TOP FIVE RANKED BANTAMWEIGHTS
(#2) RAQUEL PENNINGTON AND (#5) IRENE ALDANA
CLASH IN REMATCH AT UFC® APEX
EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN vs. ANTHONY HERNANDEZ
Las Vegas – UFC® returns to UFC APEX with a high-stakes rematch in the women’s bantamweight division, as No. 2 ranked contender Raquel Pennington takes on No. 5 Irene Aldana. In addition, will see exciting middleweights Edmen Shahbazyan and Anthony Hernandez lock horns.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: PENNINGTON vs. ALDANA will take place Saturday, May 20 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The entire card will be available on ESPN+ in English and Spanish, with the main card starting at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT and the prelims beginning at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
Bantamweight veteran Pennington (15-8, fighting out of Colorado Springs, Colo.) sets out to collect her sixth consecutive win. The Colorado native has secured dominant victories against former UFC champions Miesha Tate and Jéssica Andrade, as well as Ketlen Vieira. Pennington is determined to lock down a second win over Aldana and leave no doubt that she’s next in line for a shot at the title.
Aldana (14-6, fighting out of Guadalajara, Mexico) looks to even the score and deliver an impressive win over Pennington. Always game to keep it standing, Aldana has delivered impressive knockout finishes over Macy Chiasson, Yana Santos, and Ketlen Vieira. The Mexican-born striker now looks to deliver a statement victory by adding Pennington to her highlight reel.
Shotokan Karate black belt Shahbazyan (12-3, fighting out of Glendale, Calif.) looks to capture the first win of his 2023 season. Shahbazyan’s elite striking has led him to knockouts against the likes of Dalcha Lungiambula, Brad Tavares, and Jack Marshman. He now plans to repeat that same success against Hernandez.
Hernandez (10-2, fighting out of Eldorado, Calif.) returns to the Octagon to put the middleweight division on notice. A submission specialist, he’s delivered impressive wins over formidable opponents such as Marc-André Barriault, Josh Fremd and Brendan Allen. Hernandez sets out with the intention of finishing Shahbazyan and climbing his way closer to challenging the Top 15.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- UFC veteran Ilir Latifi (17-8, fighting out of Malmo, Sweden) and Rodrigo Nascimento (9-1, fighting out of Belo Horizonte, Brazil) are set to deliver fireworks in the heavyweight division
- Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner Orion Cosce (8-1, fighting out of Arcata, Calif.) faces Gilbert Urbina (6-2, fighting out of The Rio Grande Valley, Texas) at welterweight
- An intriguing matchup in the welterweight division pits Andre Fialho (16-6 1 NC, fighting out of Cascais, Portugual) against Joaquin Buckley (15-6, fighting out of St. Louis, Miss.)
- Lightweights Diego Ferreira (17-5, fighting out of Pharr, Texas) and The Ultimate Fighter season 12 finalist Michael Johnson (22-18, fighting out of St. Louis, Mo.) go toe-to-toe at 155 pounds
- China’s Maheshate (9-2, fighting out of Sichaun, China) meets Dana White’s Contender Series alum Viacheslav Borshchev (6-3, fighting out of Volgograd, Russia) in an exciting lightweight tilt
- Dana White’s Contender Series signee Chase Hooper (11-3-1, fighting out of Enumclaw, Wash.) and Nick Fiore (6-1, fighting out of Derry, N.H.) square off at lightweight
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz (14-7, fighting out of Lodz, Poland) and Vanessa Demopoulos (9-4, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) clash in a thrilling battle of strawweights
- Flyweights Natalia Silva (14-5-1, fighting out of Pingo D’agua, Brazil) and Victoria Leonardo (9-5, fighting out of Shreveport, La.) start the night’s action