make a run in the division before a terrible family tragedy brought his world crashing down. Hopefully now the 40-year-old heavyweight is ready to resume his career and get back to where he was prior to the loss of his daughter.
FREE FIGHT: Holly Holm vs Yana Santos
Parisian has alternated results since coming off Season 4 of the Contender Series, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to Jamal Pogues. The big fella from West Virginia has shown flashes of power and upside in the past, but hasn’t been able to string together consistent results, which makes this a critical assignment on Saturday.
Will Harris’ return to the Octagon come with a return to the win column or will Parisian continue his pattern of results and pick up a third UFC victory?
Norma Dumont vs. Chelsea Chandler
For the second time in three weeks, action pops off in the featherweight division, as Norma Dumont faces off with Chelsea Chandler.
The 32-year-old Dumont enters on a two-fight winning streak and having won five of six since dropping her promotional debut. Back in April, she outworked Karol Rosa en route to a unanimous decision victory, further cementing her standing as a solid presence in the middle of either the 135- or 145-pound weight classes, and someone that should remain a tough out wherever she lands long term.
FREE FIGHT: Mayra Bueno Silva vs Lina Lansberg
Chandler debuted last October with a first-round technical knockout victory over Julija Stoliarenko to run her winning streak to five. A member of the Nick Diaz Army, the 29-year-old carries herself with the same swagger as the rest of the Stockton crew.
This one was booked before Amanda Nunes announced her departure from the sport, so it’s difficult to know what a victory here does for either woman, in terms of their divisional positioning. Both are ranked at bantamweight — Dumont is No. 13, Chandler No. 15 — and a return to those surrounds could be likely in the future for both parties.
Ottman Azaitar vs. Francisco Prado
In lightweight action, Ottman Azaitar looks to bounce back from his first professional setback in a clash with Argentinian sophomore Francisco Prado.
Azaitar registered first-round stoppage wins over Teemu Packalen and Khama Worthy in his first two UFC appearances to run his record to 13-0 overall. But last November in New York City, “The Bulldozer” got steamrolled by Matt Frevola, who knocked him out at the exact midway point of the opening round.
Prado made his promotional debut in February at UFC 284, venturing to Perth, Australia and turning in a valiant effort in defeat against Jamie Mullarkey. Now, the 21-year-old gets the chance to compete in the Octagon with the benefit of a full training camp and no major travel, in hopes of showcasing the skills that carried him to 11 consecutive victories to start his career prior to his last outing.
Will Azaitar rebound quickly or can the youngster hand him a second straight loss while registering the first UFC victory of his career?
Nazim Sadykhov vs. Terrance McKinney
It’s an appetizing lightweight tussle to open the main card as Nazim Sadykhov squares off with Terrance McKinney on Saturday night.
Sadykhov followed up his DWCS win last fall with a third-round stoppage victory over Evan Elder in his debut. After bursting onto the scene with a seven-second knockout win over Sadykhov’s teammate Frevola two summers ago, McKinney has gone 2-2 in his last four outings, most recently getting felled by Ismael Bonfim at UFC 283 in January.
Tucker Lutz vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan
Tucker Lutz and Melsik Baghdasaryan both competed on Season 4, Week 5 of Dana White’s Contender series. Now they face each other in the UFC Octagon.
Lutz needed a second victory that season to punch his ticket to the big show before winning his promotional debut but has since dropped back-to-back appearances. Baghdasaryan had his seven-fight winning streak snapped last time out by Joshua Culibao, and looks to return to the form that carried him to wins over Dennis Buzukja and Bruno Silva.
Viktoriia Dudakova vs. Istela Nunes
Unbeaten newcomer Viktoriia Dudakova looks to continue her winning ways as she makes the walk to the Octagon for the first time on Saturday, where she’ll meet tough Brazilian Istela Nunes.
Dudakova has never been beaten in MMA, going 6-0 as an amateur before matching that record with a DWCS win over Maria Silva last August. Nunes has enjoyed positive moments in each of her previous UFC appearances, but has yet to carry it through a full fight and heads into this one on a three-fight slide.
Austin Lingo vs. Melquizael Costa
Featherweights Austin Lingo and Melquizael Costa face off in a preliminary card matchup with legitimate Fight of the Night potential.
Fortis MMA’s Lingo had a two-fight winning streak halted by Nate Landwehr last time out, while Costa debuted up a division against Thiago Moises, losing by submission in the second round. Both men are action oriented and focused on getting back to their winning ways, so expect fireworks for as long as this one lasts.
Evan Elder vs. Genaro Valdez
Elder lost his debut at welterweight, and then dropped a fight to Sadykhov earlier this year as a result of a gnarly cut above his eye. After starting his career with 10 straight victories, Valdez has also been saddled with consecutive defeats to start his UFC run. Something has got to give in this one.
Tyson Nam vs. Azat Maksum
The 39-year-old Nam is a power hitter in a division usually known for its speed and technique, and returns here looking to rebound from a second-round stoppage loss to Bruno Silva in March. Sporting a 16-0 record, the 28-year-old Maksum is an intriguing addition to the division who will look to maintain his winning ways now that he’s been called up to the big leagues.
Alexander Munoz vs. Carl Deaton
Alexander Munoz and Carl Deaton meet in this clash of lightweights searching for their first UFC victory.
Munoz returns for the first time since April 2021, looking to get back on track after dropping consecutive contests to Nasrat Haqparast and Luis Pena. Deaton subbed in for Benoit Saint-Denis against Joe Solecki in February, suffering a second-round submission loss that halted his tidy two-fight winning streak.
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Ailin Perez
Veteran Ashlee Evans-Smith faces off with Ailin Perez in Saturday’s bantamweight opener.
Fighting for the first time in two-and-a-half years, Evans-Smith aims to snap a two-fight skid and get one step closer to leveling her record inside the Octagon. Perez talked about facing Amanda Nunes heading into her promotional debut, but thus far, the confident Argentinian has yet to register a victory through two starts.
UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Bueno Silva took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!