TOP RANKED MIDDLEWEIGHT STRIKERS
(#3) JARED CANNONIER AND (#7) SEAN STRICKLAND
HEADLINE FINAL UFC EVENT OF 2022 AT UFC APEX
ARMAN TSARUKYAN vs DAMIR ISMAGULOV
Las Vegas – UFC® caps off 2022 with another exciting event at UFC Apex that will be headlined by a pair of thrilling strikers as No. 3 ranked middleweight contender Jared Cannonier collides with No. 7 Sean Strickland. Also on the card, rising lightweight contenders lock horns as No. 9 ranked Arman Tsarukyan faces No. 12 Damir Ismagulov.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: CANNONIER vs. STRICKLAND will take place Saturday, December 17 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 middleweight title challenger Cannonier (15-6, fighting out of Anchorage, Alaska) returns to the Octagon aiming to make a statement to the division. A former heavyweight and 205-pound standout, Cannonier found his groove at 185-pounds where he has finished all but one of his wins by knockout, including victories over Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson and Kelvin Gastelum. He now sets out to defend his spot in the rankings and reinsert himself into the championship conversation.
Strickland (25-4, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) looks to break into the middleweight Top 5 for the first time in his career. A volume striker with relentless pressure, he has entertained fans with wins over Jack Hermansson, Uriah Hall and Brendan Allen. Strickland now intends to make the most of his third UFC main event by becoming the first middleweight to stop Cannonier.
Rising star Tsarukyan (18-3, fighting out of Krasnodar, Russia) seeks to end the year on a high note and begin his run for title contention. A Master of Sports in MMA and freestyle wrestling, Tsarukyan has established himself as one of the top prospects on the UFC roster with victories over Joel Alvarez, Christos Giagos and Davi Ramos. He now plans to hand Ismagulov his first UFC loss in dominant fashion.
Ismagulov (24-1, fighting out of Udarnyi, Russia) has his sights set on breaking into the Top 10 for the first time if he can score the biggest win of his UFC career. Currently on an impressive 19 fight win streak, he earned his spot in the rankings with victories over Guram Kutateladze, Rafael Alves and Thiago Moises. Ismagulov now aims to secure his first UFC finish and declare himself as the next top contender in the division.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- No. 8 ranked flyweight contender Amir Albazi (15-1, fighting out of Baghdad, Iraq) looks to spoil the UFC debut of Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Alessandro Costa (12-2, fighting out of San Pedro Cholula, Pueblo, Mexico)
- No. 15 ranked featherweight contender Alex Caceres (19-13, 1 NC, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) squares off with the always exciting Julian Erosa (28-10, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.)
- No. 9 ranked flyweight contender David Dvorak (20-4, fighting out of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic) steps into the Octagon to defend his spot in the rankings against No. 12 Manel Kape (17-6, fighting out of Phuket, Thailand)
- Drew Dober (25-11, 1 NC, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) meets Bobby Green (29-13-1, fighting out of Fontana, Calif.) in a battle of lightweight veterans
- Cody Brundage (8-2, fighting out of Littleton, Colo.) faces Michal Oleksiejczuk (17-5, 1 NC, fighting out of Lublin Voivodeship, Poland) at middleweight
- Rising strawweight contenders collide as Cheyanne Vlismas (7-2, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) takes on Cory McKenna (7-2, fighting out of Wales, United Kingdom)
- Jake Matthews (18-5, fighting out of Epping, Victoria, Australia) plans to remain undefeated in 2022 as he matches up with Matthew Semelsberger (10-4, fighting out of Ijamsville, Md.) at welterweight
- An exciting middleweight bout sees Julian Marquez (9-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) and Deron Winn (7-3, fighting out of Gilroy, Calif.) collide
- Said Nurmagomedov (16-2, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) and Saidyokub Kakhramonov (10-2, fighting out of Spokane, Wash. by way of Samarkand, Uzbekistan) face off at bantamweight
- The Ultimate Fighter season 29 middleweight weight Bryan Battle (9-1, fighting out of Matthews, N.C.) returns to 170-pounds seeking another highlight reel KO against Rinat Fakhretdinov (20-2, fighting out of Moskva, Russia)
- Lightweights Rafa Garcia (14-3, fighting out of Imperial, Calif.) and Maheshate (9-1, fighting out of Shanghai, China) look to steal the show
- Sergey Morozov (18-5, fighting out of Aktobe, Kazakhstan) looks to make a statement against Journey Newson (10-3, 1 NC, fighting out of Portland, Ore.) in a bantamweight bout