Category Archives: UFC 215

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2514 with Gilbert Melendez and Mike Dolce

Stream or download Thursday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Gilbert Melendez and Mike Dolce.

Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Melendez previewed his featherweight fight vs. Jeremy Stephens, while Dolce was an in studio co-host and fielded many questions regarding nutrition, weight loss and strength and conditioning.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Gilbert Melendez, Mike Dolce (in studio)

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Gilbert Melendez and Mike Dolce.

Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Melendez, also a former UFC lightweight title challenger, will drop to featherweight to take on Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215 in September. Dolce, a four-time winner of the “Trainer of the Year” prize at the World MMA Awards, and longtime nutritionist for fighters like Ronda Rousey, will co-host the show in the studio.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215: Latest fight card and trailer – with champ Demetrious Johnson chasing a major record

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5540615476001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

Sure, another major event has captured the spotlight, but the UFC soon returns with a pay-per-view event.

UFC officials have largely cleared their August schedule to throw their promotional muscle behind the Aug. 26 boxing mega-fight between UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing). But on Sept. 9, the UFC hosts UFC 215, a championship doubleheader.

The PPV event takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the main card follows prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out a preview of the event – and its top three fights – above.

In the main event, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) looks for his record 11th consecutive title defense when he takes on challenger Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).

Johnson, who’s No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA flyweight rankings (and No. 2 pound-for-pound), could break middleweight great Anderson Silva’s longstanding title-defense record if victorious. “Mighty Mouse” is currently a 10-1 favorite to beat No. 5-ranked Borg, who’s won two straight and five of his past six, though he missed weight on two occasions.

In the co-headliner, women’s bantamweight titleholder and No. 1-ranked female 135-pounder Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) rematches No. 2-ranked Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC). Nunes, who took the title from Miesha Tate during her current five-fight winning streak, also defeated No. 2-ranked Shevchenko via unanimous decision during her current run. Shevchenko has since rebounded with wins over ex-champ Holly Holm (decision) and Julianna Pena (submission).

UFC 215 also features a major heavyweight clash as ex-champ and No. 5-ranked Junior Dos Santos (18-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) takes on No. 9 Francis Ngannou (10-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC). Although Dos Santos lost to champ Stipe Miocic in his most recent bout, a title shot could be on the line for him or Ngannou, who’s won nine straight, including five in the UFC (four knockouts and one submission).

The latest UFC 215 lineup includes:

    • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
    • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
    • Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
    • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
    • Rafael dos Anjos vs. Neil Magny
    • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
    • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
    • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
    • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
    • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
    • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
    • Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins
    • Mitch Clarke vs. Alex White

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Former UFC title challenger Sara McMann joins Team Alpha Male

The stable of talent at Team Alpha Male continues to grow with the addition of UFC women’s bantamweight contender Sara McMann.

McMann (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has officially joined the team in Sacramento, Calif., ahead of her scheduled bout with Ketlen Vieira (8-0 MMA. 2-0 UFC) at UFC 215, which takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with the main card on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The full-time move to Team Alpha Male has been pending for several weeks, now it’s official (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

McMann, No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s bantamweight rankings, unsuccessfully challenged then-champion Ronda Rousey for the title at UFC 170 in February 2014. She’s dropped fights to Miesha Tate and current champion Amanda Nunes since, but otherwise has overwhelmed her competition.

The 36-year-old is currently riding a three-fight winning streak including consecutive arm-triangle submission wins against Alexis Davis and Gina Mazany. She will attempt to push her winning streak to four against the undefeated Vieira.

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ex-champ dos Anjos on possible meeting with champ Woodley: 'I won't let him feel comfortable'

It took Rafael dos Anjos 18 fights and almost seven years to earn his first shot at a UFC belt.

The wait, however, paid off. After dominantly upsetting Anthony Pettis, dos Anjos got a taste of gold. Now, as he makes his way through a whole new division at 170 pounds, the former lightweight titleholder is confident he can do it again. Only this time, a little – or maybe a lot – faster.

“Now, as an ex-champ, I think the path is shorter,” dos Anjos told MMAjunkie. “Demian (Maia) just had his shot at the belt and couldn’t get it. Tyron Woodley defended it. (Donald) Cerrone’s fight with (ex-champ) Robbie Lawler – I thought Cerrone won, but it was tough. In my opinion, Lawler wasn’t convincing, so I think that fight removed him from a possible title rematch. (Jorge) Masvidal lost to Demian.

“Stephen Thompson will probably fight Masvidal and had two title fights already. I’m behind in the rankings, but the path is kind of open. I think with a win over (Neil) Magny, considering I’m an ex-champ, I think I’m pretty close. I’m not too far.”

But first things first. Dos Anjos (26-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC) is set to continue his welterweight path next month, at UFC 215, when he meets Magny (19-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It will be the Brazilian ex-champ’s second octagon go as a 170-pounder, after a June trip to Singapore resulted in an unanimous-decision win over Tarec Saffiedine.

It may be early in his 170-pound walk, but dos Anjos sees a possible win over the ranked, battle-tested Magny as a big boost in an overall stacked division. And while his focus is now on that, he has already started planting some seeds for the not-so-distant future.

A few days ago, for instance, he took to Twitter to make sure to let champion Tyron Woodley – then fresh off his UFC 214 title defense against Demian Maia – aware of his intentions. The low-key callout, however, doesn’t mean that dos Anjos doesn’t respect him.

In fact, dos Anjos thinks Woodley is great fighter. But dos Anjos also believes he has what it takes to throw the champ off his game.

“He has that game of circling around, of not wanting to take risks,” dos Anjos said. “With me, he’s going to be at risk. I won’t let him feel comfortable. I think in his past two fights, he wasn’t in jeopardy. Stephen Thompson fought very technically and strategically. Not that I won’t use strategy and technique, but I have this (stronger) pace.

“I’ll push the pace and he’ll have to go to work. I won’t let him circle around – he’ll take me down, I’ll take him down, the fight will be a scramble. I’ll push his pace. And I think that’s when I’ll get the better of him.”

Dos Anjos pauses for a second, and then adds with a laugh.

“I think after my fight with him, people might even buy his pay-per-view.”

‘Lose one more, and everyone starts calling for your retirement’

Regardless of whom he’ll have to beat to get there, dos Anjos has a few reasons to believe he can be champion again.

First of all, despite his extensive octagon experience, dos Anjos is only 32 and sees a lot of fighting ahead of him, still. That, in turn, is helped by the fact that, after years of the depleting cut down to 155 pounds, he’s found renewed energy – as well as physical and emotional relief – from his new weight status.

And there’s also the fact that, despite a two-fight skid to start his UFC run – and some tough setbacks after them – he’s made it there once.

“I tasted it, and I know how hard it is to get there,” dos Anjos said. “I know I can do it. I know I can do it again. I have it what it takes.”

From the start, dos Anjos has been clear about how comfortable he was with the decision to move up. While it was something he’d been thinking about even while he still held the belt, the definitive call came after an ill-fated UFC Fight Night 98 meeting with Tony Ferguson – which also meant a second straight loss after the title-costing TKO to now-also-ex-champ Eddie Alvarez.

After so many years of repeating the process of dehydrating his body and exposing his head to trauma the day after, dos Anjos decided it was time to put himself – and his health – first.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to end up having a problem here,’” dos Anjos said. “I heard a lot (of criticism). ‘Oh, those guys are huge.’ So what? I don’t care. I train with welterweights everyday. I train well with all them. I’ll also be stronger, healthier and my quality of life will improve. That’s what matters.”

Dos Anjos is totally at peace with the fresh start. Not only has his training improved, but even his family life has been positively impacted by what’s ultimately a much less grueling day-to-day. But, looking back, he admits it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows when he walked into the octagon for his 170-pound debut.

“I’m not going to lie, I felt very pressured for that last fight,” dos Anjos said. “I think I even got a little more tired than usual. I really pushed the pace of the fight, but I did get more tired because I was a little nervous. I lost the belt – and then, in my return fight, I lost. I switched divisions. You know how it goes – lose one more and everyone starts calling for your retirement. And I know I still have a lot to do.

“I was nervous. I was confident, but anxious. Thankfully, it all worked out. I’m on my way. I saw that the move to welterweight (worked). Although I’d fought in this division before the UFC, I was worried about the strength of the opponents. But I saw that, though the guys are stronger, I’m stronger too. The pressure is off.”

The keys to Neil Magny

Despite the confidence that he can make his way back to the top again, dos Anjos knows that he has a tough first step ahead, and that is Magny, who’ll return after a more than eight-month layoff – the longest of the 30-year-old fighter’s remarkably active UFC run.

Currently ranked No. 10 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, Magny comes off a decision win over ex-champ Johny Hendricks. In his past 13 fights, he’s only lost twice – falling victim to Lorenz Larkin’s heavy blows and Maia’s well-known grappling prowess.

“He’s a good fighter,” dos Anjos analyzed. “But he doesn’t have any specialties. He’s good at everything, but he’s not excellent at anything.”

While he believes that Magny does have a good ground game, dos Anjos also thinks he may be too willing to accept it. Which, for him, has meant falling into the traps of two grappling experts – other than Maia, Magny was also finished by jiu-jitsu ace Sergio Moraes.

With that in mind, dos Anjos thinks putting his black belt skills to use may  end up being a path to victory. But it’s not the only one.

“I’m going to do my usual game,” dos Anjos said. “I’m going to move forward. He has a good gas tank – he can put on a solid pace for 15 minutes. I think it will be a great fight. I’ll push the pace, too. The ground game is one way to go, but I’ll try to work my striking, too, and try to hurt him a little bit there. And, if it goes to the ground, I’ll settle it there.

“He’s long, but he doesn’t use his reach very well, from what I’ve seen. He fights with his arms closer to his body and he moves forward, chasing the fight. I like fighting taller, lankier guys like Nate Diaz, or Cerrone. I like it. Even Tarec Saffediene.”

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Here's the official poster for UFC 215, featuring 2 title fights and heavyweight hitters

After a light August schedule, the UFC makes its return to pay-per-view next month with UFC 215.

The event, which takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, features a pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1 MMA, 14-1-1 UFC) attempts to make a record-breaking 11th consecutive title defense when he takes on Ray Borg (11-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the main event. In the co-headliner, women’s bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) rematches Valentina Shevchenko (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in a bout pushed back from July.

Check out the official event poster below:

The complete UFC 215 lineup includes:

  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ex-champ Rafael dos Anjos targets UFC titleholder Tyron Woodley: 'I'm coming for the gold'

The UFC welterweight title picture is currently lacking a standout and logical next contender for champion Tyron Woodley. Former lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos is aiming to fill the void.

Prior to Woodley’s (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) successful title defense against Demian Maia at UFC 214 this past weekend, Georges St-Pierre appeared to be next in line. UFC President Dana White then scrapped the potential matchup after expressing disappointment in Woodley’s performance and instead booked “GSP” against middleweight champ Michael Bisping at UFC 217 in November.

Although White named ex-champ Robbie Lawler as someone who could next fight for the belt, Woodley doesn’t appear interested; he beat Lawler less than 13 months ago, after all. That puts someone like dos Anjos (26-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC) in good position if he can get past Neil Magny at UFC 215 next month.

Dos Anjos made Woodley aware of his intentions (via Twitter):

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. Dos Anjos vs. Magny airs on the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Woodley, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, was quick to reply, and took a shot at outspoken contender Colby Covington in the process (via Twitter):

The back-and-forth didn’t escalate much further, though dos Anjos let Woodley know he hasn’t experienced what he has to offer. Not only is the Brazilian a former champion at 155 pounds, but he’s beaten more former UFC titleholders than Woodley during his career (via Twitter):

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Neil Magny, Mitch Clarke vs. Alex White headed to UFC 215 in Edmonton

Two new fights are ticketed for September’s UFC return to Canada.

Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos (26-9 MMA, 15-7 UFC) will continue his quest at welterweight when he meets Neil Magny (19-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC), and home fan favorite Mitch Clarke (11-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) will take on Alex White (11-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) at lightweight at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

UFc officials announced the new bookings today following an initial report from the Edmonton Journal.

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order and full lineup haven’t been finalized.

Dos Anjos got back in the win column in June with a unanimous decision win over Tarec Saffiedine in Singapore. That snapped a two-fight skid that started when he lost his lightweight title in July 2016 to Eddie Alvarez. He followed that up this past November with a decision loss to Tony Ferguson in a “Fight of the Night” winner in Mexico City. After that, he made the decision to move up to welterweight.

Neil Magny

Magny has won four of his past five fights and 11 of his past 13 for one of the best runs in UFC welterweight history. This past December, he got back on track with a unanimous decision win over former champ Johny Hendricks at UFC 207. Prior to that, he had a three-fight winning streak snapped with he was stopped by a Lorenz Larkin TKO in the first round at UFC 202.

Mitch Clarke

Clarke, an Edmonton resident, will be trying to get back on track in front of his home fans. He lost his first two UFC fights, both in Canada, after starting a perfect 9-0 in his career. But then he topped John Maguire by unanimous decision and stunned Al Iaquinta with a D’Arce choke at UFC 173 to win a performance bonus. But in his past two fights, he has losses to Michael Chiesa and Joseph Duffy. Clarke has had just one fight a year between 2012-2016, and his fight with White will be his first in 2017.

Alex White

White needs a rebound of his own. After starting a perfect 10-0 in his career, including a knockout win over Estevan Payan, he has dropped three of his past four. A decision win over Artem Lobov at UFC Fight Night 82 in February 2016 is the lone bright spot in a three-year stretch that includes losses to Lucas Martins, Clay Collard and Tony Martin, the latter coming in January after moving to lightweight from featherweight.

With the additions, the latest UFC 215 card includes:

  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins
  • Rafael dos Anjos vs. Neil Magny
  • Mitch Clarke vs. Alex White

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 215 in Canada adds Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins

The quickly filling UFC 215 lineup has a recent lightweight addition.

Officials recently announced a fight between Kajan Johnson (21-12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Adriano Martins (28-8 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order and full lineup haven’t been finalized.

Johnson, a semifinalist on “The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia” in 2014, fights for the first time since 2015, when the 33-year-old Canadian scored a decision victory over Naoyuki Kotani. He’s 2-0 since a UFC-debut loss to Tae Hyun Bang in 2014 that earned “Fight of the Night” honors.

He now meets Martins, a 35-year-old Brazilian who was riding a three-fight winning streak that included knockout wins – both of which earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses – over Juan Puig and Islam Makhachev. However, in his most recent bout, the former Jungle Fight champion and onetime Strikeforce fighter suffered a narrow split-decision defeat to Leonardo Santos.

The latest UFC 215 card includes:

  • Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – for flyweight title
  • Champ Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – for women’s bantamweight title
  • Junior Dos Santos vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Sara McMann vs. Ketlen Vieira
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Kajan Johnson vs. Adriano Martins

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Gilbert Melendez meets Jeremy Stephens at UFC 215 in Edmonton

The UFC’s debut in Edmonton has a new featherweight fight between a pair of veterans.

Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (22-6 MMA, 1-4 UFC) is set to take on Jeremy Stephens (25-14 MMA, 12-13 UFC) in a 145-pound bout at UFC 215. UFC officials announced the fight today following an initial report from TSN.

UFC 215 takes place Sept. 9 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

It hasn’t been easy sledding for Stephens the past three years. After dropping from lightweight to featherweight in the wake of a three-fight skid, Stephens picked up a trio of wins over Estevan Payan, Rony Jason and Darren Elkins. But since that streak, he’s gone just 2-5.

His losses, though, include a who’s-who of the 145-pound weight class: Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and current featherweight kingpin Max Holloway. And he lost all of those fights by decision. His wins include a TKO of Dennis Bermudez and a decision over former champ Renan Barao, which picked him up a “Fight of the Night” bonus.

Melendez is on hard times of his own, also agains tthe toughest competition of his career. After coming over from Strikeforce as lightweight champion, he got a shot at then-UFC 155-pound champ Benson Henderson, but dropped a split decision in April 2013. After a “Fight of the Night” win over Diego Sanchez later that year, Melendez was on the shelf till another title shot.

After coaching opposite Anthony Pettis on “The Ultimate Fighter,” he was submitted by “Showtime” in their UFC 181 title fight in December 2014. At UFC 188 in June 2015, he dropped a split decision to former Bellator champ and eventual UFC champ Eddie Alvarez. Adding to his woes, he failed a post-fight drug test and was suspended. When he returned about a year ago, he lost a decision to Edson Barboza, giving him four losses in five fights since coming to the UFC on a seven-fight winning streak.

With the addition, the latest UFC 215 lineup includes:

  • Francis Ngannou vs. Junior Dos Santos
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Wilson Reis
  • Rick Glenn vs. Gavin Tucker
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Sarah Moras
  • Arjan Bhullar vs. Luis Henrique
  • Gilbert Melendez vs. Jeremy Stephens

For more on UFC 215, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie