Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back inside its Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend (Sat., Feb. 25, 2023) for UFC Vegas 70. And while it is a much better card than last week, let's not pretend that we aren’t all impatiently waiting for next week's blockbuster UFC 285 pay-per-view show. But, until then, Ryan Spann vs. Nikita Krylov headline this weekend in a Top 10 Light Heavyweight showdown.
Before UFC Vegas 70 goes down this Saturday, check out some random storylines, tidbits, and statistics.
First Main Event
After 17 fights in UFC, Krylov will headline his first-ever event. The 30-year-old fighter made his debut back in 2014 in the Heavyweight division. Through ups and downs, Krylov is riding a two-fight win streak, including a knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson (watch highlights).
The other fighter in the main event, Spann, is also riding a two-fight win streak and is looking to get his first main event win. In his first main event opportunity, he got submitted by Anthony Smith back in 2021 (watch it). "Superman" returns to the exact cage looking to exact his revenge on Krylov.
Tatiana Suarez finally makes her return after a four-year layoff. She was last in action against Nina Nunes at UFC 238 in Chicago. Injuries have plagued her career, whether it be her back, neck or knees ... Olympic wrestling will do that. The 32-year-old will make her Flyweight debut after a five-fight Strawweight run where she got very close to the title. The fighter tasked to spoil Suarez's return is Montana De La Rosa.
Tatiana Suarez fight week#UFCVegas70— MMA mania (@mmamania) February 20, 2023
One And Done At 125
While Suarez was teasing the possibility of fighting in two divisions at UFC Vegas 70 media on Wednesday, she told MMAMania.com that she plans to return to Strawweight after making her Flyweight debut on Saturday. Well, Suarez versus Valentina Shevchenko was fun in our imaginations while it lasted ...
Tatiana Suarez reveals she is planning to go back to strawweight following #UFCVegas70 pic.twitter.com/r4UaDeolNa— MMA mania (@mmamania) February 22, 2023
Top 15 Shot Finally (Again)
Brendan Allen has had some bad luck when it comes to getting a Top 15 Middleweight match. The 27-year-old has floated around the rankings for several years, but fight cancelations have halted him. Allen's first shot at the Top 15 was supposed to be against Ian Heinisch (twice); however, Heinisch pulled out both times of their planned bouts.
As a result, Allen went on to lose to Sean Strickland, who replaced Heinisch the second time (watch it). After winning a couple of fights, Allen was then paired opposite perennial Top 15-ranked fighter, Brad Tavares. But, Tavares pulled out a few weeks before that fight as well.
"All-In" Allen faces No. 11-seeded Andre Muniz at UFC Vegas 70.
Sticking with Allen, his promotion, “All In Combat,” will debut on the same day he fights.
“All In Combat” is a new MMA promotion and its first event will take place in southern Louisiana. Check out the card below:
Canada vs. Canada
Canadian MMA has not been the same since Georges St-Pierre left the sport. While there have been some prospects here and there, the hole in the Great White North is real. On Saturday, two Canadian prospects go head-to-head in a rare Canada vs. Canada fight, as Mike Mallot takes on Yohan Lainesse in what should be an entertaining scrap.
Mike Mallot what a Debut pic.twitter.com/3q98Djfc94— Λ (@ImAntoMMA) April 10, 2022
Main Card Mistake
UFC's card placement is always something of a debate week-in, week-out. UFC Vegas 70 is no different, as Augusto Sakai is in the featured bout slot against Don'Tale Mayes.
Sakai is riding a four-fight losing streak (all via knockout), while Mayes is coming off a loss that was overturned to a “No Contest.” I guess you could argue Sakai is an established name, so that is why he gets the main card spot, but come on, several other fights should be featured here.
Welcome To UFC (x7)
Seven fighters are making their UFC debuts this weekend ...
- Former LFA Flyweight champion, Gabriella Fernandes (8-1), takes on Jasmine Jasudavicius in the featured “Prelims" undercard bout
- Victor Martinez (13-4) is rebooked against Jordan Leavitt and wants to make an impression
- Highly touted Nurullo Aliev (10-) takes on the always-exciting Rafael Alves
- Hailey Cowan (7-2) fights Ailin Perez
- Trevor Peek (7-0) takes on Erick Gonzalez in what could be the "Fight of the Night" after both fighters lost their original opponents
- Carl Deaton III (17-5) fights Joe Solecki on one-week notice
‘Monkey King’ Is Back
It's no secret Jordan Leavitt loves fighting in Las Vegas since no travel is required, and he had a bad experience in London during his last outing. UFC Vegas 70 is Leavitt's first appearance since his fight against Paddy Pimblett. Leavitt told MMAmania.com he wants to bounce back after his "sucky and disappointing" performance.
Contender Series Mania
Sixteen Contender Series fighters will compete at UFC Vegas 70. In no particular order: Spann, Allen, Muniz, Sakai, Mayes, Mallott, Lainesse, Jasudavicius, Leavitt, Martinez, Solecki, Ode Osbourne, Alves, Aliev, Cowan and Peek.
17 alumni from Dana White’s Contender Series will fight on #UFCVegas70.— MMA mania (@mmamania) February 23, 2023
Spann, Allen, Muniz, Sakai, Mayes, Mallott, Lainesse, Jasudavicius, Leavitt, Martinez, Solecki, Osbourne, Alves, Aliev, Cowan, Johnson, Peek
Here are the divisions that will be on display on Saturday.
- One Heavyweight fight
- One Light Heavyweight fight
- One Middleweight fight
- One Welterweight fight
- Four Lightweight fights
- One Bantamweight
- One Flyweight/Catchweight (130lb)
- Two Women's Flyweight fights
- One Women's Bantamweight fight
Wins And Losses
Sixteen fighters are coming off a win, while 10 are coming off losses.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 70 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 70 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive here.