The UFC returns to the Apex this week with a Europe vs. Eurasia headliner featuring Poland's Mateusz Gamrot and Azerbaijan's Rafael Fiziev.
The prelims are as stacked as a Fight Night could be with fan favorites such as Tim Means, André Fialho, Jake Collier, Miles Johns, Jacob Malkoun, Cody Brundage, and The Ultimate Fighter 30 winner Mohammed Usman.
The main card is loaded with even more exciting fights, so let's look into them as they appear on the Verdict MMA app.
This fight is scheduled to take place in the Featherweight division.
Ricardo Ramos made a name for himself in Dana White's Lookin' For A Fight, where he submitted Alfred Khashakyan and earned a UFC contract. Ramos is as flashy as they come and has 2 spinning back elbows on his record, and both within the UFC, one over Aiemann Zahabi, the brother of Georges St. Pierre's coach, Firas Zahabi. Ramos has a UFC record of 7-3 and has never lost 2 fights in a row.
Charles Jourdain is a fun fighter to watch; most say Canadians are incredibly lovely people, and he is, but his fighting style does not reflect the word "lovely" whatsoever. Throughout his career, Jourdain seems allergic to boring fights, as he stays well away from them every time he steps into the Octagon. Ever since his promotional debut, Jourdain has been pitted against the best Featherweights the UFC has to offer: Doo-ho Choi, Andre Fili, Joshua Culibao, Julian Erosa, Shane Burgos, Nathaniel Wood, Kron Gracie, and the list goes on. Jourdain has a UFC record of 5-5-1 and loves to put on a show for the fans watching at home or in attendance.
When these 2 striking aficionados go head-to-head, who will get their hand raised in the UFC Apex?
This fight is scheduled to take place in the Welterweight division.
Bryan Battle won The Ultimate Fighter 29 with relative ease as he finished all his opponents besides one. Since joining the UFC, Battle has achieved more impressive feats each time out, until at the end of 2022, he faced Rinat Fakhretdinov and lost a unanimous decision. However, despite this loss, he didn't let it slow down his momentum, as he returned 5 months later with a 14-second knockout over Gabriel Green. Battle has a UFC record of 4-1, and with a name like "Battle," he is clearly born for this.
AJ Fletcher had one of the most insane Dana White's Contender Series victories ever when he landed a flying knee during the 2021 season to knock out Leonardo Damiani. Fletcher stamped his name with this victory, saying, "I belong in the UFC, Dana." Since joining the promotion, Fletcher has gone 1-2, with his first victory coming in his most recent fight against Themba Gorimbo.
These 2 Welterweights are looking to score a big win and begin their climb of the 170 lb division.
This fight is scheduled to take place in the Women's Strawweight division.
A rematch between these 2 Strawweights is upon us; Marina Rodriguez controlled the majority of the first bout for a unanimous decision victory. Their last fight occurred in May 2021, and since then, both women have come off of back-to-back losses in their last 2 fights.
Marina Rodriguez burst onto the WMMA scene after going 9-0 and getting a shot on Dana White's Contender Series Brazil, where she knocked out Maria de Oliveira Neta in the first round to secure a UFC contract. Since debuting, she has amassed a UFC record of 6-3-2 against impressive names such as Mackenzie Dern, Yan Xiaonan, Amanda Lemos, Amanda Ribas, Carla Esparza, Tecia Torres, Cynthia Calvillo, and Randa Markos.
Michelle Waterson-Gomez is a fan favorite for one main reason: she goes to war. No matter who the opponent is, Waterson-Gomez puts it all on the line for a victory. Waterson-Gomez is a very active fighter, fighting twice yearly since her professional debut in 2007. As for the UFC, she debuted in 2015 after winning and defending the Invicta FC Atomweight title. Waterson-Gomez now fights at Strawweight as the UFC has never introduced an Atomweight weight class, meaning she has to fight women 10 lbs heavier than her. Waterson-Gomez has fought some of the best female fighters on the planet: Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Tecia Torres, Rose Namajunas, Angela Hill, and Amanda Lemos, earning a 6-7 UFC record in the process. Despite going 1-5 in her last 6 fights, Waterson-Gomez hopes to return to the win column and redeem this loss from 2021.
Will Rodriguez solidify her victory from their first fight, or will Waterson-Gomez make the adjustments necessary to come out on top?
This fight is scheduled to take place in the Featherweight division.
Bryce Mitchell is known for his exceptional grappling skills, particularly his high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Dan Ige, on the other hand, is a well-rounded fighter with solid striking and grappling abilities. Contrasting fighting styles often lead to exciting bouts.
Mitchell is a runner-up of The Ultimate Fighter 27, and even though he didn't win the tournament, he has already done more in the UFC than the actual winner did. Mitchell is coming off his first career loss against Featherweight stand-out Ilia Topuria. Mitchell stunned the masses when he pulled off the second-ever twister submission against Matt Sayles in 2019. Since his UFC debut, Mitchell has amassed a UFC record of 6-1, with impressive victories over Edson Barboza, Andre Fili, Charles Rosa, Bobby Moffett, and fellow TUF alum Tyler Diamond.
Dan Ige is just stepping into "veteran" territory after 14 fights within the promotion and a professional career spanning just under 10 years. Ige is a powerful striker with one-punch knockouts and finishes in under a minute. Ige is a very active fighter, averaging slightly under 3 fights yearly since he began as a professional. Ige is 9-5 in the UFC with big wins over Mike Santiago, Edson Barboza, Gavin Tucker, Damon Jackson, and Nate Landwehr.
Another classic veteran vs. prospect matchup is at our fingertips; will Mitchell score yet another flashy submission, or will Ige halt the hype of the young Mitchell once and for all?
This fight is scheduled to take place in the Lightweight division.
We have arrived at the main event of the evening! A historic striker vs. grappler matchup is upon us in the UFC's most talent-filled division.
Rafael Fiziev is one of the most exciting classic Muay Thai strikers the UFC has seen in recent history. Fiziev has an enormous 75% finishing rate, with 8 of his wins coming by knockout. Fiziev is 6-2 in the UFC with knockouts over Rafael dos Anjos, Brad Riddell, and Renato Moicano. Fiziev is coming off a loss in his most recent outing when he faced Justin Gaethje in a main event at the beginning of the year. Fiziev has shown exceptional durability and tenacity in his UFC run and has only been finished once as a professional.
Mateusz Gamrot is potentially the greatest grappler in the UFC right now who is not from Russia. Gamrot is a 5-time submission wrestling champion and put that on display in his fight against Arman Tsarukyan. Gamrot and Tsarukyan put on one of the best grappling-heavy MMA fights I have ever seen, and it seemed both were evenly matched; however, Gamrot was the one who got his hand raised in the end. Gamrot is coming off a split-decision win over Jalin Turner at the beginning of the year and is 5-2 in the UFC, with 3 of his UFC wins being by way of finish.
This fight is sure to be a banger. Will Fiziev be able to hold off the wrestling attack of Gamrot, or will Gamrot be able to evade the brutal strikes of Fiziev?
Fiziev vs. Gamrot Over 2.5
Mitchell vs. Ige Over 2.5
What fight are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.