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Where: Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA.
When: Saturday, March 30, 3:30PM EST
How (TV): Early prelims on ESPN+, prelims and main card on ESPN.
This main event is sure to be a striking fans delight as the always dangerous Edson Barboza takes on the steel-headed Justin Gaethje.
Barboza, age 33, is currently ranked sixth in the UFC lightweight (155lbs) division. His last fight was on December 15, 2018 at UFC on Fox 31. It was there where Barboza fought and defeated Dan Hooker via technical knockout in round three.
Junior is 5 feet, 11 inches. He has a 75 inch reach – a four inch advantage over Gaethje. The Brazilian has a black belt in Taekwondo, a black prajied in Muay Thai, and a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He recently returned to the American Top Team camp and trains under Anderson Franca, Ricardo Almeida, and Mark Henry.
Justin Gaethje, age 30, is currently ranked seventh in the UFC lightweight division. His last fight came at UFC Fight Night 135 on August 25, 2018. There he fought James Vick and won via first round knockout. He was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus for the victory – his fifth bonus in four UFC fights.
The Highlight is also 5 feet, 11 inches. He has a 71 inch reach. He fights with an orthodox stance and trains out of Colorado at the Genesis Training Center under head coach Trevor Whittman. Is was an NCAA division 1 wrestler. Out of his 19 professional MMA wins, 16 have been by knockout, one by submission, and two by decision.
Edson Barboza is a -140 favourite over his opponent Justin Gaethje who is +110 as of writing.
David Branch, age 37, currently sits ranked at number 11 in the UFC middleweight (185lbs) division. He last fought at UFC 230 on November 3, 2018 where he was defeated by Jared Cannonier via technical knockout in round two. It was the first time that Branch had ever been stopped due to strikes.
The Executive stands at 6 feet, 1 inch and has an 81 inch reach. He fights with an orthodox stance. Branch has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Renzo Gracie. He currently fights out of Brooklyn, New York at Gracies gym and Church Street Boxing. He has 22 wins – six by knockout, seven by submission, and nine by decision.
Jack Hermansson, age 30, is not currently ranked in the UFC middleweight division but sits at number nine in the European MMA rankings. He last fought on December 15, 2018 at UFC on Fox 31. He defeated Gerald Meerschaert with a guillotine choke in the first round.
The Joker is also 6 feet, 1 inch tall. He surrenders 3.5 inches of reach to his opponent. He trains out of the Frontline Academy is Oslo, Norway. In 18 victories, 11 have come by knockout, four by submission, and three by decision.
David Branch is a +100 underdog heading up against Hermansson who is -130.
Josh Emmett, age 34, is tenth in the UFC Featherweight (145lbs) rankings. His last fight was on February 24, 2018 where he lost via second round knockout to Jeremy Stephens. He was sidelined for the remainder of the year due to surgery needed to correct facial injuries sustained in the fight.
Grim Reaper is 5 feet, 6.5 inches. He has a 70 inch reach. He currently trains with Team Alpha Male out of Sacramento, California. He is a NAIA wrestler and has a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Michael Johnson, age 32, is not ranked in the UFC featherweight division but hopes to change that with a win over Emmett. Johnson last fought against Artem Lobov on October 27, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 138. Johnson picked up a unanimous decision victory over Lobov although he missed weight by one pound.
The Menace stands at 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He has a 73.5 inch reach. Johnson is a southpaw boxer and a NJCAA wrestler. He recently switched from the Blackzilians training team to work with Hard Knocks 365.
Josh Emmett is -110 and Michael Johnson is -120.
Karolina Kowalkiewicz, age 33, is ranked sixth in the UFC Strawweight (115lbs) division. Her last fight was on September 8, 2018 at UFC 228. She lost via a first round knockout to current number one contender Jessica Andrade.
The Polish Princess is 5 feet, 3 inches tall. She has a 64 inch reach. She fights with a Muay Thai style and fights out of Shark Top Team in Lodz, Poland under coach Lukasz Zaborowski.
Michelle Waterson, also 33 years of age, currently sits in the ninth ranked spot in the division. Waterson last defeated Felice Herrig via unanimous decision at UFC 229 on October 6, 2018.
The Karate Hottie is also 5 feet, 3 inches tall. She is a southpaw fighting out of the Jackson Wink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Waterson has a black belt in American Freestyle Karate and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Rafael Freitas.
Kowalkiewicz (-155) is the favourite over Waterson (+125).
Formerly of BAMMA where he was Light Heavyweight (205lbs) champion, Paul Craig, age 31, is not currently ranked under the UFC banner. His last fight was on December 2, 2018 where he suffered a third round submission loss to Jim Crute via kimura.
Bearjew stands at 6 feet, 3 inches tall. He has a 76 inch reach. Craig fights out of Coatbridge, Scotland where he trains with the Scottish Hit Squad. He has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Nzechukwu, age 26, was discovered through the Dana White Contender Series where he scored a first round TKO victory. This is his first fight for the UFC.
Nzechukwu is undefeated. He is 6 feet, 5 inches tall. He fights out of Dallas, Texas and is associated with Fortis MMA. In his six wins, four came via knockout and two via decision.
Paul Craig (+175) is the biggest underdog on the main card heading into the fight against Nzechukwu (-225).
Sheymon Moraes, age 28, is not currently ranked by the UFC. He is on a two fight win streak and last fought at UFC 230 where he won via split decision against Julio Arce on November 3, 2018.
Moraes stands at 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a 72 inch reach. He fights out of Los Angeles, California. He has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a purple belt in judo, and a brown belt in kickboxing.
Sodiq Yusuff, age 25, is also currently unranked. He is on a three fight winning streak and last fought, and won, at UFC Fight Night 142 on December 1, 2018.
Super is 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He fights with Team Lloyd Irvin in Maryland. He has eight wins – five by KO/TKO and three by decision.
Sodiq is a -160 favourite over his opponent Moraes, who is +125.
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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.
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