UFC returns to Atlantic City, N.J. with an action-packed card, headlined by a thrilling lightweight contenders’ bout between No.4-ranked Edson Barboza and No.7 Kevin Lee. UFC FIGHT NIGHT: BARBOZA vs. LEE takes place Saturday, April 21 from Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and will air live on FS1. The event comes as a result of a partnership between Endeavor and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for four events, one being UFC.
A dangerous Muay Thai striker, Barboza (19-5, fighting out of Toms River, N.J. by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) aims to continue his ascent up the 155-pound rankings. Known for his spectacular knockouts, Barboza holds impressive victories over Gilbert Melendez, Anthony Pettis and Beneil Dariush. His stunning spinning heel kick KO win against Terry Etim has remained a fixture in UFC highlight reels. Barboza now looks to return to the win column following a gutsy loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in December.
Standing in his way is Lee (16-4, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.), who is gunning for another opportunity at UFC gold. During his run, ‘The Motown Phenom’ has picked up sensational victories over Michael Chiesa, Francisco Trinaldo, and Jake Matthews. As charismatic outside the Octagon® as he is skilled inside it, Lee came close to capturing the interim lightweight championship last October. He now plans to use Barboza as a stepping stone back into the title mix.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: BARBOZA vs. LEE will also feature a clash between talented wrestlers and light heavyweight contenders, as New Jersey resident and No.9-ranked Corey Anderson looks to blow the roof off Boardwalk Hall when he meets No.10 Patrick Cummins.
A NCAA Division III wrestler with heavy ground-and-pound, Anderson (10-4, fighting out of Robbinsville, N.J.) looks to kick off 2018 with a dominant victory. Over the course of his UFC stint, he’s delivered impressive wins against Sean O’Connell, Fabio Maldonado and Jan Błachowicz. Anderson now aims to get back on track and resume his run up the 205-pound rankings.
Following a strong 2017, Cummins (10-4, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla.) is gunning for his third consecutive win. The NCAA Division I wrestler has bested Gian Villante, Jan Błachowicz and Rafael Cavalcante during his UFC tenure. Cummins is now poised to build on his momentum and make a dash towards the light heavyweight title picture.
Additional bouts on the card include:
No.8-ranked middleweight contender David Branch (21-4, fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y.) takes on No.11 Thiago Santos (17-5, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Gritty grappler Ryan LaFlare (13-2, fighting out of Farmingdale, N.Y.) meets power puncher Alex Garcia (15-4, fighting out of Montreal, Canada by way of Santiago, Dominican Republic)
No.8-ranked bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling (14-3, fighting out of Uniondale, N.Y.) returns against unbeaten No.14 Brett Johns (15-0, fighting out of Swansea, Wales)
New Jersey native and submission ace Jim Miller (28-11 1NC, fighting out of Sparta, N.J.) locks horns with surging Dan Hooker (16-7, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand)
Magomed Bibulatov (14-1, fighting out of Grozny, Russia) takes on Ulka Sasaki (20-5-2, fighting out of Shizuoka, Japan)
Siyar Bahadurzada (23-6-1, fighting out of Amsterdam, Netherlands) goes for another big finish when he meets Luan Chagas (15-2-1, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil)
Tony Martin (12-4, fighting out of Boston, Mass.) moves up to welterweight to face tough grappler Keita Nakamura (33-8-2 1NC, fighting out of Tokyo, Japan)
In his sophomore UFC outing, Merab Dvalishvili (7-3, fighting out of Long Island, N.Y. by way of Tbilisi, Georgia) squares off with Augusto Mendes (6-2, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz. by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
No.10-ranked women’s bantamweight contender Leslie Smith (10-7-1, fighting out of Pleasant Hill, Calif.) looks for her third straight win against No.11 and undefeated Aspen Ladd (6-0, fighting out of El Dorado Hills, Calif.)