HEAVYWEIGHT KNOCKOUT ARTISTS
(#7) ALISTAIR OVEREEM AND (#10) WALT HARRIS HEADLINE UFC® RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C.
UFC® returns to the nation’s capital for the first time in over eight years with a clash of powerful heavyweight strikers, as No. 7 ranked contender Alistair Overeem battles No. 10 Walt Harris. The event also features a matchup of top strawweight contenders as No. 6 Claudia Gadelha faces No. 10 Cynthia Calvillo.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN®: OVEREEM vs. HARRIS will air live from Capital One Arena on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 7. Prelims will kick off at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and then continue on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 7pm ET. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. ET.
A perennial heavyweight contender, Overeem (45-17 1NC, fighting out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has fought the who’s who of mixed martial arts. Throughout his storied career, he has delivered spectacular knockouts against Brock Lesnar, Mark Hunt, Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski. He now looks to secure his third consecutive stoppage win and stake his claim for another UFC title shot.
A heavy-handed striker, all of Harris’ (13-7 1NC, fighting out of Birmingham, Ala.) victories have come via knockout. His power was on full display in his most recent outing, as he stopped Aleksei Oleinik in only 12 seconds. Harris has also netted impressive wins over Serghei Spivac, Daniel Spitz and Chase Sherman. He now aims to continue his ascent up the rankings with another show-stealing finish.
A former strawweight title challenger, Gadelha (17-4, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) showed off new wrinkles to her game in a unanimous decision win over Randa Markos this past July. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has also netted impressive victories against Carla Esparza, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Aguilar. Gadelha now hopes to keep her momentum going by dispatching another top-level opponent.
A talented grappler, Calvillo (8-1, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) immediately turned heads in her UFC debut with a submission win over Amanda Cooper. She has since earned impressive victories against Cortney Casey, Poliana Botelho, Joanne Calderwood and Pearl Gonzalez. Calvillo is now gunning for the biggest win of her career to crack the strawweight top five.
Announced bouts on the card include:
No. 10 ranked bantamweight contender Cody Stamann (18-2, fighting out of Sparta, Mich.) locks horns with rising No. 13 Song Yadong (15-4, 1 NC, fighting out of Heilongjiang, China)
In a pivotal bantamweight contenders’ bout,
No. 4 Aspen Ladd (8-1, fighting out of El Dorado Hills, Calif.) meets No. 7 Yana Kunitskaya (12-4 1NC, fighting out of Murmansk, Russia)
Heavyweight veterans collide, as Stefan Struve (33-11, fighting out of Beverwijk, The Netherlands) faces Ben Rothwell (36-12, fighting out of Kenosha, Wisc.)
Former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit (30-13, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) returns against tough prospect Mickey Gall (6-2, Green Brook Township, N.J.)
Dana White’s Contender Series contract winner Alonzo Menifield (10-0, fighting out of Dallas, Tex.) aims to remain undefeated against battle-tested Trevor Smith (15-9, fighting out of Tukwila, Wash.)
No. 15 ranked strawweight contender Cortney Casey (8-7, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) looks to rebound against Virna Jandiroba (14-1, fighting out of Feira de Santana, Brazil)
Bryce Mitchell (11-1, fighting out of Searcy, Ark.) goes for his third straight UFC win against Matt Sayles (8-2, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.)
Dana White’s Contender Series signee Joe Solecki (7-2, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.) debuts against tough veteran Matt Wiman (16-8, fighting out of Portland, Ore.)