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Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises – Lightweight Division
Marion Reneau vs Meisha Tate – Women’s Bantamweight Division
Jeremy Stephens vs Mateusz Gamrot – Lightweight Division
Rodolfo Vieira vs Dustin Stolzfus – Middleweight Division
Gabriel Benitez vs Billy Quarantillo – Featherweight Division
|Makhachev vs Moises Information|
|Event||UFC on ESPN: Makhachev vs Moises|
|Location||UFC Apex, Enterprise, Nevada|
|Time||Saturday, July 17, 8 PM|
|How to watch||ESPN, ESPN+, TSN5|
|Islam Makhachev||TALE OF THE TAPE||Thiago Moises|
|5 ft. 10 in.||Height||5 ft. 9 in.|
|70 in.||Reach||70.5 in.|
Some pundits and fans out there have begun to tout Islam Makhachev as the next Khabib Nurmagomedov – and for more reasons than just being Russian lightweights.
Makhachev has been in the UFC since 2015 and other than losing his second UFC bout via knockout, his record has gone unblemished.
Since his loss, Makhachev has gone on to win seven fights in a row, which include a knockout of Gleison Tibau, a submission over Kajan Johnson, and, most recently, an arm-triangle submission win over Drew Dober at UFC 259 this past March.
This will be his first main event.
The Russian fighter, known mostly for his wrestling and sambo style, trains out of California with coach Javier Mendez and the American Kickboxing Academy team. He is also a former student of Khabib’s father Abdulmanap.
Fighting since 2010, Makhachev holds an international master of sport in combat sambo – a discipline in which he is a world champion.
As of this writing, Makhachev is ranked as the ninth-best lightweight in what is one of the most dangerous lightweight divisions in MMA history.
He will be one inch taller than his opponent Saturday night.
Like his opponent, this will be Thiago Moises’ first main event fight and he enters it riding a winning streak.
Following a 2019 loss to Damir Ismagulov, Moises has gone on to win three straight. The winning streak includes a submission win over Michael Johnson and a decision win over Bobby Green.
Moises most recently won his third fight in a row this past February when he was awarded the unanimous decision victory over Alex Hernandez.
The Brazilian southpaw trains out of Florida with the American Top Team.
Fighting since 2012, Moises holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Paulo Streckert.
He will enter the octagon Saturday night as the number-14 ranked lightweight in the division. He will have a half-inch reach advantage over his opponent.
|Marion Reneau||TALE OF THE TAPE||Meisha Tate|
|5 ft. 6 in.||Height||5 ft. 6 in.|
|68 in.||Reach||65 in.|
Just because Marion Reneau has been the more active fighter doesn’t mean she’s going to have an easy time with former champion Meisha tate.
After a TKO win over Talita Bernardo in 2017 and a submission win over Sara McMann in 2018, Reneau has gone 0-4 in the UFC over her last four fights. She has dropped four straight unanimous decisions to Cat Zingano, Yana Kunitskaya, Raquel Pennington, and, most recently, Macy Chiasson this past March.
Born in California, Reneau currently trains with the Elite Team gym.
She has been fighting professionally since 2010 and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Cleber Luciano and Tom Knox as well as a light blue-dark blue belt in muay thai under Rafael Cordeiro.
The 44-year-old is currently ranked as the 12th-best women’s bantamweight in the UFC.
She will have a three-inch reach advantage over Meisha Tate Saturday night.
Meisha Tate is no joke in women’s MMA. She is a former Strikeforce bantamweight champion as well as a former UFC bantamweight champion.
But she hasn’t fought in almost five years. And her last run in the sport ended with back-to-back losses.
After winning five fights in a row, including a win over Holly Holm for the bantamweight gold, Tate went on to immediately lose the title to Amanda Nunes via submission at UFC 200.
She followed that performance with a unanimous decision loss to Raquel Pennington before announcing her retirement and moving to Singapore to be a part of the head office of ONE FC.
The American fighter trains out of Las Vegas with Xtreme Couture and holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Her initial run in the sport of MMA lasted from 2007 to 2016.
She has remained active in no-gi grappling competitions.
Tate is 10-years younger than her opponent.
|Jeremy Stephens||TALE OF THE TAPE||Mateusz Gamrot|
|5 ft. 9 in.||Height||5 ft. 10 in.|
|71 in.||Reach||70.5 in.|
|28-18, 1 no-contest||Record||18-1|
There is no way around it: Jeremy Stephens needs a win Saturday night.
After three impressive wins in a row over Gilbert Melendez, Doo Ho Choi, and Josh Emmett, Stephens hasn’t been able to string anything together.
He lost two straight against Jose Aldo and Zabit Magomedsharipov before a no-contest showing against Yair Rodriguez in which Stephens’ could not not continue due to vision problems.
Following the no-contest, he rematched Rodriguez and lost. He would lose his most recent bout against Calvin Kattar as well, with that fight taking place at UFC 249 in 2020. Kattar knocked out Stephens in the second round.
A UFC mainstay since 2007, the American-born fighter currently spends his time training out of San Diego, California with the Alliance MMA team.
Fighting professionally since 2005, Stephens holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
He has spent his career at the featherweight division since 2013. This will be his first fight at lightweight in seven years after failing to make the 145-pound featherweight limit on three occasions.
He will have a half-inch reach advantage over his opponent.
Mateusz Gamrot made his UFC debut in 2020 as an undefeated 17-0 fighter. And, like many UFC rookies, suffered his first professional loss when he stepped into the octagon for the first time.
Gamrot debuted against Guram Kutateladze and lost a very close fight via split decision.
Gamrot fought his second, and most recent, fight this past April against Scott Holtzman. Gamrot would notch his first UFC win with this bout, earning a second-round TKO over Holtzman.
Born in Poland, Gamrot trains with the Czerwony Smok team and is known predominantly for his wrestling style.
The 30-year-old has only one professional loss on his record and is five years younger than his opponent on Saturday night.
|Rodolfo Vieira||TALE OF THE TAPE||Dustin Stolzfus|
|5 ft. 11 in.||Height||6 ft.|
|.73 in.||Reach||75 in.|
Known for his grappling prowess and ability to pass the guard, Rodolfo Vieira made his UFC debut in 2019 and quickly put his black belt to use in the Octagon.
Vieira debuted against Oskar Piechota and submitted him with an arm-triangle choke in the second round of their 2019 bout.
He followed that performance with another arm-triangle choke win – this time coming in the first round against Saparbek Safarov in 202.
However, in his most recent bout against Anthony Hernandez this past February, the grappling specialist was defeated in dramatic fashion when Hernandez managed to pull off the upset victory when he choked out a gassed Vieira with a guillotine in the second round of their UFC 258 bout.
Born in Brazil, Vieira currently trains out of Florida with the Fusion X-Cel team.
He has been fighting in MMA since 2017 and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Julio Cesar Pereira.
He is a two-time PanAm Games gold medalist, seven-time World Cup gold medalist, and five-time World Championship gold medalist – all in the jiu-jitsu discipline.
After a first-round win on the Contender Series in 2020, Dustin Stolzfus debuted for the UFC in November of 2020 against Kyle Daukaus.
Unfortunately for Stolzfus (who was riding a professional winning streak of five at the time), he would lose his first UFC fight via unanimous decision. It was only the second loss of his career.
The American was born in the state of Pennsylvania but spends a lot of time training in Europe – specifically Germany.
Stolzfus will enter the cage Saturday night with a one-inch height and two-inch reach advantage over his opponent.
|Gabriel Benitez||TALE OF THE TAPE||Billy Quarantillo|
|5 ft. 8 in.||Height||5 ft. 10 in.|
|71 in.||Reach||70 in.|
After back-to-back wins over Jason Knight (who has actually deducted a point for biting Benitez’s fingers) and Humberto Bandenay, Gabriel Benitez then had his winning streak snapped by Sodiq Yusuff at UFC 241 in 2019.
The loss prompted Benitez to return to the lightweight division, where he then took on Omar Morales. Unfortunately, Benitez would suffer his second straight loss as Morales was awarded the unanimous decision victory.
Benitez most recently fought last December against Justin Jaynes and recovered from his two-fight skid in a big way. Benitez earned a first-round TKO victory as well as a performance of the night bonus.
Born in Tijuana, Benitez trains with the infamous American Kickboxing Academy, which boasts the likes of former champions Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
He has been fighting since 2007.
Benitez is actually stepping into this fight as a replacement for Herbert Burns, who was forced to pull out of the fight due to undisclosed reasons.
He will have a one-inch reach advantage in the fight.
Billy Quarantillo has had a very impressive start to his UFC career.
After a third-round TKO win on the Contender Series, Quarantillo went on to win his 2019 UFC debut against Jacob Kilburn via second-round triangle choke.
He followed that performance with a unanimous decision win over Spike Carlysle and a knockout win over Kyle Nelson.
Unfortunately, in his most recent fight, Quarantillo suffered his first loss in the promotion, coming against Gavin Tucker last December at UFC 256.
Born in New York, Quarantillo now trains out of Tampa, Florida with Gracie Tampa South. He holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Matt Arroyo and has been fighting professionally since 2013.
He is two-inches taller and one-year younger than his opponent.
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