TOP LIGHTWEIGHT CONTENDERS COLLIDE WITH A POTENTIAL TITLE SHOT ON THE LINE AS
KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV MEETS
TONY FERGUSON IN TAMPA
(#7) RASHAD EVANS vs. (#8) SHOGUN RUA
(#4) LYOTO MACHIDA vs. (#14) DAN HENDERSON
(#3) ROSE NAMAJUNAS vs. (#4) TECIA TORRES
(#9) BENEIL DARIUSH vs. (#13) MICHAEL CHIESA
TICKETS FOR UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: NURMAGOMEDOV vs. FERGUSON
AT AMALIE ARENA IN TAMPA, FLORIDA
ON SALE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Las Vegas – Legends of mixed martial arts, as well as some of the sport’s brightest young stars will enter the Octagon® when UFC® returns to Tampa for the first time since 2009. With a potential shot at the world title on the line, top contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson collide in the ultra-competitive 155-pound division live on FOX in the five-round main event of UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: NURMAGOMEDOV vs. FERGUSON on Saturday, April 16 at Amalie Arena.
A world-class wrestler, No.2 Nurmagomedov (22-0, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) poses a serious threat for anyone in the division and boasts an undefeated record that includes a victory over current lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. Looking to derail the Russian’s hype train is No. 4 Ferguson (21-3, fighting out of Ventura, Calif.), who has reeled off seven straight wins. With a resume that includes victories over Edson Barboza and Abel Trujillo, The Ultimate Fighter® season 13 winner hopes to take one step closer to joining Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Matt Serra and Carla Esparza as the only fighters to win The Ultimate Fighter as well as a UFC world title.
In the co-main event, No. 7 Rashad Evans (24-4-1, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla.) looks to climb back up the 205-pound ladder against No. 8Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (23-10, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil). A former standout wrestler at Michigan State, “Suga” will have to utilize his wrestling pedigree to handle the strength and precision of one of the most aggressive Muay Thai practitioners in Shogun. The ultimate chess match will play out between two former light heavyweight champions finally go toe-to-toe.
Plus, dynamic striker and fourth-ranked Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (22-7, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) meets heavy-handed No.14Dan “Hendo” Henderson (31-14, fighting out of Temecula, Calif.) in a rematch of a 2013 showdown won by the Brazilian. Machida’s striking and creative angles have landed him the second most knockdowns in UFC history with 13 (A. Silva 17). Henderson has one of the most feared right hands in the sport which has led to knockouts of elite level fighters such as Shogun, Fedor Emilianenko, Michael Bisping and Wanderlei Silva.
· Two of the top strawweights in the world clash as No. 3 Rose Namajunas (5-2, fighting Denver, Colo.) meets No. 4 Tecia Torres (7-0, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) in a rematch that has both hoping for a shot at the world title with a win.
· Rising prospect and No. 8 Beneil Dariush (12-1, fighting out of Yorba Linda, Calif.) returns to the Octagon to face the crafty No. 13 Michael “Maverick” Chiesa (12-2, fighting out of Spokane Valley, Wash.), in a lightweight bout.
· No. 8 women’s bantamweight Bethe Correia (9-1, fighting out of Campina Grande, Paraiba Brazil) returns to the Octagon for the first time since her bout with Ronda Rousey to face No. 13 Raquel Pennington (6-6, fighting out of Colorado Springs, Colo.).
· Knockout artist No. 6 Cub Swanson (21-7, fighting out of Palm Springs, Calif.) clashes with jiu jitsu ace No. 10 Hacran Dias (23-3-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in a featherweight bout.
· Brazilian jiu jitsu specialists Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira (9-5, fighting out of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil) and Caio Magalhaes (9-2, fighting out of Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil) meet in a welterweight showdown.
Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: NURMAGOMEDOV vs. FERGUSON go on sale Friday, February 26 at 10 a.m. ET and are priced at $225, $175, $125, $90, $75, $50 and $40 (prices do not include applicable service charges and handling fees). Tickets are available at the McDonald’s Ticket Office at Amalie Arena, online at www.ticketmaster.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person.
UFC Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Wednesday, February 24 at 10 a.m. ET via the websitewww.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers Thursday, February 25 starting at 10 a.m. ET. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: NURMAGOMEDOV vs. FERGUSON will air live on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 16, with the prelims kicking off the evening on FOX at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.