TOP RANKED FLYWEIGHTS
(#1) TAILA SANTOS AND (#10) ERIN BLANCHFIELD
COLLIDE AT UFC® APEX
JORDAN WRIGHT vs ZAC PAUGA
Las Vegas – UFC® returns to UFC APEX with a matchup of top flyweights as No. 1 ranked contender Taila Santos returns against No. 10 Erin Blanchfield. In the co-main event, exciting light heavyweight collide as Jordan Wright faces Zac Pauga.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: SANTOS vs. BLANCHFIELD will take place Saturday, February 18 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 at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
Former UFC flyweight title challenger Santos (19-2, fighting out of Balneário Camboriú, SC, Brazil) returns to action looking to impress in her first UFC main event. A knockout artist with 11 first-round finishes, Santos earned her UFC stripes with victories over Molly McCann, Roxanne Modafferi and Joanne Wood. She now seeks to halt the momentum of Blanchfield and earn another crack at the championship.
Blanchfield (10-1, fighting out of Elmwood Park, N.J.) is considered one of the top prospects in MMA. Still only 23 years old, Blanchfield is undefeated in the UFC with notable wins over Miranda Maverick, JJ Aldrich and Molly McCann. She now aims to earn the biggest victory of her career and soar to the top of the flyweight ranks.
Wright (12-4 1NC, fighting out of Lake Sherwood, Calif.) enters the Octagon with his sights set on delivering another spectacular finish. The owner of an impressive 100 percent finishing rate, he holds first-round knockout wins over Jamie Pickett and Ike Villanueva. Wright now seeks to start 2023 off with another addition to his highlight reel.
The Ultimate Fighter season 30 heavyweight finalist Pauga (6-1, fighting out of Lakewood, Colo.) drops down in weight with the intention of putting the light heavyweight division on notice. A former NFL player, Pauga climbed his way to The Ultimate Fighter finale with victories over Nyle Bartling and Jordan Heiderman. He now plans to earn his first UFC win in dominant fashion.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- A heavyweight bout sees Josh Parisian (15-5, fighting out of Howell, Mich.) lock horns with Dana White’s Contender Series signee Jamal Pogues (9-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.)
- William Knight (11-4, fighting out of Vernon, Conn.) seeks to start 2023 off on a high note when he faces Marcin Prachnio (15-6, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland) at light heavyweight
- UFC legend Jim Miller (35-16 1 NC, fighting out of Sparta, N.J.) returns to the Octagon to add more records to his name when he matches up with Alexander Hernandez (13-6, fighting out of San Antonio, Texas)
- No. 12 ranked women’s bantamweight Lina Lansberg (10-7, fighting out of Malmo, Sweden) meets No. 14 ranked Mayra Bueno Silva (9-2-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) in an all-action bout
- Jamall Emmers (18-6, fighting out of Mentone, Calif.) plans to spoil the UFC debut of undefeated newcomer Khusein Askhabov (23-0, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Chechnya, Russia) at featherweight
- Light heavyweight veteran Ovince Saint Preux (26-16, fighting out of Knoxville, Tenn.) looks to secure another signature finish against Philipe Lins (15-5, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil)
- Dana White’s Contender Series signee Nazim Sadykhov (7-1, fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y.) intends to make a statement against Evan Elder (7-1, fighting out of Hillsboro, Mo.) at lightweight
- AJ Fletcher (9-2, fighting out of Lafayette, La.) battles Themba Gorimbo (10-3, fighting out of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa) in a welterweight clash
- Dana White’s Contender Series signee Clayton Carpenter (6-0, fighting out of Gilbert, Ariz.) has his sights set on making a statement against Juancamilo Ronderos (4-1, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) in a flyweight scrap