UFC just seems to get better and better. March saw two epic events – one in the home of the organization in Las Vegas, Nevada and one in London, England. Both served up some brutal MMA action and we were treated to some exhilarating bouts.
The fight nights continue in April as well, crisscrossing the United States, allowing more fans to watch their heroes up close and personal as more belts are put on the line. If you are learning how to bet on UFC you will find the latest markets at the sportsbooks. But, for now, here’s what happened at UFC 285 and 286 – and what is coming up next.
UFC 285 and UFC 286
Former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was finally stripped of his title in February, so fight fans were treated to Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane going head-to-head for the vacant belt. In the end, Jones became just the eighth multi-division champion in UFC history when he won in just over two minutes of the first round.
Just two weeks later it was the welterweight division that came to the fore, with Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman facing each other for the third time after Edwards shock win last time in the octagon. Usman took the champ all the way this time but Edwards retained his title thanks to a majority decision after five rounds.
So, next up the Miami-Dade Arena plays host to UFC 287, with another rematch topping the bill. Current champion Alex Pereira will go against former champion Israel Adesanya in a repeat of their meeting at UFC 281. Adesanya had defended the title five times before meeting Pereira in November, but ended up losing on a TKO. Now he wants his belt back.
That was Adesanya’s only loss in the middleweight division and he will be desperate to retain the belt – with the potential for a trilogy about coming up after that. Pereira will obviously have something to say about that and could ask questions about his opponent’s career if he is to win again.
More UFC Action in April
After the big event at the start of the month, there will be three weekends of octagon action in Kansas City, Missouri and Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be only the second time UFC has visited Kansas City and the headline event is scheduled to be a featherweight bout between former champion Max Holloway and Arnold Allen. Edson Barboza and Billy Quarantillo will also fight in the same class on the undercard.
Two weeks of Las Vegas action follow that, with a big heavyweight match-up between Russian Sergei Pavlovich and American Curtis Blaydes the main attraction. A week later it will be the turn of Arman Tsarukyan and Renato Moicano fighting in the lightweight division. But that will only warm up the crowd for the big UFC event coming at the beginning of May.
Figure 2 All the fighters will be in the gym preparing now
The elite MMA organization travels to Newark, New Jersey for the first time since 2019 on May 6, as the Prudential Center welcomes some of the best fighters in the world for another fight night. Top of the bill will be a bantamweight championship bout between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo.
Sterling is the reigning champion and will be defending his belt for the fourth time. He last fought in October of last year and beat T.J. Dillashaw by a TKO in the second round in Abu Dhabi. Sterling has only lost three times in a 25-bout career – and not at all since 2017. He is likely to be very confident about continuing that run.
But Cejudo has more than enough experience of his own. He is a former lightweight and bantamweight champion – and only vacated the title upon his retirement in 2020. Now he’s back, fighting for the first time in three years and eager to claim back what he regards as his.
It looks like the excitement will stay at the same fever pitch as always in UFC over the next month or so. But does it really ever dip in intensity?