Pivotal Middleweight Matchup Headlines at UFC Apex












Las Vegas – UFC® continues its run of shows at UFC APEX with a pivotal matchup in the middleweight division that will see No. 6 ranked Jack Hermansson look to snap the win streak of No. 7 Sean Strickland. In the co-main event, middleweight finishers Punahele Soriano and Nick Maximov lock horns.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: HERMANSSON vs. STRICKLAND will take place Saturday, Feb. 5 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. All bouts will be available exclusively on ESPN+ (English and Spanish), with the main card beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. The prelims will kick off at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.

Talented grappler Hermansson (22-6, fighting out of Oslo, Norway) has cemented himself as one of the toughest matchups in the middleweight division. Throughout his UFC run, he has delivered impressive finishes over Kelvin Gastelum, Thales Leites and Gerald Meerschaert. Hermansson now has his sights set on halting the momentum of Strickland and defending his spot in the rankings.

Strickland (23-4-1, fighting out of Corona, Calif.) looks to continue his ascension up the middleweight ladder with a statement performance. Undefeated since returning to the 185-pound division in 2020, he has secured victories against Brendan Allen, Krzysztof Jotko and Uriah Hall. Strickland now aims to capture the biggest victory of his career and make a case for title contention.

Dana White’s Contender Series alum Soriano (8-1, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) immediately showed off his punching power upon joining the UFC by earning consecutive knockouts over fellow strikers Oskar Piechota and Dusko Todorovic. He now hopes to bounce back into the win column with another show-stealing victory.

Undefeated Maximov (7-0, fighting out of Chico, Calif.) intends to produce a stand out performance and add his name to the list of top prospects in the UFC. A training partner of the Diaz brothers, Maximov made his Octagon debut last year with a win over Cody Brundage. He now plans to score his first UFC finish by becoming the only man to stop Soriano.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Shavkat Rakhmonov (14-0, fighting out of Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan) looks to keep his undefeated, 100 percent finishing streak alive when he faces Carlston Harris (17-4, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) at welterweight
  • Veteran Sam Alvey (33-16-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Temecula, Calif.) aims for another signature KO against Phil Hawes (11-3, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) at middleweight
  • Tresean Gore (3-0, fighting out of Norcross, Ga.) intends to prove that he is the best athlete from The Ultimate Fighter season 29 when he faces season champion Bryan Battle (6-1, fighting out of Matthews, N.C.) at middleweight
  • An exciting featherweight bout sees Julian Erosa (26-10, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) match up with Steven Peterson (19-9, fighting out of Dallas, Texas)
  • Bantamweights Miles Johns (12-1, fighting out of Dallas, Texas) and John Castaneda (18-5, fighting out of Minneapolis, Minn.) aim to steal the show
  • Hakeem Dawodu (12-2-1, fighting out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada) plans to return to the winner’s circle when he matches up with The Ultimate Fighter season 27 champion Michael Trizano (10-1, fighting out of Ramsey, N.J.) at featherweight
  • Dana White’s Contender Series alum Chidi Njokuani (20-7, 1 NC, fighting out of Saginaw, Texas) looks to make a splash in his debut against Marc-Andre Barriault (13-4, 1 NC, fighting out of Pompano Beach, Fla. by way of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada)
  • Bantamweight action sees Alexis Davis (20-11, fighting out of San Jose, Calif. by way of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada) take on Julija Stoliarenko (9-6-1, fighting out of Utena County, Lithuania)
  • Dana White’s Contender Series alum Jailton Almeida (14-2, fighting out of Salvador-Bahia, Brazil) seeks to keep his momentum going when he faces Danilo Marques (11-3, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • Jason Witt (19-7, fighting out of Overland Park, Kan.) and Philip Rowe (10-3, fighting out of Ocoee, Fla.) collide at welterweight
  • Flyweights Malcolm Gordon (13-5, fighting out of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) and Denys Bondar (16-3, fighting out of Kharkiv, Ukraine) battle to make a run at the rankings

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