UFC Fight Night 123 Athlete Outfitting pay: Cub Swanson only $20,000 recipient

FRESNO, Calif. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $117,500.

UFC Fight Night 123 took place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was Cub Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC), who suffered a submission loss to Brian Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the event headliner, but received a $20,000 for his 20-plus fight UFC/WEC tenure.

The full UFC Fight Night 123 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Brian Ortega: $5,000
def. Cub Swanson: $20,000

Gabriel Benitez: $5,000
def. Jason Knight: $5,000

Marlon Moraes: $2,500
def. Aljamain Sterling: $5,000

Scott Holtzman: $5,000
def. Darrell Horcher: $2,500

Eryk Anders: $2,500
def. Markus Perez: $2,500

Benito Lopez: $2,500
def. Albert Morales: $2,500

Alexis Davis: $5,000
def. Liz Carmouche: $5,000

Andre Soukhamthath: $2,500
def. Luke Sanders: $2,500

Alex Perez: $2,500
def. Carls John de Tomas: $2,500

Frankie Saenz: $5,000
def. Merab Dvalishvili: $2,500

Alejandro Perez: $5,000
def. Iuri Alcantara: $15,000

Davi Ramos: $2,500
def. Chris Gruetzemacher: $2,500

Trevin Giles: $2,500
def. Antonio Braga Neto: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,965,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $16,288,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 123 results: Trevin Giles' boxing on point for third-round TKO of Antonio Braga Neto

When Trevin Giles was on the feet with Antonio Braga Neto, it was nothing but a mismatch.

Giles (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) had to weather a first-round ground game storm from Neto (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC), who was fighting for the first time in three and a half years. But thanks to his boxing on point all fight, Giles picked up a TKO with a pair of huge rights midway through the third. The stoppage from UFC veteran-turned-ref Frank Trigg came at the 2:27 mark of the round.

The middleweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FS1.

Giles started after Neto quicly, no doubt wanting to put the pressure on him given his long layoff. Giles popped off a perfect left jab several times and bloodied Neto up early. Neto threw a leg kick that landed. A minute in, Giles slipped, but Neto couldn’t take a dvantage. Two minutes in, Giles came forward and looked to connect – but Neto dodged it, clinched Giles up and dragged him to the canvas along the fence. Neto went to work in half-guard and tried to land ground-and-pound. Braga looked for submission opportunities, and with a minute left Giles had to give up full mount. He survived to see the second round, but it was a big return for Neto.

Neto opened the second with a leg kick, then tried a straight kick up the middle. Giles returned to his jab, then bombed away with solid left hooks. Neto landed a solid counter left a minute in, but Giles clearly had the advantage in the standup game, and a right cross was on the money followed by a leg kick. Midway through, Neto landed a right, then a punch to the body and got Giles to back up. They rocked each other after that, but Giles stayed patient. With two minutes left, Giles landed a two-punch combo, but Neto tried to return fire. In the final minute, Giles continued to drill Neto with his powerful jab, and Neto continued to pay the price for not taking the fight to the canvas.

Giles came out swinging in the third and rarely missed with his jab. Thirty seconds in, Neto tracked him down and worked for a takedown. He got it and put Giles’ back on the canvas. But in the process of trying to take Giles’ back, Neto slipped off and had to go back to his feet. Ninety seconds in, Giles landed a big right hand, then dropped his hands and showboated a little, knowing almost none of his punches were missing. Giles started lighting Neto up, and near the halfway mark, he landed two vicious right hands that put Neto on the canvas for the knockout.

Giles stayed unbeaten and won for the second time under the UFC banner. Neto lost for the second straight time – though his most recent fight was three and a half years ago.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 123 results include:

  • Trevin Giles def. Antonio Braga Neto via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:27

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Fresno.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

10 reasons to watch UFC Fight Night 123 with a crucial fight for Cub Swanson

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The UFC visits Fresno, Calif., on Saturday for UFC Fight Night 123. Headlining the card is a potential featherweight title eliminator between long-time 145-pound competitor Cub Swanson and the fast-rising Brian Ortega.

Swanson was close to a shot at then-champion Jose Aldo in 2014, but a submission loss to Frankie Edgar knocked Swanson out of the title picture. Now, with a four-fight winning streak to his name, Swanson hopes a win over Ortega will earn him his longed-for title fight.

Ortega debuted with the UFC a few months before Swanson’s loss to Edgar. When he joined the UFC the Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt was 8-0. He remains unbeaten with four consecutive third-round submission wins with the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place at Save Mart Center, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Here are 10 reasons to watch the event.

1. Risk vs. reward

Since he joined the WEC/UFC in 2007, Swanson has won nine fight-night bonuses, including “Fight of the Night” in his two most recent bouts. He enters UFC Fight Night 123 with a contract that expires when his fight against Brian Ortega comes to an end.

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Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who is the No. 6 ranked featherweight in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA rankings, is taking a calculated risk in fighting out his deal against Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), a rising star who is one spot below him in the rankings. If the 34-year-old Swanson hands his 26-year-old opponent the first loss of his career, he figures his worth to the company should be at an all-time high. If that is the case, Swanson should be rewarded handsomely.

If he’s wrong, things could get a little dicey, just ask Stevie Ray, who fought out his contract, and lost, in July. Ray is still waiting to negotiate a new deal with the promotion.

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2. A fan favorite returns

Jason Knight was on a four-fight winning streak when he decided to step in as an injury replacement against featherweight contender Ricardo Lamas. It was a gutsy move, but not an especially shocking one. During his stint with the UFC, the Mississippian has become a fan favorite for his take no prisoners approach to fighting.

Knight’s gamble did not pay off. Lamas stopped him via strikes in the first round. The defeat did not hurt Knight’s standing in the rankings. He remains an honorable mention. Nor did the loss hurt Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in the eyes of the UFC. His fight against Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is his first co-main event bout with the promotion.

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The unranked Benitez, who is coming off a loss to Enrique Barzola, is a significant underdog in this matchup. Benitez is a powerful, but limited striker, who is susceptible to takedowns.

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3. Not a bad consolation prize

When former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was pulled from his scheduled bout against Jimmie Rivera, both Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling campaigned for the open spot. Neither received the nod. John Lineker will face Rivera at UFC 219.

Instead, the UFC opted to give Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who is ranked No. 6 in the division, a shot at the No. 12 ranked Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) after the UFC pulled Sterling’s original opponent, Rani Yahya from UFC Fight Night 123 due to injury.

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While neither fighter received his wish to fight Rivera in what could have been a bantamweight title eliminator, a win here might put the victor one or two fights away from a shot at the title.

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4. Former champions meet

Eryk Anders

All signs indicate Eryk Anders is a fighter to watch in the middleweight division. The former University of Alabama linebacker began competing in MMA a little more than two years ago and he’s already unbeaten in nine fights. His two most recent bouts took place in a span of 29 days. He won the LFA middleweight title with a unanimous decision victory in June. He followed that with a first-round knockout of 17-fight UFC veteran Rafael Natal.

Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) faces unbeaten Markus Perez at UFC Fight Night 123. Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) steps into his UFC debut on short notice. Like Anders, he enters his first UFC bout after winning the LFA middleweight title. Perez won the title via first-round submission.

5. Watch the pace

Benito Lopez

Benito Lopez was 7-0 with five consecutive first-round stoppage victories to his name when he appeared on the Dana White’s Contender Series 7 card. The 23-year-old didn’t get a finish that night, but his split decision win over Steven Peterson earned him a UFC contract. The Team Alpha Male product faces a tough test in Albert Morales in this bantamweight contest.

During the Peterson fight it was plain to see how Lopez racked up those first-round finishes. He was relentless in his striking attack, which included a nice mix of kicks and knees. The drawback of Lopez’s fast pace was that he faded as the fight progressed.

The 26-year-old Morales might only have one win in the UFC, a split decision over Andre Soukhamthath, but he was 6-0 with five finishes before he joined the promotion. Like Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) employs a fast-paced striking attack.

6. Welcome to the flyweight division

Two former women’s bantamweight title contenders drop to flyweight for a rematch at UFC Fight Night 123. In their first meeting, Alexis Davis, who is ranked No. 12 at 135 pounds defeated Liz Carmouche, who is the No. 14 ranked bantamweight, by unanimous decision.

Neither fighter has been very active since they faced off in 2013. Davis (18-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) has fought five times since that bout, while Carmouche (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has stepped into the cage three times.

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In a division with a newly crowned champion, and a handful of bantamweight and strawweight fighters looking to make the move to 125 pounds, this is an important fight for these two 33-year-old veterans. An impressive performance will go a long way toward establishing the victor in the still-developing division.

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7. In search of a UFC bantamweight win

Andre Soukhamthath

Luke Sanders faces Andre Soukhamthath in a battle between two fighters who held bantamweight titles outside the UFC. Sanders (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) held the RFA title, while Soukhamthath (11-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) was the CES champion. Neither fighter has a win at 135 pounds in the UFC.

Sanders is a powerful and aggressive fighter who was on his way to a stoppage victory over Iuri Alcantara before delivering an illegal knee to his opponent’s head during his most recent fight. The break in the action gave Alcantara new life. He took advantage of the opportunity and submitted Sanders in the second round.

Soukhamthath has dropped both his UFC outings by split decision. His most recent defeat came against Alejandro Perez at UFC Fight Night 114. Soukhamthath has power in his hands, but he’s not nearly as active or aggressive as Sanders.

8. The new guy

Whenever a new addition joins the flyweight division, it’s worth taking a look at that fighter. At UFC Fight Night 123, that fighter is Alex Perez.

Perez (18-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) earned his UFC contract with an impressive first-round submission win over Kevin Gray on the Dana White Contender Series 5 card. The victory extended the 25-year-old’s winning streak to five straight. The former Tachi Palace champ has a very well-rounded game. With 22 fights on his record, he brings a wealth of experience into his fight against Carls John de Tomas (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).

At 21, De Tomas is one of the youngest fighters in the UFC. With just seven fights on his record, six of which came with the Universal Reality Combat Championship promotion in the Philippines, he’ll have a distinct experience disadvantage in this matchup.

De Tomas enters this bout after a loss to Naomi Inoue at UFC Fight Night 111. A late change from the California State Athletic Commission moved this fight to a bantamweight contest.

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9. A tough first test

Frankie Saenz

Merab Dvalishvili signed with the UFC on the strength of a highlight-reel 15-second knockout win over Raufeon Stots at Ring of Combat 59. The stoppage was Dvalishvili’s first defense of the ROC bantamweight title. The win was the sixth straight victory for the Serra-Longo fighter.

Dvalishvili (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) faces Frankie Saenz. Saenz (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) was on a seven-fight winning streak before he dropped a decision to Urijah Faber at UFC 194. The 37-year-old has since lost two more fights and is likely fighting for his UFC life in Fresno.

Despite his losing skid, Saenz is going to be a tough fight for the debuting Dvalishvili.

10. It’s been a minute

Trevin Giles

Trevin Giles fights in his second curtain jerker at UFC Fight Night 123. If this fight goes as well as his first did, don’t expect him to fight so early on the prelims in the future.

Giles began his UFC career with a second-round knockout win over James Bochnovic at UFC 213. Giles showed good composure in his UFC debut. His ground striking was powerful and accurate. The 25-year-old landed 30 of his 37 attempted ground strikes. It was that work on the mat that earned him the knockout win.

Giles drops from light heavyweight to middleweight for his matchup against Antonio Braga Neto. Giles (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) might not want to test Neto (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) on the ground. The 30-year-old is a jiu-jitsu world champion. Neto’s most recent bout was a June 2014 decision loss to Clint Hester. Giles turned pro in January of that year. He has fought eight times since Neto’s most recent outing.

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 123 pre-event facts: A look at Brian Ortega's historic stoppage streak

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The UFC’s final “Fight Night” of the year occurs Saturday with UFC Fight Night 123, which takes place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

A clash of featherweight contenders goes down in the main event. Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), one of the most decorated fighters in divisional history, looks to extend his winning streak and earn a title shot while also completing the final fight on his current UFC contract when he takes on unbeaten rising start Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC).

The headlining matchup caps off a 13-fight lineup, which marks the UFC’s debut in Fresno. For more on the numbers behind the card, check below for 35 pre-event facts about UFC Fight Night 123.

* * * *

Main event

Cub Swanson

Swanson competes in his 22nd UFC/WEC featherweight bout, the most appearances in combined divisional history.

Swanson’s four-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Max Holloway (11) and Darren Elkins (five).

Swanson’s 15 victories in UFC/WEC featherweight competition are second most in combined divisional history behind Jose Aldo (16).

Swanson’s 10 victories in UFC featherweight competition are third most in divisional history behind Holloway (14) and Darren Elkins (12).

Swanson’s six stoppage victories in UFC/WEC featherweight competition are tied for fourth most in the combined divisional history behind Holloway (nine), Aldo (nine) and Urijah Faber (seven).

Swanson’s past five victories have come by decision. He hasn’t earned a stoppage since July 2013.

Cub Swanson

Swanson’s six knockdowns landed in UFC featherweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Holloway (seven).

Swanson and Artem Lobov combined for 332 signifiant strikes landed at UFC Fight Night 108, the second most ever in a UFC fight behind the 334 between Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone and UFC 141.

Swanson’s 209 significant strikes landed against Lobov are the single-fight record for a UFC/WEC featherweight bout.

Swanson’s 10 fight-night bonuses for UFC/WEC featherweight bouts are the most in combined divisional history.

Swanson’s six fight-night bonuses for UFC featherweight bouts are tied with Conor McGregor and Charles Oliveira for the most in divisional history.

Brian Ortega

Ortega’s 13-fight MMA winning streak is the longest among active UFC featherweights.

Ortega’s four-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is tied for the third longest active streak in the division behind Holloway (11) and Elkins (five).

Ortega has earned all four of his UFC victories by stoppage.

Ortega’s four-fight stoppage streak in UFC featherweight bouts is the longest active streak in the division.

Ortega is the only fighter UFC history to earn four consecutive third-round stoppage victories.

Remaining main card

Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has earned 16 of his 19 career victories by stoppage. Both of his UFC stoppage wins are by submission.

Benitez defends 70.7 percent of all opponent significant strike attempts in UFC featherweight competition, the best rate among active fighters in the division.

Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) absorbs just 1.34 significant strikes per minute in UFC bantamweight competition, the best rate in divisional history.

Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) competes in his second UFC bout in a 28-day stretch. He defeated John Dodson at UFC Fight Night 120 this past month.

Moraes has fought to a split decision in both of his UFC appearances.

Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his five-fight UFC career. He was victorious in his most recent bout.

Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) has just one victory in his past four fights.

Preliminary card

Alexis Davis

Alexis Davis (18-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) returns to the flyweight division for the first time since November 2010. She spent her previous seven UFC fights at bantamweight.

Davis is 1-1 since she returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2016.

Davis has alternated wins and losses over her past five UFC appearances.

Davis has earned four of her five UFC victories by decision.

Alexis Davis and Liz Carmouche

Davis faces Liz Carmouche (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) in a rematch of a fight she won by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 31 in November 2013.

Carmouche drops to the flyweight division for the first time in her career. She spent her previous 16 fights at bantamweight.

Carmouche is 5-5 in her past 10 professional bouts.

Andre Soukhamthath (11-5 MMA, 0-3 UFC) has suffered all six of his career losses by decision. Both of his UFC losses are by split decision.

Iuri Alcantara (34-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC) is 7-4 with one no-contest since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in January 2013.

Iuri Alcantara

Alcantara defeated Sanders at UFC 209 despite a -107 total strike differential (134 to 27), the second-largest deficit for a winner by stoppage in UFC history behind A. Silva’s comeback against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 (-256).

Chris Gruetzemacher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) returns to the UFC lightweight division after a one-fight stint at featherweight.

Antonio Braga Neto (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) returns to MMA competition for the first time since June 2014. He hasn’t earned a victory since June 2013.

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Here's the official lineup for Saturday's UFC Fight Night 123 event in Fresno

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The 13-bout lineup is set for Saturday’s UFC debut in Fresno.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The headliner features a pair of featherweight contenders – both of whom are California natives. Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who’s No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, looks to solidify his case for a title shot when he meets No. 7-ranked Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC).

The California natives, who have combined for 23 stoppages in 37 career victories, are both on winning streaks. Swanson has won four straight since back-to-back submission losses to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway in 2015. Ortega, meanwhile, has posted four straight stoppage wins since a no-contest with Mike De La Torre in 2014 due to a failed drug test.

In the co-headliner, Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) – aka “Mississippi Mean” (and “Hick Diaz”) – looks to rebound from a recent loss to perennial contender Ricardo Lamas when he meets Mexican featherweight and “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 1” semifinalist Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC).

Rounding out the main card are No. 6 bantamweight Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. No. 12 Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), lightweights Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Darrell Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), middleweights Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and bantamweights Benito Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC).

Closing out the preliminary card is a bout between former women’s bantamweight title challengers Liz Carmouche (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Alexis Davis (18-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who meet at flyweight.

The full UFC Fight Night 123 card includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight
  • Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche rematch among UFC-Fresno fight-card additions

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December’s UFC Fight Night 123 event has a slew of new additions, officials today announced.

Chief among them? A rematch between former UFC women’s bantamweight title challengers Alexis Davis (18-7 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Liz Carmouche (11-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who both head down to flyweight for the fight.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Dec. 9 at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The event airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

Davis, who’s No. 12 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, defeated No. 14-ranked Carmouche via unanimous decision in their first meeting, which took place in 2013 at “UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3.”

Davis has had mixed results since then but recently got back in the win column with a decision victory over Cindy Dandois in April. Carmouche, meanwhile, earned a split-decision victory over Katlyn Chookagian in November 2016 for her second straight win.

Also confirmed the card are undefeated middleweight Trevin Giles (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who knocked out James Bochnovic in his July UFC debut, vs. Antonio Braga Neto (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who hasn’t fought since 2014, as well flyweights Carls John de Tomas (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vs. Alex Perez (18-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

The latest UFC Fight Night 123 lineup now includes:

  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. John Phillips
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie