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UFC Vegas 59 start time, who is fighting tonight on ESPN | Santos vs. Hill

UFC Fight Night: Santos v Hill Weigh-in Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns with another event later TONIGHT (Sat., Aug. 6, 2022) as UFC Vegas 59 is set to go down from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Leading the fight card is a Light Heavyweight bout between Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill. In further action, Vicente Luque will battle Geoff Neal in what is sure to be a hard-hitting affair at Welterweight.

What’s Hot:

Ever since Thiago Santos lost to Jon Jones in 2019, the hard-hitting Brazilian has looked like a shell of his former self. Sure, a couple of knee injuries only added to his decline, but it seems that most fighters just aren’t the same since losing to “Bones,” with the exception of the legend that is Glover Teixeira. Since coming up short against Jones, Santos has gone 1-3 and is coming off a loss to top contender, Magomed Ankalaev. Despite his three-year long skid, Santos remains close to the Top 5 because he currently holds the No. 6 slot. Now, “Marreta” is looking to bounce back and return to his head-smashing ways when he battles rising contender, Jamahal Hill.

Ranked No. 10 at the moment, Hill is eyeing a huge leap in the rankings with a win over a former title contender. With a UFC record of 4-1-1 after making his way out of the Contender Series, Hill has quickly risen the ranks and caught the attention of fans and future foes. Hill is coming off back-to-back first-round knockout wins over Johnny Walker and Jimmy Crute, and if he manages to do that to “Marreta” as well, we can expect him in the Top 5 come next week. But it would be wise for Hill to not overlook the aging Santos based on his recent slump. The man can still crack and one solid shot could send him home feeling the blues. It’s an interesting match up between what seems to be a fading veteran and a fast-rising contender at different points in their combat careers. One is looking for a new lease on his combat life, while the other is hoping to show that he is ready to face the cream of the crop in the early stages of his career.

What’s Not:

So we’ve been spoiled with the last two “Fight Night” events that were well-rounded and delivered across the board, and we really can’t bag on this card. It has some decent match ups and the newest The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) champions will be crowned, as well. It’s nothing to go crazy over, but we should be in for some decent scraps.

Original Card Vs. Actual Card:

Late last night, a fight between UFC newcomer, Josh Quinlan, and Jason Witt was inexplicably moved from this event to UFC San Diego, watering down the “Prelims” a bit more. Also, a few weeks ago Zubaira Tukhugov was forced out of his fight against Nate Landwehr because of visa issues. As a result, Landwehr was booked to face David Onama, also at the UFC San Diego event, which goes down next weekend.

Injuries:

No injuries were reported for this event.

LIVE! Stream UFC San Diego On ESPN+

PIVOTAL BANTAMWEIGHT CLASH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to San Diego, Calif., on Sat., Aug. 13, 2022, for the first time since 2015 with a pivotal battle between top-ranked Bantamweight contenders that will see No. 5-ranked Marlon Vera take on former champion and No. 8-seeded Dominick Cruz. In San Diego’s co-main event, Nate Landwehr and David Onama will collide in a Featherweight showdown between dynamic 145-pound hopefuls.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

New Blood:

No newcomers for this event.

How The ‘Prelim’s’ Look:

Terrance McKinney was on a fast start to his UFC career after winning his first two fights via first-round knockout, including a seven-second win over Matt Frevola. Prior to that, he had won three straight, also in the first round, with a combined time of one minute and 45 seconds. In his last fight, however, he got a taste of his own medicine courtesy of Drew Dober, who knocked him out in the first round. Now “T-Wrecks” is out to score another trip to the winner’s circle when he battles Erick Gonzalez, who is coming off a loss to Jim Miller 10 months ago. “Ghost Pepper” is on the hunt for his first UFC victory, and getting that over McKinney would be a nice notch on his belt.

In women’s Bantamweight action, Mayra Bueno Silva will tango with Stephanie Egger. Silva is just 2-1-1 since making her UFC debut and is coming off a win over Yanan Wu earlier this year. As for Egger, she got off to a rough start to her UFC journey after losing to Tracy Cortez, but she bounced back nicely with back-to-back stoppage wins over Shanna Young and Jessica-Rose Clark.

In Strawweight action, Cory McKenna and Miranda Granger will collide in a fight between two contenders in desperate need of a win. McKenna is coming off a loss to Elise Reed, snapping her four-fight win streak. As for Granger, she has lost two in a row after starting off her career at 7-0.

Takashi Sato burst onto the UFC scene with an impressive knockout win over Ben Saunders in 2019, but the former Pancrase star has been anything but stellar since then. He has gone 1-3 with his lone win coming against Jason Witt via first round knockout in 2020. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak and another loss could be detrimental to his UFC career. He will go up against Bryan Battle, who is riding high with six straight wins, including going undefeated (2-0) inside the Octagon.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

It seems Sam Alvey has taken this spot every time he competes, and every time he comes up short he lives to fight another day inside the Octagon. “Smilin’ Sam” hasn’t won a fight inside the Octagon since 2018, going 0-7-1 in that span. Look, it’s not like I want to see anyone get fired, or in this case cut from the roster, but you have to wonder how many life lines Alvey is going to get. If he wins he gets another lease on his combat life, but losing another fight should mark the end of his UFC career ... right? He has a tough task ahead of him when he battles Michal Oleksiejczuk, who is in need of a win (not as much as Alvey), after losing to Dustin Jacoby, snapping his two-fight win streak.

Interest Level: 6/10

Vicente Luque just can’t seem to catch a break. He has been very successful inside the Octagon, however, right when he’s about to get over the hump and into title contention he comes up short. He had his four-fight win streak snapped by Leon Edwards, his subsequent six-fight win streak snapped by Stephen Thompson. More recently, he saw his four-fight win streak go out the window after losing to Belal Muhammad, sending him back to the drawing board once again. He will now face Geoff Neal, who is fresh off a win over Santiago Ponzinibbio, snapping his two-fight losing streak. Luque has all the tools to fight for the title one day, he just needs to find a way to get over that hump. As for Neal, he is a dangerous foe in his own right thanks to his thunderous knockout power.

In the Heavyweight division, Augusto Sakai and Sergey Spivak will collide in a hard-hitting big man match up. Sakai started off his UFC career strong with four straight wins, but has really fallen on hard times after dropping his last three, all via knockout. Spivak, on the other hand, is coming off a win over Greg Hardy, knocking out the former NFL star in the very first round, sending him packing from UFC’s roster. Now, Spivak plans to do the same to Sakai by handing him his fourth straight defeat.

Ariane Lipski missed weight by 2.5 pounds for her fight against Priscila Cachoeira, so the fight will now take place at a Catchweight of 129 pounds. Lipski will lose 20 percent of her fight purse for her scale fail. Nevertheless, she will attempt to build off the momentum following her win over Mandy Bohm in late 2021. As for Cachoeira, she defeated Ji Yeon Kim earlier this year and is eyeing her second two-fight win streak inside the Octagon.

And finally, the newest TUF champions will be crowned as Zac Pauga will battle Mohammed Usman in a TUF 30 Heavyweight final match. Usman made his way to the final by scoring wins over Mitchell Sipe and Eduardo Perez, and now the brother of UFC’s Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, hopes to secure a six-figure contract. As for Pauga, he defeated Nyle Bartling and Jordan Heiderman. He is currently undefeated (5-0) in his professional MMA career.

In the other final, Brogan Walker and Julianna Miller collide in a women’s Flyweight fight. Walker defeated former Bellator MMA veteran Hanna Guy, and then Laura Gallardo to punch her ticket to the finale. As for Miller, she defeated Claire Guthrie via unanimous decision, while she submitted Kaytlin Neil via submission. All four TUF competitors are hoping to join the UFC ranks, so this should make for some great match ups in “Sin City.”

Enjoy the fights!

Full UFC Vegas 59 Fight Card:

UFC Vegas 59 Main Event On ESPN/ESPN+:

205 lbs.: Thiago Santos vs. Jamahal Hill

UFC Vegas 59 Main Card On ESPN/ESPN+:

170 lbs.: Vicente Luque vs. Geoff Neal
265 lbs.: Zac Pauga vs. Mohammad Usman — TUF 30 Finale Heavyweight Final
125 lbs.: Brogan Walker vs. Julianna Miller — TUF 30 Finale Flyweight Final
265 lbs.: Augusto Sakai vs. Sergey Spivak
155 lbs.: Erick Gonzalez vs. Terrance McKinney
125 lbs.: Ariane Lipski vs. Priscila Cachoeira — CANCELED (details)

UFC Vegas 59 Under Card ‘Prelims’ On ESPN/ESPN+:

185 lbs.: Sam Alvey vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
170 lbs.: Bryan Battle vs. Takashi Sato
115 lbs.: Miranda Granger vs. Cory McKenna
135 lbs.: Stephanie Egger vs. Mayra Bueno Silva

*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change.*


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 59 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN/ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 59: “Hill vs. Santos” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.